National Current Affairs
november 3rd week 2015 Current Affairs
Category : National Current Affairs
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1) President gives assent to Haryana Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gausamvardhan Bill, 2015.

  • President Pranab Mukherjee has given his assent to the Haryana Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gausamvardhan Bill, 2015 or Haryana Cow Protection Bill, 2015.
  • Thus, with the presidential assent the bill has come into force in the form of a law (Act). It completely bans cow slaughter, sale of beef and beef products in Haryana.
Features of Bill
  1. Complete ban of cow slaughter, sale of beef and beef products in Haryana state. Punishment: Violators will get rigorous imprisonment ranging from three to 10 years and a fine of up to 1 lakh rupees.
Cow trafficking:
  1. Bans cow trafficking and in case any person who wants to export cows will have to seek permission for the same.
  2. Any person found guilty in exporting cows for slaughter would be imprisoned for 3 to 7 years and imposes fine between 30,000 rupees and 70,000 rupees.
2) PM Narendra Modi inaugurates Ambedkar memorial in London.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the recently acquired Ambedkar memorial by Maharashtra Government at King Henry’s Road in London, United Kingdom.
  • On this occasion, Prime Minister unveiled a plaque to mark the dedication of the Memorial and was accompanied by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Points to Note:
  1. Maharashtra government had bought this house in London where social reformer and architect of the Indian Constitution Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar had stayed as a student in the 1920s.
  2. In September 2015, Maharashtra Government had purchased the house for 32 crore rupees and had converted into an international memorial consisting of a public museum and a library owing to its cultural and national importance and pride of millions of people of India.
3) Health Ministry inaugurates country’s first AMRIT outlet at AIIMS in New Delhi.
  • Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has opened country’s first Affordable Medicines and Reliable Implants for Treatment (AMRIT) outlet at AIIMS in New Delhi to sell drugs at highly discounted rates.
  • The retail outlet was inaugurated by Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda at AIIMS campus in New Delhi under the AMRIT programme which aims drugs to sell drugs at highly discounted rates.
Key facts:
  1. The pilot AMRIT outlet will provide drugs for cancer and cardiovascular diseases at highly discounted rates. At this outlet the prices of 202 cancer and 186 cardio-vascular drugs will reduced on an average by 60 to 90 per cent.
  2. The pilot AMRIT oultlet will be managed by the government-owned HLL Lifecare Ltd (HLL), which will sell both drugs and implants at significant discount on market rates.
  3. These drugs and implants will be sold based upon authentic prescriptions from doctors to AIIMS patients and also patients availing treatment at other hospitals.

4) Union Government approves Rs 5748 crore AMRUT Action Plans for 81 cities.

  • Union Government has approved Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) Action Plans for 81 cities in 5 states with total project outlay of 5,748 crore rupees.
  • It was approved by an inter-ministerial Apex Committee headed by Madhusudan Prasad, Secretary, Union Ministry of Urban Development.
  • The focus of the urban renewal projects under this scheme is to establish infrastructure that could ensure adequate robust sewerage networks and water supply.
Key facts:
  1. The approved cities in 5 states are Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha and Mizoram. The funds will be used to enhance basic infrastructure including water supply and sewerage connections in these 5 states for the year 2015-16.
  2. Union Government will provide an assistance of 2,440 crore rupees while the rest would be contributed by state governments and urban local bodies.
  3. Of the total approved outlay 4,290 crore rupees would be used to provide household water supply connections and enhance water supply in 53 cities.
Under this scheme:
  1. Union Government provides an assistance of 50 per cent of project cost for cities with a population of up to 10 lakhs each and one third of project cost for cities with a population of above 10 lakhs each. Rest of the project cost has to be borne by the states and urban local bodies.
5) Odisha Government implements NFSA in 14 districts.
  • Odisha Government has started implementation of National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013 in 14 of the 30 districts of the state in first phase covering 26.33 lakh families.
  • In this regard State Food supplies and Consumer Welfare department has issued directives to the district administration to monitor the implementation of the NFSA and rectify irregularities.
Key facts:
  1. 14 districts in the first phase are: Angul, Bargarh, Boudh, Balangir, Deogarh, Gajapati, Jharsuguda, Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nuapada, Sambalpur and Sonepur.
  2. Under the NFSA, beneficiaries are entitled to get 5 kg of rice at Rs. 3 or 5 kg of wheat at Rs. 2 from Public Distribution System (PDS) Centres.
  3. The second phase of the NFSA will be implemented in remaining 16 other districts of the State from 1st December 2015.
  4. The scheme would benefit around 93.35 lakh people in the state.

About National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013:

NSFA aims at providing legal entitlement to 5 kg of subsidised food grains to the identified person per month. Grains like wheat, rice and coarse grain will be distributed at the price of 3 Rs. 3, Rs. 2 and Rs. 1.

6) PM Narendra Modi concluded his two-nation tour to UK and Turkey.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi returned to India after his two-nation tour of the United Kingdom and Turkey.
  • During his five-day visit which took place from 12 November to 16 November 2015, Modi participated in G-20 summit at Antalya in Turkey and met with Queen Elizabeth II, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and others.
Major Highlights of UK visit
  • Modi inaugurated Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar Memorial in London.
  • Modi unveiled Basaveshwara Statue in London.
  • Modi addressed the Indian Community at Wembley Stadium, London.
  • Modi paid homage at Gandhi Statue in London.
  • Modi met with Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.
  • Modi on 12 November 2015 became the first Indian head to address the British parliament.
  • Modi held delegation level talks with Prime Minister David Cameron of United Kingdom and also met Leader of the Labour Party and the Leader of the Opposition.
  • Modi attended the UK-India CEO Forum.
  • Modi inspected guard of honour at Treasury Quadrangle in London.
  • Modi visited Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) plant, a subsidiary of India’s Tata Motors, in Solihull.
Major Highlights of Turkey Visit
  1. Modi attended 2015 G-20 summit chaired by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on 15-16 November 2015 in Antalya, Turkey.
  2. Modi also attended the meet of BRICS leader on the sidelines of G-20 summit.
  3. Modi met with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the President of Turkey; Mariano Rajoy, the Prime Minister of Spain, King Salman bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabi; Malcolm Turnbull, the Prime Minister of Australia, Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council; Jean Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission.
  4. Modi proposed 10-Point Plan to Tackle Terrorism and find solution to refugee crisis.
  5. Modi proposed agenda on development and climate change at G20 meet.
  6. During stay in Turkey Prime Ministers of India and Australia announced completion of procedures for Civil Nuclear Agreement.
7) Union Cabinet approved signing of Tripartite Agreement on IBSA Fund for Poverty Alleviation.
  • The Union Cabinet approved the signing of the Tripartite Agreement among India, Brazil and South Africa (IBSA) on the IBSA Fund for the Alleviation of Poverty and Hunger.
  • The decision will help in strengthening the IBSA Fund which is a unique vehicle in the context of South-South cooperation.
  1. The IBSA countries contribute 1 million US dollars each annually to the Fund, which till January 2015 has accumulated to 28.2 million US dollars, with total implemented/approved projects commitment of 26.2 million US dollars.
  2. Remaining 2.09 million US dollars is available for programming.
  3. India on its part has contributed 9.1 million US dollars so far to the Fund.
  4. The IBSA Fund undertakes development projects in third countries. The first project to be financed by the IBSA Fund was in support of agriculture and livestock development.
  1. The IBSA Fund for the Alleviation of Poverty and Hunger was set up in 2004 as one of the three pillars of cooperation under the IBSA Dialogue Forum.
  2. The other two pillars are consultation and coordination on global political issues and trilateral collaboration in concrete areas and projects.
8) UN released report on impacts of Biodegradable plastics on marine environment.
  • The United Nations (UN) released a report on impacts of Biodegradable plastics on marine environment. The report is titled as Biodegradable Plastics and Marine Litter: Misconceptions, Concerns and Impacts on Marine Environments.
  • As per the report, widespread adoption of products labelled biodegradable will not significantly decrease the volume of plastic entering the ocean or the physical and chemical risks that plastics pose to marine environment.
Highlights of the report:
  1. It aims to verify a thesis that plastics considered biodegradable may play an important role in reducing the negative environmental impacts.
  2. The report finds that complete biodegradation of plastics occurs in conditions that are met in marine environments, with some polymers requiring industrial composters and prolonged temperatures of above 50°C to disintegrate.
  3. There is also limited evidence suggesting that labelling products as biodegradable increases the public`s inclination to litter.
  4. Recent estimates from UN Environment Programme have shown as much as 20 million tonnes of plastic end up in the world’s oceans each year. Once in the ocean, plastic does not go away, but breaks down into microplastic particles.


9) Union Government launches Technology Acquisition and Development Fund under NMP.

  • Union Government has launched the Technology Acquisition and Development Fund (TADF) under the National Manufacturing Policy (NMP), 2011.
  • It was launched by Union Minister of State (MoS) for Commerce & Industry Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi.
Key facts:
  • TADF will facilitate Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) to acquire clean, green and energy efficient technologies.
  • It will also catalyse the manufacturing growth in MSME sector with an aim to contribute to ‘Make in India’ initiative.
  • The scheme will be implemented through Global Innovation and Technology Alliance (GITA) which is a joint venture company of CII and Department of Science & Technology. GITA was launched in 2007-08 to stimulate private sector’s investment in Research and Development.
Direct Support for Technology Acquisition:
  1. Proposals will be invited for reimbursement of 50 per cent or up to 20 lakh rupees of technology transfer fee from Indian industry.
In-direct Support for Technology Acquisition through Patent Pool:
  1. TADF will provide financial support to MSME’s to acquire patent from across the world based on applications. Patent/ Technology would be licensed to selected MSME’s and they will get a subsidy of 50 per cent of mutually agreed value or upto 20 lakh rupees.
Technology/ Equipment Manufacturing Subsidies:
  1. TADF will support manufacturing of equipment for reducing energy consumption, controlling pollution and water conservation. In this regard, subsidy of up to 10 per cent of capital expenditure and machinery will be provided to the manufacturing units subjected to a maximum of 50 lakh rupees.
10) 7th Central Pay Commission submits report, proposes 23.55% salary hike.
  • 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC) headed by Justice A.K. Mathur has recommended 23.55 per cent hike in pay and allowances of government employees.
  • In this regard the commission has submitted its report to Union Finance Ministry in New Delhi and the recommended pay revision will come into effect from 1 January 2016.
Recommendations of 7th CPC:
  1. Minimum basic pay of 18 thousand and maximum of 2.5 lakh rupees per month.
  2. Abolition of grade pay and pay band structure. The rate of annual increment for employees will be three per cent.
  3. The pay will go up by 16 per cent, allowances by 63 per cent and pension by 24 per cent. Abolition of 52 allowances and introduction of a Health Insurance Scheme.
  4. One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme for central government staffers, para military as well as armed forces personnel.
  5. Increase in military service pay and revised pension formula for civil employees including Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and Defense Personnel retiring before 1 January 2016.
  1. The pay revision will impact 47 lakh serving employee and 52 lakh pensioners of the Central Government including in the Defence and Railways. It will cost public exchequer over 1 lakh crore rupees annually.
  2. The implementation of Pay Commission will impact fiscal deficit by 0.65 per cent. Finance Ministry is setting up committee headed by Expenditure Secretary to go through the report for its implementation.
11)CCEA approves production subsidy of Rs. 4.50/quintal to Sugarcane farmers.
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has decided to pay a production-linked subsidy of Rs. 4.50 per quintal directly to sugarcane farmers in the current crushing season.
  • Decision in this regard was taken at CCEA meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
Key facts
  1. This decision aims at helping cash strapped sugar mills clear arrears and would cost public exchequer about 1,147 crore rupees.
  2. The production subsidy would be given to offset the cost of sugarcane and facilitate the timely payment of cane prices to farmers. Currently, Sugar mills across the country are facing a liquidity crunch due to low prices of the sweetener in retail markets and they owe about 6,500 crore rupees to cane farmers.
Extension of Lines of Credit to African and other developing countries
  1. The CCEA also gave its approval to the extension of Lines of Credit to African and other developing countries for another five years from 2015-16.
  2. The Lines of Credit will be provided under Indian Development and Economic Assistance (IDEA) Scheme which has been in operation since 2005-06.
  3. IDEA scheme attempts to promote India’s strategic political and economic interest abroad by positioning it as an emerging economic power and partner for developing countries.
12) 50 districts in Uttar Pradesh declared drought-hit.
  • 50 districts out of total 75 in Uttar Pradesh have been declared drought-hit by the state government led by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
  • Decision in this regard was taken by state government on the recommendation of a natural calamity committee.
  • These 50 drought hit districts have received lesser than 60 per cent rain during the 2015 Monsoon period from June to September 2015.
  • In this drought hit districts more than 33 per cent crops were ruined due to poor monsoon season. In order to provide relief to farmers from these districts, state government has suspended recovery of all dues from them by the end of current financial year 2015-16.