National Current Affairs
november 4th week 2015 Current Affairs
Category : National Current Affairs
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1) Nitish Kumar set to take oath as CM for fifth time.

  • JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar took oath as Bihar’s 35th chief minister. The grand alliance cabinet accommodated by 28 ministers and both sons of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad – Tej Pratap and Tejashwi – sworned in as ministers.
  • Governor Ramnath Kovind administered the oath of office and secrecy to Nitish Kumar. He also administered the oath of the office to other council of ministers belonging to RJD, JD(U) and Congress parties.
  1. In the elections held in five phases from October 12 October and 5 November 2015 Grand Alliance of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Janata Dal (United) (JD(U)) and Indian National Congress (INC) emerged as the winner of the election with thumping two-third majority.
  2. RJD, a part of the grand Alliance with 80 seats emerged as the largest party.
2) Allahabad HC asked UP government to stop sale and use of Chinese manjha.
  • Allahabad High court ordered to ban the manufacturing and sale of Chinese thread (Chinese manjha) across Uttar Pradesh. The thread is a highly abrasive type of nylon string that is used during flying kites.
  • A division bench, comprising Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice Yashwant Verma, passed the order on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by one Anurag Mishra. The applicant had drawn the court`s attention towards a number of incidents in the city wherein people had received serious injuries caused by the razor-sharp nylon string coated with glass. 
3) UN Security Council approved French-sponsored resolution urging action against ISIS.
  • The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) unanimously adopted a French-sponsored resolution 2249 (2015) calling all nations to take all necessary measures to prevent and suppress the terrorist acts of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and other extremist groups.
Highlights of the resolution:
  1. It mentions that ISIS group constitutes a global and unprecedented threat to international peace and security and expresses its determination to combat it by all means.
  2. It unequivocally condemns in the strongest terms the horrifying terrorist attacks carried out by the Islamic State in Sousse, Tunisia and Ankara, Turkey in 2015.
  3. It urges UN member states to intensify their efforts to stem the flow of foreign terrorist fighters in Iraq and Syria and to prevent and suppress the financing on terrorism.
  4. It is the 14th terrorism-related resolution adopted by the UNSC since 1999.
4) Rajasthan Government signed 295 MoUs attracting 3.3 lakh crore rupees investment.
  • Rajasthan Government signed 295 MoUs attracting about 3.3 lakh crore rupees investment during the Resurgent Partnership Summit 2015.
  • With this, a task force will be formed to get the projects implemented in a time-bound manner.
Highlights of the MoUs
  1. It aims to provide around 239694 lakh jobs in the state.
  2. The Energy sector got MoUs worth 190000 crore rupees followed by Petroleum with 77657 crore rupees worth MoUs.
  3. Infrastructure got MoUs worth 17038 crore rupees while Manufacturing sector of the state fetched MoUs worth 11760 crore rupees.
  4. Roads and Highways fetched 10000 crore rupees MoUs.
5) Swachh Delhi Abhiyan launched in Delhi.
  • A special cleanliness drive, Swachh Delhi Abhiyan has been launched in the national capital Delhi to remove debris and garbage lying in various localities.
  • The drive was launched by Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu and shall continue in New Delhi till the end November 2015 month.
Key facts:
  1. Launched as part of Union Government’s flagship Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. It is being undertaken up by the Union Government, Delhi government and all the three Municipal Corporations of Delhi.
  2. Under the campaign, 3 municipal bodies in Delhi will clear the garbage and the concrete waste will be lifted by the Public Works Department (PWD) of Delhi government.
  3. Earlier, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had launched a special mobile application to give a push to the drive.
6) UP Government’s Clean UP, Green UP initiative earns place in Guinness Book.
  • Uttar Pradesh government’s ambitious Clean UP, Green UP initiative has earned itself a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.
  • Under state government’s green drive initiative 10 lakh saplings were planted in one day within a span of eight hours at 10 locations in the state.
  • This new record has surpassed the earlier record for plantation of maximum number of tree that was 8 lakh 50 thousand trees in a single day.
  • The certificate for UP Government’s record-setting performance was awarded to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav at the function held in Saifai in Etawah district.
  • On the eve of state government’s ‘Clean UP, Green UP’ initiative Chief Minister himself had planted peepal plant at Maudaha dam in Hamirpur district.
  • The initiative was executed through coordinated efforts of state forest, irrigation departments along with Noida and Greater Noida Authority.
7) Union HRD Ministry forms N. Gopalaswami Committee on Sanskrit Promotion.
  • The Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry has constituted a 13 member expert committee exclusively on Sanskrit in its attempt to revive interest in the ancient Indian classical language Sanskrit.
  • The expert committee would be headed by former chief election commissioner (CEC) N. Gopalaswami. He is currently, Chancellor of Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth (RSV) in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh.
Other members of the Committee:
  1. Bibek Debroy (NITI Aayog member), Chairman of National Skill Development Corporation Dr. Ramadorai, V.V. Bhat, Delhi University professor Ramesh Bharadwaj, Chamu Krishna Shastri, UGC Chairman Ved Prakash.
Terms of Reference of Committee
  1. Recommend measures to integrate the study of the ancient classical language with other disciplines such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, medical science and law.
  2. Suggest changes in Sanskrit education in schools and universities and ways to impart Sanskrit education through modern tools.
8) Railway Ministry inaugurates landmark Silchar-Lumding broad gauge rail line in Assam.
  • Union Railways Ministry has inaugurated the landmark Silchar-Lumding broad gauge rail line in Assam.
  • It was inaugurated by Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu by flagging off a passenger train from New Delhi via video-conference.
Key facts
  1. Silchar-Lumding broad gauge rail line brings Assam’s underdeveloped but strategically important Barak Valley on the broad gauge map.
  2. The broad gauge line is also a milestone for connectivity in the northeast region and one of the largest gauge conversion projects of Indian Railways.
  3. The line has 75 major bridges and 340 minor bridges along the track. It passes through 21 tunnels. The entire project cost was around 3, 500 crore rupees.
9) Urban Development Minister launched portal for small traders’ e-lala.
  • Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated `e-lala`, an e-commerce portal of Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) in New Delhi.
  • The e-lala initiative is aimed at promoting the interests of 5.77 crore small businesses in the context of rapid expansion of e-commerce in the country.
  • Benefits of e-lala initiative
  • E-lala will enable physical stores to have their own online stores enabling them to retain their customer base besides additional source of growth in business.
  • E-lala, a city and location based portal, seeks to promote business-to-business and trader-to-customer transactions in a city.
  • It seeks to eliminate middlemen and resulting in reduced cost of goods and services
  • With the emerging global threat from e-commerce to small traders, e-lala initiative will address the problem with proper outreach and marketing strategies.
10) Delhi assembly passes CrPC (Delhi Amendment) Bill, 2015.
  • Delhi Assembly has passed the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) (Delhi Amendment) Bill, 2015.
  • The bill amends section 176(1) of the CrPC Act, 1973 and widens the scope of magisterial inquiry into cases of suspicious death, rapes in police custody and suspicious disappearances.
  • Thus, it empowers Delhi government to initiate a magisterial inquiry to cover any other cases in police custody and suspicious death.
  • However, the passage of is consider as another Centre-state flashpoint because Opposition has argued that it challenges the authority of Parliament as Delhi Assembly is empowering itself by passing the bill.


12) Ministry of Railways, TERI University signed MoU to set up Railway Chair on Sustainable Mobility.

  • The Ministry of Railways and TERI University signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set up Railway Chair on Sustainable Mobility at the premises of TERI University.
  • The MoU was signed by Rajiv Seth, Vice Chancellor, TERI University and Manoj Pandey, ED of Training and Man Power, Ministry of Railways. The Chair would focus and promote research on issues of sustainable mobility, use of energy efficient technology and green energy initiatives.
Highlights of the Railway Chair on Sustainable Mobility
  • It will be called Indian Railways Chair for Sustainable Mobility.
  • It will focus on research in various aspects of railways that emerged as a crucial mode of transport to achieve sustainable development in the country.
  • It will aim for imparting knowledge and enriching professionals in all aspects of sustainability with a multi-dimensional perspective relevant to Indian Railways.
  • The tenure of the Chair would be one year initially, extendable upon review.
  • Annual funding for the Chair will be 20 lakh rupees.
13) Union Government announced 10 New/ Revised Schemes for Disabled Persons under the National Trust.
  • Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawar Chand Gehlot announced the launching of 10 new/ revised schemes for the disabled persons in New Delhi.
  • These schemes were launched under the National Trust for the welfare of persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities.
List of Schemes
  1. Disha: Early Intervention and School Readiness Scheme
  2. Vikaas: Day Care Scheme
  3. Samarth: Respite Care Scheme
  4. Gharaunda: Group Home for Adults Scheme
  5. Niramaya: Health Insurance Scheme
  6. Sahyogi: Caregiver training scheme
  7. Gyan Prabha: Educational support Scheme
  8. Prerna: Marketing Assistance Scheme
  9. Sambhav: Aids and Assisted Devices Scheme
  10. Badhte Kadam: Awareness and Community Interaction Scheme
14) Ministry of Railways signed AOT Agreements with SAIL-RITES Bengal Wagon Industry Pvt Ltd.
  • The Ministry of Railways signed the Assured Off Take Agreements (AOT) with SAIL-RITES Bengal Wagon Industry Pvt Ltd (SRBWIPL) for manufacturing and rehabilitation of wagons at Kulti, West Bengal.
Highlights of the agreement
  1. With the signing of the agreement, two major PSUs namely RITES of Ministry of Railways and SAIL of Union Ministry of Steel will form a joint venture SRBWIPL.
  2. The joint venture is a 2500 Crore rupees Make in India Initiative.
  3. This is a long term Agreement for manufacturing of 1200 wagons per annum and rehabilitation of 300 wagons per annum for a period of 10 years.
  4. The factory will manufacture modern stainless steel wagons which are required for expansion of Indian Railways and for domestic and international market.
  5. The land for the factory has been provided by SAIL and has been constructed at an approximate cost of 120 crore rupees.
  6. This factory will generate employment for about 400-500 people and will provide skill development opportunities for local people.
15) Union Government approved 3120 crore rupees investment for infra boost in 102 AMRUT cities.
  • The Ministry of Urban Development approved an investment of 3120 crore rupees investment plans for basic urban infrastructure boost for 102 cities approved under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT).
  • The plans will enhance water supply, sewerage network services, storm water drains, non-motorised transport and availability of public spaces in 102 cities, under AMRUT.
  • Besides, an inter-ministerial Apex Committee approved State level Annual Action Plans for 2015-16 with an investment of 438 crore rupees for Haryana (18 AMRUT cities), 573 crore rupees for Chattisgarh (9 AMRUT cities), 416 crore rupees for Telangana (12 AMRUT cities), 588 crore rupees for Kerala (9 AMRUT cities) and 1105 crore rupees for West Bengal (54 AMRUT cities).
Key highlights of investment plans:
  1. The Apex Committee approved investments in different basic urban infrastructure areas as proposed by respective state governments.
  2. Ministry of Urban Development will provide an assistance 1540 crore rupees which is about 50 perecnt of total approved project expenditure.
  3. Total investment in water supply projects in 58 mission states will be 2386 crore rupees.
  4. Sewerage projects will demand an investment of 495 crore rupees in 17 cities.
  5. A total of 106 crore rupees will be invested on storm water drains in 9 cities.
  6. Urban transport will seek an investment of 61 crore rupees in 9 cities.
  7. Around 72 crore rupees will be invested on development of parks and green spaces in all the 102 cities.


16) Delhi Government introduced Working Journalists (Delhi Amendment) Bill, 2015.

  • Delhi Government introduced Working Journalists and Other Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service) and Miscellaneous Provisions (Delhi Amendment) Bill, 2015 in Delhi Assembly.
  • The bill’s proposed amendments envisage imprisonment of up to one year and penalty extending to ten thousand rupees for any violations among others.
  • The bill was tabled in the Assembly by state’s Labour Minister Gopal Rai.
  • It seeks to address the shortcomings which are coming in the way of implementations of several recommendations of the Majithia Wage Board for journalists and non-journalists in Delhi.
Highlights of the Bill:
  • It seeks to address the shortcomings in providing adequate compensation.
  • It seeks to strengthen the penal provision in cases of non-adherence to the Act.
  • The proposed Amendments to section 18 of the Act stipulates imprisonment of up to six months and fine which may extend to 5000 rupees for non-payment of the due wages to an employee.
  • The amendment seeks to replace the words "punishable with fine which may extend to 500 rupees" with "punishable with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, and shall also be liable to fine which may extend to 10000 rupees".
17) Union Government to roll out BS V norms from April 1, 2019.
  • Union Government has decided to advance the date for implementation of Bharat Stage (BS) V and BS VI emission norms for four-wheelers in order to reduce vehicular air pollution from road transport sector.
  • As per advance dates, BS V norms will be rolled out from 1st of April, 2019 and BS VI norms from 1st April, 2021.
  • In this regard draft notification was issued Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways as per the Auto Fuel Policy, 2003.
About Bharat stage (BS) norms:
  1. Bharat stage (BS) norms are emission standards decided by the government to regulate the amount of air pollutants from vehicles.
  2. They were adopted in line with European regulation standard ‘Euro norms’ in 2000.
  3. So far, 4 states of Bharat stage (BS) norms have been issued by government. In each stage certain limit is specified on the released pollutants and in the succeeding higher stages, the BS norms reduces the limit of pollutant emission.
Issued BS stages are:
  1. BS-I Euro 1 2000
  2. BS-II Euro 2 2005
  3. BS-III Euro 3 2010
  4. BS-IV Euro 4 2015 (63 cities till 1 April 2015)
18) Centre clears infra development plan for nine cities under AMRUT.
  • Centre has approved a working plan for Chhattisgarh where a total of nine cities would receive a major infrastructural facelift under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT).
  • The Urban Development Ministry sanctioned the plan during a high-level meeting of its officials in New Delhi.
  • Under the Rs. 1,998 crore plan, the Centre will provide Rs. 870 crore in next three years while the rest of funding will be borne by the state government and its civic bodies.
  1. In a meeting, Director of state’s Urban Administration and Development Rohit Yadav made an elaborate presentation on the action plan to be implemented for Raipur, Durg, Bhilai, Rajnandgaon, Bilaspur, Korba, Raigarh, Ambikapur and Jagdalpur which are short-listed by Centre to be covered under the mission.
  2. The Centre has identified 482 cities and towns, each with a population of one lakh and above as AMRUT cities for ensuring basic infrastructure like water connections to all urban households, sewer connections and sewage management, storm water drains, urban transport in the country.
19) Centre to invest Rs. 1,700 crore for NISH.
  • Centre will invest Rs. 1,700 crore in phases to transform NISH (National Institute of Speech and Hearing) in Thiruvanandhapuram as the National University for Rehabilitation Sciences and Disability Studies to benefit differently-abled people.
  • “It is provisioned to spend Rs. 390 crore for the first five years of expansion of the University which will have infrastructure as well as operational components.
  • The Centre’s aim is to have a country with people with no disabilities and if at all there are such people, government will provide necessary support and education to them and equip them with instruments, devices and other facilities to help them fully integrate themselves in mainstream life.
20) Union Government launches IPV injection as part of global polio endgame strategy.
  • The Union Government has launched inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) injection as part of the global polio endgame strategy in New Delhi.
  • The vaccine was launched by the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare J.P. Nadda in New Delhi. It was launched as part of India’s next step in Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) to fight against polio virus in the country.
Key facts:
  1. The launching of IPV would enable children to get double protection from polio i.e. orally and in the form of injection.
  2. UIP initially will cover six states including Uttar Pardesh, Madhya Pardesh, Bihar, Assam, Punjab and Gujarat in the first phase.
  3. By April 2016, Union Government would switch to IPV alongside the oral polio vaccine (OPV) to eradicate polio virus in the country.
  4. Henceforth, as part of India’s efforts to boost its polio immunization programme babies getting their third dose of OPV now would be administered an injection with IPV.
About Polio virus:
  1. Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious viral disease, which mainly affects young children below age of 5.
  2. Transmission:
  3. The virus is transmitted from person-to-person.
  4. It mainly spreads through the faecal-oral route (e.g. contaminated water or food). After entering body, it multiplies in the intestine, from where it can invade the nervous system and can cause paralysis.
21) President gives assent Maharashtra Factories (Amendment) Bill, 2015.
  • President Pranab Mukherjee has given his assent to Maharashtra Factories (Amendment) Bill, 2015 of Maharashtra government to allow women to work in factories in night shifts
  • The amendment bill amends Section 66(1) (c) of Factories Act, 1948 to ease provisions related to working of women in night shifts in the state.
Key facts:
  1. The amendment of 67-year old Act also makes mandatory for factory managements to ensure security of women working in night shifts.
  2. Prior to amendment, the section 66(1) (c) of parent Act did not allowed women employees to work in the factories in night shift between from 7 PM and 6 AM.
  3. Apart from this, the amendment bill also enables workers to be eligible for paid leave after working for 90 days in a year instead of the current 240 days or more.
  4. Besides this, the amendment also does not make mandatory for workers to take the management’s permission for working overtime. In this regard, the amendment bill has increased the working limit to 115 hours from the current 75 in 3 months.
22) Indian Railways ink Rs. 40000 crore deal of locomotive plants with GE, Alstom in Bihar.
  • Indian Railways has signed 40,000 crore rupees contracts with General Electrics (GE) and Alstom to set up two locomotive plants in Bihar.
  • Under this deal, first venture the electric locomotive factory would be set up at Madhepura city and diesel locomotive would be set up at Marhowrah district of the state.
  • It is the first major manufacturing investment in Bihar, boosting manufacturing and contributing to the overall economic growth of state along with creation of new employment opportunities in the state under flagship Make In India initiative