Bilateral Current Affairs November 3rd Week 2016

1) PM Modi Visited Punjab To Mark 350 Birth Anniversary Of Guru Gobind Singh

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Punjab on November 25, 2016 to attend a function marking the 350th birthanniversary of tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh ji at Sri Anandpur Sahib in Rupanagar district.
  • During the visit Prime Minister  offered prayers at Gurdwara Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib in Anandpur Sahib, the second holiest of Sikh shrines after Amritsar’s Harmandir Sahib or Golden Temple and was presented a ‘siropa’ or robe of honour by the Sikh priests at the historic gurdwara.
  • During the visit, Mr Modi also laid the foundation stone of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Bathinda. Modi was accompanied by Punjab Cm PS Badal, Punjab Deputy CM, Sukhbir Badal, Union Health Minister JP Nadda, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Vijay Sampla and many other Akali leaders.

2) Potential Hydro Power Projects in Himalayan Glaciers Fears Chances of Floods

  • A study was conducted by Swiss researchers on ‘The impact of climate change in the Himalayas’.
  • The study analyzed the Himalayan Glaciers and their possible future impact on lives of the people in States across the region.
  • The study revealed that the ‘potential hydro power projects in the Himalayan region would face chances of increased floods from the formation of new lakes and the expansion of existing ones due to melting glaciers’.
  • The study was conducted on 129 hydro projects from India.
  • The number of lakes in the Parvati Valley catchment area was 12 lakes in 1989 which increased to 77 lakes in 2014. Similarly in the Beas basin, six lakes (in 1989) had increased to 33 (in 2011).
  • 441 hydro power projects across India, Nepal, Pakistan and China accounts for 66% of the constructed and the potential projects, and are on possible Glacier Lake Outburst Floods (GLOF) area. 
  • If the projects are constructed much closer to the Glaciers then they would have to experience higher flow of water and almost one-third of the dams could be filled with extra water, much more than required, due to melting glaciers.
  • However if corrective measures are taken like emphasis on extra design or safety features, the problem of flood may be reduced.


3) Center to Form Committee to Develop Digital Payment Platform for Government-Citizen Transactions 

  • The Central Government has constituted a committee in New Delhi on November 25, 2016 to develop a digital payments option for the payment of all government-citizen transactions to flush out black money and corruption from the country.
  • The Committee of Officers, headed by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, will identify and operationalise the user-friendly digital payment options in all sectors of the economy, as early as possible.
  • The committee will also identify various infrastructural bottlenecks affecting the use of digital payment options.
  • The committee will meet central ministries, regulators, state governments, district administration, local bodies, trade and industry associations and make attempt to estimate costs involved in various digital payments options and take measures to make such transactions between government and citizens cheaper than cash transaction.
  • Members of the Committee of Officers include Department of Financial Services Secretary, Ministry of Finance; Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology; Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion; Secretary, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management; MD & CEO, National Payments Corporation of India; Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development; Chairman, National Highways Authority of India, and Adviser, NITI Aayog.


4) Ministry of Culture Releases Coins on 500th Anniversary of Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

  • Shri Narendra Kumar Sinha, Secretary, Ministry of Culture released a Commemorative Non-Circulation Coin of Rs.500 and a Circulation Coin of Rs.10 on November 25, 2016, to mark a year-long celebration of “500th Anniversary of Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s Coming to Vrindavan” .Narendra Kumar Sinha, Secretary, Ministry of Culture released a Commemorative Non-Circulation Coin of Rs.500 and a Circulation Coin of Rs.10 on November 25,
  • Government of India is celebrating the ‘500th anniversary of Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s Coming to Vrindavan’ since a year by organizing various programmes and Exhibitions on Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s life and teachings in association with Vrindavan Research Institute and ISKCON.
  • An inaugural function was organized by Vrndavan Research Institute at Vrindavan on 25 November, 2015.
  • Another function was organized by Vrindavan Research Institute at Mayapur, Nadia, the birth place of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, during 05-07 November, 2016.
  • A Mobile Exhibition was organized named “Shri Chaitanya Prem Rath” which started from Vrindavan on 08 February, 2016 passed through Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha, Delhi and finally ending back to  Vrindavan.  On 09 March, 2016.
  • ISKCON, also organized a separate function in Delhi on 28 May, 2016.
  • Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, a famous Hindi Saint and social reformer was a promoter for the Vaishnava School of Bhakti Yoga.  Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu propagated the worship of Shri Krishna and popularized the chanting of “Hare Krishna Mantra” to all without any discrimination.

 

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5) Railways to introduce ‘Tri-Netra’ to check collisions 
  • Indian Railways all set to launch “Tri-Netra(Terrain Imaging for diesel drivers infrared, enhanced optical and radar assisted system)” to check collisions between tracks.
  • Tri-Netra system is made up of a high-resolution optical video camera, high-sensitivity infrared video camera and a radar-based terrain mapping system
  • This system will help to reduce train accidents by keeping a record of the track maintenance and will also provide better visibility during foggy days.
  • It will provides a locomotive pilot a clear view of up to one kilometre on a straight track.
Indian Railways :
  1. Minister of Railways : Suresh Prabhu
  2. Headquarters: New Delhi
  3. Founded: 1853

6) Andhra Pradesh CM launches Water Distribution Monitoring Portal
  • Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, N Chandrababu Naidu has launched the ‘Smart Water Distribution Monitoring’ web portal on November 23, 2016, which will enable the people to track the status of drinking water in the nearby water tanks.
  • The Water Distribution Monitoring portal can be accessed from the website ourvmc.org.
  • The portal has Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system that helps in reduction of water wastage as well as ensures uninterrupted water supply to the households.
  • ourvmc.org is a digital platform to provide information regarding the activities Vijayawada Municipal Corporation in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

7) Defence Ministry Released a policy to re-assist blacklisting global defence firms
  • The Union Defence Ministry released new policy ‘Guidelines of the Ministry of Defence for penalties in business dealings with entities’ on November 21, 2016, to relook at the list of the companies that are banned from doing business in India.
  • Atleast a dozen of global defence firms are presently banned from doing business in India
  • because of allegations of corruption against them. However, due to such blacklisting, the Indian military is not able to access many of the global products.
  • iThis blacklisting policy was approved by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) on November 7 and the policy was released by the Defence Ministry on November 21.
New Policy Features :
  1. Ban period has been reduced to 5 years from the previous 10 years but the upper ban limit is not specified.
  2. It allows doing business with black listed firm for achieving National security only for the purpose of supporting the critical spare and maintenance or if the firm is the only source to support a certain system, but with the approval of the Defence Minister.

8) Union Cabinet Approved Introduction of New Merchant Shipping Bill, 2016
  • The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the introduction of Merchant Shipping Bill, 2016 in the Parliament on November 23, 2016 in New Delhi.
  • The Merchant Shipping Bill, 2016 is a revised version of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 and will abolish the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 as well as The Coasting Vessels Act, 1838.
  • The Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 had been amended 17 times between 1966 and 2014 due to which the number of sections increased to more than 560 but with the introduction of new bill the provisions have been reduced to 280.
  • The provisions of the new Bill will simplify the law governing the merchant shipping in India and promote ease of doing business, transparency and effective delivery of services in the country.
  • Survey, inspection and certification of vessels, which were scattered in various parts of the existing Act, are placed together to provide for a simplified system for convenience of Indian shipping industry.
The new bill focuses on:
  1. Expansion of the Indian tonnage promotion and development of coastal shipping in India,
  2. Introduction of welfare measures for seafarers
  3. Registration of certain residuary category of vessels not covered under any bill and to make provisions for security-related aspects.
9) Wangala harvest festival celebrated in Meghalaya
  • Garo tribals People of Meghalaya celebrated the harvest festival of Wangala to marks the end of a period of toil for farmers wanting a good output from their fields.
  • Wangala harvest festival celebrated in Meghalayaii. On the first day of the festival, the people offer their agriculture produce to the Sun God, while on the second day or Kakkat, they will dance Wangala Dance
  • This festival is also known as Annual 100-drum Festival.
Meghalaya State Festival :
  1. Bob Dylan Festival and Ahaia Festival. 

 

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10) The Palampur Assembly Constituency adopts E-Vidhan system, becomes first e-assembly constituency of the country
  • The Palampur Assembly Constituency in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh has adopted E-Vidhan system and became the first e-assembly constituency of the country which, making the House Business paperless.
  • Brij Behari Lal Butail, the State Assembly Speaker, inaugurated the E-Vidhan system at a function held in Palampur town on November 22, 2016.
  • The Palampur’s e-constituency is a step toward’s supporting the Government of India’s move of Digital India and include modern techniques in daily business.
  • The E-vidhan syatem would enable the residents of the constituency to know about the development works going on by one click on computer
  • It would also help to electronically send the data regarding the requirement of funds for different schemes.
  • The E-vidhan system would be introduced in other 67 constituencies of the state in next six months.

11) Haryana Government mandates Fitting Auto-Dipper in 4-Wheeled motor Vehicles
  • To ensure safety measure, Haryana government has made it compulsory for all four-wheeler vehicles in the state to install an auto dipper in the vehicles according to the Rule 106 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989.
  • The government has ordered that any vehicle which is not equipped with the auto dippers will not be registered by the registering authorities of the state or any authorized motor vehicle dealer who are authorized for registration.
  • Besides, the vehicles which are already registered with the registering authorities will also be required to be fitted with the auto dipper which is compatible with the vehicle’s headlamp.
  • The Auto-Dipper that will be fitted in the vehicles will have to be approved by Transport Department based on the technology under license from National Research Development Corporation or any Government of India undertaking like Vehicle Research and Development Establishment of the Ministry of Defence or Automotive Research Associates of India, Pune or other similar institutes as notified under Rule 124 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989.
  • The manufacturer of auto dipper will have to submit the application to the Transport Department declaring that the auto dipper is compatible with headlamps as per AIS: 034 without disturbing the original wiring of the vehicles.
  • The authorized distributor of the auto dippers will have to attach documents regarding sales, dealer network and service network in the state along with one sample of auto dipper for inspection and verification.

12) Government approved to buy 12 Dornier surveillance for Rs.2500 Cr
  • PM Modi lead Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) gave its nod to buy 12 upgraded Dornier surveillance aircraft for Indian Navy at a cost of about Rs 2,500 crore on Government approved to buy 12 Dornier surveillance for Rs.2500 CrNovember 23, 2016.
  • This proposal first get the Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) by the Defence Acquisition Council in October 2014
  • Modified Dornier aircraft Do-228 will be manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) at its Transport Aircraft Division (TAD) in Kanpur.

14) Fifth International Tourism Mart Organised In Imphal
  • The fifth edition of International Tourism Mart began in Imphal on November 23, 2016.
  • The three-day event organized in the capital of Manipur was inaugurated by Chief Minister of the state, Okram Ibobi Singh, and will be held between November 23– 25 2016.
  • The event has been organized by The Union Tourism Ministry, in association with the Northeastern states and West Bengal.
  • Aim: to provide a platform for interaction between buyers, sellers, media, government agencies and other stakeholders, to bring together tourism business unity from overseas as well as all northeastern states and West Bengal.
  • About 57 buyers and delegates from ASEAN countries, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Russia, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Canada, Brazil, South Africa, the UK and the US, along with others are likely to participate in the event.
  • The International Tourism Mart is an annual event organized in the North Eastern region of the country to highlight the tourism potential of that region in both domestic and international markets. The event is organized annually in the North Eastern States on rotation basis.
  • Earlier the event took place in Guwahati, Tawang, Shillong and Gangtok respectively.

Union Tourism Minister : Dr. Mahesh Sharma 

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