Current Affairs Update – 23rd November, 2016

Hello and welcome to exampundit . Here are the Important Current Affairs of 23rd November, 2016. These are important for the upcoming IBPS Clerk, IPPB Mains and NICL AO Mains Exam 2016.

Current Affairs at a Glance – 23rd November, 2016

  1. Bharti Airtel announced the launch of the
    first payments bank (Airtel Payments Bank Ltd) as a pilot in Rajasthan

    on Wednesday. To begin with, the pilot project will run in 10,000 Airtel retail
    outlets in Rajasthan where customers will be offered an interest rate of 7.25
    per cent on deposits in savings account. Airtel Payments Bank is the first one to launch the
    services out of the 11 companies that got licenses from the Reserve Bank last
    year
    . According to analysts, such a move can be a win-win for the
    company after the Centre’s demonetisation move.
  2. Drug major Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd on Wednesday said it has entered into an
    agreement to acquire Russian pharma
    company JSC Biosintez for $24 million
    .
  3. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 21 November 2016 relaxed the prudential
    norms on income recognition, asset classification and provisions pertaining to
    advances
    . The decision came following the withdrawal of the legal
    tender of 500 and 1000 rupees notes.
  4. The Union Finance Ministry on 18 November 2016 constituted a committee with an aim of
    assessing the status of implementation of demonetisation drive in the country
    .
     The committee comprises of Additional
    Secretaries, Joint Secretaries and Directors with each team consisting of up to
    two or three officers for each State and Union Territory (UT).
  5. India on 21 November 2016 became an
    Associate Member State of European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) by
    signing an agreement with the organisation
    .  The agreement was signed by Sekhar Basu,
    Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission and CERN Director General Fabiola Gianotti
    in Mumbai.
  6. The 13th World Robot Olympiad will be held
    in India for the first time ever
    . It will be organised jointly by
    NCSM under the aegis of Ministry of Culture and India STEM Foundation (ISF)
    from 25 November to 27 November 2016 at the India Expo Mart, Greater Noida.
  7. US President Barack Obama on 22 November
    2016 presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom
    , the nation’s
    highest civilian honour, to 21 artists, sports figures, scientists and
    philanthropists. Among the honourees were Robert Redford, Bill and Melinda Gates, Tom Hanks and
    Diana Ross
    .

Finance/Banking –
Airtel launches payments bank pilot in Rajasthan

  • Doing the right thing at the
    right time and reaping the fruits, may well become a reality for Bharti Airtel
    – which announced the launch of the first payments bank (Airtel Payments Bank
    Ltd) as a pilot in Rajasthan on Wednesday.
  • To begin with, the pilot project
    will run in 10,000 Airtel retail outlets in Rajasthan where customers will be
    offered an interest rate of 7.25 per cent on deposits in savings account.
  • Airtel Payments Bank is the first
    one to launch the services out of the 11 companies that got licenses from the
    Reserve Bank last year. According to analysts, such a move can be a win-win for
    the company after the Centre’s demonetisation move.
  • Payments banks can accept a
    restricted deposit that is currently limited to ₹1
    lakh per customer account, and cannot issue loans and credit cards, as per RBI.
    Both current account and savings accounts can be operated by such banks.
  • Arora said Airtel already offers
    services through the neighbourhood retailer who the customer is familiar with
    and through this launch the company was leveraging this network.
Sun Pharma acquires Russian company for $60 million

  • Drug major Sun Pharmaceutical
    Industries Ltd on Wednesday said it has entered into an agreement to acquire
    Russian pharma company JSC Biosintez for $24 million.
  • The Indian company will also
    assume Russian company’s debt of $36 million, Sun Pharma said in a statement.
  • The total deal size works out to
    $60 million ($26 million for 85.1 per cent equity stake and $36 million Russian
    company’s debt).
  • According to Sun Pharma, the
    acquisition will be done by its wholly owned subsidiary.
  • Biosintez is a Russian pharmaceutical
    company focusing on the hospital segment with annual revenues of approximately
    $52 million for 2015.
RBI relaxes prudential norms on Income Recognition, Asset
Classification

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
    on 21 November 2016 relaxed the prudential norms on income recognition, asset
    classification and provisions pertaining to advances.
  • The decision came following the
    withdrawal of the legal tender of 500 and 1000 rupees notes.
Key Highlights

  • Taking into consideration the
    problems being faced by small borrowers in repaying their loan dues, RBI
    decided to provide an additional 60 days time, provided that the value of the
    loan or crop loan is less than 1 crore rupees.
  • Term loans, housing loans and
    agriculture loans, whether business or personal, with sanctioned amount of up
    to 1 crore rupees on the books of any bank or any NBFC, will be eligible for
    relaxation.
  • Loans sanctioned by banks to NBFC
    (MFI), NBFCs, Housing Finance Companies and PACs and by State Cooperative Banks
    to DCCBs are also eligible for the same.
  • It also applies to dues payable
    between 1 November 2016 and 31 December 2016.
  • Dues payable before 1 November
    and after 31 December 2016 will be covered by the extant instruction for the
    respective regulated entity with regard to recognition of NPAs.
  • The additional time given shall
    only apply to defer the classification of an existing standard asset as
    substandard and not for restructuring of loans.
Union Government constitutes committee to review status of
demonetisation drive

  • The Union Finance Ministry on 18
    November 2016 constituted a committee with an aim of assessing the status of
    implementation of demonetisation drive in the country.
  • The committee comprises of
    Additional Secretaries, Joint Secretaries and Directors with each team
    consisting of up to two or three officers for each State and Union Territory
    (UT).
  • The committee was formed
    following the decision of the Union Government to ban 500 and 1000 rupees currency
    notes on 8 November 2016.
Terms of references of the
Committee

  • The teams will be constituted by
    the Department of Personnel Training and concerned officers.
  • The teams shall visit the States
    or UTs allocated to them for at least 2 days.
  • Each officer shall visit
    different area of State or UT separately with the main focus on rural areas.
  • Visit the States and union
    territories and report back to the Union Government and submit its report by 25
    November 2016.
  • Check currency availability
    across the States in the network of bank branches, ATMs and post offices.
  • Verify facilities at bank
    branches and post offices for deposit, withdrawal and exchange of currency.
World –
India becomes Associate Member of CERN, Geneva

  • India on 21 November 2016 became
    an Associate Member State of European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)
    by signing an agreement with the organisation.
  • The agreement was signed by
    Sekhar Basu, Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission and CERN Director General Fabiola
    Gianotti in Mumbai.
  • In 2015, the Union Cabinet gave
    its approval for the Membership of CERN following which the CERN Council has
    accepted India as an Associate member.
India’s Contribution in CERN

  • The participation of Indian
    scientists in CERN dates back to early 1960s and it became stronger with the
    support of Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and Department of Science and
    Technology (DST).
  • In 1991, DAE signed a formal
    agreement with CERN which exists till today.
  • In 2003, India was awarded the
    Observer status of CERN and was subsequently invited to join CERN as an
    Associate Member
  • India made significant
    contributions to the construction of Large Hadron Collider (LHC), in the areas
    of design, development and supply of hardware accelerator systems and its
    commissioning.
  • India is also one of the leading
    partners in the ALICE experiment which is about to unearth the physics of
    quark-gluon plasma (QGP).
World Robot Olympiad to be held for the first time in India

  • The 13th World Robot Olympiad
    will be held in India for the first time ever. It will be organised jointly by
    NCSM under the aegis of Ministry of Culture and India STEM Foundation (ISF)
    from 25 November to 27 November 2016 at the India Expo Mart, Greater Noida.
  • More than 2000 students from 54
    countries will participate in the event to find innovative ways, using robotic
    technology, to reduce, manage and recycle waste.
  • The theme for the 13th World
    Robot Olympiad is Rap the Scrap. The theme is in line with ‘Swachh Bharat
    Mission’ of the Indian government. The theme suggests students to Rap (talk)
    about waste – an important social issue. The students are expected to come up
    with innovative ideas using robotics technology to ‘Rap the Scrap’ i.e. to
    reduce, manage and recycle waste.

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Appointments –
Pankaj Patel elected President of FICCI

  • The Federation of Indian Chambers
    of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on 21 November 2016 announced Pankaj R. Patel
    as its newly elected President for 2017.
  • Patel will take over from
    Harshavardhan Neotia during the FICCI AGM to be held on 16 December and 17
    December 2016 in New Delhi. Neotia is the Chairman of Ambuja Neotia Group.
Awards & Honors –
Barack Obama awards Presidential Medals of Freedom

  • US President Barack Obama on 22
    November 2016 presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest
    civilian honour, to 21 artists, sports figures, scientists and philanthropists.
  • Among the honourees were Robert
    Redford, Bill and Melinda Gates, Tom Hanks and Diana Ross.
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – He is an
    American retired professional basketball player who played 20 seasons in the
    National Basketball Association for the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers.
  • Ellen DeGeneres – She is an
    award-winning comedian who has been hosting her popular daytime talk show, The
    Ellen DeGeneres Show, since 2003.
  • Robert De Niro – He is an
    American actor and producer who has both Italian and American citizenship.
  • Richard Garwin – He is an
    American physicist, widely known to be the author of the first hydrogen bomb
    design.
  • Tom Hanks – He is an American
    actor, comedian and filmmaker.
  • Michael Jordan – He is an
    American retired professional basketball player.
Obituaries –
Renowned Hindi & Bhojpuri writer Dr Viveki Rai passes away

  • Dr Viveki Rai, the renowned Hindi
    and Bhojpuri litterateur, died on 22 November 2016 in a hospital in a hospital
    in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. He was 92.
  • His works mainly depict rural
    life of India. His first story was published in 1945 in the then popular newspaper
    Aaj. He also wrote several articles and columns in magazines and news papers
    too.
Former ISRO Chairman MGK Menon passes away

  • Renowned physicist MGK Menon
    passed away on 22 November 2016. He was 88.
  • Menon had a major role in the
    development of science and technology in India over 50 years. One of his most
    important contributions was nurturing the Tata Institute of Fundamental
    Research in Mumbai.
Veteran Carnatic Music exponent Balamuralikrishna passes away

  • M. Balamuralikrishna, an Indian
    Carnatic vocalist, died on 22 November 2016 in Chennai. He was 86.
    Balamuralikrishna, a recipient of Padma Vibhusan, was suffering from
    age-related geriatric problems.
  • Hailing from the Sankaraguptham
    village in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, Balamuralikrishna began
    his musical journey at the age of 8. Since then, he has performed in over 25
    thousand concerts.

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