Current Affairs Update – 19th November, 2015

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs Update of 19th November, 2015. These are important for the upcoming Banking and Insurance Exams.

7th Pay Commission
recommends 23.55% hike; OROP for civilians too

  • In a big bonanza to central employees and pensioners, the
    seventh Pay Commission today recommended a 23.55 per cent increase in salary,
    allowances and pension along with a virtual one-rank-one-pension for civilians,
    involving an additional outgo of Rs 1.02 lakh crore a year.
  • A minimum pay of Rs 18,000 per month and a maximum of Rs 2.5
    lakh per month has been recommended by the Commission, headed by Justice A K
    Mathur, that presented its 900-page report to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
  • The recommendations, which are to be implemented from
    January 1, 2016, will benefit 47 lakh central government employees and 52 lakh
  • The impact the recommendations will be Rs 1.02 lakh crore –
    Rs 73,650 cr on Central Budget and Rs 28,450 cr on Railway Budget.
  • Without calling it one-rank-one-pension (OROP), the Pay
    Commission recommended a revised pension formulation for the central government
    employees, including para-military personnel as well as for defence staff who
    have retired before January 1, 2016.
  • The Chairman and other member Dr Rathin Roy recommended the
    age of superannuation for all central armed forces personnel to be raised to 60
    years from current 58 years, another member Vivek Rae did not agree with it. He
    endorsed the stand of Home Ministry.
  • In a significant recommendation, it enhanced the ceiling of
    gratuity from the existing Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 20 lakh. And the same will be
    raised by 25 per cent whenever DA be raised by 50 per cent.
  • Under the central government employees group insurance scheme,
    the rates of contribution as well as insurance coverage have now been enhanced
    suitably. Monthly deduction has been raised from Rs. 120 per month to Rs. 5,000
    and insurance cover from Rs. 1.2 lakh to Rs. 50 lakh for senior most level. At
    the bottom of the matrix, it has been raised from Rs. 30 per month to Rs. 1,500
    and the cover hiked from Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 15 lakh.

CCEA approved extension
of Indian Development and Economic Assistance Scheme
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on 18 November
    2015 approved extension of Indian Development and Economic Assistance Scheme
    (IDEAS) for five years from 2015-16 to 2019-20.
  • The extension was approved by the Prime Minister-headed CCEA
    in view of continued relevance of the scheme.
  • During the extended period, about 3771 crore rupees will be
    utilized as part of the scheme.
  • In fact, it was the second extension since its inception in
    2005-06. The first extension was granted in 2009-2010 for five years.

CCEA approved
disinvestment of 10 percent paid up equity capital in Coal India Limited
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on 18
    November 2015 approved the disinvestment of 10 percent paid up equity capital
    of Coal India Limited (CIL).
  • With this disinvestment in CIL, the Union Government is
    expecting to mop up around 20000 crore rupees. As at current market
    capitalisation, based on CIL stock price, 10 percent stake sale could fetch
    about 21137.71 crore rupees.

Highlights of the
  • This disinvestment implies divesting of 631636440 shares of
    Face Value of 10 rupees each out of the Union Government shareholding of 78.65
    percent through public offering in the domestic market.
  • This figure has been estimated after adjusting one percent
    equity to be offered for sale to the employees of CIL as per CCEA decision in
    September 2014, which is under process of implementation.
  • The paid up equity capital of the CIL is 6316 crore rupees.
    After the disinvestment of 10 percent equity, the Government’s shareholding in
    CIL would come down to 68.65 percent.

India ratified
Articles of Agreement of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra
    Modi on 18 November 2015 gave its approval for the ratification and submitting
    of the Articles of Agreement (AoA) of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
  • India will be the second-biggest shareholder with 8.4
    percent, followed by Russia, which will have a 6.5 percent stake.

How the ratification
of AoA of AIIB will help India?
  • Establishment of the AIIB will help India and other
    signatory countries to raise and avail resources for their infrastructure and
    sustainable development projects.
  • It will enable India to play a prominent role in the
    governance of a multilateral institution.
  • The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a
    proposed international financial institution which is focused on supporting
    infrastructure construction in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • The bank was proposed by China and supported by 37 regional
    and 20 non-regional Prospective Founding Members, 53 of which have signed the
    AoA that form the legal basis for the proposed bank.
  • The bank will start operation after the agreement enters
    into force, which requires ratifications from 10 member states holding a total
    number of 50% of the initial subscriptions of the Authorized Capital Stock.
  • The Bank will be headquartered in Beijing.
  • The authorised capital of AIIB is 100 billion US Dollar and
    the initial subscribed capital is expected to be around 50 billion US Dollar.
    The paid-in ratio will be 20 percent.

CCEA approved four
rail line projects worth 8351 crore rupees

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), presided
    by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on 18 November 2015 gave its nod to four rail
    line projects in Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
  • The approximate cost of the rail line projects is around
    8351 crore rupees.

The four rail line
projects are:

Third and fourth
lines between Budhapank and Salegaon via Rajathgarh Railway Line
  • The lines will be spread over an area of 85 km each with a
    cost of 1172.92 crore rupees.

Doubling of
Kottavalasa-Koraput Railway line
  • The Kottavalasa-Koraput Railway line of 189.278 km will be
    doubled with a completion cost of 2977.64 crore rupees.

Doubling of
Koraput-Singapur Road Railway line
  • The Koraput-Singapur Road section railway line of 164.56 km
    will be doubled with a completion cost of 2361.74 crore rupees.

Doubling of
Jagdalpur-Koraput Railway line
  • The Jagdalpur-Koraput section railway line of 110.22 km will
    be doubled with a completion cost of 1839.02 crore rupees.

India and Vietnam
inked MoU for cooperation in the field of Animal Health
  • The Union Cabinet on 18 November 2015 gave its approval for
    signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Vietnam for
    cooperation in the field of Animal Health.
  • The MoU was signed in September 2014.
  • The MoU seeks the promotion of mutual cooperation between
    both the nations through joint activities in the areas of animal health.
  • The MoU will be valid for a period of 10 years unless either
    of the parties gives prior written notice of at least six months to the other
    party of its intention to terminate the MoU.

Intel launched Ek
Kadam Unnati Ki Aur initiative from Telangana
  • Intel India on 18 November 2015 launched Ek Kadam Unnati Ki
    Aur initiative from Nadimpalle village in Mahabubnagar district of Telangana by
    opening an Unnati Centre.
  • The objective of the programme is to augment digitalization
    of rural India. It will be implanted in 10 states across the country and
    complements the Digital India initiative of the Union Government.

Features of Unnati
  • It will be used to create the framework for the Telangana
    model digital village.
  • It provides various citizen services under the Telangana
    government’s e-panchayat scheme.
  • It provides devices, relevant local content and training for
    citizens and creates opportunities for development and empowerment.

CCEA approved
implementation of CCTNS and ICJS Project by March 2017 to revamp Criminal
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by
    the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 18 November 2015 approved two projects
    proposed by Union Ministry of Home Affairs with a view to revamp criminal
    justice system in the country.
  • These are Crime and Criminals Tracking Network and Systems
    (CCTNS) and Integrated Criminal Justice System (ICJS) Project.
  • It decided to fast track the implementation and complete
    implementation of the project by March 2017.

Crime and Criminals
Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS)
  • The Project will interconnect about 15000 Police Stations
    and additional 5000 offices of supervisory police officers across the country
  • It will digitize data related to FIR registration,
    investigation and charge sheets in all police stations.

Union Cabinet
approved German as additional foreign language in Kendriya Vidyalayas
  • Union Cabinet on 18 November 2015 gave its ex-post approval
    to the Joint Declaration of Intent (JDI) between the Ministry of Human Resource
    Development and Federal Foreign Office of Germany.
  • The JDI seeks to promote German as an additional Foreign
    Language in Kendriya Vidyalayas (KV) schools.
  • With this approval, German language will now be taught as an
    additional foreign language in KVs in conformity with the National Education
    Policy, 1986.
  • The approval also gives green signal to promotion of
    teaching of Modern Indian Languages in Germany.

Union Cabinet
approved setting up of National Resource Facility for Bio-medical Research
  • The Union Cabinet, presided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi,
    on 18 November 2015 approved the proposal of the Department of Health Research
    in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. As per the proposal, a National
    Resource Facility for Bio-medical Research (NARF) will be set-up at Genome
    Valley in Hyderabad by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR).
  • The estimated cost for the project is 338.58 crores rupees.
    The resource centre is expected to be functional by 2018-19.
  • Besides, the state government has allotted 102.69 acres of
    land at Genome Valley, Hyderabad, free of cost, to the ICMR for establishment
    of NARF for Biomedical Research.

IEP released Global
Terrorism Index 2015

  • Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) on 17 November 2015
    released Global Terrorism Index 2015.
  • It is a comprehensive summary of the impact of terrorism in
    162 countries (covering 99 percent of the world’s population) in terms of lives
    lost, injuries, property damage and number of incidents.
  • As per the report, deaths from terrorism increased 80
    percent in 2014 to the highest level ever and global economic cost of terrorism
    reached all-time high at 52.9 US billion dollars.
  • Out of the 162 countries, India was the sixth most affected
    by terrorism in 2014. Compared to 2014, India witnessed a slight increase in
    terror-related deaths to reach a total of 416. It was the highest number of
    terrorist incidents and deaths since 2010.

Highlights of
Global Terrorism Index 2015
  • The top 5 countries that were worst effected by terrorism in
    2014-Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria.
  • The least affected countries in 2014-Japan, Malawi, Togo,
    Zambia among others.
  • 32658 people were killed by terrorism in 2014 compared to
    18,111 in 2013- the largest increase ever recorded.
  • Boko Haram and ISIL were jointly responsible for 51 percent
    of all claimed global fatalities in 2014.
  • Countries suffering over 500 deaths increased by 120 percent
    to 11 countries.
  • 78 percent of all deaths and 57 percent of all attacks
    occurred in just five countries-Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria.

India Climbs to 108th
Spot in Global Gender Index: WEF

  • On the back of stronger representation of women in political
    leadership, India has improved its ranking to 108th position among 145
    countries in the global gender gap index prepared by the World Economic Forum.
  • Iceland has once again topped the rankings followed by
    Norway and Finland at second and third spots, respectively.
  • Last year, India was ranked 114 among 142 countries. Even
    though its place has improved, India is still behind major economies including
    the US (28) and China (91).
  • Other countries in the top ten are Sweden (4), Ireland (5),
    Rwanda (6), the Philippines (7), Switzerland (8), Slovenia (9) and New Zealand
  • With a score of 0.664, India is at the 108th spot. The
    rankings are based on a country’s performance in terms of economic
    participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival and
    political empowerment.
  • India this year improves on its 114th position in 2014
    mainly on the back of stronger representation of women in political leadership.
    In terms of economic participation and opportunity, India is placed 139th,
    educational attainment (125), health and survival (143).

Days –
World Toilet Day
observed on 19 November with the theme Sanitation and Nutrition

  • World Toilet Day (WTD) was observed on 19 November 2015
    across the world with the theme Sanitation and Nutrition.
  • The aim of WTD is to raise awareness about the people in the
    world who don’t have access to a toilet, despite the fact that it is a human
    right to have clean water and sanitation.
  • The effort of the WTD in 2015 was to draw the world’s
    attention to the importance of toilets in supporting better nutrition and
    improved health.
  • WTD has been celebrated by the World Toilet Organisation
    since 2001. It was later became an official UN day on 24 July 2013 as the 67th
    session of UN General Assembly approved it through the Sanitation For All

Indian cyclists won
five medals on the opening day of Track Asia Cup
  • Indian men and women elite cyclists on 18 November 2015 won
    five medals on the opening day of the Track Asia Cup.
  • The cyclists won one gold medal, three silver medals and one
    bronze medal at the event held in IG Stadium Complex Velodrome, New Delhi.
  • India has fielded two additional teams of SAI National
    Cycling Academy (SAINCA) and Western Indian Team (WIT). However, the medals won
    by cyclists representing SAINCA and WIT will not be counted in India’s medal
  • Anu Chutia clinched a silver medal in the 500m race distance
    event in the junior women category in a time of 40.093 seconds.
  • Amritha Reghunathan, from SAINCA, won the gold medal in a
    time of 39.927 seconds.
  • In women’s elite event of 500m race distance, cyclists
    Deborah grabbed a silver medal in new national record time of 35.77 seconds.
    She lost to Korea’s Kim Wangyeong.
  • Junior women team of Anu Chutia and Rajesh Nayana won a gold
    medal in Team Sprint event with a timing of 39.702 seconds.


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