Current Affairs Daily Digest – November 02 & 03 2018

Latest Current Affairs – November 02 & 03 2018

Latest Current Affairs

1. US grants India waiver from its Iran oil sanctions

India’s Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan announced that India and seven other nations have been granted a temporary waiver from US sanctions against buyers of Iranian crude oil. The US will reimpose sanctions on Iran on November 5, with crude oil being Iran’s largest source of income. India currently imports nearly 80% of its crude oil consumption.

2. Shillong to host Cherry Blossom Festival this month

Shillong is set to host the third edition of the India International Cherry Blossom Festival between November 14 and 17. The festival will feature several events, including a Japanese tea ceremony, music concerts and beauty pageants. In addition, there will be skydiving, film screenings, archery competitions, a dog show and a golf tournament.

3. 7-year-old girl Amal Hussain, face of Yemen crisis dies

Amal Hussain, a seven-year-old girl whose picture brought attention to the famine in war-torn Yemen has died from acute malnutrition in a refugee camp, her family has stated. Hussain was one of 18 lakh severely malnourished children in Yemen, which has been hit by a civil war that has killed at least 10,000 people in the last three years.

4. PM Modi launches portal for loans of up to ?1 crore in 59 minutes

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a 59-minute approval portal for loans of up to ?1 crore to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). Over 72,000 MSMEs have been sanctioned loans worth over ?23,500 crore through the portal till date. Further, the mandatory sourcing limit by state-run companies from MSMEs has been increased to 25% from the previous 20%.

5. US revokes duty-free privileges on import of 50 Indian products

The US has removed at least 50 Indian products from the list of items eligible for duty-free treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). India is the largest beneficiary of GSP, the largest and oldest US trade preference programme. In 2017, India’s duty-free exports to the US under the programme was to the tune of over $5.6 billion.

6. Malayalam film Olu to be the opening film at 49th International Film Festival of India

The feature film Jury, headed by acclaimed film director and screenwriter, Rahul Rawail, selected the film ‘Olu’, directed by Shaji N Karun as the opening feature film of the Indian Panorama Section of 49th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2018.

IFFI 2018 would be celebrated from 20th November to 30th November in Goa. Four selected mainstream films include ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’, ‘Padmaavat’ and ‘Raazi’.

7. Tata Steel named as official partner of men’s Hockey World Cup

Men’s hockey World Cup 2018 to be held at Bhubaneswar, Odisha from November 28 to December 16. Tata Steel is the 10th-largest steel producer in the world. Tata Steel is the first private sector company in India to start a hockey academy. Hockey India CEO – Elena Norman.

8. India will become 3rd largest aviation market in world by 2020: Foreign Secretary

Foreign Secretary Vijay Keshav Gokhale announced that India is aimed at laying 40 kilometres of highways every day by 2018 and 2019 – a three-time jump from four years ago.

Projects which lift India’s position to 3rd largest aviation market by 2020 are:

♦ Chabahar port being develped in Iran to improve connectivity to the West.

♦ Activities in Bangladesh include inland waterways container ports.

♦​​​​​​​ The Kaladan project being implemented in Myanmar.

9. Pather Panchali on BBCs list of 100 best foreign language films

Pather Panchali, Satyajit Ray’s epic masterpiece, has been included in BBC’s list of 100 best foreign language films and is the only film from India to feature in it.
The film was released in 1955 and the first in Ray’s Apu trilogy was placed at number 15 in the list, which was topped by Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai.

The list was culled out from a poll where over 200 critics from 43 countries picked a foreign language film they thought was the best. It was narrowed down to 100 films from 67 different directors, from 24 countries, and in 19 languages.

10. India and South Korea signed a MoU for strengthening cooperation in the field of Tourism

Cabinet approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and South Korea for strengthening cooperation in the field of Tourism.

The objectives of the MoU is to expand bilateral cooperation in the tourism sector, encourage cooperation between tourism stakeholders including hotels and tour operators, increase the exchange of information and data related to tourism, encourage participation in travel fairs/exhibitions in each other’s country and promote safe, honourable and sustainable tourism.

11. Prime Minister Narendra Modi to launch Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Support and Outreach Programme

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Support and Outreach Programme in New Delhi. On the occasion, various announcements and deliverables focussing on access to credit, access to market, hand-holding and facilitation support to the sector are likely to be announced. The MSME Outreach Programme will run for 100 days covering 100 Districts throughout the country.

12. Qatar to host World Corporate Games in 2019

Qatar will host the 23rd edition of the World Corporate Games between 6 and 9 November 2019. This is the first time the World Corporate Games will be held in the Middle East. Nearly 8,000 international and local participants will take part.

13. Mahendra Singh Foundation Inc appoints Aishwarya Sharma as their India brand ambassador

Mahendra Singh Foundation (MSF), a New York-based organization, has appointed Aishwarya Sharma as its India brand ambassador for #takethepowerback project. Aishwarya Sharma has a blog named Figuramoda where she speaks on various topics through her fashion blog posts. She is a fashion activist.

14. Lt General PC Thimmaya assumed charge as General Officer Commander-in-Chief of ARTRAC

Lieutenant General PC Thimmaya took charge as the 21st General Officer Commander-in-Chief of Shimla-based Army Training Command (ARTRAC) facility. He was earlier posted as the Commandant of Army War College in MHOW, Madhya Pradesh. He passed out from the Indian Military Academy (IMA) with the Sword of Honour in 1981.

15. Air Marshal Pradeep Padmakar Bapat VSM takes over as the Air Officer-in-Charge Administration of IAF

Air Marshal Pradeep Padmakar Bapat VSM succeeds Air Marshal HN Bhagwat AVSM VM who retired on 31 October 2018. Air Marshal PP Bapat was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in the Administrative Branch on 28 May 1983. He was commissioned as a Fighter Controller. Earlier, he carried out the responsibilities of Director General (Works & Ceremonials). He was awarded ‘Vishisht Seva Medal’ by President of India in 2014.

16. Union Cabinet approves Renaming Of Jharsuguda Airport, Odisha as Veer Surendra Sai Airport, Jharsuguda

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the renaming of Jharsuguda Airport, Odisha as “Veer Surendra Sai Airport, Jharsuguda”. Veer Surendra Sai is a well-known freedom fighter of Odisha. The Jharsuguda airport in his name will fulfill the long-pending demand of the Odisha Government, which reflects the sentiments of the local public of the respective area.

17. Shillong to host Indian Cherry Blossom Festival from Nov 14

Shillong is set to host the second edition of the India International Cherry Blossom Festival between November 14 and 17. This is the world’s only autumn cherry blossom festival. This festival attracted more than one lakh visitors last year, boosting the local economy by 300 per cent. Meghalaya Chief Minister – Conrad K Sangma.

18. INS Viraat to be converted into a floating maritime museum soon

INS Viraat will be India’s first decommissioned aircraft carrier that will be turned into an adventure and maritime tourism. It will host activities like scuba diving, luxury hotel, cafeteria and other adventure sports. At present, Viraat is at Mumbai’s Naval dockyard after its decommissioning in 2017. As per the Maharashtra government’s Rs 852-crore plan for Viraat, the ship’s conversion will be on public- private- partnership (PPP) basis.

19. Kolkata tops ‘Ease of Moving Index 2018’ by Ola Mobility Institute

Kolkata tops in public transport index in terms of cleanliness and affordability of public transport. New Delhi was rated highly in terms of safety and ranked the best among the big cities in affording parking space to its residents. Patna and Bhubaneswar topped the list for growing and emerging cities.

20. Chola MS renewed its partnership with IndusInd Bank

Chola MS General Insurance has renewed its bancassurance partnership with IndusInd Bank for a further period of five years. Chola MS General Insurance a joint venture between Murugappa group and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company of Japan. The partnership is to roll out more digital innovative insurance solutions, especially in claims servicing that will ensure the adoption of more products per customer.

21. India-Japan first joint military exercise ‘Dharma Guardian-2018’ began in Mizoram

Being first of its kind, the 14 days long joint exercise is being conducted from 01 Nov 2018 to 14 Nov 2018. The Japanese contingent is being represented by 32nd Infantry Battalion while the Indian side is being represented by Gorkha Rifles.

22. PM Modi launched portal for granting loans of up to Rs 1 crore in 59 minutes

GST-registered Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) can now avail of loan of up to Rs 1 crore in just 59 minutes. Over 72,000 MSMEs have been sanctioned loans worth over ₹23,500 crore through the portal till date.

Further, the mandatory sourcing limit by state-run companies from MSMEs has been increased to 25% from the previous 20%. Modi added that companies above a Rs 500 crore will now have to compulsorily be a part of TReDs (Trade Receivables Discounting System), which will also include PSUs.

23. Larsen and Toubro to get USD 200 bn solar power project in Saudi Arabia

Larsen & Toubro (L&T) plans to bid for an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract for a section of the $200 billion solar projects in Saudi Arabia to be built with the backing of Japan’s SoftBank. Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and SoftBank signed a MoU to invest in building the world’s biggest solar power project in Saudi Arabia. This project is expected to have the capacity to produce up to 200 gigawatts (GW) by 2030.

The first two solar parks are expected to generate 7.2 GW and construction work is scheduled to begin by next year. On the timeline for bagging the project, there occurred some pressure in the Saudi market so it was reasonable to expect it in 12 months.

24. Russia to hold Taliban meeting

Russia has quietly invited a group of senior Afghan politicians to talk with the Taliban in Moscow. This talk has bypassed President Ashraf Ghani’s government and has angered officials in Kabul who say it could muddle the U.S.-backed peace process. The Afghan officials also said that the government was unhappy that Moscow was pressing ahead with plans for talks.

In August, Russia proposed to hold multilateral peace talks in Moscow and invited 12 countries and the Taliban to attend a summit the following month. But President Ashraf Ghani rejected the invitation on the grounds that talks with the Taliban should be led by the Afghan government and hence the meeting was postponed. The U.S. had also declined to attend.

25. HAL to open Light Combat Aircraft unit in Nashik

R. Madhavan, Chairman and Managing Director of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd., said that HAL plans to manufacture Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) fighters at a new unit in its Nashik complex after completing the deliveries of Sukhoi-30. The licence production of the last 24 Sukhoi-30 MkIs is due to end there in March 2020.

Currently, the Sukhoi-30 are manufactured in the Nashik’s MiG Complex and the two units in Bengaluru produce LCAs. In the last two years, HAL has been investing around Rs.1,300 crore to increase the production rate of LCA. A part of this amount would be used to put up the third LCA unit in Nashik.