Latest Current Affairs – November 20 & 21 2018
1. ‘Stranger Things’ actress named youngest UNICEF envoy
Millie Bobby Brown, who stars in the Netflix series ‘Stranger Things’, has been named as the UNICEF’s youngest-ever Goodwill Ambassador. The 14-year-old actress said that she will use the platform to highlight children’s rights and issues. “(T)o be the youngest-ever Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF is more than an honour. It’s a powerful privilege,” the actress said.
2. New rules may force 50% of ATMs in India to close: Industry body
The Confederation of ATM Industry (CATMI) has said that recent regulatory changes are making it unviable to operate ATMs and may lead to closure of half of the machines by March 2019. A majority of the ATMs which can be shut down will be in the non-urban areas, it added. India had about 2.21 lakh ATMs as of September end.
3. South Korea’s Kim Jong-yang elected new Interpol President
South Korea’s Kim Jong-yang was elected as the Interpol’s new President on Wednesday for a two-year term. He was elected by the Interpol’s 194 member states at the organisation’s annual congress in Dubai. Kim succeeds Meng Hongwei who stepped down following his detention in China on bribery and corruption charges.
4. Saudi Arabia, UAE to give $500-million aid to war-torn Yemen
Saudi Arabia and the UAE have pledged $500 million in aid to war-torn Yemen as millions of people in the country face starvation. According to the United Nations, Yemen is facing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, where over 22 million people rely on humanitarian assistance. Ten thousand people are estimated to have been killed in Yemen’s civil war since 2015.
5. India, Russia sign $500-mn deal to build 2 warships in Goa
India and Russia signed a $500-million deal to build two warships in Goa for the Indian Navy, officials said. The Goa Shipyard Limited and Russia’s Rosoboronexport signed the agreement for the Grigorovich-class ‘Project 11356’ frigates with technology transfer from Russia. The construction of the warships will begin in 2020 and the first one will be delivered in 2026.
6. UN General Assembly adopts 1st resolution on sexual harassment
The Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly on Monday adopted the world body’s first resolution to combat sexual harassment. The resolution urges countries to address the discrimination faced by women that makes them vulnerable to exploitation, violence and abuse. It also encourages states to adopt measures to eliminate violence and sexual harassment in digital contexts.
7. Iraq launches air strikes against ISIS in Syria
Iraq launched air strikes against the Islamic State in Syria, the Iraqi military said. Ten militants were killed in the strikes which targeted two buildings housing the terrorists and their weapons. Iraq has been carrying out air strikes against ISIS in Syria with the approval of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the US-led coalition fighting the militant group.
8. Wipro appoints former IBM exec Bill Stith as healthcare head
IT services major Wipro has appointed former IBM executive Bill Stith as the Senior Vice President and Global Head of the company’s healthcare and life sciences division. Stith earlier headed IBM Services’ healthcare and life sciences business in the US and also worked with Dell. The Bengaluru-based company’s former healthcare head Jeff Heenan-Jalil had resigned in August.
9. NASA announces landing site for its 2020 Mars rover
NASA has announced a 3.6 billion-year-old crater called Jezero Crater as the landing site for its 2020 rover mission to Mars. “Getting samples from this unique area will revolutionise how we think about Mars and its ability to harbour life,” researchers said. The crater was chosen after a five-year search that examined some 60 other sites on Mars.
10. Earth pulls trillions of tons of water into its interior: Study
A study has revealed that the Earth is swallowing trillions of tons of water into its interior as a result of tectonic activity. The researchers used data from over a year’s worth of rumblings collected by 19 passive seismographs across the Mariana Trench. According to the calculations, the phenomenon amounts to 3 billion teragrams of water every million years.
11. Malaria cases declined by 24% in India: WHO report
The World Health Organisation (WHO) in a report stated India recorded a substantial decline of 24% in cases of Malaria in 2017 compared to 2016. The report attributed the reduction largely to a substantial decline of the disease in “highly malarious Odisha”. The success factors for reduction of the disease include rejuvenated political commitment, the report noted.
12. Tripura will be hosting International Tourism Mart from 22nd November
Tripura will host the 7th International Tourism Mart from 22nd November 2018 at Agartala. The three day event, which aims at propagate tourism potentials of the northeast states, will have tour operator delegates from 18 countries.
The International Tourism Mart is an annual event that is held in the northeastern states. Tripura will be hosting it for the first time this year. The estimated budget of the fair this year is Rs 2.6 crore. This event has been organized in Assam, Meghalaya and Manipur in the past. The previous edition of this event was organized in Guwahati in December 2017.
13. Brigadier Kuldip Singh Chandpuri, hero of Longewala battle, passed away at 78
Brigadier (retired) Kuldip Singh Chandpuri is known as the hero of the Longewala battle against Pakistan in 1971. Brigadier Chandpuri had joined the Indian Army in 1962 and was commissioned to the 23rd Battalion of The Punjab Regiment. For his bravery, valour and spirit, Brigadier Chandpuri was the recipient of many awards and honours. Prominent among these were the Maha Vir Chakra – for defending the Longewala Post, and the Vishisht Seva Medal.
14. Africa Industrialization Day is observed on 20 November
The purpose of Africa Industrialization Day (AID), marked each year on 20 November, is to raise global awareness of the challenges faced by the continent with regard to industrialization. The theme for AID 2018 is “Promoting Regional Value Chains in Africa.
15. Indian army opts Russian Igla S missile
India is to buy Russia’s Igla-S missile system as the choice for the Army’s multibillion-dollar contract for man-portable air defence systems. The Igla-S bid from Rosoboronexport of Russia has been declared the L1 in the Very Short Range Air Defence (VSHORAD) deal.
The threat of U.S. sanctions for arms purchases from Russia doesn’t guarantee any certain transaction despite the declaration of the Russian bid. The other bidders were MBDA of France and SAAB of Sweden.
16. Jalaj Srivastava appointed as New IWAI Chairman
IWAI comes under the Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways headed by Nitin Gadkari. He served as Chairman of New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and Principal Secretary of Department of VAT, Delhi Government. Srivastava is known for the launching of “Shakti Cab” and “URJA” project for women.
17. ACC appointed Sumanta Chaudhuri as the new Coal Secretary
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi named 1985-batch IAS from West Bengal cadre Sumanta Chaudhuri as the new Coal Secretary. He replaced Inder Jit Singh. Prior to this appointment, he was the Managing Director of Small Farmers Agri-Business Consortium.
18. Environment Ministry approved to induce artificial rain via cloud seeding to clear smog in Delhi
The Environment Ministry approved a project led by scientists at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur to induce artificial rain via cloud seeding in Delhi. The objective is to clear smog in Delhi. The success of the project depends on the presence of a minimum quantity of rain-bearing clouds over Delhi.
In the project, an aircraft has been planned to fly into the clouds and inject silver iodide, which will lead to the formation of ice crystals that will make the clouds denser, cause them to condense into rain and settle atmospheric dust enough to clear the sky.
19. China unveils the world’s first underground hotel
Shanghai unveiled the world’s first underground hotel, the InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland, buried 90 metres deep in an old quarry. Built in the Sheshan Mountain Range, on the hem of Shangai, the ritzy hotel costs $287.9 million. The property was built by British firm Atkins, also behind the Burj Al Arab in Dubai and skyscraper Landmark 81 in Ho Chi Minh City.
20. Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen in Fortune Business Person of the Year 2018 list
The list ranks 20 business executives delivering on the bottom line and beyond. Fifty-six-year-old Shantanu Narayen ranks 12th on the list. The list is topped by Tricia Griffith, CEO of insurance company Progressive.
21. Indo-US joint military exercise ‘Vajra Prahar’ commenced in Jaipur
Army’s Indo-US Joint Special Forces Exercise 2018 commenced on November 19 at Mahajan Field Firing Range (MFFR), Bikaner and will conclude on December 2. The American Special Forces will carry out 12 days rigorous joint training in semi desert and rural terrain with an aim to enhance the inter-operability of the two armed forces and further the military to military co-operation.