Latest Current Affairs – November 29 2018
1. TN govt’s shutdown of Sterlite Copper plant unjustified: NGT
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) said the Tamil Nadu government’s shutdown of Sterlite Copper’s plant in Thoothukudi was unjustified. The company was not given any notice or opportunity to explain its position, NGT added. State authorities ordered permanent closure of the plant in May following protests by locals over alleged pollution of the environment by the plant.
2. Germany asks France to give its UN Security Council seat to EU
Germany’s Vice-Chancellor Olaf Scholz has called for France to give up its permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council and turn it into a seat for the European Union (EU). This would allow the EU to speak “with one voice” at the world body, he said. France could instead become the permanent EU ambassador to the UN, he added.
3. Georgia elects its first female president
Salome Zurabishvili has become Georgia’s first female President after securing over 59% of the votes in the elections. The 66-year-old has previously served as a diplomat and Georgia’s Foreign Minister. Zurabishvili was born in France after her parents fled Georgia in 1921 following its annexation by Soviet forces.
4. Researchers successfully grow hair on damaged skin of mice
New York University researchers have successfully regrown hair on damaged mice skin, as per a study published in the journal Nature Communications. The scientists observed hair growth within four weeks in the mice. They activated a certain brain pathway to spark communication among cells that secrete the protein collagen responsible for maintaining the shape and strength of skin and hair.
5. NASA spacecraft landed on Mars with names of over 1L Indians
NASA’s InSight spacecraft which landed on Mars, carried the names of around 1.38 lakh Indians on a silicon chip, according to the space agency. India ranks third in the list, the first being the US with 6,76,773 names, followed by China with 2,62,752 names. The names were written with lines smaller than one one-thousandth the diameter of a human hair.
6. L&T Chairman AM Naik to head National Skill Development Corp
Engineering conglomerate L&T’s Group Chairman AM Naik was appointed the Chairman of National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). NSDC oversees government’s short-term skill development programmes including the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY). It had been functioning without a full-time Chairman since the resignation of the previous Chairman S Ramadorai in November 2016.
7. ISRO launches India’s HySIS with 30 satellites of 8 countries
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched India’s Hyperspectral Imaging Satellite (HySIS) along with 30 micro and nanosatellites of eight other countries after a 16-hour countdown. HySIS will help in monitoring pollution from industries, according to ISRO. It will also have other applications in agriculture, forestry, geology, coastal zone study and inland water studies.
8. Arvind Saxena appointed as new chairman of UPSC
President Ram Nath Kovind has appointed Arvind Saxena as the new chairman of Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), which conducts examinations to select diplomats, bureaucrats and police officers. The 1978-batch Indian Postal Service officer was serving as acting chairman since June and had joined the UPSC as a member in 2015. He was earlier Director of the Aviation Research Centre.
9. Maharashtra approves 16% Maratha quota
The Maharashtra assembly has unanimously approved 16% reservation for the Maratha community in jobs and educational institutes. Following this, the total reservation in the state for OBC, SC/ST groups, other minor social groups, and the Marathas will be 68%. The government created a separate category called Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC).
10. BCCI announces two-year ban for age frauds
From the 2018-19 season, any cricketer who is found guilty of tampering his/her date of birth will be disqualified and barred from participating in any BCCI tournament for a period of 2 years i.e. 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons. Earlier, a cricketer faced a ban of one year. In September, the BCCI had banned a Meghalya-bound Delhi player, Jaskirat Singh Sachdeva, for producing a fake birth certificate to play in an Under-19 tournament.
11. Brazil lost forests equal to 1 mn football pitches due to deforestation
In Brazil, the deforestation has reached its height that an area equivalent to one million football pitches was lost in just one year. According to the governmental institution of special investigations said that between August 2017 and July 2018, deforestation increased by almost 14%, with an area of 7, 900 sq km, it’s more or less one million football fields, of forest cleared. Between 2004 and 2012, deforestation in Brazil was slowed through controls imposed at a government level as well as by the private sector.
12. Donbass won Golden Peacock award at the 49th IFFI
Donbass, a Ukrainian film directed by Sergei Loznitsa, won the coveted Golden Peacock award at the 49th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) at Panaji, Goa on 28th November. The award carries a cash prize of Rs.40 lakh, a trophy, and a citation.
The film tells the story of a hybrid war taking place in Eastern Ukraine, involving an open armed conflict alongside killings and robberies perpetrated on a mass scale by separatist gangs. In Donbass, war is called peace and propaganda is uttered as truth.
Lijo Jose Pellissery won the Silver Peacock for Best Director for the Malayalam film Ee.Ma.Yau, a stunning satire on death and how it affects human lives.
13. Vijay Varma and P. Rajkumar were awarded the Asian of The Year awards
Indian Navy commander Vijay Varma and Captain P. Rajkumar were among those honored at the ‘Asian of The Year’ awards at Singapore on 28th November. The two were acknowledged for their selfless service and bravery in rescue operations during the Kerala floods. They were awarded for their death-defying rescue flying during the floods in Kerala earlier this year.
Others awarded included the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre), and Singapore NGO Mercy Relief, who operated amid large-scale flooding, earthquakes and a variety of other disasters.
14. Defence Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman launched Mission Raksha
The main aim is to provide a boost to the Intellectual Property Right (IPR) culture in indigenous defence industry. The event showcased the successful outcomes of adopting and utilizing the Intellectual Property Right (IPR) applications which enhanced inventions and innovations among Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs).
Department of Defence Production and Directorate General Quality Assurance (DGQA) had a significant role in spreading awareness about the benefits of creating the Intellectual Property culture in the defence sector.