Daily Current Affairs and GK | 15 November 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 15 Nov 2023 17:27 PM IST

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Topic: Environment and Ecology

1. Scientists discovered new gecko species endemic to Mizoram.

  • A team of scientists and researchers discovered a new species of gecko endemic to Mizoram.
  • The new species has been named ‘Cyrtodactylus vairengtensis’ after the town in Mizoram.
  • The common name for the new species is ‘Vairengte bent-toed gecko’.
  • The number of geckos native to Mizoram has increased to 6 and 22 in northeast India.
  • There are 335 gecko species in the world out of which 42 are found in India.
  • This new species is a moderate-sized gecko. The size of the adult is between 57.6mm and 73.6mm.
  • 9-11 precloacal pores were found in males and 5-9 precloacal pits were found in females.

Topic: Indian Economy

2. India's wholesale inflation declined for the seventh consecutive month in October.

  • The wholesale price index (WPI) recorded a 0.52 per cent decline in October as compared to the previous year.
  • Wholesale inflation recorded a contraction of 0.26 per cent in September.
  • Prices of primary articles increased by 1.82% in October compared with an increase of 3.70% in September.
  • Food prices increased by 1.07% in October as compared to 1.54% in September.
  • Manufactured product prices declined 1.13% against a 1.34% fall the previous month.
  • The negative rate of inflation in October 2023 is due to a fall in prices of chemicals and chemical products, electricity, textiles, basic metals, food products, paper and paper products, etc.
  • The government has mandated RBI bank to maintain retail inflation at four per cent with a margin of two per cent on either side.

India's wholesale inflation

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Personality in News

3. Bikanervala chairman Kedarnath Aggarwal passed away at the age of 86.

  • Kedarnath Aggarwal, known as Kakaji, passed away at the age of 86.
  • He established the sweets and snacks brand Bikanervala. The company operates more than 60 outlets in India.
  • Bikanervala presence in many countries including the US, New Zealand, Singapore, Nepal and the UAE.
  • The Kedarnath Aggarwal started his entrepreneurial journey in Delhi. He was from a family who owned a sweet shop in Bikaner.
  • He moved to Delhi in the early '50s along with his brother.

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

4. 2nd edition of the Global Media Congress started on 14th November 2023 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, UAE.

  • It is being organised by the Emirates News Agency (WAM), under the patronage of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Deputy Prime Minister of UAE.
  • It is a three-day event that brings together 257 brands.
  • Participants from 172 countries contribute to the diverse dialogue on media innovations, sustainability, and training.
  • In its ‘Create Stage’, Congress explores the evolving role of creators in digital marketing.
  • The ‘Educate Stage’ hosts interactive sessions covering content evaluation, media futures, and key delivery technologies.

Topic: Personality in News

5. Subrata Roy died at the age of 75 years after a prolonged illness.

  • Subrata Roy was the founder of Sahara Group. He passed away on 14th November 2023 due to cardiorespiratory arrest.
  • Subrata Roy founded Sahara India Pariwar in 1978.
  • Subrata Roy was born in Araria, Bihar. Under his leadership, Sahara Group launched the Hindi-language newspaper Rashtriya Sahara.
  • Sahara Group also started the Aamby Valley City project near Pune.
  • Time magazine once praised Sahara India Pariwar, citing it as India's second-largest employer behind Indian Railways.
  • Roy received a Business Icon of the Year award at the Powerbrands Hall of Fame Awards in London in 2011.

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

6. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will attend the 10th ADMM Plus from 16th November to 17th November.

  • The 10th ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting-Plus (ADMM Plus) will be organized in Jakarta, Indonesia.
  • On the sidelines of ADMM Plus, Singh will also have bilateral meetings with the Defence Ministers of participating countries.
  • On the first day of ADMM Plus, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will address the forum on regional and international security issues.
  • The ADMM is the highest defence consultative and cooperative mechanism in ASEAN.
  • Indonesia is hosting the meeting because it is the chair of ADMM-Plus.
  • Since 2017, the ADMM-Plus Ministers have been meeting each year to promote cooperation amongst ASEAN and the Plus countries.
  • ADMM-Plus includes the ASEAN member states (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) and its eight Dialogue Partners (India, US, China, Russia, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand).
  • India became the dialogue partner of the ASEAN in 1992.
  • The inaugural ADMM-Plus was convened in Hanoi, Vietnam on October 12, 2010.

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Topic: Defence

7. Russia has signed a deal to supply Igla-S hand-held anti-aircraft missiles to India.

  • As part of the deal, Russia will also allow production of the Igla in India under licence.
  • Igla-S is a man-portable air defence system (MANPADS). It can be fired by a man or crew to bring down an enemy aircraft.
  • India is the world’s largest arms importer. Russia remains India’s biggest weapons supplier.
  • From 2016-2021, it accounted for more than 50% of India's arms imports.
  • As per the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Russia accounted for 45% of India’s arms imports between 2018 and 2022.
  • France accounted for 29% of India’s arms imports between 2018 and 2022 and the United States accounted for 11% of India’s arms imports between 2018 and 2022.
  • India and Russia also began producing AK-203 Kalashnikov assault rifles together at the beginning of the year.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

8. Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs launched the ‘AAINA Dashboard for Cities’ portal on 13th November, 2023.

  • Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) across the country can voluntarily submit their data regularly, through a simple, easy-to-fill, data entry form on the portal. 
  • The main objective of the AAINA Dashboard is to help cities see how they are faring vis-à-vis other cities and inspire them by pointing to possibilities and areas of improvement.
  • AAINA Dashboard also aims to provide cities an opportunity to learn and engage with frontrunners.
  • The AAINA dashboard would be a tool for comparing similarly placed cities and promoting peer learning among cities.
  • The Dashboard will present the data submitted by the ULBs on the basis of indicators across five broad pillars.
  • These pillars are Political and Administrative Structure, Finance, Planning, Citizen Centric Governance and Delivery of Basic Services.
  • The portal aims to create a robust database of key performance metrics of ULBs.

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

9. 77th Standing Committee meeting of CITES held in Geneva.

  • The 77th meeting of the Standing Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was held in Geneva, Switzerland, from November 6 to 10, 2023.
  • A delegation led by Dr S.P. Yadav, Additional Director General of Forests (PT) & CITES Management Authority-India, participated in the meeting.
  • At the 77th meeting, the Standing Committee and Plants Committee decided on removing Red Sanders from the Review of Significant Trade (RST) process.
  • The CITES RST process enables disciplinary action in the form of trade suspension directed at countries that fail to meet their obligations.
  • The removal of Red Sanders from the RST process from India was unconditional. It will help farmers in growing Red sanders to increase their income.
  • India has been under the Review of Significant Trade (RST) process for Red Sanders since 2004.
  • The Red Sanders (Pterocarpus santalinus) is endemic to a few districts in Andhra Pradesh. It is listed as Appendix II under CITES since 1994.
  • It faces threats of illegal harvesting and smuggling leading to the depletion of natural forests.
  • The CITES Standing Committee has also decided to place India in Category 1 for the CITES National Legislation programme. India was earlier in Category 2.
  • India highlighted its achievements in big cat conservation like tigers and lions at the Standing Committee meeting of CITES.

Topic: Sports

10. Virender Sehwag, Diana Edulji, and Aravinda de Silva have been inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame.

  • Aravinda de Silva and Virender Sehwag and former India women's team captain Diana Edulji have been inducted into the International Cricket Council's prestigious Hall of Fame.
  • Edulji has become the first Indian woman cricketer to be included in the ICC Hall of Fame.
  • These players will receive the honour at the Wankhede Stadium during the 2023 ODI World Cup semi-final.
  • These cricketing icons are inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame as the Class of 2023.
  • De Silva, Edulji and Sehwag will join as inductees number 110, 111 and 112 respectively.
  • ICC Cricket Hall of Fame recognises the achievements of the legends of the game from cricket's long and illustrious history. It was launched in 2009.
  • International Cricket Council: is the global governing body of cricket. It is headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Its chairman is Greg Barclay.

ICC Hall of Fame

(Source: ICC)

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

11. The Finance Ministry has introduced changes to the Senior Citizen Savings Scheme in a notification dated 7 November.

  • Centre has allowed the spouses of deceased government employees to open Senior Citizen Saving Scheme (SCSS) accounts.
  • Earlier, the spouses of deceased government employees were not allowed to open SCSS accounts.
  • The spouse of the government employee can open an account under the scheme, if the government employee who has attained the age of 50 years has died in harness.
  • All Central and State Government employees are included in government employees here. They are eligible for retirement benefit or death compensation.
  • The account can be opened within three months from the date of receipt of the retirement benefits for a living employee.
  • The account can be opened within three months from the date of receipt of admissible financial assistance to an eligible government employee who died in harness.
  • This time limit was earlier one month and that too only for living person.
  • An account holder can extend the account for a further block period of three years within one year from the date of maturity or from the date of end of each block period of three years. This was earlier to be used only once.
  • In other words, SCSS accounts to be extended for multiple consecutive blocks of three years without any imposed limit.
  • Through the Budget, maximum deposit limit for Senior Citizen Savings Scheme was increased from ₹15 lakh to ₹30 lakh.
  • Increased maximum deposit limit has been made effective from April 1, 2023.
  • Senior Citizen Savings Scheme (SCSS):
    • It is a savings scheme supported by the government.
    • It is available to individuals aged 60 years or older, or those who have retired at the age of 55 years or above.
    • Under this scheme, account can be opened with a minimum amount of ₹1,000 and a maximum of ₹30 lakh.  
    • The SCSS offers 8.2 per cent per annum interest rate. The tenure of the scheme is five years. It can be extended.

Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking

12. India would become world’s 2nd largest solar module manufacturer by 2025: Wood Mackenzie report

  • In its latest report, Wood Mackenzie has forecasted that India will overtake Southeast Asia as the second-largest module production region by 2025.
  • Wood Mackenzie said this will be driven by India’s strong PLI incentives.
  • It added India and the US have announced over 200 gigawatts (GW) of planned module capacity since 2022.
  • Earlier, ICRA said India’s solar photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturing capacity to increase to more than 60 GW by 2025 from the current level of around 37 GW.
  • International Energy Agency (IEA) in a report last month said that India’s domestic production capacity can surpass 70 GW by 2027.
  • According to the IEA, solar manufacturing currently is concentrated in five countries accounting for more than 90% of global capacity.
  • These five countries are China (80% of the global market), Vietnam, (5%), India (3%), Malaysia (3%) and Thailand (2%).
  • India accounts for 3% of the global solar manufacturing market.
  • Wood Mackenzie is a global consultancy firm for renewables, energy and natural resources.

Topic: Personality in News

13. A renowned Indian hospitality veteran P R S Oberoi passed away.

  • Prithvi Raj Singh Oberoi, the chairman emeritus of The Oberoi Group, died at the age of 94. He was popularly known as "Biki”.
  • He is known for building an empire in the luxury hospitality segment.
  • He was the son of the late Rai Bahadur Mohan Singh Oberoi, the founder of The Oberoi Group.
  • His work helped in putting Oberoi hotels on the international luxury travellers' map.
  • The Oberoi chain has hotels even in Morocco, Mauritius and the UAE.
  • He received the title "Corporate Hotelier of the World" from Hotels magazine in 2010.

Topic: Important Days

14. National Children's Day: 14 November

  • In India, Children’s day is celebrated on 14 November on the birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru.
  • It is celebrated in commemoration of the birth anniversary of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
  • Pandit Nehru was also popularly known as ‘Chacha Nehru’ for his love for children.
  • After the death of Pandit Nehru in 1964, November 14 was officially declared Children’s Day in India.
  • Children’s Day is also known as ‘Bal Diwas’ in India.
  • World Children’s Day is observed every year on 20 November.
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