Daily Current Affairs and GK | 18 November 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 18 Nov 2023 16:18 PM IST

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Topic: State News/ Haryana

1. High Court strikes down Haryana’s 75% quota for locals in the private sector.

  • The Punjab and Haryana High Court struck down the Haryana government's decision to reserve 75 per cent of the jobs for locals in the private sector.
  • A bench comprising Justice GS Sandhawalia and Justice Harpreet Kaur Jeewan was hearing the petitions against the Haryana government’s decision to give 75% reservation in private sector jobs paying up to Rs 30000 per month.
  • The High Court said that the Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act, 2020 is unconstitutional and violate fundamental right.
  • The court ruled that “The State cannot direct the private employers to do what has been forbidden to do under the Constitution of India”.
  • The Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act was passed in 2021.
  • Under this act, private companies, societies, trusts and partnership firms have to give 75% reservation to local candidates for posts with a salary of up to 30000 per month.
  • Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Singh Chautala said that the state government will go to the Supreme Court against this judgment.
  • Reservation in India is all about reserving seats in government jobs, and educational institutions for a certain section of the population.
  • At present, 60% of seats are reserved in India for ST, SC, OBC, and EWS in educational institutions and government jobs.

Topic: State News/Uttar Pradesh

2. Uttar Pradesh government will soon implement changes in school schedules.

  • Uttar Pradesh government will implement new education policy (NEP), which will cut down the study hours in schools.
  • As per the NEP, the government will be cutting down study hours in schools.
  • The schools will have 29 hours of teaching and classes will be 5 to 5.5 hours long from Monday to Friday.
  • On all second Saturdays of every month, the classes will be for 2 to 2.5 hours. Other two Saturdays will be holidays.
  • Maximum time limit will be fixed for the classes. According to the NEP, maximum time limit for classes on general subjects will be between 45 to 35 minutes.
  • Classes for major subjects will be conducted for 50 minutes.
  • As per the reports, the government has ordered Education Department to make new rules for schools under the National Curriculum Framework of the NEP.
  • The aim of NEP is to ease student burden by permitting 10 bag-free school days annually.

Topic: International Appointments

3. Indian American Shakuntla Bhaya appointed as a member of Council of the Administrative Conference of the United States.

  • US President Joe Biden has appointed Shakuntla L Bhaya to serve in this role.
  • Bhaya is a co-owner of a statewide Delaware law firm, Law Offices of Doroshow.
  • In addition to practising law, Shakuntla Bhaya is involved in Delaware politics.
  • She is presently a member of State Executive Committee of the Delaware Democratic Party.
  • Delaware is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States.

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

4. Samarkand Institute of Economics and Services, Uzbekistan has signed a MoU with the University of Delhi.

  • Under this collaboration, the Samarkand Institute of Economics and Services and the University of Delhi aspire to establish a student exchange programme.
  • This initiative promises students from each institution the chance to engage in diverse academic and cultural settings.
  • Both institutions will also foster collaborative research endeavours.
  • They will also jointly organise workshops and seminars.
  • The collaboration is anticipated to offer enriching experiences for both students and faculty.
  • It will make significant contributions to the overarching objectives of global education and research.

Topic: International Appointment

5. Pedro Sanchez was re-elected Spanish Prime Minister by a majority vote in Parliament.

  • On 16 November, the lower house of the Spanish Parliament voted to elect Pedro Sánchez as Prime Minister for another term.
  • His Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) made separate agreements with several regional parties to secure their support.
  • This includes a controversial bill on amnesty for Catalan separatists, which has sparked protests across Spain.
  • Mr Sanchez won a majority of the vote, securing the support of 179 members of Spain's 350-member parliament.
  • The conservative Popular Party had won the elections in July, although its leader Alberto Núñez Feijú failed to form a majority.
  • Sanchez was first elected as PM in 2018.

Pedro Sanchez

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

6. Two-day International Conference-cum-Exhibition on “Aerospace and Aviation in 2047” has been inaugurated in New Delhi.

  • On 18th November, the conference was inaugurated by President Draupadi Murmu.
  • The event was organized to mark 75 years of aeronautical excellence by the Aeronautical Society of India.
  • The inaugural session also saw the release of the Vision Document 2047 along with a compendium on 75 years of aerospace and aviation journey in India.
  • The program had a special focus on India's journey in this sector over the last 75 years showcasing achievements, technological advancements, and the role of visionaries.
  • Around 1500 delegates including dignitaries, international experts, scientists, industrialists, academicians, start-ups, and students participated in it.
  • Nearly 200 industries and micro, small, and medium enterprises, including over 75 start-ups, showcased indigenous capabilities at the exhibition.

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Topic: Important Days

7. 243th Corps of Engineers Day celebrated by the Indian Army on 18 November 2023.

  • On this occasion, Chief of the Army Staff Gen Manoj Pande conveyed best wishes to members, veterans and families of the Corps.
  • Corps of Engineers provides combat engineering support. It develops infrastructure for armed forces and other defence organisations.
  • It maintains connectivity along India’s vast borders and provides succour to the populace during natural disasters.
  • These tasks are executed through four pillars of the Corps.
  • These pillars are Combat Engineers, Military Engineer Service, Border Road Organisation and Military Survey.
  • The Corps of Engineers had three groups, i.e. Madras Sappers, Bengal Sappers and Bombay Sappers.
  • These groups were amalgamated into the Corps on the 18th of November 1932.

Topic: Banking System

8. State Bank of India will soon launch the Yono Global app in Singapore and the US.

  • With this, SBI will offer digitalized remittance and other services to its customers.
  • Vidya Krishnan, Deputy MD (IT), SBI held talks with Singapore-based digital platform enablers and local regulators and the central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
  • Presently, SBI offers Yono Global services in 9 countries. In September 2019, it started with the UK operations.
  • SBI is integrating the Yono Global app with PayNow in Singapore.
  • SBI is continuing to invest in Yono Global to offer the best services available, Krishnan said at the three-day Singapore Fintech Festival (SFF).
  • In contests held on testing technologies, Indian-origin Nikhilesh Goel was selected among the winners for the Individual Category.
  • Nikhilesh Goel is the Co-founder and Group CEO of Singapore-based Validus Capital, which focuses on leading SMEs in Southeast Asia.

Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases

9. US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first chikungunya vaccine.

  • The first chikungunya vaccine, Ixchiq, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
  • It will be used for individuals 18 years of age and older who are at increased risk of exposure to chikungunya virus.
  • Ixchiq is administered as a single dose by injection into the muscle. It contains a live and weakened version of the chikungunya virus.
  • This vaccine has been developed by Valneva Austria GmbH. This vaccine has been approved by using the Accelerated Approval pathway.
  • Ixchiq’s effectiveness is based on the immune response data from a clinical study conducted in the United States in individuals 18 years of age and older.
  • Ixchiq’s safety was evaluated in two clinical studies conducted in North America.
  • Over the last 15 years, Chikungunya has emerged as a global health threat with more than 5 million cases.
  • The Chikungunya virus transmits to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. Fever and joint pain are the most common symptoms of chikungunya.

Topic: Geography

10. Cyclone Midhili hit the coast of Bangladesh.

  • Cyclone Midhili has weakened from a ‘deep depression’ into a ‘depression’ after hitting the coast of Bangladesh.
  • It will further reduce into a Well Marked Low-Pressure Area (WML).
  • Cyclonic Storm Midhili brought rainfall in Mizoram, Tripura and Assam.
  • The cyclonic storm is also expected to bring heavy rainfall to the coastal districts of West Bengal.
  • IMD said that Cyclone Midhili is moving at a speed of 26 km per hour.
  • Governments of northeastern states issued alerts as the deep depression over the Bay of Bengal intensified into a cyclonic storm ‘Midhili’.
  • A cyclone is a large air mass that rotates around a strong centre of low atmospheric pressure. It moves counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

11. 14 IPEF partners have signed the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) Supply Chain Agreement.

  • On 14 November, the 3rd Ministerial Meeting of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) was held in San Francisco, California.
  • The meeting was hosted by the US.
  • Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Textiles and Commerce and Industry, Shri Piyush Goyal participated in this ministerial meeting.
  • On May 23, 2022, the United States and other partner countries launched jointly IPEP in the Indo-Pacific region in Tokyo.
  • IPEF's 14 partner countries include Australia, Brunei, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and the United States.
  • Their goal is to strengthen economic ties between partner countries with the goal of advancing development, peace, and prosperity in the region.
  • This format deals with four pillars related to trade namely trade (Pillar I), supply chain (Pillar II), clean economy (Pillar III), and fair economy (Pillar IV).
  • India is included in Pillars II to IV of IPEF while it has observer status in Pillar I.
  • The Ministerial meeting discussed the IPEF Pillar III (Clean Economy), Pillar IV (Fair Economy), and the Agreement on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (which seeks to establish a ministerial-level council and a commission).
  • Under Clean Economy (Pillar-III): IPEF partners aim to advance collaboration on research, development, commercialization, availability, access, and deployment of clean energy and climate-friendly technologies and facilitate investment for climate-related projects in the region.
  • Under the Fair Economy (Pillar IV): IPEF Partners aim to strengthen the implementation of effective anti-corruption and tax measures to promote commerce, trade, and investment among IPEF economies.

14 IPEF partners

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: National News

12. A certification initiative ‘Nest’ has been launched by IGBC to promote eco-friendly housing.

  • On 15 November, the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) of the Confederation of Indian Industry launched a rating and certification initiative ‘Nest’.
  • It has been launched to promote sustainable and eco-friendly constructions in the domestic housing sector.
  • IGBC Chennai Chapter Chairman Ajit Kumar Chordia unveiled the eco-friendly rating and certification initiative NEST as part of the annual conference scheduled to be held at Chennai Trade Centre, Nandambakkam from November 23 to 25.
  • The annual IGBC Green Building Congress 2023 will be held in the city after a gap of 10 years.
  • It will provide a platform for the stakeholders of the construction industry in the country to create a sustainable building environment to achieve net zero carbon emission targets.
  • The green building rating and certification programs being covered under 31 categories have achieved a green building footprint of 10.42 billion square feet in more than 11,586 projects.
  • The government of Tamil Nadu will be the partner state for the Green Building Congress 2023.
  • World Green Building Council will be the cooperating partner.

Topic: State News/ Manipur

13. Manipur government will take legal action against the tribal body for the ‘self-rule’ ultimatum.

  • The Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) announced to formation of a ‘self-government’ in three districts of Manipur on 15 November.
  • For setting a deadline to establish ‘self-rule’ in three districts, the Manipur government has decided to take legal action against the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF).
  • These districts are Churachandpur, Kangpokpi, and Tengnoupal.
  • ITLF said that if the government didn’t fulfil its demand of a “separate administration” within two weeks then it would form ‘self-government’ in three districts.
  • So far, 200 people have been killed and more than 60,000 people have been displaced in Manipur due to ethnic violence.
  • Tribal areas cover only those areas which are specified in the Sixth Schedule in the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura.
  • The Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India has provision for the formation of autonomous administrative divisions.
  • Currently, 10 Autonomous Councils are in Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura.

Topic: Banking System

14. RBI has imposed a penalty of Rs 90.92 lakh on Axis Bank.

  • The penalty has been imposed for non-compliance with KYC, code of conduct guidelines.
  • The bank failed to preserve customer identification records. It did not obtain declarations from customers during the opening of current accounts.
  • Axis Bank failed to comply with directions issued by RBI on ‘Reserve Bank of India (Know Your Customer (KYC)) Directions, 2016’ and ‘Loans and Advances – Statutory and Other Restrictions’.
  • It also failed to comply with ‘Guidelines on Managing Risks and Code of Conduct in Outsourcing of Financial Services by banks’ and ‘Code of Conduct for Opening and Operating Current Accounts’.
  • RBI has imposed a penalty of Rs 42.78 lakh on Manappuram Finance.
  • Manappuram Finance failed to adhere to certain guidelines. It did not transfer surplus amounts to the borrowers from the auction of gold articles pledged by the borrowers from April 01, 2021, to September 30, 2022.
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