Daily Current Affairs and GK | 21 November 2019

2019-11-21

1. Union Cabinet approves disinvestment of 5 CPSEs

  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) gave its assent over disinvestment of 5 Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE). These are
    • Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL)
    • Shipping Corporation of India (SCI)
    • Container Corporation of India (CONCOR)
    • North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited (NEEPCO) and
    • Tehri Hydro Development Corporation India Limited (THDCIL)
  • Numaligarh Refinery in Assam will be taken out of BPCL before disinvestment and it will be taken over by another PSU.
  • The disinvestment of Government's shareholding will be as follows:
    • BPCL- 53.29%
    • SCI- 63.75%
    • CONCOR- 30.8%
    • THDCIL- 74.23%
    • NEEPCO- 100%
  • Management control will be given to some strategic buyers in the case of BPCL, SCI and CONCOR. Whereas management control will be given to National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) in case of THDCIL and NEEPCO.
  • The objective of strategic disinvestment of CPSEs is to open up sectors for private enterprises to bring efficiency in the management. The finances gained by the Government by disinvestment will be used in the social sector and developmental programmes that would increase economic development.

2. UGC asks to celebrate Constitution day on 26 November

  • University Grant Commission (UGC) has issued a circular to all the universities and affiliated colleges to celebrate 26 November as the ‘Constitution Day’.
  • UGC has requested all the higher educational institutions to make devoted efforts to promote and spread awareness about the Constitution and Fundamental duties among their students, teachers, staff and officials.
  • On 26 November 1949, our Indian Constitution was adopted, which came into effect from 26th January 1950.
  • University Grant Commission (UGC): It is a statutory body constituted as per the UGC Act 1956 under the HRD Ministry. It is headquartered in New Delhi. It is responsible for maintaining the standards of higher education in India. It provides recognition to the Universities in India as well as grant funds to such universities/ colleges.

3. Global Bio-India Summit begins in New Delhi

  • The Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology and its PSU BIRAC are jointly organizing the Global Bio-India Summit.
  • It is the first and one of the largest biotechnology stakeholders conferences to be ever held in India.
  • The summit is to be participated by more than 100 biotechnology incubators, 200 exhibitors and 275 start-ups.
  • Over 3000 delegates from 25 countries and over 15 Indian states are going to attend the event.
  • Two events, the ‘NanoBioteck-2019’ and ‘Nano for Agri 2019’, will also be organized on the sidelines of the summit that will showcase the recent developments in the fields of NanoAgriculture and NanoMedicine.
  • Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC): It is a not-for-profit Public Sector Enterprise that has been established by the Department of Biotechnology. It is a industry-academia interface.

4. Visa exemption for foreigners seeking medical treatment in India

  • Recently, India has announced a visa exemption for foreigners seeking admission-cum- medical treatment in a hospital in India.
  • The foreigner patients need not to convert their primary visa into a medical visa for the treatment in India up to 180 days, as per the new visa exemptions.
  • However, treatment of diseases which involves organ transplant shall only be permitted under medical visa.

5. MoU with Finland in Tourism

  • India has recently signed an MoU with Finland to strengthen the cooperation in the field of Tourism.
  • Under this MoU, both the countries will share their experiences in policy-making, regulation and standards in planning.
  • The MoU seeks to establish a cooperative bilateral relationship between the two countries to develop tourism.
  • Finland: It is a North European country whose capital is Helsinki, and its currency is Euro.

6. IEA releases World Energy Outlook 2019

  • Recently, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has released a report titled ‘World Energy Outlook 2019’.
  • The report projects three scenarios
    • Current Policies Scenario: It states that if no changes are made to the existing policies, then the energy requirement will increase by 1.3% per year. This will strain the energy market.
    • Stated Policies Scenario: This includes measures and initiatives taken by the government to combat adverse environmental conditions.
    • Sustainable Development Scenario: This scenario tells about different ways in which climate and other energy-related goals can be achieved. It is in sync with the Paris Agreement which aims to limit the increase in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees celsius.
  • International Energy Agency (IEA) is an autonomous intergovernmental organization which was established under the framework of the OECD. It was established in 1974. It is headquartered in Paris, France. It ensures to have affordable yet reliable clean energy for its member nations.

7. 2nd edition of India ASEAN InnoTech Summit 2019

  • 2nd edition of India ASEAN InnoTech Summit 2019 is going on in Davao, the Philippines, from 20-22 November.
  • The 1st edition of the summit was held in New Delhi.
  • The summit is organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST).
  • The summit will provide better arenas for development and display innovative scientific technologies of India and ASEAN nations.

8. Indira Gandhi Peace Prize 2019 conferred to David Attenborough

  • The Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development for 2019 has been given to the 93 years old Sir David Attenborough.
  • He is an English broadcaster and a natural historian. He has been conferred the award for the lifelong work done by him in favour of nature.

9. India ranks 59th in the IMD’s World Talent Ranking

  • Out of 63 countries, India ranked 59th in the World Talent Ranking 2019 produced by IMD.
  • World Talent Ranking report is released every year by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD).
  • IMD is a business school that is headquartered in Switzerland.
  • The ranking of 63 countries is based on their performances on appeal, investment & development and readiness.
  • Switzerland, Denmark and Sweden secured the top three ranks whereas, in Asian countries, Singapore is on the top by securing 10th position.
  • India’s rank has declined from 53rd position in 2018 to 59th position in 2019.

10. National Institute for Sowa-Rigpa (NISR) under AYUSH Ministry

  • The Government has approved to establish the National Institute for Sowa-Rigpa (NISR) in Leh.
  • NISR will be an independent organisation which will come under AYUSH Ministry.
  • The establishment of NISR will facilitate students from India as well as abroad to learn and promote the Sowa- Rigpa system of medicine.
  • Sowa- Rigpa is a system of medicine of the Tibetan culture. It is one of the ancient yet living medical traditions of the world. It is also known as Amchi System of medicine which means the science of healing.

 

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Where is the Numaligarh Refinery situated?

  1. Ladakh
  2. Assam
  3. Himachal Pradesh
  4. Arunachal Pradesh

Correct Answer: b

2. Recently, India announced visa exemptions in which of the following categories?

  1. Medical treatment
  2. Tourism
  3. Educational purpose
  4. None of these

Correct Answer: a

3. World Energy Outlook 2019 is released by which of the following organizations?

  1. OECD
  2. IMD
  3. IEA
  4. WHO

Correct Answer: c

4. Who has received Indira Gandhi Peace Prize for 2019?

  1. James P. Allison
  2. TasukuHonjo
  3. David Attenborough
  4. Malala Yousafzai

Correct Answer: c

5. What is the ranking of India in the ‘World Talent Ranking 2019’ report released by IMD?

  1. 57th
  2. 53rd
  3. 58th
  4. 59th

Correct Answer: d

Share Blog