Daily Current Affairs - 20th Nov 2017

42nd International Congress of Military Medicine Begins

  • The 42nd World Congress of the International Committee of Military Medicine (ICMM) organised by the Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) under the aegis of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) began in New Delhi
  • The ICMM is an international inter-governmental organisation created in 1921 with its secretariat at Brussels in Belgium and currently has 112 nations as members. The five-day event is being organised for the first time in India, and is the largest medical conference ever organised by the AFMS.
  • The theme of this 42nd World Congress is “Military Medicine in Transition: Looking Ahead.”

Assam CM inaugurates Namami Barak festival

  • The first ever Namami Barak festival was held at Silchar in Assam. It was inaugurated by Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
  • The event was organised at 3 locations in Barak Valley also known as Southern Assam. Silchar is main event area while other two locations are Hailakandi and Karimganj district.

Birhanu Legese and Almaz Ayana have won the events of Delhi Half Marathon

  • Ethiopians runners Birhanu Legese and Almaz Ayana have won the respective events of Delhi Half Marathon.
  • In the Men's section, Legese clocked 59 minutes 46 seconds to claim the first spot. India's Nitendra Rawat finished 10th.
  • In the Women's section, it was a clean sweep for Ethiopia, with world record holder Almaz Ayana finishing at the top of the podium. She clocked one hour, seven minutes and 11 seconds. Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore had flagged-off the race.
  • Around 35,000 athletes and amateur runners from different parts of the world participated in this 10th edition of the marathon.


  • Under ‘Ek Bharat-Shreshtha Bharat’ Yojana, Madhya Pradesh has been made partner of Manipur and Nagaland. The Higher Education Department of Madhya Pradesh has been made nodal department to implement the scheme.
  • Madhya Pradesh will participate in Sangai Mahotsav being organized in Manipur from November 21 to 30. Similarly, teams of Manipur and Nagaland will take part in Lok Rang and Bal Rang programmes to present their cultural programmes and to apprise people with their culture.

Gleadovia konyakianorum: Parasitic plant found in Nagaland

  • Scientists have discovered a new species of parasitic flowering plant that has no chlorophyll, and survives by feeding on another species of plant that does
  • The species, named Gleadovia konyakianorum, in honour of the Konyak tribe of Nagas
  • It is a holoparasite (complete parasite) that derives its entire nutritional requirement from the host plant, which is a Strobilanthes species.

GST: Cabinet approves setting up of Anti-Profiteering Authority

  • The Union Cabinet approved the setting up of an Anti-Profiteering Authority to protect consumer interests under the current goods and services tax (GST) system.
  • The move to set up this authority is an assurance to consumers in India that the Government is focused on protecting their interests and profiteering does not take place
  • The National Anti-Profiteering Authority (NAA) has been mandated to ensure that the benefits of the reduction in GST rates on goods or services are passed on to the ultimate consumers by way of reduction in prices.
  • The Cabinet approved creation of the posts of Chairman and Technical Members of the NAA.

Health Ministry introduces Daily Drug Regimen for treatment of Tuberculosis

  • The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has announced the launch of daily regimen for TB patients across the country under The Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP).
  • The Health Ministry has been providing the thrice weekly regimen for the treatment of tuberculosis (TB), however it has now decided to change the treatment strategy for TB patients from thrice weekly to daily drug regimen using fixed dose combinations (FDC) for treatment.
  • This change will bring transformation in the approach and the intensity to deal with this disease which accounts for about 4.2 lakh deaths every year

NASA launches Joint Polar Satellite System-1

  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has launched a next-generation satellite called the Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1) into space. JPSS-1 is a joint venture between NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
  • JPSS-1 is first multi-day weather forecasts satellite in NOAA’s series of four, next-generation operational environmental satellites representing major advancements in observations used for severe weather prediction and environmental monitoring.

parliamentary panel in Switzerland has approved a pact for automatic exchange of information with India

  • A key parliamentary panel in Switzerland has approved a pact for automatic exchange of information with India on financial accounts.
  • The pact will help provide a continuous access to details about alleged black money hoarders in once-all-secret Swiss banks.
  • The exchange of information under this framework will work like this -- If an Indian has a bank account in Switzerland, the bank concerned will disclose the financial account data to authorities there; the Swiss authority will automatically forward the information to its peer in India who can then examine the person's details.

Reliance Capital Arm, YES Bank in Bancassurance Pact

  • Reliance General Insurance, a subsidiary of Reliance Capital, has signed comprehensive bancassurance agreement with YES Bank.
  • YES Bank with its network of 1,040 branches across all 29 States and seven Union Territories will enable Reliance General Insurance to reach a large base of retail and MSME clients.
  • This is the first partnership signed by YES Bank since the open-architecture norms under the corporate agency regulations were introduced by the IRDAI in April 2016.

The Qaumi Ekta Week

  • The Qaumi Ekta Week is being observed across the country to foster and reinforce the spirit of communal harmony and national Integration.
  • The occasion provides an opportunity to reaffirm age old traditions and faith in the values of tolerance, co-existence and brotherhood in a multi-cultural and multi-religious society.

The Steering Committee of the (SARTTAC) met in New Delhi

  • An Interim Meeting of the Steering Committee of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s South Asia Regional Training and Technical Assistance Center (SARTTAC) was held in New Delhi to assess the Center’s activities since its inauguration in February 2017 and to review the Fiscal Year 2018 Work Plan.
  • Officials from all Six (6) Member countries attended, together with the Development Partner representatives (the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, and USAID), and IMF staff.
  • The South Asia Regional Training and Technical Assistance Center (SARTTAC), which was inaugurated in February 2017, is the first IMF Regional Capacity Development Center to fully integrate training and technical assistance activities. Located in New Delhi, India, SARTTAC works with Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. Member countries finance two-thirds of the Center’s Budget, with additional funding from the European Union, Korea, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

UIDAI has provided some relaxation to banks

  • The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has provided some relaxation to banks in procurement of enrolment machines and hiring private data entry operators for their Aadhaar centres.
  • UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey said, the relaxation will speed up the opening of Aadhaar enrolment and updation centres at bank premises. He said, the reprieve has been granted with the condition that banks will have to ensure proper supervision of enrolment and updation process within their premises.
  • So far, only about 3,000 branches of private and public sector banks have opened Aadhaar centres within their premises as against the targeted 15,300 branches that are required to do so.

World Toilet Day

  • World Toilet Day (WTD) is an official United Nations international observance day, celebrated on 19 November, to raise awareness of the global sanitation crisis.
  • In 2015, as part of Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals, Goal number 6 (SDG 6) was launched. This goal commits the world to "ensure access to water and sanitation for all" by 2030.

Zimbabwe's ruling party has sacked President Robert Mugabe as its leader

  • Zimbabwe's ruling party has sacked President Robert Mugabe as its leader. Ruling party Zanu-PF has instead appointed ex-Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa as President.
  • Mr Mnangagwa had been fired by Mr Mugabe two weeks ago. The sacking of Mr Mnangagwa had prompted an extraordinary chain of events as the military intervened to block 93 year old Mr Mugabe from installing his wife, Grace, in his place. The first lady has been expelled from the party altogether.