Daily Current Affairs - 28th Nov 2019

Abhishek-Jyothi combine claims compound mixed pair gold at Asian Archery C'ships

  • Abhishek Verma and Jyothi Surekha Vennam claimed the gold in compound mixed pair event at the 21st Asian Archery Championships, which ended in Bangkok. The Indians defeated Chinese Taipei opponents Yi-Hsuan Chen and Chieh-Luh Chen 158-151 in the final clash.
  • India picked up seven medals including one gold, two silver and four bronze medals in the event.
  • The Indian archers participated in the tournament as neutral athletes under the World Archery flag due to the suspension of the national federation Archery Association of India (AAI).

Army inducts anti-tank guided missiles along LoC to bolster defence

  • The Indian Army has inducted Israel-made anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMS) Spike along the LoC in northern command theatre in Jammu and Kashmir to bolster defence along the country's border with Pakistan.
  • Known as the "fire and forget" missiles, Spike ATGMs are portable by men and are powerful enough to destroy tanks and bust bunkers within four kilometers.
  • These anti-tank guided missiles and its launchers were inducted along the LoC in northern theatre from October 16-17 and are being used currently.
  • A total of 210 missiles along with 12 launchers were delivered to Army from Israel under a Rs 280 crore deal, as a part of its 'emergency purchase' mechanism.

Australian writer & broadcaster Clive James dies at 80

  • Australian writer and broadcaster, Clive James, known around the world for his dry wit, has died. He was 80. He rose to prominence as a literary critic and TV columnist. He went on to deliver wry commentary on international issues in such shows as Clive James On Television.

Centre extends 15th Finance Commission’s term by a year

  • The Centre has extended the 15th Finance Commission’s term by a year. The Narendra Modi government also asked the commission to submit an interim report for the 2020-’21 financial year, and a full report for the 2021-’22 to 2025-’26 financial years.
  • The extension of the term will enable the commission to examine various comparable estimates for financial projections, in view of reforms and the new realities to finalize its recommendations for the period 2020-2026.

Fit India Week in Nov-Dec should be made mandatory across all schools: Sports Minister

  • Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has said, Fit India Week in the month of November and December should be made mandatory across all schools as fitness is a very important part of a student’s life. Mr Rijiju said, the union Government is looking at integrating physical activity into the curriculum. He stated that there should be a technical evaluation and a progressive report card for fitness.
  • The objective of the Fitness Week is to bring about a behavioral change in school children from spending Passive Screen Time to Active Field Time – by moving them away from computer screens to open fields.
  • Over 22000 CBSE schools across the country and three abroad are participating in the movement.

Former Indian Navy chief Sushil Kumar dies

  • Former Indian Navy Chief Admiral Sushil Kumar has died at a military hospital in New Delhi following a brief illness. Sushil Kumar was Navy Chief from 1998-2001. He authored a book named "A Prime Minister to Remember- Memories of a Military Chief" which highlighted the key defence-related decisions taken by late former Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Gadkari addresses NuGen Mobility Summit 2019

  • Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, while speaking at the NuGen Mobility Summit 2019 at International Centre for Automotive Technology Centre, ICAT in Gurugram, has called upon the auto industry to think about future technologies as skilled man-power, cheap labour and technology are available in the auto sector.
  • He said, Ethanol, Methanol, Bio-diesel and Bio-CNG will support the future technology to be utilized in the auto sector.
  • The three-day Summit is being attended by experts from the automotive industry, system and technology companies, experts in technology domains, researchers, policymakers, test houses and agencies, associations and academia from all around the world.

ISRO successfully launches India’s latest earth observation satellite Cartosat-3

  • Indian Space Research Organisation, ISRO has successfully launched the country’s latest earth observation satellite Cartosat-3. The workhorse rocket PSLV-C47 injected it in a polar orbit, along with 13 nanosatellites of a US customer organization.  
  • Immediately after the separation of Cartosat-3 from the rocket, its solar arrays were deployed automatically and the ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network at Bengaluru assumed control of it.

Lok Sabha passes Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill

  • Lok Sabha passed the Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, 2019. According to the proposed amendment, the SPG will provide security to Prime Minister, and members of his immediate family residing with him at his official residence.
  • It will also provide security to former prime ministers, and his immediate family members residing with him at the residence allotted to him for a period of five years.

No plan to cut 5G price: Centre

  • Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has informed Parliament that the government does not plan to reduce the reserve price for 5G spectrum even as the telecom industry has been demanding revision of ‘exorbitant’ and ‘unaffordable’ prices.
  • Telecom regulator TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) has recommended auction of about 8,644 megahertz (MHz) of radio frequencies in nine bands for sale at a base price of Rs 4.93 lakh crore
  • The 5G spectrum auction will take place by the end of this year or early 2020. .
  • The base price of the 5G spectrum (in 3400 megahertz to 3800 megahertz band) is highest in India. As per brokerage CLSA, the base price per megahertz (MHz) for spectrum in this band is $70 million in India as compared to $26 million in Italy, $18 million in South Korea, $10 million in the UK and $5 million in Australia.

Pakistan's Supreme Court suspends Pakistan Army Chief extension

  • Pakistan's Supreme Court suspended the decision to grant a three-year term extension to Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa. This move came just ahead of 59-year-old Bajwa's retirement on November 29. Justice Khosa said that only the president of Pakistan can extend the tenure of the Army chief.
  • Prime Minister Imran Khan had approved an extension to the tenure of General Bajwa for another three years, citing the regional security environment.

President Sheikh Khalifa reiterates UAE’s support for Palestinians

  • President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has reiterated UAE’s support for the aspirations of the Palestinian people to self-determination, highlighting the country’s regional and international efforts to ease their suffering.
  • Sheikh Khalifa in a message highlighted the unprecedented critical period witnessed by the Palestinian people, stressing that it is the UN’s responsibility to end the suffering of the Palestinian people and urging Israel to end its unilateral measures and occupation.

Rain-triggered flash floods, landslides kill at least 120 in Kenya

  • The UN says at least 120 people have died in rain-triggered flash floods and landslides across Kenya. Heavy rains caused flash floods, mudslides and landslides in at least 31 out of 47 counties, hampering effective humanitarian response efforts in affected areas.
  • Over 160,000 people, including nearly 18,000 who are displaced countrywide, have been affected by floods or landslides since the onset of rains in October.

RBI revises framework on currency swap arrangement for SAARC countries

  • The Reserve Bank of India has put in place a revised framework on currency swap arrangement for SAARC countries for 2019-2022.
  • Based on the terms and conditions of the framework, the RBI would enter into bilateral swap agreements with SAARC central banks, who want to avail swap facility.
  • Under the framework for 2019-22, the RBI will continue to offer a swap arrangement within the overall corpus of $2 billion. The drawals can be made in US dollar, euro or Indian rupee.
  • The facility will be available to all SAARC member countries, subject to their signing the bilateral swap agreements, it added. The framework is valid from November 14, 2019 to November 13, 2022.
  • The SAARC currency swap facility came into operation on November 15, 2012 with an intention to provide a backstop line of funding for short-term foreign exchange liquidity requirements or balance of payment crises till longer-term arrangements are made
  • A currency swap between countries is an agreement to exchange currencies with predetermined terms and conditions.

Saudi Arabia elected to UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee

  • The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a member state of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), was elected to the World Heritage Committee for the first time, days after winning the membership in the UNESCO Executive Board for 2019-2023.
  • There are five sites in Saudi Arabia that are currently on UNESCO’s World Heritage List: Al-Ahsa Oasis, Al-Hijr Archaeological Site (Madain Saleh) in AlUla, Al-Turaif district in Diriyah, Historic Jeddah, and rock art in the Hail region.

UAE and Saudi Arabia sign four memorandums of understanding

  • The UAE and Saudi Arabia have signed four memorandums of understanding (MoUs) during the second meeting of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council in Abu Dhabi.
  • The meeting comes as part of efforts by the two countries to activate all aspects of cooperation that leads to full integration in economy, knowledge and human development, and military.
  • The meeting, chaired by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Bin Abdul Aziz, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince.

Ujjivan SFB seeks more time to reduce promoter shareholding

  • Ujjivan Small Finance Bank, which is set to launch its initial public offering (IPO) next week, is seeking an extension from the Reserve Bank of India to bring down its promoter shareholding. The bank will start discussions with the regulator once the listing is over.
  • Ujjivan Small Finance Bank has fixed a price band of RS 36-37 per share for its IPO opening on 2 December. The proposed issue will see promoter shareholding falling to 85% post the IPO. It will comprise a fresh issue of equity shares aggregating up to Rs 750 crore
  • Ujjivan SFB had been exploring a reverse merger of its parent company with itself before the IPO.

US Prez signs bills into law in support of Hong Kong protesters

  • US President Donald Trump has signed two bills into law, supporting the Hong Kong protesters. The first one would require the State Department to certify once a year that Hong Kong is sufficiently autonomous to retain its special U.S. trading consideration. Under that designation, the city is not subject to the tariffs that have been levied on China.
  • The second bill would bar the sale of munitions such as tear gas and rubber bullets to Hong Kong police.
  • China denounced the legislation as gross interference in its affairs and a violation of international law

ZEEL comes under SEBI scanner

  • Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. (ZEEL) has come under the scanner of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) after it emerged that two directors — independent director Neharika Vohra and non-independent director Subodh Kumar — had raised concerns relating to corporate governance and related party transactions in their resignation letters.