Current Affairs, News & Facts of 23 Nov 2015

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  • Indian-American Swati Dandenkar appointed as US Director of  Asian Development Bank  

     

    Indian-American Swati Dandenkar appointed as US Director of  Asian Development Bank

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    Indian-American politician Swati Dandekar has been appointed as the United States director of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).  Swati was nominated to this position by US President Barack Obama and has been designated with rank of an ambassador. She would replace Robert M Orr who has held this position since 2010.

    About  Swati Dandekar :-

    • She is the first-ever Indian-American to be elected to Iowa House of Representatives in 2003, of which she has been member from 2003 to 2009 and was also member of the Iowa Senate from 2009 to 2011. Dandekar was the first Indian-born American citizen to win a state legislature seat in the United States.
    • She has also served on the Iowa Utilities Board from 2011 to 2013 and member of the Vision Iowa Board of Directors from 2000 to 2003.
    • She received a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Chemistry from Nagpur University and a graduate diploma from Mumbai University in dietetics.

    Family and migration :-

    Dandekar along with her husband migrated to the US in 1973, she served on the Linn-Mar Community School District Board of Education from 1996 to 2002 and was a member of the Iowa Association of School Boards from 2000 to 2002.

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  • Harshavardhan Neotia elected as President of FICCI

     

    Harshavardhan Neotia elected as President of FICCI

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    Harshavardhan Neotia, Chairman of Ambuja Neotia group, has been elected president of industry body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) for 2016. Neotia, a 'Padma Shri' awardee, is also a member of the Rajasthan Chief Minister's Advisory Council and West Bengal Chief Minister's Core Committee on Industry.He will succeed incumbent FICCI President Jyotsna Suri during the chamber’s AGM in December 2015. Jyotsna Suri is chairperson and Managing Director of Bharat Hotels Ltd.

    About Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry :-

    • The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) is an association of business organizations in India. Established in 1927, on the advice of Mahatma Gandhi by GD Birla and Purushottam Das Thakurdas, it is the largest, oldest and the apex business organisation in India. It is a non-government, not-for-profit organisation. 
    • FICCI draws its membership from the corporate sector, both private and public,  The chamber has an indirect membership of over 2,50,000 companies from various regional chambers of commerce.
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  • Pankaj Advani wins 2015 IBSF World Snooker Championship

     

    Pankaj Advani wins 2015 IBSF World Snooker Championship

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    • Ace Indian has cueist Pankaj Advani has won the IBSF World Snooker Championship after defeating his 18-year-old Chinese opponent Zhua Xintong in the final at Hurghada (Egypt) by 8-6 score in the best-of-15 final. He had entered the finals of the Championship after defeating Alex Borg of Malta by 6-0 score.
    • With this victory, Pankaj Advani has won the World Snooker Championship for record 15 times. He also became the first person in history of Snooker to take the short (6-Red) and the long snooker format in the same calender year.
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  • Swachh Delhi Abhiyan launched in Delhi

     

    Swachh Delhi Abhiyan launched in Delhi

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    The Centre, the Delhi government and the municipal corporations have joined hands to launch the Swachh Delhi Abhiyaan — an initiative to make Delhi clean.The drive was launched by Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu along with Kejriwal. Venkaiah Naidu handed over a cheque of Rs 96.7 crore to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, and the latter issued orders to release the same amount to urban local bodies. Under the campaign, 3 municipal bodies in Delhi will clear the garbage and the concrete waste will be lifted by the Public Works Department (PWD) of Delhi government.

    'Swachh Delhi' Mobile App :-

    • Earlier, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had launched a special mobile application 'Swachh Delhi' which has received over 13,000 sanitation-related grievances since its launch last week, with maximum complaints being received from areas falling under the jurisdiction of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation. The app can be used by giving a call on 7666400400.
    • Callers get a link on their mobile through which they can download the app. A unique thing of the mobile application is that photograph of the debris or garbage can be clicked through it.
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  • Union Railways Minister inaugurates landmark Silchar-Lumding broad gauge rail line in Assam

     

    Union Railways Minister inaugurates landmark Silchar-Lumding broad gauge rail line in Assam

    Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu has inaugurated the landmark Silchar-Lumding broad gauge rail line in Assam. Prabhu flagged off a passenger train from New Delhi via video-conference.

    Key facts about "Silchar-Lumding" broad gauge rail line :-

    • The rail line brings Assam's underdeveloped but strategically important Barak Valley on the broad gauge map. It  would accelerate development, as it is the lifeline of Barak Valley and Tripura, Manipur and Mizoram.
    • The Lumding-Silchar Gauge Conversion Project under the Northeast Frontier Railway was sanctioned in 1996-97 and was declared a National Project in 2004. The project was hit by insurgency from 2006 to 2009. The Territorial Army had to be deployed to take on the insurgents.
    • The line has 75 major bridges and 340 minor bridges along the track. It passes through 21 tunnels. The entire project cost was around 3, 500 crore rupees.
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  • Francois Hollande to be Chief Guest at 2016 Republic Day celebrations

     

    Francois Hollande to be Chief Guest at 2016 Republic Day celebrations

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    French President Francois Hollande will be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade of January 26, 2016 although  there is no official announcement -either from India or France- regarding Mr Hollande being the chief guest at the Republic Day, it is understood that the invitation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the French President was extended last month and it has been accepted.

    Mr. Francois Hollande would be the 5th highest dignitary from France to be Chief Guest of Indian Republic Day parade after Prime Minister Jacques Chirac (1976), President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing (1980), President Jacques Chirac (1998) and President Nicolas Sarkozy (2008)

    The decision comes in the wake of the attacks in Paris following which world nations including India have rallied behind France.French President Francois Hollande has appealed for a global coalition to destroy Islamic State in the wake of the attacks across Paris. State of Emergency has also been declared in Paris for three months after the terror strikes. Mr Hollande had cancelled trip to Turkey for the G20 summit earlier this week.

    France is going to host the COP 21, Paris Climate Conference, summit in Paris starting from November 30. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to attend the COP21 brainstorming in Paris.

    The visit of Mr. Hollande to New Delhi for the mega pageant of January 26 will be symbolic and send a message of a worldwide solidarity among the democratic countries against terrorism of the IS hich had staged barbaric attacks on November 13, 2015 in Paris.

    Earlier prominent Chief guests of Republic Day parades:- 2015- Barack Obama (US President), 2014- Shinzo Abe (Japanese Prime Minister), 2013- Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck (King of Bhutan), 2012- Yingluck Shinawatra (Then Prime Minister of Thailand), 2011- Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono(Then President of Indonesia).

     

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  • Supersonic interceptor AAD missile successfully test fired

     

    Supersonic interceptor AAD missile successfully test fired

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    As part of efforts to develop a full fledged multi-layer Ballistic Missile Defence system, India has successfully test-fired its indigenously developed supersonic interceptor missile, capable of destroying any incoming ballistic missile, from a test range off Odisha coast. The test was conducted to validate various parameters of the interceptor in flight mode.

    The interceptor, known as Advanced Air Defence (AAD) missile, was engaged against an electronically prepared target which simulated the trajectory of a hostile ballistic missile. After getting signals from tracking radars, the interceptor, positioned at Abdul Kalam Island (Wheeler Island), roared through its trajectory path and destroyed the incoming electronically prepared target missile in mid-air at an endo-atmospheric altitude. During the test, the kill effect of the interceptor missile was analysed from data collected by multiple tracking sources.

    The interceptor is a 7.5-meter long single stage solid rocket propelled guided missile equipped with a navigation system, a hi-tech computer and an electro-mechanical activator. The interceptor missile had its own mobile launcher, secure data link for interception, independent tracking andhoming capabilities and sophisticated radars.

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  • 10 day state of emergency declared in Mali after terrorist attack

     

    10 day state of emergency declared in Mali after terrorist attack

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    President of Mali Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has declared 10 day state of emergency following terrorist attack in country’s capital city Bamako that killed 19 people. Three days of national mourning has also been declared to condemn this terrorist attack.

    Background :-

    • On 20th November 2015,  Islamist militants took 170 hostages and killed 19 of them in a mass shooting at the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, the capital and largest city in Mali.  Malian commandos raided the hotel and freed the surviving hostages. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and its affiliate, al-Murabitoun, said they carried out the attack.

    Al-Murabitoun (militant group) :-

    • Al-Mourabitoun is an African militant jihadist organisation formed by merger of various jihadist organisation. Its area of operations is in the north of Mali, near towns such as Tessalit and Ansongo.
    • Al-Mourabitoun is composed mostly of Tuaregs and Arabs from the northern Mali regions of Timbuktu, Kidal and Gao, but also includes Algerians, Tunisians and other nationalities.
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  • Turkey issues special stamp featuring PM Narendra Modi

     

    Turkey issues special stamp featuring PM Narendra Modi

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    A personalised postage stamp featuring Prime Minister Narendra Modi was issued by Turkey in remembrance of the just concluded G20 Leaders Summit. The stamp of 2.80 Turkish lira bears a picture of Modi and the Indian national flag. It has 'Narendra Modi - Prime Minister of Republic of India' written at the bottom. Personalised stamps of G20 Turkey Summit Leaders were presented by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in remembrance of G20 Turkey Leaders Summit. In all, 33 stamps including of the leaders of the 19 biggest and most powerful economies of the world and the European Union were issued.

    Other world leaders featured include US President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, UK Prime Minister David Cameroon, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Brazilian President Dilma Roussef, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Japanese Prime Minister Sinzo Abe and European Council President Donald Tusk. Even though French President Fran ois Hollande cancelled his visit to the Summit due to the Paris killings, a stamp in his honour too was issued.

     

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  • Lanco Solar signs MoU with Chhattisgarh for 100 MW plant  

     

    Lanco Solar signs MoU with Chhattisgarh for 100 MW plant

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    Lanco Solar Ltd, a subsidiary of Lanco Infratech Ltd. (LITL), has signed a MoU with the Chhattisgarh Government for setting up a 100 MW solar cell manufacturing plant. The project is coming up on a 250-acre SEZ location in Rajnandgaon in the State under the National Solar Mission. Through this MoU poly silicon and ingots and wafers manufacturing facility will comeup for the first time in India and bring Chhattisgarh on global Silicon map

    The MoU, was signed by Chhattisgarh Industry Secretary Subodh Singh and Lanco Solar president Raj Kumar Roy in the presence of Chattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh. LITL had already invested Rs.1,200 crore on the “integrated solar PV manufacturing project” that re-started in July 2015. The investment is towards poly-silicon refining and wafer plant and for setting up a 150 MW module plant.

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2nd Aug

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