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November 18, 2015

18th November 2015 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • TOday is World COPD Day
    • COPD - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
    • World COPD Day takes place each year on the second or third Wednesday in November.
    • Aim : To improve awareness and care of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) around the world.
    • Theme of World COPD Day 2015 : It's Not Too Late
    • Important Note : November is National Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Awareness Month.
  • France and Russia have agreed to coordinate their military and security services in an unusual alliance against Islamic State militants in Syria after Friday’s devastating attacks on Paris and the recent bombing of a Russian plane in Egypt. 
  • The BTRC (Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission) blocks social media platform Facebook and online messaging and calling services WhatsApp and Viber on security grounds.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be embarking on a visit to Malaysia and Singapore during 21st to 25th November 2015.
    • During this visit, he will be attending the 10th East Asia-India Summit and Asean Summit in KualaLumpur.
National Affairs
  • The Delhi government today cleared the Jan Lokpal Bill, paving the way towards creating the
    post of an anti-graft ombudsman, which it claimed was similar to the one proposed during the Anna Hazare movement, and will table it in the assembly soon.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates the 6th Global Focal Point Conference on Asset Recovery in Delhi today.
People in News
  • West Bengal Transport Minister Madan Mitra, accused in the Saradha chit fund scam, has resigned.
New Appointments
  • Justice Tirath Singh Thakur has been appointed as Chief Justice of India (CJI) for a 13-month tenure till 3rd January 2017.
    • He will take over after Chief Justice Justice HL Dattu retires on 2nd December 2015.
Science & Technology
  • Russia successfully launched the first satellite for its newest early warning system, named EKS or Integrated Space System. 
    • The satellite was officially named Kosmos 2510 (Tundra 11L).
    • This new-generation satellite is designed to restore Moscow's capability to detect, track and identify worldwide missile launches from space.
    • The satellite was carried by a Soyuz-2.1b rocket from Site 43/4 at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, located in Northern Russia.
  • China's Tianhe-2 supercomputer has retained its position as the world's most powerful system for the sixth consecutive time, according to a biannual Top 500 list of supercomputers released at the international supercomputer conference in Austin, Texas.
    • Tianhe-2, or Milky Way­2, with a performance of 33.86 petaflops per second (Pflop/s), was developed by China's National University of Defense Technology and deployed at the National Supercomputer Center in Guangzhou. 
    • Note : It has held the title since June 2013.
  • Former chief of India’s external intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), K. Shankaran Nair passed away.
    • Mr. Nair played a crucial role restructuring RAW in 1980 after Indira Gandhi returned to power. 
    • He was later appointed as India’s High Commissioner to Singapore in 1986 and served till 1988.
    • Important Note : He wrote his memoir Inside IB and RAW: The rolling stone that gathered moss in 2008
  • Well-known neurosurgeon and Secretary General of Indian Red Cross Society Dr. Satya Paul Agarwal passed away.
    • He was honored with Padma Bhushan by Indian Government.
    • He had been Secretary General of Indian Red Cross Society since 2005 and was also the Chair of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Advisory Body on Sustainable Development and Health. 
    • He had also served as Director General of Health Services, Government of India, from 1996 to 2005.
Business & Economy
  • The 7th Pay Commission will submit its report to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tomorrow, recommending increase in remuneration of central government employees as well as pensioners.
    • The Commission was set up in February 2014 to revise remuneration of about 48 lakh central government employees and 55 lakh pensioners.
    • Its recommendations will also have a bearing on the salaries of the state government staff.
    • The Union Cabinet had extended the term of the panel in August by four months, till December.
    • Chairman  of 7th Pay Commission : Justice AK Mathur
  • In the first ever direct subsidy payment to farmers, the government today decided to pay Sugarcane growers Rs 4.50 per quintal for the cane they will sell to loss-making millers, a move that will cost Rs 1,147 crore to the exchequer.
  • The government also cleared 10% stake sale in Coal India Ltd.
  • The Central government has sanctioned Rs 456 crore to Odisha under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) scheme for 2015-16.
    • The fund will be utilized for the basic infrastructure development of nine cities in the state.

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