Current Affairs of 19 November

Narendra Modi
Reflections on Ease of Doing Business - Addressing India Inc at ‘Reflections on Ease of Doing Business’ programme in New Delhi Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set an ambitious deadline of December-end to implement as many business reforms as possible on the ground so that India could break into the top 50 of the World Bank Ease of Doing Business next year. 

Grand K
General Conference on Weights and Measures - The 26th meeting of the General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM) was held during November 13-16 2018 at Palais des Congrés, Versailles, France. CGPM is the highest international body of the world for accurate and precise measurements. The so-called “Grand K” kilogram, a cylinder of polished platinum-iridium alloy that has been the world’s sole true kilo since 1889, is to be retired. CGPM approved the use of a scientific formula Planck constant - the fundamental constant of quantum physics. The new definitions will come into force on 20 May 2019. Likewise, the definition of meter has been changed to link it to the speed of light. There is a change in the definition of time also. The CGPM comprises 60 countries including India and 42 Associate Members.

Ministerial Meeting of BASIC - In a joint statement issued at the conclusion of the 27th BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change, the four nations asked developed countries to “substantially” scale up their financial support and fulfil their commitments of mobilising USD 100 billion per annum by 2020 for developing nations. The programme is expected to be adopted at the UN conference (COP24) in Katowice, Poland next month.

International Film Festival of India - The 49th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) will begin tomorrow at Panaji in Goa. While Israel is the focus country, Jharkhand is the focus state this year. Veteran Israeli filmmaker Dan Wolman will be given the Lifetime Achievement Award this year. 

Christian James Michel
Christian James Michel - Dubai’s highest court approved India’s request for the extradition of British businessman Christian James Michel, wanted in the Agusta Westland scam case which involved alleged money laundering, commercial fraud and bribery. Ministry of External Affairs had filed a request with UAE authorities to extradite Michel to India.

Baba Kalyani Committee - The Baba Kalyani led committee constituted by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to study the existing SEZ (Special Economic Zone) policy of India submitted its report to Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu. The objective of committee was to suggest measures for maximising utilisation of vacant land in SEZs and make it WTO compatible.

Capital Adequacy Norms - Reserve Bank of India’s Central Board, while deciding to retain the CRAR (Capital to Risk (Weighted) Assets Ratio) at 9%, agreed to extend the transition period for implementing the last tranche of 0.625% under the Capital Conservation Buffer (CCB), by one year, i.e., up to March 31, 2020. 

Economic Capital Framework - RBI has agreed for setting up of an expert committee on the economic capital framework (ECF) its mandate is restricted to future earnings and not the existing reserves. The membership and terms of reference of the committee will be decided by the finance minister and RBI governor.Currently, the capital base of the RBI is Rs 9.69 lakh crore.

AirSewa 2.0 - Union Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu and Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Jayant Sinha on November 19, 2018 launched the upgraded version of AirSewa 2.0 web portal and mobile app in New Delhi.

India-UK Cancer Research Initiative - An MoU for the partnership between Department of Biotechnology and Cancer Research UK (CRUK) for the India-UK Cancer Research Initiative has been signed in New Delhi. Both countries will invest £5 Million each in this 5-year pilot and seek further investment from other potential funding partners.

LEAP and ARPIT Scheme Launched - Satya Pal Singh, Minister of State for Human Resource Development, launched two new initiatives, namely, the Leadership for Academicians Programme (LEAP) and the Annual Refresher Programme In Teaching (ARPIT) for higher education faculty. LEAP is a three weeks flagship leadership development training programme and ARPIT is a unique initiative of online professional development of 15 lakh higher education faculty.

World Energy Outlook - The International Energy Agency in its latest report 'World Energy Outlook' stated that India will overtake the U.S. to become the world’s second-biggest emitter of carbon dioxide from the power sector before 2030. China will remain the biggest emitter. 

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi - Barcelona star Lionel Messi was named La Liga Player of the Year for 6th time. Messi lifted the prestigious award at FIFA’s gala (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) ceremony in Zurich.

Women’s World Boxing Championships - The Women’s World Boxing Championships begins in Delhi. The championship is being hosted by India for the first time since 2006.

India International Cherry Blossom Festival - The third edition of the India International Cherry Blossom Festival 2018 was held in Shillong. It was inaugurated by the Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma in the presence of Japanese Ambassador to India, Kenji Hiramatsu.

International Day for Tolerance - Every year on 16 November, the international community celebrates the International Day for Tolerance with activities that target both educational institutions and the general public.

BSE will snap ties with S&P Dow Jones - Asia’s oldest bourse BSE will snap ties with S&P Dow Jones, which manages and operates the benchmark Sensex, and plans to develop indices through its in-house development team. The two entities had announced a joint venture — Asia Index — in 2013 to provide an array of indices enabling global and domestic investors to participate in South Asia’s vibrant economies.

State Owned Banks Losses Widen - State-owned banks saw their cumulative losses widen nearly three-and-a-half times to Rs. 14,716.2 crore in the July-September quarter of the current fiscal due to mounting bad loans. These 21 public sector banks had posted a net loss of Rs. 4,284.45 crore in the September quarter of 2017-18.

Carlos Ghosn -Present Chairman of the Nissan Motor Company Carlos Ghosn has been arrested in Tokyo after a suspected breach of Japanese financial trading law.

Fence on Rail Tracks - After the incident in Amritsar last month Indian Railways has decided to build 3,000 km of walls to fence its tracks and ward off trespassers in residential areas, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal announced. The Railways has estimated that the project will cost about Rs 2,500 crore.