current affairs digest 13

Pakistan bans people to hold automatic weapons

  • Pakistan bars its people to hold automatic weapons. Pakistan has suspended licences for all automatic weapons as part of a commitment by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to ban deadly firearms in the country.
  • Those in posession of such firearms have to swap the current weapons with semi-automatic ones or surrender them for Rs 50,000 deadline for which is 15th Jan 2018.

Powerful earthquake along Iran-Iraq border kills more than 100

  • A 7.3 magnitude earthqueake its Iran-Iraq border. killing more than 140 in the mountainous region of Iran.
  • The earthquake was centered 31 kilometres outside the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja yesterday. It struck at a depth of 23.2 kilometers, a shallow depth that can have broader damage. Magnitude 7 earthquakes on their own are capable of widespread, heavy damage.

UGC debarres 123 deemed to be Universties to use University in their names

  • Around 123 Deemed to be Universities have been directed by UGC not to use University in their name. Instead, the institution may mention the word ‘deemed to be university’ within parenthesis.
  • UGC had issued this notification in the context of Supreme Court order dated 3rd Nov 2017.
  • Such institutions have also been told that “in those cases where the government’s notification is with the word ‘university’, the deemed to be university may submit a proposal with an alternative name (without using the word ‘university’) to the UGC/ministry of HRD so that necessary amendment can be made by MHRD.”
  • The Instituion have been asked to comply with these guidelines within 15 days failing which would invite necesaary action from UGC.

US says would like to have Taliban on negotiating table ASAP

  • A top US diplomat has said that the Trump administration wants to have the Taliban on the negotiating table as soon as possible to end the military conflict in war-torn Afghanistan.
  • Acting Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs and Acting Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Alice Wells told lawmakers that “a variety of diplomatic initiatives continue to work very closely but fundamentally, there is a need to get the parties to talk to one another directly and that involves changing the Taliban’s calculus.”
  • However bringing Taliban on engotiating table should be condition-based and the diplomat dont provide any time frame for this negotiations.

Vodafone, Idea to sell their standalone tower assets to ATC for $1.2 billion

  • Both have separately agreed to sell their standalone tower businesses to ATC Telecom Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd for about $1.2 billion.
  • It consists of pan-Indian passive telecommunication infrastructure businesses, comprising a combined portfolio of approximately 20,000 towers with a combined tenancy ratio of 1.65x as of 30 June 2017.
  • Vodafone India and Idea as customers, and ATC TIPL as a mobile network infrastructure provider should henceforth consider eachother as preferred partners and will together to expand high speed mobile network in India.

India, US, Japan, Australia hold 1st meet; to work for open Indo-Pacific zone

  • The meeting held at the sidelines of ASEAN summit in Manila.
  • The meeting called for a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.
  • The meeting was constructive and the top items at the dialogue included ways of maintaining the “rules based order” in the Indo-Pacific theatre, a review of the happenings in Indo-Pacific and North Korea.

NGT caps pilgrim per day limit at limit at Vaishno Devi Shrine

  • The maximum number of person allowed to visit the shrine is cappped at 50,000 per day, in order to avoid any untoward incident.
  • In case the number of pilgrims exceeds the prescribed 50,000 cap, they will be stopped at Ardhkuwari or Katra, considering that the Vaishno Devi Bhawan structure cannot accomodate more than 50,000 persons.
  • The green panel also said that a new path to the shrine exclusively for pedestrians and battery-operated cars will be opened from November 24.
  • The NGT directed that no horses or mules shall be allowed on the new route to the shrine and these animals shall be removed slowly from the old path as well.
  • It also directed the authorities to impose a fine (environment compensation) of Rs 2,000 on anyone found littering the roads as well as the bus stop at the nearby Katra town.

Audrey Azoulay appointed as new DG of UNSECO

  • She is former French Culture Minister Audrey Azoulay.
  • The new Director will set priorities for the organization’s World Heritage program that protects cultural sites and traditions.
  • UNESCO is passing through financial crisis after the United States withdrew its sizeable funding in 2011.
  • Recently USA had announced its withdrawl from UNESCO due to its alleged anti-Israel bias.

Pankaj Advani wins IBSF World Billiards Championships.

  • He defeated his arch-rival Mike Russell of England in the final at Doha by 6-2 (0-155, 150-128, 92-151, 151-0, 151-6, 151-0, 150-58, 150-21) to defend the 150-up format title he had won in Bengaluru last year.
  • He will be eyeing a ‘Grand Double’ in the lengthier format of the IBSF World Billiards Championship 2017

Urdu declared as second official language in Telengana

  • Telengana govt. declared urdu as the second official language of the state after a long-standing demand to make Urdu an official language in the newly created state.
  • Muslims make up about 13% of Telanganas’s population.
  • The Chief Ministe has said that from now onwards every office in Telangana will have an Urdu-speaking officer and all competitive examinations in the state will be conducted in Urdu.

Govt. releases the India Youth Development Index and Report 2017

  • The objective of constructing the India Youth Development Index (YDI) 2017 is to track the trends in Youth Development across the States
  • The Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development (RGNIYD), Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu has prepared the report.
  • The definition of Youth used in the report is similar to the one in National Youth Policy 2014 and World Youth Development Report of Commonwealth (15 – 29 years).
  • The first five dimensions of measuring the IYD Index is same as that of Global YDI except the social inclusion index used in IYD Index.
  • The report will help in tracking the national and the regional progress as well setbacks in youth development policies, planning, priority identification and implementation strategies.

Narendra Modi meets Donald Trump in the sidelines of ASEAN Summit

  • The bilateral talk held in Manila during which they discussed a range of key issues including defence and security.
  • They also discussed the security scenario in the much specualted Indo-Pacific region besides several other issues of mutual interests, including ways to further boost bilateral trade.

Supreme Court appoints amicus curiae to relieve JP Infratech Homebuyers.

  • SC appoints amicus curiae and orders setting up of a web portal which will register grievances of homebuyers of Jaypee Infratech
  • The Apex Court also asked non-institutional directors of Jaiprakash Associate Limited (JAL) to appear in person before it and furnish details of their personal assets on November 22.
  • The Court had earlier ordered Jaypee Infratech to deposit Rs 2,000 crore by October 27 to protect the interest of over 30,000 homebuyers.
  • These maesures were announced to ensure that homebuyers’ interests were protected without severely affecting the sanctity of the newly created insolvency law.

Morocco interested in replicating Aadhaar success for citizen-centric services

  • Morocco recently sent a high-level delegation led by its Interior Minister Noureddine Boutayeb to India in order to study implementation of the Aadhaar-linked services in India.
  • The delegation studied India’s own experience with Aadhaar, Crime, Criminal Tracking Network & System (CCTNS) and benefits like DBT, Gas Subsidy, Digitised Banking Systems,etc.
  • Morocco’s Govt is looking forward to implement programmes based on the socio-economic model of India .

Uber approves investment from Softbank

  • Uber Technologies Inc. approved SoftBank Group Corp.’s offer to buy a multibillion-dollar stake in the company, setting the stage for one of the largest private start-up deals ever.
  • Through this deal Soft bank andother firms would put in $1 billion in order to proceed with a tender offer in coming weeks to buy up to $9 billion in shares from existing investors.
  • The deal also includes changes in Uber’s governance.
  • Soft Bank is also a lead investor in Ola and Grab,which are Uber rival in South Asian Region.

Delhi to host Biggest Asean-India business summit in January 2018

  • This was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing the Asean Business and Investment Summit in Manila in the sidelines of ASEAN Summit.
  • The Summit will coincide with the Asean-India Commemorative Summit in January.
  • Asean-India Business and Investment meet and expo will be the biggest Asean focused event that India has ever organised.

India’s first ever ‘Air Dispensary to start soon in North-East.

  • The Air-dispensary will be based on Helicopter services to provide emergency services in remote and far-flung areas where no doctor or medical facility is available and the patient, in need, also did not have any access to any medical care.
  • The services will be available at 2 locations viz Imphal in Manipur and Meghalaya in Shillong.

SC to hear plea to curb rising pollution in Delhi-NCR

  • The plea seeks direction to the Centre and the states concerned to take measures on curbing road dust and stubble burning which is the prime reason behind the high level of air pollution and dense smog in Delhi-NCR region.
  • It also seeks effective implementation of the odd-even car rationing scheme.

25th APEC SUMMIT held in Vietnam

  • The Summit was held at Da Nang,Vietnam.
  • The theme of the summit was “Creating New Dynamism,Fostering a Shared Future”.
  • Vietnam was holding the summit for the 2nd time.
  • 26th Summit in 2018 will be organised at Papua New Guinea.
  • The summit laid emphasis on colloborative activity.
  • USA called for support to fair trade while China expressed support for further Globalisation which appears to be a contrasting views on economic integration.

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