Current Affairs Daily Digest – 20 November 2023


11 lakh children in India missed 1st Measles shot in 2022: WHO-USCDC ReportAccording to “Progress Toward Measles Elimination- Worldwide, 2000–2022”, a new report released by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States (US) Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 11 lakh children in India missed their Measles-containing-vaccine first-dose (MCV1) in 2022.

  • Globally, India is featured among the top 10 countries with highest number of children who missed their 1st dose.
  • In 2022, 37 countries that witnessed large or disruptive outbreaks where India reported around 40,967 measles.

Top 10 countries:
i.The 10 countries with the highest number of infants who did not receive MCV1 were Nigeria (30 lakh), Democratic Republic of the Congo (18 lakh), Ethiopia (17 lakh), India (11 lakh), Pakistan (11 lakh), Angola (8 lakh), Philippines (8 lakh), Indonesia (7 lakh), Brazil (5 lakh), and Madagascar (5 lakh).

  • 10 countries accounted for 55% of all children worldwide who did not receive MCV1.

About World Health Organization (WHO):
Director-General– Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland
Establishment– 1948

ISRO Launches Robotics Challenge For Aspirants Interested In Space Missions With Cash Prize Of Rs 5 Lakh
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched a robotic challenge program “ISRO Robotics Challenge-U R Rao Satellite Centre (URSC) 2024 (IRoC-U 2024)” with a tagline of “Let’s build a space robot” to build robots to compete in an extra-terrestrial-inspired arena.

  • The program will help the student community to design and realisate a ‘Wheeled/Legged Rover’ encompassing the development of complete hardware and software.
  • The registrations for the challenge will start on November 20 and will conclude on December 15, 2023.
  • The winning team will be awarded the cash prize of Rs 5 lakhs.
  • The solutions provided by the students will be incorporated into ISRO’s future interplanetary robotics missions.

India and Italy Sign Two Agreements to Boost Youth Mobility & Cultural ExchangeDr. S Jaishankar, India’s External Affairs Minister (EAM) has signed two agreements with the Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Antonio Tajani to boost youth mobility & cultural exchange during his two-day visit to Italy on 2nd-3rd November 2023.
Signed Agreements: 
i.The Mobility and Migration Partnership Agreement to enable seamless movement of workers, students and professionals.
ii.The Executive Programme on Cultural Cooperation(EPCC) agreement for the period 2023-27.

  • Through EPCC, Italy and India will undergo multiple cultural exchange programs including exchange of students in language programmes and other academic courses.
  • The last EPCC was signed between two countries for the period of three years 2017-2020.

Key Highlights of EAM visit to Italy:
i.He addressed the Joint Committees of External and Defence Affairs, and EU Affairs in the Italian Senate about deepening partnership.
ii.He held a discussion with the Italian Defence Minister Guido about deepening strategic cooperation including industrial collaboration in defence manufacturing and areas of counter-terrorism, cyber security and the maritime domain.
iii.He appreciated Italy for joining the key India-led global initiatives such as the International Solar Alliance(ISA), Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure(CDRI), Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI), Global Bio-Fuels Alliance and India Middle East Europe Economic Corridor (IMEEC).
About Italy:
President – Sergio Mattarella
Capital – Rome
Currency – Euro

RBI Approves Appointment of Isha Ambani, Anshuman Thakur & Hitesh Sethia as Directors of Jio Financial ServicesOn 15th November 2023, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has granted approval for the appointment of Isha Ambani, Anshuman Thakur, and Hitesh Kumar Sethia as Directors of Jio Financial Services Limited, a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) backed by Reliance Industries Limited(RIL).

  • The approval is valid for only 6 months with effect from the 15th November 2023.

Recent RBI Updates: 
i.RBI Strengthens Regulations on Consumer Lending, Mandates Higher Capital Buffers for Banks and NBFCs.
ii.RBI Allows Banks to Open Current Accounts for Export Proceeds Alongside Special Rupee Vostro Accounts.
iii.RBI Imposes Penalties on Axis Bank, Manappuram Finance, and Anand Rathi Global Finance for Regulatory Violations.
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Governor– Shaktikanta Das
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra,
Establishment – 1 April 1935 by the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934

T-Hub unveils T-Bridge and T-Scale on Its 8th Foundation Day
As a part of its 8th Foundation Day (16th November 2023), Telangana government led incubator, Technology Hub (T-Hub) unveiled two flagship initiatives: T-Bridge and T-Scale, aimed at further propelling the growth and success of Indian startups.

  • T-Bridge: It is the International Wing of T-Hub, designed to facilitate global market access for startups and enable them to expand their reach beyond India’s borders.
  • T-Scale: It is a collaborative program with Factoryal Business Incubator Private Limited that will guide 25 promising startups through a 12-month journey to Series-A funding readiness.

T-Hub, which was incorporated in 2015, is a premier innovation hub and ecosystem enabler which is headquartered in Hyderabad, Telangana.

Deepti Babuta becomes the First Woman to Bag Dhahan Prize for Punjabi Literature
Punjabi-author Deepti Babuta won the Dhahan Prize for Punjabi Literature 2023 for her Short stories collection titled “Bhukh Eon Sah Laindi Hai (‘Hunger Breathes Like This’). She become the first woman to win The Dhahan Prize.

  • The award carries a cash prize of CAD 25,000.
  • The awards were presented during the 10th annual Dhahan Prize for Punjabi Literature ceremonies, held on 16th November 2023, at Northview Golf and Country Club in Surrey, Canada.
  • The other 2 finalists   Jameel Ahmad Paul and Balijit were awarded CAD 10,000.

The Dhahan Prize is the largest international literary award for fiction books in the Punjabi language. It was conceptualised in 2013 by the Canada-India Education Society (CIES) and the University of British Columbia (UBC).
Note: Deepti Babuta has also received the Dalbir Chetan Yadghari award for the same book.

Ashok Vaswani Appointed as Director and MD & CEO and Key Managerial Personnel of KMBL for 3 YearsKotak Mahindra Bank Limited (KMBL) has appointed Ashok Vaswani as a Director, Managing Director (MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and Key Managerial Personnel of the Bank, for 3 years, with effect from January 1, 2024.
The appointment received approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in October 2023.

  • He will succeed Dipak Gupta, whose term as the MD & CEO, and Key Managerial Personnel of KMBL ends on December 31, 2023.

Points to note:

  • Dipak Gupta took over as the interim CEO of KMBL for 2 months from September 2023 till December 2023, after founder-CEO Uday Kotak stepped down in September 2023.
  • Uday Kotak, who is the Founder and Director of Kotak Mahindra Bank served as the MD and CEO of the bank since its inception in 2003.

About Ashok Vaswani:
i.He has more than 3 decades of experience in the banking sector.
ii.In June 2022 he was appointed as the President of Pagaya Technologies Ltd, a United States of America (US)-Israeli Artificial Intelligence (AI) Fintech.
iii.Prior to joining Pagaya, he served as the CEO of Barclays Bank, United Kingdom (UK), and subsequently CEO of their global consumer, private, corporate, and payments businesses, and a member of the Group Executive Committee.
iv.He has also served as the CEO of Citigroup Asia Pacific and a Member of the Citigroup Global Operating & Management Committees.
v.He has been on the board of several prestigious institutions including, London Stock Exchange Group; SP Jain Institute of Global Management, UK; and VISA Asia Pacific and VISA, UK.
About Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited (KMBL):
MD and CEO– Dipak Gupta (Interim)
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Founded in– 2003
Tagline– Let’s Make Money Simple

RBI Approves Hinduja Group Entity Acquisition of Reliance Capital
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved the resolution plan for debt-ridden Reliance Capital, and enabled Hinduja Group entity IndusInd International Holdings Ltd (IIHL) to acquire Reliance Capital.

  • The Administrator of Reliance Capital received a “No objection” from the RBI on November 17, 2023.
  • IIHL emerged as the highest bidder in the second round of the auction, offering Rs 9,650 crore to take over Reliance Capital.

i.In 2021, RBI initiated bankruptcy proceedings against Reliance Capital under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).
ii.In February 2022, Nageswara Rao Y was appointed as the administrator in relation to the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP).
Note: Reliance Capital is the third non-banking financial company (NBFC) against which the RBI initiated bankruptcy proceedings.

Renowned Art historian and Padma Awardee B. N. Goswamy Passed AwayThe renowned art historian and Padma Awardee Brijinder Nath Goswamy passed away in Chandigarh at the age of  90. He was born on 15th August 1933 in Sargodha(now in Punjab province of Pakistan).
About B. N. Goswamy :
i.He joined the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) in 1956 but resigned from his post in 1958 to pursue a Ph.D. in art and art history at Punjab University, Chandigarh.
ii.He was the Professor Emeritus of Art History at Punjab University, Chandigarh.
iii.He served as a member of the Indian Council of Historical Research’s Governing Committee and interim chairman of the Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi.
Awards and Recognitions:
i.He was the recipient of the Padma Shri Award (1998) and the Padma Bhushan Award (2008) in the field of literature and Education.
ii.He was also awarded with Punjab Gaurav Samman (2018) for his contribution to the arts.
iii.He has been recognised with prestigious fellowships, including the Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship (1969), the John D. Rockefeller Fellowship, the Rietberg Award for Outstanding Research in Art History, the Mellon Senior Fellowship, and the Tagore National Fellowship.
i.He has written more than 26 books on the subjects of Pahari paintingsminiature paintings, court painters, and masters of Indian paintings.
ii.Pahari paintings means a painting from the ‘hilly’ regions, (pahar means hill), it is from the lower Himalayan hill kingdoms and the plains of Punjab, covering kingdoms include Nurpur, Kangra, and Guler, etc.
iii.His notable works include Nainsukh of Guler: A Great Indian Painter from a Small Hill-State, Essence of Indian Art, The Spirit of Indian Painting: Close Encounters with 100 Great Works 1100-1900, and The Indian Cat: Stories, Paintings, Poetry, and Proverbs.
iv.He explains familial artistic styles in the book, ‘Pahari Painting: The family as the basis of style’.

Booker Prize-winning British Author Dame AS Byatt Passed AwayBooker Prize-winning British Author, Critic, and Poet Dame Antonia Susan Byatt, known most commonly as AS Byatt passed away at the age of 87 in London, the United Kingdom (UK). She was born on August 24, 1936, in Yorkshire, England, UK.
About AS Byatt:
i.Her first novel, Shadow of a Sun, was published in 1964 and was followed by The Game in 1967.
ii.The award-winning sequel of the quartet, Still Life (1985), earned the prestigious PEN/Macmillan Silver Pen Award in 1986, followed by Babel Tower (1996), and the 4th (and final) novel in the quartet is A Whistling Woman (2002).
Other Responsibilities:
i.She served as Chairman of the Society of Authors between 1986 and 1988.
ii.She was a member of the Literature Advisory Panel for the British Council between 1990 and 1998.
iii.She has served on the judging panels for several literary prizes, including the Booker Prize for Fiction.
Her collections of short stories and fiction include:
Sugar and Other Stories (1987); Possession: A Romance (1990); The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye (1994); Elementals: Stories of Fire and Ice (1998); and Little Black Book of Stories (2003); The Children’s Book (2009); Peacock & Vine: On William Morris and Mariano Fortuny (2016); Medusa’s Ankles: Selected Stories (2021).
Awards and Honours:
i.Her most successful book, Possession: A Romance (1990), won the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1990 and the Irish Times International Fiction Prize.
ii.She was honoured as the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1990 and the Damehood of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 1999.
iii.In 2002, she was awarded the Shakespeare Prize by the Alfred Toepfer Foundation, Hamburg (Germany), in recognition of her contribution to British culture.
iv.Her book, The Children’s Book (2009), was shortlisted for the 2009 Man Booker Prize for Fiction and won the 2010 James Tait Black Memorial Prize (for fiction).

Himachal CM Sukhu Releases Book titled “Snakes of Himachal Pradesh”
Chief Minister (CM)of Himachal Pradesh (HP) Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu released a book titled “Snakes of Himachal Pradesh” which provides comprehensive information about the diverse snake species(venomous and non-venomous) found in the state of HP.

  • The book was compiled and edited by Omesh Kumar Bharti and DD Bisht, the principals of the State Institute of Health and Family Welfare, Shimla, HP.
  • The book was published with funding from the National Health Mission (NHM) in Himachal Pradesh.
  • The book contains photographs of snakes, which were documented and identified by the team of researchers led by Anita Malhotra, a molecular biologist from Bangor University, United Kingdom(UK).

Note: Omesh Kumar Bharti received Padma Shri (the fourth highest civilian award) in 2019 in the field of Medicine.

National Naturopathy Day 2023- November 18National Naturopathy Day is annually observed across India on 18 November, to promote positive mental and physical health through a drugless medicine system called Naturopathy.

  • 18 November 2023 marks the observance of the 6th National Naturopathy Day.
  • The annual observance of the day is led by the Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy), Government of India.

The 2023 theme of National Naturopathy Day is, “Naturopathy for Holistic Health.”
i.The Ministry of AYUSH declared the 18 November of every year as National Naturopathy Day in 2018.
ii.The first-ever National Naturopathy Day was observed on November 18, 2018.
About Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH):
Union Minister– Sarbananda Sonowal (Rajya Sabha- Assam)
Minister of State– Dr. Munjpara Mahendrabhai Kalubhai (Constituency- Surendranagar, Gujarat)

World AMR Awareness Week 2023 – November 18 to 24World AMR (Antimicrobial Resistance) Awareness Week (WAAW), previously known as “World Antimicrobial Awareness Week(WAAW), is an annual global campaign celebrated across the globe from November 18 to 24 to raise awareness and understanding of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).

  • The day also promotes best practices among One Health stakeholders to reduce the emergence and spread of drug-resistant infections.

The theme for WAAW 2023 observed from 18th to 24th November 2022  is “Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance Together”.
Note: In June 2023, the Quadripartite organizations: FAO, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), WHO, and the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH), announced the rebranding of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week as World AMR Awareness Week.
About World Health Organisation (WHO):
Director General – Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland
Established in 1948

Ladakh achieves 4th GI Tag with its SeabuckthornThe Seabuckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.), a thorny shrub or small tree in the Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh received the Geographical Indication (GI) tag under “Agriculture” goods category. This becomes the 4th GI product of Ladakh.

  • The GI tag was granted by the GI Registry, operating under the Department for Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce & Industry (MoCI).
  • With this, the Department of Industries & Commerce, Leh, UT Ladakh  is the registered proprietor of the G.l. “Ladakh Seabuckthorn” in respect of Seabuckthorn falling in Class – 31.

Note:  The other 3 are Pashmina Wool of Ladakh(Textiles); Ladakh Raktsey Karpo Apricot(Agriculture) and Ladakh Shingskos (Wood Carving)(Handi Crafts).
About Seabuckthorn:
i.Sea buckthorn, a actinorhizal plant of the family Elaegnaceae has the unique characteristics to grow in marginally fertile soil of cold desert.

  • It is also known as Sandthorn, Sea berry, Golden Bush, and Leh berry.

ii.It is naturally distributed over 11,500 hectares in Ladakh region.
iii.The withstand extreme temperature from -43°C to +40°C and is considered drought resistant.
iv.It produces small orange or yellow colored berries which is rich in vitamins especially vitamin C.

  • It is used to make juice, tea and traditional medicines, among others.
  • It is an ecologically and economically trans-Himalayan Ladakh plant with immense health and medicinal benefits.

Seabuckthorn is the chosen product of Leh district under One District One Product (ODOP) Scheme.

Bihar Governor Approves Bill Raising Quota for Backward Classes to 65% from 50%On November 17, 2023, the Governor of Bihar, Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar, approved the Bihar reservation amendment bill 2023, passed recently by the Bihar Legislative Assembly and Council during the winter session.

  • This will result in 65% reservation to Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), Economically Backward Classes (EBC) and Other Backward Classes (OBC) for the current 50%.
  • Combined with the existing 10% for EWS (Economically Weaker Sections), the reservation quota will rise to 75%.

Key Points:
i.According to the bill, quota for Extremely Backward Class (EBC) will be raised from 18% to 25%; for Backward Class (BC) from 12% to 18%; for SC from 16% to 20%; and for ST, the quota will be doubled, from 1% to 2%.

  • The 3% reservation for BC women has been scrapped.

ii.The bill was passed unanimously on November 9, 2023.

error: Content is protected !!
Scroll to Top