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Daily Current Affairs for 11th to 13th Nov, 2017 ( English )

1.       Project Saksham - country’s largest time-bound “upskilling” exercise was launched by the Indian Railways for its employees to boost their efficiency. It will start in January 2018 and go on till September 2018.It aims to upgrade the skillsets of 13 lakh-strong workforce of Indian Railways with a single drive spanning nine months. The nature of short-duration training will range from refresher courses, with eye on evolved global practices in respective areas, to skills in existing lining of functioning. Employees from rank of a peon to higher echelons of Railway Board Members will undergo the training.
2.       International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Banos in Philippines named after PM Modi was inaugurated by him during his three-day visit to attend ASEAN-India and East Asia summits. IRRI is one of 15 agricultural research centres in world that form CGIAR Consortium of International Agricultural Research centres, a global partnership of organizations engaged in research on food security. It is also the largest non-profit agricultural research centres in Asia. India is setting up regional centre of IRRI in Varanasi to develop high-yielding rice varieties to increase farmers’ income by enhancing and supporting rice productivity, reducing cost of production, value addition, diversification and enhancement of farmers’ skills.
3.       Child Rights Week (Hausla 2017) will be celebrated by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development from 16th to 20th November, 2017. Under this festival, children will participate in various events like Bal Sansad, athletics meet, painting competition, football, chess competition and speech writing.
4.       Former French Culture Minister Audrey Azoulay (45) was appointed as Director General of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) by replacing outgoing DG Irina Bokova. She is second woman to occupy this position and also first Jewish Director of UNESCO. She is the 11th Director-General of UNESCO. She is the daughter of Andre Azoulay, an adviser to king Mohammed VI of Morocco. She was France’s Minister of Culture from February 2016 to May 2017. 
5.       The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit was held in Da Nang, Vietnam. This was second time Vietnam hosted APEC summit, having hosted the event previously in 2006. Leaders of 21 Pacific Rim countries(Australia, Brunei, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, United States, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Chile, Peru, Russian and Vietnam attended this meeting. The theme of summit was ‘Creating New Dynamism, Fostering a Shared Future’. Next year’s APEC summit will be held in Papua New Guinea. India is observer of APEC since 2011 and has applied for membership. The summit laid emphasis on collaborative activity, such as provision of support for small businesses, promoting sustainable growth and deepening economic integration.
6.       Pankaj Advani by defeating  Mike Russell of England to won 2017 IBSF World Billiards Championship held at Doha.It was Pankaj Advani’s overall 17th world title. He is winner of maximum number of world titles in any sport by an Indian. He is only player in the world to win world titles in all formats of both, Billiards and Snooker. He is the first cueist in the world to win the Grand double three times in 2005 and 2008 respectively.
7.       Haryana became India’s first state to treat Hepatitis-C patients of all categories through oral medicine. There are 5 types of hepatitis viz. A, B, C, D and E. Each type is caused by a different hepatitis virus. This is for first time, state government has included oral medicine in government hospitals. The medicine and treatment costs about Rs 28,000 to Rs 30,000 in market, but state government will provide it free. This oral medicine will be provided free of cost for permanent residents of all categories at the district level.
8.       Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao in the state Assembly had announced and declared  that Urdu will be the  second official language in Telangana according to the article 345 of the constitution of India State government will appoint Urdu officers in all offices over next 60 days to receive petitions from public and reply them in Urdu. Apart from this, all competitive examinations in the state will also be conducted in Urdu. Every office in the state will now have an Urdu speaking officer.
9.       Nov 12 – World Pneumonia Day was observed globally every year to highlight the severity of pneumonia and bring together the people from all over the world to promote the prevention and treatment of the disease. Pneumonia is a form of acute respiratory infection that affects the lungs. It is caused by inflammation of the airspaces in the lungs. t is caused by number of infectious agents, including viruses, bacteria and fungi. The most common are Streptococcus pneumoniae (most common cause of bacterial pneumonia in children).
10.   The Union Cabinet approved continuation and restructuring of National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP). Its focus will be on piped water supply, increase level of service delivery, thrust on coverage of water quality affected habitations, coverage of Open Defecation Free (ODF) declared villages, Integrated Action Plan (IAP) districts, Border Out Posts (BOP) with piped water supply and Institutional set up for proper O&M of water supply assets etc. NRDWP will be continued co-terminus with 14th Finance Commission cycle till March 2020..
11.   1.5 MW Small Hydro Power (SHP) Plant in Biaras Drass, Kargil area of Jammu & Kashmir is the first project under Prime Minister’s Ladakh Renewable Energy Initiative was commissioned by the Union New and Renewable Energy Ministry.Prime Minister’s Ladakh Renewable Energy Initiative aims to minimize dependence on diesel in Ladakh region to meet power requirement by diverting to local renewable sources. The Biaras SHP project was developed by Kargil Renewable Energy Development Agency (KREDA) under Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC). It will power Drass town in Kargil, which is one of coldest places in India.
12.   The Second Meeting of Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) chaired by Dr. Bibek Debroy, Member NITI Aayog has spelt out ‘clear road map’ for government to ramp up job creation and infrastructure financing avenues while investing more resources in health, education and skill development. It identified key issues, strategies and recommended interventions in respect of these themes.
13.    The creation of National Testing Agency (NTA) as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organization was approved by the Union Cabinet to conduct entrance examinations for higher educational institutions. It will be society registered under Indian Societies Registration Act, 1860. NTA will be chaired by an eminent educationist appointed by Ministry of Human Resource Development. The CEO will be Director General (DG) appointed by Government. Besides, there will be Board of Governors comprising members from user institutions. The DG will be assisted by 9 verticals headed by academicians and  experts. The NTA will initially conduct entrance examinations currently being conducted by CBSE. Other examinations will be taken up gradually after NTA is ful y geared up. These examinations will be conducted in online mode at least twice a year to give adequate opportunity to candidates to bring out their best. In order to serve requirements of the rural students, it will locate centres at sub-district and district level and as far as possible.
14.   Joint Interpretative Declaration (JID) signed between India and Colombia in Nov 2009  regarding existing Agreement for Promotion and Protection of Investments was approved by the Union Cabinet. The JID will help to impart clarity on interpretation of existing Agreement as it includes interpretative notes to be jointly adopted for many clauses. It includes definition of investor, investment, Fair and Equitable Treatment (FET), Most Favoured Nation (MFN) treatment, National Treatment (NT), expropriation, Investor-State Dispute Settlement provision and Denial of Benefits.
15.    The appointment of Second National Judicial Pay Commission (SNJPC) for subordinate judiciary in country was approved by the union cabinet The Commission will make its recommendations to State Governments preferably within period of 18 months. The recommendations will help in promoting efficiency in Judicial Administration, optimizing size of judiciary etc. and to remove anomalies created in implementation of earlier recommendations. It will be headed by Justice (Retd) J P.Venkatrama Reddi, former Judge of Supreme Court.  R Basant, former Judge of Kerala High Court will be its members.
16.   The Union Cabinet approved signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Philippines in field of agriculture and related fields. It provides for constitution of Joint Working Group  (JWG) composed of equal number of representatives. The JWG will meet once every two years alternatively in Philippines and India.
17.   Debjani Ghosh  will become the first woman President of NASSCOM(The National Association of Software and Services Companies) in 2018 after R Chandrashekhar  whose tenure ends in March 2018. NASSCOM is global non-profit trade association (organisation) of Indian Information Technology (IT) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry. She is former Managing Director of Intel South Asia. She is also member of NASSCOM’s Executive Council and a trustee of NASSCOM Foundation.

18.The Union Cabinet approved protocol amending Agreement between India and Kyrgyz for avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income. It aims to update Article 26 (Exchange of Information) of DTAA to international standards.

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