1.    Sachin Tendulkar is Time magazine’s ‘Person of the Moment’

i. Accolades continued to pour in for the retiring Sachin Tendulkar with the ‘Time’ magazine naming the legendary Indian batsman its “Person of the Moment” while as he plays his last Test in Mumbai.

ii. The world’s greatest cricketer plays his last match...much to the disappointment of throngs of adoring fans,” The magazine said of the 40-year-old, who will bid adieu to cricket after playing his 200th test currently being played against the West Indies in Mumbai.

iii. “India’s top cricket player, Sachin Tendulkar, is regarded one of the greatest batsman of all time. The only player to score 100 international centuries, Tendulkar leaves the sport as the greatest player of his generation,” ‘Time’ said.

iv. Tendulkar’s stellar 24-year cricketing career boasts of innumerable records and milestones which would be hard to surpass.

v. He has been showered with adulation not only in India but across the world with leading US dailies paying rich tributes to the master blaster for his “supreme batsmanship” and “unwavering modesty”.

Maldives President Waheed steps down

i. Maldives President Mohamed Waheed on Friday stepped down as President as the country prepared to hold the second round of the Presidential election.

ii. In a farewell speech, Mr. Waheed said one of the priorities during his tenure was to enhance the area of foreign relations, adding that the long standing non-aligned, independent foreign policy with an Islamic character was changed by the then (Nasheed) government, Xinhua reported.

iii. The country was under a position where it could be forced, by changing the Constitution, to do things that its legal framework didn’t allow. The government and senior leadership were being asked to resign within few hours, to flout the orders of court, and to stand against those orders,” the outgoing President said.

iv. However, he said the government refused to bow down to foreign pressure, but instead upheld the legal framework and the orders of the constitutional institutions of the country.

v. The second round of the Presidential election will take place on Saturday with the Maldives Democratic Party candidate and former President Mohamed Nasheed being the frontrunner.

Google, KKR to invest $400 m on solar projects

i. Internet giant Google and investment firm KKR will invest $400 million in six solar plants in California and Arizona, the companies announced on Thursday.

ii. The plants are currently being developed and are expected to be operational by January 2014. They will be managed by Recurrent Energy, a California solar developer.

iii. The companies plan to sell the electricity to municipal users and local utilities, including Southern California Edison. Five of the plants are in southern California and the sixth is in Arizona.

iv. A Google spokeswoman said the total investment in the projects is $400 million, but the exact breakdown between the companies was not disclosed.

v. The three firms in December 2011 announced a separate plan to build four solar plants near Sacramento, California.

Siddhartha Birla to be next FICCI President

i. Siddhartha Birla, founder and Chairman of Xpro India Ltd, and Chairman Digjam Ltd, will be the next President of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

ii. Birla will head the chamber in 2014.

iii. An alumnus of Harvard Business School, he is a trustee on some family-owned educational and philanthropic bodies, and a member of the Board of Governors of the Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS), Pilani.

Note: Presently Ms. Naina Lal Kidwai is the President of FICCI.

RINL setting up 120-MW plant on waste gas from blast furnace

i. The Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (Visakhapatnam steel plant) is taking all steps to enhance its captive power capacity and is also using waste gas heat to generate power, according to sources.

ii. The steel plant is currently having five turbo generators, three each of 60 MW capacity and two each of 67.5 MW capacity, taking the total captive power generation capacity to 315 MW.

iii. Almost 45 to 50 per cent of the fuel requirement for the above installed capacity is met through by-product waste fuels such as coke oven gas and blast furnace gas.

iv. Additionally, the RINL is establishing a 120 MW power plant, which would be operational exclusively on waste blast furnace gas. This plant is nearing completion and is scheduled to become operational by the end of the current financial year.

v. Apart from the above, around 35 to 40 MWs of power is being generated through recovery of waste heat and waste pressure, installed at the main production units such as coke ovens and blast furnaces.

Lenovo launches Yoga Tablet

i. Aiming at a higher market share, leading personal computer maker Lenovo on Friday announced the launch of its new Yoga Tablet priced between Rs 22,999 to Rs 28,999.

ii. Yoga Tablet has been ergonomically designed to aid a longer and comfortable Tablet viewing experience. It is priced at Rs 22,999 and Rs 28,999, for the 20.3 cm and 25.4 cm models, respectively, the company officials said.

iii. “.....according to IDC report— in the tablet space we assumed 3 per cent market share in the last quarter and we have moved to 14.3 per cent, a very strong number two position just in a span of 2—3 months,” Lenovo India Director (Consumer Business) Shailendra Katyal told reporters on the sidelines of launch event.

India is No. 2 in seeking user info from Google

i. India ranks second in the list of countries that approached Google with requests, seeking information on users.

ii. While the US topped the list with 10,918 requests, India followed with 2,691 during the January-June period this year.

iii. The Government requests for user information have doubled over three years. It began sharing the information publicly three years ago.

iv. It, however, said that the numbers included the requests that it was allowed to publish, indicating that the number could still be bigger. The firm has updated the report for the eighth time.

v. The other top rankers in the list includes Germany with 2,311 requests, France (2,011), the UK (1,274), Brazil (1,239) and Italy (901), Richard Salgado, Legal Director (Law Enforcement and Information Security) of the firm, said.

Max Bupa, Deutsche Bank enter into bancassurance tie-up

i. Max Bupa Health Insurance has entered into a bancassurance tie-up with Deutsche Bank.

ii. With this alliance, Max Bupa will offer its comprehensive health insurance plans to Deutsche Bank customers.

iii. This tie-up follows the insurance regulator IRDA’s guidelines allowing banks to act as corporate agents of one standalone health insurance company in addition to their existing one life and one non-life insurance companies.

iv. “With this partnership, we aim to provide an umbrella of innovative solutions to our customers’ health insurance needs,” said Prashant Joshi, Retail Banking India, Deutsche Bank.

v. Manasije Mishra, CEO, Max Bupa, said the alliance is an important milestone as bancassurance is an important part of the company's growth strategy.

SBI to raise Rs 5,000 cr via tier II bonds

i. The country’s largest bank State Bank of India plans to raise tier-II capital in the range of about Rs 5,000 crore before March.

ii. It should be in the range of about Rs 5,000 crore. There is no time frame but definitely before March,” said SBI chief, Arundhati Bhattacharya. She was speaking at the annual Bancon summit here.

iii. Besides, the Government has also promised to infuse Rs 2,000 crore through a preferential allotment of shares.

iv. Bhattacharya, who took over as the head of the state-run lender in October, said the bank will lend to all the sectors where it sees viability but added that it will focus more on growing the retail book.

Google wins book scanning case

i. A federal judge rejected a lawsuit on Thursday by authors aimed at stopping Google’s book scanning project, ruling that Google’s plan to scan and digitise 20 million books constitutes fair use under US copyright laws.

ii. The long-running dispute centred on Google’s Library Project in which the search giant reached agreements with several large libraries to scan their collections to provide information about the books and online excerpts.

iii. Author and publisher groups argued that the practice was a violation of copyright, but Google reached a settlement with the publishers last year.

iv. Not only does the Google project provide “a new and efficient way for readers and researchers to find books,” he added, but it “has become an essential research tool, as it helps librarians identify and find research sources, it makes the process of interlibrary lending more efficient, and it facilitates finding and checking citations.”

Reliance Life backs Sachin’s big fan Sudhir Chaudhary

i. Reliance Life Insurance Company has signed up to support Sudhir Kumar Chaudhary, one of the greatest fans of master blaster Sachin Tendulkar.

ii. As part of its corporate social responsibility, Reliance Life will offer financial aid to Sudhir to help him continue his passion of loving the sport.

New campaign

i. This private life insurer has also launched a new campaign with Sudhir with a view to supporting this big fan.

ii. The campaign is also aimed to give out a larger message that retirement is definitive and needs to be properly planned, Anup Rau, Chief Executive Officer, Reliance Life Insurance, said.

iii. Sudhir, who hails from Muzaffarpur in Bihar, continues his passion for the game on public support without any permanent job.

iv. He sometimes pedals his way to cricket playing venues, as he did to Bangladesh to witness a cricket match in 2007.

v. He has also cycled to Lahore, Pakistan, in 2006 to watch a match. Sudhir often stays with friends and makes ends meet only to get to the next match.

India’s 1st ever mountain biking race on Nov 17

i. Cycling enthusiasts of the country will get to witness their own version of ‘Tour the Himalayas’ with India’s first-ever mountain biking race all set to be held here on November 17.

ii. Being organised jointly by the Mountain Track Biking Association (MTBA) of Uttarakhand, Cycling Federation of India (CFI) and Artsmith Concepts and Visions with support from the state government and the Indian Army, the event will have races in three categories for the elite riders (20kms), the amateurs (15kms) and the teens (10kms), MTBA, Uttarakhand president Rahul Jain told reporters here today.

iii. Over 100 top riders of the country have agreed to participate in the event to be held on a scenic track in the Himalayan foothills, Jain said.

iv. The tournament offers a total prize purse of Rs 2.5 lakh (in the professional category) with the top 10 cyclists getting a share of the prize money, he said.

India, UK have ‘resilient’ trade ties

i. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and British Prime Minister David Cameron, on Thursday, expressed satisfaction that trade ties between the two countries had been resilient despite the continuing global economic slowdown and difficulties in the Euro Zone.

ii. The two Prime Ministers discussed the Bangalore-Mumbai Economic Corridor (BMEC) and were happy at the progress that had been made, sources said.

iii.  The terms of reference for the feasibility study of BMEC have been finalised as also the request for proposals. The importance of the India-EU Broad Based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) also came up in the discussions, sources indicated.

iv. Cameron also met West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and discussed infrastructure and business opportunities for British firms. A group of businessmen are said to have accompanied the British Prime Minister at this meeting.

Shiraz Naval Minwalla won New Horizons in Physics Prize 2014

i. Shiraz Naval Minwalla, Professor of Physics in TIFR, Mumbai selected for the 2014 New Horizons in Physics Prize on 5 November 2013.

ii. He was awarded "for his pioneering contributions to the study of string theory and quantum field theory; and in particular his work on the connection between the equations of fluid dynamics and Albert Einstein’s equations of general relativity".

iii. The New Horizons for Physics Prize awarded to promising junior researchers by Fundamental Physics Prize Foundation. The award carries prize money of 100000 US Dollars.

About Fundamental Physics Prize Foundation The Fundamental Physics Prize Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation established by the Milner Foundation, Russia in 2012 and dedicated to advancing our knowledge of the Universe at the deepest level by awarding annual prizes for scientific breakthroughs, as well as communicating the excitement of fundamental physics to the public.

Mushirul Hasan was conferred with Nehru Fellowship

i. Professor Mushirul Hasan, the former Vice-Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia on 14 November 2013 was conferred with the Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship by the Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund.

ii. The title of the Hasan’s fellowship project is Roads to Freedom – Prison, Prisoners and the Raj.

iii. The project of professor Hasan will see how the jails were used during the time of Raj to bring down the body and soul of those resting or revolting against the British.

About Professor Mushirul Hasan
• He is an internationally known historian and has written extensively on the partition. 
• He did his MA from Aligarh Muslim University and the PhD from Cambridge in 1977. 
• He was awarded Padma Shri and the Ordre des Palmes Academiques by the French Government in 2010. 
• He was also the Director-General of the National Archives from May 2010 to May 2013.

Veteran Journalist R.K. Mukker Passed Away at 88

i. Veteran journalist R.K. Mukker passed away on 13 November 2013 after prolonged illness. He was 88 years old.

ii. He is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter. He died at Sahibabad in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad district. 

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