Top News of November 2016

Yudhvir Singh Malik in the third week of November 2016 was appointed the new Chairman of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on 21 November 2016 announced Pankaj R. Patel as its newly elected President for 2017.

Meng Hongwei, a top-level Chinese Security Minister was elected as the president of the International Crime fighting and police cooperation organization (Interpol). Meng will serve as President until 2020.

Guy Ryder on 7 November 2016 was re-elected as the Director-General (DG) of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) for another five-year term. He will assume the post the on 1 October 2017.

Reserve Bank of India on 7 November 2016 appointed M Rajeshwar Rao as the Executive Director.

Sanjiv Arora, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer, was on 31 October 2016 appointed as the Ambassador of India to the Republic of Lebanon by Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

Kristalina Georgieva was on 2 November 2016 appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank Group with effect from January 2017.

Indian Revenue Service Officer Sushil Chandra on 1 November 2016 took over as the Chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).

Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan was awarded the prestigious Mother Teresa International Award by the Mumbai-based NGO Harmony Foundation.

Action movie star, writer, director and martial artist Jackie Chan on 12 November 2016 was awarded the honorary Academy (Oscar) Award for his extraordinary achievements in the movies. With this, Chan became the first Chinese actor in history to receive the prestigious honour.

Indian actor Rekha will be honoured by the upcoming Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Paul Beatty on 25 October 2016 became the first US author to win the Man Booker Prize. He won the award for his racial satire, 'The Sellout' at a ceremony in London's Guildhall.

Bollywood actor Manoj Bajpayee on 24 November  2016 won the Best Actor Award at the 10th Asia Pacific Screen Awards, beating Nawazuddin Siddiqui who was awarded a special mention in the same category. Manoj won the Best Performance award for his role as Professor Siras in "Aligarh", a powerful and personal drama based on true events. While, Nawazuddin received a Special Mention in the Best Performance category for his role in Anurag Kashyap's "Raman Raghav 2.0".The winners in the 10th Asia Pacific Screen Awards were announced at an award ceremony in Brisbane.

Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Princess of Thailand, on 21 November 2016 was conferred with the first World Sanskrit Award. She was honoured for her exemplary contribution for the promotion of Sanskrit language for the year 2015.

Donald Trump, the President-elect of the United States of America (USA), on 23 November 2016 named South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley as the US Ambassador to the United Nations.

The Union Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, on 21 November 2016 announced that Antonio Costa, the Prime Minister of Portugal, accepted the proposal be the Chief Guest at the 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. Michael Ashwin Satyandre Adhin, Vice President of the Republic of Suriname will be the Special Guest at the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is scheduled to be held from 7 January to 9 January 2017 at Bengaluru in Karnataka. The Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas will be held on 7 January 2017.

The Union Tourism Ministry is all set to name Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the mascot of its ‘Incredible India’ campaign.

Ministry of Railways on 2 November 2016 appointed Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, the founder of Sulabh International, as a Brand Ambassador for Swachh Rail Mission. Minister of Railway Suresh Prabhu felicitated Pathak at a function in New Delhi. As part of the mission, Sulabh International has been assigned the task to clean some important railway stations across the country.

The Union Government on 1 October 2016 gave a year extension to Arundhati Bhattacharya as the Chairman of State Bank of India (SBI).

Fidel Castro, the revolutionary leader of Cuba, died on 25 November 2016.

Noted journalist and former Editor-in-Chief of the ‘Times of India’, Dilip Padgaonkar passed away on 25 November 2016.

Ram Naresh Yadav, former Governor of Madhya Pradesh, passed away on 22 November 2016 .

M. Balamuralikrishna, an Indian Carnatic vocalist, died on 22 November 2016 in Chennai.

The 24th edition of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit concluded on 20 November 2016 in Lima, Peru. The theme of the 24th APEC Summit was “Quality Growth and Human Development”.

The 2016 World Internet Conference concluded on 18 November 2016 in Wuzhen, China. The theme of the 3rd World Internet Conference, which commenced on 16 November 2016, was Innovation-driven Internet Development for the Benefit of All – Building a Community of Common Future in Cyberspace.

The International Competition Network (ICN) on 9 November 2016 announced that the Competition Commission of India (CCI) would host the 2018 ICN Annual Conference. The Conference will be held at Delhi in March–April 2018.

The 1st International Agro-biodiversity Congress that was held in New Delhi from 6 November to 9 November 2016 concluded with adoption of Delhi Declaration on Agro-biodiversity Management.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 3 November 2016 inaugurated the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) in New Delhi.

The Union Government on 15 November 2016 inaugurated Hunar Haat (Skill Haat) exhibition at India International Trade Fair (2016) at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. The exhibition aims at supporting and promoting artisans from minority communities and providing them domestic as well as international market to display and sell their products. India International Trade Fair (IITF) that began on 14 November will conclude on 27 November 2016.

Indore-Patna Express derailed on 20 November 2016 at Pukhrayan in Kanpur Dehat district of Uttar Pradesh. Over 120 people were killed and more than 200 injured when the 14 coaches of the Indore-Patna Express derailed.

The much-popular writer Ruskin Bond released his new book titled ‘Death under the Deodars: The Adventures of Miss Ripley-Bean’.

M. Hamid Ansari, Vice President of India, on 5 November 2016 released the book titled An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India. The book is authored by Shashi Tharoor.

Following the existing problem in which the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are failing to cope with the huge cash demand of people, Reserve Bank of India on 14 November 2016 constituted an eight-member task force led by RBI deputy governor SS Mundra to re-calibrate all ATMs.

Guided Missile Destroyer INS Chennai was on 21 November 2016 commissioned into the Indian Navy by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar at the Naval Dockyard, Mumbai.

The sixth India China joint training exercise Hand- in- Hand 2016 commenced on 16 November 2016 at the parade ground in Aundh Military Camp, Pune. The exercise will terminate on 27 November 2016.

Indo-Nepal joint military exercise Surya Kiran-X commenced on 31 October 2016 at Army Battle School, Saljhandi, Nepal. The exercise will conclude on 13 November 2016.

Indo-Bangla joint military training exercise SAMPRITI commenced on 5 November 2016 at Tangail, Dhaka.

Egypt recently uncovered a lost city, more than 7000 years old dating right back to its first dynasty in the southern province of Sohag. The site was unearthed during an archaeological mission initiated by the country’s government. It lies 250 miles south of Cairo.

The Union Government has declared Zakir Naik’s NGO, Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), as an ‘unlawful organisation’ and banned it for five years on 15 November 2016.

An Inter-Ministerial Committee of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry in the first week of November 2016 asked for one-day ban on a leading Hindi News Channel, NDTV India from 12.01 A.M. of 9 November to 12.01 A.M. of 10 November 2016. The channel is facing the possibility of a complete blackout for 24 hours for revealing strategically-sensitive information during its coverage of the anti-terror operations at the Pathankot airbase in January 2016. The telecast under scanner was aired on 2 January 2016 when Indian military forces were preparing their counter attack strategy at the Pathankot airbase.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 20 November 2016 formally launched the Housing for All scheme in rural areas to provide an environmentally safe and protected 'pucca house' to every rural household by 2022. The scheme is also named as the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (Gramin).  In the first phase, the target is to complete one crore houses by March 2019. A minimum support of around 1.5 lakh rupees to 1.6 lakh rupees is now available to a household. If the beneficiary desires, there is also a provision of Bank loan of up to 70000 rupees.

The Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare J P Nadda in the first week of November 2016 launched Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA) in New Delhi. The scheme aims at providing pregnant women ante-natal services and required treatment for free at government health centres and hospitals on 9th of every month.

The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016 came into effect on 1 November 2016. The Act was formulated to curb black money. The new legislation provides for seven years imprisonment and fine for those indulging in illegal transactions.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on 23 November 2016 approved the setting up of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV) in 62 uncovered districts with an outlay of Rs 2871 crore.

India on 21 November 2016 became an Associate Member State of European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) by signing an agreement with the organisation.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in a letter to the finance ministry has put forward a proposal to open an ‘Islamic window’ in conventional banks. The move is a stepping stone to its consideration of introducing Islamic banking in the country.

The State Bank of India (SBI), has decided to write off loans worth almost 7016 Crore Rupees, owed to it by 63 willful defaulters including Vijay Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines. The move is a part of a cleanup process of the bank’s balance sheets. While the loans of the 63 willful defaulters have been written off completely, 31 have been partially written off and remaining 6 of the bank’s top 100 defaulter’s list have been shown as non-performing assets (NPAs).

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India on 15 November 2016 signed a 500 million US dollar loan to build a 9.8 km long road bridge across the Ganges River. This will be India’s longest river bridge. The proposed bridge will improve transport connectivity between North and South Bihar. It will also improve the link between Patna and the surrounding areas.

Union Government on 9 November 2016 announced that cash deposits above 2.5 lakh rupees threshold under the 50-day window could attract tax plus a 200 percent penalty in case of income mismatch.

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a special nationwide televised address on 8 November 2016 announced that the 1000 and 500 rupees notes will cease to be legal tender from midnight 8-9 November 2016. In his address, he also appealed people with possession of the 500 and 1000 rupees denomination banknotes to deposit the same in their bank account. This withdrawal was necessitated to tackle counterfeiting Indian banknotes, to effectively nullify black money hoarded in cash and curb funding of terrorism with fake notes.

The GST council on 3 November 2016 approved four tier tax structure of 5, 12, 18 and 28 percent under the proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST). There will be two standard tax rates- 12 percent and 18 percent under the GST. Under the tax structure of 5, 12, 18 and 28 percent, the lower rates will be applicable for essential items and the highest for luxury and de-merits goods that will also attract an additional cess. Essential items including food, which presently constitute roughly half of the consumer inflation basket, will be taxed at zero rate. Demerit goods or sin goods such as luxury cars, pan masala, aerated drinks, and tobacco and tobacco products, will invite a tax of 28 percent plus the cess which could vary between 40 percent and 65 percent. The collection from this cess as well as that of the clean energy cess will create a revenue pool which will be used for compensating states for any loss of revenue during the first five years of implementation of GST. The cess will be lapsable after five years.

Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman on 31 October 2016 released State-wise Ease of Doing Business rankings in New Delhi. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have topped the list in the Ease of Doing Business rankings.

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in October 2016 recommended imposition of 3050 crore rupees penalty on Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea cellular. The penalty was imposed for allegedly denying interconnectivity to newcomer Reliance Jio.

Turkey will chair the Energy Club of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in 2017. With this, it became the first non full member country to be the chairman of a club in the organisation.

India and Switzerland signed a Joint Declaration for implementation of Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) between the two countries. The declaration was signed in respect to accounts of Indians held abroad and vice versa. The deal was inked on 22 November 2016 in New Delhi.

Vladimir Putin, President of Russia signed an order on 16 November 2016 withdrawing Russia’s signature from the International Criminal Court treaty (ICC).

India and Japan signed ten agreements to boost the bilateral cooperation between the two nations. The agreements were inked on 11 November 2016 in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe. Prime Minister was on a three-day visit (10 November to 12 November 2016) to Japan. Agreements/MoUs that were inked and exchanged includes

US Republican Donald Trump on 9 November 2016 won the US presidential elections in a stunning victory. He won the elections by 276 seats. He is scheduled to take office as the 45th President of the United States of America (USA)on 20 January 2017. He will succeed Barack Obama.

Mariano Rajoy on 29 October 2016 was re-elected as the Prime Minister of Spain.

The RBI has directed banks to waive ATM charges on all transactions done by savings bank customers till 30th December 2016.

Union Government has decided to permit families celebrating weddings to withdraw 2,50,000 rupees.

Supreme Court banned the sale of firecrackers in the National Capital Region. A bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur also said that no fresh licenses will be given to sell firecrackers and there shall be no renewal until further orders.

The Constitution Day of India is being observed on 26th November to spread awareness of Indian Constitution. On this day in 1949, constitution of India was adopted and came into force on January 26, 1950 marking the beginning of a new era in the history of free India.

Union Government has constituted a new committee headed by Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant to form a strategy to expedite the process of transforming India into a cashless economy.

In the wake of demonetisation, bank deposits with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have reached a record high of Rs. 4.3 trillion, beating the earlier record of Rs. 1.7 trillion in May 2009.

Pankaj R Patel, chairman & managing director of Cadila Healthcare Ltd (Zydus Cadila) has been elected as the new President of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) for the year 2017.

The Government has allowed NABARD to disburse Rs 21,000 crore to cash-starved farmers, helping them sow winter crops like wheat ahead of the sowing season, Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta said

Acclaimed physicist and ex-Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Prof MGK Menon passed away on 22nd November.

India has successfully test-fired indigenously built nuclear-capable Agni-I ballistic missile from Odisha coast. The Intermediate-range missile is capable of hitting a target 700 kms away.

India successfully test fired the nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missile. The twin trial was conducted from a test range in Chandipur, off the coast of Odisha. The Prithvi-II missile has a payload capacity of 500 kg to 1,000 kg and a strike range of 350 km.

Indian Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar inaugurated projects worth Rs 6 crore at his adopted village of Puttamrajuvari Kandriga in Andhra Pradesh (AP).

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated a trade route linking the south-western Gwadar port to Kashgar city in China as part of $46 billion project to jumpstart economic growth in the South Asian country.

More than 20 countries, including Brazil, France and India, on 15 November 2016 signed the framework agreement of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) at Marrakech, Morocco.

The government has announced that it will present the Union Budget for 2017-18 on February 1 and the budget session may begin in January. Centre earlier approved the scrapping of the 92-year old practice of presenting a separate Railway Budget and merged it with the Union Budget.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully tested its unmanned combat aerial vehicle, Rustom-2. The medium-altitude long endurance (MALE) category vehicle met all the expectations during the first flight. 

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