Daily Current Affairs-14th Nov 2018

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Rs 75 commemorative coin to mark 75th anniversary of Tricolour hoisting by Bose

  • The government Thursday decided to release a Rs 75 commemorative coin on the occasion of 75th anniversary of the hoisting of Tricolour for the first time by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose at Port Blair.
  • A notification has been issued by the Ministry of Finance in this regard.
  • This coin will bear the portrait of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose saluting the flag on the background of cellular jail.
  • The 35-gram coin will be composed of 50 per cent silver, 40 per cent copper and 5 per cent each of nickel and zinc.
  • On 21st of last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had hoisted the National Flag at Red Fort and unveiled the plaque to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the formation of Azad Hind Government, formed by Bose.


HRD Ministry launches Leadership for Academicians Programme

  • Minister of State for Human Resource Development Satya Pal Singh launched the Leadership for Academicians Programme, LEAP and Annual Refresher Programme In Teaching, ARPIT in New Delhi.
  • Developing good teachers is an arduous task and if teachers show enough commitment, ARPIT will go a long way in empowering the teaching faculty.
  • Committed teachers, will develop confidence and competence. He also added that combining the qualities of a good teacher and an effective leader is very difficult.
  • ARPIT is a unique initiative of online professional development of 15 lakh higher education faculty.
  • For implementing ARPIT, 75 discipline-specific institutions have been identified and notified as National Resource Centres in the first phase.
  • LEAP is a three weeks flagship leadership development training programme for second level academic functionaries in public-funded higher education institutions.
  • The main objective is to prepare the second tier academic heads who are potentially likely to assume leadership roles in the future.

GS-II(International Affairs)

PM Modi arrives in Singapore on two-day visit to attend East Asia Summit, ASEAN

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Singapore this morning on a two-day visit to attend the East Asia Summit, ASEAN-India informal meet and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, RCEP Summit.
  • Prime Minister Modi will also attend the RCEP Summit to review the progress made on the negotiations to finalise the proposed free trade agreement.
  • It is being negotiated amongst sixteen countries including ten ASEAN Member States and India, Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and Republic of Korea.
  • Modi will also hold several bilateral meetings today. He will hold talks with US Vice President Mike Pence and Prime Ministers of Singapore, Australia and Thailand.

US State Department declares Jawad Nasrallah as global terrorist

  • The US State Department has declared Jawad Nasrallah, the son of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, as a global terrorist as it steps up pressure on the Lebanese militia group.
  • Jawad had in recent years recruited people to carry out terrorist attacks against Israel in the West Bank.
  • It also maintained its 21 year old Foreign Terrorist Organization designation of Hezbollah, as the group battles prime minister-designate Saad al-Hariri for a powerful role in the new Lebanese government.

British, EU negotiators reach agreement on terms of Brexit deal

  • British and EU negotiators have reached an agreement on the terms of a Brexit deal on a “technical level”.
  • The Press Association news agency citing a government source reported in London today that the draft will be examined by the British cabinet on 14th Nov 2018.
  • A European source said a technical agreement had been struck but still needed political approval both on the British and European sides. Ireland’s public broadcaster RTE cited two government sources saying a text crucially resolves the Irish border issue, a key sticking point.

UAE to participate in Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit for 2nd consecutive year

  • UAE will participate in the ‘Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit’, as a partner country for the second consecutive year.
  • The Summit is scheduled from 18th to 20th January, 2019.
  • UAE will participate in the summit through a high-level delegation.
  • The 9th edition of the Vibrant Gujarat 2019 Summit provides a forum for discussion on global, national and state-level agendas with a sharp focus on all round economic development for a ‘New India’.

UN urges Bangladesh to halt Rohingya repatriation plan

  • UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has urged Bangladesh to halt plans for the repatriation of more than 2,200 Rohingya refugees to Myanmar.
  • The UN Human Rights Office has said that forcibly returning them to their home country would be in violation of international law and put their lives and freedom at serious risk.
  • Bachelet said, the refugees in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar are the victims of human rights violations committed in the midst of the violence that erupted in August 2017 and are unwilling to return under current conditions.
  • She appealed to the Government of Bangladesh to ensure scrupulously that any repatriation takes place in line with international standards of voluntariness, safety and dignity, with full transparency, and only when the conditions are right.
  • Bachelet also called on the Government of Myanmar to show its seriousness in creating the conditions for return by addressing the root causes of the crisis in Rakhine state, in particular, the systematic discrimination against and persecution of Rohingyas.


New index to check ease of doing agri-business

  • The Centre expects to roll out a new Ease of Doing Agri-Business Index early next year, which will rank the States on the basis of such reforms, as well as their investment in agriculture, increased productivity, reduction of input costs, and risk mitigation measures.
  • The Agri Ministry will consider rewarding the higher performing States both in absolute and incremental terms by linking the performance with allocation from flexi funds made available in various flagship schemes of the ministry.
  • NITI Aayog already brings out an Agricultural Marketing and Farm Friendly Reforms Index, rating States on their implementation of such reforms.
  • In the initial edition of that Index in 2016, Maharashtra stood first in the rankings, followed by Gujarat.
  • The proposed index has a wider ambit, but the focus is still on reforms, with marketing reforms (25%) and governance and land reforms (20%) carrying almost half of the weight of the parameters in its scoring system.

Parameters on which the states will be rated:

  • Success in reducing the cost of farm inputs (20%) by distributing soil health cards and encouraging organic farming and micro-irrigation.
  • Risk mitigation measures such as crop and livestock insurance carry a 15% weightage.
  • Increased productivity would carry a 10% weightage.
  • Investment in agriculture will also carry a 10% weightage

However, the concept note says that the parameters are process-oriented, and are meant to evolve as and when new reforms or initiatives are proposed.

 What is the need for a new index to check ease of doing agri-business?

As agriculture is a State subject, the success of policies and reform initiatives proposed at the Centre is dependent on implementation by the States. “To ensure that reform agenda of the government is implemented at a desired pace by all State governments, there is a need to develop a competitive spirit between the States.

The committee set up to recommend strategies to double farmers income by 2022 had also suggested that States should be ranked based on their reform and governance record.



Narendra Singh Tomar given charge of Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs

  • Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar will now hold the charge of the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs following the demise of Union Minister Ananth Kumar.
  • President Ram Nath Kovind has assigned the charge to Mr Tomar.
  • While Minister for Statistics and Programme Implementation D V Sadanand Gowda has been given the charge of the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, in addition to his existing portfolio.


China decides to shelve plans of lifting ban on trade of rhino horn, tiger parts

  • In a rare reversal of policy, China has decided to shelve its decision taken last month that would have legalised the use of tiger and rhinoceros parts of for certain medical and cultural purpose.
  • The backdown comes in the backdrop of concerns raised by Chinese citizens as well as global environmentalists that the move would further put endangered wildlife at greater risk of poaching.
  • Indian environmentalist, as well as authorities, had also raised concerns that the new policy would have a detrimental effect on the one-horned rhino population in Assam.

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