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Daily Current Affairs : 16-Nov-2019

Major Topics Covered :


  1. 11TH BRICS SUMMIT

  2. TWO WOMEN AMONG SIX WINNERS OF INFOSYS PRIZE 2019

  3. SPACE ROCK ‘ULTIMA THULE’ RENAMED ‘ARROKOTH’

  4. GHUMAR AND AL-BAQOURA

  5. TRACE BRIBERY MATRIX

  6. DEPOSITOR EDUCATION AND AWARENESS FUND (DEA FUND)

  7. TAPAN RAY WORKING GROUP

  8. WIND AUGMENTATION PURIFYING UNIT (WAYU)

  9. [UPDATED]: RTI APPLICABLE TO OFFICE OF CJI; SC UPHOLDS DELHI HC JUDGMENT


11TH BRICS SUMMIT

Part of GS- 3 IR


Why in news:


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for an early opening of New Development Bank's regional office in India.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Brasilia, Addressing the Dialogue with BRICS Business Council and New Development Bank (NDB) in Brasilia, Brazil on 13th - 14th November 2019 to attend the 11th BRICS summit, this will give a boost to projects in our priority areas.


The Prime Minister offered full backing to the multilateral finance institution in promoting global growth.


Highlights:

  • Mr Modi urged the BRICS Business Council to create a roadmap to achieve the 500 billion dollar intra-BRICS trade target by the next summit.

  • He said that the identification of economic complementarities among member countries will be important in this effort.

  • The BRICS countries are a ray of hope for the world's economic growth.

  • According to the BRICS joint statement, the five countries look forward to the opening of the two remaining NDB Regional Offices in Russia and India in 2020.

  • To building upon the core functions of the bank's headquarters, its Regional Offices shall contribute to expanding its operations and striving for a more robust project portfolio for all member countries.

  • While addressing the dialogue, also requested BRICS countries and the NDB to join the global Coalition for Disaster-Resilient Infrastructure.

  • The partnership agreement between the New Development Bank and BRICS Business Council will be useful for both the institutions.

  • To address the challenges facing the universal health coverage, the BRICS Business Council may consider organising a Hackathon in India on the use of digital health applications.

  • Referring to several agrotech start-ups that have emerged in the five countries, Mr Modi said that their network will be useful for sharing experiences and taking advantage of BRICS' large markets.

  • The BRICS Summit a very productive one.

  • The BRICS leaders had fruitful dialogues on cementing ties in trade, innovation, technology and culture.

  • The focus on futuristic subjects will surely lead to deeper cooperation that will benefit the people of our respective nations.


BRICS:


  • BRICS is the acronym coined for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

  • BRICS brings together five major emerging economies comprising 42 % of the world's population, having 23 % of the global GDP and around 17 % of the share and world trade.

  • Originally the first four were grouped as "BRIC" (or "the BRICs"), before the induction of South Africa in 2010.

  • Since 2009, the BRICS nations have met annually at formal summits.

  • The New Development Bank (NDB), formerly referred to as the BRICS Development Bank, is a multilateral development bank operated by the BRICS states.

  • The BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) is a framework for providing protection against global liquidity pressures


Source: AIR


TWO WOMEN AMONG SIX WINNERS OF INFOSYS PRIZE 2019

Part of GS- Award and Recognitions


Why in news:

Two women are among the six who bagged the 11th 'Infosys Prize 2019' that was announced by Infosys Science Foundation (ISF) on 14 November.


Highlights:

  • ISF announced the winners of the Infosys Prize2019 in six categories - Engineering and Computer Sciences, Humanities, Life Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physical Sciences and Social Sciences.

  • The prize celebrates the success of the recipients in science and research by recognising their achievements in each category, the foundation said.

  • The prize for each category comprises a gold medal, a citation and a prize purse of USD 100,000 (or its equivalent in Rupees) this year.

  • Sunita Sarawagi and Manjula Reddy are the two women who won the Infosys Prize under Engineering and Computer Science and Life Sciences category respectively.

  • Sarawagi, an Institute Chair Professor, Computer Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, is awarded for her research in databases, data mining, machine learning and natural language processing,and for important applications of these research techniques.

  • Infosys Limited is an Indian multinational corporation that provides business consulting, information technology and outsourcing services.

  • It has its headquarters in Bangalore, Karnataka.


Source: Business Standard


SPACE ROCK ‘ULTIMA THULE’ RENAMED ‘ARROKOTH’

Part of GS- 3 S&T


Why in news:

In a fitting tribute to the farthest flyby ever conducted by spacecraft, the Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69 has been officially named Arrokoth, a Native American term meaning “sky” in the Powhatan/Algonquian language.


Highlights:

  • About 6.6 billion km from Earth in the Kuiper Belt beyond the orbit of Neptune, a rock moves in slow orbit around the Sun, once every 297 years. Its odd shape consists of two lobes, respectively measuring 21 km and 15 km across, which create an appearance of a doughnut.

  • Provisionally named 2014 MU69 based on the year of its discovery, it was given the nickname ‘Ultima Thule’ last year following public suggestions made to NASA. Now, it has got an official name- Arrokoth.

  • Ultima Thule is a Latin expression that means “beyond Thule (borders of the known world)” and, as such, is used to denote a mythical, distant and unknown land.

  • However, it is also associated with controversy, which is the reason the name has been changed.

  • NASA proposed the name to the International Astronomical Union and Minor Planets Centre, the authority responsible for naming objects that lie in the Kuiper Belt.

  • The Belt consists of a mass of icy objects that include Pluto, the dwarf planet.

  • NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft – launched in January 2006 – sped past the object in January this year. It is the most primitive and distant object to have been encountered by a spacecraft.


Source: Indian express

GHUMAR AND AL-BAQOURA

Part of GS-3 IR


Why in news:

King Abdullah II of Jordan announced that Jordan has decided to terminate annexes of ‘Baquoura and Ghumar’ in the peace agreement signed between Jordan and the Israeli.


Highlights:

  • Under the 1994 Wadi Araba Peace Treaty with Israel, Jordan leased Baqura and Ghumar areas, formally under Jordanian sovereignty, to Israel for a period of 25 years that allowed Israeli farmers to cultivate in two pieces of agricultural land.

  • Baqura is a border area of six square kilometers in Jordan's northern Irbid province, while Ghumar covers four square kilometers in the southern Aqaba province.


Source : The Hindu

TRACE BRIBERY MATRIX

Part of GS- 3Economy


Why in news:


New Zealand emerges as the country with lowest bribery risk.


India has been placed in a better position than neighbouring China in a global list that measures business bribery risks while, New Zealand has emerged as the country with lowest bribery risk.


Highlights:

  • The list by TRACE, an anti-bribery standard setting organisation, measures business bribery risk in 200 countries, territories, and autonomous and semi-autonomous regions.

  • With a total risk score of 48, India is ranked higher than neighbouring China whose score is 59.

  • Apart from India, Azerbaijan, Ghana, the Bahamas, Panama, Samoa and Thailand, also have a score of 48 in the matrix.

  • The score is based on four factors- Business Interactions with Government, Anti-Bribery Deterrence and Enforcement, Government and Civil Service Transparency, and Capacity for Civil Society Oversight, including the role of the media.

  • Among the BRICS nations, South Africa is ahead of other countries with a score of 42.

  • The scores of Brazil and Russian Federation are 53 and 55, respectively.

  • “Somalia, South Sudan, North Korea, Yemen and Venezuela presented the highest risk of bribe demands. New Zealand, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland presented the lowest bribery risk,” TRACE said in a statement on its website.

  • TRACE President Alexandra Wrage said the matrix provides multi-dimensional, actionable insights about business bribery risk that can be used by companies to develop more targeted compliance procedures.


Source: Business Line

DEPOSITOR EDUCATION AND AWARENESS FUND (DEA FUND)

Part of GS-3 Economy


Why in news:


The Reserve Bank of India released on its website, guidelines on the criteria for registering institutions, organisations and associations 'on tap' for grant of financial assistance from the Depositor Education and Awareness Fund.


Highlights:

  • The eligible entities desirous of registering with DEA Fund may apply in the prescribed format along with necessary information as per the list of documents indicated in the application form.

  • The Banking Laws (Amendment) Act, 2012, Section 26A has been inserted in the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.

  • The Section empowers the Reserve Bank to establish a fund called Depositor Education and Awareness Fund (DEA Fund).

  • The Scheme envisages registration of institutions, organisations and associations and grant of financial assistance to them for promotion of depositors' awareness.

  • Based on the scrutiny of applications received, 25 entities were found suitable for registration.

  • With a view to widening and deepening depositor awareness efforts, it has now been decided to invite applications 'on tap' for registration of eligible entities.


Source: Business Standard

TAPAN RAY WORKING GROUP

Part of GS-3 Economy


Why in news:


RBI panel proposes stricter rules for core investment companies.


Core investment companies (CICs) will have to form board level committees, appoint independent directors and conduct internal audits, if the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) decides to accept the recommendations of a working group formed to improve their corporate governance standards.


Highlights:

  • Firms may have to form board-level panels, appoint independent directors and conduct internal audits

  • Unlike NBFCs, which need to have board-level panels, no such rule is mandated for CICs

  • The recommendations were made by the Working Group to Review Regulatory and Supervisory Framework for Core Investment Companies set up by the central bank on 3 July and headed by Tapan Ray, former secretary of the corporate affairs ministry.


Recommendations of the WG are as follows:


  • Capital contribution by a CIC in a step-down CIC, over and above 10% of its owned funds, should be deducted from its Adjusted Networth, as applicable to other NBFCs.

  • Further, step-down CICs may not be permitted to invest in any other CIC.

  • The number of layers of CICs in a group should be restricted to two.

  • Every Group having a CIC should have a Group Risk Management Committee (GRMC).

  • Constitution of the Board level committees viz., Audit Committee and Nomination and Remuneration Committee should be mandated.

  • Offsite returns may be designed by the RBI and may be prescribed for the CICs on the lines of other NBFCs.

  • Onsite inspection of CICs maybe conducted periodically.


Core Investment Companies (CICs):


  • Core investment companies are non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) holding not less than 90% of their net assets in the form of investment in equity shares, preference shares, bonds, debentures, debt or loans in group companies.

  • In August 2019, there were 63 CICs registered with RBI.

  • Experts have been seeking a review of CIC guidelines ever since defaults by Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS), a large systemically important core investment company.


Source: Live mint


WIND AUGMENTATION PURIFYING UNIT (WAYU)

Part of GS-3 Environment and Ecology


Why in news:</