Current Affairs – 30th November

By Adhyayan Academy, Siliguri

  • 54th International Film Festival of India, Goa: November 20th – 28th, 2023
    • Hollywood star Michael Douglas received the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award for the Excellence in Cinema, the award being presented by Goa CM Pramod Sawant.
    • The Closing ceremony was held in Dr. Shyamaprasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium in Bambolim.
    • ‘Endless Borders’ directed by Abbas Amini has bagged the Best Film or the Golden Peacock Award.
    • Deepak Kumar Mishra directed show “Panchayatseason 2 has bagged the best OTT series award, which was introduced for the first time.
    • Iranian actor Pouria Rahimi has bagged the Best Actor (Male) award for his role in ‘Endless Borders’.
    • Melanie Thiery was given the Best Actor (Female) award for the film ‘Party of Fools’.
    • The Special Jury Award or Silver Peacock Award was given to the Kannada film ‘Kantara’, directed by Rishab Shetty.
    • Singaporean Film Maker Anthiny Chen directed the film ‘Drift’ and bagged the ICFT UNESCO Gandhi Medal at the 54th International Film Festival of India.
  • Former Indian origin MP of Australia Devanand Noel Dev Sharma has been elected to the Upper House of the Australian Parliament, ‘Australian Senate’.
    • Sharma is the first person of Indian Origin to become a member of the Australian Parliament in 2019 and has since been representing the New South Wales seat of Wentworth.
    • Australia: Capital- Canberra, Currency – Australian Dollar, Prime Minister-Anthony Albanese.
  • Special Category Status demand from Bihar: The Bihar government has passed resolution seeking the grant of Special Category Status (SCS) to Bihar.
    • The demand comes in the back-drop of the findings from the “Bihar Caste-based Survey, 2022”, which revealed that nearly one-third of the total Bihar’s population continues to live in poverty.
    • Special Category status is classification given by the Centre to assist development of states that face geographical and socio-economic disadvantages. Though the constitution does not make a provision for SCS, this classification was later done on the recommendation of the 5th Finance Commission in 1969.
    • SCS was first granted to Jammu and Kashmir, Assam and Nagaland in 1969.
    • Five criterions for SCS: (i) Hilly and difficult terrain, (ii) low population density and/ or sizeable share of tribal population, (iii) strategic location along international borders , (iv) economic and infrastructural backwardness and (v) non-viable nature of state’s finances.
    • Eleven States including Assam, Nagaland, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Uttarakhand and Telangana have been accorded the special category state status.
    • Telangana, the newest state of India, was accorded the status as it was carved out of another state Andhra Pradesh.
    • Benefits of SCS: Previously, SCS states received about 30% of central assistance based on the Gadgil-Mukherjee formula. However later, this was increased in the 14th and 15th Finance commission from 32% to 41% for all states.
    • Favourable Funding Ratios: In SCS states, the Centre-State funding ratio for the centrally sponsored schemes is 90:10, more beneficial than the typical 60:40 or 80:20 for the general category.
    • Additional Incentives: SCS states enjoy concessions in customs, excise duties, income tax, and corporate tax rates to encourage investments and industry set up.
  • The ninth edition of the joint military exercise ‘MITRA SHAKTI – 2023’ between the armed forces of India and Sri Lnka concluded in Aundh, Pune. From India, Maratha Light infantry regiment took part in the exercise.
  •  The crest of Yard 12706 ‘Imphal’, the third amongst the four Project 15B stealth-guided missile destroyers  was unveiled by the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
    • It is the third Visakhapatanam-class stealth-guided missile destroyers , among the largest destroyers constructed in India with an overall length of 164 meters.
    • Having a speed of over 30 knots, it is the first warship to be named after a city in the north-east, Imphal, the capital of Manipur.
    • The crest design depicts the Kangla Palace, an important historical and archaeological site of Manipur and on the left and ‘Kangla-Sa’ on the right., a mythical being from Manipur history , believed to be the protector of the Manipuri people.
  • The Defence Ministry signed a contract with Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), Haridwar to produce 16 Advanced Super Rapid Gun Mounts (SRGM) and accessories worth Rs 2956.89 crore for the Indian Navy.
    • The advanced SRGMs procured from BHEL will be fitted on serving and newly built ships of the Indian Navy by Mazagaon Dock & Shipbuilders Limited, Mumbai and Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers, Kolkata.
    • The gun is being manufactured with the technical help of LDS Company of Italy. At present the range of the gun is about 16 km. Gun technology is being continuously upgraded with time. It has higher fire power and ensures high accuracy.
    • Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL): It was established in 1964  and turned into a PSU in 1991.
  • The recent operation in Uttarakhand has brought into the news the controversy of digging tunnels in the Himalayas. The Silkyara-Barkot tunnel is part of the ambitious Char Dham all-weather road project of the Central Government. The construction of the tunnel was tendered to the Navayuga Engineering Company by the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd. (NHIDCL), a fully owned company of the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, GoI.
    • Deaths due to work related factors are increasing so ILO (International Labour Organisation) calls a report for the country that they should concern and strengthen their power related to this serious issue.
    • Around the world, about 64% of the workers’ deaths are caused by work related to accidents, disease, exposure to fumes, gases  according to the recent  report released by ILO and most deaths are from the Asia Pacific Region.
    • Atal Tunnel: Atal Tunnel (a.k.a Rhotang Tunnel)  is a highway tunnel built under the Rhotang pass in the eastern Pirpanjal range of the Himalayas on the Leh-Manali  Highway in Himachal Pradesh, India. With a length of 9.02 km, it is the longest tunnel above 10,000 ft in the world.
    • Pir Panjal Railway Tunnel: This 11.2 km long tunnel is India’s longest transportation Railway Tunnel. It runs through the Pir Panjal mountain range between Quazigund and Baramulla.
    • Jawahar Tunnel: It is also called Banihal Tunnel. The length of the tunnel is 2.85 km  and it facilitates round-the-year road connectivity between Srinagar and Jammu.
    • Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Road Tunnel: It was previously known as Chenani-Nashri Tunnel and is the longest road tunnel of            India with a length of 9.3 km.
  • UP CM Yogi Adityanathhas unveiled the‘Hot Cooked Meal Scheme’ in Uttar Pradesh, a landmark initiative aimed to providing nutritious meals to children aged 3 to 6 years at Anganwadis. This scheme is modelled after Midday Meals Programme.
    • Midday Meal Scheme : The Midday Meal scheme, previously known as ‘National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education (NP-NSPE), was launched on 15th August 1995. Its objective was to serve hot cooked meals per day to all children (studying in Class I to VIII) enrolled in government schools, local bod schools, government-aided schools, special training centres (STC) and madrasas supported under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.
  • Chat assistant “6Eskai”: IndiGo, India’s largest airline, announced launch of its Artificial Intelligence (AI) – powered chat assistant named “6Eskai”. It is to cater to customer inqueries in a diverse range of languages. IndiGo’s movement comes after Air India’s introduction of its own AI-powered chat assistant “Maharaja”, on November 10.
    • While Maharaja utilizes Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI service, 6Eskai is powered by the advanced technology of Microsoft’s GPT-4 demonstrating the rapid evolution and adoption of AI in the Avian Sector.
  • The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India in association with Ministry of Culture, Sangeet Natak Academy and State Government of Andhra Pradesh successfully organised the prequel event of Krishnaveni Sangeetha Neerajanam, a first of its kind festival to celebrate the rich heritage of classical music in Vijayawada.
  • Raas Mahotsav begins in Assam’s Majuli, the world’s largest inhabited river island. Here the locals perform Bhaona, a traditional form of drama where artists play various mythological characters.
  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has granted approval for Not for Profit Organisation (NPOs) to enhance their fund raising capabilities through the Social Stock Exchance.
  • AstroSat, India’s first multi-wavelength space telescope, AstroSat, has successfully detected its 600th Gamma-ray Burst (GRB), an event named GRB 231122B. AstroSat was launched by the launching vehicle PSLV from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota on 28th September, 2015 into a 650 km orbit inclined at an angle of 6 degrees to the equator.

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