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Current Affairs


28th November 2023


1)  NIDM, TERI sign Strategic Partnership in Disaster Risk Reduction

The National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).


·         Promote innovation and knowledge sharing

·         Encourage a culture of safety

·         Advance Disaster Management Strategies

·         Promote Sustainable Practices

·         Contribute to the national agenda of DRR

Key Points:
i.The MOU will formalize a strategic partnership, fostering research, capacity building, and training to enhance Research Initiatives.
ii.Both entities will utilize their expertise to address critical challenges posed by disasters and climate-related risks.
iii.This aims to contribute to the national agenda of disaster risk reduction, reinforcing the importance of collaboration in building a resilient and safer India.
Note: It should be noted that NIDM established an India Universities and Institutions Network on Disaster Risk Reduction (IUINDRR-NIDM).

·         Currently 260 universities and institutions are part of DRR programme.

About National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM):
NIDM is a premier Training Institute for disaster management under Ministry of Home Affairs(MoHA).
It was established under Section 42 (1) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
Executive Director– Rajendra Ratnoo
Establishment– 1995


2)  Government Mandates Blending of Compressed Bio-Gas in CNG and PNG Segments of CGD Sector

The National Biofuels Coordination Committee (NBCC), chaired by Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoP&NG) announced a phased-wise mandatory blending of Compressed Biogas (CBG) in Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Piped Natural Gas (PNG).

·         The CBG is to be blended in CNG for transport and PNG for domestic gas segments of the City Gas Distribution (CGD).

·         The CBG Blending Obligation (CBO) will promote the production and consumption of CBG in India.

Objectives of CBO:
The key objectives of the CBO are:

·         To stimulate demand for CBG in the CGD sector;

·         Import substitution for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG);

·         Saving in forex;

·         Promoting circular economy principles; and

·         To assist in achieving the target of net zero emission, i.e., reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, etc.

Note: It will encourage investment of around Rs.37,500 crore and facilitate the establishment of 750 CBG projects by 2028-29.
CBO Implementations:
i.The CBO will be implemented in phases, with voluntary participation until the Fiscal Year (FY) 2024–2025, followed by mandatory blending obligation from FY 2025–2026.
ii.The initial mandatory blending percentages are set at 1%, 3%, and 4% of total CNG/PNG consumption for FYs 2025-26, 2026-27, and 2027-28 respectively.

·         From 2028-29 onwards, the CBO will increase to 5%.

iii.To ensure effective monitoring and implementation of the blending mandate, a Central Repository Body will oversee the process.
Key Points:
i.In a parallel initiative, discussions also took part for promoting ethanol production from maize.
ii.Collaborative efforts with stakeholders, including the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD), aim to position maize as a prominent feedstock in the biofuel sector.
iii.The Ministry, in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture and DFPD, is working on developing high-starch varieties of maize.

·         It is to improve the quality of maize, Dried Distillers Grain Solids (DDGS) by removing aflatoxins, faster registration of new seed varieties with high starch, and implementing a maize training program for distillers in collaboration with seed companies.

iv.NBCC revealed initial blending percentage targets for Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)/Bio- Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF). In line with the government’s commitment to promoting biofuels, the targets are set at:

·         1% SAF indicative blending target in 2027 (Initially for International flights)

·         2% SAF blending target in 2028 (Initially for International flights)



3)  NASSCOM Signed MoU with NRW.Global Business to Establish Launchpad in Germany

The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NRW.Global Business for the expansion of NASSCOM’s launchpad program in Germany.

·         This collaboration aims to promote innovation, investment, and technological exchange between North Rhine-Westfalia (NRW) in Germany and India.

·         The initiative aligns with the ongoing Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations between India and the European Union (EU).

·         The launchpad program particularly benefits smaller tech companies by reducing initial setup costs and enhancing market credibility in Germany.

·         With this agreement, Indian tech companies looking to establish a presence in NRW will have access to 180 days of rent-free office space.

·         Offices will be located in 5 key NRW cities namely Cologne, Düsseldorf, Essen, Krefeld, and Solingen, where many tech-focussed companies already exist.

·         The partnership also includes ecosystem connections, stakeholder introductions, and other support mechanisms for a Faster Go-to-Market strategy.

Note: NRW.Global Business conducts international location marketing for Germany’s No. 1 investment location, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), and promotes foreign direct investment in NRW worldwide.




4)  Cambodia’s Angkor Wat becomes the 8th wonder of the world

Angkor Wat of Cambodia has become the Eighth Wonder of the World by surpassing Italy’s Pompeii.

·         The recognition of the Eighth Wonder is an informal one bestowed upon noteworthy new structures, projects, or designs.

About Angkor Wat:
i.Angkor Wat is an Ancient Temple Complex located in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
ii.It was built in the 12th century by King Suryavarman II over a time span of 30 years.
iii. The temple was originally dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu, but it later transformed into a Buddhist temple.
iv.Angkor Wat is one of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage sites.

·         It was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1992.

About Cambodia:
Prime Minister – Hun Manet
Capital – Phnom Penh
Currency – Cambodian Riel


5)  India, EU sign MoU to Deepen Cooperation on semiconductor ecosystem

 A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the European Union (EU) and India to strengthen semiconductor supply chains and jointly pursue innovation.
Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal market, and Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister for Railways, Communications, Electronics and Information Technology of the Government of India.
What will be done under the MoU?
i.Share semiconductor ecosystem experiences, best practices, and information.
ii.Identify collaboration opportunities in research, development, and innovation.
iii.Promote skills and talent development, fostering collaboration through workshops and partnerships.
iv.Ensure a level playing field in the sector, including sharing information on public subsidies.
Key Points:
i.Both sides will continue meeting regularly and report under the Trade and Technology Council (TTC).

·         The next TTC Ministerial Meeting is planned in 2024 in India.

ii.The EU-India TTC is the second bilateral forum for the EU and the first one established with any partner for India.

·         The EU and the US launched a TTC in June 2021.

About European Union (EU):
Capital- Brussels, Belgium and Luxembourg(De Facto Capital)
Currency- Euro
Members – 27 member states (As of November 2023)
‘European Union’ is officially created by the Maastricht treaty, which enters into force on 1 November 1993




6)  RBI Adds 19 Unauthorised Forex Trading Platforms In Alert List

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has updated its ‘alert list’ of unauthorised forex trading platforms by adding 19 more entities, taking the total to 75.

·         These entities are neither authorised to deal in forex under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999 nor to operate electronic trading platform (ETP) for forex transactions under the Electronic Trading Platforms (Reserve Bank) Directions, 2018.

Alert List:
i.The Alert List contains names of entities along with their websites link.
ii.The list also includes those entities who are indulged in promoting the unauthorised entities/ETPs (through advertisements or claiming to be providing training/advisory services).
Added entities:
The 19 entities added to the list are:
1.Admiral Market
2.BlackBull Markets Limited
3.Easy Markets
5.Finowiz Fintech Limited
6.FX SmartBull Limited
7.Fx Tray Market
9.GoDo FX Limited
10.Growing Capital Services Limited
11.HF Markets FinTech Services Limited
12.HYCM Limited
13.JGCFX (FXJGC) Limited
14.Just Markets Technologies Limited
15.Pacific Union (Seychelles) Limited
16.Real Gold Capital Limited
17.Tiran Forex Limited
18.Ya Markets Limited
19.Gate Trade Mobile Application
What is Forex trading?
i.Forex trading, or foreign exchange trading, involves the buying and selling of currencies in the foreign exchange market.
ii.It is the largest and most liquid financial market in the world.
iii.It plays a critical role in facilitating international trade and investment.
iv.These forex transactions take place over the counter or through electronic trading platforms.
Additional Info:
i.As per Electronic Trading Platforms (Reserve Bank) Directions, 2018
RBI’s authorisation is mandatory for those entities who are willing to operate ETP for transactions in eligible instruments.
ii.RBI maintains a list of authorized persons and ETPs on its website.
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI): 
Governor – Shaktikanta Das
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Established in – 1935
Established under – Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934



7)  ADB granted USD 170mn loan to Modernize Kochi’s Water Supply Services

On November 24, 2023, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved USD 170 Million loan for the modernization of water supply services in Kochi, Kerala.

·         To improve urban living.

·         To ensure clean water access.

·         To bolster climate resilience.

What will be done under the MoU?
i.MoU includes upgrading five water treatment plants (325 Million Litres Per Day/MLD)) and constructing a new one (190 MLD).
ii.700 km of pipes replaced with real-time monitoring for reduced water loss during distribution.
iii.Upgrading 146,000 water meters and implementing preventive maintenance through a performance-based contract.
iv.Kerala Water Authority (KWA) will be strengthened with a mobile app, Geographic Information System (GIS)-based maintenance management system, and lab upgrades.
Comprehensive training for KWA staff.
v.Focus on female employment in water supply systems through training.
vi.Community awareness programs cover household supply, water audits, menstrual hygiene, with 50% women participation.
Reason behind this aid:
Kochi is experiencing rapid urbanization, faces intermittent water supply despite near-universal coverage (5 to 24 hours daily), leading to reliance on tanker trucks; the project aims to address these challenges and improve inclusive access to quality water.




8)  IndiGo, the First Airline to Operate Flights from Noida International Airport

Noida International Airport (NIA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with IndiGo Airlines to become the launch carrier for the under-construction airport which is scheduled to open at the end of 2024.

·         Through this MoU, IndiGo is set to become the first airline to operate flights from Noida International Airport.

About the Noida International Airport (NIA):
i.In 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of Noida International Airport (NIA) at Jewar in Gautam Buddha Nagar district, Uttar Pradesh (UP).

·         The NIA, a greenfield airport will be India’s first net zero emissions airport.

·         Once operational, it will be the second international airport in the Delhi NCR (National Capital Region) after Indira Gandhi International Airport.

ii.Noida International Airport Limited (NIAL) made a concessionaire agreement with Zurich Airport International AG(Zurich AG) for developing the airport which is being developed by Yamuna International Airport Private Limited (YIAPL), a 100% subsidiary of  Zurich AG.
iii.In September 2023, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the trade association for the world’s airlines, was allotted the three-letter code ‘DXN’ for Noida Airport.

·         The code ‘DXN’ symbolises the airport’s proximity to Noida, Delhi, and western UP.

IndiGo Airline:
Chief Executive Officer – Pieter Elbers
Headquarters – Gurgaon, Haryana
Established – 2006




9)  Irish author Paul Lynch wins Booker Prize 2023 for novel ‘Prophet Song’

On November 26, 2023, Irish author Paul Lynch won 2023 Booker Prize for his novel, ‘Prophet Song’ published by Oneworld. He was awarded by Shehan Karunatilaka, the 2022 winner, during a ceremony held at Old Billingsgate, London in the United Kingdom (UK).

·         He received 50,000 Pound sterling and the Iris Trophy for his award winning novel.

·         In 2022, Shehan Karunatilaka won for ‘The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida’, set during the Sri Lankan civil war.

Key Points:
i.Prophet Song a dystopian novel is set in a future Ireland that descends into tyranny and civil war. The story follows a woman’s struggle to protect her family.
ii.This was Paul Lynch’s 5th Novel.
iii.He is also the 5th Irish author to win the prize.

·         Irish writer Anna Burns won the award in 2018.

iv.Esi Edugyan is the chair of judging panel for the Booker Prize 2023.
Paul Lynch emerged as winner from six nominees. These are:

·         The Bee Sting by Paul Murray from Dublin, Ireland

·         Study For Obedience by Sarah Bernstein from Montreal, Canada

·         If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery from United States of America (USA)

·         Western Lane by Chetna Maroo born in Kenya and lives in London, United Kingdom (UK)

·         This Other Eden by Paul Harding from New York, USA

About Booker Prize:
i.Booker Prize is awarded to the best novel of fiction by writers of any nationality, written in English and published in the UK or Ireland. It was first awarded in 1969

·         The winner receives 50,000 Pound sterling as well as the 2,500 Pound sterling awarded to each of the six shortlisted authors.

ii.The Booker Prize Foundation has decided the name of the trophy as ‘Iris’ – after Iris Murdoch (Winner of The Booker Prize 1978 for The Sea, the Sea). The trophy is Jan Pieńkowski’s original statuette.




10)       Berkshire Hathaway Sells its Entire 2.46% Stake in Paytm for Rs 1,371 crore

Berkshire Hathaway Inc, an American diversified multinational holding company led by Warren Buffett, sold its entire 2.46% stake in One97 Communications, the parent company of fin-tech company Paytm for Rs.1,371 crore in a bulk deal on the National Stock Exchange (NSE).
Key Points:
i.Berkshire Hathaway Inc. through its affiliate company BH International Holdings sold over 1.56 crore shares of Paytm at a loss of about 31% per share, leading to a loss exceeding Rs.620 crore.
ii.The sale was made through an open market transaction and the shares were bought by Ghisallo Master Fund and Copthall Mauritius Investment.
iii.In 2018, Berkshire Hathaway had initially acquired a 2.6% stake in Paytm at Rs.1,279.7 per share at an aggregate value of Rs 2,179 crore.
iv.Berkshire Hathaway sold 1.56 crore shares at Rs.877 apiece, taking the value of transactions to Rs 1,370.63 crore.
v.Copthall Mauritius Investment and Ghisallo Master Fund bought shares worth Rs.664.52 crore and Rs.375 crore, respectively.

·         Ghisallo Master Fund purchased 4,275,000 shares and Copthall Mauritius Investment bought 7,575,529 shares

vi.Berkshire offloaded 2.46% out of the total 2.6% stake, the timing of the sale for the remaining 0.14% remains undisclosed.
Note: SoftBank has also been selling its shares in Paytm through open market transactions.




11)       Kapil Dev Released the Book “Thread by Thread: The S.Kumar’s Story” by Sathya Saran

Former Indian Cricketer Kapil Dev released the book titled “Thread by Thread: The S.Kumar’s Story” authored by Sathya Saran, a distinguished journalist at The Palace Halls, NSCI, Mumbai, Maharashtra. The book was published by Penguin Random House.

·         The book details the life of Shambhu Kumar Kasliwal, co-founder of the S Kumars Group, the fabric of India and one of the most enduring brands in India since 1948. The group is named after Shambhukumar.

·         Shambhu Kumar pioneered the introduction of Polyester Blends in India, revolutionising affordable, durable fabrics for the middle class and the lower income groups.

·         Sathya Saran is one of India’s best-known journalists and editors. As the editor of Femina for 12 years, she made Femina the most successful fashion and lifestyle magazine in India.

Sathya Saran worked as a Consulting Editor with the publisher HarperCollins India and is currently a Consulting Editor with Penguin Random House.

·         She also teaches fashion journalism at the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) in Mumbai, Kangra (Himachal Pradesh), and Srinagar (Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir).

·         Notable works include Ten Years with Guru Dutt: Abrar Alvi’s Journey (2008); Sun Mere Bandhu Re: The Musical World of SD Burman (2014) Baat Niklegi toh Phir: The Life and Music of Jagjit Singh (2015).

Note: Kapil Dev has been a brand ambassador for S.Kumars for their TV and print campaigns in the 80s and 2000s.




12)       National Constitution Day “Samvidhan Divas” 2023- November 26

 National Constitution Day also known as ‘Samvidhan Divas‘, is annually observed across India on 26 November to commemorate the adoption of the Constitution of India by the Constituent Assembly of India on 26th November 1949.

·         The Constitution of India was enacted on 26th January 1950, celebrated as Republic Day.

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJ&E) is the Nodal Ministry for the celebration of Constitution Day.

·         26 November 2023 marks the 74th Anniversary of adopting the Constitution of India.

i.On 19th November 2015, the  MoSJ&E notified the decision of the Government of India to celebrate the 26th November of every year as ‘Constitution Day’ to promote Constitution values among citizens.
ii.The year 2015 was the 125th birth anniversary of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, the “Father of the Constitution of India,” who had chaired the drafting committee of the Constituent Assembly.
iii.The first-ever Constitution Day was observed on 26 November 2015.
The Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud in commemoration of Constitution Day, introduced 2 new initiatives aimed at improving the efficiency of the judicial system. During an event, he launched the Fast and Secured Transmission of Electronic Records (FASTER) 2.0 portal and a Hindi version of the e-SCR (Supreme Court Reports) portal.
About Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment:
Union Minister– Virendra Kumar (Constituency- Tikamgarh, Madhya Pradesh)
Ministers of State– Ramdas Athawale (Rajya sabha Maharashtra); A. Narayanaswamy (Constituency- Chitradurga, Karnataka); Pratima Bhoumik (Constituency- Tripura West, Tripura)


13)       National Milk Day 2023 – November 26

National Milk Day is annually observed across India on 26th November to commemorate the birth anniversary of Dr Verghese Kurien, the Father of the White Revolution in India.

·         The day is annually organised by the Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying, under the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying.

·         26th November 2023 marks the observance of 10th National Milk Day and 102nd birth anniversary of  Verghese Kurein.

i.On the occasion of National Milk Day 2023, Union Minister Parshottam Rupala, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying released the Basic Animal Husbandry Statistics 2023 (milk, egg, meat and wool production 2022-23)in Guwahati, Assam.
ii.The National Gopal Ratna Awards 2023, one of the highest National Awards in the field of livestock and dairy sector, has been conferred during the National Milk Day event.
About Indian Dairy Association (IDA): 
President- R.S. Sodhi 
Headquarters- New Delhi, Delhi 
Establishment- 1948


14)       75th NCC Raising Day – November 26, 2023

 The National Cadet Corps (NCC), the largest uniformed youth organisation in the world annually celebrates its raising day on the 4th Sunday of November, underscoring the NCC’s commitment to shaping youth with core values such as discipline, leadership, and unwavering patriotism.

·         The 26 November 2023 marks the observance of NCC’s 75th Raising Day. This day is traditionally celebrated as the “NCC day”.

The 74th Raising Day was observed on 27 November 2022 and the 76th Raising Day will be observed on 24 November 2024.

·         This day is celebrated all over India, with cadets participating in blood donation camps and social development programs.

i.The Cadet Corps Committee was formed on 29 September 1946 with Pt HN Kunzru as Chairman.
ii.The NCC was formally established on 15 June 1948 by an ordinance issued by the Government of India as an auxiliary educational organization of the Indian Army and Navy.
iii.However, the NCC day is observed throughout India, on the 4th Sunday of November, because, it was on that day in 1948 that the 1st units were raised in Delhi.

About National Cadet Corps (NCC):
Director General– Lieutenant General Gurbirpal Singh
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi



15)       Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan launched ORC in Bhubaneswar for the Study of Culture & History

Union Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan, Ministry of Education (MoE), has inaugurated Odisha Research Centre (ORC) in Bhubaneswar, Odisha which aims to develop innovative epistemological frameworks to explore varied and nuanced dimensions of Odisha’s history, culture, economy and society.
Attended Dignitaries:
Biswabhusan Harichandan, Governor of Chhattisgarh, Raghubar Das, Governor of Odisha and Bhartruhari Mahtab, Member of Parliament (MP Lok Sabha from Cuttack constituency, Odisha) were present during the event.
ORC was established by the collaboration made by following organisations namely:

·         Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR)

·         Indian Knowledge Systems Division, MoE

·         Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) Sambalpur

·         Indian Institute Of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur

·         Indian Institute Of Technology (IIT) Bhubaneswar

About ORC:
i.The center will carry out research in art, culture, archaeology, tradition and literature, sociology of Odisha, political process and political culture, agriculture, commerce, business and industry, development trends of contemporary Odisha, science & technology and healthcare, and future technology.
ii.The Centre will also work on smart cities, climate change, environmental protection and sustainable development, semiconductors, and rare earths and advanced minerals.
iii.The center will discover the scientific reason behind the stone carvings of the angular temple in Odisha.
iv.ORC will prepare a roadmap for the development of Odisha, development of Odia, and provide guidance to the Odia youth in the next two decades.
About Odisha:
Chief Minister(CM) – Naveen Patnaik
Governor – Raghubar Das
National Park – Bhitarkanika National Park, Simlipal National Park
Wildlife Santuary – Satkosia Gorge sanctuary, Nandankanan sanctuary





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