Multi-agency group reconstituted to probe Paradise Papers

Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has reconstituted a multi-agency group to monitor investigations related to the Paradise Papers. This multi-agency group will be headed by Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) chairman Sushil Chandra and includes representatives of the Enforcement Directorate.

Haryana signs MoU with Art of Living’s Institute for yoga

Haryana State Government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Vyakti Vikas Kendra, a training institute of the Art of Living Foundation for helping jail inmates to maintain and improve their health and reduce physical and mental stress.

Bombay HC allows woman with abnormal fetus to terminate pregnancy at 25 weeks

On November 6, 2017, Bombay High Court allowed a 28-year-old woman to abort her 25-week fetus with neuro abnormalities.
i. This order by Bombay High Court’s bench of Justices Shantanu Kemkar and Girish Kulkarni was based on a report by government-run JJ hospital which suggested that it is advisable to terminate the pregnancy.
ii. The JJ hospital panel examined the pregnant woman and fetus and found that there were multiple neuro and skeletal abnormalities.
iii. The woman had approached Bombay High Court on the grounds that the restriction in law (Medical Termination of Pregnancy is only permissible till 20 weeks of gestation) was causing her mental and physical trauma to know that she would give birth to a baby whose chances of survival were negligible.
iv. In August 2017, Central Government had directed states pursuant to a Supreme Court order, to constitute permanent medical expert boards to study requests for Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) after the statutorily permissible 20 weeks of gestation.

Prakash Javadekar inaugurates ‘Chintan Shivir’ in New Delhi

On November 6, 2017, Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar inaugurated a two-day National Workshop ‘Chintan Shivir’ in New Delhi.

Maharashtra govt to set up village climate resilient committees

The Maharashtra state government has decided to set up a committee for the implementation of a Rs.4,000-crore project on climate resilience agriculture in 5,000 villages of 15 districts in the state. The project would be funded by the World Bank.

Kerala government launched ‘She Pad’ scheme for school girls in Kerala

‘She Pad’ scheme:
i. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the ‘She Pad’ scheme will benefit the girls of classes 6 to 12 in Kerala and will be implemented in 300 schools in 114 panchayats this year.
ii. Free sanitary napkins, storage spaces and environment-friendly incinerators at all government-aided schools in Kerala will be provided as part of the project.
iii. Women’s Development Corporation in collaboration with the local governments will be implementing it, this year in 300 schools. This will be expanded to all schools in Kerala in the coming years.


Mitchell Starc makes history with two hat-tricks in one game

Mitchell Starc – two hat-tricks in one game:
i. Mitchell Starc became only the eighth player in first-class cricket history and the first in 39 years to achieve the feat as he headed New South Wales (NSW) to victory over Western Australia in the Sheffield Shield.
ii. He removed Jason Behrendorff, David Moody and Simon Mackin in first innings to complete his first career hat-trick. He then got both Behrendorff and Moody again off the final two deliveries of his 15th over.
iii .Jono Wells then edged Starc on the first ball of his next over to Australia and NSW captain Steve Smith at first slip to end the match.

Mary Kom beats a North Korean, storms to Asian Boxing Championships gold

Mary Kom wins gold in Asian Boxing Championships:
i. Mary Kom defeated North Korea’s Kim Hyang Mi in the final 5-0 by unanimous judges’ decision and won the gold medal in the Asian Boxing Championships in the Light Flyweight category (48 kg category).
ii. Mary Kom’s previous medal came in the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, where she became the first Indian woman boxer to win gold in the Women’s Flyweight (51 kg) category.
iii. This is Mary Kom’s sixth medal in the Asian Women’s Boxing Championships and fifth gold medal. She has won four gold medals and one silver medal in previous editions of the tournament.



Twitter officially doubles character limit to 280

On 08th Nov 2017, the social media giant, Twitter announced that it is extending the 140 character limit to 280 characters in all languages where cramming was an issue.
i. For India and the Indian diaspora, this update will apply to the six regional languages and those languages are Tamil, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, and Bengali.
ii. Last month Twitter had launched a test version, that expanded the 140 character limit to 280 characters which enabled every person around the world to express themselves easily in a tweet.
iii. Twitter saw when people needed to use more than 140 characters, they Tweeted more easily and more often.
iv. During the first few days of the test, many people Tweeted the full 280 limit because it was new and novel, but soon after, the behavior normalized.

Scientists discover universe’s most ancient spiral galaxy

Astronomers have discovered the most ancient spiral galaxy in the universe which they believe existed 11 billion years ago, named A1689B11.

Universe’s most ancient spiral galaxy – A1689B11:
i. According to the scientists, the galaxy known as A1689B11 existed just 2.6 billion years after the Big Bang, when the universe was only one-fifth of its present age.
ii .Researchers were from Australian National University (ANU) and Swinburne University of Technology. The study has been accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal.
iii. They used a technique that combines gravitational lensing with the Near-infrared Integral Field Spectrograph (NIFS) on the Gemini North telescope in Hawaii to verify the vintage and spiral nature of the galaxy.
iv. This galaxy is forming stars 20 times faster than galaxies today. It has a very cool and thin disc, rotating calmly with little turbulence.

Maneka Gandhi launches ‘first of its kind’ portal for sexual harassment complaints

On 7th November 2017, Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi launched an online portal for registering the complaint related to sexual harassment in non-government and government organizations named ‘SHe-box’.
i. The comprehensive online complaint system ‘SHe-box’ (sexual harassment electronic box) will be hosted on the website of the Ministry Of Women and Child Development.
ii. Maneka Gandhi said that the SHe-box is the first of its kind in the world. Any complaint by any women who have faced sexual harassment at workplace anywhere in India will be responded and action will be taken.
iii. unit in the Women and Child Development Ministry will look into every complaint filed online.

Tyrannomyrmex alii: New ant species discovered in the Western Ghats

Researchers have discovered a new species of ant named ‘Tyrannomyrmex alii’ in the Western Ghats.
Tyrannomyrmex alii: New ant species:
i. The new species of ant was found in the Periyar Tiger Reserve. The research has been published in the journal Zootaxa.
ii. The research was undertaken by Kalesh Sadasivan and Manoj Kripakaran, members of Travancore Natural History Society’s Ant Research Group.
iii. This is a rare tropical genus of ant. The species was discovered by the team from the Vallakadavu range in 2016.
iv. The authors of the study have named the new species ‘Tyrannomyrmex alii’ paying tribute to their mentor and eminent myrmecologist (one who studies ants) Musthak Ali, who is regarded as India’s ‘ant man’.



India slips to 7th position in business optimism ranking

As per Grant Thornton’s International Business Report (IBR), India has slipped to 7th position in ‘business optimism’ index for the September 2017 quarter. This marks a drop by five places as compared to the 2nd position in the previous three months.

EU launches Election Observation Mission for Nepal polls

The European Union Election Observation Mission (EUEOM) was launched to monitor the general and provincial polls in Nepal which are scheduled for 26 November and 7 December 2017.

India inks $119 mn loan pact with WB for Odisha’s education scheme

On November 7, 2017, India signed a loan agreement with World Bank for USD 119 million for the Odisha Higher Education Programme for Excellence and Equity (OHEPEE) Project. 

Syndicate Bank forms human chain to fight Corruption

On November 7, 2017, Syndicate Bank formed a human chain to create awareness among the public to fight corruption. 
i. This human chain was formed by Syndicate Bank in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
ii. Syndicate Bank’s key people including Managing Director and CEO Melywyn Rego, Executive Directors,  SS Mallikarjuna Rao and S Krishnan also took part in this activity along with bank’s General Managers, Regional Managers, and staff.

Insolvency resolution norms made stringently

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) has amended IBBI (Insolvency Resolution Process for Corporate Persons) Resolution Process, 2016 to ensure that the corporate insolvency resolution process results in a credible and viable resolution plan.
i. As per the norm stipulated in this amendment, the antecedents, creditworthiness, and credibility of a resolution applicant, including promoters, will be checked by the Committee of Creditors before approving the resolution plan.
ii. Besides, details pertaining to convictions, criminal proceedings, disqualifications, categorization as wilful defaulter as per RBI guidelines, debarment imposed by SEBI and any transaction with the corporate debtor in the last two years should also be furnished.
iii. The amendment also assigns greater responsibility on the resolution professional and the Committee of Creditors.
iv. The resolution professional will now have to submit details about undervalued transactions and fraudulent transactions.