Organic World Congress – 2017:
i. 1,400 representatives from 110 countries, and 2000 delegates from India participated in the Organic World Congress – 2017. The goal is to move from organic India to the organic world.
ii. The Organic World Congress (OWC) is organized once every three years in a different country. The International Federation of Organic Farming Movements (IFOAM) and Organic Farming Association of India (OFAI) are organizing the event.
iii. One of the highlights of the event is the exhibition of carefully preserved diverse indigenous seed varieties over generations. 55 seeds group from 15 Indian states showcase 4,000 varieties of seeds in the event.
The Nordic-Baltic embassies are set to host the first ever youth film festival of the European nations at India Habitat Centre in New Delhi from 13 – 18 November 2017.
Nordic-Baltic youth film festival 2017:
i. The Nordic-Baltic youth film festival is organized by Nordic-Baltic embassies in collaboration with the India Habitat Centre.
ii. The Nordic-Baltic countries are Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden. They are tied together geographically and historically through trade, culture and many other value systems.
iii. The festival would offer a diverse mix of some of the most celebrated and Oscar nominated movies from the Nordic-Baltic region. Movies would range from action movies to family films to documentaries.
More Details about ‘Bandhan Express’:
i. ’Bandhan Express’ was jointly flagged off (through video conferencing) by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
ii. It is a fully air-conditioned passenger train and will run every Thursday from both Kolkata and Khulna.
iii. ’Bandhan Express’ will cover 172 kms distance between Kolkata and Khulna in four hours. It will have two stoppages, one at Petrapole (on the India side) and other at Benapole (in Bangladesh).
iv. It is the second Indo-Bangla train service after the Maitree Express, which runs between Dhaka and Kolkata.
v. The three leaders also inaugurated two bridges over the rivers Meghna and Titas in Bangladesh to provide an end-to-end immigration facility to ease Dhaka-Kolkata Maitree train services.
Delhi Government signed a twin city agreement with the Seoul (South Korea) Metropolitan Government with an objective to strengthen cooperation between two cities in the fields of smart city, e-governance, climate change and transportation.
i. This agreement, referred to as ‘Establishment of Friendship City Relationship’ was signed between Park Won Soon, Mayor of Seoul (South Korea) Metropolitan Government and Delhi and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
ii. It also envisages cooperation in the areas of environment, education, solid waste management, waste water management, public health, culture & tourism, and youth exchange.
iii. The twin city agreement between Delhi and Seoul will come into effect after being approved by Union Government.
iv. It is to be noted that Arvind Kejriwal and Park Won Soon, both received Ramon Magsaysay Award in year 2006.
Senior National Badminton Championship 2017:
i. Saina Nehwal, a former world number one, defeated PV Sindhu, the Olympic and World Championship silver medallist by 21-17, 27-25 in the finals of women singles. Saina won the women’s singles title.
ii. HS Prannoy defeated Kidambi Srikanth by 21-15, 16-21, 21-7 in the men’s singles finals. HS Prannoy won the men’s singles title.
iii. Also, Ashwini Ponnappa won two titles – mixed doubles with Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and women’s doubles with N Sikki Reddy.
India’s second Technology and Innovation Support Center (TISC) will be set up at the Centre for Intellectual Property Rights (CIPR) in Anna University, Chennai.
More Information about India s Second Technology and Innovation Support Center:
i. To set up this Center, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) under Union Ministry of Commerce & Industry has signed an Institutional agreement with Anna University.
ii. This center will be set up under the World Intellectual Property Organizations (WIPO) Technology and Innovation Support Center (TISC) program.
iii. WIPO’s TISC program provides access to locally based, high quality technology information and related services to innovators in developing countries.
iv. TISC will serve as a platform for sharing knowledge and best practices for capacity building, generation and commercialization of Intellectual Properties.
v. Anna University which will host this centre Anna University has been accredited with 6th rank among Universities by the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) of Union Ministry of Human Resource Development.
Uber partners with NASA for flying taxis:
i. Uber has also announced that, Los Angeles will join two other previously revealed “UberAIR” pilot schemes in Dallas Fort-Worth, Texas, and Dubai.
ii. The first demonstration flights are expected in 2020 and will move into commercial operations by 2023, with plenty of time for the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
iii. The flights will have a pilot during initial flights. But it could be automated in the future. An UberAir journey would take three times less time than the same journey by car.
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i. The new species of wild banana has been named after Paramjit Singh, director of the Botanical Survey of India (BSI). This discovery has been published in the Nordic Journal of Botany.
ii. The species was found in North Andaman’s Krishnapuri forest, 6 kilometres away from human habitation.
iii. The plant grows to a height of nine metres and bears an edible, sweet-and-sour tasting fruit that is boat-shaped and has numerous bulb-shaped seeds.
iv. Its conservation status has been declared as ‘Critically Endangered’. As, it has been spotted in only two locations on the islands so far, each with 6 to 18 plants in a clump.
The Economic Research Department of State Bank of India (SBI) has released a report on oil price hike and how unlikely it is to impact the Current account deficit (CAD) and how inflation could stretch fiscal.
SBI economic report on oil price hike:
i. The report is authored by Dr. Soumya Kanti Ghosh, Group Chief Economic Adviser of SBI. The report depicts oil price hike and its impact on the Current account deficit (CAD) and inflation.
ii. The report said that, with this rate and assuming oil price reduces to reasonable levels, the Government could receive budgeted Rs 1 lakh crore in small savings in financial year 2018, and would be able to do a buyback of Rs 75000 crore.
iii. It further said that, an average annual one dollar increase in oil price can lead to an increase in oil imports by 1561 million dollars annually.
The US has announced a grant of nearly USD 500,000 for organizations which can come up with ideas and projects to promote religious freedom in India and Sri Lanka.
The US grants $500k to India and Sri Lanka to promote religious freedom:
i. The Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, US, has said that it aims to reduce religiously-motivated violence and discrimination in India through its USD 493,827 programme.
ii. For Sri Lanka, it aims to ensure that, authorities at all levels of government in Sri Lanka effectively implement national laws and policies protecting religious freedom.
iii. For India, the applying organization has to come up with proposals to develop and implement early warning systems to prevent large-scale violence and implement conflict mitigation programs between minority and majority groups.
More Information about IDFC Bank – Mobikwik co-branded virtual Visa prepaid card:
i. By next week, IDFC Bank – Mobikwik Visa virtual pre-paid card facility will be available to all MobiKwik users on Android as well as iOS platform.
ii. To use the co-branded pre-paid card, the Mobikiwk user need not be a customer of IDFC Bank.
iii. This tie-up will enhance the brand visibility of IDFC Bank as Mobikwik’s current user base stands at 65 million.
iv. From Mobikwik’s perspective, this tie-up will extend the buying power of Mobikwik’s users at more locations.
Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA) has announced that linking of Aadhaar number to insurance policies is now a mandatory requirement under Prevention of Money-laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules, 2017.
i. This norm of linking Aadhaar number to insurance policies will apply to new customers as well as existing policy holders.
ii. Besides, it will apply not only to life insurance policies but also to general insurance policies.
iii. Insurance industry experts believe that this norm will be helpful during claims settlement.
iv. Aadhaar Number-Insurance Policy linkage will help in establishing the unique identity of the claimant thus reducing fraudulent claims. Moreover it will also increase the speed of settlement.
United Arab Emirates (UAE’s) second largest bank, Emirates NBD has started operations in India by opening a branch in Mumbai.
More Information about Emirates NBD bank’s Indian operations:
i. Emirates NBD, has a plan to invest USD 100 million capital into its Indian operations over a period of time.
ii. The Mumbai branch is Emirates NBD’s fifth international branch outside of its UAE.
iii. Emirates NBD’s Mumbai branch will offer a range of services to corporate, institutional clients and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
iv. It will not only offer trade finance, treasury services, bilateral and syndicated loans but will also cater to NRI (non-resident Indian) customers looking for cross-border wealth management solutions.
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