1. India, Australia seal N-deal procedures
i. India and Australia have sealed Nuclear-deal procedures for supply of uranium from later to energy starved India.
ii. N-deal procedures were formally completed between both countries following a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his counterpart Malcolm Turnbull in Antalya, Turkey on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit.
iii. Following the conclusion of the agreement, India has become the first country to buy Uranium from Australia without being a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT).
iv. India and Australia had started talks on the Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement in 2012 after Australia had lifted the long-standing ban on selling uranium to energy-starved India.
v. The cooperation agreement was signed between two countries in September 2014 to sell uranium as a nuclear fuel for peaceful power generation.
vi. It should be noted that Australia has about a 40 percent of world’s recoverable uranium resource and annually exports around 7,000 tonnes of it. In India, nuclear energy contributes just 3% of its electricity generation and it has currently signed nuclear energy agreements with 11 countries. Presently, India imports uranium from France, Russia and Kazakhstan to supply fuel to its two dozen small reactors at six sites with a total capacity of 4,780 MW which accounts for 2% of its total power capacity.
2. First AMRIT outlet opened at AIIMS Delhi for selling affordable drugs
i. Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on 15 November 2015 launched the Affordable Medicines and Reliable Implants for Treatment (AMRIT) pharmacy outlet at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi.
ii. The purpose of the first of its kind outlet is to reduce the expenditure incurred by patients on treatment of cancer and heart diseases by 50 to 60 percent.
iii. It is a retail pharmacy outlet that sells drugs and implants for the two ailments-cancer and heart diseases-at highly discounted rates. It would be selling 202 cancer and 186 cardio-vascular drugs and 148 types of cardiac implants at very affordable prices.
iv. It has been floated in a tie-up with government-owned HLL Lifecare Ltd (HLL). Based on the outcome of the AIIMS outlet, this initiative will be taken to other central government hospitals and Regional Cancer Centres in partnership with the HLL.
3. International Day for Tolerance observed across the world
i. The International Day for Tolerance was observed globally on 16 November 2015 with an aim to educate people about the need for tolerance in society and help them understand the negative effects of intolerance.
ii. In 1996, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) by its resolution 51/95 invited UN Member States to observe the International Day for Tolerance on 16 November, with activities directed towards both educational establishments and the wider public.
iii. This action came in the wake of the United Nations Year for Tolerance 1995, proclaimed by the UNGA in 1993. On 16 November 1995, the UNESCO member states adopted the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance and Follow-up Plan of Action for the year.
4. Maareech, an Advanced Torpedo Defence System, handed over to Indian Navy
i. The Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar handed over the Maareech - Advanced Torpedo Defence System – developed by DRDO to the Navy Chief Admiral Robin K. Dhowan in Vishakhapatnam.
ii. Maareech is a joint project of Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL), Kochi and NSTL, Visakhapatnam. It is a state-of-the-art indigenous system for torpedo detection and countermeasures.
iii. The system provides a complete solution to detect and locate the incoming torpedo and to apply countermeasures to protect naval platform against torpedo attack. The system is capable of detecting, confusing, diverting and decoying the incoming torpedoes.
iv. Two production grade Maareech systems have been developed and user evaluation trials completed onboard two Indian Navy ships. Besides, Parrikar also dedicated to the nation the Seakeeping and Manoeuvring Basin (SMB). It is a one of its kind platform in the country set up as a joint effort of DRDO and Indian Navy.
5. Philippines to host 2015 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit
i. Philippines is going to host 2015 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit from 18–19 November 2015 in its capital city Manila for the first time in nearly two decades.
ii. It is second time Philippines hosting the Asia-Pacific region’s most high-level business event i.e. APEC summit and had previously hosted it in 1996.
iii. For first time Philippines had hosted the APEC summit under the leadership of then-President Fidel Ramos who had vowed to help develop an action plan on facilitating free trade in the region.
iv. Theme of 2015 APEC Summit: “Building Inclusive Economies, Building a Better World”. Under this theme, Philippines is going to push for inclusive growth and highlight the role of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) which account for more than 97 per cent of businesses in APEC economies.
v. Two key road maps will be endorsed in 2015 APEC Summit. They are The Cebu Action Plan for financial integration: Aims to protect the APEC member countries from financial crises. Boracay Action Agenda: It is meant to help micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to access the regional and global market.
6. Jharkhand Government introduced Mobile Governance
i. The Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das on 15 November 2015 introduced Mobile Governance in the state to realise the dreams of Digital India during the occasion of 16th Foundation Day of the state.
ii. The State Government launched 14 mobile applications and three web portals on the State Foundation Day to deliver the benefits of information technology to the people of the state in order to bridge the gap between the government and public.
iii. To facilitate quick clearance for industries, the state government introduced Advantage Jharkhand Portal, the country's first single window portal.
iv. The mobile applications were developed by Jharkhand Space Applications Centre (JSAC). These are designed to bring services from government, civic bodies and police force to the Android smartphones of the beneficiaries.
v. All the mobile applications can be downloaded free of cost from apps.jharkhand.gov.in portal. Although, they have not been put up on any popular application distribution platform yet, this option is open for exploration in future.
7. Noted Children’s Book Writer Kamala Laxman passes away
i. A well-known author of children's books, Kamala Laxman, passed away in Pune on 14 November 2015 due to old age issues. She was 90.
ii. Widow of legendary cartoonist R.K. Laxman, Kamala was commissioned by the India Book House in the 1970s to write stories for children, such as Thama and His Missing Mother and tales of Tenali Raman. The Tenali Raman stories penned by her were later memorably serialised into 13 and telecast on Doordarshan.
iii. Kamala was born in Chennai. She attended St. Thomas' Convent and later graduated from Delhi's Indraprastha College. She also studied interior decoration from Sir J.J. School of Arts in Mumbai.
8. Saeed Jaffrey passes away
i. Veteran actor, Saeed Jaffrey, who was seen in films like Shatranj Ke Khiladi and Ram Teri Ganga Maili, passed away on Sunday, November 15, 2015. He was 86.
ii. Jaffrey's niece, Shaheen Aggarwal, broke the unfortunate news on Facebook. She wrote, "Today, a generation of Jaffreys has passed away. Saeed Jaffrey has joined his brothers and sister and is rejoicing in the lap of his Heavenly Father, eternally. The entire Jaffrey Family bids you, "adieu", you beautiful, beautiful man See you in heaven!"
iii. Saeed Jaffrey was the first Indian actor to tour Shakespeare, taking his company across the United States. He had also won the Filmfare Award for the film, Shatranj Ke Khiladi, in the Best Supporting Actor category.
9. ICICI Bank Canada launches student programme
i. ICICI Bank Canada, a subsidiary of private lender ICICI Bank, has launched Student GIC (Guaranteed Investment Certificate) Program for students aspiring to study in Canada.
ii. As per the terms of the programme, the amount of C$10,000 is paid back to the student while he/she is studying in Canada in 12 equal instalments along with the interest amount. The processing fee for applying to this programme is C$150.
iii. ICICI Bank Canada is the first Indian bank to be authorised by Canadian High Commission to accept GIC from Indian students. This programme enables students from India to fulfil the prerequisite of purchasing a GIC by transferring funds from any bank account held by them in India to their ICICI Bank Canada account. Students can do this while they are in India.
iv. Aspirants can apply for the Student GIC Program can register online and fill an application form sent to their email address. It can be submitted online itself as well as designated forex branches of ICICI Bank in India and transfer the required amount.
10. Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent name new India, MEA heads
i. Nokia announced that Sandeep Girotra would become the head of India and Amr Karim El-Leithy would become the head of Middle East and Africa as part of the planned combination of Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent, after and subject to the successful closing of the public exchange offer for Alcatel-Lucent securities announced on 15 April.
ii. Both would oversee the combined company's customer operations across India and Middle East and Africa, driving the execution of strategy and ensuring superior customer service, underpinned by a strong focus on innovation and quality.
iii. Sandeep Girotra joined Nokia Networks in 1996 and has held a number of different roles in India, heading the region since 2011. The proposed appointments are effective only after the successful closing of the public exchange offer and is subject to the completion of the relevant works council consultation procedures.
iv. Amr Karim El-Leithy is currently president for Middle East, Turkey and Africa for Alcatel-Lucent. He joined the company in 2009.
11. Practo, Uber enter into pact
i. Healthcare booking platform Practo and taxi-hailing platform Uber today announced a global partnership to help people reach doctors easily.
ii. Across India, Indonesia, Philippines and Singapore, those who book an appointment on Practo’s mobile application will be able to view the closest Uber available along with the appointment reminder alert.
iii. The next phase of integration will involve notifying the user to request for an Uber, an hour prior to the appointment.
iv. The partnership comes with an India-specific inaugural offer where any existing or new user booking an appointment on Practo till November 30, will get a free ride to and from the doctor’s clinic.
12. Thomas Cook India signs pact with OYO Rooms
i. Travel services provider Thomas Cook India has entered into a partnership with online aggregator of budget hotels, OYO Rooms, offering access to over 3,200 hotels, spread over 140 cities across India.
ii. The company’s partnership with OYO Rooms aims at providing a wide range of standardised stay options, optimal locations (both business and leisure areas) and maximised savings, Thomas Cook India said.
iii. The company’s partnership with OYO Rooms aims at providing a wide range of standardised stay options, optimal locations (both business and leisure areas) and maximised savings, Thomas Cook India said.
13. Saina Nehwal wins silver medal at 2015 China Open
i. Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal has won silver medal at 2015 China Open Superseries Premier Badminton tournament after finishing at second position in the Women’s Singles category.
ii. In the final match played at the Haixia Olympic Sports Centre in Fuzhou, the defending champion and top seeded Saina lost to sixth placed Xuerui Li from China by 12-21, 15-21 score.
iii. Saina and Li had met 12 times against each other and Saina has won just 2 of those games. The final of China Open tournament was overall Saina’s fifth final of the year 2015 and the third instance in 2015 that the World No. 1 has come out second best.
14. Nico Rosberg beat Lewis Hamilton to win Brazilian Grand Prix
i. German Formula One motor racer Nico Rosberg on 15 November 2015 defeated Lewis Hamilton to grab the Brazilian Grand Prix trophy. Sebastian Vettel grabbed the third position in the race.
ii. With the win, Rosberg reserved his place as runner-up in 2015 Formula One world championship. The Brazilian Grand Prix was German F1 Driver's second consecutive win following the 2015 Mexican Grand Prix. Besides, it was his fifth win of 2015 and the 13th of his career.
iii. Born on 27 June 1985, Rosberg has also briefly competed for Finland very early in his career. Rosberg entered Formula One in 2006 with Williams Grand Prix Engineering. He joined the re-branded Mercedes team for the 2010 Formula One season.
iv. The 2015 Brazilian Grand Prix is a Formula One motor race that was held at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace, in São Paulo, Brazil.