1. Nuclear-capable Dhanush missile successfully test fired from warship Subhadra
i. The nuclear-capable Dhanush ballistic missile was successfully test fired from warship Subhadra, off the Puri coast of Odisha in the Bay of Bengal. The test was conducted by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and it was a perfect mission as the missile hit the target point with high degree of accuracy.
ii. One of the five missiles indigenously developed by the DRDO under its strategic Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP). The surface-to-surface missile is a naval variant of Prithvi-II missile and can carry both conventional as well as a nuclear payload of 500 kg.
iii. The missile has a length of 8.53 meters and is 0.9 meter wide. It is single-stage, liquid propelled which can hit both land and sea-based targets upto strike range of 350 kms. The missile already has been inducted into the armed Services. Naval variant of the missile was first successfully tested in 2012.
2. Writer, Journalist Mahip Singh Passes Away
i. Writer, columnist and journalist Mahip Singh passed away at a private hospital in Gurgaon today after a brief illness, family members said. He was 85.
ii. According to his family members, Singh was admitted to the hospital on November 16 when he faced problems in breathing and he took his last breath at around 1 pm today. His last rites would be performed tomorrow.
iii. Singh is survived by wife, two sons and a daughter. Singh was born on August 15, 1930 at a village in Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh. His family later shifted to Kanpur.
iv. Collection of his first short stories 'Subah ke Phool' was published in 1959 and later on more than 20 short stories collections were published. His famous novels include 'Ye Bhi Nhi', Abhi Shesh Hai' and 'Bich ki Dhoop'. He had been editing literary magazine 'Sanchetna' for the past 45 years. He established Bhartiya Lekhak Sangathan in 1978.
3. Japan successfully launches its first commercial satellite
i. Japan has successfully launched its first commercial satellite on 24 November 2015 as part its national space programme. Japanese H-IIA rocket carrying Canadian TELSTAR 12V communications and broadcasting satellite for operator Telesat was successfully lifted off from Tanegashima Space Centre (TSC).
ii. With this, Japan is entered into the commercial satellite launch business which is mainly dominated by European and Russian companies.
iii. The first commercial satellite launch was overseen by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Japan is aiming to become a major player in the commercial satellite launching business which is worth 2.5 billion dollars a year.
iv. India had launched its first commercial satellite successfully in 2007 using Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) carrying Italian satellite AGILE for space exploration.
4. 2019 new deadline for completion of PMGSY
i. Union Government has reduced the deadline for completion of flagship Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) for rural connectivity through all- weather roads from 2022 to 2019. The annual allocation of the Central release for PMGSY works during year 2015-16 also has been increased by 5,000 crore rupees.
ii. With this, the total Central allocation to states under PMGSY would now be 15,100 crore rupees. By providing enhanced financial allocation through a modified funding pattern in the PMGSY scheme, Government is seeking to accelerate the implementation of rural connectivity.
iii. It is also considering giving financial incentives to the states achieving the targets allocated to them under the PMGSY. Government also has accepted the recommendation of the Sub-Group of Chief Ministers on Rationalization of Centrally Sponsored on modified sharing pattern.
iv. The sub group has recommended that fund sharing pattern of PMGSY between the Centre and States for all states will be in the ratio of 60:40. But for all land locked 8 North Eastern states and 3 Himalayan states, the fund sharing pattern of PMGSY between the Centre and States will be in the ratio of 90:10.
5. I-T dept launches PAN-based litigation management system
i. Aimed to reduce lengthy proceedings and time taken in litigation, the Income Tax department has activated a PAN—based online system which enables the taxman to access cases in their jurisdiction on a click, amongst a building database of over 5 lakh appeals and 1.50 lakh judgments.
ii. The new facility is part of the National Judicial Reference System (NJRS), an electronic repository of cases under the direct taxes category or income tax pending in legal forums like the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT), Authority for Advanced Ruling (AAR), various High Courts and the Supreme Court.
iii. The tax department is on a spree to ensure more and more number of people and taxpayers in the country use the PAN card. It has recently launched a business application software which uses PAN to track all the transactions and financial records of an individual and entity across the country.
iv. Authorities working in the resource management wing of the NJRS database said the facility will also be made fully accessible for taxpayers in the near future so that they can check the status of their appeals on this portal.
v. According to official records accessed by PTI, the database has over 1.5 lakh orders and judgments and data of over 5 lakh appeals (pending and disposed) of ITAT, HCs and the Supreme Court was hosted for use till now.
6. Karnataka launches 'Tourist Mitras'
i. The Department of Tourism, Government of Karnataka, along with the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) and the State Home Department, today launched in Bangalore ‘Tourist Mitra’, a 175-member friendly force, to reinforce smooth and secure experiences for visitors to the state’s tourist spots.
ii. The launch was inaugurated by R.V. Deshpande, Minister for Large & Medium Industries and Tourism, Government of Karnataka
iii. In the first phase of the project, 175 home guards underwent three weeks of lectures followed by practical training for a month before stationing them across select destinations 13 districts.
iv. The training includes imparting basic language skills, lectures by senior tourism and police officers and efforts are also underway to teach the guards conversational skills in Russian, Chinese, French and German languages.
v. The ‘mitras’ will have both static and patrol duties in the tourist locations. Presently, they will be on a 12-hour duty and there would be special helplines as per the needs of the relevant districts.
7. Operation Inherent Resolve to tackle ISIS
i. US military operation for the intervention against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) was in news in fourth week of November 2015. It came into news after the Paris terror attack on 13 November 2015 in which about 130 people were killed and several were injured.
ii. OIR is the US military operation name for the intervention against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), including both the campaign in Iraq and the campaign in Syria. Effective 22 September 2015, III Corps is responsible for Combined Joint Task Force- Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR).
iii. There was news that French President Francoise Hollande wants to draw Russia closer to the 65-nation coalition against ISIS. He looked forward to link Russia in the 65-nation coalition after Paris attack, the foreign ministers of Russia and US stated that they would explore closer counterterrorism cooperation.
iv. Both the countries differ in their approach. On the one hand, Russia wants to achieve these objectives in the order presented. On the other hand, US want to achieve the objective simultaneously and think that these objectives are complementary to each other.
8. India-Singapore signed 10 agreements on mutual co-operation
i. India and Singapore on 24 November 2015 signed 10 agreements on mutual co-operation. These include Defence, Civil Aviation, National Planning and cyber Security.
ii. The agreements were signed in presence of Prime Minster of Narendra Modi and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Narendra Modi was on a two-day visit to Singapore (23 November to 24 November 2015).
iii. Agreement on the Extension of Loan of Artifacts to the Asian Civilisations Museum of Singapore Executive Programme on Cooperation in the Fields of the Arts, Heritage, Archives and Library for the Years 2015-2018.
iv. Operationalisation of the Technical Agreement on Sharing White Shipping Information was signed between the Indian Navy and the Singapore Navy signed on 21 July 2015.
v. Different MoUs signed are
MoU on Cooperation in the area of Cyber Security
MoU in Civil Aviation
MoU on Cooperation in the Field of Planning
MoU on Cooperation to Combat Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substance and their Precursors
9. Union Government announced 10 New/Revised Schemes for Disabled Persons under the National Trust
i. Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawar Chand Gehlot on 24 November 2015 announced the launching of 10 new/revised schemes for the disabled persons in New Delhi.
These schemes were launched under the National Trust for the welfare of persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities.
ii. The list of the schemes are:
DISHA: Early Intervention and School Readiness Scheme
SAMARTH: Respite Care Scheme
GHARAUNDA: Group Home for Adults Scheme
NIRAMAYA: Health Insurance Scheme
SAHYOGI: Caregiver training scheme
GYAN PRABHA: Educational support Scheme
PRERNA: Marketing Assistance Scheme
SAMBHAV: Aids and Assisted Devices Scheme
BADHTE KADAM: Awareness and Community Interaction Scheme
iii. he also announced to increase the number of categories of disability from 7 to 19, so that more number of disabled could be brought into the ambit of Government’s new initiatives.
iv. Further, a new website http://thenationaltrust.gov.in/content/ for the National Trust was launched. This new website is made disabled friendly, more interactive. Registration of NGOs and paying donations can be done in the website itself.
10. 10th East Asia Summit held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
i. The 10th East Asia Summit (EAS) was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The year’s summit held under the theme Our People, Our Community, Our Vision. It was the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the East Asia Summit.
ii. The summit was chaired by the Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak and attended by the Heads of State/Government of ASEAN Member States, Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Korea, Russia and the United States of America.
iii. The 2005 Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the Establishment of the EAS. The 2010 Ha Noi Declaration on the Commemoration of the 5th Anniversary of the EAS. The 2011 Declaration of the EAS on the Principles for Mutually Beneficial Relations
iv. The commitments emphasised the role of the EAS as a Leaders-led forum for strategic dialogue and cooperation on political, security and economic issues of common regional concern with the aim to promote peace, stability and economic prosperity in East Asia. The 11th East Asia Summit will be held Lao PDR in 2016. 9th East Asia Summit was held in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar on 13 November 2014.
11. Anju Bobby George appointed Chairperson of Target Olympic Podium Scheme
i. Anju Bobby George, the former long jump world champion, was on 24 November 2015 appointed as the chairperson of the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS). She will be assuming the charge in the first week of December 2015.
ii. Her appointment was approved by the Union Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs. The post of the chairperson was lying vacant after the resignation of Anurag Thakur, the BJP parliamentarian and Secretary, Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI).
iii. She is presently a member of the TOPS' identification committee, which also includes national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand and former Indian cricket captain Rahul Dravid.
iv. Anju from Kerala was the first Indian athlete who won the bronze medal in the World Athletics Championships held in Paris in 2003.
v. In 2005, she with a jump of 6.75 meters had won a silver medal at the Monte Carlo World Athletics Championships. However, in 2014, she was declared winner of Monte Carlo Athletic Championship by the IAAF following disqualification of Gold Medalist Tatyana Kotova of Russia for doping.
vi. The TOP Scheme under the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) was formulated with the objective of identifying and supporting potential medal prospects for 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games. The focused disciplines of the scheme were Athletics, Archery, Badminton, Boxing, Wrestling and Shooting.
12. Ministry of Railways, TERI University signed MoU to set up Railway Chair on Sustainable Mobility
i. The Ministry of Railways and TERI University on 23 November 2015 signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set up Railway Chair on Sustainable Mobility at the premises of TERI University.
ii. The MoU was signed by Rajiv Seth, Vice Chancellor, TERI University and Manoj Pandey, ED of Training and Man Power, Ministry of Railways. The Chair would focus and promote research on issues of sustainable mobility, use of energy efficient technology and green energy initiatives.
iii. It will be called Indian Railways Chair for Sustainable Mobility. It will focus on research in various aspects of railways that emerged as a crucial mode of transport to achieve sustainable development in the country. It will aim for imparting knowledge and enriching professionals in all aspects of sustainability with a multi-dimensional perspective relevant to Indian Railways.
iv. The tenure of the Chair would be one year initially, extendable upon review. Annual funding for the Chair will be 20 lakh rupees. A Chair Professor would be appointed, who will be a nominee of the Ministry of Railways and will be selected by the Chairman, Board of Management of TERI University.