i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 5 November 2015 launched three gold related schemes. The schemes are – Gold Monetization Scheme, Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme and Indian Gold Coins.
ii. The three schemes were announced by the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his 2015-16 budget speech in February 2015.
iii. The primary purpose of the schemes is to reduce dependence on imported gold, recycle the unutilized gold in the country and most importantly, streamline the gold business in the country. At present, India is the largest consumer of gold in the world.
2. RBI notified Operational Guidelines of Sovereign Gold Bonds 2015-16
ii. Joint holding and nomination: Multiple joint holders and nominees (of first holder) are permitted. Necessary details may be obtained from the applicants as per practice.
iii. Interest on application money: Applicants will be paid interest at prevailing savings bank rate from the date of realization of payment to the settlement date that is the period for which they are out of funds.
iv. Processing through RBI’s e-kuber system: Sovereign Gold Bonds will be available for subscription at the branches of scheduled commercial banks and designated post offices through RBI’s e-kuber system.
v. Servicing and follow up: Receiving offices like branches of the scheduled commercial banks and designated post offices will own the customer and provide necessary services with regards to this bond. Receiving offices will be required to preserve applications till the bonds are matured and are repaid.
i. The Forbes list of the World's Most Powerful People 2015 was released on 4 November 2015. This was Forbes’ seventh annual ranking of World’s Most Powerful People. The list provided the annual ranking of the World’s 73 Most Powerful People.
ii. The list was topped by Russian President Vladimir Putin for the third year in a row. Putin is followed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel (rank 2) who moved up 3 spots from 2014, and President Barack Obama (rank 3) dropped 1 spot, making it the first year a sitting US President has not made it into the top 2 spots.
iii. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi was ranked as the world’s ninth most powerful person. In 2014, Modi was placed at 14th position.
4. PM Narendra Modi launched research project Imprint India
ii. Imprint India is a 1000 crore rupees project, which aspires to identify areas of immediate relevance to society requiring innovation and Direct scientific research into identified areas
iii. This is to ensure higher funding support for research into these areas and Measure outcomes of the research effort with reference to impact on the standard of living in the rural/urban areas
iv. The Imprint India will focus on 10 themes and each will be coordinated by one IIT/IISc.
5. Navtej Singh Sarna appointed as Indian High Commissioner to United Kingdom
i. Navtej Singh Sarna was on 31 October 2015 appointed as Indian High Commissioner to United Kingdom (UK). Sarna is a 1980 batch Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer.
ii. Prior to this appointment, Sarna was working as Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs where he was responsible for looking after country’s diplomatic affairs with the UK and other European nations.
iii. Earlier, he had served in Indian missions in Moscow, Warsaw, Thimphu, Geneva, Tehran and Washington DC. He has also served as Indian Ambassador to Israel.
iv. Sarna has also authored many books including The Exile- a novel based on the life of Maharaja Duleep Singh, We Weren’t Lovers Like That- a novel and a non-fiction The Book of Nanak.
6. Union Government constituted Empowered Committee to approve schemes under Nirbhaya Fund
i. The Union Government on 4 November 2015 constituted an Empowered Committee to approve schemes proposed under the Nirbhaya Fund.
ii. The Committee comprises officials from various ministries, including Women and Child Development, Home Affairs, Road Transport and Railways.
iii. The Secretary of the Women and Child Development Ministry will be the chairperson of the committee. The Members of the Empowered Committee may nominate an officer not below the rank of Joint Secretary as representative to the Empowered Committee of Officers.
iv. The Empowered Committee of Officers will take decision on the sanction of schemes/projects from Nirbhaya Fund within 15 days of the date of receipt of the proposal by the Ministry of Women & Child Development.
v. The Nirbhaya Fund has a total of 3000 crore rupees fund as 1000 crore each was allocated to it in 2014-15 and 2015-16 on top of 1000 crore rupees initial corpus.
7. V Sivaramakrishnan appointed as MD of Oxford University Press India
i. Oxford University Press India (OUPI) has appointed V Sivaramakrishnan (Siva) as the managing director, with regional responsibilities including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal.
ii. He will join OUP India from Manipal Global Education Services, privately owned service provider to the higher education and training sectors.
iii. In progressing from chief marketing officer to executive president for education services, Siva has overseen seven years of strong business development, improved quality assurance, and the effective delivery of supporting technology platforms.
iv. Prior to moving into the education sector, he led a team that built and ran a successful online news, shopping, and gaming portal. He also spent nearly ten years with the Ford Motor Company – including time based in the UK and US – and held various consumer branding roles within Proctor and Gamble.
8. RBI imposes Rs 1 cr penalty on Dhanlaxmi Bank
i. The Reserve Bank has imposed Rs 1 crore penalty on Dhanlaxmi Bank for violation of Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti Money Laundering (AML) norms.
ii. It had issued a Show Cause Notice to the bank for not complying with KYC and AML guidelines “in respect of a current account under investigation” of the Economic Offences Wing (EOW), Mumbai.
iii. After considering the bank’s reply, as also, personal submissions, information submitted and documents furnished, RBI came to the conclusion that the bank had violated the instructions/guidelines issued, from time to time, which warranted imposition of monetary penalty on it.
iv. RBI further said that “this action” is based on deficiencies in regulatory compliance and is “not intended” to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the bank and its customers.
9. Indian-born Harjit Sajjan sworn-in as Defence Minister of Canada
i. Indo-Canadian Sikh Harjit Sajjan was on 4 November 2015 sworn-in as Defence Minister of Canada. Sajjan succeeded Conservative Defence Minister Jason Kenney.
ii. He is one of the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s 30-member Cabinet that was sworn-in at a public ceremony held at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, Canada. Trudeau was sworn-in as the 23rd Prime Minister of Canada.
iii. Sajjan is a decorated Lt Colonel in the Canadian Armed Forces who was elected as a MP for Vancouver South. He has served in Bosnia and had three deployments to Kandahar, Afghanistan. He has received numerous military honours, including the Meritorious Service Medal in 2013.
iv. As the new Defence Minister, Sajjan will work with Trudeau on reshaping Canada's combat mission fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Sajjan was born in India and later moved to Canada with his family when he was five-years-old.
10. Michelle Payne became first female jockey to win Melbourne Cup
i. Michelle Payne on 3 November 2015 became the first female jockey to win 6.2 million Australian dollars Melbourne Cup. Payne rode rank outsider Prince of Penzance to a famous victory in Australia's richest and most prestigious horse race.
ii. Payne, born on 29 September 1985, won in her first race at Ballarat. On 10 October 2009, she won her first Group One race, the Toorak Handicap at Caulfield Racecourse aboard Allez Wonde. Later, she emerged as the third female jockey to ride in the Caulfield Cup. In 2010, she came out as a winner in the Thousand Guineas at Caulfield aboard Yosei.
iii. The Melbourne Cup is one of Australia's most prestigious Thoroughbred horse races. The race is conducted annually by the Victoria Racing Club on the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Victoria.
11. Jitu Rai won silver in 13th Asian Shooting Championship
i. Ace shooter Jitu Rai on 4 November 2015 won India's first senior medal at the 13th Asian Shooting Championship in Kuwait City. He bagged the silver in the finals of the men's 50 metre pistol event.
ii. Korea’s Park Daehun, who won the gold medal of the event, shot finals world and Asian record score of 199.2, while Jitu finished with a finals score of 189.5.
iii. In the process, Jitu defeated his long-time rivals Jin Jongoh of Korea and Vladimir Issachenko of Kazakhstan.
iv. Apart from this, India also won four silver and two bronze medals in the junior events of the championships. In the women's 25 metre pistol event, Heena Sidhu, Gauri Sheoran and Annu Raj Singh could not qualify for the finals.