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Important Current Affairs 22nd November 2019

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Oxford Word of the Year 2019: climate emergency

• The Oxford Word of the Year 2019 is “climate emergency. “

• Climate emergency is defined as 'a situation in which urgent action is required to reduce or halt climate change and avoid potentially irreversible environmental damage resulting from it.

• The Oxford Word of the Year is a word or expression shown through usage evidence to reflect the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the passing year, and have lasting potential as a term of cultural significance.

• Analysis of language data collected in the Oxford Corpus shows the rapid rise of climate emergency from relative obscurity to becoming one of the most prominent – and prominently debated – terms of 2019.

Global Terrorism Index 2019: Afghanistan most impacted by terrorism

• The Global Terrorism Index released by the Australia based Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP) ranks 163 countries according to the impact of terrorism on the basis of factors such as the number of attacks, fatalities, injuries and the extent of property damage.

• India has been placed at 7th position in terms of country most impacted by terrorism.

• According to the 2019 Global Terrorism Index (GTI), Afghanistan recorded largest increase in deaths from terrorism.

•  Top 10 countries most impacted by terrorism

1.         Afghanistan

2.         Iraq

3.         Nigeria

4.         Syria

5.         Pakistan

6.         Somalia

7.         India

8.         Yemen

9.         Philippines

10.       Democratic Republic of the Congo

US approves sale of 13 naval guns worth over $1 billion to India

• The United States has approved the sale of 13 MK45 Naval guns and related equipment to India at an estimated cost of $1.0210 billion (approximately Rs 7,331.76 crore).

• The MK 45 5 inch/62 calibre (MOD 4) naval guns will provide the capability to conduct anti-surface warfare and anti-air defense missions while enhancing interoperability with the U.S. and other allied forces.

• India will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense.

CII India Europe 29 Business Forum 2019

• Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India are organising 5th edition of the India-Europe 29 Business Forum on 20-21 November 2019 at the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra, New Delhi, India.

• Focus Sectors

• Artificial Intelligence

• IT & ITeS

• Pharmaceuticals

• Renewable Energy

• Smart Cities, including urban transportation

• Key Outcomes Expected

• Bring together various stakeholders to facilitate dialogue on pre-identified projects.

• Focus on tangible outcomes in terms of building new business partnerships.

• Chart out a roadmap for increased trade and investment by focusing on certain sectors, capitalizing on opportunities in those sectors and removing bottlenecks.

• Create a higher level of awareness of the business climate and incentives provided by each country.

Potential Diarrhea vaccine developed in Sweden

• The researchers of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden have developed a potential Diarrhea vaccine.

• Science journal, The Lancet, reports that it has been proved safe and effective in an early-stage clinical trial in Bangladesh.

• The report said that 80 to 100 per cent of the children aged two to five years and 50 to 80 per cent of infants aged six to eleven months, selected for the study responded to all key immunity generating components of the vaccine.

• The researchers said, there is no vaccine yet for use for children and vaccine development for Diarrhea is a World Health Organization priority.

NATIONAL NEWS

India to host 1st counter-terror exercise for Quad countries

• The National Investigation Agency (NIA) will host the first-ever counter-terrorism exercise for the Quad countries, including India, the US, Japan and Australia, here at its headquarters in New Delhi on November 21 and 22.

• The ‘CT-TTX’ (counter-terrorism table-top exercise) would be the first engagement among the four countries to discuss issues of common interest related to counter-terrorism.

• The purpose of the exercise is to assess and validate counter-terrorism response mechanisms in the light of emerging terrorist threats.

• The table-top exercise also aims at improving the inter-agency cooperation between different counter-terrorism and other agencies of the Quad countries.

4-day Northeast festival in Varanasi from November 23

• The 2019 edition of the ‘Destination North East’ Festival will be held at IIT BHU grounds in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

• The festival is being organised by the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER).

• A four-day festival showcasing art, culture, cuisine, handicrafts and handlooms of the northeastern region will be held for the first time in Varanasi.

• It will be inaugurated by Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Ministry of DoNER, Dr Jitendra Singh.

• All 8 Northeastern states will participate the event to display their handicrafts, handloom, organic products and cultural troupes.

Bengaluru is India’s top-ranked city in new global inclusive prosperity index

• Bangalore has emerged highest-ranked Indian city in the first-ever Prosperity & Inclusion City Seal and Awards (PICSA) Index which features world’s 113 cities in terms of economic and social inclusivity.

• Three Indian city has been listed in the index.

• While Bengaluru is placed at 83rd position, Delhi (101) and Mumbai (107) are the other two Indian cities in the list.

• The index has been topped by Zurich in Switzerland.

• Vienna, Copenhagen, Luxembourg and Helsinki are the top five cities in the index respectively.

• The PICSA Index has been commissioned by Basque institutions and compiled by D&L Partners.

• The index is designed to showcase not only the quantity of economic growth of a city but also its quality and distribution across populations

Microsoft rolls out the K12 Education Transformation Framework widely in India

• The Microsoft K-12 Education Transformation Framework provides a holistic framework to facilitate a comprehensive digital transformation of schools.

•  It comprises of four pillars-Leadership and Policy; Modern Teaching and Learning; Intelligent Environments and Technology Blueprint.

• Microsoft India launched the framework at the second edition of the Microsoft Education Days, which was participated by more than 700 school leaders, educators, students, and Microsoft partners to deliberate on the future of learning.

• To help school principals initiate their journey of digital transformation, the program will offer a series of workshops based on each of these pillars.

• The Microsoft K-12 Education Transformation Framework is an effective, flexible platform based on the latest research and input from hundreds of academics, experts and policy makers.

• Education leaders in more than 50 countries have already adopted the Microsoft K-12 Education Transformation Framework to help plan their learning strategies in partnership with Microsoft.

BANKING AND ECONOMICS

OECD cuts global GDP growth outlook to 2.9% in 2020

• In its latest economic outlook report released on Thursday, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) trimmed the global economic growth forecast to 2.9% in 2020, while the outlook for 2019 remained unchanged, also at 2.9%. The 2020 figure was cut from a 3% forecast in September and marks the lowest growth rate since the financial crisis.

• The outlook for the US was also revised from 2.4% to 2.3%, while the figure for next year has remained the same. Euro area's growth was revised up by 0.1 points to 1.1% in 2019 and 1.1% in 2020. In China, the growth rate drop will be sharper, the report indicated, from 6.2% in 2019 to 5.7% in 2020.

• Also, OECD sees the global economic growth edging back up to 3% in 2021.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Sub Lieutenant Shivangi, 24, first woman pilot of Indian Navy to join duty on December 2

• Shivangi, hailing from Muzzafarpur, Bihar, has created history by becoming the first Indian woman pilot to join the Indian Navy.

• She is set to join naval operations on December 2 in Kochi, two days ahead of Navy Day, which falls on December 4.

• Shivangi will join naval operations as a Lieutenant on completion of her operational training which she has been undergoing at the Southern Naval Command in Kochi.

• After the training, Shivangi will get authorisation to fly dornier aircrafts with effect from December 2.

• Till now, the Indian Navy’s Aviation branch has had women officers operating as air traffic control officers and as ‘observers’ in the aircraft who are responsible for communication and weapons.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

UP rail coach factory to employ India-made humanoid robot Sona 1.5

• The Modern Coach Factory (MCF), Rae Bareli, Uttar Pradesh has introduced indigenously developed humanoid robot named ‘Sona 1.5’ to transport documents from one place to another.

• The full-service robot Sona 1.5 has been developed by Jaipur based Club First Technologies and will also be used for welcoming visitors, technical interaction, other types of training.

• The robot is said to be the first in the world having human-like spine technology which helps them to balance.

• In addition to this, the humanoid robot is based on navigation and mapping with the help of sensors and reach the target.