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Important Current Affairs 15th November 2019

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

SL Takes Step Towards Combating Fixing & Betting, Is 1st South Asian Nation To Criminalise Them.

• The Sri Lanka Parliament has passed all three readings of a bill entitled "Prevention of Offences Related to Sports" in which offences related to corruption in sports will carry a prison term of up to 10 years, as well as various fines, reports ESPNcricinfo.

• The bill not only seeks to punish "any person related to a sport" who is directly involved in fixing, but also those who "provide...inside information", curators who prepare playing surfaces to suit betting operators, and match officials who "deliberately misapply the rules" for money.

• According to the bill, "acts of omission", which includes failure to report corrupt approaches, are also criminalised.

Trace Bribery Risk Matrix 2019: Bangladesh tops the list in South Asia.

Key Highlights of Report

• Bangladesh is in 178th position among 200 countries. The report suggests that Bangladesh has a high expectation of bribes and a high degree of government interaction in business.

• The report informs that the high risk of bribery is there due to high regulatory burden on business.

• Afghanistan (168) and Pakistan (153) are other countries where bribery risk is high in South Asia.

• In South Asia, Bhutan (52) has the least risk of bribery as it is placed at 52 in the ranking.

• India is in 78th place with a total risk score of 48.

• Bangladesh gets a score of 86 in Business Interactions with Government domain. The ranking was based on a high level of government’s interaction and high regulatory burden.

NATIONAL NEWS

India pledges $13.5 million to UN in 2020 for development activities

• India has pledged to contribute USD 13.5 million for various operational activities of development across the UN agencies for the year 2020.

• Modi had announced a 14 million dollar grant for community development projects in the CARICOM and another 150 million dollar Line of Credit for solar, renewable energy and climate-change related projects.

• About 16 countries pledged a total of USD 516 million at the 2019 United Nations Pledging Conference for Development Activities, representing a considerable increase over 2018 which saw USD 425.69 million promised.

CBI sets up Unit to counter growing menace of child porn

• The Central Bureau of Investigation has a set up an Online Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation (OCSAE) Prevention and Investigation Unit at its headquarter in New Delhi to counter the growing menace of child porn on the internet.

• The new specialized unit under the Special Crime Investigation Wing of the agency will collect intelligence on those who are allegedly creating and transmitting such material on the internet. The unit also looks an eye on who are browsing and downloading such material.

• The perpetrators will be booked under relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 and the Information Technology Act, 2000.

India to host the 8th International Conference on Agricultural Statistics in New Delhi

• The 8th International Conference on Agricultural Statistics (ICAS-VIII) will be organized by the Ministry of Agriculture in New Delhi from 18th to 21st November 2019.

• Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra DG ICAR & Secretary DARE informed that the conference will be inaugurated by the Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Shri Narendra Singh Tomar.

• Chief Guest will be Bill Gates.

•  The conference will be organised in collaboration with the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, ISI-CAS, FAO, the USDA, ADB, World Bank, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Eurostat, AfDB and various other organizations.

• The theme of this year’s ICAS is ‘Statistics for Transformation of Agriculture to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’

DPIIT establishes Development Council for Bicycle

• Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, has set up a Development Council for Bicycle for vision planning in design, engineering and manufacturing of lighter, smarter, value added, safe and faster premium bicycles which are comparable with global standards for exports and domestic market.

• A Twenty-three-member Council will be headed by Secretary DPIIT.

• The constitution of the Council is for a period of two years.

• Joint Secretary, Light Engineering Industry Division in DPIIT will be Member-Secretary. The Council will have 9 ex-officio members from DPIIT and Department of Commerce, Ministries of Housing and Urban Affairs, Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Health and Family Welfare, Road Transport and Highways, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and Bureau of Indian Standards.

BNP Paribas mutual fund & Bank of Baroda (BOB) Mutual Fund: Merger gets CCI nod.

• Competition Commission of India (CCI) approves merger of BNP Paribas (BNPP) Mutual Fund and the Baroda (BOB) Mutual Fund, under Section 31(1) of the Competition Act, 2002.

CSIR-IMTECH signs MOU with IIT Bombay for collaborative research

• CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH), Chandigarh signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) here today with Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay to promote collaborative research.

•  The MoU will facilitate exchange of ideas, development of new knowledge and enhance high quality research acumen between the researchers and faculty of both the institutes.

• The objective of this collaboration is to carry out state of the art research in areas of healthcare especially in projects and mission where both the institutes can significantly complement each other.

Union Minister for Defence, Rajnath Singh inaugurating Sisseri River bridge.

• Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh was on two-day visit to Arunachal Pradesh on 14-15 November 2019.

• The minister inaugurated the Sisseri River bridge in the state that will connect the Lower Dibang Valley with Siang.

• The 200-metre long bridge is constructed between Jonai-Pasighat-Ranaghat-Roing road in East Siang District.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Dr Cyrus Poonawalla conferred with ABLF Lifetime Achievement Award.

• In a befitting celebration that complements the ‘Year of Tolerance’, the 12th edition of the Asian Business Leadership Forum (ABLF) presented its prestigious ABLF Awards to visionary leaders from across Asia, who inspire and set high standards in leadership excellence.

• Dr Cyrus Poonawalla, founder and chairman of Serum Institute of India, was conferred with the ABLF Lifetime Achievement Award in Dubai, UAE at a glittering ceremony on Thursday.

• It was in 1966, that Dr Poonawalla embarked on his journey to establish Serum Institute of India, which is now the world’s largest producer of vaccines by number of doses, producing at least 1.5 billion doses a year of life-saving vaccines used in over 170 countries to combat infection from rabies, measles, mumps, rubella, whooping cough, tetanus, diphtheria, tuberculosis, influenza, meningitis, rotavirus and hepatitis B vaccines among others,thus saving the lives of at least 40 million, mostly under-privileged children across the globe, who would have otherwise perished without the availability of affordable vaccines.

• Recently Dr Poonawalla, was also conferred with the prestigious 'Degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa' by the University of Oxford, UK at a ceremony in June.

• He was also conferred with the honorary degree of 'Doctor of Humane Letters' by the University of Massachusetts, Boston, USA last year for his outstanding contribution in improving the public health for all communities.

11.       Tobacco Board of India awarded the Golden Leaf award 2019 in the ‘Public Service Initiative’ category at Tab Expo 2019 in Amsterdam, Netherlands

SPORTS

Arsene Wenger to head FIFA’s Global Football Development

• In his new role, Wenger will be chiefly responsible for overseeing and driving the growth and development of the sport for both men and women around the world.

• He will also be the leading authority on technical matters, both as a member of the Football and Technical Advisory Panels involved in The IFAB’s review and decision-making process on potential changes to the Laws of the Game

• Leaning on a highly distinguished coaching career, Wenger’s role will include a particular focus on coach education, while he will also offer invaluable contributions to an executive programme – currently in its inception phase – tailored to encourage former professional players to enter management and which will support them through the post-career transition and bridge the gap between managerial and technical positions in football.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Kamala Vardhana Rao: New Chairman and Managing Director at ITDC

• India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) has appointed G Kamala Vardhana Rao as the new Chairman and Managing Director.

• Prior to this, Rao, an IAS officer 1990 batch from Kerala Cadre, was the Principal Secretary, Kerala government. He has also served as the Secretary of Kerala Tourism in 2014-15.