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Smriti Irani
Piyush Goyal
Nitin Gadkari
Nirmala Sitharaman

Correct Answer : Option (A) - Smriti Irani

Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani launched (28th Nov 2023) the National Outreach Programme on Anganwadi Protocol for Divyang Children.

The Protocol embraces a Social Model for Divyangjan Inclusive Nutrition Care. It includes screening for early disability signs, inclusion in community events, and referral support through ASHA and ANM teams.

Aim :
The aim of this protocol is to ensure overall improvement in children's wellbeing through early intervention, specialized support and services for infants and young children with disability, and educating and supporting families and communities to improve divyang children's participation.

Addressing the gathering on the occasion, the Minister said, for the first time, the Anganwadi workers will help in the screening of children for identifying any kind of disabilities.

She informed that at least one lakh such children will be benefitted annually through this programme. She said, the government will make the child care socially acceptable and affordable..

Source : AIR

Published On : November 30, 2023
26th Nov 2023
27th Nov 2023
28th Nov 2023
29th Nov 2023

Correct Answer : Option (D) - 29th Nov 2023

Henry Kissinger, former United States Secretary of State and Nobel Peace Prize winner, died aged 100 on Wednesday (29th Nov 2023), according to Kissinger Associates Inc. He was a diplomatic powerhouse whose service under two presidents left an indelible mark on US foreign policy.

Kissinger died at his home in Connecticut, Kissinger Associates said.

Kissinger had been active past his centenary (in May this year), attending meetings in the White House, publishing a book on leadership styles, and testifying before a Senate committee about the nuclear threat posed by North Korea. In July 2023, he made a surprise visit to Beijing to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping.

In the 1970s, he had a hand in many of the epoch-changing global events of the decade while serving as Secretary of State under Republican President Richard Nixon. The German-born Jewish refugee's efforts led to the diplomatic opening of China, landmark US-Soviet arms control talks, expanded ties between Israel and its Arab neighbours, and the Paris Peace Accords with North Vietnam.

Kissinger's reign as the prime architect of US foreign policy waned with Nixon's resignation in 1974. Still, he continued to be a diplomatic force under President Gerald Ford and to offer strong opinions throughout the rest of his life.

While many hailed Kissinger for his brilliance and broad experience, others branded him a war criminal for his support for anti-communist dictatorships, especially in Latin America. In his latter years, his travels were circumscribed by efforts by other nations to arrest or question him about past US foreign policy..

Source : India Today

Published On : November 30, 2023
Rajnath Singh
Nitin Gadkari
Amit Shah
Nirmala Sitharaman

Correct Answer : Option (B) - Nitin Gadkari

Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has virtually inaugurated the luxury vessel ‘Classic Imperial’, the biggest of its kind tourist vessel in Kerala.

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said cruise tourism has endless possibilities in the country, especially in Kerala. A serious intervention will be made to secure more support from the banking sector for the construction of vessels

The salient and pleasing ‘Classic Imperial’ reflects not only professional excellence and innovation but also the determination and dedication of the entrepreneur. The success story of Nishijith K John, an entrepreneur who made the vessel a reality, is an inspiring one. Union Minister also invited Nishijit to vessel construction ventures in Maharashtra.

Biggest of its kind :

* Classic Imperial is the biggest of its kind tourist vessel in Kerala which can accommodate up to 150 passengers at a time. The vessel is 50 meters long, 11 meters wide and 10 meters high with IRS (Indian Registrar of Shipping) safety certification.

* From wedding ceremonies to company conferences, the design of the Imperial Classic is done in a way that can host such many things. Centralized AC, DJ booths, open bath, dining area with state-of-the-art facilities, spacious hall, green room, lounge, etc. are part of the vessel..

Source : The Hindu Businessline

Published On : November 30, 2023
$2 Billion
$4 Billion
$7 Billion
$10 Billion

Correct Answer : Option (B) - $4 Billion

A strategic move by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB), a major U.S. pension fund with assets surpassing $600 billion, is poised to bring substantial investments to Indian equity markets.

The FRTIB’s decision to transition from the MSCI EAFE index to the MSCI ACWI IMI ex USA ex China ex Hong index is expected to trigger a massive $28 billion global equity reshuffling, with India emerging as a key beneficiary.

U.S. Pension Fund’s Index Switch: Key Points

1. Inflow Projections :

* Analysts anticipate an influx of approximately $3.6 billion (Rs 30,000 crore) into Indian equities as a consequence of the FRTIB’s index switch.
* The move, set to commence in 2024, is likely to significantly alter the weightage of Indian shares, attracting fresh funds to the country.

2. Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board Overview :

* The FRTIB, holding assets of around $600 billion, commands a prominent position among U.S. pension funds.
* As of October 31, 2023, the FRTIB has invested approximately $68 billion in the International Stock Index Investment Fund.

3. Index Transition Details :

* The FRTIB’s shift from MSCI EAFE index to MSCI ACWI ex USA and ex China signifies a focus on emerging market equities excluding China and Russia, according to market analysts.

* The MSCI ACWI ex USA and ex China index encompasses a diverse mix of developed and emerging markets.

4. Impact on Indian Equities :

* The outgoing MSCI EAFE index, covering 21 developed markets across Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Far East, did not include India.

* With the transition, Indian equities are expected to gain prominence in the MSCI ACWI ex USA and ex China index, potentially attracting significant capital inflows.

5. Global Equity Reshuffling :

* The FRTIB’s decision is part of a broader global equity reshuffling amounting to $28 billion, signaling a shift in investment strategies on an international scale.

6. Foreign Portfolio Investment Context :

* Against the backdrop of the FRTIB’s move, foreign portfolio investors have already injected around ₹96,340 crore into Indian equities this calendar year.
* This influx has played a pivotal role in propelling benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty to record highs.

Published On : November 30, 2023
Uttar Pradesh

Correct Answer : Option (C) - Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has given approval for the establishment of the country’s inaugural Telecom Center of Excellence in Saharanpur.

The foundation stone for this groundbreaking initiative is set to be laid on December 5, 2023, marking a significant leap in telecom and technology innovation.

With the establishment of the Telecom Center of Excellence in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh takes a significant stride towards technological advancement, innovation, and self-reliance in the telecom sector.

This initiative holds the promise of not only transforming the technological landscape in the region but also contributing to India’s global standing in telecommunications and related industries.

Key Points of the Centre :

1. Research Focus on 5G and AI Integration : The Telecom Center of Excellence, to be situated at the Saharanpur campus of IIT Roorkee, will conduct research on integrating 5G with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and even delve into the realms of 6G technology.

2. Cost and Location : This state-of-the-art center will be constructed at a cost of Rs 30 crore, fostering innovation and growth in the telecommunications sector. The choice of the IIT Roorkee campus in Saharanpur is strategic, promising opportunities for employment for the youth of the state.

3. Objectives of the Center : The primary objective is to develop and promote cutting-edge technology in the telecom sector. Functioning as a hub for research and development, the center aims to assist experts from diverse fields and provide solutions through advanced technology.

4. Focus Areas : The center will prioritize the appropriate use of telecom in sectors such as e-learning, e-education, agriculture, and satellite centers. The integration of 5G with AI will be a key focus, opening avenues for the development of new technological devices.

5. Attracting Investments and Creating an Ecosystem : The link between 5G and AI is anticipated to attract investments from both domestic and international firms, establishing a robust ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship in Saharanpur.

6. Contribution to Technology Independence : The Telecom Center of Excellence is poised to contribute significantly to the development of 5G and 6G technologies, reducing India’s dependence on foreign technology and enhancing competitiveness in the global market.

7. Training and Skill Development : It will serve as a platform for training and skill development in the telecom sector, offering practical experience and specialized skills to students, research scholars, and industry professionals.

8. Research Sectors : Research within the center will span fundamental aspects of advanced wireless communication, 5G and wireless standards, millimeter-wave transceiver module design, and the application of AI/ML in wireless communication.

9. Expected Benefits : The center aims to yield benefits such as standard-required patents, last-mile access, broadband access to remote areas, cellular backhaul, disaster management solutions, network-enabled consumer electronics, defense and security applications, aerospace aviation/satellite communication, virtual reality, smart city initiatives, smart manufacturing, and e-healthcare.

Published On : November 30, 2023

Correct Answer : Option (A) - Vijayawada

The Vijayawada Railway Station has been awarded the prestigious platinum rating by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) for its commitment to environmental sustainability and eco-friendly practices. This is the highest recognition that can be bestowed by the IGBC, a leading certification body in India that promotes environmentally responsible construction.

The station’s previous gold rating, achieved in 2019, has been upgraded to platinum, reflecting the significant improvements made in various aspects of environmental performance. These improvements include:

* Water conservation : The station has implemented rainwater harvesting systems and water-efficient fixtures, resulting in a reduction of water consumption by 20%.

* Energy efficiency : Energy-efficient lighting systems and appliances have been installed, leading to a 15% decrease in energy consumption.

* Waste management : A comprehensive waste management system has been implemented, including segregation, recycling, and composting, resulting in a diversion of 80% of waste from landfills.

* Green landscaping : The station has adopted sustainable landscaping practices, including the use of native plants and rainwater harvesting systems, which have reduced water consumption for irrigation by 30%.

About the Platinum rating :

The platinum rating is a testament to the station’s dedication to environmental stewardship and its efforts to create a greener and more sustainable transportation hub. This recognition is also a source of pride for the South Central Railway (SCR) zone, as Vijayawada station is only the second station within the zone to achieve this prestigious rating. The station’s success in achieving platinum certification serves as an inspiration for other railway..

Published On : November 30, 2023
November 27
November 28
November 29
November 30

Correct Answer : Option (C) - November 29

Palestine Day 2023 : The United Nations observes the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on or around November 29 each year.

Palestinian Day is observed in accordance with the demands made by the General Assembly in resolutions 32/40 B from 2 December 1977, 34/65 D from 12 December 1979, and later resolutions approved under the agenda item "Question of Palestine."

Why is the International Day of Solidarity with Palestinians Observed?

The United Nations sponsors the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People as a day of global awareness. The United Nations offices in Geneva, Vienna, and Nairobi, as well as their main office in New York, host events for Palestinian Day. As Resolution 181's anniversary falls on November 29, this day is celebrated on that date. This plan was adopted in 1947 in an effort to divide the country into two states in order to end the Israel-Palestine conflict.

In resolution 60/37 from 1 December 2005, the Assembly asked the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Division for Palestinian Rights to continue organizing an annual exhibition on Palestinian rights or a cultural event in collaboration with the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the UN as part of the observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on 29 November.

Significance :

The resolution on the commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People also calls on Member States to keep supporting and publicizing the Day of Solidarity with as many people as possible.

The General Assembly's definition of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination free from outside interference, the right to national independence and sovereignty, and the right to reunification with their country, are all highlighted by the International Day of Solidarity every year. These rights include the right to return to one's home and proper citizenship.

Published On : November 29, 2023
Nitish Kumar
Hemant Soren
Bhupesh Baghel
Naveen Patnaik

Correct Answer : Option (D) - Naveen Patnaik

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Tuesday (28th Nov 2023) Launched the “AMA Bank” scheme, a historic initiative aimed at providing banking services through CSP Plus banking outlets in all unbanked Gram Panchayats (GPs) of Odisha. This visionary project, unveiled in the first phase, marks Odisha as the pioneer state in India to conceptualize and implement such a comprehensive scheme for financial inclusion.

CSP Plus Outlets: A New Model for Financial Inclusion :

* In the initial phase, 750 CSP Plus outlets, strategically spread across all 30 districts, were dedicated to the people of Odisha.
* Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik expressed confidence that the innovative CSP Plus model would serve as a blueprint for the entire nation.
* This model aims to bridge the gap in financial services accessibility, particularly in rural areas where the geographical penetration of traditional banks has been a longstanding challenge.

The Imperative of Financial Inclusion :

* Financial inclusion stands as the bedrock for social and economic progress, ensuring the empowerment of people at all levels.
* The government recognizes that achieving inclusive growth is intrinsically tied to providing financial inclusion to every citizen.
* The challenges posed by a lack of brick-and-mortar bank branches in approximately 65% of gram panchayats necessitated a revolutionary approach to ensure the last-mile delivery of public services.

Challenges Addressed by AMA Bank :

* With a vast number of gram panchayats lacking a physical bank presence, accessing banking services and receiving Direct Benefit Transfers posed severe challenges for rural Odisha.
* Recognizing the urgency, the Odisha government collaborated with six public sector banks — SBI, PNB, UBI, UCO Bank, Bank of India, and Bank of Baroda — to launch the “Ama Bank” scheme.
* This initiative aims to establish low-cost brick-and-mortar micro bank branches that offer a comprehensive range of banking services.

Ama Bank’s Services and Impact :

* Ama Bank, situated between a Business Correspondent (BC) and a small bank branch, is designed to provide essential banking services such as deposits, advances, remittances, loans, Aadhar Enabled Payment System, credit linkage to Self-Help Groups (SHGs), and coverage under social security schemes.
* Doorstep banking services for senior citizens, differently-abled individuals, and pregnant women will be a hallmark of this inclusive scheme, ensuring hassle-free access to Direct Benefit Transfers.

Timely Benefits for Rural Odisha :

* The implementation of Ama Bank is set to alleviate the challenges faced by the rural population. The scheme promises to be a catalyst for inclusive growth and empowerment for the people of Odisha.
* No longer will the poor have to travel long distances to access various government schemes, including Old Age Pension (OAP), KALIA MAMTA, or apply for small business loans.

Phased Implementation and Government Support :

* The ambitious scheme will be rolled out in a phased manner, with the goal of covering all 4373 unbanked Gram Panchayats within the current financial year (2023-24). A provision of Rs. 500 Crores has been earmarked to support the implementation of this transformative scheme.
* The Odisha government is taking substantial steps to ensure the success of Ama Bank by providing rent-free banking spaces for five years and bearing one-time expenses for fixed and recurring costs over a three-year period.

Published On : November 29, 2023

Correct Answer : Option (B) - 4th

The 4th edition of the annual ASEAN India Grassroots Innovation Forum (AIGIF) took place in Langkawi, Malaysia, on November 28, 2023, showcasing the collaborative efforts of India and the 10 ASEAN Member States (AMS) in the fields of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI). With the participation of 200 representatives, this year’s AIGIF aimed to strengthen the relationship between the nations and promote social innovations at the grassroots level.

AIGIF Overview :

The AIGIF is an annual program designed to foster cooperation in STI between India and AMS. It not only provides a platform for showcasing social innovations but also contributes to strengthening governance in grassroots innovation ecosystems. The collaborative initiative involves the ASEAN Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation Foundation (NIF) – India and the host nation’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), with the Yayasan Inovasi Malaysia (YIM) executing the AIGIF in 2023.

Inauguration and Keynote Remarks :

Mr. YB Chang Lih Kang, the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Government of Malaysia, inaugurated the AIGIF 2023. Emphasizing the importance of flagship programs like AIGIF, he highlighted their role in showcasing and promoting innovations that can significantly impact lives at the grassroots level. He urged nations to commit to social innovations and work collectively to ensure a better tomorrow for everyone.

Perspectives from Indian Representatives :

Professor Abhay Karandikar, Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, emphasized the crucial role of innovators as hope for the world. He called for unprecedented cooperation, suggesting possibilities like Joint Technology and Product Development, Cross-Border Technology Licensing and infrastructure sharing to elevate new-age technologies in the region.

Mr. B.N. Reddy, High Commissioner of India to Malaysia, highlighted India’s emergence as a key nation for startups with a global presence, including several unicorns operating in Malaysia. He underscored the potential of platforms like AIGIF to create opportunities for students and grassroots populations while urging industries to connect with grassroots innovations for sustainable solutions.

International Participation and Collaboration :

The AIGIF 2023 saw the participation of 17 student innovators and grassroots innovators from India, along with representatives from 11 countries, totaling approximately 200 participants. The event builds upon the successes of previous editions in Jakarta, Indonesia (2018), Davao, Philippines (2019) and Phnom Penh, Cambodia (2022), demonstrating a continued commitment to addressing societal challenges through collaboration.

High-Level Discussions and Perspectives :

On the sidelines of the forum, the Indian delegation engaged with Mr. B.N. Reddy, High Commissioner of India to Malaysia, gaining valuable insights into the ASEAN-India relationship and the crucial role of STI in its strengthening. The discussions emphasized the importance of ongoing commitment to cross-border mechanisms, information sharing and networking to enhance innovation and technology capabilities.

Published On : November 29, 2023
Narendra Modi
Rajnath Singh
J. P. Nadda
Nitin Gadkari

Correct Answer : Option (B) - Rajnath Singh

The crest of Yard 12706 (Imphal), Indian Navy’s third stealth guided missile destroyer, was unveiled by Defence Minister "Rajnath Singh" in a momentous ceremony held in New Delhi on Tuesday (28th Nov 2023).

The occasion was graced by the presence of Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh, marking a historic moment in the country’s naval history.

INS Imphal – A Symbol of Indigenous Excellence :

Designed by the Indian Navy’s Warship Design Bureau (WDB) and built by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL), Mumbai, INS Imphal stands as a testament to indigenous shipbuilding prowess. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh expressed his delight, emphasizing that the warship is amongst the most technologically advanced in the world.

The Emblem and its Significance :

The crest design of INS Imphal features the iconic Kangla Palace on the left and ‘Kangla-Sa’ on the right. The Kangla Palace, an archaeological treasure, served as the traditional seat of Manipur’s past kingdom. ‘Kangla-Sa,’ with its dragon’s head and lion’s body, is a mythical creature symbolizing the guardian and protector of the Manipuri people. The inclusion of these elements pays homage to Manipur’s rich military history and identity.

Construction and Maiden Trials :

Imphal’s keel was laid on May 19, 2017, and the ship was launched on April 20, 2019. Following this, the ship embarked on its maiden sea trials on April 28, 2023. Notably, INS Imphal has undergone an extensive schedule of trials in harbor and at sea, leading to its delivery to the Indian Navy on October 20, 2023 – an impressive achievement within a record time-frame of six months.

Potent and Versatile – Features of INS Imphal :

With a displacement of 7,400 tonnes and an overall length of 164 meters, INS Imphal is a potent and versatile platform equipped with state-of-the-art weapons and sensors. These include surface-to-air missiles, anti-ship missiles, and torpedoes. The ship is powered by Combined Gas and Gas (COGAG) propulsion, capable of achieving speeds in excess of 30 knots (56 km/hour).

Indigenous Technological Advancements :

INS Imphal proudly boasts a high indigenous content of approximately 75%, featuring medium-range surface-to-air missiles, BrahMos surface-to-surface missiles, indigenous torpedo tube launchers, anti-submarine indigenous rocket launchers, and a 76mm super rapid gun mount. The ship recently conducted a successful firing of an extended-range BrahMos missile as part of its pre-commissioning trials.

Aatmanirbhar Bharat and Naval Tradition :

The delivery of INS Imphal within a remarkably short time is seen as an affirmation of India’s commitment to ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat‘ (self-reliant India). Following a maritime tradition and naval custom, many Indian naval ships are named after prominent cities, mountain ranges, rivers, ponds, and islands. INS Imphal, named after the historic city of Imphal, is the first capital warship to be named after a city in the northeastern region, with the President’s approval granted on April 16, 2019.

Published On : November 29, 2023