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Kiren Rijiju
Hardeep Singh Puri
Piyush Goyal
S. Jaishankar

Correct Answer : Option (B) - Hardeep Singh Puri

Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Sunday (26th Nov 2023) inaugurated the city’s second floating compressed natural gas (CNG) mobile refueling unit (MRU) station at Ravidas Ghat, Varanasi and said it was a significant step towards viable sustainable energy solutions.

Earlier, Namo Ghat had a floating station for filling CNG in boats.

The decision to set-up this floating CNG stationis a testament to our belief in the transformative power of clean energy.

This will provide great convenience to boatmen as they will not have to go all the way to NaMo Ghat for refueling, thus saving time and money. On an average, it is estimated that each boatman can potentially save over Rs 36,000 per year by using CNG as fuel,” said the minister. Puri said CNG boats not only reduces pollution but also leads to savings as it is more efficient.

The boatmen are getting 35-40% more mileage due to replacement of old engines with efficient CNG engines (1 kg of CNG is energy equivalent to 1.39 litres of petrol and 1.18 litres of diesel), he said. Both the stations have been developed by GAIL (India) Limited.

With this, floating CNG stations are now operational on both sides of the main ghats of Varanasi. According to GAIL officials, the floating stations have been developed at a cost of Rs 17.5 crore.

The CNG mother station at Namo Ghat has been operational since December 2021. The new station is CNG MRU. CNG will be filled in cascades from Namo Ghat and transported by water ways to Ravidas Ghat for fueling boats. It has a capacity of 4,000 kg/day and can cater to 300 to 400 boats a day.

GAIL chairman and managing director, Sandeep Kumar Gupta, director (human resources), Ayush Gupta, director (marketing), Sanjay Kumar and a host of dignitaries were also present on the occasion.

Later, Puri also interacted with students at the Varanasi centre of GAIL Utkarsh, a CSR initiative of the company that provides all-expenses paid residential coaching to 60 girls from economically weaker sections to compete for engineering and medical entrance examinations..

Source : Times of India

Published On : November 27, 2023
United States

Correct Answer : Option (C) - Malaysia

Malaysia will grant a 30-day visa-free entry for Indian and Chinese citizens from 1st December 2023, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has announced, joining Thailand and Sri Lanka in recent weeks to offer such a facility to foreigners to promote tourism.

Mr. Ibrahim said the waiver was an additional facility to the existing visa exemptions currently enjoyed by Gulf nations and other West Asian countries, including Turkiye and Jordan.

However, Mr. Ibrahim, who is also the Finance Minister of the country, said the visa exemption was subject to top security screening, the official Bernama news agency reported.

“Initial screenings will be conducted for all tourists and visitors to Malaysia. Security is a different matter. If there are criminal records or the risk of terrorism, they will not be allowed to enter,” the Prime Minister said.

That comes under the authority of the security forces and immigration,” the Premier said.

The 30-day visa-free entry is also currently enjoyed by eight ASEAN countries for the purpose of social visits, tourism and business.

Malaysia is currently targeting 16.1 million international tourist arrivals with RM 49.3 billion in tourism receipts.

India remains to be among the top countries to contribute tourist arrivals to Malaysia.

In 2022, Malaysia welcomed a total of 3,24,548 Indian tourists, while in the first quarter of 2023, Malaysia received as many as 1,64,566 Indian tourists compared to 13,370 in the same period last year, according to data from the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board, also known as Tourism Malaysia.

Currently, there are 158 flights with 30,032 seats offered weekly between India and Malaysia through Malaysia Airlines, Batik Air, AirAsia and IndiGo, said the agency under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia.

Malaysia’s decision follows a similar visa waiver implemented by Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Sri Lanka has introduced a visa-free entry initiative for visitors from India and six other countries, encompassing China, Russia, Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia, and Thailand.

This initiative will remain effective until March 31, 2024, and aims to boost tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka, with the Tourism Ministry setting a target of attracting five million tourists in the coming years.

Thailand has also lifted visa requirements for visitors from India and Taiwan.

Indians can travel to Thailand without a visa and stay for up to 30 days, the government announced recently.

This visa-free access for Indian passport holders is applicable from November 10, 2023, to May 10, 2024..

Source : The Hindu

Published On : November 27, 2023
New York

Correct Answer : Option (B) - Dubai

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the World Climate Action Summit (WCAS) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), during the 28th Conference of Parties (CoP-28), the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) confirmed on November 26, 2023.

Mr. Modi will be present from November 30 to December 1, 2023 as part of WCAS proceedings. CoP-28 is being held from November 28 to December 12, under the Presidency of the UAE.

At this event, also called the “high-level segment”, world leaders or their representatives are expected to make statements on behalf of their countries outlining their intent and contribution to stemming greenhouse gas emissions. There is no official confirmation yet if the Prime Minister will make a statement.

India’s targets :

In 2021, at the 26th edition of the CoP in Glasgow, Scotland, Mr. Modi had announced five specific targets, titled Panchamrit, as part of India’s climate action plan. These consisted of committing India to be “net zero”, or carbon neutral by 2070; committing at least 500 gigawatt (GW) of energy installations by 2030 to be from non-fossil sources, cut carbon emissions by a billion tonnes, reduce the carbon-intensity of the economy by 45% and meet half of its energy requirements from renewable energy by 2030. Many of these goals are inter-related.

A key feature of the forthcoming CoP summit in Dubai will be the conclusion of the Global Stocktake, a first ever reckoning of the actions taken by each country towards achieving targets set at the CoP in Paris in 2015. This was to take steps to keep the globe’s average temperature from rising below 2 degrees Celsius and “as far as possible” below 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

A spate of recent research reports show that actions collectively promised by countries so far, will see temperatures surge past the 2 degrees Celsius mark.

Climate change was a key priority area of India’s G20 Presidency, the New Delhi Leaders Declaration this September, committed these countries to “tripling” installed renewable energy capacity sources by 2030. “COP28 will provide an opportunity to take forward these successes,” the Ministry of External Affairs added..

Source : The Hindu

Published On : November 27, 2023
Ayushman Arogya Sagar
Ayushman Arogya Bhavan
Ayushman Arogya Mandir
Ayushman Arogya Suraksha

Correct Answer : Option (C) - Ayushman Arogya Mandir

The Narendra Modi government has decided to rename the Ayushman Bharat-Health and Wellness Centres as ‘Ayushman Arogya Mandir’, with the Union Health Ministry asking all states and Union Territories to implement the rebranding exercise by the end of 2023.

The Centre has also coined the tagline ‘Arogyam Paramam Dhanam’, a Sanskrit phrase that translates to ‘health is the ultimate wealth’. While ‘Arogyam’ means health, ‘Paramam’ means ultimate and ‘Dhanam’ means wealth.

With more than 1.6 lakh centres across the country, known as Ayushman Bharat – Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWCs), states have also been asked to upload photographs of rebranded primary health facilities on the AB-HWC portal. These centres have a footfall of more than 200 crore a year.

It has been emphasized that the National Health Mission (NHM) logo will be retained in the rebranded centres.

It has been communicated that states are required to upload pictures of rebranded primary health facilities on the Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWC) portal.

These centres, the government claims, are equipped with the required infrastructure, human resources, drugs and diagnostics, and IT framework.

The objective of AB-HWC is to deliver all-encompassing primary healthcare, encompassing maternal and child health services, as well as providing essential drugs and diagnostic services at no cost, in proximity to people’s residences through AB-HWCs..

Source : News18

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

Correct Answer : Option (A) - November 27, 2023

The auspicious festival of Guru Nanak Dev Ji Gurpurab, also known as Guru Nanak's Prakash Utsav or Guru Nanak Jayanti is just around the corner.

It is one of the most important days of Sikhism and marks the birth anniversary of the first of the ten Sikh gurus and the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

The occasion is marked with fervent devotion, spiritual gatherings and the recitation of hymns from the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy scripture of Sikhism. The day not only honours the teachings and wisdom of Guru Nanak Dev Ji but also promotes unity, equality and selfless service, embodying the core principles of Sikh philosophy.

When is Guru Nanak Jayanti 2023?

On the fifteenth lunar day of the Hindu month of Kartik, or Kartik Poornima as it is known in the Gregorian calendar, people celebrate the festival. In the Hindu calendar, this takes place in the month of November. This year, the auspicious festival will be celebrated by Sikhs around the world with utmost love and reverence on Monday, November 27 It will be celebrated as the 554th birthday of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

According to Drik Panchang, the auspicious timings for performing the rituals of Guru Nanak Jayanti are as follows

Purnima Tithi Begins - 03:53 PM on November 26, 2023

Purnima Tithi Ends - 02:45 PM on November 27, 2023

Guru Nanak Jayanti 2023: History and significance

Religious sources state that Talwandi Nankana Sahib is where Guru Nanak Dev Ji was born in 1469. His parents were Tripta devi and Kaluram Mehta ji Khatri, often referred to as Kaluran Chand Das Bedi.

He wed Sulakhani Devi, the daughter of Chando Rani and Mul Chand (also called Mula).

Their children are called Shri Chand ji and Lakhmi Chand ji. Shri Guru Nanak Dev settled close to Kartarpur in his final hours, where he tended a farm before passing away.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji is credited for bringing wisdom to humanity and laying the foundations for the Sikh religion. The celebration honours his life, achievements and legacy..

Source : Hindustan Times

Published On : November 27, 2023
Murudeshwara Temple - Karnataka
Kedarnath Temple - Uttarakhand
Shri Padmanabhaswamy Temple - Kerala
Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple - Andhra Pradesh

Correct Answer : Option (D) - Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple - Andhra Pradesh

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday (27th Nov 2023) visited the famous Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple in Tirumala district of Andhra Pradesh and ''prayed for the good health, well-being and prosperity of 140 crore Indians."

PM Narendra Modi arrived at the hill temple of Lord Venkateswara on Sunday (26th Nov 2023) as part of his two-day visit to the shrine. According to his itinerary, PM Modi stayed at Tirumala overnight and went to offer prayers at Sri Venkateswara temple in the early hours of Monday (27th Nov 2023).

The Prime Minister was given a grand reception at the Tirupati airport. Governor S Abdul Nazeer and Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, who arrived a couple of hours before PM Modi’s scheduled arrival, welcomed him at the tarmac. While Governor Abdul Nazeer accompanied PM Modi to Tirumala, Chief Minister Jagan flew back to Vijayawada soon after the reception.

Deputy Chief Minister K Narayanaswamy, Minister for Power Peddireddi Ramachandra Reddy, TTD trust board Chairman B. Karunakar Reddy, Members of Parliament P V Midhun Reddy (Rajampeta), M. Gurumoorthy (Tirupati) and N. Reddeppa (Chittoor), Rajya Sabha member G.V.L. Narasimha Rao and government whip Chevireddy Bhaskar Reddy, among others, welcomed the Prime Minister at the airport as he flew in on a special IAF aircraft.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also earlier greeted people on the occasion of Guru Nanak Dev's birth anniversary on Monday and said his emphasis on serving others and furthering brotherhood gives strength to millions around the world. Guru Nanak was the founder of Sikhism..

Source : Zee News

Published On : November 27, 2023
26 November
25 November
24 November
23 November

Correct Answer : Option (B) - 25 November

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women 2023: The day is observed on 25 November, annually.

* Violence against women is a serious problem across the globe. Be it domestic violence, sexual violence or murder, women have to battle a lot of problems. They live in constant fear of abuse everywhere in the world.

* International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women helps us to talk more about the abuse and torture faced by women. As the world is moving on, we should create a safe space for all genders. Women should feel safe.

* It is high time that we come together and eliminate all kinds of violence against women. We celebrate International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women every year to create awareness about this global problem.

* It is important to talk more about the ways to stop this violence and make sure that women feel free to talk about their problems.

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women History :

* We should all try to take part in the programs and activities that talk about women's safety. It is crucial to encourage women around us to talk about the injustice they have to face in all fields, be it at home or work.

* In 1979, the UN General Assembly accepted the Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, however, the problem of violence against women still existed.

* In 2008, various steps were taken to increase public awareness and policymaking to stop the violence across the globe. Since 1981, women's rights activists have been celebrating International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November.

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women 2023 Theme : The theme for this year focuses on the need for funding prevention strategies to stop violence against women.

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women 2023 Significance :

* International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is celebrated to create awareness of the different types of violence faced by women at different stages in life.

* We must explore ways to end this violence and make sure that women can live freely. On this day, one should provide support and confidence to all those women who have survived violence. They must focus on living a normal life..

Source : The Quint

Published On : November 25, 2023

Correct Answer : Option (C) - $170

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a substantial $170 million loan to catalyze the modernization of water supply services in Kochi, a rapidly growing city in the southern Indian state of Kerala. This transformative initiative aims to enhance urban living standards, ensure clean water access, and fortify climate resilience.

Background :

Kochi, often referred to as the commercial capital of Kerala, has experienced rapid urbanization, emerging as one of India’s fastest-growing urban centers. Despite nearly universal water coverage, the city faces challenges such as intermittent supply, ranging from 5 to 24 hours a day. The situation is exacerbated by the common sight of tanker trucks delivering water to areas with low water pressure and inadequate supply. Climate-related issues, including severe dry spells and droughts in 2016, have further strained water availability.

Climate Resilience and Adaptation :

With climate projections indicating increased variability in rainfall frequency and rising temperatures, the project emphasizes the importance of reliable and safe water services as a critical climate adaptation strategy. The goal is to address the impact of climate change on water availability and ensure sustainable urban development.

Project Overview :

Infrastructure Upgrade :

* Rehabilitation and upgrade of five existing water treatment plants with a total production capacity of 325 million liters per day (MLD).
* Construction of a new plant with a capacity of 190 MLD.

Distribution System Enhancement :

* Replacement of approximately 700 kilometers of pipes to minimize treated water loss.
* Introduction of a real-time monitoring system for efficient distribution.

Metering System Improvement :

* Upgrade of around 146,000 water meters to high-quality and reliable models.

Preventive Maintenance and Asset Management :

* Implementation of long-term performance-based contracts for operation, maintenance, and rehabilitation activities.

Institutional Strengthening :

The project aims to enhance the capacity of the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) through:

* Introduction of a mobile app for billing and collection.
* Development of a geographic information system-based maintenance management system.
* Upgrading of the laboratory information system.
* Comprehensive training for technical and managerial staff.

Inclusive Initiatives :

Female Employment Focus :

* Special emphasis on training initiatives to promote female employment in the construction, operation, and maintenance of water supply systems.

Community Engagement :

* Community awareness programs with active participation from women (50%).
* Topics include household supply, water audits, water quality, hygiene, menstrual hygiene, and waterborne diseases.

ADB’s Commitment : Established in 1966 and owned by 68 members, ADB consistently champions sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific region. The endorsement of the Kochi water modernization project aligns with ADB’s broader goals of eradicating extreme poverty and fostering prosperity, inclusivity, resilience, and sustainability.

Published On : November 25, 2023

Correct Answer : Option (D) - Afghanistan

The Afghanistan embassy has announced its permanent closure in New Delhi.

Releasing an official statement on the closure of its diplomatic mission in New Delhi, the Afghan embassy said, "Effective from November 23, 2023 owing to persistent challenges from the Indian government.

This decision comes after the embassy had already ceased operations on September 30, hoping for a favorable change in the Indian government’s stance.

Background and Rationale :

* The embassy clarified that the closure should not be seen as an internal conflict or a result of diplomats switching allegiance to the Taliban.

* Instead, it attributes the decision to broader changes in policy and interests, emphasizing the challenges faced in maintaining normal diplomatic operations.

Appreciation to Afghan Citizens in India :

* Expressing gratitude to the Afghan citizens in India, the embassy acknowledged their understanding and support throughout its tenure.

* Despite limitations in resources and power, the embassy claimed to have worked tirelessly for the betterment of Afghan citizens in the absence of a legitimate government in Kabul.

Decline of Afghan Community in India :

* The embassy highlighted a significant decline in the Afghan community in India over the past two years and three months.

* Afghan refugees, students, and traders have been leaving the country, with the number nearly halving since August 2021.The issuance of new visas during this period has been very limited.

Commitment to Transparency and Accountability :

* Assuring the Afghan community that the mission operated with transparency and accountability, the embassy emphasized its commitment to fair treatment based on historic ties and bilateral relations with India.

* It addressed efforts to tarnish its image and hinder diplomatic efforts, particularly regarding the presence and work of Taliban-appointed diplomats.

Diplomatic Handover to Indian Government and Future Considerations :

* The embassy has handed over the mission solely to the Indian government, leaving it to decide the fate of the mission, including the possibility of handing it over to Taliban diplomats.

* It’s worth noting that the embassy had initially announced the closure of its operations on November 1, citing “lack of resources” and the “failure to meet Afghanistan’s interests” by the Taliban regime..

Source : NDTV

Published On : November 25, 2023
Bandhan Bank
RBL Bank
Bank of Baroda
Bank of India

Correct Answer : Option (A) - Bandhan Bank

The board of directors at Bandhan Bank has given the green light for the reappointment of Chandra Shekhar Ghosh as the Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer (MD&CEO). The Kolkata-based private sector lender has extended Ghosh’s tenure for a period of three years. The current term is set to expire on July 09, 2024.

Regulatory Approval Required :

The reappointment is contingent upon the approval of both the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the shareholders of the bank. As per regulatory provisions, the application for the reappointment of the MD & CEO must be submitted to the RBI at least six months before the conclusion of the current term. Ghosh is set to assume his renewed role from July 10, 2024, and will not be liable to retire by rotation.

Chandra Shekhar Ghosh: A Leader with Three Decades of Experience

Extensive Expertise : Chandra Shekhar Ghosh brings to the table over three decades of experience in microfinance, banking, and development. His leadership has played a crucial role in steering Bandhan Bank through various challenges and contributing to its growth.

Financial Performance Highlights :

Robust Financials in Q2 FY 2023 : Bandhan Bank reported a noteworthy net profit of Rs 721.20 crore in the July–September quarter of the current financial year, marking a substantial YoY growth of 244 percent from Rs 209.3 crore in the corresponding period last year.

Gross Non-Performing Asset (GNPA) Overview : Despite the positive net profit, the bank witnessed a 14.8 percent YoY increase in its gross non-performing assets (GNPA) in the reporting quarter. The GNPA stood at Rs 7,874 crore, up from Rs 6,854 crore in the same period a year ago. The net NPA ratio for the bank in July-September was 40 percent YoY.

Net Interest Income (NII) and Total Income : The Net Interest Income (NII) for the quarter reached Rs 2,443.40 crore, contributing to the bank’s total income of Rs 5,032 crore. This reflects a positive growth trajectory compared to Rs 4,250 crore during the corresponding period last year.

Published On : November 25, 2023