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Correct Answer : Option (C) - Rs 1,100

Union minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Tuesday (21st Nov 2023) said more than Rs 1100 crore was granted for the development of 25 inland waterways projects in the Northeast region.

Sonowal, the Union Minister for Ports, Shipping, Waterways and Ayush directed officials to accord top priority to critical projects of his ministries in the Northeast and ensure their completion by January 2024.

The minister was chairing a review meeting here of ongoing projects of his ministries in the northeastern region.

Of the 25 inland waterways projects in the region, 15 programmes worth Rs 850 crore were granted for Assam, Sonowal said.

He directed the officials to complete the seven floating jetties at Jogighopa, Pandu, Biswanath, Nimati, Bindhakata, Uriamghat and Sadiya in Assam.

In addition, permanent jetties at Bogibeel in Dibrugarh, and renovation of a jetty at Badarpur in Karimganj would also be completed while one permanent jetty being constructed at Sonamura in Tripura was also likely to be completed within the timeframe, he said.

The minister also reviewed the progress of work on 15 floating jetties in the Brahmaputra and 15 jetties in the Barak river.

He also directed officials of the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) to regularly dredge 88 identified shallow passages on the Brahmaputra river to ensure smooth passage of ships.

Taking Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ”Transformation via Transportation forward, we have identified critical projects in the region that will be operational by January 2024,” he added.

The Ministry of Ayush is currently implementing projects worth Rs 286 crore across the Northeast and the Union Minister directed the Ayush officials to scale up and speed up the projects.

The foundation stone laying ceremony of a Yoga and Naturopathy hospital worth Rs 80.66 crores in Dibrugarh and for the new building of the Regional Research Institute of Homoeopathy and integrated Ayush Wellness Centre at Guwahati worth Rs 34.33 crores will be done by January 2024.

The minister also directed that the several buildings at Central Ayurveda Research Institute (CARI) in Guwahati, with an investment of Rs 10.45 crores, be completed soon so that it can be inaugurated by December 2023.

“Ayush is a major area of interest for our government led by the Prime Minister and the Northeast has a rich potential in this sector. Out of at least nine construction projects currently undergoing in the region, we expect concrete movement in these three projects,” he added.

Out of the total 830 approved Ayush Health and Wellness centres in the region, 495 have become operational. Of the 33 integrated Ayush hospitals approved in the region, nine are already functional, Sonowal said.

A total of eight Ayush education undergraduate and postgraduate institutions are being supported by the Ayush Ministry while three new Ayush institutes in Sikkim’s Gangtok, Keirao in Manipur and Assam’s Dudhnoi have been also approved..

Source : The Print

Published On : November 22, 2023

Correct Answer : Option (D) - 24%

Foreign direct equity investments in India have experienced a significant downturn, recording a 24% decline to $20.5 billion during the first half of the financial year 2023-24. This notable decrease follows a larger trend of diminishing FDI inflows over the past year.

Global Economic Uncertainties Impact FDI :

* The contraction in FDI inflows is observed against the backdrop of uncertainties and challenges in the global economy. While the government has not officially attributed the decline to specific factors, the prevailing global economic conditions are likely contributors.

Year-on-Year Decline :

* Comparing the data to the previous financial year, foreign direct equity investments had already decreased by over a fifth, amounting to $46.03 billion. The trend persisted, with investments continuing to fall from April to August of the current financial year.

September Shows Signs of Improvement :

* However, September brought a glimmer of hope as FDI investments saw an upswing, rising to $4.08 billion compared to $2.97 billion in the same month the previous year.

Total FDI Contraction :

* The broader perspective of total FDI, including equity capital of unincorporated bodies, reinvested earnings, and other capital, reveals a 15.5% contraction to $32.9 billion during the period under review, according to data from the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).

Country-wise Analysis :

* During the first half of the financial year 2023-24, FDI equity inflows declined from major countries such as Singapore, Mauritius, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates. Notably, investments from the Cayman Islands and Cyprus witnessed a significant fall.

* Decrease in Investments : Investments from the Cayman Islands and Cyprus dropped to $145 million and $35 million, respectively, compared to $582 million and $764 million in the year-ago period.

* Increase in Investments : In contrast, inflows increased from the Netherlands, Japan, and Germany.

Top Investing Countries :

* Singapore emerged as the leading investor with $5.22 billion in FDI during April-September. Other top investing countries included Mauritius, Japan, the US, the Netherlands, the UAE, the UK, Cyprus, the Cayman Islands, and Germany.

Sector-wise Impact :

* Different sectors experienced varied impacts, with contractions in computer software and hardware, trading, services, telecommunications, automobiles, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals. However, there was growth in inflows for construction (infrastructure) activities, construction development, and the metallurgical industry.

Published On : November 22, 2023
Colin Jackson
Mark Foster
Allen Johnson
Roger Kingdom

Correct Answer : Option (A) - Colin Jackson

The former 110m hurdles world record holder, Colin Jackson, has been announced as the International Event Ambassador for the upcoming edition of Tata Steel Kolkata 25K event scheduled on Sunday, 17th December 2023.

This move adds a new dimension of prestige and excitement to an already prestigious event. Colin Jackson, an iconic figure in the world of athletics, brings a wealth of experience and inspiration to the event.

A Running Revolution in Eastern India :

* Instituted in 2014, the TSK 25K has been a catalyst for a running revolution in eastern India.
* It has not only become a celebration of Kolkata’s vibrant sporting spirit but has also achieved the status of a World Athletics Elite Label Road Race.
* The event, under the slogan ‘Aamar Kolkata, Aamar Run,’ has grown in stature and popularity over the years.

Colin Jackson: A Hurdling Legend :

* His illustrious career includes notable achievements such as winning a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in 1986 and claiming gold at the Stuttgart World Championships in 1993, setting a world record in the 110m hurdles with a remarkable time of 12.91 seconds.

Enduring Inspiration :

* Jackson’s legacy extends beyond his competitive years, with his 10-year world record in the 110m hurdles and 27-year record in the 60m hurdles still standing as a testament to his enduring inspiration and motivation for aspiring athletes.
* His dominance at the European championships for 12 consecutive years and multiple gold medals at the Commonwealth Games and World Indoor Championships further solidify his status as a track and field legend.

Beyond the Track: A Multifaceted Icon :

* Beyond his track achievements, He is an accomplished author, having penned several books, including “Life’s New Hurdles,” “The Young Athlete,” and his candid autobiography titled “The Autobiography.”

Philanthropy and Awareness :

* Together with his sister Suzanne Packer, he founded Go Dad Run, a initiative that not only raises funds for Prostate Cancer UK but also strives to create awareness about a condition that often goes undiscussed.
* The organization focuses on areas where men might be hesitant to seek help, emphasizing the importance of early detection and prevention.

From Track to Commentary Box :

* Colin Jackson’s journey continues to inspire, even after his retirement from competitive athletics.
* As a sports commentator on BBC for track and field events, he remains an influential figure and a role model for those transitioning from active sports careers to other endeavors.

Colin Jackson: A Resolute Inspiration for Runners Worldwide :

* Colin Jackson is the epitome of resolution and has been an inspiration to many the world over. His association with the event will be a huge encouragement to the runners who will look forward to putting in their best efforts.

Published On : November 22, 2023
Tamil Nadu

Correct Answer : Option (D) - Gujarat

The ‘Ghol’ fish has been officially declared the state fish of Gujarat. The announcement was made by Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel during the inaugural ceremony of the first Global Fisheries Conference India 2023 held at Gujarat Science City.

Union Minister for Fisheries Parshottam Rupala was also present at the event, which brought together stakeholders from across the globe.

Global Fisheries Conference India 2023 Overview :

* The conference witnessed a gathering of over 210 national and international exhibitors, representing a diverse spectrum ranging from startups to well-established fisheries associations and processing industries. The event served as a platform for knowledge exchange, collaboration, and showcasing advancements in the fisheries sector.

International Participation :

* Highlighting its global significance, the conference attracted delegates from more than 10 countries, including France, Norway, Australia, Russia, Brazil, Greece, Spain, New Zealand, and Zimbabwe. This international participation underscored the conference’s role in fostering global cooperation in fisheries management and development.

Ghol Fish: A Culinary and Medicinal Marvel :

* The Ghol fish, scientifically known as Protonibea diacanthus, is widely distributed in the Indo-Pacific region, spanning from the Persian Gulf to the Pacific Ocean. Commonly referred to as the Black Spotted Croaker fish, it holds cultural and economic importance in many coastal communities.

* Not only is the Ghol fish celebrated for its exquisite taste and culinary appeal, but it also boasts medicinal properties that have earned it recognition in traditional medicine practices in several countries. In Gujarat, the bladder of the Ghol fish is particularly esteemed, contributing to the state’s high-value exports.

Implications for Gujarat :

* The designation of the Ghol fish as the state fish of Gujarat signifies a commitment to preserving and promoting the aquatic wealth of the region. This move is expected to boost awareness about the ecological importance of the species and its economic significance to the state’s fisheries industry.

* As Gujarat takes this step to formally recognize the Ghol fish, it not only strengthens the cultural identity of the state but also opens new avenues for sustainable development and international collaboration in the fisheries sector.

* The Global Fisheries Conference India 2023 marks a pivotal moment in Gujarat’s commitment to sustainable fisheries practices, knowledge sharing, and global cooperation, with the Ghol fish at the forefront of this endeavor..

Published On : November 22, 2023

Correct Answer : Option (B) - Microsoft

Microsoft 21st Nov 2023 announced the appointment of Aparna Gupta as the Global Delivery Center (GDC) leader, which is a part of the Industry Solutions Delivery and the broader Microsoft Customer and Partner Solutions (MCAPS) organisation.

In her new role as GDC leader, Gupta will spearhead customer innovation and delivery excellence, cloud growth acceleration with top-tier talent, industry depth, and partner ecosystem, said Microsoft in a statement.

Established in Hyderabad in 2005, the Global Delivery Center (GDC) is the delivery arm of Industry Solutions Delivery and has since scaled to two more locations - Bangalore and Noida, along with a worldwide presence.

The GDC brings together architects, consultants, and project managers to deliver best-in-class delivery solutions to customers worldwide.

Puneet Chandok, President, Microsoft India and South Asia, said, “Her extensive experience and deep knowledge of Microsoft technologies will help customers plan and deploy future-ready solutions, especially in the age of AI, and maximise the value of their investment in Microsoft. Her leadership will play a vital role in our continued success in the region and globally.”

GDC includes four Centres of Excellence (CoE) in Apps Innovation, Data & AI, Infra & Security, and Business Applications, along with functions like Partner & Delivery Management and Adoption Management. Together, they embody a strong foundation of undisputed technical proficiency and efficient delivery management, with the shared objective of providing transformational solutions to customers worldwide.

Gupta said, “I am looking forward to working with the teams at GDC to deepen technical expertise across solution areas and build a strong team culture with an aim to deliver excellence to our customers. There is a strong foundation within the team, and I hope to build further on it to take it to the next level.”

Six years ago, Gupta joined Microsoft as the India lead for Commercial Software Engineering (CSE), now ISE. Over the years, she has established the Customer Success Unit (CSU) as a new segment in MCAPS India.

Most recently, she served as the Customer Success Leader in the India and South Asia Area..

Source : Business Standard

Published On : November 22, 2023

Correct Answer : Option (C) - Goa

Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Youth Affairs & Sports, Shri Anurag Singh Thakur while inaugurating the Film Bazar the largest South Asian film market at Marriott Resort, Goa on 20th Nov 2023, said that the film bazaar, much like a bustling marketplace of ideas, is a haven for filmmakers, producers, and storytellers from all corners of the globe.

It's a confluence of creativity and commerce, ideas and inspirations that form the building blocks of this thriving cinematic marketplace, he added.

On the occasion, Shri Anurag Singh Thakur said that Indian media & entertainment industry, with an annual growth rate of 20%, is hailed as the fifth-largest and most globalized industry in the world.

In its 17th year, the Film Bazaar has become an indispensable cornerstone of the IFFI, transcending borders and evolving into one of Asia’s biggest film markets, the minister added.

Union Minister informed that this year, the selection of films for the Film Bazaar reflects a diverse mix of fiction, docu-shorts, documentaries, horror films, and even an animated film that deals with universal themes relating to the diaspora, patriarchy, urban angst, extreme poverty, climate crisis, nationalism, sports and fitness.

Speaking of the co-production market, the Minister said “We proudly present twelve documentaries from 7 countries in the Coproduction Market, exploring life in 17 different languages. It's a journey into the heart of reality through the lens of filmmakers.”

He also said that the video library platform, the Viewing Room, shows 190 submissions, a few submissions from which will be selected for the Film Bazaar Recommends (FBR). “The Work-in-Progress Lab is where filmmakers show the raw beauty of their work. Doubling the project count from last year, we have 10 projects ready to unveil this year,” the Minister said.

Shri Thakur also announced that as a nod to innovation and in line with the Prime Minister's call for ease of doing business, an exciting new component, "Book to Box Office," has been added which will showcase 59 submissions seamlessly making the jump from books to screens. In the sidelines of the event, the Minister also inaugurated Google Arts and Culture Hindi exhibit which is an online hub having images and short videos from Hindi films.  

The 10 recommended films from a variety of genres to be showcased in Film Bazaar at IFFI 54TH including documentary, horror, climate crisis, fiction etc. The films are in English, Hindi, Bengali, Marwari, Kannada, and Maori (New Zealand language).  This year, the Film Bazaar has a newly curated “VFX & Tech Pavilion” which intends to make the filmmakers aware of the latest innovations, to explore the possibilities of storytelling by not just the traditional way of “taking the shot”, but also “creating the shot”.

The Film Bazaar showcases the official selection of the feature-length projects of the Co-Production Market from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, USA, UK, Singapore, Germany, France, Poland, Luxembourg and Israel. The selected filmmakers will be pitching their projects to International and Indian producers, distributors, festival programmers, financiers, and sales agents at the open Pitch.

Initiated by National Film Development Corporation (NFDC), Film Bazaar has evolved into South Asia’s largest film market, connecting local film makers to the global producers and distributors..

Source : PIB

Published On : November 22, 2023
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November 23rd

Correct Answer : Option (B) - November 21st

World Fisheries Day is celebrated annually on November 21st to highlight the importance of sustainable fisheries management and to draw attention to the crucial role of small-scale fishers in ensuring food security and livelihoods for millions around the world.

World Fisheries Day 2023 Theme :

* The theme for World Fisheries Day 2023 is “Build enabling policy environments for small-scale artisanal fisheries.”

* This theme emphasizes the crucial role of small-scale fishers in sustainable fisheries management. Small-scale fishers, who often employ traditional and low-impact fishing methods, contribute significantly to local food security and livelihoods. They also possess valuable knowledge and expertise in managing marine resources sustainably.

* By supporting small-scale fishers and enabling their participation in policymaking processes, we can promote more equitable and sustainable fisheries management practices.

History of World Fisheries Day :

* The history of World Fisheries Day can be traced back to 1997 when the World Forum on Fish Harvesters and Fish Workers (WFF) met in New Delhi. This gathering of representatives from 18 countries resulted in the establishment of the World Fisheries Forum and the signing of a declaration advocating for a global mandate of sustainable fishing practices and policies.

* In recognition of the growing importance of addressing fisheries issues, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the WFF jointly proposed the establishment of an international day dedicated to fisheries. This proposal was subsequently adopted by the FAO General Assembly in 2003, officially designating November 21st as World Fisheries Day.

* Since its inception, this day has played a pivotal role in raising global awareness about the critical role of fisheries in food security, nutrition, and livelihoods. It has also served as a platform for promoting responsible fisheries management practices, addressing challenges such as overfishing, illegal fishing, and climate change impacts.

Significance of World Fisheries Day :

* Fisheries play a vital role in global food security and nutrition, providing over 20% of the animal protein intake for nearly 3 billion people worldwide. However, overfishing, climate change and pollution have posed significant threats to the sustainability of fisheries, endangering marine ecosystems and the livelihoods of fishers.

* World Fisheries Day serves as a platform to raise awareness about these challenges and promote responsible fisheries management practices that balance conservation with the needs of fishing communities..

Published On : November 21, 2023

Correct Answer : Option (A) - 7th

The stage is set for the 7th edition of the two-day Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS) that kicks off 21st Nov 2023 with business leaders from more than 25 countries, a host of prominent figures of corporate India as well as political dignitaries expected to attend the event.

* The participating countries include the US, UK, Japan, Poland, France, Australia, Germany, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Fiji to name a few.

* Reliance Industries Chairman  and MD Mukesh Ambani, MD of Hiranandani Group Niranjan Hiranandani, and other top industrialists such as Sanjiv Goenka, Sanjeev Puri, Purnendu Chattopadhyay, Harshvardhan Neotia and Sajjan Jindal are expected to be present, according to the State Government sources.

* Alex Ellis, British High Commissioner to India, is leading a 55-strong delegation of senior figures from a wide range of businesses institutions which will be the biggest ever UK delegation in the summit.

* Agri and allied industries including Blue Economy, Transport, Power, Urban Infrastructure and Planning, Creative Economy, Higher Education, School Education,Technical Education, Tourism, Health, IT & ITeS, International Trade and Logistics, Manufacturing and Industries that includes MSME and Textiles and Engineering, Plastics, & Chemicals are the focus sectors of this edition’s BGBS..

Source : AIR

Published On : November 21, 2023
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Correct Answer : Option (D) - 21st November 2023

S.S. Badrinath (83) founder of Sankara Nethralaya, and eminent vitreoretinal surgeon, passed away on 21st November 2023. He had been ill for some time.

“Our visionary Founder, a legend and compassionate leader Dr. S.S. Badrinath passed away early this morning. The last rites will be held after 9.30 A.M. 21st November 2023 at the Beasant Nagar crematorium.  SN is deeply saddened by the demise of our Founder,” an early note from the institution, said.

Born on February 24, 1940 in Chennai (then Madras), Sengamedu Srinivasa Badrinath had his schooling in the city. “As a child, Dr. S. S. Badrinath observed blindness up close when one of his relatives who was blind in both eyes came to stay with his family. The helplessness of a person without eyesight became deep‑rooted in the young child’s memory,” to quote an article on the ophthalmologist.

According to Dr. Badrinath, this childhood memory of blindness lingered in his subconscious mind and led to his decision of becoming an ophthalmologist. He graduated from the Madras Medical College in 1962, and pursued his graduate studies in ophthalmology in the United States at Grasslands Hospital, New York University Postgraduate Medical School, and Brooklyn Eye and Ear Infirmary until 1968. He worked as a fellow in the vitreoretinal services of Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston, till 1970. On return to India in 1970, he worked for six years at the Voluntary Health Services (VHS), Adyar, as a consultant.

He set up his private practice in ophthalmology and vitreoretinal surgery at the H. M. Hospital (1970–1972) and Vijaya Hospital, Chennai (1973–1978). His spiritual and professional journey actually began in 1974 when Kanchi Mutt acharya Jayendra Saraswathi met a group of young doctors and spoke to them about the need to establish hospitals in India that provide world‑class care for our citizens at affordable costs, according to the article, quoted above, authored by A.P. Irungovel, medical sociologist at Sankara Nethralaya.

These hospitals should be run with a missionary spirit, with the objective of providing quality care equally to the haves and have‑nots. Dr. Badrinath’s association with the Sankara Math started when he performed a cataract surgery on his spiritual guru Chandrasekerendra Saraswathi Swamigal.

As a consequence of guidance from his spiritual mentors, in 1978, Dr. Badrinath founded Sankara Nethralaya as a unit of the Medical Research Foundation. The institution went on to become iconic, a symbol of the progress of modern medicine, hosting both medical education and cutting edge research along with patient care. People from far and wide came to Sankara Nethralaya for its treatment facilities.

His wife Vasanthi is a paediatrician and haematologist..

Source : The Hindu

Published On : November 21, 2023
Vinay M Tonse
Devdutt Chand
Atul Kumar Goel
Ajay Kumar Srivastava

Correct Answer : Option (A) - Vinay M Tonse

The central government on Monday (20th Nov 2023) appointed Vinay M Tonse as the Managing Director of the State Bank of India till November 30, 2025.

Before the appointment, Tonse was serving as the Deputy Managing Director at the PSU bank. The Deputy Manager of the state-owned bank was recommended by the Financial Services Institutions Bureau (FSIB) for the senior post at SBI in September.

FSIB is responsible for recommending directors of state-owned banks and financial institutions. The post fell vacant after Swaminathan Janakiraman was appointed as the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India. The State Bank of India is operated by four managing directors and one chairman.

About Vinay Tonse :

He joined the State Bank of India as a Probationary Officer in 1988. Throughout his tenure, Tonse has worked at different locations in India, as well as abroad. In his career spanning more than 30 years, Tonse has led major assignments and projects of the State Bank of India. His career involves experience in different facets of commercial banking like corporate credit, treasury, retail, and international banking.

Prior to his appointment, FSIB had interviewed 13 candidates in August for SBI's top post.

“Keeping in view their performance in the interface, their overall experience, and the extant parameters, the Bureau recommends Vinay M Tonse for the position of MD in SBI," said FSIB.

The appointment was confirmed after receiving approval from the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. FSIB is headed by  Bhanu Pratap Sharma, former secretary in the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).

Other members of the headhunter are Animesh Chauhan, former chairman and MD of erstwhile Oriental Bank of Commerce, RBI's ex-executive director Deepak Singhal, and Shailendra Bhandari, former MD of erstwhile ING Vysya Bank..

Source : Mint

Published On : November 21, 2023