30 Most Important Current Affairs of November 2018

Jagranjosh.com brings to you August 2018 monthly recap that summarises the top current affairs of the month, covering topics such as the constitutional validity of death penalty, hyperspectral imaging satellite (HySIS), Maharatna, Navratna, and Miniratna statuses, closure of the Sterlite copper plant, Kartarpur Sahib Road Corridor, North Sentinel Island, 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks Open Defecation in India, CBI-Alok Verma Dispute, 33rd ASEAN Summit, G20 Summit 2018, Delhi's Signature Bridge, appointment of Supreme Court judges, and Assam NRC among others.

1. Revised GDP Back Series data: All you need to know about new GDP data

Nearly four years after moving to a new GDP series, the Union Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (MOSPI) on November 28, 2018 released the revised Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data for the years 2004-2005 to 2010-2011.

Modifying the data of past years using 2011-12 as the base year instead of 2004-05, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) lowered the GDP growth rate under the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government from 10.3 percent in financial year 2010-11 to 8.5 percent.


2. Emergency Response Support System: Himachal Pradesh becomes first state to launch Single Emergency Number '112'

Himachal Pradesh on November 28, 2018 became the first Indian state to launch a single emergency number ‘112’ which will connect to police, fire, health and other helplines through an Emergency Response Centre (ERC) in the state.

For this purpose, state established an ERC in Shimla along with 12 District Command Centres (DCCs) covering the entire state. The emergency number was launched by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh under the Emergency Response Support System (ERSS).

3. Capital Punishment in India: SC upholds constitutional validity of death penalty

The Supreme Court on November 28, 2018 upheld the constitutional validity of death penalty while awarding life term imprisonment to Chhannu Lal Verma instead of death penalty for murdering three persons including two women.

While delivering the judgment, a three-judge bench comprising Justices Kurian Joseph, Deepak Gupta and Hemant Gupta expressed different opinions with Justice Joseph saying that the provision of capital punishment has failed to become a deterrent and the other two holding its continuance in the rarest of rare cases.

Though the three judges differed on the applicability of death penalty, they were unanimous in commuting or reducing the death sentence of Chhannu Lal Verma.

4. 8 States achieve 100% household electrification under Saubhagya; total 15 States now have 100% household electrification

RK Singh, Union Minister of State for Power and Renewable Energy, on November 29, 2018 announced that 8 States have achieved 100 percent saturation in household electrification under Saubhagya Scheme. With this, there are now total 15 States in the country that have 100 percent household electrification.

These eight states are Madhya Pradesh, Tripura, Bihar, J&K, Mizoram, Sikkim, Telangana and West Bengal. As many as 2.1 crore connections have been released under Saubhagya or Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana so far. States like Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, etc. are left with small number of un-electrified households and expected to achieve saturation any time.

5. ISRO successfully launches HySIS satellite aboard PSLV-C43

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on November 29, 2018 successfully launched a hyperspectral imaging satellite (HySIS), an earth observation satellite along with 30 foreign commercial satellites from Sriharikota launch centre in Andhra Pradesh.

HySIS is an earth observation satellite developed by ISRO. It is the primary satellite of the PSLV-C43 mission. The mass of the satellite is about 380 kg. The primary goal of the satellite would be to study the earth’s surface in visible, near infrared and shortwave infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum.

The foreign satellites launched along with HySIS include 1 Micro and 29 Nano satellites from 8 different countries.

6. Arvind Saxena appointed as Chairman of UPSC

The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind on November 28, 2018 appointed Arvind Saxena as the new Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

The term of his appointment will be from the date he enters the Chairman office till August 7, 2020 when he attains the age of 65 years or till further orders, whichever is earlier. The Government had appointed Saxena as the acting Chairman of UPSC in June 2018. He took over charge from Vinay Mittal who had completed his term.

7. Maharatna, Navratna & Miniratna Status: NPCC is now a Miniratna

The Union Government on November 27, 2018 conferred the ‘Miniratna status: Category –I’ on the National Projects Construction Corporation Limited (NPCC). The empowerment of Miniratna Status will help NPCC in taking speedy decisions by enhancing the delegation of powers to the Board. NPCC has also been awarded with the ISO 9001:2015 Certification.

The government grants the status of Maharatna, Navratna, and Miniratna to Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) and Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) based upon the profit made by these enterprises. The Maharatna, Navratna and Miniratna statuses give financial and administrative power to the companies to a certain extent.

8. Shut down of Sterlite Copper plant: NGT Committee rules that closure is against natural justice

A National Green Tribunal (NGT) Committee on November 27, 2018 ruled that the closure of the Sterlite copper plant in Tamil Nadu is not sustainable and is against the natural justice, thus, the closure is not justified.

The committee directed Vedanta to set rules for carrying out waste management. The panel also asked the Central Pollution Control Board to ensure the firm’s compliance with pollution norms. Following the submission of report, a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel directed both Vedanta and the Tamil Nadu government to file its responses to the report within one week.

9. BCCI announces two-year ban for age fraud

The Board of Control for Cricket in India on November 27, 2018 announced that a cricketer guilty of age fraud will be barred from all its recognised tournaments for a period of two years.

The BCCI statement relayed that from the 2018-19 season, any cricketer who is found guilty of tampering his or her date of birth will be disqualified and barred from participating in any BCCI tournament for a period of 2 years i.e. 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons.

10. Sunil Arora appointed as new Chief Election Commissioner

President Ram Nath Kovind on November 26, 2018 appointed Sunil Arora as the new Chief Election Commissioner. He would be succeeding OP Rawat who retired on November 24. The 62-year-old Arora was appointed to the Election Commission on August 31, 2017. He was brought in last year to fill the vacancy created by former CEC Nasim Zaidi’s retirement.

He is now expected to take charge of his new post on December 2, 2018. Sunil Arora is a 1980 batch IAS officer of the Rajasthan Cadre, who has held top positions in various government departments and ministries.

11. Venkaiah Naidu lays down foundation stone of Dera Baba Nanak - Kartarpur Sahib Corridor

Marking a new beginning in India-Pakistan relations, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on November 26, 2018 laid the foundation stone for the construction of Dera Baba Nanak - Kartarpur Sahib Road Corridor on the Indian side at Mann village in Gurdaspur district of Punjab. The corridor will provide a passage to Indian Sikh pilgrims to visit the holy site of Gurudwara Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur in Pakistan.

The foundation stone was laid in the presence of Union Minister for Road Transport Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Food Processing Harsimrat Kaur Badal, and Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amrinder Singh.

12. Sentinel Island: Why Sentinelese wish to remain isolated?

Known to be isolated and unwelcoming to outsiders, the tribesmen of the Sentinelese tribe have been in the news lately, after they reportedly killed and buried an American missionary John Allen Chau, who had gone to the islands to tell the remote tribe that "Jesus loves you".

The Indian police, who had gone to the islands to retrieve the body of the 27-year-old American on November 24, were forced to turn back from the off-limits island in North Sentinel after seeing the tribesmen on the beach armed with bows and arrows. John Allen Chau was reportedly shot by an arrow and buried on the beach on North Sentinel Island, after paying Indian fishermen to illegally take him to the island in the Andaman Sea.

13. India marks 10th anniversary of 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks

India on November 26, 2018 marked the tenth anniversary of 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks that left 166 people dead and over 300 people injured. President Ram Nath Kovind paid tributes to the victims of terror attacks. Ten years back in 2008, 10 terrorists of Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist group sailed into Mumbai and carried out coordinated attacks that lasted for three days.

The terrorists carried out bomb explosions and gun firings at Taj Mahal Palace hotel, the Oberoi Trident, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station, Leopold Cafe, Cama Hospital, Nariman House Jewish community centre, the Metro Cinema and St. Xavier's College.

14. 69th Constitution Day observed across India

The 69th Constitution Day was observed across India on November 26, 2018 to mark the adoption of the Indian Constitution by the Constituent Assembly. The Constitution of India was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on November 26, 1949 and it came into force on January 26, 1950.

The Constitution of India is a supreme law of India, which lays down the framework that defines the political principles, establishes the structure, procedures, powers and duties of Government institution. Dr BR Ambedkar is regarded as the father of the Indian Constitution.

15. Mary Kom clinches gold in World Boxing Championship

Mary Kom created history on November 24, 2018 by winning her sixth world championship gold at the 10th World Women’s Boxing Championships, held in New Delhi, India.

Speaking on her historic win, Mary Kom said that it is very special as she was under pressure, especially because of the change in her weight category. “I won my last Worlds gold in 2010 and then the change of weight for Olympics happened. The pressure was something I always felt but don't know how to put this gold alongside the earlier five," she reasoned.

16. J&K Governor dissolves state assembly, President’s rule to be imposed

The Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on November 21, 2019 dissolved the State Assembly with immediate effect after rival alliances staked claim to form the government.

The dissolution was announced through a communiqué that was released by Raj Bhavan. The Governor cited four main reasons for dissolving the Assembly and these include horse-trading and possible exchange of money and the impossibility of forming a stable government by parties with opposing political ideologies.

The governor released the communiqué of dissolution minutes after People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti released a letter on Twitter announcing that she would seek to form the government with her traditional rivals, the National Conference (NC) and Congress.

17. Maharashtra Cabinet passes Maratha Reservation Bill

The state cabinet of Maharashtra on November 18, 2018 passed the Maratha Reservation Bill, approving reservation for the Maratha community. The bill is likely to be tabled during the winter session of the state’s legislative assembly.

The state government made the decision based on the recommendations of the Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission, whose report was submitted to the state’s Chief Secretary DK Jain on November 15. The move follows months of massive protests by members of the community demanding reservation in education and jobs.

18. Allied and Healthcare Council of India to be set up: Cabinet approval

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 22, 2018 approved the Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill, 2018 for regulation and standardisation of education and services by allied and healthcare professionals.

The Bill provides for setting up of an Allied and Healthcare Council of India and corresponding state allied and healthcare councils, which will play the role of a standard-setter and facilitator for professions of allied and healthcare.

19. Government decides to set up a domestic Gold Council in India

The government on November 23, 2018 has decided to set up domestic Gold council in India to promote the growth of the sector and boost exports of jewellery. Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu said this while inaugurating the 2nd Edition of India Gold and Jewellery Summit in New Delhi.

The gold council will have representations from all stakeholders including artisans, traders, miners and purifiers. The council would work in the direction of promoting the gold and jewellery industry, job creation, building of regional clusters. It will also extend domestic support for exports.

20. Open Defecation in India: Rural Jharkhand declared ODF

The rural Jharkhand was declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) on November 15, 2018 during a regional review meeting of the eastern states held in Kolkata, West Bengal.

The workshop comprised discussions on sustaining Open Defecation Free (ODF) status, Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM), and rural water supply. It saw participation from teams belonging to West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar and Odisha.

21. CBI-Alok Verma Dispute: SC orders CVC to hand over probe report to Alok Verma for his response

The Supreme Court on November 16, 2018 ruled that the vigilance probe report of the CVC against ousted CBI Director Alok Verma gives out “mixed” findings and indicated that some charges need to be investigated further.

The court directed the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) to hand over the copy of the probe report to CBI Director Alok Kumar in a sealed cover and asked Verma to file his response by November 19, 2018. The matter will now be heard on November 20. The court stated that the report should also be handed over to Attorney General K K Venugopal and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.

22. 33rd ASEAN Summit, 13th East Asia Summit and 2nd RCEP Summit: Major Highlights

The 33rd edition of the ASEAN Summit concluded on November 15, 2018 at Suntec Singapore Convention Centre, Singapore. The Summit also saw the conclusion of other related summits like 13th East Asia Summit (EAS), 2nd Regional Comprehensive Economic Summit, (RCEP) and ASEAN plus summits.

The Summit began on November 13, 2018. The opening ceremony of the summit was addressed by Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore, Chairman of this year’s Summit. In his speech, Lee Hsien Loong called on ASEAN members and partners to uphold multilateralism and international cooperation and tackle common challenges including terrorism and climate change.

23. Flipkart co-founder, CEO Binny Bansal steps down

Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal on November 13, 2018 announced his resignation as the CEO of the group, effective immediately.

The decision came to light after Flipkart and Walmart released a statement informing the same.  The statement read, "Earlier today, Binny Bansal announced his resignation as CEO of Flipkart Group, effective immediately. Binny has been an important part of Flipkart since co-founding the company, but recent events risked becoming a distraction and Binny has made a decision to step down.”

24. Delhi Air Pollution: NGT forms committee to check air quality during functions at hotels, banquets

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on November 13, 2018 formed a committee to stop activities that lead to degradation of the environment, taking note of pollution and traffic congestion during functions at banquet halls, farmhouses and hotels in Delhi.

The Committee will be headed by the Delhi Government's Urban Development Secretary. Justice SP Garg, former Delhi High Court judge, will also oversee the working of the committee. The Chief Secretary of Delhi will provide all the requisite logistic support and assistance for functioning of committee.

25. Delhi’s Signature Bridge: All you need to know

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on November 4, 2018 inaugurated the long awaited Delhi's Signature Bridge, the first asymmetrical cable-stayed bridge in India.

The bridge was constructed by the Delhi Tourism and Transport Development Corporation (DTTDC) at an expenditure of Rs 1,518.37 crore. The 675-metre bridge aims to reduce travel time and traffic congestion between the north-eastern and northern parts of Delhi.

The bridge was first approved in 1997 after school bus fell off the narrow Wazirabad Bridge into the Yamuna, killing 22 children. However, a number of hurdles and budget modifications led to the delay in its completion.

26. US exempts India, China from its sanctions for buying Iranian oil

The United States on November 5, 2018 temporarily exempted eight countries, including India from the US sanctions for buying Iranian oil.

Addressing a press conference in Washington, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the list of the countries temporarily exempted from the sanctions. The countries include India, China, Japan, Italy, Greece, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey. Pompeo said that these countries showed a significant reduction in oil purchase from the Persian Gulf country after the Trump administration reimposed sanctions on Tehran.

27. USITC rules against anti-dumping duty on PTFE resin from India, China

The US International Trade Commission on November 2, 2018 ruled against putting an anti-dumping duty on the import of a synthetic fluoropolymer from India and China. The fluoropolymer is a key ingredient in the non-stick coating for pans and other cookware.

The counsel for the foreign exporters in this proceeding, Dharmendra Choudhary, said an antidumping order would have been issued without this remarkable success at USITC. The counsel, while underscoring that the threshold for injury determination at USITC is very low, said that the federal American body generally sides with the US domestic industry.

28. India re-elected as member of ITU council till 2022

India has been elected as a member of the International Telecommunications Union Council (ITU) for another 4-year term from 2019 to 2022.

The elections to the Council were held during the ongoing ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2018 at Dubai. India secured 165 votes and ranked third among the 13 countries elected to the council from the Asia-Australasia region and eighth among the 48 countries elected to the council globally.

The ITU has 193 member states, which elect representatives to the council.

29. Justices Hemant Gupta, R Subhash Reddy, MR Shah and Ajay Rastogi sworn-in as Supreme Court Judges

Justices Hemant Gupta, R Subhash Reddy, M R Shah and Ajay Rastogi were on November 2, 2018 sworn-in as the Judges of the Supreme Court. Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi administered oath of office to the four judges.

Prior to this elevation, Justice Gupta served as the Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court; Justice Rastogi as the Chief Justice of the Tripura High Court; Justice Shah as the incumbent Chief Justice of the Patna High Court; and Justice Reddy as the Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court.

30. Assam NRC: Supreme Court fixes December 15 as deadline for filing claims for inclusion of names in NRC

The Supreme Court on November 1, 2018 fixed December 15 as the deadline for filing of claims and objections by individuals excluded from the first draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) of Assam, published on July 30, 2018.

The bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohinton Nariman allowed claimants for Assam NRC to rely on five documents, which were earlier objected to by NRC coordinator, to prove their citizenship. Earlier, the Supreme Court bench had earlier asked claimants to file their claims and objections within a period of 60 days starting from September 25.

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