Last week, a German newspaper published an article accusing Indian poet and curator Ranjit Hoskote of “anti-Semitism” and aligning with the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement. In response to these allegations, Hoskote resigned from the Finding Committee for Documenta 16, the highly esteemed art exhibition scheduled for 2027 in Germany. Subsequently, on Friday (November 17), all members of the committee also tendered their resignations.
In the coming months, water levels in the reservoirs of India’s southern states are anticipated to decline further, raising apprehensions given the already low stocks this year. A recent report from the Central Water Commission (CWC) indicates that compared to last year and other regions in 2023, the water levels in these states’ reservoirs are notably lower.
Hallucinate is the Cambridge Dictionary’s Word of the Year for 2023. This year, the Cambridge Dictionary expanded its definition to include the following: “When an artificial intelligence hallucinates, it produces false information.”
In 2022, an estimated 11 lakh children in India missed their vital first dose of the measles vaccine, as reported by the World Health Organization and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This places India among the top 10 countries with the highest count of children who did not receive the initial vaccination. Additionally, India is among the 37 nations that experienced significant or disruptive outbreaks, with 40,967 reported measles cases in 2022, according to the same report.
Recently, Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy granted complete ownership rights to recipients of assigned lands, the Land Purchase Scheme (LPS), and village service Inam (gift) lands. This move is set to benefit over 20.24 lakh individuals, providing them with ownership of approximately 35.44 lakh acres of land. Assigned lands, distributed by the government to beneficiaries such as Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs), the impoverished, the landless, and ex-servicemen, lacked clear ownership titles prior to this initiative.
India is on the verge of resolving its most contentious trade dispute related to information communications technology (ICT) products with the European Union (EU), its second-largest trade partner. This development follows India’s successful resolution of all seven trade disputes with its largest trade partner, the United States, at the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The Goa government has established a seven-member committee tasked with reviewing the proposal for the creation of a third district in the state. The committee is expected to assess the necessity for such an addition and deliver its report to the government within a three-month timeframe.
India conducted the second edition of the Voice of Global South Summit (VOGSS) in a virtual format. The inaugural VOGSS, held on January 12-13, 2023, was also hosted by India in a virtual setting. This distinctive initiative gathered representatives from 125 countries of the Global South, providing a shared platform for the exchange of perspectives and priorities.
The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter mission by the European Space Agency (ESA), while in orbit around Mars, observed a luminous Martian night sky in the optical spectrum. Scientists suggest that the brightness of the light in the polar regions is significant enough that human explorers might have the opportunity to witness it, provided the night sky is clear of clouds.
Scientists caution that global ice sheets are melting at a rate surpassing previous estimates, necessitating a reevaluation of worldwide climate goals to avert a potentially catastrophic rise in sea levels. The International Cryosphere Climate Initiative (ICCI), a network of policy experts and researchers, issued this warning in a report published on Nov 16, urging world leaders to heed their concerns as they convene for the United Nations’ COP28 climate conference later this month.
The recent identification of vibrant cosmic-ray electrons is aiding scientists in tracing the origin of these enigmatic particles. Utilizing the CALorimetric Electron Telescope (CALET), a collaborative mission led by Japan with support from JAXA, ASI, NASA, and various universities, this study has been ongoing since 2015 and has detected over 7 million particles on the International Space Station.
NASA’s Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) experiment has reached a significant milestone by achieving “first light,” successfully transmitting and receiving data beyond the Moon using a near-infrared laser. As part of the Psyche spacecraft mission, the experiment aims to revolutionize spacecraft communication, and a near-infrared laser encoded with test data was sent over nearly 10 million miles to the Hale Telescope at Caltech’s Palomar Observatory in San Diego County, California.
Renowned British author A.S. Byatt, acclaimed for winning the 1990 Booker Prize for her bestselling romance novel “Possession,” has passed away at the age of 87. The novelist, also a nominee for the Booker Prize in 2009 for “The Children’s Book,” received the title of dame in 1999.
Recently, the United States and the Philippines signed a significant agreement that permits Washington to export nuclear technology and material to Manila. The deal enables the U.S. to collaborate with the Philippines in developing small modular reactors and other civilian nuclear energy infrastructure, as Manila explores nuclear power as a means to decarbonize and enhance energy independence.
Recently, the Ukrainian military reported the successful expulsion of Russian soldiers from positions on the eastern banks of the Dnipro river in the occupied Kherson region. Ukrainian Marines, sharing their achievements on Facebook, noted establishing multiple bridgeheads and conducting operations on the river’s eastern side. This comes after Russia acknowledged for the first time this week that Ukrainian troops had crossed the river.
SpaceX is gearing up for the second test launch of Starship, showcasing the largest rocket ever constructed. The Super Heavy booster associated with Starship generates a thrust of 16.7 million pounds (74.3 Meganewtons), nearly double the power of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), which is currently fully operational, making Starship one of the most powerful rockets in the world.
According to a study published in the journal Science, bonobos, our closest living relatives alongside chimpanzees, engage in collaborative behaviors with individuals outside their immediate social groups. The study reveals that bonobos form alliances, engaging in activities such as grooming, food sharing, and even uniting against sexual aggressors, highlighting the complexity of their social interactions.
Renowned art historian and writer Brijender Nath Goswamy passed away recently, The recipient of the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awards, born on August 15, 1933, was renowned for his expertise in the Pahari style of paintings.
The Indian Air Force’s aerobatics demonstration team, Suryakiran, will perform at the start of the The Cricket World Cup 2023 Final at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Suryakiran, established in 1996, is a part of the 52nd Squadron of the Indian Air Force.
The United States and China have pledged to accelerate their efforts to address climate change. The two countries have agreed to:
The two countries also agreed to include all greenhouse gases in their next national climate plans due in 2025. They will also recommence bilateral dialogues on energy policies and strategies.
The US and China are the world’s biggest carbon emitters. They have agreed to take steps to reduce emissions, but stopped short of committing to end fossil fuels.
The Malaysian government and Google announced a strategic collaboration on November 15, 2023. The collaboration aims to create inclusive growth opportunities for Malaysians and local companies. The collaboration is expected to help businesses of all sizes advance their digital competitiveness.
The collaboration includes: Skill opportunities, Inclusive growth, Digital economy, Innovation.
President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed Wednesday to restore some military-to-military communications between their armed forces as the two leaders met for hours on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco.
CMA CGM SA, the world’s third-largest container carrier, has warned against a price war in the shipping industry. The company’s third-quarter net income fell 94% to $388 million from $7.04 billion in the same three months a year earlier.
CMA CGM SA urged the industry to avoid a price war because the delivery of new vessels threatens to push global shipping to a protracted slump. The industry has been grappling with challenges due to global economic uncertainties and the ongoing pandemic.
The company’s name was not mentioned in the report.
The United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution on Wednesday, November 16, 2023 calling for “urgent and extended humanitarian pauses and corridors” in the Gaza Strip.
The resolution was a response to the Israel-Hamas war.
The resolution was adopted by a vote of 12 in favor to none against, with 3 abstentions. The United States, United Kingdom, and Russia abstained.
The resolution also demanded that all parties comply with international law, including international humanitarian law.
The resolution was a long-awaited diplomatic breakthrough after weeks of negotiations. The previous four attempts for security council approval failed:
According to the Custodian of Enemy Properties in India (CEPI), the 37 properties are spread across UP’s Amroha, Muzaffarnagar and Sultanpur districts. The enemy properties are those that were left behind by people who took citizenship of Pakistan and China following Partition and after the 1962 and 1965 wars.
Puravankara, a real estate developer, has acquired the rights to redevelop two housing societies in Mumbai’s Andheri.
The project is located in the heart of Lokhandwala in Andheri West. The project covers 3 acres and has a potential gross development value (GDV) of Rs 1,500 crore.
The project has an estimated development potential of 5.8 lakh sq ft carpet area, with approximately 3.65 lakh sq ft available for sale.
Puravankara has reported record-breaking sales of INR 1,600 crores and collections of INR 879 crores. The developer is working on planned delivery of around 2,500 units with an area of over 2.5 million sq ft in the second half of the ongoing financial year.
The Indian Army and Border Roads Organisation (BRO) completed the Chungthang Bailey Bridge in Sikkim. The 200-foot bridge spans the Teesta River and connects flood-affected areas with the mainland. The bridge is the longest and heaviest single-span Bailey bridge that can be launched.
The bridge was built in five days by troops of the Trishakti Corps and BRO. The bridging operation involved the use of heavy earth-moving plants.
The floods caused extensive damage to infrastructure, including roads, bridges, and power lines. Over 60,000 people were affected, with many losing their homes, livelihoods, and belongings. The floods disrupted communication and transportation networks.
India aims to take a balanced and measured approach to the Israel-Hamas conflict at the upcoming virtual G20 summit to prevent any politicisation of the forum amid efforts by certain G20 members to push for a stronger reference to the issue at the November 22 meeting, said people aware of the matter.
India Issued 560 Mn Card Tokens In The Past One Year After RBI’s Directive, Says Report. India has issued around 560 Mn card tokens since October last year, following the Reserve Bank of India’s directive to tokenise cards for ecommerce transactions, global payments operator Visa said in its new report.
India is hosting the second Voice of Global South Summit on Friday. The summit will be held virtually.
The summit will focus on sharing the outcomes of the G20 meetings during India’s Presidency with the countries of the Global South. It will also discuss the challenges posed by global developments. The summit will be a platform to discuss ways to sustain the momentum towards a more inclusive, representative, and progressive world order.
The summit will be structured into 10 sessions. The second summit will start with an Inaugural Leaders’ Session chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has inducted two new Superintendents of Police (SPs):
The government has appointed both officers for a five-year tenure.
The CBI has also extended the tenure of two Deputy Inspectors General (DIGs):
Rakesh Roy, an engineer from Kerala, has created the state’s first self-identified private small hydroelectric project. The Mukkudam Small Hydroelectric Project in Idukki began supplying power to the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) Limited last month.
India is committed to freedom of navigation, overflight and unimpeded lawful commerce in international waters in accordance with global norms, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Thursday against the backdrop of China’s increasing military muscle flexing in the South China Sea.
According to experts, the depreciation of the Indian rupee could benefit the country’s labor-intensive export sectors. This could lead to a 2–10% increase in outbound shipments of readymade garments, carpets, and handicrafts. The benefit could reach 100% in the case of handicrafts with little import component.
Sectors with a low dependence on imports would gain while others will lose their benefits to higher oil and commodity prices.
The rupee depreciates against the dollar because of increased demand for the dollar. Indians sell rupees to buy dollars because the US dollar is the currency used to settle international transactions.
According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the global economy is showing signs of slowing down in the final quarter of 2023. The RBI said that manufacturing is lagging and the services sector is reaching a plateau. The RBI also said that tightening financial conditions are a significant risk.
The RBI has tightened norms for unsecured lending portfolios of banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs). The RBI has also increased the risk weight on unsecured bank and NBFC loans by 25%.
Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Minister Parshottam Rupala on Thursday said the country’s inland fish production has more than doubled in the last nine years to 131 lakh tonnes on the back of government’s initiatives to boost this sector.
Key takeaways from the report include Asia boasting the fastest growth rate of wind and solar capacity at 35% per year, outpacing other continents since 2015. The total funding for renewables in Asia reached an impressive $532 billion in 2022, representing 65% of the global spend on renewables.
UCO Bank says it has recovered about 79% of the money that was erroneously credited to some of its accounts via the Immediate Payment Service (IMPS). The bank has blocked the recipients’ accounts and recovered about ₹649 crore out of ₹820 crore. The bank has also initiated actions to recover the remaining ₹171 crore.
The bank temporarily disabled its IMPS channel due to a technical issue from November 10 to November 13, 2023. The bank has reported the matter to different law enforcement agencies for action.
IMPS is a payment service for instant money transfers. It is facilitated by NPCI (National Payment Corporation of India).
India and 13 other members of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) signed a supply chain resilience agreement. The agreement aims to reduce dependence on China and shift manufacturing of critical goods within member nations. The 14 countries account for 40% of global GDP and a third of global trade.
The agreement will:
The IPEF is structured around four pillars: Trade, Supply chains, Clean economy, Fair economy.
India has joined all pillars except trade.
The members of the IPEF are:
Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, The US, Vietnam.
Innovative business models can lead to more opportunities for climate investing by creating sustainable models that can solve climate problems.
Some investment opportunities for climate change include:
Some innovation opportunities include:
On November 15, 2023, Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) added nine stocks to the MSCI Global Standard Index. The stocks included:
IndusInd Bank, Suzlon Energy, Paytm, One97 Communications, Persistent Systems, APL Apollo, Polycab, Macrotech Developers, Tata Motors A, Tata Communications.
The inclusion of these stocks may trigger a combined inflow of $1.72 billion. No Indian stocks were excluded from the index.
The MSCI All Country World Index (ACWI) is a stock index that tracks the performance of the global equity market. It includes stocks from nearly 3,000 companies from 23 developed countries and 25 emerging markets.
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a disease caused by a misfolded protein called a prion. CWD has been reported in northern Colorado and southern Wyoming since the 1990s.
Some symptoms of CWD include:
The CDC recommends that you have your deer or elk tested for CWD before eating the meat. If your animal tests positive for CWD, do not eat the meat.
SpaceX is set to launch its Starship rocket again after receiving final approval from federal regulators. The first launch of Starship ended in an explosion minutes after lifting off from South Texas in April.
SpaceX has made numerous improvements to the rocket and launch pad. The Federal Aviation Administration issued its license Wednesday, noting that SpaceX has met safety, environmental and other requirements to launch again.
Starship is both the tallest and most powerful rocket ever made. It’s over 400 feet tall, propelled by 33 engines. Elon Musk’s private space company hopes it will one day take humans to the Moon.
According to a report by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), India has the potential to deploy 637 GW of solar energy capacity on rooftops. This could support the entire electricity demand of India’s residential sector.
India’s rooftop solar potential is spread across states, unlike other renewable technologies. A study on solarising rural households in Bihar and Meghalaya highlights lifetime economic gains to the tune of Rs 2,700 crore per 100 MW of solar capacity.
The set goal of deploying 40 GW of RTS by 2022 is transformative and unprecedented in the Indian context.
A recent study suggests that climate change could alter brain structure and cognitive abilities. The study found that environmental factors associated with climate change, such as:
These factors could affect brain structure, function, and overall health.
Some studies have shown that:
According to Reuters, Iran is continuing to enrich uranium to 60% purity at a rate of 3 kg per month. This is close to weapons-grade levels of 90%. Iran has enough uranium enriched to 60% to make three bombs.
Here are some other details from the reports:
The United States and the international community have been trying to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power for decades.
Cyprus has pledged to investigate allegations of sanctions-busting and money laundering since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. The island nation has taken action against those named by the United States and Britain for allegedly helping Russian oligarchs bypass sanctions.
According to an ICIJ investigation, Cyprus moved large sums of money for oligarchs, including after the 2022 Ukraine invasion. The investigation also found that Cyprus ignored Western sanctions to shield the wealth of Putin allies.
The Cypriot government has said there will be “zero tolerance” for sanctions busting, money laundering, and other illegal practices.
According to Indian Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar, the fragile security situation in the South China Sea poses a clear and present danger to good order and discipline at sea. He also said that the situation includes violations of established codes of conduct and confidence building measures.
The South China Sea is home to some of the world’s most important shipping lanes. The main route to and from Pacific and Indian ocean ports is through the Strait of Malacca and the South China Sea.
The South China Sea is the subject of territorial disputes between several sovereign states. These states include:
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar concluded his five-day visit to the UK on Wednesday, which he described as timely after a series of cross-party engagements amid substantial progress on the ongoing free trade agreement negotiations.
The 2nd Voice of Global South Summit aims to serve as a platform to share the outcomes of various G20 meetings, sustain momentum generated from the previous summit, and discuss ways to achieve shared aspirations for inclusive and equitable international development.
On November 16, 2023, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) passed a resolution calling for:
The resolution calls for “urgent and extended humanitarian pauses and corridors throughout the Gaza Strip for a sufficient number of days”. The vote in the 15-member council was 12-0.
The resolution comes after more than a month of Israel’s bombing of Gaza.
On November 14, 2023, India and the US signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to boost cooperation among startups and promote innovation. The agreement aims to:
The agreement also includes regular government-to-government meetings and private sector meetings to deepen ties between business communities.
The Goa International Robotics Festival 2024 will be held from January 25 to 28, 2024. The festival is being hosted by the Government of Goa’s Department of Information Technology, Electronics, and Communications, in collaboration with the InfinityX STEM Foundation.
The festival will include the FIRST Tech Challenge India Robotics Championship and the FIRST Lego League Open. The festival aims to inspire young people to pursue educational and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
According to experts, the new LLP rules will improve transparency in investment structures. The rules require Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) to identify and report on their ultimate owners. This will strengthen disclosure frameworks.
The National Medical Commission (NMC) has postponed its decision to limit undergraduate medical seats in each state to 100 per 10 lakh population until 2025. The decision was taken after the Union health ministry asked the medical education regulator to re-examine the provisions of the ratio.
The decision was put on hold after protests from states like Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, where there are a high concentration of medical colleges. The move had received retaliation from states that have already exceeded the seats-to-population ratio.
The regulation is likely to be implemented from academic year 2025-26 after consultation and meetings with stakeholders and states. Medical colleges established from the 2025-26 will have a maximum of 150 MBBS seats provided they follow the MBBS seat cap rule.
Here’s some information about one-time settlement schemes:
Other one-time settlement schemes include:
In a mind-baffling discovery, scientists have found that a supernova explosion billions of light-years away was so powerful that it ‘temporarily destroyed’ some of the Earth’s Ozone layer in 2022. On October 9, 2022, the telescopes captured a jet of high energy photons which were moving towards Earth.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) says that the cryogenic upper stage of the LVM3 M4 launch vehicle made an uncontrolled re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere on November 15. The re-entry happened at around 2:42 AM IST. The rocket body was part of the LVM-3 M4 launch vehicle.
The LVM3 M4 launch vehicle successfully injected the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft into its intended orbit on July 14, 2023. The lander achieved a soft touchdown near the lunar south pole on August 23, 2023. The vehicle began relaying information over the next two weeks before going into sleep mode on September 4.
The re-entry of the rocket body took place 124 days since launch. The rocket body fell in the Pacific.
The Uttar Pradesh government plans to distribute 17 lakh bio-decomposers in the 2023-2024 fiscal year to reduce stubble burning. This is an increase of over 28% from the previous year.
The government has also:
Stubble burning emits particulate matter and harmful gases that severely affect human health. These gases include:
A cassowary, sometimes called “the world’s most dangerous bird”, emerged from the ocean and startled beachgoers in Bingil Bay, Australia. The cassowary is a flightless bird that can grow as tall as a human. It’s the third largest bird in the world, after ostriches and emus.
Beachgoers initially thought the shape in the ocean was a turtle or a shark’s fin. They were shocked to see the cassowary emerge and shake off water.
The cassowary may have entered the ocean around south Mission Beach and been swept to Bingil Bay by a current or rip. Bingil Bay is north of Mission Beach in tropical north Queensland, which is often called the “Cassowary Coast”. Cassowaries are similar to ostriches and emus. Females are slightly larger than males and can weigh up to 175 pounds. Male cassowaries typically weigh about 121 pounds. They can grow to be 5.5 feet tall.