1 Nisar will be launched in 2024
The NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission, a collaborative effort between NASA and ISRO , is making significant progress as it prepares for its scheduled launch in the first quarter of 2024. Scientists and engineers working on the mission have successfully completed critical tests, including thermal vacuum testing , bringing them one step closer to their mission goals. One of the major milestones achieved recently is the completion of thermal vacuum testing in Bengaluru . NASA NISAR Project Manager Phil Barella from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) expressed his satisfaction with this achievement. Thermal vacuum testing is a critical step to ensure that the spacecraft can withstand extreme temperature changes in space. This successful test is an important achievement for the NISAR team.
2 EU member states agree to revise waste shipment regulation
EU lawmakers and member states have agreed to a deal to revise waste shipment regulation and end the export of waste to developing countries. The EU Parliament has said that the export of some non-hazardous waste will be allowed only to Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries that meet criteria for disposing of the waste in an environmentally friendly manner. According to the agreement, EU countries will have to stop sending plastic waste to poor countries within two and a half years of the law coming into force.
3 Ladakh gets fourth GI tag for ‘Sea-Buckthorn’
In Ladakh , following the GI tag for Apricot, Pashmina and Ladakhi wood carving , the Geographical Indications-GI Registry functioning under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India , officially granted the GI tag to the Industries and Commerce Department of Ladakh. The tag has been granted and approved as the registered proprietor for ‘ Ladakh Sea Buckthorn ‘ (Wild Fruit) in Category-31. It is one of the most profitable crops in the Union Territory of Ladakh. 90 percent of its production takes place in Ladakh only.
4 Punjab and Haryana High Court declared the provision of 75 percent reservation for local people of Haryana in private sector as unconstitutional
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has struck down the Haryana State Employment Act 2020 for local candidates, which provided for 75 percent reservation for residents of the state in industries in Haryana. The court gave this decision while hearing several petitions of Faridabad Industries Confederation and other petitioners . The government had notified this Act in November 2021. According to the notification issued by the state government, there is a provision to give 75 percent reservation to local youth in those private sector jobs in which the monthly salary is less than Rs 30 thousand from January 15, 2022. This includes private companies, societies, trusts and state-owned companies. A petitioner challenging the Act said that the Act is against the provisions of the Constitution and the basic principle of merit. The petitioner has also said that competency serves as the basis for businesses to grow and remain competitive. The court said that this act is unconstitutional and violates Part 3 of the Constitution.
5 Pakistan-based startup She-Guard, winner of top climate innovation competition
Pakistan- based cleantech startup She-Guard emerged victorious at the ‘ Climate Launchpad Asia-Pacific ‘ finals , showcasing its innovative biodegradable and plastic-free sanitary product . The startup’s mission is to transform banana crop waste into affordable, eco-friendly sanitary napkins, addressing the interconnected challenges of climate change, public health and solid waste management in Pakistan.
6 Salman Rushdie received the first ‘Lifetime Disturbing the Peace Award’
Famous writer Salman Rushdie was awarded the first ‘ Lifetime Disturbing the Peace Award ‘. She was presented the award at a surprise ceremony hosted by the Vaclav Havel Center on the Upper East Side. The ceremony was hosted by veteran CBS journalist Leslie Stahl at the Havel Center, formerly known as the Vaclav Havel Library Foundation. The center was founded in 2012 to advocate for human rights and free expression. This was Rushdie’s first public appearance since he was stabbed during a literary festival in New York in August 2022. In October, he received the German Book Trade’s Peace Prize for 2023 . Ahmed Salman Rushdie is an Indian-born British-American writer.
7 Bangladesh: Cyclonic storm Midhili hits north-west and surrounding areas of Bay of Bengal.
The low air pressure formed in the north-west and surrounding areas of the Bay of Bengal has moved towards north-northeast. It has taken the form of cyclonic storm Midhili . Maldives has given the name Midhili to the cyclonic storm . The Bangladesh Meteorological Department said that the storm was centered about 470 kilometers west-southwest of Chittagong port. There is a possibility of this storm moving towards north-northeast and intensifying further. Due to its effect, storm can blow at a speed of 88 kilometers per hour.
8 Lancet Countdown Report released
The climate crisis has reached a critical tipping point, taking center stage on the global agenda and threatening decades of progress in public health. The recently released Lancet Countdown’s 8th annual report on health and climate change highlights the troubling convergence of factors that pose a serious threat to individuals, public health and health care systems around the world. The climate crisis unfolds through multiple channels, leading to increased food insecurity, spread of climate-sensitive diseases, and increased incidence of extreme weather events. This worrying convergence is placing greater pressure than ever on the world’s health care systems, requiring rapid and comprehensive action.
9 MMRV Working Group
The US , along with more than a dozen countries and organizations, has established a working group aimed at advancing efforts to measure greenhouse gas emissions across the natural gas supply chain. As announced by the Department of Energy, this collaborative initiative seeks to reduce global emissions of pollutants linked to climate change. The primary objective of the MMRV Working Group is to enhance measurement, monitoring, reporting , and verification (MMRV ) of emissions, including methane, carbon dioxide, and other greenhouse gases. It is intended to apply these practices to the entire natural gas supply chain, including the production, processing, transportation, liquefaction and distribution of natural gas.
10. World Health Organization and Ministry of AYUSH signed ‘Project Collaborative Agreement’ on Traditional and Complementary Medicine
The Ministry of AYUSH and the World Health Organization (WHO) have signed a ‘ Project Collaboration Agreement ‘ on Traditional and Complementary Medicine in Geneva . The main objective of this agreement is to standardize traditional and complementary medical systems , link their quality and safety aspects to the national health system and disseminate them internationally . Through this cooperation agreement, efforts will be made to connect traditional and complementary medical systems with the mainstream of the national health system. To achieve this objective, WHO, in collaboration with the Ministry of AYUSH, will prepare the Traditional Medicine Global Strategy 2025-34 . Other major objectives of the agreement include efforts to strengthen the system of training and practice in the field of complementary medicine system ‘Siddha’, formulation of guidelines for listing of traditional and complementary medicines, safety and related efforts etc. An international herbal encyclopedia of herbs found in South-East Asia will be developed by the Ministry of AYUSH in collaboration with WHO . Under this agreement, efforts will be made to integrate evidence-based traditional and complementary medicines with the national health system, conservation and management of biodiversity and medicinal plants, etc.
11. Power supply started from the first unit of 30 MW in Natwar Mori Hydroelectric Project.
State-run power producer SJVN has achieved a significant milestone as the first unit of 30 MW capacity at Natwar Mori Hydro Electric Project (NMHEP) has started supplying power to the national power grid . This development is an important step in enhancing the power infrastructure of the region. Natwar Mori Hydroelectric Project is strategically located in the picturesque Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand on the Tons , a major tributary of the Yamuna . The foundation stone of this project was laid in 2018 by Union Energy Minister RK Singh and former Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Trivendra Singh Rawat .
12 UK government’s asylum plan for Rwandans declared illegal by the Supreme Court
The UK government ‘s controversial asylum plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda has been ruled illegal by the Supreme Court. Despite the decision, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak remains committed to carrying forward the policy, which was designed to stop people coming to Britain illegally. In April 2022 , the UK government announced a five-year trial of a scheme that would involve sending some asylum seekers to Rwanda to claim asylum. Under this scheme, individuals can be granted refugee status in Rwanda or apply for resettlement on other grounds. Additionally, they can seek asylum in another “safe third country”. The government said anyone who entered the UK illegally after January 1, 2022 could be deported to Rwanda with no limit on the number.
13 Euclid Mission for Dark Matter and Dark Energy
The Euclid Mission, launched in July 2023 by the European Space Agency (ESA) to study dark matter and dark energy , has shared its first five scientific images, including images of giant galaxy clusters, Detailed shots of two nearby galaxies, including a nebula and a gravitationally bound group of stars known as a globular cluster. The European Space Agency’s Euclid mission is a space telescope designed to explore the structure and evolution of the Dark Universe.
14 Cambridge Word of the Year ‘Hallucinate’
The word of the year chosen by Cambridge Dictionaries , ‘ hallucinate ‘, highlights the complexities of artificial intelligence (AI) and its potential dangers. The basic definition of “hallucinate” is to feel something that is not normally present due to a health condition or medications. The extended definition of “hallucinate” in the Cambridge Dictionary includes the generation of false information by AI . The intelligentization of AI can pose real dangers, especially in politics and public life, where disinformation and misinformation can have far-reaching consequences. The growing reach of open AI and its tools like Chat GPT , Google Bard , and Microsoft ‘s Copilot has been widely discussed throughout the year.
15 NITI Aayog appoints four distinguished fellows to enhance expertise
In a recent announcement, government think tank NITI Aayog has appointed four distinguished fellows for a one-year tenure with the aim of enhancing their expertise in key social, economic and technological matters. These individuals bring significant work experience and deep understanding of critical issues, further enriching the capabilities of NITI Aayog. New members –
- Anoop Singh : Anoop Singh is a member of the 15th Finance Commission and has a notable background of working with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
- O.P. Aggarwal : 1979 batch IAS officer, O.P. Agarwal has extensive expertise in urban transportation.
- Ajay Chaudhary : Ajay Chaudhary is one of the co-founders of HCL, a leading Indian multinational IT services and consulting company.
- V Lakshmikumaran : V. Lakshmikumaran is a legal expert with an impressive career spanning 35 years in law.
16 IndusInd Bank becomes first bank to go live on RBI’s Account Aggregator Framework
IndusInd Bank has achieved the significant milestone of becoming the first bank to be activated as a ‘ Financial Information Provider ‘ (FIP) under the ‘ Account Aggregator Framework ‘ recently launched by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) . RBI first announced the Account Aggregator (AA) framework through a Master Directive in June 2016. This initiative is a pioneering step taken by RBI which will enable individuals as well as small businesses. And medium sized businesses will be able to avail services that will help them meet their financial needs in a seamless manner. With this, customers can now avail multiple benefits like viewing their accounts details on a single window, tracking deposits, planning investments (like shares, mutual funds, insurance, EPF, PPF), availing credit cards etc. . So that they can be empowered to take informed decisions related to their finances.
17 India will become the world’s third largest economy by 2027: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman recently addressed the Indo-Pacific Regional Dialogue , highlighting India’s remarkable economic trajectory amid global challenges. Underscoring the resilience of the Indian economy amid global uncertainties, he predicted that by 2027, India will become the world’s third largest economy, surpassing Japan and Germany.
18 Mount Etna
Mount Etna , Europe ‘s most active volcano and one of the world’s largest volcanoes , has been erupting continuously since February 2023 , spewing ash and lava into the sky. Mount Etna is a stratovolcano, meaning it is made up of layers of lava, ash, and rock deposited over thousands of years of eruptions. It is located on the east coast of Sicily, an island of Italy in the Mediterranean Sea . Mount Etna has been erupting almost continuously since 1500 BC, making it one of the most active volcanoes in the world.
19 National Epilepsy Day: 17 November
National Epilepsy Day is celebrated every year on 17 November in India to raise awareness about the brain disorder and break the myths related to this disease. Epilepsy is a central nervous system disorder in which brain activity becomes abnormal, causing seizures or abnormal behavior, loss of consciousness, and sometimes cognitive impairment. The brain generates systematic electrical impulses along nerve cell networks, but in epilepsy this balance is disrupted and thus affects consciousness, movements or sensations. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 50 million people worldwide suffer from epilepsy, and India accounts for about 10-20% of the population. Epileptic seizures are broadly classified into focal and generalized seizures based on abnormal brain activity.
20 International Students Day: 17 November
International Students Day is celebrated every year on 17 November . On this day the importance of International Students Day is explained all over the world. This day also tells about the challenges faced by international students. The day also marks the anniversary of the Nazi attack on a university in Prague in 1939 . During this invasion the Nazis imprisoned about a thousand students. The university was also closed and many others were killed and tortured.
21 Freedom fighter and communist leader N Shankaraiah passes away at the age of 102
One of the oldest communist leaders of the country, N. Shankaraiah died in a hospital in Chennai at the age of 102 . He dedicated his life to the principles of communism and the struggle for a just society . A history student at the American College, Madurai, he could not complete his degree as he was arrested just before his final examination. His commitment to this cause led him to remain in prison for eight years until the eve of independence, which emphasizes the price he paid for the country’s independence. Shankaraiah’s association with the communist movement began in the 1940s and he played an important role in the formation of the CPI-M in 1964 . Elected to the state assembly three times, in 1967, 1977 and 1980 , he also served as the CPI-M State Secretary of Tamil Nadu from 1995 to 2002 . He was the first recipient of the Thagaisal Tamizhar (Eminent Tamil) award instituted by the MK Stalin- led DMK government in 2021 .