General Knowledge Updates
Nitish Kumar sworn-in as Bihar Chief Minister
1.Senior JDU leader Nitish Kumar was sworn-in as Chief Minister of Bihar for the fifth time on 20 November 2015. The swearing-in ceremony was held at the Gandhi Maidan in Patna.
2.Governor Ramnath Kovind administered the oath of office and secrecy to Nitish Kumar. He also administered the oath of the office to other council of ministers belonging to RJD, JD(U) and Congress parties.
TCS, Intel launched Centre of Excellence for IoT in Hyderabad
1.Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India’s largest software exporter, on 18 November 2015 launched a new Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Internet of Things (IoT) in collaboration with Intel. The CoE is located at the TCS campus in Hyderabad.
2.Its focus is to integrate IoT solutions developed by TCS on Intel IoT platforms and to fast-track creation of end-to-end solutions. It will augment developing new use cases for various industries for global customers in manufacturing, retail, hi-tech, semiconductors, healthcare and telecom industries.
3.It will enable the creation of indigenous and innovative solutions, establish a strong ecosystem of IoT, cloud computing, and a software-defined network. It will help in creating new business opportunities; simplify product development and help customers deal with rapid changes in technology.
4.It refers to a network of internet connected devices which are embedded with electronic sensors and data transmitting technologies. By using the Internet, the data collected by sensors in the IoT devices like cars, power systems and even as small as tooth brushes transmitted to other networked devices and data processing systems.
World Economic Forum released Global Gender Gap Report 2015
1.World Economic Forum (WEF) on 19 November 2015 released the Global Gender Gap Report 2015. It ranked 145 economies according to how well they are leveraging their female talent pool, based on economic, educational, health-based and political indicators.
2.As per the report, the global gender gap across health, education, economic opportunity and politics has closed by only .
3.And, out of the 145 countries surveyed, while Iceland topped the Gender Gap Index for the seventh year in a row, India stood at the 108th position.
4.Top 5 countries with high gender equality are Iceland (1), Norway (2), Finland (3), Sweden (4) and Ireland (5) and five countries with least gender equality are Iran (141), Chad (142), Syria (143), Pakistan (144) and Yemen (145).
23rd APEC Economic Leaders Summit held at Manila
1.23rd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders Summit was held at Manila, Philippines from 18 November to 19 November 2015. The summit was chaired by Philippines President Benigno S. Aquino III.
2.The theme of the Summit was Building Inclusive Economies, Building a Better World. After the conclusion of the summit, the leaders from 21 member-countries issued the 2015 Leaders Declaration titled Building Inclusive Economies, Building a Better World: A Vision for an Asia-Pacific Community.
3.Peru will chair APEC throughout 2016 and host the 24th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting. The idea of APEC was firstly publicly broached by former Prime Minister of Australia Bob Hawke during a speech in Seoul, Korea on 31 January 1989. Ten months later, 12 Asia-Pacific economies met in Canberra, Australia to establish APEC.
4.China, Hong Kong, China and Chinese Taipei joined in 1991. Mexico and Papua New Guinea followed in 1993. Chile acceded in 1994. And in 1998, Peru, Russia and Viet Nam joined, taking the full membership to 21.
University of East London awarded honorary doctorate to Ashok Amritraj
1.Tennis champion-turned Hollywood filmmaker Ashok Amritraj on 19 November 2015 was awarded with an honorary doctorate of Arts by the University of East London. Amritraj was honoured for promoting talented moviemakers from across the world, including India.
2.Born on 22 February 1956 in Chennai, Amritraj started his career as a tennis player who represented India on an international level. He competed in doubles at Wimbledon and the US Open. He reached the third round of the US Open in 1977. He also gained victories over Paul McNamee and his brother Vijay Amritraj in singles.
3.His filmography as producer includes movies such as Bringing down the House, Premonition, Machete, Blue Valentine and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. He sat on the board of the Motion Picture and Television Fund (MPTF) for seven years.
UNHCR chosen for Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development for 2015
1.The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was on 19 November 2015 chosen for the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development for 2015.
2.A decision in this regard was taken by the international jury of the prize, headed by Vice President of India Mohammad Hamid Ansari on the occasion of birth annniversary of Indira Gandhi. The UNHCR was chosen for the award in recognition of its immense contributions in assisting millions of refugees in their rehabilitation and resettlement.
3.It was established on 14 December 1950 by the UN General Assembly with a mandate to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its headquarters is in Geneva, Switzerland and operates in 123 countries across the world.
Srishti Pandey won Indiana FIDE Rating Chess Tournament
1.Maharashtra’s chess player Srishti Pandey on 18 November 2015 clinched the second Indiana All India FIDE Rating Chess tournament. The tournament was organised by Nagpur Taluka Chess Association, which concluded at Dr Hedgewar Smarak Samiti Hall, Reshimbagh, Nagpur.
2.Fourteen years old Pandey shared points with Avadh Chaitanya from Madhya Pradesh playing on the top board and ended with seven and half points each at the end of the ninth and last round of the Swiss-league tournament.
3.After application of the tie-breaker, top-seed FIDE Master Vinaykumar Matta from Andhra Pradesh settled for the fourth position. Third seed FIDE Master Saurav Kherdekar from Railways was relegated to seventh position.
World Toilet Day observed on 19 November with the theme Sanitation and Nutrition
1.World Toilet Day (WTD) was observed on 19 November 2015 across the world with the theme Sanitation and Nutrition. The aim of WTD is to raise awareness about the people in the world who don’t have access to a toilet, despite the fact that it is a human right to have clean water and sanitation.
2.The effort of the WTD in 2015 was to draw the world’s attention to the importance of toilets in supporting better nutrition and improved health. WTD has been celebrated by the World Toilet Organisation since 2001. It was later became an official UN day on 24 July 2013 as the 67th session of UN General Assembly approved it through the Sanitation For All resolution.
3.About 2.4 billion people around the world still do not have adequate sanitation and 1 billion among them still defecate in the open. Poor sanitation increases the risk of disease and malnutrition, especially for women and children.
4.While 1000 children die each day due to poor sanitation, women and girls risk rape and abuse because they have no toilet that offers privacy. In September 2015, the UN General Assembly approved the Sustainable Development Goal 6 that aims at access to water and sanitation for all.
Mobile app to locate eToilet
1.Eram Scientific Solutions, manufacturer of electronic toilets, has unveiled a new eToilet mobile app. The Andriod app is downloadable for free from Google Playstore by typing the keyword ‘etoilets.’
2.It helps locate the nearest etoilets via a map and address listings, Anvar Sadath K, CEO, Eram, says. It also provides details on mode of access and information on facilities such as napkin-vending machine and incinerator.
3.The app enables sharing feedback on the user experience of eToilet along with image uploading. The public can also use the app to suggest new places for installing eToilets. eToilets have opened a new era in the public sanitation sector with its unmanned, self-cleaning and remote monitoring features, Sadath said.
4.The app has been launched as part of establishing a new connected eToilet Infrastructure (CeTI) on the occasion of the World Toilet Day (November 19).