Daily Current Affairs Updates: 19 November 2013
1) Manmohan Singh inaugurated Bharatiya Mahila Bank: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurated the first branch of Bharatiya Mahila Bank in the iconic Air India building at Nariman Point in Mumbai with an area of 5,000 sq ft space on the ground floor. UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi was also present at the inaugural ceremony. Usha Ananthasubramanian, who was the Executive Director of Punjab National bank, will be the Chairperson of the bank.
2) National Integration Day: 96th birth anniversary of Indira Gandhi: National Integration Day is observed every year on 19th of November all over India. It is celebrated as the birthday anniversary of the first woman prime minister of the India, Indira Gandhi.
3) 74.7% voter turnout in Chhattisgarh phase 2 polls: Chhattisgarh reported a voter turnout of 74.7 per cent in the second phase of the Assembly elections, which covered 72 constituencies. In the 2008 Assembly polls, these 72 constituencies had reported a turnout of 71.09 per cent. In phase 1 (Naxal-hit areas), the final voter turnout was at 75.53 per cent.
4) Angela Merkel to get 2013 Indira Gandhi prize for peace: German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be awarded the coveted Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development for 2013 with an international jury headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh choosing her. The Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust said the prize was being given to the German leader because of the work done by her for promotion of global economic stability, her commitment to universal peace and disarmament and her leadership role in strengthening productive and mutually beneficial relations with India and other developing countries.
5) Ratan Tata elected to board of US think tank: Top Indian industrialist Ratan Tata has returned as a board member of East West Centre, a prominent American think tank. Tata, 75, is returning to the board and has worked with the organisation several times between 1993 and 2004. Tata was the Chairman of the Tata group from 1991-2012. He stepped down as the Chairman on December 28, 2012, and now holds the position of Chairman Emeritus of the group.
6) IFFI kicks off in Goa tomorrow (20 Nov 2013): The 44th edition of International Film Festival of India (IFFI) that kicks off tomorrow (20 Nov 2013) in Goa will screen 15 Oscar-nominated films from across the world. Veteran actress Waheeda Rehman will be conferred the inaugural Centenary Award for Indian Film Personality of the Year at the festival. The lifetime achievement award will be given to Czech filmmaker Jiri Menzel during the inauguration. Hollywood actress Susan Sarandon will be the chief guest at the inaugural function, which will be attended by Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari, veteran actors, including Kamal Haasan and Rekha, singer Asha Bhonsle and Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi.
7) Nirupama Rao named visiting fellow at Brown University: Nirupama Rao, the former Indian Ambassador to the US, has been named as the ‘Meera and Vikram Gandhi Fellow’ with the Brown-India initiative at the Watson Institute for International Studies. Rao, who till early this month was India’s top envoy in the US, would use her one-year term at Brown University to write a book, the university said in a statement. Rao, who joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1973, assumed her responsibilities as ambassador of India to the US in September 2011. Prior to that, Rao was appointed Foreign Secretary, the highest office in the Indian Foreign Service, where she served a two-year term until July 2011. She was also the first woman spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs.
8) Former Cyprus president Clerides passes away: Two-time former Cypriot president Glafcos Clerides died on Friday, his personal doctor told reporters.
9) Voting began in Nepal to elect new Constituent Assembly: Voting began in Nepal for the Constituent Assembly elections that will write the political fortune of the country and complete a peace process stalled for several years since the end of a decade-long civil war.
10) NASA launches MAVEN to study Mars atmosphere: NASA launched its unmanned MAVEN spacecraft toward Mars to study the Red Planet’s atmosphere for clues as to why Earth’s neighbor lost its warmth and water over time. Arrival at Mars is scheduled for September 2014, with the science mission of the solar-wing paneled orbiter set to begin two months later.
11) World Toilet Day observed on 19 November: The World Toilet Day (WTD) was observed across the world on 19 November 2013. In the world about a third of the world’s people don’t have an access to a decent toilet. The World Toilet Organization created World Toilet Day to raise global awareness of the struggle 2.5 billion face every day without access to proper, clean sanitation.
12) Australia to support India’s membership of Nuclear Supplier Group: Australia will support India’s membership of the Nuclear Supplier Group, the newly appointed Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said.
13) Eighth game ends in draw as Carlsen retains two points lead against Anand: World champion Viswanathan Anand got an easy draw with black as challenger Magnus Carlsen continued his march towards the throne after the end of the eighth game of the World Chess Championship on Tuesday.