Current Affairs 25th november 2015

  • India, Singapore enter into strategic partnership

Image result for India, Singapore enter into strategic partnershipIndia and Singapore have signed a joint declaration envisaging a Strategic Partnership to elevate bilateral relations of both countries.
It was signed along with 10 bilateral agreements during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s official visit to Singapore as part of his second leg of two nation’s visit of South-East Asia viz. Malaysia and Singapore.
The focus of the visit included ‘five S plank‘ i.e. scaling up trade and investment, smart cities, speeding up connectivity, skills development and state focus.

Singapore-India Relations

  • Singapore, one of the fastest growing economy is Southeast Asia region has approximately 3.5 lakh-strong Indian diaspora out of its total population of 5.5 million.
  • India’s bilateral trade with Singapore is about 17 billion dollars and number of Singaporean companies are active in India since early 1990s.
  • Singapore is the second-largest source of Foreign Direct Investment into India at about 35.9 billion dollars (from 2000 to 2015), which is about 13.9 per cent of India’s total inbound FDI.
  • Singapore’s strategic location in Southeast Asia along with status as a financial, aviation and maritime hub is important aspect for India.

  • 2019 new deadline for completion of PMGSY
Image result for 2019 new deadline for completion of PMGSYUnion Government has reduced the deadline for completion of flagship Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) for rural connectivity through all- weather roads from 2022 to 2019.
The annual allocation of the Central release for PMGSY works during year 2015-16 also has been increased by 5,000 crore rupees. With this, the total Central allocation to states under PMGSY would now be 15,100 crore rupees.

About Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)

  • PMGSY was launched in year 2000 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme.
  • Objective: To provide single all-weather road connectivity to all eligible unconnected rural villages (habitations).
  • Nodal AuthorityUnion Ministry of Rural Development. It was fully funded by the central government.
  • Implantation: Under phase I of PMGSY, 1,78,184 unconnected habitations were identified.
  • So far, 1,12,550 identified habitations which accounts for 63 per cent of the target have been connected with the PMGSY roads.
  • Presently, about 37 per cent of identified habitations as per the mandate of the scheme are yet to be connected with the PMGSY roads.

  • Japan successfully launches its first commercial satellite
Image result for Japan successfully launches its first commercial satelliteJapan has successfully launched its first commercial satellite on 24 November 2015 as part its national space programme.
Japanese H-IIA rocket carrying Canadian TELSTAR 12V communications and broadcasting satellite for operator Telesat was successfully lifted off from Tanegashima Space Centre (TSC).
With this, Japan is entered into the commercial satellite launch business which is mainly dominated by European and Russian companies.
Key facts
  • The first commercial satellite launch was overseen by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
  • Japan is aiming to become a major player in the commercial satellite launching business which is worth 2.5 billion dollars a year.
  • In this regard, it has tried to improve its H-IIA rocket in order to cut the cost of each launch to make its programme competitive.
Some FactsIndia had launched its first commercial satellite successfully in 2007 using Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) carrying Italian satellite AGILE for space exploration.
With this, India had joined the elite club of nations comprising US, Russia, China, Ukraine and European Space Agency (ESA) having capacity to deploy their space exploration resources for commercial use. Antrix Corporation Limited (ACL) is the marketing arm of ISRO. It oversees commercialization of space exploration resources for commercial use developed by ISRO.

  • New species of tree frog named Ghatixalus magnus discovered in Western Ghats

Image result for New species of tree frog named Ghatixalus magnus discovered in Western GhatsResearchers have discovered a new species of tree frog named as Ghatixalus magnus in the Western Ghats in Kadalar High Ranges of Idukki district, Kerala.
It was discovered by team of researchers comprising of Robin Abraham and batrachologis Anil Zachariah during their recent exploration in the Western Ghats. The discovery has been published in the latest issue of International Taxonomic Journal Zootaxa.
Ghatixalus magnus is species of Rhacophorid tree frog of the genus Ghatixalus. It is large in size and biggest known tree frog from the Western Ghats.
In their exploration, researchers also have rediscovered Raorchestes flaviventris,an elusive rhacophorid bush frog species in the Kadalar High Ranges of Idukki district in Kerala. The rediscovered species was discovered by George Albert Boulenger in 1882 in the Western Ghats.

  • Maharashtra government to launch Gopinath Munde Farmers Accident Insurance Scheme

Image result for Gopinath Munde Farmers Accident Insurance SchemeThe Maharashtra government has decided to launch an accident insurance scheme, named after BJP leader late Gopinath Munde, for farmers in the state.The insurance scheme is aimed at ensuring social and economic security to farmers and their families. 
Each farmer will get Rs two lakh annual insurance cover. The scheme will benefit 1.37 crore farmers in the 10-75 year age group. The government will pay the premium of Rs 27.25 crore for the scheme.

  • Turkey shoots down russia plane for violating airspace

Image result for Turkey shoots down russia plane for violating airspaceTurkish fighter jets have  shot down a Russian warplane near the Syrian border after repeated warnings over air space violations, but Moscow said it could prove the jet had not left Syrian air space.
Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced what he called a "stab in the back" and warned of "significant consequences." It was the first time a NATO member's armed forces have downed a Russian or Soviet military aircraft since the 1950s and Russian and Turkish assets fell on fears of an escalation between the former Cold War enemies.