Daily GK Updates: 16th November 2020

“National Press Day 2020.”

  • The Press Council of India was instituted on November 16, 1966, to monitor the quality of reportage provided by the Indian press. November 16 is observed to acknowledge and honor the Press Council of India, a statutory and quasi-judicial establishment.
  • Press Council of India acts as a moral watchdog in ensuring that Indian journalists are not driven by any influence or external factors.
  • The First Press Commission 1956 envisioned a committee to protect the ethics of journalism and freedom of the press in India. It led to the formation of a Press Council 10 years later. Press Council of India monitors all journalistic activities to keep the credibility intact.
  • Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad is the present chairman of the Press Council of India. He has been appointed for a second term. He succeeded Justice Markandey Katju (2011 2014) to become the chairman of the council.

Source: India Today

“S. Jaishankar Represents India at 15th East Asia Summit 2020.”

  • The External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankarhas represented India at the 15th East Asia Summit (EAS) on behalf of PM Modi.
  • The Summit was chaired by the Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Xuan Phucbecause Vietnam is ASEAN Chair in 2020 (ASEAN holds the central role and leadership in the forum). All the 18 EAS countries participated in the virtual Summit.
  • Jaishankar underlined the key role played by the East Asia Summit (EAS) as a leading mechanism of the Indo-Pacific region and reiterated India’s support to make it stronger and more responsive.
  • He also re-affirmed the importance of EAS as the Leaders-led forum to exchange views on strategic issues. On Covid-19,he briefed the EAS leaders about India’s response to the pandemic and highlighted India’s efforts to support the international community.

Source: Dailyhunt

“SpaceX, Nasa launches 4 astronauts on first operational mission in space.”

  • A SpaceX spacecraft carried four astronauts into outer space on November 15, 2020. With this kick-off, NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) hopes that SpaceX will be helping in keeping the International Space Station (ISS) fully staffed.
  • NASA astronauts, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, Michael Hopkins, and Soichi Noguchi, who is an astronaut with a space agency of Japan, are now in the orbit. They are riding aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon Capsule that has been expected to dock with ISS on November 16, 2020, at 11 pm ET (9.30 am IST).
  • As it is the first fully operational crewed mission for SpaceX, it is for sure a landmark one for NASA and the company. It follows up a test mission that carried NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley, both the test pilots to the space station.

Source: Jagran Josh

“Nitish Kumar takes oath as Bihar CM for 7th time.”

  • JDU Chief Nitish Kumar took oath as the Chief Minister of Bihar for the record 7th time on November 16, 2020 at Raj Bhavan in Patna. Union Home Minister Amit Shah and National BJP President JP Nadda were present on the occasion.
  • Nitish Kumar has been sworn in as the Bihar Chief Minister for fourth consecutive term. Bihar Governor Phagu Chauhan had administered the swearing-in ceremony. Around 15 other ministers are likely to take oath today.
  • Deputy Chief Ministers Tarkishore Prasad and Renu Devi have also been sworn in today. Renu Devi has become the first woman Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar. While Tarkishore Prasad is the BJP legislature party leader, Renu Devi is Deputy leader.

Source: Jagran Josh   

“RCEP: China-backed trade deal signed by 15 Asian Nations, India pulled out in 2019.”

  • The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the world’s biggest free trade deal was signed by 15 Asian-Pacific nations on November 15, 2020. The signing can be seen as a huge coup for China in extending its influences over the region and marking the dominance in Asian trade.
  • RCEP includes 10 economies of southeast Asia along with South Korea, China, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand, with members that account for around 30% of the global GDP.
  • RCEP deal was first proposed in 2012 and was finally sealed at the end of the Southeast Asian Summit as the leaders of the countries started pushing to get their pandemic-hit economies back on track.
  • RCEP was launched in 2012. It is the biggest trade pact between the ASEAN bloc of 10 members along with Japan, China, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand.
  • The deal aims at lowering the tariffs, promote investment, and open up trade in services for helping emerging economies catch up to the world. RCEP specifically has been expected in helping reducing costs and time for the companies as they will be allowed to export a product anywhere within the bloc without meeting any form of separate requirements for each country.

Source: Jagran Josh                   

“PM Narendra Modi unveils ‘Statue of Peace.”

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually unveiled the ‘Statue of Peace’ on November 16, 2020 to mark the 151st birth anniversary celebrations of a Jain saint – Shree Vijay Vallabh Surishwer Ji Maharaj.
  • The 151-inch tall statue has been built from eight metals (Ashtadhatu) with Copper as the major constituent. It has been installed at Vijay Vallabh Sadhana Kendra, Jetpura in Pali, Rajasthan.
  • Jainacharya Shree Vijay Vallabh Surishwer Ji Maharaj had lived during 1870-1954 and had led an austere life as a Jain Saint, working selflessly and dedicatedly to spread the message of Lord Mahavira.
  • He had also worked relentlessly for the welfare of the masses by highlighting the importance of education, speaking against social evils, writing inspiring literature and providing active support to the Indian freedom struggle and the Swadeshi movement.

Source: Jagran Josh

“International Day of Tolerance 2020.”

  • International Day for Tolerance is observed every year on November 16. The aim to celebrate this day to build tolerance among the cultures and people.
  • The main aim behind starting this day was to make educational institutions and people at large believe that tolerance is an integral part of society.
  • The UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence rewards significant activities in the scientific, artistic, cultural, or communication fields aimed at the promotion of a spirit of tolerance and non-violence.
  • In 1995, to mark the United Nations Year for Tolerance and the 125th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, UNESCO created a prize for the promotion of tolerance and non-violence
  • The prize is awarded every two years on the International Day for Tolerance, 16 November. The Prize may be awarded to institutions, organizations or persons, who have contributed in a particularly meritorious and effective manner to tolerance and non-violence.

Source: India Today

“Tristan da Cunha island creates massive marine protection zone.”

  • Tristan da Cunha, an island with 245 permanent residents, is creating a marine protection zone to safeguard endangered rockhopper penguins, yellow-nosed albatross and other wildlife in an area of the South Atlantic three times the size of the United Kingdom.
  • The sanctuary will be the biggest “no-take zone” in the Atlantic Ocean and the fourth biggest anywhere in the world, protecting fish that live in the waters and tens of millions of seabirds that feed on them, the territory said.
  • The isolated area, roughly equidistant between South Africa and Argentina, supports 85% of the endangered northern rockhopper penguins, 11 species of whales and dolphins, and most of world’s sub-Antarctic fur seals, according to the Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project.
  • The protection zone will become part of the U.K.’s Blue Belt Program, which is providing 27 million pounds ($35.5 million) to promote marine conservation in the country’s overseas territories. The initiative has now protected 11.1 million square kilometers of marine environment, or 1% of the world’s oceans, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office said
  • The Pew Bertarelli project, which promotes the creation of marine reserves around the world, said it would help Tristan da Cunha protect its waters with technology that uses real-time data to evaluate ocean conditions and human activity such as fishing. The project is a joint venture of the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Bertarelli Foundation.

Source: The Hindu 

“Actor Soumitra Chatterjee passes away at 85.”

  • Legendary Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee passed away after battling for his life for 40 days. He had tested positive for COVID-19 last month.
  • The Dadasaheb Phalke award-winning actor is best known for his collaborations with Oscar-winning director Satyajit Ray, with whom he worked in fourteen films.
  • Soumitra Chatterjee is also the first Indian film personality conferred with the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France’s highest award for artists.
  • In 2017, exactly thirty years after auteur Satyajit Ray was honoured with France’s highest civilian award, the coveted Legion of Honor, Chatterjee also received the prestigious award.
  • After making his debut as the adult Apu in Apur Sansar (The World of Apu, 1959), the third part of Apu Trilogy, he went on to work in several notable films with Satyajit Ray, including Abhijan (The Expedition, 1962), Charulata (The Lonely Wife, 1964), Aranyer Din Ratri (Days and Nights in the Forest, 1969); Ashani Sanket (Distant Thunder, 1973); Sonar Kella (The Fortress, 1974) and Joi Baba Felunath (The Elephant God, 1978) as Bengali detective Feluda; Hirak Rajar Deshe(1980), Ghare Baire (The Home and The World, 1984), Shakha Proshakha (1990) and Ganashatru (Enemy of the People, 1989).

Source: Indian Express

“RCEP: Asia-Pacific countries form world’s largest trading bloc.”

  • Fifteen countries have formed the world’s largest trading bloc, covering nearly a third of the global economy.
  • The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is made up of 10 Southeast Asian countries, as well as South Korea, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
  • The pact is seen as an extension of China’s influence in the region.
  • The deal excludes the US, which withdrew from a rival Asia-Pacific trade pact in 2017.
  • President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) shortly after taking office.
  • Negotiations over the new RCEP deal began in 2012 and it was finally signed on the sidelines of a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

Source: BBC