20 November Current Affairs
November 20, 2019
22 November Current Affairs
November 22, 2019
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21 November Current Affairs

IMD World Talent Ranking

In News:

According to the latest edition of IMD World Talent Ranking, India has slipped 6 places to 59 rank on the global annual list of 63 countries.


International Institute for Management Development (IMD) is a business education school located in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The ranking is based on the performance in three main categories — investment and development, appeal and readiness.


The list was topped by Switzerland. Denmark was placed second and Sweden, was in the third place.

India has slipped 6 places to 59 rank on the global annual list of 63 countries. India is also lagging behind fellow BRICs countries – China ranked 42nd on the list, Russia (47th) and South Africa (50th).

India also witnessed one of the sharpest declines among Asian economies owing to low quality of life, negative impact of brain drain, and the low priority of its economy on attracting and retaining talents.

In Asia, Singapore rose from 13th to 10th position compared to last year, Hong Kong SAR from 18th to 15th, and Taiwan from 27th to 20th.

Jansankhya Sthirtha Kosh (JSK)

In News:

The Union Minister of Health informed Rajya Sabha about the Jansankhya Sthirtha Kosh (JSK).


Jansankhya Sthirtha Kosh (JSK), an autonomous body under Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, implemented the following schemes:

Prerna Scheme (for delaying marriage, childbirth and spacing),

Santushti Scheme (Public Private Partnership for sterilization services),and

National Helpline (for information on family planning).

The JSK has been discontinued on 08/02/2019 vide the cabinet decision on 07.02.2018 and various schemes for population control are being supported under National Health Mission.

‘Road Accidents in India, 2018’

In News:

Ministry of Road Transport and Highways released the ‘Road Accidents in India, 2018’, an annual publication on accidents, related deaths and injuries, calendar year-wise.

Major findings of the Report are as follows:

Road accidents in the country have increased marginally by 0.46 % during 2018 with the year seeing 4,67,044 road accidents as against 4,64,910 in 2017.

The fatalities during the same period have also risen by about 2.37% and 151471 persons were killed in 2018 as against 1,47,913 in 2017.

Road accident injuries have however showed a decrease of 0.33% in 2018 as compared to 2017.

As in 2017, the State of Tamil Nadu recorded the highest number of road accidents in 2018. Similarly, as in 2017, the number of persons killed in road accident was the highest in Uttar Pradesh in 2018.

National Highways accounted for 30.2 % of total road accidents and 35.7 % of deaths in 2018. State Highways accounted for 25.2 % and 26.8 % of accidents and deaths respectively. Other Roads were responsible for the balance 45 % of accidents and 38% deaths respectively.

Accident related killings by type of road user: the number of Pedestrians killed accounted for 15%, the share of cyclists was 2.4% and that of Two wheelers was 36.5%. Together these categories explain 53.9% of the accident related killings and are the most vulnerable category.

Young adults in the age group of 18 – 45 years accounted for nearly 69.6 % of road accident victims.

The number of hit and run cases in 2018 accounted for 18.9% of the deaths compared to 17.5% in 2017.

The share of males in number of total accident deaths was 86% while the share of females hovered around 14% in 2018.

Causes of road accidents:

Under the category of Traffic Rule Violations, over speeding is a major killer, accounting for 64.4% of the persons killed followed by driving on the wrong side of the road which accounted for 5.8% of the accident related deaths.

Use of mobile phones accounted for 2.4% of the deaths with drunken driving accounting for 2.8% of the persons killed.

About 29% of deaths can be attributed to non use of helmets and 16% of deaths can be attributed to non use of seat belts.

2019 World Conference on Access to Medical Products: Achieving the SDGs 2030

In News:

Union Minister for Health Dr. Harsh Vardhan inaugurated the ‘2019 World Conference on Access to Medical Products: Achieving the SDGs 2030.’


The 2019 World Conference on Access to Medical Products- Achieving the SDGs 2030 will be convened from 19-21 November 2019 in New Delhi.

It is being jointly organized by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) and the World Health Organization (WHO), in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR); Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC); and Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI).

The Conference is a follow on from the “2017 and 2018 World Conference on Access to Medical Products” organized in November 2017 and October 2018 by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.

Objectives of the conference are to: Explore new approaches in the innovation landscape in medical products for achieving Universal Health Coverage and the SDG 2030 goals and Discuss the role of intellectual property to promote access to medical products.

Sambhar Salt lake

In News:

In November, 2019 nearly 10,000 of migratory birds were found dead mysteriously in the Sambhar Salt lake area.


Until November 19, the Rajasthan government had, using various agencies, buried a total 17,454 dead birds to prevent the spread of infection.

The clinical signs exhibited by affected birds included dullness, depression, anorexia, flaccid paralysis in legs and wings, and neck touching the ground. The birds were unable to walk, swim, or take flight.

The investigation so far points to avian botulism — a paralytic, frequently fatal disease caused by the ingestion of toxins — as a possible cause. This has not, however, been officially confirmed.

About Sambhar Salt lake:

The Sambhar Salt Lake, India’s largest inland salt lake, is located 80 km southwest of the city of Jaipur, Rajasthan . It surrounds the historical Sambhar Lake Town. Sambhar Lake has been designated as a Ramsar site (recognized wetland of international importance).

Avian botulism is a serious neuromuscular illness of birds caused by a toxin that is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Avian botulism has been recognised as a major cause of mortality in wild-birds since the 1900s.

Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2019

In News:

Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2019 has been passed by the Parliament after it was passed in Rajya Sabha. The Bill was earlier passed in Lok Sabha in August 2019.


It seeks to make apolitical the trust that runs Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial by removing the clause pertaining to the President of Congress Party as a permanent member of the trust.

The Bill also amends to include the Leader of Opposition recognised as such in the House of the People (Lok Sabha) or where there is no such Leader of Opposition, then the Leader of the single largest Opposition Party in that House as a member of the trust.

The Bill also amends that a nominated trustee may be terminated before the expiry of the period of five years by the Central Government, without assigning any reason.

Catalyst That Breaks Down Carbon Dioxide

In News:

Scientists from the University of Connecticut in the US have found a novel catalyst that breaks down carbon dioxide into useful chemicals faster, cheaper, and more efficiently than the standard method.


Extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is changing the planet’s climate, and many chemists are working on efficient ways to turn it into other useful products.

However, carbon dioxide’s stability makes this tough. It is hard to get the molecule to react with anything else.

The best existing technique to electrochemically break carbon dioxide into pieces that will chemically react uses a catalyst made of platinum, which is a rare, expensive metal.

Nickel-Iron Catalyst:

Now, a team of researchers at Stanford University have created an electrochemical cell filled with a porous, foamy catalyst made of nickel and iron. Both metals are cheap and abundant.

When carbon dioxide gas enters the electrochemical cell, and a voltage is applied, the catalyst helps the carbon dioxide (a carbon atom with two oxygens) break off oxygen to form carbon monoxide (a carbon atom with one oxygen).

The carbon monoxide is very reactive and a useful precursor for making many kinds of chemicals, including plastics and fuels such as gasoline.

Rani Lakshmibai

In News:

19th November 2019 marks the 191st birth anniversary of Rani Lakshmibai.

About Rani Lakshmibai:

Born on November 19, 1828, as Manikarnika Tambe in

Rani was married to the King of Jhansi, Raja Gangadhar Newalkar in 1842.

The war between the British and Rani Lakshmibai:

She had a son Damodar Rao, who died within four months of his birth. Following the death of the infant, her husband adopted a cousin’s child Anand Rao, who was renamed Damodar Rao a day prior to the death of the Maharaja.

Lord Dalhousie refused to acknowledge the child and applied the Doctrine of Lapse, and annexed the state. However, the Rani refused to accept the Lord Dalhousie’s decision.

This led to a fight between the two. The Rani of Jhansi gave a tough fight to the British during the two weeks siege of the city.

The queen died while fighting a squadron of the 8th Hussars under Captain Heneage, on June 18, 1858, in Kotah-ki-Serai near the Phool Bagh of Gwalior.

Doctrine of Lapse:

The Doctrine of Lapse was an annexation policy followed widely by Lord Dalhousie when he was India’s Governor-General from 1848 to 1856.

According to this, any princely state under the direct or indirect (as a vassal) control of the East India Company where the ruler did not have a legal male heir would be annexed by the company

As per this, any adopted son of the Indian ruler could not be proclaimed as heir to the kingdom. This challenged the Indian ruler’s long-held authority to appoint an heir of their choice.

Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana

In News:

Over 18 Lakh Farmers are registered under PM KISAN MAAN DHAN YOJANA.

About the scheme:

Aim: To improve the life of small and marginal farmers of the country.

Salient features of the scheme:

The scheme is voluntary and contributory for farmers in the entry age group of 18 to 40 years.

A monthly pension of Rs. 3000/–will be provided to them on attaining the age of 60 years.

The spouse is also eligible to get a separate pension of Rs.3000/- upon making separate contributions to the Fund.

Initial contribution:The farmers will have to make a monthly contribution of Rs.55 to Rs.200, depending on their age of entry, in the Pension Fund till they reach the retirement date i.e. the age of 60 years.

The Central Government will also make an equal contribution of the same amount in the pension fund.

The Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) shall be the Pension Fund Managerand responsible for Pension pay out.

If there is no spouse, then total contribution along with interest will be paid to the nominee.

If the farmer dies after the retirement date, the spouse will receive 50% of the pension as Family Pension.

After the death of both the farmer and the spouse, the accumulated corpus shall be credited back to the Pension Fund.

The beneficiaries may opt voluntarily to exit the Scheme after a minimum period of 5 years of regular contributions.

In case of default in making regular contributions, the beneficiaries are allowed to regularize the contributions by paying the outstanding dues along with prescribed interest.


It is expected that at least 10 crore labourers and workers in the unorganised sector will avail the benefit of the scheme within next five years making it one of the largest pension schemes of the world.