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Latest Current Affairs 23 November 2020

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CURRENT AFFAIRS
23 November 2020

NATIONAL NEWS:

 

A) Tunnel used by Jaish militants found in Jammu.

Security forces unearthed a tunnel beneath the International Border (IB) in Jammu’s Samba Sector on Sunday, which was used by the Pakistan army to push in four Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) militants who were killed in an encounter in Nagrota on Thursday. They were on a lookout to establish the route used by the four JeM terrorists. Each piece of information, including technical details, was put together. They all pointed towards their favourite Samba Sector (in Jammu). After a lot of hard work, the police and the Border Security Forces (BSF) were able to find the tunnel within 76 hours of the encounter. It was coming from Pakistan’s Chakbura post, Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh told. Describing the spotting of the tunnel as a big success, DGP Singh said the tunnel was used by the four infiltrators to cross into India during the night of November 18. Everything they recovered from the slain militants, from phones to shoes to medicine, all bore the imprint of Pakistan. Even the sandbags used to cover the tunnel, in a bid to use it again, is Pakistan made. There is no scope for Pakistan for lying about the incident, the DGP said. Inspector-General, BSF, N.S. Jamwal said the freshly dug tunnel was 30-40 metre long.

B) Congress needs team dedicated to polls: Karti Chidambaram. 

Elections are now a 24×7/365 day phenomena and the Congress party needs to have an election preparedness committee with a general secretary, whose sole task is to be election-ready, Lok Sabha member from Sivaganga Karti Chidambaram said on Sunday. The Lok Sabha MP, who had earlier endorsed senior party leader Kapil Sibal’s critical assessment of Congress’ performance in the recently concluded Assembly election in Bihar, in an exclusive interview has suggested that the party should put in place a plan that can tackle BJP’s well-oiled election machine. There is this new terminology called strike rate that has come into electoral politics. Our strike rate seems to be lower than that of our allies in elections. So these factors are being used now by our potential allies in the upcoming elections to browbeat us into contesting lesser or a limited number of seats. That is not necessarily true because each State election is different, Mr. Chidambaram said. Congress is not just a mere addition but a multiplier. In Tamil Nadu, for example, we bring greater value when we are in an alliance compared to when we contest alone, he added. The MP from Tamil Nadu admitted that Congress’ performance in two consecutive Lok Sabha elections (2014 and 2019) has not been stellar cumulatively winning less than 100 seats and needs a strong counter strategy. It is imperative for them to understand that the BJP is a well-oiled election machine in terms of preparedness, resources, planning, social media campaign and data. To counter it, they need to have a well thought-out strategy which can’t be rolled out just before the elections. It has to be something which needs to be done well in advance, Mr. Chidambaram said.

C) BJP president Nadda to undertake tour to strengthen party machinery. 

BJP on Sunday announced that party national president J.P. Nadda will be embarking on a 120-day nationwide tour to tone up the party’s organizational machinery and in areas where the party hasn’t done well in the past, with an eye on the 2024 general elections. The tour is quite like the Vistarak tour undertaken by Mr. Nadda’s predecessor and Union Home Minister Amit Shah when the latter was party president. Mr. Shah had concentrated on 130 seats where the BJP had come second or never won polls, and in 2019 it was found that the party had won 80 of those seats. BJP general secretary Arun Singh told reporters that Mr. Nadda will begin his yatra from Uttarakhand. December 5 is the likely date for the start of his tour. Mr. Singh said Mr. Nadda would visit every State, hold virtual meetings with heads of all booth units, the smallest organisational entity in the party, and meet every MP and MLA of the organisation besides its senior leaders, including district chiefs, in each State. Mr Nadda will visit some booths to interact with ground workers, he added. During the trip, he will also strategise with party leaders for strengthening the organisation in Lok Sabha seats and regions where the BJP did not win in the 2019 polls, he said. With Assembly polls in four States, West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Assam scheduled for the first half of next year, he will also review the party’s preparedness for the elections, Mr. Singh said.

D) Cyclone likely to cross Tamil Nadu, Puducherry on November 25. 

The low pressure area over Bay of Bengal has become well-marked and is likely to concentrate into a depression and intensify into a cyclonic storm and cross Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts on November 25 bringing heavy rains, the Meteorological Department said on November 22. Under its influence, on November 25, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Karaikkal regions are likely to witness rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy showers at a few places and extremely heavy rains at isolated places. Recent rainfall, triggered by cyclonic circulation, led to an overflowing Nanmangalam lake in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Recent rainfall, triggered by cyclonic circulation, led to an overflowing Nanmangalam lake in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Sea condition would be rough and wind speed is likely to gradually increase from November 22 onwards, gusting 100 kmph over southwest Bay of Bengal and along and off Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts around the region of landfall on November 25. Fishermen have been advised to stay off the sea and local authorities said they have also advised fishermen who have already set out for fishing to return.

E) Shivraj Singh Chouhan holds first ‘gau cabinet’ meeting. 

The first meeting of the newly constituted ‘gau cabinet’ (cow cabinet) in Madhya Pradesh was held on Sunday with an aim to bolster the economy based on cow and its progeny for making the state self-reliant. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan chaired the meeting through virtual mode from his residence here and wished participants on the occasion of ‘Gopashtami’, a festival dedicated to Lord Krishna and cows. The CM on Wednesday announced setting up of a separate cabinet for the protection and promotion of the cow. Ministers of Animal Husbandry, Forest, Panchayat and Rural Development, Revenue, Home and Farmers’ Welfare departments will be part of this cabinet, said to be the first such body in the country, he had informed.

F) Covid watch: Numbers and Developments. 

The number of coronavirus cases reported from India stands at 91,21,837 with the death toll at 1,33,563. High-level central teams have been deputed to Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to support them in COVID-19 response and management. These States have been either reporting a rise in the number of active cases – those who are hospitalised or are in home isolation under medical supervision, or demonstrating a rise in the daily new cases of coronavirus infections, the Union Health Ministry said on Sunday. Earlier, high-level teams were sent to Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Manipur and Chhattisgarh.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

A) India, Thailand, Singapore naval exercise concludes. 

The second edition of the India, Thailand and Singapore trilateral naval exercise, SITMEX-20, concluded in the Andaman Sea on Sunday. The 27th edition of India, Singapore bilateral maritime exercise, SIMBEX-20, is scheduled to be held in the same area from November 23 to 25. The exercise, being conducted as a ‘non-contact, at sea only’ exercise in view of COVID-19 pandemic, highlights growing synergy, coordination and cooperation in the maritime domain between the three friendly naand maritime neighbours, the Navy said in a statement. The Indian Navy deployed indigenous Anti-Submarine Warfare corvette INS Kamorta and missile corvette INS Karmuk for the exercise held on November 21 and 22 and hosted by the Singapore Navy. Singapore deployed a Formidable Class frigate lntrepid and ‘Endurance’ Class Landing Ship Tank Endeavor and the Royal Thai Navy deployed a ‘Chao Phraya’ Class frigate Kruburi for the exercise. The first edition of the exercise was hosted by the Indian Navy and was held off Port Blair in the month of September last year.

B) Indian-American appointed as policy director of Jill Biden. 

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden has appointed Indian American Mala Adiga as the policy director of his wife Jill, choosing an experienced education policy hand as the incoming First Lady focuses on education and plans to continue teaching community college classes. She belongs to the family of K. Suryanarayana Adiga, founder of the erstwhile undivided Dakshina Kannada districts private sector Karnataka Bank Limited, and Aravind Adiga, who won the Man Booker prize in 2008. Ms. Adiga was a senior adviser to Ms. Biden and senior policy adviser for Mr. Biden’s 2020 campaign. She previously worked for the Biden Foundation as director for higher education and military families. Before that, during former President Barack Obama’s administration, she was deputy assistant secretary of state for academic programmes at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and worked in the State Department’s Office of Global Women’s Issues as chief of staff and senior adviser to the Ambassador-at-large. Future First Lady Jill Biden’s Policy Director will be Mala Adiga, who served as her senior adviser and a senior policy adviser on the Biden-Harris campaign. Adiga will work for a First Lady who has said she intends to prioritize education and military families, CNN reported on Friday. Ms. Adiga served as Director for Human Rights in the National Security Staff’s (NSS) Multilateral and Human Rights Directorate. Prior to joining NSS, she was an attorney at the Department of Justice, where she served as Counsel to the Associate Attorney General. She earned her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School and M.P.H from the University of Minnesota. She graduated from Grinnell College in Iowa with a B.A. in Spanish. 

C) Antibody treatment given to Trump gets FDA emergency nod. 

The Food and Drug Administration has granted emergency authorization for the experimental antibody treatment given to President Donald Trump shortly after he was diagnosed with COVID-19, giving doctors another option to treat COVID-19 patients as cases across the country continue to rise. The treatment, made by the biotech company Regeneron, is a cocktail of two powerful antibodies that have shown promise in early studies at keeping the infection in check, reducing medical visits in patients who get the drug early in the course of their disease. A similar treatment, made by Eli Lilly, was given emergency approval earlier this month. The emergency authorization for Regeneron’s drug is limited in scope: It is for people 12 and over who have tested positive for the coronavirus and who are at high risk for developing severe COVID-19. Evidence so far suggests that antibody treatments work best early in the course of the disease, before the virus has gained a foothold in the body. Like Eli Lilly’s treatment, Regeneron’s is not authorized for use in people who are hospitalized or who need oxygen. The authorization raises immediate questions about who will get access to the treatments as an average of more than people are diagnosed each day with COVID-19 in the U.S. and hospitals are running out of beds in some regions of the country. Regeneron has said it will have enough of the drug for only about 80,000 people by the end of November.

SPORTS NEWS

A) Angulo saves FC Goa’s blushes. 

Angulo’s brace helped FC Goa salvage a 2-2 draw against Bengaluru FC (BFC) in its opening Indian Super League (ISL) encounter at Fatorda, Goa, Sunday. New signing Angulo, a replacement for prolific striker Ferran Corominas, made a mark on his ISL debut. FC Goa entered the second-half trailing 0-2, before Angulo came alive. The Spaniard scored his first goal in the 66th minute, slipping behind the BFC defence to latch on to a clever pass from Alberto Noguera. A strong left-footed shot was too hot to handle for BFC goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh. Just a few minutes Iater, Angulo was in perfect position in front of goal to chest in a cross from Alexander Jesuraj. Earlier, BFC held all the cards, going in front through goals from Cleiton Silva and Juanan. On both occasions, the FC Goa defence stumbled. Brazilian Silva got on the scoresheet in the 27th minute, with a powerful header Announcing his arrival: Angulc FC Goa had gone 2-0 down which flew past FC Goa custodian Mohammad Nawaz. Silva was able to shake off his marker Sanson Pereira much too easily. Juanan doubled BFC’s lead after the restart, when he found him completely unmarked deep inside the FC Goa box. BFC midfielder Erik Paartalu similarly left free had all the time and space in the world to head the ball to Juanan, who his shot in. The FC Goa had fallen asleep and paid the price. FC Goa played With greater in the second, half. chances regularly. BFC, on the other hand. Was content to play it safe, substituting forward Udanta Singh for defender Rahul Bheke.

B) Ready to bat anywhere: Rohit. 

He has enjoyed and revelled in his role as a Test opener, but Rohit Sharma says he will be flexible about his bate ting position in the Test series against Australia. The senior batsman is expected to play a big role alongside Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara when skipper Virat Kohli returns to India after the opening Test for the birth of his first child. He will be happy to bat wherever the team wants him to, but he don’t know if they would change his role as an opener, said Rohit. He is sure that the guys already in Australia must have figured out what the options are when Virat leaves and who will open the innings, Rohit said. Once he reach there, he will have a better idea of what’s going to happen. He will be okay to bat wherever they want. One of the finest players of the hook and the pull, Rohit felt that the bounce on the Australian tracks is not as big a factor as it is made out to be. They talk about bounce, but except for Perth, over the past few years, the other grounds (Adelaide, MCG, SCG) don’t have that much bounce. Nowadays, especially while opening the batting, he will have to think about not playing the cut or pull shots and focus on playing in the ‘V’, he said. Rohit cited the example of how Nathan Lyon was Australia’s best bowler (eight wickets) in the Perth Test that the host won in the 2018 series. They talk about bounce on Australian tracks but tell him how many people got out to bouncers during the last series? When they played in Perth in 2018-19, it was Nathan Lyon who got eight wickets, including a five-for. In Australia, half the job is done if one can start well upfront.

C) Medvedev outduels Nadal. 

Daniil Medvedev sent Rafael Nadal packing after a gruelling slugfest at the ATP Finals here on Saturday to set up a title match against Novak Djokovic’s conqueror Dominic Thiem. World No. 2 Nadal, who has never won the elite event in his illustrious career, served for the match in the second set but was eventualIy beaten 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-3. Medvedev arguably the hottest player on the Tour after his Paris Masters win put Nadal’s serve under intense pressure in the early stages of their evening match at the empty 02 Arena. But he was unable to make his chances count and a drop in his level allowed the Spaniard to break to love to lead 5-3 before serving out the set. Medvedev immediately found his focus at the start of the second set, winning his first service game to love before Nadal double-faulted to give the Russian a 2-0 lead. Just when it seemed as though Medvedev was cruising, Nadal broke back twice to take total control and stepped up to serve for the match. But, in another astonishing twist, the 20-time Grand Slam champion was broken to love and Medvedev won the eventual tie-break. The deciding set hinged on the seventh game, which Medvedev won and went on to seal a famous victory.

D) Herrmann quits, AFI for two HPDs. 

The Athletics Federation of India, while acknowledging German Volker Herrmann’s contribution, indicated on Sunday that it was looking at dividing the responsibilities of the erstwhile High Performance Director with separate ones for seniors and juniors going ahead. He dedicatedly contributed a lot in their coach’s education programme. They tried to convince him to stay, however, it’s his personal decision to go back to Germany and we respect his decision. He has expressed his wish to continue as a consultant in future and we will definitely do that as and when required, AFI president Adille Sumariwalla said. They are now looking for ward to appoint two High Performance Directors, one for senior athletes and one for juniors and youth, he added. Herrmann, who worked with the AFI for 16 months since joining in July 2019, had resigned three weeks ago and announced the same through a Facebook post late on Saturday night. Working in high performance sports requires a high level of expectations. Numerous athletes and teams all around the world, supported by their coaches and staff, are competing with the one goal to be the best at a particular date.  After one and a half fruitful and inspiring years in India, the day has come when he could not any longer meet the self-imposed expectations coming along with the role of AFI’S high performance director, which is why he resigned from his position three weeks ago, Herrmann wrote. Herrmann had expressed positivity at his stint in India in July this year and even expressed hope at the road ahead in another post a month back as athletes’ training resumed.

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