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Important Current Affairs 17th November 2020

National

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.

Nitish Kumar sworn-in as Chief Minister of Bihar for 7th term

• The Chief of Janata Dal (United), Nitish Kumar has taken an oath as the Chief Minister of Bihar and he will begin his 7th term on 16th November 2020.

• Bihar Governor Phagu Chauhan administered the oath of office and secrecy to Mr Kumar at Raj Bhavan in Patna.

• BJP legislature party leader Tarkishore Prasad and Deputy leader Renu Devi have been made the new Deputy Chief Ministers.

International

RCEP: 15 Asia-Pacific countries form world’s largest trading bloc

• 15 Asia Pacific countries have signed the world’s biggest free trade deal, led by China, on 15 November 2020, on the sidelines of the 37th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit.

• The deal called as ‘Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)’, is the world’s largest trading bloc, comprising of 10 Southeast Asian countries, as well as South Korea, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

• Members of the RCEP accounts for nearly a third of the world’s population and around 29% of global gross domestic product (GDP).

Banking and Economy

SBM Bank India set to launch a neo banking platform

• SBM Bank India, the wholly-owned subsidiary of State Bank of Mauritius has partnered with Fintech PayNearby to launch a neo banking platform.

• Both firms signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to build an “open banking” network towards delivering basic banking solutions as well as advanced financial services, to their customers.

•  SBM Bank India was the first foreign bank in India to obtain a banking licence from the Reserve Bank of India to operate as a Wholly Owned Subsidiary in January 2019.

Acquisitions and Mergers

Reliance Retail Ventures acquires 96% holding in Urban Ladder

• Reliance Retail Ventures Limited (RRVL), a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has acquired equity shares of Urban Ladder Home Decor Solutions Private Limited (UrbanLadder) for a cash consideration of Rs 182.12 crore.

• The investment represents 96 per cent holding in the equity share capital of UrbanLadder. RRVL has a further option of acquiring the balance stake, taking its shareholding to 100 per cent of the equity share capital of UrbanLadder.

• UrbanLadder was incorporated in India on February 17, 2012. UrbanLadder is in the business of operating a digital platform for home furniture and decor products.

Science and Technology

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.

Sports

Lewis Hamilton wins F1 Turkish Grand Prix 2020

• Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-Great Britain) has won the Turkish Grand Prix 2020, held on 15 November 2020.

• This was his 10th victory of the season, and 94th F1 win of his career.

• Also, with this win, he claimed the seventh Formula One championships title of his career to equal the record of Michael Schumacher.

• Sergio Perez (Racing Point-BWT- Mexico) secured second position and Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari finished third.

Days

International Day for Tolerance

• The International Day for Tolerance is observed annually on 16 November.

• The day was declared by UNESCO in 1995, on its fiftieth anniversary, to generate public awareness of the dangers of intolerance.

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