Daily GK Update: 22nd and 23rd November, 2015

1. Francois Hollande to be Chief Guest at 2016 Republic Day celebrations
i. French President Francois Hollande will be the Chief Guest at the 67th Republic Day parade of January 26, 2016. The announcement might have been finalised during the talks between French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and his counterpart Sushma Swaraj and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi.
ii. The visit of Mr. Hollande to New Delhi for the mega event will be symbolic. It would also send a strong message of a worldwide solidarity among the democratic countries against terrorism of the Islamic State (IS) which had staged barbaric attacks on November 13, 2015 in Paris.

iii. Mr. Francois Hollande would be the 5th highest dignitary from France to be Chief Guest of Indian Republic Day parade after Prime Minister Jacques Chirac (1976), President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing (1980), President Jacques Chirac (1998) and President Nicolas Sarkozy (2008).
iv. With this invitation, France now holds distinction of being the guest of honour for the maximum five times of Indian Republic Day parade followed by Bhutan (four times); Mauritius and USSR/Russia (three times each).

2. Swachh Delhi Abhiyan launched in Delhi
i. A special cleanliness drive, Swachh Delhi Abhiyan has been launched in the national capital Delhi to remove debris and garbage lying in various localities. The drive was launched by Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu and shall continue in New Delhi till the end November 2015 month.
ii. Launched as part of Union Government’s flagship Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. It is being undertaken up by the Union Government, Delhi government and all the three Municipal Corporations of Delhi.
iii. Under the campaign, 3 municipal bodies in Delhi will clear the garbage and the concrete waste will be lifted by the Public Works Department (PWD) of Delhi government.
iv. Earlier, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had launched a special mobile application to give a push to the drive. Using this app and appilication people can send photographs of debris and garbage lying in their areas so that the concerned agencies could take steps to remove them.

3. UP Government’s Clean UP, Green UP initiative earns place in Guinness Book
i. Uttar Pradesh government’s ambitious Clean UP, Green UP initiative has earned itself a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Under state government’s green drive initiative 10 lakh saplings were planted in one day within a span of eight hours on November 7, 2015 at 10 locations in the state.
ii. This new record has surpassed the earlier record for plantation of maximum number of tree that was 8 lakh 50 thousand trees in a single day. The certificate for UP Government’s record-setting performance was awarded to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav at the function held in Saifai in Etawah district.
iii. On the eve of state government’s ‘Clean UP, Green UP’ initiative Chief Minister himself had planted peepal plant at Maudaha dam in Hamirpur district. The initiative was executed through coordinated efforts of state forest, irrigation departments along with Noida and Greater Noida Authority.
iv. Apart from CM, large number of women, teachers, students, armymen, villagers and others had planted sapling of sheesham, pakar, neem, kanji, imli, aonla, bargad, arjun, chilbil and peepal at different pre-decided spots across state.

4. Supersonic interceptor AAD missile successfully test fired
i. Indigenously developed supersonic Advanced Air Defence (AAD) interceptor missile was successfully test fired from the Abdul Kalam Island off the Odisha coast.
ii. The supersonic interceptor missile was launched after getting signals from tracking radars. The missile moved through the trajectory path and destroyed the incoming electronically prepared target missile in mid-air at an endo-atmospheric altitude. During the test, the kill effect of the interceptor missile was analysed from data collected by multiple tracking sources.
iii. The interceptor AAD missile has been indigenously developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) under Ballistic Missile Defence Programme.
iv. AAD missile is capable of destroying any incoming ballistic missile at lower (endo-atmospheric) altitude, giving full-fledged multi-layer Ballistic Missile Defence system to country.
v. It is a 7.5-meter tall and single stage solid rocket propelled guided missile. It is equipped with a navigation system along with a hi-tech computer and an electro-mechanical activator.
vi. It also has its own mobile launcher, sophisticated radars and independent tracking system to secure data link for interception and homing capabilities.

5. ASEAN leaders sign declaration for launching ASEAN Economic Community
i. Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders have signed a declaration for launching ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) which would be similar to European Union (EU)-style regional economic bloc.
ii. In this regard, Kuala Lumpur declaration on the establishment of the AEC was signed by the leaders of 10-nation grouping chaired by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak at its 27th Summit held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was signed in front of world leaders including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
iii. AEC would make ASEAN a single market with a free flow of goods, capital and skilled labour in the region. Integrate Southeast Asia’s diverse 10 economies which has combine population of 620 million people and a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of 2.4 trillion US dollars.
iv. Abolish tariffs on imports within the bloc member countries and promote the liberalization of service industries such as retailing and tourism. Calls for more free movement of and skilled labour within the region including of doctors, architects and others with special skills.
v. Apart from this AEC, ASEAN leaders also adopted the declaration on “ASEAN 2025, forging ahead together”. The ASEAN 2025 document charts the path for building AEC over the next 10 years.

6. Mahatma Gandhi International Centre inaugurated in Matale by Sri Lankan President
i. The President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena on 22 November 2015 inaugurated the Mahatma Gandhi International Centre (MGIC) inaugurated in Matale. The Indian High Commissioner YK Sinha was also present at the inauguration ceremony.
ii. The center was inaugurated as a tribute to the contribution of Mahatma Gandhi to humanity and the continuing relevance of his principles and philosophy to mankind.
iii. The centre was built at a cost of over 4 crore rupees. The Centre consists of an auditorium, library, meditation centre and a conference hall. It was funded under the Indian government's Development Cooperation Partnership with Sri Lanka.
iv. It will provide a platform to reinforce the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and promote harmony among different communities. It will enrich the lives of people through meditation and yoga and can also be used as a resource centre for cultural activities. It will also help the youth to enhance their knowledge in various fields through seminars, workshops and conferences.

7. Swati Dandekar appointed Executive Director to Asian Development Bank by Obama
i. Indian-American politician Swati Dandekar was on 20 November 2015 nominated as executive director to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) with ambassadorial rank by US President Barack Obama. 
ii. Dandekar, 64, will succeed Robert M Orr, who has held the position since 2010. Dandekar will serve as one of 12 international directors and hold the title of ambassador.
iii. Obama announced his intent to nominate Dandekar to this top US position in Asian Development Bank (ADB) along with other key administration appointments and nominations.
iv. Swati Dandekar was the first-ever Indian-American to be elected to Iowa House of Representatives in 2003. She was the first Indian-born American citizen to win a state legislature seat in the United States. She served in the Iowa House and Senate from 2003 to 2009 until she was appointed to the Iowa Utilities Board in 2011. 
v. She was also member of the Iowa Senate from 2009 to 2011. She received a Bachelor of Science from Nagpur University and a Post-Graduate Diploma from Bombay University.

8. Djokovic became 1st player to win ATP World Tour Finals for 4th consecutive time
i. World number one Novak Djokovic on 22 November 2015 won the season-ending ATP World Tour finals. In the title clash played in London, Djokovic defeated third seed Roger Federer, in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4.
ii. With this, he also became the first player to win ATP world tour finals for the fourth consecutive time. He also surpassed Ivan Lendl's 1987 feat, when he had won his third straight Tour Finals title in New York.
iii. Overall, this was the fifth time that Djokovic won this tournament. He ends the year with 11 titles, including three Grand Slams, taking his total to 10 majors.
iv. Besides, in the Doubles, the eighth seeded Indo-Romanian team of Rohan Bopanna and Florin Mergea has ended as runner up. They lost to the second seeded Dutch-Romanian team of Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau, 6-4, 6-3.
v. Bopanna was appearing in his second season-end Finale, having reached the final with Mahesh Bhupathi in 2012.

9. India Juniors won 8th Men's Junior Asia hockey cup by defeating Pakistan
i. India’s junior men’s hockey team on 22 November 2015 lifted the 8th Men’s Junior Asia hockey cup. In the finals played at the Wisma Belia Hockey Stadium in Kuantan, Malaysia, India defeated arch rivals Pakistan 6-2.
ii. Harmanpreet Singh was the top scorer with four goals, Armaan Qureshi and Manpreet chipped in with a goal each. For Pakistan, the two goals were scored by Muhammad Yaqoob and Muhammad Dilber. 
iii. Both nations have reached the final of Asia’s Premier Junior tournament six times in the last 27 years and on 22 November 2015 India and Pakistan squared off once again for the fourth time.
iv. Korea defended a 2-1 lead against Japan till the end to clinch the bronze medal. This was third bronze for medal for Koreans in the 27-year history of the Junior Asia Cup.

10. Pankaj Advani clinches 15th world title
i. India’s most successful cueist Pankaj Advani added another feather in his cap by winning the IBSF World Snooker Championship after battling past his Chinese opponent Zhua Xintong in the final to take his world title count to 15. Advani, 30, once again mesmerised the green baize to prevail over the teenage sensation 8-6 in the best-of-15 final at Sunrise Crystal Bay resort.
ii. The victory for Bengaluru’s ‘Golden Boy’ comes just after he clinched the IBSF Billiards crown in September. He is also the first person in history to take the short (6-Red) and the long snooker format in the same calendar year.
iii. India’s poster of cuesport, who led 5-2 in the first session, looked unstoppable against his talented opponent even after the break, but was tested by the 18-year-old cueist in a match which saw top snooker at display. Leading 6-2 after the break, Advani’s march was halted by Xintong when he pulled back two frames to give the champion cueist a taste of his own medicine.

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