Daily GK Update: 23rd November, 2016 For All The Upcoming Exams

Zydus Cadila CMD Pankaj Patel becomes new FICCI president
i. Pankaj R Patel, chairman & managing director of Cadila Healthcare Ltd (Zydus Cadila) has been elected as the new President of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) for the year 2017. 
ii. Patel will take over from Harshavardhan Neotia, Chairman of Ambuja Neotia Group, during the FICCI AGM to be held on December 16 and 17, 2016 in New Delhi. 

Airtel Payments Bank starts pilot services in Rajasthan
i. Airtel Payments Bank Ltd (Airtel Bank), a subsidiary of the country’s largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel, has rolled out a pilot of its banking services in Rajasthan. 
ii. Customers in towns and villages across Rajasthan will now be able to open bank accounts at Airtel retail outlets, which will also act as Airtel banking points and offer a range of basic, convenient banking services.

Thai Princess Sirindhorn to be conferred first 'World Sanskrit Award'
i. Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Princess of Thailand, on 21 November 2016 was conferred with the first World Sanskrit Award. 
ii. She was honoured for her exemplary contribution for the promotion of Sanskrit language for the year 2015. 
iii. On the other hand, American linguist and Indologist Professor George Cardona was also honoured with the award for the year 2016. Princess Sirindhorn and Professor Cardona were bestowed with the award by Vice President Hamid Ansari at a function held in New Delhi.

Switzerland to Share Information on Indians Holding Swiss Bank Accounts From 2018
i. In a big step towards fighting black money stashed overseas, Switzerland has agreed to automatic sharing of information with India on Swiss bank accounts of Indians as of September 2018 and onwards. 
ii. The Joint Declaration was inked by Chairman of Central Board of Direct Taxes Sushil Chandra and Deputy Chief of Mission of Swiss Embassy in India, Gilles Roduit.

Barack Obama awards his last Presidential Medals of Freedom
i. U.S. President Barack Obama has bestowed the nation's highest civilian honour for the last time as president.
ii. The awards have honour the work of Americans ranging from global philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates to legendary athletes, artists, activists, scientists and others.

Govt asks NABARD to disburse Rs 21,000 crore to farmers
i. The Government has allowed NABARD to disburse Rs 21,000 crore to cash-starved farmers, helping them sow winter crops like wheat ahead of the sowing season, Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta said today.
ii. The government’s demonetisation move, which swept away 86% of currency in circulation, has badly hit farmers leaving them without cash just ahead of the sowing season. 

Indian journalist gets International Press Freedom Award
i. Indian Journalist Malini Subramaniam has been conferred with the International Press Freedom Award for her reporting from Chhattisgarh's Naxal-infested Bastar area.
ii. She is one of the four journalists felicitated for their commitment to a free press. 
iii. Subramaniam, a contributor to 'Scroll', has reported on abuses by security forces, sexual violence, jailing of minors and other issues in the region.

Sebi officials to chair IOSCO panels
i. Two officials of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), Parmod Kumar Nagpal and Amarjeet Singh are elected as chairpersons of two committees set up by IOSCO (International Organisation of Securities Commissions) announced by IOSCO’s Asia-Pacific Regional Committee chairman by Mr. Ashley Ian Alder. 
ii. Nagpal would chair the Committee on Issuer Accounting, Audit and Disclosure while Singh would be the chairperson of the Assessment Committee (AC).

Acclaimed physicist and ex-ISRO chief Prof MGK Menon dies at 88
i. Acclaimed physicist and ex-Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Prof MGK Menon passed away on 22nd November, aged 88 years. 
ii. A recipient of the Padma Vibhushan, Menon had also served as Director of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research at the age of 35. 

Padma Vibhushan awardee musician M Balamuralikrishna dies
i. Padma Vibhushan awardee musician M Balamuralikrishna, aged 86, passed away in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
ii. He started learning music at the age of three and has composed over 400 songs in different languages including Sanskrit, Kannada and Tamil. 
iii. Balamuralikrishna received several awards including the Padma Shri and Knights of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government.

Renowned Hindi & Bhojpuri writer Dr. Viveki Rai passes away
i. Dr Viveki Rai, the renowned Hindi and Bhojpuri litterateur, died on 22 November 2016 in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. 
ii. He was 92. 
iii. His works mainly depict the rural life of India. His first story was published in 1945 in the then-popular newspaper Aaj. 
iv. He also wrote several articles and columns in magazines and news papers too.

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