Current Affairs » November 2018 » WORLDs First AI News Anchor Unveiled In China
World‘s first AI news anchor unveiled in China
Chinese press agency Xinhua unveiled AI-based anchor that can read the news in English and Chinese, as naturally as a professional news anchor.
The system, developed with Beijing-based search engine operator Sogou, produces realistic-looking speech, lip movements and facial expressions.
Vice President Inaugurates Indian War Memorial in France
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu is on a three-day visit to France. He inaugurated Indian War Memorial at Villers Guislain.
Earlier the Vice President attended the Indian community reception in Paris.
The main ceremony at Arc de Triomphe monument in Paris was presided over by the French President Emmanuel Macron.
The Vice President also met the Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay.
Arunima got Honorary Doctorate in UK
On 6 November 2018, Arunima Sinha has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Strathclyde in the United Kingdom for her inspirational achievements.
On 21 May 2013, Arunima Sinha became the world’s first female amputee to climb the Mount Everest.
In 2015, she was presented with the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian award.
Anand conferred with ‘Global Education Award’
Mathematician and Super 30 founder Anand Kumar was conferred with ‘Global Education Award’ in Dubai on 8 November 2018.
He was awarded for his ‘pioneering’ contributions to the field of education and illuminating the lives of many talented students.
The award was presented by ‘Malabar Gold & Diamonds’, a flagship company of Malabar Group, a leading Indian business conglomerate.
SIMBEX will begin from 10 November
The ‘Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise’ (SIMBEX) is scheduled from 10th to 21st November 2018.
The 2018 edition marks the Silver Jubilee of SIMBEX.
The exercise will have two phases: Sea phase and Harbour phase.
The initial harbour phase will be held at Port Blair from 10 to 12 November 2018 and followed by Sea Phase from 12 to 16 November 2018 in the Andaman Sea.
India participated in Afghan peace talks
Russia hosted a conference on Afghanistan bringing together representatives of the Afghan authorities and the Taliban on 9 November 2018.
India participated in the conference at a ‘non-official’ level.
India’s non-official delegation will comprise two retired diplomats – TCA Raghavan, a former envoy to Pakistan, and Amar Sinha, a former ambassador to Afghanistan.
NASA’s Ralph to explore ‘Trojan Asteroids’
NASA’s Ralph and Lucy are all set to explore Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids.
Ralph is a space instrument that has travelled as far as Pluto, while Lucy is a mission payload.
The Lucy spacecraft will carry a near-twin of Ralph, called L’Ralph, which will investigate Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids.
The mission will be launched in 2021 and would be the very first space mission to study the Trojans.
World Science Day for Peace and Development - 10 November
World Science Day for Peace and Development is celebrated every year on 10 November.
The theme for 2018 is “Science, a Human Right”.
The day highlights the significant role of science in society and the need to engage the wider public in debates on emerging scientific issues.
The day was proclaimed by UNESCO in 2001.
New artillery guns inducted in Army
The Indian Army inducted its first new pieces of artillery on 9 November 2018.
The ‘M777 howitzer’ and ‘K9 Vajra-T’ were formally inducted into service at the Deolali field firing ranges in Maharashtra.
M777 howitzers are US-made lightweight guns, the K9 Vajras are South Korea-made self-propelled artillery guns.
This is the first major induction since the Bofors were inducted in the 1980s.
RBI may set-up a digital payments ombudsman
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) may set-up an ombudsman for digital payments by March 2019 to reduce the burden on banking ombudsman.
The number of complaints related to digital transactions has increased.
These complaints are being handled by banking ombudsman.
At present, RBI is in the process of creating a scheme for establishing offices for the digital payments ombudsman.
Bhajan singer Vinod Agarwal passes away
Bhajan singer Vinod Agarwal passed away. The singer died from multiple organ failure. He was 63.
The singer was admitted to a private medical facility in Mathura after he complained of chest pain and was put on ventilator after his vital organs stopped working.
Samsung unveiled its first-ever foldable smartphone prototype
Samsung has unveiled its first-ever foldable smartphone prototype, which, when opened, transforms into a small pocket-sized tablet.
Samsung calls its foldable phone technology the ‘Infinity Flex Display‘.
The device looks like a standard smartphone when closed.
It opens like a book to reveal another 7.3-inch display, which would be one of the largest phone screens ever released.
Six airports set to be privatised
The Union Cabinet gave an ‘in principle’ approval for operating, managing and developing six non-metro airports under Public-Private Partnership (PPP).
The airports which will be privatised are Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram and Mangaluru.
At present, airports at Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Cochin are managed under the PPP model.
Cabinet approves MoU between India and Italy
On 8 November 2018, the Union Cabinet has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Italy for training and education in the fields of Labour and Employment.
The MoU will facilitate the expansion of the training and education activities to promote decent work.
The MoU will also facilitate in developing new training modules for different social partners.
Cabinet approves a Central Tribal University
On 8 November 2018, the Union Cabinet approved setting up of a Central Tribal University in Andhra Pradesh.
The ‘Central Tribal University of Andhra Pradesh’ will be set up in Vizianagaram District as provided under the Thirteenth Schedule to the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014.
It also approved the funds of Rs. 420 crore for the establishment of the Central Tribal University.
Saudi bans Israeli Muslims from Hajj pilgrimage
New Saudi passport rules have barred Israeli Muslims from visiting Mecca for Hajj pilgrimage.
Since Israel and Saudi don‘t have diplomatic ties, Israeli Muslims visited Mecca by going to Jordan where they got temporary Jordanian passports that allowed them to travel to the kingdom. Saudi will no longer accept temporary Jordanian passport.
China to import raw sugar from India
India will export raw sugar to China from early 2019.
Indian Sugar Mills Association and COFCO, a public sector company of China have entered into a contract for exporting 15000 tonnes of raw sugar.
Raw sugar is the second product after non-basmati rice that China will import from India.
India is the largest producer of sugar in the world with 32 million tonnes of production in 2018.
France’s highest civilian honour conferred
Jawahar Lal Sarin was conferred with France’s highest civilian honour by French Ambassador to India Alexandre Ziegler on 9 November 2018.
He was given France’s highest civilian honour ‘Knight of the Legion of Honour’.
He was awarded for his outstanding contribution to enhancing Indo-French cultural cooperation and promoting the French language.
Agreement between India & Morocco approved
The Cabinet approved the signing and ratifying of an extradition agreement between India and Morocco on 8 November 2018.
The agreement will provide a legal base for the extradition of fugitive offenders who are accused of serious offences.
This Treaty will also strengthen the bilateral relations to deal with criminal elements acting against the national interest of both India and Morocco.
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