Current Affair November 2018
1. Indian Railways unveiled ‘eDrishti’ software that will help Union Railway Minister to keep track of punctuality of trains as well as freight and passenger earnings and much more from anywhere in the country. The software has been developed by Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS) to help Minister keep track of all information related to Indian Railways, one of the world’s largest rail networks.
2. India and China signed protocol on hygiene and inspection requirements for exports of fish meal, fish oil imports from India to China. It was signed as part of discussions between India’s Commerce Ministry and six-member Chinese delegation led by Vice Minister, General Administration of Customs of China, Hu Wei on easing market access for exports of various farm products held in New Delhi.
3. The naval exercise Konkan 18 between India and United Kingdom will be conducted from November 28 to December 6, 2018 off Goa with units participating from both navies. The harbour phase is scheduled from November 28 to November 30 2018 followed by the sea phase from 2-6 December, 2018.
4. Indian Air Force (IAF) and US Air Force (USAF) will participate in bilateral exercise ‘COPE INDIA 2019’ – scheduled to be held between December 3 and 14, 2019 in West Bengal. The bilateral flying training programme will be held at two important airbases in West Bengal – Air Force Station Kalaikunda and Air Force Station Arjan Singh at Panagarh.
5. The three day South Asia Regional Youth Peace Conference was held in New Delhi as part 150th birth anniversary celebrations of father of nation Mahatma Gandhi. It was organised by Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti, UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP) and STEP (Standing Together to Enable Peace). It was inaugurated by Krishna G Kulkarni, great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi.
6. Salom Zurichishvili was elected as the first female President of Georgia. She will take charge on December 16, 2018. In recently concluded presidential election, Salom Jurabishvili defeated her rival candidate Grigol Washadze. She received 59.5% of the votes, while Grigol Washadze received 40.5% of the votes.
7. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) relaxed rules for non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) to sell or securitise their loan books in bid to ease persistent stress in the sector. RBI has relaxed minimum holding period (MHP) requirement for originating NBFCs, in respect of loans of original maturity above 5 years, to receipt of repayment of six monthly installments or two quarterly instalments. Earlier, they had to hold these assets for at least one year. However, relaxation on MHP will be allowed when NBFC retains 20% of book value of these loans. RBI also has prescribed certain Minimum Retention Requirement (MRR) for NBFCs for availing the relaxed norms. The relaxed dispensation will apply to securitisation/ assignment transactions carried out during six months.
8. Himachal Pradesh has become the first state in the country to implement Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) as Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh launched ERSS number 112 for the state. Under this system, all emergency numbers like 100 for police, 101 for fire, 102 for ambulance and disaster response have been integrated into one number ‘112’. This emergency number has been introduced on basis of US emergency number 911. Gradually this emergency number will be started in other states of the country.
9. Union Government has conferred status of Miniratna: Category–I to National Projects Construction Corporation Limited (NPCC). The empowerment of miniratna status to NPCC will help company to take speedy decisions by enhancing delegation of powers to Board.
10. The 49th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) was held in Panaji, capital of Goa. The closing ceremony was held at Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Stadium in Bambolim in Panaji. Israeli Director Dan Wolman was honoured with lifetime achievement award. Story-screenplay-dialogue writer Salim Khan honoured with IFFI 2018 Special Award for his lifetime contribution to cinema. He was presented with cash prize of Rs. 10 lakhs, certificate, shawl and scroll for his outstanding contribution to cinema.
11. Union Government has appointed Anil Manibhai Naik as Chairman of National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). He is currently Group Chairman of engineering conglomerate Larsen and Toubro (L&T). He was awarded Padma Bhushan, India’s 3rd highest civilian award in 2009 for his outstanding contribution to economic growth of the country.
12. President Ram Nath Kovind has appointed Arvind Saxena as Chairman of Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), which conducts examination to select bureaucrats, diplomats and police officers. He will have tenure till August 7, 2020, when he attains the age of 65 years. Prior to this appointment, he was working as acting Chairman of UPSC since June 2018. He had joined UPSC as member in May 2015. Prior to joining the UPSC, he was working as director of the Aviation Research Centre (ARC).
13. Japanese electronics company ‘CASIO’ has launched world’s first Goods and Services Tax (GST) calculator in India for simplify the GST calculations for tax payers The company has two variants of GST calculators MJ-120GST and MJ-12GST in the Indian market. These new GST calculators will provide solutions for GST based invoicing.
14. According to Global Wage Report 2018-19 published by International Labour Organization (ILO), women are paid most unequally in India, compared to men, when it comes to hourly wages for labour. This gap in wages, known as gender wage gap is the highest among 73 countries studied in the report. The findings are based on data from 136 countries.
15. The first Sustainable Blue Economy Conference was held in Nairobi, capital of Kenya. It was organized by Kenya and cohosted by Japan and Canada. The theme of this conference was ‘The Blue Economy and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.’
16. Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman launched ‘Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti’ in New Delhi to boost Intellectual Property Right (IPR) culture in indigenous defence industry.
17. Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu launched logo and brochure of Logix India 2019 in New Delhi. Logix India 2019 is scheduled to take place in New Delhi from 31stJanuary to 2nd February 2019. It is being organized by Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO).
18. Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs launched ‘PAiSA’ – Portal for Affordable Credit and Interest Subvention Access during National Workshop on Municipal Finance and Urban Planning held in New Delhi.
19. Union Ministry Health and Family Welfare has soft-launched Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) segment of Integrated Health Information Platform (IHIP) in seven states. The first one-of-its-kind initiative lannched by the Central Government to monitor public health surveillance.
20. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu laid foundation stone for construction of Kartarpur Sahib corridor on Indian side at Mann village in Gurdaspur district, Punjab. The corridor will provide visa free passage to Indian Sikh pilgrims to visit holy site of Gurudwara Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur in Pakistan.
21. Union Government has appointed renowned scientist Nageshwara Rao Guntur as Chairperson of Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB). His appointment as the AERB chairperson will be for three years. Guntur is the chairman, Project Design Safety Committee, Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) and former distinguished scientist Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL).
22. The Constitution Day of India (or Samvidhan Diwas) is observed every year on 26th November to mark the anniversary of adoption of Constitution and also spread awareness of Indian Constitution. On this day in 1949, constitution of India was adopted and came into force on January 26, 1950. Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MSJE) is nodal Ministry for the celebration of Constitution Day. This year it was third edition of the Constitution Day (69th anniversary of adoption of Constitution) after it was instituted in October 2015 as part of year-long nationwide celebrations of 125th birth Anniversary of Dr. B R Ambedkar, Chairman of the Drafting Committee of Constituent Assembly.
23. Union Government has signed $200 million loan agreement with Asian Development Bank (ADB) for Bihar State Highways III Project (BSHP-III). It will finance widening and upgrading of about 230 kms state highways in Bihar to all-weather standards with road safety features. Since 2008, ADB has provided four loans to Bihar amounting to $1.43 billion to upgrade about 1,453 km of State Highways and to construct new bridge over Ganga River near Patna (on completion it will be the India’s longest river bridge).
24. India and China have signed protocol to amend Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) for the avoidance of double taxation and for prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income by allowing exchange of information. Under Section 90 of Income-tax Act, 1961, India can enter into agreement with foreign country or specified territory for the avoidance of double taxation of income, for exchange of information for the prevention of evasion.
25. Union Finance Ministry has appointed Akhilesh Ranjan, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) member as Convenor of Task Force that is drafting New Direct Tax Legislation (Law). He will replace Arbind Modi who retired in September 2018. The other members (composition) of the Task Force remain unchanged. Akhilesh Ranjan is presently serving as Member (Legislation) of CBDT.
26. The first-ever India Russia Strategic Economic Dialogue was held at St. Petersburg in Russia. Indian side was led by NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar and Russian delegation headed by Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin.
27. Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES) for Africa and Asia has termed ‘Titli’, the severe cyclonic storm that devastated Odisha in October 2018 as ‘rarest cyclone’. Earlier, India Meteorological Department (IMD) had called formation of Titli as ‘rarest of rare’ occurrence after this severe cyclone had changed its path after making landfall.
28. Dudhwa Tiger Reserve (DTR) and Sashastra Seema Bal have joined hands to provide security to Dudhwa forests and its rich wildlife. It was part consensus reached among all security agencies including SSB, central and local intelligence officers, customs and excise officials, Special Tiger Protection Force and DTR’s field staff to discuss issues involving safety of Dudhwa forests and its wildlife.
29. Russia’s state space corporation (Roscosmos) has planned to venture into Internet of things (IoT) with launch of new satellite system named ‘Marathon’. The new satellite system will be part of Russia’s Sphere satellite constellation, which will be fully established by 2026. The number of satellites in Marathon system are not revealed yet. The federation’s GLONASS navigation, a satellite communication system and data relay satellite set-up will be other equipment in the constellation.
30. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar unveiled 70-feet tall statue of Lord Buddha at Rajgir in Nalanda district of state. It is second tallest statue of Buddha in the country.
31. International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (IDEVAW) is observed every year across the world on 25 November. Observance of this day seeks to raise awareness about violence against women and girls, end violence against women. It also seeks to show that prevention is possible against violence of women.
32. India’s boxing legend Mary Kom won gold medal at World Women’s Boxing Championships held in New Delhi. It was her sixth medal in World Boxing Championships. In the final, she defeated 22-year-old Ukrainian boxer Hana Okhaya of Ukraine. Mary Kom won this medal at age of 35 years. With winning this medal, Mary Kom has become the most successful boxer in world boxing history with 6 gold medals. In this Women’s World Boxing Championships 2018, India won total four gold, three silver and three bronze medals.
33. Scientists from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), US have built and flown first-ever silent airplane with no moving propellers or jet turbines. At present, every aircraft have moving parts such as propellers, turbine blades and fans, which are powered by the combustion of fossil fuels or by battery packs that produce a persistent, whining buzz.
34. India Meteorological Department (IMD) has developed new technology called ‘Impact Based Forecasting Approach’ to assess rise of water level in rivers and reservoirs by rain. It shows pre-event scenario will help state governments authorities to minutely monitor impact of rainfall and take real-time decisions. It will help to avoid disastrous situation similar to Kerala floods. It can generate scenario to help take decisions to release water or not from reservoirs after heavy downpour. It will be helpful for every state authority to take decision. This system can be run in pre-event scenario.
35. United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has appointed popular singer Nahid Afrin (17) of Assam as the first ‘Youth Advocate’ of the northeastern region to fight for child rights. UNICEF engages ‘Youth Advocates’ to harness their voice as agents of change in society. Nahid had made her playback debut in 2016 Bollywood film ‘Akira’ starring Sonakshi Sinha in the lead. She received best female playback singer award at the Assam state Film Award 2018.
36. The 7th edition of the ‘International Tourism Mart’ was held in Agartala, the capital city of Tripura. It was organised by Union Ministry of Tourism in association with Department of Tourism, Government of Tripura and North Eastern States. The theme for this year is “Adventure Tourism”.
37. Andhra Pradesh Government has launched Bhuseva and Bhudaar web portal through which people can view land records online. People can get land record records online through these portals using Aadhaar card. Bhudaar security policy was also launched to provide security to the land records of farmers.
38. Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid foundation stone of City Gas Distribution (CGD) Projects of Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas in 65 Geographical Areas (GAs) in 129 districts under 9th CGD bidding round. He also launched 10th CGD Bidding Round in 50 GAs spread over 124 districts in 14 states.
39. Union Cabinet has approved extension of term of Commission to examine issue of Sub-categorization of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in Central List for six months beyond 30th November, 2018 and till 31st May 2019. This is fourth extension granted to commission for submission of its politically crucial report on creating quotas within quotas.
40. Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired Union Cabinet has approved building and development of Kartarpur Corridor from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district of Punjab to international border with Pakistan. It was approved as part of 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev, which falls in 2019.
41. Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved to expand the scope of mandatory packaging norms under Jute Packaging Material (JPM) Act, 1987. It has approved that 100% of the food grains and 20% of sugar shall be mandatorily packed in diversified jute bags. Initially 10% of indents of jute bags for packing foodgrains will be placed through reverse auction on GEM portal. This will gradually help to usher in a regime of price discovery.
42. Uttar Pradesh Government recently launched Women Empowerment Resolution Campaign to develop leadership capacities in women and make them vocal for their rights. It was launched by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in Lucknow on November 20, 2018.
43. Under Chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently, Union Cabinet approved the setting up of a medical college in Silvassa of Dadar and Nagar Haveli. This will increase the availability of doctors and increase in medical education opportunities.
44. United Nations Environment Program has selected Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) and its enforcement officer RS Sharath for 2018 Asia Environmental Enforcement Awards. They were selected under organization and individual categories respectively for their outstanding contributions in combating the trans-boundary environmental crimes. The 2018 Awards will be given by UNEP with UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Office on Drugs and Crime, INTERPOL (UNODC), USAID, Freeland Foundation, and Government of Sweden.
45. Institution’s Innovation Council (IIC) Program of Ministry of Human Resource Development’s (HRD) Innovation Cell was launched in New Delhi by Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar. HRD Ministry has established Innovation cell at AICTE with purpose to systematically foster culture of Innovation in all Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) across the country.
46. IIM Calcutta Innovation Park and Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for energising start-up ecosystem in East and Northeast India. The MoU will bring incubator and industry toghether in more formal way. IIM Innovation Park is currently incubating 40 start-ups with almost half from West Bengal.
47. Tanzanian national Joyce Msuya was appointed as acting Executive Director of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) following resignation of the executive director Erik Solheim. Solheim had quit in wake of internal audit report accused of rule-breaking UNEP. The report has accused him of gobbling up $500,000 in unnecessary and budgeted travel expenses in just 22 months.
48. 27th BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change held in New Delhi has urged advanced countries to enhance their support to developing nations in effectively implementing Paris Agreement to combat climate change. BASIC countries comprise Brazil, South Africa, India and China. This comes ahead of UN Conference of Parties (COP) scheduled to be held in December 2018 in Katowice, Poland.
49. Researchers from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad are working to develop smartphone-based sensor to detect adulteration in milk. They have developed detector system which can measure level of acidity in milk using indicator paper. They have also developed algorithms that can be incorporated in smartphone to accurately detect change in acidity. The sensor-chip based method measures pH, which is indicator of the acidity and colour of paper indicates different pH levels.
50. Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has released Antimicrobial Stewardship Guidelines to advise hospitals in setting up Antimicrobial Stewardship Programmes (AMSP) to ensure judicious use of antibiotics in healthcare facilities. AMS guidelines aims to provide guidance in setting up structure and processes of AMSP in healthcare institutions, discusses essential elements of antimicrobial stewardship and diagnostic stewardship and provide information on tools that can be used to measure progress.
51. Mexican government has honoured Indian academician Shyama Prasad Ganguly with “Orden Mexicana del Águila Azteca” (Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle), the highest civilian honour given to a foreigner by Mexico. He was awarded for disseminating Spanish language and Mexican culture to strengthen Mexico-India cultural relations. He is first Indian Academician to get this award.
52. 49th International Film Festival of India began in Panaji, capital of Goa. The theme of for this year’s film festival is New India through a variety of genres of cinema, including history, action, romance and sports. Jharkhand is focus state for this year, with Jharkhand Day being celebrated on 24th November as part of festival. The focus country is Israel.
53. Prime Minister Narendra Modi constituted National Implementation Committee (NIC) under Chairmanship of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to commemorate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak in the country and abroad. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Minister of State for Culture Dr. Mahesh Sharma are its Members.
54. West Bengal Assembly unanimously passed West Bengal Land Reforms (Amendment) Bill, 2018 to give land rights to enclave dwellers in north Bengal. The bill will end era of uncertain future for the people residing in those enclaves as it will help them to get full-fledged status as citizens of India, along with all civic amenities and rights. It will also help in distribution of land rights documents people of enclaves in border district of Cooch Behar. The process will result in creation of 13 ‘mouzas’ (administrative district), while rest of area will be amalgamated with existing 31 ‘mouzas’. Plot-to-plot verification has been undertaken to ascertain the ownership status of the land to the dwellers.
55. Team of biologists has discovered four new species of Indian horned frogs from Himalayan regions of Northeast India. The team also comprised S D Biju, famously known as the ‘Frogman of India’. Horned frogs get their name from fleshy horn-like projection on upper eyelids of some species
56. State-run Airports Authority of India (AAI) has inked agreement with US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) to develop a roadmap for modernisation of its air traffic services. Air traffic services (ATS) comprises air traffic management (ATM) and communication, navigation and surveillance (CNS).
57. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Ease of Doing Business Grand Challenge on resolving seven identified Ease of Doing Business problems with use of cutting edge technologies. It was launched during programme organized by PM for interaction with select CEOs from Indian & foreign companies.
58. Sulabh International has introduced India’s first sewer cleaning machine to reduce sewer deaths and put end to unsafe practice of manual scavenging. The machine was unveiled on occasion of World Toilet Day 2018 (observed on 19 November) by mayors of all three Municipal Corporations of Delhi (MCD) in the presence founder of Sulabh International Bindeshwar Pathak.
59. India, US Joint Special Forces Exercise 2018 named Vajra Prahar commenced at Mahajan Field Firing Range (MFFR), Bikaner in Rajasthan. The exercise was called between Special Forces of both countries to deal with operations for counter-terrorism and is being done at unit as well as sub-unit levels.
60. Union Civil Aviation Ministry launched the upgraded version of AirSewa 2.0 web portal and mobile app in New Delhi. The major improvements in upgraded version of web portal include features such as secure sign-up and log-in with social media, chatbot for travellers support, improved grievance management including social media grievances.
61. Delhi-based environment think-tank Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) will be awarded Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development 2018 for its work in environmental education and protection. CSE is being awarded prize for its steadyfast advocacy of measures to combat environmental deterioration and for its success in influencing public policies and programmes that have benefitted social and economic development in India. It was selected for this award by international jury, chaired by former president Pranab Mukherjee.
62. Asia’s oldest bourse BSE has decided to snap ties with S&P Dow Jones, which manages and operates benchmark Sensex. Now it is planning to develop indices through its own in-house development team.
63. India’s top junior shuttler Lakshya Sen (17) won bronze medal at Li Ning BWF World Junior Badminton Championships 2018 held at Markham, Canada. In singles semi-final match, he lost to top seed and world junior number one Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand by 22-20, 16-21, 13-21 score. This was Sen’s first medal from this prestigious tournament in three attempts
64. Prime Minister Narendra Modi headed Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has appointed Senior IRS officer Sanjay Kumar Mishra as full-time Director of the Enforcement Directorate (ED). He will have tenure of two-years from the date of assumption of the charge of the post or until further orders, whichever is earlier. The post of ED director is additional secretary rank post in the Union government.
65. The 14th edition of JashneBachpan, a theatre festival for children was held at the Sammukh, Abhimanch, Abhikalp and Little Theatre Group (LTG) auditorium in New Delhi. It was organised by National School of Drama’s (NSD) Theatre in Education (TIE) Company.
66. Union Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy (AYUSH) Ministry celebrated first Naturopathy Day on Sunday with aim of promoting drug-less system of medicine to prevent diseases by altering diet and lifestyle. Till now, there was day to celebrate all streams of traditional medicine except Naturopathy. On this day, Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy is organising health camps, workshops and exhibitions in association with local naturopathy centres and hospitals.
67. India’s Ankita Raina and Karman Kaur Thandi, playing together for first time, won doubles title at $125,000 Taipei Open. In the final match, they defeated Russian pair of Olga Doroshina and Natela Dzalamidze 6-3, 5-7, 12-12 score. The champions collected $5,500 in prize money and earned 160 points, which is expected to push both within 200 of WTA world rankings. This win marks the first WTA title for an Indian since Sania Mirza, success came on WTA Tour and Grand Slam stage. In the semi-finals, they had defeated third seeds Misaki Doi and Danka Kovinic by 6-7 (2), 6-4, 10-8 score.
68. Researchers from IIT Kharagpur have devised decision support system (DCS) to help maximise LPG connections in BPL (below poverty line) households under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana. It is a first of its kind for analysis of national level energy policy. This kind of DSS can be developed for various central and state level policies for various commodities like agricultural commodities, solar panels distributions and so on.
69. India’s first specialized hospital for elephants was formally opened Churmura village in Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh. It is promoted by Wildlife SOS which had established first elephant conservation and care centre in 2010 and is currently looking after 20 elephants requiring specialised treatment.
70. Union Government and Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed $105 million loan to continue financing transmission system upgrades in Himachal Pradesh for increased supply of hydropower to state and national grid. It is third tranche part of $350 million multi-tranche financing facility (MFF) for Himachal Pradesh Clean Energy Transmission Investment Program approved by ADB Board in September 2011. The loan will have 25-year term, including grace period of 5 years, an annual interest rate determined in accordance with ADB’s lending facility based on London interbank offered rate (LIBOR) and commitment charge of 0.15% per year.
71. Union Government has approved three proposals under Nirbhaya Fund including setting up of 1023 Fast Track Special Courts (FTSCs). Decision in this regard was taken by Empowered Committee of Officers under Nirbhaya Fund, under Chairmanship of Secretary, Women and Child Development Ministry. Apart from these three proposals, in-principle approval to proposal of Union Ministry of Road Transport and highways for C-DAC for customisation, deployment and management of state wise vehicle tracking platform for safety and enforcement.
72. Union Government has inked $300 million Loan Agreement with Asian Development Bank (ADB) to support lending by India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited (IIFCL). The loan will enhance availability of long-term finance for PPP projects, improve operational capacity of IIFCL. It will expand portfolio of infrastructure financing instruments available to IIFCL. It is expected to compliment Government’s infrastructure building efforts.
73. Union Government has inked $169 Million Loan agreement with Asian Development Bank (ADB) for Tamil Nadu Urban Flagship Investment Program. It is first tranche of $500 million multi-tranche financing to provide water and sanitation services in Tamil Nadu.
74. The National Press Day (NPD) is celebrated every year on November 16 as symbolic of free and responsible press in India. This was the day on which Press Council of India (PCI) started functioning as moral watchdog to ensure that not only did press maintain high standards expected from this powerful medium but also that it was not fettered by the influence or threats of any extraneous factors.
75. The 9th Annual Defence and Security Dialogue between India and China held in Beijing. It held between the two defence delegations headed by defence secretary Sanjay Mitra and China’s deputy chief of Joint Staff Department of the Central Military Commission. Mitra was accompanied by senior officials of Ministry of Defence and Indian Army, Navy and Air Force.
76. NITI Aayog has constituted Himalayan State Regional Council to ensure sustainable development of Indian Himalayan region. It will be chaired by Dr VK Saraswat, Member, NITI Aayog and will consist of Chief Secretaries of Himalayan States as well as Secretaries of key Central Ministries, senior officers of NITI Aayog as well as special invitees.
77. Union Ministry of Tourism has inaugurated two important projects as part of Development of North East Circuit under Swadesh Darshan Scheme in Arunachal Pradesh. The projects were jointly inaugurated by Union Minister of State (IC) Tourism,K J Alphons, and Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu.
78. Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal inaugurated 2nd Mega Food Park in Maharashtra, in Wahegaon and Dhangaon village in Paithan taluka of Aurangabad district. It was launched under Mega Food Park Scheme and is promoted by Paithan Mega Food Park Pvt Ltd. The first park was inaugurated in Satara district in March 2018. Third mega foodpark has been sanctioned by Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries in Maharashtra in Wardha district.
79. South Asian Regional Conference on Urban Infrastructure: New Approaches to Public and Private Partnerships (PPPs) and Municipal Finance Innovations was held in New Delhi. It was organised by National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog in partnership with United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (UNESCAP) and Asian Development Bank (ADB).
80. Indian Navy has successfully completed refitted Maldivian Coast Guard Ship (MCGS) Huravee at Naval Dockyard Visakhapatnam and was formally handed over. The ship was refitted in four-months as part of Indian Navy initiative undertaken in furtherance of its diplomatic outreach to friendly foreign navies in Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
81. Union Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) has announced that government will pay employers salaries for first seven of 26 weeks of maternity leave for women earning more than Rs 15,000 month.
82. Shri Ramayana Express, a special tourist train to run on Ramayana circuit to cover major spots related to Hindu epic was flagged off by Indian Railways from Safdarjung Railway Station, New Delhi. The pilgrimage circuit of Shri Ramayana Yatra will have two travel components — one each in India and Sri Lanka.
83. Four-day regional meeting of World Customs Organisation (WCO) was held in Jaipur, capital city of Rajasthan. It was attended by representatives of 33 member countries of Asia. The meeting was jointly chaired by WCO Deputy Secretary General Ricardo Travino and Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs Chairman S Ramesh.
84. Pakistan Government has no immediate plans to grant Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India. However, it is working out free trade agreements (FTAs) with different countries, especially China and hopes to complete second FTA with China by June 2019. Pakistan has not reciprocated MFN status to India, reportedly citing “non-tariff barriers” erected by India as well as huge trade imbalance.
85. India and United Kingdom have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for collaboration in cancer research. It is follow-up to joint statement issued by Prime Ministers of India and UK during visit of PM Narendra Modi to the UK in April 2018.
86. Delhi Police has launched an e-learning portal ‘Nipun’ to impart training and provide up to date information to police officers. The initiative is aimed at imparting in-service online training and information to police personnel through specialised courses available online which have been designed by experts in various fields.
87. Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Radha Mohan Singh launched Yuva Sahakar-Cooperative Enterprise Support and Innovation Scheme of National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC). It isyouth-friendly scheme aimed at attracting youth to cooperative business ventures.
88. The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) has recommended convening of winter session of Parliament from December 11, 2018 to January 8, 2019. The CCPA was headed by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and met in New Delhi and deliberated on the dates of the session. The winter session of Parliament usually starts every year after Monsoon Session in November. However, from past two years in a row, it is beginning in December. The session has been delayed this year due to assembly elections in five states.
89. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched APIX (Application Programming Interface Exchange), a banking technology platform at Fintech Festival in Singapore. The fintech platform aims to connect companies to financial institutions globally and become a banking solution for two billion people without bank accounts worldwide. Fintech Festival is largest gathering of global Fintech companies and delegates ranging from the industry leaders to smaller start-ups.
90. RCEP Ministerial meeting at Singapore failed to reach a consensus on chapters related to e-commerce, competition and investment, though progress was made on several other issues. India was represented by Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu. This summit was followed by Leaders’ Summit.
91. Union Ministry off Human Resource Development launched two new initiatives viz. Leadership for Academicians Programme (LEAP) and Annual Refresher Programme In Teaching (ARPIT) for higher education faculty. ARPIT is unique initiative of online professional development of 15 lakh higher education faculty. LEAP is three weeks flagship leadership development training programme for second level academic functionaries in higher education institutions,
92. Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare is planning to launch its own index to rank states on ‘ease of doing agri-business’. It will rank States on basis of reforms in sector as well as their investment in agriculture, increased productivity, reduction of input costs, and risk mitigation measures.
93. Union Ministry of Finance has announced to release Rs 75 commemorative coin on occasion of 75th anniversary of hoisting of Tricolour for first time by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose at Cellular Jail, Port Blair on December 30, 1943. Earlier on October 21, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had hoisted National Flag at Red Fort and unveiled plaque to commemorate 75th Anniversary of formation of Azad Hind Government, formed by Bose.
94. The 38th India International Trade Fair (IITF) was held at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. The 14-day annual event was inaugurated by inaugurated by Union Minister of State for Culture, Mahesh Sharma. It is organised by India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO).
95. Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG) has set up state of-the-art National Data Repository which is database of all geo-scientific data of hydrocarbon resources in the country. It is equipped with cutting-edge technology and will provide ready access to interested companies. With this, India has joined league of countries like UK and Norway which have National Data Repository for the upstream sector.
96. Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has prepared draft of Indian Wind Turbine Certification Scheme (IWTCS) incorporating various guidelines of Turbine Certification Scheme. It has been prepared in consultation with Chennai based National Institute of Wind Energy.
97. The 6th Indian Social Work Congress was held in New Delhi. It was joinly organized by National Association of Professional Social Workers in India (NAPSWI) and Department of Social Work (Delhi School of Social Work), University of Delhi. Dr. Martha Farrell posthumously honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award during this edition of congress for her lifelong work towards gender equality, women’s empowerment and prevention of sexual harassment at workplace.
98. The 10th anniversary celebration of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) was held in Kochi, Kerela. The two-day seminar aims to discuss maritime issues pertaining to cooperative capacity-building to deal with common security concerns in the region. The theme for this year’s seminar was “IONS as Catalyst for SAGAR’. SAGAR stands for ‘Security and Growth for All in the Region’. It is in consonance with India’s ‘Act East’ policy and nation’s diplomatic, economic and military outreach in the region.
99. According to data released by Central Statistics Office (CSO), factory output measured in terms of Index of Industrial Production (IIP) grew 4.5% in September 2018. It was slowest pace in four months mainly due to poor performance of mining sector and lower offtake of capital goods.
100. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India’s first Inland Multi-Modal Terminal Port on river Ganga at Ramnagar in Varanasi and received first container cargo belonging to PepsiCo. It is the first of four Multi-Modal Terminals being constructed on National Waterways-I (NW1) on River Ganga as part of World Bank-aided Jal Marg Vikas project of Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI). The other three terminals are under construction at Sahibganj, Haldia and Gazipur. It enable commercial navigation of vessels with capacity of 1500-2,000 DWT on river Ganga.
101. Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd. (ISPRL) has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) to explore storage of crude oil at Padur underground facility in Karnataka. This follows arrival of final shipment of initial delivery of ADNOC crude to be stored in another ISPRL underground facility in Mangaluru, which will store 5.86 million barrels.
102. According to global study released by UK-based NGO ‘Save the Children’, more than 17 lakh children in India are likely to die of pneumonia by 2030, despite the infection being easily curable. The study was released on occasion of World Pneumonia Day (observed on November 12).
103. India and Morocco sign an agreement on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, mainly aimed at containing menace of terrorists funding. It was signed in New Delhi by Union Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju from the Indian side while Minister of Justice Mohamed Aujjar signed on behalf of Morocco government.
104. Public Service Broadcasting Day is observed every year across India on November 12 year to commemorate first and last visit of Mahatma Gandhi (Father of the Nation) of All India Radio Studio (AIR), New Delhi in 1947. On this occasion, artistes of Akashvani Bhawan, Delhi performed Vaishnav Jan Toh and other bhajans and school children performed Rabindra sangeet.
105. Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has tightened disclosure standards for credit rating agencies (CRAs) while assigning ratings to debt instruments. It has ordered CRAs to analyse deterioration in liquidity conditions of issuer, while monitoring its repayment schedules and taking into account any asset-liability mismatches.
106. World Pneumonia Day is observed globally every year on November 12 to generate awareness about ‘pneumonia’ disease. The observance of day aims to highlight the severity of pneumonia and bring together people from all over world to promote the prevention and treatment of the disease.
107. Bangladesh was elected as Vice Chairman of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) for the period of 2019-21 and eventually as IORA Chairman for 2021-23 at 18th IORA Council of Ministers’ Meeting held in Durban, South Africa. The Current Chair is South Africa and Vice Chair is UAE.
108. Asian Development Bank (ADB) it will provide US $13 million loan to Energy Efficiency Services (EESL) to promote efficient energy usage in India. It will be provided by Global Environment Facility (GEF) as part of US $200 million ADB-financed Demand-Side Energy Efficiency Sector Project.
109. The second edition of was International Symposium to Promote Innovation & Research in Energy Efficiency (INSPIRE 2018) launched in New Delhi. It was jointly organised by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) and World Bank. The three-day symposium focused on enhancing grid management, e-Mobility, financial instruments and technologies for energy efficiency in India. Moreover awards to four pathbreaking innovations in clean energy and energy efficiency were also given as part of #InnovateToINSPIRE, a first-of-its-kind energy innovation challenge.
110. National Education Day of India is celebrated every year on 11 November to commemorate the birth anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the first education minister of independent India. This year it was 130th birth anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. As first education minister of India, Azad had oversaw establishment of national education system with free primary education and modern institutions of higher education. He is also credited with establishment of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and laid foundation of University Grants Commission, an important institution to supervise and advance higher education throughout the country.
111. The Global IT Challenge for Youth with Disabilities (GITC) 2018 held in New Delhi from November 9 to 11, 2018. It was co-hosted by Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Korea and its organising partners namely Rehabilitation International Korea and LG Group.
112. Supreme Court has upheld presumption that couple who live together as husband and wife are legally married and woman can claim maintenance under Section 125 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC ). The apex court held that law presumes in favour of marriage and against concubinage when man and woman have cohabited continuously for a number of years.
113. Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appointed former IAS officer Ashok Kumar Gupta as Chairperson of Competition Commission of India (CCI). He replaces acting chairperson Sudhir Mital. He will be in office till October 25, 2022 i.e. till he attains age of 65 years or until further orders, whichever is the earliest. Gupta is former IAS officer of the Tamil Nadu cadre.
114. Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP) has signed MoU with US-based Research Institute for Fragrant Materials (RIFM) for improving the quality of fragrant oils. It was signed at conclusion of two-day annual conference of International Fragrance Association (IFA) in Paris, capital city of France. Team of RIFM had visited the Lucknow headquarter of CIMAP earlier in 2018 to increase the acceptability and demand of Indian fragrances on a global level. The deliberations during the visit resulted in signing of the MoU.
115. National Legal Services Day (NLSD) is observed every year in India on 9th November to spread awareness for ensuring reasonable fair and justice procedure for all citizens.
116. Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved strategic disinvestment of 100% Government of India’s shares in Dredging Corporation of India Limited (DCIL) to consortium of four ports. Presently, Central Government holds 73.44% shares in DCIL. The consortium of four ports consists of Vishakhapatnam Port Trust (Andhra Pradesh), Paradeep Port Trust (Odisha), Jawahar Lal Nehru Port Trust (Maharashtra) and Kandla Port Trust (Gujarat). The government’s divestment target for fiscal 2018-19 was Rs 80,000 crore and so far it has garnered over Rs 15,000 crore from PSU stake sales.
117. Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved leasing out six airports of Airports Authority of India (AAI) for operation, management and development under Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the first phase. This will be done through Public Private Partnership Appraisal Committee (PPPAC).
118. The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the filling of Padur Strategic Petroleum Reserves (SPR) in Karnataka by overseas National Oil Companies (NOCs). The filling of the SPR will be under PPP model and is being undertaken to reduce budgetary support of Union Government. The SPR facility at Padur is underground rock cavern with total capacity of 2.5 million metric tonnes (MMT) having four compartments of 0.625 MMT each.
119. Union Cabinet has approved setting up of Central Tribal University in Andhra Pradesh. The Union Cabinet meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. The proposed university will come up after necessary amendment in the Central Universities Act, 2009.
120. Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved Agreement between India and Morocco on Mutual Legal Assistance in Civil and Commercial Matters. The Agreement will be beneficial for citizens of both the countries. It will also fulfill desire of both countries to strengthen bonds of friendship and fruitful cooperation in Civil and Commercial matters. It will also enhance co-operation in the service of summons, judicial documents, letters of request and the execution of judgments decrees and arbitral awards.
121. Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved signing and ratifying Extradition Agreement between India and Morocco. The agreement will be signed during proposed VIP visit from Morocco in November 2018.
122. India was elected as member of International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Council for another 4-year term from 2019 to 2022. The elections to ITU Council were held during ongoing ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2018 at Dubai, UAE. India got elected to Council from Asia-Australasia region by securing 165 votes and was among 48 countries elected to Council globally. They were elected by 193 member states of ITU.
123. United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group have formed strategic partnership to support efforts eliminate hunger globally by 2030. The agreement was signed between WFP Executive Director David Beasley and Alibaba Partner and Chairman of Alibaba Foundation Sun Lijun at Alibaba’s headquarters in Hangzhou, China.
124. Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) approved operationalisation strategy for Operation Greens. Operation Greens was announced by Union Government in Budget 2018-19 to stabilise supply of Tomato, Onion and Potato (TOP) crops. It is aimed at ensuring availability of TOP crops throughout the country round the year without price volatility.
125. Union Home Ministry has released more than Rs. 113 crore to six border states under Border Area Development Programme (BADP) as part of its plan to ameliorate the problems of people living in isolated locations. These six states are Assam, Nagaland, Sikkim, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand.
126. India and South Korea have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for strengthening cooperation in the field of Tourism. The MoU was signed between Union Ministry of Tourism and South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in New Delhi. It was signed during official four-day visit of First Lady of South Korea Kim Jung-sook (wife of incumbent South Korean President Moon Jae-in) to India. First Lady Kim is Chief Guest at Deepotsav event organized by Uttar Pradesh Government in Ayodhya and at ceremony of inaugurating new Memorial of Queen Suriratna (Heo Hwang-ok) in Ayodhya.
127. India and South Korea have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for strengthening cooperation in the field of Tourism. The MoU was signed between Union Ministry of Tourism and South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in New Delhi. It was signed during official four-day visit of First Lady of South Korea Kim Jung-sook (wife of incumbent South Korean President Moon Jae-in) to India. First Lady Kim is Chief Guest at Deepotsav event organized by Uttar Pradesh Government in Ayodhya and at ceremony of inaugurating new Memorial of Queen Suriratna (Heo Hwang-ok) in Ayodhya.
128. India and South Korea have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on sports cooperation. The MoU was signed between Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in New Delhi.
129. The National Seminar on Entrepreneurship and Business Development in Ayurveda was held in New Delhi. It was organised by Ministry of AYUSH in association with NITI Aayog with aim of encouraging entrepreneurs and Ayurveda stakeholders towards businesses opportunities in the sector.
130. India and Japan signed Loan Agreement worth Rs. 1817 crore for construction of Turga Pumped Storage (I)’ Hydel Project. On completion, this project will contribute to Industrial Development and Living Standard Improvement in the West Bengal.
131. Indian Railway has eliminated all Unmanned Level Crossings (UMLCs) on Broad Gauge routes (rails separated by 1676 mm or 1.67m of distance) from 12 of its total 16 zones. These 12 zones are Central Railway, Eastern Railway, East Coast Railway, East Central Railway, North Eastern Railway, Southern Railway, North East Frontier Railway, South Central Railway, South Eastern Railway, South East Central Railway and West Central Railway.
132. Union Ministry of Railways has launched Unreserved Mobile Ticketing facility (UTS on Mobile) to enable seamless booking of unreserved tickets including season tickets and also platform tickets all over Indian Railways. This will remove the need for passengers to wait in queues for purchasing the tickets.
133. The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given ex-post facto approval for opening up International Solar Alliance (ISA) membership to all countries that are members of the United Nations. In this regard, Cabinet has approved to move Resolution in first Assembly of ISA for amending the Framework Agreement of ISA.
134. The Union Cabinet Narendra Modi has approved signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and South Korea for strengthening cooperation in the field of Tourism.
135. The Union Cabinet has approved renaming of Jharsuguda Airport in Odisha as “Veer Surendra Sai Airport, Jharsuguda” after Veer Surendra Sai who is well-known freedom fighter of Odisha. The renaming of airport fulfills long-pending demand of Odisha Government and reflects sentiments of local public of the respective area. It will is befitting tribute to contribution of revered personality associated with State.
136. The Union Cabinet has approved agreement between India and Morocco on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters. The Union Cabinet was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
1. Kim Jong Yang of South Korea was elected Interpol President for two-year term by member countries at 87th General Assembly of Interpol, held for first time in Dubai. He secured at least two-thirds of votes cast at general assembly and defeated Russia’s Alexander Prokopchuk. He will serve until 2020, completing the four-year mandate of his predecessor, Meng Hongwei, who was detained in China over corruption charges.
2. World Diabetes Day was observed every year across the world on 14 November to raise awareness about diabetes. Observance of day aims to pursue multilateral efforts to promote and improve human health and provide access to health-care treatment and education.
3. Newly appointed Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa ended his five-decade-long association with Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and joined newly-formed Sri Lanka People’s Party (SLPP). SLFP was founded by his father Don Alwin Rajapaksa in 1951. Rajapaksa’s joining SLPP signals that he will contest snap polls, under his own party banner and not that of President Maithripala Sirisena’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). SLPP was formed in 2017 by Rajapaksa’s supporters as platform for his re-entry into politics. In February 2018 local council elections SLPP won two-third of total 340 seats.
4. According to recently released report “Preventing nutrient loss and waste across the food system: Policy actions for high-quality diets”, one-in-five deaths is associated with poor-quality diets. It shows that regularly eating poor-quality food has become greater public health threat than malaria, tuberculosis or measles. The report was published by United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
5. United States has exempted India from imposition of certain sanctions for development of strategically-located Chabahar port in Iran, along with construction of railway line connecting it with landlocked Afghanistan. The decision comes after US imposed toughest ever sanctions on Iran under Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act, 2012.
6. The World Tsunami Awareness Day is observed every year across the world on 5 November 2016 to spread awareness among people across the world about Tsunami. This year it was third edition of World Tsunami Awareness Day after it was instituted in 2015.
7. Bangladesh was as Vice Chairman of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) for the period of 2019-21 and eventually as IORA Chairman for 2021-23 at 18th IORA Council of Ministers’ Meeting held in Durban, South Africa. The Current Chair is South Africa and Vice Chair is UAE.
8. The World Cities Day is observed every year across the world on 31st October to work together for planned and sustainable urban life in the wake of rapid growth of population and problems.
Business, Economy & Banking
1. IndusInd Bank has launched first interactive Credit Card in India with buttons called IndusInd Bank Nexxt Credit Card. It will give customer multiple options on how to make a payment using his or her Credit Card. This Card has been created in partnership with Pittsburgh USA headquartered Dynamics Inc., which designs and manufactures intelligent, battery powered payment cards
2. According to research firm Canalys, India has overtaken US to become second largest smartphone market in the July-September 2018 quarter. India saw shipment of 40.4 million units during third quarter and was second to China where 100.6 million smartphones were shipped. Smartphone shipment in US was at 40 million units.
3. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has liberalised norms governing external commercial borrowings (ECBs) for infrastructure creation. The provisions have been reviewed and decision has been taken in consultation with Central Government.
4. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has initiated steps to set up wide-based digital Public Credit Registry (PCR) to capture loan information of individuals and corporate borrowers. In this regard, RBI has invited expression of interest (EOI) for developing PSC from companies with turnover of over Rs 100 crore in last three years. Setting up of PCR assumes significance amidst rising bad loans in financial system. The non-performing assets (NPAs) in Indian banking system is about Rs 10 lakh crore.
5. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Support and Outreach Programme. As part of this programme, PM unveiled 12 key initiatives which will help the growth, expansion and facilitation of MSMEs across the country. There are five key aspects for facilitating the MSME sector. These include access to credit, access to market, technology upgradation, ease of doing business, and sense of security for employees.
6. Union Cabinet has approved proposal for promulgation ordinance to amend the Companies Act, 2013. The ordinance had received assent from President Ram Nath Kovind under Article 123 and has been promulgated. The amendments to the Act are aimed to promote ease of doing business as well as ensure better compliance levels.
7. India ranked 77th among 190 countries by leapfrogging 23 ranks in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business (EODB) 2018 rankings. In the 2017 rankings, India ranked 100th and had jumped 30 places. In 2016, 2015 and 2014, India had not improved much and was placed at 130, 131 and 134, respectively, in ranking.
8. The first ever India-US Dialogue on Intellectual Property (IP) was launched in New Delhi to deepen bilateral strategic cooperation on IP policy. It was launched by US Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) and Industry body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) in partnership with US-India Business Council (USIBC). It will be convened annually, alternating between New Delhi and Washington, DC.
9. As per data released by Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry, index of eight core industries slowed down to 4.3% in September 2018. It is lowest growth recorded by core sectors in the last four months, as production of crude oil and natural gas declined by 4.2% and 1.8%, respectively. Previously, lowest growth rate was in May 2018 when core sectors expanded at 4.1%. In September 2018, Fertiliser, cement and electricity sectors output grew by 2.5%, 11.8% and 8.2%, respectively. However, growth of coal, refinery products, and steel sectors declined to 6.4%, 2.5% and 3.2%, respectively.
1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved continuation of nine sub-schemes of umbrella scheme “Atmosphere & Climate Research-Modelling Observing Systems & Services (ACROSS)” during 2017-2020. The scheme aims at improving skill of weather and climate forecast through sustained observations, intensive Research & Development.
2. Uttar Pradesh Government recently launched Women Empowerment Resolution Campaign to develop leadership capacities in women and make them vocal for their rights. It was launched by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in Lucknow on November 20, 2018.
3. Institution’s Innovation Council (IIC) Program of Ministry of Human Resource Development’s (HRD) Innovation Cell was launched in New Delhi by Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar. HRD Ministry has established Innovation cell at AICTE with purpose to systematically foster culture of Innovation in all Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) across the country.
4. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Ease of Doing Business Grand Challenge on resolving seven identified Ease of Doing Business problems with use of cutting edge technologies. It was launched during programme organized by PM for interaction with select CEOs from Indian & foreign companies.
5. Union Ministry off Human Resource Development launched two new initiatives viz. Leadership for Academicians Programme (LEAP) and Annual Refresher Programme In Teaching (ARPIT) for higher education faculty. ARPIT is unique initiative of online professional development of 15 lakh higher education faculty. LEAP is three weeks flagship leadership development training programme for second level academic functionaries in higher education institutions,
6. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Support and Outreach Programme. As part of this programme, PM unveiled 12 key initiatives which will help the growth, expansion and facilitation of MSMEs across the country. There are five key aspects for facilitating the MSME sector. These include access to credit, access to market, technology upgradation, ease of doing business, and sense of security for employees.
7. Odisha Government has launched Saura Jalnidhi scheme to encourage use of solar energy in irrigation by farmers. Under this scheme, farmers will be given 90% subsidy and 5,000 solar pumps. This will provide irrigation benefits in 2,500 acres of the state. The beneficiary of this scheme will be farmers who have valid farmer identity cards and have minimum 0.5 acres of agricultural land.
Awards & Honors
1. Chairman of IT major Wipro and philanthropist Azim Premji was bestowed with highest French civilian distinction Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour). He was awarded for his outstanding contribution to developing information technology industry in India, his economic outreach in France and his contribution to society as philanthropist through the Azim Premji Foundation and Azim Premji University
2. National Academy of Sciences India (NASI) SCOPUS Young Scientist Awards 2018 were presented to winners in New Delhi. This year five multi-disciplinary categories in awards were introduced. The categories are agriculture, plant sciences and rural development, women in science, environmentally sound sustainable development, biomedical research and healthcare and innovation in engineering and physical sciences. These categories aligned with national missions of Make in India, Digital India, Healthy India and Clean India. The prize includes citation, trophy and Rs. 75,000. The five winners were selected from pool of about 800 candidates
3. The Infosys Science Foundation (ISF) occasion of its 10th anniversary announced six winners of the Infosys Prize 2018 in the six different categories of the award. They were selected from 244 nominations by six-member jury of renowned scientists and professors.
4. United States President Donald Trump will present 7 distinguished individuals including late singer Elvis Presley 2018 Presidential Medal of Freedom on November 16, 2018.
5. Renowned French scholar Jawahar Lal Sarin was presented with France’s highest civilian honour Chevalier de la Lgion d’Honneur. He was presented with this award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to enhancing Indo-French cultural cooperation and promoting French language. Jawahar Lal Sarin is president of Alliance franaise de Delhi’s governing body. He had studied French for five years at the Punjab University, Chandigarh, and later at the Sorbonne University, Paris.
6. Harvard University (US) has selected Nobel Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai (20) for its 2018 Gleitsman Award in recognition of her work promoting girls’ education. She will be presented with this award at December 6, 2018 ceremony. The Gleitsman Award provides US $125,000 for activism that has improved quality of life around the world.
1. India’s Sameer Verma has won Syed Modi India Grand Prix Gold badminton title 2018 in men’s singles category. In the final match held in Lucknow, he defeated China’s Lu Guangzu by 16-21, 21-19 and 21-14 score. Women’s singles title was won by China’s Han Yue after defeating India’s Saina Nehwal by 21-18, 21-8 score.
2. India’s ace sprinter and Asian Games gold-medallist sprinter Hima Das was appointed as first ever youth ambassador of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) India. UNICEF India works with central government to ensure that each child born in country gets best start in life, thrives and develops to his or her full potential.
3. Angad Vir Singh Bajwa won gold medal by setting world record score in men’s skeet final of the 8th Asian Shotgun Championship held in Kuwait. With this, he became first Indian skeet shooter to win continental or world level event. In the final round of this event, Angad shot perfect 60 out of 60 to claim top spot ahead of China’s Di Jin who shot 58, winning silver medal. UAE’s Saeed Al Maktoum won bronze with a score of 46.
4. Former India captain Rahul Dravid was officially inducted into International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Hall of Fame. He presented memento by the legendary opener Sunil Gavaskar at Greenfield International Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. With this, Dravid became fifth Indian cricketer after Bishan Singh Bedi (inducted in 2009), Sunil Gavaskar (2009), Kapil Dev (2010) and Anil Kumble (2015) to be named on the elite list. In July 2018, ICC had announced Rahul Dravid, Australian legend Ricky Ponting and former England Women’s wicket-keeper Claire Taylor’s induction into Hall of Fame during ceremony in Dublin. Ponting is 25th from Australia to receive the honour. Taylor is third female player from England to be named on the list and seventh overall.