National - 2018 NOVEMBER

November 1

Cabinet approves Agreement between India and Morocco on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters.
The Agreement will provide a broad legal framework for bilateral cooperation between India and Morocco in investigation and prosecution of crime, tracing, restraint, forfeiture or confiscation or proceeds and instruments of crime.
It aims to increase effectiveness in investigation and prosecution of crime, and in providing the necessary peaceful ambience which is a pre-requisite for the development of society as a whole.

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Korea for strengthening cooperation in the field of Tourism.
The main objectives of the Memorandum of Understanding are:
To expand bilateral cooperation in tourism sector
To increase Exchange of information and data related to tourism
To encouraging cooperation between tourism stakeholders including Hotels and Tour Operators
To establish exchange programmes for cooperation in Human Resources Development

November 2

The Centre has amended its Haj policy to make the differently abled people perform the annual Piligrimage.
A person with special needs can perform Haj if he or she can undertake the journey on their own.
The Delhi high court has amended its Haj policy and differently-abled people are no longer barred from performing the annual pilgrimage.
The submission was made before a bench of Chief Justice RajendraMenon and Justice IS Mehta, which was also told that only people with serious illnesses, like cancer or tuberculosis, are barred from the pilgrimage.

 NMCG & UN Habitat organize a policy dialogue - Urban Cafe: ‘River for Habitat’
The National Mission for Clean Ganga partnered with UN Habitat to organize a policy dialogue- ‘Urban Cafe: River for Habitat’ in New Delhi on the occasion of World Cities Day 2018.
Experts in the sector got together to discuss the deep association that rivers have with various aspects of human civilization.
Our cities, our economy and various facets of our  daily lives, the challenges to maintaining  healthy river ecosystems and ways  to deal with the same.

November 3

PM Modi announces Rs 1 crore loan in 59 minutes for MSMEs
Modi has announced major steps including 59-minute loan portal for sanction of up to one crore rupees for small and medium enterprises (MSME).
He said,mandatory procurement of 20% from MSMEs by Public Sector Undertakings has now been increased to 25%.
It has also been decided that 3% of the total purchases from it will be reserved for women entrepreneurs.
Indian Railways eliminates Unmanned Level Crossings (UMLCs) on Broad Gauge route
All Unmanned level crossings on routes having speed more than 130KMPH and on Sub-urban routes have been eliminated.
12 Zonal Railways on Broad Gauge route has now become free from Unmanned Level Crossings.
The Zones include Central Railway, Eastern Railway, North Eastern Railway, Southern Railway, and West Central Railway.
Signature Bridge set to be inaugurated along the Yamuna Expressway
The Signature bridge is being projected as India’s first asymmetrical cable-stayed bridge and was pitched as an iconic project.
The bridge will reduce the travel time between north and northeast Delhi and will be developed into a tourist spot in the second phase of its development,Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said.
The project missed several deadlines and the cost eventually inflated to ₹1,594 crore.
Naval Commanders’ Conference concludes in New Delhi
The Conference was inauguratedby the RakshaMantri, SmtNirmalaSitharaman, who set the tone for the deliberations stating that the Indian Navy is a force to reckon with in the Indo-Pacific region.
Major shipbuilding projects in Indian Shipyards, both Private and Public result in the creation of jobs at these Shipyards as well as encouragement to MSMEs.

November 4

India, Zimbabwe Sign 6 Agreements in Various Fields
During the visit of Vice President of India M Venkaiah Naidu, India has agreed for the deputation of experts in five fields to assist Zimbabwe.
Around 6 agreements in various fields were signed in areas including Mining, Visa waiver, Broadcasting and Culture.
India will extend Line of credits of more than 350 million US Dollars to Zimbabwe for two power projects and a drinking water project.
India will give about 3 million US dollar grant for upgradation of Indo-Zim Technology centre.

South Korean First Lady Kim-Jung Sook arrives in India
South Korean First Lady Kim Jung-sook arrived in New Delhi during which she will participate in Diwali festivities.

November 5

The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has announced Swachh Bharat World Toilet Day Contest
Swachh Bharat World Toilet Day Contest for all districts and States.
Top 10 District Collectors, top 3 State Mission Directors and State Secretary in-charge of Sanitation will be recognized and awarded by the Swachh Bharat Mission.
The Contest does not apply to the five States of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram.

Vision Document 2030 is long-term vision for the Forest Department
Many environmentalists and groups oppose the decision to outsource the process to map a long-term vision for the Forest Department of the government.
Because of the opposition the long-term vision is facing trouble.
The department is undertaking a Vision Document 2030 which would set a governance strategy for the management of forests and wildlife in the State for the next 20 years in a sustainable manner.

IAMAI forms AR/VR Committee to promote Technologies
The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) formed a new industry expert committee to develop and promote an augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) ecosystem in India.
The committee is chaired by Namrita Mahindra, Senior General Manager, digital transformation, Mahindra Group and co-chaired by Satyajeet Singh, Head –Strategic Product Partnership, India and South Asia, Facebook.
Earlier, Bangladesh had won the title in 2016. Pakistan finished as the runner-up. India beat Nepal 1-0 and finish in the third position.

Prime Minister of Italy Mr. Giuseppe Conte’s 1-day visit to India
Prime Minister of Italy, Prof. Giuseppe Conte, is on an official visit to India at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Prime Minister Conte will be accompanied by a delegation that will participate in the 24th edition of the DST-CII India-Italy Technology Summit 2018.

November 6

3rd National Ayurveda Day observed throughout the countryon 5th November
The theme of 2018 Ayurveda Day was: “Ayurveda for Public health”.
It is annually celebrated on the eve of on Dhanawantari Jayanti (Dhanteras).
A 2-day “National Seminar on Entrepreneurship and Business Development in Ayurveda” was inaugurated at Delhi.
Union Minister of State (Independent charge) for AYUSH: Shripad Yesso Naik
India and Republic of Korea Sign MoU in Field of Tourism
The Ministry of Tourism signed an MoU with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Government for the Republic of Korea for strengthening cooperation in the field of Tourism in New Delhi.
Mr KJ Alphons, Union Tourism Minister and Mr. Do Jong-hwan Korean, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sports, Republic of Korea signed the MoU.
Capital: Seoul, Currency: South Korean Won
India, South Korea Sign MoU on Cooperation in Sports
India and South Korea signed an MoU on cooperation in sports in New Delhi. Sports Minister Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore and Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism of South Korea Do Jong-hwan signed the MoU.
The objective of the MoU is to establish a framework to facilitate and promote cooperation between the two countries on the basis of reciprocity and mutual benefit.

November 7

Indian Army conducts Hot Air Ballooning Expedition “Jai Bharat”
To showcase the adventurous spirit of the Indian Army to the youth of the country, the Army Adventure Wing flagged off the event.
Trans India: North-South Hot Air Ballooning Expedition, from Jammu and Kashmir to Kanyakumari, covering a distance of approximately 3,236 kilometers.
As part of the Expedition, the Army will be flying two balloons across the country, touching a total of 31 stations, wherein Aero shows will be conducted by this team.
Election Commission sets up ‘Sangwari’ polling booths in various constituencies of Chhattisgarh to encourage women voters.
The Election Commission has set up ‘Sangwari’ polling booths in various constituencies of Chhattisgarh to encourage women, voters,to exercise their franchise in the Assembly elections.
In Chhattisgarhi dialect, ‘Sangwari’ means friend.
These women-friendly booths will be manned by all-female staff including presiding officers, supervisors and security personnel.
South Korean first lady visited India
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and First Lady of South Korea, Kim Jung-sook inaugurated the Queen Huh Memorial at Queen Huh Park in Ayodhya.
Ayodhya is the symbol of our pride, says Yogi Adityanath
She is also scheduled to participate in Diwali festivities and the ground-breaking ceremony of a memorial for a Korean queen in Ayodhya.
India elected as a member of ITU council for another 4 years
India has been elected as a member of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for another 4 years till 2022.
India ranking third among the 13 countries elected to the council from Asia-Australasia region.
The ITU has 193 member states that elect representatives to the council.
ITU HQ: Geneva, Switzerland
Home Ministry releases Rs. 113 crore to six border states under Border Area Development Programme
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.

November 8

Cabinet approves leasing out of 6 airports under PPP model
The Union Cabinet approved the leasing out of six airports - Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram and Mangaluru - for operation, management and development under the Public Private Partnership (PPP).
The cabinet provided "in-principle" approval for leasing out the airports under the PPP model.
Currently, the airports being managed under the PPP model include Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Cochin.
Cabinet apprised of India joining as Member of Advanced Motor Fuels Technology Collaboration Programme under International Energy Agency
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been apprised of India joining as Member of Advanced Motor Fuels Technology Collaboration Programme (AMF TCP) under International Energy Agency (IEA) on 9thMay, 2018. AMF TCP works under the framework of International Energy Agency (IEA) to which India has "Association" status since 30th March, 2017.

Cabinet approves Laying down procedure and mechanism for sale of enemy shares
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the mechanism and procedure for sale of the enemy shares.
‘In principle’ approval has been accorded for sale of enemy shares under the Custody of Ministry of Home Affairs/ Custodian of Enemy Property of India (CEPI), as per sub-section 1 of section 8A of the Enemy Property Act, 1968.
Department of Investment and Public Asset Management has been authorized under the provisions of sub-section 7 of section 8A of the Enemy Property Act, 1968, to sell the same.
Sale proceeds are to be deposited as disinvestment proceeds in the Government Account maintained by Ministry of Finance.

Cabinet approves filling of Padur Strategic Petroleum Reserves at Padur, Karnataka by overseas National Oil Companies
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the filling of Padur Strategic Petroleum Reserves (SPR) at Padur, Karnataka by overseas National Oil Companies (NOCs).
The SPR facility at Padur is an underground rock cavern with a total capacity of 2.5 million metric tonnes (MMT) having four compartments of 0.625 MMT each. The filling of the SPR under PPP model is being undertaken to reduce budgetary support of Government of India.

Cabinet approves Amendment to the Central Universities Act, 2009 for setting up of Central Tribal University in Andhra Pradesh
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved setting up of a Central Tribal University in Andhra Pradesh.
The "Central Tribal University of Andhra Pradesh" will be set up in Relli village of Vizianagaram District as provided under the Thirteenth Schedule to the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 (No. 6 of 2014).
Cabinet has also approved the provision of funds of Rs. 420 crore for the first phase expenditure towards establishment of the Central Tribal University.

Cabinet approves strategic disinvestment of 100% Govt. of India’s equity in the Dredging Corporation of India Ltd. (DCIL)
Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has given ‘in principle’ approval for strategic disinvestment of 100% Government of India's shares in DCIL to consortium of four ports namely, Vishakhapatnam Port Trust, Paradeep Port Trust, Jawahar Lal Nehru Port Trust and Kandla Port Trust.
Presently the Government of India holds 73.44% shares in Dredging Corporation of India Limited.

Cabinet approves Procurement Quota to M/s ITI Ltd. in procurements made by BSNL, MTNL and BBNL
Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved Procurement Quota to M/s ITI Ltd. in procurements made by BSNL, MTNL and BBNL.
CCEA approved the following proposal of Department of Telecommunications regarding continuation of Procurement Quota for M/s ITI Limited:
To continue the Reservation Quota policy for M/s ITI Ltd. by reserving 30% of the procurement orders placed by BSNL, MTNL and BBNL for M/s ITI Ltd. for the products manufactured by it and for those outsourced items in which there is a minimum 12% value addition by M/s ITI during 2018-19 and 16% value addition in 2019-20 and 20% value addition in 2020-21 and
20% of the orders for the turnkey projects (like GSM network roll-out, Wi-Fi etc. of BSNL & MTNL and BharatNet project network roll-out, etc. of BBNL).

Union Cabinet approves opening up of International Solar Alliance membership to all UN countries
The decision was taken to put solar energy on the global agenda with the universal appeal for developing and deploying solar energy.
International Solar Alliance (ISA) is an alliance dedicated to the promotion of solar energy among its member countries and is headquartered at Gurugram, India.
'Mo bus' service rolled out in Odisha
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched the technology-driven and citizen-friendly Mo bus service featuring free wi-fi, CCTV surveillance, public information display system and on board announcements in the city.
After flagging off the bus service, Patnaik himself travelled in the bus with the passengers from Biju Patnaik International Airport to Odisha Assembly.
The 'Mo bus' service will cover nine routes in the state capital in the first phase.

Over 500 children participated in NMCG’S Bal Ganga Mela in Noida
National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) in partnership with HCL Foundation and German development agency GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) organized “Bal Ganga Mela” at HCL’s Noida campus.
More than 500 children from HCL Foundation-supported government schools in Noida, bridge centres, Power of One community champions and scholars participated in the mela.
The day is symbolic as it marks the declaration of Ganga as the National River of India in 2008 and is dedicated to raising awareness about rejuvenating the holy river and teaching children to become environmentally aware and responsible citizens.

November 9

HC appoints ad-hoc committee for Mumbai Cricket Association
The Bombay High Court set up an ad-hoc (temporary) committee to look after day-to-day functioning of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA).
The high court appointed an ad-hoc committee with MCA chief executive officer CS Naik, Umesh Khanvilkar, Navin Shetty, Shahalam Shaikh and Ganesh Iyer as members.
Umesh Khanwilkar and CS Naik has been given restricted charge of the bank account of the MCA.
The Committee has been directed to submit audited statement of income and expenditure with better particulars to this Court quarterly.
Further, all major decisions regarding MCA have to be taken with the prior consent of the court.

Cabinet clears strategic sale of government stake in Dredging Corporation
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved 100% strategic disinvestment of the government's equity in the Dredging Corporation of India Ltd. Presently, the government of India holds 73.44% shares in Dredging Corporation of India Limited.
Union Cabinet gave its approval to Amendment to the Central Universities Act, 2009 for setting up of Central Tribal University in Andhra Pradesh.
Cabinet also approved leasing out six airports, namely Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram and Mangaluru for operation, management, and development under Public Private Partnership.

November 10

Cabinet approves Agreement between India and Morocco on Mutual Legal Assistance in Civil and Commercial Matters
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the Agreement between India and Morocco on Mutual Legal Assistance in Civil and Commercial Matters.
Salient features:
Service of summons and other judicial documents or processes.
Taking of evidence in civil matters.
Production, identification or examination of documents, recordings.
The execution of a Letter of Request for taking of evidence in civil matters and recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards.

November 11

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the Indian Armed Forces Memorial in France.
The memorial was a tribute to Indian soldiers who lost their lives during World War I.
This is the 1st India-built war memorial in the country.
Naidu said 800,000 Indian troops fought in all the theatres of the war with 1.5 million volunteering to fight.

24th Kolkata International Film Festival begins at Netaji Indoor Stadium, Kolkata.
This festival was inaugurated by Bollywood Actor Amitabh Bachchan in the presence of West Bengal chief minister Mamta Banerjee.This festival will serve as a platform to showcase cinemas across the globe.
Around 171 films and 150 short and documentary films from 70 countries will be screened at the festival.
This edition will also celebrate 100 years of Bengali cinema by screening classics by auteurs.
PM Modi inaugurates first multi-modal terminal in Varanasi
The Prime Minister inaugurated first multi-modal terminal on Ganga river in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.
The Inland Multi-Modal Terminal Port constructed at the cost of 207 crore rupees.
This is the first of the four Multi-Modal Terminals being constructed on National Waterways-I on River Ganga as part of the World Bank-aided Jal Marg Vikas project of the Inland Waterways Authority of India.
The other three terminals are under construction at Sahibganj, Haldia, and Gazipur.
Its objective is to promote inland waterways as a cheap and environmentfriendly means of transportation, especially for cargo movement.
The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is the project implementing agency.
ADB grants Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) $13 million to promote efficient Energyusage in the country
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said it would provide USD 13 million loans to EESL to promote efficient energy usage in India.
ADB and the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) signed a USD 13 million grant, to be provided by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), for the additional financing of an ongoing ADB-supported project that is promoting end-use energy efficiency.
The ADB funding is helping EESL finance energy service utilities for installing established energy-efficient technologies such as light-emitting diode (LED) street-lights with municipalities while exploring newer technologies and their self-sustaining business models.
H.Q: Mandaluyong, Philippines
President: Takehiko Nakao
Founded: 1966
India and Morocco sign agreement on mutual legal assistance
India and Morocco have signed an agreement on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters.
The agreement will strengthen bilateral cooperation and enhance effectiveness and provide a broad legal framework for prevention, investigation and prosecution of crimes as well as in tracing, restraint and conscation of funds meant to finance terrorist acts.
It was signed by Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju and Morocco Minister of Justice, Mohamed Aujjar in New Delhi.
Capital: Rabat
Currency: Moroccan dirham

November 13

Twitter India has launched #PowerOf18 campaign
Twitter India has launched #PowerOf18 campaign aimed at encouraging youth to contribute in public debates and participate in this campaign.
This will serve as resource for young Indians to find more information about elections, support social causes they are passionate about and join public conversation.
Jack Dorsey is the CEO of Twitter

PM Modi Inaugurates Projects Worth Over Rs 2,400 crore in Varanasi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated to the nation several projects including two National Highways and an Inland Waterways Terminal on River Ganga at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.
The total cost of these projects is 2413 crore rupees. The Prime Minister also received the country’s first container cargo transported on inland waterways from Kolkata.
Mr. Modi inaugurated an Inland Multi-Modal Terminal Port constructed at the cost of 207 crore rupees on river Ganga at Ramnagar in Varanasi.

PepsiCo becomes 1st company to use the country’s inland waterways for container movement by transporting products
PepsiCo India has become the first company to use the country's inland waterways for container movement by transporting products from its plant in Kolkata to Varanasi.
This is a significant milestone in the development of the inland waterways and this can be a huge enabler for the consumer goods industry.
Pepsi Co India President and CEO Ahmed El-Sheikh

November 14

Government Sets Up State Of-The-Art National Data Repository
The Government has set up a state of -the- art National Data Repository.
At the DG Carbons Roadshow programme in Abu Dhabi Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan that it is a database of all the geo-scientific data of hydrocarbon resources in the country.
With the introduction of National Data Repository in Indian E&P regime, India has joined the league of countries like UK and Norway which have a National Data Repository for the upstream sector.

Union HRD Ministry launches two new initiatives - LEAP and ARPIT
Annual Refresher Programme In Teaching, ARPIT is an online professional development to enhance the quality of teachers.
LEAP (Leadership for Academicians Programme) is a three weeks flagship leadership development training programme to prepare the second tier academic heads who are potentially likely to assume leadership roles in the future.

Govt. to release Rs 75 commemorative coin
Ministry of Finance will release a Rs 75 commemorative coin on the occasion of 75th anniversary of hoisting of Tricolor for the first time by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose at Port Blair.
The portrait of ‘Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’ saluting the flag with an inscription of both Devanagari script and English writing ‘First Flag Hoisting.
The commemorative Rs 75 coin will be made out of 50 percent silver, 40 percent copper, and 5 percent each of nickel and zinc, and will weigh 35 grams.
This coin will bear the portrait of 'Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose' saluting the flag on the background of Cellular Jail in Port Blair.

38th India International Trade Fair Begins in New Delhi
The 38th India International Trade Fair (IITF) has begun at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.
The 14-day annual event will continue till 27th of November. This year the theme of the fair is 'Rural Enterprises in India'.
Afghanistan is the Partner Country, while Nepal will be the Focus Country. Jharkhand is participating as a Partner State in the event.

November 15

Agriculture Minister launches ‘YuvaSahakar’ scheme
Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh launched a Rs 1000 crore start-up schemeto encourage youth to join cooperative business ventures in agriculture and allied sectors.
The National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) under the agriculture ministry has come up the YuvaSahakar-Cooperative Enterprise Support and Innovation Scheme.
The scheme will be linked to Rs 1000 crore ‘Cooperative Start-up and Innovation Fund (CSIF) created by the NCDC.
Apart from a subsidy for the entrepreneur, the scheme also makes available an interest subvention of 2% per annum.
NCDC is a statutory organization functioning as an apex financialand developmental institution which supports cooperatives in diverse fields apart from agriculture and allied sectors.

UNICEF - Atal Tinkering Lab Hackthon launched jointly by NITI Aayog and UNICEF on Children’s Day 2018
NITI Aayog’sAtal Innovation Mission (AIM) and UNICEF India, have come together on Children’s Day, to provide an open platform to young children of India, to contribute towards sustainable development.
It is a 72-hour problem solving quest whose winners will be announced on 20th of November.
During the Children’s Day Week, from November 14- 20 2018, AIM and UNICEF are jointly seeking linkages to create a platform of innovation.
About UN:
Headquarters: New York City, New York, United States
Head: Henrietta H. Fore
Executive director: Henrietta H. Fore
Founded: 11 December 1946

MoU signed on India-UK Cancer Research Initiative
AnMoU for the partnership between Department of Biotechnology and Cancer Research UK (CRUK) for the India-UK Cancer Research Initiative has been signed in New Delhi.
The India-UK Cancer Research Initiative is a collaborative 5-year bilateral research initiative.
The MoU will focus on affordable approaches to cancer. Both countries will invest £5m each in this 5-year pilot and seek further investment from other potential funding partners.

Govt launches credit scheme for cooperative startups titled ‘Cooperative Enterprise Support and Innovation Scheme’
The ‘Cooperative Enterprise Support and Innovation Scheme’ will be implemented by the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) and Cooperative Startup and Innovation Fund (CSIF).
Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh announced the launch of a scheme that aims to provide cheaper loans to startups in the cooperative sector and those having innovative projects costing up to Rs 3 crore. 

38th edition of India International Trade Fair (IITF) was inaugurated by Union Minister of State for Culture, Mahesh Sharma at Pragati Maidan, in New Delhi.
Theme of the 38th IITF was: ‘Rural Enterprises in India’.
For the 38th IITF, Afghanistan is the Partner Country. Nepal is the Focus Country. Jharkhand is the Partner State.

November 16

NITI Aayog sets up Himalayan State Regional Council
In a bid to ensure sustainable development of the Himalayan region, NITI Aayogconstituted the Himalayan State Regional Council.
The council, which will be chaired by VK Saraswat, Member, NITI Aayog, will consist of Chief Secretaries of the 12 Himalayan States as well as secretaries of central ministries, among others.
It will review and implement identied action points based on the reports of fiveworking groups.
The Council will also act as the nodal agency for sustainable development in the Himalayan region which has 12 States, including Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.

India International Cherry Blossom Festival Held in Meghalaya
The third edition of the India International Cherry Blossom Festival 2018 was held inShillong.
It was inaugurated by the Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma in the presence of Japanese Ambassador to India, Kenji Hiramatsu.
The four-day long festival is being organized by the Forest and Environment Department, Govt of Meghalaya, Institute of Bio-resources and Sustainable Development in collaboration with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.

WCD Ministry approves 3 proposals under Nirbhaya Fund
The Empowered Committee of Officers under Nirbhaya Fund, under the Chairmanship of Secretary, Women and Child Development Ministry approved the following three major proposals:
Law Ministry’s proposal to set up 1023 Fast Track Special Courts (FTSCs) to dispose of pending cases of rape, and POCSO Act across the country. The project has a total financial implication of Rs 767.25 crores.
The Proposal of Home Ministry for procurement of forensic kits for sexual assault cases to kick start usage of such kits in States/ UTsunder Nirbhaya Fund with a total financial implication of Rs 107.19 crores.
The Proposal from Konkan Railway Corporation Limited for setting up video surveillance system at 50 Railway Stations with a total Project cost of Rs 17.64 crores.

November 17

Aadi Mahotsav festival begins in Delhi
The fifteendays Aadi Mahotsav festival has begun in the national capital Delhi. More than 600 artisans from 23 states will participate in the event.
The theme of the festival is 'celebration of the spirit of tribal culture, craft, cuisine and commerce'.
It will feature exhibition-cum-sale of tribal handicrafts, art, paintings, fabric, jewellery and much more through one hundred stalls.
The highlights of the festival will be a fashion show for tribal textiles andtribal cuisines.

India’s first elephant hospital opens in Mathura
India’sfirst specialized hospital for elephants was formally opened by Agra Divisional Commissioner Anil Kumar at Farah block’s Churmura village.
Located close to the elephant conservation and care centre, the hospital isdesigned to treat injured, sick or geriatric elephants and is equipped with a medical hoist for lifting elephants.

WCD Ministry nominates 3 new members of National Commission for Women
Ministry of Woman and Child Development (WCD) has nominated three members to National Commission for Women (NCW) in pursuance Section 3 of the NCW Act.
They are Chandramukhi Devi, SosoShaiza, and KamleshGautam. All three are BJP members.
About NCW:
NCW is a statutory body established under the National Commission for Women Act, 1990. It was established in January 1992 to review constitutional and legal safeguards for women.
Rekha Sharma is current chairperson of NCW.

November 18

PM Modi inaugurates Kundli - Manesar Palwal Western Peripheral Expressway
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the Kundli - Manesar section of the Western Peripheral Expressway.
He also inaugurated the 3.2 kilometer long Escorts Mujesar-Ballabhgarh corridor of the Delhi Metro.
Mr. Modi also laid the foundation stone for Vishwakarma Kausha lVishwa Vidyalaya.
The Western Peripheral Expressway also known as KMP expressway is expected to divert more than 50 thousand heavy vehicles away from Delhi.
The 136-kilometer long six-lane expressway has been built at a cost of over 6400 crore rupees.

India, Morocco signed pacts to combat global terror including ISIS
India and Morocco signed extradition, mutual legal assistance and defence cooperation treaties to jointly fight threats from ISIS under their counter-terror partnership.
The agreements were inked during Moroccan Justice Minister Mohamed Auajjar’s visit to Delhi.

Researchers from IIT Kharagpurhave devised Decision Support System (DCS) to help maximize LPG connections in BPL
Researchers have devised Decision Support System (DCS) to help maximize LPG connections in BPL (Below Poverty Line) households under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.
It is a first of its kind foranalysis of national level energy policy.
This kind of DSS can bedeveloped for various central and state level policies for various commodities like agricultural commodities,Solar panels distributions.

India, France agrees to deepen security co-operation
India and France have agreed to deepen security co-operation, bilaterally and in themultilateral fora, and strengthen strong commitment to combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
Both countries have vowed to get rid of the menace of terrorism.
Both countries have decided to further improve the defence and economic co-operation. Civil nuclear co-operation is an important pillar of the bilateral engagement.

November 19

14th edition of international children’s theatre festival held in New Delhi
Theatre festival for children was held at the Sammukh, Abhimanch, Abhikalp and Little Theatre Group (LTG) auditorium in New Delhi.
It was organized by National School of Drama’s (NSD) Theatre in Education (TIE) Company.
The nine-day theatre festival for children see 21 productions from India and three foreign groups including Sri Lanka (non-verbal), Switzerland (English) and Indonesia (Javanese).
The plays will be performed in vernacular languages like Bengali, Marathi, Assamese, and Malayalam besides non-verbal, English, Hindi and other foreign languages.
Its main aim was to bring theatre into prominence as it has lost its sheen in modern era because of digital medium.

November 20

Industrial Park Rating System to be released by Commerce Ministry
Minister of Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu released report on Industrial Park Rating System at a national workshop in New Delhi.
It is a part of centre’s vision to make India a 5 Trillion Dollar economy out of which 20 per cent is expected to be generated from industries.
It would help increase competitiveness of industries and promotion of the manufacturing sector as it would assess the parks against global standards.
As industrial parks play a major role in the growth of the industrial sector in India, this will help enhance the competitiveness of industries in India.

Govt asks Twitter to ensure 24x7 mechanism for prompt removal of objectionable content
The Union Government has asked the social media platform, Twitter to ensure 24x7 mechanism for prompt removal of objectionable content from their platform as per requirement of law enforcement agencies.
According to an official release, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba asks Twitter officials in New Delhi for effective action against objectionable content.
It was also impressed upon the Twitter representatives that they should improve their system of response to investigations related legal requests of Law Enforcement Agencies.
Twitter C.E.O - Jack Dorsey
Headquarters - San Francisco, California, United States.

November 21

Govt to set up a National Institute of Inter-Faith Studies in Punjab
Union Government will set up first-of-its-kind institute of Inter-Faith Studies in Punjab to promote brotherhood and diversity.
The Centre promoted the event in Punjab to commemorate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.
The institute will be set up on lines of teachings of Guru Nanak Devji who preached qualities of brotherhood, diversity and the concept of unity in diversity and the concept of unity in diversity.

November 22

HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar launched the Institution’s Innovation Council
HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar launched the Institution’s Innovation Council through video conferencing in New Delhi.
The purpose of formation of network of Institution’s Innovation Councils (IICs) is to encourage, inspire and nurture young students by exposing them to new ideas.
 More than one thousand Higher Education Institutions have already formed IICs in their campuses to promote innovation.

Grand challenge for improving Ease of Doing Business in the startup India Portal launched in New Delhi by PM Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a grand challenge, in the Startup India Portal platform, for improving the ease of doing business in New Delhi.
This indicative will invite innovative ideas based on cutting-edge technology to reform government processes and better India’s Ease of Doing Business rank.
This is a step towards PM’s vision of achieving the goal of 50th position in the Ease of Doing Business.

A National Institute of Inter-Faith Studies to be set up in Punjab to commemorate 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak
The Union Minister of Culture, Mahesh Sharma, announced centre’s proposal to set up a first-of-its-kind institute of Inter-Faith Studies in Amritsar.
Punjab as a part of the year-long activities to commemorate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.
It will incorporate studies on the lines of the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev ji.
The main objective is to promote brotherhood and diversity.

J&K governor dissolves state assembly, President’s rule to be imposed
The Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik dissolved the state Assembly with immediate effect after rival alliances staked claim to form the government.
The dissolution was announced through a communiqué that was released by Raj Bhavan.
The governor cited four main reasons for dissolving the Assembly and these include horse-trading and possible exchange of money and the impossibility of forming a stable government by parties with opposing political ideologies.
The governor released the communiqué of dissolution minutes after People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti released a letter on twitter announcing that she would seek to form the government with her traditional rivals, the National Conference (NC) and Congress.

November 23

PM Modi lays foundation stone of City Gas Distribution Projects
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi laid the foundation stones of City Gas Distribution (CGD) Projects in 65 Geographical Areas (GAs) in 129 districts.
The foundation was laid under the 9th CGD (city gas distribution) bidding round recently awarded by Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB), remotely from Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.
The CGD would ensure availability of convenient, environment-friendly and cheaper natural gas for almost half of the country’s population spread across 26 states and union territories upto 9th round.
India is not only focussing on increasing the use and supply of gas, but also on producing gas through agro-wastes and other products and including the same into the CGD network.
Accordingly, the development of CGD networks has been focused to increase the availability of cleaner cooking fuel such as PNG and transportation fuel (CNG) to all the citizens of the country.

Cabinet clears mandatory jute packaging of 100% food grains
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has given its approval to expand the scope of mandatory packaging norms under the Jute Packaging Material (JPM) Act, 1987.
The CCEA approved that 100% of the food grains and 20% of sugar shall be mandatorily packed in diversied jute bags.
The decision to pack sugar in diversied jute bags will give an impetus to the diversication of the jute industry.
The CCEA also approved the establishment of National Facility for Airborne Research with a financial commitment of 130 crore rupees during 2020-21 and beyond.
It will be implemented by the Ministry of Earth Sciences through its institutes namely India Meteorological Department, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting and Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Service.

November 24

New coal blocks found in four eastern states
According to the Geological Survey of India (GSI) report, it has found 44 new coal blocks in four states of Eastern India.
It has located these coal blocks spread across West Bengal's Purulia and Birbhum districts, coal city of Talcher in Odisha, Bihar's Bhagalpur and Jharkhand's East Bokaro and South Karanpura.
Once the mining starts, it will be a massive boost for the economy of the respective states and the country.
The GSI has done National Geo Chemical Mapping (NGCM) of over 1,82,000 Sq km area in the eastern region of the country in the last 10 years to find out the elements which are economically fruitful to the country.

Cabinet extends tenure of Commission constituted to examine issue of OBC subcategorisation
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.
The commission has been formed under Article 340 of the Constitution.
It was tasked to examine extent of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation among castes included in broad category of OBC in central government jobs and educational institutions especially with reference to OBCs included in Central list.

India, Nepal agreed to set up hotline for effective coordination in checking smuggling
India and Nepal decided to set up a hotline to ensure effective coordination to combat smuggling, improve border management and facilitate trade.
The decision was made by Chief of India’s Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, D P Dash and Director General, Customs, Nepal, Toyam Raya.
Both sides discussed measures to increase cooperation along the borders to combat smuggling, improve border management along the borders to combat smuggling, improve border management and facilitate trade.

November 25

UN selects Noida & Greater Noida to participate in Global Sustainable Cities 2025 initiative
The United Nations (UN) has selected Uttar Pradesh's Noida and Greater Noida to participate in its Global Sustainable Cities 2025 initiative.
The twin-cities in Gautam Buddh Nagar district, adjoining the national capital,have been selected in the "University City" category ahead of Mumbai and Bengaluru as the only invitee from India.
Overall 25 cities across the world have been selected in five categories by the UN Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) cities initiative.
The SDGs are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

Maldivian Foreign Minister reached India on 4-day visit
Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid has arrived in New Delhi on a 4-day visit to India. This is the first high-level visit from Male after the new government took office.
Mr. Shahid and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will hold extensive talks on issues of mutual interest.

November 26

Government allows non-transport usage of quadricycles
The government has allowed non-transport usage of quadricycles with a view to providing a safe and cheap mode for the last mile connectivity.
A quadricycle is a vehicle which is of the size of a three wheeler but with four tyres and fully covered like a car but its maximum speed limit and engine capacity are lower than that of a small car.
Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has notified the insertion of the item Quadricycle as a non-transport vehicle under the Motor Vehicles Act 1988.
Quadricycles were only allowed for transport usage under the Act, but now has been made usable for non-transport also.

Government to give 5% subsidy for non-basmati rice exports for four months
The government will give a subsidy of 5 percent for non-basmati rice exports for the four months to 25 March, 2019.
India, the world’s biggest rice exporter, will give incentives for non-basmati rice shipments to help boost flagging overseas sales.
The subsidy will help accelerate exports in the next few months.
India’s non-basmati rice exports have weakened this year despite a weaker rupee that makes the grain cheaper for holders of other currencies.

IFFI nominates 12 movies for ICFT UNESCO Gandhi Medal
The International Film Festival of India (IFFI) has nominated 12 movies for this year’s International Council for Film, Television and Audio-visual Communication (ICFT) UNESCO Gandhi Medal.
Of these 12 films, two are from India and the rest are foreign movies.
The two Indian movies competing for the honour are Tamil film ‘Baaram’ and Ladakhi movie ‘Walking with the Wind’.

November 27

National festival for CCI children ‘HAUSLA-2018’ inaugurated in New Delhi
Women and Child Development Secretary Rakesh Srivastava has inaugurated the
national festival for children living in Child Care Institutions(CCI).
'Hausla 2018' has seen the participation of more than 600 children from CCIs across 18 states.
The theme for the event is 'child safety'.
The objective of the event was to provide a national platform to the children from CCIs to showcase their talent, realise their hidden talents and to take it forward in their lives.

Dr. Rajat Kumar inaugurates the five-day exhibition on 'Our Vote- Our Future'
Dr. Rajat Kumar (Telangana Chief Electoral Officer)has inaugurated a five-day exhibition on "Our Vote- Our Future" organised by the Regional Outreach Bureau of Information and Broadcasting Ministry in Hyderabad.
The aim of exhibition is to encourage people to increase the polling percentage.
46 panels of photos were displayed in the exhibition which depicted the election process and its transformation ever since it started in the country.

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj holds talks with Romanian counterpart
Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu is on an official visit to India. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held delegation-level talks with her Romanian counterpart in New Delhi.
They discussed diversifying the historical relations and boosting cooperation in the fields of agriculture, ICT, health and pharma, education, tourism, and culture.
During the discussions, The EAM of India highlighted the constructive cooperation between the two countries on international and bilateral issues.
Romania Capital: Bucharest, Currency: Romanian Leu

India - China Amends Double Taxation Avoidance Treaty
India and China have signed a protocol to amend the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) for the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.
According to Ministry of Finance, besides other changes, the protocol has the existing provisions for exchange of information to the latest international standards.

November 28

National Projects Construction Corporation Limited (NPCC) has been conferred with the status of Miniratna
The empowerment of Miniratna Status will help NPCC in taking speedy decisions by enhancing the delegation of powers to the Board.
National Projects Construction Corporation Limited (NPCC), a schedule ‘B’ Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under the administrative control of Ministry of Water Resources, was incorporated in 1957.
It is a premier construction company having mandate with creation of infrastructure to provide impetus for economic development of the country.
Chairman & Managing Director -Sh. Manohar Kumar

November 29

NITI Aayog organized the 2nd phase of Urban Water Management in New Delhi
NITI Aayog in collaboration with the Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE) & Temasek Foundation (TF) Internationalorganized the 2nd Phase of Urban Management Programme on ‘Water Recycling and Reuse’ at India Habitat Centre in New Delhi.
This event was in accordance to an MOU signed by the NITI Aayog and TF International to develop recycled water as part of sustainable and diverse water portfolio.
The event focused on capacity building programme on management of water, particularly its recycling & reuse, and its importance for future urban planning and policy.
8 States/UTs were selected for the capacity building workshops through a Challenge Method. They were –Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Meghalaya, Puducherry and West Bengal.
NITI Aayog Chairman - Narendra Modi
Singapore Capital -‎ Singapore, Currency - Singapore dollar

Government brought 2000 Public Authorities Under the purview of RTI Act 2005
The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Dr Jitendra Singh stated that PM Modi led government has brought most of the public authorities under the purview of the RTI act to maintain maximum transparency in the institutions.
The nodal department for the RTI Act is the Department of Personnel and Training (DOP&T), and it has so far inducted nearly 2000 public authorities under the purview of the Act.
Right to Information Act 2005 mandates timely response to citizen requests for government information.

Government launches new initiative to introduce school students to 22 Indian languages
This initiative, which is a part of the Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat programme.
Bhasha Sangam is a programme for schools and educational institutions to provide multilingual exposure to students in Indian languages.
The initiative aims to enhance linguistic tolerance and respect and promote national integration. It also aims to create interest in different Indian languages and instil the curiosity to learn more.
There are 22 languages listed in Schedule VIII of the Constitution but most students are familiar with only one or two languages. Under Bhasha Sangam, the students will now be familiarised with the other languages.

ILBS, Delhi Metro join hands for country-wide hepatitis awareness campaign
Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences has launched a campaign to spread a pan-India awareness about hepatitis disease.
Empowering People Against Hepatitis: The Empathy Campaign was launched at Metro Bhawan, New Delhi in presence of Managing Director of DMRC. Dr. Mangu Singh, and Director ILBS. Shiv Kumar Sarin.
The initiative will help generate awareness about Hepatitis B and C. About 60 million people in the country are inflicted with Hepatitis virus infections which are responsible for liver cirrhosis and cancer.

India, China inked protocol on hygiene and inspection requirements for exports
A protocol on hygiene and inspection requirements for the exports was signed in New Delhi.
The Protocol was made During the visit of Chinese Vice Minister, General Administration of Customs of China Hu Wei who is leading a six-member delegation to India.
The move would enable India to commence export of fish meal and fish oil to China.The neighbouring country has so far not allowed these exports by India.
China imports fish oil to the tune of USD 143.29 million per year and fish meal worth USD 263.43 million.

November 30

8 more States achieve 100% household electrication under Saubhagya scheme
According to Power Minister RK Singh, Eight more States have achieved 100% household electrication under Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (Saubhagya).
The states are Madhya Pradesh, Tripura, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Mizoram, Sikkim, Telangana and West Bengal.
With this, a total of 15 States in the country have 100% household electrication.
Achievement of 100 percent household electrification would be a major milestone in the direction to achieve 24x7 power for all by March 31, 2019.
Around 2.1 crore connections have been released under Saubhagya so far.

Committee, chaired by Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha, suggested measures to tackle crisis in stressed thermal power projects
The High Level Empowered Committee (HLEC) chaired by Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha released its recommendations for stressed thermal power projects.
This committee was set up by Government of India and aimed at suggesting measures to resolve the challenges faced by the thermal projects.
This report focused on 34 thermal power stations, totalling to a capacity of 40 gigawatt (GW), which are entirely fuelled by coal and lignite.

Dr. Ambedkar International Centre (DAIC) and JNU Sign MoU To Facilitate Research Activities & Policy Formulation
Dr. Ambedkar International Centre (DAIC),New Delhi, and Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate and enhance research activities and policy formulation aimed at Socio-economic Transformation and Sustainable Development.
The MoU was signed by Prof. M. Jagadesh Kumar, Vice-Chancellor of JNU and Shri Atul Dev Sarmah, Director of DAIC.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot, Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment.



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