National - 2017 November

November 1

Maximum age of joining NPS increased from 60 to 65 years: Finance Ministry
In continuance of the several initiatives under taken by Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) during the last few years to increase the pension coverage in the country, PFRDA has now increased the maximum age of joining under NPS-Private Sector (i.e. All Citizen and Corporate Model) from the existing 60 years to 65 years of age.
Any Indian Citizen, resident or non-resident, between the age of 60- 65 years, can also join NPS and continue up to the age of 70 years in NPS. With this increase of joining age, the subscribers who are willing to join NPS at the later stage of life will be able to avail the benefits of NPS.
NPS provides a very robust platform to the subscriber to save for his/her old age income security.

Centre allocated Rs 109 cr to promote tourism projects in Puducherry
Central Government has earmarked Rs 109 crores to promote heritage and spiritual tourism projects under ‘Swadesh Darshan’ Scheme in Puducherry.
Announcement in this regard was made by Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy , while addressing public on the occasion of the 63rd Liberation (De facto) day of Puducherry.
Union Tourism Ministry’s Swadesh Darshan Scheme focuses on integrated development of tourist circuits around specific themes.
It is to be noted that Puducherry and its port cities Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam became free from the French rule on November 1, 1954.

Shivaji statue to be world’s tallest at 210m
Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) approved Maharashtra State government’s application to increase the height of the proposed statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (off the coast of Mumbai) from the earlier 192 metres to 210 metres.
Shivaji statue to be world’s tallest at 210m.Maharashtra government has laid out a plan to build a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in the sea off the Mumbai coast, on a rocky outcrop of 15.96 hectares.
With an approval for 210 metres height, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s statue will be world’s tallest statue surpassing the Spring Temple Buddha statue in China which stands 208 metres tall.
As a result of increase in height, the estimated cost to construct this statue has also been revised to Rs. 4000 crore from Rs. 3600 crore earlier.
The Shivaji memorial will also have a temple, hospital and a museum showcasing highlights of Shivaji’s life.

Cabinet approves amendment in the National Council for Teacher Education Act, 1993
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for introduction of a Bill in Parliament to amend the National Council for Teacher Education Act, 1993, namely the National Council for Teacher Education (Amendment) Act, 2017 to grant retrospective recognition to the Central/State/Universities who are found to be conducting teacher education courses without NCTE permission.
The amendment seeks to grant retrospective recognition to the Central/State/Union Territory funded Institutions/Universities conducting Teacher Education Courses without NCTE recognition till the academic year 2017-2018.
The retrospective recognition is being given as a onetime measure so as to ensure that the future of the students passed out/enrolled in these institutions are not jeopardized.

Cabinet approves trade Agreement between India and Ethiopia for strengthening and promoting trade and economic cooperation
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval for the trade Agreement between India and Ethiopia for strengthening and promoting trade and economic co-operation.
The trade Agreement was signed during the State visit of the President of India to Ethiopia.
The trade Agreement will replace the existing trade Agreement signed in 1982. The trade Agreement will provide for all necessary measures to encourage trade, economic cooperation, investment and technical co-operation.

November 2

Inter-State Council reconstituted with PM Modi as chairman
The Inter-State Council, has been reconstituted with Prime Minister Narendra Modi as its Chairman and six Union ministers and all chief ministers as members.
Inter-State Council investigates and advises on disputes between states.
Purpose – discuss and investigate policies, subjects of common interest, and disputes, among states.

Assam signs MoUs with Singapore for skilling state’s youth
Assam government signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) and Terms of Reference (ToR) with Singapore for skilling youth of the state.
The MoU and ToR for North East Skills Centre (NESC) was signed between Skill, Employment and Entrepreneurship Department, of Assam government and ITE Education Service, Singapore in the presence of Foreign Affairs Minister of Singapore Dr Vivian Balakrishnan and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
An MoU for Guwahati City Greening was inked between the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority and Singapore Corporation Enterprise.

Haryana to give lifetime pensions to ‘Hindi Satyagrahis’
The Haryana government today announced lifetime monthly pension of Rs 10,000 for 'Hindi Satyagrahis' and those from the state who were jailed during the Emergency, while also enhanced financial assistance to World War-II veterans and their widows.
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar also announced 10 hours electricity supply to farmers from tomorrow.
The announcements were made during the closing ceremony of the year-long 'Swarna Jayanti' celebrations of the state at Mahabir Stadium.

Karnataka’s Mudhol Hound becomes First Indian Dog Breed to be trained for Army Duty
Karnataka’s Mudhol Hound, an Indian dog breed, is being trained to serve in the Indian Army, making it the First Indian Dog Breed to be trained for Army Duty.
Karnataka's Mudhol Hound becomes First Indian Dog Breed to be trained for Army DutyMudhol Hound.
The Army’s Remount and Veterinary Corps (RVC) centre is training the Mudhol Hound dogs. It has almost completed training six hounds.
After their training, the dogs will be posted in Jammu and Kashmir at the end of 2017. The dogs were native to Karnataka. They were sent to Meerut centre. They have been undergoing intense training for a year.

Government unveils draft norms for drones, proposes unique IDs
The Civil Aviation Ministry released draft norms for the unmanned aircraft systems that stated that, drones for civilian use will require a Unique Identification Number and Radio Frequency tags.
As per the draft norms, Drones require Unique Identification Numbers Drones, Radio Frequency tags and return to home option and anti-collision lights.
Nano drones (weighing below 250 g) are exempted from seeking one-time approval, including the unique number requirement.
Mini Drones (weighing between 2 kg and 25 kg) need to comply with remote pilot approval requirement.
All drones are proposed to be operated in visual line of sight, during day time only and below 200 feet. Drones are barred to be operated within 5 km of an airport.
They are restricted from within 50 km from international border and beyond 500 m (horizontal) into sea along the coastline.
Drones are not allowed within 5 km radius from Vijay Chowk (in national capital) and also from a mobile platform such as a moving vehicle, ship or aircraft.

Odisha imposes 7-month ban on fishing to protect Olive Ridley turtles
To protect the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles that arrive during winters for nesting, the Odisha forest department imposed a seven-month ban on fishing along the coast.
The endangered Olive Ridley turtles arrive every year during winters for mass nesting in Rushikulya river mouth and Gahirmatha marine sanctuary. The restriction has been imposed as per Odisha Marine Fishing Act (OMFA).

November 3

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates India’s first World Food fair
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated ‘World Food India’ 2017 in New Delhi.
India is hosting World Food Fair for the first time.
This three-day-long event (from 3rd-5th November, 2017) has been organised by Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries under the leadership of Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
Over 800 kg khichdi (a traditional Indian dish) will be prepared live at ‘World Food India’ 2017 in a bid to create world record and popularise it as brand India food globally.
Around 7000 stakeholders including Ministerial delegations from a number of countries, global investors and business leaders of major food companies will attend this event.
Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) worth USD 11 billion is expected to sign during the course of this event.

President of India inaugurates 21st World Congress of mental health, calls for fighting stigma
Indian President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the 21st World Congress of Mental Health in New Delhi.
21st World Congress of Mental Health has been organised by the World Federation for Mental Health in partnership with Caring Foundation and other institutions.
This is the firt time, World Congress of Mental Health took place in India.
As per National Mental Health Survey 2016, nearly 14 per cent of India’s population required active mental health interventions.
In India, 22 centres of excellence in the field of mental health are being built under National Mental Health Programme.
Besides, District Mental Health Programme is already being administered in 517 of the approximately 650 districts in India.

India offers to share real-time maritime data
India has made an offer to 10 Indian Ocean littoral States to share intelligence of maritime movements in the Indian Ocean on real-time basis.
Information which India intends to share is pertaining to movement of commercial traffic as well as intelligence.
The information will not have much utility for conventional military purpose, but will help to deal with non-traditional threats arising at sea.
Information would be collated at Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) located outside New Delhi. IMAC is Indian Navy’s nerve centre for coastal surveillance and monitoring.
Indian Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba mentioned that 10 littoral states that were present at Goa Maritime Conclave (GMC) have received this proposal very positively.

All 4 wheel Motor Vehicles sold after 1st December 2017 to be fitted with FASTags
Ministry of Road Transport and Highways notified that, all four-wheel motor vehicles sold on or after 1st December, 2017, will have FASTags fitted on them by the manufacturer of the vehicle or its authorised dealer.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has issued a Gazette Notification regarding this.
All four-wheel motor vehicles sold on or after 1st December, 2017, will have FASTags fitted on them by the manufacturer of the vehicle or its authorised dealer.
In case of vehicles that are sold as drive away chassis without wind screen, FASTag will have to be fitted by the vehicle owner before it is registered.
Amendments have been made to the relevant sections of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 in this regard.

November 4

Government launched Deen Dayal SPARSH Yojana, a scholarship program for school children
Union Minister of Communications Manoj Sinha launched a pan India scholarship program for school children called Deen Dayal SPARSH Yojana to increase the reach of Philately.
Abbreviation SPARSH stands for SPARSH(Scholarship for Promotion of Aptitude & Research in Stamps as a Hobby).Government launched Deen Dayal SPARSH Yojana, a scholarship program for school children
Under this scheme annual scholarships will be awarded to children of Standard VI to IX who have good academic record and are also pursuing Philately.
Such students will be selected through a competitive selection process in all postal circles.

Sonepur cattle fair, Asia’s largest, begins in Bihar
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi inaugurated ‘Sonepur Mela’ (in Sonpur town of Bihar). Sonepur Mela is considered as one of the biggest cattle fair in Asia.
The fair will continue till December 3, 2017.Sonepur cattle fair, Asia's largest, begins in .
It is an annual cattle fair and its origins can be traced to the Mughal era.
’Sonepur Fair’ is also known as ‘Kshetra Mela’. It is conducted at the confluence of Rivers Ganga, Gandak and Mahi.
Cattle traders from all over Asia visit this fair, wherein farm animals including buffaloes, goats, donkeys, rabbits, ponies and Persian horses are displayed and traded.

Road accident victims in Kerala to get free treatment for first 48 Hours
Kerala State Government has decided to formulate a ‘Trauma-Care Scheme’, under which all accident victims in Kerala will be provided necessary emergency care and treatment free-of-cost for the first 48 hours after being admitted to a hospital.
All the expenses incurred by the hospital on treatment of accident victim during first 48 hours will be paid by the Kerala State Government.
Kerala State Government will claim these expenses from Insurance Companies.
Operational details of this scheme will be revealed after Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan holds discussions with insurance companies.
Trauma care facilities will be set up in all government medical college hospitals, district hospitals, taluk hospitals and major private sector hospitals.

PM Shri Narendra Modi inaugurates World Food India 2017
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, inaugurated World Food India 2017, at Vigyan Bhavan in NewDelhi.
The three day mega event has been put together at the initiative of Ministry of Food Processing Industries under the able guidance of Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Smt Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
President of Armenia H.E. Mr. Serzh Sargsyan, Prime Minister of Latvia H.E. Mr. Maris Kucinskis, Dy. Minister for Economic Development, Italy; Mr. Peter Bleser, Vice Minister, Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture, Germany; Mr. Esben Lunde Larsen, Minister of Environment and Food, Denmark were present on the occasion.

November 5

Foundation for Poverty-Free India to be laid by 2022: NITI Aayog
NITI Aayog has in a presentation that, the foundation for freedom from six problems namely poverty, dirt, corruption, terrorism, casteism and communalism will be laid by 2022 when India celebrates 75 years of Independence.
The presentation was published on NITI Aayog website. The presentation was made by NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar.
It talked aboutconnecting all villages with habitations over 500 with all-weather roads by 2019 under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).

First Heli Expo India & International Civil Helicopter Conclave in New Delhi
The 1st Heli Expo India and International Civil Helicopter Conclave-2017 was held at the Pawan Hans Heliport, Rohini, New Delhi.
The 1st Heli Expo India and International Civil Helicopter Conclave-2017 was inaugurated by Uttrakhand Tourism Minister Satpal Maharaja ji.
The theme of this conclave was ‘Enhancing Connectivity’. It was organised by Pawan Hans Limited in association with PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Experts from Industry and Defence Forces and representatives from ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) and SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries attended the conclave.

Assam CM Sonowal launches 647 schemes for development of Majuli
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal launched 647 schemes with a total financial outlay of Rs. 24.57 crore to boost Majuli’s development.
Majuli is is a river island in the Brahmaputra River, Assam. It is India’s first island district and world’s largest river island.
Out of the 647 schemes, 448 schemes are under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme which entails an investment of Rs. 21.90 crore.
Other 199 schemes are to be executed with grants of Rs 2.67 awarded by 14th Finance Commission.

Sikkim to launch second phase of organic movement
Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling announced about a plan to launch a second phase of organic movement in the state.
Sikkim became a fully organic state on 2016.
The second phase of organic movement will be launched to increase large scale production of various produces and create value for the producers by setting up a global supply chain by strengthening an export mechanism
The chief minister strongly encourage the youth of Sikkim to come forward to make a token contribution for a better future of this world by engaging in organic farming as a ‘life saving’ profession so that a message goes across the world that organic way of life can undo damage done by consumption of chemical-laced food.

Army launches joint training node in Meghalaya
The Indian Army launched an independent and fully-integrated Joint Training Node (JTN) at Umroi cantonment, Meghalaya.
The JTN is the first of its kind in eastern command and is different from other joint training centres in Belgaum, Varangte and Bakloh.
The Army has chosen the Umroi cantonment for the JTN keeping mind its proximity to Guwahati and the Shillong airports.
All infrastructure is ecofriendly and confirms to the highest standards maintaining the fragile ecosystem of Umroi Cantonment.

November 6

Financial assistance of Rs 2,302.05 cr for projects under Coastal Berth Scheme
The Ministry of Shipping has taken up projects worth Rs 2,302 crore for financial assistance under the Coastal Berth Scheme of the flagship Sagarmala Programme. The Ministry, after due appraisal in consultation with NITI Aayog and Department of Expenditure, has extended the period of the scheme for three years,and expanded its scope to cover capital dredging at Major Ports and preparation of DPR for coastal berth project.
The projects under Coastal Berth Scheme of the flagship Sagarmala Programme are distributed over eight states with the highest number of projects in Maharashtra (12 projects), Andhra Pradesh & Goa (10 projects), Karnataka (6 projects), Kerala and Tamil Nadu (3 projects), Gujarat (2 projects) and West Bengal (1 project).
Out of the 47 projects, 23 projects worth Rs 1075.61 crore have been sanctioned for total financial assistance of Rs 390.42 crore and Rs 230.01 crore has been released to Major Ports, State Maritime Boards and State Governments. The remaining 24 projects are under various stages of development and process of approval.

Indian Railways launches main arch on world’s highest bridge on Chenab
The Indian Railways has launched the main arch of the world's highest bridge on the River Chenab in Jammu and Kashmir's Reasi district which will provide direct connectivity to the Kashmir Valley.
The iconic bridge will soar 359 metres above the bed of the River Chenab and will be 30 metres higher than the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris.
The bridge forms the crucial link in the 111-km stretch between Katra and Banihal which is part of the Udhampur- Srinagar-Baramulla section of the Kashmir Railway project.

Railways to indroduce Aadhaar-based biometric attendance system for rail employees
The Railway Board issued a letter stating that, it will install Aadhaar-based biometric attendance system in all its zones.
As per the order, the biometric attendance system would be first implemented in the offices of all divisions, zones, Metro Rail Kolkata, railways workshop, factories and production.
In the second phase, it will be implemented in all the offices of Railways, including public undertakings, attached and subordinate offices.
Currently, the system is in practice in the railway board and few zonal headquarters.
It will be monitored by the divisional railway manager’s office. CCTV cameras will be provided with the biometric machine.

President of India visits Guru Ghasidas Jaitkham at Girodhpuri in Chhattisgarh
The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, visited Guru Ghasidas Jaitkham and attended the bhoomi pujan for a Saamudayik Bhavan at Girodhpuri in Chhattisgarh.
According to The President, Guru Ghasidas was a remarkable social reformer among the dispersed community of this region almost 200 years ago. He struggled against social evils and injustice, and fought for the poor and downtrodden.

November 7

Power Ministry sets up panel under P.D. Siwal to probe NTPC’s Unchahar plant accident
A boiler blast accident occurred at NTPC’s Unchahar plant in Raebareli, Uttar Pradesh in which 36 people lost their lives. Union Power Ministry has set up a panel to probe this accident.
Union Power Ministry has set up a committee headed by P.D. Siwal, Member of Central Electricity Authority (CEA) to investigate the causes of this accident and suggest measures to prevent such incidents in future.
Subir Chakraborty, Director-Projects at Uttar Pradesh Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd; L.D. Papney, Chief Engineer, Thermal Engineering and Technology Development Division at CEA and Dhawal Prakash Antapurkar, Director of Steam Boilers, Maharashtra are the other members of this committee.
The committee has been set up under the provision of Electricity Act 2003 and will submit its report within a month.
NTPC has also set up a committee headed by Executive Director (operations) S.K. Roy to investigate this incident.

NDMA conducts brainstorming session on use of UAVs in Disaster Management
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) conducted a one-day national-level brainstorming session on "Application of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in Disaster Management".
The event aimed to build and improve the capacity of stakeholders to use UAVs and related technologies for better disaster preparedness and response.
Underlining the importance of UAV technology for disaster management, Shri R. K. Jain, Member, NDMA, all stakeholders should strive to leverage existing technologies for quick and efficient disaster response.
Shri Jain expressed hope that this event would encourage various stakeholders to collaboratively work towards research and development of UAV technology for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Adequate funds released to States for Rural Development
The Government in the year 2017-18 provided highest ever allocation of Rs. 48,000 crores at BE stage for MGNREGA.
In the year, the allocation to the Department also crossed more than One lakh crores for all programmes put together at Rs. 1,05,442 crores.
The second phase of releases to the states, which starts in September of every year depends on States fulfilling conditions specified in General Financial Rules, which relate to complete financial scrutiny including submission of audited report for the previous financial year.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan Requests State Governments of NCR to take Effective steps to Mitigate Air Pollution
Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, who is currently in Bonn, Germany, to attend the 23rd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework on Climate Change, has requested all the State governments in the National Capital Region of Delhi to take effective steps for mitigating the levels of air pollution and bring them to acceptable levels.
He has also requested for the effective implementation of Graded Response Action Plan, as well as other steps identified in various meetings held by the Central Government with the State Governments to improve the situation.

November 8

Multi-agency group reconstituted to probe Paradise Papers
Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has reconstituted a multi-agency group to monitor investigations related to the Paradise Papers. This multi-agency group will be headed by Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) chairman Sushil Chandra and includes representatives of the Enforcement Directorate.
International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) released ‘The Paradise Papers’, a global investigation that revealed as to how some of the world’s most powerful/famous people and business entities moved money to and from 19 tax havens to evade taxes through trusts, foundations and shell companies.
Information revealed by ‘The Paradise Papers’ is based on leaked data of offshore law firms and the company registries located in world’s most secretive countries. Most of the data leak came from Appleby, a Bermuda-based legal services provider.
The data was procured by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and was shared with ICIJ.

Haryana signs MoU with Art of Living's institute for yoga
The Haryana government signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a training institute of the Art of Living Foundation to help jail inmates to maintain and improve their health and reduce physical and mental stress.
The state government signed the MoU with Vyakti Vikas Kendra India in the presence of Chief Minister Manohar Lal and founder of the Art of Living Foundation Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
Director General (Prisons) K P Singh signed the MoU on behalf of the state government.

Bombay HC allows woman with abnormal foetus to terminate pregnancy at 25 weeks
Bombay High Court allowed a 28-year-old woman to abort her 25-week foetus with neuro abnormalities.
This order by Bombay High Court’s bench of Justices Shantanu Kemkar and Girish Kulkarni was based on a report by government-run JJ hospital which suggested that it is advisable to terminate pregnancy.
The JJ hospital panel examined the pregnant woman and foetus and found that there were multiple neuro and skeletal abnormalities.
The woman had approached Bombay High Court on the grounds that the restriction in law (Medical Termination of Pregnancy is only permissible till 20 weeks of gestation) was causing her mental and physical trauma to know that she would give birth to a baby whose chances of survival were negligible.
Central Government had directed states pursuant to a Supreme Court order, to constitute permanent medical expert boards to study requests for Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) after the statutorily permissible 20 weeks of gestation.

Panel under M Vinod Kumar begins review of GST laws to remove glitches
A committee of government officials has started a review of the laws governing goods and services tax (GST), signalling there is no reluctance to make the regime smoother for businesses, especially the smaller players who have been complaining of a significant increase in compliance burden.
The committee headed by M Vinod Kumar, GST chief commissioner for Karnataka, is looking at the entire gamut of issues.
The government is keen that the recommendations are received at the earliest and it can quickly move the amendments.

Maharashtra govt to set up village climate resilient committees
The Maharashtra state government has decided to set up a committee for the implementation of a Rs.4,000-crore project on climate resilience agriculture in 5,000 villages of 15 districts in the state.
With 82 per cent of the states cultivable area falling under dry farming coupled with consecutive drought, the state government has now decided to push for this project.
The seven-member panel, headed by the Principal Secretary (Agriculture), has been set up with a target of selecting 4,000 drought-prone villages for the implementation of the project.
The committee would select 3,000 villages from eight districts of Marathwada region, while the remaining 1,000 will be chosen from six districts of Vidarbha.
Besides,932 villages facing the challenge of salinity of water are also included in the project.

Kerala government launched ‘She Pad’ scheme for school girls in Kerala
The Kerala government launched a new scheme for school students named ‘She Pad’ in Kerala.Kerala government launched 'She Pad' scheme for school girls in Kerala‘She Pad’ scheme:
According to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the ‘She Pad’ scheme will benefit the girls of classes 6 to 12 in Kerala and will be implemented in 300 schools in 114 panchayats this year.
Free sanitary napkins, storage spaces and environment friendly incinerators at all government-aided schools in Kerala will be provided as part of the project.
Women’s Development Corporation in collaboration with the local governments will be implementing it, this year in 300 schools. This will be expanded to all schools in Kerala in the coming years.

November 9

First ever Nordic-Baltic youth film festival in India
Nordic-Baltic Embassies are all set to host the first ever Nordic- Baltic youth film festival in Delhi in collaboration with India Habitat Centre. Shows will be free of cost.
Nordic-Baltic countries (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden) are tied together geographically and historically through trade, culture and many common yet diverse value systems. Through this film festival, the Embassies of these countries carry the bond further, reaching out to the culturally rich Delhi audiences.

PM Modi flagged off Bandhan Express & Inaugurates two bridges
A new passenger train service, Bandhan Express, between Kolkata and Khulna, Bangladesh was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The three leaders launched the train through a video conference.
Travelling between Kolkata and Khulna, the fully air-conditioned weekly passenger service will run every Thursday from both Kolkata and Khulna.

Delhi govt signs twin city agreement with Seoul
The Delhi government signed a twin city agreement with the Seoul Metropolitan Government for strengthening cooperation in the fields of e-governance, transportation, climate change and smart city.
The agreement - Establishment of Friendship City Relationship - was signed between Seoul (South Korea) Metropolitan Government led by Mayor Park Won Soon and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

President of India to launches Bihar Krishi road map 2017-2022
According to the President,it was a moving and emotional experience for him to come to Bihar for the first time as President of India. He would always remember the regard and affection received from people of all sections and regions of the State during his tenure as the Governor of Bihar.
The President stated that the centenary year of the Champaran Satyagraha is being commemorated from April 2017. As such this was the best time to introduce the new 'Agricultural Road Map' in the interests of farmers.
Mahatma Gandhi had emphasised through the Satyagraha that farmers are at the centre of Indian life and policy making.

Shri Nitin Gadkari directs highways projects around Delhi NCR to take steps to reduce air pollution
According to The Minister of Road Transport & highways, Shipping, Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation Shri Nitin Gadkari, directions have been issued to Project Directors, Contractors and field level officials working on highways projects around Delhi NCR to take stringent steps to check pollution arising out of the construction work.
The steps to be taken in this regard include sprinkling water at all construction sites and camp, covering of dumpers transporting construction material / waste including flyash, in the region, covering of exposed soil at the construction sites and adherence to air quality norms by all plants and machinery.
Field officials have been directed to inspect the construction sites regularly to ensure that all the pollution control measures are adhered to in a strict manner.

November 10

Haryana becomes first state to treat Hepatitis-C patients through oral medicine
Haryana has become the first state in the country to treat Hepatitis-C patients of all categories through oral medicine.
No patient in the state would suffer from Hepatitis-C disease. For the first time, the state government has included oral medicine in government hospitals.
This medicine would be provided free of cost to permanent residents of all categories at district level. This has benefitted lakhs of patients in Haryana.

Cabinet approvesMoU between India and Philippines on agriculture and related fields
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Philippines in the field of agriculture and related fields.
The MoU will improve bilateral cooperation in the field of agriculture and will be mutually beneficial to both countries.
It will promote understanding of best agricultural practices in the two countries and will help in better productivity as well as improved global market access.

Cabinet approves appointment of Second National Judicial Pay Commission for Subordinate Judiciary in the country
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved appointment of Second National Judicial Pay Commission (SNJPC) for Subordinate Judiciary in the country.
The Commission is to be headed by Shri Justice (Retd.J P.Venkatrama Reddi, former Judge of Supreme Court of India. Shri R. Basant, a former Judge of the Kerala High Court is the Member of the Commission.
The Commission will make its recommendations to the State Governments preferably within a period of 18 months.

Cabinet approves continuation and Restructuring of National Rural Drinking Water Programme
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has accorded its approval for continuation and restructuring of National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) to make it outcome-based, competitive and better monitored with increased focus on sustainability (functionality) of schemes to ensure good quality service delivery to the rural population.
A sum of Rs. 23,050 crore has been approved for the programme for the Fourteenth Finance Commission (FFC) period 2017-18 to 2019-20.
The programme will cover all the Rural Population across the country. The restructuring will make the programme flexible, result-oriented, competitive, and will enable the Ministry towards to reach the goal of increasing coverage of sustainable Piped Water Supply.

Cabinet approves Creation of National Testing Agency (NTA) to conduct entrance examinations for higher educational institutions
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved creation of National Testing Agency (NTA) as a Society registered under the Indian Societies Registration Act, 1860, and as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organization to conduct entrance examinations for higher educational institutions.
The NTA would initially conduct those entrance examinations which are currently being conducted by the CBSE.
Other examinations will be taken up gradually after NTA is fully geared up.
The entrance examinations will be conducted in online mode at least twice a year, thereby giving adequate opportunity to candidates to bring out their best.

November 11

Government to adopt land-pooling method for airport expansion
Airports Authority of India (AAI) Chairman, Guruprasad Mohapatra has stated that, Central Government is working on adopting the ‘Land pooling’ methodology as an alternative mechanism for development and expansion of airports.
Under ‘Land pooling’ mechanism, various land owners pool their land and hand it over to the infrastructure development authority.
These land owners get back 60-70% of their land after infrastructure is developed on it. This 60-70% land will have much higher valuation as compared to the total 100% holding before the infrastructure was developed. On the other hand, the 30-40% of land retained by the developer (without paying acquisition cost) is used to fulfill its objective.
Thus, ‘Land-Pooling’, theoretically turns out to be a win-win situation for the land holder as well as for the developer.
‘Land-Pooling’ methodology for urban development has so far been adopted in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Union Cabinet approves Creation of National Testing Agency (NTA)
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved creation of National Testing Agency (NTA) as a Society registered under the Indian Societies Registration Act, 1860, and as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organization to conduct entrance examinations for higher educational institutions.
The NTA would initially conduct those entrance examinations which are currently being conducted by the CBSE.
Other examinations will be taken up gradually after NTA is fully geared up.
The entrance examinations will be conducted in online mode at least twice a year, thereby giving adequate opportunity to candidates to bring out their best.
In order to serve the requirements of the rural students, it would locate the centres at sub-district/district level and as far as possible would undertake hands-on training to the students.

IT employees get nod to set up trade union in Karnataka
The labour commission of Karnataka has certified the formation of the Karnataka State IT/ITES Employees Union (KITU) under the Trade Union Act, 1926, and Karnataka Trade Unions Regulations, 1958.
Since last year, large numbers of IT employees have been approaching the courts seeking solutions for grievances like indiscriminate layoffs and long working hours.
So far, IT employees have been approaching pressure groups such as the Forum for IT Employees (FITE), the National Democratic Labour Front-IT (NDLF-IT) and the Union for IT/ITES (UNITES) for help in fighting legal battles.
The Karnataka State IT/ITES Employees Union (KITU) now formed is backed by the Centre of Indian Trade Union (CITU). CITU is an affiliate of the CPI-M (Communist Party of India-Marxist).

First power plant under PM Ladakh scheme commissioned in Drass
According to The New and Renewable Energy Ministry, the 1.5 Mw small hydropower plant in Biaras Drass of Kargil in Jammu & Kashmir has become the first project to be commissioned under the Prime Minister's Ladakh Renewable Energy Initiative.
The power project will meet normal power requirement of close to 1,000 families.
The Biaras small hydropower project (SHP) of 1.5 Mw was commissioned.
The total cost of the project, fully funded by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, is Rs 17 crore and this is the first project to be commissioned under the Prime Minister's Ladakh Renewable Energy Initiative (LREI).
The plant will power the Drass town in Kargil, which is one of the coldest places in India.

November 12

Odisha, West Bengal to hold joint coastal security exercise
Governments of Odisha and neighbouring West Bengal will soon organize a joint security exercise named as 'Sagar Kavach' to further tighten the existing coastal security mechanism along the 630 km long coastline.
This was informed by Odisha's additional chief secretary, home department, Asit Tripathy after attending a meeting.
Sagar Kavach security exercise is a realistic drill to check the efficacy of the security parameters and preparedness of various security forces like the Indian Navy, Marine police force, Indian Coast Guard (ICG), Forest Department, Fisheries and district administration.

India’s first cartoon network theme park to come up in Surat
Turner International India, the parent entity of Cartoon Network brand has announced that it has entered into a brand partnership with a Gujarat-based private firm to set up India’s first cartoon network theme amusement park in Surat.
India's first cartoon network theme park to come up in Surati. Turner International India has entered into a brand partnership with Rajgreen (Gujarat based real estate, entertainment and hospitality group) for the launch of a 61000 square meter property Amaazia, in Surat.
The amusement park will be set up at an estimated cost of Rs. 450 crore and is expected to be launched in the first quarter of 2019.
Amaazia will have -a theme park, branded by Cartoon Network, a water park, a family recreational hub and a service apartment and retail shopping area.

Third edition of Russian film fest opens in Delhi
After the great success of the first two editions, the third edition of the Russian film festival titled‘Russian Film Days’ is now open for cinema lovers in NewDelhi.
The fest opened in the presence of Russian actress Kseniya Ryabinkina, who worked with legendary actor Raj Kapoor in Mera Naam Joker, actress Hema Malini, who is also the head of Indo-Russian Friendship committee, actor-producer-director Randhir Kapoor and Russian Ambassador to India Nikolay Kudashev and the Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation Vlamidir Medinkiy. They were present there to promote the film Fest in India.
The Russian Film Days commences in Delhi, travels to Mumbai, and concludes at IFFI Goa.
The festival will screen movies across genres like Comedy, thriller, drama, Sci-Fi, etc.

Himachal Pradesh Governor inaugurates traditional Lavi Fair at Rampur
Himachal Pradesh Governor Acharya Devvrat inaugurated the four-day traditional Lavi Fair, at Rampur, around 135 km.
The state is known for its rich culture, customs and traditions, which was evident as people celebrate all religious and traditional festivals with great enthusiasm and fervor.
The fairs and festivals played an important role in preserving the rich cultural heritage of the state and efforts should be made to preserve it and restore its old glory.

November 13

2020 deadline to redevelop 10 railway stations with airport-like amenities
Rail Land Development Authority has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with government owned infrastructure firm NBCC to redevelop 10 railway stations across India with airport-like amenities by year 2020.
10 railway stations which would be redeveloped as per this MoU are Delhi Sarai Rohilla, Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh), Gomti Nagar (Uttar Pradesh), Kota (Rajsthan), Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh), Nellore (Andhra Pradesh), Ernakulam (Kerala), Puducherry, Madgaon (Goa) and Thane (Maharashra).indian-railways
The redevelopment work at these stations will be carried out under a self-financing model through land monetisation, wherein after completion of work, NBCC will be granted rights for commercial usage of land at these stations.

Northeast to get India’s first ever ‘Air Dispensary’
Northeast is set to get India’s first-ever “Air Dispensary” based in a helicopter and the Union Ministry of Development of Northeast (DONER) has already contributed Rs. 25 crore as part of the initial funding.
According to The Union Minister of DoNER, Dr Jitendra Singh, the Air Dispensary plan might be implemented, by the beginning of 2018. As per the plan, helicopter will be based at two locations, namely Imphal in Manipur and Meghalaya in Shillong.
From these two locations, specialist doctors, paramedical staff and necessary equipment, would move into the helicopter and hold a dispensary in different locations across the eight States of North Eastern Region.

4th Annual India-Canada Ministerial Dialogue on Trade and Investment Held in New Delhi
The 4th India-Canada Ministerial Dialogue on Trade and Investment was held in New Delhi.
The Indian Delegation was led by the Minister for Commerce and Industry, Shri Suresh Prabhu while the Canadian side was headed by the Minister for International Trade, Mr. François-Philippe Champagne.
The talks were held in a friendly and encouraging atmosphere covering a host of trade and investment issues.
Both sides recognized that the current bilateral trade is much below the potential between the two world’s robust economies, despite the huge untapped potential for two-way trade and investment.

Shri J P Nadda inaugurates the ‘Transport Ministers` Forum on Road Safety’
All sectors including the health sector need to be fully engaged in responsibility, activity and advocacy for preventing accidents.
This was stated by Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare at the Transport Ministers` Forum on Road Safety’ organised by International Road Federation (IRF).
The political commitment and a will to achieve can bring about significant and rapid decline in road injuries and requires planning at all levels, capacity creation, involvement of all sectors and good data.

Dr. Jitendra Singh emphasises on prevention of diabetes in youth
Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh has emphasized that the message in the years to come for the World, especially for India should be prevention of diabetes in youth.
He emphasised that youth energy of the country should be channelized in healthy and constructive activities.

November 14

Project Saksham – Railways to start 9-month ‘upskilling’ exercise for employees
Indian Railways will start ‘Project Saksham’, India’s largest time-bound ‘upskilling’ exercise, to upgrade the skill sets of its 13 lakh employees. ‘Sakham’ is a Hindi word which translates as ‘capable’ in English.
‘Project Saksham’ will begin in January 2018 and will continue till September 2018. This project comprises training courses and specially designed skill-upgrade modules.
Every employee of Indian Railways, from the rank of a peon to the Railway Board Members, will have to undergo training under ‘Project Saksham’.
Nature of training will depend on the work profile of the employee. This may range from a refresher course to gain information about global best practices in respective work areas or upgrading the skills for those involved in technical work.
Mode of training may either be a five-day on-the-job training, or classroom sessions in Railway Training Centres.

President inaugurates 37th International Trade Fair (ITTF) in New Delhi
President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the 37th India International Trade Fair (IITF) – 2017, at Pragati Maidan, in New Delhi.
The India International Trade Fair (IITF) -2017 is a 14-day event. It is organized by India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO).
The theme for ITTF 2017 is “Startup India: Stand Up India”. Jharkhand is the partner state for the fair and Vietnam is the partner country.
Institutions that are present include self-help groups to big business houses, and from small and medium manufacturing enterprises to digital start-ups.

4th India-Canada Annual Ministerial Dialogue in New Delhi
4th India-Canada Annual Ministerial Dialogue (AMD) begun in New Delhi.
Canadian delegation was led by the Canadian International Trade Minister, François-Philippe Champagne, whereas Union Commerce and Industry Minister, Suresh Prabhu led the Indian side.
Discussions at the Dialogue focused on some of the key commercial drivers to enhance th e India-Canada partnership.
Considering the high potential for bilateral trade between India and Canada, efforts were made to work towards the expeditious conclusion of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA).
Besides, both the sides also explored options to address India’s concerns for Temporary Foreign Workers Programme (TWFP) of Canada, which is affecting the movement of Indian professionals seeking short term visas to Canada.

Delhi Cabinet okays setting up Delhi Village Development Board for civic works
Delhi Cabinet approved to set up Delhi Village Development Board (DVDB) for civic works in rural and urban villages of Delhi.
All 300 villages in the national capital will come under the purview of the board and it will subsume the Delhi Rural Development Board (DRDB) that so far, carried out development works only in rural villages.
DVDB will look after construction of approach roads, link roads, village roads, development of cremation grounds, ponds, water bodies, cremation grounds, parks and other facilities.
Delhi’s Development Minister will be the chairperson of DVDB. Besides, two MLAs nominated by Delhi Government will be vice-chairpersons of the board.
Village Development Committees (VDCs) will be set up to assist in carrying out survey of the villages for assessing the current state of facilities and identifying priority areas for development works.

NGT restricts number of pilgrims visiting Vaishno Devi shrine to 50,000 a day
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) directed that, only 50,000 pilgrims will be allowed to visit the Vaishno Devi shrine in Jammu to avoid any unwanted incidents.
NGT has made clear that, if the number of pilgrims exceeds the prescribed 50,000 count, they will be stopped at Ardhkuwari or Katra town, and will not be allowed to visit the Vaishno Devi shrine.
A new path to the shrine exclusively for pedestrians and battery-operated cars will be opened. No horses or mules shall be allowed on the new route to the shrine and these anmimals shall be removed slowly from the old path also.
It also directed the authorities to impose a fine of Rs. 2,000 on anyone found littering the roads and the bus stop at the nearby Katra town.

November 15

Bihar government to set up ‘State Ayush Society’ to boost alternative medicine
Bihar State Government gave approval for setting up a ‘State Ayush Society’ with an aim to promote the usage of alternative medicine in the state.
Approval for setting up a ‘State Ayush Society’ was given at a State cabinet meeting chaired by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Bihar’s ‘State Ayush Society’ will be set up as part of Central Government’s “National Ayush Mission”. It will be registered under the Society Registration Act.

Union Steel Minister inaugurates Steel Pavilion at IITF 2017
The Union Minister of Steel Shri Chaudhary Birender Singh inaugurated Ministry of Steel’s Pavilion at India International Trade Fair (IITF) 2017 at Pragati Maidan.
The pavilion, where all public sector and major private sector steel companies are jointly participating, is designed on IITF 2017’s theme of Start-Up India.

Pre-ponement of introduction of BS -VI grade auto fuels in NCT Delhi
The Government of India has been making concerted efforts in line with Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s Commitment at COP 21, to reduce vehicular emissions and improve fuel efficiency with an aim to reduce the carbon footprints and keep a healthy environment.
India has followed the regulatory pathway for fuel quality and vehicle emissions standards termed as Bharat Stage (BS).

PM reviews performance of key infrastructure sectors
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, reviewed progress of key infrastructure sectors including PMGSY, housing, coal and power. The review meeting, which lasted for about two and a half hours, was attended by top officials from PMO, NITI Aayog and infrastructure Ministries of the Government of India.
In course of the presentation made by CEO NITI Aayog, it was noted that remarkable progress has been made in several areas. Under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, 81 per cent of the targeted habitations numbering about 1.45 lakh have so far been connected.

November 16

President Ram Nath Kovind launches schemes worth Rs 3,455 crore in Jharkhand
President Ram Nath Kovind launched various schemes and laid the foundation stones of infrastructure projects in Jharkhand.
These schemes and projects are to be carried out at an expenditure of Rs 3455 crore. It is to be noted was 17th Statehood Day of Jharkhand.
President Kovind was the chief guest of the statehood day celebrations organized by Jharkhand State Government.President Ram Nath Kovind launches schemes worth Rs 3,455 crore in Jharkhand
Firstly, he launched Rs 290-crore ‘108 Ambulance’ service in the state. This service will have 329 life support system equipped ambulances which will provide free round the clock service across the state.

Railways plans to equip all trains with Bio-Toilets by December 2018
The target of 100 % completion of installing bio-toilets in the Indian Railway coaches has been advanced.
According to Ravindra Gupta, Member (Rolling Stock), Ministry of Railway, the target for 100 % completion of installing bio-toilets in railway coaches has been advanced to December 2018.
He announced this at an event organised to highlight Railway Ministry’s efforts towards a low-carbon pathway and overall sustainable mobility initiatives in the Indian transport sector.

Karnataka launches project to install WiFi facilities in gram panchayats
The Karnataka government has announced a project to instal WiFi facilities in all gram panchayats across the state. It will initially start with 2,650 gram panchayats.
Karnataka, which is one of the leading states with regard to technology adoption, is taking this initiative a few months before it is set to go to the polls in 2018.
The state, which is also furthering the cause of start-ups, is looking to give a stronger push to the ecosystem.
New-age incubation network centres have been set up in a few colleges across the state, with the aim of encouraging young minds to innovate and invent and become entrepreneurs.

NGT pulls up Amarnath Shrine Board for lack of infrastructure for pilgrims
National Green Tribunal (NGT) rapped the Amarnath Shrine Board for not providing proper infrastructure facilities to pilgrims travelling to Amarnath Shrine.
NGT has directed the board to submit a status report on the same.
Besides, NGT has formed a committee of experts, headed by Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, to recommend an action plan to the board on providing facilities to pilgrims.
In 2012, media reports had claimed that casualties during Amarnath Yatra had gone up due to lack of infrastructure and medical facilities. In wake of these claims, Supreme Court had set up a high-powered committee to recommend measures to prevent casualties.
Based on the recommendations of this committee, Supreme Court had directed Amarnath Shrine Board to improve infrastructure to prevent casualties during the pilgrimage.

Nagaland becomes first North East state to launch PoS for electricity bill payments
Nagaland became the first among the North Eastern states to launch Point of Sale (PoS) for electricity bill payment.
The PoS facility was formally launched by State Chief Secretary, Pankaj Kumar, at Kohima Electrical Sub-division-1.
According to Nagaland's Commissioner and Secretary of Power Department, K D Vizo Through the PoS, a consumer can make cashless payment of the electricity bills, which is in line with the country's digitisation drive.

November 17

Karnataka Assembly passes anti-superstition bill
The Karnataka government's much-hyped anti-superstition bill to prevent and eradicate "inhuman evil practices" was unanimously passed in the Legislative Assembly with some minor amendments.
The Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices and Black Magic Bill, 2017, tabled in the Assembly, states that it intends to protect the common people against "evil" and "sinister" practices.
The bill seeks to combat and eradicate other such inhuman practices propagated and performed in the name of"black magic" by conman with sinister motive of exploiting the common people, thereby destroying the social fabric in the society.

Madhya Pradesh launches Ek Bharat-Shreshtha Bharat Yojana
Madhya Pradesh is the partner state of Manipur and Nagaland under ‘Ek Bharat-Shreshtha Bharat’ Yojana. Thus, Madhya Pradesh State Government has assigned the task of implementing this scheme to Higher Education Department of State.
An 8-member team from Madhya Pradesh has already toured Manipur and Nagaland in this regard.
It has been decided that Madhya Pradesh will participate in Manipur’s Sangai Mahotsav and teams of Manipur and Nagaland will take part in Madhya Pradesh’s Lok Rang and Bal Rang programmes.
Besides, translation work of Nagaland’s books has also been started in Madhya Pradesh. This will provide information to people of Madhya Pradesh about activities and cultural heritage of Nagaland.

Maharashtra government sets up committee headed by Sudhir Shrivastav to curb custodial deaths
Maharashtra government set up a seven-member committee headed by Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Sudhir Shrivastava to recommend ways to stop the custodial deaths.
Minister of State for Home (Rural) Deepak Kesarkar informed that, the committee will recommend measures so that people get proper treatment at police stations.
The committee will also take into account the government circulars issued in the past and the judgments of the high court and Supreme Court.
The number of custodial deaths in Maharashtra has now come down. A survey has revealed that, 57 % of people (victims) do not approach the police to report the crime out of fear that the police might not treat them well.

Highways to be rated on safety features under India Road Assessment Programme (IndiaRAP)
India Road Assessment Programme (IndiaRAP) was launched to rate highways’ safety levels, and to eliminate the most unsafe roads.
The ratings through IndiaRAP are assigned on the basis of the level of safety which is ‘built-in’ to a road for vehicle occupants, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians. Five-star roads are the safest and one-star roads are the least safe.
The IndiaRAP programme is being supported by FedEx Expressand will be hosted by the Asian Institute of Transport Development.
It will work with government agencies and investors, researchers and NGOs to assess existing highways and promote the use of better design to make roads safer.

Maharashtra bans Plastic Bottles at Government Offices, Hotels
Maharashtra government announced ban on plastic bottles, with effect from 18 March 2018, which will cover government offices, functions and state educational institutes before it is extended to private institutes.
Maharashtra bans Plastic Bottles at Government Offices, HotelsMaharshtra bans Plastic Bottles:
Maharashtra Environment Minister Ramdas Kadamannounced the new measures on plastic bottles ban, at a meeting with municipal officials in Mumbai.
Plastic bottles will be prohibited at the Mantralaya the state government headquarters, before the statewide ban comes into effect on Gudi Padwa, the Maharashtrian New Year.

November 18

Punjab Cabinet approves scheme to compensate acid attack victims
Punjab State Cabinet approved ‘Punjab Victim or Their Dependents Compensation Scheme’which stipulates to provide minimum compensation of Rs three lakh to an acid attack victim.
Every year, Punjab State Government’s department of home affairs and justice, will allocate a separate budget to the department of legal and legislative affairs to provide compensation under this scheme.
As per the order of Supreme Court, the state government would provide a minimum compensation of Rs three lakh each to the victims of acid attack. In case of death of such victim, the family will be provided an assistance of Rs. 5 lakh.
Punjab introduces ‘Connect With Your Roots’ scheme for Punjabi youth living abroad
Punjab State Cabinet has approved the “Connect with Your Roots” (CYR) programme to reach out to youngsters of Punjabi origin whose parents, grandparents or great grandparents have settled abroad.Punjab Cabinet approves scheme to compensate acid attack victims.

Delhi govenment to form ‘Mahila Suraksha Dals’ to curb crimes against women in national capital
Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia, the Delhi government would form “Mahila Suraksha Dals” (women protection groups) to curb crimes against women in the national capital.
The government would constitute these teams in coordination with the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW).
According to DCW chief Swati Maliwal, the MSDs would be formed at three places, which were prone to crimes against women, and then it would be expanded across Delhi.

Health Ministry introduces Daily Drug Regimen for treatment of Tuberculosis
The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has recently announced the launch of regimen for TB patients across the country under The Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP).
The Health Ministry has been providing the thrice weekly regimen for the treatment of tuberculosis (TB), however it has decided to change the treatment strategy for TB patients from thrice weekly to daily drug regimen using fixed dose combinations (FDC) for treatment.
This change will bring transformation in the approach and the intensity to deal with this disease which accounts for about 4.2 lakh deaths every year.

Karnataka assembly passes SC/ST promotions bill
Karnataka State Legislative Assembly passed ‘Karnataka Extension of Consequential Seniority to Government Servants Promoted on the Basis of Reservation (To the posts in the Civil Services of the State) Bill 2017’.
Prior to introduction of this bill, Supreme Court had struck down Karnataka Govt.’s provision for providing reservation in promotion for SC/ST employees.
This decision of Supreme Court was passed in response to a civil appeal filed in 2011.
Supreme Court had struck down the provision citing that inadequacy of representation, backwardness and overall efficiency should be determined through proper exercise before providing such reservation.
In wake of this decision, Karnataka State Government formed a committee led by Additional Chief Secretary Ratnaprabha to collate scientific, quantifiable and relevant data.

November 19

India and France to act against Terrorism
India and France decided to strengthen counter-terror cooperation, and asked the international community to oppose the countries which are supporting terrorism by providing financial assistance and shelter to terrorists.
Union External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj held wide-ranging talks with visiting French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian in New Delhi.
Besides holding discussions on key regional and international issues, both the ministers also decided to strengthen cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
Concrete measures to expedite operations at the Jaitapur nuclear power project in Maharashtra were also discussed.
Jaitapur nuclear power project is being developed under Indo-French nuclear cooperation agreement signed in 2008.

Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurates Namami Barak festival
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated the Namami Barak festival at Silchar, Assam.
According to Sarbananda Sonowal, the Namami Barak is organised to revive humanistic values, to discover resources and possibilities of the land.
Also a new train connecting Silchar Dibrugarh – Trivandrum was flagged off. Sonowal added that Dibrugarh and Silchar direct air connectivity has also started.
He requested Minister of State for Railways, Rajen Gohain to start a new train from Saurashtra to Dibrugarh and Silchar.

President Kovind begins his tour to 3 northeastern states
President Ram Nath Kovind began his tour to three northeastern states Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur
Kovind is in Itanagar where he attended the 40th Foundation Day ceremony of Vivekananda Kendra.
After that Mr. Kovind will visit Assam and grace the closing ceremony of the Namami Barak festival in Silchar. He will also attend a civic reception at the Gauhati University.
In Manipur, the President will also inaugurate the Northeast Development Summit at Imphal. He will also visit the INA War Memorial and Museum at Moirang and pay tributes to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose before returning to Delhi.
Moody’s Investors Service upgrades ratings of nine PSU
Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded ratings of nine state-owned firms.
The foreign currency issuer rating of BPCL, HPCL, IOC and PLL was upgraded to Baa2 from Baa3.
The outlook on these ratings have been revised to stable from positive
ONGC’s rating has been upgraded to Baa1 from Baa2.
Ratings of NTPC, NHPC, NHAI) and GAIL India have also been raised to Baa2 stable.

India has maximum number of people without toilets
India, the world’s second-largest country by population, has the highest number of people without basic sanitation, according to a report.
The report says despite immense progress through the Swachh Bharat (Clean India) Mission, more than 732 million people still suffer fear and indignity of relieving themselves in the open or in unsafe or unhygienic toilets- a situation that is worse for women and girls.
In India, a staggering 355 million women and girls are still waiting for a toilet; if they were all to stand in a queue, it would stretch around the Earth more than four times WaterAid’s State of the World’s Toilets 2017 report.
According to the report, after India, China, the world’s most populous country, comes in second, with 343 million people without decent toilets.
Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria, is in the third place.

Government to link 1 billion Aadhaars to 1 billion accounts, 1 billion mobiles
The Centre is planning to implement “1 billion-1 billion-1 billion” connectivity vision, which aims to link one billion Aadhaar numbers to one billion bank accounts and one billion mobiles.
No deadline to achieve the target has been set yet.
The initiative comes after Moody’s Investors Service upgraded India’s bond rating for the first time in 14 years.

November 20

Maharashtra CM launches initiative to curb Childhood Obesity
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis launched a new initiative against childhood obesity, which will directly benefit over 6,000 children in Pune alone by making them aware about their Body Mass Index (BMI).
As per the initiative, a BMI dialler will be given to the schools through which children will be able to know their BMI.
India is the diabetes capital of the world and by 2025 is expected to be the second-largest country with childhood obesity, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Haryana Government’s New Scheme Offers Domestic Power Connections On EMI
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced a new scheme offering Domestic Power Connections in rural areas On Equated Monthly Instalment (EMI).
Currently it costs between Rs. 3000/- to Rs. 4000/- to get a domestic power connection.
Under this new scheme, households in rural areas can pay just Rs. 200 and get a domestic power connection. The remaining amount can be paid in easy instalments of Rs. 100 to Rs. 200.
Haryana State Government has initiated several schemes aimed at reducing losses of State Power Department. In certain villages, where line losses have been reduced by 20 per cent are now getting 24-hour power supply.
Mr Khattar has stated that his government would fulfil its promise to provide 24-hour power supply all over Haryana.

Jammu & Kashmir celebrates ‘Heritage Week’ to preserve, protect its culture
Jammu and Kashmir Education and Tourism Minister Priya Sethi inaugurated ‘Heritage Week’ to generate awareness on preservation of the state’s ancient culture and environment, in Jammu & Kashmir.
Heritage Week is celebrated throughout Jammu and Kashmir. Special programmes are held showcasing the cultural heritage and rich biodiversity of the state.
Illumination of heritage sites, heritage walks and special cleanliness drives are undertaken by involving tourism, culture, education, urban development and other concerned departments.
A symposium and painting competition was held along with a photo exhibition. This will be followed by ‘Food Ethnic Day’ on November 22, 2017.

Government cancels Israeli missile deal worth $500-million
Indian Government has decided to cancel a $500 million deal for procuring Spike ATGM (Anti-Tank Guided Missile) from Israel.
The $500 million deal to procure Spike ATGM form Rafael Advanced Defence Systems of Israel was expected to be signed after price negotiations completed last year.
However, the deal was cancelled as India’s Defence Ministry believes that importing a foreign ATGM at this stage would negatively impact the programme for indigenous development of the weapon system by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
Union Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman wants that Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM) for the Indian Army should be indigenously develop and build by DRDO.
Moreover, DRDO is confident about providing Indian Army with an MPATGM of 3rd generation missile technology, which will be similar to Spike, within three to four years.

November 21

Center signs 4 MoUs with states/UTs under UDAY scheme
Government of India signed four Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) under Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) Scheme with Nagaland, Andaman & Nicobar Islands Dadra & Nagar Haveli & Daman & Diu.
It is to be noted that was the 2ndAnniversary of Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY).
Nagaland, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Dadra & Nagar Haveli& Daman & Diu have joined UDAY scheme only for operational improvement and shall not undergo financial restructuring as per the basic framework of UDAY scheme.
As per the terms of the MoU, Nagaland, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Dadra & Nagar Haveli& Daman & Diu have will now have access to cheaper funds for capital expenditure, reduction in Aggregate Technical and Commercial (AT&C) and Transmission losses, interventions in energy efficiency, etc. during the period of turnaround.

Karnataka Cabinet approves Electronics System Design, Manufacturing policy
The State Cabinet approved the Karnataka Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (KESDM) Policy 2017-22 to give focus to electronic design as a supplement to its existing stronghold on Information Technology know-how.
The policy would enable to establish five hardware accelerators in different parts of the State.
The IT Department was keen on giving emphasis on areas such as electronic system design and manufacturing the latest growing segment in the Information and Communications technology that included chip design, embedded software, large scale integration key in the manufacture of computers, cellphones and other gadgets.

FOGSI launches ‘Manyata’ movement for quality maternal care in India
The Federation of Obstetric and Gynecological Societies of India in partnership with MSD for Mothers, MacArthur Foundation and Jhpiego (an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University), launched 'Manyata' - a nationwide movement urging the need for quality care for mothers during and immediately after childbirth when risks of life-threatening complications are the highest.
The movement was flagged off by Bollywood actor Shilpa Shetty and Pankaja Munde, Minister of Rural Development, Women and Child Welfare, Government of Maharashtra.
Nearly 45,000 women die in India every year during childbirth due to reasons entirely preventable. The movement is based on the premise that culturally in India; pregnancies tend to be focused more about babies than about mothers.
A mother's health is critical and equally precious as her child's health and her well-being, our collective responsibility.

Maharashtra sets up Gender Budget cell for WCD
Maharashtra’s Minister for Finance and Planning, Sudhir Mungantiwar has announced to set up Gender Budget Cells in his ministry for improving coordination and implementation of various schemes of Women and Child Welfare department (WCD) with other government departments.
The Gender Budge Cell will not only ensure quality and effective implementation of WCD schemes but shall also strive to improve its outcome.
It has been decided that Inter-departmental committees will be set up among the concerned departments and each administrative department will have a nodal officer to monitor the implementation of the schemes of WCD.

Shia Waqf Board headed by Wasim Rizvi proposes building Ram Temple in disputed Ayodhya land and mosque in Lucknow
The UP Shia Central Waqf Board (UPShCWB), unveiled a proposed solution for an out-of-court settlement of theRamjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case: a Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya and a mosque in Lucknow.
They were in favour of a grand Ram temple at the disputed Ayodhya land, reiterating that the board was the rightful and only claimant to the land on which the demolished Babri mosque once existed.

November 22

Centre bans artificial lights in mechanised fishing vessels
According to Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, the Centre has banned use of LED lights and other artificial lights on mechanised fishing vessels in order to protect the marine ecology.
The government has also prohibited the practice of bull-trawling, purse seining and gill netting operations in the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) beyond territorial waters. A notification in this regard has been issued on 10th November 2017.
The decision was taken after coastal States, including Goa, made a representation to the Centre to prohibit these activities to save the marine ecology.

Cabinet clears wage policy for CPSEs, offers no budgetary support
Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the ‘Wage Policy’ framework for the 8th Round of Wage negotiations for workmen in central public sector enterprises (CPSEs).
This decision will impact 9.35 lakh unionised workmen in central public sector enterprises.
Wage revision of unionised workmen is decided through negotiations by trade unions and managements of CPSEs.
The terms of guidelines for wage negotiations are issued by the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE).
As per the guidelines, wage revision should not lead to an increase in labour cost per physical unit of output.
However, cases, where central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) are already working at optimum capacity, Department of Public Enterprises should be consulted by the respective administrative ministry/department.

Cabinet approves agreement between India and Philippines on co-operation and mutual assistance in customs matters
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the signing and ratifying of an Agreement between India and Philippines on co-operation and mutual assistance in customs matters.
The Agreement will help in the availability of relevant information for the prevention and investigation of Customs offences. The Agreement is also expected to facilitate trade and ensure efficient clearance of goods traded between the countries.
This Agreement shall enter into force after the necessary national legal requirements for entry into force of this Agreement have been fulfilled by both the countries.

Cabinet approves signing of India - Russia Agreement on cooperation in combating terrorism and organized crime
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing an Agreement on Cooperation between India and Russia in the field of combating all forms of terrorism and organized crime.
The Agreement is proposed to be signed during the upcoming visit of Indian Delegation, led by Home Minister, to Russia.

Cabinet approves continuation of the scheme on Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs beyond the 12th Plan Period
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for continuation of the scheme on Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) for another three financial years (FYs 2017-18 to 2019-20) and providing Grants-in-aid of Rs.18 crore to the Institute.
It will make the Institute self-sustainable by the end of FY 2019-20.

November 23

Cabinet approves India’s Membership for European Bank for Reconstruction & Development
Union Cabinet has approved India’s Membership for European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD). Department of Economic Affairs under Union Ministry of Finance will now initiate necessary steps to acquire the membership.
Membership of EBRD would not only enhance India’s international profile but will also promote its economic interests.
As EBRD’s core operations focus on private sector development in member countries, acquiring its membership would help India leverage its technical assistance and sectoral knowledge for development of private sector within the country.

Cabinet approves setting up of the 15thFinance Commission
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the setting up of the 15thFinance Commission.
Under Article 280 (1) of the Constitution,it is a Constitutional obligation. The Terms of Reference for the 15thFinance Commission will be notified in due course of time.

Cabinet approves Wage Policy for the 8th Round of Wage Negotiations for workmen in Central Public Sector Enterprises
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the Wage Policy for the 8th Round of Wage Negotiations for workmen in Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs).
Management of the CPSEs would be free to negotiate wage revision for workmen where the periodicity of wage settlement of five years or ten years has expired generally keeping in view the affordability and financial sustainability of such wage revision for the CPSEs concerned.

Cabinet approves expansion of umbrella scheme "Mission For Protection And Empowerment For Women" and introducing a new scheme ' Pradhan Mantri Mahila Shakti Kendra'
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for expansion of the schemes of Ministry of Women and Child Development under Umbrella Scheme "Mission for Protection and Empowerment for Women" for a period 2017-18 to 2019-20.
CCEA has also given approval to the new scheme called ‘Pradhan Mantri Mahila Shakti Kendra', which will empower rural women through community participation to create an environment in which they realize their full potential.
Expansion under Beti Bachao Beti Padhao has also been approved based on the successful implementation in 161 districts.

November 24

Indian Railways installs Asia’s largest Solid State Interlocking (SSI) in Kharagpur
Indian Railways has installed Asia’s largest Solid State Interlocking (SSI) system in Kharagpur, which will enable station masters to set 800 different routes for trains in a matter of minutes.Indian Railways installs Asia's largest Solid State Interlocking (SSI) in Kharagpur.
Interlocking is a railway signal apparatus that prevents conflicting movements of trains. Asia’s largest Solid State Interlocking (SSI) system has been installed in Kharagpur at a cost of Rs 39 crore.
The cutting-edge technology replaces the pre-1989 route relay system that only allowed operators to set maximum 423 routes. The new system ensures that no cross-movement takes place.
Also, the SSI software will detect the routes a particular train can take and inform the station masters working at the panel, bringing down the operation time and the possibility of human error.

Centre suggests Odisha to enhance PMGSY target to 10,000 km
The Centre suggested to the Odisha government to enhance its rural road construction target under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) to 10,000 km from 7,000 km during the current fiscal year.
Union Secretary to Rural Development Minister Amarjit Sinha made the suggestions to Odisha after attending a high level review meeting held under the chairmanship of Odisha Chief Secretary A P Padhi.
The Odisha government had earlier set a target to construct 7,000 km roads during this fiscal. So far, around 42,058 km of road have been completed connecting 13,063 habitations under PMGSY.
iii. The field level work is going on for completion of another 14,800 km of road that will connect 3,492 habitations more. These projects would be completed by March, 2019.

Centre Promulgates Indian Forest (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017
According to Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan has under the visionary leadership of the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, the Union Government, in a landmark initiative, has promulgated the Indian Forest (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 to exempt bamboo grown in non-forest areas from definition of tree, thereby dispensing with the requirement of felling/transit permit for its economic use.
Bamboo, though, taxonomically a grass, was legally defined as a tree under the Indian Forest Act, 1927.
Before this amendment, the felling and transit of bamboo grown on forest as well non-forest land attracted the provisions of the Indian Forest Act, 1927 (IFA, 1927). This was a major impediment for bamboo cultivation by farmers on non-forest land.

Dr Jitendra Singh announces exclusive ‘Rural Livelihood’ scheme for Northeast
Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), Dr Jitendra Singh announced “North East Rural Livelihood Project”, an exclusive rural Livelihood scheme for the North-eastern states of India.
Dr Jitendra Singh announces exclusive ‘Rural Livelihood’ scheme for Northeast.
This scheme has been launched to benefit the tribals and the lower socioeconomic groups, including women, in the North-Eastern Region of India.
This project is being supported by World Bank.
Initially, this scheme will be rolled out to help tribal and even the non-tribal lower groups living in remote areas of four North-Eastern Indian States – Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.

Centre announces infrastructure projects worth Rs 1 lakh crore for Tamil Nadu
Central Government approved infrastructure projects worth Rs 1 lakh crore in Tamil Nadu.
These approved projects include highways and shipping as well as projects catering to irrigation and drinking water requirements in Tamil Nadu.
Union Road Transport and Shipping Minister, Nitin Gadkari was on a visit to Chennai on November 23, 2017. During this visit, he announced highway projects worth Rs 40,000 crore under the Bharatmala highway construction program.
Highway projects that have been announced are Chennai- Bengaluru Expressway at an estimated cost of Rs 20,000 crore and three new elevated corridors (Tambaram- Chengelpatu at a cost of Rs 2250 crore, Poonamalee- Maduravoyal at a cost of Rs 1500 crore and the Tiruvallur Corridor at a cost of Rs 1000 crore).
Shipping projects that have been announced will focus on port development and expansion.

November 25

Punjab govt notifies ban on truckers’ cartelization
Punjab State Government notified the ‘Punjab Goods Carriages (Regulation and Prevention of Cartelization Rules), 2017’, banning goods carriage operators from forming cartels in the state.
This notification is aimed at creating a favourable environment for industries and business houses in the state which will encourage industrial and infrastructural investment.
As per the notification, operators and permit holders of goods carriages have been barred from forming a cartels which deny freedom of choice to prospective consignors and consignees .
Besides, operators should not compel or coerce any other operator to become a member or partner with him and should not stop him to pick up goods from any local areas, towns or cities within the State.
In case of violation of these norms, police recourse and penalty in the form of suspension or cancellation of the permit has been prescribed.

India to help Mauritius on digital locker services
The Government of India will assist Mauritius to develop and set up digital locker services.
Accoding to Ajay Kumar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of electronics and IT, Government of India will assist Mauritius to develop and set up digital locker services, on the sidelines of Global Conference on Cyber Space 2017.
The government will offer technical support and advisory services to Mauritius. The decision was taken during a bilateral meeting during the conference.
DigiLocker is a key initiative of the Indian government under its flagship Digital India program. The free service provides citizens a shareable private space on a public cloud wherein they can store their documents.

Assam to celebrate ‘Lachit Divas’ in different state capitals
According to Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal the Assam government would celebrate ‘Lachit Divas’ at various state capitals in India from next year.
‘Lachit Divas’ is celebrated to promote the ideals of Lachit Borphukan – the legendary general of Assam’s history.
Sarbananda Sonowal took part in the Lachit Divas celebration at the statue of Lachit Borphukan at Brahmaputra riverfront on 24th November 2017.

November 26

115 backward districts in India to be transformed by 2022
According to The government, it had identified 115 backward districts for rapid transformation by 2022, in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to create a “New India” over the next five years.
Senior level government officials, at the rank of Additional Secretary and Joint Secretary, have been nominated as ‘Prabhari’ officers for each district.
A detailed briefing of these officials was held under the chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary P.K. Sinha. He advised the Prabhari officers to immediately form a team with state representatives and bring convergence in their effort.
According to Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, 35 districts have been selected on the basis of reported violence by Left Wing Extremists, 55 districts are affected by Left Wing Extremism and another 15, including districts in Jammu and Kashmir and northeast, are affected by terrorism.

30.76 lakh houses sanctioned under PMAY (Urban)
According to Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri, the government has sanctioned 30.76 lakh houses for the urban poor since the launch of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) – Urban scheme in June 2015.
Currently, 15.65 lakh houses are at various stages of construction and about 4.13 lakh houses have been built in the last two years, at a at a national workshop on PMAY (Urban) and Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban), in New Delhi.
The demand for housing is about 12 million and the government has taken a number of initiatives to support segments from infrastructure status to affordable housing.
The workshop was held to deliberate on the issues in the progress of the mission, particularly implementation of the ‘In-situ Slum Rehabilitation (ISSR)’ and‘ Affordable Housing in Partnership (AHP)’ verticals of the scheme.

World’s First 3D Sanskrit Film Anurakthi Screened at 2017 IFFI Goa
The World’s first Sanskrit 3D film‘Anurakthi’ is among the main attraction in 3D category at the ongoing International Film Festival of India in Panaji in Goa.
A team of 10 Sanskrit scholars worked with the filmmaker to help deliver the correct dialogues.
There were also dialect coaches to the actors to perfect the language.
The main challenge for the artists in the movie was to present it in a contemporary setting and ensure the language can be followed by the viewers.
The movie directed by Asokan PK revolves aroundthe traditional art form of Kerala, Koodiyattam.

President of India Inaugurates Constitution day Celebrations; Urges Liberty, Equality and Fraternity Among three Branches of State
The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated the Constitution Day celebrations, organised by the Supreme Court to mark the anniversary of the adoption of our Constitution on November 26, 1949, in New Delhi.
According to The President, our Constitution is not static but is a living document. The Constituent Assembly was conscious that the Constitution would need to be interwoven with new threads.
In a dynamic world, this would be the best way to serve the people and the nation as a whole. As such, over the years, many amendments have been carried out to the Constitution by Parliament.

November 27

Maneka Gandhi launches training program for Elected Women Representatives of Panchayats
The Minister of Women and Child Development, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi launched an intensive training program for Elected Women Representatives (EWRs) of Panchayati Raj Institutions and Master Trainers, in New Delhi.
This capacity building program is being organized by National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development (NIPCCD) of the WCD Ministry which will ultimately train approximately twenty thousand EWRs covering nearly 50 EWRs from each district by March, 2018.

Two-day Korea Tourism Festival 2017 opens in Haryana
A two-day ‘Korea Culture and Tourism Festival’ showcasing Korea’s rich art, culture and heritage was inaugurated in Gurugram, Haryana by Korea Tourism Organisation (KTO) Executive Vice President, Min Hong Min along with Suman Billa, Joint Secretary in the Union Ministry Of Tourism.
Representatives from the regional tourism boards and tourism related organisations of South Korea were present at the inauguration event.
The festival showcased famous tourist destinations, delicacies, art, culture and heritage of South Korea.
Director of Korea Tourism Organisation India (KTO), Jong Sool Kwon, stated that with increased number of Indian tourists to South Korea, travel and tourism service providers in Korea will get more adaptable to Indian tourists’ requirements.

Odisha launches Fish Pond Yojana to increase fish production
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched the ‘Fish Pond Yojana’ while inaugurating a workshop on ‘Doubling of Farmer Income through Dairy and Allied Farming Practices’ in Bhubaneswar.
Aim of this scheme is to boost fish production in Odisha.
The scheme has been launched with a budgetary provision of Rs 96 crore.
Under the scheme, additional 2200 hectare of fresh water aquaculture farming will be created, for which farmers will be given 50 per cent financial assistance from state government.

Shri Rajnath Singh and his Russian counterpart sign an Agreement on Cooperation in Moscow
The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh arrived in Moscow, Russia. He was received by Mr. Igor Zubov, State Secretary and Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation at Vnukovo International Airport, Moscow.
Shri Rajnath Singh met Mr. Vladimir Kolokoltsev, Minister for Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, during which the Ministers emphasized the strength of the relationship between India and Russia that has been consolidated in the past 70 years in all areas.
The Ministers underlined that cooperation in the field of security is an important aspect of this bilateral relationship further strengthen cooperation to combat terrorism, extremism and radicalism.
They agreed that terrorism must be fought unitedly and there were no good or bad terrorists.

November 28

Skill India partners with Airbnb to Upskill Hospitality Entrepreneurs
A tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and Tourism and Hospitality Sector Skill Council (THSC) with Airbnb, the world's leading community-driven hospitality company.
The MoU will provide hospitality skills training to hospitality micro-entrepreneurs in India.
Skill India Mission by bringing in global best practices for the training of small hospitality entrepreneurs.
The domestic tourism has immense potential in India and this partnership will benefit the ecosystem by creating opportunities for women and youth. We will extend all possible cooperation to make India a tourism hotspot.

Manipur CM Biren Singh inaugurates India-Myanmar media interaction programme
Manipur Chief Minister, N. Biren Singh inaugurated a India-Myanmar media interaction programme in Imphal.
Eleven journalists from Myanmar are taking part in this interaction programme.
From the Indian media side, Prakash Dubey of the Editors’ Guild of India and K. Nayar of the Press Council of India were present at this programme.
This event was sponsored by the Manipur tourism department in collaboration with Information and Public Relations department and the state level committee of the Act East Policy.
Mr. N Birnen Singh also announced that his government is trying to introduce a bus service between Manipur and Myanmar to bring the people closer.

First edition of INSPIRE 2017 kicked off in Jaipur
The first edition of the International Symposium to Promote Innovation & Research in Energy Efficiency (INSPIRE 2017) was kicked off in Jaipur.
The symposium is being organized by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) in partnership with The World Bank, and Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy (AEEE).
INSPIRE 2017 is an International Conference that brings together various stakeholders such as policy makers, innovators, financiers, influencers to showcase best practices in the sector.
It provides a platform for energy efficiency community to discuss energy efficiency policies, market transformation strategies, emerging technologies, delivery and business-model driven transformations.

India, Greece sign Air Services Agreement
India and Greece have signed Air Services Agreement (ASA) and MoU on Cooperation (MoC) in field of New and Renewable Energy.
The agreements were signed after bilateral talks between External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj and her visiting counterpart Minister for Foreign Affairs of Greece Nikos Kotzias in New Delhi.
The two ministers held detailed discussion on all aspects of bilateral relationship. They also re-armed commitment to further expand cooperation in mutually beneficial spheres.
ASA is signed between countries to decide on number of flights that airlines can fly into each other’s countries. Under it, there is no restriction on flights or seats. The ASA between India and Greece will allow airlines from Greece to operate unlimited flights to six Indian metropolitan airports and Indian carriers can fly to Greece without any such restriction. It makes Greece first country with which India has open sky arrangement under our new civil aviation policy 2016.

November 29

48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) held in Goa
48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) was held in Panjim, Goa.
This event was jointly conducted by the Union Ministry of Information andbroadcasting, Directorate of Film Festivals and the Government of Goa.
Theme of 48 IFFI was “Celebrating the Future of Cinema”.
First edition of IFFI was conducted in 1952.
Canada the focus country at IFFI 2017.
Canada was the focus country at International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2017.

Centre sanctioned Rs 275 cr for Global Centre for Security and Counter Terrorism
According to state Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria The Centre has sanctioned Rs 275 crore for establishing a Global Centre for Security and Counter Terrorism.
Announcement in this regard was made by Rajasthan Home Minister, Gulab ChandKataria.
Central Government will allocate Rs. 165 crore and Rajasthan State Government will bear Rs 110 crore for setting-up this centre.
It is to be noted that Vasundhara Raje-led BJP government in Rajasthan will complete four years in office.

Health Ministry and ICMR launches India Hypertension Management Initiative
Smt Preeti Sudan, Secretary (HFW) and Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Secretary, DHR and DG, ICMR, launched the India Hypertension Management Initiative (IHMI) at a function.
The IHMI aims to reduce disability and death related to cardiovascular disease (CVD), the leading cause of death in India, by improving the control of high blood pressure (hypertension), reducing salt consumption and eliminating artificial trans-fats, leading risk factors for CVD.
Smt. Preeti Sudan, Secretary (HFW), underlined the various aspects of the non-communicable diseases like prevention, detection and management. She stated that creating awareness about NCDs is vital as it is a silent disease.

SAUBHAGYA Scheme launched in Manipur
The Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (SAUBHAGYA) was launched in Manipur, by Union Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Shri R.K. Singh and Shri N. Biren Singh, Chief Minister of Manipur.
A total of approximately 1.75 lakh households (1.62 lakh rural households and 0.13 lakh urban households) of Manipur are proposed to be included under the Scheme.

November 30

Eastern Railways presses first Swarna Rajdhani rake
The Eastern Railways has pressed India's first Swarna Rajdhani rake.
Indian Railways decided to upgrade Premium Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains under Project 'Swarna'.
Zonal Railways were given a free hand to develop and innovate to create aesthetic and passenger friendly coach interiors on running rakes to establish new standards in passengers comfort. A target budget of Rs. 50 lakh per rake was allowed for this purpose.
The Eastern Railway runs two Rajdhani Express trains and one Shatabdi train which were identified for upgradation to 'Swarna' standard.

HEFA approves projects worth Rs. 2,067 crore in 6 institutions
The Higher Education Funding Agency (HEFA) has approved projects worth Rs. 2,066.73 crore in six institutions with the aim of providing additional funds for research and related infrastructure.
IIT Bombay, Delhi, Madras, Kharagpur, Kanpur and NIT Suratkal are the six institutions for which the HEFA has approved the projects.
The funds would be used to improve the research infrastructure in these institutions, which would help improve their standing at the global level.

India, Italy sign MoU for upgrading medical infrastructure
India and Italy signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for
enhancing bilateral cooperation in the health sector.
This MoU was signed between Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda and the visitingItalian Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin.
The MoU envisages cooperation in health sector by pooling in technical, financial and human resources for accomplishing the ultimate objective to upgrade infrastructural resources, medical education and research in both countries.
Activities to be carried out under the scope of this MoU include exchange and training of doctors, setting up of health care facilities and promotion of business development opportunities in pharmaceuticals.

Army, Rajasthan govt sign MoU to improve infrastructure near border
State Government to improve infrastructure for their posts near the India-Pakistan border.
As per the terms of the MoU, Indian Army will be able to use an airstrip in LalgarhJatan area in Sri Ganganagar district of Rajasthan for 10 years.
Rajasthan State Government has sanctioned funds for this airstrip, which is near the IndiaPakistan border.
Besides, Indian Army can undertake temporary construction work as per their requirement in the border areas of the state.

Defence Ministry approves procurement of 260 naval communication sets
The Defence Ministry approved procurement of 260 naval communication sets at a cost of Rs 490 crore to improvise surveillance on the high seas.
The decision of procuring these 260 naval communication sets was taken at a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
It will be the first batch of indigenously designed and developed “software defined” radio sets. The gadgets will improve information sharing through secure voice communications.data transfer on board the naval ships.
These naval communication sets will replace the old sets. The DAC, the defence ministry’s highest decision making body on procurement, has also reviewed various acquisition programmes.



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