Current Affairs Quick Revision and Reminder (16-31 October 2018)

  • The International Committee of the Red Cross, ICRC has said over 100,000 people around the world are missing, which has created a global crisis. Agnes Coutou, the organization’s protection adviser, told the UN General Assembly’s human rights committee that this is the highest number they have ever had. She added that this is the tip of the iceberg and that it represents only a fraction of those estimated to be missing because of past and ongoing conflicts

  • The 5th National Summit on Good and Replicable Practices and Innovations in Public Health Care Systems in India held at Kaziranga in Assam. Union Health Minister J P Nadda inaugurated the summit.

  • India and Japan signed a currency swap agreement worth $75 billion during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Japan, the government announced on October 29. A currency swap typically involves the exchange of interest and sometimes of principal in one currency for the same in another currency. Interest payments are exchanged at fixed dates through the life of the contract.

  • Lion Air flight JT610, an almost new Boeing 737 MAX 8, was en route to Pangkal Pinang, capital of the Bangka-Belitung tin mining region in Indonesia. Indonesia is one of the world’s fastest-growing aviation markets, but its safety record is patchy. If all aboard have died, the crash will be the country’s second-worst air disaster since 1997.

  • In another landmark initiative for the Northeast, the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh laid the foundation stone of new Science Centre, the “Technology Facility Centre” (TFC) in the premises of the CSIR-North East Institute of Science & Technology (NEIST) in Jorhat, Assam, on October 29, 2018.

  • The Odisha government on October 29, 2018 launched the much-awaited Early Warning Dissemination System, the first-of-its-kind technology in India, to simultaneously warn coastal communities and fisherfolk about impending cyclone and tsunami through siren towers. Sirens will go off from 122 towers installed along the 480-km-long coast of the State if a button is pressed in the State emergency centre in Bhubaneswar.

  • The sail training ship of Indian Navy, INS Tarangini based at Kochi, returned after a seven month long sailing across the world to a grand reception at naval base, Kochi on 30 Oct 18. The Voyage named “Lokayan 18” was flagged off on 10 Apr 18 from Kochi. During the voyage, the ship has proudly ‘shown the flag’ and highlighted the diverse culture of India across 15 ports in 13 countries.

  • Indian Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani on October 29, 2018, unveiled the  blue-nosed ‘ Train 18’  at  Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai. “The cone-shaped frontage is fitted with amenities on a par with the best in the world. The coaches in the fully air-conditioned train are linked with advanced bridge plates, leaving the train free of the shaky gangways Indian train travellers are used to.

  • Deepavali is celebrated in the night to celebrate the home-coming of Rama after slaying Ravana. In the State of Tamil Nadu, Deepavali is celebrated commemorating the death of Narakasura, the Evil, slain by the Goddess in the early hours. In this context the Supreme Court on October 30, 2018 modified its order fixing a time slot of 8 pm to 10 pm for bursting firecrackers on Diwali. The apex court said the timing will be changed in places like Tamil Nadu and Puducherry but will not exceed two hours a day

  • The Supreme Court on October 29, 2018 prohibited the plying of 15-year-old petrol and 10-year-old diesel vehicles in the National Capital Region and directed the transport departments concerned to announce that such vehicles would be impounded if found plying in Delhi-NCR.

  • Ministry of Defence has awarded contract for design, construction and supply of four Survey Vessels for Indian Navy to Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) Limited, Kolkata after it became successful bidder in the competitive bidding.Vessels will be built as per Classification Society Rules and Naval Ship Regulations and will conform to latest MARPOL (Marine Pollution) Standards of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

  • The Kingdom of Netherlands will be the Partner Country 25th DST – CII Technology Summit to be organized in 2019, announced Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences, Environment, Forest and Climate Change on October 30. Dr. Vardhan was speaking at the Curtain Raiser to announce the Silver Jubilee edition of Technology Summit – 2019.

  • Umru village on the Assam-Meghalaya border lacks a road but that doesn’t stop its famous winter visitors — a flock of Amur falcons, the world’s longest travelling raptors. While Doyang Lake near Pangti village in Nagaland’s Wokha district is better known as a stopover for the Amur falcons during their annual migration from their breeding grounds in Mongolia and northern China to warmer South Africa, a flock has been seen since 2010 in Umru. The lack of an access road is not the only problem faced by the villagers. Umru is in Block II, one of 12 disputed areas along the Assam-Meghalaya border, since Meghalaya was carved out of Assam in 1972. Assam claims the village is under Baithalangso Assembly constituency of East Karbi Anlong district while Meghalaya asserts it is under Mawhati Assembly constituency of its Ri-Bhoi district.

  • In Gujarat, an unique Ro-Pax ferry service between Ghogha and Dahej was launched by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on October 27.

  • Andhra Pradesh has achieved the number one rank in the country with an average growth of 10.5% during the last four years. It has surpassed many developed States such as Maharashtra and Gujarat following a “focused approach” and setting high targets for itself. According to the State Planning Department, the average growth in the country stood at 7.3% during the last four years. Probably, Andhra Pradesh is the only State to clock the double-digit growth rate. While Telangana has slipped to the second place, Maharashtra is ranked sixth. Punjab is placed 14th and Karnataka third.

  • Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Smt Harsimrat Kaur Badal on October 29, 2018 inaugurated the first Mega Food Park in Gujarat. Promoted by M/s Gujarat Agro Infrastructure Mega Food Park Pvt. Ltd the Park is located at Village Shah and Vasravi, Taluka Mangrol, District Surat. A 2nd Mega Food Park has been sanctioned by the Ministry in Mehsana District of Gujarat. The Gujarat Agro Mega Food Park will benefit the people of Surat District and the people of nearby Districts of Navsari, Tapi, Narmada & Bharuch. This Mega Food Park has been set up in 70.15 acre of land at a cost of Rs. 117.87 crore.

  • Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will launch Mahila Mall, the first mall in the country with an all-women crew, at 10 a.m. on November 14. Others Ministers of the State Cabinet and senior Kudumbashree officials are expected to be present on the occasion. The mall, a venture of Unity Group under the Kozhikode Corporation Kudumbasree CDS, is in its final stages of completion. It houses business establishments by around 75 women entrepreneurs or groups, including those from the Kudumbasree fold.

  • Pakistan’s human rights activist and lawyer Asma Jahangir has been posthumously awarded the UN Prize along with three other winners on October 26. Rebeca Gyumi of Tanzania, Brazil’s first indigenous lawyer Joenia Wapichana and Ireland’s human rights organisation Front Line Defenders are the other winners of the prize. The United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights is an honorary award given for outstanding achievement in human rights. Before Jahangir three Pakistani women, Begum Ra’ana Liaquat Ali Khan, Benazir Bhutto and Malala Yousufzai have been accorded the honour.

  • Roads within the limits of urban local bodies in Maharashtra will undergo an annual safety audit as per the standards set by the Indian Road Congress in a bid to prevent accidents, and will also be examined twice a year to ensure safety. Following the directions given by the Supreme Court, a high-level committee under the chairmanship of Justice (retd.) Radhakrishnan was set up, and the panel had appointed the Delhi Integrated Multimodal Transport System (DIMTS) to suggest measures to be taken for road safety through a scientific study.

  • Michael D Higgins has been re-elected as the President of Ireland after receiving 56 per cent of the country’s votes in the elections. Businessman Peter Casey came second with 23.1 per cent votes, while none of the other four candidates polled more than 10 per cent. Voters also supported the proposal to remove blasphemy as an offence from the Constitution, with 65 per cent voting yes. Mr Higgins is the first incumbent in 50 years to face a challenge in the bid for a second term. Casey took significantly more votes than the final opinion polls of the campaign had predicted.

  • In Brazil, far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro has won a sweeping victory in Presidential elections. With almost all votes counted, Mr Bolsonaro bagged 55 percent votes against 45 percent for Fernando Haddad from the left-wing Workers Party.

  • The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) recorded the overall Air Quality Index of Delhi at 358 on October 26, which falls in the ‘very poor’ category. An AQI between 0 and 50 is considered “good”, 51 and 100 “satisfactory”, 101 and 200 “moderate”, 201 and 300 “poor”, 301 and 400 “very poor”, and 401 and 500 “severe”.

  • India and Japan have signed six agreements after Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe held talks in Tokyo on October 29. After the 13th bilateral summit, both the sides also made two key announcements on defence and development projects. In defence, it was agreed to establish a 22 dialogue mechanism between the Foreign Ministers and the Defence Ministers of the two countries to augment bilateral defence and strategic ties. In his press statement, Mr. Modi said, the new 22 arrangement is aimed at furthering world peace and stability.

  • Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi on October 26, 2018 inaugurated the 5th edition of Women of India National Organic Fest 2018 in New Delhi. The fest will continue till 4th of next month. Ms Gandhi said that woman farmers and entrepreneurs from across the nation are participating in the festival and selling their produce. For the first time vegan food and food court have been introduced in this edition of the festival. She said nearly 400 groups and companies are participating in the fest to sell their organic produce.

  • Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari will lay the foundation for India’s largest Dry Dock at Cochin Shipyard in Kerala on October 30. The Dry Dock will give an impetus to Make in India initiative under Sagarmala and raise India’s share in global shipbuilding to two per cent. India currently occupies 0.66 per cent share in the global shipbuilding market. The new Dry Dock is being constructed at a cost of 1799 Crore rupees. The project is expected to be completed by May 2021 and generate employment opportunities for about two thousand people.

  • India and Qatar on October 29, 2018 decided to establish a joint commission to strengthen their relations in various fields with a view to furthering the common interest of the people of the two countries.

  • Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan on October 29, 2018 said an Emission testing Facility has been established at CSIR-NEERI and extensive training is in progress for conventional and green crackers for monitoring the emissions and sound. Mr Vardhan stated that CSIR and its networking laboratories have formulated a project to enhance CSIR innovation ability for developing globally competitive technologies for reduced emission fireworks.

     

  • Government has appointed Indian Revenue Service officer Sanjay Kumar Mishra as Enforcement Directorate chief. In an official order, 1984 batch officer Mr Mishra has been appointed as principal special director in the Enforcement Directorate and has been given additional charge of the post of Director for a period of three months or till the appointment of a regular incumbent.
  • Pakistan’s human rights activist and lawyer Asma Jahangir has been posthumously awarded the UN Prize along with three other winners.. Rebeca Gyumi of Tanzania, Brazil’s first indigenous lawyer Joenia Wapichana and Ireland’s human rights organisation Front Line Defenders are the other winners of the prize. The United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights is an honorary award given for outstanding achievement in human rights.

     

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the three-day long Krishi Kumbh 2018 in Lucknow through video conferencing on October 26, 2018. The 3-day-long Krishi Kumbh is having Haryana and Jharkhand as partner states and Japan and Israel as partner countries.

  • India will be the third largest aviation market globally a year sooner than was earlier predicted. It is now expected to be among the top three countries by 2024 from its current seventh position, according to global aviation body IATA. In its latest 20-year forecast for the aviation industry, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) says that air passenger numbers worldwide could double to 8.2 billion in 2037. While China will climb up one spot to displace US as the world’s largest aviation market in the mid-2020s, India will take the third place by surpassing the U.K. around 2024, according to the IATA forecast.

  • To Kill a Mockingbird, a coming-of-age story about racism and injustice, overpowered wizards and time travellers to be voted America’s best-loved novel by readers nationwide. The 1960 book by Harper Lee emerged as No. 1 in PBS’ “The Great American Read” survey, whose results were announced on Tuesday on the show’s finale. More than 4 million votes were cast in the six-month-long contest that put 100 titles to the test.

  • The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated the International Arya Mahasammelan – 2018 today (October 25, 2018) in Delhi.

  • Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has signed a $777 mn deal with Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) to supply additional Barak-8 Long Range Surface to Air Missile (LRSAM) systems for seven warships of the Indian Navy. The LRSAM can intercept aerial targets up to a range of 80 km. It is being co-developed by the DRDO in India and IAI, and will be manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Limited.
  • Global Agriculture Leadership Summit 2018 was organized in New Delhi on October 24-25. The theme of the 2-day summit was, ‘Connecting Farmers to Market’. Inaugurating the summit, Secretary Agriculture and Co-operation Sanjay Agrawal said, several measures are being taken to double farmers’ income by 2022.

  • The South Eastern Railway on October 24 set up a committee to inquire into the circumstances which led to the stampede at the Santragachi station in Howrah district of West Bengal on October 23. Two persons died and more than a dozen were injured in the stampede that broke out at 6.30 p.m. when three trains arrived simultaneously at the station. The four-member panel is headed by J.N. Laldas, principal chief engineer, SER.

  • In Cricket, Indian skipper Virat Kohli today broke Sachin Tendulkar’s record as the fastest batsman to score 10,000 one-day international runs. Kohli went past the 81 he needed against West Indies to go to 10,000 ODI runs in 205 innings, beating Tendulkar who reached the mark in 259 innings. Kohli has become the fifth Indian to reach the mark in ODIs. Apart from Kohli, Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and MS Dhoni have scored over 10,000 runs in ODIs.

  • Minister of Communications Manoj Sinha has said that Indian telecom industry will rollout one million WiFi hotspots in the country by December next year. Addressing the Indian Mobile Congress in New Delhi on October 25, the Minister said, this initiative will allow consumers to access Wi-Fi Hotspots of any of the partnering operators.

  • India and Bangladesh on October 24, 2018 agreed to consider inclusion of Rupnarayan river (National Waterway-86) from Geonkhali to Kolaghatin West Bengal in the protocol route (Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade’). They also agreed to declare Kolaghatin West Bengal and Chilmari in Bangladesh as new Ports of Call. The new arrangement will facilitate movement of flyash, cement, construction materials etc from India to Bangladesh through IWT on Rupnarayan river. Further, both sides agreed to declare Badarpur on river Barak (NW 16) as an Extended Port of Call of Karimganjin Assam and Ghorasal of Ashuganj in Bangladesh on reciprocal basis. The Indian side proposed for extension of the protocol routes from Kolkata uptoSilchar in Assam.

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the constitution of a High Level Steering Committeefor periodically reviewing and refining the National Indicator Framework (NIF) for monitoring of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with associated targets. The High Level Steering Committee will be chaired by Chief Statistician of India (Shri Pravin Pravin Srivastava) and Secretary, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), with the Secretaries of data source Ministries and NITI Aayog as members and Secretaries of other related Ministries as special invitees, with function of reviewing of National Indicator Framework including refinement of the indicators from time to time.

  • The Centre on October 24, constituted a Group of Ministers (GoM) to examine the existing legal and institutional frameworks for dealing with matters of sexual harassment of women at the workplace. The GoM will be headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi will be the members of the GoM. Within three months of its constitution, the GoM will examine the existing provisions for the safety of women and recommend further measures
  • The Seoul Peace Prize Committee has decided to confer the 2018 Seoul Peace Prize on Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, in recognition of his dedication to improving international cooperation, raising global economic growth, accelerating the Human Development of the people of India by fostering economic growth in the world’s fastest growing large economy and furthering the development of democracy through anti-corruption and social integration efforts.

  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on October 24, 2018 launched “Main Nahin Hum” Portal and App on the occasion. The portal which works on the theme “Self for Society” will enable IT professionals and organizations to bring together their efforts towards social causes on one platform.

  • Indu Bhushan is the CEO of the world’s largest government-funded health insurance scheme, the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY), which was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 23. Until his appointment as CEO of PM-JAY, Mr. Bhushan served as director general for the East Asia Department of the Asian Development Bank, before which he worked as a senior economist with the World Bank Group. Here, he explains how the scheme works and the challenges it faces.

  • Students who have enrolled themselves as voters for the first time in Guntur district of Andhra Pradeshh, were provided experience of flying in a hot air balloon. These adventurous rides were part of a novel initiative launched by Guntur Collector Kona Sasidhar to encourage young men and women to enrol themselves as voters as part of Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP), an initiative of the Election Commission of India. Students selected through a draw of lots were given a chance to fly or glide in the sky.

  • Saudi Arabia’s investment conference, also known as “Davos in the desert,” drew thousands of executives, investors and officials on October 23, 2018 despite an exodus of the biggest names following the death of Jamal Khashoggi. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the country’s de facto ruler who analysts and some western politicians have blamed for the Saudi journalist’s death, was greeted with applause when he briefly entered the conference centre in the afternoon.  But unlike at last year’s event, when he was the unrivalled star of the gathering, Prince Mohammed did not speak and left after about 20 minutes. 

  • The direct tax base has significantly widened in the last few years, according to new back series data released by the government. The data showed a growth of more than 80% in the number of returns filed in the last four financial years from 3.79 crore in financial year (FY) 2013-14 to 6.85 crore (these figures include revised returns) in FY 2017-18. Further, the number of persons filing income tax returns also increased by about 65% during this period from 3.31 crore in FY 2013-14 to 5.44 crore in FY 2017-18.

  • A rounded, rocky outcrop covered with metallic shacks, Island rises out of the waters of Lake Victoria like an iron-plated turtle. The densely populated island is barely a quarter of a hectare large. There’s little else but a few bars, brothels and a tiny port. Nevertheless, for over a decade, Migingo has been a source of tension between Uganda and Kenya, who have been unable to decide to whom it really belongs.

  • Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) informed the Madras High Court on October 22, 2018, that an Experts’ Group has been constituted to formulate a draft policy on reducing the weight of school bags in proportion to the age and average weight of children. Prof. Ranjana Arora of the National Council of Educational Research and Training had been named as the convenor of the Experts’ Group. S. Vijaya Kumar, joint commissioner (Academics) of the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan; A.N. Ramachandra, joint commissioner (Academics) of the Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti; and Joseph Emmanuel, director (Academics) of the Central Board of Secondary Education would be members of the group.

  • The Andhra Pradesh government has set its sights on the gaming industry to generate employment and encourage entrepreneurs and game developers in view of its growing importance. It has chalked out plans to launch the ‘Gaming Garage’ in Vijayawada very soon.

  • In Cameroon, Paul Biya, who has ruled the country with an iron fist since 1982,  won seventh presidential term with a landslide victory in a controversial presidential election. Biya had won 71.3 per cent of the ballot in the October 7 election, marred by allegations of widespread fraud, a low turnout and violence in the poll run-up. The Council’s said opposition challenger Maurice Kamto, was a far second with 14.2 percent of the vote.

 

GS TIMES EXAM PLUS


  • Nepal has introduced electric buses on the roads of the capital Kathmandu with Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli emphasising on the operation of such vehicles to deal with the shortage of petroleum products in the land-locked country. Prime Minister Oli inaugurated the electric bus service by travelling on the bus from Pulchok-based Sajha Yatayat premises to the Prime Minister’s Office at Singha Durbar Secretariat.

  • India’s legend cricketer and UNICEF Ambassador for South Asia, Sachin Tendulkar gave away prizes to the winners of South Asia Regional WASH innovation in Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan on October 22, 2018. The event was organised by UNICEF in association with BRAC, a Bangladesh based international organisation. The basic aim of the challenge was to identify innovative solutions to promote the practice of hand washing with soap.

  • The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that the purpose of Science & Technology should be to make common man live comfortably. He was addressing the Maritime Conference SAGAR Discourse 2.0, organized by Forum for Integrated National Security, in Bambolin, Panaji, Goa on October 23, 2018.The term SAGAR – coined by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, means Security And Growth for All in the Region.

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping inaugurated China’s latest mega-infrastructure project on October 23, 2018: The world’s longest sea crossing. The 34.2-mile bridge and tunnel that have been almost a decade in the making for the first time connect the semi-autonomous cities of Hong Kong and Macau to the mainland Chinese city of Zhuhai by road. The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge spans the mouth of the Pearl River and significantly cuts the commuting time between the three cities. The previously four-hour drive between Zhuhai and Hong Kong will now take 45 minutes.

  • The Supreme court on October 23 permitted sale and manufacture of “green” crackers which have low emission across the country. The apex court also fixed the 8 pm to 10 pm time period for bursting of firecrackers on Diwali and other festivals. The court also restrained e-commerce websites like Flipkart and Amazon from selling firecrackers which are beyond the permissible limit. Supreme court said that e-commerce websites will be hauled up for contempt of court if they don’t adhere to court’s direction. On October 9 last year, the Supreme Court temporarily banned the sale of firecrackers ahead of Diwali.

  • A UN-backed fund has approved more than 1 billion dollars for 19 new projects to help developing countries tackle climate change. Officials overseeing the South Korea-based Green Climate Fund said, the funding approved at the meeting in Manama includes projects linked to geothermal energy in Indonesia, greener cities in Europe and West Asia, and protection for coastal communities in India. The officials also agreed to start seeking fresh money next year as its initial capital of about 6.6 billion dollars will soon be used up. The fund, considered a key vehicle for climate-related development programs, was originally meant to receive over 10 billion dollars from rich countries by 2018.

  • Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has issued a national apology to victims of child sex abuse in an address to Parliament, acknowledging that the state failed to stop, what he termed, evil dark crimes committed over decades. Mr Morrison told Parliament in a nationally televised address that acts like these are done by Australians to Australians, enemies in the midst. He said, the nation has failed those who faced sex abuse. The state apology comes after a five-year Royal Commission that detailed more than 15,000 survivors’ harrowing child sex abuse claims involving thousands of institutions.

  • The Insolvency Law Committee set up to recommend amendments to Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code of India 2016, has submitted its second report to the government on October 22. Corporate Affairs Secretary Injeti Srinivas submitted the report to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

  • The Injeti Srinivas committee has recommended the adoption of the UNCITRAL Model Law of Cross-Border Insolvency as it provides for a comprehensive framework to deal with cross-border insolvency issues. It has also recommended a few carve-outs to ensure that there is no inconsistency between the domestic insolvency framework and the proposed Cross-Border Insolvency Framework. The UNCITRAL Model Law has been adopted in as many as 44 countries and, therefore, forms part of international best practices in dealing with cross-border insolvency issues. The advantages of the model law are the precedence given to domestic proceedings and protection of public interest. The other advantages include greater confidence generation among foreign investors, adequate flexibility for seamless integration with the domestic Insolvency Law and a robust mechanism for international cooperation.

  • In February 2016, the Statue of Ahimsa, a 108 ft idol of first Jain Tirthankar Rishabhadev, carved in monolithic stone was consecrated in Mangi Tungi. It is recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the tallest Jain idol in the world.

  • The President on October 22, 2018 delivered an inaugural address on the three-day Vishwa Shanti Ahimsa Sammelan at Mangi Tungi in Nashik district of Maharashtra.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 22, attended the fourth edition of NITI Lecture Series organised at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. The keynote address was delivered by Jensen Huang, President and Co-Founder of NVIDIA Corporation. This year’s theme was ‘Artificial Intelligence for All: Leveraging Artificial Intelligence for Inclusive Growth’.

  • The first India-China high-level meeting on bilateral security cooperation held in New Delhi on October 22. During the meeting, the two sides discussed issues of mutual interest including bilateral cooperation on counter-terrorism and welcomed increased cooperation between India and China in the area of security. An Agreement on security cooperation was also signed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and State Councilor and Minister of Public Security of China, Zhao Kezhi.

  • U.S. President Donald Trump confirmed that the U.S. would pull out of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia, a crucial Cold War-era treaty banning the development, testing and possession of short and medium range ground-launched nuclear missiles with a range of 500-5,000 km. The treaty, signed in 1987, was central to ending the arms race between the two superpowers, and protected America’s NATO allies in Europe from Soviet missile attacks.

  • Tension gripped villages located in Odisha’s Satkosia Tiger Reserve (STR) on October 21 after a man was allegedly killed by Sundari, a tigress brought from Bandhavgarh, Madhya Pradesh as part of a tiger re-introduction programme.

  • The ubiquitous marigold will be the symbol of India’s sacrifices when the world marks the centenary of the end of the First World War on November 11. It was felt that there was a strong need for India to have a uniquely Indian symbol that could allow citizens in India, as well as the international diaspora, to acknowledge the valour and sacrifice of the Indian armed forces in the service of the nation, including those who fell in the two world wars . In line with this, the ‘India Remembers’ project, initiated by the USI, proposed that the marigold flower join the poppy as a uniquely Indian symbol of remembrance.
    More than 56 years after India’s war with China, villagers of Arunachal Pradesh have received nearly Rs. 38 crore as compensation for the land acquired by the Army to set up its bases, bunkers and barracks. After the 1962 India-China war, the Army had acquired huge tracks of land to set up its bases, bunkers, barracks, construct roads, build bridges and other installations. However, no compensation was given to the land owners till last year.


  • As a part of the government’s plan to develop Cruise Tourism in the country, the first cruise service has been launched between Mumbai and Goa. Union Shipping, Ports and Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari launched the service in Mumbai on October 20, 2018. India’s first ever passenger cruise ship service is a joint venture between Mumbai Port Trust and Angriya Sea Eagle Pvt Ltd. The cruise ship Angriya has been named after first Maratha Navy Admiral Kanhoji Angre and the great Angria bank coral reef near Vijaydurg, Maharashtra.

  • Ethiopian teenager Andamalak Belihu overcame stiff competition from compatriot Amdework Walelegn in the men’s elite field to win his maiden Airtel Delhi Half Marathon on October 21, 2018. The 19-year-old Belihu, who finished second last year, improved on his personal best timing to clock 59.18 seconds. However, he was unable to break the course record of 59.06 seconds which still stands in the name of Ethiopia’s Guye Adola, set in 2014. Walelegn clinched the silver, ending the race with a time of 59.22 seconds, while Kenya’s Daniel Kipchumba grabbed the third spot clocking 59.48 seconds.

  • China’s indigenously designed and built amphibious aircraft AG600, touted as the world’s largest, successfully carried out its first take-off and landing tests on October 20. The aircraft took off and later landed on the water in Hubei province’s Jingmen, state-run China Daily reported. The aircraft code-named Kunlong was piloted by four crew members. It will be used for maritime rescue.

  • The flight trial of China’s new-generation stealth bomber Hong-20 may take place soon. A credible strategic bomber is an essential part of the nuclear triad — resting on the bedrock of a full range of nuclear missiles and submarines powered by atomic engines, which can launch nuclear-tipped Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles. China has unveiled the progress on the strategic bomber, apparently the weak link in its nuclear triad, in tune with spiralling tensions with the U.S. There has been considerable media speculation on the range of Hong-20. Most write-ups say new aircraft could fly up to 8,000 km. But there are also other reports in the Chinese media that claim that the plane would in the end have a target range of 12,000 km.

  • Archaeologists have found ancient skulls with a rock clamped between the jaws, and this was supposedly done to prevent the dead from returning as vampires. However, the recent discovery of a body of a 10-year-old at an ancient Roman site in Italy suggests measures were taken to prevent the child, possibly infected with malaria, from rising from the dead and spreading disease to the living. The skeletal remains, which were uncovered by archaeologists from the University of Arizona and Stanford University, along with archaeologists from Italy, included a skull with a rock intentionally inserted into the mouth. It is also called the ‘Vampire of Lugnano’

  • The Prime Minister on October 21, 2018 Shri Narendra Modi,  addressed via video conference, the India Carpet Expo at Varanasi. This is the first time that the India Carpet Expo is being organized at the Deendayal Hastkala Sankul, in Varanasi. The PM mentioned Varanasi, Bhadohi and Mirzapur as important centres of the carpet industry.

  • The Centre has issued the notification that Sessions Courts in 34 states and union territories, will act as Special Courts for the trial of offences under the benami transaction law. In case of National Capital Territory of Delhi, Courts of Additional Sessions Judge in each district have been designated as the special court. Benami transaction refers to transactions made in a fictitious name, or the owner is not aware of the ownership of the property, or the person paying for the property is not traceable. The special courts were notified under the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988 for the trial of offences punishable under the provision of the Act.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the National Police Memorial (NPM) to the nation in New Delhi on October 21, 2018 on the occasion of the Police Commemoration Day. The memorial has been built in recognition of the supreme sacrifice made by police personnel since independence. Mr Modi also laid a wreath at the memorial in respect and memory of the police martyrs.

  • The Police Commemoration Day is observed on this day every year in memory of the policemen martyred at Hot Springs in Ladakh by Chinese troops on 21st October 1959.

  • The Prime Minister announced an award in the name of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, to honour those involved in disaster response operations. The award would be announced every year, recognizing the bravery and courage displayed in saving lives of people, in the wake of a disaster.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 21, 2018 hoisted the National Flag and unveiled the plaque to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the formation of Azad Hind Government at Red Fort in Delhi. The commemoration of this significant historical event also had the presence of INA veteran Lalti Ram, nephew of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Chandra Kumar Bose, Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma and Brigadier R.S. Chikkara among others. The Azad Hind Government, founded on 21st October, 1943 was inspired by Subhash Chandra Bose, who was the leader of Azad Hind Government and also the Head of State of this Provisional Indian Government-in-exile.

  • Global body World Steel Association (worldsteel) on October 18, said it has elected JSW Steel CMD Sajjan Jindal as its treasurer. The association has also appointed Tata SteelNSE 0.05 % MD T V Narendran and ArcelorMittal Chief L N Mittal as its members. The board has elected Andre Johannpeter, Executive VC of Gerdau S A, as the Chairman.

  • The continuing fall of the rupee has had its impact on foreign exchange reserves, which plunged by $5.143 billion to $394.465 billion during the week to October 12 on account of decline in foreign currency assets, according to the RBI data. This is one of the steepest falls that the forex kitty has seen in recent decades.

  • Two days after Ethiopia announced one of the world’s few “gender-balanced” Cabinets with 50% women, Rwanda has done the same. The East African nation late on October 18, 2018 announced that women now make up half of the slimmed-down, 26-seat Cabinet. Rwanda joins a handful of countries, mostly European, where women make up 50% or more of ministerial positions, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union and UN Women.

  • The recent discovery of 1,000 rock carvings on Maharashtra’s Konkan coast is expected to provide new insights into the early history of the region.These petroglyphs are estimated to be 12,000 years old.

  • A mountaineering expedition to two virgin peaks in Gangotri glacier, which are to be named after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, successfully concluded with two teams scaling the peaks. The two peaks, to be named Atal-1 and Atal-2, are at heights of 6,557 and 6,566 metres.

  • Lok Sabha MP from Bihar’s Begusarai, Bhola Singh died in New Delhi on October 19, 2018.
    The 12th Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit concluded in the Belgian capital Brussels last evening. Around 51 Heads of state or government from the European countries and Asian partners, including India, attended the two-day summit.


  • After Katrani rice, Jardalu mango and Magahi paan (betel vine), Bihar’s Shahi litchi has got the Geographical Indication (GI) tag and has become an exclusive brand in the national and international market. The famous Shahi litchi, which is famous for its sweet, juicy, unique flavour and aroma, is mostly grown in Muzaffarpur and neighbouring districts including East Champaran, Vaishali, Samastipur and Begusarai.

  • The European and Japanese space agencies launched their first joint mission to Mercury ‘BepiColombo’ on Oct. 19 (Oct. 20 GMT), but now, the mission’s engineers and admirers have to endure a seven-year wait before the project’s science begins in earnest.The BepiColombo mission has such a long cruise time because it’s actually really difficult to successfully orbit our tiniest planetary neighbor. It’s so difficult that it took until 1985 before an engineer figured out any way to make the orbital trajectories work out properly.

  • Team of scientists at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) peering billions of light years into space have detected the largest, most extensive collection of galaxies ever registered in the early days of the universe, a proto-supercluster, which they nicknamed ‘Hyperion.’ In Ancient Greek mythology, Hyperion was a colossal titan who fathered Helios, the Sun. Superclusters are the largest known system of galaxies.

  • At 5360 above sea level, the world’s highest rail line will be built in India. This will not only be the world’s highest railway track but will also introduce many other facilities for the first time in India. The project will include 74 tunnels, 124 major bridges, and 396 minor bridges, according to the first phase. It will be a 465 km long line to be built at a cost of Rs 83,360 crore. The railway line connects for mountain passes, Rohtang La, Barlacha La, Lachung La, and Tangla La.

  • China is planning to launch three artificial or man-made moon to do away with the need for street lights by 2022. The satellite will be carrying a huge space mirror, which can reflect the sunlight to the earth. The brightness of the artificial moon would be bright enough to replace streetlights . These man-made moons will be launched in 2022.

  • The 12th Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit was held in Belgian capital Brussels. The summit began with the arrival of around 51 Heads of States or Governments from the European and Asian countries including India in Brussels. Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu headed the Indian delegation in the summit. The biennial event with the theme “Global Partners for Global Challenges”, is the highest platform for dialogue and cooperation between Asia and Europe in the areas of trade, investment, security and tourism.

  • Akash Malik became India’s first silver-medallist in archery at the Youth Olympic Games being held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The 15-year-old son of a farmer lost a one-sided final to Trenton Cowles of the USA 0-6 as India concluded the youth Olympics with three gold, nine silver, and one bronze. 

  • China has successfully tested the world’s largest unmanned transport drone which can carry a payload of 1.5 tonnes. A commercial drone Feihong-98 (FH-98) developed and modified by the China Academy of Aerospace Electronics Technology made a test flight in the Baotou site in north China.

  • Canada became the first industrialised nation to legalise recreational cannabis on October 17, 2018. However, its biggest cities like and Vancouver currently don’t have any store selling marijuana. The day was historic for the country as adult Canadians will be able to legally smoke recreational marijuana after nearly a century-long ban.

  • Pakistan authorities have suspended at least 116 police officials, including top officers. According to media reports, this is in connection with the killing of people during a public protest in Lahore in 2014. The incident occurred in 2014 in Model Town area of Lahore where at least 14 people were killed and 100 others injured when the police opened fire to disperse protesting Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) workers during an anti-encroachment operation outside the residence of Canadian-Pakistani cleric Tahirul Qadri.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 18,2018 chaired the sixth meeting of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in New Delhi. Mr Modi reviewed the activities of the NDMA to effectively manage and respond to disasters affecting the country. He also reviewed ongoing projects undertaken by the NDMA.

  • Kerala is set to become the first smoke-free State with public sector oil companies eyeing 100% LPG penetration here. The target has almost been achieved in most villages, mofussil towns and cities.With three bottling plants at Kochi, Kozhikode, and Kollam, LPG is being brought to 49.79 lakh customers.

  • Former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Narayan Dutt Tiwari, passed away in New Delhi on October 18, 2018 after a prolonged illness. He was 93. Narayan Dutt Tiwari served thrice as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and once Chief Minister of Uttarakhand. He also served as Union Minister for External Affairs, Finance, Petroleum and Commerce and Industry. He also served as the Governor of Andhra Pradesh.

  • PIN Code 591310 is the most developed village in the country under the Antyodaya scheme of the Centre. On October 17, Kulgod in Karnataka’s district got ready to celebrate its special status as the results of the village ranking came in. Its score: 94 out of 100. Nestled on the banks of the perennial Ghataprabha river, Kulgod is a clean, green village. It scored high on infrastructure, financial inclusion, women’s empowerment, health and education, among 47 parameters.

  • The Palestinians have won backing to lead the biggest bloc of developing countries at the United Nations, raising their profile at the world body despite opposition from the United States. The General Assembly yesterday voted overwhelmingly to grant the observer-state of Palestine temporary rights to act as chair of the Group of 77 plus China, a bloc that has grown to 134 countries at the United Nations.

  • Anna Burns has become the first Northern Irish writer and the first woman since 2013 to win Britain’s renowned Man Booker Prize for her novel ‘Milkman’. Milkman is an exploration of Northern Ireland’s three decades of sectarian violence told through the voice of a young woman. The novel chronicles the struggles of a middle sister in a family as she confronts rumour, social pressures and politics amid violent sectarian divisions in her community. Burns was born in the Northern Irish capital Belfast in 1962 and now lives in southern England. She had previously authored two novels – ‘No Bones’ and ‘Little Constructions’.

  • A Korean War memorial will be built in to commemorate India’s role in the war which ended in an armistice in 1953. “India and South Korea have agreed on building the war memorial. A Korean War memorial will be built in to commemorate India’s role in the war which ended in an armistice in 1953.

  • NASA’s Chandra X-ray telescope — which observes galaxies from the Earth’s orbit — is back in action after suffering a technical glitch and going into safe mode last week, the U.S. space agency said. The glitch occurred in one of Chandra’s gyroscopes.

  • (Air Quality Early Warning System for Delhi was launched in Delhi on October 15 by the Union Minister for Earth Sciences and Environment, Dr. Harsh Vardhan . Early Warning System can predict extreme air pollution events 72 hours in advance and give necessary alerts. The System is designed to predict extreme air pollution events and give alerts to take necessary steps as per Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) of the Government of India. The air pollution system has been developed jointly by the scientists at Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, India Meteorological Department and National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF)

  • The Indian Navy’s submarine rescue capabilities have got a boost with the successful maiden trials of its newly inducted Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV). The Western Naval Command conducted the trials of the DSRV, which carried out an operation with a bottomed submarine at a depth of over 300 feet and transferred personnel from the submarine to the rescue vehicle. DSRV, operated by a crew of three, can rescue 14 personnel from a disabled submarine at one time.

  • Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, has topped the first-ever standalone ranking of Indian higher education institutions by QS, a think tank that is famous for bringing out world rankings of institutions. Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, which tops Indian institutions in almost all rankings, stands second. The top 10 Indian institutions include seven IITs, with the IITs at Madras, Delhi, Kharagpur and Kanpur standing third, fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively, in the rankings.

  • RBI has approved Sandeep Bakshi’s appointment as Managing Director and CEO of the ICICI bank for three years. After resignation of Chanda Kochhar, who was facing an inquiry, earlier this month, the bank’s board had elevated Chief Operating Officer Bakshi as the new managing director and CEO. Bakshi had joined the group in 1986. Facing enquiry over the charges of nepotism and conflict of interest, ICICI Bank’s former MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar had quit the bank on 4th October, six months before her current tenure was to end.

  • North Korea, South Korea and the US-led United Nations Command on October 16, 2018 began talks on demilitarising a section of the heavily fortified border dividing the peninsula. The first meeting between the South, North and the UNC on disarming the Joint Security Area (JSA) was held at Panmunjom.The JSA, also known as the truce village of Panmunjom, is the only spot along the 250-kilometre frontier where troops from the two countries stand face to face. It was a designated neutral zone until 1976, when North Korean soldiers attacked a work party trying to chop down a tree inside the Demilitarized Zone, leaving two US army officers dead.

  • Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on October 16, 2018 unveiled a downsized cabinet where, in a first, half the members are women. Abiy’s Chief of Staff Fitsum Arega said that women occupy key positions in the 20-member Cabinet that includes a newly created Ministry of Peace to oversee the federal police and intelligence agencies. The previous Cabinet had 28 ministers, of which only five were women.

  • The co-founder of Microsoft, Paul G. Allen, has died of cancer aged 65. He breathed his last in Seattle, Washington on October 15. Paul had helped usher in the personal computing revolution and then channeled his enormous fortune into transforming Seattle into a cultural destination. He left Microsoft in 1982 after cancer first appeared. He was a philanthropist and also the owner of the National Basketball Association’s Portland Trail Blazers, the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and had a stake in Seattle’s Sounders soccer team.

  • The festival of Fulpati was celebrated with traditional gaiety and religious fervour in various parts of Nepal on October 15, 2018. Fulpati is observed on the seventh day of Dashain festival. In Nepali, “Phool” means flower and “Pati” means leaves and plants. There is a tradition in Nepal to bring nine types of Fulpati into the home on the seventh day of Navaratri. It is believed that Fulpati represents nine Goddess and they brings health, wealth and prosperity to the homes. The tradition started during the period of King Prithvi Narayan Shah.

  • Defence Minister Nimala Sitharaman on October 16, 2018 dedicated a DRDO website ‘The Kalam Vision – Dare to Dream’ to former president and ‘Missile Man’ Dr APJ Abdul Kalam in New Delhi. The website was launched on the 87th birth anniversary of the former president and it focuses on subjects such as artificial intelligence, robotics, autonomous systems and cyber security.It will also facilitate an open competition for students and startups.

  • Government has announced 100 crore rupee award for states that would complete the household electrification early under the Saubhagaya scheme. Apart from discoms, employees would also collectively get 50 lakh rupees award for completing the task of electrifying households under the scheme which was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September last year. Some of the states have already achieved almost 99 per cent of household electrification work and those states would be kept out of the award scheme. The states are Gujarat, Punjab, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh.

  • World Food Day was celebrated on October 16. This year theme was: Out Actions are future. On the occasion of World Food Day, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh inaugurated a two-day Agri-startup and Entrepreneurship in New Delhi on October 16, 2018.

  • Uttar Pradesh cabinet on Octobe 16, 2018 decided to change the name of Allahabad city to Prayagraj. The move was announced by the state Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh. Mr Singh said, all departments including Railways, would be asked to change the name. 

  • India will soon set up a special UAE desk to facilitate investments and resolve any business issues between the two nations. Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu made the announcement after co-chairing the sixth meeting of UAE-India High-Level Joint Task Force on Investments in Mumbai on October 15, 2018.

  • In Cricket, India has swept the test series 2-0 against West Indies, winning the second and final match by 10 wickets in Hyderabad yesterday. For India, it is their 10th Series win at home since their last defeat against England way back in 2012. Umesh Yadav was declared Player of the Match for his maiden 10-wicket haul and Prithvi Shaw Player of the series.

  • Indian tennis legend Leander Paes won his second Challenger-level title of the season, lifting the Santo Domingo Open trophy with partner Miguel Angel Reyyes-Varela.

  • Theresa May has appointed the first minister dedicated to reducing the scourge of suicides across the country. The PM has promoted junior health minister Jackie Doyle-Price and pledged £1.8million to fund The Samaritans helpline for four years.

  • Mahila Kisan Diwas was celebrated on October 15, 2018 to increase the active participation of women in agriculture. In 2016, the Ministry had decided to observe 15th of October as Rashtriya Mahila Kisan Diwas. Women are contributing in various aspects of agriculture including sowing, planting, fertilizing, plant protection, harvesting, weeding, and storage.

  • Tracey Crouch, the world’s first Minister for loneliness, is set to launch her first anti-loneliness strategy. The UK Government’s research had found that the young people can be affected by loneliness more than the elderly, and she will unveil a plan on Monday that will feature a pledge by businesses to do more to help staff cope with the sense of isolation.

  • Scientists have developed what may be the world’s fastest camera (T-Cup: Compressed utrafast photography), which can capture 10 trillion frames per second — making it possible to ‘freeze time’ to see light in extremely slow motion. The advance may offer insight into as-yet undetectable secrets of the interactions between light and matter

  • A federal judge in Alaska will hear the center’s lawsuit challenging the government’s decision not to list the walrus as threatened. Pacific walrus males grow to 12 feet long and up to 1,815 kg more than an average midsize sedan. Females reach half that weight. Walruses dive and use sensitive whiskers to find clams and snails in dim light on the sea floor.

  • An Indian-origin man based in north-west England, who suffers from a degenerative eye condition, is set to become the first person in the U.K. to get a guide horse to assist him with daily tasks once he loses his vision completely. Mohammed Salim Patel, a journalist based in Blackburn at Lancashire, suffers from a condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa, due to which he is left with a very small amount of sight in his right eye and will eventually become totally blind.

  • The first India-U.S. tri-services exercise is likely to take place in 2019, and talks are on to include the special forces of the two countries in the drill. The three forces of each country already take part in bilateral exercises separately — their Armies participate in an annual drill called Yudh Abyaas, whose latest edition took place in September, and the Air Forces take part in a bilateral drill called Cope India. The Navies participate in an exercise called Malabar, involving Japan.

  • Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will celebrate Dasara and perform ‘shastra puja’ in Bikaner along the India-Pakistan border. This is for the first time a senior Union Minister will conduct ‘shastra puja’ or worship of weapons along the border with Pakistan.

  • In a recent investigation, it was found that the world’s largest veterinary drug-maker, Zoetis, was selling antibiotics as growth promoters to poultry farmers in India, even though it had stopped the practice in the U.S. India is yet to regulate antibiotic-use in poultry, while the U.S. banned the use of antibiotics as growth-promoters in early 2017.

  • October 15 is observed, respectively, as International Day of Rural Women by the United Nations, and National Women’s Farmer’s Day (Rashtriya Mahila Kisan Diwas) in India. In 2016, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare decided to take the lead in celebrating the event, duly recognising the multidimensional role of women at every stage in agriculture — from sowing to planting, drainage, irrigation, fertilizer, plant protection, harvesting, weeding, and storage.

  • The International Day for Disaster Reduction was started in 1989, after a call by the United Nations General Assembly for a day to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction. Held every 13 October, the day celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of reining in the risks that they face. The 2018 theme (Reducing Disaster Economic Losses) continues as part of the “Sendai Seven” campaign, centred on the seven targets of the Sendai Framework. This year focuses on Target C of the Sendai Framework, reducing disaster economic losses in relation to global GDP by 2030. 2016 saw the launch of the “Sendai Seven” campaign by UNISDR, centred on the seven targets of the Sendai Framework, the first of which is reducing disaster mortality.

  • Passengers can soon file complaints through a mobile app from trains. The complaints will be registered as ‘Zero FIRs’ and will be investigated immediately by the RPF. A pilot project on the mobile application is under way. Zero-FIR means that a FIR can be filed in any police station (i.e.: irrespective of place of incident/jurisdiction) and the same can be later transferred to the appropriate police station.

  • The International Day of Rural Women was observed on October 15. The day recognizes the crucial role of women and girls in ensuring the sustainability of rural households and communities, improving rural livelihoods and overall wellbeing. This year’s theme is “Sustainable infrastructure, services and social protection for gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls”. The theme places empowerment of rural women at the heart of fulfilling the vision of the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs.

  • Earth Sciences Minister Dr Harshvardhan unveiled an Air Quality early warning system for Delhi region, in New Delhi on October 15,2018. The system has been designed with the help of American and Finnish models to predict extreme air pollution levels. It will also give s for necessary actions.

  • Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma and Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri laid the foundation stone for Museum on Prime Ministers of India at Teen Murti Estate in New Delhi on October 15, 2018. The museum will depict modern India through collections relating to Prime Ministers of India, their lives, works and significant contributions made towards nation building. It will bring India’s democratic experience alive to the visitors.

  • The Election Commission of India is introducing the unique internet based mobile app C-vigil in the upcoming assembly polls. The ‘CVIGIL’, which stands for ‘citizens’ vigil’, will be operationalised for the first time as a pilot project.

  • The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited has launched AskDisha, a chatbot powered by artificial intelligence, to troubleshoot customers’ travel-related queries. AskDisha will support several regional languages and will be voice-enabled.

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