1. Nov 19 - World Toilet Day is observed every year to raise awareness and inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis. The theme for year 2017 is Wastewater. WTD was instituted by World Toilet Organisation in 2001. In 2013, United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) had officially designated November 19 as WTD in its 67th session under global campaign of Sanitation for All resolution. World Toilet Day is about inspiring action to tackle the global sanitation crisis.
2. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (85) was unanimously chosen for the Indira Gandhi Prize for peace, disarmament and development award by an international jury chaired by former President Pranab Mukherjee for his leadership of the country between 2004 and 2014 and for enhancing India’s stature globally. The prestigious award accorded annually by Indira Gandhi Trust since 1986. It has been named after former prime minister Indira Gandhi. It is awarded to individuals or organizations in recognition of their creative efforts towards promoting international peace, development.
3. Moscow Declaration on the sidelines of the first WHO Global Ministerial Conference have been adopted by Health ministers, NGOs, and private sector representatives from 120 countries for eliminating additional deaths from HIV co-infection by 2030 and achieving synergy in coordinated action against Tuberculosis and non-communicable diseases (NCDs). India is among signatories to the declaration. A co-infection is when a person suffers from two infections at same time.
4. The first ever Namami Barak festival was inaugurated by Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal at Silchar in Assam. The 3-day river festival aimed to pay tribute to River Barak and to showcase of Barak’s potential & possibilities to emerge as hub of trade and commerce. The event was organised at 3 locations in Barak Valley also known as Southern Assam. Silchar is main event area while other two locations are Hailakandi and Karimganj district.
5. Daily Drug Regimen for treatment of Tuberculosis (TB) patients across the country under The Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP) has been launched by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. Under it, Health Ministry is providing thrice weekly regimen for treatment of TB, however it has now decided to change treatment strategy for TB patients from thrice weekly to daily drug regimen using fixed dose combinations (FDC) for treatment.
6. Interim Meeting of Steering Committee of International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s South Asia Regional Training and Technical Assistance Centre (SARTTAC) was held in New Delhi. It endorsed FY 2018 work plan and also approved new work area in Government Finance and Public Debt Statistics. It welcomed progress in securing over 90 percent of the financing for SARTTAC’s first five-year (2017-2022) Phase. SARTTAC was inaugurated in February 2017. It is first IMF Regional Capacity Development Centre to fully integrate training and technical assistance activities.
7. The 237th Corps of Engineers Day was celebrated on 18 November 2017 in a solemn ceremony conducted at ‘Amar Jawan Jyoti ‘, India Gate in New Delhi.The day is celebrated to commemorate the raising of first Engineer company in 1780.The modern day Corps of engineers consists of three groups of combat engineers- Madras Sappers, Bengal Sappers and Bombay Sappers which were merged into the Corps on 18 Nov 1932.
8. The National Foundation for Communal Harmony (NFCH) , an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Home Affairs organizes Communal Harmony Campaign along with the Quami Ekta Week ( Nov 19-25) and observes the Communal Flag Day on 25th Nov.
9. The Union Cabinet has approved the increase in carpet area of the houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. It approved the increase in the carpet area in the Middle Income group ( MIG) I category of CLSS from the existing 90 sq.m to up to 120 sq.m. It increased the carpet area in respect of MIG Ii category of CLSS from the existing 110 sq.m to up to 150 sq.m.
10. The setting up of National Anti-Profiteering Authority (NAA), an apex body with an overarching mandate under Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime so as to ensure the benefit of tax reaches consumers was approved by the Union Cabinet. It also approved creation of posts of Chairman and Technical Members of National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) under GST regime. The NAA is tasked with ensuring full benefits of reduction in tax on supply of goods or services flow to consumers.
11. ‘Saubhagya’ Web Portal- Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana was launched by the Ministry of power.with an aim to ensure transparency as well as accelerate household electrification in rural as well as urban areas in the country. Saubhagya scheme (Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana) was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September 2017 with an aim at providing last mile electricity connectivity to all rural and urban households. Saubhagya web portal will enable every state to fill current status of progress of electrification works which will enable accountability for State DISCOMs/utilities. The portal can be accessed at http://saubhagya.gov.in.
12. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved four sub-schemes under Umbrella Scheme Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS). These four schemes include
i. Anganwadi Services (ICDS) which aims at holistic development of children under age of 6 years and its beneficiaries are children of this age group and Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers. ii. Sabla (programme for adolescent girls) aims at promoting awareness about health, hygiene, nutrition, mainstreaming out of school AGs into formal and non-formal education and providing information and guidance about existing public services.iii. Child Protection Services aims to reduce vulnerabilities through wide range of social protection measures, prevent actions that lead to abuse, neglect, exploitation, abandonment and separation of children from families etc. iv. National Creche Scheme aims at providing safe place for mothers to leave their children while they are at work.
13. Madhya Pradesh has partnered with Nagaland and Manipur under Ek Bharat-Shreshtha Bharat Yojana to strengthen cultural relations between them.MP will participate in Sangai Mahotsav which is being organized in Manipur. Likewise, teams from Nagaland and Manipur will take part in Lok Rang and B al Rang programmes of MP to present their cultural programmes. MP Government has made its Higher Education Department as nodal department to execute the scheme. Ek Bharat-Shreshtha Bharat Yojana was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Ekta Diwas (31st October 2015) on the occasion of birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel with an objective to strengthen cultural relations of various parts of country and to embolden mutual connection betwe en people dwelling in different states.
14. The Union Cabinet had approved agreement signed between Indian National Science Academy (INSA) and National Academy of Sciences of Belarus (NASB) on Scientific and Technological Cooperation for mutual benefit in the areas of science, technology, agriculture, etc. It was exchanged in September 2017 at New Delhi during official state visit of Belarus President H.E. Mr. Alexander Lukashenko. The agreement aims at identifying, assessing, developing and commercializing globally competitive technologies from India and Belarus..
15. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Poland for Promotion of Civil Aviation Cooperation was approved by the Union cabinet. The objective of MoU is to recognize mutual benefit of Cooperation in field of Civil Aviation having particular significance in establishing and improving Regional Air Connectivity (RCA) in India.
16. Aadi Mahotsav, a fortnight long Tribal Festival in New Delhi was inaugurated by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu with the theme of 2017 is “A Celebration of the Spirit of Tribal Culture, Cuisine and Commerce”.Over 750 tribal artisans and artists from over 25 States participated in the festival. The festival will feature exhibition-cum-sale of tribal handicrafts, art, paintings, fabric, jewellery and much more through about 200 stalls. The name Aadi Mahotsav suggests that the ‘adi’ factor is important about them. The adivasi way of life is guided by primal truths, eternal values and natural simplicity.
17. US credit rating agency Moody’s raised India’s sovereign rating to Baa2 from its lowest investment grade rating Baa after 14 years, while changing the outlook for the country’s rating to stable from positive. The rating agency simultaneously upgraded India’s local and foreign currency issuer rating to Baa2 from Baa3.The upgrade of the rating is based on the Indian Government’s “ wide –ranging programme of economic and institutional reforms. The Baa3 rating was the lowest investment grade , just a notch above junk status.
18. Researchers have discovered rare , living specimens of Stromatolites, the oldest evidence of life on earth , deep within a remote and protected World Heritage area in Australia. Stromatolites are laminated structures of micro-organisms which have created layers of minerals using elements dissolved in the water in which they live.
19. The Union Cabinet has approved the deputation of Group A tech officers of Department of Telecommunications ( DoT) and other ministries to Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL).As per the approval they can now fill the posts for a further period of three years from the date of approval as per the Department of Public Enterprise ( DPE) guidelines. Earlier, the cabinet allowed deputation of Group A officers till Sep, 2016.
20. Facebook has announced new tools for video creators to join its platform in an attempt to take on Google-Owned You tube. The new tool will be called as Facebook Creater App. It will help the community create original video, go live with exclusive features and connect with their community on the facebook.