• Current Affairs , 18 November 2019

    • November 18, 2019
    • Posted By : upliftlife
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    1. National Agrochemicals Congress concluded
    2. Journalism is a pious mission for the cause of nation
    3. Water Quality Report for State Capitals & Delhi
    4. Central GST Delhi-West Commissionerate unearthed racket of issuance of fake invoices
    5. 6th National Summit on Good, Replicable Practices and Innovations in Public Health Care Systems.
    6. National Tribal Festival ‘Aadi Mahotsav’
    7. ‘National Awards for Excellence in Journalism 2019′
    8. 2-day Regional Conference on Replication of Good Governance
    9. DPIIT establishes Development Council for Bicycle
    • First ever International Buyer- Seller Meet in Arunachal Pradesh
    1. Swachh Bharat Mission led to significant decline in deaths due to Malaria, Diarrhoea: Govt
    2. Rising onion prices issue: Bangladesh govt to import vegetables via air-cargo
    3. Brazilian President Bolsonaro to be the chief guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations in 2020
    4. India to contribute $13.5 mn for UN development activities for 2020
    5. India record best-ever 9 medal haul at World Para Athletics Championship






    1. National Agrochemicals Congress concluded



    • The four day long National Agrochemicals Congress with the theme Country’s Status on Various Fronts of Agrochemicals concluded . The plenary sessions had deliberations on Issues and Concerns of Agrochemicals for sustainable farming.
    • Recommendations from the congress included labelling of pesticide indicating the mode of action, status of country’s preparedness in invasive exigencies, to rethink on restrictive banning of pesticides in view of risk based considerations, policy regarding data protection of imported technical pesticides, policy for introduction of safe nano-formulations and empowerment of farmers through training and extension.
    • In the concluding session, Prof. Ramesh Chand, Member NitiAyog outlined the importance of responsible use of agrochemicals utilising precision technologies to reduce wastageof applied chemicals into environments.Prof. Chand advised the stakeholders to discourage false claims about agrochemicals and tackle the spread of wrong perception in public about agrochemicals. He exhorted agrochemicals scientists and microbiologists to workout on chemical and microbial interventions to transform biomass waste into a wealth.
    • DrTrilochanMohapatra, DG ICAR addressing the session said that agrochemicals will continue to play a major input in agriculture to meet the crop production targets and we must strive to ensure its safe and judicious use. He requested the scientists to comprehensively work upon the aspects of nano-pesticide approach to ensure safety of humans, livestock and environment.
    • Ashok Dalwai, CEO NRAAsaid that there is a need for reorientation in the thought process of society with regard to agrochemicals and experts have a big role in this exercise. He emphasized upon liberalization of registration procedures, enforcement of regulations at state level and access to technical pesticides.
    • This was the first ever National Agrochemicals Congress and this will hereafter be conducted in three years. The Congress is conducted in view of the role chemical pesticides still continue to play in pest management as more and more target specific and environment friendly products are being introduced. The benefits of pesticide use are high relative to their risks. New concepts in crops, human health, resource management, nanotechnology, smart formulations and related sciences are likely to boost agricultural productivity. With this background, current status of agrochemicals on various fronts have been collated for researchers and policy makers in order to ensure agriculture grow in a sustainable manner.



    2. Journalism is a pious mission for the cause of nation

    ·        The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today urged the media to not color news with views and stressed the need to maintain objectivity, fairness and accuracy. “The neutrality and sanctity of newsrooms should be upheld at all times”.

    ·        Press Council of India on the occasion of National Press Day, in New Delhi today, he said that the cardinal principle of journalism is to present fair, objective, accurate and balanced information to the reader and viewer without journalists assuming the role of the gatekeepers.

    ·        The Vice President further said that this has become all the more critical in the present times after the advent of the ‘fake news’ phenomenon and the huge impact the social media is creating. “Sensationalism, biased coverage and paid news have become the modern-day afflictions of the media, he said adding that under no circumstances can slanted and opinionated reporting be termed as ‘interpretative reporting’.

    ·        Shri Naidu expressed concern over the fact that business groups and even political parties setting up newspapers and TV channels to further their interests.“With this the core values of journalism are getting eroded”, he said.

    ·        Maintaining that freedom and responsibility cannot be considered as inseparable, he opined that media must not only act as the watchdog to protect democracy but must also act as the true champion of the underdog. It has to be in the vanguard of fighting the ills that are plaguing the society.

    ·        The Vice President said that media landscape has transformed dramatically over the years and so have the values of journalism. In the past, journalism was treated as a mission for the nation’s service. Talking about the present state of affairs, he asked journalists’ bodies like PCI to do a serious introspection.

    ·        Shri Naidu said that time has come for media bodies to come out with a code of conduct for journalists. “In view of the critical role journalism plays in protecting democracy and in serving the larger good of the society, we should strengthen this important fourth pillar by ensuring that ‘truth’ is never compromised”, he added.

    ·        Noting that mobile phones are revolutionizing the manner in which we share information, he said every smart phone user has become a potential journalist. “No doubt, the internet and mobile telephony have democratized the availability of information. However, the glut of information is also generating fake news and fake narratives”, he added cautioning that, “journalists must guard against such news and fake narratives as they can be used by vested interests to create dissensions and divisions in our pluralistic society”.

    ·        The Vice President also appealed to media to provide greater space to development news andimportant sectors such as agriculture.

    ·        Admitting that legislations alone can not bring desired change, he called upon the media to play a positive role in creating public opinion on the need to eradicate corruption and social evils like gender and caste discrimination. “We have seen the positive impact created by the media in promoting the campaign for a Clean India”, he said.

    ·        Talking about the abrogation of Article370, he said that it was only a temporary provision which was removed by the Parliament with huge majority. He appealed to Indian journalistic community to convey the right facts to the world about Kashmir.

    ·        During this occasion, the Vice President also gave away the awards to the winners of ‘National Awards for Excellence in Journalism 2019’ under various categories.Eminent journalist Shri Gulab Kothari was awarded the prestigious ‘Raja Ram Mohan Roy Award’ for his outstanding journalism.

    3. Water Quality Report for State Capitals & Delhi

    ·        The Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Shri Ram Vilas Paswan has always exhorted providing quality products to consumers which includes providing clean & safe drinking water for all. This is also in line with Jal Jeevan Mission, announced by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi which aims to provide tap water to all households by 2024. In order to ensure that clean and safe drinking water is provided to all, Department of Consumer Affairs decided to undertake a study through the Bureau of India Standards (BIS) on the quality of piped drinking water being supplied in the country and also rank the States, Smart Cities and even Districts based on the quality of tap water.

    ·        In the first phase, the samples of drinking water were drawn from various locations across Delhi and in the second phase samples were drawn from  20 State capitalsand sent for testing as per Indian Standard 10500:2012 (Specification for DrinkingWater) as set by the BIS. Tests were conducted on various parameters such asOrganoleptic and Physical Tests,Chemical test, Toxic substances and Bacteriological tests in the first stage. A vast majority of the samples have failed to comply with the requirements of IS 10500:2012 in one or more parameters.

    ·        In Delhi, all the 11samples drawn from various places did not comply with the requirements of the Indian Standard& failed on several parameters.All the 10 samples drawn from Mumbai were found to comply with the requirements. In the cities of Hyderabad, Bhubaneshwar, Ranchi, Raipur, Amravati and Shimla, one or more samples did not comply with the requirements of the Standard and none of the samples drawn from 13 of the State Capitals i.e. Chandigarh,Thiruvananthapuram, Patna, Bhopal, Guwahati, Bengaluru, Gandhinagar, Lucknow, Jammu, Jaipur, Dehradun, Chennai, Kolkata complied with the requirements of the Indian Standard.

    ·        Addressing media after releasing the report, Shri Paswan said that all should get clean drinking water and that is the objective of this activity. He said that the objective is not to demotivate anyone rather it to encourage State Governments to ensure quality potable tap water to all citizens. Shri Paswan further added that in the third phase, samples from Capital cities of North Eastern States and SmartCities identified by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs have been drawn and are being tested. The result of these are expected by 15th January 2020. While in the fourth phase, it is proposed to test samples drawn from all the district headquarters of the country and their testing is planned to be completed by 15th August 2020.Shri Paswan also said that the Union Government wants to make BIS Standards mandatory for Tap Water so as to ensure quality drinking water for all households.

    4. Central GST Delhi-West Commissionerate unearthed racket of issuance of fake invoices

    ·        Central GST Delhi-West Commissionerate has unearthed racket of issuance of fake invoices without actual supply of goods and services by M/s Royal Sales India and 27 other dummy companies.  Two persons have been arrested in this matter and remanded to judicial custody for 14 days by Duty Magistrate, Patiala house Courts, New Delhi. The accused were found to be operating 28 fake companies to facilitate fraudulent Input Tax Credit (ITC), thus defrauding the exchequer. Prima facie, fraudulent ITC of about Rs 108 Crore has been passed on using invoices involving amount of Rs 900 Crore. Final duty is subject to outcome of the investigation.

    ·        On basis of search at various suppliers & recipients of goods of the said firms, it was revealed that Modus operandi of these 28 bogus firms involved obtaining GST registration of fake firms all across Delhi using KYC documents of lowly paid individuals and generating goodless invoices and e-way bills of these firms. On preliminary scrutiny, it was seen that the inward supplies of the said firm were not in correlation with outward supplies. All these firms have resorted to sale or cause effect of sale of goods, by issuing good-less invoices and on collection of the payment by cheque, pay back in cash to the party in question. This is done in order to facilitate these firms under investigation to avail Input Tax Credit for offsetting any likely tax liability and in some cases availing IGST refund etc.

    ·        Till now, 15 buyer firms have already admitted their liability vide their Voluntary Statement and further deposited voluntarily approx Rs.1.30 Crore towards ITC wrongly availed, Interest and Penalty under Section 74(5) of CGST Act, 2017 till date. Further, approx. Rs 1.58 Crore has been frozen in Bank Accounts of these fake firms.

    ·        Therefore, both accused have committed offence under the provisions of Section 132(1)(b) and (c) of CGST Act 2017, which are cognizable and non-bailable under section 132(5) being punishable under Section 132(1)(i) of the said Act and have been remanded to judicial custody for 14 days on 15.11.2019. Investigations are underway to identify key beneficiaries of this fraud and to further recover GST involved.

    5. 6th National Summit on Good, Replicable Practices and Innovations in Public Health Care Systems.

    ·        “This NHM National Summit is a celebration of ideas, innovations and knowledge sharing and we all must take back these and ensure that we implement at-least a few of them” said Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare as he inaugurated the Sixth National Summit on Good, Replicable Practices and Innovations along with Union Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare Shri. Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Shri. Vijay Rupani, Chief Minister, Gujarat, Shri. Nitinbhai Ratilal Patel, Dy. CM & Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Gujarat and Dr. Vinod K Paul, Member (Health), NITI AAYOG at Gandhinagar (Gujarat).

    ·        Calling the Summit as the aggregating ground of new ideas, thoughts and expression, the Union Health Minister stated “MoHFW endeavors to foster cross learning amongst the State Governments, NGOs, Healthcare organizations and other academic institutions so that these work in concordance to achieve the overarching public health goals.” Dr. Harsh Vardhan suggested that similar to the National NHM Summit, the States also can have State/Regional conferences for sharing of knowledge within the districts. “Let the national knowledge and ideas be transmitted to the districts level health workers, functionaries through the state/regional conferences”. He added that in addition to presenting best practices, states must also emulate and roll out the best practices from other states. He stressed the importance of self-auditing for performance assessment.

    ·        Dr. Harsh Vardhan also highlighted the noteworthy achievements in the health sector during the past few years such as Ayushman Bharat, Telemedicine, NHP 2017, Medical Education, and Health Systems Strengthening.

    ·        Shri. Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare appreciated the efforts made by the Centre and States to reach out to the beneficiaries and provide access to quality healthcare services. He said that “The Summit provides a valuable platform for sharing of knowledge and experiences. This will immensely contribute to meeting our health outcomes”. He also highlighted the initiatives taken for providing preventive, promotive, affordable and quality healthcare services including AYUSH services.

    ·        Dr. Vinod K Paul, Member (Health), NITI AAYOG addressing the summit emphasized the importance of system level change for greater strides in healthcare and termed NHM as great program for healthcare delivery to the populace. He said ”There are seven building blocks for the future advances in the health sector- focused stewardship, adequate finance, capable HR, health commodities, service delivery which is equity & quality driven, information systems, and community participation for social and behavior change.”

    ·        The Summit saw the launch of SAANS campaign i.e. “Social Awareness and Action to Neutralise Pneumonia Successfully” to control Pneumonia. This campaign will mobilize people’s for protecting and preventing children from pneumonia; and health personnel, governments & other stakeholders to prioritize treatment towards the control of Pneumonia — one of the most fatal childhood illnesses. Under the SAANS campaign, new interventions have been included like a child suffering from Pneumonia will be treated with pre-referral dose of Amoxicillin by ASHA; Pulse Oximeter will be used at the Health and Wellness Centre for identification of low oxygen levels in the blood and if required treated by use of Oxygen. The initiative also aims to create mass awareness about the most effective solutions for pneumonia prevention like breast feeding, age appropriate complementary feeding, immunization, good quality air etc.

    ·        The web portal for home based care of children including newborn visited by ASHA, was also launched at the Summit. This portal has all the resource materials (training materials, IEC videos, audios, banners, posters etc.) for the home visits of ASHAs. The portal will also be used to monitor the progress of programs regarding home visits by ASHAs and referral of sick newborns, an intervention considered globally as game changer to improve child survival and also improve nutritional status and overall development of children.

    6. National Tribal Festival ‘Aadi Mahotsav’


    • Union Minister for Home Affairs, Shri Amit Shah inaugurated the National Tribal Festival ‘Aadi Mahotsav’, in New Delhi today. Union Minister for Minority Affairs, Shri Arjun Munda also graced the occasion, among other dignitaries.
    • Addressing on the event, Shri Shah said that Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has seen a vision of the ‘Aadi Mahotsav’ and developing ‘Van Dhan Vikas Kendras’, to accelerate the development of tribal people across the country, who reside in 40% of its area and constitute 8% of its population. Over a thousand tribal artisans from 27 states are participating in the event. This platform is helping the tribal artisans, their handicrafts, culture, traditions and food to showcase them in front of the world. Such a platform not only proves to be a vital source of employment to lakhs of tribals, but also gives them recognition and instills a sense of pride and worthiness in them, he said.
    • Through this initiative, Home Minister said, Modi government is showing its commitment to safeguard tribal culture and ensure its development in a sustainable manner, as it believes in Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay’s philosophy of Antyodaya. Shri Shah said, “I want to assure crores of tribal brethren that the Narendra Modi government is committed to ensure sustainable development and improvement in standard of living of tribals, without disturbing their culture and traditions”. He further said that it was first time since independence that, under the government led by Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a separate Ministry was formed for the development of tribals. Such an important thing was neglected by governments in the past, he added.
    • Remembering Bhagwan Birsa Munda on his birth anniversary, Home Minister said that it was he who gave the first call of a revolution against the British rule in the ‘Ulgulan Andolan’. He was the person who showed new horizons to the tribal society with his revolutionary thoughts. In such a short life, he fought for the rights of the tribals and forest dwellers, which is why he came to be known as ‘Bhagwan’ among them. Talking about recognizing the immense contribution of tribals in fighting the British rule, Shri Shah said that Modi government has built museums worth over Rs. 180 crores across the country to preserve the contribution of tribal leaders in India’s freedom struggle.
    • Shri Shah called the tribals as the protectors of forests, which in turn are the lungs of the nation. The tribals are still attached to nature as well as maintain their centuries-old culture. Such a coexistence of nature with human culture is best exemplified by the tribal society. Tribals might not have the modern life of luxury and comfort, yet they have the gift of happiness that comes from staying in the lap of nature with harmony, he said. Shri Shah noted that in today’s times of climate change, when the whole world is seeing ill effects of global warming, it is the tribals who are a live example for the whole world of how humans can sustainability coexist with nature.


    7. ‘National Awards for Excellence in Journalism 2019′


    • On the occasion of National Press Day, the Vice President 0of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naiduawarded the winners of ‘National Awards for Excellence in Journalism 2019′ at New Delhi today. The journalists in different areas werehonoured for their outstanding and exemplary work in journalism at an event organized by Press Council of India.
    • Speaking on the occasion, the Vice President highlighted the significance and the role of media. He emphasized that ever since the launch of the first newspaper in India-‘The Bengal Gazette’ by James Augustus Hickey in 1780, the press has been playing an outstanding role in empowering the people.
    • In his address, the Vice President said “The cardinal principle of journalism is to present fair, objective, accurate and balanced information to the reader and viewer without journalists assuming the role of the gatekeepers”.
    • Shri Naidu also spoke of the evils of fake news and urged media to always maintain objectivity, fairness and accuracy, “ With the electronic and social media providing news by the minute with alerts and flashes on smart phones, journalists will have to exercise greater caution and guard against ‘fake news’, disinformation and misinformation”.
    • The Vice President also appealed to media to provide greater space to development news and important sectors such as agriculture.Shri Naidu further lauded the efforts of the Press Council of India for its role in promoting responsible journalism in the country.
    • The Vice President of India also release
    • d the Norms of Journalistic Conduct Edition -2019, the Directory of Press Council of India and a souvenir at the award function.
    • Addressing the gathering, Union Minister of Information & Broadcasting, ShriPrakashJavadekaraddressed the key issues that the media fraternity faced, “Today there is a crisis of fake news more than paid news. Fake news has a higher TRP and this is not good for the society and the country. Media must understand the important responsibility they have to shoulder and cater towards delivering the right news to the end-users”, stated ShriJavadekar.


    8. 2-day Regional Conference on Replication of Good Governance



    • The two-day Regional Conference on ‘Replication of Good Governance Practices in UTs of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh being organised in Jammu concluded today. The Conference was inaugurated yesterday by the Union Minister (PP) Dr Jitendra Singh. The Lt. Gov. of J&K, Shri G.C. Murmu, The Secretary DoPT and DARPG, Dr C. Chandramouli, J&K Chief Secretary, Shri BVR Subrahmanyam, Additional Secretary, DARPG, Shri. V. Srinivas and other senior Officers were present during the inaugural session.

    During the Valedictory session held in Jammu today, the Conference has unanimously adopted the Sushasan Sankalp outlined below after intensive deliberations during the sessions held over two days. The Conference resolved that Government of India and the participating State Governments and the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh shall collaborate to:


    • Develop the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh as models of administrative excellence using digital technologies in implementation of welfare Union Territory programs;
    • To make sustained efforts to create a transparent, accountable and people-centric administration in the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh;
    • Improve the Citizen’s interface with Government by promotion of digital governance, citizen centric governance, innovation and capacity building in the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh;
    • Refine and consolidate the successful local Governance initiatives and upscale them across Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh to bring out the best outcomes of Governance and Public Policy to the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh;
    • To improve the grievance redressal mechanisms by forging greater synergy between Awaaz e-Awam and the CPGRAMS;
    • Promote the use of e-Office and move towards less paper Secretariats in the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh;
    • Promote capacity building and personnel administration by formulating mid-career training programs and specific need-based training programs for officials in the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh;
    • Replicate the innovations and the best practices in successful national governance initiatives including digital governance, citizen centric grievance redressal and aspirational districts so as to provide a clean, transparent and people centric governance to the UTs of J&K and Ladakh.


    9. DPIIT establishes Development Council for Bicycle


    • Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, has set up a Development Council for Bicycle for vision planning in design, engineering and manufacturing of lighter, smarter, value added, safe and faster premium bicycles which are comparable with global standards for exports and domestic market.
    • A Twenty-three-member Council will be headed by Secretary DPIIT. The constitution of the Council is for a period of two years. Joint Secretary, Light Engineering Industry Division in DPIIT will be Member-Secretary. The Council will have 9 ex-officio members from DPIIT and Department of Commerce, Ministries of Housing and Urban Affairs, Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Health and Family Welfare, Road Transport and Highways, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and Bureau of Indian Standards. The Council will also have 7 expert domain members and 4 nominated. The terms of ex-officio members shall be co-terminus with their official posting. Others members may be co-opted, as required, by the Chairperson of the Council.

    The Council will stimulate value chain and fuel accelerated demand growth of Make-in-India through the following activities:


    1. To improve competitiveness and level of services.
    2. To transform Indian bicycle technology and its value chain.
    • To ensure development of holistic eco-system through close, coordinated and continuous stakeholder persuasion.
    1. To undertake all possible measures for leveraging bicycle demand, it may inter-alia include ensuring enabling (safe and segregated) cycling infrastructure and operations.
    2. To enhance export competitiveness of bicycle through support of schemes and favourable trade policies.
    3. To popularize the incredible benefits of cycling through the campaigns piloted by the concerned Ministries/ Departments of Government of India such as Ministry of Health (health benefits), Ministry of Environment and Forest (air/ noise pollution free benefits), Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (energy saving benefits), Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (decongestion benefits).
    • Development of medium and small industries to usher in a new mind-set through innovative schemes in a structured and synergetic way.
    • Development of skilled human resources development for bicycle manufacturing and repair shops.
    1. To identify and study best international practices and successful story to adopt for bicycle manufacturing, recycling and infrastructure development in India.



    10.         First ever International Buyer- Seller Meet in Arunachal Pradesh


    • The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) under the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, held the first ever international buyer seller meet on Agriculture & Horticulture produce in Arunachal Pradesh on 14thNovember 2019.
    • Ten International buyers from seven countries of Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Indonesia, UAE, Sultanate of Oman and Greece participated in the meet and interacted with exporters. Growers and exporters showcased the products of Arunachal Pradesh like Mandarin oranges, kiwi, pineapple, king chilly, large cardamom, organic products, other fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers and spices.
    • To promote export of agricultural products and to facilitate market linkages for agri- exports from the North Eastern Region (NER) especially Arunachal Pradesh, APEDA and Department of Agriculture & Horticulture, Government of Arunachal Pradesh organised the Conference cum International Buyer- Seller Meet in Itanagar. Minister of Agriculture and Horticulture, Government of Arunachal Pradesh inaugurated the two days programme along with Chairman, APEDA and Secretary, Agriculture and Horticulture, Government of Arunachal Pradesh, Bidol Tayeng.
    • This conference was held to provide a platform for B2B and B2G meetings of international buyers with the importers and exporters and the progressive farmers and growers from the North East Region (NER) particularly from Arunachal Pradesh to explore the opportunities and prospects of agriculture and horticulture exports.
    • During the inaugural session Minister of Agriculture and Horticulture, Government of Arunachal Pradesh, Tage Taki, welcomed the dignitaries and informed that the buyer seller meet will provide linkages among the international and national buyers and farmers. He further pointed out that 75% – 80% land of the State is unexplored and lot of horticulture crops may be taken up in those areas as Arunachal Pradesh is blessed with five types of agro-climatic zones.
    • The Chairman, APEDA, Paban Kumar Borthakur, informed that crops need to be chosen according to demand by other countries and for this avenues need to be created for exporters.
    • A colourful cultural evening was arranged to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the North East States especially Arunachal Pradesh. A field visit for the international buyers has been arranged today at a kiwi winery and kiwi orchard at Ziro.
    • APEDA has organised International Buyer Seller Meet in the NER to introduce the products of the North East States to the international market. BSM has been organized in Guwahati, Assam in March this year, followed by a Conference cum International Buyer-Seller Meet at Imphal, Manipur in June 2019 and followed by another in September 2019 at Agartala, Tripura.
    • APEDA is holding promotional activities in the areas of agriculture exports, like providing support to exporters to set up infrastructure facilities like pack houses and cold storages. APEDA also helps exporters to exhibit their products in several national and international exhibitions. This event at Itanagar is part of the initiative of APEDA to bring the North-Eastern states of India on the export map.



    11.       Swachh Bharat Mission led to significant decline in deaths due to Malaria, Diarrhoea: Govt


    • Union Minister of Health Dr. Harsh Vardhan today inaugurated the sixth National Summit on ‘Good and Replicable Practice and Innovations in Public Healthcare System in India’ at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. The 3 days summit was organized under the aegis of the Union Health and Family Welfare ministry.
    • Harsh Vardhan said that the aim of the Modi Government is Health for all and the government needs cooperation from all to achieve it.
    • The minister said, over 10 crore toilets have been built since the launching of Swachcha Bharat Mission.
    • He said that quality medical education is their priority and they have added 15,700 new MBBS seats in AIIMS and Government Medical colleges in the country.
    • Harsh Vardhan informed that the incidence of killer diseases like Malaria, Cancer and Diaria has significantly fallen during the last one year. There has been a drop in maternity mortality rate also, said the minister.
    • The summit will feature 9 sessions wherein a number of states such as Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Orissa, Manipur, Maharashtra, Haryana, Telangana, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Kerala would provide insights on the successful projects undertaken in the domain of health.
    • Apart from this, there will be deliberations on the steps taken by NITI Aayog and World Health Organisation.





    12.       Rising onion prices issue: Bangladesh govt to import vegetables via air-cargo


    • Amid spiralling price of onions, the government of Bangladesh has decided to urgently import the vegetables via air-cargo. In a statement on Friday, the commerce ministry said that onions will be flown in from Turkey and Egypt to ensure adequate supply in the market at the earliest.
    • Pointing to cyclonic storm Bulbul that hit Bangladesh this week, the statement said that it affected the arrival of onions, but a big shipment of onions will reach soon through the sea route.
    • Onion prices in Bangladesh have gone beyond 200 Taka per kg in recent days. In some areas, the local variety of the vegetable is selling at higher prices.
    • Bangladesh has a demand of about 24 lakh tonnes of onion per year. Of this, seven to 11 lakh tonnes are imported. The Government had tried to bring down prices of onions by easing import, sale through government outlets at fixed prices and drive against hoarders. But, these efforts failed due to global volatility, the cyclonic storm and suspected hoarding by some traders.
    • Market experts consider hoarding as one of the main factors causing a sharp rise in onion prices. The Government agencies have fined and jailed more than 2,000 traders in the past two months for hoarding onions to create an artificial crisis in the market.


    1. Brazilian President Bolsonaro to be the chief guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations in 2020



    • Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro will be the chief guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations parade in 2020.
    • PM Modi met Bolsonaro on November 13 on the sidelines of the 11th BRICS Summit held in Brasilia.
    • PM Modi invited the Brazilian President during the meeting.
    • Bolsonaro has accepted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s invitation for the same.
    • The prime minister also welcomed the decision of the President to grant visa-free travel to Indian citizens.


    1. India to contribute $13.5 mn for UN development activities for 2020



    • India will contribute USD 13.5 million for various operational activities of development across the UN agencies for the year 2020.
    • The contribution was announced at the UN General Assembly Pledging Conference for Development Activities. The contribution is in line with the country’s long-standing tradition of supporting development activities across the UN system.
    • About 16 countries pledged a total of USD 516 million at the 2019 United Nations Pledging Conference for Development Activities.





    1. India record best-ever 9 medal haul at World Para Athletics Championship


    • India has recorded the best-ever nine medals haul at the World Para Athletics Championship in Dubai.
    • With two gold, two silver and five bronze, India secured 13 qualifying spots at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. Until this edition, London 2017 had been India’s best-ever show where the para-athletes finished with five medals in the joint 34th place.
    • Asian Para Games 2018 champion javelin thrower Sandeep Chaudhary in F64 category won the Gold for India. In the same event, India had its single two podium finish with Sumit Antil taking the silver (62.88m).
    • Another gold came from Sundar Singh Gurjar who defended his Worlds title in men’s javelin F46 category with a season’s best distance of 61.22 metres.
    • Seasoned high jumper Sharad Kumar claimed the other silver medal for India, clearing the bar at a season-best 1.83 metres in men’s high jump T63 finals.
    • China topped the medals tally with 59 medals including 25 gold. Brazil (39) and Great Britain (28) followed China. The USA ended fourth with 34 medals. Russia, participating in the championships for the first time since the 2016 doping ban, were sixth with 41 medals.


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