Current Affairs November 2019 - National


1 - India to adopt Brazil model of human milk bank

Human Milk Bank

The Centre has set a target of ensuring at least 70% infants to have access to breast milk by the year 2025. The Target will subsequently be increased to 100%. India has taken inspiration from Brazil's success in the field of human milk bank and decided to adopt a similar model in creating a wide network of human milk banks.

A human milk bank or breast milk bank is a service which collects, screens, processes, and dispenses by prescription human milk donated by nursing mothers who are not biologically related to the recipient infant.

2 - Air India paints 'Ek Onkar' symbol on aircraft to commemorate 550th Gurupurab


Air India has painted the Sikh religious symbol ‘Ik Onkar’ on the tail of its Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft in a unique gesture to mark Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev’s 550th birth anniversary celebrations. The aircraft flew from Amritsar to London.

‘Ik Onkar’ symbol is a central tenet of Sikh religious philosophy. The national carrier in a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary had painted an image of the Father of the Nation on the tail of one of its Airbus A320 aircraft flying on the Delhi-Mumbai route.

3 - Union Health Minister launched Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) 2.0

Union Health Minister

In a bid to achieve the target of full immunization, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) 2.0 from December 2019 to March 2020.

The IMI 2.0 portal has been designed to capture information on the blockwise target of children and pregnant women to be vaccinated during the IMI drive and also the coverage data during the rounds of activity. The IMI2.0 is a rechristened version of mission Indradhanush-Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) that aims to achieve 100% immunization.

4 - Government released maps of newly formed Union Territories (UTs) of Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh


Government has released the maps of newly created union territories of Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh and the map of India depicting these union territories. The new map shows 28 states and nine union territories after the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir.

The new union territories of Ladakh consist of two districts of Kargil and Leh and the rest of the districts of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir are in the newly created union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

5 - First ever movement of container cargo on Brahmaputra

Container Cargo

The first ever containerised cargo consignment sailed from Haldia Dock Complex (HDC) to the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) terminal at Pandu in Guwahati. The vessel MV Maheshwari, carrying 53 containers of petrochemicals, edible oil and beverage will take 12-15 days to reach the IWAI terminal.

The vessel will sail through national waterway-1 (river Ganga), NW-97 (Sunderbans), Indo-Bangladesh protocol route and NW-2 (river Brahmaputra). Two more vessels with 1200 tonne of coal will also sail to Assam.

6 - Finance Minister launched IT initiatives ICEDASH, ATITHI for improved customs clearance

Nirmala Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled two new IT Initiatives - ICEDASH and ATITHI for improved monitoring and pace of customs clearance of imported goods and facilitating arriving international passengers. ICEDASH is an Ease of Doing Business monitoring dashboard of the Indian Customs helping the public see the daily Customs clearance times of import cargo at various ports and airports.

The ATITHI app will facilitate hassle-free and faster clearance by Customs at the airports and enhance the experience of international tourists and other visitors at the airports.

7 - MSDE launched Skills Build platform in collaboration with IBM

Ministry of Skill Development

The Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) launched SkillsBuild platform in collaboration with IBM. As part of the programme, a two-year advanced diploma in IT, networking and cloud computing, co-created and designed by IBM, will be offered at the Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) & National Skill Training Institutes (NSTIs).

The platform will be extended to train ITI & NSTI faculty on building skills in Artificial Intelligence (AI). SkillsBuild offers digital learning content from IBM and partners such as CodeDoor, Coorpacademy and Skillsoft.

8 - Amit Shah inaugurated SCO Joint Exercise on Urban Earthquake Search & Rescue (SCOJtEx)-2019

Amit Shah

The Union Minister for Home Affairs, Amit Shah inaugurated the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Joint Exercise on Urban Earthquake Search & Rescue (SCOJtEx)-2019 in New Delhi. The exercise was organized by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) from November 4-7, 2019 to rehearse disaster response mechanisms and share knowledge, experience, and technology.

The main focus of the joint exercise was to test the region's preparedness to activate intergovernmental interaction for an immediate response.

9 - Union Minister of State for Defence inaugurated DRDO’s Igniter Complex at HEMRL, Pune

Minister of Defence

Union Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik inaugurated the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) Igniter Complex at High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) in Pune. HEMRL is a premier laboratory of DRDO and primarily engages in developing Rocket and Gun Propellants, Pyrotechnic Devices, High Explosive Systems and synthesis of high energy molecules.

HEMRL has developed several ignition systems to ensure reliable initiation of rocket motors of various tactical as well as strategic missiles.

10 - Union Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurated global Mega Science Exhibition ‘Vigyan Samagam’

Harsh Vardhan

Union Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurated India’s first-ever global Mega-Science exhibition, ‘Vigyan Samagam’, in Kolkata. Vigyan Samagam will be in Kolkata till December 31, 2019.

The Exhibition will highlight India’s contribution to the world’s science, technology and innovation, and researches in the areas of high energy physics, nuclear physics, astronomy and astrophysics, nuclear energy etc. After Kolkata, Vigyan Samagam will commence its final leg in New Delhi. It will remain as a permanent exhibition at New Delhi and will be taken care-off by National Council of Science Museums (NCSM).

11 - M Venkaiah Naidu released monograph of 'Musical Excellence of Mridangam' in Chennai

M Venkaiah Naidu

Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu released a monograph, ‘Musical Excellence of Mridangam’, a rare fusion of art and science of an ancient South Indian instrument on the CSIR-Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI) campus in Chennai. The book was authored by mridangam maestro and Padma Vibhushan awardee Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman and former scientists T. Ramasami and M.D. Naresh.

The monograph traces the various methods and materials used in the making of the instrument and analyses them.

12 - India and Germany sign 17 MoUs

India and Germany

India and Germany signed 17 MoUs and exchanged five joint declarations of intent during German Chancellor Angela Merkel's two-day visit to India.

Some of the key MoUs signed are:

  • Implementing Arrangement for Exchange of Personnel between ISRO and German Aerospace Centre

  • MoU in the field of Occupational Diseases, Re-habilitation and vocational training of Insured Persons & workers with disabilities

  • MoU for Cooperation in Inland, Coastal and Maritime Technology

  • MoU on Establishment of an Academic Collaboration in Ayurveda, Yoga and Meditation

  • MoU on the Extension of Indo-German Partnership in Higher Education

13 - India to host Shanghai Summit's Heads of Government Council meet in 2020

Host Shanghai

India will host the 19th council of heads of government of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in 2020 at New Delhi. India will host a meeting of the heads of the government for the first time.

The SCO is a China-led eight-member economic and security bloc in which India and Pakistan were admitted as full members in 2017. Its founding members included China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

14 - Safdarjung Hospital becomes first government hospital to have Robotic surgery facility

Safdarjung Hospital

Union Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurated robotic surgery facility in the Safdarjung Hospital (SJH) New Delhi. SJH thus became the first Central Government hospital in India to start this latest Robot Surgery facility for all poor patients for free.

Safdarjang Hospital is one of the biggest tertiary care referral centre of India, under Ministry of Health and Family Welfare catering to all poor patients of uro-oncological cancers like prostate, kidney, bladder cancers and kidney failures, from different parts of country.

15 - 8th Indo German Energy Forum (IGEF) 2019 meet in Delhi

Indo German Energy Forum

The 8th meeting of the Indo – German Energy Forum concluded in New Delhi. The Forum took note of the ongoing cooperation in - Flexibilization in Thermal Power Plants, Renewable Energies, Demand side energy efficiency and low carbon growth strategies and Green Energy Corridors.

The forum also finalised the roadmap for future collaboration in promoting niche markets for solar energy, promotion of energy efficiency in buildings through ECBC, building materials and credit lines for financing corresponding measures and RE evacuation through state-of-the-art intra-state and inter-state transmission grid infrastructure.

16 - Government to set up anti-human trafficking units in all districts using Nirbhaya Fund

Anti-Human Trafficking

The Union Government will set up anti-human trafficking units in all districts with the help of the Nirbhaya Fund. The government also plans to set up women help desks in all police stations across the country using this fund. The government will spend Rs 100 crore each.

Nirbhaya Fund was announced by the Centre in 2013 to support the initiatives of the government and the NGOs working towards the safety of women.

17 - India-Uzbekistan signed 3 MoUs in the field of Military Medicine and Military Education


India and Uzbekistan inked three Memorandum of Understanding in the field of Military Medicine and Military Education to further strengthen Defence cooperation between both the countries.

The first MoU was signed on cooperation in the field of Military Medicine between the Armed Forces of the two countries. Two Institution-to-Institution MoUs on training and capacity building between institutes of higher military learning of the two countries were also signed. The MoU is a byproduct of interactions emanating from the MoU on Military Education signed between the two countries in October 2018.

18 - Government sets up Rs. 25,000 crore fund to revive stalled housing projects

Housing Projects

The Union Cabinet at a meeting has decided to set up Rs 25000 crore fund to revive stalled housing projects. According to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the government will put in Rs 10,000 crore in the Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) while State Bank of India and Life Insurance Corporation will provide Rs 15,000 crore taking the total size to Rs 25000 crore.

It will finance over 1,600 stalled housing projects comprising about 4.58 lakh housing units across the country.

19 - Agriculture Minister released 5th edition of Wastelands Atlas - 2019

Wastelands Atlas

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar released the fifth edition of Wastelands Atlas - 2019. The Atlas, published jointly by Department of Land Resources and National Remote Sensing Centre, provides robust geospatial information on wasteland. It is helpful in rolling back the wastelands for productive use through various land development programmes and schemes.

Wastelands Atlas-2019 also provides State and district wise distribution of different categories of wastelands area in the country and will be helpful in addressing land degradation.

20 - India opted out of RCEP agreement


India decided not to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) deal as negotiations failed to address New Delhi's outstanding issues and concerns. The present form of the agreement does not fully reflect the basic spirit and the agreed guiding principles and did not satisfactorily address India's outstanding issues and concerns.

RCEP agreement with China and ASEAN countries does not reflect its original intent, and the outcome is not balanced. Leaders have hailed the Central government's decision of not joining the RCEP.

21 - 48th CSMC Sanctions 2.32 lakh Houses under PMAY (U)


The 48th Meeting of the Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee (CSMC) Under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) has approved 371 proposals from participating states/UT for the construction of 2,31,532 houses with an overall investment of Rs 7,322 Cr involving central assistance of Rs 3,473 Cr.

PMAY(U) Mission has achieved milestone of sanctioning more than 93 Lakh houses under PMAY(U) against the validated demand of 1.12 crore houses. A total of 55 Lakh houses are grounded for construction of which construction of more than 28 Lakh houses is complete.

22 - Shri Santosh Gangwar launched Uan Registration, E-Inspection and DIGI Locker


Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Minister of State (I/C) for Labour and Employment launched 3 Apps: uan registration, e-inspection and digi locker, developed by Employees' Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) at its 67th Foundation Day. Apps will immensely enhance the Ease of Doing Business and promote transparency in the working in the EPFO.

EPFO integrates with DigiLocker of NeGD to create depository of electronic PPOs which is accessible to individual pensioners. The E-Inspection Form enables employer to inform either closure of business or unpaid dues with proposal for payment.

23 - Cabinet approved MoUs between India and German Agency in the field of Occupational Diseases

India and German

The Union Cabinet has given ex-post facto approval for the MoUs between India and Germany for collaboration in the field of occupational diseases, re-habilitation and vocational training of insured persons with disabilities. Exchange of information and collaboration will enable capacity building and social re-habilitation of Insured Persons with disabilities, besides prevention, detection and treatment of occupational diseases.

The MoUs will help broadly in:

  • Exchanging information and promoting activities in the area of rehabilitation related to medical, occupational and social re-habilitation of Insured Persons with disabilities, and

  • Prevention, detection and treatment of occupational diseases.

24 - Cabinet approved MoU between India and Paraguay in the field of Tourism

India and Paraguay

The Union Cabinet has given ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Paraguay for strengthening cooperation in the field of tourism, participation in travel fairs/exhibitions in each other’s country and promoting safe, honourable and sustainable tourism.

The MoU will help India in increasing foreign tourist arrivals from Paraguay, which in turn, will result in economic development and employment generation and create favourable conditions for long-term tourism cooperation. The MoU will explore to incorporate the best practices.

25 - Cabinet approved protocol amending the Convention between India and Brazil for the avoidance of double taxation

India and Brazil

The Union Cabinet approved the signing of the Protocol amending the Convention between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.

The protocol will facilitate elimination of double taxation, clear allocation of taxing rights between Contracting States through DTAC and provide tax certainty to investors & businesses of both countries. It will augment the flow of investment through lowering of tax rates in source State.

26 - Cabinet approved MoU with Switzerland on Technical Cooperation in the field of Climate Change and Environment

India Switzerland

The Union Cabinet has given ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Switzerland on Technical Cooperation in the field of Climate Change and Environment.

The MoU will enable establishment of closer and long-term cooperation between the two countries in the field of environmental protection and management of natural resources on the basis of equity, reciprocity and mutual benefits, taking into account the applicable laws and legal provisions in each country.

27 - Cabinet approved MoU signed between India and Guinea in the field of Renewable Energy

India and Guinea

The Union Cabinet has given approval for the MoU between India and Guinea in the field of Renewable Energy.

The objective of the MoU is:

  • To establish the basis for a cooperative institutional relationship

  • To encourage and promote bilateral technical cooperation in the field of renewable energy on the basis of mutual benefit, equality and reciprocity between the Parties.

  • Areas of cooperation include Solar Energy, Wind Energy, Bio-energy, and Waste to energy, Small Hydro Storage and Capacity Build.

28 - Minister of State for HRD Shri Sanjay Dhotre launched Shaala Darpan portal for Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti

Sanjay Dhotre

Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Shri Sanjay Dhotre launched Shaala Darpan portal, an E-Governance school automation and management system for Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti (NVS) in New Delhi. This single integrated platform has been developed for information sharing and knowledge dissemination for the 22000 employees and over 2 lakh students across schools and offices.

ShalaDarpan, will not only make different processes of Navodaya Vidyalayas very smooth, but it will also bring transparency. It has Budget & Finance management system, Inventory & Store management system and Employee ERP to manage the day to day activities of all employees.

29 - Italian movie ‘Despite the Fog’ to open at 50th IFFI

Despite the Fog

Italian movie ‘Despite the Fog’ (Nonostante La Nebbia) was the opening film at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2019. The film is directed by Europe’s noted filmmaker Goran Paskaljevic. The 50th edition of IFFI, held in GOA, witnessed the screening of over 200 best films from 76 countries.

Goran Paskaljevic is one of Europe's most respected independent directors. He has made 30 documentaries and 18 feature films. In 2001, Variety International Film Guide marked him as one of the world's top five directors of the year.

30 - Government should explore Israel, Brazil models for onion storage: FICCI


FICCI study on rise in retail price of onion stated that India should explore low-cost modern technology models from countries like Israel and Brazil for storing the commodity. In Israel, onions are stored in open ventilated warehouses with continuous forced air-ventilation whereas low-cost ventilated silos system and refrigerated storage room is being used at farm level in Brazil.

FICCI also pointed out that ad-hocism in export bans had serious repercussions and there was a need to remove onion from the purview of the Essential Commodities Act.

31 - India's first interactive online repository, called IndAIR launched


The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-NEERI) has launched the India's first interactive online repository, called IndAIR or Indian Air quality Interactive Repository. The aim of the project is to make air quality research available to everyone. NEERI has been working to develop a web repository of all the research that has been done in the country.

IndAIR has archived approximately 700 scanned documents from 1950-1999, 1,215 research articles, 170 reports and case studies, 100 cases and over 2,000 statutes to provide the history of air pollution research and legislation in the country.

32 - Ministry of Steel released Steel Scrap Recycling Policy

Steel Scrap

Ministry of Steel issued the Steel Scrap Recycling Policy.

The objective of policy is:

  • To promote circular economy in the steel sector.

  • Processing and recycling of products in an organized manner

  • To produce high quality ferrous scrap for quality steel production thus minimizing the dependency on imports.

  • To create a mechanism for treating waste streams and residues.

  • To promote 6Rs principles of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover, Redesign and Remanufacture through scientific handling.

  • To decongest the Indian cities from ELVs and reuse of ferrous scrap.

33 - CSIR-IMTECH signed MOU with IIT Bombay for collaborative research

Microbial Technology

CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH), Chandigarh signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay to promote collaborative research. The MoU facilitated exchange of ideas, development of new knowledge and enhance high quality research acumen between the researchers and faculty of both the institutes.

The objective of this collaboration was to carry out state of the art research in areas of healthcare especially in projects and mission where both the institutes can significantly complement each other.

34 - Union Minister Nitin Gadkari inaugurated the 39th India International Trade Fair

Nitin Gadkari

Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways and MSME Mr Nitin Gadkari, inaugurated the 39th India International Trade Fair(IITF).The theme for this edition of the Fair was “Ease of Doing Business” inspired by the unique achievement of India of rising up to the 63rd rank on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index from 142nd rank in year 2014.

Afghanistan was accorded the status of Partner Country while South Korea was the focus country. Several countries, including Australia, Iran, UK, Vietnam, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Egypt, Hong Kong and Indonesia, participated in the 14-day trade fair.

35 - India hosted the 8th International Conference on Agricultural Statistics in New Delhi

8th International Conference

The 8th International Conference on Agricultural Statistics (ICAS-VIII) was organized by the Ministry of Agriculture in New Delhi based on theme ‘Statistics for Transformation of Agriculture to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’.

The conference was held with an aim to address various challenges faced in producing data to report on the SDGs and various leading research and also to deliberate and finalize the best practises in the field of agriculture statistics. The agenda for this conference covered domains of food and agricultural statistics, related methodologies, technologies and processes.

36 - Union HRD Minister ‘Nishank’ launched UNESCO MGIEP Digital Learning draft Guidelines


On the occasion of the 40th UNESCO General Conference, Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, Union Minister, Ministry of Human Resource Development launched the first of its kind ‘Industry Guidelines on Digital Learning (discussion draft)’ at the Ministerial Roundtable on ‘Media and Information Literacy and Games in the Digital World’.

The Draft Guidelines were developed by UNESCO MGIEP, based in New Delhi, responding to the Vizag Declaration on Digital Learning adopted at TECH 2018, an international conference. The main objective was to encourage the development of critical thinking in the field of media, information and literacy.

37 - Shri Amit Shah inaugurated the National Tribal Festival 'Aadi Mahotsav'

Shri Amit Shah

Union Minister for Home Affairs, Shri Amit Shah inaugurated the National Tribal Festival 'Aadi Mahotsav', in New Delhi. Over a thousand tribal artisans from 27 states participated in the event. The festival served as a platform to help the tribal artisans showcase their handicrafts, culture, traditions and food in front of the world.

The government has planned to develop 'Van Dhan Vikas Kendras', to accelerate the development of tribal people across the country. Tribal people reside in 40% of its area and constitute 8% of India's population.

38 - Government launched Bharatiya Poshan Krishi Kosh

Launched Bharatiya Poshan

The Union Government has launched Bharatiya Poshan Krishi Kosh with the aim of reducing malnutrition in India. The kosh was launched by WCD Minister Smriti Irani along with Bill Gates.

The Bharatiya Poshan Krishi Kosh is a repository of diverse crops across 128 agro-climatic zones to help enable better nutritional outcomes. The Union Ministry of Women and Child Development has partnered with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the Bharatiya Poshan Krishi Kosh project.

39 - IRCTC signed an MoU with KSTDC to run the Golden Chariot Train

Golden Chariot Train

Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC) has signed a MoU with Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) to market and operate the Golden Chariot Train. IRCTC is expected to carry out internal refurbishment of the train and commence operations from March 2020.

Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) will soon hand over the reins of the train to IRCTC. IRCTC is planning a revamp of the train itineraries also to add different flavours that Karnataka has to offer.

40 - Census 2021 to be conducted in 16 languages at a cost of over Rs. 8750 crore


The Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) has recommended an amount of Rs. 8754.23 crore for conducting Census 2021 in 16 languages. It will be conducted in two phases, viz., House-listing & Housing Census during April to September, 2020 and Population Enumeration during February 09-28, 2021.

The 2021 census will be conducted through a mobile phone application, moving away from the traditional pen and paper to give Digital India a boost. The reference date for the census will be 1 March, 2021, but for Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand it will be 1 October 2020.

41 - Indian Steel Association organised ISA – Steel Conclave 2019

Steel Conclave

The Indian Steel Association supported by the Ministry of Steel, Government of India organised the second Edition of “ISA – Steel Conclave 2019” on 21st – 22nd November, 2019 in New Delhi. The conclave deliberated on Indian and Global Perspectives of the Steel Industry.

Steel Industry Overview

  • World's 2nd largest producer of crude steel (106 MT) in calendar year 2018

  • Largest producer of Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) or Sponge Iron(30.36MT) in the world

  • 3rd largest consumer of finished steel in 2018 [96MT] in the world

  • The steel sector contributes around 2% of the country's GDP

  • 4th largest Iron ore producer in the world

42 - Cabinet approve MoU with Finland for strengthening cooperation in the field of Tourism

Indian and Finland

The Union Cabinet has approved the MoU signed between Indian and Finland for strengthening cooperation in the field of Tourism.

The main objectives of the MoU are:

  • Establish the basis for a cooperative relationship to encourage and promote successful bilateral cooperation in the field of tourism

  • Sharing data; knowledge, expertise etc. related to tourism

  • Sharing experiences in making polices, regulation and standards in planning, implementation and development of tourism policy

  • Exchanging best practices through workshops and study visits for experts

43 - Cabinet approved establishment of the NISR at Leh

Cabinet Approved

The Union Cabinet approved the establishment of the National Institute for Sowa-Rigpa in Leh as an autonomous organization under the Ministry of AYUSH. The government aims to promote native culture of Ladakh and Sowa-Rigpa system of medicine through NISR. The estimated cost of the project is Rs.47.25 crore.

Sowa-Rigpa is a Traditional Medical system of the Himalayan belt in India. The setting up of the NISR would provide an impetus for the revival of Sowa-Rigpa in the Indian Sub-continent. The Institute will also provide opportunities for students of Sowa-Rigpa not only in India but also from other countries.

44 - Cabinet approved the Patent Prosecution Highway programme

Patent Prosecution Highway Programme

The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal for adoption of Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) programme by the Indian Patent Office (IPO) with patent offices of various other interest countries or regions. The said programme will initially commence between Japan Patent Office (JPO) and Indian Patent Office on pilot basis for a period of three years only.

PPH programme would lead to the following benefits for the Indian IP office:

  • Reduction in time to dispose patent applications

  • Reduction in pendency of patent applications

  • Improvement in quality of search and examination of patent applications

45 - Cabinet approved MoU between India and Comoros

India and Comoros

The Union Cabinet approved the proposal ex-post-facto on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Comoros on cooperation in the field of Health and Medicine.

The MoU covers the following areas of cooperation:

  • Training and Capacity Building

  • Exchanges of experiences

  • Institutional strengthening of Hospitals; Hospital management

  • Medical care in Oncology and Palliative care;

  • Communicable and Non-communicable Diseases;

  • Acquisition of pharmaceutical products, materials and biomedical products

  • Support for the opening of three units of blood transfusion

  • Support for the opening of a public health laboratory

  • Support for the implementation of telemedicine

46 - MoU between India and Switzerland for technical cooperation in Rail Sector

India and Switzerlands

Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between Ministry of Railways of the Republic of India and Federal Department of the Environment, Transport and Communications of the Swiss Confederation on August 31, 2017 for technical cooperation in Rail sector with following areas of cooperation −

  • Traction Rolling stock

  • EMU and Train sets

  • Traction Propulsion Equipments

  • Freight and Passenger Cars

  • Tilting Trains

  • Railway Electrification Equipments

  • Train scheduling and operation improvement

  • Railway Station modernization

  • Multimodal transport

  • Tunneling technology

  • Any other area jointly identified by the participating countries

47 - Two lakh Gram Panchayats to be connected with internet, broadband by March 2020

Internet Broadband

Centre has set a target to provide internet and broadband connectivity to two lakh Gram Panchayats by March 2020. A total of over 1,28,000 Gram Panchayats have been made Service Ready till 7th of November.

BharatNet project is being implemented in a phased manner to provide broadband and internet connectivity to all 2,50,000 Gram Panchayats in the country. Wi-Fi hotspots have been installed in around 45,000 Gram Panchayats and services are being provided in over 16,000 Gram Panchayats.

48 - CBI sets up 'Specialised Unit' to counter growing menace of child porn


The Central Bureau of Investigation has a set up an online Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation (OCSAE) Prevention/Investigation Unit at its headquarter to counter the growing menace of child porn on the Internet.

The perpetrators will be booked under relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, and the Information Technology Act, 2000. The new "specialised unit" will collect intelligence on both who are allegedly creating and transmitting such material on the Internet and also who are browsing and downloading such material.

49 - Home Ministry launched campaign to end violence against Women


The Ministry of Home Affairs, in association with the UN Women, flagged off an awareness campaign to end violence against women. As per the campaign named as ‘OrangeTheWorld global campaign’, people would be made aware about India's single emergency helpline 112, an internationally recognised emergency number used in several countries.

With the help of this number, distressed people can provide his/her location to IT-based response system of first responders (police, fire, ambulance, etc.). The 112 India App services are available in 27 States/UTs.

50 - India contributed $13.5 mn for UN development activities for 2020

India Contributed

India has pledged to contribute USD 13.5 million for various operational activities of development across the UN agencies for the year 2020. India’s pledges at the UN General Assembly Pledging Conference were announced by Anjani Kumar, counsellor at India’s Permanent Mission to the UN.

India’s contribution include USD 5 million to the UN Relief and Works Agency, USD 4.5 million to the UN Development Programme, $14mn for community development projects in the CARICOM, 1.92mn$ for World Food Programme, USD 900,000 to the UN Children’s Fund etc. Around USD 50 billion are channelised every year through the UN System.

51 - Health ministry launched SAANS campaign in Gujarat

Campaign in Gujarat

Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare launched ‘SAANS’ “Social Awareness and Action to Neutralise Pneumonia Successfully” campaign in Gujarat at 6th National Summit on Good, Replicable Practices and Innovations in Public Health Care Systems. 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.

SAANS 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.

52 - 8th International Conference on Agricultural Statistics held in India

Agricultural Statistics

The Eighth International Conference on Agricultural Statistics was organized by ICAR-Indian Agricultural Statistics Research in Delhi. The theme of conference was ‘Statistics for Transformation of Agriculture to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’. It was a learning opportunity for the statisticians, young scientists and decision makers in India to adopt modern practises in agriculture such as Big Data analysis, AI, precision farming etc.

Around 600 delegates from 108 countries participated in the conference. The conference is conducted every three years based on overarching need for agricultural data worldwide.

53 - Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs launched the CLSS Awas Portal


Shri. Hardeep S Puri, Minister of State (I/C) for Housing and Urban Affairs launched the CLSS Awas Portal (CLAP). Separately, Memorandum of Agreements (MoAs) for Light House Projects under GHTC-India were also exchanged between MoHUA and State Government of 6 states viz; Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh at the event. CLAP will address the grievance of the beneficiaries in a much comprehensive, organised and transparent manner.

Ministry has developed a web based real time monitoring system called CLAP in which all stakeholders such as MoHUA, CNAs, PLIs and Beneficiaries are integrated.

54 - Government approved setting up of six plastic parks

Six Plastic Parks

The government has approved setting up of six plastic parks in different parts of the country. These parks will havenp an ecosystem with state of the art infrastructure building and enabling the common facility to consolidate and synergize the capacities of the domestic downstream plastic processing industry.

Under the scheme, the government provides grant funding up to 50% of the project cost. The remaining project cost is to be funded by State Government beneficiary industries and by a loan from financial institutions.

55 - Centre released Rs 836.64 crore under PMDP for vital health projects in J&K


In Jammu and Kashmir, Union Government has released an amount of 836.64 crore rupees against the sanctioned amount of 900 crore rupees under Prime Minister’s Development Programme (PMDP) for vital health projects.

Out of total 144 ongoing and new health projects approved under this financial assistance programme, 48 projects have been completed while rest of 96 projects have been targeted for completion during the current and financial year.

56 - Jal Shakti Minister released short documentary film named ‘SHIKHAR SE PUKAR’

Jal Shakti Minister

The Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat released the short documentary "Shikhar se Pukar", based on the Mt. Everest journey, by author Shri Ravindra Kumar, District Magistrate Bulandshahr. Shri Kumar has climbed Mt. Everest twice, - first in 2013 and again on May 23, 2019. The mountaineer named his expedition as “Swachh Ganga Swachh Bharat Everest Abhiyaan 2019” and carried ‘Ganga Jal’ and offered the holy water at the highest peak of the world.

The film “Shikhar se Pukar” aims to promote “Jalshakti Abhiyan” and create awareness about water conservation “Jal Sanrakshan Abhiyan”.

57 - Microsoft rolled out the K12 Education Transformation Framework in India


Microsoft rolled out its K12 Education Transformation Framework more widely to schools across India at the second edition of the Microsoft Education Days in Gurgaon. The Microsoft K-12 Education Transformation Framework provides framework to facilitate a comprehensive digital transformation of schools. It comprises of four pillars-Leadership and Policy; Modern Teaching and Learning; Intelligent Environments and Technology Blueprint.

K-12 Education framework is a platform based on the latest research and input from hundreds of academics and policy makers to help plan their learning strategies in partnership with Microsoft.

58 - Cabinet approved MoUs signed between India and Saudi Arabia

India and Saudi Arabia

The Union Cabinet approved MoUs between India and Saudi Arabia in the field of combating illicit trafficking and smuggling of Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Chemical Precursors. MoU will

  • Facilitate and enhance the cooperation between the two countries in combating illicit trafficking and smuggling of narcotic drugs.

  • Under the MoU, there is a provision for the exchange of relevant information.

The MoU also provides for exchange of chemical reports/analysis of narcotic drug seized within the territory of either party and data/information about illegal laboratories of narcotic drugs.

59 - Cabinet approved MoU signed between India and Myanmar


The Union Cabinet approved MoU between India and Myanmar on bilateral cooperation for Prevention of Trafficking in Persons; Rescue, Recovery, Repatriation and Re-integration of victims of Trafficking.

The MoU aims:

  • To strengthen cooperation to prevent all forms of human trafficking.

  • Ensure speedy investigation and prosecution of traffickers.

  • Setting up Working Groups/ Task Force to make efforts to prevent human trafficking.

  • Capacity building programmes for the agencies concerned of both countries.

  • Develop and share database on traffickers and victims of trafficking.

60 - Cabinet approved Agreement and Protocol between India and Chile

India and Chile

The Union Cabinet approved the signing of the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) and Protocol between the Republic of India and the Republic of Chile for the elimination of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion and avoidance with respect to taxes on income.

The DTAA will facilitate elimination of double taxation. Clear allocation of taxing rights between Contracting States through the Agreement will provide tax certainty to investors & businesses of both countries. The Agreement and Protocol implements minimum standards and other recommendations of G-20 OECD Base Erosion Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project.

61 - Cabinet approved extension of the term of the Fifteenth Finance Commission

Finance Commission

The Union Cabinet approved the Fifteenth Finance Commission to submit first report for the first fiscal year viz. 2020-21 and to extend the tenure of XV-FC to provide for the presentation of the final report covering FYs 2021-22 to 2025-26 by 30th October, 2020. The extension of the term will enable the Commission to examine various comparable estimates for financial projections in view of reforms and the new realities to finalise its recommendations for the period 2020-2026.

The proposed increase in coverage of the period will help medium-term resource planning for the State Governments and the Central Government.