Daily Current affairs – November 17,2018 for all competitive exams

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National Epilepsy day 2018 in India

  • November 17 is observed every year as National Epilepsy Day to create awareness about epilepsy.
  • Epilepsy is a chronic disorder of brain characterized by recurrent ‘seizures’ or ‘fits’.

Labour ministry plans to refund 7weeks wage under Maternity Benefit Act

  • In a bid to encourage employers, especially in the private sector, to implement the extended 26-week maternity leave law, the Labour Ministry is planning to refund them for seven weeks’ worth of wages for women workers with a wage ceiling up to Rs. 15,000 per month.
  • The Ministry is in the process of getting budgetary approvals for the  Rs. 400 crore incentive scheme.
  • In March 2017, the Centre amended the Maternity Benefit Act to increase paid maternity leave from 12 to 26 weeks for all women employees in establishments employing ten or more people. However, while implementation of the provision was good in the public sector, it was poor for those with private sector or contract jobs.
  • The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, applies to establishments employing 10 or more than 10 persons in factories, mines, plantation, shops & establishments and other entities.

Ramayana Express flagged off from Delhi

  • The Shri Ramayana Express, a special tourist train to run on the Ramayana circuit to cover major spots related to the Hindu epic was recently flagged off from Safdarjung Railway Station in Delhi.
  • The train will complete its journey till Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, in 16 days covering all important destinations associated with the life of Lord Ram.
  • Ramayana Circuit is one of the fifteen thematic circuits identified for development under Swadesh Darshan scheme of Ministry of Tourism. Sitamarhi, Buxar, Darbhanga in Bihar are among the fifteen sites identified initially for development under this circuit in the country.
  • The destinations are chosen according to the places where Lord Ram is believed to have travelled across India.
  • The 15 destinations are — Ayodhya, Shringverpur and Chitrakoot in Uttar Pradesh, Sitamarhi, Buxar and Darbhanga in Bihar, Chitrakoot in Madhya Pradesh, Nandigram in West Bengal, Mahendragiri in Odisha, Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh, Bhadrachalam in Telangana, Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu, Hampi in Karnataka and Nashik and Nagpur in Maharashtra.

India’s first specialised hospital for elephants was inaugurated in Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura district

  • India’s first specialised hospital for elephants was inaugurated in Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura district – Churmura village.
  • It offers laser therapy, hydrotherapy, quarantine facilities and has a medical hoist to lift elephants.
  • It also has an observation deck that allows veterinary students and interns to observe elephants’ behaviour.

Kerala Government launched Gau Samridhi scheme for dairy farmers

  • Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan launched the ‘Cow Samridhi Plus Scheme’ to provide insurance coverage to dairy farmers in the state.
  • Moreover, farmers belonging to the general category will be getting 50% subsidy on premiums while those belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) category would get 70% subsidy on the premium.

Nongkrem Dance festival celebrated in Meghalaya 

  • Nongkrem dance festival, an annual event during which prayers are offered for good harvest, peace, and prosperity of the community was celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm by the inhabitants of the Khasi Hills in Shillong, Meghalaya.
  • The unique dance is performed by the members of Hima Khyrim, a sub-tribe of the indigenous Khasi tribe.

India and ADB signed $105 mn loan agreement for Himachal Pradesh 

  • India and Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a 105 million dollar loan agreementto continue financing the transmission system upgrades in Himachal Pradesh for increased supply of hydropower.
  • The third tranche loan is a part of the 350 million dollar multi-tranche financing facility for Himachal Pradesh Clean Energy Transmission Investment Programme.

China announced Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak

  • China has announced that its Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor — an “artificial sun” designed to replicate the process our natural Sun uses to generate energy — just hit a new temperature milestone: 100 million degrees Celsius (180 million degrees Fahrenheit).
  • For comparison, the core of our real Sun only reaches about 27 million degrees Fahrenheit — meaning the EAST reactor was, briefly, more than six times hotter than the closest star.
  • It is an experimental superconducting tokamak magnetic fusion energy reactor in Hefei, China. The Hefei-based Institute of Plasma Physics is conducting the experiment for the Chinese Academy of Sciences. It has operated since 2006. It was later put under control of Hefei Institutes of Physical Science.
  • The EAST stands at 11 metres tall, has a diameter of 8 metres and weighs about 360 tonnes.

Toxic named ‘Word of the Year 2018’ by Oxford Dictionaries

  • Oxford Dictionaries said it chose the word “toxic” after seeing a 45 per cent rise in the number of times it had been looked up on its website, adding that it was selected for capturing the ethos, mood and preoccupations of 2018.
  • With the #MeToo movement putting a cross-industry spotlight on toxic masculinity, and watershed political events like the Brett Kavanaugh Senate judiciary committee hearing sparking international debate, the term toxic masculinity has well and truly taken root in the public consciousness and got people talking in 2018.

IndusInd Bank launches India’s 1st interactive credit card with buttons 

  • IndusInd Bank has announced the launch of IndusInd Bank Nexxt Credit Card, which empowers customers with a choice of payment options such as EMI, Reward Points or Credit at the push of a button, on the card, at the point of sale (POS).
  • The bank claims it to be the nation’s first interactive credit card with buttons.
  • According to the bank, this card provides customers with the flexibility of 3 payment options at a POS terminal – Credit, Converting Transactions into EMIs with 4 tenure options (6, 12, 18 & 24 months) or using accumulated Reward Points, by simply pushing a button on the card.

Regional meeting of the World Customs Organisation has started in Jaipur, Rajasthan

  • The regional meeting of the World Customs Organisation has started in Jaipur, Rajasthan with representatives of 33 member countries of Asia attending it.
  • The meeting is slated to deliberate upon various issues including the steps required for the capacity building and reforms in customs.
  • The participants would also discuss and deliberate upon the amended Kyoto protocol, digital customs, e-commerce among other issues.

26th Conference of Central and State Organizations held in Himachal Pradesh

  • The 26th edition of Central and State Statistical Organizations (COCSSO) Conference was recently organized by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) in collaboration with Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Government of Himachal Pradesh at Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh.
  • The theme of the 26th Conference was “Quality Assurance in Official Statistics”.
  • COCSSO is an annual conference which provides a platform for the Central and State statisticians to exchange views and discuss common issues relating to statistical activities.

9th Session of India-Kyrgyz IGC held in New Delhi 

  • The 9th Session of the India-Kyrgyz Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation (IK-IGC) was held in New Delhi.
  • India and Kyrgyzstan have identified potential sectors where both sides may engage in areas like healthcare and pharmaceutical, environmental and technical safety, agriculture, information, tourism and culture, textiles and clothing, banking, labor and social development, mines and standards, metrology and certification sector.

Dr Debabhuson Borah has been honoured with the prestigious Munin Barkotoki Literary Award 2018

  • Young writer-critic Dr Debabhuson Borah has been honoured with the prestigious Munin Barkotoki Literary Award 2018 in Assam for his book on literary criticism titled ‘Nirbochon’ The annual award, which carries a cash prize of Rs 50,000 along with a citation and a plaque, was instituted in the memory of renowned writer, critic and journalist Munin Barkotoki to encourage young and promising authors writing in Assamese.

Famous singer Chitta Jena was passed away

  • Odia singer Chitta Jena died with the illness in Cuttack, Odisha. Chitta Jena was 76 years old.
  • He was popular for his versatility and talent. He made his debut as a playback singer in 1974 in the movie Mana Akasha.
  • He awarded Prafulla Kar Samman for his remarkable achievement in the field of music.

Brigadier Kuldip Singh Chandpuri, hero of 1971 Longewala battle, passes away 

  • Decorated war veteran Brigadier Kuldip Singh Chandpuri passed away in a private hospital in Mohali, Punjab. He was 78. Chandpuri, who was an Army Major during the 1971 India-Pakistan war, had held his post through the night in the famous battle of Longewala in Rajasthan with just 120 men against a full-fledged attack by advancing Pakistani Patton tanks.
  • He was decorated with the Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) for the heroic stand-off against the tanks and forcing the enemy to retreat. The feat of Brig Chandpuri and his men was later featured in Bollywood blockbuster movie “Border” which was released in 1997. His role was played by actor Sunny Deol.

Ad Man and Theatre personality Alyque Padamsee passes away

  • Popular ad filmmaker and theatre personality Alyque Padamsee passed away in Mumbai. Padamsee played the role of Muhammad Ali Jinnah in Richard Attenborough’s Oscar winner Gandhi.
  • A veteran in the theatre and advertising world, Padamsee was known as the brains behind several iconic Indian ad campaigns including Lalitaji for Surf, the Liril girl under the waterfall, Hamara Bajaj and the MRF muscle man.

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