- Odisha urges Centre to approve 99 roads
- The state government has urged the Centre to approve 99 more road projects worth Rs 900 crore in 12 Left-wing Extremism (LWE)-affected districts to strengthen surface communication.
- The state works department has sent a list containing 97 roads and two bridges in the LWE-hit districts of Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada, Nabarangpur, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Nuapada, Balangir, Bargarh, Deogarh, Sambalpur and Boudh.
- Around 100 road projects were under construction as part of phases I and II of the Centre’s road requirement plan.
- The projects assume significance as the state government has given the highest priority to strengthening infrastructure in the LWE-hit districts.
· ‘Toxic’ named ‘Word of the Year 2018’ by Oxford Dictionaries
- Oxford Dictionaries said it chose the word “toxic” after seeing a 45 per cent risein 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.
- In 2017, its Word of the Year was “youthquake”, defined as “a significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people”.
- World Toilet Day: 19 November
- World Toilet Day is an official United Nations international observance day on November 19 to inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis.
- United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6) aims to ensure availability and sustainable management of sanitation and water for all by 2030.
- All over the world, 4.5 billion people live without a safe toilet and 892 million people still practise open defecation. In India, Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) will celebrate the Day with mass awareness and mobilization activities across States and districts.
- This year’s World Toilet Day campaign is based on the narrative: When nature calls, we need a toilet.
· U.S. and European firms sees India as an alternative to China
- S. and European firms are looking at options away from Chinaafter the U.S.-China trade war. China is now seen as not as cost competitive as it was in the past. Companies in the U.S. and Europe are looking at long-term options to build supply chain capabilities in India as an alternative to China. Now, India surely is in a good position to take advantage of this, though the scale is a challenge for us to match China.
- Punjab becomes 3rd state to ban hookah bars
- The President has given assent to the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2018 recently.
- Punjab is the third state in the country after Gujarat and Maharashtra where hookah bars or lounges were banned through law.
- These bars are being opened in restaurants, hotels, and clubs and hookahs are even served at marriages venues.
- Industrial park rating system to boost industry competitiveness
- Development of industrial park rating system would help increase competitiveness of industries and promotion of the manufacturing sector.
- The system is being developed by the ministry to assess industrial parks in the country based on four pillars — internal and external infrastructure, connectivity, environment and safety management, and business support services.
- To optimise resource utilisation and enhance the efficiency of the manufacturing sector, DIPP launched the Industrial Information System (IIS), a GIS-enabled database of industrial areas and clusters across the country in May 2017. The portal serves as a one-stop solution to the free and easy accessibility of all industrial information including availability of raw material – agriculture, horticulture, minerals, natural resources, distance from key logistic nodes, layers of terrain and urban infrastructure.
- There are over 3,000 industrial parks in the country in sectors including engineering, software, food processing and chemicals.
- Under the system, the ministry would assess 200 such parks on several parameters such as sewage effluent and treatment; and water treatment.
- The need of the system arises to see whether these parks are matching the global standards.
· India’s 1st engineless train ‘Train 18’ conducts trial run successfully
- India’s first indigenously developed engineless train “Train 18” on November 18 successfully conducted its first trial run on tracks at Moradabad-Rampur section of Northern Indian Railways.
- The train comprises of as many as 16 coaches including the driving coach.
- According to Railways, the train was made to run at three different speeds of 30 kilometers per hour (Km/hr), 50 Km/hr and 60 Km/hr respectively. The maximum speed of the “Train 18” is 220 Km/hr.
- Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai rolled out Train 18, a semi-high speed train on October 29 to replace the classic Shatabdi Express.
· Cabinet approved extension reservation for Maratha community
- The Maharashtra Cabinet approved the decision to extend reservation to the Maratha community. The reservation was extended by creating a new category called Socially and Educationally Backward Class. The category creation was based on the recommendations of the State Backward Class Commission. The announcement was made by the Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis during the eve of the winter session of the State legislature.