The Daily Brief – 17th November 2018


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  1. Union Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) has announced that government will pay employers salaries for first seven of 26 weeks of maternity. Government had increased maternity leave for pregnant women was extended from 12 weeks to 26 weeks in 2017 after Parliament had passed Maternity Benefits (Amendment) Bill, 2016. This raised India’s position to the third place in terms of the number of weeks given for maternity leave after Canada (50 weeks) and Norway (44).
  2. South Asian Regional Conference on Urban Infrastructure: New Approaches to Public and Private Partnerships (PPPs) and Municipal Finance Innovations was held in New Delhi. It was organised by NITI Aayog in partnership with United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (UNESCAP) and Asian Development Bank (ADB). The main objective of the two day conference was to discuss the key issues, perspectives and way forward in the Urban Infrastructure.
  3. Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal inaugurated 2nd Mega Food Park in Maharashtra, in Wahegaon and Dhangaon village in Paithan taluka of Aurangabad district. It was launched under Mega Food Park Scheme and is promoted by Paithan Mega Food Park Pvt Ltd. The first park was inaugurated in Satara district in March 2018. Third mega foodpark has been sanctioned by Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries in Maharashtra in Wardha district.
  4. Union Ministry of Tourism has inaugurated two important projects as part of Development of North East Circuit under Swadesh Darshan Scheme in Arunachal Praddesh. Bhalukpong- Bomdila – Tawang Project: It was sanctioned by Ministry of Tourism in March 2015. Nafra- Seppa- Pappu, Pasa, Pakke Valleys- Sangdupota- New Sagalee- Ziro- Yomcha Project: It was sanctioned in December 2015. Swadesh Darshan scheme was launched by Union Tourism Ministry in 2015 with objective to develop theme-based tourist circuits in the country.
  5. The 9th Annual Defence and Security Dialogue between India and China held in Beijing. It held between the two defence delegations headed by defence secretary Sanjay Mitra and China’s deputy chief of Joint Staff Department of the Central Military Commission. The defence dialogue was also held ahead of 21st round of border talks between the special representatives of the two countries in Chinese city of Dujiangyan on November 23-24, 2018. The 9th Annual Defence and Security Dialogue was held after one-year gap due to Doklam standoff.
  6. The state government of Odisha on November 15, 2018 announced a new Biotechnology Policy 2018 to attract investments in the sector at the concluding day of the Make in Odisha Conclave, held in its capital city Bhubaneswar. The state government aims to make the state a top biotech investment destination in the country. The development of the biotech sector will be based on three key pillars – innovation, entrepreneurship and investment.

    World Tolerance Summit in Dubai
  7. The World Tolerance Summit (WTS) 2018 was inaugurated on November 16, 2018 in Dubai, UAE. The theme of the summit was ‘Prospering from Pluralism: Embracing Diversity through Innovation and Collaboration’.  It is being held in the UAE for the first time. The main aim will be to discuss the great importance of tolerance, peace, equality, and to celebrate diversity amongst people from all walks of life, regardless of varying political views, cultural and religious backgrounds. The UN General Assembly through a resolution in 1996 invited the UN Member States to observe the International Day for Tolerance on November 16, 2018.

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Today’s Quiz

1. What is the maternity leave in India in terms of number of weeks?

2. Which country stands first in terms of number of weeks of maternity leave?

3. Where was the first Mega Food Park inaugurated in Maharashtra?

4. When was the Swadesh Darshan Scheme launched?

5. In which of the following states Bhalukpong- Bomdila – Tawang Project: located?

6. Which state announced Biotechnology policy 2018?

7. On which the International Day for Tolerance is observed?

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