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Evening News Digest: 11 Nov 2018

Usable Toilet, 2-child norm mandatory for candidates of Assam Panchayat polls

The Assam State Election Commission has made its mandatory of having a usable toilet and a two-child norm for all aspiring candidates of the upcoming panchayat polls.
The decision of making a usable toilet compulsory has been taken to make cleanliness a priority in society. 

Candidates having more than two children, except in exceptional cases, would not be eligible to contest the polls.

Voters not listed in NRC draft list would not be barred from exercising their voting rights.

The panchayat polls in Assam would be held in two phases on the 5th and 9th of Dec 2018.

The State Election Commissioner said, 50 percent seats would be reserved for women. 

Panchayati Raj

On 24th April 1993, the Constitutional (73rd Amendment) Act 1992 came into force to provide constitutional status to the Panchayati Raj institutions. Under this provision Panchayat elections at the local level held every five years. India have long tradition of village level panchayats since ancient times.

The system has three levels: Gram Panchayat (village level), Panchayat Samiti (block level), and Zila Parishad (district level).

Mahatma Gandhi had long been advocated for a Gram Swaraz (village self-governance) and deceltralized form of government.

The Panchayat Raj system was first adopted by the state of Rajasthan in Nagaur district on 2 Oct 1959.

National Education Day: 11 November

Central Government has declared November 11, the birth anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, freedom fighter, eminent educationist and the first Union Minister of Education, as National Education Day.

To commemorate National Education Day, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has requested schools to organize various programs on the importance of education and the nation's commitment to all aspects of education. 

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad

Maulana fought for country’s freedom and in 1912, he started a weekly journal in Urdu called Al-Hilal to increase the revolutionary recruits. For his contribution – both as an educationist as a freedom fighter – he was awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1992.

He firmly believed in universal primary education, free and compulsory education for all children upto the age of 14, vocational training and technical education.

He is also responsible in establishing most of the major cultural and literary academies we have today, including the Sangeet Natak Academy, Lalit Kala Academy, Sahitya Academy as well as the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. The first IIT, IISc, School of Planning and Architecture and the University Grants Commission were established under his tenure.

24th Kolkata International Film Festival begins

The 24th Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF) began on 10 Nov at the Netaji Indoor Stadium.

It was jointly inaugurated by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Dadasaheb Phalke awardee Soumitra Chatterjee and veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan.

Around 171 films and 150 short and documentary films from 70 countries will be screened at the festival. This edition will also celebrate 100 years of Bengali cinema by screening classics by auteurs. 

In the category International Competition: Innovation in Moving Images, an eclectic range of 15 films are competing. The best film will get a prize money of Rs 51 lakh and a Golden Royal Bengal Tiger trophy. The director will receive Rs 21 lakh as prize money along with the trophy.

An inland waterways terminal on River Ganga in Varanasi dedicated to nation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the first multi-modal terminal on the Ganga river in Varanasi on November 12 under a project aimed at promoting inland waterways as a cheaper and more environment-friendly means of transport.

This is the first of the three such terminals and two inter-modal terminals being constructed on the river.

The multi-modal terminals are being built as part of the central government's Jal Marg Vikas Project that aims to develop the stretch of the river Ganga between Varanasi and Haldia for navigation of large vessels weighing up to 1,500-2,000 tonnes.

The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is the project implementing agency.

Jal Marg Vikas Project

The Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) is being implemented on the Haldia-Varanasi stretch of National Waterway-1 (NW-1) with the technical assistance and investment support of the World Bank. It is being built at an estimated cost of Rs. 5,369.18 crore, on a 50:50 sharing basis between the Government of India and the World Bank.

33rd ASEAN summit begins in Singapore

Singapore will host the 33rd ASEAN Summit at Suntec Singapore Convention Centre from Sunday (Nov 11) to Nov 15. Singapore is the current chairman of the 10-member regional bloc ASEAN in 2018.

Next chairmanship of ASEAN bloc goes to Thailand on Nov 15.

Indian PM Narendra Modi will also attend the ASEAN summit and Regional Economic Cooperation Partnership (RECP) at Singapore.


Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership is a proposed free trade agreement between the ten member states of the ASEAN and the six Asia-Pacific states with which ASEAN has existing free trade agreements. The countries with ASEAN has free trade are India, China, South Korea, Australia, New Zeeland and Japan.

Association of South East Asia Nations (ASEAN)

It consists of 10 permanent member countries - Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a regional grouping founded on 8 August 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines to promote economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the Southeast Asian region through multilateral cooperation.

World leaders mark centenary of 1918 Armistice in Paris

World leaders in Paris will lead global commemorations on 11 Nov to mark 100 years since the end of World War One. Around 70 leaders including the US and Russian Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin will mark the centenary of the 1918 Armistice in the French capital.

World War 1

World War I was a global war which began on July 28, 1914 and lasted until November 11, 1918. The war lasted exactly four years, three months and 14 days.

World War I was fought between the Allied Powers and the Central Powers. The main members of the Allied Powers were France, Russia, and Britain. The United States also fought on the side of the Allies after 1917. The main members of the Central Powers were Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria. 

The fighting ended on November 11, 1918 when a general armistice was agreed to by both sides. The war officially ended between Germany and the Allies with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. 

Goa government announces ban on import of fish for 6 months

The Goa government has announced a ban on import of fish into the state for six months.

The decision was taken against the backdrop of a scare in the coastal state that formalin, a potential cancer-causing chemical, was being used to preserved fish.


A solution of 35 to 40 per cent of water in formaldehyde or methanal is called formalin. Formaldehyde''s formula is HCHO. As formalin is a strong disinfectant and tissue hardener, it''s used for preserving biological and anatomical specimens. It''s also used as an antiseptic in sterilising surgical instruments.

IS Formalin dangerous to health?

In 1987, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classified formaldehyde as a probable human carcinogen under conditions of unusually high or prolonged exposure. Since that time, some studies of humans have suggested that formaldehyde exposure is associated with certain types of cancer.

Formalin is a preservative applied on the body of fish to prevent its decay. As per animal studies, formalin is a cancer-causing agent. Formalin is actually used for the preservation of bodies in mortuaries.

Payippadan Chundan wins Nehru Trophy Boat Race 2018

Payippadan Chundan won the 66th Nehru Trophy Boat Race, that took place in Punnamada Lake in Kuttanad, Kerala.

The event scheduled to be held on August 11 was postponed due to the floods.

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