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Evening News Digest: 19 Nov 2018

Alexander Zverev wins ATP World Tour Finals

Alexander Zverev beat Novak Djokovic by a margin of 6-4, 6-3 to win his maiden ATP title on 18 Nov.

He is now the first German to win the ATP singles title since Boris Becker did it in 1995 and also the youngest man to win the year-end championships since Djokovic in 2008 in Shanghai.

Zverev was on the front foot from the start breaking Djokovic not once but thrice. World number one Djokovic was given a run for his money throughout the match as the 21-year-old German made him work hard for his points. With this win, Zverev ends the season on a high while Djokovic fails to equal Federer’s tally fo six titles.

Qaumi Ekta Week begins to reinforce spirit of communal harmony

Qaumi Ekta Week will be observed across the country from to foster and reinforce the spirit of communal harmony and national integration from Nov 19 to Nov 25.

The observation of the week will help to highlight the inherent strength and resilience of the nation to withstand actual and potential threats to the eclectic and secular fabric of the country. 

The occasion also provides an opportunity to reaffirm age-old traditions and faith in the values of tolerance, co-existence and brotherhood in a multi-cultural and multi-religious society. 

National Integration Day

As part of the week-long programmes, Nov 19 will be observed as National Integration Day. Programmes like meetings, symposia and seminars will be organised to emphasise the themes of secularism, anti-communalism and non-violence. 

Conservation Day

The last day of the Qaumi Ekta Week will be observed as Conservation Day and several meetings and functions will be organised to emphasize the growing need for awareness and action to conserve the environment.

The National Foundation for Communal Harmony, an autonomous organisation with the Ministry of Home Affairs, organises Communal Harmony Campaign coinciding with the Qaumi Ekta Week and observes the Communal Harmony Flag Day on 25th November. 

World Toilet Day: November 19

World Toilet Day (WTD) is an official United Nations international observance day on 19 November to inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis.

The Sanitation Crisis

Worldwide, 4.5 billion people live without "safely managed sanitation" and around 892 million people practise open defecation.

The impact of exposure to human faeces on this scale has a devastating impact upon public health, living and working conditions, nutrition, education and economic productivity across the world.

Sustainable Development Goals envision toilet for everyone in the world by 2030.

2018 Theme: When nature calls

AYUSH Ministry celebrating first Naturopathy Day on November 19

The Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy (AYUSH) ministry celebrated the first Naturopathy Day on 18 Nov with the aim of promoting the drug-less system of medicine to prevent diseases by altering the diet and lifestyle.

As other areas of ministry has already got dedicated days, only Naturopathy was without any specific day.

List of Dedicated Days

International Day of Yoga: 21 June

Ayurveda Day: 5 November

Unani Day: 11 February

Siddha Day: 4 January

Pankaj Advani wins longer format of IBSF Billiards title

Legendary Pankaj Advani on 18 Nov extended his world title to 21 by winning the long and short formats of the IBSF World Billiards Championship titles for a record fourth time.

He is the only player in the world to play both billiards and snooker at the world level and win in both with great consistency.

Pankaj is the winner of three world titles this year so far.

GROWTH-India telescope’s first science observation

The 0.7 m GROWTH-India telescope at the Indian Astronomical Observatory located in Hanle, Ladakh, has made its first science observation which is a follow-up study of a nova explosion.

Novae are explosive events involving violent eruptions on the surface of white dwarf stars, leading to temporary increase in brightness of the star.

Unlike a supernova, the star does not go on to die but returns to its earlier state after the explosion.

A report on this published in The Astronomer’s Telegram notes the magnitude of the nova explosion first identified by Darnley et al as it varies, during November 8 to November 10.

GROWTH

The telescope, located at the Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO) at Hanle, Ladakh, is the country’s first robotic telescope and the first one designed to observe dynamic, or transient, events in the universe.

The facility at Hanle is part of a multi-country collaborative initiative – known as the Global Relay of Observatories Watching Transients Happen (GROWTH) – to observe transient events in the universe.

Universities and research institutes from the US, the UK, Japan, India, Germany, Taiwan and Israel are part of the initiative.

The 70-cm robotic telescope joins other larger facilities of IAO’s in Hanle: the Himalayan Chandra Telescope, the High-Altitude Gamma-Ray (HAGAR) telescope and the Major Atmospheric Cherenkov Experiment (MACE) telescope. The GROWTH telescope is expected to generate enormous amounts of data: over one thousand gigabytes in a year.

Frank Bainimarama re-elected as Prime Minister of Fiji for second term

Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama will stay in power for a second consecutive term as he has narrowly won a general election held in Fiji.

Bainimarama's FijiFirst party won 50.2 percent of the vote to claim 27 of the 51 seats in the Pacific island nation's parliament for the next four years.

FIJI

Fijians, or iTaukei, are the major indigenous people of theFiji Islands, and live in an area informally called Melanesia. Indigenous Fijians are believed to have arrived in Fiji from western Melanesia approximately 3,500 years ago, though the exact origins of the Fijian people are unknown.

Fiji does not share land borders with any countries.

Located in the continent of Oceania, Fiji covers 18,274 square kilometres of land, making it the 158th largest nation in terms of land area.

Fiji became an independent state in 1970, after gaining its sovereignty from The United Kingdom.

Trials of indigenously developed Zika vaccine to be conducted soon

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) will soon undertake trials of the indigenously developed vaccine against Zika virus, cases of which have been reported in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat.

The ICMR will undertake phase-II trial of the vaccine to establish the efficacy and safety of the vaccine along with its adverse effects, a senior official said.

Vaccines manufacturer, Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, has developed a vaccine, which they claim will provide protection against infection caused by an Asian Zika virus strain as well as by the African Zika virus strain.

Zika Virus in India

Zika virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito and also there is a breakout in some states. Vector control is one of the most challenging work.

The Zika virus, transmitted through the aedes aegypti mosquito, causes fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain. It is harmful for pregnant women, as the mother can pass the infection to her fetus during pregnancy or around the time of birth leading to microcephaly, a condition in which a baby’s head is significantly smaller than normal.

Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan both states have seen increase in number of peoples infected with Zika.

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