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Current Affairs - 19 August 2018

General Affairs 

PM Modi Salutes The "Fighting Spirit" Of People Of Flood-Hit Kerala
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi saluted the people of the rain-ravaged Kerala for their "fighting spirit" and said today the nation stands firmly with the state in this hour.

    He conducted an aerial survey of some of the areas affected by flood.

    Kerala Governor P Sathasivam and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Union Minister KJ Alphons accompanied the prime minister during the aerial survey.

    "I salute the people of Kerala for their fighting spirit... the nation stands firmly with Kerala in this hour," PM Modi said in a series of tweets after chairing a high-level meeting to review the flood situation.
    I salute the people of Kerala for their fighting spirit. I compliment the authorities for their efforts in this adverse situation.

    I would also like to appreciate the wide support and solidarity from people across India towards Kerala during this unprecedented situation.

    - Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 18, 2018
    The prime minister said his thoughts were with those who have lost their lives in the deluge and hoped that the injured would recover soon.

    "My thoughts are with the families of those who have lost their lives due to incessant flooding across Kerala. I hope the injured recover at the earliest. We all pray for the safety and well-being of the people of Kerala," he tweeted.

    PM Modi also complimented the authorities for their efforts in the adverse situation and appreciated the wide support and solidarity extended by people from across the country for Kerala during the "unprecedented" situation.

    As per information from the control room of the State Disaster Management, since August 8, 194 people have lost their lives and 36 are missing.

PM Modi Announces Immediate Relief Of Rs. 500 Crore To Flood-Hit Kerala
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced today an immediate financial assistance of Rs. 500 crore to the rain-battered Kerala, after reviewing the flood situation in the state.

    PM Modi also announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh per person to the families of those who have died in the Kerala flood and Rs. 50,000 to those seriously injured from the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund (PMNRF), a Prime Minister's Office (PMO) statement said.

    "The prime minister announced a financial assistance of Rs. 500 crore to the state. This is in addition to Rs. 100 crore announced by Home Minister Rajnath Singh on August 12," it said.

    After a high-level review meeting in Kochi, the prime minister made an aerial assessment of the damage caused due to floods in some of the affected areas of the southern state.

    He was accompanied by Governor P Sathasivam, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Union Ninister K J Alphons and officials during the aerial survey in the worst-hit Aluva-Thrissur regions.

    Expressing grief over the unfortunate deaths and damage caused to property due to floods, the prime minister observed that rescue of people who are still marooned remains the topmost priority.

    Mr Vijayan later tweeted that the prime minister has sanctioned Rs. 500 crore as immediate relief.

    "As per the initial estimate, the state has suffered a loss of Rs. 19,512 crore. The actual loss can be ascertained after the water recedes in the affected areas. The state has sought an immediate assistance of Rs. 2,000 crore," he said.

    Replying to @CMOKerala
    The Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an assistance of ₹500 crore. CM had requested an immediate assistance of ₹2000 crore. We express our thanks to Centre for the assistance. @PMOIndia @narendramodi

    PM Modi, who reached the state capital last night, proceeded to Kochi in the morning and reviewed the flood situation during a meeting with Mr Vijayan and the state government officials.

    The prime minister's visit comes a week after Home Minister Rajnath Singh visited the state and conducted an aerial survey of the flood-hit areas.

    PM Modi also assured the state government that relief materials, including food grains and medicines, would be provided, as requested.

    Insurance companies have been asked to hold special camps for assessment and timely release of compensation to the affected families and beneficiaries under social security schemes and directions have been issued for early clearance of claims under the Fasal Bima Yojana to agriculturists.

    The prime minister also directed the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to repair the main national highways damaged due to the floods on a priority basis.

    The central public sector undertaking like the NTPC and the PGCIL have been asked to render all possible assistance to the state government in restoring power lines.

    Villagers, whose 'kutcha' houses have been destroyed in the devastating floods, would be provided the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Gramin homes on a priority basis.

    Under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee scheme 5.5 crore person days have been sanctioned in the labour budget 2018-19.

    Any further request for incurring the person days would be considered as per the requirement projected by the state.

    Under the Mission for the Integrated Development of Horticulture, farmers would be provided assistance for replantation of damaged horticulture crops.

    The prime minister also complimented the state government for the efforts made in meeting the challenges of the unprecedented situation, the PMO statement added.

    Meanwhile, rains lashing several parts of the state since this morning is causing concern as it could hamper the rescue and relief operations.

Over 3,600 People Rescued From Flood-Hit Kerala: Defence Ministry
  • Engaged in rescue and relief operations in flood-hit Kerala, the Indian Army has been able to rescue 3,627 persons till date, including 22 foreign nationals, the Ministry of Defence said on Friday.

    With an over 1,000 persons-strong rescue team, the Army is engaged in alleviating the situation in flood-battered Kerala since August 9 when it was hit by torrential rains. Rain has continued ever since leading to worst flooding in over a century.

    "Thirteen temporary bridges were constructed to reconnect 38 remote areas and total of 3,627 persons have been rescued till date, including 22 foreign nationals.

    "Relief materials have been sent to 19 villages with medical aid being provided to approximately 500 civilians. In addition, 3,000 pre-cooked meals and 300 life jackets have been handed over to civil administration on Friday," the Ministry of Defence said in a statement.

    The Army is engaged in the relief efforts on a "war footing" with the deployment of 10 flood relief columns, each having an approximate strength of 65 personnel in 10 districts, the statement added.

    It has also engaged 10 Engineer Task Forces, each having about 45 personnel, to restore connectivity to remote villages through temporary foot-bridges and other means.

    "Indian Army is deeply involved in the Rescue and Relief operations in Kerala which is witnessing very heavy rains since August 9, 2018.

    "The Indian Army carried out execution of disaster relief tasks on a war footing which has been greatly appreciated by civilian populace and the state administration," the Ministry said.

Key Suspect In Rationalist Narendra Dabholkar's Murder Arrested By CBI
  • A key suspect in the murder of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar has been arrested by the CBI, five years after the 67-year-old was shot dead in Pune. Sachin Prakashrao Andure was arrested from Aurangabad, sources told. According to the CBI, Andure was allegedly one of the shooters who fired at Narendra Dabholkar on August 20, 2013 in Pune while he was out for his morning walk.

    The arrest comes days after the Bombay High Court came down heavily on central and state agencies probing the killings of Dabholkar and Govind Pansare, also rationalists reviled by right-wing groups for their campaign against superstition.

    The court had said earlier this month that the authorities were showing no urgency despite the country witnessing a "tragic phase" where one cannot speak or move around freely.

    "This is an important development after five years - and two and a half years since the first arrest in the case. This has been possible only because of the Bombay High Court's close monitoring of the case and the sustained efforts of the organisation Dr Dabholkar founded, the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti (MANS)," Narendra Dabholkar's son Hamid Dabholkar told.

    Saying that they were not satisfied with the probe, the judges hearing the case returned the "confidential reports" submitted by the Maharashtra Police and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) with an observation that there was "nothing confidential" in those reports.

    While Dabholkar was killed in 2013 in Pune, Pansare was shot at on February 16, 2015 in Kolhapur and died from his injuries a few days later on February 20.

    The CBI and the Maharashtra's Criminal Investigation Department are probing the killings of Mr Dabholkar and Pansare, respectively.

    Earlier this month, MANS had started a campaign to demand answers from the government over the lack of progress in the Dabholkar probe. The campaign "Jawab Do" has been running on several social media platforms and is scheduled to run till August 20, the day that marks five years since the murder.

    "We hope the CBI will uncover the root of the conspiracy and ensure exemplary punishment for those behind my father murder and other cases like the murder of Pansare, [rationalist MM] Kalburgi and [journalist] Gauri Lankesh as well," Hamid Dabholkar said.

    Right-wing group Sanatan Sanstha has been accused of links to the crime and the CBI had arrested alleged conspirator Virendra Tawde, on June 10, 2016. Tawde, a doctor who worked actively for the radical Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, is also a key accused in the murder of Pansare. He has been given bail in the Pansare murder case.

Month-Long, Countrywide Campaign To Expose Modi Government: Congress
  • The Congress today decided to launch a month-long, countrywide agitation to expose the Modi government on its alleged corruption and scams including the Rafale fighter jet deal in which it has demanded an investigation by a joint parliamentary committee (JPC).

    The agitational plan was finalised at a meeting of top Congress leaders including party general secretaries and in-charges of various states and state unit chiefs, chaired by party president Rahul Gandhi.

    "It was decided that corruption, scams of the Modi government particularly the Rafale scam will be taken to people of India. In the next 30 days, Congress workers will do district and state level demonstrations. We will ensure a fair probe, independent probe, a JPC is constituted immediately. We will not be deterred and pushed back," party's chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told reporters in New Delhi.

    The party, he said, discussed the Rafale deal in details and claimed that the scam has cost the exchequer Rs. 41,000 crore. He said a company belonging to the friend of the Prime Minister has been given a contract worth Rs. 30,000 crore under the deal after snatching it away from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

    He said the party also demanded that Kerala floods be declared as a "national calamity" and asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to play politics in such matters.

    He claimed that while the central government has only provided Rs. 100 crore relief to the state government, there has been a huge loss of life and damage to properties to the extent of Rs. 2,000-3,000 crore due to the floods.

    "We believe Modiji should stop discriminating in the matters of flood relief between BJP and non-BJP governments. Only mere Rs. 100 crore has bene given to Kerala while there is devastation.

    "It's time the PM rises above political partisan game and come forward as a nation to help the people of Kerala and Karnataka and declare Kerala floods as a national calamity," he said.

    He said the Congress governments in different states are contributing to the relief funds while all party MPs, MLAs, MLCs will donate one-month's salary for relief measures.

    The Punjab government and the JDS-Congress Karnataka government have sent Rs. 10 crore each, while the Puducherry government has contributed Rs. one crore, he said.

    The deadliest deluge in Kerala in close to a century has claimed 194 lives since August 8. Over 3.14 lakh people have been moved to relief camps.

Business Affairs

US tech giants plan to fight India's data localisation plans
  • US technology giants plan to intensify lobbying efforts against stringent Indian data localisation requirements, which they say will undermine their growth ambitions in India, sources told Reuters. US trade groups, representing companies such as Amazon, American Express and Microsoft, have opposed India's push to store data locally.

    The push comes amid rising global efforts to protect user data but is one that could hit planned investments by the firms in the Indian market, where the companies currently have limited data storage. The issue could further undermine already strained economic relations between India and the United States.

    Technology executives and trade groups have discussed approaching Prime Minister Narendra Modi's office to appraise him of their worries. Separately, the industry is considering pitching the issue as a trade concern, including at the India-US talks in September in New Delhi, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

    Though a final decision hasn't been made, the deliberations come while the United States and India are locked in a dispute over US tariff increases and on the Indian policy of capping prices of medical devices, which hurts American pharmaceutical companies.

    "This issue is important enough to be discussed at the India-US trade level," said Amba Kak, a global public policy adviser at the Internet company Mozilla Corp.

    "Data localisation is not just a business concern, it potentially makes government surveillance easier, which is a worry."

    Stricter localisation norms would help India get easier access to data when conducting investigations, but critics say it could lead to increased government demands for data access.

    Technology firms worry the mandate would hurt their planned investments by raising costs related to setting up new local data centres.

    Greater use of digital platforms in India for shopping or social networking have made it a lucrative market for technology companies, but a rising number of data breaches have pushed New Delhi to develop strong data protection rules.

    Shamika Ravi, a member of Modi's economic advisory council, said data localisation was a global phenomena and India wasn't an outlier.

    "It's in the long term strategic and economic interest," said Ravi, who is also a research director at Brookings India.


    The main government committee on data privacy last month proposed a draft law, recommending restrictions on data flows and proposing that all "critical personal data" should be processed only within the country. It would be left to the government to define what qualifies as such data.

    Global companies are coming together to push back.

    In a meeting last week organised by lobby group US-India Strategic Partnership Forum, executives from Facebook, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, PayPal, Amazon, Microsoft and others discussed plans to approach Indian lawmakers, including Indian parliamentary panels on information technology (IT) and finance, five sources said.

    The industry also discussed approaching media and internet groups to explain why data localisation would be bad for India's booming IT, e-commerce and payments landscape, the sources said.

    "People are fairly stressed and scared," said an executive working for a multinational technology firm.

    The US-India lobby group said it was "nearly impossible" to implement "industry-specific regulations in our global data environment without the ripples being felt". It didn't comment on its recent meeting, but said it will continue facilitating policy discussions.

    Mastercard, American Express and Amazon didn't respond to a request for comment, while Facebook, Microsoft, Visa and PayPal declined to comment.

    The bill, which was opened for public comments this week, will later go to parliament for approval.

    The US-India Business Council, a lobby group that is part of the US Chamber of Commerce, has brought in the Washington-headquartered law firm Covington & Burling to suggest submissions on India's data protection law.

    The firm's 43-page draft recommendations, seen by Reuters, listed removing data localisation requirements as a top priority and called New Delhi's proposed move a "protectionist approach".

    The US-India Business Council didn't comment on how it would act on the recommendations of Covington & Burling, which declined comment.

    The lobby group's president, Nisha Biswal, however said India's draft privacy law was of "great importance," and that the group would share its concerns with the government directly.

UIDAI announces phased rollout of face authentication with telcos from Sept 15
  • Aadhaar-issuing body UIDAI has finally announced a phased rollout of face recognition feature as an additional mode of authentication, starting with telecom service providers from September 15. The Authority had earlier planned to roll out face recognition feature from July 1 -  a target that was later pushed to August 1. It has also proposed a monetary disincentive for telcos found slipping on the prescribed targets from mid next month.

    For authentication agencies other than telecom service providers (TSPs), UIDAI said specific instructions will be issued on implementation of face authentication feature, but did not give a fresh deadline. Significantly, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has further said that 'live face photo' capture and its verification with the photo obtained in eKYC will be essential in those cases where Aadhaar is used for issuance of mobile SIMs.

    UIDAI says the move is aimed at curbing the possibility of fingerprint spoofing or cloning, and seeks to tighten the audit process and security around issuance and activation of mobile SIMs. Earlier in June, a Hyderabad-based mobile SIM card distributor had forged Aadhaar details for activating thousands of SIMs.

    "This instruction (for matching live face photo with eKYC photo) will apply only where Aadhaar is used for issuance of SIMs. As per Telecom Department's instructions, if SIM is issued through other means without Aadhaar, then these instructions will not apply," UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey told PTI.

    UIDAI has proposed a two-factor authentication for use of face recognition by telcos. Where an individual provides Aadhaar number, the authentication will be done using fingerprint or iris and face. For individuals providing Virtual ID, the authentication can be on basis of fingerprint or iris.

    UIDAI said that in case where an individual is unable to authenticate fingerprint or iris, face authentication can be used as an additional mode, to make the system more inclusive. "TSPs are hereby directed that with effect from September 15, 2018 at least 10 per cent of their total monthly authentication transactions shall be performed using face authentication in this manner. Any shortfall in transactions using face authentication would be charged at Rs 0.20 per transaction," said a UIDAI circular.

    Pandey said that this will ensure that telcos provide face capture facilities to customers who encounter difficulty in authentication due to worn out fingerprints. "Combination of live face with fingerprint in authentication will also enhance Aadhaar security as it will effectively curb fingerprint spoofing," Pandey said.

    The circular also states that after successful eKYC authentication, the telecom operators will also capture the live face photo (that is, not merely holding a still photo in front of a camera) of the individual, over and above the photo captured for face authentication.

    "It shall be the responsibility of the TSP that the live photo thus captured shall be verified at their backend system with the photo received in eKYC before activation of the SIM. The TSP shall store both the photos in its database for audit purpose...this process shall be followed for the eKYC performed for all the customers for issuance of SIM cards," the circular said.

    Failure to comply, will invite a financial disincentive in line with the prescribed norms.

    "It has been noticed that due to non-readiness of few device providers, the various AUAs (Authentication User Agencies) were not in a position to implement face authentication with effect from August 1, 2018. Therefore, to avoid any inconvenience to public it has been decided to roll out the face authentication in a phased manner," UIDAI said.

India clocked 10.08 per cent growth under Manmohan Singh, data shows
  • Indian economy clocked a 10.08 per cent growth rate in 2006-07 under the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the highest since liberalisation of the economy in 1991, according to an official data.

    The highest ever growth rate since Independence was recorded at 10.2 per cent in 1988-89 when Rajiv Gandhi was prime minister.

    The back series data on GDP has been prepared by the Committee on Real Sector Statistics, constituted by the National Statistical Commission. The report has been released on the website of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI).

    The report compares growth rates between old series (2004-05) and new series based on 2011-12 prices.

    As per the old series (2004-05), the expansion in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at constant prices was 9.57 per cent during 2006-07, when Manmohan Singh was Prime Minister. As per the new series (2011-12), the growth number stands revised at 10.08 per cent.

    This is the highest growth rate recorded by the country after launch of the economic liberalisation programme launched by then Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao.

    "The GDP backseries data is finally out. It proves that like-for-like, the economy under both UPA terms (10 year avg: 8.1%) outperformed the Modi Govt (Avg 7.3%), the Congress party said in a tweet.

    "The UPA also delivered the ONLY instance of double digit annual growth in modern Indian history," it said.

    The GDP numbers for the later years too have been revised upwards, according to the report.

    The National Statistics Commission had set up the Committee to recommend suitable measures to strengthen systems and processes for collection, collation and dissemination of these statistics with possibility for improving timeliness.

Infosys CFO M D Ranganath steps down after 17 years
  • Infosys Chief Financial Officer MD Ranganath, who held several leadership positions during a tenure of over 17 years with the company, has resigned. In a regulatory filing with the BSE, Infosys said: "The Board at its meeting held today has accepted the resignation of MD Ranganath as the Chief Financial Officer and Key Managerial Personnel of the Company."

    Ranganath will continue in his current position as Chief Financial Officer till November 16, 2018. The Board will immediately commence the search for the next CFO, the filing added.

    Explaining the reason behind the move, Ranganath said that he decided to quit to pursue professional opportunities in new areas. "After a successful career spanning 18 years in Infosys including as CFO for the last 3 crucial years, I now plan to pursue professional opportunities in new areas," Ranganath said.

    He further said: "I am proud that over the last 3 years, during a critical phase of the company, we delivered strong and consistent financial outcomes, maintained high standards of financial reporting, built a world class finance team, further strengthened the company's competitive position and thereby enhanced value to the stakeholders."

    Ranganath had taken over the said role after the then CFO Rajiv Bansal had quit in 2015.

    "Over the last 18 years Ranga has played a pivotal role in the growth and success of Infosys. During his long stint in the company, I have seen him in a wide spectrum of leadership roles," Infosys board chairman Nandan Nilekani said.

    As Chief Financial Officer, Ranganath oversaw key functions across the group, including corporate finance, taxation, treasury, mergers and acquisitions, risk management, and investor relations. He also played a key role in strategy execution and in the transformation journey of Infosys.

    From 2008 to 2013, Ranganath was the Chief Risk Officer and worked with the board's risk management and audit committees and deployed enterprise risk management framework to enable the board's overview of risk management.

    Subsequently, he led the cost optimisation initiative of the company as part of the chairman's office, aimed at enhancing fiscal discipline and improving operating margin and cash flow.

Kerala floods: Death toll mounts to 324, over 2 lakh shifted to relief camps
  • Appealing for donations from people across the country, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan today said the road to recovery for the southern state is going to be a long one. "Your help no matter how small will be a step to restore normalcy," the chief minister exhorted. The death toll has now gone up to 324 and over 2 lakh people have been shifted to more than 1500 relief camps in what is turning out to be the worst flooding in 100 years.

    While the defence personnel have been pressed into service to rescue those who are stranded atop rooftops and restore road connectivity, thousands are still marooned at inaccessible places without any help or food.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to arrive in Kerala tonight after attending the funeral of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He is likely to undertake an aerial survey of the worst-hit areas on Saturday to take a stock of the situation.

    During this year's monsoon, various parts of Kerala have been affected by heavy rains, resulting in flood. A total of 13 districts which include Thrissur, Ernakulam, Idukki, Wayanad have been partly inundated. Those who've lost their homes have been shifted to relief camps.

    Rescue operations are underway with coordination of Center, state government and local volunteers. NDRF teams, boats, choppers and other essential commodities are being rushed to the flood-hit areas. Helicopters are being used to drop essential commodities and airlift those who are in need.

    The central government has also offered Naval runway at Kochi for civilians use. Kochi International Airport has been shut until August 26 after it got inundated due to incessant rains.

    Here are the latest updates from Kerala:

    10:10 pm: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao has announced Rs 25 crore as immediate assistance towards Kerala Floods. The chief minister has instructed Chief Secretary SK Joshi to handover the amount to Kerala government. The CM has also instructed the officials concerned, that in view of water getting polluted due to floods, Reverse Osmosis water purifiers worth Rs 2.5 crores should also be dispatched to Kerala.

    9:20 pm: The Delhi government is planning to make contribution of Rs 10 crore to the flood-hit Kerala. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted that he has spoken to Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan and appealed "everyone to donate generously for our brothers and sisters in Kerala".

    8:50 pm: The Indian Navy has sent Fleet replenishment tanker INS Deepak from Mumbai to Kochi with 8 lakh litres of drinking water. INS Deepak is scheduled to reach Kochi on August 19. 

    6:40 pm: 13 of the 14 districts have been devastated by floods. 

    6:00 pm: In its latest weather bulletin, the Indian Meteorological Department has forecast some respite from rain in Kerala tomorrow. However, heavy rains the state will witness heavy rain over the next 24 hours.

    5:45 pm: The CM Office said that so far 80 dams have been opened.

    5:20 pm: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has announced relief assistance worth Rs 10 crore for Kerala. A sum of Rs 5 crore will be transferred to Kerala chief minister's disaster fund and the remaining amount will be used to send ready-to-eat food items.

    4:30 pm: Supply of petrol and diesel in Kerala have been hit hard due to disruption of road and rail connectivity. Fuel pumps in the state are witnessing huge crowds.

    1:00 pm: "In one of the worst rain and flood disasters to hit Kerala, 106 people lost their lives on a single day yesterday," a source in the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority told PTI.

    12:35 pm: Local fishermen have also joined the rescue mission bringing in their boats to help in evacuation of the stranded people in various places in Aluva, Kalady, Perumbavoor, Muvattupuzha and Chalakudy.

    12:20 pm: A weather report has predicted heavy rains accompanied by gusty winds in various parts of the state on Friday. Winds at the speed of 60 kmph is expected in Pathanamthitta, Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Idukki, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode and Wayanad districts, the report said.

    12:05 pm: On instructions from the Prime Minister, the Defence Ministry has rushed in fresh teams of the three armed forces for relief and rescue operations in the state where over 1.5 lakh homeless and displaced people are taking shelter in relief camps.

    11:45 am: Twelve additional teams of of the National Disaster Response Force comprising about 540 personnel have been rushed to Kerala.

    11:30 am: The state government also decided to raise excise duty on Indian Made Foreign Liquor till November 30 to mop up additional resources for relief and rehabilitation efforts, official sources said.

    11:00 am More than 23 IAF choppers, 11 planes, 330 boats are in operation. 10 army column, 43 NDRF teams and 10 army engineering teams are also involved in rescue operation.

    The government has issued helpline numbers for the people of affected areas.

    Chief minister's helpline number - 0471-2333812

    State disaster relief authority numbers

    Pathanamthitta - +918078808915 (Whatsapp) / 0468-2322515/2222515

    Idukki - +919383463036 (Whatsapp) / 0486-233111/2233130

    Kollam - +919447677800 (Whatsapp) / 0474-2794002

    Alappuzha - +919495003640 (Whatsapp) / 0477-2238630

    Idukki - +919383463036 (Whatsapp) / 0486-2233111

    Kottayam - +919446562236 (Whatsapp) / 0481 - 2304800

    Ernakulam - +917902200400 (Whatsapp) / 0484-2423513/2433481

    District-level helpline numbers

    Idukki : 0486 2233111, 9061566111, 9383463036

    Ernakulam : 0484 2423513, 7902200300, 7902200400

    Thrissur : 0487 2362424, 9447074424

    Palakkad : 0491 2505309, 2505209, 2505566

    Malappuram : 0483 2736320, 0483 2736326

    Kozhikode : 0495 2371002

    Kannur : 0497 2713266, 0497 2700645, 8547616034

    Wayanad : 04936 204151,9207985027

General Awareness

    11th World Hindi Conference
    • What to study?

      For Prelims and Mains: Key facts on World Hindi Conference and its significance.

      Context: 11th World Hindi Conference is being held at Mauritius.

      Theme: “Vaishvik Hindi Aur Bharatiy Sanskriti“.

      About the conference:

      The event, held once in three years, is dedicated to Hindi language. It sees participation from Hindi scholars, writers and laureates from different parts of the world who contribute to the language.

      Key facts for Prelims:

      The decision to organize the 11th edition of the Conference in Mauritius was taken at the 10th World Hindi Conference held in Bhopal, India in September 2015.
      The first World Hindi Conference was held in 1975 in Nagpur, India. Since then, ten such Conferences have been held in different parts of the world.
      The MEA has also set up the World Hindi Secretariat in Mauritius. The main objective of the WHS is to promote Hindi as an international language and further its cause for recognition at the United Nations as an Official Language.

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