Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - October 15, 2018


India International Silk Fair -2018


  • Union Minister of Textiles, Smriti Zubin Irani, will inaugurate the 6th edition of India International Silk Fair (IISF) in New Delhi

Connect to silk production

  • India is the 2nd largest producer of silk in the world.
  • The silk industry is agriculture based and labour intensive and provides gainful employment to around 8 million artisans and weavers in rural areas.

Connect to the exhibition

  • Over 108 exhibitors of silk and blended silk products manufactured in different parts of the country will display their produce during the three-day event, organised by the Indian Silk Export Promotion Council (ISEPC)
  • Over 218 buyers from various countries will participate in the fair.
  • Artisans from Jammu & Kashmir and North East will showcase their unique products from their region which will be an added attraction for buyers.
  • The fair will give a platform to exporters to display their products and to overseas buyers an opportunity to place orders and source their merchandize.
  • The IISF-2018 is expected to generate business of over USD 20 million for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) engaged in producing silk and blended silk garments, fabrics, accessories and floor covering.
  • The Central Silk Board is putting up a Theme Pavilion showcasing the future vision of Indian Silk Industry.

Connect to CSB

  • Central Silk Board (CSB) is a Statutory body established in 1948 by an Act of Parliament.
  • It is working under the administrative control of Ministry of Textiles, Government of India.

Food Processing

Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra (PMKK) Under the aegis of Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship


  • The ministry of Food Processing Industries inaugurated Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra (PMKK) Patiala


  • 1000 students will get free training in skill Development every year in the multiple courses like Hair Stylist, Manual Arc Welding, Plumber, Field Technician – Other Home Appliances and Mobile Phone Hardware Repair Technician.
  • Skill Development centers will be set up in each identified district throughout the country for quality training in skill development.
  • Opening of this skill development centre is a solid step towards making India the skill capital of the world.

Connect to PMKK

  • PMKK is the flagship scheme of Union Ministry of Skill Development and Enterpreurship under Government of India is setting up 600 PMKK’s in identified districts.
  • In Punjab there are 25 sanctioned PMKK’s, out of which 16 are operational. In Haryana there are 21 sanctioned PMKKs are operational and in Himachal Pradesh 4 are operational out of 8 sanctioned PMKKs. UT Chandigarh is having 1 PMKK Centre.

Law Reforms

Centre to setup panel to curb sexual harassment Verma panel proposed State-level employment tribunal to deal with complaints


  • The Centre recently announced its plan to set up a panel of judges to look into the legal and institutional framework to curb sexual harassment at workplaces following the #MeToo campaign on social media.

The 2013 Verma committee report

  • In 2013, the Justice J.S. Verma Committee, in its landmark report on gender laws, had recommended setting up of an employment tribunal instead of an internal complaints committee (ICC) in sweeping changes to the Sexual Harassment at the Workplace Bill.
  • The panel was formed in the aftermath of the December 16 Nirbhaya gangrape in 2012 and the ensuing nationwide protests, and submitted its report on January 23, 2013.
  • The Sexual Harassment at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Bill had already been passed
  • The Committee, chaired by Justice Verma and including Justice Leila Seth and senior lawyer Gopal Subramanium, termed the Sexual Harassment Bill “unsatisfactory” and said it did not reflect the spirit of the Vishakha guidelines — framed by the Supreme Court in 1997 to curb sexual harassment at the workplace.

Internal complain committee

  • The report noted that an internal complaints committee as laid down under the then proposed law would be “counter-productive” as dealing with such complaints in-house could discourage women from filing complaints.
  • Instead, the committee proposed forming an employment tribunal to receive and adjudicate all complaints.
  • To ensure speedy disposal of complaints, the Justice Verma Commitee proposed that the tribunal should not function as a civil court but may choose its own procedure to deal with each complaint.

What Verma panel suggested

  • The Verma panel said an employer could be held liable if he or she facilitated sexual harassment, permitted an environment where sexual misconduct becomes widespread and systemic, where the employer fails to disclose the company’s policy on sexual harassment and ways in which workers can file a complaint as well as fails to forward a complaint to the tribunal.
  • The company would also be liable to pay compensation to the complainant
  • The panel also made several suggestions to encourage women to come forward and file complaints.
  • For instance, it opposed penalising women for false complaints and called it an “abusive provision intended to nullify the objective of the law”.
  • The Verman panel also said that the time-limit of three months to file a complaint should be done away with and a complainant should not be transferred without her consent.


Special forces in India-U.S. exercise


  • The first India-U.S. tri-services exercise is likely to take place in 2019, and talks are on to include the special forces of the two countries
  • The three forces of each country already take part in bilateral exercises separately — their Armies participate in an annual drill called Yudh Abyaas, whose latest edition took place in September, and the Air Forces take part in a bilateral drill called Cope India.
  • The Navies participate in an exercise called Malabar, involving Japan.
  • But this will be the first time, the three services of India and the U.S. will participate in a drill together.

Inclusion of all services

  • The first one will be in India, and it will take place in 2019.
  • It would include all our services and the exercise right now to include each of the services special operations forces.

Connect to the drill

  • The drill will focus on a United Nations-based scenario and the overarching mission of humanitarian assistance, disaster relief measure, the U.S. Brigadier-General said.
  • Though the joint tri-services drill was formally announced after the first 2+2 dialogue between the principals of the External Affairs and Defence Ministries of the two countries last month, work on it had begun much before.


Agreement between NIT Aayog and Microsoft for Artificial intelligence


  • NITI Aayog has signed an agreement with Microsoft India


  • To deploy artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to address challenges in agriculture and healthcare and promote adoption of local language computing among others.

Connect to the agreement

  • This will help NITI Aayog to move beyond pilots and understand how to scale AI implementation in sectors characterized by preponderance of public goods.
  • Microsoft will provide NITI Aayog advanced AI-based solutions to address challenges in agriculture and healthcare including farm advisory services, healthcare screening models at Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and build capacity for AI through education among others.


Central Information Commission


  • The 13th Convention of Central Information Commission
  • It was inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind.

Connect to Central Information Commission (CIC)

  • CIC was established in 2005 by Central Government under provisions of Right to Information (RTI) Act (2005).
  • It is plays important role in maintaining transparency in system of governance essential for healthy democracy.
  • CIS is a statutory authority to receive and inquire into complaint from any person.
  • The general superintendence, direction and management of affairs of Commission are vested in Chief Information Commissioner who is assisted by Information Commissioners.
  • CIC submits annual report to Union government on the implementation of the provisions of RTI Act.
  • The central government places this report before each house of Parliament.

Connect to the functions and Powers of CIC

  • It can order inquiry into any matter if there are reasonable grounds. It can secure compliance of its decisions from the public authority.
  • It can recommend steps to be taken for promoting such conformity, if public authority does not conform to provisions of RTI Act.
  • It receives and inquire into a complaint from It examines any record which is under control of the public authority and which may be withheld from it on any grounds during the enquiry. While inquiring, it has powers of civil court

State Specific

Future Policy Gold Award - Sikkim


  • Sikkim was awarded
  • Future Policy Gold Award was awarded to Sikkim


  • For its achievement in becoming the world’s first totally organic agriculture state.


  • UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO)

Connect to the award

  • Sikkim beat out 51 other nominees from around the world for the award.
  • Brazil, Denmark and Quito (Ecuador) were joinlty Silver Awards.
  • This award in nicknamed the “Oscar for best policies”.
  • Previously it was honoured for policies combating desertification, violence against women and girls, nuclear weapons and pollution of the oceans.
  • This year’s award based on central focus of agroecology policies and was co-organised by FAO, World Future Council (WFC) and IFOAM – Organics International.

Connect to Sikkim

  • It is first organic state in the world and all farmlands in the state are certified organic.(agroecology)
  • It primarily focuses socioeconomic aspects such as consumption and market expansion, cultural aspects as well as health, education, rural development and sustainable tourism.
  • The policy implemented by state of organic farming has phased out chemical fertilisers and pesticides, and achieved total ban on sale and use of chemical pesticides in the state.

Connect to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

  • It is specialised agency of UN that leads international efforts to defeat hunger.
  • Its parent organization is UN Economic and Social Council (UNESC).
  • It was established on 16 October 1945 and its headquarters are in Rome, It has 194 member states, along with European Union (member organization).

Sources – PIB, The Hindu , Indian express , vikaspedia