International Current Affairs 2018

Latest International Current Affairs 2017 with news summaries and current events in International developments, geopolitical, organizations, groupings and fora related updates for India and world with all important national news updates and events for the year 2017.

21 February: International Mother Language Day

The International Mother Language Day (IMLD) was observed across the world on 21 February to promote awareness of linguistic, multilingualism and cultural diversity. This year it is the 18th anniversary of IMLD.

The observance of this day signifies importance of mother language as the greatest weapon to express one’s feeling. Mother Language of one country is the sign of independence of that country. It is most powerful instruments of preserving and developing tangible and intangible heritage.

The theme of 2018 International Mother Language Day is ‘Linguistic diversity and multilingualism count for sustainable development‘. It requires mastery over mother tongue to foster sustainable development. It seeks to highlight importance local languages that transmit cultures, values and traditional knowledge for promoting sustainable futures. Observance of this day also supports target 6 of Goal 4 of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which states that ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy.

Background

The International Mother Language Day was instituted by tUnited Nations General Assembly (UNGA) by passing resolution 61/266 in 2007. The resolution had called upon member states “to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world.

Since 2007, it is observed annually by member states to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. The day was first proclaimed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in November 1999 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.

The day, February 21 in 1952 assumes special significance in Bangladesh where scores of people (activists), mostly students and teachers of the Dhaka University, were mercilessly shot down by the Pakistani army when Bangladesh was East Pakistan. The activists had protested against imposition of Urdu as the national language side-stepping Bengali – their mother tongue and the protest came to be known as Language Movement.

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Saudi Arabia allows women to open their own businesses without male constent

Saudi Arabia has allowed women to open their own businesses and benefit from government e-services without having to prove consent from husband or male guardian. This move marks major step away from country’s strict guardianship system that has ruled it for decades. The expansion of female employment is under Saudi Arabia’s new reform plan for a post-oil era.

Key Facts

Earlier, under guardianship system, women were required to present proof of permission from husband, male guardian, father or brother, to do any government paperwork, travel or enrol in classes. Waiver of this requirement is a significant move on part of Saudi government’s initiative to create gender-neutral society.

The development is also in line with Saudi Arabia’s effort to expand its fast-growing private sector. It is also in line with it move to expand its private sector in order to reduce long dependent on crude oil production for economic revenue.

Background

Oil rich Saudi Arabia is witnessing series of new progressive reforms since Mohammed Bin Salman (32) was appointed as the Crown Prince in June 2017. Under his leadership, oil-rich kingdom is undergoing an economic reform to reduce its dependency on oil and make country more liberal and modern economy.

The prince had pledged ‘moderate and open’ Saudi Arabia in October 2017, breaking with decades old ultra-conservative rule for catering needs of foreign investors and appease Saudi youth. Prince is also chief architect behind Saudi Arabia’s ‘Vision 2030’ reform programme, which seeks to elevate percentage of women in workforce from 22% to nearly one-third.

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