Current Affairs

Important Current Affairs 8th September 2018 English

Important Current Affairs 8th September 2018

   (International News)

Waking of Kepler space telescope
Kepler space telescope has woken up from sleep mode and has restarted its scientific operations. The Kepler team is planning to collect as much science data as possible in its remaining time and beam it back to Earth before the loss of the fuel-powered thrusters.
Kepler is a space observatory launched by NASA to discover Earth-size planets orbiting other stars. Named after astronomer Johannes Kepler, the spacecraft was launched on March 7, 2009, into an Earth-trailing heliocentric orbit.

Nepal gets access to 4 China ports  
On Friday’s meeting, China and Nepal finalised Transit and Transport Agreement. It has provided access to 4 Chinese ports(Tianjin, Shenzhen, Lianyungang and Zhanjiang ) to Nepal.   
According to the agreement, Nepalese can use rail or road to access seaports.
This agreement will reduce Nepal’s dependence on India since a prolonged blockade of its border crossing with India in 2015 and 2016 left the country short of fuel and medicines for several months.

(National News)

Trust status granted to ‘Bharat Ke Veer’
The government has granted the trust status of ‘Bharat Ke Veer’.
About “Bharat Ke Veer”
It is a private initiative which aids families of paramilitary personnel that got martyred. Akshay Kumar and former national badminton champion Pullela Gopichand are in its  trustees.  
The public can contribute by visitng its website or application. One can donate directly to individual braveheart's account (upto max of 15 lakhs) or may donate to the Bharat Ke Veer corpus.
Bharat Ke Veer corpus would be managed by a commitee made up of eminent persons of repute and senior government officials, in equal number, who would decide to disburse the fund equitably to the bravehearts family on need basis.
‘MOVE: Global Mobility Summit’
NITI Aayog organized ‘MOVE: Global Mobility Summit’ in New Delhi, in collaboration with various ministries and industry partners.


1.    Maximising asset utilisation and services.
2.    Comprehensive electrification and alternative fuels.
3.    Reinventing public transport.
4.    Goods transport and logistics.
5.    Data analytics and mobility.
To co-create a public interest framework to revolutionize transport. In addition to it government also wanted to make it safe, clean, shared and connected, affordable, accessible and inclusive.

Aero India 2019
The Government has decided to hold the Aero India 2019 in Bengaluru from 20-24 February 2019. Besides global leaders and big investors in aerospace industry, the show will also see participation by think-tanks from across the world.


The world's first omnivorous shark 
The bonnethead shark is the world's first omnivorous shark, according to new research.
The bonnethead shark - which is a smaller cousin of the more famous hammerhead shark - resides in shallow, coastal areas in the Gulf of Mexico, and the US's Pacific and Atlantic coast. These areas have plenty of seagrass, along with the shrimp and crabs scientists thought was the shark's preferred sustenance.

Extinction of 8 species of Avian 
The macaw is one of eight species, including the poo-uli, the Pernambuco pygmy-owl and the cryptic treehunter, that can be added to the growing list of confirmed or highly likely extinctions, according to a new statistical analysis by BirdLife International. It is included in the first avian extinctions of the 21st century. 
Birds, also known as Aves, are a group of endothermic vertebrates, characterised by feathers, toothless beaked jaws.
Birdlife International
It is a global partnership of conservation organisations that strives to conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity.
Establishment - 1922
Headquarters - Cambridge, United Kingdom

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Important Current Affairs 7th September 2018 English


Important Current Affairs 7th September 2018

                                                               (International News)

87th Izmir International tradeshow in Turkey    
India is the Partner Country in the 87th Izmir International tradeshow which begins in Turkey from Friday, September 7, 2018.
In this tradeshow India will also be launching a mega business pavilion ‘Source India’ hosting 75 Indian companies with the aim of tie-ups in order to increase India’s exports to Turkey and other neighbouring countries.
This is part of a series of Source India pavilions that the Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI) is hosting in important tradeshows across the world for boosting India’s exports.
Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI)
TPCI is the trade and investment promotion organization of the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce &Industry, Government of India, and works to open new areas for co-operation in trade and investment between India and rest of the world.
Izmir International Fair 
The İzmir International Fair is the oldest tradeshow in Turkey, considered the cradle of Turkey's fairs and expositions industry, and is also notable for hosting a series of simultaneous festival activities. The fair and the festival are held in the compound of İzmir's vast Inner City Park named Kültürpark in the first days of September, and organized by İZFAŞ, a depending company of İzmir Metropolitan Municipality. 

India and France agreement on “MOBILISE YOUR CITY” (MYC)
India and France have signed an implementation agreement on “MOBILISE YOUR CITY” (MYC). MYC aims at supporting three pilot cities viz. Nagpur, Kochi and Ahmedabad for reduction of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions related to urban transport.
The three pilot cities selected under the programme as well as MoHUA will benefit from the Technical Assistance activities. The main components of the proposed assistance are:
(1) To support planning and implementation of sustainable urban transport projects,
(2) Support to strengthening institutional capacity for regulating, steering and planning urban mobility, and
(3) Learning and exchange formats with other cities across India for exchanges on best practices.
Mobilise Your City (MYC)
Mobilise Your City (MYC) is part of an international initiative which is supported by the French and the German Governments and was launched at 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) meeting in December, 2015. Based on a proposal made by AFD in 2015, the European Union has agreed to provide funds of Euro 3.5 million through the AFD to contribute to specific investments and technical assistance components within the Mobilise Your City (MYC) programme in India.

Six Hundred Global Buyers to Participate Indusfood- II 2019

The Dhaka based India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce (IBCCI) will participate with a strong contingent of F&B buyers in Indusfood-II 2019 to source their food and beverage requirements from India.
TPCI is expecting around 600 global buyers from 50 countries and over 350 Indian exporters and producers to participate at this World Food Supermarketin Indusfood-II being held on 14th – 15thJanuary, 2019 in Greater Noida, NCR, Delhi.
Indusfood-I, held in early 2018, saw participation of leading importers from 43 countries and 320 Indian exporters and generated an estimated business of $650 million. The international buyers and Indian sellers from 12 categories of Food & Beverage industry experienced a unique opportunity of a B2B dialogue and insight into the large basket of brands, private labels and bulk purchase of raw items that India could offer to the world.

India will participate in PISA 2021
Prakash Javadekar, Minister of Human Resource and Development assured that India would take part in the PISA test in the year 2021. PISA stands for Programme for International Students Assessment. Earlier, the government of India shunned the test and now the government is making plans to participate in the test.
What is PISA Test?
PISA test was introduced by Organisation for Economic Cooperation Development (OECD). The main objective of the PISA test is to assess the academic performance of 15-year old students in the subjects like Mathematics and Science. The reading test is also a part of PISA. Usually, PISA test takes place for every three years.
The government of India in the year 2012 and 2015 officially boycotted the test and the reason was its miserable performance in the year 2009. 


India to participate in joint exercise SLINEX-2018
Indian navy ships and aircraft have arrived in Sri Lanka to take part in the joint exercise SLINEX-2018 to be held with Sri Lankan navy at Trincomalee from 7th September. 

The exercise which was previously held biannually has been converted to an annual event from this year to enhance cooperation in the maritime domain and to further strengthen mutual trust and interoperability between the two navies. 

The exercise to be conducted in two phases, namely the Harbour and Sea Phase, will involve conduct of joint training, exchange of expertise, helicopter and maritime patrol aircraft operations, search and rescue, and maneuvers at sea. 

It would also involve sports fixtures and cultural events which would provide an opportunity for personnel from both navies to learn from each other and to build individual bonds of friendship and camaraderie.
SLINEX (Sri Lanka India Naval Exercise) are a series of naval exercises between the Indian Navy and the Sri Lanka Navy.


Poonam Khetrapal Singh nominated for 2nd term as WHO SEAR regional director
World Health Organisation (WHO) said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh has been nominated for a second five-year term as regional director of its South-East Asian Region.
Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh
Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, an Indian national, became the first woman to assume the office of WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia on 1 February 2014. 
She served for over two decades as a civil servant in India as member of the Indian Administrative Services. She was the Health Secretary of the State of Punjab, with a population of 27 million and a health budget of US$ 350 million.

 Saurabh Chaudhary clinches gold in ISSF World Championship

India's Saurabh Chaudhary continued clinched the 10 metres Air Pistol Junior gold at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Shooting World Championship in Changwon, South Korea. 

The 16-year-old produced an impressive show in the final to clinch the gold with a new junior world record. 

Arjun Singh Cheema claimed bronze in the same event with a score of 218 while Korea’s Hojin Lim clinched silver.

                                                  (Science & Technology)

Google launched New Search Engine for the Use of Scientific Community
Google launched a new search engine for the scientific community that will help them make sense of millions of datasets present online
The service, called Dataset Search, will help scientists, data journalists and geeks find the data required for their work and their stories — or simply to satisfy their intellectual curiosity. 
The new search engine will work like Google Scholar, the company’s popular search engine for academic studies and reports.

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Important Current Affairs 6th September 2018 English


Important Current Affairs 6th September 2018    

                                                         (International News)

Cyient JV bags an order from the Indian Army for SpyLite mini UAV systems

Cyient Solutions & Systems Pvt. Ltd., a joint venture between IT firm Cyient and BlueBird Aero Systems of Israel, has bagged an order from the Indian Army to supply mini UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) systems for high altitude aerial surveillance. The order is for the SpyLite mini UAV systems.

SpyLite mini UAV systems

SpyLite is an advanced, combat-proven, electric, mini unmanned aerial system that is fully autonomous.

From launch to accurate parachute recovery, it delivers enhanced reliability even in severe weather conditions, assuring long endurance and high operational availability.

It has high performance; diverse capabilities, high reliability, low lifecycle cost and ease of use were the features of SpyLite.

The firm provides Unmanned Aerial System -based intelligence gathering, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance capabilities for defence, homeland security and civilian applications.

Lockheed Martin's F-16 fighter jets will be produced in India

The wings of Lockheed Martin's F-16 fighter jets will be produced in India, the American security and aerospace giant announced, in a major boost to the 'Make in India' initiative.

Maryland-based Lockheed Martin has entered into an agreement with Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) for the production of the wings. 
Lockheed recently submitted a comprehensive, fully compliant 600-plus page Request for Information (RFI) response to the Indian Air Force.

Producing F-16 wings in India will strengthen Lockheed Martin's strategic partnership with Tata Advanced Systems Limited and support the 'Make in India' initiative of the government, officials of the company said.

F-16 Block 70

The F-16 Block 70 features advanced avionics, a proven Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, a modernised cockpit, advanced weapons, conformal fuel tanks, an automatic ground collision avoidance system, an advanced engine and an industry-leading extended structural service life of 12,000 hours.

To date, 4,604 F-16s have been procured by 28 customers around the world. Approximately 3,000 operational F-16s are flying today with 25 leading air forces, including the US Air Force.

Vice President to visit participate in 2nd World Hindu Congress

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu to visit United States of America on September 8-9, 2018 to address the 2nd World Hindu Congress being held in Chicago on the occasion of 125th Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s Historic Speech at the Parliament of the World's Religions in 1893.
 The Vice President will also participate in a programme organized by 14 Telugu Associations of the US at Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago. He will also participate in bilateral discussions with several world leaders, who are attending this event, on the sidelines of this Congress.

About WHC
The World Hindu Congress (WHC) is a global platform for Hindus to connect, share ideas, inspire one another, and impact the common good. It offers Hindus an opportunity to introspect towards improvement and tap into our collective resources to seek tangible solutions to the most pressing issues of our age. It is held once every four years.
WHC 2014
The inaugural WHC, held in November 2014, saw 1800 delegates from 53 countries. Guided by the Hindu principle of Sangachchhadhwam Samvadadhwam or “Step together. Delegates represented the best and brightest from a wide array of fields -- the arts; academia; business; community, social, and humanitarian organizations; government; industry; media; medicine; science; and technology. 

                                               (Science and Space)

Japan Will Soon Conduct the First Test of Elevator Movement in Space

A Japanese team working to develop a “space elevator” will conduct a first trial this month, blasting off a miniature version of the apparatus and monitoring equipment on satellites to test the technology.

The test equipment, produced by researchers at Shizuoka University, will hitch a ride on an H-2B rocket being launched by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency from the island of Tanegashima next week.

The “elevator” in the test is a box only six centimeters (2.4 inches) long and three centimeters (1.1 inches) high and wide (at full scale, the box will be large enough to transport actual supplies to space).

India and France to Collaborate On Human Space Mission 'Gaganyaan'

India and France have announced a working group for Gaganyaan, ISRO's first manned mission announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Independence Day.
The announcement was made at the sixth edition of the Bengaluru Space Expo by French space agency president Jean-Yves Le Gall.
India plans to send three humans to space before 2022. The Indian Space Research Organisation's mission is significant as it would make India one of the four countries in the world after Russia, US and China to launch a manned space flight.
National Centre for Space Studies 
The National Centre for Space Studies (CNES) is the French government space agency. Its headquarters are located in central Paris and it is under the supervision of the French Ministries of Defence and Research.
ISRO and CNES, the French space agency, will be combining their expertise in fields of space medicine, astronaut health monitoring, life support, radiation protection, space debris protection and personal hygiene systems.

                                                                (National News)
Cabinet approves establishment and operationalization of permanent campus of seven new IIMs 

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the establishment and operationalization of permanent campus of seven new Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) at Amritsar, Bodh Gaya, Nagpur, Sambalpur, Sirmaur, Vishakhapatnam and Jammu, and their recurring expenditure at a total cost of Rs 3775.42 crore (Rs 2999.96 crore asNon-Recurring and Rs 775.46 Crore as Recurring Expenditure). 

These IIMs were established in the year 2015-16/2016-17. These institutes are presently functioning from transit campuses.

Tourism Ministry Sanctions Projects of Rs. 80.37 Crores for Development of Rural Circuit in Kerala

 The Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned the project “Development of Rural Circuit: Malanad Malabar Cruise Tourism Project’ in Kerala under Swadesh Darshan Scheme for Rs. 80.37 Crores. 
The project focuses on development of water based thematic cruise experiences in and around Valapattanam and Kuppam Rivers of Kannur District. The three thematic cruises developed under the project are as follows:
a) Malabari Cuisine and Culinary Cruise in Valapattanam River (Muthappan Cruise) - Cruise starts from Valapattanam to Munambu Kadavu in Valapattanam River with an effective Cruise Length of 40 km.
b) yyam Cruise in Valapattanam River - Cruise starts from Valapattanam to Pazhayangadi in Valapattanam River with an effective length of 16 km.
c) Mangrove Cruise in Kuppam River - Cruise starts from Pazhayangadi to Kuppam in Kuppam River with an effective Cruise length of 16 km.

BEL bags order to supply surface-to-air missiles
State-run Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) has bagged an order worth Rs 9,200 crore for supply of seven Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LRSAM) systems to Mazagon Dock and Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers. The contract takes BEL's order book to over Rs 50,000 crore.
"The company has entered into contracts worth about 9,200 crore with Mazagon Dock Ltd (MDL) and Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) to supply LRSAM systems to be fitted onboard seven ships to be built by these two shipbuilders. According to the BEL, this is the highest-ever single value order it has bagged so far.
Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd
Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd, abbreviated as GRSE, is one of India's leading shipyards, located in Kolkata, West Bengal. It builds and repairs commercial and naval vessels. Presently GRSE has also started building export ships in a mission to expand its business.

GM mustard trials may get nod soon

The environment ministry is set to convene this month a “special meeting” of the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) to decide on field-trial approvals for the controversial transgenic mustard developed by the University of Delhi’s Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants (CGMCP)
The CGMCP had earlier applied to grow transgenic mustard (DMH-11) in plots in Delhi and Punjab to test the plant’s effects on honeybees after the GEAC, which had initially cleared the GM crop for “commercial cultivation”, backtracked and demanded more tests and additional data on honeybees and other pollinators and on soil microbial diversity.
Dhara Mustard Hybrid-11 or DMH-11 is a genetically modified variety of mustard, developed by a team of scientists at Delhi University led by former vice-chancellor Deepak Pental under a government-funded project.
It uses a system of genes from soil bacterium that makes mustard — generally a self-pollinating plant — better suited to hybridisation than current methods.
GM mustard is modified so it is able to absorb huge amounts of herbicide known as glufosinate, a known neurotoxin.

Supreme Court verdict on Section 377

The Supreme Court decriminalised a portion of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, a colonial era provision that criminalises private consensual sexual acts between same sex adults.

What is Section 377 of IPC?
Section 377 of the IPC states: “Whoever voluntarily has carnal inter¬course against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with 1 [imprisonment for life], or with impris¬onment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.” This archaic British law dates back to 1861 and criminalises sexual activities against the order of nature.

In 2009, in a landmark judgment, the Delhi High Court described Section 377 as a violation of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution. 
The Supreme Court in 2013 overruled the Delhi High Court’s order and reinforced criminalisation of homosexuality stating that Parliament’s job was to scrap laws. 
This judgment by the apex court was highly criticised by the LGBTQ community in India and was seen as a setback for human rights.
In January 2018, the Supreme Court said a larger group of judges would re-consider the previous judgment and examine Section 377’s constitutional validity. Revisiting their 2013 verdict, the top court added that it will decide on a curative petition by five persons. The Supreme Court had then said: “The section of people who exercise their choice should never remain in a state of fear.”

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Important Current Affairs 5th September 2018 English

                                                     (International News)

The International Women Entrepreneurs Summit 2018 

The International Women Entrepreneurs Summit 2018 was inaugurated by the Vice President of Nepal Nanda Bahadur Pun in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal on September 3, 2018.
Nepal’s Vice President emphasised upon empowering women in all areas including social, political and economic. 
The three-day event is being organised by the South Asian Women Development Forum. It is expected to witness participation from delegates belonging to 27 countries including China and the SAARC, ASEAN, EU, African and Arab countries.
The Theme of the International Women Entrepreneurs Summit 2018: ‘Equality begins with Economic Empowerment’

Objective of the Summit
The main objective of the summit is to bring together achievers, women business leaders, professionals, international service providers, resource organisations, experts, government representatives and other stakeholders with a focus on innovative economic transformation through discussions and collaborations.

Arif Alvi elected Pakistan President

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Dr Arif Alvi has become the 13th President of the country.
Alvi was the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate and was contested by PML-N and other opposition parties — MMA leader Maulana Fazlur Rahman and PPP’s Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan.
About Arif Alvi
Arif-ur-Rehman Alvi was born on 29 July 1949 is a Pakistani politician who is the President-elect of Pakistan and will assume office on 9 September 2018.
He was a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan from June 2013 to May 2018 and again from August to September 2018. A founding member of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), He studied at the University of Michigan and the University of the Pacific in San Francisco, as well as in Lahore, before making a career as a dentist and then entering politics.

Asia Index launches S&P BSE Private Banks Index 

Asia Index Pvt Ltd, a joint venture between S&P Dow Jones Indices and BSE Ltd, announced the launch of an index designed to measure the performance of private banks. 

The S&P BSE Private Banks Index is drawn from the constituents of the S&P BSE Finance Index, the Asia's oldest exchange said in a statement. 

Only common stocks classified as Banks by the BSE Sector Classification model and that are not classified under the BSE scrip category as a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) are eligible, it added.

The S&P BSE Private Banks Index is designed to provide market participants with a transparent and rules-based benchmark that measures the performance of private banks listed in India.

Curtain Raiser: Indo-Kazakhstan Joint Exercise KAZIND 2018 
Indo-Kazakhstan Joint Army Exercise 'KAZIND' will be conducted between the Indian and Kazakhstan Army from 10 to 23 Sep 2018 in Otar region, Kazakhstan. 
This is the third joint military exercise between the two countries which have a history of extensive cooperation in the defence arena. The second edition of the exercise was held in India last year.

The aim of the exercise is to build and promote bilateral Army to Army relations and exchange skills and experiences between Kazakhstan Army and the Indian Army. The exercise will also serve as a platform for exchange of drills and procedures.

The fourteen days exercise with the Kazakhstan Army will follow a graduated continuum from orientation to a full scale mock exercise; the aim being to achieve optimum integration among the two contingents through enhanced mutual comprehension of each other’s tactics, techniques and procedures. The vast experience and expertise of Indian troops in counter insurgency operations holds special importance to the Kazakhstan Army. The conduct of the joint exercise will set the stage for greater defence cooperation and consequently will manifest in stronger ties between the two great nations.

6th East Asia Summit and 15th India-ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting held in Singapore 

Commerce & Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu attended the 6th East Asia Summit- Economic Ministers’ Meeting (EAS-EMM) and 15th India-ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting (AEM) in Singapore. Singapore is currently holding the Chair of ASEAN.
6th East-Asia Economic Ministers’ Meeting
The 6th East-Asia Economic Ministers’  Meeting was chaired by Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore, and was attended by Economic Ministers from  10  ASEAN countries  and their eight  dialogue partners,  Australia, China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, the Russian Federation and the United States of America. 
The Ministers agreed to the importance of keeping markets open and fair as well as improving transparency and predictability of the business environment. The meeting recognized the importance of ongoing work to maximize the opportunities of, and address the challenges presented by, the digital economy and the rise of regional and global value chains, as part of their efforts to promote economic growth and integration in the region.
15th ASEAN Economic Ministers
The 6th EAS–EMM was followed by the 15th ASEAN Economic Ministers - India Consultation. It was co-chaired by Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore, and Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce and Industry, India. The meeting attended by Economic Ministers from 10 ASEAN countries took stock of the current level of trade and economic engagement between India and ASEAN and reaffirmed the commitment to further strengthen ASEAN-India economic relations. ASEAN has emerged as the second largest trade partner of India in 2017-18 with bilateral trade valued at USD 81.33 billion, comprising 10.58% of India’s total trade with the world.
It was also announced in the Singapore meeting that the next ASEAN-India Business Summit will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in November 2018 with the theme “Towards Building Strategic Partnership between ASEAN and India in the Era of the 4th IR and Digital Economy” which will be followed by the 4th India-ASEAN Dialogue Partner Expo and Summit scheduled for 21-23 February 2019, in New Delhi.


Sakshi Choudhary clinches gold medal at World Youth Boxing in Budapest

In boxing, former junior world champion boxer Sakshi Choudhary added the youth crown to her cabinet in the 57-kilogram category, claiming the gold at the World Youth Boxing in Budapest.
She beat Croatia's Nikolina Cacic. Manisha and Anamika settled for silver medals in the 64 kg and 51 kg. categories.

                                                   (National News)

Justice Ranjan Gogoi to take charge as the 46th Chief Justice of India

After Supreme Court Chief Justice Dipak Misra recommended the Justice Ranjan Gogoi as his successor to take charge as the 46th Chief Justice of India.
He is likely to assume the office of the Chief Justice of India on October 3, and will continue in that position for 13 months till November 17, 2019. 

Ranjan Gogoi 
Justice Ranjan Gogoi is a judge of the Supreme Court of India since April, 2012. Prior to his present post, he was the Chief Justice, Punjab and Haryana High Court. His father Keshab Chandra Gogoi was a Chief Minister under the Indian National Congress regime in the state of Assam in the year 1982.

Dipak Misra 

Justice Dipak Misra is the current and 45th Chief Justice of India. He is a judge of the Supreme Court of India and a former Chief Justice of the Patna and Delhi High Courts. He is the nephew of Justice Ranganath Misra, who was the 21st Chief Justice during 1990-91. He succeeded J. S. Khehar, the 44th Chief Justice.

Suresh Prabhu launches Coffee Connect app, Coffee KrishiTharanga services for coffee stakeholders
Union Minister for Commerce & Industry, Suresh Prabhu on September 4, 2018 launched Coffee Connect mobile app and digital mobile extension services ‘Coffee KrishiTharanga’ for coffee stakeholders. 

About Coffee Connect mobile app

The ‘Coffee Connect’ mobile app has been developed to ease the work of field functionaries and to improve the work efficiency. 

The application provides solution by harnessing the power of mobility comprising the latest technology in easing the whole process of the field activities like digitisation of Coffee Growers & Estates with Geo Tagging, collecting the Plantation details.

It will also help in boosting transparency in the activities of the extension officers and officials, transparency in subsidy disbursement and real time report generation.

About Coffee KrishiTharanga services

The Coffee KrishiTharanga services are aimed at providing customised information and services to increase productivity, profitability, and environmental sustainability. 

The “Coffee KrishiTharanga” was pilot tested in the Chikmagalur and Hassan districts of Karnataka, covering 30000 farmers during the first year and will now be extended to remaining growers in a phased manner. NABARD has partly funded the Pilot project. 

These services will help to reach maximum growers in limited period; improve the efficiency through digitization; and leverage existing mobile reach for wider delivery of improved technology.

Pilot projects 
Suresh Prabhu also launched pilot projects on data analytics, artificial intelligence, IOTS and blockchain.

The Coffee Board identified technological solutions to address some of the perennial coffee production and coffee farming issues such as rainfall, pests and diseases. 

Coffee Board in collaboration with EKA Analytics, a global leader in the data analytics and artificial intelligence, developed the hyper local weather forecast, pest (white stem borer) identification and leaf rust disease forecast applications for pilot testing.

Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot will attend the 3rd ASEM Conference

Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot, Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment left for Seoul Korea.  He is heading a 3-member Indian Delegation to attend the 3rdASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) Conference on ‘Global Ageing and Human Rights of Older Persons’ jointly organised in Seoul during 5th to 7th September, 2018 by the Republic of Korea and the National Human Rights Commission of Korea.
Asia–Europe Meeting 
The Asia–Europe Meeting (ASEM) is an Asian–European political dialogue forum to enhance relations and various forms of cooperation between its partners. It was officially established on 1 March 1996 at the first summit in Bangkok, Thailand, by the then 15 members of the European Union (EU) and the European Commission, the then 7 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the individual countries of China, Japan, and Korea. A series of enlargements saw additional EU members join as well as India, Mongolia, Pakistan and the ASEAN Secretariat in 2008, Australia, New Zealand and the Russian Federation in 2010, Bangladesh, Norway, and Switzerland in 2012, as well as Croatia and Kazakhstan in 2014. 
The main components of the ASEM process rest on the following 3 pillars:
•    Political & Security Pillar
•    Economic & Financial Pillar
•    Social, Cultural & Educational Pillar

HRD Ministry’s rankings of national institutes for 2018
The Ministry of Human Resource Development released its ranking of national institutes for 2018 on Tuesday. The MHRD has adopted the National Institutional Ranking Framework, which ranks the best colleges and universities in India.
Here are the top three institutions in each category:
Rank    Institute

1    Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru
2    IIT Madras
3    IIT Bombay
Engineering institutions
Rank    Institute

1    IIT Madras
2    IIT Bombay
3    IIT Delhi

Management institutes
Rank    Institute

1    IIM Ahmedabad
2    IIM Bangalore
3    IIT Calcutta

Rank    Institute

1    Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru
2    Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
3    Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi

Medical institutions
Rank    Institute

1    All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
2    Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh
3    Christian Medical College, Vellore
Rank    Institute

1    Miranda House, New Delhi
2    St. Stephen’s College, New Delhi
3    Bishop Hebar College, Tiruchi


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Important Current Affairs 4th September 2018 English

Important Current Affairs 4th September 2018

                                                           (International News)

India to take part in tsunami mock drill 
India along with 23 other nations would be participating in a major Indian ocean-wide tsunami mock exercise (drill) on September four and five, which would involve evacuation of thousands of people from coastal areas in over half a dozen states.
About the Exercise:
The exercise, known as IOWave18, is being organised by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, which coordinated the setting up of the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (IOTWMS) in the aftermath of December 26, 2004 tsunami.
The Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre (ITEWC), based out of the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad, is an autonomous institution under the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences.
The purpose of exercise is to increase tsunami preparedness, evaluate response capabilities in each state and improve coordination throughout the region.
The exercise would involve the evacuation of more than 1,25,000 people from the coastal communities of Odisha, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Gujarat and Goa, the release said.

India, Cyprus ink two MoUs on financial intelligence sharing and environment
India and Cyprus have signed two MoUs in the field of sharing of financial intelligence and environment. The MoUs were signed between the two countries after delegation-level talks in Nicosia. 

India and Cyprus agreed for the revision in the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement made in 2016 to further enhance investment partnership to grow by strengthening the institutional framework to facilitate investment cross flows. 

Important Takeaways:

President invited Cyprus to become part of International Solar alliance. He said India and Cyprus can also cooperate in the field of generic medicine and vaccine and Healthcare where India has made significant advances. 
Also enhance business collaboration in the field of IT and IT-enabled services, tourism, shipping and renewable energy.

China pledges $60 bn to Africa, waives debt for certain countries
China  pledged $60 billion of financial assistance to Africa and announced it would waive the debt for certain countries in the continent amid the mounting criticism and suspicion about Beijing's "debt diplomacy".

Important To Know:

During the last summit in Johannesburg in 2015, China had announced the monetary assistance of a similar amount which was more or less implemented.

"China will extend $60 billion financing to Africa in the form of government assistance as well as investment, financing by financial institutions and companies," Xi said in his address at the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.

China is Africa's biggest trade partner. Officials and leaders from 53 countries of the continent attended the Summit. Of the 54 nations, only Eswatini is not attending the forum as it does not have diplomatic ties with China due to its recognition of Taiwan as a country.

Beijing has been heavily investing in the continent and building a variety of infrastructure projects, ranging from schools to hospitals and football stadia to parliament buildings.

Ukraine-NATO Joint Military Exercises 
Ukraine  launched joint military exercises with the United States and a string of other NATO countries. The annual Rapid Trident military exercises, taking place in the western Ukrainian village of Starychi from September 2nd to 15th, involve some 2,200 soldiers from 14 countries.
The drills start a week before Russia holds its biggest military exercises VOSTOK 2018 since the Cold War, in the east of the country and with the participation of China and Mongolia.
Rapid Trident
Rapid Trident is an annual, multinational exercise that serves as the validation for Ukraine's Ministry of Defense unit currently undergoing at the Ukrainian-led Combat Training Center, under the advisement of allied and partner nations.


                                                         (National News) 
Health Ministry releases draft rules on sale of drugs by e-pharmacies

The Union Health Ministry on September 1, 2018 released draft rules on sale of drugs by e-pharmacies to regulate online sale of medicines across the country.
The draft rules on "sale of drugs by e-pharmacy" state that no person will distribute or sell, stock, exhibit or offer for sale of drugs through e-pharmacy portal unless registered

The rules aim to provide patients access to genuine drugs from authentic online portals.

Other Details
• The new draft rules prohibit the sale of tranquilizers, psychotropic drugs, narcotics and habit-forming drugs through the online portals.
• The draft also prohibits the e-pharmacies from advertising any drug on radio, television, print or internet or any other media for any purpose.
• The draft also has provisions of suspension and cancellation of registration of the e-portal if the latter contravenes any provision of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.
The Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, governs the sale of medicines in India. Medicines can be sold from licensed premises only.
The Act, however, does not cover e-pharmacies at present and the government had decided to appoint a sub-committee, after receiving complaints of violations.
The draft released on September 1 is based on the sub-committee's recommendations.

September being celebrated as National Nutrition Month 

The National Nutrition Month is being celebrated across the country to mark the fight against malnutrition. 
In this National Nutrition Month, various programmes have been organized by the Women and Child Development Ministry to spread broad awareness on the issues related to malnutrition like stunting, under-nutrition, anaemia and low birth weight in children.
The Nutrition Month will also focus on adolescent girls, pregnant women and lactating mothers to eliminate the deficiencies prevailing in the Health sector. 
The decision to celebrate September as the National Nutrition Month every year was taken during the second meeting of National Council on India's Nutrition Challenges under the Poshan Abhiyaan held in July this year. With the aim to bring down stunting of children in the age group of 0-6 years from 38 per cent to 25 per cent by 2022, POSHAN Abhiyaan- the National Nutrition Mission was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 8th this year in Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan. 

 Mauritius tops India’s FDI charts
Mauritius remained the top source of foreign direct investment (FDI) into India in 2017-18 followed by Singapore, whereas total FDI stood at $37.36 billion in the financial year, a marginal rise over the $36.31 billion recorded in the previous fiscal, according to RBI data.
While FDI from Mauritius totalled $13.41 billion as against $13.38 billion in the previous year, inflows from Singapore rose to $9.27 billion from $6.52 billion. FDI from the Netherlands declined marginally to $2.67 billion as against $3.23 billion a year earlier.


Most Valuable Player' of Asian Games

Japanese swimmer Ikee Rikako has been named as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the recently-concluded 18th edition of the Asian Games.
The 18-year-old, who bagged six gold and two silver medals in the tournament, became the first female athlete to win the MVP title.
Rikako Ikee 
Rikako Ikee born on 4 July 2000 is a Japanese competitive swimmer. She is the national record holder in the 50-meter freestyle and the 100-meter butterfly, and the junior world record holder in the 50-meter freestyle and 50-meter butterfly long-course events, and the 50- and 100-meter butterfly, and 100-meter individual medley in short course.
Rikako became the fourth Japanese athlete to win the MVP award since its inception during the 1998 Bangkok Games.

First set of Indian shooters to secure quota places for 2020 Olympics
Anjum Moudgil and Apurvi Chandela have become the first set of Indian shooters to secure quota places for the 2020 Olympics.

Moudgil finished second on the podium and won a silver in the women's 10m air rifle event of the International Shooting Sport Federation's (ISSF) World Championship in Changwon, South Korea. 

Chandela finished fourth in the same event. The 24-year-old Moudgil shot a total of 248.4 in the eight-woman final to open the Indian senior squad's medal account in the prestigious tournament. 

International Shooting Sport Federation
The International Shooting Sport Federation, also known with the acronym ISSF, is the governing body of the Olympic Shooting events in Rifle, Pistol and Shotgun disciplines, and of several non-Olympic Shooting sport events. ISSF’s activities include regulation of the sport, Olympic qualifications and organization of international competitions such as the ISSF World Cup Series, the ISSF World Cup Finals, the ISSF Separate World Championship in Shotgun eventsand the ISSF World Championship in all events.

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Important Current Affairs 3rd September 2018 English


 Important Current Affairs 3rd September 2018    

                                        (National News, Appointment)

Binoy Kumar appointed as new steel secretary
Senior IAS officer Binoy Kumar took over the charge as Secretary in the Ministry of Steel.  He succeeds Aruna Sharma, who superannuated on August 31, 2018.
About Binoy Kumar
Kumar had been posted as officer on special duty in the ministry since May 21, 2018, the Ministry of Steel said in a statement. Prior to this, Kumar held the post of Special Secretary, Logistics, in the Department of Commerce, where he continued to hold additional charge till July 31, 2018.
He also held the post of Director General (Supplies & Disposals), where he developed the Government e-Marketplace (GeM). Kumar has also worked as Additional Secretary and Financial Adviser in the Ministry of External Affairs and Joint Secretary in Ministry of Defence.

NITI Aayog’s MOVE Cyclathon promotes clean mobility 
Hon’ble MoS Kiren Rijiju & Amitabh Kant, CEO NITI Aayog flagged off MOVE Cyclathon, a cycle rally to promote cleaner, accessible modes of transport. The cyclathon was held in the run up to the MOVE: Global Mobility Summit on September 7, 8 in New Delhi, and saw a participation of over 500 enthusiastic cyclists.

About ‘Mobility Week’
 ‘Mobility Week’ will see 17 events in 7 days—from 31 August to 6 September 2018. These events will facilitate interactions with various stakeholders across the mobility domain.
 Participants include global and Indian leaders from across the mobility sector such as OEMs, battery manufacturers, charging infrastructure providers, technology solution providers, representatives from the Indian government as well as foreign governments, various inter-governmental organizations, academia, and policy think tanks.
About MOVE: Global Mobility Summit
Steeply falling technology costs and business–model innovations are driving the world’s transition to renewable energy and electric vehicles. Against this backdrop, NITI Aayog, in collaboration with various ministries and industry partners, is organizing ‘MOVE: Global Mobility Summit’ in New Delhi on 7th and 8th September, 2018. 

SBI Hikes Benchmark Lending Rate By 0.2%
Home, auto and other loans would become slightly costlier as the country’s largest lender State Bank of India has increased its benchmark lending rates by 0.2 percent.
SBI has increased the lending rate by 20 basis points across all tenors up to three years, the lender said on its website.
•    Now SBI’s overnight and one-month tenors’ marginal cost of funds based lending rate stands at 8.1 percent as against 7.9 percent earlier.
•    The MCLR for a one-year tenor increased to 8.45 percent from 8.25 percent earlier. Most of the retail loans are benchmarked against one-year MCLR.
•    The MCLR for a three-year tenor increased to 8.65 percent from 8.45 percent.

The rate hike by bank comes a month after the Reserve Bank of India hiked benchmark repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.5 percent.
RBI had last raised the repo rate on June 6 by 0.25 percent to 6.25 percent. That increase was the first since Jan. 28, 2014.

MoS Dr Jitendra Singh launches India Post Payments Bank at Jammu
The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh launched India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) in Jammu.
The launch was a part of the nationwide launch of IPPBs across the country that is aimed at reaching the population of the country through utilization of the postal network for banking services. 

The launch of IPPB marks another significant milestone in the Union Government’s endeavour to take the benefits of a rapidly developing India to the remotest corners of our country.
On the day of the launch, IPPB will have 650 Branches and 3250 Access Points spread across the country. Simultaneous launch events will be held at these branches and access points.
All the 1.55 lakh Post Offices in the country will be linked to the IPPB system by December 31, 2018.
IPPB will offer a range of products such as savings and current accounts, money transfer, direct benefit transfers, bill and utility payments, and enterprise and merchant payments. These products, and related services, will be offered across multiple channels (counter services, micro-ATM, mobile banking app, SMS and IVR), using the bank’s state-of-the-art technology platform.

ITI Limited partners with startups to boost manufacturing 
ITI Limited signed agreements with leading startups and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) covering the manufacturing of a wide range of ICT-IOT based solutions. 
These include civil and military advanced radar systems, advanced edge router systems, next generation 5G technology products, data storage and networking solutions, digital security solutions, advanced metering solutions, and wi-fi products and solutions.
ITI Limited has also entered into an agreement with Telecommunication Engineering Center (TEC), New Delhi for establishment of state-of-the-art telecom testing labs at its Bengaluru plant to facilitate mandatory testing of imported and indigenous telecom equipment in India. The foundation stone for a set of telecom testing labs– comprising EMI/EMC lab, Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) lab, Safety lab and Security lab – was laid today by the Minister.

                                                        (International News)

China-Maldives Friendship Bridge opens to traffic
The China-Maldives Friendship Bridge, the first cross-sea bridge in the Maldives, opened to traffic.
Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen and representative of the Chinese government and head of China's International Development Cooperation Agency Wang Xiaotao attended the bridge opening ceremony.
The bridge is an embodiment of the long relations between the Maldives and China.
The Chinese government has always been a willing partner for the Maldives and the bridge has proven that nothing was impossible through genuine partnership.
The China-Maldives Friendship Bridge is an iconic project of the Maldives and China in co-building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. The construction of the bridge started at the end of 2015, with China's CCCC Second Harbour Engineering Co Ltd. being the EPC contractor.

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Important Current Affairs 2nd September 2018 English

Important Current Affairs 2nd September 2018


India, Nepal sign MoU on Raxual-Kathmandu railway line

India and Nepal have signed MoU to build strategic railway line connecting Raxaul city in Bihar, India to Kathmandu, capital of Nepal. It was signed  after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks on all aspects of the bilateral ties with his Nepalese counterpart KP Sharma Oli on sidelines of 4th BIMSTEC Summit held in Nepal.
Raxaul-Kathmandu rail line 
It is expected to expand connectivity by enhancing people-to-people linkages and bulk movement of goods between both countries. It help to promote economic growth and development in the region. India’s Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd. will conduct preliminary engineering-cum-traffic survey of this new rail line in consultation with Government of Nepal. This will be followed by finalization of implementation and funding modalities of project based ondetailed project report.  

India and Pakistan have agreed to undertake Indus Waters Treaty mandated tours in Indus basin on both sides

India and Pakistan have agreed to undertake Indus Waters Treaty 1960 mandated tours by their water commissioners in Indus basin on both sides to resolve issues on various hydroelectric projects in Jammu and Kashmir. This was decided in recently concluded high-level bilateral talks on Indus Waters Treaty in Lahore, Pakistan.
Highlights on high-level bilateral talks
Deliberations were held on further strengthening the role of Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) for matters under 1960 Treaty. Technical discussions were also held on implementation of various hydroelectric projects under provisions of Indus Waters Treaty including Pakal Dul (1000 MW) and Lower Kalnai (48 MW) in Jammu and Kashmir.

18th Asian Games to conclude; India finishes with biggest ever medal tally

India ended their Asian Games 2018 campaign with the highest medal tally at the tournament ever, with a total of 69 medals which includes 15 gold, 24 silver and 30 bronze medals. 
India have thus surpassed their previous highest tally of 65 medals which they registered at the 2010 edition of Asiad in Guangzhou.
The solitary event that is taking place on the last day of the Games today is Men's triathlon in which China, Republic of  Korea and Hong Kong among others, are competing. India is not participating in Triathlon.   
Indian women hockey captain Rani Rampal will be the country’s flag-bearer. She has expressed her gratitude to the Indian Olympic Association and Hockey India for giving her the opportunity to lead the India contingent at the closing ceremony.


President of India Inaugurates a National Conference being Organised by The Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association

The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated the National Conference being organised by the Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association in New Delhi.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said that India’s judiciary is respected across the world as an upholder of justice for the defenceless. It is also true that our judges are overburdened by the sheer volume of cases. As a consequence, the Indian legal system is marked by long delays. He noted that there is a backlog of 3.3 crore cases in various courts of the country. Of these, 2.84 crore cases are in the subordinate courts. Another 43 lakh are in the High Courts and about 58,000 in the Supreme Court.

Vodafone Idea Ltd: Idea Cellular and Vodafone completes merger to create India’s largest telecom operator

The merger of Idea Cellular and Vodafone India has been completed after it was cleared by National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). This merger has created India’s biggest telecom service provider. The merged entity is named Vodafone Idea Ltd and dislodges current market leader Bharti Airtel from top position, by its sheer size and scale. New board has been constituted for merged entity with 12 directors (including six independent directors) and Kumar Mangalam Birla as its Chairman.
Key Facts 
The combined entity will have nearly 443 million customers surpassing Bharti Airtel’s 344 million users. Moreover, it will have all-India revenue market share of 32.2% and take numero uno slot in nine telecom circles. It will have broadband network of 3.4 lakh sites and distribution network with 17 lakh retail outlets.

Dr B.K. Misra named for 2018 Dr B.C. Roy National Award as eminent medical person of the year

Mumbai-based eminent neurosurgeon Dr B.K. Misra was named for prestigious Dr B.C. Roy National Award for year 2018 as Eminent Medical Person of the Year. It is highest medical honour of India and will be bestow ed upon him by President Ram Nath Kovind in July 1 , 2019 on the occasion of National Doctors Day.
Dr B.K. Misra
Misra is the Head of Department of Surgery as well as Neurosurgery and Gamma Knife Radiosurgery at Mumbai’s P.D. Hinduja Hospital. During his medical career, he has several firsts to his credit, including image guided aneurysm microsurgery, first doctor in South Asia to perform gamma knife radiosurgery and first in country to perform awake craniotomy for brain tumours.

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Important Current Affairs 1st September 2018 English

Important Current Affairs 1st September 2018


AYUSH Minister to inaugurate the Fourth International Ayurveda Congress at Netherlands 
The fourth International Ayurveda Congress (IAvC) aimed at promotion and propagation of Ayurveda will be inaugurated by Minister of state for AYUSH Shripad Naik in the Netherlands on 1st September.
The Minister is visiting the Netherlands from September 1-4 to participate in the Congress jointly organized by the International Maharishi Ayurveda Foundation, the Netherlands, All India Ayurvedic Congress, New Delhi, and the International Academy of Ayurveda, Pune, in association with the Indian Embassy in that country.
"The congress would focus on promotion and propagation of Ayurveda in the Netherlands and its neighbouring countries of Europe,”
A special Seminar is also being organized by the Indian Embassy titled "India-Netherlands collaboration in Healthcare, including Ayurveda" on September 3.
This seminar will be jointly addressed by the AYUSH minister and the Dutch Minister for Medical Care and Sport Bruno Bruins.
To give further impetus to promotion of AYUSH Systems of Medicine in Netherlands and its neighbouring countries, a high-level meeting has also been proposed in addition to the Congress by Embassy of India and Netherland between the Minister and government Authorities of Netherland.
An exposure visit of the delegation is proposed to the University of Maastricht, the Netherlands, to discuss on establishing an Ayurveda Chair.

Germany to Provide Euro 120 Million Soft Loan for Clean Ganga Mission
In an effort to clean the Ganges, Germany is providing a soft loan of euro 120 million (Rs 990 crore approximately) to India to strengthen sewage water treatment infrastructure in Uttarakhand
Elaborating on the work done by the German Embassy, the project would focus on extension and replacement of sewerage system (around 360 kilometres) including complete house connection, construction of sewage treatment plants of around 15 million litres per day (mld).

The initiative also includes construction of 13 sewage pumping stations.

"The purpose of the project is to reduce the inflow of untreated wastewater in River Ganga and, thus, to improve the water quality of the river.

In 2015, the German government to India committed an interest subsidised loan of up to euro 120 million through German Development Bank KfW for financing investments such as construction of sewerage network and sewage treatment plants

The German development agency GIZ has prepared a 'Ganga Box', aimed to target school-going children and inform them about the river.

INS Sahyadri enters Australia’s Port of Darwin: KAKADU Exercise
Indian Naval Ship Sahyadri entered the Port of Darwin, Australia, to take part in a multilateral maritime exercise.
The ship was deployed in the South China Sea and Pacific Ocean for over four months, which included representing the Navy in multinational exercises MALABAR 18 at Guam and RIMPAC 18 at Hawaii. 
Exercise KAKADU
Exercise KAKADU, which started in 1993, is a premier multilateral regional maritime engagement hosted by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and supported by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

Land immigration centre along Myanmar border opened
India has opened an immigration check-post in Mizoram along the border with Myanmar, a reflection of its growing closeness with the eastern neighbour.
The central government has designated Zokhawthar land check-post in Mizoram as an authorised immigration centre for entry into and exit from India with valid travel documents for all passengers to or from Myanmar.
The move came days after India and Myanmar opened the land border crossing at Zokhawthar-Rih. Zokhawthar is in Champhai district of Mizoram, while Rih is in Myanmar's Chin province.
Zokhawthar will be the second immigration check-post in Mizoram along the Myanmar border, after Zorinpui in Lawngtlai district, which was opened in September last year.
Zokhawthar border trading post is one of the largest trading centres after the state capital Aizwal.
India shares a 1,643-km-long border with Myanmar which touches Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram. ACB ACB ABH ABH

6TH RCEP Ministerial Meeting begins in Singapore 
Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu,is leading the Indian delegation for the 6th RCEP Trade Ministers’ Meeting which begins in Singapore .
The Minister will participate in the meeting consisting of 10 ASEAN countries and six ASEAN FTA partners namely, India, China, Japan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand. 
The meeting is being held on 30th-31st August 2018.  India has been constructively engaged in the RCEP negotiations with an aim to work towards a high quality, balanced and inclusive outcomes that take into consideration sensitivities and interests of member countries.
 The Ministers will give guidance to the Trade Negotiating Committee of RCEP to enable negotiations move forward.
Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) 
Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) and the six Asia-Pacific states with which ASEAN has existing free trade agreements (Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand).

Environment Minister Releases India’s National Redd+ Strategy 
Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has released National Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) strategy for India. 
REDD+ activities will help in sustainable livelihood of local communities and also in conservation of biodiversity. 

REDD+ strategy will help the country to fulfill its NDC commitments and will also contribute to the livelihood of the forest dependent population.

REDD+ actions at the State level will be coordinated by the committee headed by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) & Head of Forest Force (HOFF) of the States.

In simple terms, REDD+ means “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation”, conservation of forest carbon stocks, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries. 

REDD+ aims to achieve climate change mitigation by incentivizing forest conservation. 

The strategy seeks to address drivers of deforestation and forest degradation and also developing a roadmap for enhancement of forest carbon stocks and achieving sustainable management of forests through REDD+ actions.

Paris agreement on climate change also recognizes role of forests in climate change mitigation and calls upon country Parties to take action to implement and support REDD+. 

India has communicated in its Nationally Determined Contribution under Paris Agreement, that it will capture 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of Carbon dioxide through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.


PM to launch India Post Payments Bank on Saturday, 1st September
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, will launch the India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) at Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi on September 1st, 2018.
IPPB has been envisioned as an accessible, affordable and trusted bank for the common man, to help speedily achieve the financial inclusion objectives of the Union Government. It will leverage the vast network of the Department of Posts, which covers every corner of the country with more than 300,000 Postmen and Grameen Dak Sewaks. IPPB will hence significantly augment the reach of the banking sector in India.
The launch of IPPB marks another significant milestone in the Union Government’s endeavour to take the benefits of a rapidly developing India to the remotest corners of our country.
On the day of the launch, IPPB will have 650 Branches and 3250 Access Points spread across the country. Simultaneous launch events will be held at these branches and access points.
All the 1.55 lakh Post Offices in the country will be linked to the IPPB system by December 31, 2018.
IPPB will offer a range of products such as savings and current accounts, money transfer, direct benefit transfers, bill and utility payments, and enterprise and merchant payments. These products, and related services, will be offered across multiple channels (counter services, micro-ATM, mobile banking app, SMS and IVR), using the bank’s state-of-the-art technology platform.

Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARRIA) Introduced 
The HRD Ministry introduced the Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARRIA) which will rank educational institutions as per their innovation output based on global parameters.
The new ranking – named Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA) – will be formally launched on October 15, the birth anniversary of former President APJ Abdul Kalam. The first results will be declared on February 28, 2019, which is also Science Day.
ARIIA – named after Atal Bihari Vajpayee – will focus on: budget expenses and revenues generated; facilitating access to advance centres; ideas of entrepreneurship; innovation ecosystems supported through teaching and learning; and innovative solutions to improve governance of the institution.

Launch of Innovation Cell
The Union Minister for HRD, Shri Prakash Javadekar and Union Minister of State for HRD, Dr. Satya Pal Singh launched the Innovation Cell.
MHRD Innovation Cell (MIC)
Innovation cell is MHRD’s initiative established at AICTE with a purpose to systematically foster the culture of Innovation in all Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) across the country. 
The primary mandate of Innovation Cell is to encourage, inspire and nurture young students by exposing them to new ideas and processes resulting in innovative activities in their formative years fostered through Network of Innovation clubs in Higher Educational Institutions.

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Important Current Affairs 31st August 2018 English

Important Current Affairs 31st August 2018

                                                                 (National News)

Arunachal Assembly passes bill for creation of 3 new districts

The Arunachal Pradesh Assembly has passed a Bill for the creation of three new districts -- Pakke-Kesang, Lepa Rada and Shi Yomi - in the State. Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein had introduced the Arunachal Pradesh Re-Organisation of Districts (Amendment) Bill, 2018, in the House. The Assembly passed the Bill by voice vote.

Indian Railways and GAIL (India) Limited sign an MoU 
Indian Railways and GAIL (India) signed a Memorandum of Understanding towards expanding usage of environment-friendly fuel, Natural Gas across all applications of the Indian Railways.

This historic partnership will pave the way for supply of Natural Gas to Railway workshops, integral coach factories, loco workshops, DEMU sheds, etc. located along the existing and upcoming pipeline networks of GAIL. Along the prestigious eastern India pipeline project under execution- 'Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga' network alone there is a scope to supply natural gas to over 10 workshops of Indian Railways and shall be connected in a phased manner.

MoU between the two leading organisations of the country is a step towards fulfilling Central Government's vision of developing a Gas-based economy in India and progress towards expanding the share of Natural Gas in the energy mix from 6.5 % to 15 %.

New Wage Agreement Signed for Port and Dock Workers

The Shipping Ministry on August 30, 2018 signed a new wage settlement agreement for Group C & D category of Port and Dock Workers in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The move will benefit around one lakh 35 thousand port and dock workers and pensioners in 12 major ports across the country.

Key Highlights

• The new agreement will provide 10.6 per cent wage hike to workers and pensioners.

• The lowest grade of workers would get a pay-scale of Rs 20900-43600 and the highest grade worker would get a pay-scale of Rs 36500-88700.

• The workers and pensioners will get this benefit for a period of five years, beginning in January 2017. 

• The total financial implication of the settlement for all the major ports for serving and pensioners is expected to be around Rs 560 crore per annum.

• More than 32,000 Port and Dock workers and 1, 05,000 Group C and D pensioners across all major ports will be benefitted from of this settlement. 

Other Details

The settlement was signed between six Port and Dock Workers’ Federations and the Port Management under Section 12(3) of Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, before the Regional Labour Commissioner, representing Chief Labour Commissioner. 

It has been into force from January 1, 2017. This is a five-year settlement arrived at in the port sector against the ten-year periodicity in many of the major public sector enterprises.

Supreme Court defers hearing on Article 35A till January
Supreme Court has adjourned the hearing on the constitutional validity of the Article 35A relating to the special rights and privileges enjoyed by Jammu and Kashmir, till January 2019. The contentious issue has brought life in Kashmir to a standstill due to a complete shutdown in the state. 

What is Article 35A? 
Article 35A was added to the Indian Constitution in 1954 as part of the deal between the Maharaja of Kashmir, Hari Singh, and the republic of India to protect the privileges of Kashmiri residents. 

It has a provision that gives J&K Assembly the power to decide who all are the 'permanent residents' of the state that can have permanent settlement rights in the state, get scholarships, receive public aid and acquire immovable property. 

Launch of National Mission on Government e Marketplace (GeM) on 5th

National Mission on Government e Marketplace (GeM) will be launched on 5th September 2018 to accelerate the adoption and use of GeM by major central Ministries, State Governments and their agencies. 
The aim of the National Mission is to promote inclusiveness, transparency and efficiency in public procurement and achieve cashless, contactless and paperless transaction. This will increase overall efficiency and lead to cost saving on government expenditure in procurement.
The GeM platform provides online, end to end solution for procurement of commonly used goods and services for all Central Government Departments and State Governments, Public Sector Units and affiliated bodies.
The GeM has completed two years and as on 26th of August 2018, it has crossed Rs 10,800 crore in value terms and 6.96 lakh in volume of transactions through the platform. 

                                                      (International News)

Cabinet approves Trade Cooperation Framework between India and Rwanda 

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval for the trade cooperation framework between India and Rwanda.   The trade cooperation framework was signed on 23rd July, 2018. 
The trade cooperation framework will facilitate better trade and economic relations between the two countries.

Cabinet apprised of the MoU between India and Republic of Korea on the cooperation in the field of railways 
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the cooperation between Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO), India and Republic of Korea Railroad Research Institute (KRRI) to strengthen and promote scientific and technical cooperation in the field of railways.  The MoU was signedon 10thJuly 2018.
The MoU will provide a platform for Indian Railways to interact and share the latest developments and knowledge in the railway sector with its Korean counterpart. It will facilitate exchange of technical experts, reports and technical documents, training and seminars/ workshops focusing on specific technology areas and other interactions for knowledge sharing.
Ministry of Railways have signed MoUs for technical cooperation in the Rail sector with various foreign Governments and National Railways. The identified areas of cooperation include high speed corridors, speed raising of existing routes, development of world class stations, heavy haul operations and modernization of rail infrastructure, etc. The cooperation is achieved through exchange of information on developments in areas of railways technology & operations, knowledge sharing, technical visits, training & seminars and workshops in areas of mutual interest.

Russia to conduct largest military exercise Vostok-2018

Russia will next month hold its biggest war games since at least the 1980s, with around 300,000 troops and 1,000 aircraft.
Vostok 2018 is a large-scale upcoming Russian military exercise, to be held from 11 to 15 September 2018, throughout Siberia and the country's Far East.  The exercise will involve units from the Army, Air Force and Navy. 
The Vostok-2018 exercises will be carried out from September 11 to 15 in the country's east with the participation of China and Mongolia. This will be something even bigger of a Zapad-81, exercise Zapad-81 was the largest military exercise ever to be carried out by the Soviet Union, according to NATO and US sources. It was conducted from September 4, 1981 and lasted approximately 8 days. 

ADB to provide $346 mn for improving Karnataka highways
India signed a $346 million loan agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to finance improvement of over 400 km of state highways that will enhance connectivity and access to economic centres across 12 districts in Karnataka.
This would be in addition to an ongoing road improvement project financed by the ADB with a loan of $315 million which involves upgradation of about 615 km of state roads.
The new loan will continue ADB support to the Karnataka government's statewide road improvement programme, and will also help improve road safety.
These state highways provide a crucial link to population and economic centres.
The support to the development of the state highway network in Karnataka through this project will promote economic activities and foster inclusiveness.
Asian Development Bank (ADB)
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in '1966, it is owned by 67 members--48 from the region.

India’s First Global Mobility Summit 2018

Government think tank Niti Aayog will hold on September 7-8 here the India's first 'Global Mobility Summit', to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The six themes of the summit are: Asset utilisation and service, comprehensive electrification, alternative energy, reinventing public transit, logistics and goods transport and data analytics and mobility.
The summit will help drive government's goal for vehicle electrification, renewable energy integration and job growth and also speed up India's transition to a clean energy economy.
'MOVE: Global Mobility Summit' will be organised in collaboration with various ministries and industry partners.
Over 1,200 participants from across the world including government leadership, industry leaders, think tank and civil society organisations are likely to attend the summit.

Nitu clinches second successive gold 

Defending champion Nitu (48kg) claimed her second successive gold at the World youth boxing championship.
Nitu, who is also an Asian champion, defeated Thailand’s Nillada Meekoon in a split decision. 
She had won her previous World championship gold last year at Guwahati. 

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Important Current Affairs 30th August 2018 English

Important Current Affairs 30th August 2018

                                                        (International News)

India and ADB Sign $375 Million Loan to Improve Irrigation Efficiency in Madhya Pradesh
Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $375 million loan agreement to contribute to double farming incomes in Madhya Pradesh by expanding irrigation networks and system efficiency.
About the Project:
The Madhya Pradesh Irrigation Efficiency Improvement Project will develop 125,000 hectares of new, highly efficient and climate resilient irrigation networks and improve water use efficiency in more than 400 villages, benefiting over 800,000 people in Madhya Pradesh.
“The ADB funds will be used to develop a large-scale pressurized and automated irrigation system for boosting irrigation efficiency,” said Shri Mitra. “The Project will support institutional innovations through introduction of a design-build-operate contracting approach.”

MoU between India and USA in insurance regulatory sector
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) and the Federal Insurance Office, USA.


The MoU provides a framework for cooperation and coordination, including for the exchange of information and research assistance with respect to each Authority’s overview and other lawful responsibilities.  

India and USA have also agreed to continue to facilitate cooperation on international standard-setting activities, financial stability and the development and implementation of consumer protection through sound prudential regulation of the insurance sector.


IRDAI is a body set up under the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999 to regulate, promote and ensure orderly growth of the insurance and re-insurance business in India. Similarly, in USA, Federal Insurance Office (FIO) is vested with the authority to monitor all aspects of the insurance sector and to represent the USA on prudential aspects of international insurance.
India and USA have strong business relations with each other and both the countries have been in regular discussions at various political and official levels. Various institutional mechanisms have also been put in place over time to strengthen bi-lateral cooperation on wide ranging multi-sectoral issues between the two countries.

Umbrella scheme O-SMART of Ministry of Earth Sciences Approved
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for the umbrella scheme “Ocean Services, Technology, Observations, Resources Modelling and Science (O-SMART)”, for implementation during the period from 2017-18 to 2019-20 at an overall cost of Rs.1623 crore.  

The scheme encompasses a total of 16 sub-projects addressing ocean development activities such as Services, Technology, Resources, Observations and Science. 

What comes under the scheme?

Under the scheme, the important deliverables envisaged in the next two years include strengthening of ocean observations, modeling, ocean services for fishermen, setting up marine coastal observatories for tracking marine pollution in 2018, setting up Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Plant (OTEC) in Kavaratti in Lakshadweep.

The scheme also includes acquisition of two coastal research vessels, continuation of ocean survey and exploration of minerals and living resources, technology development for deep ocean mining- and setting up six desalination Plants in Lakshadweep, according to the statement.

The O-SMART is expected to provide necessary scientific and technological background required for implementation of various aspects of Blue Economy, setting up of the state-of-the-art Early Warning Systems to effectively deal with ocean disasters like tsunami, storm surges.

Cabinet approves signing of Air Services Agreement between India and Morocco
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the revised air services agreement to be signed between India and Morocco. After the new Air Services Agreement comes into force, the existing Air Services Agreement of December, 2004 shall stand superseded.  
The Air Services Agreement signifies an important landmark in the civil aviation relations between India and Morocco and has the potential to spur greater trade, investment, tourism and cultural exchanges between the two countries.  It will provide enabling environment for enhanced and seamless connectivity while providing commercial opportunities to the carriers of both the sides ensuring greater safety and security.
Keeping in view of the growth in the civil aviation sector and also with a view to modernize and improve seamless air connectivity between the two sovereign nations, the existing Air Services Agreement between India and Morocco has been updated.
The existing Air Services Agreement between India and Morocco was signed in year 2004 and does not have the updated clauses on Safety, Security, Designation of Airlines, Commercial Activities, Tariffs etc. Besides, the provisions of Cooperative Marketing Arrangements which enable both sides to establish the code share on each other flights and also on the flights of 3rd country carriers are also not available in the present Air Services Agreement.

Health Ministry asks States to ban e-cigarettes

The Union Health Ministry has instructed all the States that e-cigarettes and other Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) should not be sold under their jurisdiction.
Punjab, Karnataka, Kerala, Mizoram, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have already prohibited the use of e-cigarettes, heat-not-burn devices, E-Shisha and e-nicotine-flavoured hookahs, and have prohibited the manufacture, import, sale and distribution of ENDS. The Health Ministry has issued an advisory for the other States to follow suit.
“ENDS products are a great health risk to the public at large, especially to children, adolescents, pregnant women and women of reproductive age. States and Union Territories are advised in larger public health interest, and in order to prevent the initiation of ENDS by non-smokers and youth, with special attention to vulnerable groups, to ensure that ENDS are not sold...,” it said.
Thirty countries including Australia, Singapore and Sri Lanka have already brought in such bans.

Cabinet apprised of tripartite MoU on animal husbandry
The Union Cabinet was apprised of an agreement between India, the UK and Northern Ireland for cooperation in the field of animal husbandry, dairying and fisheries.
As per the MoU signed on April 17, 2018, a joint working group consisting of representatives of each country will be created.
The group will chalk out joint programmes and facilitate cooperation and consultation.
The MoU would promote consultation and cooperation in matters of mutual interest, collaboration in livestock health and husbandry, breeding dairying and fisheries management.
Besides, the agreement would put in place a mechanism to enrich feed and fodder nutrition and its bulk transportation in deficit areas to realise higher productivity and production in livestock.
It will also help in developing high tech fodder tree species nurseries with fodder crops.
Among others, the MoU will encourage collaboration for joint research for cross-learning with regard to innovative agriculture extension approaches including the use of information and communication technology (ICT).

India's economic growth rate to grow at 7.4 % in current financial year: RBI

The Reserve Bank expects India's economic growth rate to grow at 7.4 per cent in the current financial year on pick up in industrial activity and good monsoon.

According to RBI’s annual report, due to the evolving economic conditions, real GDP growth for 2018-19 is expected to increase to 7.4 per cent from 6.7 percent in the previous year.

                                                     (Science & Technology)

MoU signed between DBT and IEA on Enhancing Innovation for the Clean Energy Transition
 The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology, and the International Energy Agency (IEA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Enhancing Innovation for Clean Energy Transition.

The MoU seeks to deepen co-operation in support of clean energy innovations to accelerate the research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) of clean energy technologies in India and will help support the generation of data for policymaking and improve knowledge of good policy practices for innovation in India and around the world.

Department of Biotechnology
The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) is an Indian government department, under the Ministry of Science and Technology responsible for administrating development and commercialisation in the field of modern biology and biotechnology in India. It was set up in 1986.
International Energy Agency 
The International Energy Agency is a Paris-based autonomous intergovernmental organization established in the framework of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 1974 in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis. The IEA was initially dedicated to responding to physical disruptions in the supply of oil, as well as serving as an information source on statistics about the international oil market and other energy sectors.

Gaganyaan programme: ISRO
The Indian Space Research Organization, ISRO, unveiled India's Gaganyaan programme for manned space flight before 2022 as announced by the Prime Minister on the Independence Day


GSLV Mk III, the three-stage heavy lift launch vehicle, will be used to launch Gaganyaan as it has the necessary payload capability. Two unmanned Gaganyaan missions will be undertaken prior to sending humans.

The total programme is expected to be completed before 2022 with the first unmanned flight within 30 months. The mission will aim to send a three-person crew to space for a period of seven days. The spacecraft will be placed in a low earth orbit of 300-400 km. The programme is expected to cost less than Rs 10 billion.

India will be the fourth country after the USA, Russia and China to send humans to space.

ISRO to outsource production of Polar Satellite and Small Satellite Launch Vehicles to private Industries

The Indian Space Research Organisation, ISRO will outsource the production of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle and Small Satellite Launch Vehicles to private Industries. 

The Indian Space agency Chairman K Sivan that private industries will play a major role in capacity building. 

Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle

The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) is a system developed and operated by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It is a Medium-lift launch vehicle. It was developed to allow India to launch its Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellites into sun-synchronous orbits, a service that was, until the advent of the PSLV in 1993, commercially available only from Russia. PSLV can also launch small size satellites into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO).



Asian Games Update
Arpinder Singh Clinched a gold medal in the men’s triple jump event

Arpinder Singh won a gold medal in the men’s triple jump event. This is India’s first gold medal in men’s triple jump at the Asian Games in 48 years. The last gold was won in 1970 by Mohinder Singh Gill.
Arpinder Singh 
Arpinder Singh born 30 December 1992, is an Indian triple jumper. He also claimed a bronze medal in the sport in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. He is supported by Anglian Medal Hunt Company, a company that supports young Indian athletes towards international competitive success, with an especial aim at the Olympics.

Swapna Barman women’s heptathlon gold medal winner
Swapna Barman won the gold medal in the women’s heptathlon at the 2018 Asian Games. A heptathlon is a combined event consisting of 7 track and field events. In the women’s event, these seven are - 100 metres hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200 metres, long jump, javelin throw and an 800m race.

Swapna Barman
Swapna Barman was born 29 October 1996, is an Indian heptathlete. She was placed first in the Heptathlon at the 2017 Asian Athletics Championships. She is supported by the GoSports Foundation through the Rahul Dravid Athlete Mentorship Programme.

                                                         (National News)
Government constitutes new science and technology council to advise PM

The Union Government has constituted a 21-member science and technology council to advise Prime Minister Narendra Modi on matters related to science, technology and innovations.

The council, named as Prime Minister's Science Technology and Innovation Advisory Committee (PM-STIAC), will be headed by K Vijay Raghavan, the principal scientific adviser to the Union Government.

Key Details  : PM-STIAC

• The panel will advise the Prime Minister on all matters related to science, technology and innovation and monitor the implementation of PM’s vision on the same.

• It will facilitate the formulation and implementation of policies and decisions and provide action-oriented and future preparedness advise and assist in directing science and technology to solve the socio-economic problems in the country.

• It also aims to lay special emphasis on driving innovation in education and research.

The key members of the panel include:
Manjul Bharghava: Noted mathematician and professor at Princeton University.
Major General Madhuri Kanitkar: First woman dean of Army Forces Medical College, Pune.
A S Kiran Kumar: Former ISRO chief
VK Saraswat: Member of NITI Aayog and former DG of DRDO
Ajay Sood: Professor at Indian Institute of Science
Subhash Kak: Professor at Oklahoma State University, United States
Sangamitra Bandopadhyay: Director of Indian Statistical Institute
Baba Kalyani: Indian Industrialist and MD of Bharat Forge


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