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Important Current Affairs 19th August 2018

Important Current Affairs 19th August 2018

                                                              (Obituary)

Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan Passes Away at 80

Kofi Annan, one of the world's most celebrated diplomats and a charismatic symbol of the United Nations who rose through its ranks to become the first black African secretary-general, has died. He was 80.  He served two terms from Jan. 1, 1997, to Dec. 31, 2006, capped nearly mid-way when he and the U.N. were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001.

Even out of office, Annan never completely left the U.N. orbit. He returned in special roles, including as the U.N.-Arab League's special envoy to Syria in 2012. He remained a powerful advocate for global causes through his eponymous foundation.

Kofi Annan was born on April 8, 1938 into an elite family in Kumasi, Ghana, the son of a provincial governor and grandson of two tribal chiefs.

                                                 (National News, Economy)

No ATM to be Replenished With Cash After 9 pm from Next Year 

As per a recent directive issued by the Home Ministry no ATM will be replenished with cash after 9 pm in cities and 6 pm in rural areas from next year even as two armed guards will accompany crisp notes in transit. The deadline for putting money in the ATMs located in Naxal-hit areas is 4 pm while private cash handling agencies must collect money from the banks in the first half of the day and transport notes only in armoured vehicles. The new Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) would come into effect from February 8, 2019 in view of the spurt in incidents of attacks on cash vans, cash vaults, ATM frauds and other internal frauds leading to increased sense of insecurity.

Important Facts

There are over 8,000 privately owned cash vans plying across the country, operated by non-bank private agencies, and they handle over Rs 15,000 crore daily on behalf of banks.

                                                 (Sports)
 

Shooting Gives India First Medal at the Asian Games

Apurvi Chandela and Ravi Kumar won bronze in the 10m Air Rifle Mixed Team event to get India going but finished behind China and Chinese Taipei.

Bajrang Punia has won India's first gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games. Bajrang defeated Takatani Daichi in the Gold Medal of the 65 kg Men's Freestyle event.

However, two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar was beaten by Bahrain's Adam Batirov in the 74 kg category.

Important Facts

The 2018 Asian Games, officially known as the 18th Asian Games and also known as Jakarta Palembang 2018, is a pan-Asian multi-sport event being held from 18 August to 2 September 2018 in the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang. For the first time, the Asian Games are being co-hosted in two cities; the Indonesian capital of Jakarta (which is hosting the Games for the first time since 1962), and Palembang, the capital of the South Sumatra province.

45 nations are participating in the 2018 Asian Games.

The trio of animal mascots chosen for the 2018 Asian Games are bird of paradise "Bhin Bhin", single-horned rhinoceros "Kaka" and Bawean deer "Atung".

Mitchell Johnson Retires from All Cricket

Australian Left-armer paceman Mitchell Johnson had retired from internationals in 2015 but remained a useful bowler in Twenty20 competitions, including for Perth Scorchers in the Australian 'Big Bash' tournament. He has now announced retirement from all forms of Cricket.

This year he had played in the IPL for the Kolkata Knight Riders.

Important

Mitchell Johnson has taken 313 wickets in 73 Test matches, 239 wickets in 153 ODIs and 38 wickets in 30 T20s. In IPL he has taken 61 wickets in 54 matches.

                                                                    (Days and Dates)


World Photography Day 2018 Observed 

The World Photography Day celebrated on August 19 commemorates the artistry of a photographer. The birth of this day dates back to 1839 when Joseph Nicéphore Niépce’s associate Louis Daguerre developed a daguerreotype process the details of which were introduced the same year.

On, August 19, 2010 the very first global online gallery was hosted. The day was historic because even though it was the first online gallery ever hosted yet the day witnessed 270 photographers sharing their ideas through the means of photographs and people from over 100 countries visited the website.

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Important Current Affairs 18th August 2018

Important Current Affairs 18th August 2018

                                                              (National News)

Government to declare 2018 as ‘national year of millets’

Nutrient-rich millets have got a boost with the Union government deciding to declare 2018 as the ‘national year of millets’. This decision has been taken following a request by Karnataka, which is the country’s leader in the millet sector.
Objective: Good health, good business
According to experts, dedicating a year for millets will not only increase awareness about its health benefits, but also result in higher demand for these drought-resistant varieties, resulting in remunerative prices for poor and marginal farmers.


PSU banks to be out of PCA by year end
The government expects the public sector banks to come out of the Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework by the end of this year and will provide them adequate capital when required, Department of Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar said.
He said public sector banks’ operational performance has improved in the April-June quarter, with steep reduction in net losses, increase in recoveries and significant improvement in provision coverage ratio.
PCA
PCA framework is one of such supervisory tools, which involves monitoring of certain performance indicators of the banks as an early warning exercise and is initiated once such thresholds as relating to capital, asset quality etc. are breached.
Its objective is to facilitate the banks to take corrective measures including those prescribed by the Reserve Bank, in a timely manner, in order to restore their financial health.

SC agrees on colour-coded stickers for vehicles
The Supreme Court has accepted Centre's proposal to have hologram-based colour-coded stickers on vehicles that would help in identifying automobiles running on various kinds of fuels.
A bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur, Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice Deepak Gupta asked the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) to implement by September 30 the scheme of colour-codes stickers on vehicles plying in National Capital Region (NCR).
Important:

The diesel vehicles will have orange stickers pasted on their windshield while petrol and CNG vehicles will have blue stickers.
The bench also suggested the Centre to consider having green number plates for electric and hybrid vehicles.

                                                 (National News, Economy)

Investment in P-notes continues to decline  
Investments through participatory notes into Indian capital markets plunged to over nine-year low of Rs 80,341 crore till July-end amid stringent norms put in place by the watchdog Sebi to check misuse of these instruments.
P-notes are issued by registered foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) to overseas investors who wish to be part of the Indian stock market without registering themselves directly. They, however, need to go through due diligence process. 

According to the Sebi data, total value of P-note investments in Indian markets - equity, debt, and derivatives - slumped to a low of Rs 80,341 crore till July-end from Rs 83,688 crore clocked by June-end. Prior to that, in May the figure was Rs 93,497 crore. 

This is the lowest level since April 2009 when the cumulative value of such investments stood at Rs 72,314 crore. 

Indian economy in 2018-19 to 7.2% from the 7.4% projected earlier
India Ratings and Research has revised downwards its forecast for the growth of the Indian economy in 2018-19 to 7.2% from the 7.4% projected earlier. 
Reason for this:-
According to Ind-Ra, the upward revision in the estimation of inflation for 2018-19 due to increasing crude oil prices and the government's decision to fix the minimum support prices of all kharif crops at 1.5 times the production cost. 

The rating agency in a report titled 'Mid-year FY19 Outlook' said it believes the other headwinds lurking on the horizon are rising trade protectionism, depreciating rupee and, no visible signs of the abatement of the non-performing non-performing assets of the banking sector. 

Ind-Ra expects private final consumption expenditure to grow 7.6 % in 2018-19 compared to 6.6 % in 2017-18. 

                                                 (International News)
 
Eleventh World Hindi Conference begins today in Mauritius

The 11th World Hindi Conference will begin in Mauritius on 18th August. Prime Minister of Mauritius Praveen Kumar Jagannath will inaugurate the conference in Port Louis. 

"Hindi World and Indian Culture" is the theme of the conference. This is also first time that representatives from all 29 states and Union Territories of Delhi, Chandigarh and Puducherry attending the conference. The delegates from India and various countries of the world will deliberate on eight subtopics on Hindi World and Indian Culture during three-day conference. 

The aim of this conference will further encourage use of Hindi language and its important role in the world. A report also released on a recommendation made during 10th conference held in Bhopal in 2015. 

About World Hindi Conference
World Hindi Conference was started in 1975 to make Hindi language a medium of service and knowledge and enable it to move forward with the time. Since then Hindi has made remarkable progress and it has become one of the prominent languages of the world.

PTI Chief Imran Khan takes oath as 22nd PM of Pakistan
In Pakistan, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chief, Imran Khan has taken oath as the 22nd Prime Minister of the country today on 18th August 2018.

The PTI had emerged as the single largest party with 116 seats in the July 25 elections. The party has 158 members in the National Assembly after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) issued notifications of the successful candidates on the seats reserved for women and the minority community on August 11th.
About Imran Khan
Imran Ahmad Khan Niazi was born on 5 October 1952 is a Pakistani politician and former cricketer who is the current and 19th Prime Minister of Pakistan. 
He is also the chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. Previously he was a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan from 2002 to 2007, and again from 2013 to 2018. Prior to entering politics, Khan was a cricketer and philanthropist. He played international cricket for two decades, and later developed philanthropic projects such as Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital & Research Centre and Namal College. 


International Conference on Recent Advances in Food Processing Technology (iCRAFPT)
International Conference on Recent Advances in Food Processing Technology (iCRAFPT) held today on 18th August at Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology, Thanjavur in Tamilnadu. 
Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT)
The Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT), a premier national Institute working under the administrative control of Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), Government of India functioning from its headquarters in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. 
Besides delivering research and education in food processing, the institute has been incubating farmers, entrepreneurs and aspiring youth for prospective food business ventures. Considering this importance and promotion of food processing among the farmers, budding entrepreneurs and researchers. 

                                                                    (Sports)


Asian Games kick off in Indonesia -Jakarta 
The 18th edition of the Asian Games officially begins in Indonesian capital Jakarta today on 18th August.
Important to Know:
Around 11,000 athletes from 45 countries will be seen competing in 40 sports and 67 disciplines consisting of 28 Olympic sports, 4 new Olympic sports, and 8 non-Olympic sports. 
For the first time, eSports (a form of competition using video games) and canoe polo will be contested as demonstration sports. Over 570 Indian athletes will be vying for top honours across 36 sports which will take place in Jakarta as well as in Palembang.
Javelin Thrower Neeraj Chopra will be India's flag-bearer at the expected-to-be-glittering opening ceremony. 
2018 Asian Games
The 2018 Asian Games, officially known as the 18th Asian Games and also known as Jakarta Palembang 2018, is a pan-Asian multi-sport event scheduled to be held from 18 August to 2 September 2018 in the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang.
For the first time, the Asian Games are being co-hosted in two cities; the Indonesian capital of Jakarta (which is hosting the Games for the first time since 1962), and Palembang, the capital of the South Sumatra province.


Esow Alben wins silver medal at the 2018 UCI World Cycling Championships
 Esow Alban won India’s first ever junior cycling World Cup medal when he finished second in the keirin event in Aigle, Switzerland. 
Esow was only 0.017 seconds adrift of Czech Republic's Jakub Stastny, who secured gold in the pulsating final few seconds of the race. 
Achievements to his name:
In February 2018, Alban won three gold medals at the Asian Junior Track Championships in Nilai ( Malaysia ), sprint , keirin and team sprint. At the Sprint Cup in Cottbus he won the sprint competition for the juniors and for the GP Brno the races in the sprint as well as in the keirin.

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Important Current Affairs 17th August 2018

Important Current Affairs 17th August 2018 

                                                     

National News

India to launch first manned space mission by 2022

India will send a human to space by 2022, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his Independence Day speech.
The project would cost about Rs 100 billion. If India succeeds, it will be the fourth country to achieve this landmark.
Isro is planning to send a human being to an orbit in the space for seven days. Unmanned flights will be sent to space two years from now. The organisation is in the process of developing a life-support system for the human mission.

Tribunal awards 13.42 tmcft Mahadayi water to Karnataka
 

The Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal  awarded 13.42 tmcft (thousand million cubic feet) of the river water to Karnataka as against its demand for 36.66 tmcft.

The tribunal has allocated Karnataka 13.42 tmcft, Goa 24 tmcft and Maharashtra 1.3 tmcft in its final decision.

The Tribunal has assessed that 188.06 tmcft water is available at 75 per cent dependability.
Of the 13.42 tmcft water for Karnataka, 5.5 tmcft is meant for use within the river basin (1.5 tmcft) and for diversion to Malaprabha reservoir (4 tmcft).

Important:
The three-member Tribunal, headed by Chairman Justice J.M. Panchal, Justice Viney Mittal and Justice P.S. Narayana, submitted its final recommendation to Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari .

SBI Ranked as India’s Most Patriotic Brand
 

State Bank of India (SBI) is considered to be the most patriotic brand, according to a survey.

Around 16 per cent respondents ranked SBI to be the most patriotic brand overall, followed by Tata Motors and Patanjali with 8 per cent each, and Reliance Jio and BSNL with 6 per cent each, the survey conducted by UK-based online market research and data analytics firm YouGov. 

In terms of sectors, the financial sector topped the chart of the most patriotic brands with two leading names -SBI and Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) – followed by auto, consumer goods, food and telecom sectors.

Important:
SBI Chairman is Rajnish Kumar, Headquarters is situated in Mumbai, Established on- 01st July 1955

Ease of Living Index 2018: India
 

Pune is the most liveable city, followed closely by Navi Mumbai and Greater Mumbai in a ranking of 111 Indian cities with the national capital ranked at a lowly 65 on the Ease of Living Index released by Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri.

Thane is the fourth Maharashtra city that made it to the top 10 in the list. Other cities ranked among the best 10 are Tirupati, Chandigarh, Raipur, Indore, Vijayawada and Bhopal.

Important:
Pune, Rank 1
NAVI MUMBAI, RANK 2
GREATER MUMBAI, RANK 3
TIRUPATI, RANK 4
CHANDIGARH, RANK 5

K S Srinivas takes over as MPEDA chief
 

IAS officer K S Srinivas has taken over as the Chairman of the city-based Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), an agency under the Union Commerce Ministry.

K S Srinivas
Prior to his new assignment, he had served as Joint Secretary in the Department of Agriculture Cooperation and Farmers' Welfare in the Ministry of Agriculture, an MPEDA.
The Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA)

The Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) is a Government of India company headquartered at Kochi. It was constituted on 20 April 1972, under the Marine Products Export Development Authority Act 1972 (No.13 of 1972).

The role envisaged for the MPEDA under the statute is comprehensive - covering fisheries of all kinds, increasing exports, specifying standards, processing, marketing, extension and training in various aspects of the industry.


Permanent commission would be granted to serving women officers of the Armed Forces
 
Permanent commission would be granted to serving women officers of the armed forces will change the career paths of more than 3,700 women officers in the three services, besides providing full-length career opportunity for women aspirants in the future.

Women officers who have been selected through the Short Service Commission in our defence forces will now have the option to take up permanent commission.

Figures and Facts:
Women are inducted in the armed forces only as officers and not in subordinate ranks, and currently, there are 1,561 women officers in the Army, 1,594 in the IAF and 644 in the Navy.
The announcement came four months after the government told the Supreme Court that it was considering granting permanent commission (PC) to short service commission (SSC) women Army officers.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY


Aerogel a super-insulating gel may help build Mars habitats

Scientists have developed a transparent heat-resistant gel using beer waste that may one day be used to build greenhouse-like habitats for human colonised on Mars.

The "aerogel," which looks like a flattened plastic contact lens, could also be used on buildings on Earth to help make huge savings on energy costs. 

The "aerogel," is so resistant to heat that you could put a strip of it on your hand and a fire on top without feeling a thing, according to researchers.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS


Australia recommences its adoption programme with India
 

The Government of Australia has decided to recommence the Adoption Programme with India, as per Hague Convention on Inter-Country Adoption. The adoptions from India had earlier been put on hold by the Government of Australia eight years ago, on the reported charges of trafficking of children for Inter-country adoption by some of the recognized Indian placement agencies (the Adoption agencies mandated to place children in Inter-country adoption at that point of time).
The regulation of Inter-country adoptions has been made strict by the Government of India with the enactment of Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 and notification of Adoption Regulations, 2017. The Ministry of Women & Child Development along with Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) have been constantly engaging with Australian Government for recommencement of the Adoption Programme. The recommencement of the adoption programmes will now enable large number of prospective adoptive parents including those of Indian origin settled in Australia in fulfilling their desire of adopting a child from India.


25th anniversary of the maritime bilateral exercise of Indian, Singapore navies 
 
The navies of India and Singapore will conduct joint exercises next month to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the maritime bilateral relations between the two countries. 
This was stated by the Indian High Commissioner, Jawed Ashraf in Singapore. He said the excellent defense relationship between both the countries is a reflection of deep mutual trust and a shared vision for the region. 
He said the bilateral naval exercise will be the longest uninterrupted naval exercise that India has with any country in the world. Mr Ashraf said the two nations are working together in the fields of technology and innovation solutions for the weak and vulnerable.
 
SPORTS 

Viraj Madappa Becomes Youngest Indian Golfer Winner of Asian Tour Title
 
Indian golfer Viraj Madappa has become the youngest Indian to win on the Asian Tour. He won his first title on the Asian Tour at taking Solutions Masters in Bengaluru. 

Viraj Madappa scored a total of 16-under 268 at the Asian Tour event. Earlier this record was held by Gaganjeet Bhullar, who won the Indonesia Invitational when he was 21 years and three months old. 

Viraj Madappa is also the first rookie and youngest player to win on the continental Tour this season. 

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Important Current Affairs 16th August 2018

Important Current Affairs 16th August 2018

                                                       (National, Obituary)

Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee Passes Away
Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who had been admitted to the AIIMS hospital in New Delhi for the past few weeks, died on Thursday. He was 93.
About Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Mr. Vajpayee was the first BJP leader to be sworn-in as the prime minister and the first non-Congress PM to complete five year term.
Born on December 25, 1924 in Gwalior, Mr. Vajpayee was elected 10 times to the Lok Sabha from four different States (the first time in 1957 from Balrampur in Uttar Pradesh), and was twice a Member of the Rajya Sabha in a storied career.

                                                           (National News)

Anandiben Patel takes oath as Governor of Chhattisgarh

•    Madhya Pardesh Governor Anandiben Patel, who has been given the additional charge of Chhattisgarh following the death of Governor Balramji Dass Tandon, was sworn in at a ceremony in Raipur.
•    Chhattisgarh High Court Chief Justice Ajay Kumar Tripathi administered the oath of office to Patel during at the Raj Bhawan.
•    Anandiben Patel will discharge the additional duties until regular arrangements for the office of the governor of Chhattisgarh are made.


Bengal government removes income ceiling for 'Kanyashree' scheme

•    West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee lifted the ceiling on annual family income for the beneficiaries of her government's flagship women welfare scheme 'Kanyashree' that aims to ensure girls stay in school and delay their marriages till at least the age of 18. So, from now everyone will get the Kanyashree benefit. 
•    Widening the reach of the scheme would cost the state government an additional Rs 200 crore.
•    The state had incurred an annual expenditure of Rs 1200 crore under the scheme last year.
•     It was the fifth anniversary celebrations of the scheme. 

Kanyashree Scheme
Kanyashree was launched in 2013 to prevent early marriage of girl children of socio-economically disadvantaged families whose annual income is Rs 120,000 or less. Close to 50 lakh beneficiaries are enrolled under the scheme so far in Bengal.

FSSAI unveils initiative to collect; convert used cooking oil into biofuel

•    The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) launched RUCO (Repurpose Used Cooking Oil), an initiative that will enable collection and conversion of used cooking oil to bio-diesel. 
•    The initiative has been launched nearly a month after the food safety regulator notified standards for used cooking oil.
•    Under this initiative, 64 companies at 101 locations have been identified to enable collection of used cooking oil. For instance: McDonald’s has already started converting used cooking oil to biodiesel from 100 outlets in Mumbai and Pune.
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is an autonomous body established under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India. The FSSAI has been established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 which is a consolidating statute related to food safety and regulation in India. 
 

                                                             (Ranking)

Global Liveability Index 2018
  
•    Melbourne has been dislodged by Vienna for the first time at the top of the Economist Intelligence Unit’s global liveability index, strengthening the Austrian capital’s claim to being the world’s most pleasant city to live in.
•    The two metropolises have been neck and neck in the annual survey of 140 urban centres for years, with Melbourne clinching the title for the past seven editions.
•    This year, a downgraded threat of militant attacks in Western Europe as well as the city’s low crime rate helped nudge Vienna into first place.
•    Vienna and Melbourne scored maximum points in the healthcare, education and infrastructure categories. Osaka, Calgary and Sydney completed the top five in the survey
Global Liveability Ranking
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) publishes an annual Global Liveability Ranking, which ranks 140 cities for their urban quality of life based on assessments of stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.

                                                      (International News, Awards)

2018 Albany Prize Winners
Steven A. Rosenberg, M.D., Ph.D., of the Center for Cancer Research (CCR) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), has been named a recipient of the 2018 Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research for his leading role in the development of immunotherapy to treat cancer. Dr. Rosenberg will share the honor with fellow immunotherapy researchers James P. Allison, Ph.D., and Carl H. June, M.D. These all three will share a $500,000 medical prize.
Important to know:
•    Dr. Rosenberg is chief of the surgery branch at NCI, part of the National Institutes of Health.
•    Dr. Allison is chair of the Department of Immunology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
•    Dr. June is director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapy in the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. 
•    Dr. Allison and Dr. June are supported by NCI grants and conduct research at NCI-designated cancer centers.
Albany Medical Center Prize
The Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research is the United States' second          highest value prize in medicine and biomedical research, awarded by the Albany Medical Center. 

                                                        (International News)

Additional funds for Nepal's Postal Highway by India 
•    The Indian Government  released additional NPR 470 million for the Postal Highway being constructed in Southern Plains of Nepal.
•    Indian Ambassador to Nepal Manjeev Singh Puri handed over a cheque worth NPR 470 million to the Secretary of Nepal's Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Madhusudan Adhikari.
Important to know:
•    The amount has been released to maintain fund liquidity for the ongoing construction of 14 road packages under Postal Highway Project. 
•    With this payment, a total of NPR 2.35 billion stands released to the Government of Nepal out of the total grant assistance of NPR 8.00 billion committed by the Government of India for implementing 14 packages under Packages 2-6 of Phase I of the Postal Highway Project.

What is Postal Highway?
Postal Highway also called Hulaki Rajmarg runs across the Terai region of Nepal, from Bhadrapur in the east to Dodhara in the west, cutting across the entire width of the country. It is the oldest highway in Nepal constructed by Juddha Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana & Padma Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana to aid transportation and facilitate postal services throughout the nation.

24th World Congress of Philosophy opened in Beijing
 The 24th World Congress of Philosophy (WCP) opened on 13th August in Beijing. It is the first time that the quinquennial event is being held in China.
Themed "Learning To Be Human," the event will include more than 1,000 activities, such as plenary sessions, symposia, lectures and roundtables, according to the Chinese Organizing Committee of WCP 2018.
World Congress of Philosophy 
The World Congress of Philosophy (originally known as the International Conference of Philosophy) is a global meeting of philosophers held every five years under the auspices of the International Federation of Philosophical Societies (FISP). First organized in 1900, these events became firmly established after the Second World War. 
Purpose
The purpose of these events is to contribute to the development of professional relations between philosophers of all countries, promote philosophical education, and contribute to the impact of philosophical knowledge on global problems. 

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Important Current Affairs 15th August 2018

Important Current Affairs 15th August 2018 

                                                      National News

Unnat Bharat Abhiyan 2.0
Higher Education Institutions of Human Resource Development Ministry under its flagship program – Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA) 2.0 will participate in Gram Sabhas to be organised on the occasion of Independence Day tomorrow. 688 institutions are selected on a Challenge Mode (426 technical and 262 non- technical) which are reputed Higher Educational Institutes (both public and private) of the country, which have adopted 3555 villages for their development through UBA. IIT Delhi is also organizing 5 Gram Sabhas in its adopted village Panchayats.
Israel Opens Visa Application Centre In Kolkata

Film festival to be held on theme of “Freedom Struggle and Freedom Fighters”
 

Films Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting will hold film festival on occasion of 72nd Independence Day on the theme, “Freedom Struggle and Freedom Fighters”, on 15th August, 2018.
The festival will be inaugurated by Smt. Rama Khandwala, nonagenarian freedom fighter and Indian National Army (INA) veteran.During the festival, noteworthy documentary films on freedom struggle and freedom fighters will be screened from 10:30AM.
Nepal-India Literature Festival 2018 Begins in Birgunj 


Exim Bank Signs MoU With BRIC Development Banks

Exim Bank of India has signed a multilateral cooperation agreement with member development banks of BRICS to undertake “collaborative research” in distributed ledger/blockchain technology. The MoU signed by Exim Bank Managing Director David Rasquinha was an outcome of the discussions the member development banks had during their annual meeting, with the objective of strengthening the cooperation under the BRICS Interbank Cooperation Mechanism.

Rain water harvesting system provided by CPWD
To address the problem of depleting ground water resources, CPWD had decided for storage of the rain  water and artificial recharge of the ground water by providing rain water harvesting systems in its campuses and works to conserve and use the rain water and augment ground water resources to save it from further depletion.
CPWD played a pioneering role in promoting adoption of the Rain water harvesting/artificial recharge to ground water in the country. CPWD has so far provided about 1100 rain water harvesting systems in different locations/ areas under its jurisdiction in the country. 

Meeting Of Senior Officials Of BIMSTEC Held
I. A special meeting of Senior Officials of the Bay of Bengal Initiatives for Multi-Sectoral, Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) was held in Kathmandu today.
II. The meeting also agreed to recommend a theme "Towards a peaceful, Prosperous and Sustainable Bay of Bengal Region" for the Summit.

Nepal-India Literature Festival 2018 Begins in Birgunj 
I. Nepal-India Literature Festival 2018 has begun in Birgunj, Nepal. The festival was inaugurated by Chief Minister of Province 2 Mohammad Lalbabu Raut. The festival is aimed at strengthening Indo-Nepal ties. 
II. On this occasion, eminent writers from both the countries were also felicitated. Around 250 participants from India and Nepal attending the two-day festival.

Science and Technology

India To Launch 2nd Lunar Mission 'Chandrayaan-2'
 

India will launch its second lunar mission “Chandrayaan-2” on January 3, 2019, to land on the moon with a lander and rover. According to Indian Space Research Organisation Chairman K. Sivan, ISRO is aiming to launch the mission but the window to land on the lunar surface is open till March 2019. The 800-crore rupees is the cost of lunar mission named “Chandrayaan-2”. The 3,890-kg Chandrayaan-2, which will be launched onboard the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk-3.

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Important Current Affairs 14th August 2018

Important Current Affairs 14th August 2018

NATIONAL NEWS

Ashish Kumar Bhutani appointed CEO of PM crop insurance scheme

Senior bureaucrat Ashish Kumar Bhutani has been appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), according to an order issued by the Personnel Ministry today.

Ashish Kumar Bhutani

Bhutani, a 1992 batch IAS officer of Assam-Meghalaya cadre, has been appointed to the post till May 9, 2020.

Important:

Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana was launched in 2016, the PMFBY is in line with one nation – one scheme theme.


Release of "Digital North East Vision 2022" in Guwahati
 

Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister for Electronics & Information Technology and Law & Justice released the document 'Digital North East Vision 2022' at Radisson Hotel in Guwahati today.

Digital North East Vision 2022

•    According to the vision document, high-speed broadband connectivity will be provided in all the uncovered villages in the northeastern region. 

•    With an aim to empower the people of the northeastern region the vision document identified eight digital areas thrust areas -- digital infrastructure, digital services, digital empowerment, promotion of electronics manufacturing, promotion of IT and IT enabled services including BPOs, digital payments, innovation & startups,  and cyber security.

First project under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme the ‘North East Circuit”
 
•    Dr. Najma A. Heptulla, Hon’ble Governor of Manipur will be inaugurating the project “Development of North East Circuit: Imphal & Khongjom” implemented under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India in the presence of Shri N Biren Singh, Chief Minister Manipur, Shri K.J. Alphons, Union Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism and Smt. Rashmi Verma, Union Tourism Secretary in Imphal today. 
•    The above project is the first project under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme being inaugurated in the country.
Swadesh Darshan scheme
•    Swadesh Darshan scheme is one of the flagship schemes of Ministry of tourism for development of thematic circuits in the country in a planned and prioritised manner. 
•    The scheme was launched in 2014 -15 and as on date the Ministry has sanctioned 70 projects for Rs.5708.88 Crore to 29 States and UTs under the Scheme. 
•    30 projects / major components of these projects are expected to be completed this year.


Launch of road safety awareness video
Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari today launched road safety awareness video with Brand ambassador of road safety campaign actor Akshay Kumar in New Delhi. 
  
According to facts, the number of people killed in road accidents is much more than the total lives lost in wars. 

Objective:

The priority of the Government is to reduce road accidents. 
Important:    
The central government is yet to get the Road Safety Bill passed in the Rajya Sabha, which has provisions for stricter penalties for offenders.

Launch of “Pitch to MOVE” 
NITI Aayog has launched “Pitch to MOVE” - a mobility pitch competition that aims to provide budding entrepreneurs of India a unique opportunity to pitch their business ideas to a distinguished jury. Startups working in the various fields of mobility can pitch their ideas to industry leaders and Venture Capitalists for raising investments. Winners of the event will be felicitated by Hon’ble PM during the Global Mobility Summit
Objective:
•    "Pitch to MOVE aims to identify and incentivise the startups, which will help the Government realize its vision of Shared, Connected, Intermodal and Environment Friendly Mobility for India.
•    The objective is to harness the latest disruption for generating employment and growth in our country. We look forward to working together with these startups", said Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog.

About “Pitch to MOVE”
“Pitch to MOVE” is organised by NITI Aayog in collaboration with Invest India and Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) as a part of a series of engaging featured events in the run up to the main event. The Summit is scheduled to be held on 7th and 8th Sep 2018 at Vigyan Bhawan, in New Delhi and is being inaugurated by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India.

Inauguration of NDMC Smart City projects


Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated various initiatives as part of smart city project of New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC).
Important:
•    The facilities inaugurated by Rajnath includes smart poles with free wi-fi, 360 degree cameras and environmental sensors, solar tree with the LED lights, mobile charging points, ideation centre for promoting smart city entrepreneurs, two hi-tech nurseries and others. He flagged off four mechanical road sweepers, two litter picking machines and ten auto trippers under the Swachhta initiatives.   
•    He also released a Coffee Table Book on green initiatives of NDMC titled “Green and Colourful NDMC - A Transformational Journey” on the occasion.

Consumer Price Index Numbers for the Month of July 2018
 
The Central Statistics Office (CSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has revised the Base Year of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) from 2010=100 to 2012=100 with effect from the release of indices for the month of January 2015.
Consumer Price Index (CPI)
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measure that examines the weighted average of prices of a basket of consumer goods and services, such as transportation, food and medical care. It is calculated by taking price changes for each item in the predetermined basket of goods and averaging them.


Index Numbers of Wholesale Price in India 
 
The official Wholesale Price Index for ‘All Commodities’ (Base: 2011-12=100) for the month of July, 2018 rose by 0.4 percent to 119.7 (provisional) from 119.2 (provisional) for the previous month.

 Wholesale Price Index (WPI)
The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) is the price of a representative basket of wholesale goods. Some countries (like the Philippines) use WPI changes as a central measure of inflation. But now India has adopted new CPI to measure inflation. However, United States now report a producer price index instead.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Iran unveils next generation short-range ballistic missile
                
Iran has unveiled its next generation short-range ballistic missile with a warning that its 'will to enhance our defence power in all fields will increase'.

Fateh Mobin rocket
•    The Fateh Mobin rocket was described by Iranian defence minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami as '100-percent domestically made - agile, stealth, tactical (and) precision-guided'. 
•    The new missile's range was not given, but previous versions had a range of around 200 to 300 kilometres, according to the US-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.
•    Fateh-110 missile was test-fired by Iran during naval exercises in the Strait of Hormuz last week.

Approval of defense budget bill that focuses on threats posed by China
 

•    US President Donald Trump has approved a defense budget bill that focuses on threats posed by China. 

•    The President signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2019, authorizing 717 billion dollars for national defense, an increase of 17 billion dollars from the current fiscal year that ends in September. 
•    
The NDAA, outlines US military policy and the funds needed to support it. The Act bans US government agencies from using products of major Chinese communication equipment manufacturers, including ZTE, to prevent leaks of confidential information. 
•    It also strengthens screenings of foreign investors who want to buy US businesses. 

SPORTS

Kohli loses top spot in ICC Test rankings to out-of-action Smith
 

•    Indian captain Virat Kohli lost his number one position in the ICC Test rankings for batsmen, dropping to second after a forgettable performance in the lost second Test against England.
•    Kohli lost the position to former Australian captain Steve Smith, who is currently serving a one-year ban owing to his role in the ball-tampering scandal against South Africa earlier this year.
Background:

•    India captain Virat Kohli on 5th of August 2018 topped the ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen.
•    Kohli thus became the seventh India batsman, and first since Sachin Tendulkar (in June 2011) to be ranked the number one Test batsman in the latest ICC rankings released on 5th August.


 

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Important Current Affairs 13th August 2018

Important Current Affairs 13th August 2018 

                                                      National News

Beneficiaries under the scheme for Adolescent Girls in 2017-18
•    The Government is implementing Scheme for Adolescent Girls, a Centrally-sponsored scheme, to provide nutrition support for out of school adolescent girls (11-14 years).
•    The scheme has two components Nutrition and Non Nutrition.
•    More than 7 lakh out of school adolescent girls (11-14 years) benefitted under the scheme for Adolescent Girls in 2017-18.
•    In 2018-19, against the allocation of Rs. 500 crore, as of now a sum of Rs. 81.59 crore has been released to States/UTs.
Objective:
•    In addition, the scheme aims at motivating out of school girls in the age group of 11-14 years to go back to formal schooling or skill training under non-nutrition component of the scheme. 
•    The Scheme aims at all-round development of out-of-school Adolescent Girls of age 11-14 years and is implemented through the State Governments/UTs using ICDS infrastructure.
Important:
Minister of Women and Child Development is Stm Maneka Sanjay Gandhi.

Centre unlocks over 66 thousand crore green fund to increase forest cover 
•    The Centre has unlocked more than 66,000 crore rupees to increase the country’s forest cover. 
•    The Centre has finally notified the rules for utilisation of the money by states and Union Territories, and for setting up authorities to monitor its use for afforestation and conservation.
•    The rules have been framed two years after a law to this effect was enacted.
•    The rules specify that 80 percent of the compensatory afforestation amount will be utilised by states for plantations, assisted natural regeneration of forests, forest fire prevention, and pest and disease control in forest, soil and moisture conservation works and improvement of wildlife habitat, among others, in the list of 13 permissible activities. 
•    The remaining 20 percent will be used for 11 listed works to strengthen forest and wildlife protection related infrastructure.

All districts will be covered under the POSHAN Abhiyan 2019-20
•    POSHAN Abhiyaan (National Nutrition Mission - NNM) set up by Government on November, 2017 aims to reduce the level of stunting, under-nutrition, anemia and low birth weight babies. 
•    Coverage of districts in a phased manner is 315 districts in 2017-18, 235 districts in 2018-19 and remaining districts in 2019-20.
•    The total budget for the POSHAN Abhiyaan is Rs.9046.17 crore with GoI share of Rs.2849.54 crore.
The important components of the Abhiyaan are:
Ensuring convergence with various programmes; incentivizing States/ UTs for achieving goals; IT enabled Real Time Monitoring (ICT-RTM); Evaluation; weighing efficiency and making nutrition visible; Community mobilization awareness advocacy etc. measuring height and length of children below 6 years of age. 


Launch of “PARIVESH”
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, launched PARIVESH (Pro-Active andResponsive facilitation by Interactive, Virtuous and Environmental Single-windowHub) on the occasion of World Biofuel Day.
PARIVESH
PARIVESH is a Single-Window Integrated Environmental Management System, developed in pursuance of the spirit of ‘Digital India’ initiated by the Prime Minister and capturing the essence of Minimum Government and Maximum Governance.

                                                               National News, Appointment

New Chairperson of Appellate Tribunal for Electricity
Smt. Justice Manjula Chellur took Oath as Chairperson, Appellate Tribunal for Electricity, Ministry of Power, here today. Prior to this, Smt. Justice Manjula Chellur was Chief Justice of Bombay High Court.  
Background:
Smt. Justice Manjula Chellur was born on 5th December, 1955 in Karnataka. She was the first woman Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court.  Smt. Justice Manjula chellur also served as the Chief Justice of Kerala High Court and the first female judge of the Karnataka High Court.  She demitted her office as Chief Justice of Bombay High Court upon attaining the age of superannuation on 4th December, 2017.

                                                           National News, Science

Jammu, Agartala to get Space Research Technology Centres
•    Union minister Jitendra Singh said Jammu and Tripura will get the country’s first Space Technology Research Centre. While the first centre in north India will function under Jammu-based Central University, the Tripura centre will work will work under Agartala-based NIT.
•    This was disclosed on the occasion of the beginning of year-long "Sarabhai Centenary" programmes of ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation), starting from today, that is, the 99th birth anniversary of Dr Vikram Sarabhai, the first Chairman of ISRO and the founding father of India's Space Programme.
Important:
The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh.


Inauguration of the Laboratory for Conservation of Endangered Species (LaCONES)
Union Minister for Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan inaugurated a genetic resource storage facility at the Laboratory for Conservation of Endangered Species (LaCONES).
Details:
•    The Wildlife Genetic Resource Bank at LaCONES can store 17,000 vials worth of samples.
•    Currently genetic material, including DNA, cells and tissues besides semen and eggs of 23 wildlife species are stored. 
•    It is learnt a proposal has been made by the institution to increase the storage capacity. 
•    The bank will facilitate research and, if attempted, scope for cloning.

                                                       National News, Defence


DAC Approval for Procurement of Six Ngopvs
The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman met here today and accorded approval for the procurement of six indigenously designed and manufactured Next Generation Offshore Patrol Vessels (NGOPVs) for the Indian Navy at an approximate cost of Rs. 4941 crore.
Salient Features:
•    The NGOPVs will be built in indigenous shipyards and will be fitted with state-of-the-art sensor suite with increased endurance. These platforms will strengthen maritime security by undertaking a multitude of operational roles both in blue water and littorals. 
•    These include seaward defence, protection of offshore assets, maritime interdiction operations and search & seizure operations, surveillance missions, mine warfare, anti-piracy missions, counter infiltration operations, anti-poaching/trafficking operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and search and rescue missions.

                                                                         Obituary

Veteran leader Somnath Chatterjee passed away in Kolkata
Former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee passed away in Kolkata this morning following a multiple organ failure. He was 89.
Important about Somnath Chatterjee
•    Somnath Chatterjee (25 July 1929 - 13 August 2018) was an Indian politician who had been associated with the Communist Party of India (Marxist) for most of his life, though he was independent in the last decade of his life. 
•    He was the 13th Speaker of the Lok Sabha (House of the People) from 2004 to 2009.
•    He was Member of Parliament for Bolpur, West Bengal, and Member of Parliament for Jadavpur, West Bengal, and Member of Parliament for Bardhaman, West Bengal.

                                                                        Day & Dates


World Elephant Day Observed on August 12

•    World Elephant Day is an international annual event on August 12, dedicated to the preservation and protection of the world's elephants.
•    The first International Elephant Day was held on August 12, 2012. The film Return to the Forest, narrated by William Shatner, is about the reintroduction of captive Asian elephants to the wild and was released on the inaugural World Elephant Day.
Objective:
The goal of International Elephant Day is to create awareness of the urgent plight of African and Asian elephants, and to share knowledge and positive solutions for the better care and management of captive and wild elephants. African elephants are listed as "Vulnerable" and Asian elephants as "Endangered" on the IUCN Red List of threatened species. 

International Youth Day is celebrated globally 
•    International Youth Day is celebrated globally on August 12. 
•    There are currently 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24 in the world – the largest youth population ever.
Theme 2018
•    This year’s theme is Safe Spaces for Youth and the contributions they make towards freedom of expression, mutual respect, and constructive dialogue. Among these spaces are civic spaces, public spaces, digital spaces and physical spaces.
•    The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, specifically Goal 11, emphasizes the need for the provision of space towards inclusive and sustainable urbanization.

                                                    International News, Appointment

Michelle Bachelet appointed as the world body's next top human rights official 
•    Former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet was appointed by the UN General Assembly as the world body's next top human rights official to replace Jordanian diplomat Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein.
•    UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres had this week nominated Bachelet to be the next UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Her name was forwarded for consideration by the 193-member UN General Assembly, which approved her appointment.
Important
•    Bachelet will be the seventh High Commissioner since the Office was created in 1993. Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein has been in office since 1 September 2014. His predecessors are: Jos Ayala-Lasso (1994-97); Mary Robinson (1997-2002); Sergio Vieira de Mello (2002-03); Louise Arbour (2004-08); and Navi Pillay (2008-14).
•    Verónica Michelle Bachelet (29 September 1951) is a Chilean politician who was the President of Chile twice, from 2006 to 2010 and from 2014 to 2018, the first woman in her country to occupy this position.

                                                        International News


India hands over 1st lot of houses to Indian-origin people in Sri Lanka 
•    India has handed over the first lot of houses built under a USD 350 million project for Indian-origin people, mostly Tamils, in Sri Lanka's tea plantation areas.
•    Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined the special ceremony through video conferencing at Dunsinane Estate in Nuwara Eliya city to hand over the houses constructed under the Indian Housing Project, the largest one by India in any country.
Figures and Facts:
•    Some 404 houses were handed over to the Indian-origin people, mostly Tamils. 
•    Out of the 60,000 houses, close to 47,000 have been completed so far.
•    Prime Minister Modi said that "we are signing the agreement for the construction of the additional 10,000 houses at a cost of 12 billion Sri Lankan Rupees". 

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Important Current Affairs 12th August 2018

Important Current Affairs 12th August 2018

NATIONAL NEWS

Axis Bank first to introduce iris authentication for Aadhaar-based transactions

Axis Bank became first bank in the country to introduce Iris Scan Authentication feature for Aadhaar-based transactions through its micro ATM tablets. These micro ATM tablets are Standardisation Testing and Quality Certification (STQC) certified and UIDAI compliant registered devices with completely integrated iris sensors.
Axis Bank is presently running pilot program of iris-based Aadhaar authentication for its customers at eight branches in rural segment largely covering areas of Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh. It is also exploring its application for varied services such as loan processing, insurance, eKYC account opening and others, most likely extending to the semi-urban and urban regions as well.


Interest Subvention on Loan of Farmers
The Government of India (GoI) has been implementing the Interest Subvention Scheme (ISS) since 2006-07 under which short term crop loans upto Rs. 3.00 lakh are made available to farmers at subvented interest rate of 7% per annum. Further from 2009-10 to incentivize the prompt payee farmers, the GoI also introduced a provision of Prompt Repayment Incentive (PRI) under the Scheme. Presently, under ISS, the GoI provides PRI @ 3% to the prompt payee farmers for repayment of their crop loans as per the repayment schedule fixed by the banks or within a period of one year from the date of disbursement, whichever is earlier.
A request has been received from the Government of Rajasthan for release of interest subvention by National Bank for Agriculture and Rural development (NABARD) to Rajasthan State Cooperative Bank Ltd. in the beginning of the year. Alternatively, it has been suggested that a revolving fund for matching amount be created to enable Short Term Cooperative Credit Structure to avail timely interest subvention.


CSIR’s new patented Clot buster, PEGylated Streptokinase set to revolutionize the treatment of Strokes


A new Clot buster, PEGylated Streptokinase - a Novel Biological Entity developed by Dr. Girish Sahni, DG, CSIR and Secretary, DSIR and his team of inventors at CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology (CSIR-IMTECH), Chandigarh is all set to revolutionize the treatment of ischemic strokes. Ischemic stroke is a condition caused by a dysfunction in the supply of blood to the brain due to emboli, thrombus or atherosclerosis occurring in cerebral arteries. According to the American Stroke Association (ASA), brain strokes are the second leading cause of death in the world with a staggering       15 million people effected causing 11 million people either die or become permanently disabled. Surprisingly, the prevalence of stroke is much higher in India than the West and about 87% of all strokes are ischemic strokes.
 

Promotion of Zero Budget Natural Farming
Government of India has been promoting organic farming in the country through the dedicated schemes of Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) since 2015-16 and also through Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY). In the revised guidelines of PKVY scheme during the year 2018, various organic farming models like Natural Farming, Rishi Farming, Vedic Farming, Cow Farming, Homa Farming, Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) etc. have been included wherein flexibility is given to states to adopt any model of Organic Farming including ZBNF depending on farmer’s choice. Under the RKVY scheme, organic farming/ natural farming project components are considered by the respective State Level Sanctioning Committee (SLSC) according to their priority/ choice.


Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) under Network Project on Organic Farming (NPOF) and All India Coordinated Research Projects (AICRP) on Integrated Farming Systems, has initiated an experiment on “Evaluation of zero budget farming practices in basmati rice-wheat system” at Modipuram (Uttar Pradesh), Ludhiana (Punjab), Pantnagar (Uttarakhand) and Kurukshetra (Haryana) from rabi 2017 to study the zero budget farming practices on productivity, economics and soil health including soil organic carbon and soil fertility.

Mission Indradhanush
Mission Indradhanush aims to increase full immunization coverage in India to atleast 90% children by December 2018. The salient feature of Mission Indradhanush is to cover unvaccinated and partially vaccinated children in areas with low immunization coverage, in both urban and rural areas. The State/UT - wise details of children and women vaccinated including Uttar Pradesh under Mission Indradhanush is given at Annexure-1.
No separate funds are allocated for Mission Indradhanush. Funds allocated for Routine Immunization under part ‘C’ of Programme Implementation Plan (PIP) are being utilized by the states to carryout activities under Mission Indradhanush. No Mission Indradhanush does not targets to reduce post natal death rate but targets to reduce diseases and death due to vaccine preventable diseases. The State/UT - wise number of children and women vaccinated during the year 2017-18 is given at Annexure-2.
 

Bhopal smart city incubation hub to get support from US-tech
Use of drone imagery to map and geo-tag properties, real-time video to map vehicular movement, electricity supply monitoring that predicts peak usage – could all be a reality in incubation centre of Bhopal Smart city development corporation limited (BSCDCL).
On Thursday, BSCDCL incubation hub, B-Nest inked an MoU with ESRI, a GIS mapping software, spatial data analytics and location company headquartered in California. Likes of pioneering ArcGIS, the world's most powerful mapping and analytics software and other software’s would be available for those associated with B-nest, said Esri India, president, Agendra Kumar. It is the second such tie-up by the company. The being Telangana government backed start-up incubator T-Hub.

DIHAR organises 25th annual Ladakhi Kisan-Jawan-Vigyan Mela
General Officer Commanding (GOC) 14 Corps Lt. Gen S K Upadhyay inaugurated two-day Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR) annual Ladakhi Kisan-Jawan-Vigyan Mela in Leh. The army gets a lot of assistances from DIHAR. 45 per cent of the requirement of vegetables is made by local organic producers of DIHAR. The mela is a good platform to showcase the products of locals and also gives an opportunity to learn about agricultural activities at DIHAR. Over the decades, DIHAR has carried out researches in high altitude agriculture and animal sciences and made several breakthroughs.


OBITUARY

Nobel-winning writer VS Naipaul dies
 VS Naipaul, the Trinidad-born Nobel laureate whose precise and lyrical writing in such novels as "A Bend in the River" and "A House for Mr. Biswas" and brittle, misanthropic personality made him one of the world's most admired and contentious writers, died at his London home.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 

Nasa launches Parker Solar Probe, mankind's first mission to touch the Sun
Nasa's Parker Solar Probe, mankind's first mission to 'touch' the Sun, has been launched today on a seven-year-long journey to unlock the mysteries of our star's fiery outer atmosphere and its effects on space weather.

Liftoff took place from Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in the US early on Sunday. The $1.5 billion mission will perform the closest-ever observations of a star when it travels through the Sun's outer atmosphere, called the corona.

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Important Current Affairs 11th August 2018

Important Current Affairs 11th August 2018

 INTERNATIONAL NEWS

 Curtain Raiser: Exercise SCO Peace Mission 2018 

As part of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) initiatives, SCO Peace Mission Exercise is conducted biennially for SCO member states. The joint exercise for the year 2018 will be conducted by Central Military Commission of Russia from 22 August to 29 August 2018 at Chebarkul, Chelyabinsk, Russia. This will be a historic occasion due to the maiden participation of India post becoming a full member of the SCO in June 2017. This exercise marks a major milestone in the multilateral relations of SCO member nations. The exercise will involve tactical level operations in an international counter insurgency or counter terrorism environment under SCO Charter. 
Indian contingent of 200 personnel is primarily composed of troops from infantry and affiliated arms & services alongwith Indian Air Force. The Indian contingent has been put through a strenuous training schedule which includes firing, heliborne operations, combat conditioning, tactical operations and house intervention drills.

NATIONAL NEWS

56th Convocation of IIT Bombay
The Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, addressed the 56th Convocation of Indian Institute of Technology Bombay in Mumbai. Addressing the graduating students, the Prime Minister said that the success of the IITs inspired the creation of several engineering colleges around the country, which led to India becoming one of the world’s largest pools of technical manpower.
The PM said that IIT graduates are at the forefront of some of the best start-ups in India. These are start-ups that are also at the forefront of solving so many national problems. 
Speaking of innovation, the PM said that the best ideas come not in Government buildings or fancy offices, but in campuses like that of IITs, in the minds of youngsters studying in such campuses. He invited students to Innovate in India, innovate for humanity. He stated that innovations and enterprise are going to be the foundation stone for making India a developed economy. A long term sustainable technology-led economic growth is possible on this foundation.

Index of Industrial Production (IIP): Industrial output records 5-month high growth of 7% in June 2018
According to data released by Central Statistics Office (CSO), factory output measured in terms of Index of Industrial Production (IIP) had 7% in June 2018, five-month high. This was on account of higher output in mining, manufacturing and power generation segments.

Facts
1. The cumulative IIP growth for period April-June 2018 was 5.2% over corresponding period of previous year.
2. The manufacturing sector in June 2018 grew by 6.9%, as against decline of 0.7% in the year-ago month.
3. Power generation segment grew by 8.5% in June against 2.1% growth year ago. The mining sector output recorded 6.6% growth in June against 0.1% in June 2017.


Index of Industrial Production (IIP)
IIP is composite indicator that measures short-term changes in volume of production of basket of industrial products during given period with respect to chosen base period. It is compiled and published monthly by Central Statistical Organization (CSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.


IBC Bill amendment passed, puts homebuyers at par with financial creditors

A bill to amend the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) 2016, allowing home buyers to be treated as financial creditors and seeking to set up a special dispensation for small sector enterprises, was passed by Parliament on Friday. The bill, which was passed in Lok Sabha on July 31, was approved in the Rajya Sabha by a voice vote. The legislation seeks to replace the June 6 ordinance that sought to put these amendments into force to aid quick resolution of several bankrupt firms.

India gets first all-women SWAT team, all 36 commandos from northeast

The Delhi Police inducted India's first all-woman Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team for anti-terrorist operations. After rigorous training of around 15 months from specialists all across India and abroad, 36 women commandos from the northeastern states have been inducted into this squad. While 13 members are from Assam, rest of them hail from Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Manipur.
Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik, who was behind the idea of the SWAT team, said, "The team is ready to take on hostage crises and terror strikes in urban areas.


Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh launches 'Tiffin Yojana' for poor labourers

Cheif Minister Raman Singh has launched the "Mukhyamantri MNREGA Mazdoor Tiffin Vitaran Yojana" wherein the state will distribute tiffin boxes to over 10 lakh labourers for free.
He said, "The government has come forward with many beneficial schemes for the labourers. One among them is Tiffin Yojana that comes under Mahatma Gandhi Gramin Rozgar Guarantee Yojana in which around 10, 80,000 labourers will be given tiffins in a month."

Gita Mittal Becomes Jammu And Kashmir's First Woman Chief Justice

Justice Gita Mittal has become the first woman Chief Justice of Jammu And Kashmir High Court.  She took oath on Saturday morning. The ceremony was administered by Governor Narinder Nath Vohra at Srinagar. Mittal had been previously appointed as the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court on April 14, 2017, after the retirement of Chief Justice Gorla Rohini.
Justice Mittal completed her graduation from Campus Law Centre in 1981. In 2004, she was appointed as the Additional Judge of Delhi High Court and was made permanent in 2008. She had been a member of the Governing Council of the National Law University and Indian Law Institute, New Delhi since 2013.
Before being appointed as the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, she chaired the court committees on the Delhi High Court's Mediation and Conciliation Centre, as well as the committee monitoring the Implementation of Judicial Guidelines for Dealing with Cases of Sexual Offences and Child Witnesses.

President of India inaugurates ‘One District one Product’ Summit
The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated the ‘One District One Product’ Summit in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
The President said that micro, small and medium enterprises are called the backbone of our economy. These enterprises are engines of inclusive development. After the agricultural sector, most people find employment in this sector. This sector generates more employment opportunities at a lower cost of capital. And the most important thing about this sector is that it creates jobs in rural and backward areas.
The President noted that under the ‘One District One Product’ scheme, the state government has set a goal of providing employment to 25 lakh people in five years through the financial assistance of Rs. 25,000 crores. He expressed hope that this scheme will create large number of employment opportunities for the youth and strengthen the inclusive and sustainable development of Uttar Pradesh.

Cage Farming in Karnataka
The Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) on Blue Revolution: Integrated Development and Management of Fisheries approved by the Government in December 2015 inter-alia provides financial assistance for (i) open sea cage culture and (ii) installation of cages/pens in reservoirs and other open water bodies. Under the CSS, the unit cost of open sea cage is fixed at Rs. 5 lakh per cage and having minimum diameter of 6 m and depth of 4 m in case of each circular cage and 96 cubic meter volume (6mx4mx4m) in case of each rectangular cage. 
Similarly, the unit cost for installation of cages/pens in reservoirs and other open water bodies is fixed at Rs. 3 lakh per cage including installation and inputs for first crop.
The Government of Karnataka reported the installation of 8 marine cages with an expenditure of Rs. 29.9 lakh for Seabass and Cobia culture and a total of 102 cages in reservoir with an expenditure of Rs.81 lakh. Besides, National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB), Hyderabad has also sanctioned 500 brackish-water cages to the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) for installation in the selected District of Karnataka.

New Pension Scheme (NPS)

National Pension System (NPS) has been designed giving utmost importance to the welfare of the subscribers. Government has made a conscious move to shift from the defined benefit Pension Scheme to defined contribution pension scheme i.e. NPS, due to rising and unsustainable pension bill. There are a number of benefits available to the employees under NPS. Some of the benefits are enlisted below:
1. NPS is a well designed pension system managed through an unbundled architecture involving intermediaries appointed by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) viz. pension funds, custodian, central record keeping and accounting agency, National Pension System Trust, trustee bank, points of presence and Annuity service providers.
2. The pension wealth which accumulates over a period of time till retirement grows with a compounding effect. The all-in-costs of the institutional architecture of NPS are among the lowest in the world.
3. Contribution made to the NPS Tier-I account is eligible for tax deduction under the Income Tax Act, 1961. An additional tax rebate of Rs.50000 is also allowed for contributions made to NPS Tier-I under Section 80CCD (1B) of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
4. PFRDA has increased the maximum age limit from 60 years to 65 years for joining NPS-All Citizen Model and Corporate Sector Model, vide “PFRDA (Exits and Withdrawals under the NPS) (Second Amendment) Regulations, 2017” dated 06.10.2017.
5. PFRDA vide “PFRDA (Exits and Withdrawals under the NPS) (Third Amendment) Regulations, 2018” dated 02.02.2018 has facilitated easy exit & withdrawal in case of disability and incapacitation of the subscriber covered under NPS.
6. Transparency and Portability is ensured through online access of the pension account by the NPS subscribers, across all geographical locations and portability of employments.

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Important Current Affairs 10th August 2018

  

Important Current Affairs 10th August 2018

                                            INTERNATIONAL NEWS

MoU between India and Indonesia on Health cooperation
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Indonesia on health cooperation.


 The MoU covers the following areas of cooperation:-
 1.    Research and development, active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and IT-based medical equipment;
2.    Human Resource Development;
3.    Health services; and
4.    Any other area as may be mutually agreed upon.
 


India and Canada comes together on collaboration among Chartered Accountant Institutions  
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the signing of the "Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)" between "Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI)" and "Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada)".

 Significance:
•    The aim is to work together to develop a mutually beneficial relationship in the best interest of ICAI members, students and their organizations.
•    The MoU will provide an opportunity to the ICAI members to expand their professional horizon and simultaneously ICAI will become an entity to aid strengthen brand building of local nations. 
•    The MoU will foster strong working relations between the ICAI & CPA Canada.

Beneficiaries:

•    The MoU would help encourage more and younger Indian Chartered Accountants to take up the recognition of "CPA Canada" professional designation to further help them pursue professional opportunities in Canada. 

•    A number of Indian Chartered Accountants are holding top level positions in Canadian companies and with the recognition from CPA Canada, the Canadian Corporates would trust Indian talent and skills more and proceed to hire them.

Global Innovation Index, GII- 2018 launched in India
•    India's rank on the Global Innovation Index (GII) has improved from 60th last year to 57th this year. India has been consistently climbing the GII ranking for the past two years.
•    Its position improved from 80 in 2015 to 66 in 2016 after sliding for successive five years. 
•    According to Mr Ratan P Watal Government and industry must synergise their efforts to promote R&D and innovation in the country. 
•    NITI Aayog will join hands with CII to drive innovation in India.


Scientific and Technological Cooperation between India and Indonesia 

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Indonesia on Scientific and Technological Cooperation.
Objective of this MoU:
•    The objective of the MoU is to promote cooperation in the fields of science and technology between India and Indonesia on the basis of equality and mutual benefit.
•    The stake-holders will include researchers from scientific organizations, academia, R&D laboratories and companies from India and Indonesia.
•    Information and Communication Technology; Marine Science & Technology; Life Sciences (including Biotechnology, Agriculture and Biomedical Sciences); Energy Research; Water Technologies; Disaster Management; Space Sciences, Technology and Applications; Geospatial Information and Applied Chemistry were identified as potential areas for immediate collaboration.

Trade Remedy Cooperation between India and Korea 

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi gave its ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Korea on Trade Remedy Cooperation.

The MoU was signed in July 2018 during the State visit of President of Korea to India.

Significance

The MoU will promote cooperation between the two countries in the area of trade remedies viz. anti-dumping, subsidy and countervailing and safeguard measures, which will enhance the bilateral trade relations.
Important
President of South Korea is Moon Jae-in


NRIs cannot file RTI applications

•    Non-Resident Indians cannot file Right to Information (RTI) applications to seek governance-related information from the Central government departments.
•    Only citizens of India have the right to seek information under the provisions of Right to Information Act, 2005. Non-Resident Indians are not eligible to file RTI applications.

Right to Information Act, 2005
•    Right to Information (RTI) is an Act of the Parliament of India to provide for setting out the practical regime of the right to information for citizens and replaces the erstwhile Freedom of information Act, 2002.
•    Under the provisions of the Act, any citizen of India may request information from a "public authority" (a body of Government or "instrumentality of State") which is required to reply expeditiously or within thirty days.
•     The Act also requires every public authority to computerise their records for wide dissemination and to proactively certain categories of information so that the citizens need minimum recourse to request for information formally.

Important:
Minister of State for Personnel is Jitendra Singh 

                                             

                                                   NATIONAL NEWS

CIL entered into a tripartite MoU with NSDF and NSDC
In the coal sector, Coal India Ltd. (CIL) has entered into a tripartite MoU with National Skill Development Fund (NSDF) and National Skill Development Center (NSDC) under Skill India Mission of Govt. of India for standardization of Skills and Training & Assessment of their employees as well as Contractual Workers, Project affected Persons (PAP), Youth & Women in its command area to bring them in line with NSDC Qualifications. Till date, Rs.15 Crore (approx.) have been spent on the project to impart training to 39953 persons (including 4700 contractual workers).

Figures:

2018-19(Fund Allocation): 106.02 Crore
2017-18(Fund Allocation): 72.76 Crore

Important:

The Minister of Railways, Coal, Finance & Corporate Affairs is Shri Piyush Goyal 

Begging in the national capital is decriminalized by Delhi High Court

According to the Delhi High Court Criminalising begging is a wrong approach to deal with the underlying causes of the problem, as it quashed provisions in the law that made begging a punishable offence.

What the Law Says:

The act of begging in the national Capital was made a criminal offence after the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act, 1959, was extended to Delhi by a Central government amendment in 1960.

The law prescribes a penalty of three years of detention in beggar homes in case of first conviction for begging and the person can be ordered to be detained for 10 years in subsequent conviction.

S Gurumurthy, Satish Marathe appointed as directors on RBI board 
The government has appointed Swaminathan Gurumurthy and Satish Kashinath Marathe as  part-time non-official directors on the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) board. 

The Cabinet's Appointments Committee approved their appointment following a proposal from the Department of Financial Services.

About Swaminathan Gurumurthy

•    Gurumurthy, an economist and chartered accountant by profession, is also the co-convenor of RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagran Manch. 

•    He is also the editor of Tamil political weekly Thuglak. 

•    A vocal supporter of PM Narendra Modi's policies, Gurumurthy had defended the demonetisation of high value currency notes.

About Satish Kashinath Marathe

•    Marathe, started banking career with Bank of India, then he became chairman of The United Western Bank Ltd.

•    He is also the founder of Sahakar Bharati, an NGO that supports co-operatives in India.

RBI to pay Rs 50,000 cr dividend to govt for FY18

•    The RBI decided to pay Rs 50,000 crore as dividend to government in line with the Union Budget provisions, helping the Centre stick to its fiscal roadmap.

•    The Reserve Bank, which follows July-June financial year, has paid about 63 per cent higher dividend than previous year (2016-17). The RBI made a dividend payout of Rs 30,659 crore for the fiscal ended June 2017.

Important:

•    The government projected to collect Rs 54,817.25 crore as dividend or Surplus of Reserve Bank of India, Nationalised Banks and Financial Institutions. 

•    The RBI transferred a surplus of Rs 30,659 crore as dividend to the government for the year ended June 30, 2017, which was less than half of what it paid in the previous year (Rs 65,876 crore). 
What RBI Act, 1934 says 

Under the RBI Act, 1934, the central bank is required to pay the government its surplus after making provisions for bad and doubtful debts, depreciation in assets and, contribution to staff and superannuation fund among others. 


ACC appointments

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the following appointments:
 
•    Shri Raghvendra Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Culture as Secretary, Ministry of Textiles vice Shri Anant Kumar Singh.

•    Shri Anant Kumar Singh, IAS  Secretary, Ministry of Textiles as Secretary, Department of Land Resources in the vacancy caused on superannuation of Shri Dinesh Singh.

•    Shri Arun Goel,  Special Secretary, Ministry of Culture as Secretary, Ministry of Culture vice Shri Raghvendra Singh on his appointment as Secretary, Ministry of Textiles.

                                                           DEFENCE NEWS


Cabinet approves raising of four additional battalions of National Disaster Response Force
 
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given the approval for raising of four (4) additional battalions of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to strengthen the India's disaster response set up at an estimated cost of Rs 637 crore.

Details:
 
•    The objective of raising four additional battalions is to reduce the response time keeping in view the vast geographic area of the country.

•    These four battalions will initially be raised as two battalions in Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and one battalion each in Border Security Force (BSF) and Assam Rifles (ARs).

•    Later these four battalions will be converted into NDRF battalions. Based on the vulnerability profile, these four battalions will be placed in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi National Capital Region.

 Background:

NDRF is a specialized force, which has been created in the year 2006 for the purpose of specialist response during the natural and man-made disaster or threatening situation. At present there are 12 battalions in NDRF which are deployed strategically across the country to provide immediate response.

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