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Important Current Affairs 12th September 2018 English

                         

Important Current Affairs 11th September 2018               

                                                         (National News)
Apsara – U Reactor Becomes Operational at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay

 
Apsara, the first research reactor in Asia that worked nearly five decades before shutting down in 2009, is now operational as 'Apsara-U' on Trombay campus of Maharashtra.
"Nearly sixty-two years after Apsara came into existence, a swimming pool type research reactor "Apsara-upgraded", of higher capacity was born at Trombay on September 10," 
About as Apsara-U
According to Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Apsara is a light water swimming pool-type reactor with a maximum power output of one megawatt thermal (MWT) and is utilized for various experiments, including neutron activation analysis, radiation damage studies, forensic research, neutron radiography, and shielding experiments.
The reactor can also be used for research and production of radioisotopes for medical application and would also be extensively used for research in nuclear physics, material science and radiation shielding.
This development helped the Indian scientists and engineers to build complex facilities for healthcare, science education and research.

Launch of a web portal “Rail Sahyog”
 
The Minister of Railways and Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal launched a web portal www.railsahyog.in . The web portal will provide a platform for the Corporates and PSUs to contribute to creation of amenities at/near Railway Stations through Corporate Social Responsibility funds. 
Rail Sahyog:
This portal will provide an opportunity for Industry/ Companies/ Associations to collaborate with Railways. This portal will not only be beneficial for passengers but also for neighborhood of Railway vicinity.” Salient feature of this portal is its simplicity & transparency.


Union Agriculture Minister releases a profile booklet titled ‘NCDC- Assisting Cooperative. Always!’
 

Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Shri Radha Mohan Singh released a booklet titled ‘NCDC-Assisting Cooperatives. Always!’ highlighting the role and activities assisted by National Cooperative Development Corporation in Krishi Bhawan, New Delhi.
NCDC is the most preferred financial institution in the world of cooperatives and aligning itself with the Mission of New India 2022, NCDC has embarked on Sahakar 22, a Mission for Doubling Farmers’ Income by 2022.
National Cooperative Development Corporation  
NCDC is a statutory Corporation set up under an Act of Parliament on 13th March 1963.
 Aims and Objectives of NCDC
The objectives of NCDC are planning and promoting programmes for production, processing, marketing, storage, export and import of agricultural produce, foodstuffs, industrial goods, livestock and certain other notified commodities and services on cooperative principles and for matters concerned therewith or incidental thereto.


Notification for bringing the HIV/AIDS Act, 2017 in force
 
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued a notification for bringing the Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Prevention and Control) Act, 2017 in force from 10th September, 2018. 
The Act, safeguards the rights of people living with HIV and affected by HIV. The provisions of the Act address HIV-related discrimination, strengthen the existing programme by bringing in legal accountability, and establish formal mechanisms for inquiring into complaints and redressing grievances.
What this Act seeks?
The Act seeks to prevent and control the spread of HIV and AIDS, prohibits discrimination against persons with HIV and AIDS. The Act lists various grounds on which discrimination against HIV positive persons and those living with them is prohibited. 

These include the denial, termination, discontinuation or unfair treatment with regard to:
(i)    Employment, 
(ii)    Educational establishments, 
(iii)    Health care services,
(iv)    Residing or renting property, 
(v)    Standing for public or private office, and 
(vi)    Provision of insurance (unless based on actuarial studies)

PM Narendra Modi announces remuneration hike for ASHA, Anganwadi workers
 
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 11, 2018 announced an increase in remuneration for those involved with the government’s Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) scheme and Anganwadi scheme. 
The announcement, which will be effective from next month, was made by the Prime Minister during his video bridge interaction with lakhs of ASHA, Anganwadi and auxiliary nurse midwife (ANM) workers.
Significance

The hike in the remuneration has been a long-standing demand by ASHA and Anganwadi workers. They had also participated in the farmers’ protest in Delhi this month in demand of the same.

Key Highlights
The Prime Minister during his interaction announced that the Union Government would be doubling the routine incentives given to the ASHA workers. 
In addition, he announced that all ASHA workers and their helpers would be provided free insurance cover under Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana and Prime Minister Suraksha Bima Yojana.
The prime minister also announced a significant increase in the honorarium given to the Anganwadi workers. 
With the development, those receiving Rs 3000 so far, would now receive Rs 4500 and those receiving Rs 2200 would now get Rs 3500. 
The honorarium for Anganwadi helpers has also been increased from Rs 1500 to Rs 2250.

The Anganwadi workers and helpers using techniques such as Common Application Software (ICDS-CAS) would be getting additional incentives based on their performance, ranging from Rs 250 to Rs 500.


Prohibition and restriction of manufacture, sale and distribution of Fixed Dose Combinations (FDCs)
 
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare  announced prohibiting the manufacture for sale or distribution for human use of 328 Fixed Dose Combinations (FDCs) drugs with immediate effect.
It has also restricted the manufacture, sale or distribution of six FDCs subject to certain conditions, the Ministry said in a statement. FDCs are two or more drugs combined in a fixed ratio into a single dosage form.
Background:
The Centre, in March 2016, had prohibited the manufacture for sale and distribution of 349 FDCs but this was contested by the affected manufacturers in High Courts and the Supreme Court.
Complying with the December 2017 Supreme Court judgment, the Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB) examined the matter and, in its report to the Centre, recommended prohibition of the FDCs saying there was no therapeutic justification for the ingredients contained in them and that these FDCs may involve risk to human beings.
Earlier, an expert committee appointed by the Centre too had made similar observations.
Fixed Dose Combinations (FDCs)
Combination products, also known as fixed dose drug combinations (FDCs), are combinations of two or more active drugs in a single dosage form. 


                                                       (International News)
TCIL, MEA sign MOU for pan Africa e-Network project

 
Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd. (TCIL) signed an agreement with Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) for the implementation of e-VBAB (e-Vidya Bharati and e-Aarogya Bharati) Network Project for a total value of Rs. 865 Crores.
The e-VBAB Project is fully funded by MEA, GoI and is envisaged to be implemented in 9 months followed by 5 years of operations and maintenance. Indian Education (Vidya Bharati) and Indian Medical services for human wellbeing (Aarogya Bharati) under the flagship e-VBAB Network Project of MEA, is a step towards capacity building in the field of education and medical science for all the 54 African Nations.
The project aims to provide an opportunity for local employment and opens the door for access to education and medical expertise from India to African students, doctors, nurses and paramedical staff. It will also give an opportunity for Global acceptance of Indian University Education system and Indian medical Health services.
Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd. (TCIL)
TCIL, a pioneering Public Sector ICT company, under Department of Telecommunications, Govt. of India, have to their credit, successful execution of many large Telecom projects in India and abroad. They are well accepted in Africa, Middle East and South East Asia, for their skills in Telecom and IT. They have done number of infrastructure Projects of Fiber, ICT and Microwave in Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ghana, Botswana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone and Algeria.


India focus country in Izmir International Trade Show
 
The ‘Source India’ Pavilion was inaugurated by Sanjay Bhattacharyya, India’s Ambassador to Ankara, Turkey. 
The Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI) led a75-member Indian delegation for the ongoing 87th Izmir International Trade Show in Turkey.
What is Source India?
SOURCE INDIA is a global trade show cum BSM (Buyer Seller Meet) designed by Department of Commerce, Government of India & Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI) for promoting Indian Exports in Most Potential International Markets in most efficient and economical manner. Source India has a focused approach to reach potential buyers which help Indian businesses to penetrate in new markets in the world in a most effective way. 
The platform is based on intense in-house research, deep knowledge base, effective research and resource capabilities which helps businesses to find right products and sectors around the world. It is a great opportunity to meet, connect and build rapport with prospects and customers in a most economical way.

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Important Current Affairs 11th September 2018 English

Important Current Affairs 11th September 2018

                                                                (National News)

Inaugurates “First Regional Workshop on RERA”
 
Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday said the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2016 (Rera) has brought discipline, transparency and accountability in the real estate sector.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government had got the legislation passed in Parliament to ensure fair practices for protecting the interests of buyers and imposing penalties on errant builders.
The  Maharashtra is one of the first states to implement the act, and established the Real Estate Regulatory Authority of Maharashtra.

Successful Air-to-Air Refuelling of LCA Tejas
 

In a significant achievement and a major step towards Final Operational Clearance (FOC) of LCA Tejas, the mid-air refuelling of ‘wet contact’ trial for LCA Tejas MK-1 was successfully carried out on 10th September from an Indian Air Force base. The trial was a part of the Air-to-Air refuelling flight tests conducted by IAF.
Before this ‘wet contact’ trial, the ‘dry contact trials’ were successfully conducted on September 04 & 06, 2018 where the Drogue (basket) extended from the IAF tanker aircraft by a fuel hose, was tracked and plugged into using the aircraft refuelling probe without taking fuel. IAF provided all required support to DRDO including the tanker aircraft for the successful test flight.
The Air-to-Air refuelling capability for LCA is a ‘force multiplier’ for the IAF, giving the aircraft the potential to stay airborne for much longer periods of time.

NITI Aayog, Intel and TIFR collaborate to set up a Model International Center for Transformative AI (ICTAI)

 
NITI Aayog, Intel, and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) announced on 7th September that they are collaborating to set up a Model International Center for Transformative Artificial Intelligence (ICTAI) towards developing and deploying AI-led application-based research projects. 
This initiative is part of NITI Aayog’s ‘National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence’ Discussion Paper that focuses on establishing ICTAI in the country through private sector collaboration.

Objective:
Based in Bengaluru, the Model ICTAI aims to conduct advanced research to incubate AI-led solutions in three important areas – healthcare, agriculture and smart mobility – by bringing together the expertise of Intel and TIFR.
It aims to experiment, discover and establish best practices in the domains of ICTAI governance, fundamental research, physical infrastructure, compute and service infrastructure needs, and talent acquisition.

Aadhar not mandatory for booking an International Parcel
 
The Department of Posts today clarified that it is mandatory to produce an Identity Proof acceptable for important transactions like booking an International Parcel or International EMS (Merchandise) for safety and security reasons. 
One of the accepted Identity Proof is Aadhaar, along with others like driving license, Passport, Voter ID etc which are also acceptable. 
Aadhaar, as per the prevailing norms in the country, is not a mandatory document to be produced at the time of booking. Moreover, all such documents are only required for office record and are NOT required to be pasted on the consignments.

Delhi Government launches doorstep delivery of 40 services
 
The Delhi government on September 10, 2018 launched a scheme that will enable doorstep delivery of 40 essential government services such as caste and marriage certificates, driving license and new water connections in the first phase. The services will be provided for an extra fee of Rs 50.
What comes under the schemes?
Under the scheme, the Delhi government will provide 40 services such as caste certificate, driving licence, at the doorstep of people. Eventually, more services will be added to the list.

In July, the government had approved administrative reforms proposal to hire a company, which will be an intermediary agency, to execute the project in the national capital.

The intermediary agency will set up call centres and hire 'mobile sahayaks’ (facilitators). The citizens will be able to call a centralised number to set up a home visit with a mobile sahayak.

                                                          (Sports News)


First Indian to win a medal in IAAF Continental Cup
 
Triple jumper Arpinder Singh has created history by becoming the first Indian to win a medal in the IAAF Continental Cup. At Ostrava in Czech Republic on 10th September, he clinched a bronze. 

The 25-year-old Arpinder was representing the Asia-Pacific team in the meet, held once every four years. 

No Indian has ever won a medal in the Continental Cup which was known as the IAAF World Cup before 2010. Two top athletes from the four regions of Europe, Americas, Africa and Asia-Pacific were taking part in each of the 36 events in men and women sections taken together. 

 IAAF Continental Cup

The IAAF Continental Cup (formerly known as the IAAF World Cup) is an international athletics competition which comprises track and field events. It is the only world cup contested by teams representing entire continents, rather than just those of individual countries. The event takes place every four years.

The founder of the original World Cup was the Italian IAAF former President Primo Nebiolo.
In 2018, the inaugural Athletics World Cup was held. This event is not related to the original IAAF World Cup or its IAAF Continental Cup successor, and the latter continues to be held.


                                                               (Day & Dates)


International Literacy Day 2018 observed globally
 
The 52nd International Literacy Day was celebrated across the world on September 8, 2018 with an aim to highlight improvements in world literacy rates, and reflect on the existing literacy challenges.
The day was commemorated by a two-day special event at UNESCO’s headquarters, Paris. It also saw the hosting of the 2018 UNESCO International Literacy Prize awards ceremony.

The Literacy Prizes consists of five prizes. They are International Reading Association Literacy Award, Noma Literacy Prize, UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize, The Malcolm Adiseshiah International Literacy Prize and UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy.


                                                       (International News)


Ocean Cleanup foundation deploys 2000 ft long device to clean Great Pacific Garbage Patch
 

The Ocean Cleanup foundation, an organisation founded by 24-year-old Dutch innovator Boyan Slat, on September 9, 2018 launched the world’s first ocean cleanup array from San Francisco, marking the start of the cleanup of Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a collection of marine debris in the North Pacific Ocean.

The cleanup system, “System 001”, headed to a location 240 nautical miles offshore for a two-week trial before moving towards the Great Pacific Garbage Patch which is 1200 nautical miles offshore, to start the cleanup. 

System 001 is being towed from the San Francisco Bay by the vessel Maersk Launcher. 


System 001: 

The cleanup array comprises floater, skirt and stabilizers.
System 001, named as ‘Wilson’, will be able to collect 50 tons of plastic in its first year.
The hard-walled pipe enables the floating component of the array.
It consists of a 2000 ft long U-shaped floating barrier with a three-meter (10 ft) skirt attached below. 
This dense 10-foot skirt below the floating part of the device is supposed to help gather floating debris.
The system is designed to be propelled by wind and waves, allowing it to passively catch and concentrate plastic debris in front of it. 

Indo-US joint military exercise ‘Yudh Abhyas 2018’ 
 
The joint military training Exercise Yudh Abhyas 2018 will be conducted between India and the United States in Himalayas at Chaubattia, Uttarakhand from September 16 to 29, 2018. 

As part of the ongoing Indo-US defence cooperation, this joint military exercise would be held under the aegis of Headquarter Central Command.

Exercise Yudh Abhyas is a series of one of the longest running joint military training and a major ongoing bilateral defence cooperation endeavour between India and the US. 

This will be the 14th edition of the joint military exercise hosted alternately by both countries. The two-week exercise will witness participation of about 350 personnel of the US Army and similar strength of Garud Division of the Indian Army.

                                                          (Defense News)

Opening ceremony: INDO-MONGOLIA joint exercise Nomadic Elephant-2018
 
Indo-Mongolia joint exercise Nomadic Elephant-2018, commenced on 10th of September at Mongolian Armed Forces (MAF) Five Hills Training Area, Ullanbaatar, Mongolia with a brief but impressive opening ceremony. 
The 12 days long joint exercise will be conducted from 10 Sep to 21 Sep 2018. 
Exercise Nomadic Elephant is an annual, bilateral exercise since 2006 which is designed to strengthen the partnership between Indian Army and Mongolian Armed Forces.
The Indian contingent is represented by a contingent of 17 PUNJAB Regiment while the Mongolian contingent is represented by Unit 084 of the Mongolian Armed Forces.

During the exercise both sides will jointly train, plan and execute a series of well-developed tactical drills for neutralisation of likely threats that may be encountered in urban warfare scenario. Experts from both sides will also hold detailed discussions to share their experience on varied topics for mutual benefits.

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Important Current Affairs 10th September 2018 English

Important Current Affairs 10th September 2018


                                                        (International News)                                                          

Nepal Army to not participate in joint military exercise of BIMSTEC 
 
The Nepal Army will not participate in the first ever joint military exercise of BIMSTEC nations in India next week.
The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is a regional grouping comprising Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal. BIMSTEC was set up in 1997, the theme includes counter-terrorism in semi-urban terrain and cordon and search, and each side will bring in some 30 soldiers.

Bengaluru airport set to use face recognition as ‘boarding pass’ next year

Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) in Bengaluru is set to become the first airport in Asia next year to use face recognition as the boarding procedure for passengers to board flights and move across different sections of the airport.

Hari Marar, CEO of Bengaluru International Airport Ltd. (BIAL), which operates KIA, and Miguel Leitmann, CEO of Vision Box, a Portuguese software firm, signed an agreement to this effect in Lisbon on September 5 to introduce face recognition technology at the airport from 2019. The agreement was signed in the presence of Indian-origin Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa and India’s Ambassador to Portugal Nandini Singla.

4TH WORLD SUMMIT ON ACCREDITATION HELD IN NEW DELHI

Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Prakash Javadekar inaugurated the Fourth World Conference on Accreditation (WOSA-2018) in New Delhi. 


The theme of the event was "Challenges and Opportunities in Outcome Based Accreditation".

Important:

•    Higher education secretary is R. Subrahmanyam

•    Dr. Anil Sahasrabuddhe is the President of All India Technical Education Council and President of National Accreditation Board.

                                                                    (Sports)

Novak Djokovic beats Juan Martin del Potro to win title
 

In the US Open Tennis, Novak Djokovic of Serbia won the Men's singles final. He defeated Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 in straight sets. It was Djokovic's 14th Grand Slam title and the third US Open title.With this win, he has equalled Pete Sampras's mark of 14 Grand Slams. He is now just three Slams behind Rafael Nadal and six back from the record 20 held by Roger Federer. 

                                                               (National News)
Hima Das to be Assam sports ambassador, confirms CM

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has confirmed that Indian Athlete Hima Das will be named as the first sports ambassador of the state.

The announcement came after Hima Das recently became the first Indian woman to win gold at IAAF World U-20 Athletics Championships.

The 18-year-old made the country proud as she scripted history by clinching the top spot in the women's 400 m final race at the Championships which was held in France.


Snow Leopard Spotted In Himachal Pradesh Sanctuary

A snow leopard was spotted at a height of about 4,000 metres in Lippa-Asra wildlife sanctuary in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh. The rare sighting was captured by a camera-trap installed by the state wildlife department.
It was only last year that the snow leopard improved from 'endangered' to 'vulnerable' in terms of conservation status. The recent findings have ascertained that snow leopards inhabit new areas.
 

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Important Current Affairs 9th September 2018 English

Important Current Affairs 9th September 2018

 (International News)

India, France ink agreement to collaborate for Gaganyaan mission
India and France have signed agreement to collabor ate for ISRO’s first human space mission Gaganyaan to be launched in 2022. Both countries have also announced working group for Gaganyaan. The announcement was made at sixth edition of Bengaluru Space Expo (touted to be largest space conference in Asia and held in Bengaluru). So far, French-Indian space cooperation was in the domain of climate monitoring, with fleet of joint satellites devoted to research and operational applications.

Pakistan could become world’s 5th largest nuclear weapons state

According to recent report, Pakistan could become world’s 5th largest nuclear weapons state after Russia, United States, France and China in terms of possession of total nuclear warheads. Pakistan currently has 140 to 150 nuclear warheads and its stockpile is expected to increase to 220 to 250 by 2025 (surpassing United Kingdom) if its current proliferation trend continues.

Key Findings of Report

The current estimate of 140 to 150 nuclear weapons with Pakistan exceeds projection made by US Defense Intelligence Agency in 1999 that Pakistan would have 60 to 80 warheads by 2020.

India and France sign implementation agreement on Mobilise Your City
India and France have signed implementation agreement on Mobilise Your City  (MYC) to support three pilot cities – Nagpur, Kochi and Ahmedabad for reducti on of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions related to urban transport. It was signed between Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and Agence Française de Développement (AfD).

(National News)

Logo design contest for the Awards launched
The Ministry of Women and Child Development has invited nominations for the National Children Awards 2018. This national recognition, which is conferred by the President of India, is given to children with outstanding achievements in the fields of innovation, scholastic achievements, sports, arts and culture, social service and bravery. The last date to submit nominations is now September 30, 2018.


Odisha Assembly passes resolution for creation of Legislative Council 
The Odisha State Assembly has passed resolution seeking creation of Legislative Council (Vidhan Parishad or second house of legislature).  The resolution was passed with as many as 104 of total 147 legislators casting their votes in its favour. The resolution now will be sent to Central Government (Union cabinet) for approval, following which it will be tabled in both houses of the Parliament. Thereafter, presidential assent is required to make it Act.

Government doubles monetary limit for filing cases 
Union Finance Ministry has doubled pecuniary limit to Rs. 20 lakh from Rs.10 lakh for filing loan recovery ap plication in Debt Recovery Tribunals (DRT) by banks and financial institutions. It means that bank or financial institution or consortium of banks or financial institutions cannot approach DRTs if pecuniary limit amount due is less than Rs 20 lakh. This move is aimed at helping reduce pendency of cases in DRTs.

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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.
About 
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.
Management 
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.

Themes

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.
Aim 
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.

(Environment)

The world's first omnivorous shark 
The bonnethead shark is the world's first omnivorous shark, according to new research.
About
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. 
About
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.
Background 
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.
Background:
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. 


                                                         (Defence)

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
SLINEX (Sri Lanka India Naval Exercise) are a series of naval exercises between the Indian Navy and the Sri Lanka Navy.

                                                            Appointment

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.

                                                               (Sports)
 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.
WHAT IS GM MUSTARD? 
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.
Background:

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.
Aim: 

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.
Important:
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.

                                                                (Sports)


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:
Overall
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

Universities
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
Colleges
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

Objective
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.
Background
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. 
Objective
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. 
Background
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.

                                                               (Sports)

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. 

Important:
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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