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Friday, August 17, 2018

Daily Current Affairs, 17th August 2018

22:58 0

1) Ministry Of Railways Launches Digital Screens To Spread Awareness About Indian Railways Heritage
•In the wake of Prime Minister’s vision for creating digital museums at stations using QR code, Ministry of Railway has made “digital screens” operational at 22 stations on this Independence Day as an innovative low-cost solution to spread awareness among public about the opulent heritage of Indian Railways. 

•The project aims at showcasing the legacy of Indian Railways through one to two-minute-long movie clips on digital LED screens at the entrance gate of railway stations and also at different comfort areas. 

•In addition, QR code based posters on Railway Heritage are also being displayed at these stations. A passenger can scan the QR code on their mobile to view a streaming video on their mobile on various facades of Railway heritage. 

2) Ministry Of Agriculture Proposes To UNFAO To Declare 2019 As ‘International Year Of Millets’
•The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Radha Mohan Singh urged to Jose Graziano da Silva, the Director General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (UNFAO) to declare the upcoming year as the ‘International Year of Millets’.\

•Singh stressed on the need to draw wider global attention and action to promote cultivation of millets. The adoption of this proposal by the FAO with the support of its Member Nations will enable it to be moved to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) for the declaration of an upcoming year as International Year of Millets. 

3) 24th World Congress Of Philosophy Held In Beijing
•The 24th World Congress of Philosophy (WCP) was held in Beijing, China. It was organized by the International Federation of Philosophical Societies, and Peking University. 

•Its theme was “Learning To Be Human”. This was the first time that the quinquennial (once in five year) event was held in China. 

4) Smitha V. Crishna Tops List Of India’s Wealthiest Women
•Smitha V. Crishna, a third-generation heir of the Godrej family, ranks first in the Kotak Wealth Hurun-Leading Wealthy Women 2018 list with an estimated wealth of Rs37,570 crore. Ms. Smitha owns one-fifth of the Godrej Group.

•Roshni Nadar, CEO and executive director at HCL, ranks second in the list with an estimated wealth of Rs30,200 crore. She also heads the Shiv Nadar Foundation. The chairperson of the Times Group, Indu Jain, ranks third in the list. Her wealth is estimated at Rs26,240 crore. 

5) Ibrahim Boubacar Keita Re-Elected Mali President
•Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has been re-elected for a five-year term after winning a landslide in a runoff ballot. 

•Keita, 73, picked up 67.17% of the vote against 32.83% for opposition challenger and former finance minister Soumaila Cisse, 68, who also ran against Keita in 2013. 

6) EIU Releases Global Liveability Index 2018: Vienna Tops, Delhi Stands 112th
•The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) released the Global Liveability Index 2018, the ranking of 140 global cities based on their living conditions. The EIU is part of UK magazine ‘The Economist’ and provides forecasting and advisory services through research and analysis. 

•Delhi and Mumbai were the only two Indian cities that featured in the EIU’s annual index. Delhi was ranked at 112th position and Mumbai fetched 117th spot.  Austria’s capital Vienna has been ranked as the world’s most liveable city, displacing Australian city of Melbourne. 

•The Top three cities on the list are: 
1. Vienna,
2. Melbourne,
3. Osaka. 

7) Ang Lee To Be Honoured By Directors Guild Of America
•Oscar-winning director Ang Lee will be one of the recipients of the annual Directors Guild of America (DGA) honours at its ceremony. The event will be held at the DGA Theatre in New York City on October 18. 

•Apart from the 63-year-old director, Fox Searchlight chairman Nancy Utley, US Senator Amy Klobuchar, SAG-AFTRA senior adviser John McGuire and costume designer Ann Roth will also be honoured at the ceremony. 

8) US Forms ‘Iran Action Group’ For Post-Nuclear Deal Policy
•US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo announced the formation of the Iran Action Group (IAG) to coordinate and run the country's policy towards Iran. The development follows President Donald Trump's announcement of the unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the multinational Iran nuclear deal. 

•Pompeo has named Brian Hook, the State Department's director of policy planning, as the group’s head. The aim behind the formation of IAG is to change the Iranian regime's behaviour. 

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The HINDU Notes – 17th August 2018

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📰 How statistical information can be used

On the Collection of Statistics (Amendment) Act, 2017

•The Collection of Statistics (Amendment) Act of 2017 authorises the Centre to decide the manner in which statistical information collected can be used. The original Act of 2008 had restricted the data collected to be used only for statistical purposes.

•The Act passed in August 2017 empowers the Central government to make rules on the powers and duties of a nodal officer who may be designated to coordinate and supervise statistical activities in the Central government or a State government or Union Territory administration. It “empowers the Central Government to make rules relating to the manner of using any information by the statistics officer or any person or agency under Section 6 of the Act for statistical purpose”.

•The Act also extends the jurisdiction of the Collection of Statistics Act, 2008, to Jammu and Kashmir on statistics relevant to any matters under any of the entries specified in List I (Union List) and List III (Concurrent List) in the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution, as applicable to Jammu and Kashmir under the Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) Order, 1954.

•The amendment will strengthen the data collection mechanism in Jammu and Kashmir.

•The Collection of Statistics Act, 2008, was enacted to facilitate the collection of statistics on economic, demographic, social, scientific and environmental aspects, among others. The Act had originally extended to the whole of India, except Jammu and Kashmir.

•The Jammu and Kashmir State Legislature enacted the Jammu and Kashmir Collection of Statistics Act, 2010, which extends to the whole of Jammu and Kashmir and is almost a replica of the Central legislation.

•The Collection of Statistics Act, 2008, and the Jammu and Kashmir Collection of Statistics Act, 2010, were not applicable to statistical subjects falling in the Union List, as applicable to Jammu and Kashmir under the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954.

•This had created a legislative vacuum. Moreover, the concurrent jurisdiction to be exercised by the Centre in Jammu and Kashmir has also not been provided for in the Collection of Statistics Act, 2008. The amendment statute fills the vacuum.

📰 Odisha to showcase its biodiversity

World-class interpretation centre to come up at Dangamal near Bhitarkanika Park

•The Odisha government is setting up a world-class interpretation centre at Dangamal near Bhitarkanika National Park to showcase its efforts in protecting crocodiles and preserving its rich mangrove diversity.

•The project, which has been approved under the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project, will be taken up at an estimated cost of ₹3 crore.

Environment learning

•“We plan to develop the centre both as a tourist attraction and a place for students to learn about the environment. Experts are being consulted for adding value to the project,” said Susanta Nanda, project director of ICZMP, Odisha.

•Bhitarkanika, one of the State’s finest biodiversity hotspots, receives close to one lakh visitors every year. The tourist inflow has seen an increase lately.

•The park is famous for its green mangroves, migratory birds, turtles, estuarine crocodiles and countless creeks. It is said to house 70% of the country’s estuarine or saltwater crocodiles, conservation of which was started way back in 1975.


•In 1999 when coastal Odisha was battered by Super Cyclone, the rich mangrove forests had then acted as a bio-shield. There was very little impact of the cyclone in the mangrove-forested regions.

•In fact, Kalibhanjdia Island spread over 8.5 square km, a place in Bhitarkanika, has attracted the attention of foreign scientists as its possesses 70% of the total mangrove species of the world.

📰 Steel imports from Japan, South Korea surge

Mills redirect supplies to India after Trump slaps tariffs; New Delhi may look at imposing safeguards

•India is being hit by a wave of steel from producers in Japan and South Korea, a government document showed, as mills there redirect supply after U.S. President Donald Trump slapped an import duty on the alloy earlier this year.

•During the first quarter of the fiscal year starting in April, India’s steel imports from South Korea rose 31% from a year earlier, while those from Japan climbed 30%, according to an internal document from the Ministry of Steel that was reviewed by Reuters.

•The flood of imports is so big that the government in New Delhi is considering measures to control imports, Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh told Reuters.

•“The concern is there, of course, and if we are to take some measures, we will not hesitate on that account,” Singh said in an interview.

•Between April and June, India became a net importer of steel, with foreign supplies reaching 2.1 million tonnes, 15% higher than a year earlier, according to the note.

•With the increase, the South Asian nation has now passed the United States as South Korea’s third-largest market for steel, according to data from the Korea Iron & Steel Association.

•New Delhi could look at imposing safeguards, said a senior government official, who did not wish to be identified in line with government policy. Under World Trade Organization rules, safeguards are temporary restrictions on imports of a product to protect a domestic industry.

Renewed measures

•However, renewed government measures would take place despite India’s domestic steel industry being unable to meet the country’s demand for high-end steel products needed for railroads and structural steel used in construction projects.

•India’s imports of steel products used by railways rose to more than 18,000 tonnes during the April to June period compared with 500 tonnes a year earlier, the Steel Ministry note said.

•Imports of steel products used in construction more than doubled to nearly 22,000 tonnes during the same period, the note said.

•The United States imposed tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium imports in March.

•South Korea was the fourth-biggest steel exporter to the U.S. and Japan the tenth largest, the Steel Ministry said in a report in April.

•Indian steel manufacturers are also impacted by the tariffs and the country will retaliate with duties on products from the United States that will take effect from September.

📰 Scientists to test land for LIGO

Hingoli district in Maharashtra has been identified as a possible site for the project

•The Environment Ministry has allowed scientists to test the suitability of land in Maharashtra’s Hingoli district to host the India wing of the ambitious Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) project. This is a key step to establishing the one-of-its-kind astronomical observatory.

•The project involves constructing a network of L-shaped arms, each four kilometres long, which can detect even the faintest ripples from cosmic explosions millions of light years away.

•The discovery of gravitational waves earned three U.S. scientists the Nobel for physics in 2017. The scientists were closely involved with LIGO. Hosting such a detector in India, scientists have said, will improve the odds of detecting more such phenomena.

•However the construction of such a large, sensitive device — there are only three of its kind in the world — requires an extremely flat surface.

•The LIGO-India consortium, made up of physicists from several institutes, had submitted a proposal to “prospect” 121 hectares of forest land in Dudhala village, Hingoli.

•Typically, mining companies prospect a region by sinking boreholes to get a sense of the geology of the site and ascertain availability of required minerals and metals. In the case of the LIGO project, it is to check if the land can be made perfectly level at a reasonable cost.

•“We are in the process of acquiring the necessary land — some of it is private and some barren forest land,” said Tarun Souradeep, spokesperson, LIGO-India and a professor at the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics. “We have to level the land and assess the time and effort it will take for this.” The consortium is yet to formally declare the Dudhala site as the host of the interferometers.

•The prospecting permission, according to the minutes of the forest clearance committee meeting of the Union Environment Ministry, was only for sinking boreholes in 0.375 hectares and separate permission would be needed at a later stage for constructing the observatory.

Network of detectors

•The LIGO project operates three gravitational-wave (GW) detectors. Two are at Hanford in the State of Washington, north-western USA, and one is at Livingston in Louisiana, south-eastern USA. Currently these observatories are being upgraded to their advanced configurations.

•The proposed LIGO-India project aims to move one Advanced LIGO detector from Hanford to India. The LIGO-India project is an international collaboration between the LIGO Laboratory and three lead institutions in the LIGO-India consortium: Institute of Plasma Research, Gandhinagar; IUCAA, Pune; and Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology, Indore. The LIGO lab would provide the complete design and all the key detector components. Indian scientists would provide the infrastructure to install the detector and it would be operated jointly by LIGO-India and the LIGO-Lab.

•The project, piloted by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and Department of Science and Technology (DST), reportedly costs ₹1,200 crore and is expected to be ready by 2025.

📰 VMC’s smart parking initiative to take off in city tomorrow

The charges are ₹10 per motorcycle and ₹30 per car for three hours

•To make parking a hassle-free task, the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation is all set to launch the long-awaited “smart parking” initiative. It comes handy for those looking to park for a longer period at busy locations.

•Due to the increasing vehicular traffic finding a place to park vehicles, particularly cars, has turned a painful and time-consuming task of late.

•The initiative enables any mobile user on the move to check for availability of space offered by the civic body. The K.R. Market, the Rajiv Gandhi Park, the NTR Complex and the Besant Road are among the 20 prime parking areas identified by the civic body.

•The app “Parkinslot” could be downloaded from Android and iOS application stores, developed by Chennai-based Smart Parking India Pvt. Ltd., the firm that bagged the contract for maintaining and operating the city’s parking space offline and online. “The smartphone application shows real-time availability of space close to the user’s location. Users need to pay and book a slot on the application which would later provide navigation service,” VMC Estate Officer Ch. Krishna Murthy said.

•“Users should pay through the app for advance booking after selecting an available slot. Other motorists who directly arrive at the parking lot can pay in cash or through payment apps,” Smart Parking India Pvt. Ltd. CEO T. Vinay Krishna said.

•Mr. Krishna said users need to register on the app on their mobile and vehicle number and the available parking lots and their occupancy status will be shown on a map based on the expected time of arrival (ETA).

•The real-time space availability is updated via IoT-enabled sensors placed on the surface of each parking space. However, not all parking lots are IoT enabled now and they will be manually updated by the parking lot attenders. Mr. Krishna said there was scope for parking of about 15,000 motorcycles and 3,000 cars at the select areas.

•The firm charges ₹10 per motorcycle and ₹30 per car for three hours, officials said.

•The status of all the lots would be integrated with the civic body’s dashboard. The firm has been asked to go ahead with the operations from August 16.

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Thursday, August 16, 2018

Daily Current Affairs, 16th August 2018

17:46 0

1) Former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee Passes Away
Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has passed away aged 93 in Delhi. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was three times Prime Minister of India. First Term: May 1996, Second Term: 1998-1999 and Third Term: 1999-2004. 
A member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Vajpayee served as the eleventh Prime Minister of India. He headed the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance in the Indian Parliament, and became the first Prime Minister unaffiliated with the Indian National Congress to complete a full five-year term in office.

2) PM Modi announces manned space mission taking Indian astronauts to space on board 'Gaganyaan' by 2022
•ISRO Chairman K Sivan has reciprocated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day announcement that an Indian astronaut will be sent into space by 2022 on board Gaganyaan. Addressing media persons in Bengaluru today, the Chairman said, ISRO is ready to carry out the task entrusted to it by the Prime Minister. 

•Saying that the space agency had already developed the necessary technology, he added that the Human Spaceflight Programme is achievable. Dr. Sivan informed that infrastructural facilities for the manned mission will be developed in a time bound manner within the deadline set by the Prime Minister. 

•Mr Sivan said, prior to the actual launch by 2022, the ISRO will have two unmanned missions and spacecraft will be launched using GSLV Mark-III. He pointed out that GSLV Mark III launch vehicle will be fully equipped with crew module and life support system for manned mission in the next two years. 

3) On Independence Day, PM Modi Announces Jan Arogya Abhiyaan For Affordable Health
•Government will launch the ambitious Jan Arogya Abhiyaan (Ayushman Bharat healthcare scheme) on 25th September 2018, the birth anniversary of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhaya. 

•The scheme aims at benefiting 50 crore Indians. The scheme aims to provide a coverage of Rs five lakh per family annually, benefiting more than 10 crore poor families.

4) Paraguay: Mario Abdo Benítez sworn in as new President
•In Paraguay, Mario Abdo Benítez has been sworn in as the new President after defeating his liberal rival in April elections. 

•Mr Abdo Benítez is the son of a close aide to ex-military dictator Alfredo Stroessner, and has faced criticism for defending the former leader's record. He replaces Horacio Cartes.  

•The 46-year-old Mario says he will take a law-and-order stance and implement business-friendly policies. Paraguay has enjoyed strong economic growth in recent years

5) BSNL Launches VOIP Based WINGS Service
•Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has launched BSNL WINGS a VOIP based service. In WINGS, there is no SIM or cable wiring as is a VOIP service through an app. The WINGS service offers unlimited free audio/video calling for one year. The service can be activ BSNL WINGS a VOIP ated with a one-time fee of Rs. 1,099 (Rs 1,297 with GST).

•Calls can be made using any data connection such as wired broadband, Wi-Fi, 3G or 4G network of any any operator.

6) Nihal Sarin Becomes 53rd Chess Grandmaster From India
•International Master Nihal Sarin became the 53rd Grandmaster of India despite losing his final round game to Richard Rapport of Hungary in the ninth and final round of Abu Dhabi Masters.

•The 14-year-old Nihal tallied 5.5 points out of a possible nine and the final GM norm came the Kerala boy’s way with one round to spare.

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List Of Important Revolutions In India

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  1. Green Revolution : Agriculture (Food Grains).
  2. White Revolution : Milk & Dairy Products.
  3. Blue Revolution : Fishes Production.
  4. Pink Revolution : Prawn ,Onions, Pharmaceutical
  5. Silver Revolution : Egg/ Poultry Productions.
  6. Round Revolution : Potato.
  7. Golden Revolution : Honey, Horticulture.
  8. Grey Revolution : Fertilizers
  9. Brown Revolution : Cocoa, Leather.
  10. Red Revolution : Meat & Tomatoes.
  11. Black Revolution : Petroleum Productions.
  12. Rainbow Revolution : Fruits (considered as 2nd Green Revolution).
  13. Yellow Revolution : Oil Seeds, Edible Oil, Especially Mustard and Sunflower.
  14. Golden Fiber : Jute.
  15. Silver Fiber : Cotton.
  16. Evergreen Revolution : Overall Development of Agriculture.
  1. Father Of Greeen Revolution (India) : M.S.Swaminathan.
  2. Father Of White Revolution : Verghese Kurien.
  3. Milk Man Of India : Verghese Kurien.
  4. Father Of Blue Revolution : Dr.Arun Krishnan.
  5. Father Of Induced Breeding : Prof.Hirlal Chaudri.
  6. Father Of Pink Revolution : Durgesh Patel.
  7. Father Of Golden Revolution : Nirpakh Tutej.
  8. Father Of Red Revolution : Vishal Tewari.
  9. Father Of Silver Revolution : Indira Gandhi.
Father of Green Revolution was Norman Borlaug.Green Revolution term was first used by William Guad.

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The HINDU Notes – 16th August 2018

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📰 The roadmap to military reform

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