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Important Current Affairs 24th August 2018

Important Current Affairs 24th August 2018

SPORTS

Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan notched up their maiden men's doubles gold medal

Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan notched up their maiden men's doubles gold medal at the Asian Games. Bopanna and Sharan defeated Aleksander Bublik and Denis Yevseyev of Kazakhstan 6-3 6-4 in 52 minutes.

India have claimed the men's doubles gold on four occasions at the Games, the last pair being Somdev Devvarman and Sanam Singh in the 2010 Guangzhou edition.

Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes remain the most successful Indian men's doubles pair in the Asian Games history, having claimed back-to-back gold medals in the 2002 and 2006 Games.

In 2014, Saketh Myneni and Sanam had ended with a silver medal.

Virat Kohli regains top spot in ICC Test Rankings
 

India captain Virat Kohli reclaimed the top spot in the latest ICC Test Rankings after his brilliant show in the third Test against England.
Kohli scored 97 and 103 in the third Test at Nottingham, which India won by 203 runs.
Kohli now has 937 points, which is the 11th best ever in terms of rating points. 

Indian rower Dushyant bags Bronze medal: Asian Games

Indian rower Dushyant today bagged a Bronze medal in the Men's Lightweight Single Sculls category, Dushyant finished third to give India a Bronze medal at the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia. 


Important:

This is also the first medal for the country in rowing at the Games. Previously Dushyant won international medals for India were silver and a bronze in Italian Regatta Championships in 2014.

Hockey India announces U18 men's & women's teams for Youth Olympic Games
 

Hockey India announced the Indian Under-18 men's and women's teams for the Hockey 5's competition to be held at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games from 6th to 18th October. 

The men's team will be led by midfielder Vivek Sagar Prasad, and the captaincy of the women's team has been given to defender Salima Tete.

Youth Olympic Games

The 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games, officially known as the III Summer Youth Olympic Games, and commonly known as Buenos Aires 2018, is a forthcoming international sports, cultural, and educational festival for teenagers that will be hosted in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

NATIONAL NEWS

VVPAT Machines Ready to use during forthcoming polls

Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat has said that Election Commission is ready for hundred per cent use of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail machines (VVPAT). 
Election Commission has ordered 17.5 lakh VVPAT machines and received 10 lakh out of them by now. 


VVPAT

A VVPAT is intended as an independent verification system for voting machines designed to allowvoters to verify that their vote was cast correctly, to detect possible election fraud or malfunction, and to provide a means to audit the stored electronic results.

Important:

General elections are due to be held in India in April or May 2019 to constitute the 17th Lok Sabha. Assembly elections of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha, Sikkim and Telangana will be tentatively held simultaneously with this general election.


Five thematic reports on Indian Himalayan Region
 

NITI Aayog has released five thematic reports on Sustainable Development in Indian Himalayan Region. It was released by NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Dr Rajiv Kumar, CEO Amitabh Kant and member Dr V K Saraswat in New Delhi. 

The themes include Inventory and Revival of Springs in Himalayas for Water Security, Sustainable Tourism, Transformative Approach to Shifting Cultivation, Strengthening Skill and Entrepreneurship Landscape in Himalayas. Listing challenges in all five thematic areas, the reports said, nearly 30 per cent of springs crucial to water security of people are drying and 50 per cent have reported reduced discharge. 

What this Report Says:

Reports said, Himalayan Tourism which is growing annually at 6.8 per cent has crated huge challenge related to solid waste, water, traffic, loss of bio-cultural diversity. According to an official release, the call for action includes setting up of a Himalayan Authority for coordinated and holistic development of entire Himalayan region and launching of Himalaya Calling: An Awareness to Action Campaign as people’s movement.


AJ Paulraj submits its 5G steering committee Report
 

The steering committee headed by Stanford University professor A.J. Paulraj submitted the report, making India 5G ready, to telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan.

The report suggested the government should announce its 5G policy by the end of December, besides setting up a standing committee to advise on building the infrastructure for spectrum technology.

It gave wide-ranging recommendations to drive India’s 5G adoption entailing areas like spectrum policy, regulatory policy, standards and education

Background: 

A panel was set up by the Department of Telecom in September 2017 to prepare a roadmap for rollout of 5G telephony in India expects the service to be operational by 2020.


Commerce Ministry developing National Logistics Portal
 

A National Logistics Portal is being developed to ensure ease of trading in the international and domestic markets, as India eyes lowering logistics cost from14 per cent of GDP to less than 10 per cent by 2022.

The portal will link all the stakeholders of export-import, domestic trade and all trade activities on a single platform.

Purpose:

The portal will be implemented in phases and will fulfill the commitment of the Government of India to enhance trade competitiveness, create jobs, boost India's performance in global rankings and pave the way for India to become a logistics hub

Figure and Facts:

India's logistics sector is highly defragmented and the aim is to reduce the logistics cost from the present 14 per cent of GDP to less than 10 per cent by 2022.

The country's logistics sector is very complex with more than 20 government agencies, 40 partnering government agencies (PGAs), 37 export promotion councils, 500 certifications, 10,000 commodities and USD 160 billion market size.

It also involves12 million employment base, 200 shipping agencies,36 logistics services, 50 IT ecosystems and banks and insurance agencies. Further, 81 authorities and 500certificatesare required for EXIM.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

China imposes 25 % taxes on US products worth 16 billion dollars

Washington has imposed 25 percent tariffs on 16 billion dollar worth of Chinese goods coming into the US, with Beijing immediately imposing retaliatory taxes on the same value of American products. 

The move brings the total amount of goods flowing between the countries, subject to tariffs, up to 106 billion dollars, which is roughly 17 per cent of all of the bilateral trade.


RIL first Indian firm to hit Rs 8 trillion market cap

Reliance Industries (RIL) has become the first Indian company to cross Rs 8 trillion in market capitalisation. The stock gained 1.9 per cent to close at Rs 1,270; valuing the Mukesh Ambani-led firm at Rs 8.05 trillion ($115 billion at current exchange rate of Rs 70.11 for a dollar).
Tata group flagship Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) also is nearing the same milestone. Currently, the technology giant is valued at Rs 7.8 trillion ($111 billion), 2.6 per cent away from the Rs 8-trillion mark.

Treasurer Scott Morrison will be Australia's new prime minister

Treasurer Scott Morrison will be Australia's new prime minister after winning a three-way battle for the leadership of the Liberal party Morrison, who will be Australia's sixth prime minister in less than 10 years, emerged victorious from a three-way race with former home affairs minister Peter Dutton and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

Scott John Morrison 

Scott John Morrison was born on 13 May 1968 is an Australian politician who is to be the 30th Prime Minister of Australia and the Leader of the Liberal Party. He has been a member of the House of Representatives since 2007, representing the Division of Cook in New South Wales.

Important:

Malcolm Bligh Turnbull is an Australian politician who is the outgoing 29th Prime Minister of Australia.


Opening Ceremony Exercise SCO Peace Mission 2018
 

Exercise Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Peace Mission 2018, the latest in 'Peace Mission' series formally started on 24 August 2018 at Chebarkul, Russia. The opening ceremony was conducted in Chebarkul, Russia with military contingents of the all eight SCO member nations participating in this exercise.
Objectives of the Exercise:
The exercise will provide an opportunity to the armed forces of SCO nations to train in counter terrorism operations in urban scenario in a multinational and joint environment.  The scope of the exercise includes professional interaction, mutual understanding of drills & procedures, establishment of joint command and control structures and elimination of terrorist threat in urban counter terrorist scenario.
 
The Russian Army has the major participation of 1700 personnel followed by China with 700 & India with 200 personnel. The SCO Peace Mission Exercise is one of the major defense cooperation initiatives amongst SCO nations and will be a landmark event in the history of SCO defence cooperation.

Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) 

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), or Shanghai Pact  is a Eurasian political, economic, and security alliance, the creation of which was announced on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai, China by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan; the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Charter, formally establishing the organisation, was signed in June 2002 and entered into force on 19 September 2003.

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Important Current Affairs 23rd August 2018

Important Current Affairs 23rd August 2018

OBITUARY

Veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar Passed Away
 
Eminent journalist and author Kuldip Nayar, who fiercely fought for press freedom and protecting civil liberties, passed away early today. He was 95. 
Kuldip Nayar 
Kuldip Nayar was born on 14 August 1923,  was a veteran Indian journalist, syndicated columnist, human right activist, author and ex-High commissioner of India to United kingdom noted for his long career as a left-wing political commentator. He was also nominated as a Member of the Upper House of the Indian Parliament in 1997.

NATIONAL NEWS

UGC directs to ban sale of junk food in all varsities & higher education institutions
 

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has directed all varsities and higher education institutions to ban sale of junk food on their campuses. 
The purpose is to set new standards for healthy food, making the students live better, learn better and reduce obesity levels. The circular was issued after a directive from the HRD ministry, asking the UGC to ban the sale of junk food on premises of higher education institutions.
University Grants Commission
The University Grants Commission of India (UGC India) is a statutory body set up by the Indian Union government in accordance to the UGC Act 1956 under Ministry of Human Resource Development, and is charged with coordination, determination and maintenance of standards of higher education. It provides recognition to universities in India, and disburses funds to such recognised universities and colleges. Its headquarters is in New Delhi, and six regional centres in Pune, Bhopal, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Guwahati and Bangalore.


Govt allows oxytocin sale through private chemists
 

The ministry in its notification dated April 27 had stated that sale of oxytocin through private retail chemists would be banned from July 1 and that the drug would be sold only in government hospitals and clinics.
Later, it deferred the implementation of the ban till September 1. Now all retail sale shops are permitted to sell oxytocin. 
State-owned Karnataka Antibiotics Pvt Ltd (KAPL) will be the only company to manufacture and distribute oxytocin in India from September 1.
Important to Know
Oxytocin is a naturally-occurring hormone that causes uterine contractions during labour and helps new mothers lactate.

But its misuse is widespread in the dairy industry where livestock are injected with oxytocin to make them release milk at a time convenient to farmers. The hormone is also used to increase the size of vegetables such as pumpkins, watermelons, brinjals, gourds and cucumbers.

The government has already banned the import of oxytocin and its formulations.


Arun Jaitley re-appointed as Finance Minister
 

Arun Jaitley, who stepped aside as Finance Minister in mid-May to undergo a kidney transplant, was today reappointed as Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs.
The President of India, as advised by the Prime Minister, has directed to assign the portfolios of the Minister of Finance and Minister of Corporate Affairs to Arun Jaitley, in his absence ministerial charges were given to Piyush Goyal on an interim basis.


ICOMOS launch to save cultural heritage damaged in flood-hit Kerala
 

The ICOMOS, a global monument conservation body, has launched an initiative to assess the damage to the rich cultural and built heritage in flood-devastated Kerala and set up an emergency response platform.
International Council on Monuments
The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) is a prestigious non-government organisation dedicated to promoting the application of theory, methodology and scientific techniques for conservation of architectural and archaeological heritage across the world.

DAYS AND DATES


World Senior Citizens Day is celebrated on 21st of August
 
The World Senior Citizens Day is celebrated on 21st of August every year. It was first proclaimed on 14th of December in the year 1990, by the United Nations General Assembly. The holiday was celebrated for the first time on October 1, 1991.
The day is acknowledged to raise awareness about the factors and issues affecting older people, such as deterioration with age and to examine issues that affect their lives such as abuse of elderly people. It is also a day to recognize and appreciate the contributions that older people make to society.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Iran unveils first domestic fighter jet: KOWSAR 
 
Iran unveiled its first domestic fighter jet at a defence show in Tehran named KOWSAR. 

About It:
It is a fourth-generation fighter, with "advanced avionics" and multi-purpose radar and it was "100-percent indigenously made". It resembles US-made F-5F Tiger (first flew in 1974), which is variant of 1950s-era US Northrop F-5 fighter that is a long-time mainstay of Iranian Air Force. It can be used for short aerial support missions. It is equipped with systems that promote precision targeting.

Important:
President of Iran is Hassan Rouhani and Defence Minister is Amir Hatami.

Fourth BIMSTEC summit to be held on 30th and 31st of this month in Nepal's capital Kathmandu
 

Fourth Summit of Heads of State/Government of Bay of Bengal Initiativefor Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) will be held at Kathmandu in Nepal on August 30 and 31. 
In this two-day Summit, leaders of member states will review progress achieved so far in the areas of cooperation and provide guidance to the future work of the BIMSTEC.

BIMSTEC
The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is an international organisation of seven nations of South Asia and South East Asia, The BIMSTEC member states—Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan, and Nepal—are among the countries dependent on the Bay of Bengal.
Important 
The President of Nepal is Bidya Devi Bhandari
Prime Minister of Nepal is KP Sharma Oli.
India's Ambassador to Nepal is Manjeev Singh Puri.

35% of cyber-attacks on Indian sites from China: official report
 
According to a report sent to the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) and other security agencies by a department under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has said that the maximum number of cyber-attacks on official Indian websites is from China, US and Russia.
The report, prepared by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), which comes under the ministry, analysed cyber-attacks from April-June 2018. 
CERT-In
CERT-In is the nodal agency which deals with cyber security threats like hacking and phishing. It collects analyses and disseminates information on “cyber incidents”, and also issues alerts on “cyber security incidents”.
Important
“The cyber-attacks from China made up 35% of the total number of cyber-attacks on official Indian websites, followed by US (17%), Russia (15%), Pakistan (9%), Canada (7%) and Germany (5%),”

SPORTS

Ankita Raina wins bronze in women's singles tennis
 
Indian tennis player Ankita Raina wins bronze in Women's Singles semi-final. India has won 4 gold, 3 silver and 9 bronze medals.
Ankita Raina became just the second Indian woman after Sania Mirza to medal in the singles event at the Asian Games after losing 4-6, 6-7 (6) to world number 34 Zhang Shuai in the semi-finals.
Sania Mirza had won silver in 2006 and a bronze in 2010.

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Important Current Affairs 22nd August 2018

Important Current Affairs 22nd August 2018

NATIONAL NEWS

Centre releases Rs. 600 crore assistance to flood-affected Kerala
  
Central assistance of Rs.500 crore, as announced by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, and Rs.100 crore, announced by the Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh, for flood affected Kerala has been released to the Government of Kerala. 

Draft scheme for extending UDAN to international circuits
 
Centre has unveiled a draft scheme for extending affordable air travel programme UDAN to international circuits, with state governments identifying the routes for operation. 

The draft International Air Connectivity (IAC) scheme envisages to increase international ticketing to 20 crore by 2027. 
The draft scheme stated that it is to be made operational only for states, which demonstrate commitment to implement and provide the requisite support for promoting operations under the scheme. 
The scheme has proposed to set up an International Air Connectivity Fund (IACF) -- a dedicated fund for providing subsidy support under the scheme. 

It will be created through the contributions of state governments. 
Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN)
Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) scheme was launched in 2016 to make air travel affordable for people through subsidised ticket rates and to provide air connectivity to smaller towns.

NCRB to track complaints on sexual violence
 
A high-level meeting was convened to discuss recommendations on ways to curb “sexual violence” videos involving women and children.
It was decided in the meeting that the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) would be the designated nodal agency for monitoring the complaints received on a government portal that records child pornography and sexual violence videos.
The NCRB would coordinate with service providers such as Facebook, YouTube and WhatsApp and ask them to block malicious videos and contents.
National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB)
The National Crime Records Bureau, abbreviated to NCRB, is an Indian government agency responsible for collecting and analysing crime data as defined by the Indian Penal Code (IPC). NCRB is headquartered in New Delhiand is part of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India. The current Director of NCRB is Ish Kumar (IPS), who replaced Shri Radha Krishna Kini A (IPS) in January 2017. It was formed on 11 March 1986.

Supreme Court Offcuts NOTA option for Rajya Sabha polls
 
The Supreme Court scrapped the use of ‘None of the Above’ (NOTA) option in the coming Rajya Sabha elections.

A Bench, led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra held that the NOTA option is meant only for universal adult suffrage and direct elections and not polls held by the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote as done in the Rajya Sabha.

None of the above

"None of the above", or NOTA for short, also known as "against all" or a "scratch" vote, is a ballot option in some jurisdictions or organizations, designed to allow the voter to indicate disapproval of all of the candidates in a voting system. 

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s visit for Argentina

Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad is leaving for trip to Argentina and Silicon Valley. There is G20 IT minister's conference of G20 in Argentina from coming August 23 to 25 where there will be discussions on development of inclusive digital economy.

Important:

Argentina Capital: Buenos Aires
Argentina Currency: Argentine peso
President- Mauricio Macri
Vice President- Gabriela Michetti

HAL becomes first PSU to transact on TReDS

 
The Receivables Exchange of India (RXIL) said Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) has become the first public sector enterprise to make a transaction on the "TReDS platform".

What is TReDS?

TReDS is an online electronic institutional mechanism for facilitating the financing of trade receivables of MSMEs through multiple financiers. The TReDS Platform will enable discounting of invoices/bills of exchange of MSME Sellers against large Corporates including Govt. Departments and PSUs, through an auction mechanism, to ensure prompt realization of trade receivables at competitive market rates.

Who is RXIL?
•    Receivables Exchange of India Ltd (RXIL), is a joint venture promoted by Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), the apex financial institution for promotion and financing of MSMEs in India and National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE), the premier stock exchange in India. RXIL has been incorporated under the Companies Act, 2013 on February 25, 2016. RXIL operates the Trade Receivables Discounting System (TReDS) Platform as per the TReDS guideline issued by RBI on December 3, 2014.
•    RXIL is the first entity to receive the approval from Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on December 01, 2016 to launch India's First TReDS Exchange.

SPORTS

Rahi Sarnobat becomes first Indian woman to shoot Asiad gold
 

Rahi Sarnobat became the first Indian woman shooter to win an Asian Games gold medal as she triumphed after prevailing in a double shoot-off against Naphaswan Yangpaiboon of Thailand in the Women’s 25m Pistol event in Palembang, Indonesia. 

The 27-year-old shot a games record score on her way to winning gold at the Jakabaring Shooting Range.

Important:

Rahi Jeevan Sarnobat is a female athlete from India who competes in the event of 25 metres pistol shooting. She won her first gold medal at the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune, India. She is the first woman to win a gold medal in shooting in an Asian Games for India; she won the Gold at 2018 Jakarta Palembang in Women's 25 meter pistol event.
 

APPOINTMENT 

Appointment of Seven states new governors by President

President Ram Nath Kovind appointed seven new governors the details are below:

Appointment of Bihar’s governor Satya Pal Malik as the new governor of Jammu and Kashmir who will take place of N.N. Vohra;
Lalji Tandon, senior BJP leader from Uttar Pradesh, as the governor of Bihar; senior BJP leader from Bihar Satyadev Narayan Arya as the governor of Haryana; party colleague Baby Rani Maurya from Uttar Pradesh as the governor of Uttarakhand.
Ganga Prasad, the governor of Meghalaya, was appointed as governor of Sikkim; Tathagata Roy, the governor of Tripura was named the governor of Meghalaya; and Kaptan Singh Solanki, the governor of Haryana, was made the governor of Tripura.

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Important Current Affairs 21st August 2018

Important Current Affairs 21st August 2018

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    INTERNATIONAL NEWS

US 'Legion Of Merit' Award To Former Army Chief General Dalbir Singh 
 
Former Army chief Genral Dalbir Singh has been awarded with United States (US) 'Legion of Merit'.

The President of the United States of America POTUS, authorised by Act of Congress, July 20, 1942, awarded the LegionOfMerit (Degree of Commander) to Gen Dalbir Singh (Retired), IndianArmy, for exceptionally meritorious service as COAS from August 2014 to 31 Dec 2016.

Dalbir Singh Suhag
Dalbir Singh Suhag, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC who was born on 28 December 1954 was the 26th Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) of the Indian Army, who assumed office on 31 July 2014, following the retirement of General Bikram Singh. He served as the Vice Chief of the Army Staff (VCOAS) before taking charge as Chief of the Army Staff. He retired on 31 December 2016.


President to inaugurate “International Buddhist Conclave 2018”

 
The President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind will inaugurate the “International Buddhist Conclave (IBC), 2018” in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on 23rd August, 2018. 
The Ministerial level delegation from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka will participate in the conclave. The delegates from the following 29 countries are participating in the International Buddhist Conclave.
The Conclave is being organized by the Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with the State Governments of Maharashtra, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh from 23rd – 26th August, 2018 at New Delhi and Ajanta (Maharashtra), followed by site visits to Rajgir, Nalanda and Bodhgaya (Bihar) and Sarnath (Uttar Pradesh).
International Buddhist Conclave 2018 will have a religious / spiritual dimension, an academic theme and a diplomatic and business component. 
Background:
The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, has been organizing the International Buddhist Conclave biennially. The earlier International Buddhist Conclaves were organized in New Delhi and Bodhgaya (February 2004), Nalanda and Bodhgaya (February 2010), Varanasi and Bodhgaya (September 2012), Bodhgaya and Varanasi (September 2014) and in Sarnath/Varanasi and Bodhgaya (October 2016).

NATIONAL NEWS

Cyclone Warning Centre to be set up in Thiruvananthapuram 
 
With several incidents of tropical cyclones and severe weather events striking over Kerala and Karnataka coasts in the recent times, the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences is proposing to set up a Cyclone Warning Centre in Thiruvananthapuram. 
The Ministry is planning to set up the Centre in another one month. At present, IMD has cyclone warning centres only at Chennai, Vishakhapatnam, Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Mumbai.
The Ministry is also planning to set up another C-Band Doppler Weather Radar at Mangalore by end of 2019, which will cover the northern parts of Kerala. At present, there are two Doppler Weather Radars in the state, at Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram. 


Gopalkrishna Gandhi conferred with Rajiv Sadbhavana Award
 
Former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi was honoured with this year's Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavna Award for promoting communal harmony and peace. The award was presented on the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
Gopalkrishna Devdas Gandhi 
Gopalkrishna Devdas Gandhi was born on 22 April 1945 is a retired IAS officer and diplomat, who was the 22nd Governor of West Bengal serving from 2004 to 2009. He is the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi. As a former IAS officer he served as Secretary to the President of India and as High Commissioner to South Africa and Sri Lanka, among other administrative and diplomatic posts. He was the United Progressive Alliance nominee for Vice President of India 2017 elections  and lost with 244 votes against NDA candidate Venkaiah Naidu, who got 516 votes.
Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award
Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award is an Indian award given for outstanding contribution towards promotion of communal harmony, national integration and peace. The award was instituted by All India Congress Committee of the Indian National Congress Party (INC), in 1992 to commemorate the lasting contribution made by the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, carries a citation and a cash award of Rs. ten lakhs. It is given on 20 August, the birth anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi, which is celebrated as Sadbhavna Diwas (Harmony Day).

IIT Kharagpur to set up Re-Water Research Center
 
The IIT Kharagpur will set up a Re-Water Research Center, seed-funded by two alumni members named Aneesh Reddy & Aditya Choubey to replenish and rejuvenate water resources, a statement issued by the institute.
Objective:-
The move is to tackle the challenge of resolving two burning issues faced by urban India sewage disposal and access to clean potable water, it said on the 68th Foundation Day of the premier institution.
It is named as 'Aditya Choubey Center for Re-Water Research' that would be networking with government bodies to take up this technology and the process and meet the water challenge in various cities. The pilot plant is expected to be ready by March 2019.
The institute is setting up an on-campus plant which will convert 1.35 million litre of sewage water from the hostels to 1.2 million litre of potable water, on a daily basis.

New set of warnings on tobacco products
 

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has notified a new set of specified health warnings for all tobacco products manufactured or imported or packaged on or after September 1 to be displayed on the packets.
The new set of specified health warning for all tobacco product packs has been brought in by making an amendment in the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Rules, 2008 vide GSR 331(E) dated April 3, 2018, “Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products [Packaging and Labelling] Second Amendment Rules, 2018”.

SPORTS

Wrestler Vinesh Phogat clinches Gold at Asian Games 2018
 
Vinesh Phogat created history by becoming the first Indian woman wrestler to win a gold medal at the Asian Games, brushing aside her rival from Japan’s Yuki Irie with remarkable ease in the 50 kg category.
About Vinesh Phogat
Vinesh Phogat was born on 25 August 1994 who is an Indian wrestler who comes from a successful background of wrestling with her cousins Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari, both international wrestlers and Commonwealth Games medalists as well.
She became the first Indian woman wrestler to win gold in both Commonwealth and Asian games.

Saurabh Chaudhary clinches Gold in the 10m air pistol: Asian Games
 
Saurabh Chaudhary, 16 year old became only the fifth Indian shooter to claim gold in the Asian Games history, beating a field of multiple world and Olympic champions in the 10m air pistol finals to snatch the lead from 2010 World Champion Tomoyuki Matsuda on the penultimate shot in the 24-shot final. 
Shooter Abhishek Verma settled for the bronze in the same event. 29-year-old Rohtak-based Abhishek, also making his international debut, shot 219.3 to secure bronze. 

Indian women’s team was crowned champions of the SAFF U-15 Championship
 
The Indian women’s team was crowned champions of the SAFF U-15 Championship after defeating defending champions Bangladesh by a solitary goal in the final at the Changlimithang Stadium in Thimphu, Bhutan.
The 2017 SAFF U-15 Women's Championship was 1st ever edition of the SAFF U-15 Women's Championship, an international football competition for women's under-15 national teams organized by SAFF. 
South Asian Football Federation (SAFF)
South Asian Football Federation (SAFF), founded in 1997, is an association of the football playing nations in South Asia and is part of the larger Asian Football Confederation. 
Its founding members are Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. 
Bhutan joined the federation in 2000 and Afghanistan in 2005. In February 2015, Afghanistan had officially left the SAFF for the new Central Asian Football Association.

INTERNATIONAL RELATION

India, Japan agree to expand maritime co-operation in Indo-Pacific region
 
India and Japan have resolved to expand their maritime cooperation and work together to ensure peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. 
Important:
Defence Minister of India is Nirmala Sitharaman and Defence Minister of Japan is Itsunori Onodera. 
Indo-Pacific region:
The Indo-Pacific, sometimes known as the Indo-West Pacific, is a biogeographic region of Earth's seas, comprising the tropical waters of the Indian Ocean, the western and central Pacific Ocean, and the seas connecting the two in the general area of Indonesia.
The term is especially useful in marine biology, ichthyology, and similar fields, since many marine habitats are continuously connected from Madagascar to Japan and Oceania, and a number of species occur over that range, but are not found in the Atlantic Ocean.
 

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 

Chandrayaan-I data confirms presence of ice on Moon
 

Using data from the Chandrayaan-I space craft, that was launched by India 10 years ago, NASA said that scientists have found frozen water deposits in the darkest and coldest parts of the Moon's polar regions. 
Scientists used data from NASA's Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) instrument aboard the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, launched in 2008 by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), to identify three specific signatures that definitively prove there is water ice at the surface of the Moon. 
What this study says?
The study says with enough ice sitting at the surface within the top few millimetres water would possibly be accessible as a resource for future expeditions to explore and even stay on the Moon. 

Most of the new found water ice lies in the shadows of craters near the poles, where the warmest temperatures never reach above minus 156 degrees Celsius.   

Due to the very small tilt of the Moon's rotation axis, sunlight never reaches these regions.
Chandrayaan-1
Chandrayaan-1, India's first mission to Moon, was launched successfully on October 22, 2008 from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota. The spacecraft was orbiting around the Moon at a height of 100 km from the lunar surface for chemical, mineralogical and photo-geologic mapping of the Moon. 

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Important Current Affairs 20th August 2018

Important Current Affairs 20th August 2018

                                                  

                                                                                 (National, Defence)

India successfully tests indigenously Anti-Tank Guided Missile ‘HELINA’

India has successfully flight tested the indigenously developed helicopter launched Anti-Tank Guided Missile ‘HELINA’ from Pokhran in Rajasthan. 

The indigenously designed and developed guided bombs Smart Anti Airfield Weapon (SAAW) was also successfully flight tested from IAF aircraft at Chandan range in Jaisalmer. 

Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW)

The DRDO Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW) is a long-range precision-guided anti-airfield weapon currently being developed by India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). It is designed to be capable of engaging ground targets with high precision up to a range of 100 kilometres (62 mi).

                                                      (National News)

Telangana Govt launches Disaster Response Force vehicles

The Telangana Government has launched Disaster Response Force (DRF) vehicles in Hyderabad to combat situations like flash floods, heavy rains, building collapse and fire mishaps.


The vehicles will be parked at 24 locations with Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) DRF staff and will be pressed into action at the time of need.

                                                        (Day & Dates)

World Humanitarian Day celebrated on 19th August

Every year on 19 August, World Humanitarian Day brings citizens of the world together to rally support for people living in crises and to pay tribute to the aid workers who help them.

World Humanitarian Day

World Humanitarian Day is a day dedicated to recognize humanitarian personnel and those who have lost their lives working for humanitarian causes. It was designated by the United Nations General Assembly as part of a Swedish-sponsored GA Resolution A/63/L.49 on the Strengthening of the Coordination of Emergency Assistance of the United Nations, and set as 19 August. 

                                                     (International News)

Inauguration of Panini Language lab in Mauritius

External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj on 19th August inaugurated 'Panini Language Laboratory’ (पाणिनि भाषा प्रयोगशाला) at Mahatma Gandhi Institute (MGI) in Mauritius. The lab, gifted by the Indian government, will help MGI in teaching Indian languages in Mauritius.

What is Panini language lab?

The lab has 35 computers and equipment along with advanced software of various Indian languages installed by Indian IT professionals to aid students of junior, middle and high schools to imbibe new techniques of language learning and getting them acquainted with four language mantras–hearing, prounciation, reading and writing through easy and scientific ways.

The objective of the lab is to promote reading and writing Hindi amongst young generation and its further development.

WHO World No Tobacco Day 2018 Award to S.K. Arora 
Delhi government’s additional director of health S.K. Arora has been awarded the prestigious WHO World No Tobacco Day 2018 Award for his extraordinary contribution towards tobacco control.

Tobacco prevalence in Delhi has come down by 6.5% in the past six years, which is more than the rest of India average figures, 

The National Health Policy 2017 has set targets of relative reduction in tobacco prevalence by 15% by 2020 and 30% by 2025.

WHO World No Tobacco Day Award

Every year, WHO recognizes individuals or organizations in each of the six WHO Regions for their accomplishments in the area of tobacco control. This recognition takes the form of WHO Director-General Special Recognition Awards and World No Tobacco Day Awards.

                                                              (Science)


Scientists decode complex wheat genome
A team of international researchers, including 18 from India decoded the wheat genome, considered insurmountable so far. The information generated will help to identify genes controlling complex agronomic traits such as yield, grain quality, resistance to diseases and pests, as well as tolerance to drought, heat, water logging and salinity.

About it:

The DNA sequence has been ordered and it represents the highest quality genome sequence generated to date for the bread wheat. The reference genome covers 94% (14.5 Gb) of the entire wheat genome. The bread wheat has a complex hexaploid genome which is 40 times larger than that of the rice genome and 5 times larger than the human genome.

Important to know:

More than 200 scientists from 73 research institutions in 20 countries. A team of 18 Indian scientists co-authoring this paper, led by Dr. Kuldeep Singh at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) Ludhiana, Professor J. P. Khurana at the University of Delhi South Campus, and Professor Nagendra Singh at ICAR-National Research Centre on Plant Biotechnology, New Delhi, contributed to the decoding of Chromosome 2A of the wheat genome. This project was financially supported by the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India.
 

                                                     (International News, Defence)


Indo – Thailand Joint Exercise Maitree 2018 

Exercise Maitree 2018, a two week long platoon level joint military exercise between Indian Army and Royal Thai Army culminated on 19 August 2018. 
The Exercise Maitree is an annual event designed to strengthen the partnership between Royal Thai Army and Indian Army and the exercise commenced on 06 August 2018 in Thailand. 
Objective of training:-
To enhance the cooperation between two armies & bonhomie between troops, conduct of tactical level counter terrorist operations, a 72 hour joint exercise on planning and execution of series of tactical operations like raid, pursuit, establishing Military Check Post and cordon and search operations.
It is also involving familiarization training between two armies to evolve drills and procedures involved in counter insurgency & counter terrorist operations in urban, rural and jungle terrain under UN mandate. 

Exercise Pitch Black 2018, RAAF Base Darwin, Australia Conclusion

Ex Pitch Black a biennial multi-national large force employment warfare exercise was hosted by Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) from 24 Jul 18 to 18 Aug 18 in Darwin, Australia.
Indian Air Force had earlier participated in the exercise as observers and this was for the first time that IAF participated with air assets in the Exercise Pitch Black (PB-18). 
With participation of 16 nations and more than 140 aircraft, the current edition was the largest Pitch Black ever conducted by Australia. 
Objective & Aim:
The objectives for the exercise were to foster closer relationship between the participating friendly forces and to promote interoperability through exchange of knowledge and experience. 
The aim for participating crew and specialist observers was to expose them to op environment in international scenarios. 

                                                                   (Sports)

Silver medal to Shooter Deepak Kumar in 18th Asian Games

Shooter Deepak Kumar today bagged a Silver medal in the 18th Asian Games being held in Indonesia. Deepak claimed the Silver in the Men's 10-metre Air Rifle event with a score of 247.7 points. 
This was India's second medal in Shooting and it now has 1 Gold, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze. Earlier Apurvi Chandela and Ravi Kumar won bronze in the 10m Air Rifle Mixed Team event to get India going but finished behind China and Chinese Taipei.

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


Djokovic wins Cincy title
 
Novak Djokovic ended a career-long jinx, lifting the trophy in Cincinnati at last to complete a matched set of Masters 1000 titles.

Djokovic, who came up empty in five prior Cincinnati finals, defeated seven-time winner Roger Federer 6-4, 6-4 in the final.

The former world number one became the first man to win all nine of the ATP's Masters 1000 events in the elite series' current configuration.

Cincinnati Masters:

The Cincinnati Masters is an annual outdoor hard court tennis event held in Mason near Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. The event started on September 18, 1899 and is the oldest tennis tournament in the United States played in its original city.

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Important Current Affairs 19th August 2018

Important Current Affairs 19th August 2018

                                                              (Obituary)

Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan Passes Away at 80

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

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

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

                                                 (National News, Economy)

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

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

Important Facts

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

                                                 (Sports)
 

Shooting Gives India First Medal at the Asian Games

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

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

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

Important Facts

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

45 nations are participating in the 2018 Asian Games.

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

Mitchell Johnson Retires from All Cricket

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

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

Important

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

                                                                    (Days and Dates)


World Photography Day 2018 Observed 

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

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

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Important Current Affairs 18th August 2018

Important Current Affairs 18th August 2018

                                                              (National News)

Government to declare 2018 as ‘national year of millets’

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


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

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

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

                                                 (National News, Economy)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

                                                                    (Sports)


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


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

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Important Current Affairs 17th August 2018

Important Current Affairs 17th August 2018 

                                                     

National News

India to launch first manned space mission by 2022

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

Tribunal awards 13.42 tmcft Mahadayi water to Karnataka
 

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

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

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

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

SBI Ranked as India’s Most Patriotic Brand
 

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

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

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

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

Ease of Living Index 2018: India
 

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

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

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

K S Srinivas takes over as MPEDA chief
 

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY


Aerogel a super-insulating gel may help build Mars habitats

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

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

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

INTERNATIONAL NEWS


Australia recommences its adoption programme with India
 

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


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

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

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

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

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Important Current Affairs 16th August 2018

Important Current Affairs 16th August 2018

                                                       (National, Obituary)

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

                                                           (National News)

Anandiben Patel takes oath as Governor of Chhattisgarh

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


Bengal government removes income ceiling for 'Kanyashree' scheme

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

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

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

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

                                                             (Ranking)

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

                                                      (International News, Awards)

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

                                                        (International News)

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

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

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

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Important Current Affairs 15th August 2018

Important Current Affairs 15th August 2018 

                                                      National News

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

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

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


Exim Bank Signs MoU With BRIC Development Banks

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

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

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

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

Science and Technology

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

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

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