1. A new set of specified health warnings for all tobacco product packs has notified by Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. In this regard, it has made amendments in Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labeling) Rules, 2008. The amended rules will be applicable w.e.f. 1st September 2018. Under it, Government has released two separate set of images. The first set will be used on tobacco products from September 1, 2018 for period of 1 year, whereas second set of images will be used from September 1, 2019. Besides, images quit line number is also pertinent feature of new warning. It mandates packaging to display “Quit Today Call” number which is online on-call assistance facility launched for those people seeking support to quit use of tobacco products.
2. The Centralized secretariat at Panchkula (Haryana) to tackle the drug menace has been decided to set up by five northern states Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Union territories of and Delhi and Chandigarh. It aims to have mechanism for quick and proactive information exchange on drug trends, cases registered and persons named, wanted or arrested. It will host monthly meeting of special task forces and quarterly meetings at level of Home Secretaries to build inter-agency trust to break and demolish the supply chains to tackle the drug menace. It was decided at in inter-State regional conference of Chief Ministers organised in Chandigarh by Haryana government on issue of “Drug menace, challenges and strategies”.
3. Re-Water Research Center to replenish and rejuvenate water resources has decided to set up by Indian Instituted of Technology (IIT)-Kharagpur. IIT-Kharagpur will set 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 daily basis. The purpose of this centre will be to tackle challenge of resolving two burning issues faced by urban India – sewage disposal and access to clean potable water. It will network with government bodies to take up technology developed by it and process and meet the water challenge faced by various cities. It will be seed-funded by two alumni members – Aneesh Reddy & Aditya Choubey and named after them as Aditya Choubey Center for Re-Water Research. The pilot plant is expected to be ready by March 2019.
4. To mark the country’s fight against malnutrition the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development has announced to observe September 2018 as the National Nutrition Month. It will be jointly organised by NITI Ayog, Ministries of Women and Child Development (WCD), Health and Family Welfare, Panchayati Raj, Rural Development, Drinking Water and Sanitation, Housing and Urban Affairs, Human Resources Development (HRD), Information and Broadcasting, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Tribal Affairs, Minority Affairs and AYUSH. The month-long intensive campaign will be undertaken with an aim of reaching every household with message of nutrition — ‘har ghar poshan tyohar’ (every house a celebration of nutrition).
5. In order to improve the quality and standard of engineering education in the country, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) will mentor at least five engineering colleges located in its vicinity. The decision was taken during the 52nd Meeting of the Council of IITs, which was held under the Chairmanship of Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar in New Delhi on August 20, 2018.
6. The Madras High Court on August 20, 2018 ordered the Central Board of Secondary Education to publicise in media that stringent action would be taken against institutes not following the board's 'no homework' rule for class I and II students. The high court had earlier directed the Centre to instruct the state governments to make sure that no school in the country prescribed homework for students studying in Classes I and II.
7. The Supreme Court on August 21, 2018 ruled that the ‘None of The Above’ (NOTA) option will not be applicable for voting in the Rajya Sabha elections. The bench held that the NOTA option is meant only for universal adult suffrage and direct elections and not for the polls held by the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote as done in the Rajya Sabha. The ruling was made by a bench of Justices comprising CJI Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud.
8. In Kerala, with flood water receding in many places, people have started returning to their homes and begun cleaning operations. Though the rescue operation in state is almost complete, Nelkiyampathy in Palakkad remains still isolated due to landslides. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the government has also decided to distribute cleaning kits. The cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister on August 21, 2018 decided to seek relief package worth Rs 2600 crore from the Centre.
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1. Turkey has initiated a dispute complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) against the United States for imposing additional tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Turkey. US has doubled the tariffs in response to Turkey's rejection of a request to release an American pastor detained for the past two years for alleged involvement in an abortive military coup. Turkey has retaliated by imposing tariffs on American products.
2. India and Japan resolved to expand their maritime cooperation and work together to ensure peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region, which is witnessing growing Chinese assertiveness. The two sides also firmed up a project in the area of Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) and robotics, marking the start of first such bilateral initiative. In their wide-ranging talks, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her Japanese counterpart Itsunori Onodera also agreed to deepen the overall defence cooperation between the two countries including in areas of co-development of military platforms and weapons. The two ministers also exchange views on India's long-pending proposal to procure the US-2 ShinMaywa amphibious aircraft from Japan for its Navy.
Science & Technology:
1. NASA on August 21, 2018 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. Most of the newfound 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.
2. India has asked WhatsApp to set up a local entity in the country and find a technological solution to trace the origin of fake messages. The information was shared by the Union Minister of Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad after his meeting with Whatsapp CEO Chris Daniels in New Delhi on August 21, 2018.
1. New Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) for cash refilling of automated teller machines (ATMs) has been issued by Union Home Ministry. It sets deadline of replenishing cash in ATMs before 9 pm in cities and 6pm in rural areas. In case of Naxal-hit districts notified by central government, e deadline will be 4pm. Every cash van must have one driver, two armed security guards, two ATM officers or custodians. The cash van should not carry cash of more than Rs. 5 crore per trip. The cash van shall be provided with small CCTV system with at least five days recording facility and three cameras installed in front, rear and inside of cabin. The cash van shall be equipped with hooter, fire extinguishers and emergency lights to ensure quick reaction in case of attack. Every cash transportation operation should be carried out only in secured cash vans fitted with GPS tracking device. During loading or unloading of cash, nature’s call, tea or lunch break, at least one armed security guard should remain present with cash van at all times.
1. 2018 Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award was conferred to former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi. He was presented award in New Delhi on occasion of 74th birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. He is grandson of Father of Nation Mahatma Gandhi. He is retired IAS officer (Tamil Nadu cadre) and also had served as diplomat. He was 22nd Governor of West Bengal serving from 2004 to 2009.
2. General Dalbir Singh Suhag (Retired) of Indian Army has been awarded Legion of Merit (Degree of Commander) by United States Government for his exceptionally meritorious service as Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) from August 2014 to December 2016. With this, he becomes second Indian to get this award, first being General Rajendrasinghji Jadeja in 1946.
1. Rishabh Pant became fourth Indian wicket-keeper to take five catches on Test debut during the second day of the third Test against England and joins club of other Indian wicket-keepers who have taken five catches on Test debut. Pant became India’s 291st Test player. It also makes him Pant first Asian wicket-keeper and third in the world to take five catches in an innings on Test debut. Other two international wicket-keepers who achieved this feat are B Taber (vs South Africa, 1966) and J MacLean ( vs Brisbane, 1978).Other Indian Wicket Keepers are Naren Tamhane (vs Pakistan in 1955), Kiran More (vs England in 1986) and Naman Ojha (vs Sri Lanka in 2015).
2. Saurabh Choudhary won gold in 10m Air Pistol event with Asiad record, while Abhishek Verma bagged bronze. India’s Sanjeev Rajput, on the other hand, claimed the silver by finishing second in the finals of the 50m rifle 3 positions men’s event on the 3 day of 2018 Asian Games.
3. Teen cyclist Esow Alben has created history by claiming India's first ever medal - a silver- at the UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships in Aigle, Switzerland. He put enormous pressure on Czech Republic's Jakub Stastny in the final sprint before settling for the silver medal. Esow finished just 0.017 seconds behind gold medalist Stastny in the thrilling photo-finish of a race.