1. Aug 23- The International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition was observed across the world. The day designated by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to memorialize the transatlantic slave trade.
1. As part of its celebration of 86th Anniversary on 8 October 2018, Indian Air Force (IAF) launched Trans-Himalayan Mountain Terrain Biking Expedition (THE MTB). The expedition was started on 17 Aug 2018 from Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) in Ladakh for Kibithu in Arunachal Pradesh. DBO and Kibithu are two forward most outposts of India in North and in East with DBO being highest airfield in the world located altitude of 16614 feet. The aim of MTB expedition is to promote spirit of adventure among Air Warriors to undertake daunting challenges and ‘Go Green’ initiative.
2. SPEEDEX contract -The Stores, Proactive, Efficient and Expeditious Despatch of Extra Size/ Wt Consignment contract has formally launched by Indian Airforce. The contract aims to overcome delay in piecemeal dispatch of consignment and to move operationally urgent stores by air and normal consignments by surface mode. This will facilitate door to door pickup and delivery facility with fixed timelines, lesser than speed post.
3. The Supreme Court has ruled that relatives of a husband should not be roped in cases of matrimonial disputes and dowry deaths unless specific instances of their involvement in the crime are made out. The bench also cautioned the courts to be careful in proceeding against "distant relatives" of the husband in such cases.
4. As a tribute to the late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who passed away on August 16, 2018, the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on August 23, 2018 announced that the School of Management and Entrepreneurship will be renamed to ‘Atal Bihari Vajpayee School of Management and Entrepreneurship’.
5. The five-day International Colour Festival organised by the state Art, Culture and Tourism departments in which artists would depict the state's image in their canvases inaugurated by Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das on August 23, 2018. During this festival, artists will travel to tourist spots and paint there, and those paintings will be exhibited on the last day(August 27). The chief minister urged the artists to depict the beauty of Jharkhand in their canvas and exhibit them in international festivals.
6. 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). The Election Commission has ordered 17.5 lakh VVPAT machines and received 10 lakh out of them by now. He also added that the commission is trying to minimise failure rate of VVPAT for future polls. The rest of VVPAT machines will be received by November and the Commission is ready for 100 per cent use of VVPATs. The Chief election commissioner also ruled out the possibility of holding simultaneous elections to the state assemblies and Lok Sabha polls anytime soon.
7. The fourth Summit of Heads of State/Government of Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) will be held in Kathmandu, Nepal on August 30-31, 2018. From India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to participate in the summit. During the two-day Summit, leaders of member states will review the progress achieved so far in the areas of cooperation and provide guidance to the future work of the BIMSTEC. The group was formed in 1997 and it brings together Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka Myanmar and Thailand. Nepal is the current chair of BIMSTEC.
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1. India and Singapore have signed Second Protocol amending Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) in New Delhi. Its provisions will come into effect on 14th September, 2018. It will help to boost bilateral trade between India and Singapore.
2. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Peace Mission 2018 was held in Chebarkul, Russia. The exercise was aimed at enhancing cooperation between member states to deal with growing threat of terrorism and extremism. Military contingents of the all eight SCO member nations (China, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, India and Pakistan) participated in this exercise. It was for first time since independence, India and Pakistan simultaneously took part military exercise.
3. The security clearance of Qatar government’s state-funded English news broadcaster Al Jazeera has revoked by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). It is believed that main reason for this revocation is considered to be over documentary made by Qatari channel on militancy in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), which Indian Government viewed as “biased”. Al Jazeera has reportedly filed petition for reviewing this decision. Al Jazeera has reportedly filed petition for reviewing this decision. Al Jazeera’s security clearance was valid from December 3, 2010, and expired on May 29, 2018. Foreign channels need security clearance from MHA and broadcasting clearance from Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry. It is to be noted that the role of MHA is limited to matter related to security clearance. The decision on cancellation of broadcasting licence of news channel is taken by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
Science & Technology:
1. NETA (National Electoral Transformation) mobile application that allows voters to rate and review their political representatives has launched by former President Pranab Mukherjee. It is first of its kind platform in India. The app is brainchild of 27-year-old entrepreneur Pratham Mittal. The app aims to foster political accountability and transparency among leaders. It is inspired by US’ approval system. This app was piloted during February 2018 bypolls in Rajasthan’s Ajmer and Alwar constituencies. It was later used in Karnataka ahead of the assembly elections in May 2018. The app in its beta version has already seen over 1.5 crore voters rating and reviewing their local leaders. The app is available on Andriod and iOS and web in 16 languages to cater to a diverse user profile. It uses combination of Artificial Intelligence (AI), one-time password (OTP) and Aadhaar numbers to ensure that voters who rate leaders are genuine.
2. The 5G steering committee chaired by Stanford University’s Professor Emeritus AJ Paulraj submitted its recommendations to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). It gave wide-ranging recommendations to drive India’s 5G adoption entailing areas like spectrum policy, regulatory policy, standards and education. AJ Paulraj committee gave has proposed promulgation of key norms on regulatory matters by March 2019 in order to facilitate early deployment of 5G technology. It expects commercial rollout of 5G in India by 2020. It noted that 5G technologies will start entering service globally beginning 2019 and advance to full range of services by 2024. It recommended that deployment of 5G in India should be classified into three phases based on technologies and use cases.
First in state/India/international:
1. “FabCI -Fabless Chip Design Incubator “, an exclusive incubator to boost chip design has launched by Indian Institute of Technology-Hyderabad (IIT-H). FabCI’s purpose is to incubate at least 50 ‘Make-in-India’ chip design companies that can compete globally and generate Intellectual Property Rights. FabCI is funded by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeITY) along with technology partners Cadence Design Systems and Mentor Graphics. It is first of its kind in India that will focus on creating an ecosystem for start-ups in chip design.
2. India’s first captive-born Humboldt Penguin named Freedom Baby died barely a week after it was born at Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan and Zoo (Byculla zoo) due to new born anomalies like liver dysfunction and yolk sac retention. Humboldt penguin is named after the cold water current (Humboldt current) it swims in. It is native to South America and breeds in coastal Chile and Peru. It is categorized as vulnerable under IUCN list. The penguin chick was born on 15th August 2018 to penguin pair of Mr Molt (male) and Flipper (Female). It was named Freedom Baby as it was born on Independence Day. It was born 40 days incubation period after Flipper, oldest female in zoo’s penguin colony hatched single egg it had laid. It was the first Humboldt Penguin to born in captivity in India. Byculla zoo had imported eight Humboldt Penguins – later named as Dory, Donald, Daisy, Popeye, Olive, Bubble, Flipper and Mr Molt – from a South Korea zoo in July 2016.
3. World’s first public blockchain bond named bond-i created, allocated, transferred and managed by using blockchain technology has launched by the World Bank. Bond-i is an acronym standing for Blockchain Offered New Debt Instrument and also refers to tourist famous Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia. Funds raised from this bond will go towards sustainable development initiatives. Bond-i is Ethereum blockchain bond denominated in Australian dollars, making it Kangaroo bond (referring to foreign bonds issued in Australia in local currency). World Bank had chosen Commonwealth Bank of Australia (largest bank in Austria) was chosen as sole arranger for this bond. The bond has two-year maturity and had raised Australian $100 million (US$73.16 million) after its issuance.
1. Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has announced new measure to make facial recognition mandatory for every authentication that requires Aadhaar. It is being used to provide additional security layer and also make Aadhaar process more inclusive. This process will be rolled out in phased manner and it will be initially mandated for providers of SIM cards of telecom service providers (TSPs). The facial recognition will come as additional feature along withregular authentication process that includes identification of an individual based on fingerprints or eye scans.
2. Airport Authority of India (AAI) has allotted space to Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited (TRIFED) for opening of Tribes India outlets at Ahmedabad (Gujarat), Udaipur (Rajasthan) and Kolkata (West Bengal) airports. TRIFED is multi-State Cooperative Society under Ministry of Tribal Affairs. It was established in August 1987 under Multi State Cooperative Societies Act 1984 (now been replaced by Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act, 2002). It is headquartered in New Delhi. Tribes India Outlets will provide good opportunity to market tribal products and help to promote tribes India as brand among target customers. Besides, AAI also has offered TRIFED spaces at international airports at Dehradun (Uttarakhand), Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), Pune (Maharashtra), Goa, Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu), Lucknow (UP), Amritsar (Punjab) and Gangtok (Sikkim) for setting up of Tribes India Outlets.
3. NITI Aayog has released five Thematic Reports on Sustainable Development in Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) recognizing uniqueness of Himalayas and challenges for sustainable development. These reports list challenges in all defined five thematic areas and discuss significance, challenges, ongoing actions and future roadmap.
4. National Logistics Portal is developing by the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry to ensure ease of trading in international and domestic markets. It will be implemented in phases and will fulfil Central Government’s commitment to enhance trade competitiveness, create jobs, boost India’s performance in global rankings and pave way for India to become logistics hub. The portal will link all stakeholders of EXIM (export and import), domestic trade and movement and all trade activities on single platform.
5. Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) became first Indian company to cross Rs 8 lakh crore ($114 billion) market capitalisation. This record m-cap of RIL also bumped up Mukesh Ambani’s (India’s richest man) wealth to over $48 billion (according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index). M-cap is value of company that is traded on stock market, calculated by multiplying total number of shares by present share price.
1. Maharashtra government has succeeded in efficiently implementing MUDRA scheme, an ambitious scheme of the Centre. Over 80 Lakh persons have got sanctioned loans under the scheme in the last three years. Maharashtra stands at the fourth position in terms of availing and utilising the ‘Mudra’ loan scheme in the country. Under this scheme almost 60 percent loan amount went to women who started their small business.
1. Veteran Marathi actor Vijay Chavan (63), known for his comic roles, passed away at a hospital in Mumbai on August 24, 2018 after a prolonged illness. 'Moru Chi Mavshi' is one of his famous plays in which he was appreciated for portraying a woman.