1. National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has written to Madhya Pradesh forest department to revive its Cheetah Reintroduction Project to reintroduce Cheetahs in Nauradehi sanctuary located in Sagar district of state. The ambitious project was conceived in 2009 but had hit roadblock for want of funds. India’s last spotted Asiatic cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus) had died in Chhattisgarh in 1947.
2. The Election Commission held a meeting of all recognised national and state political parties on various electoral reforms in New Delhi on August 27, 2018. The main agenda for the meeting included discussion on the fidelity of electoral rolls. The ECI invited the views of all parties on measures to improve the accuracy, transparency and inclusivity of electoral rolls in view of the upcoming elections to the Lok Sabha and the State Assemblies.
3. A Delhi court on August 27, 2018 acquitted two men, accused of hijacking a New Delhi-Srinagar Air India flight and forcing it to land in Pakistan in 1981. The two allegedly hijacked an Air India plane from New Delhi en route to Srinagar via Amritsar and forced it to land in Lahore, Pakistan, where they were arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment.
4. PM Narendra Modi will launch the second phase of the FAME India scheme on September 7, 2018. The scheme offers incentives for mass adoption of electric vehicles with an outlay of Rs 5,500 crore. The second phase of the scheme spanning five years will offer a subsidy to all categories of electric vehicles, including two-wheelers, three-wheelers and four-wheelers including taxis and electric buses that are used in public transportation.
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1. The third edition of Indian Ocean Conference inaugurated by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Vietnamese counterpart Pham Binh Min, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam was held in Hanoi, capital city of Vietnam from 27-28 August 2018. Its theme was “Building Regional Architectures”. It will see participation from around 35 countries and have speakers from 25 countries.
2. Pakistan's new government has banned the discretionary use of state funds and first-class air travel by officials and leaders, including the president and the prime minister, as part of its austerity drive. The decisions were made at a Cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan on August 24, 2018. After his victory in the July 25 general election, Khan decided not to use palatial Prime Minister House and instead live in a small portion of it that was previously used as the residence by the military secretary to the prime minister. Khan also decided to use only two vehicles and keep two servants. He refused to use elaborate official protocol. The prime minister also decided to stop using special plane for foreign visits or domestic travelling and use business class. The discretionary allocation of funds by the prime minister and the president and other officials was also stopped by the Cabinet.
Science & Technology:
1. NASA’s asteroid sampling spacecraft OSIRIS-Rex (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer) has captured first images of its target asteroid Bennu and began its final approach towards it after almost two-year journey. OSIRIS-Rex mission was launched in September 2016 for studying 101955 Bennu, a carbonaceous asteroid. The first glimpses of targeted asteroid were captured by PolyCam camera OCAMS on board of OSIRIS-Rex from a distance of 2.1 million kilometre. It will help to study Bennu’s size, shape, surface features, and surroundings.
1. The G20 Digital Economy Ministerial Meeting was held in Salta, Argentina from 23 to 24 August, 2018. The theme of the meeting was ‘Building consensus for fair and sustainable development‘. It took place as part of Sherpa Track for 2018 G20 Leaders’ Summit, which is to be hosted by Argentina by end of 2018. India was represented by Union Minister for Electronics and IT & Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad. Participating G20 member nations agreed to promote policies that will contribute to bridging all forms of digital divide with special attention to digital gender divide. Its three key issues for the agenda were future of work, infrastructure for development, and sustainable food future. The other focus areas which were also deliberated included digital inclusion in particular gender divide, digital government, digital infrastructure and measuring digital economy.
1. Ganga Prasad was sworn in as the 16th Governor of Sikkim at a function held at Raj Bhawan in Gangtok on August 26, 2018. He succeeds Shriniwas Patil as the 16th Governor of Sikkim.
First in State/ India/ World:
1. India’s first flight using biofuel will fly from Dehradun (capital of Uttarakhand) to Delhi. India will be first developing nation to experiment biofuel test flight. SpiceJet operated first such biofuel flight from Dehradun to Delhi using alternative environment friendly fuel for 10 minutes over Dehradun. The objective this biofuel flight is to make air travel economical and bring some respite to airlines reeling under high fuel price through use of alternate fuel. The first ever biofuel test flight was conducted by SpiceJet on its turborporp Q-400 plane. Developed countries like Canada, Australia and US have already conducted these test flights.
2. India’s only aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya for the first time will be fitted with marine hydraulic system to boost the air operations of the ship. INS Vikramaditya design is based on Kiev-class aircraft carriers. It is 284 metres long and 60 metres high (high as 20-storeyed building). It weighs 40,000 tonnes and is biggest and heaviest ship in e Indian Navy. Its air wing consists of 30 MiG 29K fighter jets and six Kamov helicopters. It is based at its home port at Karwar in Karnataka. Currently it is most powerful aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy. It will be fitted with two marine hydraulic systems whose technical terms go by “GS-1MF” and “GS-3”. GS-1MF hydraulic system is used in helicopters, while GS-3 is used in aircraft. The system will be installed by Technodinamika, a subsidiary of Russia’s Rostec State Corporation by May 2019.
3. One of India’s premier avian research institutes, the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) will start operating its first regional centre or avifauna observatory on the campus of Wetland Research and Training Centre near Chilika Lake (Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon), Odisha. The avifauna observatory will carry out research on avian disease by collecting samples and monitor Nalabana Bird Sanctuary.
1. India's medal account opened on Day 9 of the 18th Asian Games with star shuttler Saina Nehwal winning a historic bronze after losing to World No.1 Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei in women's singles semifinals. Nehwal with her bronze medal became the only second singles player and the first female one to win an Asiad bronze after Syed Modi, who had won a bronze in 1982. In another first, India's PV Sindhu defeated Japan's Akane Yamaguchi in their semifinal clash to become the first-ever badminton player to reach the final of Asian Games in either singles or doubles. Sindhu will now face World No.1 Tai Tzu Ying in the final.
1. Former Indian Cricketer, Bengal opener and captain Gopal Bose (71) passed away at Birmingham on August 26, 2018. Bose passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest at a Birmingham hospital.
2. US senator John McCain (81), a celebrated Vietnam War hero, passed away on August 25, 2018 after losing a battle to brain cancer.