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Daily Current Affairs for Aug 28-29,2018 ( English)

Important Days:
1.      Aug 29 - National Sports Day 2018 was observed every year on this day to mark the birth anniversary of the legendary hockey player Major Dhyan Chand who was born on August 29, 1905. However, this year, the date has been postponed to September 25, 2018 in the wake of ongoing Asian Games 2018. Every year on Aug 29, the President of India confers National sports and adventure awards including Arjuna and Khel Ratna to celebrate the achievements of exceptional athletes in the country. 
National:
1.      An online portal to enable easy, efficient and transparent booking of common carrier capacity for natural gas transmission services under GAIL’s pipelines has launched by the Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan. The online portal is the first-of-its-kind in the natural gas sector of the country. The portal will be the first step to facilitate gas trading on a hub or exchange-traded platform in India. 
2.      The Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) or regulations for civil use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) commonly known as drones was issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. The regulations were developed after extensive consultations among various stakeholders, and will be effective from December 1, 2018.
3.      The corporate sports policy for Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) has unveiled by  the Union Minister of Steel, Chaudhary Birender Singh under the Ministry of Steel in New Delhi. The policy will provide a framework for the promotion of sports by Steel Ministry CPSEs. The Steel CPSEs will discharge their responsibility through infrastructural and institutional support for talent spotting, scholarships, training and coaching.
4.      A MoU for the implementation of on Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (AB-PMJAY) signed between 29 States and Union Territories (UTs). This announcement was made by Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, .J P Nadda. These states have already started working on implementation of the scheme. The pilot project has started in 16 States and UTs. Other states/UTs will also start pilots before the pan-India launch of the scheme on September 25, 2018.
5.      Punjab state Assembly unanimously passed Bills for an amendment to the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPc) to make sacrilege of all religious texts punishable with life imprisonment. The Code of Criminal Procedure (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2018 inserts section 295AA stating that ''injuring, causing any damage or sacrilege to Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Srimad Bhagwad Gita, Holy Quran and Holy Bible with an intention to hurt the religious feeling of the people.'' The amendment is under President’s assent.
6.      The Punjab state assembly  has passed the Police (Amendment) Bill 2018 that would pave way for setting up of a State Security Commission for selection of the director general of police (DGP).The bill seeks to amend the Punjab Police Act 2007, which was enacted on February 5, 2008. 
7.      A 21-member science and technology council to advise Prime Minister Narendra Modi on matters related to science, technology and innovations has constituted by the Union Government. The council, named as Prime Minister's Science Technology and Innovation Advisory Committee (PM-STIAC), will be headed by K Vijay Raghavan, the principal scientific adviser to the Union Government. The panel will advise the Prime Minister on all matters related to science, technology and innovation and monitor the implementation of PM’s vision on the same.
8.      Google has partnered with Andhra Pradesh State FiberNet Ltd (APSFNL) to facilitate Internet access to more than 12,000 villages, benefitting around 10 million people. The tech giant also rebranded its 'Tez' as 'Google Pay' as part of its efforts to take the digital payments app to more online and retail merchants across the country. Google, through 'Google Station', provides Wi-Fi services in public locations in partnership with various entities. Previously, Google had partnered RailTel to offer Wi-Fi access across 400 railway stations in India.
9.      The Union Government is planning to launch India Post Payment Banks-IPPB at 650 places. The information was shared by Communications Minister Manoj Sinha. The Minister said that savings accounts, current accounts, money transfer, enterprise and merchant payments will be the highlights of the India Post Payment Banks. The Minister also said that by December 2018, the IPPBs  will provide doorstep banking at rural areas and with the help of National Payment Corporation of India and RBI , IPPB will give last mile connectivity to banking. The Minister also added that presently there are 17 lakh postal saving accounts and efforts are on to give these saving accounts holders to avail benefits of IPPB. 
International:
1.      To discuss the state of elections and democracy in the region, the fourth edition of Asian electoral stakeholders forum (AESF-IV) was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The theme of AESF-IV was ‘Advancing Election Transparency and Integrity: Promoting and Defending Democracy Together‘. It was jointly organised by Election Commission of Sri Lanka and Asian network for free elections (ANFREL). This was for first time AESF was held in South Asia. It was attended by more than 250 delegates from 45 countries. India was represented by Chief Electoral Officer of Maharashtra Ashwini Kumar and NGO.
2.      The first South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Agri Cooperative Business Forum began in Kathmandu on August 28, 2018. The theme of three-day Forum is the 'Organizing and Strengthening Family Farmers’ Cooperatives to attain the Sustainable-Development-Goals-1 and 2 in South Asia'. The forum aims to bring together representatives both from government and non-governmental entities from the member states of SAARC as well as from the regional and international organisations. 
Science& Technology:
1.      Project Navlekha to make online content relevant for more Indian users especially in local languages has unveiled by Google at fourth ‘Google for India’ event held in New Delhi. Navlekha is word derived from Sanskrit meaning “a new way to write.” This project aims to bring 135,000 local language publishers online by making web hosting smooth and simple. It will allow local publishers who do not have websites to make their offline content fit for online publishing in less than a minute.

2.      Union Government and European Union (EU) have collaborated for research programme named Horizon 2020 to develop Next Generation Influenza Vaccine to protect citizens across the globe. Under this project, cost-effective and affordable influenza vaccine will be developed. It aims at advancing the efficacy, safety, duration of immunity, and reactivity against an increased breadth of influenza strains. For this research programme, India’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and EU have committed Euro 15 million (Rs. 240 crore).



Economy:
1.      MoveHack is global mobility hackathon event organized by NITI Aayog to crowdsource solutions aimed at the future of mobility in India. Union Government’s premier think tank NITI Aayog has made computer chip manufacturer NVIDIA its deep learning technology partner to support its MoveHack event. Deep learning technology is subset of machine learning (ML) in artificial intelligence (AI) that has networks capable of learning unsupervised from data that is unstructured or unlabelled.
2.      $250 million Development Policy Loan (DPL) agreement with World Bank has signed by Central Government along with Government of Rajasthan for Electricity Distribution Sector Reforms in Rajasthan. This loan was second in the series of two operations planned for comprehensive turnaround of Rajasthan’s electricity distribution sector. The loan will be provided by World Bank’s lending arm International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). It has maturity of 21 years and 3 -year grace period. The first loan was closed in March 2017.

3.      $220 million Loan Agreement with World Bank has inked by Union Government (Finance Ministry) to scale-up India’s Energy Efficiency Program. The loan will be provided to EESL by World Bank through its lending arm International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). It has maturity of 19 years and 5-year grace period. It also signed $80 million guarantee agreement with World Bank. The $80 million IBRD guarantee will partially cover re-payment risks to commercial lenders or investors to enable EESL to raise funds for its program.


First in State/India/World:
1.      India’s first first-ever environment friendly biofuel powered flight between Dehradun and Delhi was propelled by blend of oil from jatropha seeds and aviation turbine fuel. This plane had carried blend of 25% of bio jet fuel (derived from jatropha seeds) and 75% of aviation turbine fuel (ATF) in one of the two engines of plane, while other carried only ATF. This flight was technological demonstration that bio jet fuel can be used in flights. The 43-minute flight was operated by SpiceJet’s Bombardier Q-400 aircraft, with 20 officials and five crew members on board.
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Appointments/Resignations:
1.      Indian development economist and environment expert  Satya S. Tripathi was appointed as assistant secretary general of United Nation s and will head New York office of UN Environment Programme (UNEP). He was appointed by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Sports:
1. At the 10th day of 18th Asian Games, women's singles gold medal match between PV Sindhu and Tai Tzu Yin, Sindhu had to settle for silver after she lost to Yin in straight sets. Despite the loss, Sindhu became the first badminton player to win silver in Asian Games.




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