Aug. 10, 2020

Current Affairs
Aug. 10, 2020

MAKE IN INDIA IN DEFENCE
The Department of Military Affairs (DMA), Ministry of Defence (MoD) has prepared a list of 101 items for which there would be an embargo on the import beyond the timeline indicated against them.

About:

  • The list of 101 embargoed items comprises of some high technology weapon systems like artillery guns, assault rifles, corvettes, sonar systems, transport aircrafts, LCHs, radars and many other items to fulfil the needs of the defence Services.

  • The list also includes wheeled Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFVs) with indicative import embargo date of December 2021, of which the Army is expected to contract almost 200 at an approximate cost of over ₹5,000 crore.

  • The embargo on imports is planned to be progressively implemented between 2020 to 2024. 

Important Info :
  • The Government also intends to reach a turnover of $25 billion through indigenously manufactured defence products and also expects to export products worth $5 billion.
  • Government has also decided that in any government contract over ₹200 crore, no foreign company can participate in the tendering process. This year ₹52,000 crore items are to be bought only from Indian companies.
  • MoD has also bifurcated the capital procurement budget for 2020-21 between domestic and foreign capital procurement routes.
Source : PIB
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
Aug. 10, 2020

MATHERAN
After a long gap of 125 years, scientists have found 140 rare species of butterflies, including 77 new ones, in Matheran. The last time butterflies were codified in this eco-sensitive zone was in 1894, when a researcher identified 78 species.

About:

  • Matheran is a hill station and a municipal council in Karjat Tahsil in the Raigad district, Maharashtra. It is located on the Western Ghats range.

  • Matheran is part of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.

  • Matheran, which means "forest on the forehead" (of the mountains) is an eco-sensitive region, declared by the Union Ministry of Environment.

Source : The Hindu
Geography

Current Affairs
Aug. 10, 2020

eSanjeevani
Union Health Minister presided over a review meeting with States/UTs on the “eSanjeevani” and “eSanjeevaniOPD” platforms.

About:

  • In a short span of time since November 2019, tele-consultation by eSanjeevani and eSanjeevaniOPD have been implemented by 23 States (which covers 75% of the population) and other States are in the process of rolling it out.

  • eSanjeevani, the Tele-Medicine platform rolled out by Health Ministry, has completed more than 1,50,000 tele-consultations enabling patient to doctor consultations from the confines of their home, as well as doctor to doctor consultations.

  • This eSanjeevani platform has enabled two types of telemedicine services viz. Doctor-to-Doctor (eSanjeevani) and Patient-to-Doctor (eSanjeevani OPD) Tele-consultations. The former is being implemented under the Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centre (AB-HWCs) programme. 

Source : PIB
Health

Current Affairs
Aug. 10, 2020

ALL INDIA POWERLOOM BOARD
After the all India handicrafts and handloom boards, the ministry of textiles has disbanded another advisory body — the All India Powerloom Board.

All India Powerloom Board:

  • The All India Powerloom Board was first constituted as an advisory board in 1981. It was reconstituted for a period of two years in 2013.

  • It had representatives of central and state governments, Powerloom Federation and was headed by the Union minister of textiles.

  • The decision to disband the boards follows an assessment that they failed to impact policy-making and became vehicles of “political patronage”

Important Info :

Textiles Research Associations (TRAs)?

  • Ministry of Textiles has also notified a change in the status of all eight Textiles Research Associations (TRAs). They now cease to be “affiliated bodies” of the ministry.
  • The TRAs will now be “approved bodies” for conducting testing, research and developmental activities related to the textiles sector.
Source : Times of India
Economy

Current Affairs
Aug. 10, 2020

BEEG (BIO-COMPOST ENRICHED ECO-FRIENDLY GLOBULE)
IIT Kanpur has developed indigenous seed balls named BEEG (Bio -compost Enriched Eco-friendly Globule) which will help people and farmers in plantation with safety in Corona times and will also provide employment to people.

About:

  • The BEEG is developed in collaboration with Agnys Waste Management Private Limited (start-up at IIT Kanpur).

  • The Seed Balls are comprised of indigenous variety of seeds, compost, and clay. There is no need for digging pits for planting  saplings . These seed balls are to be thrown at aimed places and they will germinate  when come into contact with water.

  • BEEG is enriched with the right ingredients and seeds to germinate early, and are the best way to utilise Monsoon and plant as many trees as possible without risking lives by social gathering during Covid 19.

Source : All India Radio
Economy

Current Affairs
Aug. 10, 2020

INDIAN DIASPORA IN AUSTRALIA
More than 38,000 Indians became Australian citizens in 2019-2020, a 60% increase from the previous year and the largest diaspora group to be granted the country’s citizenship.

About:

  • Out of the over 2,00,000 people who became Australian citizens in 2019-2020, 38,209 were Indians, the highest number on record, followed by 25,011 Britishers, 14,764 Chinese and 8,821 Pakistanis.

  • As per the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ 2016 census, 6,19,164 people in Australia declared that they were of ethnic Indian ancestry. This comprises 2.8% of the Australian population. Among those, 5,92,000 were born in India.

Source : The Hindu
International

Current Affairs
Aug. 10, 2020

AIM iCREST
NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), has launched AIM iCREST – an Incubator Capabilities enhancement program for a Robust Ecosystem focused on creating high performing Startups.

About:

  • AIM has joined hands with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Wadhwani Foundation for launching it.

  • AIM iCREST has been designed to enable the incubation ecosystem and act as a growth hack for AIM’s Atal and Established incubators across the country.

  • Under the initiative, the AIM’s incubators are set to be upscaled and provided requisite support to foster the incubation enterprise economy, that will help them to significantly enhance their performance.

  • This will be complemented by providing training to entrepreneurs, through technology driven processes and platforms.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Aug. 10, 2020

KAVKAZ
India will take part in the Russian Kavkaz 2020 strategic command-post exercise next month. A small tri-service contingent will take part in the exercise to be held in Astrakhan.

About:

  • The Kavkaz 2020 - also referred to as Caucasus-2020 - is an exercise aimed at assessing the ability of the armed forces to ensure military security in Russia’s southwest.

  • The invitees also include China and Pakistan, apart from other member-states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. 

Source : The Hindu
International

Current Affairs
Aug. 10, 2020

SUB-MISSION ON AGRICULTURAL MECHANISATION (SMAM)
The Centre has released ₹553 crore to States under a scheme to promote mechanisation in the agriculture sector.

About:

  • The Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanisation (SMAM) was introduced in April 2014 with an aim to have inclusive growth of farm mechanisation to boost productivity.

  • In the year 2020-21, budget of ₹1,033 crore has been provided for the scheme, out of which ₹553 crore has been released to state governments.

  • Agricultural mechanisation helps in increasing production through timely farm operations and cut in operations by ensuring better management of inputs.

Source : The Hindu
Economy

Current Affairs
Aug. 10, 2020

FOOD VISION 2050 PRIZE
US-based Rockefeller Foundation has selected Anand Mahindra-backed Naandi Foundation, the Hyderabad based non-profit as one of the top 10 Visionaries in the world for the Food Vision 2050 Prize.

About:

  • The award, which was announced in New York, carries a cash prize of $200,000.

  • The Rockefeller Foundation award recognised the application of the Arakunomics model in the regions of Araku, Wardha and New Delhi by Naandi Foundation.

  • This model leads to the Food Vision 2050 that follows an ‘ABCDEFGH’ framework -- Agriculture, Biology, Compost, Decentralised decision-making, Entrepreneurs, Families, Global Markets, and ‘Headstands’, or turning current approaches on their head. 

Important Info :

Arakunomics?

  • Naandi’s vision titled “Arakunomics” was based on work with tribal farmers in Araku for nearly 20 years.
  • Arakunomics is a new integrated economic model that ensures Profits for farmers, Quality for consumers through Regenerative Agriculture (PQR).
  • The economic model is a tribute to the tribal farmers of Araku region for the world-class coffee produced and launched in Paris in 2017, as well as for the high carbon landscape transformation they did in over 955 villages there by planting 25 million trees.
Source : Times of India
Health

Aug. 9, 2020

Current Affairs
Aug. 9, 2020

PYROLYSIS
Plastic from used personal protective equipment (PPE) can be transformed into renewable liquid fuels, according to a new study published in the journal Biofuels.

About:

  • The research describes a strategy for converting billions of items of disposable PPE from its plastic state into biofuels.

  • The transformation into biocrude, a type of synthetic fuel, will not just prevent the severe after-effects to humankind and the environment but also produce a source of energy.

  • The researchers call for PPE waste to be converted into fuel using chemical a process called pyrolysis. This breaks down plastic at high temperature – between 300-400°C for an hour – without oxygen.

Source : Indian Express
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
Aug. 9, 2020

TABLETOP AIRPORT
On 7 August 2020, a Boeing 737 aircraft of Air India Express (the low cost subsidiary of national carrier Air India) overshot the runway while landing at Calicut International Airport. The crash killed 18 people and over 100 were injured. The accident has once again turned the spotlight on operations to what are called ‘tabletop airports’ in India.

About:

  • What is it? ‘Tabletop Airport’ is an airport located and built on top of a plateau or hilly surface, with one or both ends of the runway overlooking a drop. There are not many differences between a ‘normal’ airport and a ‘tabletop’ airport.

  • Examples in India: The airports in the country which would count as “tabletops”, are namely Lengpui (Mizoram), Shimla and Kullu (Himachal Pradesh), Pakyong (Sikkim), Mangaluru (Karnataka), Kozhikode and Kannur (both Kerala).

  • Recognition: There is no such term as a ‘tabletop airport’ in any International Civil Aviation \Organisation (ICAO) technical document. But India’s statutory aviation body, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), refers to these airports in this manner by way of highlighting safety measures during operations to these runways.

Source : The Hindu
Economy

Current Affairs
Aug. 9, 2020

AGRICULTURE INFRASTRUCTURE FUND
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the financing facility of 1 lakh crore rupees under the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund.

About:

  • The Union Cabinet had approved the Central Sector Scheme of financing facility under Agriculture Infrastructure Fund of 1 Lakh Crore rupees.

  • The Fund will catalyse the creation of post-harvest management infrastructure and community farming assets such as cold storage, collection centres and processing units.

  • These assets will enable farmers to get greater value for their produce, as they will be able to store and sell at higher prices, reduce wastage, and increase processing and value addition.

  • One lakh crore rupees will be sanctioned under the financing facility in partnership with multiple lending institutions.

  • The beneficiaries of the scheme will include farmers, PACS, Marketing Cooperative Societies, FPOs, SHGs, Joint Liability Groups, Multipurpose Cooperative Societies, Agri-entrepreneurs, Start-ups, and Central/State agency or Local Body sponsored Public-Private Partnership Projects.

Source : All India Radio
Economy

Current Affairs
Aug. 9, 2020

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE WORLD’S INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples or World Tribal Day is being observed on August 9. This year’s theme is “COVID-19 and indigenous peoples’ resilience”.

About:

  • The day is aimed at promoting and protecting the rights of the world’s indigenous population.

  • The date recognizes the first meeting of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations in Geneva in 1982.

Source : All India Radio
Social Issues

Current Affairs
Aug. 9, 2020

QUIT INDIA MOVEMENT
The 78th anniversary of Quit India movement was observed recently.

About:

  • On August 8, 1942, Mahatma Gandhi gave the clarion call of Do or Die to all Indians to drive away Britishers from the country.

  • The movement had begun from Gawalia Tank in Mumbai. The day is observed as August Kranti Day every year.

Source : All India Radio
History

Current Affairs
Aug. 9, 2020

MAHINDA RAJAPAKSA
In Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa took oath as the new Prime Minister today after the landslide victory of his party at general elections held recently. His party and allies have secured two-thirds majority in Parliament.

About:

  • He will be administered the oath by his younger brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

  • Mahinda Rajapaksa served as the country's President from 2006 to 2015. He was appointed Prime Minister after Gotabaya’s victory in November Presidential elections though his side did not enjoy a majority in Parliament.

  • He is leader of the political party named "Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna."

Source : All India Radio
International

Current Affairs
Aug. 9, 2020

MARKETING OF PETROL AND DIESEL
The Ministry of petroleum and Natural Gas has simplified the guidelines for grant of authorization for bulk and retail marketing of Motor Spirit (Petrol) and High Speed Diesel (Diesel).

About:

  • The simplified guidelines aim at increasing private sector participation in the marketing of MS and HSD.

  • An entity desirous of seeking authorization for either retail or bulk must have a minimum net worth of Rs.250 crore at the time of making application (Rs.500 crore in case of authorization for both retail and bulk).

  • For retail authorization, the entity is required to set up at least 100 retail outlets.

  • Significance: The policy has opened up the marketing sector of Petroleum products by removing the strict conditions applicable earlier.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Aug. 9, 2020

NATIONAL DISASTER RESPONSE FORCE (NDRF)
Teams of rescuers from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), in their orange uniforms, are now a familiar sight at most of the natural calamities or man-made disasters in India.

About:

  • Parliament passed the National Disaster Management Act in 2005 which paved way for establishing Disaster Management Authorities at the national, state and district levels, setting up the National Disaster Response and Mitigation Funds, and formation of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

  • The NDRF was raised in 2006, initially with eight battalions, and now has 12 spread across the country. It has been recently announced that four more NDRF battalions will be raised, and teams of women rescuers will also be inducted.

  • Each battalion, which has a sanctioned strength of 1,150 rescuers, caters to particular states as their areas of responsibility. Battalions are divided into rescue teams which are self-contained emergency response units with specialist search and rescue groups, engineering, technical, electrical experts along dog squads and paramedics.

  • NDRF functions under the purview of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and is headed by a Director General.

  • The NDRF gets personnel and officers on deputation from the CAPF for a period of seven years. After serving their tenure, personnel go back to their force. Currently, NDRF has battalions staffed by personnel from the CRPF, BSF, CISF, ITBP and SSB. 

Source : Indian Express
Disaster Management

Current Affairs
Aug. 9, 2020

ENVISTATS INDIA 2020 REPORT
National Statistical Office (NSO) released the state-wise data in the EnviStats India 2020 report.

About:

  • After declining for two years, the average number of heat wave days increased 82.6 % year-on-year to 157 in 2019, with the highest number recorded in Rajasthan (20 days) followed by Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand (13 days each).

  • The reversal of trend led to 2019 being the year with the third highest number of heat wave days in the decade after 254 days in 2010 and 189 days in 2012.

  • The number of average cold wave days also reported an increase, though the latest data is for 2018 in the case: 45 in 2018, a rise of 55.2 % from 29 in 2017.

  • Acute respiratory infection led to 3,740 deaths in 2018 — the highest in six years. The highest number of deaths due to acute respiratory infection were reported in West Bengal (732).

  • Among the metropolitan cities in 2018, particulate matter size less than or equal to 10 µm was the highest in Delhi (243).

  • Tube well/hand pump remained the primary source of drinking water in rural India in 2018 with 53.8 % share, while piped water/ tap/ public tap/ standpipe was the primary source in urban areas with 65 % share.

  • In rural areas, among states having bottled water as the principal source of drinking water in 2018, Delhi ranked at the top with 33.4 % households relying on it.

  • In urban areas, Daman & Diu has the highest share of households (40.4 %) choosing bottled water as principal drinking water source.

  • Andhra Pradesh has the highest percentage of slum population to urban population (36.10 %).

  • Out of total 7.3 crore registered motor vehicles in the country in 2017 in ‘million plus cities’ in India, Delhi has the highest number of registered motor vehicles (1.02 crore), followed by Bengaluru (68.3 lakh).

Source : Indian Express
Disaster Management

Current Affairs
Aug. 9, 2020

EMERGENCY CREDIT LINE GUARANTEE SCHEME
The Centre has expanded its credit guarantee scheme for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to cover loans given to larger firms, as well as to self-employed people and professionals who have taken loans for business purposes.

About:

  • The Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme was rolled out in May as part of the Centre’s Aatmanirbhar package in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

  • It has a corpus of ₹41,600 crore and provides fully guaranteed additional funding of up to ₹3 lakh crore. Eligible MSMEs had to have an annual turnover up to ₹100 crore, with outstanding loans of up to ₹25 crore as on February 29, 2020.

  • The scheme has been expanded to cover enterprises with a turnover up to ₹250 crore, with outstanding loans up to ₹50 crore.

  • Individual beneficiaries include both professionals such as doctors, lawyers and chartered accountants, as well as self-employed people such as vendors or taxi drivers.

Source : The Hindu
Economy

Aug. 8, 2020

Current Affairs
Aug. 8, 2020

LEOPARD POACHING
A recent study by TRAFFIC India on the seizure and mortality of ‘common leopards’ (Panthera pardus fusca) revealed that of the total of 747 leopard deaths between 2015-2019 in India, 596 were linked to illegal wildlife trade and activities related to poaching.

About:

  • TRAFFIC is a leading wildlife trade monitoring network across the world.

  • The paper titled ‘‘SPOTTED’ in Illegal Wildlife Trade: A Peek into Ongoing Poaching and Illegal Trade of Leopards in India’ also said that the highest numbers of poaching incidents were reported from the States of Uttarakhand and Maharashtra.

  • During the period 2015 to 2019, there were more than 140 cases of seizures of leopard body parts in Uttarakhand, and about 19 incidents where the deaths of these cats could be directly linked to poaching.

  • Among all the derivatives found in illegal wildlife trade, skin remained the most in-demand product, accounting for 69% of all seizures, while derivatives like claws, teeth and bones were also traded.

Source : The Hindu
Environment

Current Affairs
Aug. 8, 2020

K. V. KAMATH COMMITTEE
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) constituted an expert committee under the chairmanship of veteran banker K.V. Kamath to make recommendations on norms for the resolution of COVID-19 related stressed loans.

About:

  • The committee will submit its recommendations on the financial parameters to the RBI, which in turn, will notify the same along with modifications, if any, in 30 days.

  • The other members of the committee include Diwakar Gupta, T.N. Manoharan, Ashvin Parekh, and Sunil Mehta, CEO of Indian Banks’ Association, as the member-secretary.

  • The Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) will function as the secretariat to the committee and the committee will be fully empowered to consult or invite any person it deems fit.

Source : The Hindu
Economy

Current Affairs
Aug. 8, 2020

RBI’s NEW LOAN RECAST SCHEME
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cleared a loan restructuring scheme for borrowers under stress because of the pandemic.

About:

  • In its monetary policy review, the RBI gave the green signal to a loan restructuring scheme for stressed borrowers.

  • A special window providing one-time loan restructuring to companies and individuals, it will provide relief specifically to those impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • The biggest impact will be that banks will be able to check the rise in non-performing assets (NPAs) to a great extent.

Important Info :

Eligibility:

  • Only those companies and individuals whose loans accounts are in default for not more than 30 days as on March 1, 2020, are eligible for one-time restructuring. For corporate borrowers, banks can invoke a resolution plan till December 31, 2020 and implement it till June 30, 2021.
  • The one-time restructuring window is available across sectors.
  • Companies that were already in default for more than 30 days as on March 1, however, cannot avail this facility.
Source : Indian Express
Economy

Current Affairs
Aug. 8, 2020

LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION MODULE FOR PM SVANIDHI SCHEME
Union Urban Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry launched Letter of Recommendation module for PM SVANidhi Scheme.

About:

  • The module is designed to give access to street vendors who do not have Identity Card and Certificate of Vending and are not in the surveyed list for availing benefits under the scheme.

  • The module provides for an end to end, digitally enabled process wherein an eligible vendor can request for a Letter of Recommendation from the Urban Local Body and on receipt of the same he can apply for loan under PM SVANidhi.

  • The vendors possessing Letter of Recommendation shall be issued Certificate of Vending or ID Card within a period of 30 days. This provision will help in extending reach of the Scheme to the people who were hitherto unable to avail these benefits.

Important Info :
  • PM SVANidhi was launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, on June 01, 2020, for providing affordable Working Capital loan to street vendors to resume their livelihoods that have been adversely affected due to Covid-19 lockdown. 
Source : All India Radio
Economy

Current Affairs
Aug. 8, 2020

GIRISH CHANDRA MURMU
Former Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Girish Chandra Murmu will be the new Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of the country. Mr Murmu will succeed Rajiv Mehrishi.

About:

  • The CAG is also known as the Supreme Audit Institution (SAI).

  • Article 148 of constitution deals with appointment and removal of CAG.

  • CAG is appointed by the President of India following a recommendation by the Prime Minister.

  • He/she holds the office till the age of 65 years or at the expiry of 6 years’ term, whichever is earlier.

Source : All India Radio
Polity & Governance

Current Affairs
Aug. 8, 2020

PRADEEP KUMAR JOSHI
Pradeep Kumar Joshi, presently Member, Union Public Service Commission, took the oath of office and secrecy as Chairman, Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

About:

  • He joined the Commission as Member in 2015. Prior to joining the Commission, he held the post of Chairman, Chhattisgarh Public Service Commission and Chairman, Madhya Pradesh Public Service Commission.

  • He also served as Director, National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA).

Important Info :

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC):

  • Function: UPSC is India's central recruiting agency. It is responsible for appointments to and examinations for All India services and group A & group B of Central services.
  • Formed in: 1926. 
  • HQ: Delhi.
  • Appointment of Chairman:
    • As per Article 316, the Chairman and other members of UPSC shall be appointed by the President.
    • A member of a UPSC shall hold office for a term of six years from the date on which he enters upon his office or until he attains the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
    • As per Article 319, a person who holds office as Chairman shall, on the expiration of his term of office, be ineligible for re-appointment to that office.
Source : All India Radio
Polity & Governance

Current Affairs
Aug. 8, 2020

ONLINE EXIT EXAMINATION SYSTEM FOR SEAFARERS
Union Minister for Shipping launched Online Exit Examination for the seafarers.

About:

  • Seafarers, who are getting training in different Maritime Training Institutes under Directorate General of Shipping, can now appear in the exam from their homes.

  • India is the only country in the world, which has started Online Exit Examination for Seafarers. 

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Aug. 8, 2020

DELHI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT LIMITED (DIAL)
Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) has developed a first-of-its-kind portal where India-bound international arriving flyers can fill the mandatory self-declaration form and also apply online for exemption from mandatory institution quarantine process.

About:

  • The GMR Group led, Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) is a consortium; comprising of GMR Group, Airports Authority of India and Fraport.

  • The consortium has a mandate to finance, design, build, operate and maintain the Delhi Airport for 30 years with an option to extend it by another 30 years.

  • The Airport has been adjudged as the best airport by size and region (over 40 MPPA in Asia Pacific) by Airports Council International (ACI) in the Airport Service Quality Program for 2019.

  • DIAL completed the modernization of Delhi’s IGI Airport including the commissioning of Terminal 3 (T3) - India’s largest building post-independence, in a record time of 37 months.

Source : DD News
Economy

Current Affairs
Aug. 8, 2020

RASHTRIYA SWACHHATA KENDRA (RSK)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi shall inaugurate Rashtriya Swachhata Kendra, an interactive experience centre on the Swachh Bharat Mission, on 8th August, 2020.

About:

  • A tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, the Rashtriya Swachhata Kendra (RSK) was first announced by the Prime Minister in 2017, on the occasion of the centenary celebrations of Gandhiji's Champaran Satyagraha.

  • The RSK has been established at the Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti at Rajghat in New Delhi.

  • RSK will impart information, awareness and education on the successful journey of world's largest behaviour change campaign, the Swachh Bharat Mission. 

Important Info :

Swachh Bharat Mission?

  • The Swachh Bharat Mission has transformed rural sanitation in India and has changed the behaviours of over 55 crore people from open defecation to using a toilet.
  • The mission is now in its second phase, aiming to take India’s villages from Open Defecation Free (ODF) to ODF Plus, with a strong focus on sustaining ODF status and ensuring solid and liquid waste management for all.
Source : PIB
Social Issues

Current Affairs
Aug. 8, 2020

SUBMARINE OPTICAL FIBRE CABLE (OFC)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate and dedicate to the Nation the submarine Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) of nearly 2300 KM length connecting Chennai and Port Blair on 10th August, 2020.

About:

  • The submarine cable will also connect Port Blair to Swaraj Dweep (Havelock), Little Andaman, Car Nicobar, Kamorta, Great Nicobar, Long Island, and Rangat.

  • This connectivity will enable delivery of faster and more reliable mobile and landline telecom services to Andaman & Nicobar Islands, at par with other parts of India.

  • The foundation stone for this project was laid by the Prime Minister in 2018 at Port Blair.

  • The submarine OFC link will deliver bandwidth of 2 x 200 Gigabits per second (Gbps) between Chennai and Port Blair, and 2 x 100 Gbps between Port Blair and the other islands.

  • The project is funded by the Government of India through the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) under the Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications.

  • Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) executed this project while Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL) are the Technical Consultants.

Source : Times of India
Science & Tech

Aug. 7, 2020

Current Affairs
Aug. 7, 2020

NATIONAL HANDLOOM DAY
National Handloom Day is being organised on August 7 by the Ministry of Textiles.

About:

  • 7th August was chosen as the National Handloom Day to commemorate the Swadeshi Movement which was launched on the same date in the year 1905.

  • The objective is to generate awareness about the Handloom Industry among the public and its contribution to socio-economic development.

Source : All India Radio
History

Current Affairs
Aug. 7, 2020

ITER PROJECT
The ITER Organization is celebrating the Start of Assembly of the ITER Tokamak with a ceremony at Saint-Paul-Lez-Durance, France. The Celebration has been hosted virtually by French President Emmanuel Macron.

About:

  • ITER is one of the most ambitious energy projects in the world today.

  • In southern France, 35 nations are collaborating to build the world's largest tokamak, a magnetic fusion device that has been designed to prove the feasibility of fusion as a large-scale and carbon-free source of energy based on the same principle that powers our Sun and stars.

  • Significance:
    • ITER will be the first fusion device to produce net energy.

    • ITER will be the first fusion device to maintain fusion for long periods of time.

    • And ITER will be the first fusion device to test the integrated technologies, materials, and physics regimes necessary for the commercial production of fusion-based electricity.



  • The ITER Members—China, the European Union, India, Japan, Korea, Russia and the United States—are now engaged in a 35-year collaboration to build and operate the ITER experimental device, and together bring fusion to the point where a demonstration fusion reactor can be designed.

Source : All India Radio
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
Aug. 7, 2020

ONLINE PATRIOTIC FILM FESTIVAL
National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) is organizing a first of its kind, online patriotic film festival.

About:

  • The festival is a part of Independence Day Celebrations by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The festival will run from august 7th till the 21st.

  • The festival will showcase high quality Independence Day themed patriotic films daily at the websitewww.cinemasofindia.com free of cost.

  • Critically acclaimed films from various Indian languages including Hindi, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, Gujarati and Malayalam will be showcased in the festival.

Source : All India Radio
Culture

Current Affairs
Aug. 7, 2020

KISAN SPECIAL PARCEL TRAIN
The country's first Kisan Special Parcel Train or Kisan Rail will start from August 7, 2020 to provide seamless supply of perishable produce.

About:

  • The train will transport material between Maharashtra's Devlali and Bihar's Danapur Railway station. It will be covering a distance of 1,519 kilometres in around 32 hours.

  • The Kisan Rail will carry fruits and vegetables and will make stoppages at several stations and pick-up and deliver them. This will help in bringing perishable agricultural products like vegetables, fruits to the market in a short period of time.

  • The Kisan Rail train with frozen containers is expected to build a seamless national cold supply chain for perishables, inclusive of fish, meat and milk.

  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced to start 'Kisan Rail' in the current year's Budget, for providing a seamless supply chain of perishable produce.

Source : All India Radio
Economy

Current Affairs
Aug. 7, 2020

PINGALI VENKAYYA
Vice President of India paid tribute to freedom fighter and the designer of India’s national flag, Pingali Venkayya on his birth anniversary.

About:

  • Pingali Venkayya (1876 – 1963) was an Indian freedom fighter and the designer of the flag on which the Indian national flag was based.

  • Venkayya's version was first designed for the Indian National Congress and subsequently modified in 1947.

  • Pingali Venkayya was a polymath with interests in geology, education, agriculture and languages.

  • He was born at Bhatlapenumarru, near Machilipatnam, in Andhra Pradesh.

Source : All India Radio
History

Current Affairs
Aug. 7, 2020

TARGET OLYMPIC PODIUM SCHEME (TOPS)
The Government of India launched the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) for the country’s promising junior athletes, with an aim to groom these young talents for medal glory at the 2024 and 2028 Olympics.

About:

  • The Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) ‘Mission Olympic Cell’ (MOC) has shortlisted 258 athletes in 12 sporting disciplines for TOPS Junior, including the 85 selected before the lockdown, who will be part of the ‘Developmental Group’.

  • The selected athletes will receive a monthly ‘Out Of Pocket’ allowance of Rs 25,000.

  • Of the 12 disciplines, 70 athletes have been shortlisted in shooting, 16 in athletics, 34 in archery, 27 in badminton, four in cycling, seven in table tennis, 14 in swimming, 11 in judo, 36 in boxing, 16 in weightlifting, five in rowing and 18 in wrestling. 

Source : Times of India
Sports

Current Affairs
Aug. 7, 2020

POKKALI RICE
Farmers in South 24 Parganas district in West Bengal are betting on the pokkali variety of rice from Kerala to tide over a crisis-like situation created by severe seawater incursion into paddy fields in vast areas of the Sundarbans after cyclone Amphan hit West Bengal on May 20.

About:

  • The pokkali variety, known for its saltwater resistance, flourishes in the paddy fields of coastal Alappuzha, Ernakulam and Thrissur districts of Kerala.

  • The uniqueness of the rice has brought it the Geographical Indication (GI) tag and is the subject of continuing research.

  • Vyttila-11 is the latest variety of Pokkali Rice to come out of Kerala Agricultural University’s field station in Vyttila. Vyttila-11 promises better yield of about 5 tonnes per hectare than the previous varieties, and is crossed with the Jyoti variety of rice popular in Kerala.

Source : The Hindu
Geography

Current Affairs
Aug. 7, 2020

AMMONIUM NITRATE
The catastrophic explosion at Beirut port that has so far killed at least 100 people was caused by over 2,700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate kept in storage for over six years.

About:

  • In its pure form, ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) is a white, crystalline chemical which is soluble in water. It is the main ingredient in the manufacture of commercial explosives used in mining and construction.

  • In India, The Ammonium Nitrate Rules, 2012, under The Explosives Act, 1884, define ammonium nitrate as the “compound with formula NH4NO3 including any mixture or compound having more than 45 per cent ammonium nitrate by weight –
    • including emulsions, suspensions, melts or gels

    • but excluding emulsion or slurry explosives and non-explosives emulsion matrix and fertilizers from which the ammonium nitrate cannot be separated”.



  • Pure ammonium nitrate is not an explosive on its own. It is classified as an oxidiser (Grade 5.1) under the United Nations classification of dangerous goods. If mixed with ingredients like fuel or some other contaminants, or because of some other external factors, it can be very explosive.

  • However, for combinations to explode, triggers like detonators are required. Many Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) used by terrorists around the world have ANFO as the main explosive, triggered by primary explosives like RDX or TNT.

  • In India, For the manufacture of ammonium nitrate, an Industrial licence is required under the Industrial Development and Regulation Act, 1951. A license under the Ammonium Nitrate Rules, 2012 is also required for any activity related to ammonium nitrate.

Source : Indian Express
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
Aug. 7, 2020

INDO TIBETAN BORDER POLICE (ITBP)
Indo Tibetan Border Police, ITBP became the first Central Armed Police Force CAPF to have supplies from the Khadi & Village Industries Commission, KVIC.

About:

  • An agreement was signed between the ITBP and the KVIC in New Delhi. According to the agreement, total 1200 Quintal of Mustard Oil is being procured from KVIC by ITBP with a total financial implication of 1 Crore 73 Lakh 80 Thousand rupees.

  • It was decided during a meeting of the Directors General of the CAPFs held at Home Ministry in October last year that use of Terry Khadi Uniform and other items of swadeshi origin should be made available to the CAPFs.

  • The ITBP had suggested that Durrie, Blankets, Towel, Mustard Oil, Yoga Kit, Hospital Bed Sheets, Pickles etc can be purchased for jawans of the Force through KVIC.

Source : All India Radio
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
Aug. 7, 2020

NATIONAL AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE IN EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCE
Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) National Awards for excellence in Earth System Science have been announced.

About:

  • This year the Life Time Excellence Award is being awarded to Professor Ashok Sahni for his significant contribution in the field of Geology, Vertebrate Paleontology and Biostratigraphy.

  • The National Award for Ocean Science & technology is being awarded to Dr. V. V. S. S. Sarma, Senior Principal Scientist, CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography, Vishakapatnam and Dr. M. Ravichandran, Director, National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research, Goa.

  • The National Award for Atmospheric Science & technology will be presented to Dr. S. Suresh Babu, Scientist-SF, VSSC, Thiruvananthapuram.

  • The National award for Geoscience & technology will be presented to N. V. Chalapathi Rao Department of Geology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi.

  • The National Award for Ocean Technology will be presented to Dr. M. A. Atmanand, Director, National Institute of Ocean Technology, Chennai.

  • Lidita D. S. Khandeparker, Senior Scientist, CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography, Goa will receive the Anna Mani award for woman scientist.

  • The Young Researcher Awards will be presented to Dr. Indra Sekhar Sen, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur and Dr. Arvind Singh Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad for their outstanding work in Earth System Science.

Source : All India Radio
Awards
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