Daily Current Affairs - 22nd Aug 2018

Asian Games: Saurabh Chaudhary wins India's first shooting gold; Sanjeev Rajput lifts silver

  • India bagged 5 more medals at the Asian Games with three of them in shooting. Debutant teenager Saurabh Chaudhary clinched India's first shooting gold of the 18th Asian Games in men's 10m air pistol collecting a Games record score of 240.7. Another shooter Abhishek Verma settled for a bronze in the same event.
  • In the Men's 50-metres Rifle 3 Positions event, Sanjeev Rajput won a Silver.
  • Indian wrestler Divya Kakran claimed bronze in women's 68 kg freestyle event.
  • India also clinched a maiden Asian Games bronze medal in Sepaktakraw(kick volleyball).
  • India is currently placed seventh in the tally with 10 medals, comprising 3 Gold, 3 Silver and 4 Bronze. China with 57 medals, including 29 Gold, continues to top the table. Japan is second in the tally with 46 medals.

Centre unveils draft scheme for extending affordable air travel programme UDAN to international circuits

  • The Centre has unveiled a draft scheme for extending affordable air travel programme UDAN(Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) to international circuits, with state governments identifying the routes for operation.
  • The draft International Air Connectivity (IAC) scheme envisages to increase international ticketing to 20 crore by 2027. The scheme has proposed to set up an International Air Connectivity Fund (IACF) -- a dedicated fund for providing subsidy support under the scheme.It will be created through the contributions of state governments.
  • State governments will identify the routes to be connected, and airline operators will assess demand on the identified routes and submit proposals for providing connectivity.
  • UDAN scheme was launched in 2016 to make air travel affordable for people through subsidised ticket rates and to provide air connectivity to smaller towns.

Centre rules out total ban on firecrackers

  • The Centre has ruled out a national ban on firecrackers and suggested the production of “green crackers,” community fireworks events in major cities and a freeze on the production of series crackers or laris as alternative measures to curb pollution during Diwali.
  • The court was hearing a bunch of applications seeking a complete nationwide ban on the use, manufacture, licensing, sale, resale or distribution of firecrackers and sparklers to combat pollution on an emergency basis.

Chandrayaan-I data confirms presence of ice on Moon

  • Using data from the Chandrayaan-I spacecraft NASA said that scientists have found frozen water deposits in the darkest and coldest parts of the Moon's polar regions.These ice deposits are patchily distributed and could possibly be ancient.
  • Most of the new found water ice lies in the shadows of craters near the poles, where the warmest temperatures never reach above minus 156 degrees Celsius. This is due to the very small tilt of the Moon's rotation axis, as sunlight never reaches these regions.
  • Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft was 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.

Eid-ul-Azha, festival of sacrifice being celebrated on 22nd August

  • Eid-ul-Azha, the festival of sacrifice is being celebrated across the country. The faithful will offer Eid prayers in Eidgahs and mosques. Eid-ul-Azha is celebrated to commemorate the willingness of Prophet Hazrat Ibrahim to sacrifice his only son in obedience of God's command.

First-ever IAF-RMAF joint air exercise begins in Malaysia

  • The first-ever joint air exercise involving the Indian Air Force and the the Royal Malaysian Air Force commenced at Subang Air Base in Malaysia. India has been eyeing a foothold at the strategically important Subang Air Base. The exercise seeks to deepen defence and military ties between the two countries.
  • Malaysia:
  • PrimeMinister: Mahathir bin Mohamad
  • Capital:Kuala Lumpur
  • Currency: Malaysian ringgit

Govt allocates over 89 thousand ton additional food grains for Kerala

  • The Union government has allocated over 89 thousand tonnes of additional food grains to Kerala for flood victims which is apart from 1 Lakh 18 thousand tonnes of food grains that has been provided under the National Food Security scheme. Nearly 80 tonnes of pulses will also be sent everyday to provide relief to the affected people.
  • 65 metric tonnes of essential emergency drugs for flood situation has been sent.
  • The National Centre for Disease Control has issued several health advisories to support the State in meeting with post-flood public health management when the threat of water borne, vector borne and viral hepatitis diseases will become potent.
  • Food and Public Distribution Minister Ram Vilas Paswan

ILO report flags wage inequality in India

  • The International Labour Organization in its India Wage Report, stated that real average daily wages in India almost doubled in the first two decades after economic reforms, but low pay and wage inequality remains a serious challenge to inclusive growth.
  • It has called for stronger implementation of minimum wage laws and strengthening of the frameworks for collective bargaining by workers.
  • In 2011-12, the average wage in India was about Rs. 247 rupees a day, almost double the 1993-94 figure of Rs. 128.
  • Daily wages in urban areas (Rs. 384) also remain more than twice as high as those in rural areas (Rs. 175).
  • The gender wage gap decreased from 48% in 1993-94 to 34% in 2011-12, but still remains high by international standards. The average wages of casual rural female workers was the lowest, at just Rs. 104 a day.
  • International Labour Organization
  • Director-General: Guy Ryder
  • Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland

Kerala to get cyclone warning centre: IMD

  • The Centre has proposed to set up a Cyclone Warning Centre in Thiruvananthapuram in the wake of tropical cyclones and severe weather events in Kerala and Karnataka coasts. The cyclone centre is expected to come up in another one month.
  • The ministry is also planning to set up another C-Band Doppler Weather Radar at Mangalore by end of 2019 which would cover the northern parts of Kerala. At present, there are two Doppler Weather Radars in the state -- at Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram.
  • With these three radars, the entire state would be covered for monitoring of rainfall and severe weather events, and adequately warn the people well in advance.
  • At present, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has cyclone warning centres in Chennai, Bhubaneswar, Vishakhapatnam, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Mumbai.

NCRB to track plaints on sexual violence

  • The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) would be the designated nodal agency for monitoring the complaints received on a government portal that records child pornography and sexual violence videos.
  • The NCRB would coordinate with service providers such as Facebook, YouTube and WhatsApp and ask them to block malicious videos and contents.

New Chhattisgarh capital to be named Atal Nagar in memory of late PM

  • Chhattisgarh government has decided to re-name state's new capital city of Naya Raipur as “Atal Nagar” in memory of late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. It has also been decided to develop an “Atal Memorial” in an area of five acres at state’s new capital.
  • The state government has also decided to name a battalion of state police force as “Pokharan battalio
  • Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Raman Singh

No ATM to be replenished with cash after 9 pm from next year

  • In a notification, the Union Home Ministry said that no ATM will be replenished with cash after 9 PM in cities and 6 PM in rural areas from next year. The deadline for putting money in the ATMs located in Naxal-hit areas is 4 PM.
  • It further stated that private cash handling agencies must collect money from the banks in the first half of the day and transport notes only in armoured vehicles.
  • The new Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) will come into effect from February 8, 2019 in view of the increase in incidents of attacks on cash vans, cash vaults, ATM frauds and other internal frauds leading to increased sense of insecurity.
  • There are over 8,000 privately owned cash vans plying across the country, operated by non-bank private agencies, and they handle over 15,000 crore rupees daily on behalf of banks.

North, South Korea agree to close some guard posts along their border

  • North and South Korea have agreed to close some guard posts along their border on a trial basis. Both nations withdrew around 10 guard posts as part of confidence-building measures following the landmark summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the South Korean President Moon Jae-in in April.
  • The Demilitarized Zone has divided the peninsula since the end of the Korean War in 1953 is one of the most fortified places on earth, with the areas on either side of it bristling with minefields and barbed-wire fences.

President to inaugurate International Buddhist Conclave in New Delhi on Aug 23

  • President Ram Nath Kovind will inaugurate the International Buddhist Conclave in New Delhi on 23rd August. The conclave themed as, Buddha Path - The Living Heritage aims to showcase Buddhist Heritage in India and boost tourism.
  • Japan would be the partner Country for this year's Buddhist conclave.
  • The biennial conclave will have a spiritual dimension, an academic theme and a diplomatic and business component to attract investments in developing world class infrastructure at Buddhist sites
  • Delegates from 29 countries participating in the International Buddhist Conclave including US, UK, Russia, Japan, Germany and France.

Russian hackers targeted U.S. Senate, think tanks: Microsoft

  • Microsoft Corp charged that hackers linked to Russia's government sought to launch cyber attacks on the U.S. Senate and conservative American think tanks. It alleged that Russia is broadening attacks ahead of November's US congressional elections.
  • The company said it has shut down 84 fake websites in 12 court-approved actions over the past two years.
  • Russia has repeatedly dismissed allegations that it has used hackers to influence U.S. elections and political opinion.

Shane Warne to come out with autobiography in October

  • Spin legend Shane Warne will talk about his extraordinary cricketing career and his life off the pitch besides unveiling several unknown facts in his autobiography “No Spin” which will be published this October.
  • Shane Warne is widely regarded as one of the finest bowlers in the history of the game. He played his first Test match in 1992, and took over 1,000 international wickets. He also captained the Rajasthan Royals to victory in the IPL in 2008

Supreme Court scraps NOTA option for Rajya Sabha elections

  • The Supreme Court of India ruled that there cannot be a None of the Above (NOTA) option for MLAs voting in the Rajya Sabha elections. A bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra set aside the Election Commission’s (EC) January 2014 circular, allowing the NOTA option.
  • The bench underlined that the NOTA option should only be exercised in direct elections.

Trade deficit is greater concern than declining rupee: NITI chief

  • NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar said that he was more concerned about the rising trade deficit than the falling rupee, and called for efforts to push exports.
  • Mr. Kumar further said that economic policymaking should not focus only on fiscal deficit number, arguing that large economies like USA, China and European Union do not give much importance to fiscal deficit.

Turkey initiates dispute complaint with WTO against US

  • 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. It requested dispute consultations on claims that the doubling of duties on steel and aluminium were inconsistent with international trade rules.
  • The 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.

UAE offers Rs. 700 cr. in aid to Kerala

  • The UAE government has promised Rs. 700 crore assistance for Kerala’s post-flood reconstruction effort even as the State sought a Rs. 2,600 crore special package from the Centre to cope with the deluge that has left 228 dead and displaced over 14 lakh people.
  • Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan had communicated the decision to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • The Centre has released Rs. 600 crore announced during the visits of Mr. Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

VVS Laxman pens autobiography to hit stands in Nov

  • Westland Publications announced the release of the former Indian cricketer VVS Laxman's autobiography titled, "281 and Beyond". It will hit the stands on November 20. The title has been borrowed from the Hyderabad stylist’s fabulous series-turning innings of 281 against Australia at the Eden Gardens in 2001. Laxman announced his retirement from international cricket in 2012, played 134 Tests, amassing 8,781 runs at an average of 45.97. He scored 17 centuries and 56 half centuries.
  • He also played in 86 ODIs for an aggregate of 2338 and average of 30.76 in the shorter format.

WhatsApp CEO gets India’s wish list on fake messages

  • Stepping up efforts to clamp down on the spread of fake messages through WhatsApp, the Union government asked the instant messaging platform to implement three measures in India: set up a local corporate entity; appoint a grievance officer in India; and find a solution to trace the origin of a fake message.
  • This was conveyed to the newly appointed WhatsApp CEO, Chris Daniels, during a meeting with Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
  • He stressed that the Facebook-owned company needed to comply with Indian laws and set up a local corporate entity.

World Senior Citizen Day 2018 observed on 21st of August every year

  • The World Senior Citizens Day is celebrated on 21st of August every year. It was first proclaimed on 14th of December in the year 1990, by the United Nations General Assembly. The day is acknowledged to raise awareness about the factors and issues affecting older people, such as deterioration with age and to examine issues that affect their lives such as abuse of elderly people.
  • It is also a day to recognize and appreciate the contributions that older people make to society.

World's first 4D printing for ceramics developed

  • Scientists have successfully developed the world's first 4D printing for ceramics, that can be used to create complex, shape-changing objects. Scientists made use of the elastic energy stored in the stretched precursors for shape morphing. When the stretched ceramic precursors are released, they undergo self-reshaping. After heat treatment, the precursors turn into ceramics.
  • Ceramic has a high melting point, so it is difficult to use conventional laser printing to make ceramics.
  • 4D printing is conventional 3D printing combined with the additional element of time as the fourth dimension, where the printed objects can re-shape or self-assemble themselves over time with external stimuli, such as mechanical force, temperature, or a magnetic field.