Daily Current Affairs - 16th Sep 2018

CCEA approves continuation of Capacity Development Scheme

  • Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved continuation of Capacity Development Scheme for period 2017-18 to 2019-20. It is ongoing Central Sector Scheme of Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation (MoSPI).
  • Capacity Development Scheme’s objective is to augment infrastructural, technical as well as manpower resources for making available credible and timely official statistics for policy makers and public at large.

Erratic monsoon rainfall in India partly due to air pollution: Study

  • According to recent study by scientists from IIT Kanpur, erratic behavior of monsoon rainfall, including phenomenon of concentrated heavy rainfall on small number of days in localized area can be attributed to the rising air pollution, especially the increase in suspended particles in the atmosphere. The study has found that high pollution levels are not just changing cloud shape and size and depth, but also its microstructure.
  • Aerosols are extremely important for cloud formation. In absence of aerosols, no clouds can be formed and consequently no rainfall will take place. This is for the first time, study has given details of the exact changes that take place in clouds over India as result of increase in aerosols.

EyeROV TUNA: India’s first underwater robotic drone handed over to NPOL

  • India’s first underwater robotic drone EyeROV TUNA was handed over to Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL) of Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO). This underwater drone will be used by NPOL for research and development activities which in turn would result in commercial product for defence purposes.
  • EyeROV TUNA has been designed and developed indigenously by Kochi-based start-up IROV Technologies Pvt Ltd (EyeROV). It is designed to perform visual inspection and surveys of submerged structures up to depth of 100 metres.

Festival of Nuakhai celebrated in Odisha

  • The festival of Nuakhai is being celebrated in Odisha. During this harvest festival of western Odisha, new produce Nabannis offered to presiding deities. After offering the Nabann, people relish different types of delicacies prepared from the newly harvested crop.
  • The Nuakhai Juhar is a major ritual of the festival, during which greetings are exchanged with friends, relatives, and well-wishers. The origins of the festival are said to date all the way back to the Vedic ages, the first records of its existence are believed to be from the 12th century when a certain Raja Ramai Deo saw agriculture as an important entity in maintaining the cohesiveness of a societal arrangement.

Government launches Dairy Processing & Infrastructure Development Fund Scheme

  • Union Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare has launched Dairy Processing & Infrastructure Development Fund (DIDF) Scheme with an outlay of Rs. 10881 crore. Under this fund, first installment of Rs. 440 crore was given to National Dairy Development Board (NDDB).
  • Under this scheme, eligible milk organizations will be provided financial assistance in the form of a loan at 6.5% interest for building an efficient milk procurement system and other dairy processing infrastructure. This loan will be reimbursed over period of 10 years. It also has provision of interest subsidy on loans.

Hyderabad International Airport: World no 1 Airport in 5-15 Million Passengers Per Annum category

  • Hyderabad International Airport (Rajiv Gandhi International Airport) was awarded Airports Council International Airport Service Quality World no.1 airport award in the 5-15 Million Passengers Per Annum (MPPA) category. This is for the second consecutive year Hyderabad airport has won this award.
  • It was adjudged World no 1 Airport in this category earlier in 2016. The award was bestowed in recognition of airport’s relentless efforts towards service excellence and customer delight. It is sixth busiest airport by passenger traffic in India.

Indigenously developed weapon system ‘MPATGM’ successfully tested

  • Indigenously developed weapon system Man Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM), was successfully flight tested for the second time from the Ahmednagar range, Maharashtra. All the mission objectives have been met.
  • The two missions have been successfully flight tested for different ranges including the maximum range capability.

International Day of Democracy: 15 September

  • The International Day of Democracy is observed globally on 15th September. It provides an opportunity to review the state of democracy in the world. The theme for International Day of Democracy for 2018 is 'Democracy under Strain: Solutions for a Changing World'.
  • The Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly through a resolution in 2007 to strengthen national programmes devoted to the promotion and consolidation of democracy. The day was observed for the first time in 2008.

NASA, ULA Launch Mission to Track Earth's Changing Ice

  • NASA launched its Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite-2, known as ICESat-2, which will use an extremely precise laser to collect measurement data to track the Earth's shrinking polar ice from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
  • The laser, known as ATLAS (Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System), splits into six beams and fires 10,000 pulses per second to collect very precise measurements for scientists to analyze. The ATLAS will focus on two areas: changes to the earth's ice sheet and sea ice thickness change.

National Engineer's Day: 15 September

  • The National Engineers Day (NED) is celebrated every year on September 15 in India as a remarkable tribute to the greatest Indian Engineer Bharat Ratna Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya, who was born on this day in 1861 in a village called Muddenahalli in Karnataka.
  • He was not only known for his contributions in the field of engineering but was also called the “precursor of economic planning in India”, according to the Institution of Engineers India (IEI). It stated that he is best known for his discourse “Planned Economy for India and Reconstructing India” which is the first of its kind to describe the country’s planning efforts.

Power Ministry launches Chiller Star Labelling Program on energy efficiency in chillers

  • Union Ministry of Power has launched Chiller Star Labelling Program to encourage deployment of energy efficient chiller systems in the country. It was launched as part of occasion of 24th World Ozone Day and 31st Anniversary of Montreal Protocol, which will be observed on 16th September 2018.
  • The program was formulated by Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE). It envisages providing star rating in terms of its energy performance. Initially, the program has been launched on voluntary basis and will be valid up to 31st December 2020.
  • Chillers are used extensively for space conditioning of buildings and for industrial process cooling applications.

Rajasthan’s first lion safari inaugurated at Nahargarh Biological Park

  • Rajasthan’s first lion safari was inaugurated at Nahargarh Biological Park. The park is located on Delhi-Jaipur National Highway in the Aravalli foothills, nearly 12 kilometers from state capital Jaipur (known as Pink City). It will be open for visitors from October 2018.
  • The park was inaugurated by Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje in June 2016. Lions in this park were brought from Junagarh, Gujarat under an exchange programme. The park will serve for breeding lions and also centre of attraction for tourists.

SAFF Cup 2018: Maldives beat India 2-1 to lift trophy

  • Maldives have lifted the 2018 South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Cup. In the final at the Bangabandhu Stadium in Dhaka, they defeated defending champions India 2-1. At half-time, the winners led One-nil. The win for Maldives comes 10 years after their first SAFF Cup title in 2008.
  • Seven-time champions India had started as favorites in the summit clash. The Indian team, comprising mostly under-23 players, was the only unbeaten side in the tournament.

Secondary Steel Sector Awards given for contribution to National Economy

  • Union Ministry of Steel recently for the first time gave away Secondary Steel sector awards to 26 mini steel companies in recognition of their contribution to the national economy. These awards were given in order to enhance global competitiveness of companies involved in secondary steel sector.
  • The secondary steel sector is critical and important segment of market spanning from construction, cold rolled products, machine tools, pipes, stainless steel, galvanized and color coated steel as well as exports. It contributes to more than half of the total steel production in the country.
  • India is 3rd largest steel producer in the world. Steel contributes to over 2% to India’s GDP.

Union Minister Smriti Irani presents ‘Shilp Guru’ & National Award to Master craft persons

  • Union Minister of Textiles Smriti Zubin Irani presented ‘Shilp Guru’ and National Award to Master craft persons at a function held at Raipur, the capital of Chhattisgarh.
  • Eight ‘Shilp guru’ and 25 National awards were presented for the year 2016. Shilp Guru’ is the highest award in the Handicraft sector in India. The handicraft export has witnessed a year-on-year growth and in the last four years, handicraft items worth Rs. 1 lakh 26 thousand crores had been exported from India.

Vijaya: Indian Coast Guard commissions indigenously built patrol vessel

  • Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has commissioned indigenously built patrol vessel ICGS Vijaya in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. It is second in the series of 98 m offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) commissioned by ICG.
  • ICGS Vijaya has been designed and built indigenously by Larsen & Toubro (L&T). On joining ICG fleet, ICGS Vijaya will be based at Paradip, Odisha. It will be manned by 12 officers and 91 men. It will be deployed extensively for Exclusive Economic Zone surveillance and other duties as enshrined in Coast Guard charter.