The Hindu – August 6, 2018

//The Hindu – August 6, 2018

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The Hindu – August 6, 2018

1) Article 35(A)
• Article 35A gives the Jammu and Kashmir State Legislature a carte blanche to decide the ‘permanent residents’ of the State and grant them special rights and privileges in State public sector jobs, acquisition of property within the State, scholarships and other public aid and welfare programmes.

2) Computer scientists and a student team from the IIT- Madras have developed the first of a family of six industry-standard microprocessors
• The initial batch of 300 chips named RISECREEK, produced under Project Shakti, have been fabricated free at Intel’s facility at Oregon, U.S., to run the Linux operating system.
• They optimise power use and compete with international units such as the Cortex A5 from Advanced RISC Machines (ARM).
• On the test bench, the IIT design fared better than the A5, measured in terms of the DMIPS per megahertz rating, scoring 1.68 against the competition’s 1.57.
• At a frequency of 350 MHz, RISECREEK can meet the demands of defence and strategic equipment such as NAVIC (Indian Regional Navigation Satellite) and Internet of Things (IoT)electronics
• The Shakti plan started in 2014 as an IIT-M initiative. Last year, the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology funded a part of the project

3) Himachal Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on August 5, 2018 participated in the concluding ceremony of the eight-day-long international Minjar fair in Chamba.

4) Andhra Pradesh has emerged the “front-runner” in the field of energy efficiency according to the States’ Energy Efficiency Preparedness Index (SEEPI) released by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) and NITI Aayog.
• The World Bank has already ranked A.P. No. 1 in Energy Efficiency Implementation Readiness, according to an official release.
• In the first edition of SEEPI, Andhra Pradesh is followed by Kerala, Punjab, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra, as per a communication sent by BEE Director-General Abhay Bhakre to the State government’s Principal Secretary (energy), Ajay Jain.

5) 96-year-old Karthiyani Amma, who was among the 40,440 people that appeared for the literacy examination conducted by the Kerala State Literacy Mission (KSLM) on August 5, 2018.
• Driven by the urge to read and write, she had enrolled herself in the KSLM’s ‘Aksharalaksham’ programme

6) The Justice Srikrishna panel’s draft Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018 proposes to amend Section 8 of the RTI Act, which allows certain types of information to be exempted from disclosure. This includes “information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual unless the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer or the appellate authority, as the case may be, is satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information.”
• The proposed amendment would instead exempt “information which relates to personal data which is likely to cause harm to a data principal, where such harm outweighs the public interest in accessing such information having due regard to the common good of promoting transparency and accountability in the functioning of the public authority.”

7) The launch of India’s second mission to the moon, Chandrayaan-2, may be delayed till January 2019
• The ambitious mission was supposed to be launched in April, and was later fixed for October. The postponement comes in the wake of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) facing quick setbacks.
• Earlier this year, the ISRO had launched GSAT-6A, a military communication satellite, but lost communication with it. Following this, the ISRO also recalled the launch of GSAT-11 from Kourou, French Guiana, for additional technical checks.
• Last September, the PSLV- C39 mission, carrying the IRNSS-1H navigation satellite, failed after the heat shield refused to open and release the satellite.
• Chandrayaan-2 will be ISRO’s first time attempt to land a rover, on the moon. The rover, costing nearly ₹800 crore, will be made to land near the yet-unexplored south pole of the moon.

8) In possibly the first-of-its-kind move, the Uttar Pradesh government has given its in-principle approval to bring man-animal conflict under listed disasters in the State Disaster Response Fund.

9) The Ebola virus returned to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) just days after the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced, on July 24, that the Ebola outbreak had ended there. Congo says it has recorded a fresh outbreak in North Kivu province — the tenth instance in the country since the virus was discovered in 1976. At least four samples have tested positive and the majority of cases are in Mangina, about 30 km from Beni city, a densely populated area.

10) The lacunae in the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, require to be addressed to improve road safety, ensure orderly use of vehicles and expand public transport.
• The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, passed by the Lok Sabha last year, seeks to do this, but it has now run into opposition in the Rajya Sabha because of its perceived shift of power from the States to the Centre.

11) Peak-end rule:
• This refers to a phenomenon wherein people tend to judge an experience primarily based on how they felt during the most intense point of the experience and the eventual outcome. In other words, people’s judgment of an experience does not depend on the average level of pleasure or displeasure that they were exposed to during the period of the experience. The peak-end rule, which has been used to explain the irrationality involved in various forms of human behaviour, and applied to influence such behaviour, was first studied by American psychologists Daniel Kahneman, Barbara Fredrickson and their colleagues in 1993.

12) Among states which received the highest FDI from NRIs in the last three years, Maharashtra comes first and Kerela second. Delhi, Gujarat and Telangana follow.

13) Jammu and Kashmir is gearing up for simultaneous local body elections to the posts of panch and sarpanch. A panch is an elected member of a village ward and a sarpanch is the head of a cluster of wards or a village. Earlier the panchs used to elect the sarpanchs. This time, there will be two votes — one for the panch and the other for the sarpanch

14) President Ram Nath Kovind has given assent to a Bill to deter economic offenders from fleeing the country. The Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018, will stop big offenders such as Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi.

15) People belonging to the Other Backward Classes will soon be able to approach a new National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) with Constitutional status to get their grievances redressed
• The panel that will come into being following the passage of the 123rd Constitutional Amendment Bill by the Lok Sabha a few days ago will be able to enforce the safeguards provided to the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBCs) and solve their grievances.

16) Russia has appointed movie star Steven Seagal as a special envoy to the U.S.

17) Iran acquired five new commercial aircraft on Sunday, a day before the U.S. begins restoring sanctions that had been lifted under the 2015 nuclear accord. The arrival of the ATR72­600 airplanes at Tehran’s Mehrabad International Airport represented perhaps the last benefits Iran will see under the nuclear deal.

18) The government will soon invite fresh bids for 100% stake sale in Pawan Hans by issuing an addendum to the disinvestment document as ONGC is ready to sell its entire stake in the company
• Helicopter services provider Pawan Hans is a joint venture between the government, which holds 51% stake, and state­owned ONGC, which owns the remaining 49% shareholding. Pawans Hans has a fleet of 46 choppers

19) The closure of the Thoothukudi facility of Sterlite Copper has put global suppliers of copper concentrates in a spot
• Copper concentrate is a key raw material used to produce copper. India’s copper reserves are scarce and the mining is restricted only to Hindustan Copper, a public sector undertaking.
• The PSU can cater to only 4% of the country’s total copper production.
• Sterlite Copper (which belongs to the Vedanta group) and Birla Copper (a division of Hindalco Industries of the Aditya Birla group) rely fully on imported copper concentrate for their requirements
• Copper concentrate is being imported from countries (with rich copper reserves) such as Chile, Indonesia, Australia, Peru, Canada and the like. Sterlite and Birla Copper together import around 2.5 million tonnes concentrate, it is gleaned.

20) The government implemented a 25% safeguard duty on solar cell imports from China and Malaysia for the period between July 30, 2018 and July 29, 2019.
• Thereafter, the duty is to decrease to 20% for the six months following that period, and further to 15% in the subsequent six months

21) Carolina Marin claimed a slice of history as the Spaniard became the first woman to win three badminton World titles with an emphatic victory in the World Badminton Championship over P.V. Sindhu of India on August 05, 2018.
• Meanwhile, Kento Momota became the first Japanese man to win the badminton World Championships. The 23­year­old convincingly defeated China’s Shi Yuqi 21­11, 21­13.

22) Andrea Dovizioso, on a Ducati, held on in a thrilling finale to win the Czech MotoGP in Brno on August 5, 2018. Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo, also riding a Ducati, was second with defending World champion and series leader Marc Marquez (Honda) third

23) A high school science teacher from Cincinnati, Ohio, has rowed solo across the Atlantic Ocean, setting a record for a west­to­east crossing (38 days, six hours and 49 minutes).

24) Things to Remember:
• Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh – Pema Khandu
• Chief Minister of Rajasthan – Vasundhara Raje
• Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh – Jai Ram Thakur
• Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh – N. Chandrababu Naidu
• Chief Minister of Haryana – Manohar Lal Khattar
• Central Information Commissioner – M. Sridhar Acharyulu
• Central Information Commissioner – M. Sridhar Acharyulu
• British Prime Minister – Theresa May
• French President – Emmanuel Macron
• Chinese Defence Minister – Wei Fenghe
• Venezuelan President – Nicolás Maduro

25) Improve your Vocabulary:
• Cynicism
 Noun
 Meaning – an inclination to believe that people are motivated purely by self-interest; scepticism.
 Example – “public cynicism about politics”
 Synonyms: scepticism, doubt, distrust, mistrust, doubtfulness, suspicion, disbelief, incredulity, unbelief, scoffing