1. Wednesday, 15 August 2018 – Indian 72nd Independence Day
On Independence day Indian Flag is hoisted on Red Fort by the Prime Monister of India.
2. Over 300 Army officers on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court against persecution by the court and civilian agencies, like the CBI, for doing their duty in the insurgency-hit areas of Jammu and Kashmir and the northeastern States.
The petition, filed by senior officers at the level of Commanders, comes shortly after the court directed a CBI SIT to file chargesheets, in a time-bound manner, against Army officers involved in the Manipur extra-judicial killings, in which innocents were allegedly killed after being branded as insurgents. The court is monitoring the CBI probe and cases number up to over 1,500.
3. Karnataka has been allowed to divert 2.18 tmcft of water at the proposed Bhandura dam and 1.72 tmcft at the Kalasa dam for providing water to North Karnataka, according to a recommendation by the Mahadayi Water Tribunal (MWT). Goa has historically been opposed to such a diversion on the grounds that it needed this water for its own purposes as well maintaining ecological flow.
The three-member body, headed by Justice J.M. Panchal, submitted its report to Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday afternoon. The tribunal was constituted in 2010 to equitably allot Mahadayi water among Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra.
4. In a “giant leap” towards a litigant-friendly court system, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on Tuesday heralded the launch of a host of smartphone apps to help litigants, including convicts, from all parts of the country file cases and even make e-payments to courts.
5. Australia has lifted a ban on adoption of children from India, imposed eight years ago after a major trafficking scandal was exposed. The easing of restrictions follows protracted talks between the governments of the two countries for the past two years.
6. Operant conditioning
This refers to a form of learning wherein certain forms of voluntary behaviour are either encouraged or discouraged through the appropriate use of rewards and punishment. Such learning happens because of the establishment of a link between a certain behaviour and stimuli through the use of deliberate techniques. The term was coined by the psychologist B.F. Skinner in his book, The Behaviour of Organisms. Operant conditioning is different from Pavlovian conditioning, which is focussed on influencing the involuntary responses of organisms to stimuli.
7. Major Aditya Kumar who fired on a stone-throwing mob and rifleman Aurangzeb who was abducted and killed by terrorists, both in Jammu and Kashmir, were selected for the Shaurya Chakra on the eve of Independence Day. Sepoy Vrahma Pal Singh was selected for the Kirti Chakra posthumously for his act of bravery in a counter-insurgency operation.
In addition, all six women officers, who completed a global circumnavigation trip on sailing vessel INSV Tarini early this year, have been selected for Nao Sena medals (Gallantry).
The President has approved 131 gallantry awards to armed forces personnel and members of paramilitary forces, which include one Kirti Chakra, 20 Shaurya Chakras, 96 Sena Medals (Gallantry), 11 Nao Sena Medals (Gallantry) and three Vayu Sena Medals (Gallantry).
The President has also awarded 26 Mention-in-Despatches to Army personnel for their significant contributions in different military operations.
8. In a first ever exercise after Independence, the Ministry of Defence, in consultation with the Indian Army, has decided to reform the Indian Army in a planned manner… This restructuring is aimed at enhancing the combat capability of the Army in a manner that the officers, Junior Commissioned Officers (JCO) and other ranks (OR) will be used for improving the operational preparedness,” the Defence Minister said in the address on Tuesday.
Ms. Sitharaman said the first phase of the reforms involved redeployment and restructuring of approximately 57,000 posts of officers, JCOs, ORs and civilians.
The major reforms include optimisation of signals establishments, restructuring of repair echelons, redeployment of ordnance echelons, better utilisation of supply and transport echelons and animal transport units besides closure of military Farms and Army postal establishments in peace locations.
9. An investigation officer handling the ₹13,578 crore Punjab National Bank fraud case, inspector D. Damodaran, is among the 30 CBI officers who have been selected for medals for distinguished and meritorious services on Independence Day.
The Police Medal for Meritorious Service goes to SPs A.T. Duraikumar, T. Rajah Balaji and Pramod Kumar Manjhi; Deputy SPs Sanjay Dubey, Amit Srivastava, Shobha Dutta, Naresh Kumar Sharma and Mukesh Kumar; inspectors Anand Sarup, Jai Raj Katiyar and U.T. Prakasan; SI Thari Narayan Sharma; and ASIs Bhani Singh Rathore and Pramod Kumar Yati. Head constables Kishor Ram Mundel and Sathiyan Kuppuswamy; constables Piyush Mishra, Raj Kumar Rana, Kailash Prasad Gurjar, Y.S. Narayana and Balbir Singh; office superintendent Bhanwar Singh; and stenographer Devender Kapoor have won the medal for meritorious service.
10. Two CRPF jawans from Jammu and Kashmir, who were killed in action in Pulwama last year, were posthumously awarded the President’s Police Medal for Gallantry (PPMG), the country’s highest police gallantry medal, on the eve of Independence Day.
CRPF constable Sharief-ud-din Ganaie from Budgam and head constable Mohd Tafail from Rajouri district of J&K were killed fighting three terrorists who had stormed the under-construction CRPF camp at Lethpora in Pulwama on December 31, 2017.
11. A 23-year-old Nepali World Cup labourer in Qatar died on Tuesday while working at the project site of Al Wakrah Stadium, one of the venues for the 2022 tournament, officials said. This is thought to be the first reported death at a World Cup venue since the death of British worker Zac Cox in January 2017.
12. The government on Tuesday proposed a new transaction structure for the bid process for greenfield airports, switching from a revenue share model to a fixed fee per passenger to be paid to the concessioning authority.
The Ministry for Civil Aviation is betting that the proposed change to the bid parameters would help ensure affordability of airport services for passengers as well as predictability of revenue for the winning bidder.
The Maximum Blended Aeronautical Yield (MBAY) in terms of rupee per passenger would be determined by the concessioning authority at the beginning of the tender period. This fee has been fixed at ₹400 per passenger for the financial year 2018-2019. The bids would however differ for each airport in line with the projected traffic, financial returns and risk profile.
13. The Multi Commodity Exchange of India (MCX), the country’s largest commodity exchange in terms of market share, will commence trading in rubber futures contracts from August 16.
14. 2020 Olympics Venue – Tokyo
15. Asian Games gold medallist athlete Hakkam Singh Bhattal, 64, passed away at Sangrur on Tuesday.
Hakkam won 20km race walk gold at the 1978 Asiad at Bangkok.
The Dhyan Chand awardee had also served as Havaldar in the 6 Sikh regiment.
Union Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore had sanctioned financial assistance of ₹10 lakh to the athlete, while Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh helped him with ₹5 lakh.
16. Under the Mukhyamantri Anusuchit Jati Evam Janjati Chhatravas Yojana Scheme, those who qualify in the Bihar Public Services Commission (Preliminary) exam would be given ₹50,000, while for clearing the preliminary test of the Union Public Service Commission ₹1 lakh would be given.
Money will be transferred directly into accounts of the eligible candidates and the entire amount will be paid in a single instalment.
17. Winners of Gallantry Awards Independence Day 2018
SEP VRAHMA PAL SINGH (POSTHUMOUS)
LT COL ARJUN SHARMA
MAJ PAWAN GAUTAM
MAJ ADITYA KUMAR
MAJ PAWAN KUMAR
CAPT KANINDER PAUL SINGH
CAPT VARMA JAYESH RAJESH
NB SUB ANIL KUMAR DHAYIA
NB SUB VIJAY KUMAR YADAV
HAV KUL BAHADUR THAPA
HAV JAWEED AHMAD BHAT, SM
GNR RANJIT SINGH
RFN AURANGZAB (POSTHUMOUS)
RFN JAIPRAKASH ORAON (POSTHUMOUS)
RFN RATHVA LILESH BHAI
Karnataka Control of Organised Crime Act (KCOCA)
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)
VVPATs (Voter-verifiable Paper Audit Trail machines)
EVMs (electronic voting machines)
Maximum Blended Aeronautical Yield (MBAY)
Multi Commodity Exchange of India (MCX)
19. Things to remember:
Chief Election Commissioner O.P. Rawat
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar
Defence Minister – Nirmala Sitharaman
Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to India – Saud Al Sati
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Minister for Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu
20. Improve your Vocabulary:
Meaning – Not perturbed or concerned.
Example – ‘Kenneth seems unperturbed by the news’
Synonyms: untroubled, undisturbed, unworried, unconcerned, unmoved, unflustered, unruffled, unshaken, undismayed