The Hindu – August 20, 2018

//The Hindu – August 20, 2018

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The Hindu – August 20, 2018

Today’s National Current Affairs

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1. Soon after winning the Boeing HorizonX India Innovation Challenge (BHIIC), the city-based start-ups, Merxius and ZestIOT, are busy working on their collaboration with the aviation giant. While the former is engaged in harnessing the potential of extended reality (XR), which encapsulates virtual, augmented and mixed realities, the latter is busy using Internet of Things (IOT), a network which comprises devices connected to one another by means of the Internet, to bring about an increase in airline efficiency.

Founded by Vaishali Neotia and Hasan Ali Khan in 2011, the start-up will now offer its XR platform RED for creating training programmes for experts at Boeing.

2. The Rythu Bima group life insurance scheme introduced by the Telangana government for all the landholding (pattadar) farmers in the age group of 18-59 from August 14, is proving to be an instant succour to their families in case of death of the enrolled farmer, irrespective of the cause — either natural or otherwise.
Today's National Current Affairs

3. The United Arab Emirates has formed an emergency committee under the leadership of the Emirates Red Crescent to help victims of the floods in Kerala.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has praised the support extended by the UAE amid reports that similar initiatives are being taken by Saudi Arabia, Oman and private individuals in the Gulf region.
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4. The Railways have decided to allow government organisations to transport relief material to flood-ravaged Kerala for free. The Railways have also given permission to Divisional Railway Managers to allow transportation of relief materials by other organisations without any charges, if they deem it fit.

5. With memories of the 2014 floods still fresh in their minds, scores of volunteers and groups in the Kashmir Valley have launched relief exercises for the marooned population in Kerala. Sehar Iqbal, a volunteer with the Srinagar-based Sajid Iqbal Foundation, said that her group is working with a local volunteers’ network in Mananthavady in Kerala to reach out to the affected population of Wayanad and Kodagu.

6. In the 1990s the then Prime Minister, P.V. Narasimha Rao persuaded the then Leader of the Opposition, Vajpayee to lead the Indian delegation to the UN Human Right Commission meeting in Geneva, which was then discussing issues related to India and Pakistan.

7. Chief Election Commissioner O.P. Rawat’s view that it is not possible to hold simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the State Assemblies soon is a realistic assessment of the humongous task ahead of the Election Commission before it can embark on such an ambitious venture. Mr. Rawat has, in particular, ruled out the possibility of holding elections to the Lok Sabha this December along with polls to the Assemblies of four States. In addition to the basic requirement of a legal framework under which the extension or curtailment of the term of any Assembly is constitutionally permissible, simultaneous elections would demand a massive increase in the number of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) units.

8. The Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party name is Tehreek-e-Insaf.

Today's National Current Affairs

9. In the larger scheme of things, highway markers — the reflective stickers on railings that guide traffic on Bhutan’s steep mountain roads — should not be a big issue. But when the Border Roads Organisation, which helps build Bhutanese roads under Project Dantak, decided in July to make those markers in shades of the Indian tricolour, it raised red flags among the Bhutanese on social media. (Today’s national current affairs)

10. The 2011 Census estimated 65 million people in slums, a marked shortfall from the UN-HABITAT’s 2014 estimation of 104 million.

11. Safety stock


This refers to the additional stock of goods that is held as inventory by a business in order to deal with unexpected fluctuations in demand and disruptions in the supply of goods. The safety stock can help businesses avoid the problem of stock-outs which could lead to the loss of potential sales due to the inability to fully satisfy customer demand. It can also help them avoid losing customers who might prefer to switch to a different vendor when their orders are not fulfilled. A large safety stock, however, can cause the capital of a business, which could be employed elsewhere, to be unnecessarily tied up in its inventory.

12. The Central Information Commission has directed the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to provide copies of all orders passed by the Union Government from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2015, granting remission to various prisoners across the country to A.G. Perarivalan, one of the convicts undergoing life imprisonment in the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination case.

Perarivalan had sought to know whether any set of rules governing the provisions of Article 72 & 73 of the Constitution of India as well as those under Section 432-435 Cr.PC were framed by the Central government in compliance with the decision of the Supreme Court in Union of India Vs. V. Sriharan alias Murugan and others. Directing the MHA to furnish an ‘unambiguous reply’, Central Information Commissioner (CIC) Yashovardhan Azad said the petitioner was entitled to access the information. (Today’s national current affairs)

13. More than 6,000 candidates have shown interest in 10 posts of Joint Secretaries in the Central government, offered to private sector specialists as part of the Modi government’s bid to bring in fresh talent in bureaucracy.

The Personnel Ministry had recently announced recruitment of 10 Joint Secretaries in select government departments through “lateral entry” mode, thus allowing private sector talents to join the government on contractual basis.

Today's National Current Affairs

14. The Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), India’s next indigenous fighter, is expected to make its first flight by 2032. Development work on the jet is under way.

The Indian Air Force has given land to the Defence Research and Development Organisation to set up facilities for the project.

The plan is to build on the capabilities and expertise developed during the development of the light combat aircraft (LCA) and produce a medium fifth generation fighter aircraft.

The aircraft will be powered by the same GE-414 engine on the LCA Mk-2 variant which is in the design phase.

This is India’s only fifth generation aircraft programme following the decision not to go ahead with the fifth generation project with Russia.

15. A parliamentary committee looking into the issue of mounting non-performing assets (NPAs) has asked former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan to appear before it and brief on the matter. Mr. Rajan was invited after former Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian commended him before the Parliamentary Committee on Estimates, headed by veteran BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, for identifying the NPA crisis and trying to resolve the problem.

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16. The Defence Ministry said on Sunday night that the indigenously designed SAAW (Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon) guided bombs were flight-tested from a Jaguar jet in the Chandan range in Rajasthan. In Pokhran, another indigenously developed helicopter-launched anti-tank guided missile, Helina, was tested. The DRDO Research Centre Imarat here had been involved in their development. Defence sources said the targets were hit with high precision. (Today’s national current affairs)

17. Better known for his former role as the programme director and chief designer of India’s indigenous light combat aircraft (LCA), 75-year-old Kota Harinarayana is the founder-chairman of General Aeronautics, an Indian Institute of Science (IISc) incubated start-up. The start-up designs and makes unmanned aerial vehicles or drones focused on security and civilian applications. One application is to use these drones to transport organs faster than ambulances for organ transplant procedures to save lives.

18. Bajrang Punia opens India’s gold account.

Results:65kg: Final: Bajrang Punia bt Takatani Daichi (Japan)

19. India opened its account in the 18th Asian Games with a bronze medal after Apurvi Chandela and Ravi Kumar cracked under pressure to finish third in the rifle mixed team shooting event.

20. Abbreviations:

Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF)
National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD)
Pension Fund and Regulatory Development Authority (PFRDA) 
Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA)
SAAW (Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon)

21. Things to Remember:

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan
Kerala Governor P. Sathasivam
Chief Election Commissioner O.P. Rawat
Indonesian President Joko Widodo
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

22. Improve your Vocabulary:


Meaning – Swiftly; quickly.

Example – ‘work continues apace’
Synonyms: quickly, fast, swiftly, rapidly, speedily, briskly, without delay, post-haste, expeditiously, at full speed, at full tilt

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