Latest Current Affairs For Competitive Exams 2018
1. NRIs help draft a ‘People’s Manifesto’
The Hindu- Latest Current Affairs 2018
With the political battle heating up in Telangana in the run-up to the Assembly poll, a group of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) based in the United States has taken it upon itself to come up with a ‘People’s Manifesto’ through public consultations and debates with experts and citizens back home.
The group, led by Ravi Mayreddy, a Philadelphia-based NRI from Telangana, has been running a campaign called ‘Dial Your Village’ (DYV) for the past three years.
Under this campaign, every week, a Telangana village is contacted over phone from the U.S. and its opinions sought on a range of development issues. Sarpanches and experts are brought on board for a better understanding of issues and formulation of suggestions for better governance. The ‘People’s Manifesto’ is a new initiative under the DYV campaign.
2. A PSLVlaunch on Sunday night will put two earth observation satellites from the U.K. to space
There is no Indian satellite on this flight. PSLV-C42 will be the first fully commercial trip of the year, breaking a five-month-long lull for the Indian Space Research Organisation.
ISRO did not make any launch post-April 12, after it put replacement navigation satellite, IRNSS-1I to space on the PSLV-C41 rocket.
A few days after that, it recalled its GSAT-11 from the South American launch port of Kourou and weeks before it was due for a launch ISRO Chairman K. Sivan said the interval was not connected with the satellite recall but for the sake of readiness of the two customer satellites.
The countdown to the launch began at 1.08 p.m. on Saturday. The PSLV is being flown in its core-alone format, minus the external boosters. The two satellites together weigh nearly 889 kg; this is the optimum payload that a core-alone PSLV can launch, Dr. Sivan said.
PSLV-C42 is scheduled for launch at 10.08 p.m. from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. It will lift NovaSAR and S1-4 to a sun-synchronous (‘pole-to-pole’) orbit 583 km from Earth. The entire flight up to the release of the satellites is designed to happen within 17.5 minutes.
The satellites are owned by Surrey Satellite Technologies Ltd., which signed a commercial launch contract with Antrix Corporation, an ISRO release said.
3. PM launches cleanliness campaign
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the “Swachhata Hi Seva” (“cleanliness is service”) campaign on Saturday, and took up a broom to clean a school named after Dalit icon B.R. Ambedkar. Union Ministers and BJP leaders and workers participated in similar exercises across the country.
He launched the “cleanliness is service” exercise to push for greater public participation in one of his government’s centrepiece programmes launched on October 2, 2015. It will continue till Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary next month.
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4. Despite boycott threat, J&K civic polls to be held in Oct.
These will be held in four phases; the elections were previously held in 2005
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Electoral Officer Shaleen Kabra on Saturday announced the dates of elections to the urban local bodies in the State despite a boycott threat by the regional parties.
5. Bhutan PM’s party ousted in election
In a major upset verdict in the first round of polls in Bhutan, incumbent Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay’s People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has been ousted from the race, and will not run in the second and final round next month. Instead, the Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) headed by Dr. Lotay Tshering, and the Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) will face off on October 18th. The DNT won the highest number of votes.[latest current affairs]
6. Submarine plan moves forward after delays
The Navy’s mega-deal for procuring six advanced conventional submarines under Project-75I and processed through the Strategic Partnership (SP) model is moving forward after being held up due to policy clarity. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has initiated the process to finalise specific guidelines for the project, estimated to cost over ₹60,000 crore.
The communication details the desired project outcomes under broad heads like creation of industrial eco-system, the range and scope of technology transfer, indigenisation content, indigenisation of the pressure hull steel, research and development and skilling roadmaps which have detailed enclosures.
The foreign OEMs have been asked to indicate compliance for each para and sub-paras listed and also for all the enclosures along with their observations and remarks and submit their responses by September 11.
“The meetings with MoD are likely to be scheduled in the week commencing September 17. Firm dates and timings will be promulgated at short notice,” the communication reads.
Four foreign OEMs have responded to the Navy’s Request for Information issued last year. However, further progress got held up as clarity was required on some aspects of the SP model. The contenders are Naval Group of France, Rosoboronexport Rubin Design Bureau of Russia, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems of Germany and Saab group of Sweden.
From the Indian private sector only two companies, Larsen and Toubro and Reliance Defence, have shipyards and hence eligible to participate in the tender. Mazagon Dock Ltd, a defence public sector undertaking and the only Indian shipyard with experience of manufacturing submarines, is also expected to be considered. Get all the journal awareness Q&A, latest current affairs, and crack the examination with our support.
7. 37 lakh new mothers receive cash benefits
Nearly 37 lakh women have received cash incentives under the Centre’s maternity benefits programme since the launch of Matru Vandana Saptah last year, a release from the Ministry of Women and Child Development said.
The Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) offers pregnant women and lactating mothers ₹5,000 as assistance for the first birth in the family. The programme’s aim is to reduce malnutrition.
A sum of ₹1,000 is also given to women after institutional delivery under the Janani Suraksha Yojana.
The scheme has an estimated 51.6 lakh beneficiaries a year.
As many as 48.11 lakh women have been enrolled in the Matru Vandana Saptah and the Centre has disbursed an amount of ₹1,168.63 crores to various States, the release said.
8. Modi to open airport in Sikkim on Sept. 23
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Sikkim on September 23 to inaugurate the state’s first airport at Pakyong. Mr. Modi will then address a public meeting at St. Xavier’s School ground at Pakyong and return to New Delhi the same day, Sikkim Chief Secretary A.K. Shrivastava said. Commercial operations of flights from the greenfield airport, located 30 km from the capital, will start next month, he added.
9. Does U.S. want India to import more?
How much do we buy?
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, India imported $25.7 billion from the U.S. in 2017 while it exported $48.6 billion to the largest economy in the world. The U.S.’s latest demand means it wants India to cut its trade deficit with the American nation by close to half, through increased purchases of civilian aircraft and natural gas. Between 2014 and 2017, India’s trade deficit with the U.S. has hovered over $23-24 billion annually. In 2017, it dropped by $1.5 billion compared with 2016, due to higher imports from the U.S. Till July this year, India’s deficit ran to $13.2 billion, not significantly different from the $13.6 billion for the same period a year earlier.
Where does China stand?
Juxtapose those figures against China’s trade deficit with the U.S. — it was $375.6 billion for 2017. Mr. Trump is targeting imports from China (which, in his opinion, are taking jobs away from Americans) and has imposed duties on $50 billion worth of Chinese exports to the U.S. China has reacted with similar duties on imports from the U.S. With duties impending on another $200 billion worth of trade, he has most recently said his administration has lined up action on a third lot of $267 billion worth of Chinese imports into the U.S. This has roiled markets globally as trade wars benefit none. In the U.S.’s own case, for example, duties on solar panels, being sourced from China, have led to the sector forecasting a slower growth and flagging a loss of 23,000 jobs — the exact opposite of what Mr. Trump wanted.
10. Naomi Osaka, new champion
Buried under controversy is the remarkable story of 20-year-old Naomi Osaka, who was crowned the women’s champion at the U.S. Open this year. Apart from just the 6-2, 6-4 rout of her childhood idol Serena Williams, Osaka was praised for the calm she maintained in the midst of all the drama — code violations that ultimately led to Williams losing a game — and finishing the match clean. It was her first Grand Slam title.
Why is her win important?
Born to a Japanese mother and a Haitian-American father and living in the U.S. for almost all her life, Osaka represents Japan in tennis. Her victory marks the first time a player from her country has won a singles Grand Slam championship.
The feat even earned her a congratulatory tweet from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. This was Osaka’s first Grand Slam final as well.
Before her, the only Japanese player to reach a Grand Slam final was Kei Nishikori, who lost to Marin Cilic at the U.S. Open in 2014. Most importantly, Osaka’s win is further proof that the women’s tour — with its unprecedented depth — is in transition.
11. Signalling plants
When plants undergo injury, for instance due to an insect preying on a leaf, they send signals to other parts, a study has found. First they secrete glutamate which activates the glutamate-receptors to release calcium ions. This flows through the phloem and the plasmodesmata, warning undamaged leaves within minutes.
12. Blood test for fatal genetic disorder
A simple blood test can detect the earliest changes caused by Huntington’s disease (a fatal, hereditary disease) even before scans can pick up any signs in the brain. The study builds on recent evidence that a novel blood test can predict the onset and track the progression of the disease in people who carry the gene responsible for the incurable brain disorder. Blood testing could help identify groups of people with very early neurodegeneration and help run clinical trials of drugs to prevent symptoms. The researchers caution that the blood test is not yet helpful for individual patients. The findings have been published in Science Translational Medicine.
13. What is the BUFFALO survey?
It is one of the missions coordinated by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to explore the origins of the earliest galaxies. The Beyond Ultra-deep Frontier Fields And Legacy Observations (BUFFALO) survey will observe six massive galaxy clusters and their surroundings and allow astronomers to determine how rapidly galaxies formed in the first 800 million years after the Big Bang — paving the way for observations with upcoming observatories such as the James Webb Space Telescope. Its extended fields of view will also allow better 3-dimensional mapping of the mass distribution (of both ordinary and dark matter) within each galaxy cluster. — Science Daily
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15. Puranik bags silver
GM Abhimanyu Puranik defeated Armenia’s Aram Hakobyam to claim the silver behind top-seeded Iranian Parham Maghsoodloo in the 11-round World junior chess championship here on Saturday.
Puranik topped a three-way tie at 8.5 points, one less than Maghsoodloo, who was assured of the title with a round to spare. In the final round, the champion lost to Russia’s Andrey Esipenko.
The second-best Indian was Harsha Bharathakoti who took the ninth spot.
Among the girls, where Russia’s untitled Alexandra Maltsevskaya caused the biggest surprise by topping a two-way tie at 8.5 points from 11 rounds, V. Varshini was the best Indian, finishing 13th with seven points.
16. Ramirez retains WBC crown
Unbeaten Jose Ramirez kept his World Boxing Council junior welterweight title on Friday with a unanimous decision over Mexican challenger Antonio Orozco. The 26-year-old former American Olympian knocked down Orozco twice in the first defence of his title in front of his home crowd at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California. Ramirez showed off his improved jab, as both fighters kept busy from the opening round to the final bell.
17. Mumbai Marathon gets a boost
The 16th Tata Mumbai Marathon has been accorded the ‘Gold Label’ by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), making it one of the top 10 marathons in the world credited with the distinction. The 2019 race will be run along the city seafront on January
The label is granted based on criteria including organisational excellence, elite field, prize money for male and female runners, quality of medical support among other considerations.
OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers)
Medical Council of India (MCI)
Beyond Ultra-deep Frontier Fields And Legacy Observations (BUFFALO) survey
19. Things to Remember:
Chief Minister of Telangana – K. Chandrasekhar Rao
Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh – N. Chandrababu Naidu
Governor of Tamil Nadu – Banwarilal Purohit
Prime Minister of Japan – Shinzo Abe
20. Improve your Vocabulary:
Meaning – Mercy; lenience.
Example – ‘an appeal for clemency’
Synonyms: mercy, mercifulness, leniency, lenience, mildness, indulgence, forbearance, quarter
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