Current Affairs for NDA/CDS/AFCAT/Airforce X&Y Groups
News Analysis from THE HINDU (October 08, 2018)
1. For Kumbh, Ganga gets a Swachh ‘army’
In January 2019, when the Uttar Pradesh government organises the Kumbh Mela, it will have a special unit to help: a volunteer force of ex-servicemen.
The Ganga Task Force (GTF), specially trained by the Ministry of Defence will help with crowd management, spread awareness on keeping the river clean and stop people and industry from polluting the river.
Currently, a “battalion” of 300 personnel has already been trained and stationed in Allahabad. Plans are afoot to expand it to 500 and post them in Kanpur and Varanasi, said Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Director-General, National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG).
“The GTF is a unit of the Territorial Army deployed in the services of the Ganga with the approval of Ministry of Defence for four years till December 2020. It consists of three companies of over 100 men each to be stationed at Kanpur, Allahabad and Varanasi, with the battalion headquarters at Allahabad. The full strength would be 532, including 9 officers and 29 Junior Commanding Officers (JCOs). Their functions will include planting trees to check soil erosion, patrolling sensitive river areas for biodiversity protection, patrolling ghats, monitoring river pollution, and assisting during floods/natural calamity in the region,” says a note by the NMCG viewed by The Hindu.
The jawans have also been trained by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to measure the health of the river.
2. Centre begins work to widen pension cover
The Union government launched an evaluation this week as part of measures to double the number of people covered by its pension scheme from the current 3.09 crore to more than six crore. The measure is in line with proposals made in the last budget, which, however, did not include additional financial allocation. Now, with an upcoming hearing in the Supreme Court on a petition demanding universal pension coverage and higher allocation, the government hopes its study will throw up some concrete proposals, in time for the next budget.
The official said, “[The results] will come within six months. Then there will be a concept note. By next year’s budget, we expect to have a proposal.” According to the official, advertisements for agencies to conduct the evaluation were issued on Saturday, just days before the October 9 hearing of a Public Interest Litigation petition on care and assistance to the elderly.
3. Indian school in Jeddah told to vacate
Hundreds of students and alumni in Saudi Arabia have taken to the Internet to appeal to External Affairs Sushma Swaraj to ensure that the boys section of the prestigious International Indian School in Jeddah (IISJ) is not shut down permanently.
It is the only school offering the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) curriculum.
The school for boys was vacated hurriedly over the weekend after Saudi authorities slapped an eviction notice with a deadline of October 9. The move came despite weeks of representations by the Indian Embassy to the Saudi Royalty and Ministry of Education.
4. Singer Kishour Giri passes away
Assamese singer and music director Kishour Giri, who lent his voice to various social issues, passed away on Sunday at his residence here. Giri suffered a heart attack and breathed his last at his Kharghuli residence, his family said. He was 63 and survived by his wife and two daughters.
5. Upgraded MiG-29 adds to air power
The fighter plane now has the capability to take off vertically, giving a shot in the arm for the IAF
Even in the previous ‘legacy version’, the aircraft played an important role as the IAF stamped its supremacy over the Pakistani force during the Kargil War of 1999.
Last week, the upgraded MiG-29 showcased its combat capabilities at Admapur. The country will celebrate the Air Force Day on October 8.
The IAF has three squadrons of MiG-29 fighter jets in operation, two of them at the Adampur Air Force Station. One squadron comprises 16-18 aircraft.
The upgraded MiG-29 aircraft could take off within five minutes of spotting a hostile jet trying to enter the Indian airspace and destroy it.
6. Vaccination begins for Gir lions
The Gujarat Forest Department on Sunday started the vaccination of lions in the Gir Forest National Park to protect them from a deadly virus. As many as 23 lions have died in the sanctuary in less than a month. Most of them have succumbed to canine distemper virus (CDV) and protozoa infections, forest officials have said.
Asiatic lions, an endangered species, are being vaccinated under intensive veterinary care, as per standard protocol, officials said on Sunday. CDV is considered a lethal virus and has wiped out 30% of lions in forests of Africa.
7. Book – Inside The Mind of Xi Jinping
Writer – François Bougon
Description – How Xi Jinping’s rural stint when he was a teenager shaped his political life
8. Rejection sensitivity
This refers to extreme anxiety or other unpleasant emotions caused in a person due to the prospect of getting rejected by others. People suffering from rejection sensitivity tend to over-react to social rejection and experience psychological pain. In their desire to avoid such rejection, they tend to avoid social situations involving exchange of opinion and avoid making demands that could lead to rejection. While there is no clear evidence on what causes rejection sensitivity, the condition has been traced by some researchers to rejection by parents or peers during a person’s early years.
9. Youth Olympic Games 2018 kicks off in Buenos Aires
10. Honouring the British Indian Army
London’s National Army Museum to exhibit artefacts of the colonial force
The Khanjar (knife) of Tipu Sultan of 1799, an 1840 painting of Skinner’s horse regiment, objects of silver and an extensive collection of uniforms are among a range of items of the British Indian Army in the collection of the National Army Museum in London.
Over the next couple of years, a range of this collection will be exhibited in a new gallery, Museum Director Brig. Justin Maciejewski (retd), said.
On November 11, 1918, the armistice was signed between the Germans and the Allies, ending the Great War. . Indian soldiers under the British Indian Army played a decisive role in several battles in many theatres across the globe.
Underscoring that the First World War was a moment of shared history where the British Army and the British Indian Army fought together, Brig. Maciejewski said the Museum wanted to use the centenary of the war to accelerate work on the project.
November 11, Armistice Day is observed as Remembrance Day to mark the sacrifices of the Great War.
India Gate in the national capital has a memorial dedicated for the fallen Indian soldiers of the war, inscribed with over 72,000 names.
The National Army Museum is working with the United Service Institution of India in this endeavour and is also exploring opportunities with other stakeholders.
11. Banks to continue Aadhaar enrolment
SC order has no impact, says UIDAI
Banks and post offices will continue to enrol people for Aadhaar and update their data, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has said.
The Supreme Court has only ruled that Aadhaar is not mandatory for opening bank accounts, but the norms set for banks and post offices to undertake enrolment and update will stay as these are different from authentication services, Ajay Bhushan Pandey, Chief Executive Officer of the UIDAI, said.
“As Aadhaar is going to be used in the offline mode for opening bank accounts and other services, and because the use of Aadhaar in Direct Benefit Transfer and PAN-Income Tax returns has also been held constitutional, the role of banks is going to be vital in the entire Aadhaar ecosystem. So, Aadhaar enrolment and update undertaken by banks and post offices will continue,” Mr. Pandey said.
Aadhaar is not mandatory to avail benefits for the first time under the recently-launched Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) but will be compulsory for those seeking treatment under the scheme for the second time, according to a top official. In case the Aadhaar number is not available, beneficiaries have to at least provide documents to prove that they have enrolled for Aadhaar.
12. President Kovind begins 3-day visit to Tajikistan
President Ram Nath Kovind and First Lady Savita Kovind embarked on a three-day visit to Tajikistan on Sunday. During the visit, the President will meet his Tajik counterpart Emamoli Rahmon. Prime Minister of Tajikistan Kokhir Rasulzoda will call on President Kovind, a MEA statement said.
13. Kavanaugh sworn in amid protests
Conservative U.S. judge Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court on Saturday by a razor-thin margin in the Senate, ending months of partisan rancor over his nomination and offering Donald Trump one of the biggest victories of his presidency.
Mr. Kavanaugh was sworn in shortly after the Senate voted 50-48 in his favour — a move that cemented the high court’s shift to the right under the Republican leader, who has chosen two of the nine sitting Justices.
14. Iran Parliament passes counter-terror finance Bill
Iran’s Parliament on Sunday approved a Bill to counter terrorist financing, that was strongly opposed by conservatives but seen as vital to salvaging the nuclear deal with European and Asian partners.
The Bill aims to bring Iran’s laws in line with international standards and allow it to join the UN Terrorism Financing Convention.
It is one of the four Bills put forward by the government in recent months in a bid to meet demands by the international Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which has given Iran until later this month to tighten its laws against money laundering and terror financing.
The issue has become particularly pressing since the United States walked out of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran earlier this year and began reimposing sanctions.
The other parties to the deal — Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia — have sought to salvage the agreement and maintain trade with Iran, but have demanded that it accede to the FATF. Joining the UN convention has been controversial because hardliners say it will limit Iran’s ability to support armed groups in the region, such as its Lebanese ally, Hezbollah.
15. Govt. plans to auction over 100 mineral blocks in six months
Having secured ?1.81 lakh crore in its kitty from e-auction of 50 mineral blocks, the government is looking to put on block another 100 mines in the next six months, according to the Ministry of Mines.
The government, so far, has auctioned 50 mines, including 23 limestone, 17 iron ore, 4 gold, 2 each of manganese and graphite blocks and one bauxite and diamond block each.
There are 102 blocks in the pipeline to be auctioned by March in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Telangana and Assam, as per a report by the Ministry of Mines on progress of block auction.
As per the report, Jharkhand will auction the highest 20 blocks followed by Rajasthan (16) and Madhya Pradesh (13) and Maharashtra (13). Of these 102, the government plans to auction two limestone blocks in October. Of the two blocks, one is in Andhra Pradesh and the other is in Gujarat.
The Chintalayapalle-Abdullapuram-Korumanipalli (CAK) limestone block in Andhra Pradesh with reserves of 104.68 million tonnes (MT) will be auctioned on October 12. The Bhatvadiya block in Gujarat with reserves of 477.2 MT will go under the hammer on October 17.
16. Shahu clinches silver in 10m air rifle
India opened its medal account at the Youth Olympic Games with shooter Shahu Tushar Mane bagging a silver in the men’s 10m air rifle event, while judoka Tababi Devi Thangjam assured herself of a silver by progressing to the final of the 44kg category on the opening day of competitions on Sunday.
Mane, who qualified third for the final, shot 247.5 to win silver behind Russia’s Grigorii Shamakov (249.2). Serbia’s Aleksa Mitrovic took bronze with a score of 227.9.
17. Hamilton closes in on fifth title
Lewis Hamilton won the Japanese Grand Prix to stand on the brink of a fifth Formula One title on Sunday while Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel finished sixth after colliding with Max Verstappen.
Hamilton led from pole to flag, crossing the line 12.9 seconds ahead of teammate Valtteri Bottas in a second successive Mercedes one-two. Verstappen finished third. The Briton now has a 67-point lead over Vettel with four races remaining and can sew up the championship next week with victory in Austin should the German finish lower than second.
Hamilton will fancy his chances of doing that given his record at the U.S. Grand Prix where he has won every race except 2012.
18. Para athletes bag five medals
India started its Para Asian Games campaign by bagging two silver and three bronze medals on the opening day here on Sunday.
The men’s badminton team opened the country’s account with a bronze after narrowly losing to Malaysia 2-1 in the semifinals to settle for the third spot.
In the 49 kg men’s powerlifting event, Farman Basha claimed silver, while Paramjeet Kumar won the bronze. Farman lifted 128kg while Paramjeet managed a lift of 127kg.
Swimmers Devanshi Satijawon picked up a silver in women’s 100 metre butterfly in S-10 category and
Suyash Jadhav clinched bronze in the men’s 200 metre individual medley in the SM-7 category.
19. India third
Devneta Roy scored India’s winner in the 73rd minute as the women’s team beat Bhutan 1-0 to finish third in the U-18 SAFF football championship on Sunday.
Earlier in the 15th minute, Devneta had failed to tap home from close range after a cross from the left flank found her in perfect position.
20. Medvedev clinches Japan Open title
Russian qualifier Daniil Medvedev beat home favourite Kei Nishikori in the final of the Japan Open to win his third ATP title of the season. World No. 32 Medvedev won 6-2, 6-4 in 62 minutes. Japanese Nishikori, who is ranked 12th, has now lost eight ATP finals since his last victory, which came at the Memphis Open in February 2016. Medvedev is set to climb to number 22 when the new rankings are released on Monday — a career high.
21. Mo Farah wins Chicago Marathon in record time
British athletics star Mo Farah won the Chicago Marathon on Sunday in an unofficial time of 2hr, 5min 11sec, thus setting an European record. The World and Olympic 5,000 and 10,000m champion became the first British man to capture the event since Paul Evans in 1996
22. Wozniacki bags 30th WTA crown
Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki won her 30th WTA singles title as she beat Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova 6-3, 6-3 in the China Open final on Sunday. The Danish world number two was impressive all week in Beijing, never dropping a set and rarely looking troubled, sealing her spot in the WTA Finals Singapore in the process.
23. Indian junior shuttlers claim five medals
Meghana Reddy and Tasnim Mir won the girls’ doubles crown as Indian shuttlers bagged five medals in the badminton Asia junior under-17 and under-15 championships which concluded at Mandalay, Myanmar on Sunday.
Meghana and Tasnim defeated the Korean duo of Yeo Jin Gong and Da Yeon Jeong 23-21, 21-18 to secure the under-15 girls’ title.
Meiraba Luwang and Aditi Bhatt won a bronze each in the under-17 boys’ and girls’ singles respectively, while S. Shankar Muthuswamy claimed a bronze in the under-15 boys’ singles.
The duo in the under-15 category, Pranav Rao Gandham and P. Sai Vishnu, added yet another bronze to India’s tally.
24. New DNA analysis tool can help nab criminals
Scientists have developed a new test that can reveal the amount of DNA people shed, a tool that could be used by forensic experts to nab criminals using genetic clues left at crime scenes. A single tap of a finger on items like door handles, glass or even shaking hands can help identify and link potential suspects to a crime.
25. NASA probe nearing interstellar space
Voyager 2 probe is nearing an interstellar space and has detected an increase in cosmic rays that originate outside our solar system, the space agency said. Voyager 2 is a little less than 17.7 billion km away from the earth.
National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR)
Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)
National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG)
27. Things to Remember:
International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach
Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik
Union Minister of Textiles Smriti Irani
28. Improve your Vocabulary:
Meaning – Dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women.
Example – ‘she felt she was struggling against thinly disguised misogyny’
Synonyms – jingoism, excessive patriotism, blind patriotism, excessive nationalism, sectarianism, isolationism, excessive loyalty, flag-waving, xenophobia, racism, racialism, racial prejudice, ethnocentrism, ethnocentricity