Current Affairs September 15 2018

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Current Affairs September 15 2018

 INDIAN AFFAIRS

PM launched Swachhata Hi Seva movement across the country
On September 15, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the 2 hour ‘Swachhata Hi Seva’ movement though video conference to 17 locations across the country.

PM launched Swachhata Hi Seva movement across the countryObjective:
Aim to ensure the goal of achieving ‘Swachhata’ within the targeted deadline:  Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary on October 2, 2019.
Key Points:
Events of the Launch is as follows:
i. Prime Minister travelled to the Babasaheb Ambedkar Higher Secondary School, at Rani Jhansi Road in central Delhi.
He offered floral tributes to a statue of Babasahed Ambedkar, and participated in the cleanliness drive.
ii. The PM acknowledged the efforts of many eminent personalities who contributed to the movement. Some of them were:

  • Mr. Amitabh Bachhan,
  • Mr. Akshay Kumar.

iii. He urged the people to participate in swachhata activities and use the ‘#SHS2018’ tag for it.
iv. The Indo-Tibetan Border Police or ITBP adopted one village each from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh.
Achievements:

  • Till now 9 crore toilets have been built in 4.5 lakh villages.
  • 450 districts in India have become Open Defecation Free within four years,
  • Also, 20 States and Union Territories have declared themselves ODF,
  • Decrease in cases of diseases such as diarrhea in Gujarat.

About Swachhta Abhiyan:
i. Launched in 2014, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (SBA) (or Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) or Clean India Mission in English) is a campaign in India that aims to clean up the streets, roads and infrastructure of India’s cities, smaller towns, and rural areas. The objectives of Swachh Bharat include eliminating open defecation through the construction of household-owned and community-owned toilets.
ii. Run by the Government of India, the mission aims to achieve an Open-Defecation Free (ODF) India by 2 October 2019, the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, by constructing 90 million toilets in rural India at a projected cost of Rs.1.96 lakh crore (US$30 billion).
iii. The other name of the campaign is ‘Satyagrah se Swachhagrah’.
Slogan is ‘One step towards cleanliness’.

‘Revitalising India as a Heritage Destination’: Rajasthan held convention on preserving heritage properties
On September 13-14, 2018, Rajasthan government held a two-day convention on ‘Revitalising India as a Heritage Destination’ to focus on preserving heritage properties in Bharatpur, Rajasthan.
Objective:
To promote heritage tourism and preserve heritage.
Key Points:
i. It was organized by Indian Heritage Hotels Association.
iiRajendra Singh Pachar was the convention chairman.
ii. It aimed to discuss about the preservation of heritage buildings, museums and promoting lesser-known destinations.
iii. It will also promote ‘battlefield tourism’, which aims to recreate the grand battles of Rajasthan.
Rajasthan:
♦ Capital: Jaipur.
♦ Chief minister: Vasundhara Raje.
♦ Governor: Kalyan Singh
♦ National Parks : Ranthambore National Park, Keoladeo National Park, Sariska National Park, Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary.
♦ UNESCO World Heritage Site: Jantar Mantar, Keoladeo National Park, Chittorgarh Fort, Amer Fort, Ranthambore Fort, Jaisalmer Fort, Gagron Fort, Kumbhalgarh.

Power Ministry launches Chiller Star Labelling Program on energy efficiency in chillers.
On September 14, 2018, Ministry of Power launched the Chiller Star Labelling Program in New Delhi.
i. It will be valid upto 31st December 2020.
Objective:
To encourage the deployment of Energy Efficient chiller systems in the country.
Key Points:
i. It has been formulated by Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE).
ii. This has been launched ahead of the occasion of 24th World Ozone Day and the 31st Anniversary of Montreal Protocol, which will be observed on 16th September 2018.
iii. Agenda of the program:

  • More than 500 million units of electricity would be saved in 2019 ,
  • Green House Gases (GHG) reduction of 0.5 million-ton equivalent of COby 2019,
  • To save more than 4 Billion units of electricity in the year 2030 and
  • CO2emission reduction of 3.5 million ton.

iv. The Programme envisages  providing star rating in terms of its energy performance.
v. For this, BEE has developed an online registration platform for easy and expeditious approval under this initiative.
vi. Under this, the star label (1 to 5) will be awarded, with 5 star being the most efficient chillers based on the test certificate from designated agencies and after due verification from BEE.
v. This will promote advancement technology for central HVAC (Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems.
vi. Hence improving the energy efficiency in space and process cooling sector.
Background:
i. Chillers are used extensively for space conditioning of buildings and for industrial process cooling applications.
ii. They contribute more than 40 per cent of the total energy consumption in commercial buildings.
Ministry Of Power:
♦ Minister of State (I/C):  Raj Kumar Singh.
♦ Power Secretary: Shri Ajay Kumar Bhalla.

Rajasthan’s forest minister inaugurates state’s first lion safari at Nahargarh Biological Park
On 13th September 2018, Rajasthan Forest Minister Gajendra Singh Khimsar inaugurated Rajasthan’s first lion safari atNahargarh Biological Park.
Key Points:
i. This service will be available for visitors from October 2018. Visitors can see lions in their natural habitat in the park.
ii.Visitors will be taken on a 4 kilometer safari in a closed bus. Three sub-adult Asiatic lions have been shifted in the area now.
iii. The lion safari has been developed on 36.32 hectares of area in the park. Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) has developed infrastructure for the lion safari spending Rs 4 crores.
iv. The park is located on the Delhi-Jaipur National Highway in the Aravalli foothills.
v. Gajendra Singh Khimsar also approved the extension of Jaisamand Wildlife Sanctuary near Udaipur.
Some National Parks in Rajasthan:
♦ Darrah National Park
♦ Desert National Park
♦ Ranthambore National Park

Uttarakhand ranked best among states in constructing roads under PMGSY
On September 14, 2018, Union Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar awarded chief engineer of the Uttarakhand Rural Road Development Agency (URRDA) for making Uttarakhand the best among States in the country under PMGSY, in New Delhi.
i. The award was for the construction of maximum number of roads under the PMGSY during 2017-2018.
ii. Under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, it constructed a maximum of 1,839 kilometre roads against a target of 1,500 km set for the year 2017-18.
iii. It also received second rank for connecting 207 habitations with roads against a target of 172 under the scheme.
Uttarakhand:
♦ Chief Minister: Trivendra Singh Rawat
♦ Governor: Smt. Baby Rani Maurya.
♦ National Parks: Corbett National Park, Gangotri National Park, Govind National Park, Nanda Devi National Park, Rajaji National Park, Valley of Flowers National Park.

 AP Govt launches website to tackle unemployment under Yuva Nestam scheme
On September 14, 2018, the Andhra Pradesh government announced the start of an unemployment allowance as part of Yuva Nestam scheme for the state’s youth from October 2018.
i. For this purpose, the CM launched website yuvanestham.ap.gov.in. where candidates can register.
ii. It is aimed for the unemployed youth between the age group of 25 years to 35 years.
iii. It would give candidates an allowance of Rs. 1000 along with free of cost skill development training.
iv. The candidates are eligible for allowance even if any of their family members get a pension.
v. Eligibility of the candidates:

  • Should have a post graduate degree, graduation degree, or a diploma almost a year ago,
  • Must have a white ration card and must be resident of Andhra Pradesh,
  • Must have also enrolled in the “Praja Sadhikara Survey” of state government,
  • Must have their bank account and mobile number linked to Aadhaar.

Andhra Pradesh:
♦ Chief Minister: Sri. Nara Chandrababu Naidu.
♦ Governor: ESL Narasimhan.
♦ Festival: Ugadi, Pongal, Ganesha or Vinayak Chaturthi, Lumbini Festival, Tirupati Tirumala Brahmotsav, Visakha Utsav.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

2 day visit of External Affairs Minister to Moscow
i. On September 13-14, 2018, External Affairs Minister Smt. Sushma Swaraj, embarked on a day visit to Moscow, Russia.
ii. On September 13, 2018, Ms. Swaraj had a brief stopover at Ashgabat, Turkmenistan en route to Russia.
iii. On September 14, 2018, Mrs Swaraj and Mr Borisov also chaired the 23rd India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC).
iv. The commission has met in the run up to the 19th India-Russia Annual Summit which is expected k be held in India early October……………………………..Click here to read more

Hunger reached ‘alarming’ ten-year high in 2017: UN report
On September 11, 2018, according to UN’s annual multi-agency flagship report on the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, hunger remains the same as was ten years ago in2017.

International Day of Democracy - 15 SeptemberThis is a part of UNDP’s Sustainable Development goal: Zero Hunger by 2030.
i. The report was published by the following:

  • Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO),
  • International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD),
  • World Food Programme (WFP),
  • the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and
  • World Health Organization (WHO).

ii. According to the report:

  • Increase from 777 million to 821million hungry people in 2017 meaning that one in every nine people, does not have enough to eat,
  • Nearly 151 millionchildren aged under five – 22 per cent – affected by stunting,
  • 51 millionchildren aged under five are under higher risk of morbidity and mortality,
  • More than 672 millionis now endangering their health from being overweight.

iii. Reasons cited for these effects:

  • Three drivers across the world: the intensification of conflict, an economic downturn and the effects of climate change.
  • Climate variability and extremes are already undermining food production in some regions,
  • Poverty, and inequalities and marginalization.

Zero Hunger by 2030:
♦ It is UNDP’s Sustainable Development goal number 2.
♦ This involves: Promoting sustainable agricultural practices, supporting small scale farmers and ♦ allowing access of land, technology and markets.
UNDP:
Headquarters: New York City, USA.
FAO:
Headquarters: Rome, Italy.
WHO:
Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.
UNICEF:
Headquarters: New York City, USA.

India ranks 130 out of 189 in human development index : UNDP
On September 14, 2018, India climbed one spot to 130 out of 189 countries in the latest human development rankings released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

India ranks 130 out of 189 in human development index : UNDPHighlights:
i. India’s HDI value for 2017 is 0.640, which put the country in the medium human development category.
ii. India’s HDI value is above the South Asian average of 0.638.
iii. Its neighbours Bangladesh and Pakistan ranked  136 and 150 respectively.
ivNorway, Switzerland, Australia, Ireland and Germany lead the ranking.
v. Niger, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Chad and Burundi have the lowest scores in the HDI.
vi. Out of the 189 countries for which the HDI is calculated:

  • 59 countries are in the very high human development group,
  • 38 countries fall in the low HDI group.

vii. Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia have shown maximum increase in HDI.
viiiMarshall Islands is a new addition.
ix. The HDI could not be calculated for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Monaco, Nauru, San Marino, Somalia and Tuvalu. 
x.India ranks 127 out of 160 countries in the Gender Inequality Index.
About HDI
♦ First introduced in 1990.
♦ Parameters of measurements are: health, education and income. 
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP):
♦ Headquarters: New York City, USA.
♦ Founded: 1966.

BANKING & FINANCE

Govt securities (G-secs) worth Rs 10,000 crore to be purchased by RBI on September 19
On September 15, 2018, he Reserve Bank announced purchase of government securities (G-secs) worth Rs 10,000 crore on September 19.
i. This will help induce liquidity in the system.
ii. It will buy securities having five different maturity dates i.e.: maturing in 2020, 2022, 2027, 2030, and 2042).
iii. The purchase of the government securities will be done through Open Market Operations (OMO).
iv. The submission for auction will take place through RBI’s Core Banking Solution (E-Kuber) system on the same day.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Hyderabad Airport ranked World No 1 for 2nd consecutive year: ACI ASQ award
On September 13, 2018, GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd received the Airports Council International Airport Service Quality World no.1 airport award trophy for the second consecutive year.

Hyderabad Airport ranked World No 1 for 2nd consecutive year: ACI ASQ awardi. This was under the category of: 5-15 Million Passengers Per Annum (MPPA).
ii. It won World no 1 Airport in its category in 2016 as well.
iii. Also, this marked the ninth consecutive year of Global Top 3 ranking by RGIA in its size category.
iv. The award ceremony was organised at the ‘2018 ACI Customer Excellence Global Summit’ at Halifax in Canada.
Other Indian Awardees in the 2017 ASQ Award:
i. For Category “Best Airport by Region (over 2 mppa).” in the Asia Pacific region: Delhi Airport and Mumbai Airport shared the 1st rank.
ii. For the “Best Airport by Size (2-5 million)”: Lucknow Airport (LKO) ranked 1st.
iii. For the “Best Airport by Size (5-15 million)”: Cochin Airport (COK), Kolkata Airport (CCU) and Pune Airport (PNQ) shared 3rd rank.
iv. For the “Best Airport by Size (15- 25 million)” : Bangalore Aiport (BLR) ranked 2nd and Chennai Airport (MAA) ranked 3rd.
v. For the “Best Airport by Size (over 40 million)”: Delhi Airport (DEL) and Mumbai Airport (BOM) shared the 1st rank.
vi. For the category “Best Improved Airport by Region” : Ahmedabad Airport (AMD) in the Asia-Pacific region.
vi.For the category “Best Airport by Region”(Under 2 million):Indore Airport in Asia-Pacific region.

Poet & writer Sawai Singh Shekhawat to be honoured with Meera Puruskar: RSA
On September 13, 2018, Rajasthan Sahitya Academy announced that the Poet and writer Sawai Singh Shekhawat of Jaipur, Rajasthan would be honoured with Meera Puruskar.
i. He would be awarded for his contribution to Hindi literature.
ii. The Meera Puruskar is the highest award of the academy.
iii. He would be awarded other awards for the year 2018-19 in October, 2018.   

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

22.48 crore e-way bills generated since rollout in April: GSTN
On September 13, 2018, Goods and Services Tax Network announced that 22.48 crore e-way bills have been generated across India since its inception in April 2018.
i. July 31 accounted for the highest 21.77 lakh e-way bills generated in a single day.
ii. Of this 22.48 crore bills, the inter state transport of bills accounted for 10.89 crore bills and and intra state was 11.58 crore.
iii. Over 24 lakh taxpayers and 30,000 transporters had registered with the e-way billing system so far.
iv. At 3.13 crore, Maharashtra generated the highest number of bills, followed by Gujarat (2.45 crore), Haryana (2.05 crore), Karnataka (1.98 crore) and Uttar Pradesh (1.90 crore).

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

INMAS develops India’s first indigenous anti-nuclear medical kit
Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS) has developed India’s first indigenous medical kit that will offer protection from serious injuries and faster healing of wounds caused by nuclear warfare or radioactive leakage.
India’s first indigenous anti-nuclear medical kit:
i. The kit has been developed by INMAS after 20 years of work. So far, similar kits were bought from US and Russia at higher prices.
ii. The kit has been developed for the armed, paramilitary and police forces only, as they are the first to get exposed to radiation.
iii. It has more than 25 items like radio-protectors that offer 80-90 % protection against radiation and nerve gas agents, bandages that absorb radiation, tablets and ointments, etc.
iv. Some of the items in the kit are:

  • Advanced form of Prussian blue tablets
  • Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) injection
  • Ca-EDTA Respiratory Fluid
  • Radioactive Blood Mopping Dressing
  • Radioactive urine/biofluid collector
  • Anti-gamma ray skin ointment
  • Amifostine injection
  • Indranil 150 mg tablet

About Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS):
♦ Director – A K Singh
♦ Type – a laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)

EyeROV TUNA: India’s first underwater robotic drone launched and handed over to NPOL
On September 15, 2018, India’s first underwater robotic drone –EyerovTUNA was launched and handed over to the Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL) of DRDO.

EyeROV TUNA: India’s first underwater robotic drone launched and handed over to NPOLi. It was developed by EyeROV Technologies at Maker Village.
ii. It is the first commercial Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV)/ underwater drone and was supported by Kerala Start up Mission (KSUM).
iii. It would be used  by NPOL for research and development activities for defence purposes.
iii. It would send real-time videos of ships and other underwater structures to help with their repair and maintenance.
Features:

  • It is smart micro-ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) or underwater drone,
  • It can inspect submerged structures up to depth of 50 metres,
  • It can  take real-time HD video images.
  • It can be-controlled using laptop or joystick.

Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL):
♦ Headquarters: Kochi, Kerala.
♦ Director: S Kedarnath Shenoy
IROV Technologies Pvt Ltd (EyeROV):
♦ Headquarters: Kochi, Kerala.

Vijaya: Indian Coast Guard commissions indigenously built patrol vessel
On September 15, 2018, Indian Coast Guard Ship Vijaya, the second in the series of 98 m offshore patrol vessels (OPVs), was commissioned by Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra in Chennai.

Vijaya: Indian Coast Guard commissions indigenously built patrol vesseli. It has been designed and built indigenously by Larsen & Toubro.
ii. It is designed to carry one twin engine helicopter and four high speed boats, including two inflatable boats for boarding, search and rescue, law enforcement and maritime patrol operations.
iii. It also has a 30 mm gun and will be fitted with a 12.7 mm gun with fire control system.
iv. The ship will be based at Paradip and will be used for Exclusive Economic Zone surveillance (especially Odisha and West Bengal) and other duties as per Coast Guard.
v. Commandant Harinder Jit Singh will head the ship, which will be manned by 12 officers and 91 men.
Indian Coast Guard:
♦ Director: General Rajendra Singh.

SPORTS

England beat India in the 5th and final Test and won the series 4-1; India maintain top position in ICC Test Team Rankings
On 11th September 2018, India lost the 5th and final Test against England by 118 runs at the Oval Stadium, in England.
Key Points:
i. England team won the test series against India by a 4-1 margin. India continues to be at the number 1 position in the latest ICC (International Cricket Council) Test Team Rankings even after the 4-1 series loss against England.
ii. England has secured fourth spot in the ICC Test Team Rankings after the recent performance.
About International Cricket Council (ICC):
♦ Chairman – Shashank Manohar
♦ CEO – David Richardson
♦ Headquarters – Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Former England wicket-keeper James Foster retires from cricket
Former England wicket-keeper James Foster has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket at the end of the ongoing season.
i. James Foster is 38 years old. He has played 7 Tests, 11 one-day internationals and five Twenty20 Internationals for England between 2001 and 2009.
ii. He has scored 13,761 first-class runs at an average of 36.69 from 289 matches. He secured 839 catches and 62 stumpings in first-class cricket.
iii. At domestic level he captained Essex team. He has opted coaching as a career now.

Former England cricket captain Paul Collingwood announces retirement
Former England cricket captain Paul Collingwood, has announced that, he will retire from cricket at the end of the ongoing domestic season.

Former England cricket captain Paul Collingwood announces retirementKey Points:
i. Paul Collingwood had retired from Test cricket in 2011. He will play his final game for Durham team against Middlesex team, starting from September 24, 2018.
ii. He is a 42-year-old all-rounder. He was the first England captain to win a trophy at a global tournament when they won the ICC World T20 title in 2010.
iii. He has played in 68 Tests, 197 one-day internationals and 36 Twenty20s. He has scored nearly 17,000 runs in first-class cricket.
iv. He was part of 3 Ashes-winning teams. He was one among Wisden’s 5 Cricketers of the Year in 2007. He made his first-class cricket debut in 1996.
v. He has played in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for Delhi Daredevils and Rajasthan Royals. He has also played and coached in the Australian Big Bash.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Engineers Day observed – September 15
On 15th September 2018, 51st Engineers Day was celebrated in India.
i. Engineers Day is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of the greatest Indian engineer Bharat Ratna Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya who was born on 15 September 1861.
ii. He was the chief engineer for the construction of the Krishna Raja Sagar dam on Kaveri river in Mysuru that was the biggest reservoir in Asia at that time.
iii. He was also the chief engineer of the flood protection system for Hyderabad.

Indian Coast Guard observes International Coastal Cleanup-2018 day on September 15
On 15th September 2018, the Indian Coast Guard observed International Coastal Cleanup-2018 day in Mumbai.
i. The International Coastal Clean-up day is observed in various parts of the world on 3rd Saturday of September every year.
ii. It is organized under the guidance of United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and South Asia Co-operative Environment Program in the South Asian Region.
iii. Indian Coast Guard has been observing this practice since 2006. Nearly, 5000 kg of garbage was collected and handed to BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) for disposal.

International Day of Democracy – 15 September
On 15th September 2018, International Day of Democracy was celebrated all over the world.

International Day of Democracy - 15 SeptemberInternational Day of Democracy:
i. When and Why: In 2007, the United Nations General Assembly, declared 15 September as the International Day of Democracy to promote the principles of democracy.
ii. Objective: This day provides an opportunity to review the state of democracy in the world and to highlight the values of freedom and respect for human rights as essential elements of democracy.
iii. Theme for International Day of Democracy 2018: Democracy under Strain: Solutions for a Changing World.

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