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Ease of Living Index 2018 released by MoS Housing and Urban Affairs
On August 13, 2018, Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri released the ‘Ease of Living Index 2018’ to assess the livability conditions in relation to global and national benchmarks.
About the Ease of Living Index:
i. The survey was carried out in 111 cities in India.
ii. Ease of Living Index framework comprises four pillars namely-Institutional, Social, Economic and Physical.
Top 3 Cities based on the above Pillars are:
- Institutional: Navi Mumbai, Tirupati, Karim Nagar.
- Social: Tirupati, Tiruchirappalli, Navi Mumbai.
- Economic: Chandigarh, Ajmer, Kota.
- Physical: Greater Mumbai, Pune, Thane.
iii. Among other Metro cities, Chennai ranked 14th and Delhi ranked 65th. Kolkata did not take part in the survey.
iv. Among Union Territories,Chandigarh was the only City,which made to the top 10 list,by attaining 5th Rank in the Index.
v. The Ease of Living assessment standards are closely linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Top 10 Cities of the Index:
Centre approves proposal for setting up water aerodromes for improved air connectivity
On August 13, 2018, the Civil Aviation Ministry has approved a proposal for setting up of water aerodromes in the country.
To enhance air connectivity through amphibian planes
i. In the first phase the places chosen for the development of such facilities are: Chilika Lake in Odisha, Sardar Sarovar Dam and Sabarmati River Front in Gujarat.
ii. Under the proposal, water aerodrome would be set up near locations of tourist and religious importance.
iii. Airports Authority of India(AAI) has already identified the sites in Odisha, Gujarat, Assam, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh where water aerodrome would be developed.
iv. A water aerodrome license would be valid for two years.
v. An aerodrome cannot be used for scheduled air transport services, among others, unless there is a licence.
vi. SpiceJet had signed a memorandum of understanding with Japan’s Setouchi Holdings to buy over 100 amphibian planes, estimated to cost $400 million.
vii. It had approached the Odisha government to allow it to operate amphibian planes from the Chilika Lake.
i. A proposal to look at seaplane operation under phase III of the regional connectivity scheme UDAN is being considered.
NGT forms committee on natural conservation zones
On August 13, 2018, the National Green Tribunal has formed a committee with Ministry of Environment and Forests acting as the nodal agency of the committee.
To monitor consistency of the sub-regional plans for protection of Natural Conservation Zones (NCZs) as per regional plan prepared by the National Capital Region Planning Board.
i. The committee will comprise
- Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests,
- Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs,
- Chairman, Central Pollution Control Board,
- National Remote Sensing Centre,
- Indian Space Research Organisation and
- secretaries of Urban Development Departments of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi.
ii. Each participating state would submit a report within one month.
iii. The secretaries of Urban Development Departments of the states will be responsible for submitting the sub-regional plans.
iv. The matter will then be finalized within 3 months.
v. A final report of the committee might be sent on or before December 31 by e-mail.
An affidavit filed before the tribunal, the National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB) had submitted that there was shrinkage in NCZs like forests, water bodies and waste lands in Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.
National Wildlife Genetic Resource Bank (NWGRB): India’s only lab for conservation of endangered species inaugurated by Dr Harsh Vardhan in Hyderabad.
On August 13, 2018, Union minister of science and technology Harsh Vardhan inaugurated and dedicated first scientific and most modern national wildlife genetic resource bank for conservation of Endangered Species at Hyderabad.
i. It will be a part of Laboratory for the Conservation of Endangered Species (LaCONES), a research wing of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB).
ii. It contains genetic resources of about 250 wildlife species.
iii. Presently it holds genetic material like DNA/RNA, cell lines, blood, semen, eggs and tissues of 23 endangered animals from India including Tiger, Lion, Thamin, Hyena, Wild Dog and Wild Ass.
iii. It can preserve the genetic resources that could be utilised to virtually resurrect an animal species in case it goes extinct.
i. The Farahabad Range of Amrabad Tiger Reserve was re-introduced.
ii. The Telangana Forest Department, Central Zoo Authority, Nehru Zoological Park and CCMB will work jointly to conduct the first ever planned reintroduction of the Indian spotted chevrotain (Moschiola indica),also known as Indian mouse deer.
‘Tatkal Sewa’ for property registration across the state introduced by Punjab Government.
On August 13, 2018, the Punjab government started a ‘Tatkal sewa’ for property registration across the state.
i. Under this, people can seek appointment for ‘tatkal’ (instant) registration for properties for an hour-long slot from 9 am to 10 am.
ii. The facilitation charges for the service would be Rs. 5000.
iii. 20 additional dedicated sub-registrars had been deputed at Ludhiana (East), Jalandhar, Amritsar, Patiala, Kharar and some more districts.
iv. So far 1,62,410 online documents have been registered under the new system.
iv. This is part of the on line property registration that started in June 2018.
i. The department has launched a “Digital Mapping” pilot project to demarcate land boundaries in two villages : Mundi Kharar and Harlalpur of SAS nagar.
ii. Launch of Revenue Court Management System (RCMS) was done in Fatehgarh Sahib.
♦ Chief Minister: Amarinder Singh.
♦ Governor: V.P. Singh Badnore.
♦ National Parks: Abohar WLS, Bir Aishvan WLS, Bir Bunerheri WLS, Bir Bhadson WLS, Bir Dosanjh WLS, Bir Gurdialpura WLS, Bir Mehaswala WLS, Bir Motibagh WLS, Harike Lake WLS, Jhajjar Bacholi WLS, Kathlaur Kushlian WLS, Takhni-Rehampur WLS, Nangal WLS.
Chhattisgarh first state to provide Right to Skills’ Development to youth
Chhattisgarh has become the first state in India to provide Right to Skills’ Development to the youth.
Chhattisgarh – first state to provide Right to Skills’ Development to youth:
i. This was said by Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh after he flagged off 15 Skill Chariots to launch the government’s ‘Skills on Wheels’ project in Chhattisgarh.
ii. The chariots are aimed to spread awareness about the project. They will tour 13 districts in the first phase and the remaining 14 districts in the second phase.
Some National Parks in Chhattisgarh:
♦ Indravati National Park
♦ Kanger Ghati National Park
India’s first all-woman Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team for anti-terrorist operations inducted in Delhi Police
On 10th August 2018, Delhi Police has inducted India’s first all-woman Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team for anti-terrorist operations.
India’s first all-woman SWAT team:
i. The all-woman SWAT team was formally inducted by Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
ii. The team has undergone training for nearly 15 months. The team consists of 36 women commandos from the northeastern states.
iii. 13 of the members are from Assam. Remaining members are from Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Manipur.
iv. This team is specialized in building interventions, counter ambush and VVIP security.
iv. They will be deployed at Red Fort and India Gate during Independence Day celebrations.
2 new Space Research Technology Centres to come up in Jammu and Agartala
On August 13, 2018, the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh announced that Jammu will be the first city in North India to get a full-fledged Space Technology Research Centre.
i. It would be devoted to research, academics and post-graduation study and would be under Central University Jammu.
ii. Another Space Technology Research Centre will be set up in Agartala, Tripura in the Northeast.
iii. It would work under National Institute of Technology (NIT) Agartala.
Jodhpur emerged as the cleanest Railway station in India: survey by QCI
On August 13, 2018, railway minister Piyush Goyal announced that Jodhpur in Rajasthan topped in the cleanest railway station in the recent ranking of the ‘Swach Rail’.
i. The survey was conducted by the Quality Council of India (QCI).The third report of Third Party Audit-cum-Survey of ranking of cleanliness covers 407 major railway stations (75 A1 category and 332 A category stations).
ii. This is a part of the assessment of cleanliness through a third party.
i. In the A1 category, Jodhpur has emerged as the cleanest station overtaking the spot from last year’s winner Visakhapatnam.
ii. It was followed by Rajasthan capital Jaipur is at number two and Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh was placed at number three.
iii. Marwar in Rajasthan topped the list in A category.
iv. It is followd by followed by Phulera in Rajasthan at number two, and Warangal in Telangana at number three.
v. North Western Railway topped the list as the cleanest zone followed by South Central Railway (SCR) at 2nd spot and East Coast Railway at the 3rd spot.
vi. Apart from survey for stations, survey to find the ‘cleanest train’ was also done. Over 200 trains have been pitted against each other to find the cleanest train.
A tabular representation of the ranking is given below:
|Cleanest Railway Station (A1 category)|
|3||Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh)|
|Cleanest Railway Station (A category)|
|1||North Western Railway|
|2||South Central Railway|
|3||East Coast Railway|
♦ The first survey was conducted by the IRCTC in 2016, the second by QCI.
♦ The railways has a ‘Swachh Rail’ portal to showcase cleanliness rankings of various stations. Indian Railways is the third largest rail network in the world, covering 66,000 km and having more than 8,000 stations.
BANKING & FINANCE
SBI ranked as India’s most patriotic brand: Survey by UK based YouGov
On August 13, 2018, the survey conducted by UK-based online market research and data analytics firm YouGov announced SBI to be the most patriotic brand.
i. The survey covered 152 brands across 11 categories, is based on data collected online between August 2 and August 8 from 1,193 respondents in the country.
ii. In terms of sectors, the financial sector topped the chart followed by auto, consumer goods, food and telecom sectors.
The results as per the sectors are as follows:
- Financial Sector: SBI , LIC.
- Auto sector: Tata Motors, Bharat Petroleum, Maritu Suzuki.
- Food sector: Amul.
- Personal care: Patanjali.
- Oral Care: Colgate, Dabur , Vicco.
- Telecom sector: BSNL, Reliance Jio.
- Homecare products: Nirma.
- Beverages category: Tata Tea, Taj Mahal.
The Over-all list of the ‘Most Patriotic brand’:
♦ Headquarters: London, UK.
♦ Purpose: Market Research, Opinion Polling.
AWARDS & RECOGNITION
Annie Zaidi wins The Hindu Playwright Award 2018
On 9th August 2018, Annie Zaidi was awarded the Hindu Playwright Award 2018 for her play Untitled-1, at the launch of the 14th edition of The Hindu Theatre Fest at the Taj Coromandel, in Chennai.
Annie Zaidi – Hindu Playwright Award 2018:
i. Annie Zaidi was presented the award by Ratna Pathak Shah, actor and director. The award was given for the best new unpublished and unperformed playscript in English.
ii. The award carried a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh. The winner was chosen by a panel of 3 judges: Ramu Ramanthan, Shernaz Patel and Parvathi Nayar.
iii. Yes Bank was the Title Sponsor for the fest. Other event partners were: Girias, Fever FM, UBER, Zebronics, Taj Coromandel and Evam.
iv. The Hindu Theatre Fest was held from 10th August to 12th August 2018 in Chennai.
About Yes Bank:
♦ MD & CEO – Rana Kapoor
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Justice Jhaveri appointed as the 30th Chief Justice of Odisha HC
On August 13, 2018, Justice Kalpesh Satyendra Jhaveri has been appointed as the 30th new Chief Justice of Orissa High Court (HC).
i. He will succeed Chief Justice Vineet Saran, who has been elevated to the Supreme Court.
ii. He has earlier been a Gujarat HC Judge and a Rajasthan HC judge.
iii. He obtained BSc and LLB degree from Gujarat Univeristy had started his career as lawyer at Gujarat HC in 1983.
iv. He was elected as Joint Secretary in 1984 and General Secretary of Gujarat High Court Advocates’ Association in 1988.
Justice Manjula Chellur appointed as APTEL Chairperson: Power Ministry
On August 13, 2018, Justice Manjula Chellur has been appointed as Chairperson of Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL) by the power ministry.
i. Prior to this, she was Chief Justice of Bombay High Court.
ii. She was the first woman Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court.
iii. She has served as the Chief Justice of Kerala High Court and the first female judge of the Karnataka High Court.
AIFF senior vice president Subrata Dutta elected as vice president of South West Asian Football Federation (SWAFF)
On 12th August 2018, All India Football Federation (AIFF) senior vice president Subrata Dutta was elected as a vice president of the newly formed South West Asian Football Federation (SWAFF).
Subrata Dutta – vice president of SWAFF:
i. Subrata Dutta was elected as vice president of SWAFF at the General Assembly of SWAFF in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He has been elected for a period of 4 years.
ii. The President of SWAFF is Dr. Adel Ezzat. He is also, the President and Chairman of Saudi Arabian Football Federation.
iii. SWAFF consists of 10 member countries: India, Maldives, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Bangladesh, Kuwait, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Yemen.
About All India Football Federation (AIFF):
♦ President – Praful M Patel
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Chandrayaan-2 Lander to be named ‘Vikram’ after the father of Indian space programme
On August 13, 2018, the Space Commission has approved ISRO’s proposal of naming the Chandrayaan-2 lander ‘Vikram’ after Vikram Sarabhai, the father of Indian space programme.
i. Apart from this, as part of the centenary celebrations of Vikram Sarabhai next year, It has planned a series of lectures at the national and international level .
ii. An international innovation award named after Sarabhai has been approved worth Rs.50 crore.
iii. ISRO would set up Sarabhai chairs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge University and Gujarat University.
iv. As part of its science outreach programme, Isro is planning to launch its own TV channel.
v.Sarabahi was awarded (posthumously) the Padma Vibhushan in 1972, Padma Bhushan in 1966 and Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar medal in 1962.
vi. Isro will soon open its spaceport in Sriharikota to public to witness live space launches in the facility.
vii. ISRO also plans on launching a magazine and creating space galleries across the country.
Chairman: K. Sivan.
Rafael Nadal won Toronto Masters by defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas
On 11th August 2018, Rafael Nadal won the Toronto Masters title, in Toronto, Canada.
Rafael Nadal wins Toronto Masters title:
i. Rafael Nadal defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-2, 7-6 (7/4) in the final and won the Toronto Masters title.
ii. Through this win Rafael Nadal has gained a record-extending 33rd trophy at the elite Masters level and his 80th title.
iii. Rafael Nadal currently leads the all-time list of Masters 1000 titles on 32. Earlier, he has won the Canadian title in 2005, 2008 and 2013.
About Canadian Open (tennis) also known as Rogers Cup:
♦ Location – Montreal & Toronto, Canada
♦ events alternate from year to year between the cities of Montreal and Toronto
♦ Surface – Hard / outdoor
James Anderson becomes 1st bowler to take 100 wickets at Lord’s
On 12th August 2018, English cricketer James Anderson became the first player to take 100 wickets at Lord’s.
i. James Anderson achieved this feat during the fourth day of the second Test against India.
ii. He took the wicket of Murali Vijay in the second over of India’s second innings to achieve this feat. Also, this was his 550th Test wicket.
iii. Overall, James Anderson is the second bowler to take 100 wickets at a single venue after Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan, who has taken more than 100 wickets at 3 separate venues in Test matches.
Viraj Madappa becomes youngest Indian golfer to win on Asian tour
On 12th August 2018, Indian golfer Viraj Madappa became the youngest Indian to win on the Asian Tour, as he won his first title on the Asian Tour at Take Solutions Masters in Bengaluru.
Viraj Madappa – youngest Indian golfer to win on Asian tour:
i. Viraj Madappa scored a total of 16-under 268 at the Asian Tour event. He is 20 years old and has become the youngest Indian to win on the Asian Tour.
ii. Earlier this record was held by Gaganjeet Bhullar, who won the Indonesia Invitational, when he was 21 years and three months old.
iii. Viraj Madappa is also the first rookie and youngest player to win on the continental Tour this season.
Some important stadiums in India:
♦ Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium – Delhi
♦ Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium – Delhi
♦ Dhyan Chand National Stadium – Delhi
2018 Vietnam Open (badminton)
From 7th to 12th August 2018, the 2018 Vietnam Open officially known as YONEX-SUNRISE Vietnam Open 2018, was held at Nguyen Du Cultural Sports Club in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
i. The tournament was organized by Hochiminh City Badminton Association. Total prize money of the event was $75,000.
ii. This was the 6th Super 100 tournament of the 2018 BWF World Tour. It is also part of the Vietnam Open championships initiated in 1996.
Winners of 2018 Vietnam Open:
|Men’s Singles||Shesar Hiren Rhustavito (Indonesia)||Ajay Jayaram (India)|
|Women’s Singles||Yeo Jia Min (Singapore)||Han Yue (China)|
|Men’s Doubles||Ko Sung-hyun, Shin Baek-cheol (South Korea)||Lee Sheng-mu, Yang Po-hsuan (Chinese Taipei)|
|Women’s Doubles||Misato Aratama, Akane Watanabe (Japan)||Nami Matsuyama,Chiharu Shida (Japan)|
|Mixed Doubles||Nipitphon Phuangphuapet, Savitree Amitrapai (Thailand)||Alfian Eko Prasetya, Marsheilla Gischa Islami (Indonesia)|
i. Indian shuttler Ajay Jayaram lost to Indonesia’s Shesar Hiren Rhustavito 14-21,10-21 in the finals of the Men’s Singles event and emerged as runner-up.
ii. It was the second consecutive runner-up finish for Ajay Jayaram following his performance at the White Nights International Challenge, in July 2017.
iii. Indonesia’s Shesar Hiren Rhustavito, had won four consecutive Indonesia International tournament. He also defeated another Indian, Mithun Manjunath 21-17 19-21 21-14 in the semifinals of men’s singles.
i. K Jindal was ousted in the third round of the men’s singles event. S Verma reached till second round of men’s singles.
ii. S Jaiswal, A Yeligar, S Pratap Singh, K Gulshan Kumar and B Joshi were ousted in the first round of men’s singles.
iii. R Raje, M Agrey and V Choudhari were ousted in the first round of women’s singles. R Das reached till quarter finals of women’s singles.
iv. M Jakkampudi and P S. Ram pair were knocked out of the first round of women’s doubles event.
v. D Kapila & M Jakkampudi pair and S Sharma & P S. Ram pair were ousted in the first round of the mixed doubles event.
About Badminton Association of India:
♦ President – Himanta Biswa Sarma
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
Communist veteran Somnath Chatterjee passes away
On 13th August 2018, former Speaker of the Lok Sabha and 10 time MP, Somnath Chatterjee died following multiple organ failure, in Kolkata.
Death of Somnath Chatterjee:
i. Somnath Chatterjee was 89 years old. He was a barrister by profession.
ii. He was the first and the last communist leader to be elected as Speaker of the Lok Sabha. He held that position from 2004 to 2009.
iii. He was central committee member of CPI(M) from 1998 to 2008. He was also the leader of CPI(M) in the Parliament from 1989 to 2004.
iv.Chatterjee was given the “Outstanding Parliamentarian Award” in 1996.