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Central government constituted a Panel headed by CWC chairman to coordinate the discharge of floodwaters from Kerala-TN inter-State projects
On August 17, 2018, on the event of heavy rainfall and flood in Kerala, the Central government has constituted a coordination committee to work on the discharge of floodwaters between Kerala-Tamilnadu.
i. The committee is headed by the Central Water Commission Chairman Narendra Kumar to coordinate the discharge of floodwaters from inter-State projects involving Kerala and Tamil Nadu,
ii. The inter-state projects would include Mullaperiyar and Aliyar.
iii. The Chairman of the CWC will monitor the situation at Mullaperiyar dam in view of rising water level and continued heavy inflow.
As the water level Mullaperiyar has crossed 142 ft the Supreme Court has approved the application seeking Central governments intervention in the matter.
♦ Chief Minister: Pinarayi Vijayan.
♦ Capital: Thiruvananthapuram.
♦ National Parks: Anamudi Shola National Park, Eravikulam National Park, Mathikettan Shola National Park, Pambadum Shola National Park, Periyar National Park, Silent Valley National Park.
♦ Dams: Mullaperiyar Dam, Idukki Dam, Idamalayar Dam, Banasura Sagar Dam.
♦ Kerala has 44 rivers and 42 dams.
Campaign against sexual abuse of children launched by Amnesty International India
On August 17, 2018, Amnesty International India launched a new campaign named ‘Our Safety, Our Rights’, among children against sexual abuse.
The campaign will culminate on October 11 – International Day of the Girl Child.
To help them understand and identify sexual abuse.
i. The campaign in collaboration with Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti, People’s Action for Rural Awakening (PARA) and Institute of Social Education.
ii. 50,000 students, parents, teachers and children from 400 schools, across four Indian states will be participating in this campaign.
iii. This include schools in Amnesty International India’s Human Rights Education network in Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
iv. This would empower children to speak up and report sexual abuse without fear.
Amnesty International India:
♦ Headquarters: Bengaluru.
♦ Founded: 1966 in Bihar.
♦ Motto: Global Defenders of Human Rights.
POCSO or The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) 2012 was established to protect the children against offences like sexual abuse, sexual harassment and pornography.
It received the President’s assent on June 19, 2012
International Conference on Recent Advances in Food Processing Technology (iCRAFPT) gets held at IIFPT, Thanjavur
On August 17, 2018, commemorating its golden jubilee ‘iCRAFPT ’18’ , the Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT), started an international conference on recent advances in food processing technology till August 19, 2018 at its campus in Thanjavur.
i. It would be inaugurated by union minister of food processing industries, Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
ii. The theme of the conference is: ‘Doubling Farmers Income through Food Processing’
iii. In the event:
- internationally renowned speakers will share their research experienceson food technology,
- Student Quiz, hackathon and Documentary on the various topics were held with total prize money of Rs.45000.
- transfer of new technologies to farmers and FPOs would take place
- various MoUs with leading food industries have also been planned/
iv. A total of 1800 registered participants have taken part in this event.
About Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology:
♦ The Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (Formerly Indian Institute of Crop Processing Technology) is Research and Educational Institution under the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Government of India.
♦ Headquarters: Thanjavur .
Panel headed by B Sesikeran to review red-labelling draft of FSSAI
On August 17, 2018, bill for red-labelling of packaged products containing fat, sugar and salt has been halted by the government as per FSSAI’s report.
i. Additionally, a group of experts from health and nutrition background has been set up to look into the issue of labeling.
ii. The group is headed by B Sesikeran, former director of National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) as well as the current director Hemalatha and doctor Nikhil Tandon.
iii. It will study in detail the concerns of the industry and make recommendations.
Although FSSAI CEO suggest that Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) will go ahead with the labelling norms even if there is no full consensus on the matter after the panel’s suggestions.
About Food Safety and Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations 2018:
In April, food safety regulator FSSAI had come out with the draft of Food Safety and Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations 2018 that proposed mandatory red-label marking on packaged products for the consumer to identify between healthy and un-healthy food.
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi.
♦ CEO: Pawan Kumar Agarwal.
Special film festival themed “Freedom Struggle & Freedom Fighters” held in Mumbai
On 15th August 2018, a special film festival on the theme “Freedom Struggle and Freedom Fighters” was held to mark India’s 72nd Independence Day, in Mumbai.
i. The festival was organized by Films Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
ii. It was inaugurated by Smt. Rama Khandwala, a freedom fighter and Indian National Army (INA) veteran.
iii. Documentary films on freedom struggle and freedom fighters were screened at the festival.
BANKING & FINANCE
UPI 2.0 version: new & improved interface released by RBI governor Dr. Urjit Patel.
On August 17, 2018, RBI Governor Urjit Patel unveiled UPI version 2.0 .
i. The new version has been developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
ii. It will allow the customers to use overdraft limit for making payments for merchants.
iii. This has been made in need for ensuring adequate importance on cyber security.
iv. UPI 2.0 member banks as on date are: State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank, RBL Bank, YES Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, IndusInd Bank, Federal Bank and HSBC.
Features of the improved UPI 2.0:
i. The UPI 2.0 has enhanced features such as :
- invoice in the inbox,
- signed intent/QR,
- UPI mandate with blocking of funds and
- UPI for overdraft account.
♦ UPI was launched on April 11, 2016.
♦ BHIM UPI has recorded transactions worth Rs 45,845 crore and 235 million in terms of value and volume in the month of July 2018.
♦ Non-Executive Chairman: Biswamohan Mahapatra.
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai.
♦ Founded: 2008.
Sarvatra technologies launches 450th cooperative bank – ‘Sevalia Urban Co-operative Bank’
On August 17, 2018, Sarvatra Technologies has launched ‘Sevalia Urban Co-operative Bank’ as 450th co-operative bank on National Financial Switch (NFS).
i. Sarvatra brings many co-operative banks on digital payment platform by making them inter-operable with large banks.
ii. It aims to add another 50 plus co-operative banks by FY 2019.
iii. It has provided digital payment platform to larger banks like ICICI and IDBI bank and payment banks like Paytm Payments Bank, Equitas Small Finance Bank etc.
Operation of Sarvatra:
Sarvatra started with NFS, providing the following:
- RuPay Debit and Kissan Credit Cards issuance
- enabling transactions on ATMs, POS and eCommerce,
- bringing banks on other NPCI platforms like IMPS, UPI, AePS and Bharat BillPay,
- bringing technologies to India’s ‘underbanked’ population.
Achievements of Sarvatra:
i. It enabled top quality payment switches like UPI and IMPS to increase from few thousand transactions to few lakh transactions per day .
ii. In 2018, the transaction value is set to touch Rs. 40, 000 crore.
iii. In 8 years, Sarvatra went from offering digital solutions to two banks to 450+ banks and from a single payments platform to five different payment platform, viz. EFT (ATM, POS, E-Com), IMPS, Bharat Bill Payment System, UPI, AEPS.
iv. Sarvatra’s platforms in ICICI Bank and Equitas bank have won NPCI award for best performance in their respective categories in 2018.
About Sarvatra Technologies:
♦ India’s leading end-to-end payments and banking solutions provider.
♦ Headquarters: Pune.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
TCS piped RIL to become most valued Indian company: BSE
On August 17, 2018, according to BSE data, TCS overtakes RIL to become most valued Indian company.
i. The market capitalisation (m-cap) of
- TCS stood at Rs 7,69,065.04.
- RIL stood at Rs 7,60,644.73 crore.
ii. There is a difference of total Rs 8,420.31 crore in m cap.
iii. Earlier, on July 31st 2018, RIL was ranked the top company according to m cap crossing the USD 100-billion market capitalisation mark.
On August 1, 2018, in Fortune 500 list of companies, RIL ranked 148 jumping 55 places. It was the top private sector Indian company.
RUCO (Repurpose Used Cooking Oil): FSSAI’s initiative to collect & convert used cooking oil into biofuel
On 10th August 2018, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) launched RUCO (Repurpose Used Cooking Oil) initiative for collection and conversion of used cooking oil into bio-diesel.
RUCO (Repurpose Used Cooking Oil):
i. Under RUCO, 64 companies at 101 locations have been identified to enable collection of used cooking oil.
ii. According to FSSAI, India has the potential to recover 220 crore litres of used cooking oil for the production of biodiesel by 2022.
iii.As per FSSAI regulations, the maximum permissible limits for Total Polar Compounds (TPC) is 25 %. Beyond this limit, the cooking oil is not safe for consumption.
iv. FSSAI is working in partnership with Biodiesel Association of India and the food industry to make sure that used cooking oil regulations are followed properly.
v. FSSAI will also publish guidance documents, tips for consumers and posters regarding this. It is also conducting awareness campaigns through its e-channels.
About Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI):
♦ CEO – Pawan Kumar Agarwal
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
India improve to world no 96 in FIFA rankings
On 16th August 2018, Indian football team improved a rank and secured 96th position in the latest FIFA world rankings.
India – 96th rank in FIFA rankings:
i. Indian football team was ranked 97th in the previous week. In the latest FIFA rankings, they share the 96th position with Georgia.
ii. India’s improvement in the ranking is seen after the introduction of a new ranking system called ELO by FIFA.
iii. As per ELO, points will be added or subtracted to a national team’s already existing total before a match.
iv. Top five positions in the latest FIFA rankings:
About FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association):
♦ President – Gianni Infantino
♦ Headquarters – Zürich, Switzerland
Emirates Cricket Board to host 2018 Asia Cup: BCCI
On August 17, 2018, BCCI officially handed over its hosting rights to the Emirates Cricket Board for the upcoming Asia Cup 2018.
i. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Emirates Cricket Board signed an agreement for this purpose.
ii. It was signed between:
- Amitabh Chaudharyand CEO Rahul Johri from BCCI’s side and
- Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, the chairman of the Emirates Cricket Board.
iii. This decision was taken by the Asian Cricket Council (ACC).
About Asian Cup:
i. This tournament would be held from September 15 to 28 in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
ii. Countries participating in the event are :Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka .They will be joined by a sixth team — the winner of the Asian Cricket Council qualifier event.
iii. The major attraction of this tournament is two assured Indo-Pakistan clashes.
The event was originally scheduled in India with BCCI playing the hosts but Pakistan’s participation was an issue considering the prevailing political situation between the neighbouring countries.
Asian Cricket Council (ACC).
♦ Headquarters: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
♦ Founded: 1983.
♦ Member Countries: 25 .
Nihal Sarin becomes India’s 53rd Grandmaster
On 14th August 2018, Nihal Sarin became India’s 53rd Grandmaster (GM) after finishing his third and final GM-norm in the Abu Dhabi Masters.
Nihal Sarin – India’s 53rd Grandmaster:
i. Nihal Sarin had already reached the stipulated rating of 2500. In the 8th round of the Abu Dhabi Masters, he reached 5.5 points and sealed the norm.
ii. Even though he lost the final round to Hungary’s GM Richard Rapport, his minimum rating performance of 2626 was enough to secure the title-winning norm.
iii. Nihal Sarin is 14 years old. He hails from Thrissur.
India’s Esow Alben wins silver at 2018 UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships
Indian cyclist Esow Alben has won India’s first medal (a silver medal) at the 2018 UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships in Aigle, Switzerland.
Esow Alben – silver at 2018 UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships:
i. In the Men’s Keirin event, Czech Republic’s Jakub Stastny won gold medal. Esow Alben finished 0.017 seconds behind him and won silver medal. Kazakhstan’s Andrey Chugay won the bronze medal.
ii. Esow Alben also participated in the men’s team sprint event with Mayur Pawar and James Keithellakpam Singh. But the team did not qualify for the finals.
iii. Esow Alben is 17 years old. He hails from Andaman and Nicobar islands. He trains at the Sports Authority of India’s National Cycling Academy in Delhi.
iv.He became the world no 1 in junior sprint category after his performance in the Asian Championships and 2018 Cottbuser Sprint Cup 2, GP Brno Track Cycling competitions.
About 2018 UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) Junior Track Cycling World Championships:
♦ Dates – 15th to 19th August 2018
♦ Location – Aigle, Switzerland
♦ Participating countries – 44
US singer Aretha Franklin dies at 76
On 16th August 2018, US singer Aretha Franklin passed away after fighting pancreatic cancer at her residence in Detroit, the United States of America.
Death of Aretha Franklin:
i. Aretha Franklin was 76 years old. She was born in Memphis, Tennessee, US. She made her debut performance in 1961.
ii. In the late 1960s, she earned the title “Queen of Soul”. Some of her hit songs are: “Respect”, “Natural Woman” and “Chain of Fools.”
iii. She won the Grammy Award 18 times. She was the first female vocalist to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. In 2006, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
iv. She performed at the inaugurations of three US Presidents: Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama.