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Current Affairs Today August 21 2018

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Current Affairs Today August 21 2018


Government bans pet coke import for fuel use
India banned the import of pet coke as fuel use but it will be allowed to use as feedstock in some industries.
Government bans pet coke import for fuel usei. Cement, lime kiln, calcium carbide and gasification industries are only allowed to use import of pet coke  as the feedstock or in the manufacturing process on actual user condition.
ii. India is one of the world’s largest consumers and imports over 27 million tonnes from the United States.
Why India consumes Pet coke?
India is the world’s biggest consumer of petroleum coke, which is a dark solid carbon material that emits 11 per cent more greenhouse gases than coal, according to the CarnegieTsinghua Center for Global Policy.
What is Petroleum coke or Pet coke?
i. Petroleum coke, abbreviated coke or petcoke, is a final carbon-rich solid material that derives from oil refining, and is one type of the group of fuels referred to as cokes.
ii. There are four basic types of petroleum coke, namely, needle coke, honeycomb coke, sponge coke and shot coke. Different types of petroleum coke have different microstructures due to differences in operating variables and nature of feedstock.

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India has notified new sets of specified health warnings for all tobacco product packs
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has notified a new set of specified health warnings for all tobacco products manufactured or imported or packaged on or after September 1.It issued new images for the pictorial warning on packs of cigarette and other tobacco products.
i. Health ministry ordered all packs of tobacco products must have “tobacco causes cancer” and “tobacco causes painful death”written in white on a red background, and the words “quit today call 1800-11-2356” in white on a black background.
ii. The government released two separate set of images.The first set will be used on tobacco products from September 1,2018 for a period of 12 months whereas the second set of images will be used from September 1,2019.
iii. The new set of specified health warning for all tobacco product packs has been brought in by making an amendment in the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Rules, 2008 vide GSR 331(E) dated April 3, 2018, “Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products [Packaging and Labelling] Second Amendment Rules, 2018”.

Punjab Cabinet okays amendments to CrPc & IPC to make sacrilege punishable with life imprisonment
On August 21st 2018, The Punjab Cabinet approved amendments to the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as well as the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) to make disrespect of religious texts punishable with life imprisonment.
i. The Cabinet has approved the withdrawal of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2016 and the Indian Penal Code (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2016, passed in the 12th Session of 14th Vidhan Sabha, 2016.
ii. The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Amarinder Sing.
Section which inserts to the Indian Penal Code (IPC):-
The Cabinet has approved insertion of section 295AA to the Indian Penal Code (IPC) to provide that – whoever causes injury, damage or sacrilege to Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Srimad Bhagwad Geeta, Holy Quran and Holy Bible with the intention to hurt the religious feelings of the people, shall be punished with imprisonment for life.

Centre says Kerala floods ‘calamity of severe nature’
On August 21 2018 , Centre has declared the Kerala floods as a calamity of “severe nature”. The central government has also scaled up its relief and rescue operations.
i. Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said the Kerala floods were being treated as natural calamity of severe nature.
ii. National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), chaired by Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha informed that Centre dispatched 100 tonnes of pulses and 52 tonnes of essential medicines to the State. Around 20 tonnes of bleaching powder and 1 crore chlorine tablets.
iii. Ministry of Power has moved equipment such as electricity meters, coils and transformers to restore the distribution network.

Chhattisgarh government pays tribute to Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Naya Raipur to be renamed Atal Nagar
On August 21,2018  Chhattisgarh Cabinet approved the proposal to rename Naya Raipur , capital of Chhattisgarh as ‘Atal Nagar’.
Chhattisgarh government pays tribute to Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Naya Raipur to be renamed Atal NagarOther renames in the name of Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh announced the renaming of some other institutions and projects after Vajpayee.
i. The Bilaspur University will be known as Atal Bihari Vajpayee University
ii. Narrow Gauge Line will be called Atal Path.
iii.  The Central Park, which is being constructed will be named as Atal Park.
iv. Vajpayee’s contribution to Pokhran nuclear test, a police battalion will be known as ‘Pokhran Battalion’.
v. The Rajnandgaon Medical College will also be renamed after Vajpayee.
vi. Madhya Pradesh government decided to build two memorials in Gwalior and Bhopal after the former PM.
vii. Shivraj Singh Chouhan government also agreed to name the Global Skill Park after Vajpayee.
viii.Moreover, on November 1, the statehood day, ‘Atal Bihari Vajpayee Sushasan award’ will be given to panchayats and urban bodies for good governance.

Centralised secretariat at Panchkula for 5 Northen staes and 2 UTs to tackle drug menace
On 20th August 2018, 5 Northern States: Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Union Territories: Delhi and Chandigarh decided to set up a centralised secretariat at Panchkula, in Haryana, to tackle drug menace.
Centralised secretariat at Panchkula for 5 Northen staes and 2 UTs to tackle drug menaceCentralised secretariat at Panchkula to tackle drug menace:
i. This decision was taken at the regional conference of the Chief Ministers organised by the Haryana government on “Drug menace, challenges and strategies” in Chandigarh.
ii. At the centralised secretariat at Panchkula nodal officers from each State will be assigned to share intelligence and information.
iii. This will help to exchange information on drug trends, cases registered and persons named, wanted or arrested.
iv. Monthly meeting for special task forces and quarterly meetings at the level of Home Secretaries will be conducted to build inter-agency trust.
v. All states have agreed to set up more de-addiction centres and to strengthen the existing ones in both public and private sector.
Some National Parks in Haryana:
♦ Sultanpur National Park
♦ Kalesar National Park

IIT Kharagpur launches ‘Aditya Choubey Center for Re-Water Research’
On 17th August 2018, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IIT-Kharagpur) launched ‘Aditya Choubey Center for Re-Water Research’ to treat and convert sewage water into potable water.
Aditya Choubey Center for Re-Water Research:
i. Aditya Choubey Center for Re-Water Research has been set up by a seed fund created by IIT alumni Anant Choubey and Aneesh Reddy.
ii. This has been launched to handle the issues of sewage disposal in urban areas and access to clean potable water.
iii. Aditya Choubey Center for Re-Water Research will connect with government bodies to use this technology to tackle water related issues in various cities.
iv. An on-campus plant will be set up to convert 1.35 million litre of sewage water from the hostels to 1.2 million litre of potable water, on a daily basis.
v. The pilot plant would be launched in March 2019. Water processing and output will be monitored in real-time and conform to the IS 10500-2012 standard for drinking water.
vi. Prof M M Ghangrekar, of Department of Civil Engineering, IIT-Kharagpur, will head this project. Anant Choubey and Aneesh Reddy will be advisers.
vii. Also an operationally viable technology will be developed to profitably commercialise the plant.
About IIT-Kharagpur:
♦ Director – Partha Pratim Chakrabarti
♦ Location – Kharagpur, West Bengal


11th World Hindi Conference held in Mauritius
From 18th to 20th August 2018, the 11th World Hindi Conference (WHC) was held at Swami Vivekanand International Convention Centre in Port Louis, Mauritius.
i. Main theme of the Conference was “Hindi Vishwa Aur Bharatiy Sanskriti” (Hindi World and Indian Culture).
ii. Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth announced that Mauritius cyber tower, for which Atal Bihari Vajpayee had contributed, will be named as Atal Bihari Vajpayee tower.
iii. On 19th August 2018, Sushma Swaraj inaugurated ‘Panini Language Laboratory’ at Mahatma Gandhi Institute (MGI) in Mauritius. This lab was gifted by Indian government. It will help MGI in teaching Indian languages…………………………………….Click here to Read more

First-ever IAF-RMAF joint air exercise begins in Malaysia
On August 20 2018, The first-ever joint air exercise involving the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) commenced at Subang Air Base in Malaysia. This is the inaugural bilateral exercise between IAF & RMAF.
First-ever IAF-RMAF joint air exercise begins in Malaysiai. It was inaugurated by Gp Capt CUV Rao, team leader IAF & Col Mahadzer, Ex director of RMAF. It’s a platform to exchange Knowledge & Good practices with each other.
ii. RMAF and IAF ended its first ever bilateral exercise launching two Sukhoi Su-30MKM and Su-30MKI Flankers each from Subang airport.


Home Ministry notifies new Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) for refilling of ATMs
Home Ministry has specified new Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) for refilling of ATMs (Automated Teller Machine), which will come to effect on 8th February 2019.
New SoPS for refilling of ATMs:
i. The new SoPS have been formulated to prevent attacks on cash vans, cash vaults, ATM frauds and other internal frauds.
ii. As per the new SoPS, Cash loading of the ATMs or cash transportation activities will not be done:

  • After 9 pm– in urban areas
  • After 6 pm– in rural areas
  • Before 9 am or after 4 pm– in districts notified by the central government as Left Wing Extremism affected areas or Naxal-hit areas

iii. Private cash handling agencies should collect money from banks in the first half of the day. They should provide private security for the cash transportation. Every cash van should have one driver, two armed security guards, two ATM officers or custodians.
iv. Cash transportation should be performed only in secured cash vans equipped with GPS tracking device. A cash van should not carry cash more than Rs 50 million per trip.
v. Private security agencies should appoint a person for cash transportation only after they have undergone antecedent check like police, Aadhaar and residence verifications, previous employer check, credit history check and fidelity insurance.
vi. Every cash box should be secured to the floor with separate chains and locks that can be opened only using separate keys kept with different custodians.
vii. Cash vans should be equipped with: small CCTV system with a minimum of 5 days of recording facility and 3 cameras installed in front, rear and inside of the cabin; a security alarm with GSM-based auto-dialer with a motorised siren; hooter, fire extinguishers and emergency lights.
viii. Private security agencies should ensure that all cash handling activities like counting, sorting, and bundling activities should be performed in secured premises as per specific guidelines.
ix. The premises should have two physically independent areas, one for general office purpose and other for secured cash processing and handling activities. It should have space for cash deposit, collection, sorting, counting and delivery and dispatch of cash on secured cash vans.


Gopalkrishna Gandhi conferred with 2018 Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award
On 20th August 2018, former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi was awarded the 24th Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award on the occasion of 74th birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, in New Delhi.
Gopalkrishna Gandhi conferred with 2018 Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana AwardGopalkrishna Gandhi – 2018 Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award:
i. Gopalkrishna Gandhi was awarded the 2018 Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award for promoting communal harmony and peace. The award includes a citation and a cash award of Rs 10 lakh.
ii. Gopalkrishna Gandhi was conferred the award by chairperson of the Congress Parliamentary party Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and chairperson of the advisory committee for the award Karan Singh.
iii. Gopalkrishna Gandhi is the grandson of father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi.
iv. Rajiv Gandhi was born on 20th August 1944. His parents are former prime minister Indira Gandhi and Feroz Gandhi.


International team of scientists including 18 Indians decode complex wheat genome
On August 19 2018, A team of international researchers have decoded the wheat genome. Eighteen Indian scientists from that team played a crucial role in cracking the genetic code of wheat – the world’s most widely cultivated crop.
i. The research article is authored by more than 200 scientists from 73 research institutions in 20 countries.
ii. A team of 18 Indian scientists co-authoring this paper, led by Dr Kuldeep Singh at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) Ludhiana, Professor JP Khurana at the University of Delhi South Campus, and Professor Nagendra Singh at ICAR-National Research Centre on Plant Biotechnology, Delhi, contributed to the decoding of Chromosome 2A of the wheat genome.
iii. The genetic information, scientists say, would help Indian plant breeders create better wheat varieties capable of tolerating heat and drought without compromising the yield.

World’s first 4D printing for ceramics developed
On August 20 2018,Scientists have developed the world’s first 4D printing for ceramics, that can be used to create complex, shape-changing objects.
i. Ceramic has a high melting point, so it is difficult to use conventional laser printing to make ceramics.
ii.The existing 3D-printed ceramic precursors are usually difficult to deform, also hinder the production of ceramics with complex shapes.
iii. Now this drawback has been resolved  by scientists new innovates novel ‘ceramic ink’, which is a mixture of polymers and ceramic nanoparticles. These flexible and stretchable ceramic precursors allow complex shapes, such as origami folding, to made using proper heat treatment.
iii. The research team at the City University of Hong Kong made use of the elastic energy stored in the stretched precursors for shape morphing. When the stretched ceramic precursors are released, they undergo self-reshaping. After heat treatment, the precursors turn into ceramics.
Other facts:-
4D printing is conventional 3D printing combined with the additional element of time as the fourth dimension, where the printed object can re-shape or self-assemble itself over time with external stimuli, such as mechanical force, temperature, or a magnetic field.


Rishabh Pant becomes fourth Indian wicket-keeper to take five catches on Test debut
On 19th August 2018, Rishabh Pant became the 4th Indian wicket-keeper to take 5 catches on Test debut during the second day of the third cricket Test against England, in Nottingham, England.
Rishabh Pant – 4th Indian wicket-keeper to take 5 catches on Test debut:
i. Other Indians who had achieved this feat of taking 5 catches on Test debuts: Naren Tamhane, Kiran More and Naman Ojha.
ii. Rishabh Pant achieved this feat by taking the catches of Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Ollie Pope, Chris Woakes and Adil Rashid in England’s first innings.
iii. Rishabh Pant is also the first Asian wicket-keeper to take 5 catches in an innings on Test debut.
iv. He has also become the 1st Indian to open his account in Test cricket with a six. Also, he is the 12th batsman in the world to start his account in Test cricket with a six.


Shane Warne to come out with autobiography ‘No Spin’ in October 2018
Australia Cricketer and bowling spin legend Shane Warne plan to release his extraordinary cricketing career and his life off the pitch besides unveiling several unknown facts in his autobiography ‘No Spin ‘which will be published on October 2018.
Shane Warne to come out with autobiography 'No Spin' in October 2018i. Andrew Goodfellow, deputy publisher at Ebury press announced that Warne’s memoir “No Spin” will have a global release on October 4 2018.

VVS Laxman pens autobiography “281 and Beyond”
Indian cricketer VVS Laxman, known for the suppleness of his wrists, plans to release his emotional journey as cricket player through his autobiography “281 and Beyond” on November 20,2018.
i. The title has been borrowed from the Hyderabad stylist’s fabulous series-turning innings of 281 against Australia at the Eden Gardens in 2001.
ii. Westland Publications will release the former Indian cricketer’s autobiography “281 and Beyond”.
Few Facts about VVS Laxman
Laxman, who announced his retirement from international cricket in 2012, played 134 Tests, amassing 8,781 runs at an average of 45.97. He scored 17 centuries and 56 half centuries.He also played in 86 ODIs


International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism, 21 August
UN Secretary-General, António Guterres informed that General Assembly to establish an International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism due to Terrorism continues to pose a major threat to international peace and security. It undermines the core values of the United Nations and is an indiscriminate threat that affects people and countries across the globe.
International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism, 21 AugustObjective:-
Observance of the International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to Victims of Terrorism represents a major step forward in standing in solidarity with victims of terrorism. By inviting Member States, the United Nations, international organizations and civil society entities to observe the Day, attention to victims will be focused at the national, regional and international levels.
Other Facts:-
i. To observe the first International Day, the Permanent Missions of Afghanistan, Belgium, Iraq, Nigeria, and the United States, along with the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) and the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (UNCTED) will launch a multimedia exhibit at the Exhibition Hall, Visitors’ Lobby at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
ii. The month-long exhibition (1 August – 4 September 2018) includes interviews and documentaries that highlight international solidarity with victims, shows positive stories of victims’ resilience and illustrates what has been done for and by victims over the last decades.
UNODC also marks its first terrorism victims remembrance day:-
United Nations office on Drugs and Crime(UNODC)’s Secretary-General also remarked on the first International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism. UNODC’s work to support victims of terrorism is being rolled out through a range of activities.

World senior citizen day – August 21, 2018
World Senior Citizen Day, 2018 will be observed worldwide on August 21.
History Of World Senior Citizens Day
The history of International Senior Citizens Day comes from the period of 1988. It was officially established by the former president of United States of America i.e. Ronald Reagan. He had signed the 5847 promulgation on August 19, 1988, which manifested August 21 as the National Senior Citizens Day.
Aim & Reason to Celebrate:-
i. The main aim of observing the World Senior Citizens Day is to raise awareness of the condition of elder people and support them through the process of senescence.
ii. The reason for celebrating this day is to thank and acknowledge elders for all that they have done for their children. They sacrifice their entire life in nurturing their relationships.
 Facts to be known
Celebration of World Senior Citizens Day has its own theme every year .The theme is different in the observance of the day each year. The World Senior Citizens Day on 21 august 2017 is kept with the theme of “Stepping into the Future: Tapping the Talents, Contributions and Participation of Older Persons in Society.”

National Sadbhavana Day – August 20
Sadbhavana Diwas 2018 (74th birth anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi) will be celebrated all over the India at on 20th of August.
i. The Sadbhavana (means having good feelings for others) Diwas or Harmony Day is celebrated to commemorate the birth anniversary of the earlier Prime Minister of India named Rajiv Gandhi.
ii. It was also used to celebrate by many of the people in order to give the Respect and Salutations to many of the good people in India and many other Countries.

National Nutrition Month to be observed in September
The month of September will be celebrated as the National Nutrition Month every year to mark India’s fight against malnutrition.
September – National Nutrition Month:
i. This announcement was made by the Ministry of Women and Child Development at the second meeting of National Council on India’s Nutrition Challenges under the Poshan Abhiyaan on 25th July 2018.
ii. The Ministry of Women and Child Development will conduct programmes to create awareness on issues related to malnutrition like stunting, under-nutrition, anemia and low birth weight in children.
iii. The programmes will be focused on adolescent girls, pregnant women and lactating mothers.
About Ministry of Women and Child Development:
Minister of Women and Child Development – Maneka Gandhi