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Current Affairs Today August 23 2018

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Current Affairs Today August 23 2018


2 day Visit of Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera to India on 19-20 August 2018
i. The Defence Minister of Japan Mr. Itsunori Onodera visited India for the first time for 2 days at the invitation of the Defence Minister of India Smt Nirmala Sitharaman from 19 to 20 August 2018.
ii. Defence Minister of Japan called on the Prime Minister at the Annual Defence Ministerial Meeting
iii. In the Raisina Dialogue, the flagship conference supported by the Government of India,  Japanese Chief of Staff, Joint Staff from the Defence Ministry of Japan participated for the first time.
Following MOUs signed :

  • Exchanges between the Japan Ground Self-Defence Force (JGSDF) and the Indian Army
  • Exchanges between the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force and the Indian Navy
  • Exchanges between the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and the Indian Air Force
  • Cooperation and exchange between Education and Research Exchanges
  • Cooperation in Defence Equipment and Technology……………………………………..Click here to Read more

President inaugurated “International Buddhist Conclave 2018”
On 23rd August 2018, Indian President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the “International Buddhist Conclave (IBC), 2018” at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.
President inaugurated “International Buddhist Conclave 2018”International Buddhist Conclave (IBC), 2018:
i. The Minister of State (Independent charge), K.J. Alphons presided over the inaugural function. The Conclave is held for 4 days till 26th August 2018.
ii. It is organized by the Ministry of Tourism along with the State Governments of Maharashtra, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
iii. The conclave is held in New Delhi and Ajanta (Maharashtra). Site visits will be held in Rajgir, Nalanda and Bodhgaya (Bihar) and Sarnath (Uttar Pradesh).
iv. Ram Nath Kovind launched the Ministry of Tourism website on important Buddhist sites: A new film on Buddhist sites in India was also launched.
v. Delegates from 29 countries are taking part in the Conclave: Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mangolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Norway, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, UK, USA and Vietnam.
vi. This is the 6th International Buddhist Conclave. Theme of this conclave is: “Buddha Path – The Living Heritage”. Partner Country for IBC 2018 is Japan.
vii. This conclave aims to project the Buddhist Heritage in India and enhance tourism in Buddhist sites of India and develop friendly ties with countries and communities interested in Buddhism.
viii. An ‘Investors’ Summit’ is also organized by the Ministry of Tourism during the Conclave to attract investments to develop world class infrastructure at Buddhist sites.
ix. The Ministry of Tourism, India, organises the International Buddhist Conclave biennially.

Strong wage policies needed to promote inclusive growth in India: as per ‘India Wage Report: Wage policies for decent work and inclusive growth’
On 20th August 2018, ILO (International Labour Organization) released its ‘India Wage Report: Wage policies for decent work and inclusive growth’. This report states that, India needs to improve its wage policies to promote inclusive growth.
Strong wage policies needed to promote inclusive growth in India: as per 'India Wage Report: Wage policies for decent work and inclusive growth'Strong wage policies needed to promote inclusive growth in India:
i. As per ILO’s report, low pay and wage inequality prevent India from achieving decent working conditions and inclusive growth.
ii. As per the report, nearly 33 % i.e. 62 million workers were paid less than the indicative national minimum wage. Also, the rate of low pay was higher in women.
iii. According to National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) estimates the real average daily wage has doubled between 1993–94 and 2011–12.
v. There has been faster growth in the most vulnerable categories like workers in rural areas, informal employment, casual workers, female workers and low-paid occupations. But, low pay and wage inequalities exist.
vi. Also the report states that, there is a lack of consensus with regard to the methodology used to determine the minimum wage rate. Both the central and state governments are not using it as a floor for determining minimum wages.
vii. Even though, overall wage inequality in India has reduced to some extent since 2004-05, it still continues to remain high.
viii. The gender wage gap reduced from 48 % in 1993-94 to 34 % in 2011-12, but still it remains high compared to international standards.
Recommendations by ILO:
i. To achieve inclusive growth through sustainable wage policies, ILO has recommended:

  • extending legal coverage to all workers in an employment relationship
  • ensuring full consultation of social partners on minimum wage systems
  • undertaking regular evidence-based adjustments
  • progressively consolidating and simplifying minimum wage structures
  • stronger measures to ensure a more effective application of minimum wage law

ii. Recommendations to improve the current minimum wage system in India:

  • promoting equal pay for work of equal value
  • formalizing the informal economy
  • strengthening social protection
  • fostering accumulation of skills to boost labour productivity
  • growth for sustainable enterprises

About ILO (International Labour Organization):
♦ Aim – to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes to serves the needs of working women and men
♦ Founded – 1919
♦ Director-General – Guy Ryder
♦ Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland

Government unveils Draft International Air Connectivity (IAC) scheme for extending affordable air travel programme UDAN to international circuits
On 21st August 2018, Central Government launched Draft International Air Connectivity (IAC) scheme to extend affordable air travel programme UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) to international circuits.
Draft International Air Connectivity (IAC) scheme:
i. The draft International Air Connectivity (IAC) scheme aims to increase international ticketing to 20 crore by 2027.
ii. This will be made operational only for states that express commitment to implement and offer necessary support to promote operations under the scheme.
iii. As per the scheme, state governments will identify the routes to be connected, and airline operators will analyse demand on the identified routes and submit proposals for providing connectivity.
iv. Operations under this scheme will be allowed through fixed-wing aircraft only with more than 70 seats.
v. Stakeholders’ inputs and comments will be received till 4th September 2018. The scheme proposes to create an International Air Connectivity Fund (IACF).
vi. IACF is a dedicated fund to offer subsidy support under the scheme. It will be developed through the contributions of state governments.
About Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) scheme:
♦ Launched in – 2016
♦ Aim – to make air travel affordable for people through subsidised ticket rates and to provide air connectivity to smaller towns

Punjab Cabinet approves formation of State Higher Education Council
On 21st August 2018, the Punjab Cabinet approved the formation of the state higher education council to offer quality education.
Formation of State Higher Education Council in Punjab:
i. A bill regarding this will be introduced in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha. The Punjab State Higher Education Council will be headedby Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
ii. Higher education minister will be the vice chairman. Administrative secretary, higher education will be the member secretary.
iii. Other members of the council: vice-chancellors of state universities, principals of government colleges and eminent persons from the fields of arts, science, technology, culture, industry etc.
iv. This council is formed to provide quality higher education in Punjab’s institutions through optimum sharing of resources between universities and colleges, for research purposes, academic and governance reforms, monitoring and evaluation of higher education institutions.
v. This will act as one of the pre-requisites of the next phase of Rashtriya Uchchtar Shiksha Abhiyan-2 (RUSA) for Punjab to receive grants.
vi. Next phase of RUSA began in June 2018. For this, funds of Rs 174 crore was approved by the Ministry of Human Resource Development in 60:40 Centre state ratio.
vii.The cabinet also approved the proposal of the Local Government Department for amending the validity of the Punjab Municipal Infrastructure Development Fund (PMIDF) Act, 2011, to extend its validity till 2037-38, from the earlier 2020-21.
About Rashtriya Uchchtar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA):
♦ Launched – 2013
♦ Aim – to provide strategic funding to eligible state higher educational institutions
♦ Initiative of – Ministry of Human Resource Development

Uttar Pradesh government to name upcoming Bundelkhand Expressway as Atal path
Uttar Pradesh government has decided to name the upcoming Bundelkhand Expressway as ‘Atal Path’ to honour former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajyapee.
i. A notification in this regard will be issued soon. The upcoming Bundelkhand Expressway is proposed as a 289-km, 4-lane, access-controlled highway.
ii.  It will start from Jhansi and passing through Chitrakoot, Banda, Hamirpur, Auraiya and Jalaun. It will reach Etawah and join Agra-Lucknow expressway.
iii.It is proposed to be developed by the Uttar Pradesh Expressway Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA).
iv. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath had also announced that the Uttar Pradesh government will build 4 memorials in Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s name in Agra, Lucknow, Kanpur and Balrampur.
v. A formal announcement about the location of these memorials is yet to be made.


35% of cyber attacks on Indian sites from China:Report by CERT-In
On August 23, 2018, according to a report by Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, the maximum number of cyber attacks on official Indian websites are from China, US and Russia.
Release of Report on cyber-attacks in India by CERT-InKey Points:
i. These reports have been made upon analysis of cyber attacks from April-June 2018.
ii. The institutions impacted by the malicious activities are:

  • Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC),
  • National Informatics Centre (NIC),
  • Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC),
  • Railways, Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) and
  • some banks like Punjab National Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, State Bank of India and
  • state data centres, particularly in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka.

iii. The intruding activities on Indian cyber space is as follows:

North Korea2

iv. The intruders are targeting by sending spear phishing emails with malware attachments.
About CERT-In
♦ CERT-In is the nodal agency which deals with cyber security threats like hacking and phishing.
♦ It collects, analyses and disseminates information on “cyber incidents”, and also issues alerts on “cyber security incidents”.
About Phishing:
Phishing attacks are usually in the form of an email from a trusted source where they ask for personal details such as bank details personal details, passwords.

US imposes preliminary anti-dumping duties of over 50.55 % on India-made metal pipes
The United States has imposed preliminary anti-dumping duty of 50.55 % on India-made metal pipes.
Preliminary anti-dumping duties for India-made metal pipes:
i. This move has been made to protect the American industry and reduce the trade deficit.
ii. In January 2018, 6 US pipe manufacturers had filed antidumping complaint with the US Department of Commerce.
iii. On 21st August 2018, after preliminary analysis, the US Department of Commerce stated that, China, Greece, Canada, South Korea, Turkey and India were selling the large diameter-welded pipe used to transport oil, gas and other fluids very much below the fair price. This dumping is harmful to the US industry.
iv. US imports of the pipe from India amounted to USD 294.7 million in 2017.
v. Preliminary anti-dumping duties for the 6 countries:

  • India – 50.55 %
  • China – 132.63 %
  • Greece – 22.51 %
  • Canada – 24.38 %
  • South Korea – 14.97 to 22.21 %
  • Turkey – 3.45 to 5.29 %

vi. US Customs and Border Protection will collect cash deposits from these 6 importers. A final ruling will be made in November 2018, on whether the pipe from India and China is dumped into the US market.
vii. If it is found by the International Trade Commission that, the US industry was not harmed from the imports, the duties will be refunded.
viii. The final ruling will be made for Canada, Greece, Korea, and Turkey in January 2019.
What is Dumping:
When a foreign company sells an imported product at an artificially low price, it leads to dumping.


Ujjivan SFB launched overdraft facility for medium and small enterprises
On August 23, 2018, Ujjivan Small Finance Bank announced the launch of its overdraft facility for micro and small enterprises (MSE).
This is aimed at the MSEs who don’t have easy access to formal credit.
About the facility:
i. It would be offered to all MSEs with a turnover of Rs 50 lakh or more.
ii. This interest rate on the overdraft is for one year with a minimum credit of Rs 11 lakh to a maximum of Rs 50 lakh renewed on an annual basis.
iii. A key feature of the facility is that it allows MSE customers to pay EMI only on the utilised amount and repay the amount at any time during the tenure of the OD facility.
iv. The facility is an add-on product to the existing MSE term loans offered by the bank.
v. Ujjivan SFB also offers composite loans, where the overdraft facility can be combined with existing MSE term loan products.
About Ujjivan Small Finance Bank:
♦ Headquarters: Bengaluru.
♦ MD & CEO: Samit Ghosh.
♦ It started its banking operations in February 2017. It has over 300 branches with its presence across 24 states and union territories.


India’s growth in 2018, 2019 predicted at 7.5%: Moody’s
On August 23, 2018, according to Moody’s Investor services report called Global Macro Outlook for 2018-19, the Indian economy will grow by around 7.5 per cent in 2018 and 2019.
Key Points:
i. The main reasons behind this is : strong urban and rural demand  and improved industrial activity.
ii. Also due to the rise in energy prices the Headline inflation would rise as well temporarily.
iii. Earlier in in May, Moody’s cut the GDP from 7.5% to 7.3%.
iv. Retail inflation in India has been predicted to be around 5% and core inflation has risen to 6.2%.
v. The food inflation can be under control due to rise in farm output because of a good harvest.
Other Announcements:
i. The growth of the G-20 countries together has been predicted to be 3.3 per cent in 2018 and 3.1 per cent in 2019.
ii. Advanced economies will grow 2.3 per cent in 2018 and 2 per cent in 2019.
iii. G-20 emerging markets will grow at 5.1 per cent in both 2018 and 2019.
Moody’s Corporation:
Headquarters: New York, USA.


Forbes released its 2018 top 10 highest paid lists:P.V. Sindhu,Akshay Kumar,Salman Khan ranked in top 10
On August 23, 2018, Forbes released its top 10 highest list on different categories and professions.
Forbes released its 2018 top 10 highest paid lists; 2 Bollywood actors ranked in Forbes top 10 highest paid actorsTop 10 highest Paid Actors 2018:
i. Together the top 10 highest paid actors got $748.5 million between June 1, 2017 to June 1, 2018.
ii. Only two Bollywood actors to make it to the list.
iii.  Akshay Kumar has emerged as the seventh highest-paid actor in the world by earning $40.5 million in 2018. He came in 10th rank in 2017.
iv. Salman Khan has been ranked in the ninth place with $38.5 million. He remained in the same spot as 2017.
The ranking is illustrated in the following table:

1George Clooney
2Dwayne Johnson
3Robert Downey Jr
4Chris Hemsworth
5Jackie Chan
6Will Smith
7Akshay Kumar
8Adam Sandler
9Salman Khan
10Chris Evans

Top 10 highest Paid Sportswomen:
i. The only non-tennis players in the top 10 are: Indian badminton player P. V. Sindhu (7th)and Racing’s Danica Patrick (10th ).
ii. The top 10 female athletes banked a total of $105 million.

1Serena Williams
2Caroline Wozniacki
3Sloane Stephens
4Garbine Muguruza
5Maria Sharapova
6Venus Williams
7P.V. Sindhu
8Simona Halep
9Danica Patrick
10Angelique Kerber

Top 10 Highest paid Actresses in the World:
i. Together the top 10 highest paid actresses earned a total of $168 million between June 1, 2017 and June 1 , 2018.
The list is as follows:

1Scarlett Johansson
2Angelina Jolie
3Jennifer Aniston
4Jennifer Lawrence
5Reese Witherspoon
6Mila Kunis
7Julia Roberts
8Cate Blanchett
9Melissa McCarthy
10Gal Gadot

♦ Headquarters: New York City, USA.
♦ Founded: 1917.


Arun Jaitley re-appointed as Finance Minister by the President
On August 23, 2018, President Ram Nath Kovind re appointed Arun Jaitley as Finance Minister after he recovered from a kidney ailment.
Arun Jaitley re-appointed as Finance Minister by the Presidenti. Jaitley will resume charge of both finance and corporate affairs portfolios.
ii. Earlier from May 14, Minister for Railways and Coal Piyush Goyal was appointed as the Finance minister on an interim basis as Mr.Arun Jaitley underwent a kidney surgery.

NGT appointed ex-judge Justice SJ Vazifdar as chairman of panel to decide Vedanta’s plea challenging closure of Sterlite copper plant
On August 23, 2018, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has appointed retired judge S J Vazifdar as head of a three-member committee.
This decision was taken by a bench headed by chairperson A K Goel .
To decide mining company Vedanta’s plea challenging closure of its Sterlite copper plant at Tuticorin.
Key Points:
Abou the committee:
i. S J Vazifdar is a former Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice.
ii. The committee will also include representatives of the Central Pollution Control Board and the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
Agenda of the committee:
i. The committee will assume work within two weeks and will decide the matter within six weeks .
ii. The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board has been asked to provide logistic support to the committee.
iii. The committee may hear intervenors MDMK general secretary Vaiko and K S Arjunan, who is Communist Party of India (Marxist) District Secretary in Tuticorin if they feel necessary.
i. The Tamil Nadu government had, on May 28, ordered the state pollution control board to seal and “permanently” close the mining group’s copper plant following violent protests over pollution concerns.
ii. On July 5, the tribunal had issued notices to the state government and the pollution board seeking their responses after Tamil Nadu raised preliminary objections with regard to the maintainability of Vedanta’s plea.

Kabir Mathur appointed head of India investments by ADIA
On August 23, 2018, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), the world’s second largest sovereign wealth fund, has hired private equity veteran Kabir Mathur to head operations in India.
i. He is a former director with US fund KKR & Co. L.P and has worked with the firm during 2008 -2017 on investing and portfolio management activities across Southeast Asia.
ii. Prior to this, he worked with TPG Capital as Associate on the investment activities in Southeast Asia.
Investments of ADIA in India:
i. It has invested more than $2 billion in India and holds investments in sectors such as infrastructure, real estate and financial services.
ii. In infrastructure, ADIA invested $200 million in ReNew Power Ventures and $230 million in clean energy company Greenko Energy Holdings.
iii. ADIA had committed $1 billion in the government’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund’s Master Fund.
iv. In real estate, ADIA had invested $200 million in Kotak’s realty fund.
v. ADIA’s major investments are in Axis Bank, Housing Development Finance Corporation, Infosys NIIT and Shriram Transport Finance Company.
Other news:
ADIA owns stake in Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management, Security and Intelligence Services (India) Ltd, Central Depository Services (India) Ltd and  KKR India Financial Services Pvt. Ltd.
About ADIA:
It is owned by Emirate of Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) and holds more than 20 companies in its India portfolio.

Actor Raveena Tandon becomes brand ambassador of SGNP
On 22nd August 2018, Maharashtra Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar announced the appointment of actor Raveena Tandonas the brand ambassador of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) based in Mumbai.
Raveena Tandon – brand ambassador of SGNP:
i. SGNP is rich in flora and fauna. It provides water to a major portion of Mumbai.
ii. As the brand ambassador of SGNP, Raveena Tandon will work with Maharashtra forest department to create awareness about its initiatives, like the 50 crore tree plantation drive, eco-tourism in SGNP, conservation of leopards in SGNP, etc.
iii. Raveena Tandon discussed with Sudhir Mungantiwar about the 13 crore tree-plantation drive and her contribution for a greener Maharashtra.
iv. In the first week of September, a programme to welcome Raveena Tandon as brand ambassador of SGNP will be held and the new website of SGNP and a Jan Dhan-Van Dhan shop will be launched.
Some National Parks in Maharashtra:
♦ Gugamal National Park
♦ Sanjay Gandhi National Park


European wind survey satellite “Aeolus” launched from French Guyana
On August 23, 2018, Europe launched a rocket named “Aeolus” from French Guyana.
European wind survey satellite "Aeolus" launched from French Guyanai. This satellite will be put into orbit  at an altitude of 320 kilometres (200 miles) above the Earth which will track global winds, allowing for improved weather forecasting.
ii. It is part of the Copernicus project, a joint initiative of the European Union and the European Space Agency (ESA) to track environmental damage and aid disaster relief operations.
iii. The new mission is also Arianespace’s 50th launch for the European Space Agency.
About Aeolus:
i. It is the world’s first space mission to acquire profiles of Earth’s wind on a global scale.
ii. Aeolus is equipped with a single instrument: a Doppler wind lidar — an advanced laser system designed to accurately measure global wind patterns from space.
iii. The Doppler lidar would transmit short, powerful pulses of laser light toward Earth in the ultraviolet spectrum.
iv. Once per orbit, data will be downloaded to a ground station in Svalbard, Norway.
v. Aeolus is the fifth of the ESA’s planned Earth Explorer missions.

IIT-Hyderabad launches First of its kind in India, Fabless Chip Design Incubator (FabCI)
On 21st August 2018, Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad, announced the launch of Fabless Chip Design Incubator (FabCI) exclusively for startups in chip design.
Fabless Chip Design Incubator (FabCI):
i. FabCI is said to be the first-of-its-kind in India. It focuses on developing an ecosystem for supporting startups in chip design.
ii. It offers facilities like free software tools with leading technology partners in Electronic Design Automation (EDA), etc.
iii. FabCI aims to incubate a minimum of 50 ‘Make-in-India’ chip design companies that can compete globally and generate Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs).
iv. Three startups have already been incubated. The Incubator has invited early stage startups to apply.
v. This incubator will also contribute to the ‘Startup India’ and ‘Make In India’ initiatives.
About IIT-Hyderabad:
♦ Director – U B Desai
♦ Location – Hyderabad, Telangana
About FabCI:
♦ Funded by – Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY)
♦ Technology partners – Cadence Design Systems, Inc. and Mentor Graphics

Researchers develop “ReMix”, an ‘in-body GPS’ system to track tumours
Scientists have developed a wireless ‘in-body GPS’ system named “ReMix” that can accurately locate ingestible implants and track tumours inside the body.
i. ReMix was able to track implants with centimetre-level accuracy in animal tests. Similar implants can be used to deliver drugs to specific regions of the body.
ii. The test was conducted by scientists from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in the US.
iii. ReMix could be used in proton therapy, a type of cancer treatment through bombardment of tumours with beams of magnet-controlled protons.
iv. ReMix is not accurate enough to be implemented in clinical settings as of now. For actual implementation, the margin of error should be closer to nearly two millimetres.


Kho-Kho gets recognition from Olympic Council of Asia (OCA)
Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has given recognition to Kho-Kho, India’s indigenous sport.
Kho-Kho gets recognition from OCA:
i. This was announced at the General Assembly of the OCA on 19th August 2018.
ii. Kho-Kho will be included as a demonstration sport in the Asian Indoor Games. Also, it has the possibility to be included as a discipline in the next Asian Games.
iii. Rajeev Mehta is the Secretary General of Indian Olympic Association (IOA). He is also the president of Asian Kho-Kho Federation.
About Olympic Council of Asia (OCA):
♦ President – Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al-Sabah
♦ Headquarters – Kuwait


Veteran journalist and former Rajya Sabha MP Kuldip Nayar dies at 95
On August 23, 2018, renowned journalist, author and human rights activist Kuldip Nayar passed away in Delhi at 95.
Veteran journalist and former Rajya Sabha MP Kuldip Nayar dies at 95i. He is survived by his wife and two sons.
ii. He was a former editor at The Indian Express.
iii. He also served as High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom.
iv. He served as a press information officer to former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shashtri and former Union Home Minister Govind Ballabh Pant.
v. He was nominated to Rajya Sabha in 1997.
vi. In 2015, he was honoured with the Ramnath Goenka Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to journalism.
vii. He authored 15 books including “Beyond the Lines”, “India after Nehru” and “Emergency Retold”, Between the Lines’, ‘Scoop! – Inside stories from Partition to the present’, ‘Distant Neighbours: A tale of the Subcontinent’.
viii. He was born in 1923 and graduated in law and began his career with an Urdu newspaper called Anjam.
ix. In his honour Meera Dewan, a filmmaker, had also made a film called : “ In his inner voice: Kuldip Nayar”.


Khaled Hosseini’s new book “Sea Prayer” a tribute to Alan Kurdi
“Sea Prayer”, the new book of writer Khaled Hosseini will be released on 30th August 2018.
Khaled Hosseini's new book "Sea Prayer" a tribute to Alan Kurdii. It is a tribute to Alan Kurdi, the 3-year-old Syrian boy whose body washed upon a beach in Turkey in September 2015.
ii. Earlier “Sea Prayer” was produced in collaboration with UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) and released as a Guardian virtual film on 1st September 2017.
iv. Now, Sea Prayer has been written in the form of a letter and will be published by Bloomsbury. Bloomsbury will donate one pound from the sale of each print book to UNHCR.
v .Khaled Hosseini is an Afghan-born American novelist. He has written books like “The Kite Runner”, “A Thousand Splendid Suns” and “And the Mountains Echoed”. He was appointed a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador in 2006.


International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition – August 23
On 23rd August 2018, International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition was observed throughout the world.
International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition:
i. On the night of 22 to 23 August 1791, Santo Domingo (today Haiti and the Dominican Republic) experienced the beginning of the uprising that played an important role in the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade.
ii. This day is commemorated as International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition on 23rd August every year.
iii. This day was first celebrated in a several countries including Haiti on 23rd August 1998.
iv. This day remembers the tragedy of the slave trade in memory of the affected people.
v. The Director-General of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) invites the Ministers of Culture of all Member States to conduct events on this day every year.
About United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO):
♦ Director General – Audrey Azoulay
♦ Headquarters – Paris, France