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Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA) to promote innovation launched by HRD ministry
On August 31, 2018, the Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar announced the introduction of Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA), an initiative of the union ministry to promote innovation.
This has been established at the premises of All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) in New Delhi.
To promote a culture of innovation and research in higher education.
About Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA):
i.It will have 5 parameters namely:
- Budget Expenses and Revenue generated through Innovation,
- Facilitating access to advance centres / facilities and entrepreneurial support system,
- Idea to Entrepreneurship,
- Development of Innovation Ecosystems Supported through Teaching & Learning,
- Best innovative solutions Developed In-house for Improving Governance of Your Institution.
ii.It will carry 100 marks based on which educational institutions would be ranked for innovation output.
iii. Announcement of ARIIA ranks: April 2019.
iv.It would encourage every college to have an innovation cell.
v.This is a part of setting up of Innovation Cell in the has been established at AICTE premises of the Ministry.
The Major Programs of the MHRD Innovation cell would be:
- Network of Innovation Clubs (NIC)
- Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA)
- Smart India Hackathon (SIH) 2019
- National Student Startup Policy (NSSP)
Other news related to innovation:
i.Earlier, India ranked 60 out of 127 countries in 2017 Global Innovation Index Ranking.
ii.Six new Research Parks have been sanctioned in various premier institutions.
iii.More than 120 Technology Business Incubators made across the country.
iv.The decade of 2010-20 has been announced as the ‘Decade of Innovation’ by the PM.
National Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) plus strategy launched by Dr Harsh Vardhan
On August 31, 2018, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan introduced the ‘National REDD+ Strategy India’ for the implementation of the REDD+ strategy.
i. This has been constituted in line with India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change, Green India Mission and India’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to UNFCCC.
To help build sustainable livelihood of local communities and conserve biodiversity.
i. REDD+ means “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation”.
ii. Under the strategy following are to be established:
- A National Governing Councilof REDD+ chaired by the Union Environment Minister at the national level and
- 2 technical committees, headed by DG, Forest Survey of India and DG, ICFRE.
iii. REDD+ actions at the State level will be coordinated by the committee headed by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) & Head of Forest Force (HOFF) of the States.
iv. This would enhance efforts for forest conservation and enhance productivity of forest eco-systems.
India has communicated in its Nationally Determined Contribution under Paris Agreement, that it will capture 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of Carbon dioxide through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.
♦ Director General, Forest and Special Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change: Dr Siddhanta Das.
♦ Additional Secretary, MoEF&CC: Shri A.K Mehta.
Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) Makes India’s First Standardised Modern Ship Design for Ganga a Reality
On 31st August 2018, Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) made public 13 standardised advanced ship designs suitable for large barge haulage on river Ganga (National Waterway-1).
i. The Government is implementing Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) for capacity enhancement of navigation on NW-1 (Varanasi-Haldia stretch) at a cost of Rs 5369.18 crore. Technical assistance and investment support is provided by the World Bank.
ii. The new designs will help shipyards build vessels of standardised dimensions and capacity, and will lead to reduced fuel costs and lesser logistics costs.
iii. It will bring in savings of Rs 30-50 lakhs in building of a vessel. It will also eliminate the dependence on foreign ship designs for Inland Water Transport (IWT) and contribute to ‘Make in India’.
iv. New designs have been announced for categories like:
- dry and liquid bulk carrier
- Ro-Ro vessels
- car carrier
- container carrier
- LNG carrier
- Tug Barge flotilla, etc.
v. The new designs were made by M/s DST, Germany. The model testing of the designs were done in Duisburg, Germany.
vi. River studies for the new designs were done by a high-level technical team consisting experts from: IWAI, Indian Institute of Technology – Kharagpur and Indian Register of Shipping with technical consultation from World Bank.
‘One District, One product’ scheme launched in Odisha : MSME Minister
On August 31, 2018, Union MSME Minister Giriraj Singh announced the launch of ‘One District One Product’ scheme in Odisha at a function of the SC-ST State Conclave cum Exhibition under National SC-ST Hub.
To provide market link to farmers and make small industries successful in the state.
i. Under this scheme, the Union MSME secretary Arun Panda will be conducting a survey of the potential of the MSME sector.
ii. This survey will be conducted in the following sectors:
aromatic, agro, marine food processing, organic food marketing, turmeric and ginger processing and other section.
iii. Additionally, farmers of Kandhamal district will be taken to Maharashtra for agro cluster training and 50,000 agro entrepreneurs will be imparted training in Odisha.
iv. To make 18 lakh new youth entrepreneurs, centre will deploy mobile vans in rural areas to impart basic skill training by the Ministry of MSME.
Other New of the function:
i. Inauguration of first-ever National Skill Training Institute(NSTI) in NSICs Dharmapada Bhawan was done in Barang, Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
ii. MoU was signed between Directorate General of Training (DGT), Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Government of India and Systems, Applications and Products (SAP) to provide designed module to SC-ST entrepreneurs through advanced software and special training on Data Sciences.
iii. Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship inaugurated the Bhubaneswar office of National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC).
About National SC-ST hub:
♦ The National SC/ST Hub has been set up to provide professional support to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Entrepreneurs under Stand-Up India initiative.
♦ The Hub would be implemented by the Ministry of MSME through National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC), a public-sector undertaking under the administrative control of this Ministry of MSME.
♦ Initial allocation of Rs. 490 Crore for the period 2016-2020.
♦ Launch Year: 8th October , 2016.
National Small Industries Corporation Limited (NSIC) signs MoUs to skill Odisha youth
On 30th August 2018, National Small Industries Corporation Limited (NSIC) signed MoUs to enhance technology adoption in MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) to enhance skills of youths in Odisha.
i. The MoUs are as follows:
- NSIC signed a MoU with SAP India Pvt Ltd:to utilise the network of NSIC Technical Services Centres and other institutions under its administrative control to develop a future-ready workforce through training on ‘Business One’ software.
- NSIC signed a MoU with Rourkela Steel Plantand National Scheduled Tribe Finance Development Corporation (NSTFDC): to establish a livelihood business incubator at Rourkela to improve self-employment potential of tribal youths.
- NSIC signed a MoU with Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI): to offer financial support to village-level entrepreneurs.
ii. These MoUs were signed at the SC/ST state conclave-cum-exhibition held in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
iii. Also, Dharmapada Bhawan, an Integrated Marketing Development Centre (IMDC) was inaugurated in Bhubhaneswar.
About National Small Industries Corporation Limited (NSIC):
♦ Chairman cum Managing Director – Ravindra Nath
♦ Head Office – New Delhi
3 new districts created via passing of Arunachal Pradesh Re-Organisation of Districts (Amendment) Bill 2018
On August 31, 2018, the Arunachal Pradesh Assembly passed a bill for the creation of three new districts namely- Pakke-Kesang, Lepa Rada and Shi Yomi, in the state.
i. The name of the bill is the Arunachal Pradesh Re-Organisation of Districts (Amendment) Bill 2018.
ii. Now Arunachal Pradesh would have 25 districts in total after the addition of these 3 districts from earlier 22.
About the 3 new districts:
i. The Pakke-Kessang district will be carved out of East Kameng district with five administrative units with district headquarters at Lemmi.
ii. The Lepa Rada district would be created by bifurcating the Lower Siang district with headquarters at Basar with 4 administrative units.
iii. The Shi-Yomi district would be created by bifurcating the West Siang district with its headquarters at Tato with 4 administrative units.
Other Bills Passed are:
i.The deputy chief minister also introduced the Indian Stamp Act, 1899 (Act no 2 of 1899) to enable entrepreneurs to have a better credit position at their disposal by enabling them to secure loans through mortgage without compromising on their financial stability by reducing stamp duty for mortgage from three per cent to one per cent.
ii.The third bill introduced in the Assembly by Mein was the Arunachal Pradesh Staff Selection Board Bill 2018.It would empower the state government to constitute the Arunachal Pradesh Staff Selection Board to conduct exams and select candidates for appointment to the subordinate services/Group C posts.
♦ Chief Minister: Pema Khandu.
PUDA 360: Punjab’s e-properties module launched by CM of Punjab
On August 31, 2018, Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh launched PUDA360 module to facilitate online property transactions.
i. The facility has been provided by Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA).
ii. It would offer the following services:
- Give a common platform to the promoters/ builders for advertisement,
- Checking of delays in sanction of building plans,
- Issuance of no objection certificate,
- Issuance of conveyance deed and transfer of property,
- Facility of selling, renting and leasing out their properties.
♦ 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.
Assam Government extends AFSPA in the state for 6 more months.
On August 31, 2018, the state government of Assam sought extension under Section 3 Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) for another 6 months declaring entire state as ‘Disturbed Area’.
i. This Act will be in continuation till the National Register of Citizen (NRC) is updated.
ii. The final draft NRC is likely to be published by end of 2018.
iii. In September 2017, Union Home Ministry had delegated to Assam and Manipur Governors power to impose or withdraw AFSPA.
iv. AFSPA was clamped in Assam in 1990.
About Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act(AFSPA), 1958:
AFSPA was enacted in 1958 to bring ‘disturbed’ areas declared under it under control. It empowers both state and central government to declare areas as ‘disturbed’ due to differences or disputes between members of different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities.
♦ Capital: Dispur.
♦ Chief Minister: Sarbananda Sonowal.
♦ Governor: Jagdish Mukhi.
♦ National Parks: Kaziranga National Park, Manas National Park (UNESCO Natural World Herigate Site), Orang National Park, Dibru-Saikhowa National Park.
♦ Airports: Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Dibrugarh Airport, Jorhat Airport, Tezpur Airport, Silchar Airport.
3 day first SAARC Agri Cooperative Business Forum held in Kathmandu, Nepal
From August 28-30, 2018, the 3 day first South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Agri Cooperative Business Forum was held in Kathmandu, Nepal.
i. The theme of three-day Forum is the ‘Organizing and Strengthening Family Farmers’ Cooperatives to attain the Sustainable-Development-Goals-1 and 2 in South Asia’
ii. It was organized by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of United Nations and Asian Farmers’ Association with the support from International Fund for Agricultural Development.
iii. Dignitaries present were: representatives both from the government and non-governmental entities from the Member States of SAARC and regional and international organizations.
♦ Secretary-General of SAARC: Amjad Hussain B. Sial .
♦ SAARC Countries : Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
♦ SAARC Headquarters: Kathmandu, Nepal
BANKING & FINANCE
ADB approved USD 245 million to provide safe, sustainable, and inclusive drinking water service in 3 districts of West Bengal.
On August 31, 2018, the Board of Directors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a financing package totaling $245 million to three districts of West Bengal state.
To provide safe, sustainable, and inclusive drinking water service
i. The total project cost is $349 million.
ii. The cost has been divided into:
- $240 million from ADB,
- A grant of $3 million from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, financed by the Government of Japan.
- An additional grant of $2 million grant from the Urban Climate Change Resilience Trust Fund.
- $106 million from the West Bengal government.
iii. The three districts are: Bankura, North 24 Parganas, and Purba Medinipur.
iv. This would benefit 1.65 million people of about 390,000 individual households who are effected by arsenic, fluoride, and salinity.
v. 350 jobs expected to be generated by the project, about a third will go to women.
About the Project:
i. The project will use a high-technology based smart water management system, a first for large scale rural water schemes in India.
ii. Water will be provided through bulk water systems, consisting of intakes, water treatment plants, and transmission mains.
iii. These will be connected to a grid with existing and new systems.
iv. The project is due for completion in June 2024.
♦ Chief Minister: Mamata Banerjee.
♦ Governor: Kesari Nath Tripathi.
♦ National Parks: Jaldapara National Park, Gorumara National Park, Sunderbans National Park, Singalila National Park, Neora Valley National Park, Buxa Tiger Reserve, Raiganj Wildlife Sanctuary.
♦ Airports: Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, Balurghat Airport, Cooch Behar Airport, Behala Airport, Malda Airport, Bagdogra Airport, Kazi Nazrul Islam Airport.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Indian economy to grow at 7.4% in FY19: NCAER
On August 31, 2018, according to National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) report for 2018-19, India’s growth forecast for the current fiscal is at 7.4 per cent .
i. The reasons cited for this are:
- Good agriculture due to rainfall and prices and
- Improvement in the external sector.
ii. According to the report:
|Category||Predicted growth in percent|
|Real Agriculture Gross Value Added (GVA)||4.6|
|Real industry GVA||5.1|
|Real services GVA||8.5|
|Growth of Exports (2018-19)||11.9|
|Growth of Imports (2018-19)||15.1|
|Current Account Balance Deficit||2|
|Central Fiscal Deficit||3.3|
Headquarters: New Delhi.
Call for Code initiative: IBM partners with Indian tech firms to develop global solutions for disaster management
IBM, Persistent Systems, Invest India, Wipro, Capgemini and Nasscom have joined the ‘Call for Code’ Global Initiative to involve startups, academic and developers to respond to and recover from natural disasters.
Call for Code:
i. Call for Code was announced in May 2018. IBM is the founding member along with American Red Cross and United Nations Human Rights Organisation.
ii. IBM has also joined hands with David Clark Cause, a global leader in creating cause brands and initiatives, for Call for Code.
iii. IBM will offer access to cloud, data, AI (Artificial Intelligence), blockchain technologies, training and code to developers.
iv. So far, more than 35 organizations and nearly 20 IBM clients have participated. The winning team of Call for Code will be awarded a cash prize of USD 200,000, along with other opportunities.
♦ Chairman, IBM India Pvt. Ltd. – Vanitha Narayanan
♦ Type – manufactures and markets computer hardware, middleware and software, and provides hosting and consulting services
Indian Railways, GAIL India sign MoU for use of Natural Gas in 23 railway workshops and production units
On August 31, 2018, Indian Railways has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with M/s GAIL (India) Limited, for supply of Natural Gas to Indian Railways Workshops, Production Units and Depots at Rail Bhavan in New Dehi.
To replace Industrial gases like Dissolved Acetylene, LPG, BMCG and Furnace Oil / High Speed Diesel (HSD) oil with environment friendly Natural Gas.
i. The MoU was signed by
- Shri Chetram, CAO/ Indian Railway Organization for Alternate Fuels (IROAF) on behalf of Indian Railways and
- Shri Gajendra Singh, Director (Marketing) from GAIL (India) Limited.
ii. In the first phase, 23 out of 54 workshops have been identified for this project.
iii. Eventually, all 54 workshops and Production Units should be covered by 30th June 2019.
iv. This would create infrastructure and supply of CNG/LNG/PNG for both industrial and domestic purposes.
v. Additionally, in domestic segment, in Railway colony, Bhubaneswar, about 1100 houses have been provided with D-PNG supply.
vi. This would allow saving of about Rs. 20 crore per annum to Indian Railways.
GAIL and IROAF would prepare a report on implementation of Natural Gas in Railway workshops by 30th September 2018.
♦ Railway Minister: Shri Piyush Goyal.
♦ Minister of State for Railways: Manoj Sinha, Rajen Gohain.
♦ Chairman Railway Board : Shri Ashwani Lohani.
♦ Chairman and Managing Director B C Tripathi.
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi.
AWARDS & RECOGNITION
Luka Modric named UEFA Player of the Year 2018: UEFA Awards
On August 31, 2018, in the UEFA Awards, Croatia captain Luka Modric was voted the best player in Europe. He also won the Midfielder of the Season.
i. Real Madrid was named the best player in last season’s Champions League.
ii. The best women’s player award was won by Pernille Harder of Denmark and Wolfsburg.
iii. Best goalkeeper of the season was: Keylor Navas
iv. Best defender of the season was: Sergio Ramos.
v. Ronaldo won the Forward of the Season.
vi. 2018 UEFA President’s Award was given to David Beckham, Johan Cruyff, Franz Beckenbauer, Eusebio and Sir Bobby Charlton.
vii. Voting was done by 80 Champions League coaches and invited 55 journalists across Europe.
Shabana Azmi, Nandita Das receive Bharatiya Manavata Vikas Puraskar given by Daily India Media
On 30th August 2018, actors Shabana Azmi, Nandita Das and 13 others were awarded the Bharatiya Manavata Vikas Puraskar, in New Delhi.
Bharatiya Manavata Vikas Puraskar:
i. The event was organized by Daily Indian Media, a private media company. Important people from politics, business, academics and entertainment participated in the event.
ii. Other recipients of the award were:
- Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh
- lawyer Pramila Nesargi and Flavia Agnes
- activist Bezwada Wilson
- economist Bibek Debroy
- social worker Uma Tuli
- dalit rights activist Lenin Raghuvanshi
- human rights activist Pravin Patkar
- green designer Anita Ahuja
- social entrepreneur Atul Satija
iii. They were awarded for their contribution to the society and their fight for equity, social justice and human welfare.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
ICICI Bank reappointed Chanda Kochhar as director of ICICI Securities
On August 31, 2018, ICICI Bank reappointed Chanda Kochhar as a director on the board of ICICI Securities.
i. Earlier, Kochhar was charged with quid pro quo in disbursing loans to Venugopal Dhoot-led Videocon Group.
ii. One-man panel constituting retired Supreme Court judge Justice BN Srikrishna is probing the matter.
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai.
♦ Chairman: Mr. Girish Chandra Chaturvedi.
♦ Tagline: Hum Hain Na!
♦ Headquarters: India.
♦ Founded: 1995.
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
India’s largest mobile operator Vodafone Idea Ltd merger completed
On August 31, 2018, Idea Cellular and Vodafone completed their merger of India operations.
i. This deal is valued at roughly a $23 billion (roughly Rs. 1.6 lakh crores).
About the entity:
i. The name of the merged entity is: Vodafone Idea LTd.
ii. It is the country’s largest telecom operator by subscribers and revenue.
iii. The combined entity will have a revenue share of about 40 percent in the market and a total customer base of around 408 million.
iv. The board will have 12 directors including 6 independent directors, with Kumar Mangalam Birla as chairman and Balesh Sharma as chief executive officer.
v. Himanshu Kapania, managing director of Idea Cellular would be a non-executive director on the merged entity’s board.
Headquarters: London, UK.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Jupiter’s Great Red Spot reveals signs of water: NASA
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) scientists have detected signs of water above Jupiter’s deepest clouds.
i. Scientists at the NASA’s Goddard Space flight center in Maryland, US, were looking from ground-based telescopes at the depth of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, a storm that has been persistent for more than 350 years.
ii. They detected the chemical signatures of water above Jupiter’s deepest clouds. The pressure of water combined with measurements of carbon monoxide, show that Jupiter has 2 to 9 times more oxygen than the Sun.
iii. This supports the theoretical and computer-simulation models that have predicted abundant water on Jupiter.
iv. This will supplement the information collected by NASA’s Juno spacecraft as it circles Jupiter from north to south once every 53 days.
About National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA):
♦ Administrator – Jim Bridenstine
♦ Headquarters – Washington, D.C., U.S.
New technology to predict fatal heart attacks developed
Researchers at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom have developed a new technology that can detect patients with the risk of deadly heart attacks, well in advance.
i. The new technology analyses computed tomography (CT) images of the fat around the arteries to detect the inflamed plaques that can cause heart attacks.
ii. It uses a new biomarker named the Fat Attenuation Index (FAI). The major challenge for doctors was to find out which plaques would cause blockages.
iii.Now, it has been found out that, the most dangerous plaques release chemical messengers that modify the surrounding fat.
iv. This technology can predict fatal heart attacks many years before it may occur. It also has higher accuracy compared to other methods.
v. People with abnormal FAI have around 9 times higher risk of having a fatal heart attack in the next 5 years.
Virat Kohli becomes second-fastest Indian to score 6000 Test runs
On 31st August 2018, Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli became the second-fastest Indian to score 6,000 runs in Test cricket.
i. Virat Kohli has achieved this feat in his 119th Test. The fastest Indian to reach the 6,000-run mark was Sunil Gavaskar, who made it in 117 innings.
ii. Virat Kohli has surpassed Sachin Tendulkar (120 innings), Virender Sehwag (121 innings) and Rahul Dravid (125 innings).
Asian Games 2018:
Women’s 4x400m Relay Team Wins Gold:
- India’s 4x400m women’s relay team won its 5thconsecutive gold medal in the Asian Games. India has been winning gold medal in this event since 2002 Asian Games.
- The team comprised: Hima Das, M R Poovamma, Saritaben Gayakwad and Vismaya Velluva Koroth. They finished the event in 3 minute and 28.72 seconds.
India wins silver medal in Men’s 4x400m Relay:
India won silver medal in the men’s 4X400 metre relay event as they registered a timing of 3 minutes and 1.85 seconds. The team consisted of: Muhammed Kunhu, Dharun Ayyasamy, Muhammed Anas and Rajiv Arokia.
India’s Varsha Gautam and Shweta Shervegar win silver in women’s 49er FX sailing event:
- Varsha Gautham and Sweta Shervegar won silver medal in the 49er FX Women’s sailing event.
- Varsha Gautham and Sweta Shervegar produced a total score of 40 after 15 races and finished in second position.
Harshita Tomar wins bronze in Open Laser 4.7 Sailing event:
Harshita Tomar won bronze medal in the Open Laser 4.7 Sailing event. She scored 62 after race 12 and finished in third position.
Varun Thakkar and Ganapathy Chengappa win bronze in 49er Men Sailing event:
Varun Thakkar Ashok and Chengappa Ganapathy Kelapanda won bronze medal in the 49er men’s sailing event. They registered a total score of 53 after race 15 in the event and finished in third position.
Men’s squash team bags Bronze:
- Indian men’s squash team won bronze medal after they lost 0-2 to Hong Kong in the semi-final of the men’s squash team event.
- The team comprised: Saurav Ghosal, Harinder Pal Singh, Ramit Tandon and Mahesh Mangaonkar.
Vikas Krishan settles for bronze in men’s middle 75 kg boxing event:
- Vikas Krishan pulled out of the semi-final of the men’s middle 75 kg boxing event, following an eye injury. Hence he received a bronze medal.
- He became the first Indian boxer to win 3 medals in the Asian Games. He had won gold medal in the 60 kg category in 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou and bronze medal in middleweight category at 2014 Asian Games in Incheon………………………………..Click here to read – India’s Medal Tally in Asian Games 2018