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International Conference on Sustainable Growth through Material Recycling inaugurated by Road Transport & Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari: NITI Aayog
On August 6, 2018, NITI Aayog’s International Conference on “Sustainable Growth through Material Recycling: Policy Prescriptions” was inaugurated by the Union Minister of Road Transport, Highways & Ganga Rejuvenation, Shri. Nitin Gadkari at Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra in New Delhi.
Development and growth of material recycling in India, creating jobs , reducing exports and protecting the environment.
i. It had 5 technical sessions on:
- Circular Economy in Material Recycling,
- Infrastructural Issues in Recycling Industry,
- Standardization and certification in Recycling Industry,
- Environmental Benefits of Material Recycling,
- Financial and Taxation issues in Recycling Industry.
ii. This will help in policy formulation on various aspects related to material recycling.
2 committees constituted to monitor illegal immigrants : Manipur Govt
On August 6, 2018, after the final draft of National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, Manipur government has constituted two committees to deal with illegal migrants.
i. The first is State Level Monitoring Committee which will monitor the entry or presence of illegal immigrants in the state.
ii. It is headed by Special Secretary (Home) and includes all the Deputy Commissioners and SPs as its members.
iii. The second is : the District Level Monitoring Committee with respective deputy commissioners as its chairman.
10th round of talks between India and Sri Lanka to widen scope for free trade agreement to be finalized by December
On August 6, 2018, India and Sri Lanka are going to hold the 10th round of talks on free trade agreements and aims at concluding the negotiations by December.
i. The Economic and Technology Co-operation Agreement (ETCA) would help in boosting economic ties between the two countries by liberalising trade norms.
ii. This would widen the scope by including services and investments in it.
♦ India and Sri Lanka have a free trade agreement in goods was implemented in March 2000.
♦ India has a healthy trade surplus in goods with Sri Lanka. India exported goods worth $4.5 billion in 2017-18 and its imports from that country were only $773 million.
♦ Sri Lanka is India’s major trading partner in South Asian region.
B-Hub: country’s first hub for biotech, pharma sector set up in Telangana
On August 6, 2018, the Telangana government will set up a biotech and pharma facility, B-Hub, India’s first organised cluster for life sciences Research & Development at Genome Valley.
To support manufacturing activities for bio-pharma R&D.
i. It has been built with an investment of Rs.60 crore.
ii. The space for the facility is: 40,000 square feet.
iii. The B-Hub will be set up through the PPP (Public-Private Partnership) model.
i. Along with this a dedicated web portal for the life sciences sector has been launched.
ii. It would create an interface between the government, Industries, Research Institutions and Start-ups.
♦ These projects are a part of the aim of the Telangana government to make it a ‘Pharma capital of India’.
♦ It would create four lakh jobs at an investment of USD 100 Billion in the next 10 years.
♦ There are more than 800 pharma/biotech units in various parts of Hyderabad now with an estimated annual turnover of $13 billion.
The world’s first-ever high energy storage device has been built in Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh
On August 6, 2018, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu unveiled the world’s first-ever thermal battery in Amravati, Andhra Pradesh state.
About the Plant:
i. It has been manufactured by the Bharat Energy Storage Technology Private Limited (BEST).
ii. It had an estimated cost of Rs 660 crore.
iii. It has a capacity of 1,000 MW and would be enhanced to 10 GW in the next six to seven years.
iv. The plant in Andhra Pradesh is expected to start commercial operations by May 2019.
About the Project:
i. It is the first of its kind cell aimed at boosting up renewable sources of energy production.
ii. It will be used to store energy for telecommunication, commercial establishments, electric vehicles and highway charging stations.
iii. It can be accessed in remote locations, such as hilly terrains and islands.
iv. Also batteries for telecommunications, mini or microgrids and electric buses would be manufactured in the first phase.
v. Under this project, electric buses, produced by Bilva Motors will deliver an 800-kilometre range with a single charge of BEST’s thermal cells.
vi. These cells can have output ranging between 5Kwh and 1 Mwh.
vii. The potential capacity of the new innovation in India has been estimated to be $60 billion by 2020 which will increase to $100 billion by 2030.
i. The renewable purchasing obligation compliance monitoring and reporting web tool of AP was launched.
ii. IIT Roorkee has entered into a MoA with BEST on renewable and sustainable energy technologies for research and industrial collaboration.
iii. Griffiti University in Australia has also entered into a MoU with BEST in energy storage sector.
iv. The smallest unit of BEST will be unveiled shortly with 300 kwh unit, will supply power to 80 houses.
Meghalaya hosted 5th Act East Business Show -2018 to strengthen business ties between ASEAN countries
From 20th to 23rd June 2018, 5th Act East Business Show -2018 was held in Shillong, Meghalaya.
5th Act East Business Show -2018:
i. Aim: to strengthen business ties between ASEAN countries and northeastern states. Also, to explore the potential of Meghalaya and its neighboring states.
ii. Organised by: Indian Chamber of Commerce along with Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (MDoNER).
iii. Participation: delegates from ASEAN countries like Singapore, Taiwan, and Vietnam, etc. participated.
iv. Inaugurated by: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma.
v. Main focus was to boost the bamboo sector of the region. North eastern states have great potential for development of bamboo-based industries.
vi. ASEAN countries like Bhutan and Thailand displayed various products like handloom, handicraft, garments, home decor items and other industrial products.
vii. Attention was also laid on expanding the market for jackfruit. Jackfruit has high demand in countries like Vietnam which leads in processing jackfruit.
About Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN):
♦ Secretariat – Jakarta, Indonesia
♦ Secretary General – H.E. Dato Lim Jock Hoi
BANKING & FINANCE
Rs 4,989.55 crore collected from customers in FY18 by 24 banks for not maintaining minimum account balance
On August 6, 2018, 21 public sector banks and 3 major private sector lenders collected Rs 4,989.55 crore from customers for non-maintenance of minimum balance in their accounts in 2017-18.
i. SBI collected Rs.2433 crore nearly half the amount raised by the 24 banks put together.
ii. Another 30% of the fines were raised by three large private lenders HDFC, ICICI and Axis.
iii. HDFC collected Rs 590.84 crore, Axis Bank collected Rs 530.12 crore and ICICI collected Rs. 317.6 crore.
iv. Accounts under Basic Savings Bank Deposit (BSBD) scheme as well as Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna are not required to maintain any minimum balance.
Average Monthly Balance (AMB) in savings accounts (SBI)
|Average Monthly Balance (AMB) in specific areas||Charges per Month (excluding GST)|
|For Metro and Urban Cities (AMB= Rs.3000)|
|Shortfall >= 50%||Rs. 10/-|
|Shortfall >50% and <=75%||Rs.12/-|
|For Semi-urban areas (AMB= Rs.2000/-)|
|Shortfall >50% and <=75%||Rs.10/-|
|For Rural Areas (AMB= Rs.1000/-)|
|Shortfall >= 50%||Rs. 5/-|
|Shortfall > 50% and <=75%||Rs.7.50/-|
|Shortfall > 75%||Rs.10/-|
HDFC Bank raised fixed deposit rates by up to 0.6%
On August 6, 2018, HDFC increased fixed deposit rates on various maturities by up to 0.6 per cent.
i. The increased rates are effective from August 6, 2018.
ii. The interest rates have been increased for maturities of 6 months one day to 5 years. They are as follows:
|Tenors||Final increased rates (in %)|
|6 months to 9 months||6.75|
|9 months three days to 1 year||7|
|1 year to 2 years||7.25|
|2 years to 5 years||7.10|
iii. The increase in fixed deposit rates is likely to put pressure on lending rate as well.
Due to RBI’s increase in Repo rate by 25 bp at which it lends to other banks have increased and now increasing the interest rates of fixed deposits will add pressure to increase the lending rate.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Startup India launched the Startup Academia Alliance programme
Startup India launched the “Startup Academia Alliance programme”, which is a special mentorship opportunity between academic scholars and startups working in similar domains.
Startup Academia Alliance programme:
i. Aim: to minimize the gap between scientific research and its industrial applications to enhance the impact of these technologies.
ii. This programme tries to implement the Industry Academia Partnerships and Incubation, which is the third pillar on which the Startup India Action Plan is based.
iii. The first phase of Startup Academia Alliance was initiated through partnering with Regional Centre for Biotechnology, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), Council on Energy, Environment and Water, and TERI School of Advanced Studies.
iv. Scholars from these institutes working in renewable energy, biotechnology, healthcare and life sciences fields provided mentorship to startups.
v. The applications for Startup Academia Alliance were put up on the Startup India Hub. Startup India Hub has over 2 lakh entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs from nearly 433 districts in India as users.
vi. 133 applications were received and 43 were shortlisted by institutes based on operational areas and technological relevance.
vii. Startups were selected mainly based on innovative solutions the offer to major problems in various fields. The mentorship sessions have started now.
About Startup India:
♦ An initiative by Government of India
♦ Functions under – Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Ajay Data, first Indian to become a member of ICANN panel country code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO)
On 3rd August 2018, Ajay Data was appointed member of the Country Code Names Supporting Organisation (ccNSO).
Ajay Data – member of ccNSO:
i. Ajay Data has become the first Indian to be made member of the Country Code Names Supporting Organisation (ccNSO).
ii. He is the founder and CEO of Data XGen Plus. He will take up this position at ICANN’s 63rd Annual General Meeting in Barcelona, Spain, in October 2018.
iii. He will represent India at the global level. He will also be the custodian of Asia, Australia and Pacific Islands as a member of ccNSO.
About Country Code Names Supporting Organisation (ccNSO):
♦ Purpose – policy-development body for global issues regarding country code top-level domains (ccTLD) within the ICANN structure
♦ Chairperson – Katrina Sataki
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Rashmi: India’s first humanoid robot, can speak Hindi, Bhojpuri, Marathi
Ranjit Srivastava has developed Rashmi, India’s first humanoid robot, which can speak Hindi, Bhojpuri, Marathi and English.
i. Ranjit Srivastava hails from Ranchi. He is 38 years old. He has developed Rashmi, which is said to be the Indian version of ‘Sophia’ (a social humanoid robot developed by a Hong Kong based company).
ii. Ranjit Srivastava claimed Rashmi as the world’s first Hindi speaking realistic humanoid robot and India’s first lip-synching robot.
iii. Rashmi uses linguistic interpretation (LI), artificial intelligence (AI), visual data and facial recognition systems. It gives facial, eye, lips, and eyebrow expressions. It can move its neck.
iv. Ranjit Srivastava has developed Rashmi in 2 years at a cost of Rs 50,000. Head and body of Rashmi have been developed. He said that, a complete human shape would be achieved in a month’s time.
v. Ranjit Srivastava is the Proprietor of Lotus Communication, a software company based in Ranchi. He has developed several software for various departments of the state government. His software have also received national recognition.
China successfully tests first hypersonic aircraft: Xingkong-2 or Starry Sky-2
On 3rd August 2018, China successfully tested “Xingkong-2” or “Starry Sky-2”, its first waverider hypersonic aircraft that could carry nuclear warheads and penetrate any current generation anti-missile defence systems.
Xingkong-2 or Starry Sky-2:
i. Xingkong-2 or Starry Sky-2 was launched in a target range in Northwest China. It was launched in a rocket and was released in the air after 10 minutes.
ii. It flew independently and landed in the targeted area after making large-angle turning maneuvers. It reached an altitude of30 km with a speed of Mach 5.5-6.
iii. It was designed by the China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics (CAAA) along with the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.
iv. Waverider is a flight vehicle that flies in the atmosphere and utilises shockwaves produced by its own hypersonic flight with the air to glide at high speed.
v. After several other tests Xingkong-2 will be handed to the People’s Liberation Army for deployment.
vi. The trajectory of a waverider is relatively unpredictable when compared to current anti-missile defence systems.
vii. Any rocket can launch a waverider. The waverider can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads. It can be used in both civil and military applications.
About China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation:
♦ Chairman – Wu Yansheng
♦ Headquarters – Beijing, China
BWF World Championships 2018
i. From 30th July to 5th August 2018, BWF World Championships 2018 also known as TOTAL BWF World Championships 2018 was held at Nanjing Youth Olympic Games Sports Park in Nanjing, China.
ii. Mascot: was named “Yu Bao”. Its head resembled a badminton shuttlecock and the figure was holding a rocket in hand.
iii. Emblem: was a personified shuttlecock. It featured Nanjing’s “City Wall” on its headband.
iv. Motto: Sports of Inspiration, City of sensation.
v. India’s PV Sindhu won silver medal in Women’s Singles event. Spain’s Carolina Marin defeated PV Sindhu 21-19, 21-10 in the women’s singles finals and won the gold medal
vi. China topped the medals tally with 8 medals (2 gold, 2 silver and 4 bronze). It was followed by Japan in second position with 6 medals (2 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze). Spain came third with 1 gold medal and India secured fourth position with 1 silver medal………………………………Click here to Read more
|Event||Gold medal||Silver medal|
|Men’s Singles||Kento Momota (Japan)||Shi Yuqi (China)|
|Women’s Singles||Carolina Marin (Spain)||P V Sindhu (India)|
|Men’s Doubles||Li Junhui (China), Liu Yuchen (China)||Takeshi Kamura (Japan), Keigo Sonoda (Japan)|
|Women’s Singles||Mayu Matsumoto (Japan), Wakana Nagahara (Japan)||Yuki Fukushima (Japan), Sayaka Hirota (Japan)|
|Mixed Doubles||Zheng Siwei (China), Huang Yaqiong (China)||Wang Yilü (China), Huang Dongping (China)|
Asian Nations Cup Chess Tournament 2018
On July 28th to August 3, 2018, the biennial Asian Nations Cup Chess Tournament was held in Hamadan, Iran. It was organized by Iran Chess Federation on behalf of Asian Chess Federation.
i. India won 5 medals: 1 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze.
ii. India ranked 2nd in the overall ranking.
iii. The winning team of Gold consisted of : Grand Master Harika Dronavalli , International Master Eesha Karavade, International Master Padmini Rout and Women’s International Masters (WIMs) Vaishali R, Aakanksha Hagawane.
iv. The hosts made it compulsory for all the women participants to wear a headscarf.
i. India’s women’s team won in this category and clinched the gold medal against Vietnam.
ii. India in blitz women event, pipped Vietnam for top spot. China came third with 17.5.
iii. Men’s team in the Blitz event had to settle for the fourth position.
i. The women’s team also bagged a silver in the rapid event and returned
ii. China won the gold medal and Iran Green ranked third.
iii. Iran Green were placed third because they had less number of wins compared to India.
iv. The men’s team won the third rank after Iran Green (1st) and China (2nd).
i. India’s women’s team won a bronze in the classical category with 17.5 points.
ii. China bagged the gold and Vietnam got silver as it had more number of wins than India.
iii. Indian Men’s team ranked second with a silver after Iran Green(1st) followed by China (3rd).
Russia’s Kliment Kolesnikov sets 50m backstroke world record to win European title
On 4th August 2018, Kliment Kolesnikov of Russia created a world record for the 50 metres backstroke as he won the European Championship title in Glasgow, Scotland.
i. Kliment Kolesnikov recorded 24 seconds and broke the previous record by 0.04 seconds which was set by Britain’s Liam Tancock at the world championships in Rome in 2009.
ii. Kliment Kolesnikov won the gold medal and Romanian Robert-Andrei Glinta won the silver medal.
Swastika Ghosh wins bronze in Hong Kong Open (table tennis)
On 4th August 2018, India’s Swastika Ghosh won a bronze medal in the junior girls’ doubles along with Singapore’s Jingyi Zhou in the 2018 Hang Seng Hong Kong Junior and Cadet Open, in Hong Kong.
Swastika Ghosh wins bronze:
i. Swastika Ghosh and Jingyi Zhou pair was defeated by Li Lin Jassy Tan of Singapore and Ruei Ling Wen of Taipei 2-3 in the semi finals.
ii. In the junior boys’ doubles category, Indian pair of Raegan Alberquerque and Payas Jain pair reached pre-quarters. But they were knocked out as they lost to Yanapong Panagitgun and Supakron Pankhaoyoy of Thailand.
About ITTF (International Table Tennis Federation):
♦ President – Thomas Weikert
♦ Headquarters – Lausanne, Switzerland
Los Cabos Open 2018
From 30th July to 4th August 2018, Los Cabos Open 2018 also known as the Abierto Mexicano de Tenis Mifel presentado por Cinemex was held in Los Cabos, Mexico.
i. The 2018 Los Cabos Open was an ATP tennis tournament played on outdoor hard courts.
ii. It was the 3rd edition of the Los Cabos Open. It was part of the ATP World Tour 250 series of the 2018 ATP World Tour.
Italy’s Fabio Fognini defeated Argentina’s Juan Martín del Potro 6–4, 6–2 in the finals and won the men’s singles title.
El Salvador’s Marcelo Arévalo and Mexico’s Miguel Ángel Reyes-Varela defeated United States of America’s Taylor Fritz and Australia’s Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-4, 6-4 in the finals and won the men’s doubles title.
i. It is the 8th ATP Tour victory for Fabio Fognini. It is also his first victory on hard courts. He had earlier won only on clay.
ii. This is the first time since 1995, a Mexican has won an ATP World Tour title on home soil, as Mexico’s Miguel Ángel Reyes-Varela won the men’s doubles title.
About Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP):
Purpose – governing body of the men’s professional tennis circuits
Chairman – Chris Kermode
Women’s Hockey World Cup 2018: Netherlands crowned world champions for record 8th time
From 21st July to 5th August 2018, Women’s Hockey World Cup 2018 was held in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London.
Women’s Hockey World Cup 2018:
i. Defending champions the Netherlands defeated Ireland 6-0 in the finals and won the Women’s Hockey World Cup 2018 title.
ii. The Netherlands have emerged as the world champions in Women’s hockey for a record 8th time. They have extended their unbeaten performance in all competitions to 32 matches.
iii. Kitty van Male, one among the 6 different goal scorers emerged as the top scorer of the tournament with 8 goals.
iv. Spain won the third place match by defeating Australia 3-1 and won their first World Cup medal. India finished the tournament at 8th position.
About Hockey India:
♦ President – Rajinder Singh
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
73rd Hiroshima day
August 6, 2018, marks the 73rd anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima.
i. On this day in 1945, the US bomber Enola Gay dropped the first atomic bomb nicknamed ‘Little Boy’ ever used in military combat on Hiroshima.
ii. The Atomic Bomb Dome was located almost directly underneath the explosion was designated as a World Heritage Site in 1996.
♦ Capital: Tokyo.
♦ Currency: Japanese Yen.