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South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s visit to India from (8-11)th July, 2018
On July 8, 2018, South Korean President Moon Jae-in arrived in New Delhi on a four day visit to India from June 8-11, 2018.
i. On July 10,2018, NSIC signed MOU with Small Business Corporation of South Korea on the inaugural day of The India-Korea Technology Exchange Centre.
ii. On July 9, 2018Union Commerce and Industries Minister Suresh Prabhu and South Korean Trade Minister Kim Hyun-Chong signed agreements on trade and commerce.
iii. On July 10,2018, The India-Korea Technology Exchange Centre was Inaugurated by the Minister of State (I/C) MSME Giriraj Singh and Minister of SMEs and Start-ups of Republic of Korea, Hong Jong-hak today in New Delhi…………………………..Click here to read more

PM inaugurates ‘Dharohar Bhawan’ the new Headquarters of Archaeological Survey of India in New Delhi
On 12th July 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated ‘Dharohar Bhawan’, the new Headquarters building of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) at 24, Tilak Marg in New Delhi.
PM inaugurates ‘Dharohar Bhawan’ the new Headquarters of Archaeological Survey of India in New DelhiDharohar Bhawan:
i. Minister of State for Culture(I/c) Dr. Mahesh Sharma praised ASI that takes care of nearly 3686 monuments in India.
ii. It also provides conservation services in countries like Afghanistan, Myanmar, Cambodia.
iii. He said that, in recent times 40 antiquities from Foreign countries have been retrieved and efforts to bring back 8 to 9 more antiquities are in process.
iv. The new Headquarters building has advanced facilities like energy efficient lighting and rainwater harvesting.
v. It has a Central Archaeological Library with a collection of nearly 1.5 lakh books and journals.
vi. The library will be a treasure for people who perform research work in Archaeology, Religious and Cultural perspective of India, India’s ancient past and related subjects.
vii. The Library has Authentic records related to Archaeology, like ASI reports, etc., Diary of Alexander Cunningham(founder of ASI), John Marshall, etc.
viii. The Library has Original collection of religious books and books on cultural heritage of India, like the sacred books on the Hindus, Manusmiti, Kautilya’s Athasastra, etc.
ix.It also has original, specific and holistic collection on places of India, like Kalhan’s Rajtarangini, on Kashmir, History of Gujarat, etc. are also available.
x. Also, original and rare books on inscriptions, like Kharosti, Brahmi etc.  and collection of Tibetan manuscripts (rare) are also available.
xi. Rare portfolios related to Ajanta, Ellora and other sites of archaeological importance, collection of books on Archaeology, Epigraphy, Indology, Indian culture and its past, etc. are also present.
About Archeological Survey Of India:
♦ Founded: 1861.
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi.
♦ Under : Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India.

15-point action plan titled ‘Breathe India’ to combat air pollution in ten most polluted cities proposed by NITI Aayog
On July 12, 2018, Niti Aayog has proposed 15-point action plan named “Breathe India” for combating air pollution in ten most polluted cities in the country.
i. According to a recent WHO database (2018), Kanpur, Faridabad, Gaya, Varanasi, Agra, Gurgaon, Muzaffarpur, Lucknow and Patna are the top ten most polluted cities in India.
Key Points:
i. The plan includes encouraging electric vehicles, phasing out private diesel vehicle and development of crop residue utilisation policy.
ii. It also includes expediting strategic decommissioning of old and inefficient power plants and implementation of a large-scale feebate programme from 2020 onwards.
iii. It mentions that all central government offices should replace existing fleets older than 15 years to electric vehicles in the next years i.e. by 2021 April.
iv. It also pitched for encouraging electric two and three-wheelers, saying a scheme to convert existing ICE (internal combustion engine) autos into electric ones.
v. Additional incentives like free registration and ease of getting permits for electric 2 wheelers and 3 wheelers should be immediately notified by Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH). In addition, all public transportation and 3 wheelers should adopt ZEVs (zero emission vehicles) by 2020.
vi. It also stated prohibition of transition traffic in these cities and phasing out of private diesel vehicles by 2022.
vii. A feebate is a policy might be instituted by which inefficient or polluting vehicles incur a surcharge (fee), while efficient ones receive a rebate (bate).
viii. Austria, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Ontario (Canada) and Singapore have introduced variations of feebates.
ix. It also suggested for ensuring high grade low polluting coal to the power plant, implementing a National Emissions Trading System, adopting cleaner construction practice and implementing a business model to utilise crop residue and an integrated waste management policy.
Air quality of Delhi had deteriorated beyond severe level because of a ground-level dust storm in western India, according to the Central Pollution Control Board data.
NITI Aayog:
♦ Chairman: Narendra Modi.
♦ CEO: Amitabh Kant.

“Jal Bachao, Video Banao, Puruskar Pao” fortnightly Contest launched on Water Conservation: Ministry of Water Resources
On July 12, 2018, the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has launched a video contest titled “Jal Bachao, Video Banao, Puruskar Pao”. It is a fortnightly contest that will run till 4th November 2018.

“Jal Bachao, Video Banao, Puruskar Pao” fortnightly Contest launched on Water Conservation: Ministry of Water ResourcesObjective:
To engage with the people of India on the important issues of water conservation and water management.
Key Points:
i. This contest will be run by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation in collaboration with MyGov  portal of Government of India.
ii. In this contest, winners will be chosen every fortnight.
iii. Any Indian citizen can upload their video entries on YouTube and enter the publicly accessible link on the Video link section of MyGov contest page
iv. The duration of the videos should be minimum 2 minutes and up to 10 minutes in Hindi, English or any other regional language and must not violate any provision of the Indian Copyright Act, 1957 or the Intellectual Property Rights of any third party.
v. The parameters of judgement are on the basis of elements of creativity, originality, composition, technical excellence, artistic merit, quality of video, content and visual impact.
vi. The prize amount is Rs 25,000/-, Rs 15,000/- and Rs 10,000/- for first, second and third positions respectively.
vii. This way the people of India will make and upload videos capturing the efforts, significant contributions, best practices in the field of Water Conservation, Optimum Water Utilization and Water Resource Development and Management in different parts of the country including any innovative advertisement/commercial on Water Conservation.
About Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation:
♦ Union Minister: Nitin Gadkari.
♦ Minister of State: Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal, Dr. Satya Pal Singh.

Technology Challenge Launched for Promoting Suitable Techniques for Cleaning of Sewers and Septic Tanks
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has launched a technology challenge with an aim to eliminate human entry into septic tanks and drains for cleaning, seeking suitable solutions from individuals and NGOs.
Technology Challenge Launched for Promoting Suitable Techniques for Cleaning of Sewers and Septic Tanks:
i. The challenge will be a part of the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention that will be held on 2nd October 2018.
ii. Proposals have been invited by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs from innovators, companies, academic institutions, research and development centers, NGOs and municipal bodies.
iii. Innovative technical solutions to eliminate the need for human entry into sewers are invited. The challenge aims to identify solutions and promote suitable techniques for cleaning of sewerage systems.
Some important stadiums in India:
♦ Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium – Delhi
♦ Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium – Delhi
♦ Dhyan Chand National Stadium – Delhi

Aadhaar-enabled DBT savings estimated over Rs 90,000 crore: UIDAI
On July 12, 2018, As per UIDAI, the estimated savings and gains since the inception of Aadhaar-based Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) stood at overRs 90012 crore as on March 31,2018.
i. This was announced by chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) in a programme at India School of Business (ISB).
ii. 121 crore residents have so far enrolled for Aadhaar card and on an average over 30 million e-transactions are done using the identification system.
iii. Aadhaar data is completely safe and secure and is kept in about 7,000 servers in Bengaluru and Manesar.
iv. Improvements on research on Aadhar system in the areas of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning for fraud detection and the process of enrolment and security ecosystem are underway.
♦ Chairman (part time): Shri J. Satyanarayana.
♦ CEO: Dr. Ajay Bhushan Pandey.

Net Neutrality approved by Telecom Commission, Department of Telecommunications
On July 12, 2018, the Telecom Commission, the highest decision-making body in the Department of Telecommunications, approved the net neutrality rules implying internet will remain open to everybody in the country.

Net Neutrality approved by Telecom Commission, Department of Telecommunicationsi. This is in sync with the recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai).
ii. Earlier, barred telecom operators from offering differential pricing of data, putting an end to Facebook’s Free Basics and Airtel Zero. The regulator had recommended a change in the licence conditions to restrict any form of discrimination in Internet access based on content.
iii. The DoT will form a committee to identify critical services and come up with a separate regime for them which includes autonomous vehicles and digitized healthcare, certain types of traffic need to be prioritized.
Other Approvals of the commission:
i. Another approval of TC apart from net neutrality is  new telecom policy — National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP), 2018 — aimed at promoting investments, ease of doing business, and emerging technologies like 5G.
ii. The TC approved a proposal to rationalise double taxation for virtual network operators (VNOs) as well.
iii. Another proposal approved by TC includes setting up of 12.5 lakh wi-fi hotspots across all the gram panchayats. The DoT will provide Rs 6000 crore as viability gap funding to service providers to set up these hotspots.
iv. Also a proposal to fund pilot projects through Universal Service Obligation (USO) Fund for newer technologies has been cleared too.
Telecom Commission:
i. The Secretary to the Government of India in the Department of Telecommunications is the ex-officio Chairmen of the Telecom Commission.
ii. The part-time Members of the Telecom Commission are Cheif Executive Officer, NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog, Secretary (Department of Economic Affairs), Secretary ( Department of Electronics & Information Technology) and Secretary (Departmnet of Industrial Policy & Promotion).
iii. The Chief Executive Officer, NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog has been nominated as a (part-time) Member of the Telecom Commission.

Amendments in stringent provisions of Prohibition & Excise Act 2016 approved by Bihar Cabinet
On July 12, 2018, The Bihar cabinet approved amendments to the state’s stringent prohibition law. This was done by Division Bench of the Patna High Court comprising Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Rajiv Ranjan Prasad .
To reduce the quantum of sentence for those held guilty of violating the law.
Key Points:
i. This was done at a meeting of the state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
ii. This proposal would be would be tabled during the Monsoon Session of the state legislature scheduled on July 20.
iii. Earlier, both the owner and the occupant of a property or vehicle, from which liquor was seized, were liable to be punished.
iv. Under the Act, the minimum provision of punishment is jail term of 10 years up to life imprisonment; if liquor is found in a house, all members of the family above 18 years of age are deemed as guilty.
v. According to the amendments, there would be a reduction in the quantum of punishment for those involved in sale and manufacture of liquor as well as for those consuming alcohol, including the first-time offenders.
vi.Also the provision of community fines and of seizure and confiscation of house or vehicle in the event of discovery of liquor therein is likely to be annulled.
vii. Now those arrested under the old, stringent law might also avail of the relief granted under the amendments.
viii. Kumar had taken the radical step of stringent punishment which has cost the state exchequer about Rs 5,000 crore annually.
ix.The ban on sale and consumption of liquor was enforced in Bihar by the Nitish Kumar government in April, 2016.
i. Opposition leaders have alleged that Dalits and OBCs were being arrested and harassed by police in the name of prohibition
ii. More than 1.5 lakh persons have been arrested for violating prohibition in Bihar.

First phase of Anna Canteens launched in Andhra Pradesh by CM N Chandrababu Naidu
On July 12, 2018, Andhra Pradesh Chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu inaugurated a canteen in Vijayawada to mark the launch of much-awaited‘Anna Canteens’ in various parts of the state .

First phase of Anna Canteens launched in Andhra Pradesh by CM N Chandrababu Naidui. Total 60 ‘Anna Canteens’ were opened in the first phase across the state.
ii. These canteens are run by The Akshaya Patra Foundation in collaboration with the Municipal Administration and Civil Supplies Departments.
iii.As per contribution, Rs.6 lakhs has already been offered by officials and bureaucrats.
iv.The second phase of the project will have additional 143 canteens which will be opened by August 15.
About the ‘Anna Canteens’ :
i.It is named after TDP founder-president NT Rama Rao
ii.The first canteen was opened on a pilot basis close to the Government Transitional Headquarters in Amravati on March 2016.
iii. In the Anna Canteen the breakfast, lunch and dinner would be offered at Rs 5 each.
iv. The canteens will also have CCTV cameras. Thus, any person entering will have his finger print or iris captured for facial recognition preventing frauds.
v. Each canteen is expected to serve at least 350 plates for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The capacity can be extended to 500 plates.
Andhra Pradesh:
♦ Governor: E.S.L. Narasimhan.

Information Technology Policy 2018 approved by Goa cabinet
On July 12, 2018, The Goa Cabinet approved Information Technology policy 2018
It focuses on reverse migration and creation of around 10,000 jobs in the next five years
Key Points:
i. It would aim on generation of 8,000-10,000 job opportunities at different levels during the next five years.
ii. The policy has a provision for developing a Technology Park, ready-to-move warm shells, plug-and-play facilities, incubation centres with training etc. for new and existing IT units.
iii. Incentives would be provided to the units that recruit pass-outs from technical institutes in Goa.
iv. Additional incentives would be given for recruitments made through the on-campus placements and for MNCs looking to start operations in Goa.
v. special incentives are also proposed under the policy for units that are registered in Goa and owned by or have a majority stake-holder of the Goan origin.
v. The IT department will also have training programs and knowledge-sharing camps in collaboration with industry and state to enhance skill quotient of the students.
vi. It also proposes establishment of centres of excellence in collaboration with industry to promote skill development amongst faculty and staff of technical institutes.
National Parks: Salim Ali bird Sanctuary, Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary, Goa Wildlife Sanctuary, Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary.


India, UK to take forward the exchange of legal practitioners: MoU signed for enhancing bilateral cooperation in legal affairs
Minister for Law & Justice and Electronics & IT, India, Ravi Shankar Prasad visited United Kingdom from 6th to 10th July 2018 at the invitation of Mr. David Gauke, Secretary of State for Justice, UK. The two Ministers signed a MoU for improving bilateral cooperation in legal affairs.
India, UK sign MoU for enhancing bilateral cooperation in legal affairs:
i. Both the Ministers discussed on improving the exchange of legal practitioners on the basis of reciprocity as per the prevailing legal provisions in their respective countries.
ii. The two Ministers signed a MoU for improving bilateral cooperation in legal affairs which, also offers a framework for promoting greater co-operation between the judicial and legal professionals in both countries through exchange of expertise and training, exchange of information related to current issues of international significance.
iii. The MoU also involves establishment of a Joint Consultative Committee to enable such exchange.
iv. Ravi Shankar Prasad also met Mr.Jermy Wright, the newly appointed Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports.
v. He also chaired a Round Table of leading Indian and UK IT firms jointly organised by NASSCOM with its counterpart TechUK.
vi. Representatives from Indian IT companies like Wipro, Infosys ,TCS etc. and UK companies like WNS, First Source, BBC, NTT, etc. took part in the event.
Some important lakes in India:
♦ Moti Lake – Madhya Pradesh
♦ Sarang Pani Lake – Madhya Pradesh
♦ Shahpura Lake – Madhya Pradesh

Global Innovation Index (GII): India ranks 57th
India has ranked 57th in the Global Innovation Index (GII) developed by Cornell University, the Paris-based business school Insead and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Geneva.

Global Innovation Index (GII): India ranks 57thGlobal Innovation Index (GII): India ranks 57th:
i. India has ranked as the 57th most innovative country in the world. India has improved its rank from 60th position in 2017.
ii. India has improved steadily since 2015 when it was ranked 81stChina has improved its rank from 22 in 2017 to 17 in 2018.
iii. GII ranks 126 economies on the basis of 80 indicators. This is the 11th edition of GII.
iv. Since 2011, Switzerland has been ranked on top every year. In 2018, it is followed by Netherlands at second spot and Sweden at third.
v.The US has dropped to sixth rank from fourth in 2017. There has been a rearrangement among themselves, but the top 10 countries in GII have not changed.
vi. India is a top performer in the lower middle income group, in which it is ranked at 5th position.
vii. It is the most innovative country in central and southern Asia. In the quality of innovation inputs and outputs category, India is ranked second after China in the lower and upper middle income group combined.
viii. Many Asian countries have been improving their ranks in the last five years including China, India, Philippines, Cambodia and Vietnam.
ix. Four of the top five innovation clusters are in Asia, based on patents and publishing. San Francisco is the only innovation cluster outside Asia in the top five.
x. Tokyo is at the top. Also, two of the top five clusters are in China. Bengaluru, ranks at 65 among the top clusters in the world.
Some important airports in India:
♦ Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport – Ahmedabad, Gujarat
♦ Dholera International Airport – Dholera , Gujarat
♦ Srinagar Airport – Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir


MoU on Defence Salary Package signed between Indian Army and State Bank of India (SBI)
On 12th July 2018, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by the Indian Army and SBI (State Bank of India)on the Defence Salary Package.
MoU on Defence Salary Package signed by Indian Army and SBI:
i. The signing-in ceremony was chaired by the Director General (MP&PS), Lt Gen SK Saini.
ii. Senior officials of SBI headed by Ranjan Kumar Mishra, CGM (PB), Corporate Centre, State Bank Bhawan, Mumbai, were also present.
iii.In 2011, the first MoU between SBI and the Indian Army was signed. It was renewed on 23rd February 2015.
iv. The revised MoU is customized to meet the requirements of serving soldiers, pensioners and families.
v. Various additional facilities have been added in the revised MoU like free personal accident death cover, free permanent total disablement cover and other accidental benefits to the deceased soldier and family.
vi. This MoU will benefit serving and retired Army personnel who have their accounts with SBI.
vii. This MoU will be valid till 3rd Jan 2019. After that, the continuation will be subject to review.
About State Bank of India (SBI):
♦ Chairman – Rajnish Kumar
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai
♦ Tag line – With you all the way, Pure Banking Nothing Else, The Nation’s banks on us

India becomes 69th shareholder of European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD)
India has become the 69th shareholder of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

India becomes 69th shareholder of European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD)India becomes 69th shareholder of EBRD:
i. This would enable more joint investment with Indian companies across EBRD’s regions of operation.
ii. The Indian government had applied for membership in the EBRD in December 2017.
iii. The EBRD board of governors that represents all the existing shareholders, voted unanimously in favour of India’s application in March 2018.
iv. Now, the entire membership process has been completed. Now, India takes a shareholding in the EBRD. But it will not be a recipient of EBRD financing.
v. EBRD held its inaugural business forum in Mumbai in June 2018. The conference was co-hosted with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) along with Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of India.
vi. It was held under the banner of “Mobilising private sector finance in the EBRD region and how Indian companies can benefit”.
About European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD):
♦ Set up – 1991
♦ Headquarters – London
♦ President – Suma Chakrabarti

IDBI Bank raises lending rates by up to 10 bps
On 11th July 2018, IDBI Bank said that, it has increased its lending rates between 5 to 10 basis points for a few tenures, effective from 12th July 2018.
IDBI Bank raises lending rates by up to 10 bps:
i. IDBI Bank has increased its one-year marginal cost of funds based lending rates (MCLR) by 10 basis point to 8.75% from 8.65 %.
ii. The six-month MCLR has been increased by 5 basis points to 8.50 % from 8.45 %.
iii. The three-month and three-year lending rates have been kept unchanged at 8.35 % and 8.80 %, respectively.
iv. It has reduced its overnight MCLR by 5 basis points to 7.95 % from 8 %. Base rate of IDBI bank has been increased to9.60 % from 9.50 %.
About IDBI Bank:
♦ MD and CEO – Mr. B. Sriram
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai


India’s first private Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAV) and Light Bullet Proof Vehicles (LBPV) manufacturing factory to be set up in in Kota
India’s first private sector unit for manufacturing Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAV) and Light Bullet Proof Vehicles (LBPV) will be set up by DCM Shriram Industries Group on the campus of Shriram Rayons in Kota.

India’s first private Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAV) and Light Bullet Proof Vehicles (LBPV) manufacturing factory to be set up in in KotaIndia’s first private UAV and LBPV manufacturing factory:
i. Shriram Rayons, a company of DCM Shriram Industries Group, has been manufacturing rayon tyre cord in Kota for the past 54 years.
ii. On 5th July 2018, the company obtained a licence from the centre to manufacture UAV and LBPV.
iii. The UAV and LBPV are indigenously designed and developed by the DCM Shriram Industries Group.
iv. Shriram Rayons’ Kota unit, has been developed on 11 acres. It will be India’s first private sector company to manufacture UAVs and LBPVs.
v. Total of 3000 LBPVs and 500 UAVs will be produced annually after the plant is set up.
vi.These UAVs and LBPVs would be used by defence and para-military forces in India. UAVs will help in surveillance and LBPV will protect defence and para-military forces from light automatic weapon fire, IED blasts and small grenade attack.
vii.The UAVs would fly to a height of 500 to 2000 km. LBPVs can function in tough terrains. It also has off-road abilities.
viii. The company would release first samples of the defence products within the next 18 months. The plant will be equipped with three-layer security.
ix. DCM Industries Group is a 124-year-old company. It has entered defence equipment manufacturing after the launch of ‘Defence Procurement Procedure 2016’ by the central government.
xi. The new defence unit of Shriram Rayons in Kota is established under ‘Make in India’.
Some important dams in India:
♦ Bhakra Dam – Satluj River
♦ Lakhwar Dam – Yamuna River
♦ Pakal Dul Dam – Marusudar River

NTPC’s Rs 1,500 cr worth 250 MW solar plant inaugurated by Madhya Pradesh CM
On July 12, 2018, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan inaugurated the state-run power giant NTPC’s 250 MW Solar Power Plant in Suwasra, District Mandsaur.

NTPC's Rs 1,500 cr worth 250 MW solar plant inaugurated by Madhya Pradesh CMi. This project has been set up by NTPC at an investment of about Rs. 1,500 cr.
ii. It has been constructed mainly on non-agricultural land and generation of electricity has been achieved without affecting the natural eco-system with zero carbon emission.
iii. This is one of the biggest solar plant developed using domestically manufactured Solar cells and modules Under Make in India Project.
iv. The Project has been commissioned in June 2017 and generated electricity is being supplied for consumption in Madhya Pradesh as the sole beneficiary.
♦ Founded: 1975.
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi.
National Parks in Madhya Pradesh:
Kanha Tiger Reserve,  Madhav National Park, Panna National Park, Bandhavgarh National Park.


D C Raina appointed J&K advocate general
On 11th July 2018, Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra appointed D C Raina as the advocate general of Jammu and Kashmir.
D C Raina – advocate general of Jammu and Kashmir:
i. D C Raina was advocate general of Jammu and Kashmir in 2016 also when Governor’s rule was imposed in Jammu and Kashmir following the death of then chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and clash between the PDP and BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) on formation of government.
ii. Also, the governor accepted the resignation of Jehangir Iqbal Ganaie, who was the advocate general during the PDP-BJP coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir.
About Peoples Democratic Party (PDP):
♦ Leader – Mehbooba Mufti
♦ Founder – Mufti Mohammed Sayeed
♦ Founded – 1999


SpiNNaker: Novel computer mimics human brain networks
Scientists have developed a computer named “SpiNNaker” that mimics human brain’s neural networks, and would overcome the speed and power consumption problems of conventional supercomputers.
i. SpiNNaker is a custom-built computer. It generated similar results similar to that of the best brain-simulation supercomputer software used at present for neural-signalling research.
ii. This system would help to advance our knowledge of neural processing in the brain, to include learning and disorders like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease.
iii. A researcher from the Julich Research Centre in Germany, said that, SpiNNaker can support detailed biological models of the cortex.
iv. Cortex is the outer layer of the brain that receives and processes information from the senses.
v. The ability to run large-scale detailed neural networks at a fast pace and low power consumption will advance robotics research and help studies on learning and brain disorders.
vi. A study regarding this has been published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience.
vii. So far we know very less about the translation of neural activity into behaviour, like turning thought into muscle movement.
viii. Supercomputer software has helped by simulating the exchange of signals between neurons. But it could only simulate 1 % of the human brain.
ix. SpiNNaker has been developed over the past 15 years. It is based on the structure and function of the human brain.
x. It is part of the Neuromorphic Computing Platform of the Human Brain Project. It comprises half a million of simple computing elements controlled by its own software.
xi. The researchers compared the accuracy, speed and energy efficiency of SpiNNaker with that of NEST. NEST is a specialist supercomputer software used for brain neuron-signalling research.
xii. Simulations run on NEST and SpiNNaker showed similar results. SpiNNaker consists of 600 circuit boards with more than 500,000 small processors.
Some important bird sanctuaries in India:
♦ Bordoibam Beelmukh Birds’ Sanctuary – Assam
♦ Deepor beel bird sanctuary – Assam
♦ Panidihing bird sanctuary – Assam


Entire Men’s Hockey team included in Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS)
On 11th July 2018, the Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) of the Sports Ministry approved a monthly allowance of Rs 50,000 for each of the 18 members of the men’s hockey team under the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS).
Entire Men’s Hockey team included in Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS)Entire Men’s Hockey team included in TOPS:
i. The monthly allowance under TOPS was started by Sports Ministry in 2017. But the men’s hockey team has received the pocket allowance for the first time.
ii. The decision to include men’s hockey team was taken after India’s improved performance under the new coach Harendra Singh. The men’s hockey team finished runners up in the Champions Trophy in the Netherlands.
iii. The women’s hockey team would be included in the TOPS after reviewing its performance in the upcoming World Cup and the Asian Games.
iv. Also, double Olympic medalist Sushil Kumar has been sanctioned 6.62 lakh rupees for hiring two sparring partners and a physiotherapist during his current training in Georgia.
v. Bajrang Punia and Sumit have also been sanctioned 3.22 lakh rupees for training and tournament participation in Turkey.
vi. Boxer Sarajubala Devi received an extension under TOPS scheme following her qualification for th e Asian Games.
vii. Also, gymnastics received a total grant of Rs 21.76 lakh including Rs. 7.76 lakh for the month-long training program of Pranati Nayak in Uzbekistan.
viii. Rs 14 lakh was sanctioned for Ashish Kumar and Aruna Budda Reddy for the 32-day program including a training camp in Belgium.
ix. Davis Cup winner Ramkumar Ramanathan will receive Rs 12.57 lakh for his training under coach Angel Gimenez Alonso, competition and equipment expenses for the Asian Games.
x. Rs 11.48 lakh has been allotted for the purchase of archery equipment for compound archers Trisha Deb, Rajat Chauhan and Jyothi Surekha Vennam and recurve archer Promila Daimary.
xi. Rs 4.04 lakh has been sanctioned for the engagement of Italian coach Sergio Pagni to train India’s compound archers for 10 days at the SAI Sonepat centre prior to the Asian Games.
xii. The compound archers who will be trained are Abhishek Verma, Rajat Chauhan, Trisha Deb and Jyothi Surekha Vennam.
xiii.Judokas Avtar Singh and Vijay Kumar Yadav will receive Rs 3.55 lakh for their training, competition and equipment expenses prior to the Asian Games.
About Hockey India:
♦ President – Rajinder Singh
♦ Location – New Delhi


Spiritual leader, head of Sadhu Vaswani mission Dada JP Vaswani passes away in Pune
On 12th July 2018, Spiritual leader and head of Sadhu Vaswani mission Dada JP Vaswani died due to old age related ailments in Pune, Maharashtra.
Death of Dada JP Vaswani:
i. Jashan Pahlajrai Vaswani was 99 years old. He was born in Pakistan’s Hyderabad city on 2nd of August 1918.
ii. He was a popular spiritual leader. He promoted vegetarianism and animal rights. He has written more than 150 self-help books.
iii. He had received the 1998 U Thant Peace Award from the United Nations. He edited 3 monthly journals namely the Excelsior, the India Digest and the East and West series.
v. He was one of the Principals of the St. Mira’s College for Girls. In 1966, Dada J. P. Vaswani succeeded as the head of theSadhu Vaswani Mission following the death of Sadhu Vaswani.
vi. Dada J. P. Vaswani’s birthday (August 2), is celebrated as an International Forgiveness Day. At 2 pm on this day, people observe the ‘Moment of Calm’ by forgiving those who have wronged them.
vii. In May this year, Indian President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the Sadhu Vaswani International School.
Some important temples in India:
♦ Vaishno Devi Temple – Katra, Jammu & Kashmir
♦ Golden Temple – Amritsar, Punjab
♦ Tirupati Balaji (Tirumala Venkateswara Temple) – Chittor, Andhra Pradesh


July 12, 2018 celebrated as International Malala Day
July 12 is celebrated as International Malala Day as on July 12,2013, Malala Yousafzai’s 16th birthday, she spoke at the UN to call for worldwide access to education. Today Malala turns 21.
i. According to World Bank, not educating girls or creating barriers in their school education globally costs between $15-30 trillion.
ii. Less than two-thirds of girls in low-income countries complete primary school and only one in three girls completes lower secondary school.
iii. According to the report, currently 132 million girls around the world between the ages of 6 and 17 are still not in school — 75 per cent of whom are adolescents.
iv. In the 18 countries for which simulations were carried with demographic projection tools, the average reduction in population growth was estimated at –0.18 % adding that the reductions in annual population growth rates are, however, different depending on which country is considered.
v. In Indiathe largest of the 18 countries, the reduction was estimated at only -0.08 percentage point because the country has already gone through much of its demographic transition.
About Malala Yousafzai:
Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate.