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Swachh Survekshan Grameen, 2018: a nationwide survey of rural India launched by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation
On July 14, 2018, Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Shri Parameswaran Iyer, launched ‘Swachh Survekshan Grameen’ 2018, a survey of rural cleanliness programme, to rank all districts and states on the basis of qualitative and quantitative evaluation.
i. Top performing states and districts will be awarded on October 2.
ii. An independent survey agency will conduct the survey in all districts from 1st to 31st August 2018.
To undertake a ranking of states and districts on the basis of their performance attained on key quantitative and qualitative SBM-G parameters.
About the Survey:
i. The ranking will be based on set of cleanliness parameters, survey of public places, citizens’ perception of “swachhta” (cleanliness) and their recommendations for the improvement of the programme, and data from the ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ in rural areas.
ii. It will be based on district level surveys of public places like schools, anganwadis, haat-bazaars, panchayat and citizen’s perception of ‘Swachhta’.
iii. The Swachh Survekshan Gramin plan will cover, 6,800 villages in 680 districts across the country and 34,000 public places.
iv. Around 54,000 citizens will be interviewed for their feedback on Swachh Bharat Mission.
v. The ranking would be done giving 65% weightage to outcome from the survey and 35% to the service level parameters to be obtained from the IMIS of the ministry.
Other Announcements in the Launch:
i. The audio-visual communication campaign, featuring prominent celebrities including Swachh Bharat ambassadors including Shri Amitabh Bachchan and Shri Sachin Tendulkar was also launched.
ii. The Swachh Survekshan Gramin (SSG) 2018 logo and the SSG 2018 brochure detailing essential facts about the initiative was also released.
i. According to the progress figures of SBM(G) in rural India, over 7.7 crore toilets have been built in rural India with a usage of 93% as per an independent third-party survey conducted in 2017-18 across all States/UTs.
ii. Nearly 4 lakh villages, over 400 districts and 19 States and Union Territories have declared themselves free from open defecation.
Multimedia exhibition organised by Regional Outreach Bureau of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) inaugurated by Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan
On July 13,2018, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurated a multimedia exhibition organised by Regional Outreach Bureau of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) in Puri, Odisha.
i. This would be an exhibition showcasing all the schemes launched in 48 months (4 years) by PM Narendra Modi.
ii. The exhibition is taking place at Saradhabali near Bholanath Vidyapith in Puri.
World famous Rath Yatra being celebrated in Puri, Odisha
Every year in June or July the Ratha Yatra, the Festival of Chariot: Chariots of Lord Jagannath is celebrated every year at Puri in Odisha.It is considered as India and world oldest Ratha Yatra.
i. It will be celebrated on the second day of shukla pakshya (waxing cycle of moon) of Ashadh Maas (3rd month in Lunar Calendar).
Reason behind this festival:-
i. The festival describes Jagannath’s annual visit to Gundicha Temple via Mausi Maa Temple (aunt’s home) near Balagandi Chaka, Puri. The deity of Jagannath, his elder brother Balabhadra and younger sister Subhadra are taken out in a procession to Gundicha Temple and remain there for nine days.
ii. The return journey of Puri Jagannath Ratha Yatra is known as Bahuda Yatra.
Other regional festivals of Odisha:-
♦ Coastal Odisha
♦ Raja Parba
♦ Bali Jatra
69th Van Mahotsava inaugurated by Himachal Pradesh Governor
On July 13,2018, Himachal Pradesh Governor Acharya Dev Vrat inaugurated 69th Van Mahotsava celebrations at Ganevag (Nehra) near Shimla.
i. This campaign has been jointly organized by the forest department and State Red Cross Society, Shimla.
ii. Under this campaign, over 5000 saplings were planted. The Governor planted saplings of Deodar on the occasion.
iii. It was announced that every citizen should plant saplings on special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries.
OPPI launched ThinkforHealth digital campaign in collaboration with Government of Telangana
On July 13,2018, Industry body Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI) launched a digital campaign, ThinkForHealth, calling for ideas to improve access to healthcare in india.
i. The initiative has been launched with partnership of Telangana government.
ii. This will provide a platform for young minds and social and health-tech entrepreneurs to share their ideas on the topics mentioned and 3 winners would be chosen and their ideas would be heard.
iii. Through this initiative Telangana govt intends to make Hyderabad a bio-pharmaceutical innovation hub under Make in India campaign.
About Make in India Campaign:
Make in India, a type of Swadeshi movement covering 25 sectors of the economy, was launched by the Government of India on 25 September 2014 to encourage companies to manufacture their products in India and also increase their investment.
Goa CM inaugurates Goa IT Day celebrations
On July 14 2018 ,Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar inaugurated Goa IT Day celebrations in Panaji,Goa.
i. Goa CM has showed his gratitude that Goa became an IT destination and it will create path to large number of graduates who searching opportunities out of state.
New radio telescope unveiled by South Africa for clearer image of distant galaxies
On July 13, 2018, South Africa has unveiled a powerful radio telescope, part of an international project that scientists say will provide new details on the Milky Way and other galaxies.
i. They are releasing the “clearest view yet” of the centre of our galaxy through this telescope.
ii. It is known as the 64-antenna MeerKAT, which was completed after a decade of design and construction.
iii. The Square Kilometere Array or SKA telescope had support from various countries like Canada, China, India, Italy, Britain, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands and New Zealand.
iv. It has a radio telescope site in Australia as well as in South Africa.
i. MeerKAT, originally the Karoo Array Telescope, is a radio telescope consisting of 64 mirrors.
ii. It the largest and most sensitive radio telescope in the southern hemisphere until the Square Kilometer Array is completed in approximately 2024.
About Square Kilometer Array:
The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a large multi radio telescope project aimed to be built in Australia and South Africa. If built, it would have a total collecting area of approximately one square kilometer.
UN Secretary General sets up panel on digital cooperation to tackle cybersecurity threats
UN chief Antonio Guterres has established a panel on digital cooperation aimed to deal with the “dark side” of digital innovation like cyberwarfare and proliferation of hate speech.
i. He named senior Indian diplomat Amandeep Singh Gill as the executive director of the panel’s secretariat. Gill is India’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.
ii. The high-level panel has been co-chaired by Jack Ma, the co-founder of the Chinese technology and e-commerce giant Ali Baba, and Melinda Gates, the wife of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
iii. This panel has totally 20 members and includes leaders from industry, civil society and academia. It would also address the inequalities among countries as well as segments of societies within nations, especially through adapting technological innovations.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Proposal by DICDL to allow partnership of AAI & Gujarat government for Rs. 2000 crore worth Dholera Airport Project
On July 14, 2018, The Airport Authority of India (AAI) is likely to partner with the government of Gujarat to build the Rs 2,000 crore Dholera airport project.
i. A proposal to this effect has already been moved to the Civil Aviation ministry by DICDL that is yet to be approved by AAI.
ii. Equity participation between AAI and government of Gujarat will be 51% and 49%, respectively.
iii. The airport at the biggest upcoming greenfield city in India under the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) project at Dholera will be built over four years.
About Dholera Airport:
Dholera ,spaning over 920 sq km, is the biggest of the eight industrial smart cities being developed in the first phase of the $100 billion DMIC project.
About The Dholera Industrial City Development (DICDL):
The Dholera Industrial City Development (DICDL) is the special purpose vehicle (SPV) formed by the DMIC Trust and the government of Gujarat to administer the special investment region (SIR).
Peters’ Inn- India’s 1st AC dormitory launched by Kochi Metro Rail Limited
On July 13, 2018, Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) launched India’s first exquisite air-conditioned bed space dormitory-Peters Inn.
i. It was inaugurated by Kochi’s Mayor Soumini Jain.
ii. It has 200 bed air-conditioned cabins with 40 toilets.
iii. The fully air-conditioned rooms are equipped with locker facility, free WiFi, round-the-clock check-in and check-out facility and security cameras.
iv. The daily rent for the bed space is Rs.395.
v. KMRL has allotted 3,500 square feet of space to set up the MG Road facility.
vi. KMRL has also set up a separate facility for ladies with closed rooms where every bed space will also have a locker facility to keep their valuable items.
AWARDS & RECOGNITION
Mukesh Ambani overtakes Jack Ma, to become Asia’s richest person
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) Chairman Mukesh Ambani has overtaken Alibaba Group’s Jack Ma to become Asia’s richest person.
i. Ambani was estimated to be worth $44.3 billion with Reliance Industries Ltd. rising 1.6 percent to a record 1,099.8 rupees while Ma’s total net worth was at $44 billion.
ii. Reliance is India’s largest payer of Goods and Services Tax (GST), Excise and Customs Duty, and Income Tax in the private sector.
iii. Ambani launched advanced fiber-based broadband connectivity service called JioGigaFibre and JioGigaTV, a set-top box with ability to play videos at 4k resolution.
Jayshree Ullal and Neerja Sethi : Two Indian-origin women on Forbes list of America’s richest self-made women
On July 12,2018, 2 Indian-origin technology executives Jayshree Ullal and Neerja Sethi have made it to the Forbes’ list of America’s 60 richest self-made women .
About Jayshree Ullal:
i. Ullal is ranked 18th in the list of 60 self-made women
ii. She has a net worth of 1.3 billion dollars.
iii. Ullal (57), born in London and raised in India, has been president and CEO of Arista Networks, a computer networking firm, since 2008.
iv. The publicly-traded company recorded revenues of USD 1.6 billion in 2017.
v. She owns about five per cent of Arista’s stock.
About Neerja Sethi:
i. Sethi is ranked 21st in the list of 60 women.
ii. She has a net worth of a billion dollars.
iii. Sethi, 63, is the vice president of IT consulting and outsourcing company Syntel, a company she cofounded with her husband Bharat Desai in 1980 in their apartment in Troy, Michigan.
iv. Syntel racked up USD 924 million in 2017 revenues and has 23,000 employees, 80 per cent of whom are in India.
About the Forbes list:
i. 21-year-old reality-TV star and entrepreneur Kylie Jenner is the youngest to be featured in the power list. She has built a USD 900 million cosmetics fortune in less than three years.
ii. The combined net worth of the 60 women on the list is a record USD 71 billion, 15 per cent more than in 2017.
iii. The minimum net worth to make Forbes’ fourth annual ranking of these top women jumped 23 per cent to a record USD 320 million.
iv. Among these 60 women, Twenty-four of these women are billionaires.
v. Seven newcomers joined the ranks, The richest of these new faces is billionaire Anastasia Soare who has a cosmetic company called Anastasia Beverly Hills.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Navin Agarwal re-elected as Whole Time Director of mining company Vedanta Ltd.
On July 13,2018, Metals and Mining company Vedanta Ltd. has re-appointed Navin Agarwal as a Whole time Director.
i. This appointment is for another five-year period starting from August 1, 2018 and is subjected to stakeholders’ approval.
ii. The company also announced that he has been re-elected as chairman of the company as well with effect from August 1, 2018.
Amitabh Malhotra appointed HSBC India Head – Investment Banking
On July 13,2018 The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd (HSBC) had appointed Amitabh Malhotra as the head of investment banking for HSBC India.
i. He will lead the Investment Banking and Equity Capital Markets (ECM) business. Previously, he has worked at Rothschild India.
Chelsea appoint Maurizio Sarri as manager to replace Antonio Conte on three-year deal
Chelsea has appointed Italian Maurizio Sarri as their new manager on a three-year deal and replaces Antonio Conte.
i. The 59-year-old former Napoli head coach becomes Roman Abramovich’s ninth full-time manager in his 15 years as owner less than 24 hours after Conte parted company with the club he led to a league title and the FA Cup in his two years there.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
First-ever 3-D colour X-ray on a human performed by 2 New Zealand Scientists
On July 13,2018, the first-ever 3-D, colour X-ray on a human was done by 2 New Zealand scientists named Phil and Anthony Butler (father and son).
This was done using CERN’s imaging technology called Medipix in its lab.
i. This consisted of using a technique that improves the field of medical diagnostics.
ii. The new device, based on the traditional black-and-white X-ray, incorporates particle-tracking technology of CERN.
iii. It works like a camera detecting and counting individual sub-atomic particles as they collide with pixels while its shutter is open. This allows for high-resolution, high-contrast pictures.
iv. According to the CERN, the images very clearly show the difference between bone, muscle and cartilage and the position and size of cancerous tumours.
v. The technology is being commercialised by New Zealand, company MARS Bioimaging, linked to the universities of Otago and Canterbury which helped develop it.
Nilgiri tahr threatened by Climate change: Ecological Engineering
On July 11, 2018, international journal Ecological Engineering published that climate change is threatening the Nilgiri tahr.
i. According to the study, 60% of the population of the goat could be lost from 2030.
ii. The population in Chinnar, Eravikulam and Parambikulam is still strong enough to withstand the climate change but those of Tamil Nadu’s Kalakkad tiger reserve and wildlife sanctuaries if Peppara, Neyyar etc could experience habitat loss.
iii. The study puts emphasis on conservation measure and management for the habitat.
About Nilgiri Tahrs:
♦ They are the state animal of Tamil Nadu .
♦ As of now, only around 2,500 Nilgiri Tahrs are left in the wild.
♦ They are found only in the high altitudes of Western ghats.
Former DGCA chief Kanu Gohain passed away
On July 14, 2018, Former Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Kanu Gohain died after a brief illness at the age of 68 at Medanta Hospital in Gurugram.
i. He is survived by two sons.
ii .He was the last technocrat to head the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), retired from services in 2008.
iii. After retirement, he became a director on the board of Indamer, an MRO company.
Senior journalist Kalpesh Yagnik passed away
On July 14, 2018, Senior journalist Kalpesh Yagnik after suffering a cardiac arrest at the age of 55 at Indore.
i. He was the group editor of popular Hindi daily ‘Dainik Bhaskar’.
ii. He is survived by his mother, wife and two daughters.