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Current Affairs Today September 4 2018

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Current Affairs Today September 4 2018


NITI Aayog expert group submits ‘Inventory and Revival of Springs in the Himalayas for Water Security’ report & urges plan to save springs in Himalayas
An expert group that was formed by NITI Aayog has urged the government to set up a dedicated mission to save spring water systems in the Himalayan States.
Key Points:
i.A Working Group on “Inventory and Revival of Springs in the Himalaya for Water Security” was constituted by NITI Aayog on 2nd June 2017, with Department of Science and Technology (DST) as the lead institution and Dr. Akhilesh Gupta, Adviser, DST, as the convener to finalize a report.
ii.The group submitted a report titled ‘Inventory and Revival of Springs in the Himalayas for Water Security.’
iii.The report stated that, nearly 60% of low-discharge springs that supplied water to small habitations in the Himalayan region have declined in the past 20 years.
iv.In May 2018, several districts of Himachal Pradesh including Shimla faced severe drinking water crisis, as major water sources dried out fully or partially.
v.Nearly, 64% of the cultivable area in the Himalayas is supplied water by natural springs.
vi.Meghalaya has the highest number of these water sources in the Eastern Himalayan States, with 3,810 villages having springs. Sikkim has the greatest density with 94% of its villages having a spring.
vii.In the Western Himalayas, Jammu & Kashmir had the highest number of villages (3,313) with springs and the highest density of 50.6%.
Recommendations by NITI Aayog expert group:
The group has recommended an 8-year programme to overhaul spring water management. This includes:

  • preparing a digital atlas of India’s spring sheds
  • training para-hydrogeologists who would lead grassroots conservation
  • Introduction of a ‘Spring Health Card’

Conference on E-Mobility in Indian Railways held in New Delhi
On 4th September 2018,Minister of State of Communication (I/C) and Minister of State of Railways, Shri Manoj Sinha inaugurated a 1-day conference on “E-Mobility in Indian Railways” organized by Ministry of Railways, Institution of Railways Electrical Engineers (IREE) and  NITI Aayog.

Conference on E-Mobility in Indian Railways held in New DelhiConference on E-Mobility in Indian Railways:
i. The conference was held to discuss strategies for future of mobility in India and to make Indian Railways more efficient, greener and a preferred mode of transport. It acted as a common platform for project developers and other stakeholders.
ii. Minister of State for Railways, Manoj Sinha was the chief guest of the conference. Minister of State for Railways, Rajen Gohain, was the Guest of Honour.
iii. This conference was conducted by Indian Railways, in partnership with NITI Aayog, as part of the ‘Mobility Week’observed from 31 August to 6 September 2018.
About NITI Aayog:
♦ CEO – Amitabh Kant
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi

Suresh Prabhu Launches Technology Initiatives for Coffee Stakeholders including “Coffee Connect” app & “Coffee KrishiTharanga” services
On 4th September 2018, Minister for Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu launched India coffee field force app named “Coffee Connect” and digital mobile extension services for coffee stakeholders named “Coffee KrishiTharanga”.

Suresh Prabhu Launches Technology Initiatives for Coffee Stakeholders including “Coffee Connect” app & “Coffee KrishiTharanga” servicesCoffee Connect:
i. This app will simplify the work of field functionaries and enhance work efficiency. It will also improve transparency in the activities of the extension officers and officials, subsidy disbursement and real time report generation.
ii. It uses latest technology to ease field activities like digitization of Coffee Growers & Estates with Geo Tagging, collecting the Plantation details etc.
Coffee KrishiTharanga:
i. This service aims to offer customized information and services to increase productivity, profitability, and environmental sustainability. These services are two ways, 24 X 7 service supports.
ii. This service is pilot tested in the Chikmagalur and Hassan districts of Karnataka, involving 30,000 farmers in the first year. It will be extended to other farmers also in a phased manner.
iii. This pilot project has been partly funded by NABARD (National Bank For Agriculture And Rural Development).
Other launches:
Coffee Board along with EKA Analytics has developed the hyper local weather forecast, pest identification and leaf rust disease forecast applications for pilot testing.
Coffee Cultivation in India:
Traditional coffee cultivation areas comprise: Karnataka (54%), Kerala (19%) and Tamil Nadu (8%)
Non-traditional cultivation areas: Andhra Pradesh & Odisha (17.2%) and North Eastern states (1.8%)

‘IOWave18’ : Tsunami mock drill began in the Indian Ocean under IOC/UNESCO
On September 4, 2018, Indian Ocean Wave Exercise 2018 (IOWave18) began in the Indian Ocean.

IOWaveAbout the exercise:
i. It is a major Indian ocean-wide tsunami mock drill consisting of evacuation of residents of coastal areas.
ii. It is a part of the Indian Ocean Tsunami Ready (IOTR) programme by UNESCO.
The 2018 version of the IOWave18:
i. It is being organized by Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO.
ii. In the 2018 version, India along with 23 nations are participating in it.
iii. The IOTWMS Tsunami Service Providers (TSP) of Australia, India and Indonesia will provide exercise bulletins and detailed tsunami threat advice on their password-protected websites.
iv. It will have 2 types of situations:

  • North western Indian Ocean off the coast of Iran with a  magnitude of 9.0 earthquake,
  • Eastern Indian Ocean off the west coast of northern Sumatra with a magnitude of 9.3 earthquake

Indian participation:
i. In India, IOWave18 is being coordinated by Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) under Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) in association with the following:
National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the Coastal States/UTs.
ii. Evacuation of more than 125000 people will be done from :
Odisha, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Gujarat and Goa.
iii. From the Indian side, following are the participants:
NDRF Battalions, Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guards, Army, Critical installations (nuclear power plants), Port & harbors.
Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC):
Headquarters: Paris, France.
♦ Headquarters: Paris, France.
♦ Head: Audrey Azoulay.


Rapid Trident: Joint military exercise among Ukraine, US and NATO nations in Ukraine
From September 2-15, 2018, Ukraine started conducting the annual joint military exercise called Rapid Trident in Ukrainian village of Starychi along with the US and the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) member nations.

Rapid Trident: Joint military exercise among Ukraine, US and NATO nations in Ukrainei. It is a battalion-level field training exercise for a hybrid war situation.
ii. For 2018, for the first time Ukrainian Border Guard Service and National Guard troops will participate in it.
iii. Along with that, around 2,200 soldiers from 14 countries are participating in it.
Other news:
It is being conducted week before Russia holds its biggest military exercise Vostok-2018.
♦ Headquarters: Brussels, Belgium.
♦ Membership: 29.
♦ Capital: Kiev.
♦ Currency: Ukrainian hryvnia.
♦ President: Petro Poroshenko.


Canara bank opened portal to claim education loan interest subsidy
On September 1, 2018, Canara bank opened a portal to claim education loan interest subsidy for the financial year 2017-18.
i. The Portal will be opened till September 28,2018.
ii. This is under the Central sector interest subsidy (CSIS) scheme implemented by the Union Ministry of HRD which was started in 2009.
iii. According to this scheme:

  • Full interest subsidy is provided to the eligible students for the course period plus one year for loans up to Rs.7.5 lakhand
  • This is applicable to students from an Economically Weaker section having parental income upto Rs.4.5lakhper annum.

iv. Tamil Nadu is the top state availing this loan.
Canara Bank:
♦ Headquarters: Bengaluru.
♦ CEO: Rakesh Sharma.
♦ Tagline: Together we can.

RBI implemented the ‘Internal Ombudsman Scheme, 2018’ ; directed banks with over 10 branches to have IO
On September 4, 2018, the Reserve Bank of India directed all scheduled commercial banks with more than 10 branches to appoint an internal ombudsman.
i. Regional rural banks are not included in this directive.
ii. This was done to ensure that the complaints of the customers are redressed.
iii. This was done under the ‘Internal Ombudsman Scheme, 2018’ which gives ombudsman statutory powers under section 35 A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
iv. According to the scheme:
About Internal Ombudsman:

  • Bank ombudsmen have to be appointed for a fixed tenure,
  • The tenure of the IO cannot be more than five years and it is not open to reappointment.
  • They would directly reporting to the bank’s customer service committee
  • The appointees must be people from outside the bank
  • Banks shall internally escalate all complaints without direct involvement of customers,
  • It will be monitored by the bank’s internal audit mechanism and the RBI.

♦ Headquarters: Mumbai.
♦ Started operations in 1935.
♦ 24th Governor: Dr. Urjit Patel.

NABARD has sanctioned Rs 335 crore under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) to West Bengal
National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has sanctioned Rs 335 crore under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) to West Bengal.
Key Points:
i. The fund was allotted in August 2018. It will be used for 158 minor irrigation projects and 23 flood protection projects.
ii. The minor irrigation projects will benefit 20,506 hectares, with 3.09 lakh population in 699 villages of 22 districts.
iii. The 23 flood protection projects will help to solve rapid bank erosion caused by rivers. These willl save nearly 5,080 hectares of fertile agricultural and home stead lands of farmers of 64 villages, which are under erosion.
v. With this, the cumulative RIDF loan assistance to West Bengal government in 2018 amounts to Rs 1,172.16 crore.
About National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD):
♦ Chairman – Dr. Harsh Kumar Bhanwala
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai


HDFC ERGO launches “E@Secure” Cyber Insurance Policy for individuals
On 4th September 2018, HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company announced the launch of ‘E@Secure’, a Cyber Insurance Policy for individuals.
i. E@Secure policy offers comprehensive protection to individuals and their families including children, against cyber-attacks, cyber frauds or digital threats that might cause financial loss or reputational loss.
ii. This policy offers protection against cyber risks and frauds performed from any device and from any location of the world.
iii. Cyber risks like unauthorized online transactions, phishing and email spoofing, e-extortion, identity theft, damage to e-reputation and cyber-bullying are covered.
iv. The policy also pays for legal cost and expenses and legal advice obtained by the insured in case of a legal dispute caused due to specified risks.
v. It also covers the expenses for counseling sessions with a psychologist due to traumatic stress caused by cyber-bullying or harassment. The sum assured for the cover is between: Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 1 crore.
About HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company:
♦ India’s third-largest non-life insurance provider in the private sector
♦ MD & CEO – Ritesh Kumar

Paytm Money App For Mutual Funds Launched with SIPs starting at just Rs 100
On 4th September 2018, Paytm Money Ltd has launched its app for mutual fund investments. It has partnered with 25 asset management companies including all large fund houses,  that cover around 90% of the industry’s 22 trillion worth of assets under management.
Paytm Money App For Mutual Funds Launched with SIPs starting at just Rs 10i. Paytm Money Ltd, the wholly-owned subsidiary of One97 Communications Ltd targets to sell mutual fund to around 25 million people in the next three to five years.
ii. Paytm Money will sell only direct plans of all mutual fund schemes. Direct plans come with a lower expense ratio as they do not have distributor commissions embedded in them.
iii. The company is providing systematic investment plans (SIPs) for as low as Rs 100 in some of the schemes.
iv. Investors must complete Know Your Customer (KYC) formalities and create their risk profiles, which is stored in the app. These will be displayed every time the investor checks out a scheme, before actually buying it.
v. This money is being invested in technology, development of products, design, engineering and setting up the entire function.


NALCO mine bags 5 awards at Mines Environment and Mineral Conservation (MEMC) week
On 1st September 2018, the Panchpatmali bauxite mine of National Aluminium Company Ltd (NALCO) won 5 awards at the concluding ceremony of 20th Mines Environment and Mineral Conservation (MEMC) week.
Key Points:
i. The MEMC week was held under the guidance of Indian Bureau of Mines. NALCO was awarded the ‘Par Excellence Award’ in recognition of outstanding mines, environment and mineral conservation.
ii. NALCO also won the first prize in afforestation, reclamation and rehabilitation, sustainable development and overall performance (in more than 5.5 million tonne per year mining capacity category).
About National Aluminium Company Ltd (NALCO):
♦ Type – Navaratna CPSE (Central Public Sector Enterprise)
♦ Chairman-cum-Managing Director – Dr. T.K. Chand


PTI leader Arif Alvi elected 13th President of Pakistan
On 4th September 2018, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Arif Alvi was elected the 13th President of Pakistan.

PTI leader Arif Alvi elected 13th President of PakistanArif Alvi – President of Pakistan:
i. Arif Alvi succeeds outgoing President Mamnoon Hussain.He defeated Pakistan Peoples Party candidate Aitzaz Ahsan and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz nominee Maulana Fazlur Rehman.
ii. Arif Alvi will be sworn in as Pakistan President on September 9, 2018.
About Pakistan:
♦ Capital – Islamabad
♦ Currency – Pakistani rupee
♦ Prime Minister – Imran Khan


Lewis Hamilton wins Italian Grand Prix
On 2nd September 2018, Lewis Hamilton won the Italian Grand Prix held at Autodromo Nazionale Monza track, in Italy.
Key Points:
i. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton finished in the first place and won the Italian Grand Prix. He was followed Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen in the 2nd place.
ii. Mercedes’ Valterri Bottas finished in the third spot and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished in the fourth place.
iii. This is Lewis Hamilton’s 5th Italian Grand Prix title, with this he has equaled Michael Schumacher record (of 5 Italian Grand Prix wins).
iv. Also, this is British racer Lewis Hamilton’s 68th career victory and 6th victory in 2018.

Swimmer Rikako Ikee of Japan: First female to be named ‘Most Valuable Player’ of Asian Games by OCA
On September 4, 2018, Japanese swimmer Rikako Ikee became the first female athlete to be named the Most Valuable player in the 18th Asian Games by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA).

i. She had won medals which is the most for a female athlete at a single Game.
ii. She will get a trophy and a cheque for $50,000.
iii. She became the fourth Japanese athlete to win the award since it’s inception at the 1998 Bangkok Games.
iv. Only North Korean shooter So Gin-man, who won seven golds and a a silver at New Delhi in 1982, has won more titles at one Asian Games.
Other awards :
The Olympic Council of Asia had given awards to 7 people who covered official theme song of Asian Games 2018, Meraih Bintang, in multiple languages.


National Nutrition Week -1st to 7th September
National Nutrition Week is observed every year from 1st to 7th September all over the country to spread awareness regarding importance of nutrition.
Objective:-  To evaluate the appropriate techniques to prevent and control the nutritional problems through deep research and monitor the condition of the country for the diet and nutrition.To aware people through the orientation training about health and nutrition.
Theme of the year 2018 is – ‘Go Further With Food’
i. Macrobiotics involves eating mostly organic and locally grown food products. The foods that are included in this diet are vegetables, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
ii. Small amounts of fish and meat are allowed, occasionally. Its focus on eating more vegetables does make it a great option for people with high cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes.
History of National Nutrition Week:-
The campaign was first started by the central government in the year 1982 in order to encourage the good health and healthy living through the nutrition education as the malnutrition is the main obstruction to the National Development.
Themes of National Nutrition week  to recollect:-
♦ The theme of 2015 was “Better Nutrition: Key to Development”.
♦ The theme of 2016 was “Life cycle approach for better Nutrition”.
♦ The theme of 2017 was “Optimal Infant & Young Child Feeding Practices: Better Child Health”.