Current Affairs

Important Current Affairs 25th September 2018 English

International News

4th India International Science Festival to be inaugurated by President of India

The fourth edition of India International Science Festival will be inaugurated by President of India in Lucknow on October 6, 2018. IISF-2018 is expected to be represented by approximately 10000 delegates including 5000 students, 550 teachers, 200 students from North-East Region, 20 international delegates and approximately 200 startups.
The first and second IISF were held in New Delhi and the third in Chennai. Ministry of Science & Technology; Earth Sciences in association with Vijnana Bharti or VIBHA is organising the four-day event from 5-8 October, 2018. 

BRICS bank approves $525 mn loan for infra projects in MP
The New Development Bank (NDB) of the BRICS countries has approved a $525-million loan to Madhya Pradesh for infrastructure projects.
The Board of Directors of the NDB approved a $350-million loan for the Major District Roads Project II of Madhya Pradesh and $175 million for building and upgrading 350 bridges.
The loan will be used by the Indian Government for on-lending to the Madhya Pradesh government for rehabilitating major district roads with a total length of about 2,000 km to improve the connectivity of the rural interior with the national and state highway networks, a press release issued by the Shanghai-based bank said.
The project will improve the road conditions and enhance the transport capacity, which will lead to a less travel time, reduced vehicle-operating cost, reduced emissions and improved road safety.

BSNL signs deal with Softbank, NTT to roll out 5G, internet of things

State-run telecom firm BSNL has inked a pact with Japan’s Softbank and NTT Communications to roll out 5G and internet of things (IoT) technology in India.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has recommended the auction of about 8,644 MHz of telecom frequencies at an estimated base price of ₹ 4.9 lakh crore. The government is yet to finalise details of allocation of spectrum for 5G services.

PM Modi inaugurates new airport in Odisha's Jharsuguda 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated a new airport at Jharsuguda, which he said will attract investors to the mineral-rich area and act as a lifeline in the western region of the state.
It would act as a junction for neighbouring Raipur and Ranchi and strengthen connectivity. Development of eastern Indian states, including Odisha, West Bengal and Assam, was essential for achieving balanced development of the country.

Defence News
India successfully test fires Prithvi Defence Vehicle

India successfully conducted an interceptor missile test off the Odishacoast last night, achieving a major milestone in developing a two-layerBallistic Missile Defence system. Defence sources said, the interceptor waslaunched from Abdul Kalam Island of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at 8.05 PM. 

A Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) scientist said that thisPrithvi Defence Vehicle (PDV) mission is for engaging the targets in theexo-atmosphere region at an altitude above 50 kilometres of the earth'satmosphere. 

According to DRDO sources, both the PDV interceptor and the targetmissile were successfully engaged. In an automated operation, radar-baseddetection and tracking system detected and tracked the enemy's ballistic missile.

Sports News
Sinisuka Ginting and Carolina Marin Won China Open 

In Badminton, Indonesia's Anthony Sinisuka Ginting beat Japan's Kento Momota to take the Men's singles China Open title in Changzhou.  Spain's Carolina Marin beat China's Chen Yufei to take the women's singles title. The 3rd seed, Momota who took the Japan Open title on home ground last week, was beaten by world number 13th Ginting. 

Ginting last beat Momota at the Asian Games in Jakarta last month.  Top Indian shuttlers P.V.Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth lost their quarter-final matches earlier, drawing curtains to India's campaign at the China Open.

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Important Current Affairs 24th September 2018 English

National News
Three states Bag Award of Three Best Performing States in “Ease of Living Index” Under Amrut

Andhra Pradesh has topped the charts among States in terms of “Ease of Living Index” rankings launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA). 
It was followed by Odisha and Madhya Pradesh.  The three States were awarded the three best performing States under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) at the National Dissemination Workshop on Ease of Living Index, 2018. 

PM inaugurates Pakyong Airport, as air connectivity reaches Sikkim
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the Pakyong Airport in Sikkim. This is the first airport in the Himalayan State, and the 100th airport in the country.
Pakyong Airport
Pakyong Airport is a Greenfield airport near Gangtok, the state capital of Sikkim, India. The airport, spread over 400 ha (990 acres), is located at Pakyong village about 35km (22 mi) south of Gangtok. 
At 4500 ft, Pakyong Airport is one of the five highest airports in India. It is also the first Greenfield airport to be constructed in the Northeastern Region of India, the 100th operational airport in India, and the only airport in the state of Sikkim.

Inauguration of Two-day National Orientation workshop on National e-Vidhan Application (NeVA)
Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Shri  Arjun Ram Meghwal presided over the Inaugural Session of the two-day National Orientation workshop on National e-Vidhan Application (NeVA), organized by Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs.
NeVA  (NeVA-mobile app)
The NeVA (NeVA-mobile app) is a device neutral and user friendly app that has made information on conduct of business in Legislatures accessible anytime, anywhere to everyone. 
It is a work-flow based app deployed in Cloud (Meghraj) which helps the Chair of the House to conduct the proceedings of the House smoothly and the members to carry out their duties in the House efficiently. 
NeVA-mobile App is available for download from Play store and App store for Android and iOS mobiles respectively. 

Centenary celebrations of 'Dakshina Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha'
President Ram Nath Kovind has inaugurated the centenary celebrations of the Dakshina Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha in New Delhi. 
Dakshina Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha
Dakshina Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha is an organisation whose main goal is to improve Hindi literacy among the non-Hindi speaking people of South India. The headquarters are located at Thanikachalam Road, T. Nagar, and Chennai.

Science and Space News
Miniature human oesophagus grown in lab

In a first, scientists have successfully grown oesophageal organoids -- miniature, functional versions of the human food pipe -- using stem cells, paving the way for new ways to study and test drugs against gut disorders.
The research, published in the journal Cell Stem Cell, shows how human oesophageal tissue was grown entirely from pluripotent stem cells (PSCs), which can form any tissue type in the body.
The oesophagus is a long, muscular tube that connects your mouth to your stomach. It's around 25cm (10in) long in adults. When you swallow food, the walls of the oesophagus squeeze together (contract). This moves the food down the oesophagusto the stomach.

International News
India, Nepal agree to use satellite images in boundary survey work

India and Nepal have agreed to explore the possibility of using high-resolution satellite images in boundary survey work. 

During the 5th meeting of Nepal-India Boundary Working Group (BWG) in Kathmandu, both sides also agreed to continue mapping of No man’s land encroachment and cross-border occupation. 

Oscars 2019: Assamese film is India's official entry

Assamese film 'Village Rockstars' has been selected as India's official entry to Oscars 2019 in the Foreign Language Film category.
The announcement was made by Kannada filmmaker Rajendra Singh Babu, the Head of the Committee.

Day & Dates News
‘International Day of Sign Languages’ celebrated on 23rd September

“International Day of Sign Languages” was celebrated by Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC) under Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment on 23rd September. 
International Day of Sign Languages
International Day of Sign Languages is celebrated annually across the world on 23 September every year along with International Week of the Deaf. The choice of 23 September is the same date that the WFD was established in 1951. The theme of International Day of Sign Languages is "With Sign Language, Everyone is Included!” With Sign Language, Everyone is Included! IDSL held today, along with IW Deaf, which runs between Monday, September 24 and Sunday, September 30, 2018.

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Important Current Affairs 23rd September 2018 English

(National News)

PM launches Ayushman Bharat - PMJAY at Ranchi
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today launched the health assurance scheme: Ayushman Bharat - Pradhan Mantri Jan ArogyaYojana - at Ranchi, Jharkhand.
At the same event, the Prime Minister unveiled plaques to lay the Foundation Stone for medical colleges at Chaibasa and Koderma. He also inaugurated 10 Health and Wellness Centres.
This scheme, which envisions health assurance of 5 lakh rupees per family per year, will benefit over 50 crore people, and is the world's biggest health assurance scheme. 
The number of beneficiaries of this scheme is roughly equal to the population of the European Union, or the population of America, Canada and Mexico, taken together.
The first part of Ayushman Bharat - the health and wellness centres, was launched on Babasaheb Ambedkar's birth anniversary, and the second part - the health assurance scheme, is being launched two days before Deendayal Upadhyay's birth anniversary.
The Prime Minister said it would cover 1300 illnesses, including serious illnesses such as cancer and heart disease. He said private hospitals too would be part of this scheme.

PM addresses Kisan Sammelan at Janjgir-Champa; lays Foundation Stone for important infrastructure projects

At Janjgir-Champa, the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi visited an exhibition on traditional handloom and agriculture. 
He laid the foundation stone for national highway projects, and the Pendra-Anuppur 3rd railway line. 
The Prime Minister also handed over certificates etc to select beneficiaries of various welfare schemes of the Union and State Governments.

(Days and Dates)

100 years of Battle of Haifa celebrated
India is commemorating hundred years of the liberation of Israel's Haifa by the Indian troops in 1918.
The centenary celebrations will culminate with a grand function in Delhi today. The Battle of Haifa is also being commemorated in Israel and Jaipur.
September 23 is commemorated every year as Haifa Day by the Indian Army to pay its respects to the Indian Cavalry Regiments, Mysore and Jodhpur Lancers, that helped liberate Hafia in Israel after a cavalry action by the 15th Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade.
Army chief General Bipin Rawat, who took part in the centenary celebrations to commemorate the day in Jaipur on September 22, said that Indian Army has potential to deal with any situation.

(Space Science)
Japan lands robot rovers on asteroid's surface
Japanese space agency JAXA has claimed that it created history on Saturday by successfully landing two unmanned rovers on an asteroid.
After the rovers separated from the Hayabusa2 spacecraft and landed on the asteroid Ryugu, JAXA, in a statement, said that the two rovers are in good condition and are transmitting images and data.
Known as MINERVA-II1, the rovers are collectively world's first mobile exploration robot to land on the surface of an asteroid.

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Important Current Affairs 22nd September 2018 English

National News

First Indian station to be redeveloped on the lines of Germany’s Heidelberg

Habibganj railway station is being reconstructed on the lines of Germany’s Heidelberg railway station by the Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation, a special purpose vehicle of the railway ministry, along with a private firm, Bansal Pathways Habibganj Private Ltd The IRSDC is the nodal agency of the project. The station redevelopment phase has a deadline of July 2019. The station redevelopment programme was initiated by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee when she was railway minister.

PM Modi inaugurates new airport in Odisha's Jharsuguda 
 Only one major airport existed in Odisha for so many years. A new airport at Jharsuguda, will attract investors to the mineral-rich would act as a junction for neighbouring Raipur and Ranchi and strenghten connectivity.Modi also inaugurated the Garjanbahal open cast mine of Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd.The prime minister also launched the 53.1-km long Jharsuguda-Serdega railway line constructed by the MCL .

India’s Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor will achieve criticality by 2019

India's first indigenously developed 500-megawatt (mw) prototype fast breeder reactor at Kalpakkam in Tamil Nadu is expected to achieve criticality next year. Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) secretary Sekhar Basu said at the 62th General Conference of International Atomic Energy Agency held in Vienna.

International News

Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang dies at 61
 Quang, 61, died in a military hospital in Hanoi from a “serious illness”. Vietnam has no paramount ruler and is officially led by the president, prime minister and Communist Party chief.

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Important Current Affairs 21st September 2018 English

Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli and weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu will receive the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award- India's highest sports honour.
CWG and Asiad gold medalist javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, Asiad double medalist sprinter Hima Das and Indian batswoman Smriti Mandhana will receive Arjuna Awards 2018.

National News
India puts four more nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards
India has decided to place four more reactors under the IAEA safeguards. Accordingly, two Russian-designed Pressurised Light Water Reactors and two Pressurised Heavy Reactors being built with Indian technology will be covered.
With this, a total of 26 Indian nuclear facilities will be under the international nuclear energy watchdog. This was stated by Sekhar Basu, Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission and Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy, at the 62nd General Conference of IAEA Vienna, Austria.

India successfully test-fires short-range ballistic missile Prahaar
India successfully test-fired the indigenously developed surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missile Prahaar from the Odisha coast on 20th September.
The sophisticated missile, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), was mounted on a mobile launcher and was test-launched from Launch Pad-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur, at about 1:35pm.

International News
MHA signs MoU with ISRO to set up an Integrated Control Room for Emergency Response 
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Department of Space signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for setting up of a state-of-the-art Integrated Control Room for Emergency Response (ICR-ER) in Ministry of Home Affairs. 

The ICR-ER will cater to the requirement of Disaster Management as well as Internal Security. 
ICR-ER will address the requirement of receipt of information on near real-time basis, strategic level monitoring, situation awareness, command and control, preparedness and response in the diverse internal security situation and disaster related emergencies. 

International Day of Peace 2018 observed globally
The International Day of Peace was observed across the world on September 21, 2018 to recognise the efforts of those who have worked hard to end conflict and promote peace. The International Day of Peace is also a day of ceasefire.
About it
The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by resolution 36/67 of the United Nations General Assembly to coincide with the opening session of the assembly, which was held annually on the third Tuesday of September. The first International Day of Peace was observed in September 1982.

World Bank approves framework to support India’s transition to high-middle income country
The World Bank board has approved an ambitious five-year Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for India that is in line with India’s objectives of high, sustainable and inclusive growth.
The framework sets the strategic focus for the World Bank’s engagement with India for the period FY18-22, to support its transition to a high-middle income economy.
Through the CPF, the World Bank aims to support India's transition to a higher middle-income country by addressing some of its key development priorities such as resource efficient and inclusive growth, job creation and building its human capital.

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Important Current Affairs 20th September 2018 English

(International News)

India, Bangladesh jointly inaugurate three projects
Prime Minister Narendra  Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina jointly inaugurated multiple projects in Bangladesh, through video conferencing.
•    The first project -- Supply of 500 MW additional power supply from India to Bangladesh through Baharampur - Bheramara interconnection was unveiled by Prime Minister Modi, Bangladeshi counterpart Hasina and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
•    The second project -- construction work of the Bangladesh part of Akhaura-Agartala railway link was inaugurated by Indian and Bangladeshi Prime Ministers, and Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb.
•    The third project on the rehabilitation of Kulaura-Shahbazpur section of Bangladesh Railways was jointly inaugurated by the Prime Minister of both the countries.

India, Germany sign MoA on skill development
India and Germany has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) on skill development, which will provide dual vocational training to Indian youth.
According to a note issued by the German Embassy, students who complete specific training courses in India will get a certificate that it is recognised in India as well as in Germany. They can apply for jobs in companies in India and Germany as well.
A joint body called German Indian Institute of Vocational Education and Training (GIIVET) that has been set up will look after the programme.
Dual Vocational Training Programme
In Germany there is a special way of learning a trade: the Dual vocational training system. As part of the dual system, you will attend classes at a vocational school and receive on-the-job training at a company.

India and Morocco sign Air Services Agreement enabling greater connectivity
India and Morocco signed the revised Air Services Agreement between the two countries enabling greater connectivity through a modernized agreement.
This milestone is enabler for greater air connectivity between India and Morocco and will enable the airlines of each side to enter into code share with airlines of other party, as well as provide greater freedom in mounting direct flights.  
These developments in the Civil Aviation sector will enable the people of each country to travel to the other country leading to better economic and cultural ties.

Construction of India-Bangladesh oil pipeline
Assam based Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) and Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) has signed a sale-purchase Agreement for supply of High Speed Diesel (HSD) through the proposed 131 km Indo-Bangla friendship pipeline.
According to NRL, this long term Sale-Purchase Agreement pertains to sale of HSD by Numaligarh Refinery Limited to Bangladesh Petroleum Limited through the proposed Indo-Bangla Friendship pipeline from NRL’s Marketing Terminal in Siliguri to BPC’s Depot at Parbatipur. 
The pipeline will cost Rs. 363 crore, the route survey for the pipeline has been completed based on which the Detailed Feasibility Report has been prepared by Engineers India Limited (EIL). 

World-class convention centre to be built in Delhi
•    The foundation stone of India International Convention and Expo Centre (IICC) was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on September 20, 2018.  
•    The IICC is being developed as a state-of-the-art centre to promote meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) to boost industrial development in the country.
•    The project is planned over an area of 221.37 acres in Sector 25 Dwarka, New Delhi, at an estimated cost of Rs 25, 703 crores.
•    Upon completion, the centre will be the biggest indoor exhibition space in India and will rank among the world’s top 10. It is expected to host more than 100 national and international events every year.

Korean countries sign agreement on denuclearisation of Korean Peninsula
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in on September 19, 2018 signed an agreement on denuclearisation, reducing military tensions and defusing crisis on the Korean peninsula.

Korean peninsula
The Korean Peninsula is a peninsula located in East Asia. It extends southwards for about 1,100 km (680 mi) from continental Asia into the Pacific Ocean and is surrounded by the Sea of Japan (East Sea) to the east and the Yellow Sea to the west, the Korea Strait connecting the two bodies of water.

( National News)

K N Vyas appointed Atomic Energy Commission chief

Director of Bhaba Atomic Research Centre (BARC) Kamlesh Nilkanth Vyas has been appointed as Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy and Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission. 
Appointments Committee of Cabinet approved Mr Vyas' appointment for a period till he attains the age of 64 years that is upto 3rd of May, 2021. 
Besides, senior IAS officer Anindo Majumdar has been appointed as Secretary, Central Vigilance Commission.
 Atomic Energy Commission
•    The Atomic Energy Commission is the governing body of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Government of India. The DAE is under the direct charge of the Prime Minister.
•    The Indian Atomic Energy Commission was set up on 3rd August 1948 under the late Department of Scientific Research. 

(Defense News)
Exercise Aviaindra-18 Commences at Lipetsk (Russia) 

Exercise Aviaindra 18 is being conducted at Lipetsk, Russia from 17 Sep to 28 Sep 18 and will be conducted in Jodhpur, India from 10 Dec to 22 Dec 18. 
Exercise Aviaindra is an Air Force level exercise between India and the Russian Federation. First Aviaindra was conducted in 2014 and has been planned as a bi-annual exercise.
Aim of this Exercise:
The aim of the exercise is focused towards anti-terrorist operations in a bi-lateral scenario. The exercise would further enhance the co-operation and understanding each other’s Concept of Operations. In addition to flying exercise, there would be formal interactions, discussions, exchange of ideas and friendly sports matches to enhance bonhomie between the two Air Forces.


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Important Current Affairs 19th September 2018 English

National News
Union Home Secretary launches ‘e-Sahaj’ portal for grant of Security Clearance 

The Union Home Secretary Shri Rajiv Gauba launched an online ‘e-Sahaj’ portal for grant of Security Clearance. 
The portal will facilitate an applicant to submit application online and also to view the status of his application from time to time. The aim is to strike a healthy balance between meeting the imperatives of national security and facilitating ease of doing business and promoting investment in the country.
Role of MHA
MHA is the nodal Ministry for security clearances in certain sensitive sectors before issue of licence/permit, permission, contract etc, to companies/ bidders/individuals by the administrative Ministry. 
The objective of national security clearance is to evaluate potential security threats, including economic threats, and provide risk assessment before clearing investment and project proposals in key sectors. 

Union Cabinet approves Triple Talaq Ordinance, making triple talaq an offence
The Union Cabinet on September 19, 2018 approved an ordinance making instant triple talaq a punishable offence. 

The ordinance has similar provisions as mentioned in original the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017, which was cleared by the Lok Sabha in December 2017. However, the bill was stuck in the Rajya Sabha. 

It faced a stiff resistance in the Rajya Sabha where several opposition lawmakers argued over the criminal provisions in the draft law. 

In view of the growing opposition, the Government on August 9, 2018 approved three amendments in the instant triple talaq bill, making it permissible for a magistrate to give bail for the offence.

International News
India to launch agriculture project worth $33.5 million with UN's FAO in five states

The government along with United Nations body FAO has launched an agriculture project with $33.5 million grant from Global Environment Facility (GEF).
The $33.5 million project is being funded by the GEF and implemented by the government of India (agriculture and environment ministries) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
The project, to be implemented in five landscapes in Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand, strives to bring harmony between conservation and development efforts of the country.
Objective of this Project:-
The project aims to transform agricultural production to generate global environmental benefits by addressing biodiversity conservation, land degradation, climate change mitigation and sustainable forest management.
This project seeks to bring transformative change in the farm sector through conservation of biodiversity and forest landscapes.
Global Environment Facility (GEF) 
The Global Environment Facility was established on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to help tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems.  Since then, the GEF has provided over $17.9 billion in grants and mobilized an additional $93.2 billion in co-financing for more than 4500 projects in 170 countries.

India first country in the world to develop document on Cooling Action Plan 
Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan has released a draft India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP) during World Ozone Day celebrations.
The ICAP provides a 20-year perspective (2017-18 to 2037-38) to address the cooling requirements across sectors and ways and means to provide access to sustainable cooling for all.
India is the first country in world to develop such a document - ICAP, which also gives thrust towards looking for synergies in actions for securing both environmental and socio-economic benefits.
India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP)
The India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP)—first of its kind in the world—has listed various interventions, including guidelines to all commercial buildings to maintain an internal temperature between 24-25°C on a voluntary basis and adopting various passive measures in buildings to reduce the cooling demand by 20-25% by 2037-38.

India signs Financing Loan Agreement with the World Bank for US$ 74 Million
A Loan Agreement for IBRD Credit of US$74 million equivalent for the Uttrakhand Workforce Development Project (UKWDP) was signed with the World Bank. 
Project objective
The Project objective is to improve the quality and relevance of training at priority Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and to increase the number of labor-market-relevant workers through short term training in Uttrakhand. 
The Project has three components: 
(1) Improving the quality and relevance of ITI Training; 
(2) Increasing the number of skilled workers certified under National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQE) - Compliant Short Term Training; and 
(3) Policy and Institutional Development and Project Management.
Uttarakhand Workforce Development Project:
The program development objective is to help improve the quality of training at select Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and increase the number of labor-market-relevant workers through short-term training in Uttarakhand. 

7th UNWTO Global Summit on Urban Tourism
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is organizing the 7th UNWTO Global Summit on Urban Tourism: A 2030 Vision for Urban Tourism, on 16-19 September, in Seoul, Republic of Korea, jointly with the Seoul Metropolitan Government and supported by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea, the Korea Tourism Organization and the Seoul Tourism Organization. 
About World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
The Summit provides a unique platform to discuss the key issues shaping the future of urban tourism in the context of the 2030 Urban Agenda. 
It brings together high-level representatives from National Tourism Administrations, city authorities and related stakeholders, serving as a platform to exchange experiences and expertise and set a shared vision on urban tourism that embraces innovation, digital transformation and sustainability.

Delhi and Seoul Sign MoU to Tackle Air Pollution
The Delhi government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Seoul Metropolitan Government to work closely in the fields of environment, tourism, waste water and solid waste management, infrastructure and public health.
The Mou on the 'Friendship and Cooperation Agreement' was signed by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Seoul mayor Park Won-Soon in Seoul, the capital of South Korea. The Delhi CM particularly sought the city’s expertise in dealing with transport and air pollution.

Key points to remember:
The agreement has listed 11 areas for exchange of expertise and cooperation including environment, culture, tourism, smart city, transportation, education, land use planning and management, science and technology, MICE industry, waste water and solid waste management, infrastructure and public health.
The 'Twinning Agreement' will remain in force till three years from September 14, 2018, and it could be amended by written agreement between the two parties.

All-women crew of INSV tarini receives tenzing norgay award

All-women crew of INSV Tarini has bagged the prestigious Tenzing Norgay National Adventure award for beating the odds in water with their enduring skills and sailing across the world for eight long months.
The award is the highest national recognition for outstanding achievements in the field of adventure on land, sea and air.
Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award
The Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award is the highest national recognition for outstanding achievements in the field of adventure on land, sea and air.
A cash Award of Rs.5.00 lakh and a certificate of honour is given to each Awardee. 
This Award is at par with the Arjuna Award for sporting excellence. Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Awards are conferred by the Hon’ble President of India, along with Arjuna Awards, in a function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan in the month of August every year. 
INSV Tarini 
INSV Tarini is the second sailboat of the Indian Navy. She was constructed at Aquarius Shipyard located in Goa. After undergoing extensive sea trials, she was commissioned to Indian Navy service on 18 February 2017.

Kerala Tourism Bags PATA Gold Awards 2017
Kerala Tourism Department has won 'The Pacific Asia Travel Association Grand and Gold Award 2017’ for its Film Tourism Brochure in the Marketing Media-Consumer Travel Brochure category.
P Bala Kiran, IAS, Director, Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala received the award at the 32nd edition of the PATA Awards, held at Macao, in recognition of its trend-setting marketing initiatives, which have boosted the state's profile as a must-visit destination.
PATA Gold Awards 
Founded in 1951, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is a not-for profit association that is internationally acclaimed for acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region. 
These awards, generously supported and sponsored since 1995 by the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO).

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Important Current Affairs 18th September 2018 English

International News

India and Malta sign three MoUs in the fields of Maritime Cooperation, Tourism and Training

India and Malta has signed three MoUs in the fields of Maritime Cooperation, Tourism and Training after delegation level talks between Vice President, Venkaiah Naidu and President of Malta, Ms. Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca. 

Mr. Naidu is in Malta in the second phase of his visit to three European countries. In a Joint Press Statement, Mr. Naidu said, India is today the main source of affordable generic drugs in the world and can cooperate in Wellness and Ayurveda sectors. 

World's first hydrogen train rolls out in Germany
Germany launched world's first hydrogen-powered passenger train on September 16, 2018. The locomotives, built by the French train-maker firm, Alstom, entered regular service from September 17 onwards, operating on a 62 mile stretch of line in northern Germany.
What is a hydrogen train?
Hydrogen trains are equipped with fuel cells that produce electricity by combining hydrogen with oxygen, a process that leaves steam and water as the only emissions.

This makes the cells a promising energy source that produces zero emissions and very little noise. Excess energy is stored in ion-lithium batteries on board the train
The locomotives are also eco-friendly.

Other countries to use this technology
Other countries are also looking into hydrogen trains including Britain, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Italy, and Canada. In France, the government has already said it wants the first hydrogen train to be on the rails by 2022.

Shri Piyush Goyal inaugurates the first ever India tourism Mart 2018

The Union Minister for Railways and Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal inaugurated the ‘first ever’ India Tourism Mart (ITM 2018) in the presence of Union Tourism Minister, Shri K J Alphons and the Tourism Minister of Morocco, Mr. Mohamed Sajid, in New Delhi.


ITM will be an annual event hereafter in line with other International Tourism Marts and it will be held in the month of September.

The ITM 2018 has a participation of around 225 hosted international buyers and Media personnel across the world such as North America, West Europe, East Asia, Latin America, CIS countries etc. 

Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) is the apex organization of all the important trade and hospitality associations of the country with all the 10 major Tourist organizations like FHRAI, HAI, IATO being involved in this mega event and India Convention Promotion Board (ICPB) is coordinating the whole event.  

National News

Govt proposes merger of Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank

The Union Finance Ministry on September 17, 2018 announced the proposal to merge three public sector lenders - Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank. The combined lending entity will create India’s third largest bank with a total business of more than Rs 14.82 lakh crore.  The proposal will now need the approval of the boards of these individual banks. 
The merger of these three state-owned banks is a part of the government's agenda of consolidation of public sector banks. The consolidation was proposed by the Alternative Mechanism comprising Chairperson Arun Jaitley.

Supreme Court lifts ban on Saridon, 3 other FDCs

 The Supreme Court of India on September 17, 2018 allowed the sale of popular painkiller Saridon and three other banned fixed-dose combinations (FDCs) in medical stores across the country.
The apex court has allowed the sale of Piramal Healthcare's Saridon, GlaxoSmithKline's Piriton, Juggat Pharma's Dart and another drug.
The Fixed Dose Combination drugs are two or more drugs combined in a fixed ratio into a single dosage form.
The Union Health Ministry issued a notification last week prohibiting the manufacture, sale and distribution of 328 Fixed Dose Combinations (FDCs) for human use with immediate effect.
The Ministry also restricted the manufacture, sale and distribution of six FDCs subject to certain conditions. The action was taken by the Ministry under the powers conferred by section 26A of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.

Launch of India's first 'smart fence' projects
India’s first ‘smart fence’ pilot project was inaugurated by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh along the India-Pakistan International Border in Ploura, Jammu and Kashmir on September 17, 2018. 

The Union Minister launched the project from the BSF Headquarters during his one-day visit to the state. The initiative has been taken up by the Border Security Force (BSF), as part of their comprehensive integrated border management system.
Importance of this Project:
The smart fence pilot project is expected to be a massive boon for monitoring security situations in border areas. It is a technological solution devised to make the security system at the borders more strong and effective.

The system will virtually make it impossible for terrorists to infiltrate into the Indian side of the border. 

According to Home Minister Rajnath Singh, the shortcomings of the pilot project will be addressed to make the Comprehensive Integrated Border Management system fool proof before it is extended to other areas.

Military Equipment worth Rs. 9,100 Crore Gets Defence Ministry Nod
The Defence Ministry has given its approval for the procurement of military equipment and weapons worth Rs. 9,100 crore.
The procurement will include two regiments of Aakash missile systems.
The acquisition proposals were approved by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), the Defence Ministry's highest decision making body on procurement.
The Defence Acquisition Council also approved the design and development of test equipment for guided weapons systems for T90 tanks.
Defence Acquisition Council
An overarching structure, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), under the Defence Minister was constituted for overall guidance of the defence procurement planning process.
The objective of the Defence Acquisition Council is to ensure expeditious procurement of the approved requirements of the Armed Forces in terms of capabilities sought, and time frame prescribed, by optimally utilizing the allocated budgetary resources.

Launch of C-DAC Information Media Server (CIMS)
Shri S.S. Ahluwalia, Hon’ble Minister of State for Electronics and IT launches C-DAC Information Media Server (CIMS) for enhancing Good Governance. 
What is C-DAC Information Media Server?
C-DAC Information Media Server is a dedicated computer appliance having specialized application software to provide audio and video on demand. This low-cost affordable system is built with single board computer having powerful and energy efficient multi-core processor. It does not require any special purpose internet service provider or data connectivity. The common feature includes displaying text, images for viewing, video streaming, e-brochure; for viewing or downloading for offline reference. 

Sanitary Napkin Vending Machines installed in MeitY
CSC SPV has installed Sanitary Vending Machines in MeitY Women Restrooms.  This will benefit women employees availing Sanitary Pads in the ministry. Based on the success and learning of this initiative, further similar vending machines will be installed at the other Public and Private institutions.
Stree Swabhiman Initiative
The initiative was launched in partnership with Common Service Centres (CSCs).The initiative implemented by the central government in coordination of the CSC (Common Service Centers). 
The entire project will also be implemented within the country at the ground root level. Under this initiative, Common Service Centres (CSC) will provide access to affordable, reliable and modern (eco-friendly) sanitary napkins (menstrual pads) to adolescent girls and women in rural areas. 

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Important Current Affairs 17th September 2018 English

17th September 2018 - GK and Current Affairs

Science & Space
Inauguration of Polarimetry Doppler Weather Radar at Sriharikota spaceport
The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has inaugurated the Polarimetry Doppler Weather Radar at Sriharikota spaceport near Chennai.
The S–Band Polarimetry Doppler Weather Radar facility was launched at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota by Isro Chairman Dr K Sivan.
The radar has been developed by Bharat Electronics Ltd, Bengaluru under ToT (Training of Trainers) from ISRO.
Doppler Weather Radar (DWR)
The Doppler Weather Radar (DWR) provides advanced information, enhances the lead-time essential for saving lives and property in the event of a natural disaster associated with severe weather.
While conventional radars are able to track and predict cyclones, the DWR provides detailed information on a storm’s internal wind flow and structure.
The severity of the weather systems can be quantitatively estimated and more precise advanced warnings can be generated for saving human lives and property.
The polarimetric capability of the radar will significantly improve the accuracy of rainfall estimation leading to accurate and timely flash flood warnings, according to ISRO’s earlier release.

PSLV-C42 launches 2 foreign satellites
The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C42) of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched two satellites -- NovaSAR and S1-4 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota.
The satellites belong to UK-based Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL), which has a contract with Antrix Corporation Ltd, the commercial arm of ISRO. 
NovaSAR carries S-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and Automatic Identification Receiver payloads. The satellite applications include forestry mapping, land use and ice cover monitoring, flood and disaster monitoring and maritime missions. It will be operated from SSTL’s Spacecraft Operations Centre in Guildford, UK.
S1-4 is a high resolution earth observation satellite meant for surveying resources, environment monitoring, urban management and disaster monitoring.
This was the 44th flight of PSLV and the 12th flight of the Core Alone version of the vehicle. Core Alone is its lightest version without the six strap-on motors. It is used for launching smaller payloads.

DRDO successfully tests anti-tank missile
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on 16th September successfully tested a low-weight indigenously developed man-portable anti-tank guided missile (MPATGM) at its Ahmednagar range. It was the second MPATGM test, the second test was held on 15th September. 

The MPATGM is a third-generation anti-tank guided missile (ATGM), which has been under development by DRDO in partnership with Indian defense contractor VEM Technologies Ltd. since 2015.  Fitted with a high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead, the MPATGM reportedly boasts a top attack capability and has a maximum engagement range of about 2.5 kilometers.

Sports News
Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge sets new marathon world record
Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge set a new marathon world record in Berlin, smashing the previous best as he clocked 2 hour 1 minute 39 second.
The 33-year-old Olympic champion, aided by a string of pacemakers through to 25km of the 42.195 km race, took 1 minute 17 second off the previous best set four years ago by Dennis Kimetto.
It was the largest single improvement on the marathon world record since Derek Clayton improved the mark by 2:23 in 1967.
About Eliud Kipchoge
Eliud Kipchoge (born 5 November 1984) is a Kenyan long distance runner, the 2016 Olympic gold medallist in the marathon, and current world record holder in the marathon. He has been described as “the greatest marathoner of the modern era.” He has won 10 out of 11 marathons he raced; he finished second in his second marathon in 2013 in Berlin, where Wilson Kipsang ran the world record for that time.

Sakshi Malik settles for Silver medal at Medved Intl Wrestling

Rio Olympics Bronze medalist Sakshi Malik settled for a Silver medal at the Medved International Wrestling tournament at Minsk, Belarus last night. 

In the Final of the 62 kg category, Sakshi lost to Hungary's Marianna Sastin, 2-6 to finish second best.Other Indian grappler Pooja Dhanda bagged a Bronze medal in the 57 kg category after she produced a superb performance in the repechage round.

MC Mary Kom clinches her 3rd gold medal of the year at Silesian Open boxing in Poland
Indian five-time world boxing champion M C Mary Kom today clinched her third gold medal of the year in 48 kg category, while Jyoti Gulia picked up the country's lone gold in 51 kg of the youth category of the Silesian Open boxing Tournament for women in Gliwice, Poland

International News

Second Nepal-China joint military drill from Monday
The second edition of Nepal-China joint military exercise named Mt Everest Friendship Exercise-2018 (Sagarmatha Friendship-2018) with a special focus on combating terror began from 17th September in China's southwestern Sichuan province.
The Nepal Army's 12 military personnel will visit China to attend the second edition of 'Mt Everest Friendship Exercise', a 12-day long military drill.
The exercise will mainly focus on anti-terrorism activities, Disaster management training.
This will be the second time that the Nepal Army will participate in a joint military drill with People's Liberation Army. The first such exercise was held in April last year 2017.
Nepal has been conducting battalion-level exercises named 'Surya Kiran' with the Indian Army for the last 13 years, engaging some 300 personnel from both sides.

Day & Dates News

International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer
September 16 was designated by the United Nations General Assembly as the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. This designation had been made on December 19, 2000, in commemoration of the date, in 1987, on which nations signed the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
In 1994, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 16 September the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, commemorating the date of the signing, in 1987, of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
Ozone layer 
The Ozone layer or ozone shield is a region of Earth's stratosphere that absorbs most of the Sun's ultraviolet radiation. It contains high concentrations ofozone (O3) in relation to other parts of the atmosphere, although still small in relation to other gases in the stratosphere.


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Important Current Affairs 16th September 2018 English

Important Current Affairs 16th September 2018 

(International News)

Philippines hit by TyphoonMangkhut

Northern Philippines was hit by powerful Typhoon Mangkhut with destructive winds and heavy rain that set off landslides and destroyed homes on Saturday, leaving at least 12 people dead, as Hong Kong and other parts of southern China braced for the powerful storm.
-mature tropical cyclone
-in the Northern Hemisphere.
-the most active tropical cyclone basin on Earth.
-A typhoon differs from a cyclone or hurricane only on the basis of location.A hurricane is a storm that occurs in the Atlantic Ocean or northeastern Pacific Ocean, a typhoon occurs in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, and a tropical cyclone occurs in the south Pacific or Indian Ocean.

(National News)

Pravasi Conference rescheduled 

The 15th edition of the event will be held in January 2019 in Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency, and close to the site of the 'Ardh Kumbh' in Allahabad. 
Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas    
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is a celebratory day observed on 9 January by the Republic of India to mark the contribution of the overseas Indian community towards the development of India. The day commemorates the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa to Mumbai on 9 January 1915. 

Inauguration of Sikkim airport on September 23

Sikkim is now on the aviation map of the country. The greenfield airport, located 30 km from Gangtok.Prime minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the airport.

Life Expectancy of Indians increased

India had a life expectancy of only 57.9 years in 1990 ,this has gone up to 68.8 years.india’s HDI is now at 0.640 higher than South Asian average of 0.638.
The Human Development Index (HDI) is a statistic (composite index) of life expectancy, education, and per capita income indicators, which are used to rank countries into four tiers of human development.


World’s first private passenger selected

The first person to fly around the moon has been selected. Elon Musk’s space transportation company SpaceX  has signed it. 
Space X mission
The SpaceX lunar tourism mission is a proposed private mission by SpaceX to fly space tourists around the Moon. 

NASA’s new launch 

NASA launched satellite to measure Earth’s Ice changes. The mission is a successor to the original Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite that operated from 2003 to 2009. A Delta 2 rocket carrying ICESat-2 lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 6:02 AM and headed over the Pacific Ocean. According to NASA, it will collect more than 250 times as many measurements as the first ICESat. The launch was the last for a Delta 2 rocket. The first Delta 2 lifted off on February 14, 1989, and since then it has been the launch vehicle for Global Positioning System orbiters, Earth observing and commercial satellites, and interplanetary missions including the twin Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity.

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