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August 2018 Daily News Current Affairs

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  1. Aug 31, 2018
    1. India's economy grew at an impressive 8.2 % in first quarter of 2018-19 financial year (Apr - June).
      1. GDP at constant (2011-12) prices in Q1 of 2018-19 is estimated at 33.74 lakh crores, as against  31.18 lakh crore in Q1 of 2017-18, showing a growth rate of 8.2 %.
      2. GDP Growth Rate was 7.7 % in Previous quarter (Q4 of 2017-18).
    2. General Conferences (Aug 21 - 31, 2018) -
      1. Indian Council of Agricultural Research organized 2 day conference on Motivating and Attracting Youth in Agriculture (MAYA) held in New Delhi, In order to meet the challenge of providing sustainable livelihoods for a rapidly growing population and to motivate and attract youth in agriculture.
      2. India Banking Conclave (IBC) 2018 held in New Delhi, organised by Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) along with NITI Aayog.
      3. 5 day International water colour festival held in Ranchi at Audrey House, to promote the rich art and culture of Jharkhand.
    3. Visits from India (Aug 21 - 31, 2018) -
      1. Minister of State (IC) for AYUSH, Shripad Yesso Naik visited Netherlands for 4th International Ayurveda Congress (IAvC), organized by International Maharishi Ayurveda Foundation, Netherlands; All India Ayurvedic Congress, New Delhi and International Academy of Ayurveda, Pune.
      2. Prime Minister Narendra Modi Visited Nepal (Kathmandu) -
        1. Participated in 4th BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) Meet. Theme of the summit is ‘Towards a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable Bay of Bengal region’.
          1. BIMSTEC is regional grouping of seven countries in South Asia and South East Asia lying in littoral and adjacent areas of Bay of Bengal. It was established on 6 June 1997 through Bangkok Declaration. It is headquartered in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
          2. Members - India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand.
      3. 8th meeting of India-Kenya Joint Trade Committee held in Nairobi (Kenya). It was attended by Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu.
      4. Minister of Commerce& Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu attended 6th RCEP Trade Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore.
      5. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj Visited Vietnam and Cambodia. She attended 3rd Indian Ocean Conference in Hanoi (Vietnam). Its theme was “Building Regional Architectures”.
      6. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited Thailand.
      7. G20 Digital Economy Ministerial Meeting held in Salta (Argentina). India was represented by Minister for Electronics and IT & Law and Justice, Ravi Shankar Prasad.
    4. Visits to India (Aug 21 - 31, 2018) -
      1. China’s Defence Minister Wei Fenghe Visited India (New Delhi). India and China decided to work towards a new bilateral MoU on Defence Exchanges and Cooperation to replace MoU signed in 2006.
      2. Defence Minister of Japan, Itsunori Onodera visited India.
    5. Indian Ambassadors and Misc. Appointments (August 2018) -
      1. HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh was appointed as non-executive director on board of HDFC.
      2. Vijay Thakur Singh - Secretary (East) in External Affairs Ministry.
      3. Supreme Court will have 3 serving women judges for first time, after Govt. cleared elevation of Madras HC Chief Justice Indira Banerjee as SC Judge. Other judges are R Banumathi and Indu Malhotra.
      4. Anurag Sachan - Managing Director of Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Ltd. (DFCCIL).
      5. Russia appointed Hollywood actor Steven Seagal as its special representative for Russian-US humanitarian ties.
      6. Nikhil Nanda - CMD of Farm and construction equipment maker Escorts.
      7. S Gopakumar - Director & GM in United India Insurance Company.
      8. Rashida Tlaib - First Muslim woman elected to US Congress after winning Democratic primary election from US state of Michigan.
      9. Raghvendra Singh - Secretary in Ministry of Textiles
      10. Arun Goel - Secretary in Ministry of Culture
      11. Aditya Vikram and Pramod Chandra Mody - members of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).
      12. R. G Anand - Member of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights.
      13. KS Srinivas - Chairman of Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) under Ministry of Commerce & Industry.
      14. Actor Akshay Kumar become the brand ambassador of Government's Road Safety Campaign.
      15. Former RBI Deputy Governor Indiabulls Housing Finance (IBHFL) appointed Former RBI Deputy Governor S.S.Mundra as an independent director.
      16. Goldman Sachs appointed Prachi Mishra as managing director and chief India economist.
      17. Partha Satpathy - New Indian Ambassador to Ukraine.
      18. Srikumar Menon - Indian Ambassador to Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe.
      19. Oscar Kerketta - Appointed as India’s ambassador to Rwanda.
      20. D Bala Venkatesh Varma - Appointed as India’s ambassador to Russia.
      21. Man Mohan Bhanot - Indian Ambassador to Republic of Equitorial Guinea. He is the first resident Ambassador of India to Republic of Equitorial Guinea.
      22. Prashant Agrawal - New Indian High Commissioner to Namibia.
      23. Sandeep Kumar - New Indian Ambassador to Ireland.
      24. Ruchi Ghanashyam - India’s New Ambassador to United Kingdom.
    6. Indian GDP Growth Forecasts (August 2018) -
      1. RBI retained GDP growth forecast at 7.4 pc for FY’19, in Third Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement 2018-19.
      2. USA's Financial Firm Morgan Stanley projected India’s GDP to grow by 7.5 % in 2018 – 2019.
      3. As per International Monetary Fund, India’s GDP will grow by 7.3 % in 2018-19 and 7.5 % in 2019-2020.
      4. India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) revised down its FY19 economic growth forecast to 7.2% from 7.4% earlier.
      5. As per Ficci’s survey ‘Ficci’s Economic Outlook Survey’, Indian economy is expected to grow at 7.4 % in current fiscal.
      6. Japanese Financial Firm Nomura predicted India’s current account deficit (CAD) to widen to 2.8 5 of GDP in FY19, from 1.9 % of GDP in 2017-18. Note that India's CAD was 0.6 % of GDP in 2016-17.
      7. Indian economy is expected to grow by around 7.5% in 2018 and 2019, according to Moody’s Investors Service.
      8. National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) expected India’s growth forecast for the current fiscal (2018-19) at 7.4 %.
      9. RBI annual report 2017-18 expected India’s growth forecast for the current fiscal (2018-19) at 7.4 %.
    7. Misc. Sporting Events (August 2018) -
      1. 10-year-old swimmer Clark Kent Apuada (USA) has broke a record held by Noted Olympian Swimmer Michael Phelps, completing 100-meter butterfly in 1:09:38, ahead of Phelps' record that he set in 1995 (with 1:10.48 timing).
      2. Kliment Kolesnikov of Russia created a world record for 50 metres backstroke swimming, as he won European Championship in Glasgow (Scotland). He recorded 24 seconds and broke previous record by 0.04 seconds.
      3. Indian Chess Player Vaibhav Suri beat Prithu Gupta and won Biel Masters Chess title in Switzerland.
      4. Indian Golfer Gaganjeet Bhullar won his first European Tour title at Fiji International.
      5. Indian Cricketer Virat Kohli became fastest captain to reach 7000 international runs. Kohli also featured at top in latest ICC Test Rankings. Also, Nepalese cricketer Rohit Kumar Paudel (aged 15 years) became 4th youngest debutant in men’s ODI cricket.
      6. Karman Kaur Thandi became 6th Indian to rank among top 200th in WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) list, after Ankita Raina, Sania Mirza, Nirupama Vaidyanathan, Shikha Uberoi and Sunitha Rao.
      7. India's under-20 Football team won a game against traditionally strong Argentina tea by 2-1, during COTIF Cup in Spain. Also, under-16 team football of India defeated under-16 champions team of Iraq in West Asian Football Federation Cup in Amman (Jordon).
      8. India’s Swastika Ghosh won bronze medal in junior girls’ doubles along with Singapore’s Jingyi Zhou in 2018 Hang Seng Hong Kong Junior and Cadet Open, in Hong Kong.
      9. Tokyo 2020 (Japan) will be first Olympics to use facial recognition technology to increase security around all venues. It will use IC chips within identification cards to automatically verify identity of those entering over 40 sporting venues.
      10. Indian-American student Avi Goel won world championship at International Geography Bee’s junior varsity division held in Berlin (Germany).
      11. Saudi Arabia’s Mosaad Aldossary won FIFA eWorld Cup held at O2 Arena in London (Britain).
      12. English cricketer James Anderson became first player to take 100 wickets at Lord’s, achieving it during second Test against India.
      13. Indian golfer Viraj Madappa became youngest Indian to win on Asian Tour, after winning his first title on Asian Tour at Take Solutions Masters in Bengaluru (Karnataka).
      14. Indian cricketer Virat Kohli stayed at top spot in list of highest run scorers in international cricket in 2018.
      15. Indian cyclist Esow Alben won India’s maiden medal in track cycling at world level, after he won silver medal in Men’s Keirin event of UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships held in Aigle (Switzerland).
      16. New Delhi will host Combined ISSF (International Shooting Sport Federation) World Cup to be held before 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
      17. 14 years old Nihal Sarin became India’s 53rd Chess Grandmaster after winning at Abu Dhabi Masters. Also, Vaishali R (17 years), became India’s latest Woman Grandmaster (WGM) after earning her third and final WGM norm at Riga Technical University Open at Latvia.
      18. India's Para Athlete Divyesh Sondagar won 2 Gold medals in World Celebral Palsy Games in Barcelona (Spain).
      19. Pakistani fast bowler Mohammad Irfan set the world record for the most economical four-over bowling figures in history of T20 cricket, when he conceded just 1 run in 4 overs spell, with 23 dot balls.
    8. Obituaries (August 2018) -
      1. Jalees Sherwani - Noted Bollywood Sreenwriter.
      2. Umbayee - Noted Malayalam Ghazal singer.
      3. Krishna Shripadrao Deshpande - Noted library scientist.
      4. Muthuvel Karunanidhi - Former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, served for over five terms between 1969 and 2011.
      5. Sumatheendra R. Nadig - Noted Kannada poet.
      6. Jarrod Lyle - Noted Australian golfer.
      7. Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul - Noted Indian Origin British writer who won 2001 Nobel Prize for Literature. He was born in Trinidad in a family with Indian roots.
      8. Somnath Chatterjee - Former Lok Sabha speaker.
      9. Nicholas Bett - former 400m hurdles world champion from Kenya.
      10. Balramji Dass Tandon - Incumbent (Current) Governor of Chhattisgarh. Anandiben Patel (Governor of Madhya Pradesh) has been named as Acting Governor of Chhattisgarh.
      11. Ajit Wadekar - Former Cricketer.
      12. Hakam Singh - Former Track Athelete. He had won gold medal at 1978 Asian Games in 20 kilometre race walk.
      13. Atal Bihari Vajpayee - Former Prime Minister of India.
        1. He was Prime Minister thrice in 1996 (13 days), 1998-1999 and 1999-2004 (making him first non-Congress leader to have completed full term as Prime Minister).
        2. During his second term as PM, he ordered thermonuclear tests in May 1998 which were seen as strategic masterstroke to blunt Pakistan’s nuclear ambitions. He was awarded the India’s highest civilian honour ‘Bharat Ratna’ in 2015. His birthday is celebrated as Good Governance Day (GGD) by the Central Government since 2014. He was also honored by Bangladesh Muktijuddho Sanmanona (Bangladesh Liberation War honour) in 2015.
        3. His poetry collection is released in his book Meri Ekyaavan Kavitayein (My 51 Poems). During his stint as PM, India won Kargil war Against Pakistan. Some Other notable books of Shri Vajpayee were -
          1. Meri Sansadiya Yatra
          2. Meri Ekyavan Kavitayen (poetry)
          3. Sankalp Kaal
          4. Shakti-se-Shanti
          5. Four Decades in Parliament
          6. Mrityu Ya Hatya
          7. Amar Balidan
          8. Kaidi Kaviraj Ki Kundalian
          9. New Dimensions of India’s Foreign Policy
          10. Jan Sangh Aur Mussalman
          11. Sansad Mein Teen Dashak
          12. Amar Aag Hai
          13. Kya Khoya Kya Paya
          14. Kuchh Lekh Kuchh Bhaashan
          15. Vichaar-Bindu
          16. Bindu-Bindu Vichar
          17. Gathbandhan Ki Rajneeti
          18. Nayi Chunouti : Naya Avasar
          19. Na Dainyam Na Palaynam
      14. Kofi Annan (Ghana) - Former United Nations Secretary General.
      15. Aretha Franklin - Noted US Singer.
      16. Uri Avnery - Noted Israeli journalist and peace activist.
      17. Chemmanam Chacko - Noted Malayalam poet and Sahitya Akademi awardee.
      18. Kuldip Nayar - Noted journalist and former Rajya Sabha member.
      19. Debu Bose - Noted Odia actor.
      20. John McCain - Noted US Senator and a celebrated Vietnam war hero.
      21. Gopal Bose - Former Bengal cricketer.
      22. K K Haridas - Noted Malayalam film director
      23. Nandamuri Harikrishna - Telugu actor and Politician.
    9. Monsoon Session Passed Bills (August 2018) -
      1. Parliament passed Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill that seeks to provide constitutional status to National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC). It was passed by Both (Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) in current Monsoon Season of Parliament.
        1. It provides for granting of constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) on par with the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, to extend Benefits given to SC / STs to backward classes.
        2. Cabinet also decided to amend the SC/ST Act to further strengthen the law to protect their rights. A committee has been set up under G Rohini to examine sub-categorisation of Other Backward Classes.
      2. Parliament passed Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts (Amendment) Bill 2018. It enables creation of commercial divisions in High Courts and commercial courts at district level to adjudicate commercial disputes. Features -
        1. Bill Reduction in pecuniary limits, from 1 crore to 3 lakh.
        2. Parent Act barred commercial courts to be constituted in cases where High Court has original jurisdiction to hear commercial cases. Bill removes this bar and allows states to constitute commercial courts where High Courts have original jurisdiction.
        3. Allows state governments to notify commercial appellate courts at the district judge level in areas where High Courts do not have ordinary original civil jurisdiction.
        4. Introduces pre-institution mediation process in cases where no urgent, interim relief is contemplated, to provide parties with opportunity to resolve commercial disputes outside ambit of courts through authorities.
        5. Bill removes provision of counterclaim in relation to transfer of suits in a commercial dispute of at least Rs. 1 crore in civil court.
        6. It was passed by Both (Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) in current Monsoon Season of Parliament.
      3. Parliament passed National Sports University Bill 2018, to set up India’s first National Sports University in Imphal (Manipur). It is mandated to promote sports education in areas of sports sciences, sports technology, sports management, and sports coaching. Bill empowers It to grant degrees, diplomas and certificates. It was passed by Both (Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) in current Monsoon Season of Parliament.
      4. Parliament passed Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill 2018 -
        1. Investigating officer will not require approval of any authority for the arrest of an accused.
        2. Preliminary enquiry will not be required for the registration of a First Information Report against a person accused under the Act.
        3. SC/ST Act 1989 states that persons accused of committing an offence under the Act cannot apply for anticipatory bail.  The Bill seeks to clarify that this provision will apply despite any judgements or orders of a court that provide otherwise.
        4. Bill restores original provisions of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989. It prohibits commission of offences against members of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SCs and STs) and establishes special courts for trial of such offences and rehabilitation of victims. It overturns a March 2018 Supreme Court judgment which diluted some provisions of law protecting Dalits and tribals from atrocities.
        5. It was passed by Both (Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) in current Monsoon Season of Parliament.
      5. Parliament passed Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2018 -
        1. Jail term of minimum 20 years or life imprisonment or death for rape of girl under 12 years.
        2. Increases minimum punishment from 10 years to 20 years for crime of rape of girl under 16 years, which can be extended to imprisonment for rest of life.
        3. Increases minimum punishment for rape of women from rigorous imprisonment of 7 years to 10 years, which can be extended to life imprisonment.
        4. Investigation and trial must be completed in two months. It proposes 6 months’ time limit for disposal of appeals in rape cases.
        5. It was passed by Both (Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) in current Monsoon Season of Parliament.
      6. Lok Sabha passed Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill 2017, to extend facility of ‘proxy voting’ to overseas Indians, on lines of service voters. It amends Representation of People Act (RPA) 1950 and 1951 to allow for proxy voting and make certain provisions of these Acts gender-neutral.
        1. Approx 1 crore Indians are settled abroad, of which 60 lakh may be within eligible voting age. By granting them proxy voting rights, overseas Indians will be able to exercise franchise during elections and also need not to spend foreign currency to come to India during elections.
      7. Lok Sabha passed Arbitration and Conciliation Bill (Amendment) 2018, which provides for time-bound settlement of disputes as well as accountability of arbitrator, to amend Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996. 
        1. It contains provisions to deal with domestic and international arbitration, and defines law for conducting conciliation proceedings.
        2. Key Provisions -
          1. Seeks to establish Arbitration Council of India (ACI), for promotion of arbitration, mediation, conciliation and other alternative dispute redressal mechanisms.
        3. Relaxation of time limits - Under 1996 Act, arbitral tribunals are required to make their award within a period of 12 months for all arbitration proceedings. Amendment bill has proposed to remove this time restriction for international commercial arbitrations.
        4. New Bill requires that written claim and the defence to the claim in an arbitration proceeding, should be completed within six months of the appointment of the arbitrators.
        5. Bill provides that all details of arbitration proceedings will be kept confidential except for details of the arbitral award in certain circumstances. 
        6. Applicability of Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 2015:  The bill clarifies that the 2015 Act shall only apply to arbitral proceedings that started on or after October 23, 2015.
      8. Parliament passed Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (2nd Amendment) Bill 2018, seeking to replace Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance 2018. Provisions -
        1. It clarifies that home buyers under a real estate project should be treated as financial creditors.
        2. Voting threshold for routine decisions taken by committee of creditors has been reduced from 75 % to 51 %. For certain key decisions, this has been reduced to 66 %.
        3. Allows withdrawal of a resolution application submitted to National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) under the Code, after approval of 90 % of committee of creditors.
        4. Features of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance 2018 -
          1. Section 29(A) of IBC 2016 has been amended to exempt pure play financial entities from being disqualified on account of non-performing assets (NPA).
          2. Promoters of companies with turnover of up to Rs 250 crore will be allowed to bid. Earlier, they were barred from bidding as government feared that they will walk away with stressed assets at a discount.
          3. It provides a year time to Resolution Applicant to obtain necessary statutory clearances from central, state and other authorities.
        5. Lok Sabha passed Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, outlawing talaq-e-biddat. According to it, talaq-e-biddat has been made a cognizable and non-bailable offence.
          1. Three provisions of the Bill - Instant triple talaq is illegal, It imposes a jail term of up to 3 years and fine, It provides additional safeguards from the Act being misused It also provides for subsistence allowance to Muslim women and custody of minor children as may be determined by the magistrate.
          2. It will soon be tabled in Rajya Sabha, for clearance.
      9. Parliament passed Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property (Amendment) Bill, regarding compensation payable for acquisition of immovable property by the Centre for defence and security purposes. It was earlier passed by Lok Sabha in July 2018.
        1. The act enables central government to requisition immovable property (or land) for any public purpose like defence and security purposes. Amendment also involves a provision to allow the Centre to re-issue the notice of acquisition to make sure that the property owner gets an opportunity to be heard.
    10. Industrial Awards (August 2018)-
      1. Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) received top honours at Swachhta Pakhwada Awards by oil ministry, with Indian Oil Corp (IOC) as runner-up.
      2. Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (marketers of popular milk brand Amul) has been awarded Marketer of the Year award by the International Advertising Association of India (IAAI).
      3. Indian-American Aruna Vishwanathan was one of 3 women honoured with ‘Women in Business: Making a Difference Award’ at 19th annual Indo-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston (IACCGH) gala in Houston (USA).
      4. Reliance Power subsidiary Reliance Power Netherlands BV has won an international arbitration award of USD 56 million (Rs 390 crore) against Prestige Capital Holdings (a Seychelles-based company) and Kokos Jiang.
  2. Aug 30, 2018
    1. Shipping Ministry signed new wage settlement agreement for Group C & D category of Port and Dock Workers, to benefit over 1.35 lakh port and dock workers and pensioners in 12 major ports across country. It includes -
      1. It will provide 10.6 % wage hike to workers and pensioners.
      2. The lowest grade of workers would get a pay-scale of Rs 20900-43600 and the highest grade worker would get a pay-scale of Rs 36500-88700. Financial implication expected to be around Rs 560 crore per annum.
    2. Idea Cellular completed its merger with Vodafone India, after final approval from National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). Merged entity has more than 41 Crore subscribers, a broadband network of 340,000 sites and market share of 32.2%. It has leadership position in 9 out of 22 circles. Balesh Sharma took over as Vodafone Idea first CEO.
    3. Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport was renamed as Chhatrapati Shivaji ‘Maharaj’ International Airport, To pay more respect to great maratha warrior. Mumbai’s airport was formerly known as Sahar International Airport. It was renamed as Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in 1999.
    4. IPL Team Royal Challengers Bangalore appointed India’s 2011 World Cup-winning coach Gary Kirsten as their new head coach.
    5. As per a recent census, population of Nilgiri tahr, an endangered mountain goat, at the Mukurthi National Park (Tamilnadu) has grown by 18% from 480 to 568 in last two years.
    6. Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi K. Palaniswami has inaugurated India’s tallest Film Studio named ‘MGR Centenary Film Studio’, as 56 feet tall, 110 metres long and 100 feet wide studio. The studio is named after former Chief Minister M.G. Ramachandran.
    7. SBI Changed Names and IFSC codes of its 1295 branches, after rationalisation/merger with six associate banks and Bhartiya Mahila Bank (BMB). SBI had 22,428 branches across India by the end of the first quarter of the current fiscal.
    8. Maharashtra’s Mahabaleshwar become wettest place in India in 2018, leaving behind Meghalaya’s long famed Cherrapunji. Mahabaleshwar received a staggering 5661.6 mm rainfall this season till now, much more than Cherrapunji’s 4735 mm.
      1. Cherrapunji holds two Guinness world records for receiving the maximum amount of rainfall in a single year, 26,471mm (1,042.2 in) of rainfall between August 1860 and July 1861 and maximum amount of rainfall in a single month (9,300mm) in July 1861.
    9. 2 new projects of Punjab and Tripura got sanctioned under Swadesh Darshan Scheme.
      1. In Punjab, project covers sites of Anandpur Sahib, Fatehgarh Sahib, Chamkaur Sahib, Ferozpur, Amritsar, Khatkar Kalan Kalanour Patiala at the cost of Rs 100 crore.
      2. In Tripura, sites of Surma Cherra- Unakoti- Jampui Hills- Gunabati-Bhunaneshwari- Matabari- Neermahal- Boxanagar- Chotta khola- Pilak- Avangchaarra have been covered. It has planned cost of 65 Crores.
    10. Amazon Pay, payments arm of Amazon, will acquire Sequoia-backed Tapzo, for approx $35-40 million.
    11. US Scientists identified 3 new species of ancient primates that were earlier unknown, and have named them: Ekwiiyemakius walshi, Gunnelltarsius randalli and Brontomomys cerutti. They lived 42 to 46 million years ago.
    12. Odisha government signed MOU with two US-based agencies to eradicate malaria. in. The 2 agencies are: ‘Malaria No More’ and ‘Malaria Elimination Trust’.
    13. Andhra Pradesh and Odisha ranked at top 2 places in National Level Rating Framework assessment in implementation of Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) scheme.
    14. Social Activist Ulka Mahajan has been conferred with Praful Bidwai memorial award 2018.
      1. Award was instituted in memory of journalist and social activist “Praful Bidwai” who died in Amsterdam in 2015.
    15. Researchers at University of Oxford (UK) developed a new technology that can detect patients with the risk of deadly heart attacks, well in advance. It uses a new biomarker named the Fat Attenuation Index (FAI). It analyzes computed tomography (CT) images of fat around arteries to detect the inflamed plaques that can cause heart attacks.
    16. NASA detected signs of water above Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, a storm that has been persistent for more than 350 years. The pressure of water combined with measurements of carbon monoxide, show that Jupiter has 2 to 9 times more oxygen than Sun.
    17. Actors Shabana Azmi, Nandita Das and 13 others were awarded the Bharatiya Manavata Vikas Puraskar, by private media company Daily Indian Media. It also included Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh.
    18. Punjab CM Amarinder Singh launched PUDA 360 model to facilitate online property transactions, provided by Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA). It would offer services like E-auction, common platform to the promoters/ builders for advertisement, Checking of delays in sanction of building plans etc.
  3. Aug 29, 2018
    1. Aug 29 - National Sports Day. It marks birthday of Major Dhyan Chand Singh, hockey player who won gold medals in Olympics for India in 1928, 1932 and 1936. He scored over 400 goals in his career, from 1926 to 1948. It is also observed as International Day against Nuclear Tests.
    2. Cabinet Approvals (Aug 29, 2018) -
      1. MOUs -
        1. Bulgaria - tourism
        2. South Korea - railways
        3. United Kingdom and Northern Ireland - Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries
        4. Morocco - signing of Air Services Agreement
        5. Rwanda  - Trade Cooperation Framework
        6. USA - insurance regulatory sector
      2. General Approvals -
        1. Revision of project outlay for setting up of India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) from Rs. 800 crore to Rs. 1,435 crore, to make up for enhanced Technology Costs and Human Resource Costs.
          1. IPPB services shall be available at 650 IPPB branches and 3250 Access Points from 1st September 2018 and in all 1.55 lakh post offices (Access Points) by December 2018.
        2. Approved release an additional instalment of Dearness Allowance (DA) to Central Government employees and Dearness Relief (DR) to pensioners w.e.f. 01.07.2018 representing an increase of 2% over the existing rate of 7% of the Basic Pay/Pension.
      3. CCEA Approvals -
        1. Approved umbrella scheme “Ocean Services, Technology, Observations, Resources Modelling and Science (O-SMART)”, for implementation during 2017-18 to 2019-20 at an overall cost of INR 1623 crores.  It encompasses a total of 16 sub-projects addressing ocean development activities such as Services, Technology, Resources, Observations and Science.
          1. Implementation of O-SMART will help in addressing issues relating to Sustainable Development Goal-14, which aims to conserve use of oceans, marine resources for sustainable development.  This scheme (O-SMART) also provide necessary scientific and technological background required for implementation of various aspects of Blue Economy.
    3. 4th Advance Estimates of production of major crops for 2017-18 released by the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare -
      1. Foodgrains  –  284.83 million tonnes (record) (higher by 9.72 million tonnes than the previous record production of foodgrain of 275.11 million tonnes achieved during 2016-17). Consissts of Rice , Wheat, Nutri/Coarse Cereals, Pulses, Gram, Tur amd Urad.
      2. Oilseeds  –  31.31 million tonnes. It consits of Soyabean, Groundnut, Rapeseed & Mustard AND Castorseed.
      3. Cotton  –  34.89 million bales (of 170 kg each)
      4. Sugarcane – 376.91 million tonnes (record)
    4. Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) made public 13 standardised state-of-the-art ship designs suitable for large barge haulage on river Ganga (National Waterway-1), to serve as an enabler for domestic shipbuilding industry working on inland vessels and open huge possibilities for cargo and passenger movement on National Waterway-1.
      1. Government is implementing Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) for capacity augmentation of navigation on NW-1 (Varanasi-Haldia stretch) at cost of INR 5369 crores with technical assistance and investment support of World Bank.
    5. HDFC Bank will adopt 30 villages in flood-hit Kerala as part of its long-term relief and rehabilitation efforts. Also, scientists from U.S.-based Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance (GEER) Association will investigate impact of the torrential rains that hit Kerala recently.
    6. India opened Zokhawthar land immigration check-post in Mizoram along border with Myanmar, as authorised immigration centre for travel to and from Myanmar. Zokhawthar will be second immigration check-post in Mizoram along Myanmar border after Zorinpui check-post in Lawngtlai district which was opened in September 2017.
    7. Department of Biotechnology (Ministry of Science and Technology) signed MoU with International Energy Agency (IEA) for enhancing innovation for Clean Energy Transition, to suppowrt clean energy technologies in India.
      1. It will be coordinated for Ministry of Sceince & Technology by Mission Innovation India Unit set up by DBT and for IEA it will be coordinated by its International Partnership and Initiatives Unit (IPI). It will be initially valid for three years.
    8. Germany will provide soft loan of euro 120 million (INR 990 crore approximately) to India to strengthen sewage water treatment infrastructure in Uttarakhand in an effort to clean River Ganga under Clean Ganga Mission. German development agency GIZ also has prepared ‘Ganga Box’ aimed to target schools-going children and inform them about the river.
    9. 1st South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Agri Cooperative Business Forum held in Kathmandu (Nepal), with theme Organizing and Strengthening Family Farmers.
    10. IT Firm IBM partnered with Indian IT companies (including Persistent Systems, Invest India, Wipro, Capgemini and NASSCOM) for its ‘Call for Code’ initiative that aims to build global solutions for disaster management For this, IBM provide access to its cloud, data, Artificial Intelligence and blockchain technologies, along with training and code to developers.
    11. Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi extended application of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958 (AFSPA) in the entire state for six more months.
    12. Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved financing package of $245 million to implement project for providing safe, sustainable drinking water service to million people in three districts of West Bengal (North 24 Parganas, Bankura and Purba Medinipur) affected by arsenic, fluoride, and salinity.
    13. Arunachal Pradesh assembly approved creation of three new districts - Pakke-Kesang, Lepa Rada and Shi Yomi. It will take number of districts iin state up to up to 25 districts.
      1. Pakke-Kessang - To be carved out of East Kameng district.
      2. Lepa Rada - To be created by bifurcating Lower Siang district.
      3. Shi-Yomi - To be created by bifurcating West Siang district.
    14. Russia will conduct Vostok-2018 (East-2018) military exercise in September 2018, as biggest war games ever conducted by Russia since Zapad-81 (West-81) exercise conducted by erstwhile Soviet Union in 1981 which saw involvement of 100,000 to 150,000 troops.
      1. In Vostok 2018, over 300000 troops will participate. China and Mongolia will also participate in Vostok 2018.
      2. Vostok-2018 exercise is being conducted in response to aggressive attitude towards Russia by NATO and West countries.
    15. Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) unveiled details of its first indigenous human space mission dubbed as Gaganyaan to be launched in 2022, announced by PM Narendra Modi during his 72nd Independence Day speech.
      1. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will outsource production of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles (PSLV) and Small Satellite Launch Vehicles (SSLVs) to private Industries.
      2. 3 Indian astronauts will be taken to space on board Gaganyaan spacecraft by 2022, as first human space mission to be indigenously developed by ISRO.
      3. India will become fourth nation in the world to send astronaut into space after US, Russia and China.
      4. Rakesh Sharma was first Indian to travel to space, as part of the Soviet Union’s Soyuz T-11 expedition, launched on April 2, 1984, of the Intercosmos programme.
      5. Cost of Gaganyaan mission will be less than Rs 10,000 crore. Prior to actual launch, ISRO will launch two unmanned Gaganyaan missions (first in 30 months’ time and then 36 months).
      6. GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle will be used to launch Gaganyaan as it has necessary payload capability for mission.
      7. ISRO also announced to outsource production of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles (PSLV) and Small Satellite Launch Vehicles (SSLVs) to private Industries.
    16. Government constituted new 21-member advisory panel on science, technology and innovation called Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC). It will be headed by Principal Scientific Advisor to government K Vijay Raghavan.
    17. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare issued advisory to all states and Union Territories to not allow manufacture, sale and advertisement of e-cigarettes and other Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS).
      1. ENDS are devices that heat solution to create aerosol, which also frequently contains flavours, usually dissolved into propylene glycolor and glycerin. e-cigarettes (electronic cigarettes) are most common prototype of ENDS.
    18. CBSE affiliated schools in Kerala, whose board exam documents such as mark sheets/ migration certificates/ pass certificates have got lost or damaged in the state’s floods, CBSE will provide them with digital mark sheets, migration certificates and pass certificates through the ‘Parinam Manjusha’ portal/ DigiLocker.
      1. CBSE with National E-Governance Division (NEGD) has developed the first-of-its-kind digital academic repository called ‘Parinam Manjusha’. The academic repository will be integrated with DigiLocker.
    19. Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust signed MoU with Ministry of Railways, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh for implementation of the 362 km Indore- Manmad New Railway Line Project -
      1. It will reduce distance from Mumbai/Pune to key central India locations by 171 kilometers, resulting in lower logistics costs.
      2. Joint Venture Company will be formed between Ministry of Shipping or its nominated entity including JNPT with equity share of 55 %, Maharashtra or its nominated entity, Madhya Pradesh or its nominated entity and others with equity share of 15 % each.
    20. Punjab assembly passed Police (Amendment) Bill 2018 that would pave way for setting up of a State Security Commission for selection of director general of police (DGP). It amends Punjab Police Act 2007, that did not provide for selection of DGP from panel as prepared by UPSC.
  4. Aug 28, 2018
    1. India and European Union (EU) partnered for Rs. 240 crore research programme to develop a Next Generation Influenza Vaccine to protect people throughout world, through “Horizon 2020” programme. It require 3 applicants from both 3 European member states and India.
    2. National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) launched a helpline number (011-21400643) for complaints regarding GST rate cuts, To encourage consumers to file complaints against the companies that are not passing GST rate cut benefits.
    3. Axis Securities launched commodity broking services with MCX and became the first bank subsidiary to enter commodity broking business. Now, Axis Direct customers can now trade in 29 commodity futures and contracts through a one-time online registration process.
    4. Scientists at University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) have set a new Guinness World Record by creating the smallest medical robot — a device measuring just 120 nanometres that could assist in future cancer and Alzheimer’s treatments.
    5. Australian researchers have announced that they have developed a new technique to detect early-stage cancer tumour cells in the blood through malaria protein VAR2CSA. In this, VAR2CSA sticks to cancer cells and helps detect more number of cancer cells than before.
    6. According to SBI report named Ecowrap, current account deficit of India will rise to 2.8% of the GDP in current financial year, due to rise in oil prices and moderate growth in exports. This is expected to turn country’s overall balance of payment into deficit mode after six years, leading to forex reserves depletion of USD 16 billion (0.6 per cent of GDP) in FY19.
    7. China launched twin BeiDou-3 navigation satellites, as 35th and 36th of the BeiDou navigation system.
    8. Telangana Government increased the free electricity supply to the families of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes for domestic purpose from the current 50 units to 101 units.
    9. 9th Mountain Echoes Literary Festival 2018 held in Thimphu (Bhutan).
    10. Appa Rao Podile, Vice Chancellor OF University of Hyderabad (UoH) has been selected for the J C Bose Fellowship of Department of Science and Technology by Government. He will receive a fellowship amount of Rs 25,000 pm and a research grant of Rs. 15 lakhs per annum for 5 years.
    11. e-Commerce Firm Flipkart unveiled a dedicated portal ‘2Gud‘ for refurbished goods, including mobile phones, laptops and tablets. It would offer refurbished mobile phones, tablets, laptops and other electronic accessories along with a 3-12 month warranty.
    12. NASA designed 2 virtual reality applications named NASA Selfies append NASA’s Exoplanet Excursions, to celebrate 15th anniversary of the Spitzer Space Telescope.
      1. NASA Selfies app users can take selfies in a virtual spacesuit and can pose in front of various cosmic locations.
      2. NASA’s Exoplanet Excursions takes the users on a virtual guided tour of the TRAPPIST-1 planetary system.
    13. FIFA took temporary control over the Uruguayan Football Association (AUF) due to governance issues.
  5. Aug 27, 2018
    1. Traditional annual Hindu festival of Onam held in Kerala. It is celebrated to commemorate King Mahabali, whose spirit is said to visit Kerala at the time of Onam.
    2. India’s first flight using biofuel flown from Dehradun (capital of Uttarakhand) to Delhi, conducted by SpiceJet on its turborporp Q-400 plane. Flights used alternative environment friendly fuel for 10 minutes over Dehradun.
      1. India joined elite club of nations who have operated flight on alternative energy source like biofuel, having countries like Canada, Australia and US have already conducted these test flights. Biofuel is developed by CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP), Dehradun. The flight was powered with a blend of 75% air turbine fuel (ATF) and 25% biojet fuel.
      2. The Flight carried blend of 25% of bio jet fuel (derived from jatropha seeds) and 75% of aviation turbine fuel (ATF) in one of the two engines of plane, while other carried only ATF. International standards permit a blend rate of up to 50% biofuel with ATF. It can reduce fuel costs by 15-20%.
        1. Jatropha is drought-resistant perennial plant that can grow in marginal or poor soil. It is grows relatively quickly and lives, produces seeds for 50 years. Its seeds has oil content of 37% which be combusted as fuel without being refined. It burns with clear smoke-free flame.
        2. It has been tested successfully as fuel for simple diesel engine. Its oil also acts as insecticide..
      3. The use of bio jet fuel, apart from reducing carbon emissions by 80 %, greenhouse gas emissions by about 15 % and sulfur oxides (SOx) emissions by over 99 %, is expected to provide indigenous jet fuel supply security, possible cost savings as feedstock availability at farm level scales up, superior engine performance and reduced maintenance cost for the airline operators.
      4. World’s first dedicated biofuel flight (by Dreamliner Boeing 787-9) was flown for first time from Los Angeles (US) to Melbourne (Australia) in January 2018 by Australian carrier Qantas.
      5. Biofuel is produced from vegetable oils, recycled grease, algae and animal fat. It is cleaner, environmental friendly fuel that can be used as alternative in place of fossil fuels.
      6. Ministry of New and Renewable Energy recently on August 10, 2018 (World Biofuel Day 2018) had released National Policy on Biofuels 2018. Under it, Government plans to triple ethanol production over the next four years. It also has set target of 20% blending of ethanol in petrol by 2030.
    3. India signed $220 million Loan Agreement and a $80 million Guarantee Agreement with World Bank, for India Energy Efficiency Scale-Up Program, to be implemented by the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL). It will help scale-up deployment of energy saving measures in residential and public sectors, strengthen EESL’s institutional capacity, and enhance its access to commercial financing.
    4. Central Government, State Government of Rajasthan and World Bank signed $250 million Development Policy Loan (DPL) to support Rajasthan in improving the performance of its Electricity Distribution Sector under State’s 24x7 Power for All program
      1. Second Programmatic Electricity Distribution Reform Development Policy Loan for Rajasthan is second in series of 2 operations planned for a comprehensive turnaro und of Rajasthan’s electricity distribution sector. The First Loan was closed in March 2017.
    5. Department of Biotechnology (DBT) signedMOU with International Energy Agency (IEA). It seeks to deepen co-operation in clean energy innovations to accelerate development of clean energy technologies in India and will support generation of data for policymaking and improve knowledge of good policy practices for innovation in India and around world.
    6. Indian Railways signed MoU with GAIL India, to replace Industrial gases like Dissolved Acetylene, LPG, BMCG and Furnace Oil / High Speed Diesel (HSD) oil with environment friendly Natural Gas.
      1. This MoU is a broad based, in principle agreement, between GAIL and Indian Railways for creation of infrastructure and supply of CNG/LNG/PNG for both industrial and domestic purposes.
      2. Replacement by Natural Gases is likely to result into a saving of about Rs. 20 crore per annum to Indian Railways.
    7. Govt. launched Innovation Cell and Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA), at AICTE premises to systematically foster the culture of Innovation in all Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) across country. Major Programs of MHRD Innovation Cell are -
      1. Network of Innovation Clubs (NIC) -
        1. It will prescribe basic framework for the structure and smooth running of ICs and will soon share list of different activities which ICs need to undertake for entire academic year.
      2. Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA) -
        1. This will systematically rank education institutions primarily on innovation related indicators, to foster spitit of innovation ain Higher education.
      3. Smart India Hackathon (SIH) 2019 -
        1. 3rd edition of World’s Biggest Open Innovation Model - Smart India Hackathon - 2019 has been launched.It is a nationwide initiative to provide students a platform to solve some of pressing daily life problems, and thus inculcate a culture of product innovation and a mindset of problem solving.
        2. Smart India Hackathon 2019 would also have 2 sub-editions – Software edition (a 36-hour software product development competition) and Hardware edition (a 5 days long hardware product development competition).
      4. National Student Startup Policy (NSSP) -
        1. AICTE launched its Student Start-up Policy in  November 2016, designed for AICTE approved Institutions in accordance with Govt of India’s "Start-up India" Action plan. AICTE’s Student Start up policy intends to guide AICTE approved institutions to promote student driven innovations and start-ups.
    8. India signed a $375 million loan agreement with Asian Development Bank (ADB), to contribute to double farming incomes in Madhya Pradesh by expanding irrigation networks and system efficiency.
    9. India signed $346 million loan agreement with Asian Development Bank (ADB) to finance improvement of over 400 kilometers of state highways that will enhance connectivity and access to economic centers across 12 districts in Kamataka.
    10. Government launched National REDD+ Strategy India. to improve livelihood of forest dependent population.
      1. REDD+ means “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation”, conservation of forest carbon stocks, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries.  
      2. REDD+ aims to achieve climate change mitigation by incentivizing forest conservation. It seeks to address drivers of deforestation and forest degradation and also enhance forest carbon stocks.
      3. India under its communicated in its Nationally Determined Contribution under Paris Agreement, has committed to capture 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of Carbon dioxide through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.   
      4. India’s first biennial update report to UNFCCC has revealed that forests in India capture about 12% of India’s total GHG emissions. Thus, forestry sector in India is making a positive cost effective contribution for climate change mitigation.
      5. Complying with UNFCCC decisions on REDD+, India has prepared its National REDD+ Strategy, built upon existing circumstances which have been updated in line with India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change, Green India Mission and India’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to UNFCCC.
    11. INS Sahyadri will participate in Exercise KAKADU 2018, hosted by Australian Navy and will finish on Sep 15, 2018. It will be 14th edition of biennial KAKADU exercise, with particpation by over 25 different countries.
    12. Book Weather Information Portal for Indian Power System, developed by POSOCO in collaboration with IMD has been released. It aims to facilitate enhanced utilization of Weather Portal in all spheres of Power Sector.
    13. HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar launched 3rd edition of World’s Biggest Open Innovation Model - ‘Smart India Hackathon- 2019’. .
      1. SIH-2019 is a nationwide initiative to provide students a platform to solve some of pressing problems we face in our daily lives, and thus inculcate a culture of product innovation and a mindset of problem solving. For 1st time, Private industry/organisations and NGOs can also send their problem statements to students under SIH-2019.
      2. It would have 2 sub-editions – Software edition (a 36-hour software product development competition) and Hardware edition (a 5 days long hardware product development competition).
    14. Punjab Cabinet approved formation of the state higher education council to offer quality education, to be headed by CM Amarinder Singh and Higher education minister as vice chairman.
      1. It is formed to provide quality higher education in Punjab’s institutions through optimum sharing of resources between universities and colleges, for research purposes, academic and governance reforms, monitoring and evaluation of higher education institutions.
      2. Cabinet also approved proposal of the Local Government Department for amending validity of the Punjab Municipal Infrastructure Development Fund (PMIDF) Act, 2011, to extend its validity till 2037-38, from 2020-21.
      3. Cabinet als0 approved a bill for creation of a price stabilisation fund, to ensure that state farmers get minimum support price (MSP). It would protect interests of farmers amid sudden fall in prices of certain agricultural commodities.
    15. US Imposed Preliminary Anti-Dumping Duties of 50.55% on Metal Pipes Made in India, to help US Domestic Industry.
  6. Aug 26, 2018
    1. 2019 Asian Youth and Junior Weightlifting Championships will be held in North Korean capital Pyongyang.
    2. According to Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Foreign Direct Investment in India rose 23% to 12.8 billion dollars during April to June quarter of FY 2018-19.
    3. Singapore based DBS Bank named as world's best bank by Global Finance magazine, for its ability to invest in digital innovation while still maintaining stable operations for its customers. DBS is the first Asian bank to receive this title from New York-based publication, which last year gave it to ING Bank.
    4. Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi K. Palaniswami laid the foundation stone for setting up of a Special Investment Region (SIR) in northern Krishnagiri district to attract investments, with approx 2420 crores expense.
    5. Google partnered with four Indian banks to grant Instant consumer loans online, after rebranding its UPI Payments app Tez as Google Pay. Banks are HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank Ltd, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Federal Bank. The Instanty lending features will be available soon in the Google Pay App.
    6. MoU was signed between the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and National Health Agency (NHA), to provide capacity building for Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) to ensure effective rollout and continued quality implementation.
    7. Google unveiled Project Navlekhā to help Indian language publishers take their content online. It will allow 1.35 lakh Indian publishers to digitise their offline content by creating instant web pages using scanned documents or PDFs.
    8. Indian development economist and lawyer Satya Tripathi has been appointed the Assistant Secretary-General and Head of New York Office of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
    9. Warren Buffett-led American conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway invested in Indian Financial Firm Paytm, taking 3-4% stake for aprox INR 2500 crores. It has valued Paytm at $10 billion.
    10. Iran and Syria signed a deal to expand military cooperation. Iran also pledged to help reconstruct the war-torn country.
    11. US and Mexico signed deal to replace North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the ‘United States-Mexico Trade Agreement’.
    12. State Bank of India (SBI) asked its customers to replace their ATM cards for Europay, MasterCard, Visa (EMV) chip based ATM-cum-debit cards with magnetic stripe before December 31, 2018.
      1. RBI had asked banks to issue only chip-based and Personal Identification Number (PIN) enabled debit / credit cards to stop frauds.
      2. EMV chip card and PIN protects against both counterfeit skimming and lost and stolen card fraud.
    13. Kho-Kho will be included as a demonstration sport in Asian Indoor Games, Also having possibility to be included as a discipline in next Asian Games.
    14. Scotland became first country to provide free sanitary products to all students in a bid to tackle “period poverty”, to ensure that students do not miss out on education due to lack of access to sanitary products.
    15. Aug 26 - World Sanskrit Day 2018. It is celebrated on Poornima day of Shraavana month in Hindu calendar.
    16. India’s first engineless semi high speed train will run between Delhi and Bhopal, at a speed of 160 km/hr. Named ‘Train 18’, it will take journey time down by 3 Hours.
    17. RBI Annual Report 2017 - 18 -
      1. RBI Expects 7.4 % GDP Growth rate for Current Fiscal 2017-18, compared to 6.7% in previous year.
      2. RBI Stated that 99.3 % notes of 500 and 2000 Denominations came back into system, after being demonetized in November 2016. There were 500 and 2000 Notes worth INR 15.4 Lakh crores at the time of demonetization, out of which banned notes worth INR 15.31 Lakh crores have came back into economy.
      3. India's external sector will have to confront global headwinds, but expressed confidence that the Current Account Deficit would largely be financed by foreign direct investment.
      4. NPA (Non Performing Assets) percentage of Banks is likely to increase further, from 12.1 % currently.
      5. Headline inflation that averaged 4.8 per cent during Q1:2018-19, is likely to face upside risks over the rest of the year.
      6. India remains a preferred destination for foreign direct investment (FDI). India received $37.3 billion capital inflow in 2017-18 as compared to $36.3 billion in 2016-17 and $36.06 in 2015-16.
    18. Researchers from University of Minnesota (USA) found a way to 3D print light receptors on a curved glass surface in a medical technology which could be used to produce a 'bionic eye'.
    19. Ferrari's Racer Sebastian Vettel (Germany) won F1 Belgian Grand Prix -
      1. 2018 Formula 1 (F1) Calendar-
        1. Serial Grand Prix Date Winner
          1 Australian Grand Prix 25 March Sebastian Vettel (Germany)
          2 Bahrain Grand Prix 8 April Sebastian Vettel (Germany)
          3 Chinese Grand Prix 15 April Daniel Ricciardo (Australia)
          4 Azerbaijan Grand Prix 29 April Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          5 Spanish Grand Prix 13 May Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          6 Monaco Grand Prix 27 May Daniel Ricciardo (Australia)
          7 Canadian Grand Prix 10 June Sebastian Vettel (Germany)
          8 French Grand Prix 24 June Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          9 Austrian Grand Prix 1 July Max Verstappen (Belgian-Dutch)
          10 British Grand Prix 8 July Sebastian Vettel (Germany)
          11 German Grand Prix 22 July Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          12 Hungarian Grand Prix 29 July Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          13 Belgian Grand Prix 26 August Sebastian Vettel (Germany)
          14 Italian Grand Prix 2 September
          15 Singapore Grand Prix 16 September
          16 Russian Grand Prix 30 September
          17 Japanese Grand Prix 7 October
          18 USA Grand Prix 21 October
          19 Mexican Grand Prix 28 October
          20 Brazilian Grand Prix 11 November
          21 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 25 November
  7. Aug 25, 2018
    1. Committee on review of penal provisions of Company Act 2013 submitted its reort to Finance Ministry. It was constituted in July 2018  to review framework for dealing with offences under Companies Act 2013 and make recommendations to promote better corporate compliance. It was headed by Injeti Srinivas (Secretary in Ministry of Corporate Affairs). Main recommendations Include -
      1. Restructuring of Corporate Offences to relieve Special Courts from adjudicating routine offences - Re-categorization of 16 out of the 81 compoundable offences by shifting them from the jurisdiction of special courts to an in-house E-adjudication framework
      2. De-clogging NCLT by -
        1. Enlarging jurisdiction of Regional Director with enhanced pecuniary limits for compounding of offences.
        2. Vesting in Central Government the power to approve alteration in financial year of a company.
      3. Recommendations related to corporate compliance and corporate governance
        1. Re-introduction of declaration of commencement of business provision to better tackle the menace of ‘shell companies’.
        2. Greater disclosures with respect to public deposits, particularly in respect of transactions exempted from the definition of public deposits.
    2. Delhi has been ranked last among 14 cities on basis of vehicular emissions in a survey conducted by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a Delhi-based research organisation to assess transport-related emissions from urban commuting.
      1. It classified Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai as megacities and Bhopal, Vijaywada, Lucknow, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Kochi, Pune, Ahmedabad as metro cities.
      2. Bhopal ranked best for its lowest overall vehicular emission and fuel consumption, followed by Vijaywada and Chandigarh.
      3. In terms of Per-travel trip emissions & energy consumption - Kolkata (1), Mumbai and Bhopal.
    3. Japan won its first FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup title, held in France. Japan defeated Spain in final.
      1. England held 3rd place while France stayed 4th.
      2. Patricia Guijarro (Spain) named as Best Player.
    4. Former Indian Cricketer Lalchand Rajput has been appointed as head coach of Zimbabwe’s national team.
    5. Global cultural organization Asia Society announced that PepsiCo’s CEO Indra Nooyi will be honoured with Game Changer of the Year title of the 2018.
    6. Government permitted private retail chemists to sell Oxytocin with effect from September 2018.
      1. Earlier, government banned sale of Oxytocin through private retail chemists, wef from July 2018. However, fearing shortage of Oxytocin in market, government deleted provisions of its April 27 notification stating that Oxytocin would be sold through government chemists only.
      2. As per recent notification, with effect from September 1, 2018, oxytocin will be moved from Schedule H to Schedule H1. Drugs under Schedule H can only be sold against a prescription by a registered medical practitioner.
    7. Various changes in names as tribute to Former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee who passed away recently -
      1. Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) announced its decision to rename its School of Management and Entrepreneurship as Atal Bihari Vajpayee School of Management and Entrepreneurship.
      2. Chhattisgarh Govt. renaming upcoming capital of the state Naya Raipur as Atal Nagar.
      3. Uttar Pradesh Govt. will name proposed Bundelkhand Expressway as ‘Atal Path’.
      4. AIIMS Rishikesh auditorium, a ghat on Sabarmati River in Gujarat and cyber tower in Mauritius to be named after him.
      5. Andhra Pradesh to name AIIMS Mangalagiri after Him.
      6. Himachal Pradesh to rename Rohtang Tunnel after him.
      7. Madhya Pradesh govt. to rename Habibganj railway station after him.
      8. Assam to name the yet-to-be-inaugurated Bogibeel bridge after him, as Atal Setu.
    8. Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) announced a new measure that seeks to facial recognition mandatory for every authentication that requires Aadhaar. It is being used to provide an added security layer and also make Aadhaar process more inclusive.
    9. Sweden released a handbook of its "feminist foreign policy" for rights groups and foreign governments, showcasing lessons from nation's flagship approach to promote women's rights globally.
      1. Sweden began its feminist foreign policy in response to discrimination and systematic subordination that still marks daily lives of countless women and girls around the world.
      2. Policy’s main aim is to include promotion of economic emancipation, fighting sexual violence and improving women's political participation.
    10. Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra launched three applications for benefit of litigants and lawyers - e-Filing, e-Pay, and National Service and Tracking of Electronic Processes (NSTEP); created under eCourts project Phase II and led by Justice MB Lokur.
      1. e-Filing - Available at, it is meant for online registration of lawyers and litigants.
      2. e-Pay - Available at, It is a unified portal wherein facility to pay online court fees is provided.
      3. NSTEP -  It is a transparent and secure system for transmission of process from one location to another and will address delays in process.
    11. Nitin Gadkari (Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation) Signed MoUs with 6 States - Uttarakhand, UP, HP, Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi for construction of Lakhwar Multipurpose Project on Yamuna near Dehradun, with cost approx INR 3966 Crores.
      1. It was initially approved in 1976 but work was suspended in 1992. It envisages construction of a 204 m high concrete dam across river Yamuna near Lohari village in Dehradun district of Uttarakhand with a storage capacity of 330.66 MCM.
      2. It will provide irrigation for 33,780 hectares land and availability of 78.83 MCM water for use in the 6 basin states. The project will also generate 300 MW of power.
      3. Besides Lakhwar Multi-Purpose project, there are two other major projects being envisaged in the Upper Yamuna reaches which are Kishau Multi-Purpose project and Renukaji Multi-Purpose project. A fourth project is the Vyasi project, a run-of-the-river scheme under which a concrete dam across River Yamuna is being constructed near Vyasi village in Dehradun district.
    12. NITI Aayog has made computer chip manufacturer NVIDIA its deep learning technology partner to support its MoveHack event. NVIDIA will help NITI Aayog to solve grand challenge of making innovations in mass mobility matter of national importance using Artifical Intellegence (AI) and deep learning.
      1. MoveHack is global mobility hackathon event organized by NITI Aayog to crowdsource solutions aimed at the future of mobility in India.
      2. Deep learning technology is subset of machine learning (ML) in artificial intelligence (AI) that has networks capable of learning unsupervised from data that is unstructured or unlabelled.
    13. 4th edition of Asian electoral stakeholders forum (AESF-IV) held in Colombo (Sri Lanka), to discuss state of elections and democracy in region. Theme of AESF-IV was Advancing Election Transparency and Integrity: Promoting and Defending Democracy Together.
    14. Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan launched an online portal to enable easy, efficient and transparent booking of common carrier capacity for natural gas transmission services under GAIL’s pipelines, as first step to facilitate gas trading on a exchange-traded platform in India.
      1. The online portal is first-of-its-kind in the natural gas sector of the country. It will provide gas consumers the facility to register pipeline capacity bookings online.
    15. Directorate General of Civil Aviation issued Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) or regulations for civil use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) commonly known as Drones, to be effective from December 1, 2018.
      1. Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu said Drone Regulations 1.0 are intended to enable visual line-of-sight daytime-only and a maximum of 400 feet altitude operations of drones.
      2. Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP) will be required for drone operators except for nano drones operating below 50 ft.; micro drones operating below 200 ft; and those owned by NTRO, ARC and Central Intelligence Agencies.
      3. Digital Sky Platform is the first-of-its-kind national Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) platform that implements “No Permission, No Takeoff” (NPNT).
        1. Users will be required to do a one-time registration of their drones, pilots and owners.
        2. For every flight, users will be required to ask for permission to fly on a mobile app. This requirement is exempted for the nano category of drones. Once the user puts forward his request to fly, an automated process permits or denies the request instantly.
    16. Minister of Steel, Chaudhary Birender Singh unveiled corporate sports policy for Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) under Ministry of Steel.
      1. Steel CPSEs will discharge their responsibility through infrastructural and institutional support for talent spotting, scholarships, training and coaching.
      2. CPSEs under Steel Ministry will form an apex sports body, which will be affiliated to National Level Sports Associations.
    17. Forbes’ list of World’s Highest-Paid Actors 2018 -
      1. Top 3 -
        1. George Clooney: $239m
        2. Dwayne Johnson: $124m
        3. Robert Downey Jr: $81m.
      2. Indian Actors Akshay Kumar ($40.5 million) and Salman Khan ($38.5 million) ranked at 7th and 9th place respectively.
    18. Ujjivan Small Finance Bank launched an overdraft (OD) facility for micro and small enterprise (MSE) customers (turnover over 50 lakh ), as an add-on product to existing MSE term loans offered by bank.
    19. Prasar Bharati and Mizzima Media Group of Myanmar signed MoU to realize cooperation and collaboration in broadcasting and content sharing.
    20. Goverment unveiled a draft scheme for extending affordable air travel programme UDAN to international circuits, with state governments identifying routes for operation. Draft International Air Connectivity (IAC) scheme envisages to increase international ticketing to 20 crore by 2027.
  8. Aug 24, 2018
    1. Food Safety and Standards Authority (FSSAI) notified food safety standards for honey and its products in bid to curb adulteration, to help farmers to fetch better prices for their products.
      1. Honey products should comply with 18 parameters like that of sucrose content, glucose ratio, pollen count, foreign oligosaccharides etc.
      2. These products should contain fixed maximum 5% limit for sucrose, 10% for carvia callosa and honeydew honey. The moisture percentage should be maximum 20% and pollen count should be 25,000 per gram.
    2. Maharashtra Government appointed Bollywood actor Raveena Tandon as brand ambassador of Mumbai city-based Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP).
    3. According to report by Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), maximum (35 %) of cyber-attacks on official Indian websites are from China, followed by US (17 %) and Russia (15 %). It is followed by Pakistan (9%), Canada (7%) and Germany (5%).
    4. Global monument conservation body International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) launched Kerala Heritage Rescue Initiative to assess damage to rich cultural and built heritage sites in flood-devastated Kerala. It aims at setting up platform for emergency response to cultural heritage damaged by floods in Kerala.
    5. University Grants Commission (UGC) directed universities and higher education institutes to ban sale of junk food on their campuses.
    6. According to study under IIT-Kharagpur Science and Heritage Initiative (SANDHI) Initiative, Ganga has witnessed unprecedented low levels of water in several lower reaches in last few summer seasons.
    7. India’s aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya for first time will be fitted with marine hydraulic system to boost its air operations, named GS-1MF and GS-3. It will be used for refuelling, cleaning and pressurisation of hydraulic systems of aircraft and helicopters on board INS Vikramaditya.
    8. Madhya Pradesh forest department asked National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to revive its Cheetah Reintroduction Project to reintroduce Cheetahs in Nauradehi sanctuary located in Sagar district of state.
      1. Cheetah, fastest land animal was declared extinct in India in 1952. India’s last spotted Asiatic cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus) had died in Chhattisgarh in 1947. According to earlier action plan, around 20 cheetahs were to be translocated to Nauradehi from Namibia in Africa.
      2. The Project was conceived in 2009, but State was not ready to finance plan contending that it was Centre’s project.
    9. Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) will start operating its first regional centre or avifauna observatory on the campus of Wetland Research and Training Centre near Chilika Lake (Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon), Odisha. Avifauna observatory will carry out research on avian disease by collecting samples and monitor Nalabana Bird Sanctuary.
    10. NASA’s First asteroid sampling spacecraft OSIRIS-REx captured first images of its target asteroid Bennu (from a distance of 2.1 million KMs) and began its final approach towards it after almost two-year journey.
      1. OSIRIS-Rex stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer. kilometre. It was launched in September 2016 for studying 101955 Bennu, a carbonaceous asteroid.
      2. It is scheduled to reach asteroid in 2018 and return to Earth after collecting some of its gravels by 2023.
      3. Bennu is near-Earth carbonaceous asteroid about the size of a small mountain in the Apollo group. It was discovered in September 1999 by the LINEAR Project. It is carbon-rich asteroid and believed to be the type of asteroids that may have chemical building blocks of life, along with lots of water.
    11. India and Singapore signed Second Protocol amending Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) in New Delh, to come into effect on 14th September 2018.
    12. Indian Institute of Technology-Hyderabad (IIT-H) launched Fabless Chip Design Incubator (FabCI) as an exclusive incubator to boost chip design.It is first of its kind in India that will focus on creating an ecosystem for start-ups in chip design.
      1. FabCI’s purpose is to incubate at least 50 ‘Make-in-India’ chip design companies that can compete globally and generate Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs).
      2. It will also offer virtual support to non-Hyderabad start-ups which can join FabCI and leverage the offerings and participate remotely.
    13. India’s first captive-born Humboldt Penguin named Freedom Baby died barely a week after it was born at Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan and Zoo (Byculla zoo) (Maharashtra). It was named Freedom Baby as it was born on Independence Day. It was the first Humboldt Penguin to born in captivity in India.
      1. Byculla zoo imported 8 Humboldt Penguins from South Korea in July 2016, kept thereafter in special enclosure where average temperature of 16-18 degrees celsius is maintained.
      2. Humboldt penguin is named after the cold water current (Humboldt current) it swims in. It is native to South America and breeds in coastal Chile and Peru.
    14. Airport Authority of India (AAI) allotted space to Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited (TRIFED) for opening of Tribes India outlets at Ahmedabad (Gujarat), Udaipur (Rajasthan) and Kolkata (West Bengal) airports. It will provide good opportunity to market tribal products and help to promote tribes India as brand among target customers.
    15. Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) revoked security clearance of Qatar government’s state-funded English news broadcaster Al Jazeera, supposedly to be for documentary made by it on militancy in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), which Indian Government viewed as “biased”.
    16. Indian Air Force (IAF) launched Trans-Himalayan Mountain Terrain Biking Expedition (THE MTB), from Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) in Ladakh for Kibithu in Arunachal Pradesh (2 forward most outposts of India in North and in East). Aim is to promote spirit of adventure among Air Warriors to undertake daunting challenges and ‘Go Green’ initiative.
    17. Former President Pranab Mukherjee launched National Electoral Transformation (NETA) mobile application that allows voters to rate and review their political representatives, developed by Pratham Mittal. It is first of its kind platform in India that allows voters to rate and review the political representatives in their constituencies.
      1. It aims to foster political accountability and transparency among leaders., inspired by US’ approval system. Using it, voters can review and rate their elected representatives (MLAs, MPs and ministers) and hold them accountable as well.
      2. It is also seen as instrument to gauge voter sentiment across constituencie, available in 16 languages.
    18. Indian Airforce formally launched The Stores, Proactive, Efficient and Expeditious Despatch of Extra Size/ Wt Consignment (SPEEDEX) contract, concluded in June 2018 between with Balmer Lawrie & Co Ltd and Ashok Travel and Tours for air and surface component respectively.
      1. It aims to overcome delay in piecemeal dispatch of consignment and to move operationally urgent stores by air and normal consignments by surface mode.
    19. 5G steering committee chaired by Stanford University’s Professor AJ Paulraj submitted its recommendations to Department of Telecommunications (DoT). It was set up by Government in September 2017 to suggest a road map for adoption of 5G. Recommendations Include -
      1. It expects commercial rollout of 5G in India by 2020 and advance to full range of services by 2024.
      2. Deployment of 5G in India should be classified into three phases based on technologies and use cases.
      3. Early adoption will likely make equipment needed for 5G roll out more expensive and it will also be glitchy as needed for cost maturing. However, early adoption will fast track India’s embrace of 5G’s benefits and increase opportunities.
      4. After entry of 5G into Indian telecom sector, earlier generation mobile technologies – 2G, 3G and 4G, will take over 10 years to phase out.
    20. Reliance Industries became first Indian company to cross Rs 8 lakh crore ($114 billion) market capitalisation, also taking up Mukesh Ambani’s wealth to over $48 billion and cementing his place further as Asia's Richest Man.
      1. So far in 2018, RIL shares surged over 38 %. RIL added the latest Rs 1 trillion in market cap in just 23 trading sessions.
      2. Currently, RIL’s market value accounts for 5% of India’s total market cap.
      3. TCS was first Indian IT company to reach Rs. 7 lakh crore ($100 billion club) market capitalisation (m-cap) milestone in May 2018.
  9. Aug 23, 2018
    1. August 23 - International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition. It marks anniversary of 1791 insurrection of enslaved men and women in western part of island of Santo Domingo, which is now known as Haiti.
    2. 6th international Buddhist conclave held in New Delhi, organised by Ministry of Tourism. Its theme was ‘Buddha Path – The Living Heritage”.
    3. Government appointed G. Satheesh Reddy as Chairman of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Secretary in Department of Defence Research and Development (DDR&D).
    4. Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved procurement worth approx INR 46000 crores.
      1. Procurement of 111 Utility Helicopters for Indian Navy was approved at cost of over INR 21000 crores, as first project under MoD’s Strategic Partnership (SP) Model that aims at providing significant fillip to Government’s ‘Make in India’ programme.
      2. Procurement of 150 Indigenously Designed and Developed 155 mm Advanced Towed Artillery Gun Systems for Indian Army.
      3. Procurement of 14 Vertically Launched Short Range Missile Systems. Of these, 10 systems will be indigenously developed and remaining four will be imported. These missile systems will help boost self-defence capability of ships against anti-ship missiles.
      4. To enhance capability of Navy at sea, approval granted for procurement of Anti-Submarine capable, 24 Multi Role Helicopters.
    5. A 126 MW capacity wind power project has been commissioned in Bhuj (Gujarat), as part of India’s first ISTS auction which was conducted by state-run Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) in February 2017.
      1. Bid was for projects to be connected on ISTS wherein power generated from one state (renewable resource rich state) can be transmitted to other renewable deficient states. Energy generated from this project is being purchased by Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh.
      2. It marks beginning of capacity additions in wind power based on market discovered tariffs, in line with Government’s plan of having 175 GW renewable energy by 2022.
    6. Exercise Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Peace Mission 2018, started at Chebarkul (Russia). It is notable due to India and Pakistan for the first time are participating in any Joint Army Exercise.
    7. Ministry of Commerce and Industry is developing National Logistics Portal is to ensure ease of trading in international and domestic markets, by linking stakeholders of EXIM (export and import), domestic trade and movement and all trade activities on single platform.
      1. It will be implemented in phases and will fulfil Central Government’s commitment to enhance trade competitiveness, create jobs, boost India’s performance in global rankings and pave way for India to become logistics hub.
    8. NITI Aayog released five Thematic Reports on Sustainable Development in Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) recognizing uniqueness of Himalayas and challenges for sustainable development, prepared by 5 working groups that were set up by NITI Aayog in June 2017. Areas are -
      1. Inventory and Revival of Springs in Himalayas for Water Security, Sustainable Tourism in Indian Himalayan Region, Transformative Approach to Shifting Cultivation, Strengthening Skill & Entrepreneurship Landscape in Himalayas and Data and Information for Informed Decision Making.
      2. Inventory and Revival of springs in Himalayas for Water Security.
      3. Sustainable Tourism in Indian Himalayan Region.
      4. Transformative approach to shifting cultivation (i.e. slash and burn (Jhum cultivation)) - There is urgent need for assessment of nature and extent of shifting cultivation area.
      5. Strengthening Skill and Entrepreneurship Landscape in Himalayas - There is need to set up demand driven network of skill and entrepreneurship development Centers in Himalayan States along with consortium of institutions of high learning for mountain specific research and technology.
      6. Data/Information for Informed Decision Making - Central Data Management Agency for Himalayan Database must be set up at GB Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development. It should be linked with Hindukush Himalaya Monitoring and Assessment program (HIMAP).
    9. CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories (CSIR-NAL) received order for delivering critical composite air-frame components to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), for the LCA-Tejas Full Operational Capability (FOC) standard aircraft.
    10. Treasurer Scott Morrison has been elected new Prime Minister of Australia, replacing Malcolm Turnbull.
    11. Arun Jaitley resumed charge of ministries of finance and corporate affairs, after over 100 days of leaves.
    12. Odisha Government tied up with Japan for its mega investment Conclave 2018 to take place in November 2018, called Make in Odisha.
    13. Europe Space Agency launched a rocket named ‘Aeolus’ from French Guyana. This satellite will be put into orbit at an altitude of 320 kilometres (200 miles) above the Earth which will track global winds, allowing for improved weather forecasting.
    14. Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje inaugurated Bhamashah Techno Hub in Jhalana Industrial Area of Jaipur, said to be India's biggest start up incubator centre.
    15. Sea Prayer, new book of writer Khaled Hosseini has been released.
    16. National Green Tribunal (NGT) appointed S J Vazifdar as head of a committee to decide mining company Vedanta plea challenging closure of its Sterlite copper plant at Tuticorin.
    17. Industry chamber Assocham appointed Uday Kumar Varma as its new Secretary General.
    18. A Finance Minsitry report ranked Punjab National Bank (PNB) as the best PSU bank in the overall digital transactions category in India. As per Department of Financial Services' findings, PNB's average percentage of technical declines is only 0.83 % of total transactions.
    19. Book on Life of Former PM who passed away recently, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, titled Atal Ji Ne Kaha has been released. It is Authored by Brijendra Rai.
  10. Aug 22, 2018
    1. Pakistani origin women Mehreen Faruqi became first muslim senator to be sworn in to Australia’s Parliament.
    2. After recent launch of Fateh Mobin (Bright Conqueror) short-range ballistic missile, Iran unveiled first domestically manufactured fighter jet nicknamed Kowsar. Its a fourth-generation fighter with advanced avionics and multi-purpose radar.
    3. Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) designated National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) as nodal authority to curb online child pornography, sexual violence and rape videos. It also has been mandated to launch online portal for receiving complaints and acting on them.
    4. Forbes' List Of Highest Paid Female Athletes 2018 -
      1. American Tennis Player Serena Williams (with earnings of $18.1 million) is highest paid female athlete for 3rd consecutive year.
      2. Top 3 -
        1. Serena Williams ($18.1 million) (American Tennis Player)
        2. Dane Caroline Wozniacki ($13 million) (Danish Tennis Player)
        3. Sloane Stephens ($11.2 million) (American tennis player)
      3. Indian badminton player P.V. Sindhu ranked at 7th place with earnings of $8.5 million.
    5. E-Commerce Firm Flipkart acquired AI-led speech recognition, to introduce easier shopping experience through Voice recongition.
    6. According to global airlines events organiser Routesonline -
      1. Bengaluru Kempegowda International Airport Secured Second Spot and Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport Secured Sixth Spot as fastest growing airport in world during January to June 2018.
      2. Tokyo’s Haneda Airport topped the Survey.
    7. Odisha for First time will Organize 2018 Men’s Hockey World Cup, which will be the 14th edition of tournament. It will be organized in November - December 2018, at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.
    8. T P Sharma has been appointed as new chief Lokayukta of Chhattisgarh.
    9. Xhoixobote Dhemalite (Rainbow fields), an Assamese film directed by Bidyut Kotoky has won an award for screenplay at Treasure Coast International Film Festival in Florida (USA).
    10. UEFA Awards 2018 -
      1. Croatia captain Luka Modric voted best player in Europe.
      2. Best women’s player award was won by Pernille Harder of Denmark and Wolfsburg.
      3. 2018 UEFA President’s Award was given to David Beckham, Johan Cruyff, Franz Beckenbauer, Eusebio and Sir Bobby Charlton.
    11. Retired English professional footballer David Beckham will be presented 2018 UEFA President’s Award by European football’s governing body.
    12. Odisha government has set up a state-of-the-art interpretation centre at Bhitarkania National Park to showcase its flora, fauna and rich biodiversity.
  11. Aug 21, 2018 -
    1. Aug 21 - UN International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism.
    2. Aug 21 - World Senior Citizens Day. Note that Similar Sounding UN International Day of Older Persons is held annually on October 1.
    3. New Governors Appointed (As per Article 156 of Constitution, State Governors are appointed by President for five years) -
      1. Lalji Tandon - Bihar
      2. Baby Rani Maurya - Uttarakhand
      3. Satyadev Narayan - Haryana
      4. Kaptan Singh Solanki - Tripura
      5. Tathagata Roy - Meghalaya
      6. Ganga Prasad - Sikkim
      7. Satya Pal Malik - Jammu and Kashmir
    4. M.K.Stalin is appointed as working president of DMK party in Tamil Nadu.
    5. Ministry of Women and Child Development announced to observe September as the National Nutrition Month to mark the country’s fight against malnutrition. Recently, Rajasthan State Govt also announced to observe September as Nutrition Month every year.
    6. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare notified new specified health warnings for all tobacco product packs, applicable w.e.f. 1st September 2018. Under new rules, Government released two separate set of images. The first set will be used on tobacco products from September 1, 2018 for period of 1 year, whereas second set of images will be used from September 1, 2019. All cigarette and tobacco packs will carry new pictorial warnings including ‘Quit Today’ message from September 1.
    7. Ministry of Earth Sciences will set up a Cyclone Warning Centre in Thiruvananthapuram, by October 2018, after recent extreme weather events striking Kerala and Karnataka. Currently, IMD has cyclone warning centers at Chennai, Vishakhapatnam, Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Mumbai.
      1. Earth Sciences Ministry will also set up a C-Band Doppler Weather Radar at Mangalore by end of 2019, which will cover parts of northern Kerala. At present, 2 Doppler Weather Radars are in Kerala, at Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram.
    8. Researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA) developed a wireless 'in-body GPS' system that can track tumours and pinpoint location of ingestible implants inside body. In tests conducted on animals, system called ‘ReMix’ was found to be able to track implants with centimetre-level accuracy. It could be used to deliver drugs to specific regions in the body, and ease up the healing process.
    9. Indian Instituted of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur will set up Aditya Choubey Re-Water Research Center to replenish and rejuvenate water resources. It aims to tackle challenge of resolving two burning issues faced by urban India – sewage disposal and access to clean potable water.
      1. IIT-Kharagpur will set up an on-campus plant which will convert 1.35 million litre of sewage water from the hostels to 1.2 million litre of potable water daily.
    10. International Labour Organisation (ILO) released a report titled ‘India Wage Report: Wage policies for decent work and inclusive growth’, depicting that though India’s economy in the past two decades saw an annual average GDP rate of 7 %, while low pay and inequality persists.
      1. Wage inequality declined since 2004–05; however, it continues to remain high.
      2. Despite a decline from 48 percent in 1993-94 to 34 percent in 2011–12, gender wage gap is still steep.
      3. Women employed as casual workers in rural economy earn lowest in India, which is 22 % of what urban regular male workers earn.
    11.  NASA confirmed that there are frozen water deposits in darkest and coolest parts of Moon’s Polar Regions, using data from India's Chandrayaan-I spacecraft.
      1. Chandrayaan-I spacecraft was launched in 2008 by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
      2. At the southern pole of moon, most of ice is concentrated at lunar craters, while northern pole’s ice is more widely and lightly spread.
      3. Most of the newfound water ice lies in shadows of craters near poles, where warmest temperatures never reach above minus 156 degrees Celsius (-250 degrees Fahrenheit).
    12. Financial firm Paytm partnered with China's Alibaba to launch AI-based cloud computing platform 'Paytm AI Cloud'. It will offer business-centric apps to developers, startups and enterprises that need cloud-computing solutions including customer engagement and easy-to-integrate payments.
    13. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) become first public sector enterprise to make a transaction on the “TReDS platform”, an online electronic institutional mechanism for facilitating financing of trade receivables of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) through multiple financiers. TReDS refers to Trade Receivables Discounting System.
    14. First-ever joint air force exercise Betwen India and Malaysia commenced at Subang Air Base in Malaysia.
    15. Indian cricketer VVS Laxman written his autobiography named 281 and Beyond. It will be released in November 2018.
    16. Australian Cricketer Shane Warne written his autobiography titled No Spin, to be released in October 2018.
    17. Punjab Cabinet approved amendments to Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) to make disrespect of religious texts (Sacrilege) punishable with life imprisonment.
  12. Aug 20, 2018 -
    1. Aug 20 - National Sadvbhavna Diwas in India. It commemorates Birth Anniversary of Former Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi. Former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi was conferred with 2018 Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award.
    2. Chhattisgarh Government renamed Naya Raipur smart city as Atal Nagar, in honour of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who passed away recently. Also, Madhya Pradesh Govt. named 3 awards after former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Awards are for poets, journalists and administration.
    3. BCCI registered its new constitution with the Registrar of Societies of Tamil Nadu, in line with reforms listed by Supreme Court-appointed Justice Lodha Committee.
      1. Granted full permanent membership to Railways, Tri-Services, and Association of Indian Universities.
      2. It restored voting rights of the cricket associations of Gujarat and Maharashtra.
      3. It also agreed for One State, One Vote policy, that was recommended by R.M. Lodha Committee, formed in January 2015 after Mukul Mudgal Committee report that called for reforms within BCCI.
    4. Fortune Change the World List 2018 -
      1. It ranked companies using profit motive to help tackle social problems.
      2. Reliance Industries' Telecom Unit Jio ranked as top company globally, for widening Internet access in India and benefitting the subscribers in terms of monetary savings and quality of services.
      3. Top 5 Companies are -
        1. Reliance Jio (Telecommunications) - India
        2. Merck (Pharmaceuticals) - USA
        3. Bank of America (Commercial Banking) - USA
        4. Inditex (Specialty Retailers) - Spain
        5. Alibaba Group (Internet Services & Retailing) - China
    5. 2018 Cincinnati Masters Tennis 2018 (Also called Western & Southern Open) -
      1. Men's Singles - Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
      2. Women's Singles - Kiki Bertens (Netherlands)
      3. Men's Doubles - Jamie Murray (United Kingdom) AND Bruno Soares (Brazil)
      4. Women's Doubles - Lucie Hradecká (Czech Republic) AND Ekaterina Makarova (Russia)
    6. Visits to India (Aug 11 - 20, 2018) -
      1. Itsunori Onodera, Defence Minister of Japan Visited India. He attended India-Japan Annual Defence Ministerial Dialogue.
    7. Visits from India (Aug 11 - 20, 2018) -
      1. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj Visited Mauritius. She Inaugurated Panini Language Laboratory at Mahatma Gandhi Institute in Mauritius. She also attended 11th World Hindi Conference being held in Mauritius, in its capital Port Lois. Theme of Conference was Vaishvik Hindi Aur Bharatiy Sanskriti.
    8. General Conferences (Aug 11 - 20, 2018) -
      1. Jatayu sculpture inaugurated at Jatayu Earth Center (JEC) at Chadayamangalam in Kollam district (Kerala), as world’s largest bird sculpture.
      2. Meeting of Senior Officials of the Bay of Bengal Initiatives for Multi-Sectoral, Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) held in Kathmandu (Npeal) today.
      3. Nepal-India Literature Festival 2018 held in Birgunj (Nepal).
      4. Parijat Urja Chakra and Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) organized a special campaign at Fatehgarh villageof Ambala in Haryana, to create awareness about the ill effects of crop residue burning and management.
    9. Walmart completion of $16-billion deal for acquiring 77 % stake in Indian ecommerce firm Flipkart.
      1. Kalyan Krishnamurthy will continue to be Flipkart’s CEO.
      2. Co-founder Sachin Bansal exited with over 7000 Crores in Cash,while another Co-founder Binny Bansal will stay with his roles.
      3. Walmart will appoint five members to eight-member board of Flipkart.
    10. US scientists created a platinum-gold alloy, named as most wear-resistant metal in world. It is the first alloy in the same class as diamond and sapphire, and has been 100 times more durability than high-strength steel. With platinum-gold coating, several electronic productas can be made more cost-effective, long-lasting and dependable.
    11. Historic Esala Maha Perehera festival held in Kandy 9Sri Lanka), held in month of Esala (July or August). It commemorates first teaching of Buddha after his enlightenment.
    12. As per Germany's Ifo Institute for Economic Research -
      1. Germany’s current account surplus will remain world’s largest in 2018, for 3rd year at $299 billion, in spite of increased trade tensions. It is followed by Japan in second position with $200 billion. Netherlands is 3rd with 110 billion dollars. From 2011, Germany’s current account surplus has been consistently above the European Commission’s indicative threshold of 6 % of gross domestic product (GDP).
        1. Current account surplus measures flow of goods, services and investments. It is considered a positive for any economy.
      2. On other hand, in terms of Current Account Deficit, USA will remain to have largest current account deficit with nearly 420 billion euros.
    13. Aug 20 - World Mosquito Day. It honors British doctor Sir Ronald Ross’s discovery in 1897 that female mosquitoes transmit malaria between humans.
    14. Scientists discovered a beetle trapped in amber that dates back to 99 million years, in Myanmar. It may help better understand relationship between ancient flowering plants and pollinators.
      1. It uncovers earliest definitive fossil evidence of relationship between cycads and insects. Cycads are a group of unusual evergreen gymnosperms that may have been first insect-pollinated plants.
      2. The found beetle preserved in Burmese amber for an estimated 99 million years, is named Cretoparacucujus cycadophilus.
  13. Aug 19, 2018 -
    1. Aug 19 - World Humanitarian Day (WHD). 2018 Campaign theme for 2018 World Humanitarian Day is #NotATarget. Aug 19 is also observed as World Photography Day.
    2. Sarvatra Technologies launched ‘Sevalia Urban Co-operative Bank’ as 450th co-operative bank on National Financial Switch (NFS). Sarvatra brings many co-operative banks on digital payment platform by making them inter-operable with large banks.
    3. Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT) organized an international conference on recent advances in food processing technology, in Thanjavur (Tamilnadu), named ‘iCRAFPT ’18’, Commemorating its golden jubilee. Theme of conference is Doubling Farmers Income through Food Processing.
    4. Amnesty International India launched a new campaign named ‘Our Safety, Our Rights’, among children against sexual abuse. The campaign will culminate on October 11 – International Day of Girl Child.
    5. Central government constituted a coordination committee to work on discharge of floodwaters between Kerala-Tamilnadu, amid heavy rainfall and floods in Kerala. Committee is headed by Central Water Commission Chairman Narendra Kumar.
    6. Aditya-L1India’s first mission to study solar corona, will be launched in 2019-2020, by Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-XL).
      1. Aditya – L1 will be inserted in a halo orbit around the Lagrangian point 1 (L1), 1.5 million km from Earth. Solar corona is outer layers of the Sun.
      2. Lagrangian point where attraction by Sun and Earth becomes equal. This point does not experience gravitational force. It will observe Sun’s Photosphere and Chromosphere and will also conduct additional experiments.
      3. It will have 6 additional payloads -
        1. Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC)– to study the diagnostic parameters of solar corona and dynamics and origin of Coronal Mass Ejections.
        2. Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT)– to image the Solar Photosphere and Chromosphere in near Ultraviolet (200-400 nm) and measure solar irradiance variations.
        3. Aditya Solar wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX) – to study the variation of solar wind properties and its distribution and spectral characteristics.
        4. Plasma Analyser Package for Aditya (PAPA)– to understand the composition of solar wind and its energy distribution.
        5. Solar Low Energy X-ray Spectrometer (SoLEXS)– to monitor the X-ray flares to study the heating mechanism of solar corona.
        6. High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer (HEL1OS)– to observe the dynamic events in the solar corona and estimate the energy used to accelerate the particles during eruptive events.
        7. Magnetometer– to measure the magnitude and nature of the Interplanetary Magnetic Field.
    7. Rajasthan government announced to observe September as ‘month of nutrition’. State Govt earlier launched ‘Annapurna Milk Scheme’ -
      1. Students of Class 1 to 8 of government schools will be given milk daily instead of thrice a week.
      2. Students in age group of 3-6 years, adolescent girls and pregnant women registered with Anganwadi centres will be provided milk thrice a week.
  14. Aug 18, 2018 -
    1. Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan took oath as 22nd prime minister of Pakistan. While, Asad Qaiser is chosen as Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan.
    2. India and Thailand Armies conducted Joint Military Exercise called Maitree, in Thailand.
    3. Madurai Panthers won their first Tamil Nadu Premier League 2018 title, defeating Dindigul Dragons.
    4. Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) signed loan agreement with German bank KfW in Frankfurt for EUR 200 million, for financing clean energy projects in India. This is REC’s fourth line of credit under Indo-German development cooperation.
    5. UAE will host upcoming Asia Cup Cricket T20 Tournament 2018. 6 Asian Teams will participate in it.
  15. Aug 17, 2018
    1. Hinduja Group’s flagship company Ashok Leyland introduced Innoline technology as a BS IV engine driven by an in-line fuel pump, combination of indigenous mechanical pump for BS III engines with iEGR (Intelligent Exhaust Gas Recirculation) technology.
    2. Australia resumed adoption of children from India after reportedly 8 years of suspension of the same over reports of trafficking of children.
    3. 10-day pineapple festival showcasing different varieties of it has been organised in Manipur’s Thayong village.
    4. Researchers found that Aspirin which is an affordable and globally available drug could help prevent HIV transmission. They tested the effect of acetylsalicylic acid or aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs on HIV target cells. It showed that Aspirin was the most effective as it reduced number of HIV target cells.
    5. Telangana Government launched Disaster Response Force (DRF) vehicles in Hyderabad, as state's own dedicated disaster force trained in tackling of urban flooding, tree falls, structural collapses and any other site of normal emergencies.
    6. Home Ministry has issued new Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) for cash refilling of automated teller machines (ATMs)., after rising incidents of attacks on cash vans, cash vaults, ATM frauds and other internal frauds.
      1. Most Notable event was a recent huge cyber attack on pune based Cosmos co-operative bank, in which hackers robbed approx 94 Crores from bank. It was first such attack on any Indian Bank.
      2. New Terms will be effective from 8 February 2019. There are over 8,000 cash vans in India, handling over 15000 crores daily.
      3. New Features -
        1. Sets deadline of replenishing cash in ATMs before 9pm in cities and 6pm in rural areas, 4 PM for Naxal-hit districts.
        2. Every cash van must have one driver, two armed security guards, two ATM officers or custodians.
        3. The cash van should not carry cash of more than Rs. 5 crore per trip.
    7. DRDO successfully tested indigenously developed light weight glide bomb Smart Anti Airfield Weapon (SAAW).
      1. SAAW is India’s first fully indigenous anti-airfield weapon project sanctioned by Government in September 2013.
      2. SAAW is long-range lightweight high precision-guided anti-airfield weapon. It is 120 kg smart weapon capable of engaging ground targets with high precision up to range of 100 km.
    8. 4 Northern States will set up a joint secretariat at Panchkula (Haryana), for data and information sharing to effectively tackle the issue of drug menace. States are Haryana, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. UTs of Delhi and Chandigarh will also be included.
    9. Supreme Court ruled that None of The Above (NOTA) option will not be applicable for voting in Rajya Sabha elections. SC held that NOTA option is meant only for universal adult suffrage and direct elections and not for the polls held by the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote as done in Rajya Sabha. 
    10. AYUSH Ministry introduced new Central Sector scheme for promoting pharmacovigilance of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy (ASU&H) Drugs. It aims to develop culture of documenting adverse effects, monitoring and surveillance of misleading advertisements of drugs.
      1. Government has sanctioned grant of Rs 10.60 Crore for the establishment of 3 pharmacovigilance network, which will consist of National Pharmacovigilance Centre (NPvCC), Intermediary Pharmacovigilance Centres (IPvCCs) and Peripheral Pharmacovigilance Centres (PPvCC).
      2. All India Institute of Ayurveda New Delhi has been designated as National Pharmacovigilance Centre. It received the grant from the government.
      3. Government aims to achieve the target of 100 peripheral pharmacovigilance centres by 2020.
  16. Aug 16, 2018 -
    1. India won South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Under-15 Women’s Football Championship, held in Thimpu (Bhutan), by defeating Bangladesh.
    2. As per National Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development’s (NABARD)'s First All India Rural Financial Inclusion Survey 2016-17 -
      1. Agricultural household account for 48% of rural households. Agriculture (farming) generates only 23% of rural income. Only 43% of average income of agricultural households comes from cultivation of crops and rearing of animals.
      2. Number of rural households in India at 21.17 crores, of which 10.07 crores are agricultural.
      3. Average net monthly income of Indian rural households in 2016-17 was INR 8059.
      4. Among agricultural households, share of average income from cultivation and livestock rearing was just over 43%.
    3. Home Ministry relaxed conditions ‘four-corner agreement’ signed with Bru migrants for their repatriation from Tripura to Mizoram, signed with Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum (MBDPF) in July 2018.
      1. As per Agreement -
        1. It covers 5,407 Bru families (32876 persons) presently staying in temporary camps in Tripura to repatriate them to Mizoram by end of September 2018. These families who moved to Mizoram from Tripura will be given one-time financial assistance of Rs 4 lakh to be kept as fixed deposit in name of head of family. Apart from this, house building assistance of 1.5 lakh, free ration for 2 years will also be provided.
      2. Relaxed Provisions -
        1. Period of stay for cash assistance of Rs 4 lakh for Bru refugees will be relaxed from 3 to two years. They can withdraw 90% of 4 lakh assistance as bank loan immediately after their return.
        2. On relocation, at least 50 refugees will be settled in each village.
      3. Background -
        1. Bru (or Reang) are tribals inhabit to some parts of Northeastern states. In 1997, following bout of ethnic violence between Mizos and Brus, thousands of people from Bru tribe were forced to leave their homes in Mizoram and settle down in Tripura.
        2. First phase of repatriation of Brus from Tripura to Mizoram started in November 2010, when 1,622 Bru families with 8,573 members were resettled in Mizoram. But repatriation stalled in 2011, 2012 and 2015 amid protests by Mizo NGOs.
    4. West Bengal Government removed annual family income ceiling in eligibility criteria to be beneficiary under state’s Kanyashree Prakalpa scheme.
      1. Currently only girls belonging to families with annual family income not more than Rs 1.20 lakh were entitled to get benefits of this scheme. State government will also set up Kanyashree University soon.
      2. Kanyashree Prakalpa scheme -
        1. It is conditional cash transfer scheme aimed at improving status and well-being of girl child by incentivising schooling of teenage girls and delaying their marriages until age of 18, launched in October 2013.
        2. Targeted Beneficiaries are girl children within age 13 - 19 years.
        3. Girls regularly attending institutions for education or vocational or sports training.
        4. Girls of Child Care Institutes registered under Juvenile Justice Act (JJ), 2000 within age of 18-19 years.
      3. Components Include -
        1. Annual Scholarship of INR 500 for unmarried girls aged 13-18 years enrolled in classes VIII-XII and One time Grant of Rs 25,000 for girls turned 18 at time of application.
        2. Over 50 lakh girls from the state have been benefited by scheme and removal of ceiling will help another three lakh more girls annually. It was awarded United Nations Public Service Award in June 2017.
    5. India successfully tested Indigenously developed Helicopter launched Anti-Tank Guided Missile ‘HELINA’.
    6. USA awarded Legion of Merit (Degree of Commander) to Former Indian Army Chief Dalbir Singh Suhag, for exceptional service as chief of Indian Army. With this, he became 2nd Indian to get this award, first being General Rajendrasinghji Jadeja in 1946.
    7. SK Arora (Delhi) has been awarded World Health Organization (WHO) World No Tobacco Day 2017 Award for his extraordinary contribution towards tobacco control.
    8. Researchers from City University of Hong Kong (CityU) developed world's first-ever 4D printing for ceramics that can be used to create complex, shape-changing objects.
      1. 4D printing is conventional 3D printing combined with the additional element of time as the fourth dimension, where printed objects can re-shape or self-assemble themselves over time with external stimuli, such as mechanical force, temperature, or a magnetic field.
      2. Existing 3D-printed ceramic precursors, which are usually difficult to deform, also hinder the production of ceramics with complex shapes.  To overcome these, researchers developed a novel 'ceramic ink', a mixture of polymers and ceramic nanoparticles.
      3. Applications include Printed ceramic precursors can be used in manufacturing of electronic devices. Ceramic materials have much better performance in transmitting electromagnetic signals than metallic materials.
      4. The artistic nature of ceramics and their capability to form complex shapes also provide the potential for consumers to tailor-make uniquely designed ceramic mobile phone back plates.
    9. Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare asked United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (UNFAO) to declare 2019 as ‘International Year of Millets’, to draw wider global attention and action to promote cultivation of millets.
      1. India is observing 2018 as National Year of Millets to promote cultivation by amending cropping pattern of areas which are especially susceptible to climate change.
    10. Supreme Court directed Tamil Nadu government to lower water level at Mullaperiyar dam on Periyar River to 139 feet from current 142 feet, considering flood situation in all 14 districts of Kerala.
      1. Tamil Nadu government opposed bringing down water level in the dam, saying that the inflow of water presently is over 12,000 cusec in contrast to outflow of 5,000 cusec.
    11. Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) constituted a working group to update norms for insurance surveyors, to be headed by Yegna Priya Bharat. It will address areas pertaining to licensing, renewal and IIISLA membership in context of existing regulatory framework for surveyors and loss assessors.
    12. As a first of its kind ruling in India, Uttarakhand High Court invoked 'parens patriae' doctrine and declared itself as a legal guardian of members of bovine (cow) family across state. It grants court inherent power and authority to act as guardian for those who are unable to take care of themselves.
    13. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) launched BSNL WINGS VOIP based service, requiring no SIM or cable wiring. WINGS offers unlimited free audio/video calling for one year. It can be activated with a one-time fee of Rs. 1,099.
    14. Bharti Axa Life Insurance and Airtel Payments Bank entered into an alliance to offer Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY), a government-backed life insurance scheme. It offers Rs 2 lakh life insurance cover for a nominal premium of Rs 330 per annum and can be purchased by all existing or new Airtel Payments Bank savings bank account holders between ages 18-50.
    15. Payments Firm PhonePe entered partnership with Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to facilitate convenient, fast and secure payments through PhonePe on IRCTC Rail connect Android app.
    16. Annual Directors Guild of America (DGA) honours Winners - Ang Lee (Noted Chinese Director), Nancy Utley, Amy Klobuchar, John McGuire and Ann Roth.
    17. Qatar announced direct investments worth 15-billion US dollar in Turkey, amid Turkey's currency crisis and heightened tensions with USA.
    18. Tamil Nadu government banned students from using mobile phones in college / schools premises. Centre-run institutes like IIT Madras have been exempted from ban stating ‘their students know how to use mobiles reasonably’.
    19. University of Chicago (USA) identified a ‘zombie’ gene that makes elephants nearly immune to cancer. In response to DNA damage, a tumour-suppressing protein wakes up the non-functioning gene called LIF6 to kill cancer-prone cells.
    20. New Zealand banned sale of existing homes to foreign buyers, saying that citizens were being “tenants in our own land”. The ban applies to all nationalities, except foreigners with residency status and buyers from Singapore and Australia.
  17. Aug 15, 2018
    1. Aug 15, 2018 - 72nd Independence Day of India.
      1. President Ram Nath Kovind has approved 131 Gallantry Awards to Defence Personnel, including 1 Kirti Chakras, 20 Shaurya Chakras (Army - 14, Navy - 1, MHA - 4), 3 Bar to Sena Medals (Gallantry), 93 Sena Medals (Gallantry), 11 Nao Sena Medals (Gallantry) and 3 Vayu Sena Medals (Gallantry).
        1. Kirti Charka - Sepoy Vrahma Pal Singh of Rajput Regiment. He laid down his life in a fierce counter-insurgency operation in which 3 terrorists were killed at Pulwama in J&K in November 2018.
        2. Shaurya Chakras Include Rifleman Aurangzeb and Major Aditya Kumar of Indian Army.
        3. Vayu Sena Medals -  P Prasad, Vernon Desmond Keane, Abhishek Sharma.
      2. Medals for Coast Guard Personnel -
        1. 1 President's Tatrakshak Medal (PTM) (Distinguished Service) - Rakesh Pal
        2. 5 Tatrakshak Medal (TM) (Gallantry)
        3. 2 Tatrakshak Medal (TM) (Meritorious Service)
      3. On this occasion, Railways made ‘digital screens’ operational at 22 stations, to spread awareness among public about heritage of Indian Railways.
      4. PM Narendra Modi as part of his Independence Day speech announced to put India in space by 2022 under manned space mission on board ‘Gajanan’. India will become fourth nation in the world to send astronaut into space after US, Russia and China. Former Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot Rakesh Sharma was first Indian to travel to space, as part of Soviet Union’s Soyuz T-11 expedition in April 1984.
      5. Government announced launch of Ayushman Bharat (now Jan Aarogya Abhiyan) on September 25, aiming to provide country’s poor access to quality and affordable healthcare. Nearly 10 crore families will get health cover worth Rs 5 lakh each year under this.
      6. On this occasion, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik launched Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BY) which provides annual cashless health coverage of Rs 5 lakh per beneficiary family per annum. Patnaik also handed over ‘Uttam Jeevan Raksha Padak’ and ‘Jeevan Rakshya Padak’ to two children – Pankaj Kumar Mahanta and Mamata Dalai, respectively, for their act of bravery.
      7. On this occasion, Telangana Govt launched 2 Schemes -
        1. Rythu Bandhu - Its first-of-its-kind life insurance programme worth Rs 5 lakh for farmers in state, with cost approx 650 Crores. Insurance amount will be given to farmer’s family within 10 days, in case of death of Farmer. It will bear the annual premium of Rs 2,271 per farmer. Some Limitations are -
          1. It is limited to farmers aged 18 - 60 years.
          2. Limited to landowners who received monetary assistance of Rs 4000 from the state government to bear farming costs under the ‘Rythu Bandhu’ programme earlier this year.
          3. Tenant farmers have been left out of it.
        2. Kanti Velugu - free eye screening for all citizens.
      8. A special film festival on theme Freedom Struggle and Freedom Fighters held to mark India’s 72nd Independence Day, in Mumbai.
    2. Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) banned import of petcoke for use as fuel, allowing its import of only for use as feedstock in some selecte industries like cement, lime kiln, calcium carbide and gasification.
    3. India released additional 47 Crore Nepali Rupees for Phase I of Postal Highway Project being constructed in Southern Plains of Nepal. India has so far released Rs 2.35 billion to Nepal out of total grant assistance of Rs. 8.00 billion committed to implement 14 packages under Postal Highway Project.
    4. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) launched RUCO (Repurpose Used Cooking Oil) initiative to enable collection and conversion of used cooking oil to biodiesel. According to FSSAI, maximum permissible limits for Total Polar Compounds (TPC) have been set at 25%, beyond which cooking oil is unsafe for consumption.
    5. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) constituted 3 member committee to look into draft food labelling and display regulations-Food Safety and Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations 2018, headed by B Sesikeran.
    6. Indian scientist N Raghuram became first Indian and Asian to get elected as Chair of International Nitrogen Initiative (INI), a global policy making initiative, to take up role from January 1, 2019. He will steer 6 regional centres.
    7. National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) launched UPI 2.0, as upgraded version of Unified Payments Interface (UPI) -
      1. It adds 4 new features to UPI,
        1. Overdraft facility - It will allow users to link their overdraft (OD) account to UPI. Earlier, only current accounts and savings accounts were able to linked with UPI.
        2. One Time Mandate - It allows users to schedule payments. It also allows pre-authorisation of transaction in which amount will be deducted on date for which has been scheduled.
        3. Invoice in Inbox - It allows users to get invoices sent by merchants in their inbox, which will help them to view and verify credentials.
        4. Signed Intent and QR - This will allow users to check credentials of merchants via Quick Response (QR) code. It will enable to check whether merchant is UPI verified or not.
    8. Iran unveiled Fateh Mobin (Bright Conqueror) next generation short-range ballistic missile capable of striking targets on land and sea. It is believed to have range between 300-500 kilometers.
      1. Amid this, USA created Iran Action Group (IAG) to execute Its Iran strategy and pressure it to change its behaviors. USA recently withdrawn from Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (also known nuclear deal) signed between Iran and P5+1 countries (P5: China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States and +1: Germana) and European Union in Vienna (Austria) in July 2015.
    9. 2018 Global Liveability Index released by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) -
      1. Austrian capital Vienna ranked as world’s most liveable city among 140 major cities.
      2. Top 5 -
        1. Vienna (Austria)
        2. Melbourne (Australia)
        3. Osaka (Japan)
        4. Calgary (Canada)
        5. Sydney (Australia)
      3. Bottom 10 (Least Liveable) -
        1. Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea) (136th)
        2. Karachi (Pakistan) (137th)
        3. Lagos (Nigeria) (138th)
        4. Dhaka (Bangladesh) (139th)
        5. Damascus (Syria) (140th)
      4. No Indian cities were ranked in top ten or bottom ten of this edition of index. New Delhi ranked 112th and Mumbai ranked 117th position in list.
    10. Scientists developed Aerogel, a transparent heat-resistant super-insulating gel using beer waste. It may be used to build greenhouse-like habitats for human colonization on extraterrestrial habitats.
      1. Aerogels defining feature is air, as it comprise at least 90% gas by weight. Their thin films are made up of crisscrossing patterns of solid material that trap air inside billions of tiny pores, similar to bubbles in bubble wrap. This trapping capacity makes them good insulators.
      2. It could also be used on buildings on Earth to help make huge savings on energy costs. It enables to harvest sunlight through thermally-insulating material and store energy inside, protecting from big oscillations in temperature.
    11. Government appointed Ashish Kumar Bhutani as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), till May 2020.
      1. PMFBY was launched in 2016, replacing National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (MNAIS) and Modified National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (MNAIS).
      2. It aims to reduce premium burden on farmers and ensure early settlement of crop assurance claim for the full insured sum.
      3. Under this, farmers need to pay uniform premium of only 2% for all Kharif crops and 1.5% for all Rabi crops. In case of annual commercial and horticultural crops, farmers have to pay premium of only 5%. Balance premium will be paid by Government, without a limit on subsidy.
      4. It covers yield losses due to non-preventable risks including natural hazards.
    12. Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman approved procurement of 6 indigenously manufactured Next Generation Offshore Patrol Vessels (NGOPVs) for Indian Navy, to be built in India at approx 4941 crores.
    13. USA announced $39 million grant to Sri Lanka as part its foreign military financing to boost maritime security, as first US grant to Sri Lanka since 2009, after US stopped arms sales to Sri Lanka during its Tamil separatist war that ended in 2009.
    14. Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal delivered its final verdict to ending 50-year-old dispute over sharing of Mahadayi / Mandovi River between Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra.
      1. The tribunal was constituted in November 2010 under Interstate River Water Disputes Act 1956.
      2. About two-thirds (76 km) of Mahadayi’s 111-km stretch lies in Goa and remaining 35 km is in Karnataka and Maharashtra. Mahadayi River is lifeline of Goa because it is one of few sweet-water sources at state’s disposal (most of Goa’s 11 rivers contain salt water).
      3. Dispute -
        1. Sharing of waters of Mahadayi River was major cause of dispute between Karnataka and Goa. Karnataka wanted to divert excess water from Mahadayi river to Malaprabha river basin, as part of Kalasa-Banduri Nala project.
        2. Goa opposed Karnataka’s proposal, stating that its population is dependent on river’s natural path.
      4. Verdict -
        1. Tribunal pegged Karnataka’s access to 13.4 tmc of Mahadayi River water for its consumptive use (5.4 tmc) and power generation (8.02 tmc). Goa was allowed to use 24 tmc for state’s needs.
        2. Maharashtra was awarded lowest share of 1.33 tmc for meeting its in-basin needs with respect to five projects.
        3. Central Government will set up Mahadayi Water Management Authority to implement this decision.
    15. Israeli Navy will procure multi-purpose Barak 8 missile defence system, jointly developed by India and Israel.
      1. Barak-8 (Lightning 8 in Hebrew), also known as also known as LR-SAM / MR-SAM. Its Features include maximum speed of Mach 2 with maximum operational range of 70 km (increased to 100 km now).
      2. It has dual pulse rocket motor and Thrust vector control and possesses high degrees of maneuverability at target interception range.
    16. Banks Board Bureau (BBB) appointed two firms Egon Zehnder International and Hay Consultants to assist in developing strategies for top bank management.
      1. Egon Zehnder will design a flagship leadership development strategy for state-run banks in India.
      2. Hay Consultants will assess leadership competencies and potential capabilities of people appearing for post of whole time directors in state-run banks.
    17. Unique Identity Authority of India (UIDAI) announced phased roll-out of face recognition for carrying out Aadhaar authentication as an additional security layer, from September 15, 2018. It also announced new feature live face photo, as live feed of person facial features whose Aadhaar is submitted. It will be in addition to fingerprint or iris scans for Aadhaar authentication.
      1. It will curb possibility of fingerprint cloning or spoofing and also seeks to tighten audit process and security around issuance and activation of mobile SIMs.
    18. Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has set up a committee to suggest changes to JEE (Advanced),after inadequate number of candidates qualifying entrance test this year. It committee will be headed by IIT-Madras director Bhaskar Ramamurthy.
    19. Researchers from over 20 nations have first time have decoded wheat genome, with highest quality genome sequence generated to date for such wheat variety. Reference genome decoded covers 94% (14.5 Gb) of decoding of Chromosome 2A of wheat genome.
      1. It will help to identify genes controlling complex agronomic traits such as yield, grain quality, resistance to diseases and pests as well as tolerance to drought, heat, water logging and salinity.
      2. Availability of high quality reference genome will accelerate breeding of climate-resilient wheat varieties to feed ever-increasing world population and help address global food security in decades to come.
    20. Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI) asked insurers to cover mental illness under medical insurance policy from immediate effect, treating it at par with physical illness. It follows Mental Healthcare Act 2017 enacted by Parliament and came into force from May 2018.
  18. Aug 14, 2018
    1. NITI Aayog launched Pitch to MOVE mobility pitch competition, aiming to provide budding entrepreneurs a unique opportunity to pitch their business ideas to a distinguished jury. Winners will be felicitated during Global Mobility Summit to be held in New Delhi in September 2018.
      1. Pitch to MOVE aims to identify startups, which will help vision of Shared, Connected, Intermodal and Environment Friendly Mobility in India. It is available at
    2. Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu unveiled a new transaction structure for future greenfield airports proposed under NABH Nirmaan 2018, aimed at boosting investment in Indian aviation sector. 
      1. Maximum Blended Aeronautical Yield (MBAY) in terms of INR per passenger shall be pre-determined by Concessioning Authority at beginning of Concession Period.  It shall undergo adjustments to account for inflation and certain eventualities over Concession Period. MBAY for greenfield airports for FY 18-19 is proposed to be INR 400 per passenger.
      2. Concession Period is proposed to be 40 years.  Base rate of MBAY and Concession Fee shall be indexed to 50% of inflation. 
      3. Once in 5 years, Concessionaire shall propose base rate of MBAY for the next 5 years.   
      4. Quality assurance -
        1. Regulator may formulate the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for greenfield airports and modify them once every 5 years.
        2. Every greenfield airport shall constitute a Airport User Consultative Committee (AUCC).
        3. AUCC may recommend change in MBAY to Regulator (limited to 10%) based on Concessionaire’s performance.
      5. Benefits of new approach -
        1. Future airports will be simple and cost-efficient.  There will be no incentive to enhance Capex and Opex to demand higher tariffs.  The era of high revenue share (30-50 5) for Concessioning Authority may end.  It will bring down cost to passengers. It will attract more investors and funding institutions into airports.
    3. Madhya Pradesh Governmet announced to observe August 14 eyery year as Shahid Samman Divas. State Govt. also launched Dial 100 Mobile app, to help needy at the time of emergency.
    4. Ramesh Powar has been named as head coach of Indian women’s cricket team till 2018 ICC Women's World Twenty20 to be hosted by West Indies in November 2018.
    5. Oil and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan launched Odia edition of book ‘Exam Warriors’ written by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Bhubaneswar (Odisha).
    6. 24th World Congress of Philosophy (WCP) held in Beijing (China), organized by International Federation of Philosophical Societies, and Peking University. Theme of this quinquennial (once in five year) event was Learning To Be Human.
    7. India’s wealthiest women list 2018 by Kotak Wealth-Hurun -
      1. Smitha Crishna, 3rd generation heir of Godrej Empire, topped the list with estimated net worth approx USD 6 Billion.
      2. Roshni Nadar (HCL) ranks second with approx 5 Billion USD. Indu Jain of BCCL and Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw are ranked 3rd and 4th in list.
      3. Hurun Global Rich List 2018 has 404 women, of which 14 are from India.
    8. Three US scientists James Allison, Carl June and Steven Rosenberg are declared winners of 2018 Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research.
    9. Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has been re-elected as President of Mali (West Africa) for 5 year term.
    10. Hollywood Actress Scarlett Johansson named best-paid actress in world with USD 40.5 million, by Forbes magazine.
      1. 2nd place is held by Angelina Jolie (US) with earnings of 28 Million USD, while Jennifer Aniston (US) named 3rd with earnings of 19.5 Million USD.
  19. Aug 13, 2018
    1. USA's National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) launched Parker Solar Probe, a $1.5 billion spacecraft, aimed at looking after several factors of sun which are crucial to protect Earth by unveiling mysteries of dangerous solar storms.
      1. It is Humanity's first-ever mission to Touch the Sun. It will fly through Sun’s atmosphere as close as 3.8 million miles from its surface, much closer than any spacecraft has come before.
      2. Parker Solar Probe launched aboard a Delta IV-Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral (USA).
      3. It will use Venus’ gravity during seven flybys over nearly seven years to gradually bring its orbit closer to Sun. Earth’s average distance to Sun is 93 million miles.
      4. Why wont it Melt -
        1. Parker Solar Probe will provide unprecedented observations of what drives the wide range of particles, energy and heat that course through Sun's Corona, which has temparature of approx 6000 Degrees and sends particles outward into solar system.
        2. Parker Solar Probe has can withstand extreme temperature and fluctuations, with its custom heat shield that helps protect mission it from Sun’s intense light emission.
        3. The key Lies in concept of heat versus temperature -
          1. High temperatures do not always translate to actually heating another object. In space, temperature can be thousands of degrees without providing significant heat to a given object or feeling hot, as Temperature measures how fast particles are moving, whereas heat measures total amount of energy they transfer.
          2. Particles may be moving fast (high temperature), but if there are very few of them, they won’t transfer much energy (low heat). Since space is mostly empty, there are very few particles that can transfer energy to spacecraft.
          3. Sun's Corona has an extremely high temperature but very low density, so spacecraft interacts with fewer hot particles and doesn’t receive as much heat.
          4. It Means that while Parker Solar Probe will be travelling through space with temperatures of several million degrees, surface of heat shield that faces the Sun will only get heated to about 1,400 degrees Celsius. Shild uses a Thermal Protection System, (8 feet (2.4 meters) in diameter and 4.5 inches (about 115 mm) thick), allowing the other side of shield, the spacecraft body to be at comfortable 30 C.
      5. Other Facts about mission -
        1. Naming - Eugene Newman Parker is person on whose name the Mission is named. In mid 1950s, he proposed a number of concepts about how stars — including our sun — give off energy. He called this cascade of energy the solar wind.
        2. Cost is approx $1.5 Billion USD.
        3. In its seven-year mission, Probe will make six more Venus flybys and 24 total passes by Sun, journeying steadily closer to Sun until it makes its closest approach at 3.8 million miles (6.16 million km ).  It will be moving at roughly 430000 miles per hour, setting record of being the fastest human-made object ever. 
        4. It is expected to transmit its first science observations in December 2018.
    2. Jammu will be the first city in north India to get a full-fledged space technology research centre devoted to research, academics and post-graduation degree course. It will function under Central University Jammu.
    3. India's Subrata Dutta is elected as vice president of newly formed South West Asian Football Federation (SWAFF).
    4. Digital payments firm Paytm acquired Bengaluru-based savings management firm Balance Technology, for approx 12 Crores INR, to enhance its user and merchant interfaces with customised and intuitive user experiences.
    5. Indian government extended e-visa facility for citizens of 165 countries at 25 airports and five seaports, to promote tourism.
    6. Maldives asked India to withdraw its military helicopters and around 50 personnel stationed there, after expiry of an agreement in June.
    7. Gurugram (Haryana) is named India’s most polluted city, in Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)’s Air quality index (AQI). 6 cities have been marked as ‘Poor’, 1 City (Gurugram) has been marked as ‘Very Poor’, 2 cities has been marked as ‘Good’, 26 cities marked as ‘Satisfactory’ and 27 cities as ‘Moderate’.
    8. ITF men’s Futures Men's tennis tournament (Indonesia) -
      1. Singles - Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha (IND) 
      2. Doubles - Justin Barki (Indonesia) AND Christopher Rungkat (Indonesia)
    9. 2018 Vietnam Open (Badminton) -
      1. Men's Singles - Shesar Hiren Rhustavito (Indonesia)
      2. Women's Singles - Yeo Jia Min (Singapore)
      3. Men's Doubles - South Korea's Ko Sung-hyun AND Shin Baek-cheol
      4. Women's Doubles - Japan's Misato Aratama AND Akane Watanabe
  20. Aug 12, 2018
    1. Aug 12 - International Youth Day. 2018 theme is Safe Spaces for Youth. It is also observed as World Elephant Day.
    2. 2018 Rogers Cup Tennis (Toronto (Canada)) -
      1. Men's Singles - Rafael Nadal (Spain)
      2. Women's Singles - Simona Halep (Romania)
      3. Men's Doubles - Henri Kontinen (Finland) AND John Peers (Australia)
      4. Women's Doubles - Ashleigh Barty (Australia) AND Demi Schuurs (Netherlands)
    3. Haryana Govt. launched an online portal for releasing grant-in-aid to government departments. It will make budgetary process more transparent and enhance working efficiency of finance department officials.
    4. Uttarakhand Govt. approved revised policy on adventure sports -
      1. Imposed total ban on smoking and substance abuse by enthusiasts when they perform rafting, kayaking or canoeing in Uttarakhand. Minimum qualification has been fixed for raft operators.
    5. Punjab government started a ‘Tatkal sewa’ for property registration across the state. Under this, people can seek appointment for ‘tatkal’ (instant) registration for properties for an hour-long slot from 9 am to 10 am, with facilitation charges INR 5000.
    6. Chhattisgarh became first state to provide Right to Skills’ Development to the youth, flagging off 15 Skill Chariots to launch government’s ‘Skills on Wheels’ project.
    7. Survey conducted by UK-based YouGov named SBI as most patriotic brand in India, after surveying covered 152 brands across 11 categories.
    8. Annie Zaidi won Hindu Playwright Award 2018 for her play Untitled-1, during 14th The Hindu Theatre Fest in Chennai.
  21. Aug 11, 2018
    1. According to International Monetary Fund (IMF), Macau in China would overtake oil-rich Qatar with highest per-capita gross domestic product of any country or jurisdiction on earth, by 2020. Macau is only place in China where casinos are legal and its gross domestic product has more than tripled from about $34,500 per capita in 2001.
    2. Hardeep S Puri, Minister of State (I/C), Housing & Urban Affairs launched several entities -
      1. Swachh Survekshan 2019 - Planned to be conducted from 4th – 31st January 2019 – to rank all cities under Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U). This will be the fourth survey of MoHUA.
      2. SBM ODF Plus and ODF Plus Plus Protocol - Aims at addressing issue of holistic sanitation.
      3. Swachh Manch web portal
      4. Ease of Living Index (111 Cities) -
        1. Maharashtra Cities at Top 3 - Pune (1), Navi Mumbai (2), Greater Mumbai (3). Others in Top 10 - Tirupati, Chandigarh, Thane, Raipur, Indore, Vijaywada and Bhopal.
        2. West Bengal refused to participate in Centre’s rankings, just as it has done with all other urban schemes.
        3. Last 3 - Rampur (UP - 111), Kohima (Nagaland - 110), Patna (109).
    3. World Bank mandated Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) to issue world’s first blockchain-based bond. The Kangaroo bond, referring to foreign bonds issued in Australia in local currency, has been named bond-i, an acronym standing for Blockchain Offered New Debt Instrument. (It’s also a reference to Bondi Beach, an iconic spot in Sydney).
      1. Bond-I is Ethereum blockchain bond denominated in Australian dollars, making it Kangaroo bond (referring to foreign bonds issued in Australia in local currency).
    4. Delhi Police inducted India’s first all-woman Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team for anti-terrorist operations.
    5. Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will stop free travel insurance starting September 1 and free insurance will be optional.
      1. Insurance provided by IRCTC had a maximum cover of 10 lakh in case of a person’s death during a train journey, 7.5 lakh if a person is disabled due to an accident, 2 lakh if injured and 10000 for transportation of mortal remains.
    6. Supreme Court approved issuing hologram-based coloured stickers for vehicles in Delhi based on the fuel used. While petrol and CNG vehicles will need to have a blue sticker, diesel vehicles must carry an orange one. This is aimed at better tackling of air pollution-related issues in Delhi.
    7. India handed over 404 houses built for Indian-origin people in Sri Lanka’s tea plantation areas at Dunsinane Estate in Nuwara Eliya city, as first lot of houses built under Indian Housing Project in Plantation Areas in Sri Lanka.
    8. National Wildlife Genetic Resource Bank inaugurated at Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology’s (CCMB) Laboratory of Conservation of Endangered Species (LaCONES) facility in Hyderabad (Telanagana), as India’s first genetic resource bank where genetic material will be stored for posterity which will further the cause of conservation of endangered and protected animals.
      1. It is equipped with sophisticated equipment to preserve the genetic resources that could be utilised to virtually resurrect an animal species in case it goes extinct. It will cryopreserve living cell lines, gametes and embryos of endangered wild animal species in India.
    9. Civil Aviation Ministry approved setting up water aerodromes in Odisha, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Assam. In first phase of the project, Chilka Lake (Odisha), Sabarmati River Front and Sardar Sarovar Dam (Gujarat) have been identified for the development of such facilities.
      1. Airdrome is location from which aircraft flight operations take place, regardless of whether they involve air cargo, passengers. The development of aerodromes projects in India will pave way for operation of amphibian planes (both in land and water) to enhance air connectivity.
    10. Maharashtra Government announced 500 crores for OBCs in Maharashtra, to help OBC community develop employment opportunities.
    11. Project Development of North East Circuit: Imphal & Khongjom inaugurated under Swadesh Darshan Scheme of Ministry of Tourism. The project covers two sites i.e. Kangla Fort and Khongjom.
      1. Swadesh Darshan scheme was launched in 2014 -15,with 70 projects sanctioned as on date.
      2. Kangla Fort is one of most important historic and archaeological site of Manipur located in the heart of the Imphal city.  It served as the seat of Manipur’s power till 1891.
      3. Khongjom is place where the last war of resistance of Anglo Manipur War of 1891 was fought.
    12. Andhra Pradesh Government signed an MoU with electronics company Holytech, to set up Holytech' plant in 75 acres land in Tirupati and Chittoor districts. This first-of-its-kind facility in India will create 6000 direct job opportunities.
  22. Aug 10, 2018 -
    1. Aug 10 - World Biofuel Day. On this day in 1893, Sir Rudalph Diesel (inventor of diesel engine) successfully ran mechanical engine with Peanut Oil. His research experiment predicted that vegetable oil may replace fossil fuels in next century to fuel different mechanical engines.
      1. On this occasion, PM Narendra Modi launched PARIVESH (Pro-Active and Responsive facilitation by Interactive, Virtuous and Environmental Single-window Hub), as a Single-Window Integrated Environmental Management System.
    2. Supreme Court adjourned till end of August 2018, the hearing on pleas challenging Constitutional validity of Article 35A, pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).  Article 35A and controversy regarding it -
      1. Article 35A ppears in Constitution as an appendix and not as an amendment. In 2014, an NGO ‘We the Citizens’ filed a writ petition in Supreme Court seeking striking down of Article 35A as it was not added to Constitution through stated procedure. Hence, it lacks parliamentary sanction. In 2017, two Kashmiri women filed another case in Supreme Court against Article 35A for its discrimination against J&K women.
      2. This led to an uproar in Kashmir. Political Parties and peopel of J & K are warning to trigger an explosive situation in J&K, if Article 35A is scrapped.
      3. About Article 35A -
        1. It was added to Constitution (Appendix II) through Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order 1954, issued by then President Rajendra Prasad on May 14, 1954.
        2. Presidential Order of 1954 provided framework for division of powers between J&K and Union Government under Article 370.
        3. If Supreme Court strikes down Article 35A, it will have serious impact on all subsequent Presidential Orders.
        4. Article 370 accords special status to Jammu and Kashmir and acts like a bridge between Indian Constitution and Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir.
        5. Its Origin dates back to 1927 when the Dogras from Jammu approached Maharaja Hari Singh fearing that arrival of people from Punjab will lead to their control in government services. These fears led to issuance of a separate notification by maharaja in 1927 and 1932 which defined the state subjects and their rights.
        6. J&K Constitution, framed in 1956, retained Maharaja's definition of permanent residents of state.
        7. J&K constitution defined a permanent resident as a person who was born or settled in J&K before 1911 or has been resident in the state for 10 years after lawfully acquiring property in state.
        8. Under Article 35A, emigrants from J&K, including those who migrated to Pakistan, are considered state residents. The descendants of emigrants are considered state subjects for two generations.
        9. It prohibits non-permanent residents from acquiring immovable property, government jobs, scholarships and aid in the state.
    3. Visits From India (Aug 1 - 10, 2018) -
      1. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj visited 3 central Asian nations - Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan AND Uzbekistan.
    4. Visits to India (Aug 1 - 10, 2018) -
      1. Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces, President-elect of 73rd United Nations General Assembly visited India.
    5. General Conferences (Aug 1 - 10, 2018) -
      1. President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated One District One Product Summit in Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh). Amazon partnered with UP government to provide support MSME entrepreneurs across nine districts, under ODOP Scheme. This will be a part of Amazon India’s Kala Haat programme which aims to help traditional industries to enter in to ecommerce business.
      2. NITI Aayog’s International Conference on “Sustainable Growth through Material Recycling: Policy Prescriptions” Held in New Delhi.
      3. 17th Indo-US Military Cooperation Meeting held in New Delhi
      4. 51st ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Foreign Ministers meeting Held in Singapore.
      5. Telangana Govt. signed MoU with It Firm Tech Mahindra to launch India’s first Blockchain district, during International Blockchain Congress 2018 in Hyderabad. It will be centre of excellence, incubator and process development for emerging technology with innovative infrastructure and facilities to foster growth of Indian blockchain start-ups and companies.
      6. Startup India Yatra launched in Raipur (capital of Chattisgarh), to travel to other cities of state over coming month.
      7. Bridging Japan and India by Bamboo event held in Tripura, with Japan committing to assist in Bamboo handicraft sector of Tripura.
      8. 5th Act East Business Show -2018 held in Shillong (Meghalaya).
      9. First-ever festival for insects that help maintain ecosystem is organized jointly by WWF (World Wide Fund) India and Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS).
      10. Govt. inaugurated an exhibition entitled Pratibandhit Sahitya mein Swatantrata Sangram (Freedom Movement through Prescribed Literature) in National Archives of India (New Delhi).
      11. NITI Aayog hosted an Investors’ Conference in New Delhi, for Holistic Development of Islands. It will attract investment for sustainable development of eco-tourism projects in Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands.
      12. Hardeep S Puri, Minister of State (I/C) for Housing and Urban Affairs launched official trailer for film Halkaa, under Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) in partnership with New Delhi Municipal Council, set to release on Sep 05.
      13. All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) signed MoU with IIT Delhi to boost research in traditional medicine and streamline hospital care facilities. It was signed at two-day conference of heads of AYUSH National Institutes organised by All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) in New Delhi, aimed at upgrading national institutes of traditional medicine at par with IITs and IIMs.
    6. A new Clot buster, PEGylated Streptokinase - a Novel Biological Entity developed by CSIR (Council of Scientific & Industrial Research) has been developed, to revolutionize treatment of ischemic strokes, a condition caused by a dysfunction in the supply of blood to the brain. Prevalence of stroke is much higher in India than West and about 87% of all strokes are ischemic strokes.
      1. CSIR-IMTECH and Epygen Biotech Mumbai signed an agreement to develop PEGylated Streptokinase for treatment of Ischemic Stroke.
      2. PEGylated Streptokinase (novel recombinant protein Thrombolytic molecule) is engineered for enhanced proteolytic stability and extended plasma half-life, with reduced immuno-reactivity which would have significant clinical advantages.
    7. Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) discovered an invasive agricultural pest Fall Armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) in Karnataka. A major maize pest in North America, Fall Armyworm arrived in Africa in 2016. The pest feeds on around 100 different crops, such as vegetables, rice, and sugarcane and it spreads in no time. Karnataka finding is the first report of the pest in Asia.
    8. Government has announced 50% reservation for women in upcoming recruitment of 9500-10000 jawans for Railway Protection Force (RPF).
    9. IFFCO signed joint venture with Spainish Firm Congelados De Navarra (pioneer in quick frozen (IQF) technology) to set up food processing plant at Ludhiana in Punjab with an investment of Rs 325 crores, to foray into food processing sector. In JV, IFFCO will have 30% stake.
    10. Government unlocked green funds worth over Rs 66,000 crore to increase the country’s forest cover, as an accumulated amount, deposited by user agencies as compensation for diverting forest land for non-forest purposes, since past 10 years. 
      1. 80 % of this green fund will be utilised by the states for green activities listed under 13 permissible activities. 
      2. Remaining 20 % will be used for 11 listed works to strengthen forest and wildlife protection related infrastructure.
      3. According to India State of Forest Report (SFR) 2017, India posted a marginal 0.21 % rise in area under forest between 2015 and 2017. India has about 7, 08,273 sq kms of forest, which is 21.53 % of its geographical area, aimed to increase it to at least 33 %.
    11. Railways released report on Station Cleanliness conducted by Quality Council of India (QCI) -
      1. A1 category stations (out of 75) - Jodhpur (NWR), Jaipur (NWR), Tirupati (SCR).
      2. A category stations (out of 332) - Marwar (NWR), Phulera (NWR), Warangal (SCR)
      3. Zonal Railway rankings are - North Western Railway, South Central Railway AND East Coast Railway.
    12. Digital North East Vision 2022 was released in Guwahati, Assam by Ravi Shankar Prasad (Minister for Electronics & Information Technology), along with First electronics manufacturing cluster in northeastern region in Guwahati.
      1. It identifies eight areas namely, Digital Infrastructure, Digital services, Promotion of Electronics Manufacturing, Digital empowerment, Promotion of IT and ITes including BPOs, Digital Payments, Innovation & Startups and Cyber security.
      2. Under Digital North East, government will invest nearly 10,000 crore over 4 years to implement over 400 projects.
    13. Israel opened a Visa Application Centre in Kolkata for tourists from West Bengal and the northeastern states to encourage more Indian travelers to visit Israel. It also reduced visa fees to INR 1,100 rupees from 1,700 charged from Indians.
    14. Justice Manjula Chellur appointed as Chairperson of Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (Ministry of Power).
    15. Exim Bank of India signed cooperation agreement with member development banks of BRICS to undertake “collaborative research” in distributed ledger/blockchain technology.
  23. Aug 09, 2018
    1. Aug 9 - International Day of World's Indigenous Peoples. 2018 theme is Indigenous peoples’ migration and movement. Also, United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) through its Resolution on ‘Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ proclaimed 2019 as International Year of Indigenous Languages.
    2. Cabinet Approvals (Aug 09, 2018) -
      1. General Approvals -
        1. Approved extension of term of Commission to examine issue of Sub-categorization of Other Backward Classes in Central List till November 2018.
        2. Approved raising 4 additional battalions of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), at estimated cost of 637 crores. These will initially be raised as 2 battalions in Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and 1 battalion each in Border Security Force (BSF) and Assam Rifles (ARs). Later these battalions will be converted into NDRF battalions and will be placed in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi National Capital Region.
      2. MOUs -
        1. Indonesia - cooperation in health and Scientce sector.
        2. MoU between Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada).
        3. Korea - Trade Remedy Cooperation.
        4. Approved Joint issue of Postage Stamps on India-South Africa on theme 20 Years of Strategic Partnership.
      3. CCEA Approvals -
        1. Approved release of pulses to States/UTs at discounted rate to be utilized for various Welfare Schemes from stock of pulses procured under Price Support Schemes (PSS), to enable States/UTs to use pulses in various Welfare Schemes like PDS, Mid-Day Meal Scheme etc.  
          1. States/UT can lift 34.88 lakh MT of Tur, Chana, Masoor, Moong and Urad at discount of 15 per Kg over prevailing wholesale market price of sourcing state. Government will spend 5237 crores for its implementation.
        2. Approved construction of 6.930 km long 4-lane bridge at Kosi River in Phulaut (Bihar), to be completed by June 2022. It will fill 10 km long missing link between Phulaut and Bihpur on NH-106, to bring down journey between 2 places to 12 KM, from 72 KM Currenty.
        3. Approved revision of Post Matric Scholarship for Other Backward Classes Students for studying in India scheme for upto 2019-20. Revisions include - Annual parental income will be increased from Rs. One Lakh to Rs. 1.5 lakh, 30% of funds allocated earmarked for girl students and 5% for students with disabilities.
        4. Approved continuation of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) beyond 12th Five Year Plan period ((2012–2017)). It will help in connecting 38,412 habitations at estimated cost of Rs. 84,934 crore.
          1. Initially targets of PMGSY were to be achieved by March 2022, however, sunset date of achievement of PMGSY-I was pre-poned to March 2019, with changed funding pattern in ratio of 60:40 between Centre and States (90:10 for 8 North Eastern and 3 Himalayan States)
          2. PMGSY-II and habitations under identified LWE blocks (100-249 population) covered by March 2020. Under, PMGSY-II, against target length of 50,000 km works of upgradation almost 32,100 km road length have been sanctioned in 13 states, which have transited to PMGSY-II. 12,000 km road length has been completed up to March, 2018 against the sanctions issued.
    3. Various Welfare schemes for North eastern Region -
      1. North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme (NESIDS) - It is a 100% Central Sector Scheme to be implemented till March 2020, with sum of 1600 crores.
      2. Schemes of North Eastern Council (NEC) and North East Road Sector Development Scheme (NERSDS) - With total cost of 4500 crore for upto 2019-20.
      3. North East Venture Fund (NEVF), set up by North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd. (NEDFi), with capital commitment of 100 crores. Out of this, 25 crores has been committed by Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI).
    4. Google's latest Android operating system update, Android 9 Pie has been officially released. It introduces a new gesture-based system interface that's similar to the interface of iPhone X.
    5. Pacific Endeavor-2018, a communication exercise under Multinational Communications Interoperability Program (MCIP) began in Kathmandu (Nepal). It aims to develop common communications operating procedures to enable military forces in Asia Pacific region to collectively work in wake of disaster. It is jointly organised by Nepali Army and United States Pacific Command.
    6. Saudi Arabia freezed all new trade and investment with Canada over its interference in its internal affairs. Saudi foreign ministry expelled Canadian ambassador and recalled its own envoy in Canada.
    7. Italian motorcycle-maker Benelli signed MoU with Telangana government and Adishwar Auto Ride International (AARI) for setting a manufacturing facility.
    8. PayU India signed partnership with Reliance Money, to offer instant app-based personal loans, via LazyPay. Loan amount will be between INR 10 - 100000.
    9. Pakistan and Russia signed contract on admission of service members of Pakistan in Russia’s Military Training Institutes. This will be for first time, Pakistani soldiers will undergo training at Russian military institutes.
    10. Ministry of HRD has launched a Project called Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds (SWAYAM), as an integrated platform and portal for online courses. It aims to ensure that every student has access to best quality higher education at affordable cost.
    11. Google launched a new video-based Q&A app called 'Cameos', which allows people to answer questions about themselves, then share those answers directly on Google. It is aimed at celebrities and other public figures, who are often subject of people’s Google searches.
    12. Digital payments platform PayPal tied up with HDFC Bank to offer more efficient payment experiences for bank's cardholders.
    13. Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) launched a new digital platform 'MyDeal' to simplify capital raising process through capital markets by providing real-time access to information such as investors' feedback, profiles, client orders and deal pricing.
    14. Axis bank become first bank in India to introduce Iris Scan Authentication feature for Aadhaar -based transactions through its micro ATM tablets. This is being run as a pilot project in 8 branches of rural Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.
    15. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and UP CM Yogi Adityanath launched a defence industrial corridor in Aligarh (Uttar Pradesh), as part of government’s efforts to develop specialised zones dedicated to defence production in state. Six nodal points, Agra, Aligarh, Lucknow, Kanpur, Chitrakoot and Jhansi have been identified in state for corridor. Another defence corridor is wet to launch in Tamil Nadu.
    16. US Defence Department will create a Space Force as 6th branch of military by 2020.
    17. As per RBI, Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu together received nearly 60% of total remittances in 2016-17. UAE emerged as top source of remittances with a share of 26.9%, followed by US (22.9%), Saudi Arabia (11.6%), Qatar (6.5%) and Kuwait (5.5%).
    18. Santali has become the first Indian tribal language to get a Wikipedia edition in its own script after. Santali is written in Ol Chiki script and spoken by 6.4 million people in India.
    19. Polish-born scientist Marie Curie (first to win two Nobel Prizes) has topped a BBC History magazine poll, which listed “100 women who changed the world”. Former Indian PM Indira Gandhi ranked 49th. The list also feaured Indian poet Sarojini Naidu.
    20. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)'s heaviest satellite so far - GSAT-11 (weighing over 5700 kg), will take off a spaceport in French Guiana on 30 November. GSAT-11 is capable of providing high bandwidth connectivity with up to 14 GB per second data transfer speed.
      1. ISRO will also launch incubators across India to support startups working on building newer solutions in rocketry, communication satellites and applications based on remote sensing data.
  24. Aug 08, 2018
    1. Government stated that Non-Resident Indians (NRI) cannot file Right to Information (RTI) applications to seek governance-related information from Central government departments, under RTI Act 2005.
    2. Aug 8 - Anniversary of Quit India movement. On this day in 1942, M K Gandhi gave clarion call of Do or Die to all Indians to drive away Britishers from country.
    3. Rekha Sharma has been appointed as chairperson of National Commission for Women (NCW).
    4. Delhi High Court declared several sections of Bombay Prevention of Begging Act 1959 which have been extended to Delhi, as unconstitutional. With this, it struck down legal provision criminalising begging in Delhi, in response to PILs arguing that poverty can never be crime and if a person is destitute and begs for living, such person cannot be treated as criminal.
    5. Ram Sewak Sharma has been reappointed as chairperson of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for upto September 2020.
    6. Researchers from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras developed first of family of six industry-standard microprocessors under Project Shakti. The initial batch of 300 chips have been named RISECREEK and have been fabricated at Intel’s facility at Oregon, US for free to run Linux operating system.
    7. Supreme Court approved draft Constitution of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) -
      1. Granted full permanent membership to Railways, Tri-Services, and Association of Indian Universities.
      2. It restored voting rights of the cricket associations of Gujarat and Maharashtra.
      3. It also agreed for One State, One Vote policy, that was recommended by R.M. Lodha Committee, formed in January 2015 after Mukul Mudgal Committee report that called for reforms within BCCI.
    8. Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (Ministry of Tribal Affairs) signed MoU with National Medicinal Plants Board (Ministry of AYUSH), to promote Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAPs) forest produce for livelihood development of tribal people through promotion of primary level value addition to MAPs produce from forest area at grassroots level.
    9. United Nations appointed former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet ad UN’s new human rights chief.
    10. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) integrated TRAI Mobile Apps namely DND 2.0 and MyCall with UMANG Platform, With a view to increase reachability and facilitate citizens.
  25. Aug 07, 2018
    1. Aug 7, 2018 - 4th National Handloom Day in India.
    2. FCI Aravali Gypsum and Minerals India Limited (FAGMIL), a CPSU under Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers received approval from Government of Himachal Pradesh for setting up of White Cement Plant to cater to demand of white cement in North India. It will be first PSU white cement plant in India. Installed capacity of Plant will be 1000 TPD.
    3. Minister of Commerce & Industry and Aviation Suresh Prabhu launched Niryat Mitra mobile App, developed by Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO). It provides wide range of information required to undertake international trade, Including policy provisions for export and import, GST rate, available export incentives, preferential tariff, market access requirements – SPS and TBT measures. All information is available at tariff line.
      1. It maps ITC HS code of other countries with that of India and provides all required data without users bothering about HS code of any country. Presently app comes with data of 87 countries.
    4. Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve became 11th Biosphere Reserve from India, to be included in UNESCO designated World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR), during 30th Session of Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme of UNESCO held at Palembang (Indonesia).
      1. India has 18 Biosphere Reserves, with 11 internationally designated WNBR now with this Inclusion.
      2. Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve (Sikkim) reaching elevations of 1220 metres above sea-level.
      3. Khangchendzonga National Park was designated a World Heritage Site in 2016 under ‘mixed’ category.
      4. Over 118 species of large number of medicinal plants found in Dzongu Valley in north Sikkim are of ethno-medical utility.
    5. Shri Harivansh has been elected as Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha. Note that Vice president of India (Currently Venkaiah Naidu) is Chairman of Rajya Sabha.
    6. 3 New Books released -
      1. Jewellery - Gulab Kothari
      2. Ghats of Banaras - Sachidanand Joshi
      3. Untold Story of Broadcasting - Gautam Chatterjee.
    7. Jammu and Kashmir Government formaed a committee to review security of protected persons in state.
    8. Public sector banks’ non-performing assets declined by Rs 1,28,229 crore in FY18 due to write-offs. This is about 60 % higher than the settlement an year ago.
    9. Persons Resigned / Retired -
      1. Mario Gomez - Noted German Footballer.
      2. David Silva and Gerard Pique - Spanish Footballers.
      3. Paresh Sukthankar - HDFC Bank Deputy Managing Director.
      4. Sriram Kalyanaraman - National Housing Bank (NHB) Managing Director.
      5. MD Ranganath - Infosys’ Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
      6. Mitchell Johnson - Australian cricketer.
      7. Usha Ananthasubramanian - Fired on her last day in office as Allahabad Bank’s MD and CEO, in relation to PNB scam.
      8. Jhulan Goswami - Indian women Cricketer (from T20 Internationals).
      9. Subramaniam Badrinath - Indian Cricketer
    10. S Gurumurthy & Satish Marathe are appointed as part-time directors of Reserve Bank of India, for 4 year terms.
    11. RBI paid INR 50000 crores as dividend to Govt for last fiscal (FY 2017-18), 63% more than previous year's 30659 crores (FY 2016-17).
    12. Book Bebak Baat, authored by Vijay Goel (Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Statistics & Programme Implementation) has been released.
    13. Ivan Duque has been appointed as new President of Colombia (South America).
    14. Southern Naval Command Operation Madad for assisting the state administration and undertaking disaster relief operations in Kerala, after unprecedented flooding in many parts of state. Indian Army also launched Operation Sahyog for helping dstressed people in Kerala.
    15. According to a recent study, earth may enter an irreversible hothouse condition, with global temperatures rising by 4 - 5 degrees and sea levels rising 10 - 60 metres, even if targets under 2015 Paris climate deal are met.
      1. Currently, global average temperatures are just over 1 degree Celsius above pre-industrial and rising at 0.17 degree Celsius per decade.
      2. Keeping global warming to within 1.5-2 degrees Celsius as agreed in 2015 Paris climate agreement by around 200 countries.
    16. Home Ministry excluded 29 inhabited islands in Andaman and Nicobar from Restricted Area Permit (RAP) regime under the Foreigners (Restricted Areas) Order 1963, till December 2022., to promote tourism. However, citizens of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan and foreign nationals having their origin in these countries will continue to require RAP to visit here.
      1. Under RAP regime, foreigners are not normally allowed to visit protected area unless Government allows them. Every foreigner, except citizen of Bhutan, who desires to enter protected area, is required to obtain special permit from competent authority.
      2. Citizens of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan and foreign nationals of Pakistani origin are exception and are not allowed to enter such areas.
    17. Government doubled import duties on 328 textile products to 20% from existing 10%, to promote domestic manufacturers as imported products are currently cheaper.
    18. Government, NABARD and National Water Development Agency (NWDA) signed revised Agreement funding of central share of 99 prioritized irrigation projects under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) through Long Term Irrigation Fund (LTIF).
    19. State Bank of India (SBI) launched its Multi Option Payment Acceptance Device (MOPAD), aimed at providing digital convenience to customers and ease of doing business for merchants. MOPAD also aims at providing convenience to merchants by eliminating multiple machines that they keep in order to facilitate transaction from different sources.
    20. NITI Aayog and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) signed 3 year partnership on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), seeking to develop vision and action agenda for businesses and industries to contribute to SDGs. It was signed during Government and Business Partnership Conclave, jointly organised by NITI Aayog, CII and United Nations.
  26. Aug 06, 2018
    1. August 6 - Hiroshima Day. On this day in 1945, US dropped first atomic bomb nicknamed ‘Little Boy’ ever used in military combat on Hiroshima (Japan).
    2. NITI Aayog identified 117 districts as Aspirational Districts, for 2nd phase of Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), in which central assistance is provided for opening of new Model Degree Colleges(MDCs) in ‘Aspirational Districts. During first phase of RUSA, central assistance to States has been provided for creation of one Model Degree College each in 60 Educationally Backward Districts.
    3. Road and Transport Minister Gadkari launched Bidder Information Management System (BIMS), Bhoomi Rashi and PFMS linkage Initiatives of Ministry. Also, Annual Awards for Excellence in National Highways Projects were institutes, to be given from this yearonwards.
      1. BIMS aims at streamlining process of pre-qualification of bidders for EPC Mode of contracts for National Highway works with enhanced transparency and objectivity. The portal will work as a data base of information about bidders, covering basic details, civil works experience, cash accruals and network, annual turnover etc.
      2. Bhoomi Rashi portal comprises entire revenue data of country, including all 6.4 lakh villages. It has been instrumental in reducing time taken for approval and publication of notifications pertaining to land acquisition.
      3. Integration of Public Financial Management System (PFMS) with Bhoomi Rashi is one of the key functionalities to facilitate payment related to compensation for land acquisition to all the beneficiaries directly through the Bhoomi Rashi system.
    4. President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated ‘Festival of Democracy’ in Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala), to mark diamond jubilee (60 years) celebrations of Kerala legislative assembly.
    5. Government constituted Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu, to advise Prime Minister on whether to continue or withdraw from 16-member Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations.
    6. Telangana government launched first-of-its-kind life insurance programme worth Rs 5 lakh for farmers in state, called Rythu Bandhu Life Insurace Bonds, with cost approx 650 Crores. Insurance amount will be given to farmer’s family within 10 days, in case of death of Farmer. Some Limitations -
      1. It is limited to farmers aged 18 - 60 years.
      2. Limited to landowners who received monetary assistance of Rs 4000 from the state government to bear farming costs under the ‘Rythu Bandhu’ programme earlier this year.
      3. Tenant farmers have been left out of it.
    7. World's first-ever thermal battery plant will be set up in Andhra Pradesh, by Bharat Energy Storage Technology Private Limited (BEST). First-of-its-kind batteries will aim to boost renewable sources of energy production and reduce dependence on non-renewable fossil fuel-based energy generation.
      1. In first phase, batteries suited for telecommunications, mini or microgrids and electric buses would be manufactured. Batteries will run for up to 800kms on a single charge.
      2. Thermal plant is expected to start commercial operations by May 2019.
    8. Bihar Govt. launched girl child welfare scheme Mukhyamantri Kanya Utthan Yojana. It will provide 54100 for a girl child from her birth until she graduates. It will be run by three departments namely education, health and social welfare. Also, State Govt. raised amount under Bicycle Yojna from 2500 to 3000.
    9. National Green Tribunal (NGT) formed a committee to oversee the rejuvenation work of river Ganga, to be headed by a former Allahabad high court judge, who will be nominated by current chief justice of Allahabad high court (Dilip Babasaheb Bhosale currently). NGT also formed a committee to look into whether sub regional plans for protection of Natural Conservation Zones (NCZs).
    10. China successfully tested its first hypersonic aircraft called Xingkong-2 Starry Sky-2, capable of flying at speed 5 - 6 times that of Sound. It attained top speed of 4563 miles (7344 kilometers) per hour (speed of sound is 1235 km/h). It is difficult to trace this spacecraft due to its excessive speed.
    11. 2018 Los Cabos Men's Tennis Open -
      1. Singles - Fabio Fognini (Italy)
      2. Doubles - Marcelo Arévalo (El Salvador) AND Miguel Ángel Reyes-Varela (Mexico)
    12. Manipur government constituted two committees to deal with illegal migrants, State Level Monitoring Committee and District Level Monitoring Committees. These will monitor presence of illegal immigrants in state.
    13. Telangana government will set up a biotech and pharma facility, B-Hub, India’s first organised cluster for life sciences Research & Development at Genome Valley, To support manufacturing activities for bio-pharma R&D. Also, a web portal for life sciences sector has been launched.
    14. 21 public and 3 major private sector banks lenders collected INR 4989 crores from customers for non-maintenance of minimum balance in their accounts in 2017-18.
      1. SBI collected maximum 2433 crores, over half the amount raised by 24 banks together.
      2. In private sector, HDFC bank collected max 590.84 crores.
    15. India's Ranjit Srivastava (Ranchi) has developed Rashmi, India’s first humanoid robot, which can speak Hindi, Bhojpuri, Marathi and English. Rashmi uses linguistic interpretation (LI), artificial intelligence (AI), visual data and facial recognition systems.
    16. Biennial Asian Nations Cup Chess Tournament held in Hamadan (Iran) -
      1. India won 5 medals - 1 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze AND ranked 2nd in overall ranking.
      2. Winning team of Gold consisted of Harika Dronavalli , Eesha Karavade, Padmini Rout, Vaishali R, Aakanksha Hagawane.
      3. Medal Table was topped by Iran Green.
  27. Aug 05, 2018
    1. United Kingdom announced changed law for organ and tissue donation to address urgent need for organs within Indian-origin communities in country. The amendment in existing law will propose new system of consent for organ and tissue donation, to be known as Max’s Law after Max Johnson, a 10-year-old boy who was saved by a heart transplant.
    2. Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) selected Ajay Data as new council member of Country Code Supporting Organisation (ccNSO), making him first Indian to get selected as a member of ccNSO, which is policy development body of ICANN for ccTLD (country code top-level domains) issues and represents all country code top level domain operators from around world.
      1. He is founder & CEO of Data XGen Plus and global leader in email linguistic services. He is creator of world’s first email address mobile app and email solution for IDN (Internationalized Domain Names) Domains. He was awarded Graham Bell Award for this innovation.
      2. He is also credited for giving access to World for Internationalized Email Address in 19 languages which is available through DataMail app.
    3. Finance Ministry extended deadline on imposing import duty hike on 29 products, imported from United States (US) by 45 days till September 18, 2018, after March 2018 decision of US President Donald Trump to impose heavy tariffs on imported steel and aluminium items from India.
    4. ISRO postponed Chandrayaan-2, India’s second mission to moon to January 3, 2019, as 2nd time the mission is postponed. Chandrayaan 2 is advanced version of Chandrayaan-1 mission (launched in 2008) which only involved orbiting around moon.
      1. Chandrayaan-2 involves an orbiter, lander and rover. In this, ISRO will for first time attempt to land rover on moon’s south-pole. It involves soft-landing on lunar surface and rover that will walk and analysis content on moon’s surface. It will be launched on board of Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk III (GSLV-F10).
      2. Soft-landing on moon surface will be most complex part. Only US, Russia and China have been able to soft-land spacecraft on lunar surface.
      3. Space Commission also approved ISRO’s proposal of naming Chandrayaan-2 lander ‘Vikram’ after Vikram Sarabhai, father of Indian space programme.
    5. Badminton World Championships 2018, Held at Nanjing (China). -
      1. India's P V Sindhu finished second best in Women;s Singles, becoming only Indian to have four world championships podium finishes.
      2. Men’s singles - Kento Momota (Japan), defeating China’s Shi Yuqi. He became first Japanese man to win it.
      3. Women’s singles - Carolina Marin (Spain) won by defeating India’s P V Sindhu.
      4. Men’s doubles - Chinese pair of Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen
      5. Women’s doubles - Japanese pair of Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara.
      6. Mixed doubles - Chinese pair of Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong.
      7. Mascot of Event was Yu Bao.
    6. Mughalsarai Railway Junction of Uttar Pradesh renamed as Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Junction Railway station.
      1. RSS ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhyaya was found dead in mysterious circumstances near Mughalsarai station in February 1968.
    7. Government approved 122 new research project proposals worth Rs 112 crore for funding under its Impacting Research Innovation and Technology ‘IMPRINT-2’ scheme.
      1. Implementation of 142 projects under IMPRINT-1 has got underway. Knowledge portal for monitoring progress of these research projects and to disseminate findings will be launched in October 2018.
      2. IMPRINT is the first of its kind government-supported initiative to address the major science and engineering challenges that India must address and champion to enable, empower and embolden nation for inclusive growth and self-reliance.
    8. Uttarakhand High Court (HC) banned commercial use of elephants in state and directed the state forest department to rescue the elephants deployed for commercial purposes within 24 hours. Uttarakhand also became first state to give identity cards to gau rakshaks, to differentiate people who protect cows from those who resort to violence in name of cow vigilantism.
    9. President Ram Nath Kovind gave his nod to Lok Sabha passed Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill 2018 that aims to curb practice of evading criminal prosecution by economic offenders fleeing from country to evade clutches Indian law by remaining outside jurisdiction of Indian courts. Key Features -
      1. It is applicable in cases where total value involved in such economic offences is Rs.100 crore or more.
      2. It establishes Special Court under the Prevention of Money-laundering Act (PMLA), 2002 to declare a person as FEO. court will appoint ‘administrator’ to oversee confiscated property.
      3. It empowers director / deputy director (appointed under Prevention of Money-Laundering Act, 2002) to attach any property mentioned in application with permission of special court. Attachment will continue for 180 days, unless extended by court.
      4. Bill allows any civil court or tribunal to disallow person declared FEO, from filing or defending any civil claim.
      5. Director / deputy director will have powers vested of civil court.
      6. Appeals against orders of special court will lie before High Court.
      7. As per Reports, Vijay Mallya (promoter of defunct Kingfisher Airlines) is biggest offended as he frauded banks of about 7500 crores. Mehul Choksi, promoter of Gitanjali Jewels (7,080 crore) and his nephew Nirav Modi (6,498 crore) took second and third spots.
    10. International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) signed MoU with Telangana Government, to conduct a research on impact of Mission Kakatiya programme
      1. Mission Kakatiya aims to restore all minor irrigation tanks and lakes in Telangana State, in 5 years. Tanks and lakes are dug to remove silt for increasing water storage capacity.
    11. Bharti Airtel will provide optical fibre network in Tamil Nadu, to add 3000 KM of fibre network to Taminadu's 14000 km fibre Network. Airtel will open 12,000 new mobile sites across the State to add to network capacity and take high-speed data services deeper into rural areas.
    12. 29th meeting of GST council Held in New Delhi -
      1. A sub-committee was Created, headed by Shiv Pratap Shukla for suggesting measures to address issues faced by Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector
      2. It has also decided to run a pilot to provide cashback for digital transactions. Capped at Rs 100, RuPay Debit and UPI-based transaction will get cashback of 20% for GST paid.
    13. RBI allowed non-fund-based Umbrella organisations(UO) at State levels to revive India’s co-operative banking sector. Gujarat is first State to have an UO for UCB sector. A conference of co-operative banking sector under name Sahakar Setu 2018, has been held in Ahmedabad (Gujarat).
    14. Indian-American astronaut Sunita Williams is among 9 astronauts selected by NASA to fly first missions into space on commercial spacecraft, starting in 2019. The astronauts will on board of Boeing CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX Dragon capsules to International Space Station starting in 2019.
    15. Govt. launched Defence India Startup Challenge in Bengaluru. Recognised Defence Incubators at IIM Ahmedabad, IIT Mumbai, Forge IIT Madras, and T hub will provide solutions for requirements in Armed Forces. Raksha Mantri Nirmala Sitharaman also launched SPARK (support for prototype and research Kickstart) in defence, framework for IDEX partners, and promotion of start ups under Make II procedure.
    16. Startup India launched Startup Academia Alliance programme, as a unique mentorship opportunity between academic scholars and startups working in similar domains, to fulfill Government’s mission to promote entrepreneurship.
    17. Ramon Laguarta will be new CEO of Leading Beverages Firm PepsiCo, replacing Indra Nooyi, who will step down in October 2018 after serving for 12 years. She will remain chairman till 2019.
    18. 2018 Women's Hockey World Cup 2018 (London (England)) -
      1. Netherlands won the title for record 8th time, defeating Ireland in Final by 6-0.
      2. Kitty van Male (Netherlands) was Top Goal Scooer with 8 Goals, while Netherlands' Lidewij Welten was named best player.
      3. Spain won 3rd place, defeating Australia to claim their first ever World Cup medal.
      4. India finished 8th in 16 Teams Tournament.
  28. Aug 04, 2018
    1. Researchers from China’s Centre for Excellence in Molecular Plant Sciences created the world’s first single-chromosome yeast, while not affecting the majority of its functions. Experiment was conducted on Brewer’s yeast having 16 chromosomes and which shares its one-third genome ancestry with humans. Researchers were able to fit nearly all genetic material of Brewer’s yeast into just one chromosome.
    2. Facebook launched Digital Literacy Library to help young people build skills they need to safely enjoy online technology. It is resource for educators looking to address digital literacy and help these young people build skills they need to use digital technology safely.
    3. India elected as President of Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) for 2 years, during its annual gathering in Colombo (Sri Lanka). Also, India's F. Sheheryar was re-elected as chair of executive board of AIBD and Sri Lanka elected as vice-chair.
      1. AIDB is regional inter-governmental organisation serving countries of United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP) in field of electronic media development. It was established in 1977 under auspices of UNESCO.
    4. Central Government notified that it has withdrawn proposal for setting up ‘Social Media Communication Hub’, after Supreme Court termed it like creating a surveillance state. Social Media Communications Hub was a proposed platform to allow government to keep eye on all social media platforms, to track any individual’s public posts across these online platforms.
    5. Karnataka government launched ‘Swachha Meva Jayate’ campaign, to promote cleanliness across state.
    6. According to N-SIPI (State Investment Potential Index) series report by NCAER (National Council of Applied Economic Research), Delhi topped the list, replacing Gujarat. It was done based on 6 parameters: land, labour, infrastructure, economic climate, governance and political stability and business perceptions. Assam, Jharkhand and Bihar are ranked among least favourable states for investment.
    7. World's First Intertidal art gallery called Coralarium opened in Maldives, filled with around 30 Sculptures acting as a habitat for coral and other marine species.
    8. New Bancassurance Tie Ups -
      1. Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance tied up Fincare Small Finance Bank. It aims is to push life insurance to rural population.
      2. Bajaj Allianz General Insurance  and HDFC Life Insurance tied up with Vijaya Bank.
      3. DHFL Pramerica Life Insurance and Aditya Birla Health Insurance tied up with SVC Co-operative Bank.
    9. K.Anvar Sadath became first Indian to receive the International Contributions Award given by the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT), USA. He is vice chairman and executive director of the Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE) also known as IT@school Project.
  29. Aug 03, 2018
    1. India's fiscal deficit remained INR 4.29 trillion ($62.57 billion) for April-June Quarter of FY 2018-19 (68.7 % of budgeted target), compared with 80.8 % a year ago. India expects to trim deficit to 3.3 % of GDP this fiscal year, after meeting an upwardly revised fiscal deficit target of 3.5 % of GDP in 2017-18.
    2. Apple became first US-based company with a market value of $1 trillion.
    3. Himachal Pradesh CM Jai Ram Thakur launched horn not ok awareness campaign and ‘shaur nahin’ (no noise) mobile application, to spread awareness of unnecessary blowing horn as it creates unnecessary noise pollution and is harmful to health.
    4. Government reached target of providing 5 crore free LPG connections under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), 8 months ahead of schedule. Uttar Pradesh (87 lakh), West Bengal (67 lakh), Bihar (61 lakh), Madhya Pradesh (45 lakh), Rajasthan (37 lakh) and Odisha (30 lakh) accounted for 65% of connections under PMUY and 47% of beneficiaries are from weaker sections.
      1. PMUY was launched in May 2016 with tagline of Swachh Indhan, Behtar Jeevan.
    5. FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO), women’s wing of Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) launched WOW (Wellness of Women) mobile application aimed at creating awareness on preventive healthcare for women across country, backed by Apollo Hospitals Group.
    6. NITI Aayog launched global mobility hackathon Move Hack to crowdsource solutions aimed at future of mobility in India. It is first platform in world that has enmeshed public transport, private transport, road safety, multimodal connectivity and new age transport technologies such as zero emission vehicles and intra city aerial transport spearheaded by Government.
    7. Invest India (Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion) launched Integrate to Innovate Programme for startups in energy sector, as 3 month programme. It will provide opportunity for startups to collaborate around valuable energy transitions by bringing their ideas to life. Selected startups will receive cash prize grant of up to 5 lakh along with opportunity to pilot their product with corporates.
    8. Telecom Operator Reliance Jio partnered with State Bank of India (SBI) to extend next generation of digital banking and payments services to customers. MyJio platform will enable SBI YONO digital banking features and solutions for a superior customer experience.
    9. Karnataka government made Yoga mandatory for all colleges and universities in State. All government, aided and private degree colleges in state must conduct yoga for 20-minutes.
    10. Karnataka Vikas Grameena Bank (KVGB) launched a new deposit scheme called Vikas Bonanza 456, a scheme with tenure of 456 days an interest rate of 7.10 % for public and 7.60 % for senior citizens. Minimum of 10000 and maximum of 1 crore can be deposited under this scheme.
    11. Hindi Academy Delhi gave its highest Shalaka Samman for 2017-18 to bollywood lyricist and poet Javed Akhtar.
    12. Value of China’s stock market fell to $6.09 trillion, losing its spot as the second biggest stock market to Japan ($6.17 trillion). China’s stock market overtake Japan in 2014 and soared to an all-time high of over $10 trillion in 2015.
    13. Emmerson Mnangagwa has been re-elected Zimbabwe’s President after winning presidential elections held for first time since ouster of Robert Mugabe. Mnangagwa took over as President last year after Mugabe was ousted by the Army, ending Mugabe's rule of over Zimbabwe 37 years.
    14. PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) and Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) signed MoU to establish India-Nepal Centre. to promote Indian investment in Nepal.
    15. Project Roshni by Indian Army is illuminating homes in remote villages of Jammu and Kashmir, distributing over 17000 solar lamps in remote areas.
    16. Indian Australian Sashi Cheliah wion Masterchef Australia Title, fetching prize money of $250000.
  30. Aug 02, 2018
    1. Government approved expansion of capital base of Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) to 10000 crores, under Revitalising Infrastructure & Systems in Higher Education (RISE) by 2022. Financing of infrastructure of Centrally Funded Educational Institutions would henceforth be through HEFA loans. Financing windows -
      1. Technical Institutions more than 10 yr old would repay Principal Portion from internally generated budgetary resources. 100% of interest costs would be serviced by Government.
      2. Technical Institutions started between 2008 and 2014 would repay 25% of principal portion from internal resources. 75% of principal and 100% of interest costs would be serviced by Government.
      3. Central Universities started prior to 2014 will repay 10% of principal from internal resources. 90% of principal and 100% of interest costs would be serviced by Government.
      4. Newly established Institutions (started after 2014) would completely service principal and interest costs of loan through OH-31.
    2. National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) signed unsecured loan agrement of INR 25000 crores from State Bank of India for 10 years, as Largest amount of loan been sanctioned to NHAI in one stroke by any institution.
    3. 12th Plan Document has fixed targets of 25.2 % Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) by 2017-18 and 30% GER by 2020-21. As per All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2017-18, GER in higher education has increased from 24.5% in 2015-16 to 25.8% in 2017-18.
    4. DRDO conducted test of Ballistic Missile Interceptor Advanced Area Defence (AAD) at Abdul Kalam Island (Odisha). It is capable of intercepting incoming targets at an altitude of 15 to 25 kms.
    5. MOU signed between Ministries of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, to jointly undertake upskilling and certification of 100,000 RAC service technicians on good servicing practices and knowledge of alternative refrigerants to ozone-depleting chemicals.
    6. Aug 2, 2018 - 141st birth anniversary of designer (architect) of Indian National Flag Pingali Venkayya.
    7. Andhra Pradesh Government approved Mukhyamantri Yuva Nestam, an unemployment allowance scheme to provide Rs 1000 per month unemployed youth in state. It will benefit 12 lakh youth in the 22-35 years age group from state.
    8. Madhya Pradesh received Geographical Indication (GI) tag for Kadaknath chicken breed from State. GI tag denotes that product comes from particular geographical.
      1. Kadaknath Chicken Kadaknath or Kali Masi is unique breed of chicken that is complete black colour. Apart from its meat, its bones and most organs are also black. It is native tribal districts of Jhabua, Alirajpur and parts of Dhar in Madhya Pradesh.
      2. Kadaknath chicken contains 25-27% of protein in comparison with other breeds of chickens that contain 18% protein. It is also known for its high iron content.
    9. Kerala government told Supreme Court that barring entry of women aged 10 - 50 years into Sabarimala temple in Kerala is not permissible under Constitution, stating that it is a Hindu temple and not a temple of a particular denomination.
    10. France Parliament approved a controversial asylum and immigration bill, designed to accelerate asylum procedures by cutting maximum processing time from 120 days to 90 days after entering France.
    11. USA Congress passed National Defense Authorisation Act-2019 (NDAA-19) which capped its security-related aid to Pakistan to $150 million, significantly below over $ 1 billion to $750 million per year. US Senate also passed a bill waiving sanctions against India for buying Russian arms, called National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) 2019.
    12. Noted Indian-Australian mathematician Akshay Venkatesh is among 4 winners of mathematics’ prestigious Fields medal, known as the Nobel prize for maths. Each winner receives a 15,000 Canadian-dollar cash prize. Other three winners are: Caucher Birkar (Cambridge University professor of Iranian Kurdish origin), Germany’s Peter Scholze and Italian mathematician Alessio Figalli.
    13. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) announced spectrum auction of 5G services at a pan-India reserve price of about INR 492 crore per MHz for first time in India. Previously, in 2016, recommended pan-India reserve price for 700 MHz was 11,500 crore and it has been reduced to Rs.6,538 crore per MHz in 2018.
    14. UAE began 3 month visa amnesty program which allows illegal foreign workers to legalise their status in country or return home.
    15. 7 Indian companies have been listed in Fortune’s 500 list 2018 of world biggest corporations, led by Indian Oil Corp (137th) and followed by Reliance (148th).
      1. RIL is most profitable in India and ranked 99th globally, with with Apple at top.
      2. World’s 500 largest companies generated $30 trillion in profits in 2017.
      3. Top 5 - Walmart, State Grid, Sinopec Group (China), China National Petroleum (China), Royal Dutch Shell
    16. RBI approved State Bank of Mauritius to operate in country through a wholly-owned subsidiary route under name SBM Bank (India), becoming first foreign bank to obtain such RBI approval.
    17. RBI barred Fino Payments Bank from adding new customers after it observed anomalies regarding deposits in the existing accounts. As per RBI, balance in customers' accounts should not exceed Rs 1 lakh. If it does, excess amount should automatically be transferred to any other bank account, provided by customer.
    18. Bandhan Bank surpassed YES Bank and became 6th most valuable private sector bank and seventh most valued listed lender in India. Bandhan Bank with a market capitalisation (m-cap) of Rs 840 billion surpassed YES Bank with m-cap of Rs 838 billion.
  31. Aug 01, 2018
    1. Aug 1 - Earth Overshoot Day. It is the day each year when humans have consumed a year's worth of planet's natural resources. It was earlier called Ecological Debt Day. It is calculated illustrative calendar date on which humanity’s resource consumption for year exceeds Earth’s capacity to regenerate those resources that year. In 2018, it falls on Aug 1.
    2. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released Third Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement 2018-19 -
      1. Increased Repo Rate under Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF) by 25 basis points to 6.50 %.
      2. Reverse Repo Rate adjusted to 6.25 %
      3. Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) rate and Bank Rate now stand at 6.75 %.
      4. RBI retained GDP growth forecast at 7.4 pc for FY’19.
      5. CRR (Cash Reserve Ratio) and SLR(Statutory Liquidity ratio) stayed at 4 % and 19.5 % respectively.
    3. Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (Ministry of Commerce and Industry) unveiled tricolour logo for geographical indication (GI) certified products, with tagline Invaluable Treasures of Incredible India. As per a contest, winning logo was designed by Adri Chatterjee and winning tagline was coined by Akancha Tripathi.
      1. GI tag is used on certain products which correspond to specific geographical location or origin. The goods and products having tag are recognised for their origin, quality and reputation and gives it required edge in global market.
    4. Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) and NITI Aayog released State Energy Efficiency Preparedness Index -
      1. It will serve as a standard reference document for energy intensive industries and help them achieve high operational efficiency of energy consuming utilities.
      2. States are categorised based on their efforts and achievements towards energy efficiency implementation, as ‘Front Runner’, ‘Achiever’, ‘Contender’ and ‘Aspirant’.
      3. Front Runner States are Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, and Rajasthan.
      4. While most states have implemented national programmes designed by BEE and EESL, the ‘Front Runner’ and ‘Achiever’ states have several individual initiatives as well.
    5. National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) will constitute ‘Mediation Cell’ for cases of child custody dispute in NRI marital discord. The Cell will resolve cases of children who were taken away by one of the spouse without the permission of the other spouse due to marital discord or domestic violence.
    6. Government to Government Umbrella Agreement on Financial Cooperation and Technical Cooperation 2017 under Indo-German Bilateral Development Cooperation signed in New Delhi.
      1. Financial Cooperation of 610 million Reduced Interest Loan (RIL) and Euro 5.5 million Financial grant
      2. Technical Cooperation of Euro 38.20 million.
    7. Cabinet Approvals (Aug 01, 2018) -
      1. General Approvals -
        1. Raising funds up to 15,000 crores as Extra Budgetary Resources (EBR) for Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) during 2018-19 through NABARD.
          1. Expansion of scope of work of International Centre for Drinking Water Quality to authorise it for receiving EBR funds for SBM(G), disbursement of same to Sates/UTs implementing agencies, and its repayment.
          2. Change name of Society to "National Centre for Drinking Water, Sanitation and Quality" in place of "International Centre for Drinking Water Quality".
        2. Permit exploration of unconventional hydrocarbons such as Shale oil/gas, Coal Bed Methane (CBM) etc. It will enable realization of prospective hydrocarbon reserves in existing Contract Areas. New investment activities and chances of finding new hydrocarbon discoveries and resultant increased domestic production thereof is expected.
        3. Restructuring Agricultural Scientists'Recruitment Board (ASRB), making it 4 Member body (up from 3 Members). Tenure of ASRB member will be for 3 years or till 65 years of age. Functioning ASRB shall be delinked from ICAR and to be attached with Deptt. of Agricultural Research & Education (DARE) under Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers' Welfare.
        4. Approved first extension of Concessional Financing Scheme(CFS) to support Indian Entities bidding for strategically important infrastructure projects abroad. It is proposed to extend the Scheme for another five years from 2018 to 2023.
        5. Approved death penalty or life imprisonment to those involved in piracy at sea, to have a domestic anti-piracy legislation to provide necessary legal framework for prosecution of those involved in piracy-related crimes.
        6. Approved introducing a Bill to restore original provisions of SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989, that was ruled out by Supreme Court in March 2018. It introduces three new clauses after Section 18 of original Act.
          1. Preliminary enquiry shall not be required for registration of a First Information Report against any person.
          2. Arrest of a person accused of having committed an offence under Act would not require any approval.
          3. Provisions of Section 438 of Code of Criminal Procedure, which deals with anticipatory bail, shall not apply to a case under this Act, in spite of any judgment or order of any Court.
      2. CCEA Approvals -
        1. Approved Interest Free Loan (IFL) equivalent to interest during construction (IDC) component of 422 crores, 415 crores and 419 crores for Gorakhpur, Sindri and Barauni projects respectively to Hindustan Urvarak and Rasayan Limited (HURL) fertilizer projects.
        2. Approved issue of fresh equity shares to extent of 15% of paid up equity capital efface value of Rs. 5 each by Hindustan Copper Limited(HCL) through Qualified Institutions Placement (QIP) route . Gol shareholding will come down from 76.05% to 66.13%.
        3. Approved opening of 13 new KendriyaVidyalayas (KVs) in 7 States and 2nd JawaharNavodayaVidyalaya (JNV) in Alot in Ratlam (Madhya Pradesh). Presently, KVs are imparting quality education to more than 12 lakh students and JNVs are providing modern education free of cost to nearly 2.50 lakh students across country.
    8. Bharat Earth Movers (BEML) and Heavy Engineering Corporation (HEC) signed pact for making mining equipment. It will reduce working capital and create capability for high capacity equipment.
    9. Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) launched a dedicated portal named FOCAL (Forum of Cargo-Owners and Logistics-Operators) to connect cargo owners and shippers with real time data on availability of vessels, To know availability of vessels in the market. It would ensure direct interaction among the vessel operators, shippers and cargo owners.
    10. StarAgri Finance signed MoU with Karur Vysya Bank, To provide financial assistance to commodity traders and farmers. Micro-lending would be provided to traders and farmers in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.
    11. Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and BSNL have signed an MoU for extending benefits in customer services. BSNL will use the smart card services of DMRC for collection of post-paid bills.
    12. President Ram Nath Kovind presented Outstanding Parliamentarian Awards for 2013-2017 -
      1. 2013 - Najma Heptulla
      2. 2014 - Hukmdev Narayan Yadav
      3. 2015 - Ghulam Nabi Azad
      4. 2016 - Dinesh Trivedi
      5. 2017 - Bhartruhari Mahtab