Current Affairs - Aug 31, 2018

Current affairs 2018

4th BIMSTEC Summit in Nepal

  • Fourth Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Summit held in Kathmandu on August 30-31. 
  • The two-day summit witness participation from all members states to hold discussions on trade, security and development of the region.
  • Head of Governments from all member countries viz. Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand are participating in this summit.
  • Bimstec came into existence on June 6, 1997, through the Bangkok Declaration. 

RCEP meeting in Singapore

  • In Singapore, Trade ministers of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) bloc, including India and China, met in Singapore.
  • RCEP is a mega trade pact that aims to cover goods, services, investments, economic cooperation and intellectual property rights.
  • The bloc comprises 10 ASEAN members and their 6 FTA partners- India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

Vostok-2018, Russia to conduct the largest military exercise

  • Russia is all set to host the largest military exercise Vostok-2018 (East-2018) this September between 11 to 15 September.
  • Around 3,00,000 units of the Army, Navy, and Airforce will take part in this exercise.
  • China and Mongolia will also participate in this exercise.
  • Earlier in 1981, the erstwhile Soviet Union conducted Zapad-81 (West-81) exercise which had seen involvement about 100,000 to 150,000 troops.

5th SCO Peace Mission Exercise 2018 Ends

  • Exercise Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Peace Mission 2018, the latest in 'Peace Mission' series formally started on 24 August 2018 at Chebarkul, Russia; has ended now. 
  • The exercise was conducted in Chebarkul, Russia with military contingents of the all eight SCO member nations participating in this exercise including India and Pakistan.
  • The scope of the exercise includes professional interaction, mutual understanding of drills & procedures, establishment of joint command and control structures and elimination of terrorist threat in urban counter terrorist scenario.

Swapna won 1st Gold in Heptathlon at Asian games

  • A heptathlon is a track and field combined events contest made up of seven events.
  • These seven events are held in two days, the first day comprises 100m hurdles, high jump, shot put and 200m, while day two has long jump, javelin, and 800m.
  • 21-year-old Swapna Barman created history by becoming the first Indian heptathlete to win an Asian Games gold medal with 6026 points.
  • China’s Qingling Wang with 5954 points won the silver and Japan’s Yuki Yamasaki won the bronze medal with 5873 points.

99.3% of demonetized notes back to banks: RBI

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its annual report said that 99.3% of the ₹ 500 and ₹ 1000 that were withdrawn from circulation in November 2016 were returned. And it also said that RBI has spent ₹7,965 crore in 2016-17 on printing new ₹500 and ₹2,000 and other denomination notes.


  • In Asian Games medal tally India is at 8th position with 13 Gold and overall 60 medals.
  • SC/STs can get benefit of reservation quota in home state only, Supreme Court clarified
  • 31st August is last day to file Income Tax Returns.
  • Indian Rupee is all time low against USD; breached record low level of 71.
  • Real GDP growth for 2018-19 is expected at 7.4% against 6.7% in the previous year: RBI
  • 1st SAARC Agri Cooperative Business Forum was held in Kathmandu, under theme ‘Organizing and Strengthening Family Farmers’ Cooperatives to attain the Sustainable-Development-Goals-1 and 2 in South Asia’.
  • ADB loan to Indian states: USD 375M to MP for irrigation efficiency development, USD 245 to WB for drinking water.
  • Arunachal Pradesh created three new districts now the state will have 25 districts.
  • Article 35(A) validity in J&K: SC adjourns hearing until next January

Current Affairs - Aug 30, 2018

current affairs 30 august 2018

Govt. constitutes 21 Member Sci-Tech Advisory for PM

  • Central Government has constituted 21-member advisory panel on science, technology and innovation called  PM-STIAC or Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council.
  • PM-STIAC is headed by K Vijay Raghavan (scientific advisor); other members includes VK Saraswat, AS Kiran Kumar, Madhuri Kanitkar, Manjul Bhargava, Shubhas Kak, Baba Kalyani, Ajay Sood, 11 Secretaries and 10 Ministers etc.
  • Mandated to advice PM on science and technology as well as to coordinate implementation of his scientific vision.

Centre asks States to ban e-cigarettes

  • Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry has issued an advisory to states and union territories to ban manufacturing, advertisement, and sale of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems including e-cigarettes.
  • Many states have already banned these devices including UP, Bihar, Karnataka, Kerala, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, and Mizoram.
  • As per WHO report as many as 30 countries have banned these devices ex. Australia, South Korea, Singapore, Brazil, Srilanka, Mexico etc.
  • ENDS are considered as a great health risk to the public at large, especially to children, adolescents, pregnant women

India's first biofuel flight from Dehradun to Delhi

  • India's first ever biofuel test flight was conducted by SpiceJet on its turboprop Q-400 plane from Dehradun to Delhi.
  • Developed countries like Canada, Australia and the US have already conducted these test flights. India will be the first developing nation to experiment biofuel test flight.
  • Use of biofuel has the potential to reduce aviation carbon emissions by up to 80%.

3rd Indian Ocean Conference held in Hanoi, Vietnam

  • The third edition of Indian Ocean Conference was held in Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam from 27-28 August 2018.
  • It has been initiated by Delhi based think tank India Foundation along with its partners from Singapore, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

ESA launches world's first wind sensing satellite

  • European Space Agency has successfully launched Aeolus into orbit using Vega rocket from French Guiana.
  • Aeolus is world's first wind sensing satellite dedicated to map earth's wind on global scale. It is equipped with single instrument Doppler wind lidar (Aladin).

India's Genetic Bank for wildlife conservation

  • India inaugurated its first genetic resource bank for wildlife conservation - National Genetic Resource Bank in Hyderabad.
  • It is located in Laboratory of Conservation of Endangered Species (LaCONES) facility of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology’s (CCMB) Hyderabad.
  • It will cryopreserve living cell lines, gametes, and embryos of endangered wild animal species in India

Fateh Mobin - Iran's NexGen Missile

  • Iran unveiled its next next-generation short-range ballistic missile Fateh Mobin.
  • It is 100 percent domestically developed in Iran, capable of strike target on land and in the sea.
  • Its range is believed to be 300 to 500 kilometers.
  • This missile was test-fired by Iran during naval exercises in the strategically important Strait of Hormuz in August 2018

India-Thailand Military Exercise: Maitree 2018

  • Indian Army and Royal Thai Army are conducting the joint military exercise Maitree-2018 in Thailand between 6th - 19th Aug 2018.
  • Platoon level exercise comprising of infantry aimed at honing tactical and technical skills in joint counterinsurgency and counter-terrorist operations in the rural and urban scenario under United Nations (UN) mandate.

China's first hypersonic aircraft - Xingkong-2 

  • China has successfully tested its first hypersonic aircraft Xingkong-2 (Starry Sky-2).
  • It is using curring edge Waverider flight vehicle technology,  in which vehicle that flies in atmosphere uses shock waves generated by its own hypersonic flight with air to glide at high speed.
  • China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics (CAAA) in collaboration with China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation built this aircraft.
  • Apart from China only the USA and Russia are researching in Waverider technology.
  • Waverider flight vehicles are capable to penetrate modern anti-missile shields and also works well in defending against ballistic and cruise missiles.

Current Affairs - Aug 5, 2018

A daily current affairs digest for IAS, IPS, Civil Services, IBPS, SBI, other banks, Insurance, SSC, Railways and various other competitive exams aspirants. Also helpful for AIIMS, State Services, and various government/ PSU exams.
current affairs 5 august

123rd Constitutional Amendment Bill 2017 Passed by Lok Sabha

  • Lok Sabha has passed Constitutional amendment bill to grant National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) a Constitutional status like NCSC and NCST.
  • Currently, NCSC looks after complaints and welfare of the backward class too along with SC and Anglo-Indian, but with this Bill, all the power will be transferred to NCBC. The NCBC will have five members appointed by President.
  • New Articles 338 B talks about composition, powers, mandate, and functions of NCBC, while Article 342 A talks about President's authority to specify backward classes for states and UTs in consultation with Governors.
  • NCBC will have powers of a civil court while investigating or inquiring into any complaints

Successful test fire of Supersonic Interceptor Missile

  • DRDO successfully tested indigenous supersonic endo-atmospheric interceptor missile from Abdul Kalam Island in Odisha.
  • The missile is 7.5 m long capable of intercepting incoming targets at an altitude of 15 to 25 km developed. 
  • It is a part of multilayer Ballistic Missile Interceptor Advanced Air Defence (AAD) System being built indigenously to destroy incoming hostile ballistic missiles.
  •  DRDO's double layer Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) system is expected to provide shield by 2022.
  • Currently, only the USA, Russia, and Israel are having this technology.

 Kadaknath Chicken gets GI Tag

  • Kadaknath Chicken Meat from Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh got Geographical Indicator (GI) Tag.
  • The Tag provided by Geographical Indicator registry (HQ - Chennai)  and Intellectual Property of India (under DIPP, Ministry of Commerce and Industry).
  • The tag denotes that the product comes from a particular geographical area, and often enhances its commercial value.
  • Kadaknath is a unique variety of chicken having black flesh, bone, blood and most of the body parts; it is considered to have some medicinal properties; it contains 25-27% protein (normal chicken 18%), high iron, less fat, and less cholesterol.
  • Mainly produced in MP and Chhattisgarh. 

    Andhra Pradesh launches Unemployment Allowance Scheme

    • Andhra Pradesh Government has unveiled Mukhyamantri Yuva Nestam Scheme for 12 lakh unemployed youth of age 25 to 35 years in the state. 
    • The scheme is aimed at providing Rs. 1000 per month into the bank accounts of these youth.
    • Applicants must not have any provident fund account to avail this scheme.
    • The scheme was launched by IT minister Nara Lokesh (s/o Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu).

    Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, 5 crore target achieved

    • The government has announced the target achievement of giving 5 crores free LPG connection eight months ahead of the deadline. 
    • The Yojana was launched in May 2016, with the aim to provide clean-cooking fuel to poor households, who are otherwise vulnerable to various health hazards associated with indoor air pollution and bringing in qualitative changes in living standards.
    • Beneficiaries of PMUY are identified through Socio-Economic Caste Based Census 2011 data; and also among SC/ST households, beneficiaries of Antyodaya Anna Yojana, PMAY (Gramin), Forest Dwellers, Most Backward Classes, Resident of Islands/River Islands and Tea Garden & Ex-tea Garden Tribes.
    • 65 percent of beneficiaries are from six states, viz. UP, West Bengal, Bihar, MP, Rajasthan, Odisha.
    • Now revised the target to 8 crores by 31st March 2019

    India to head Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development

    • India is elected as President of Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development for 2 years during 44th Annual Gathering held in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
    • Established in 1977, AIBD consist of broadcasters from 26 full member countries, represented by 34 organizations and 67 Affiliate Members (organizations) and over 50 partners in Asia, Pacific, Europe, Africa, Arab States and North America
    • Director General of All India Radio (AIR) F. Sheheryar was also re-elected as chair of the executive board of AIBD while Sri Lanka was elected as vice-chair.

    NASA names Sunita Williams to fly on first Commercial Spaceships

    • Sunita Williams and 8 other astronauts named by NASA for its first commercial human spaceflight programme.
    • The astronauts will fly on spacecraft developed by SpaceX (Dragon) and Boeing (CST-100 Starliner) as part of the US space agency's Commercial Crew programme to send humans to the International Space Station (ISS) on private US spacecraft in 2019.
    • The 8 active NASA astronauts and one former astronaut will launch on Boeing CST-100. Starliner and SpaceX Dragon capsules to the International Space Station beginning in 2019.
    • This will be the first crewed mission of NASA since the end of the space shuttle programme in 2011

    Indira Banerjee to become third sitting Judge of SC

    • Name of the Chief Justice of Madras High Court Justice Indira Banerjee has been cleared by the Law Ministry be appointed as Supreme Court Judge.
    • 60 years old Justice Banerjee is the eighth woman to be ever elevated to the Supreme Court. And for the first time in history, Supreme Court will have three women Judges.
    • The Central Government has also approved the elevation of Uttarkhand High Court Chief Justice K.M. Joseph to the Supreme Court, seven months after the SC Collegium’s recommendation.

    National Sports University Bill 2017 Passed in Lok Sabha

    • Lok Sabha has passed National Sports University Bill in Lok Sabha to set up India's first Sports University in Manipur. The Bill will replace the Ordinance promulgated by President earlier this year.
    • This university is expected to bridge the gap that exists in the sports environment of the country in various areas such as sports science, sports technology, high-performance training.

    US cuts Pakistan's Security Aid to $150 million

    • The United States Congress has slashed the security-oriented financial aid to Pakistan by approving a $716.3 billion defense authorization bill. 
    • The security aid was earlier around $1 billion to $750 million per year. Not favoring any changes in the policy, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2019 increased the military expenditure after which the move came into being. 
    • As per the recent NDAA, the security aid to Pakistan has been cut down to $150 million.

    Iran joins ASEAN treaty

    • The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) ratified Iran's membership in the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC).
    • This indicated the significance of interaction with Iran as an important and influential country in regional and international equations, the report said.

    Apple became a trillion dollar company

    • Apple became the Trillion-dollar public company, as a rise in its share price pushed it past the landmark valuation.
    • Earlier, PetroChina, an oil and gas company, topped $1 trillion for a short time on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in 2007.
    • The company, which nearly went bankrupt in the 1990s, hits a market capitalization that's bigger than the GDPs of all but 15 countries.
    • The company hit a $1trillion market capitalisation 42 years after Apple was founded and 117 years after US Steel became the first company to be valued at $1bn in 1901.
    • Apple was co-founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs, Ronald Wayne and Steve Wozniak.