Current Affairs | Latest Jobs | Goverment Jobs | Sarkari Naukri | Edusquad

Edusquad is an education platform that provides high quality educational videos and study material for various exams like UPSC, PPSC, SSC etc.

Current Affairs : 12 - 13 August 2018

NATION

Indian aid to SAARC nations falls
  • India’s financial assistance to SAARC neighbours declined considerably in the past five years, a reply by the government in Parliament showed.
  • Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh submitted a chart of India’s grant assistance, which have fallen from ₹5,928.6 crore in 2013-14 to ₹3,483.6 crore in 2017-18 for Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka combined.
  • Significantly, the drop for most SAARC countries was most steep in 2014, the year the NDA government launched its tenure with the “Neighbourhood First” slogan. 
  • The one exception was the Maldives, to which Indian assistance has been consistently increasing year on year since 2013, despite the dip in bilateral ties. 
  • The Maldives is the only country of the grouping that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not yet visited, and despite rising tensions between New Delhi and Male over the conduct of elections this year and the crackdown on the Opposition parties by President Abdulla Yameen, Indian largesse appears to have increased ten-fold to the islands: from ₹9.67 crore in 2013-14 to ₹109.24 crore.
  • When asked, officials conceded that one of the major reasons for the decline was that many projects had been completed in the neighbourhood, and there were fewer projects started in the period since 2014.
  • In Afghanistan, India has shifted to work on small development projects (SDPs) rather than the ambitious highways, dams and big building projects that were started in 2008-09. 
  • In Bangladesh, the main grant for land acquisition for the Akhaura-Agartala rail “last link” project has now been completed. 
  • In Bhutan, which has always received the largest share of Indian assistance, the assistance required for major hydroelectric power plants like Punatsanghchu 1 and 2 and Mangdechu has been disbursed 75-90%, said officials, while Indian assistance to Bhutan’s 11th five-year plan (2013-2017) has been handed over nearly fully. 
Genetic ‘barcodes’ reveal three frogs unreported in India
  • Each species can be recognised by its unique genetic ‘barcode’ and using this method, a team of scientists has identified three frog species not recorded in India before.
  • The researchers also found that the ornate narrow-mouthed frog — thought to be widely-distributed in Asia — is seen only in peninsular India and Sri Lanka.
  • Unravelling complex taxonomy, the team found that India is home to not just the ornate narrow-mouthed frog but also the Nilphamari, Mymensingh and Mukhlesur’s narrow-mouthed frogs (seen in other south Asian countries).
  • The team reported Bangladesh’s Mukhlesur’s narrow-mouthed frog, for instance, from Mizoram. The nocturnal Nilphamari narrow-mouthed frog, seen in Bangladesh and Nepal, has been recorded in the Western Ghats (Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra), the Eastern Ghats (Andhra Pradesh and Odisha) and central, east and northeastern India. Most narrow-mouthed frogs seen in northeastern India are Mymensingh narrow-mouthed frogs.
  • The study reveals that the ornate narrow-mouthed frog is present only in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. However, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) currently classifies the species as “Least Concern” based on the outdated information that it is widespread. This could be a “major concern”.
  • The study would “enable IUCN to review the conservation status of this group of frogs across South Asia at the earliest opportunity”, said Neil Cox, manager of the biodiversity assessment unit, IUCN.
  • These findings also increase India’s frog species tally to 400.
Centre to spend ₹10,000 crore on Northeast
  • The Digital North East Vision 2022, which has been announced just a year ahead of 2019 general elections, has identified a total of eight thrust areas to enhance connectivity, including telecom infrastructure, electronics manufacturing units, BPOs and cyber security, besides promotion of digital innovations.
  • The majority of the projects will be implemented by the Department of Telecom. The Ministry of Electronics and IT is expected to fund projects to the tune of ₹1,397 crore, while the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region will spend ₹411 crore. 
  • The Home Ministry has committed investments of ₹53 crore. The investments from the private sector, however, are expected to be limited to about ₹70 crore. Special focus will be given to 8,621 unconnected villages in the region, Mr. Prasad said.
  • s part of the initiative, Mr. Prasad also inaugurated the first electronics manufacturing cluster in the northeastern region in Guwahati
More Assembly seats for Sikkim
  • The Home Ministry has moved the Union Cabinet to increase the number of seats in the Sikkim Assembly from 32 to 40. The State goes to the polls in 2019.
  • A senior Ministry official said the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will soon decide on the proposal. 
  • If approved, it will be the first expansion of the Assembly since Sikkim merged with India in 1975.
  • The seats are being increased to accommodate the Limboo and Tamang communities, notified as Scheduled Tribes in January 2003. Of the eight new seats, five will be reserved for them.
  • A petition was moved in the Supreme Court that Limboos and Tamangs were not adequately represented in the Assembly, and the court on January 4, 2016 directed the Home Ministry to take action.
  • The delegation said the tribal community nursed a sense of deprivation of their political and fundamental rights, ever since they had been declared a Scheduled Tribe in 2003 under Article 342 of the Constitution. There are 90,000 Limboo-Tamangs.
  • Sikkim has 12 seats reserved for Bhutias-Lepchas. It is not because they are a Scheduled Tribe, but as a sequel to a political agreement in 1973 between the Government of India, the former Chogyal (King) of Sikkim and political parties. 
  • By the Delimitation Act, 2002, the number of seats in an Assembly can be readjusted only on the basis of the first census after 2026. 
  • The Second Schedule to the Representation of People Act, 1950 and Section 5A of the Representation of People Act, 1951 have been amended to change the Assembly strength.
Justice Jhaveri takes oath as Odisha CJ
  • Justice Kalpesh Satyendra Jhaveri was sworn in as the Chief Justice of the Orissa High Court. 
  • Governor Ganeshi Lal administered the oath of office to the new Chief Justice.
Tahilramani sworn in as Chief Justice of Madras HC
  • ustice Vijaya Kamlesh Tahilramani was sworn in as the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court by Governor Banwarilal Purohit at a ceremony at Raj Bhavan.
  • Justice Tahilramani's appointment as the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court followed the elevation of her predecessor, Indira Banerjee, as a Supreme Court judge.
AMBIS to increase detection, conviction rates
  • Once the Maharashtra government implements its ambitious Automated Multi-modal Biometric Identification System (AMBIS), crime detection and conviction rates in the State will go up, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said.
  • The system is unique because it uses mobile live scanners, and a police patrol team can ascertain on the spot if a suspect has criminal antecedents.
  • Besides detecting crime through fingerprints at the crime scene, the system with the help of retinal scan, writers pad, palm and even bare sole scans can help trace criminals with 100% accuracy, and that too within a 0.46 milliseconds.
  • The fingerprint data can be shared by the State government with the National Crime Records Bureau, other State governments, investigation agencies, courts, crime experts and even with Interpol and foreign investigation agencies.
  • Under the system, every police station in the State will have a scanner linked to the main server at the State Police headquarters.
ISRO set to launch its TV channel
  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will have an year-long Vikram Sarabhai centenary celebration starting in August 2019 to honour the visionary scientist and legendary founding father.
  • In a few months’ time, it plans to roll out a dedicated ISRO TV channel, showcasing space applications, developments and science issues, targeting young viewers and people in remote areas in their language.
  • Sarabhai, the architect of the Indian space programme, the first ISRO chief and renowned cosmic ray scientist, was born on August 12, 1919.
  • ISRO’s tributes to Sarabhai start with naming the first Indian moon landing spacecraft of the Chandrayaan-2 mission ‘Vikram’. The mission is planned for early 2019.
  • A chair each at Sarabhai's two alma maters, Cambridge University and Gujarat University, as also at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), would be set up, apart from giving awards, scholarships and fellowships in the country and abroad, ISRO Chairman K. Sivan said at a news conference on Sunday, the 99th birthday of the legend.
  • The events are being taken up with an initial outlay of ₹50 crore.
  • ISRO will shortly start allowing the public to watch satellite launches from its Sriharikota launch centre. 
WORLD

Nobel laureate V.S. Naipaul, who passed away
  • Nobel laureate V.S. Naipaul, who passed away on Saturday at his home in London, documented the migrations of peoples, the unravelling of the British Empire, the ironies of exile and the clash between belief and unbelief in more than a dozen unsparing novels and as many works of non-fiction.
  • Mr. Naipaul was born of Indian ancestry in Trinidad, went to Oxford University on a scholarship and lived the rest of his life in England, where he forged one of the most illustrious literary careers of the last half century.
  • Mr. Naipaul personified a sense of displacement. Having left behind the circumscribed world of Trinidad, he was never entirely rooted in England. In awarding him the Nobel Prize in literature in 2001, the Swedish Academy described him as “a literary circumnavigator, only ever really at home in himself, in his inimitable voice”.

SPORTS

Delhi to host World Cup in 2020
  • The Indian shooters preparing for the Tokyo Olympics will have top-class competition at home as the International Shooting Federation (ISSF) has awarded a World Cup in principle to India in 2020.
  • India is scheduled to host a World Cup next year from February 20 to 28, which will offer Olympic quota places for Tokyo.
  • The dates for the World Cup in India in 2020 will be finalised soon, as the ISSF has only put the dates for the Olympic Games as well as the World Cup in Tokyo, a test event for the Olympics, for 2020.
Magical finish for Madappa
  • Madappa became the youngest Indian to win on the Asian Tour, beating the record held by Gaganjeet Bhullar who won the Indonesia Invitational when he was 21.
  • he maiden Asian Tour title also made him richer by $63,000.