Current Affairs Today August 30 2018

We are here for you to provide the important current affairs August 30 2018 which have unique updates of all daily events from all newspapers such as The Hindu, The Economic Times, PIB, Times of India, India Today, Indian Express, Business Standard, all Government official websites. Our complete current affairs helps you to get more marks in Banking, insurance, UPSC, SSC, CLAT, Railway and all other competitive Exams.

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Current Affairs Today August 30 2018

 INDIAN AFFAIRS

Centre sanctions Rs 730 cr for Narmada project
On August 30, 2018, the Centre sanctioned Rs 730 crore for the Gujarat’s Sardar Sarovar Dam project on the Narmada river.
i. It also granted soft loan of Rs 1,500 crore for the state’s other irrigation projects.
ii.The Rs. 1500 crore loan will be repaid by the state in 15 years, with installments starting after a three-year grace period.
About Narmada Project:
i. The total cost of the project is estimated to be Rs.13000 crore.
ii. It’s area covers 17 districts, is spread over 27,000 square km.
iii. It is considered one of India’s 99 major irrigational projects.
Gujarat:
♦ National Parks: Gir Forest National Park, Vansda National Park, Blackbuck National Park, Jambughoda Wildlife Sanctuary.
♦ Lakes: Moti Lake, Damodar Kund, Kankaria Lake, Hamirsar Lake, Narayan Sarovar, Thol Lake, Chandola Lake, Gopi Talav.

PM-STIAC: 21 member committee formed To Advise PM On Science, Tech-Related Policy Issues
On August 30, 2018, the Government has constituted a 21 member high power committee to advise it on policy matters related to science, technology and innovation.
Objective:
The committee will advise the Prime Minister on all matters related to S&T, innovation and monitor the implementation of PM’s vision.
Key Points:
i. The name of the committee is : PM-STIAC (Science, Technology, Innovation Advisory Committee).
ii. It is chaired by K Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government.
iii. There are 9 permanent members. Among them some are: VK Saraswat, Member NITI Aayog and former DG of DRDO; A S Kiran Kumar, ex-Chairman ISRO etc.
iv. Secretaries of all science & technology related ministries are also a part of it including: atomic energy, space, biotechnology, new & renewable energy, environment & forests, agriculture, health & higher education.
v. The PM-STIAC will effectively supersede the SAC-Cabinet and SAC-PM (came into power in 2014) which will be dissolved.

Government puts restrictions on export of bio-fuels: DGFT
On August 30, 2018, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) announced that the government had imposed restrictions on export of bio-fuels including the same for imports.
i. This is as per the national policy on biofuels 2018.
ii. The restriction on import and export of bio-fuels include ethyl alcohol and other denatured spirits, bio-dieselpetroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals other than crude.
iii.In an another notification, DGFT, which is under the commerce ministry, said that it has now permitted import of petroleum bitumen and other residues of petroleum oils or oils obtained from bituminous minerals.

Department of Biotechnology and International Energy Agency sign MOU on Innovation for the Clean Energy Transition
On August 30, 2018, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology, and the International Energy Agency (IEA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on innovation in clean energy transition.

Department of Biotechnology and International Energy Agency sign MOU on Innovation for the Clean Energy Transitioni. This agreement will be coordinated :

  • In India by Mission Innovation IndiaUnit set up by DBT (under Ministry of Sceince & Technology) and
  • International Partnership and Initiatives Unit (IPI) of IEA.

ii. This agreement will be valid initially for 3 years.
iii. Focus areas are:

  • Cooperation to accelerate the research, development,
  • Support the generation of data for policymaking,
  • Improve knowledge of good policy practices for innovation,
  • Sharing of data regarding energy and its analysis,
  • training and capacity building.

About International Energy Agency (IEA):
♦ Headquarters: Paris.
♦ Members: 30
About Mission Innovation Programme:
♦ It is a global initiative to make clean energy affordable to consumers, and create jobs and address climate change.
♦ Members: 22 countries and EU.
♦ Launched : 2015

Odisha ranks 2nd after Andhra in implementation of AMRUT scheme: National Level Rating Framework
On August 30, 2018, in the National Level Rating Framework assessment, Odisha ranked second with a score of 53.19 in implementation of Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) scheme .
The assessment was taken upto August 21, 2018.
Key Points:
About the assessment:
Andhra Pradesh scored highest with 54.11 score.
Odisha’s improvements:
i. The scheme has so far been implemented in 9 towns of the state.
ii. A total of 192 projects have been approved as of now.
iii. This involved investment of around Rs 1810 crore with central and state governments on 50:50 sharing.
iv. In three years from 2015-18, the state has received incentive award of Rs 41.66 crore.
Background:
According to AMRUT guidelines, a set of 11 reforms are to be implemented by the state as well as ULBs within a period of four years.
About AMRUT scheme:
♦ Launch Year: 2015.
♦ Under Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs.

Odisha partnered with 2 US based agencies to eradicate malaria
On August 30, 2018, Odisha government signed an MOU with two US-based agencies to eradicted malaria.

Odisha partnered with 2 US based agencies to eradicate malariai. The 2 agencies are: ‘Malaria No More’ and ‘Malaria Elimination Trust’.
ii. They will prepare a strategy on how to overcome the disease and help in preparing the public awareness campaign materials.
iii. The state has an existing anti-malaria campaign called: the Durgama Anchalare Malaria Nirakaran (DAMaN) Scheme that has brough down 85% of the malaria cases.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Foreigners barred from flying drones in India: RPAS
On August 30, 2018, as per the Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) regulations, foreigners have been barred from flying drones in India.
i. For commercial purpose, they need to lease RPAS to an Indian entity who in-turn will obtain UIN and UAOP from DGCA.
ii. Furthermore, micro drones could be allowed during night subject to various conditions and up to a height of 200 feet above ground level.
iii. These regulations would come into force from December 1, 2018.

4th ASIAN ELECTORAL STAKEHOLDER FORUM IV(AESF-IV) held in Colombo Sri Lanka on 27th and 28th August
From August 27-28, 2018, the day fourth version of Asian electoral stakeholders forum (AESF-IV) was held Colombo, Sri Lanka.

4th ASIAN ELECTORAL STAKEHOLDER FORUM IV(AESF-IV) held in Colombo Sri Lanka on 27th and 28th AugustObjective:
To focus on the state of elections and democracy in the area.
Key Points:
i. It was jointly organised by Election Commission of Sri Lanka and Asian community for free of charge elections (ANFREL). 
ii. The Theme of AESF-IV was ‘Advancing Election Transparency and Integrity: Advertising and marketing and Defending Democracy Together’.
iii. More than 250 delegates from 45 countries participated in the event.
iv .India was represented by Main Electoral Officer of Maharashtra Ashwini Kumar and NGO.
Backgroud:
i. Initially the 1st AESF was held in Thailand in 2012
ii. The 2nd AESF was held in Dili, Timor Leste in 2015.
iii. The 3rd AESF was held in 2016 in Bali, Indonesia.

Indian Naval ship Sahyadri to participate in 14th exercise KAKADU 2018 in Darwin, Australia
On August 30, 2018, after participating in the MALABAR 18 at Guam and RIMPAC 18 at HawaiiINS Sahyadri entered the Port of Darwin, Australia on 29 Aug 18 to participate in Exercise KAKADU 2018.

Indian Naval ship Sahyadri to participate in 14th exercise KAKADU 2018 in Darwin, Australiai. It is the 14th edition of the exercise and will be conducted from  29 Aug – 15 Sep 18.
ii. 23 warships, one submarine, 45 aircraft, 250 marines and approx 52 foreign staff from over 25 different countries would participate in it.
iii. From the Indian side INS Sahyadri is taking part under the captainship of Captain Shantanu Jha.
About Exercise KAKADU:
i. It first started in 1993.
ii. It is a multilateral regional maritime engagement exercise hosted by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and supported by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
iii. It is a biennial event held at Darwin and the Northern Australian Exercise Areas (NAXA).
iv. It derives its name from Kakadu National Park.

BANKING & FINANCE

99.30% of demonetized money worth Rs.15.31 lakh crore back in the system: RBI annual report
On August 30, 2018, in the annual report published by RBI, it announced that 99.30% of all of the demonetized currency notes have been counted and accounted for by the central bank.
Key Points in the Annual Report:
iRs 15.31 lakh crore worth currency notes have now been returned, since November 8, 2016.
ii. The total worth of notes that was in circulation at the time of demonetization was : Rs 15.41 lakh crore
iii. Rs 10,720 crore of the currency did not return to the banking system.
iv. This amount has been shifted to the central bank’s ‘Other Liabilities and Provisions’ segment from the earlier ‘Notes issued’ segment which was a part of liability.
v. Post-demonetisation, RBI spent Rs 7,965 crore in 2016-17 on printing new Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 and other denomination notes, more than double the Rs 3,421 crore spent in the previous year.
vi. In 2017-18 (July 2017 to June 2018), it spent another Rs 4,912 crore on printing of currency.
Other News:
i. The notes that were allowed in the system after the ban were called : specified bank notes (SBNs)
ii. These were allowed to be deposited in banks with unusual deposits coming under income tax scrutiny.

India’s economic growth rate to grow at 7.4 per cent in 2018-19: RBI
On August 30, 2018, its annual report, RBI stated that India’s economic growth rate will grow at 7.4 per cent in the current financial year.It was 6.7 percent in the previous year.
According to the report:
i. The reasons cited for better GDP are:

  • Increased industrial activityand
  • Good Monsoon.

ii. According to the report, agricultural production is likely to remain strong.
iii. The headline inflation may increase in the remaining portion of the year.
iv. RBI will work toward the medium term target for retail inflation of percent.

$375 Million Loan agreement signed by ADB & India to improve irrigation in Madhya Pradesh
On August 30, 2018, Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $375 million loan agreement to double farming incomes in Madhya Pradesh.

$375 Million Loan agreement signed by ADB & India to improve irrigation in Madhya PradeshIt would be done via The Madhya Pradesh Irrigation Efficiency Improvement Project.
Key Points:
i. It will cover 2 large irrigation systems: the Kundalia irrigation project, the existing Sanjay Sarovar Irrigation Project.
ii. The projects include developing 125,000 hectares of climate resilient and efficient irrigation networks.
iii. It would expand irrigation networks and system efficiency in more than 400 villages, benefiting over 800,000 people in Madhya Pradesh.
About ADB:
♦ Established in 1966.
♦ Members: 67 countries.

$250 Million Agreement signed by Government of India, Government of Rajasthan and World Bank to Support DISCOMS in Rajasthan
On August 29, 2018, the Government of India, the Government of Rajasthan and the World Bank signed a $250 million Development Policy Loan (DPL) for Rajasthan.

$250 Million Agreement signed by Government of India, Government of Rajasthan and World Bank to Support DISCOMS in RajasthanObjective:
To improve the performance of its Electricity Distribution Sector under the State’s 24×7 Power for All program.
Key Points:
i. The name of the loan is : The Second Programmatic Electricity Distribution Reform Development Policy Loan.
ii. The loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a 3-year grace period, and a maturity of 21 years.
iii. The agreement was signed by

  • Mr. Sameer Kumar Khare, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance,
  • Shri P. Ramesh, Special Secretary, Government of Rajasthan and
  • Mr. Hisham Abdo, Acting Country Director, World Bank India.

iv. This is the second in the series of two operations for Rajasthan’s electricity distribution sector. The first one was done in March 2017.
v. The Focus areas are:

  • Strengthening Governance in the Distribution Sector in the State,
  • MOU between the DISCOMs and the State Government,
  • Performance Management System,
  • providing incentives to employees for improving performance,
  • Financial Restructuring by transferring amounts of the DISCOMs debt to the State,

World Bank:
♦ Headquarters: Washington D.C.
♦ CEO: Kristalina Georgieva.
♦ President: Jim Yong Kim.
♦ Subsidiaries: IBRD, IDA, IFC, MIGA, ICSID.

$346 Million Loan signed by Government of India and ADB to improve 419 km of State Highways in Karnataka
On August 30, 2018, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of lndia signed a $346 million loan to finance Karnataka State Highways lmprovement lll Project (KSHIP-lll).
i. This involves improvement of 419 kilometers of state highways to enhance connectivity to economic centers across 12 districts in Kamataka.
ii. The agreement was signed between:

  • Shri  Sameer Kumar Khare, Joint Secretary (Fund Bank and ADB), Department of Economic Affairs and
  • Mr  Kenichi Yokoyama, Country Director of ADB’s lndia Resident Mission.

iii. An existing road improvement project financed by ADB with a loan of $315 million is under implementation which will improve 615 kilometers of state roads.
About Karnataka State Highways lmprovement lll Project (KSHIP-lll):
i. It will upgrade about 419 kilometers of state highways to two- and four-lane.
ii. It will also strengthen the institutional capacity of the Karnataka Public Works, Ports, and lnland Water Transport Department.
ADB:
Headquarters: Manila, Philippines.

Germany sanctioned Euro 120 mn soft loan for Clean Ganga Mission: German Envoy
On August 30, 2018, German envoy Jasper Wieck on behalf of Germany announced grant of Euro 120 mn soft loan for Clean Ganga Mission to India through German Development Bank KfW .
Objective:
Sewage water treatment infrastructure in Uttarakhand.
Key Points:
i. The project would focus on:

  • Extension and replacement of sewerage system (around 360 kilometres),
  • Construction of sewage treatment plants of around 15 million litres per day (mld).
  • Construction of 13sewage pumping stations.

ii. The purpose of the project is to reduce the inflow of untreated waste water in River Ganga and improve the water quality of the river.
Germany:
♦ Capital: Berlin.
♦ Currency: Euro.
♦ President: Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
♦ Chancellor: Angela Merkel.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Ulka Mahajan conferred with Praful Bidwai memorial award 2018
On August 30, 2018, Ulka Mahajan was conferred Praful Bidwai memorial award 2018.

Ulka Mahajan conferred with Praful Bidwai memorial award 2018i. The award was presented to her by social activist Medha Patkar.
ii. She is one of the 3 founders of Sarvahara Jan Andolan.
iii. The SJA has been working to empower extremely impoverished and marginalised communities of Raigad, Maharashtra, through people’s action.
About Praful Bidwai memorial award:
♦ It was instituted in the memory of journalist and social activist “Praful Bidwai” who died in Amsterdam in 2015.
♦ It recognizes the efforts of individuals and institutions that are committed to radical social transformation, justice for all and gender equality.

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS

Tapzo acquired by Amazon in a $35-40 million deal
On August 30, 2018, Amazon announced that Amazon Pay, the payments arm of Amazon India, will acquire Sequoia-backed Tapzo.

Tapzo acquired by Amazon in a $35-40 million deali. The deal values at about $35-40 million.
ii. Tapzo has so far raised over $20 million from Sequoia Capital and American Express Co.
Recent acquires/developmenst by Amazon:
i. Amazon had invested $22 million in digital lending firm Capital float.
ii. It also invested $12 million to digital insurance start-up Acko.
iii. Amazon had backed digital paymenst start up TTag.
iv. Amazon had increased its authorized capital in Amazon Pay from Rs.400 crore to Rs.2000 crore.
Other important acquisitions:
i. Google partnered with 4 banks namely- HDFC Bank Ltd, ICICI Bank Ltd, Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd and Federal Bank Ltd– to provide instant, pre-approved loans to customers in Google Pay.
ii. Paytm, owned by One97 Communications Ltd acquired Warren Buffett-owned Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
Tapzo:
♦ Headquarters: Bengaluru.
♦ Founded: 2009.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

NASA set to launch Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) to track Earth’s melting ice
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will launch Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) in to the space on 12th September 2018, to measure the changes in the heights of Earth’s polar ice.
ICESat-2:
i. ICESat-2 is the most advanced laser instrument of its kind. It will measure the average annual elevation change of land ice covering Greenland and Antarctica to within the width of a pencil. It will capture 60,000 measurements every second.
ii. Its Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) measures height by timing how long it takes individual light photons to travel from the spacecraft to Earth and back.
iii. ICESat-2 will measure ice heights in the polar regions 4 times a year,  as it circles Earth from pole to pole. This will provide seasonal and annual monitoring of ice elevation changes.
iv. It will measure the height of ocean and land surfaces, including heights of trees in forests. This will help to estimate the amount of carbon stored in forests.

Gaganyaan Mission: ISRO unveils plans for India’s manned space flight mission
On 28th August 2018, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), unveiled India’s Gaganyaan programme for manned space flight that will be launched by 2022.

Gaganyaan Mission: ISRO unveils plans for India’s manned space flight missionGaganyaan Mission:
i. The manned mission to space will have 3 crew members. It will be in space for 5 to 7 days and conduct experiments on micro-gravity. After the takeoff, the manned flight will reach the orbit in 16 minutes.
ii. When the crew returns to the Earth, it might land in the Arabian Sea off the Gujarat coast or in the Bay of Bengal or even on land.
iii. The mission would be executed 6 months prior to India’s 75th Independence Day. It will be executed using GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle.
iv. The spacecraft will be placed in a low earth orbit of 300-400 km. The programme is estimated to cost less than Rs 10,000 crores.
v. India will be the 4th country after the USA, Russia and China to send humans to space. This is the first human space mission indigenously developed by ISRO.
About Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO):
♦ Chairman – K. Sivan
♦ Headquarters – Bengaluru

Google Tez rebranded as Google Pay; ties up with banks to offer instant loans
Google has rebranded its payment app Google Tez to Google Pay to improve its growth in India to add more features.

Google Tez rebranded as Google Pay; ties up with banks to offer instant loansKey Points:
i. This announcement was made at the 4th edition of Google for India event in New Delhi on 28th August 2018.
ii. Google has partnered with 4 banks: HDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, ICICI Bank and Federal Bank, to enable instant disbursement of pre-approved loans to user’s account.
iii. If a user has pre-approved loans from one of these banks, they can use Google Pay, to mention the amount they want to borrow and input time period needed to repay. The amount will then be credited to the user’s account.
iv. Google Pay is extending its operations to physical stores like BigBazaar, kirana stores etc. A pilot programme will be run in Bengaluru and Delhi to implement Google Pay in small stores. Google Pay functions in 18 countries.
About Google Tez
♦ Launched in – September 2017 in India
♦ Built over – Unified Payments Interface (UPI)

ENVIRONMENT

Three unknown ancient primates: Ekwiiyemakius walshi, Gunnelltarsius randalli and Brontomomys cerutti identified
Scientists from United States have identified 3 new species of ancient primates that were earlier unknown, and have named them: Ekwiiyemakius walshi, Gunnelltarsius randalli and Brontomomys cerutti.
Key Points:
i. Primates is a group comprising species related to the lemurs, monkeys, apes, humans etc. They lived 42 to 46 million years ago.
ii. The new species were residents of San Diego County in the U.S. They are related to a group of extinct species comprising the primate subfamily Omomyinae.
iii. Ekwiiyemakius walshi: weighs between 113 and 125 grams. It is the smallest of the 3 new species.
iv. Gunnelltarsius randalli: weighs between 275 and 303 grams.
v. Brontomomys cerutti: weighs between 719 and 796 grams.

SPORTS

Asian Games 2018:
Athletics:
Swapna Barman Wins Landmark Gold in Women’s Heptathlon:
Swapna Barman won gold medal in the women’s heptathlon event with a score of 6026 points. She has crossed the landmark of 6000 points mark in Heptathlon. She has won the first gold medal for India in the women’s heptathlon event at the Asian Games.
Chitra Unnikrishnan wins bronze in women’s 1500m:
Chitra Unnikrishnan won bronze medal in women’s 1500m event. She registered a timing of 4 minutes and 12.56 seconds and finished at 3rd position.
Jinson Johnson wins men’s 1500 metres gold:
Jinson Johnson won gold medal in the men’s 1500m event. He finished in 3:44.72 sec. Manjit Singh finished in fourth position with a timing of 3:46.57sec.
Seema Punia bags bronze in discuss throw:
Seema Punia won bronze medal in the women’s discus throw event. She made a throw of 62.26 metres…………………………………….Click here to read – India’s Medal Tally in Asian Games 2018

MedalNameEventIMP. Note
GoldSwapna Barmanheptathlonfirst gold medal for India in the women’s heptathlon at the Asian Games
BronzeChitra Unnikrishnanwomen’s 1500m
GoldJinson Johnsonmen’s 1500m
BronzeSeema Puniadiscuss throw

Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy and Chelsea defender Gary Cahill Retires from England international Football Team
On 28th August 2018, Jamie Vardy and Gary Cahill announced their retirement from England international Football Team.
Retirement of Jamie Vardy and Gary Cahill:
i. Jamie Vardy and Gary Cahill said that, they will still be available for the team in emergency situations.
ii. Jamie Vardy is a striker with Leicester City team. He is 31 years old. He entered international football in 2015. He had scored 7 goals in 26 appearances for England.
iii. Gary Cahill is a defender in the Chelsea team. He is 32 years old. He made his international debut in 2010.

BOOKS & AUTHORS

RK Singh releases book on “Weather Information Portal for Indian Power System”
On 29th August 2018, R K Singh, Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy released a book on “Weather Information Portal for Indian Power System”, at Power System Operation Corporation limited (POSOCO), New Delhi.

RK Singh releases book on “Weather Information Portal for Indian Power System”Weather Information Portal for Indian Power System:
i. This book is a reference document developed by POSOCO along with IMD (India Meteorological Department) to enable better usage of Weather Portal in all areas of Power Sector.
ii. POSOCO manages the Inter-State Transmission of Power to utilities throughout India.
About Power System Operation Corporation limited (POSOCO):
♦ Chairman & Managing Director – Mr. K. V. S. Baba
♦ Registered Office – New Delhi

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances – 30 August
On 30th August 2018, International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances was observed all over the world.
International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances:
i. In 2010, the United Nations General Assembly declared 30th August as the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances. This day was first observed on 30th August 2011.
ii. Enforced disappearance occurs when a person is secretly kidnapped or imprisoned by a state or political organization or a third party, with support of the State, following concealment of information about the person.
iii. This day creates awareness on enforced or involuntary disappearances like arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of enforced disappearances.