Current Affairs Today September 6 2018

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Current Affairs Today September 6 2018

 INDIAN AFFAIRS

India, US hold 2+2 dialogue concluded in New Delhi.
On September 6, 2018, Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and Minister of Defence Nirmala Sitharaman welcomed Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and Secretary of Defence James N. Mattis to India for the inaugural India-U.S. Ministerial 2+2 Dialogue.

India, US hold 2+2 dialogue concluded in New Delhi.i. The next 2+2 meeting is to be held in the United States in 2019.
Objective:
Strengthening the Defence and Security Partnership.
Key Points:
i. The following took place in the meeting:

  • Negotiations on an Industrial Security Annex (ISA)to support defence industry cooperation and collaboration,
  • Signing of a Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA),
  • Decision on exchanges between the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) and the Indian Navy,
  • Memorandum of Intent between the U.S. Defence Innovation Unit (DIU) and the Indian Defence Innovation Organization – Innovation for Defence Excellence (DIO-iDEX) for co-development projects through the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI).
  • Exchanges between the Ministry of Commerce of India and the Office of the United States Trade Representative
  • Collaboration between Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and Westinghouse Electric Company for the establishment of nuclear power plants in India.
  • Other collaboration in health, space, oceans, and other areas of science and technology.
  • To grow the bilateral trade to $500-600 billion from the current $125 billon,
  • Discussion on H1B Visa,
  • tri-Services joint exercise with the United States off the eastern coast of India in 2019 was decided.

Other News:
i. US announced its support for India’s membership into the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
ii. India welcomed the recent U.S.-North Korea summit.
iii. United States welcomed India’s accession to the Australia Group, the Wassenaar Arrangement, and the Missile Technology Control Regime.
iv. US acknowledged India’s economic assistance to Afghanistan.
v. US decided to elevate India to STA Tier 1 status for access to advanced technologies, especially in the defence field.
US:
♦ Capital: Washington D.C.
♦ Currency: US Dollar.

Government launches National Mission on Government e Marketplace (GeM)
On 5th September 2018, National Mission on Government e Marketplace (GeM) was launched to enhance the adoption and use of GeM by major central Ministries, State Governments and their agencies.

Government launches National Mission on Government e Marketplace (GeM)i. The National Mission aims to promote inclusiveness, transparency and efficiency in public procurement and bring cashless, contactless and paperless transaction.
ii. It will increase overall efficiency and cost saving on government expenditure in procurement.
iii. A 6-week special drive is conducted from 6th September to 15th October 2018, where the mission will be launched at state headquarters by Chief Ministers.
iv. GeM offers online, end to end solution for procurement of commonly used goods and services for all Central Government Departments and State Governments, Public Sector Units and affiliated bodies. It completed 2 years on 26th of August 2018.

Continuation of Centrally Sponsored Umbrella Scheme of Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats for 2017-20 approved by Cabinet
On September 6, 2018, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved continuation of the Centrally Sponsored Umbrella Scheme of Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats (CSS-IDWH)beyond the 12thPlan period from 2017-18 to 2019-20.
i. The Scheme consists of :

  • Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Project Tiger (CSS-PT),
  • Development of Wildlife Habitats (CSS-DWH) and
  • Project Elephant (CSS-PE).

ii. The total outlay is Rs. 1731.72 crore for 2017-18 to 2019-20. Out of this:
Central share is: Rs. 1143 crore for Project Tiger, Rs. 496.50 crore for Development of Wildlife Habitats and Rs.92.22 crore for Project Elephant).
iii. Under  Project Tiger, total of 18 tiger range States would be benefitted.
iv. Under Project Elephant, 23 elephant range States would be benefitted whereas for Development of Wildlife Habitats (DWH)  entire country comes in its coverage.
v.It will generate direct employment of about 30 lakh mandays annually.
About Project Tiger:
Launch year: 1973.
About Project Elephant:
Launch Year: 1992.

Supreme Court decriminalises Section 377: Consensual unnatural sex not a crime
On 6th September 2018, the Supreme Court decriminalised part of the law under Section 377 of the IPC (Indian Penal Code) which criminalises consensual unnatural sex.
Key Points:
i. The constitution bench stated that, the part of Section 377 of the IPC which criminalises consensual unnatural sex, violated the right to equality and the right to live with dignity.
ii. It has struck down Section 377 of the IPC which criminalises consensual unnatural sex. It has also set aside its 2013 verdict in which it had re-criminalised consensual unnatural sex.
iii. Other aspects of Section 377 of the IPC related unnatural sex with animals and children remain in force.
iv. The constitution bench was headed by: Chief Justice Dipak Misra. Other judges in the bench were: Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra.
About Section 377 of the IPC:
Section 377 referred to ‘unnatural offences’. It states that whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal shall be punished.

First 2-day India Idea Summit held in Mumbai by USIBC
On September 5, 2018, the US-India Business Council (USIBC), an American business advocacy group held its two-day India Ideas Summit in Mumbai.

First 2-day India Idea Summit held in Mumbai by USIBC
Objective:
To showcase innovation and strengthen the business relations between the two countries.
Key Points:
It was inaugurated by inaugurated by the Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Union Minister of Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu delivered the key note address.
i.The theme of the summit is ‘US and India connecting our future’ .
ii.This is the first time that US India Business Council (USIBC) is holding its annual general body meeting in India. It plans to hold its summit every alternate year in India.
iii.It will feature multiple sessions with business executives, policymakers, and thought leaders in a dynamic and interactive two-day conference
iv.It will serve as a platform for networking and B2B engagement and main focus would be on investment, technology and collaboration.
v.It was held on the sidelines of the maiden 2+2 India-US dialogue in New Delhi on September 6.
Other news :
i.Along with the Summit, on September 6, 2018, the 43rd Annual General Meeting will take place.
ii.It will bring together leaders from business, government and society for an exchange of ideas on the future of U.S.-India connectivity.
US India Business Council (USIBC):
Headquarters: Washington D.C.

Piyush Goyal, along with CM Yogi launched official website and app for Kumbh Mela 2019
On September 5, 2018, Rail Minister Piyush Goyal along with Chief Minister of UP Yogi Adityanath launched the official website and app for Kumbh Mela, 2019 in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.

Piyush Goyal, along with CM Yogi launched official website and app for Kumbh Melai. These will help pilgrims and tourists to attend the Kumbh which will be held on the banks of Sangam in 15th January 2019.
ii. The website is: www.kumbh.gov.in . It will provide details about location, trains, accessibility, weather and accommodations.
iii. The railway Minister directed officials to use 100 racks of different trains for promotion of Brand Kumbh.

Rs. 80.37 Crores worth developmental projects sanctioned by Tourism Ministry under Swadesh Darshan in Kerala
On September 6, 2018, Minister of State for Tourism (I/C) Shri K.J. Alphons announced the sanction of Rs. 80.37 Crores for “Development of Rural Circuit: Malanad Malabar Cruise Tourism Project’ in Kerala under Swadesh Darshan Scheme.
About the Project:
i. The project focuses on development of water based thematic cruise experiences in and around Valapattanam and Kuppam Rivers of Kannur District.
ii. It consists of three thematic cruises :

  • Malabari Cuisine and Culinary Cruise in Valapattanam River(40 km),
  • Theyyam Cruise in Valapattanam River (16 km),
  • Mangrove Cruise in Kuppam River(16 km).

iii. The project would develop basic infrastructure facilities like:
Passenger Terminals, Boat Terminals, Jetties, Boat Race Gallery, Restaurants, Food Courts etc.
Background:
Kerala has 44 rivers and the total length of the navigation route in the Kerala is 1900 km.
About Swadesh Darshan Scheme:
♦ ‘Swadesh Darshan’ (tour of country) is a flagship scheme of the Ministry of Tourism for the development of thematic circuits of 13 cities in the country in a planned and prioritised manner.
♦ It was launched in 2014-15.
Kerala:
♦ Capital: Thiruvananthapuram.
♦ Chief Minister: Pinarayi Vijayan.
♦ Governor: Palanisamy Sathasivam.

Telangana Cabinet passed resolution to dissolve Legislative Assembly
On September 6, 2018, the Telengana Cabinet passed a resolution to dissolve the first Legislative Assembly .
i. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao and his cabinet will continue as caretaker government.
ii. The ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi now has 90 members.
iii. Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao also announced a list of 105 candidates for the upcoming elections.
Telangana:
♦ Chief Minister: K.Chandrashekhar Rao.
♦ Governor: E.S.L. Narasimhan.
♦ National Parks:  Kasu Brahmananda Reddy National Park, Mahaveera Harina National Park, Mrugavani National Park.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

The International Women Entrepreneurs Summit 2018 was held in Kathmandu
On September 5, 2018, the 3 –day long International Women Entrepreneurs Summit 2018 inaugurated by Vice President of Nepal Nanda Bahadur Pun concluded in Nepal.

The International Women Entrepreneurs Summit 2018i. The theme of the 3-day event was “Equality begins with Economic Empowerment”. 
ii. It was organized by the South Asian Women Development Forum.
iii. The main objective of the summit is to bring together achievers, women business leaders, professionals etc to focus on innovative economic transformation through discussions and collaborations.
iv. Delegates from the SAARC, ASEAN, EU, AfricaArab countries and China participated in the summit.
South Asian Women Development Forum:
♦ Headquarters: Kathmandu, Nepal.
♦ It is first SAARC Recognized Body organisation working on women entrepreneurs issues.

India Pavilion at Food and Drink Technology Africa Trade Show in South Africa launched by TPCI
On September 6, 2018, the Food and Drink Technology Africa 2018 trade show concluded in Johannesburg, South Africa.

India Pavilion at Food and Drink Technology Africa Trade Show in South Africai. On behalf of India, Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI)  with the support of Ministry of Commerce and Industry and delegation of 42 Indian businessmen related to food and beverages industry took part in it.
ii. This provided a platform for them to explore export opportunities, joint ventures, technology transfers and marketing tie-ups with other nations including South Africa.
iii. Further, TPCI will be participating in similar events in Turkey, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Spain in the coming months.
Background:
Food & Drink Technology Africa (FDT-Africa) – held biennially in Johannesburg – is the premier beverage and food event in Southern Africa.
TPCI:
Headquarters: Delhi.

India ranked 19 in ‘Theft Ranking’ of nuclear weapons in Nuclear Security Index: NTI
On September 6, 2018, according to the biennial Nuclear Security Index released by US-based Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), India ranks 19th in the ‘Theft Ranking’ for countries with weapons usable nuclear materials.
Highlights:
i. India has improved its ranking by one spot from 2016.
ii. India got 19th rank and Pakistan ranked 20th.
iii. Australia ( that topped in 2012, 2014, 2016) shares the top spot with Switzerland in 2018.
iv. Finland, New Zealand, and Sweden tied for the top ranking among countries with less than one kilogram of or no weapons-usable nuclear materials.
v. China, Belgium, and Germany made notable improvements with the highest being Japan.
vi. Argentina and Poland have joined the list of countries that have removed all highly enriched uranium.
vii. Since 2012, 22 countries have weapons-usable nuclear materials, compared with 32 in the first released Index.
About the Index:
♦ The NTI assesses the state of nuclear security in countries that possess nuclear materials.
♦ The theft ranking assesses the security conditions of nuclear materials in two kinds of countries. First, 22 countries with one kilogram or more of weapons-usable nuclear materials and secondly, 154 countries with less than one kilogram of or no weapons-usable nuclear materials all.

BANKING & FINANCE

RBI bought 8.46 tonne of gold; first in 9 years
On September 6, 2018, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) bought 8.46 tonne of gold in financial year 2017-18.

RBI bought 8.46 tonne of gold; first in 9 yearsi. This is the first purchase in almost nine years.
ii. RBI now has 566.23 tonne of gold in this year.
iii. Earlier in November 2009, RBI had bought 200 tonne of gold from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
iv. The value of gold held as asset of Banking Department rose by 11.12% due to the depreciating value of rupee against dollar.

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Lockheed Martin, Tata JV collaborate to make F-16 jet wings in India by TASL
On September 6, 2018, Maryland-based Lockheed Martin announced that the wings of F-16 Block 70 fighter jets will be produced in India as a part of Make in India‘ initiative.

Lockheed Martin, Tata JV collaborate to make F-16 jet wings in India by TASLi. It entered into an agreement with Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) for the production of the wings.
ii. Further partnership on building the C-130J [Super Hercules airlifter] and S-92 [helicopter] has been made between the 2 firms.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Justice Arup Kumar Goswami made Acting Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court
Justice Arup Kumar Goswami has been appointed the acting chief justice of the Gauhati High Court with effect from 6thSeptember 2018.
i. His appointment has been made following the retirement of Gauhati High Court Chief Justice Ajit Singh.

Akshay Kumar is the first honorary ambassador of Lal Bahadur Shastri Memorial Foundation
On 5th September 2018, actor Akshay Kumar was made the first honorary ambassador of Lal Bahadur Shastri Memorial Foundation.
i. Lal Bahadur Shastri Memorial Foundation was founded by the family of India’s second Prime Minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri. His grandson Vinamra Shastri, is the current president of the foundation.
ii. Akshay Kumar will support  the ‘Jai Jawan Jai Kisan’ motto for the welfare of the soldier (jawan) and the farmer (kisan).

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

India, France to collaborate on human space mission of ISRO
On September 6, 2018, India and France announced a working group for Gaganyaan, ISRO’s first manned mission at the sixth edition of Bengaluru Space Expo.
i. India plans to send three humans to space before 2022.
ii. ISRO and CNES, the French space agency, will be combining their expertise in fields of space medicine, astronaut health monitoring, life support, radiation protection, space debris protection and personal hygiene systems for the mission.
iii. ISRO plans to conduct experiments on microgravity through its astronauts.
About the collaboration:
i. They will focus on :

  • infrastructure such as CADMOS centre for development of microgravity applications,
  • Use of MEDES space clinic,
  • exchange of specialist personnel,
  • in areas of climate monitoring,
  • inventing the launch vehicles of the future,
  • plans to work on Mars, Venus and asteroids.

ISRO:
♦ Headquarter: Bengaluru.
♦ Chairman: K. Sivan.
CNES:
♦ Headquarters: Paris, France.

Indian Air Force successfully carried first-ever mid-air refuelling of LCA Tejas MK I
On September 6, 2018,  Indian Air Force for the first time successfully conducted mid-air dry link up refuelling of Tejas MK I fighter jet by Indian Air Force’s Russian built Il-78 MKI tanker.

Indian Air Force successfully carried first-ever mid-air refuelling of LCA Tejas MK Ii. Dry link up means no fuel was transferred between the 2 aircrafts.
ii. The tanker was launched from IAF’s base in Agra while LCA Tejas fighter was launched from Gwalior.
iii. Nine more tests will be held including  the  wet tests where the actual transfer of fuel will take place.
About the Tejas MK I fighter jet:
i. The fighter jet is a part of the ‘Flying Daggers’ of the 45 Squadron.
ii. It has been designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
iii. The IAF has 40 Tejas Mk1 fighters on order and will acquire another 83 Tejas Mk-1A fighters.
iv. Each Tejas Mk-1A will be Rs.463 cores.
HAL:
♦ Headquarters: Bengaluru.
♦ CMD: R. Madhavan.
ADA:
♦ Headquarters: Bengaluru.

Google announces new AI Technology to fight online child sexual abuse
On 3rd September 2018, Google announced launch of a new artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to curb online spreading of contents involving child sexual abuse.
i. The advanced AI technology uses deep neural networks for image processing that will enable identification of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) online.
ii. The new tool will be made available for free to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other industry partners through a new Content Safety API service.

Japan to test mini ‘space elevator’
Japanese researchers have developed a “space elevator”. Its first trial will be conducted on 11th September 2018, by launching a miniature version on satellites.
i. The test equipment has been developed by researchers at Shizuoka University. It will be launched on an H-2B rocket by Japan’s space agency from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center.
ii. The miniature elevator is 6 cm long, 3 cm wide, and 3 cm high. It will move along a 10-metre cable suspended in space between two mini satellites.

BOOKS & AUTHORS

Book on “Experiential Learning – Gandhiji’s Nai Talim” launched
On 5th September 2018, a book named “Experiential Learning – Gandhiji’s Nai Talim” (basic education) was released by Union Minister of Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar, on the occasion of National Teachers’ Day.

Book on “Experiential Learning – Gandhiji’s Nai Talim” launchedNai Talim:
i.Contents: basic principles of Gandhi’s ‘Nai Talim’, work and education curriculum for schools, D.Ed, B.Ed and faculty development programmes for teachers.
ii. Launched in 13 languages: Assamese, Tamil, Bengali, Odiya, Kannada, Malyalam, Punjabi, Marathi, Telugu, Gujarati, Urdu, Hindi and English.
iii. Developed by: Universities in the state, state SCERT (State Council of Educational Research and Training) and Mahatma Gandhi National Council of Rural Education (MGNCRE).
iv. To mark Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary, a movement to promote Nai Talim, Work Education and Experiential Learning is carried out in educational institutions throughout India.
About Mahatma Gandhi National Council of Rural Education (MGNCRE):
♦ Formerly known as – National Council of Rural Institutes (NCRI)
♦ Functions under – Ministry of Human Resource Development
♦ Objective – curriculum design, development and capacitating teachers for higher education programmes