Daily News Update 26th August 2020

1. Russia, Turkey sign deal

• Russia and Turkey have signed a contract on the delivery of the 2nd batch of formidable S-400 air defense missile system.

• The sides are now discussing the financial arrangement of implementing the contract.

• Russia and Turkey signed a loan agreement for the supply of S-400 air defense systems in Sept 2017.

• This resulted in the US suspending deliveries of F-35 fighter jets to its NATO ally.

2. ‘Abhilash’ receives International Award

• A short film based on lockdown titled ‘Abhilash’ has bagged an International Award at the ‘Bengal Lockdown online film Festival’ in the Best Social Message Film category.

• The festival, organized under the supervision of organizer Subhamapurva, witnessed contest from around 135 films from around the world.

• Out of these titles, only 50 titles from 20 countries were officially nominated.

3. Country’s longest ‘ropeway over a river

• The Assam Govt. has inaugurated a 1.8-km- long ropeway over the Brahmaputra, connecting Guwahati to North Guwahati.

• It is the longest ropeway on a river in India. Built at a cost of Rs 56 crore, it comprises of two cabins, each with a capacity of 30 passengers and one operator.

• It takes eight minutes to traverse the entire length of the ropeway.

4. Government of India and AlIB Sign Agreement

• The Govt. of India, Govt. of Maharashtra, Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation, and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AlIB) have signed a loan agreement.

• It has been signed for a $500 million Mumbai Urban Transport Project-ll to improve the network capacity, service quality, and safety of the suburban railway system in Mumbai.

• It is expected to increase network capacity in the region.

5. Zen Technologies gets patent from UK

• Zen Technologies Limited has been granted a patent by UK patent office for containerized tubular shooting range (CTSR).

• The valuable patent will give the company an exclusive right to access in many foreign markets.

• .CTSR is range-in-a-container solution, where security forces can train their personnel rapidly and efficiently than conventional ranges.

6. National Council for Transgender Persons

• The Centre has constituted a National Council for Transgender Persons through a notification. The Social Justice and Empowerment

• Minister will be the ex-officio Chairperson and Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment will be ex-officio Vice- Chairperson.

• It will advise the Centre on the formulation of policies and programs, with respect to transgender persons.

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Daily News Update 14th August 2020

Sky root: 1st to test upper-stage rocket engine

  • Aerospace startup Sky root Aerospace has successfully test-fired an upper-stage rocket engine.
  • With this, it has become the first Indian private company to demonstrate the capability to build a homegrown rocket engine.
  • The 3-D printed rocket engine – Raman, named after CV Raman, has fewer moving parts and weighs less than half of conventional rocket engines with a similar capacity.

Japan has signed its largest-ever loan package

  • worth dollar 3.1 billion for Bangladesh.
  • The loan, under its Official Development Assistance (ODA), will be given for seven projects of Bangladesh under concessional terms
  • The loan will cover the construction of Jamuna railway bridge in parallel to the existing Bangabandhu Bridge, expansion of the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport etc.

Saudi Arabia ends a loan to Pakistan

  • Saudi Arabia has ended a loan and associated oil supply to Pakistan.
  • This is because of Islamabad’s criticism that Riyadh-dominated Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is not doing enough on the Kashmir issue.
  • Pakistan Foreign Minister had even threatened to split OIC if the group fails to convene a stand-alone session on Kashmir

First Census of Water Bodies in J&K

  • Financial Commissioner Revenue, Dr PawanKotwal, has launched the first Census of water bodies of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • It will capture information on important parameters of water bodies like their number, size, condition, type of use, storage capacity, etc.

It will be controlled and monitored at the central level by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.

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Daily News Update 5th August 2020

CHRI Report on Slavery

Recently, the Commonwealth Human Right Initiative (CHRI) and Walk Free (an international anti-slavery organization) released a report on slavery on the occasion of World Day Against Trafficking in persons (30th July)

•The report: It assessed the progress made by Commonwealth countries on the promises made in 2018 to end modern slavery by 2030 and achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (target 8.7) of ending forced labor, human trafficking, and Child labor

commonwealth countries account for about 40% of people living in the condition of modern slavery in the world

India Specific Outcome

India has no national coordination body or national Action plan in place to deal with modern-day slavery

• India accounted for one-third of all child brides in the world.

Steps Taken by India

Constitution provision

• Article 21 – deals with the Right to life and personal liberty

•Article 23 – of the constitution prohibits forced labour

China’s Presence water Ecuador water

Recently Ecuador has expressed an official discomfort  over the sighting of flotilla of 260 mostly Chinese fishing vessels near the Galopagos archipelago ( a part near Ecuador )

Reason: Chinese ships are frequent in Ecuador’s water during august month of the year as the cold Humboldt Current brings in nutrient that lead to high congregation of marine species   

 UK considering a coin to commemorate Gandhi

Britain is considering minting a coin to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi, amid growing interest in recognizing the contributions of people from the Black, Asian and other minority ethnic communities.

Gandhi advocated for non-violence throughout his life and played a key role in India’s struggle for independence.

His birthday, Oct. 2, is observed as the International Day of Non-Violence.

2. Pakistan’s PM unveils new political map

Pakistan PM Imran Khan has unveiled a ‘new political map’ of Pakistan that includes Indian illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (lIOJ&K) as part of the country’s territory for the first time.

Furthermore, the new map also shows Siachen as a part of Pakistan.

The Indian government has described it as political absurdity.

The map also includes parts of Western Gujarat.

3. DD Assam 24×7 channel launched

Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar has launched DD Assam 24×7 channel through video conferencing. It was necessary for the State to have a new channel.

All the North-Eastern states have state-specific Doordarshan channels which can be viewed anywhere in India.

Doordarshan Free Dish offers 104 channels free of cost for lifetime and people need to just get a set-top box.

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Daily News Update 4th August 2020

EIA Notification 2020: key facts

The Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has finally extended the timeline to review 80 pages long draft on Enviroment Impact Assessment notification 2020

• In the year 1972 Stockholm Declaration on Environment was signed of which India was also the one among the various signatories. Then in the year 1974 and 1981 India enacted a law to control water and air pollution respectively

1st ever Vyapar Mala Express train

  • Northern Railway ran first-ever Vyapar Mala Express train on 1 August 2020. This train destined for Jirania in Tripura has 46 wagons.
  • Wheat was loaded in 34 wagons at Guniana station of Firozpur Division by Food Corporation of India and in the remaining Rice and Pulses have been loaded.
  • This is an express service where the piece-meal stock will reach its destination in a shorter time.

UAE: 1st country to produce nuclear energy

  • As the Barakah Nuclear Plant’s 1st Unit got operational and UAE became the first country in the Arab World to produce nuclear energy.
  • The new plant is part of the UAE’s graph to become less reliant on oil and gas, the current source of the vast majority of its energy.
  • UAE is among the world’s biggest fossil fuel producers.

Bharat Air Fibre Services’ at Akola

  • In Maharashtra, Minister of State for Electronics, Communication, and IT, Mr.Sanjay Dhotre inaugurated ‘Bharat Air Fibre Services’ at Akola on 2 August 2020.
  • Residents of Akola & Washim districts, including Rural parts, will get Wireless Internet Connections on demand.
  • It will play an important role in rural areas and BSNL is committed to providing uninterrupted service in rural areas.

Tamil Nadu disagrees with center’s Three language policy

State Chief minister said he will not allow the center’s three language policy rather the state will continue with dual language policy of Tamil and English

What does NEP 2020 states

In a 60 long New Education Policy which follows 5+3+3+4 mode the policy advocates three language policy promoting multilingualism

US Impose restrictions on H1B Visa

US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that bans federal agencies from hiring foreign workers especially those on H-1B visa on contracting or subcontracting

•.The unprecedented move is followed by a month old announcement by the Trump government on June 23 where the administration announced that the H-1B visas along with other types of foreign work visas will remain suspended until the end of 2020 to protect American workers in a crucial election

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