Current Affairs & GK Notes 29-30 November 2018

Arvind Saxena appointed as Chairman of UPSC

Saxena will have tenure till August 7, 2020, when he attains the age of 65 years. He has been working as acting head of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) since June 20. He took over charge from Vinay Mittal who had completed his term. Saxena joined the UPSC as a member on May 8, 2015. Prior to joining the UPSC, he was working as director of the Aviation Research Centre (ARC).


Maharashtra approves 16% Maratha quota

The Maharashtra assembly has unanimously approved 16% reservation for the Maratha community in jobs and educational institutes. Following this, the total reservation in the state for OBC, SC/ST groups, other minor social groups, and the Marathas will be 68%. The government created a separate category called socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC).


BCCI announces two-year ban for age frauds

From the 2018-19 season, any cricketer who is found guilty of tampering his/her date of birth will be disqualified and barred from participating in any BCCI tournament for a period of 2 years i.e. 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons. Earlier, a cricketer faced a ban of one year. In September, the BCCI had banned a Meghalaya-bound Delhi player, Jaskirat Singh Sachdeva, for producing a fake birth certificate to play in an Under-19 tournament.


Electric cars set to replace diesel, petrol vehicles in Telangana State offices

The Telangana government offices are soon to make way for electric cars as the State aims at promoting non-polluting vehicles. The government has brought in the Electric Mobility Policy 2018-2023 to encourage the use of carbon-free cars. It has followed it up by signing with the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL). The EESL in principle has agreed to invest a whopping Rs.10, 250 crore in the State to procure 1, 00,000 cars. The State has sought support from two automobile companies, the Mahindra and the Tata and Sons, to provide 100 cars before the end of December. The two signature electric cars, the Mahindra Verito, and the Tata Tigor, can be charged for six hours with AC charger and 90 minutes with DC charger and can travel for 100-110 km. It is expected that the introduction of electric cars could provide smart solutions to the concerns over increasing carbon emissions and pave way for cleaner cities, apart from rising in fuel prices. It is estimated that 2.5 kg of carbon and 60 grams of nitrogen are emitted for every litre of diesel. There is a rise in the incidence of lung cancer and respiratory diseases.


CSIR to Establish a High-End Skill Development Centre in Chandigarh

CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology (CSIR-IMTECH) announced a new partnership with Merck, a leading German science and Technology Company, to establish a ‘High End Skill Development Centre’ in CSIR-IMTECH, Chandigarh. This ‘High End Skill Development Centre’ will enrich skills by conducting workshops, trainings and seminar series on cutting edges life science processes, tools and techniques.


G-20 Summit 2018 begins in Argentina

The 2018 G-20 Summit began on November 28, 2018 in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is the 13th meeting of Group of Twenty (G20) and the first G20 summit to be hosted in South America. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be representing India at the Summit and is scheduled to meet US President Donald Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Argentina President Mauricio Macri, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, on the sidelines of the summit. Member Countries: The members of the G20 consist of 19 individual countries plus the European Union (EU). The 19 member countries of the forum are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States.


Miko-2 IIT-Bombay graduates launch Indias first advanced personal robot for kids

Graduates of Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay (IIT-B) who are Co-founders of a start-up called Emotix have launched India’s first advanced personal robot Miko 2 for Kids. IIT Bombay graduates Snehi Rajkumar Vaswani along with his batch mates Prashant Iyengar and Chintan Raikar have founded the Tech start-up Emotix. Miko 2 is India’s first advanced robot that can see, hear, sense, express, talk, recognize faces, remember names, Identify moods and initiate a conversation.


LG Appoints Brian Kwon as Mobile Business President


  • LG Electronics has announced that it has appointed Brian Kwon as the new president. He is replacing Hwang Jeong-hwan after one year.
  • Brian Kwon is head of LG’s home entertainment business, from December 1.
  • It comes after LG’s mobile business posted a loss of $410 million this year, including a $130.5 million net loss in the last quarter.


Azim Premji Conferred Highest French Civilian Honour


  • IT czar and philanthropist Azim Premji was bestowed with the highest French civilian distinction Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour). Premji, who is the chairman of Bengaluru-headquartered IT major Wipro, received the distinction from the Ambassador of France to India Alexandre Ziegler in Bengaluru.


  • The award was bestowed on Azim Premji for his outstanding contribution to developing the information technology industry in India, his economic outreach in France, and his laudable contribution to society as a philanthropist through the Azim Premji Foundation and Azim Premji University.


 IFFI 2018: Donbass Wins the Golden Peacock


  • Donbass directed by Sergei Loznitsa has won the coveted Golden Peacock Award at the 49th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), which concluded in Goa on November 28, 2018.


  • The Golden Peacock Award carries a cash prize of Rs 4 million (Rs 40 lakhs) to be shared equally between the Producer and the Director, Trophy and the citation.


Government Launches Bhasha Sangam


  • The government has launched a unique initiative called Bhasha Sangam to introduce school students to 22 Indian languages. The initiative, under Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat, was active for the period between 22nd November – 21st December


  • Bhasha Sangam is a programme for schools and educational institutions to provide multilingual exposure to students in Indian languages. Another objective of Bhasha Sangam is to enhance linguistic tolerance and respect and promote national integration.


India-United Kingdom Exercise KONKAN-18 Held at Goa


  • Naval exercise between India and the United Kingdom, KONKAN held in Goa this year. Both Navies have, over the years, undertaken bilateral activities such as training exchanges and technical cooperation. The Bilateral KONKAN exercise provides a platform for the two Navies to periodically exercise at sea and in harbour, so as to build interoperability and share best practices.


  • The KONKAN series of exercises commenced in 2004, and since then has grown in scale. The Royal Navy will be represented by HMS Dragon, a Type 45 Class Destroyer equipped with an integral Wildcat helicopter.


Himachal Pradesh first state to launch single emergency number ‘112’


Himachal Pradesh became the first state to launch a pan-India single emergency number ‘112’ where all kinds of immediate help can be sought in urgent matters. Under this project, an Emergency Response Centre (ERC) has been established in Shimla along with 12 district command centres (DCCs), covering the entire state. The ERC has been integrated with police (100), fire (101), health (108) and women (1090) helpline numbers to provide emergency services through the emergency number ‘112’. The central government has allocated Rs 321.69 crore under Nirbhaya Fund for implementation of ERSS project across the country.


IAS Ranbir Singh appointed as Chief Electoral Officer of Delhi


IAS Officer, Ranbir Singh served as the commissioner of East Delhi Municipal Corporation was appointed as the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Delhi. Ranbir Singh will succeed Vijay Kumar Dev who had been appointed as the chief secretary of the Delhi Government.


Vijay Varma and P. Rajkumar were awarded the Asian of the Year awards


Indian Navy commander Vijay Varma and Captain P. Rajkumar were among those honored at the ‘Asian of The Year’ awards at Singapore on 28th November. The two were acknowledged for their selfless service and bravery in rescue operations during the Kerala floods. They were awarded for their death-defying rescue flying during the floods in Kerala earlier this year. Others awarded included the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre), and Singapore NGO Mercy Relief, who operated amid large-scale flooding, earthquakes and a variety of other disasters.


Govt launched ‘Paisa’ portal for affordable credit and interest subvention access


The government launched a centralised electronic platform for processing interest subvention on bank loans to beneficiaries under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM), called ‘Paisa’ PAiSA, or `Portal for Affordable Credit and Interest Subvention Access’, is a web platform designed and developed by Allahabad Bank, which is the nodal bank.


Lancet Countdown 2018 report Indians faced almost 60 mn heat wave exposure events in 2016, says journal Average length of heat waves in India ranged from 3-4 days compared with the global average of 0.8-1.8 days.

Indian policy makers must take a series of initiatives to mitigate the increased risks to health, and the loss of labour hours due to a surge in exposure to heat wave events in the country over the 2012-2016 Periods Connect to the report.

From 2014-2017, the average length of heat waves in India ranged from 3-4 days compared to the global average of 0.8-1.8 days, and Indians were exposed to almost 60 million heat wave exposure events in 2016, a jump of about 40 million from 2012

Heat waves

Heat waves are associated with increased rates of heat stress and heat stroke, worsening heart failure and acute kidney injury from dehydration.

Children, the elderly and those with pre-existing morbidity are particularly vulnerable.

Almost 153 billion hours of labour were lost globally in 2017 due to heat, an increase of 62 billion hours from the year 2000.

India amongst the countries who most experience high social and economic costs from climate change


Science and Technology

India’s heaviest communication satellite GSAT-11 to orbit in space on December 5

  • The satellite will support BharatNet connecting gram panchayat for e-governance and digital platforms; VSAT terminals and for enterprise network and consumer broadband applications.
  • India’s heaviest communication satellite with high throughput GSAT-11 will be put into orbit by an Ariane-5 rocket of Arianespace from French Guiana
  • According to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the GSAT-11 weighing 5,854 kg is the heaviest satellite built by it.
  • The satellite is scheduled for launch onboard Ariane-5 launch vehicle from French Guiana.
  • The satellite will be initially placed in the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit and will subsequently be raised to geostationary orbit by firing the satellite’s onboard motor.

According to ISRO, GSAT-11 is the forerunner in a series of advanced communications satellites with multi-spot beam antenna coverage over Indian mainland and islands.

  • The satellite with a mission life of 15 years will have 32 user beams (Ku band) and eight hub beams (Ka band) and the throughput data rate of 16 Gbps.
  • GSAT-11 will play a vital role in providing broadband services across the country. It will also provide a platform to demonstrate new generation applications.
  • The Indian space agency said the GSAT-11 will be used to meet the increased data demands with high data rates over regions using spot beams.
  • The satellite will support BharatNet connecting gram panchayat for e-governance and digital platforms; VSAT terminals and for enterprise network and consumer broadband applications.
  • In April 2018, ISRO had recalled GSAT-11 from Arianespace’s rocket port in French Guiana for further tests, to be on the safe side.

The ISRO’s move to call back GSAT-11 for further tests and be doubly sure of its performance may be due to the loss of the recently launched GSAT-6A satellite, soon after it was put into orbit on March 29.

ISRO suspected the failure of the power system in the satellite for the loss of communication link.

The satellites are powered by solar panels that charge the onboard batteries. The batteries are fully charged when the satellite is loaded on to the rocket.

According to experts, the power system could have failed due to some short-circuiting or arcing resulting in what is known in the space terminology ‘loss of lock’ or loss of contact with the ground station. Satellites in space are locked to ground stations for tracking and other purposes.

On March 29, Indian rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) slung GSAT-6A in its intended orbit. From there the satellite was to be taken up further to its orbital slot by firing its onboard motors.

The first orbit raising operation was successfully carried out by firing the onboard motors for around 36 minutes on March 30 mornings. The second orbit raising operation of GSAT-6A satellite was also successful as its motors were fired for about 53 minutes on March 31. After that, the communication link got snapped.




The countdown for the launch of PSLV-C43/HySIS mission began yesterday

The agency further added that it will be the 45th flight of PSLV while the PSLV-C43 will carry India’s earth observation satellite named HySIS along with 30 co-passenger satellites from eight other countries.

HySIS is an earth observation satellite which has been developed by ISRO while it is also the primary satellite onboard the PSLV-C43 rocket with a total mass of around 380 kgs.

The co-passengers of HySIS will include 1 Micro as well as 29 Nano satellites from 8 different countries.

These countries include United States of America (with 23 satellites), Canada, Columbia, Australia, Finland, Netherlands, Malaysia and Spain (with one satellite each).

The mission life of the HySIS satellite is estimated to be 5 years while the primary goal of the observation satellite is to study earth’s surface in visible, near infrared as well as shortwave infrared regions present in the electromagnetic spectrum.

The HySIS satellite will be placed in 636 kilometre polar sun synchronous orbit aka SSO while it will have an inclination of 97.957 degrees.

PSLV is a four stage launch vehicle compromising of alternating solid and liquid stages. On the other hand, the PSLV-C43 rocket is the Core Alone version of PSLV, which also happens to the lightest version of the launch vehicle.


Workhorse launch vehicle PSLV C-43 injects Hyper Spectral Imaging Satellite into space

Nearly three minutes after lift-off on Thursday, India’s workhorse launch vehicle, the PSLV, carrying 31 satellites on board soared in a trajectory crossing the path of the Sun and sped to inject India’s Hyper Spectral Imaging Satellite (HySIS), being dubbed ‘Sharp Eye’, towards the launcher’s intended first orbit.


Over the course of the next one hour, the team at Mission Control waited for the PSLV C-43 to come up on the other side of the Equator to insert 30 small satellites from various countries into another orbit as requested by the customers. The 30 satellites were part of a commercial launch.


In its 13th flight of the Core-Alone version and 45th launch of the PSLV, ISRO carried one satellite each from Australia, Canada, Colombia, Finland, Malaysia, Netherlands and Spain, and 23 satellites from the U.S. on board as co-passengers of the HySIS.


At 9.57 a.m., the rocket lifted off from the first launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, SHAR and here. A little over 17 minutes later, the HySIS was injected into a precise orbit of 636 km from Earth. The HySIS is an Earth Observation satellite primarily to assist in a wide range of applications in agriculture, forestry, geological environments and coastal zones, among others.


Lauding the ISRO team for making HySIS, Mr. Sivan said the satellite was state-of-the-art technology. The heart of the system required for the HySIS satellite is basically an optical imaging detector chip. This chip has been indigenously designed by Space Application Centre of ISRO and fabricated at our semi-conductor lab at Chandigarh. I am sure that team ISRO can be proud that they are really giving an excellent space asset to India.


Explaining the one-hour wait for the vehicle to come up on the other side and to insert the commercial satellites, Mr. Sivan said the PSLV first travelled Southward and injected the HySIS around 27 degree South of the Equator.

Indian healthcare and agriculture sectors need a federal institution similar to the GST Council to coordinate State and Central policies and schemes.

Speaking at the Confederation of Indian Industry’s Health Summit on Thursday, Mr. Jaitley said the GST Council, which comprised the Union and State Finance Ministers, was a successful experiment in practical federalism.


There are two other institutions which eminently require federal institutions of this kind. The GST was constitutionally provided for, but political maturity can impose on government to try that experiment. One is healthcare and one is agriculture.


Sustainable Blue Economy Conference

  • Nairobi, capital of Kenya

Organizing agencies

  • It was organized by Kenya and co hosted by Japan and Canada.

Theme: The Blue Economy and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

  • It was held on momentum of UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, 2015 Climate Change Conference in Paris and UN Ocean Conference 2017 ‘Call to Action.
  • Over 17,000 plus participants from some 184 countries had participated in the conference.
  • India was represented Union Minister for Shipping, Road Transport & Highways, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari.

Blue Economy

  • It is economic benefit and value that is realized from Earth’s coastal and marine environment.
  • Sustainable Blue Economy is marine-based economy that provides social and economic benefits for current and future generations, restores, protects and maintains diversity, productivity and resilience of marine ecosystems.

Source:The Hindu+PIB

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