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17 August Current Affair For All Competition Exams

  1. Scientists to test land for LIGO
  • The Environment Ministry has allowed scientists to test the suitability of land in Maharashtra’s Hingoli district to host the India wing of the ambitious Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) project.
  • The project involves constructing a network of L-shaped arms, each four kilometres long, which can detect even the faintest ripples from cosmic explosions millions of light years away.
  • The LIGO-India consortium, made up of physicists from several institutes, had submitted a proposal to “prospect” 121 hectares of forest land in Dudhala village, Hingoli.

Network of detectors

  • The LIGO project operates three gravitational-wave (GW) detectors.
  • Two are at Hanford in the State of Washington, north-western USA, and one is at Livingston in Louisiana, south-eastern USA.
  • Currently, these observatories are being upgraded to their advanced configurations.
  • The proposed LIGO-India project aims to move one Advanced LIGO detector from Hanford to India.
  • The LIGO-India project is an international collaboration between the LIGO Laboratory and three lead institutions in the LIGO-India consortium: Institute of Plasma Research, Gandhinagar; IUCAA, Pune; and Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology, Indore.
  • The project, piloted by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and Department of Science and Technology (DST), reportedly costs ₹1,200 crore and is expected to be ready by 2025.

2. Cosmos Bank ATM hack: NPCI says cyber fraud due to the malware attack on the bank’s IT system.

  • A day after Pune-based Cosmos Bank said it was hit by a cyber attack in which miscreants allegedly hacked the server and transferred over Rs 94 crore to overseas accounts.
  • The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) said that its systems are “fully secure” and the cyber fraud happened due to a malware-based attack on the Cosmos Bank’s IT system.

What are Virus, Worm, Malware and Trojan?

  1. Malware – A malware is a malicious software which intends to harm and poison your device. It can enter your device through any source like internet or external storage devices. Malware can enter your device if you’re using pirated movies/games, or click on the malicious ads which pop up frequently or you’re using pirated software and many others. Virus, Worm and Trojan are the types of Malware.
  2. Virus – A virus is a malware that makes a particular file in your device junk and corrupt. It can enter in any form like audio, video, pictures or any other form. Once attacked by the virus, it becomes difficult to access the same file. (File junk maker)
  3. Worm – Worm is a malware which multiplies itself rapidly and makes your device to run slower and slower. If a file is attacked by a worm, it will make similar other files and multiply itself. If your device is lagging, there are high chances that your device is having worms. (Device laggards)
  4. Trojan – Trojan is a type of software that appears very genuine but once the software is installed, it starts showing its original colours. It makes your device run slower and chances are there to corrupt your files. Many speed boosters, memory cleaners and other software which actually claim to improve your device but actually end up in engulfing your memory. It will make the way easier for other virus and worms to attack your device. (Memory consumers)

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)

  • National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) is the umbrella organisation for all retail payment systems in India, which aims to allow all Indian citizens to have unrestricted access to e-payment services.
  • Founded in 2008, NPCI is a not-for-profit organisation registered under section 8 of the Companies Act 2013.
  • The organisation is owned by a consortium of major banks and has been promoted by the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India.
  • Its recent work of developing Unified Payments Interface aims to move India to a cashless society with only digital transactions.

Source- The Hindu

    3. FSSAI unveiled the initiative “RUCO” to collect, convert used cooking oil into biofuel

  • The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) launched RUCO (Repurpose Used Cooking Oil), an initiative that will enable collection and conversion of used cooking oil to bio-diesel.
  • The initiative has been launched nearly a month after the food safety regulator notified standards for used cooking oil.
  • FSSAI may also look at introducing regulations to ensure that companies that use large quantities of cooking oil hand it over to registered collecting agencies to convert it into biofuel.
  • According to FSSAI regulations, the maximum permissible limits for Total Polar Compounds (TPC) have been set at 25 per cent, beyond which the cooking oil is unsafe for consumption.

Related Information

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) 

  • Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)is an autonomous body established under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India.
  • The FSSAI has been established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006which is a consolidating statute related to food safety and regulation in India.
  • FSSAI is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the regulation and supervision of food safety.
  • The FSSAI has its headquarters at New Delhi.
  • The authority also has 6 regional offices located in Delhi, Guwahati, Mumbai, Kolkata, Cochin, and Chennai.

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Source- The Hindu

    4. West Bengal sees highest coastal erosion since 1990

  • A national survey of India’s coastline from 1990 to 2016 shows West Bengal saw the biggest coastal erosion followed by Puducherry, Kerala & Tamil Nadu.
  • A state-wise analysis shows that the maximum proportion of eroded coastline was in West Bengal where up to 63 per cent of the 534 km long coastline was eroded.
  • Apart from Kerala, the west coast is relatively stable compared to the east.
  • Unfortunately, in both Odisha and Andhra Pradesh where rates of accretion are the highest, deltas are the chief geomorphic features and changes in coastlines could affect these regions adversely.
  • Coastlines are not static and undergo long-term and gradual changes.

Related Information

  • Erosion describes the negative changes in the coastline.
  • Accretion refers to an expansion of coastal area through an increase in width or length of the coastline.

Source- Downtoearth

    5. Ministry of Railways launches “Digital Screens” to spread awareness about Indian Railways Heritage.

  • For creating digital museums at stations using QR code, Ministry of Railway has made “digital screens” operational at 22 stations on this Independence Day as an innovative low-cost solution to spread awareness among the public about the opulent heritage of Indian Railways.
    Initiated on a pilot basis.
  • It aims at showcasing the legacy of Indian Railways through one to two-minute-long movie clips on digital LED screens at the entrance gate of railway stations and also at different comfort areas.
  • For now, the digital screens have been set up at New Delhi, Hazrat Nizamuddin, Howrah, Sealdah, Jaipur, Agra Cantonment, Coimbatore, Lucknow, Varanasi and other railway stations.


    6. Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana

  • Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana, a health for all scheme, on the occasion of the 72nd Independence Day.
  • The scheme provides health assurance coverage to 70 lakh families, covering more than 70% of the State’s population.
  • The government has been focusing on the welfare of all, particularly farmers, women and youth, these sections are being provided the loan at 1% interest.

Source- The Hindu

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