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28 August Current Affair For All Competition Exams

1. Commute-related pollution

  • The report was compiled by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).
  • Six megacities (Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad) and eight metropolitan cities (Bhopal, Lucknow, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Pune, Kochi and Vijayawada) were evaluated.
  • Kolkata as the top-performing megacity.
  • Bhopal leads the list on the lowest overall emissions.
  • Delhi and Hyderabad are the two cities that fare at the bottom of the table in terms of pollution and energy use.
  • According to the report, though metropolitan cities scored better than megacities, they were at risk due to a much higher share of personal vehicle trips.

Note-

  • Chennai was the first city to adopt a non-motorised transport (NMT) policy in 2004 that aims to arrest the decline of walking or cycling by creating a network of footpaths, bicycle tracks and greenways.

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Source- The Hindu

2. India’s first biofuel flight was powered by jatropha seeds

  • A blend of oil from jatropha seeds and aviation turbine fuel propelled the country’s first ever bio jet fuel-powered flight between Dehradun and Delhi.
  • A blend of 25% of bio jet fuel and 75% of aviation turbine fuel (ATF) was carried in one of the two engines of the plane.
  • While the other engine carried only ATF.
  • International standards permit a blended rate of up to 50% biofuel with ATF.
  • It has the potential to reduce fuel costs by 15-20%.
  • The indigenously developed fuel has been nearly eight years in the making by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) lab based in Dehradun along with the Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP).
  • The institute started its experiment on biofuel soon after Virgin Atlantic carried out the first test flight globally in 2008.

Related Information

Jatropha

  • Jatropha is a flowering plant.
  • It is a drought-resistant plant.
  • It can be grown in rugged terrain, marginally poor soil and can survive with minimum inputs.
  • Jatropha also has medicinal properties and is used for diseases like cancer, piles, snakebite, paralysis, dropsy etc.
  • It has been tested successfully as fuel for simple diesel engine.
  • Its oil also acts as an insecticide.

Source- The Hindu

3. Relies on Wolbachia to control dengue

  • The project was launched in Paderu in Visakhapatnam.
  • The Wolbachia controls the multiplication of the virus in its host — Aedes aegypti, which is primarily responsible for the cause of dengue fevers.

Related Information

Wolbachia

  • Wolbachia is natural bacteria present in up to 60% of insect species, including some mosquitoes.
  • However, Wolbachia is not usually found in the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the primary species responsible for transmitting human viruses such as Zika, dengue and chikungunya.
  • It is one of the world’s most common parasitic microbes and the most common reproductive parasite in the biosphere.
  • Research has shown that when introduced into the Aedes aegyptimosquito, Wolbachia can help to reduce the transmission of these viruses to people.
  • Mosquitoes with Wolbachia have a reduced ability to transmit viruses to people, decreasing the risk of Zika, dengue and chikungunya outbreaks.
  • India and several countries are carrying out experiments to look into the possibility of breeding Wolbachia in Aedes aegypti.

Source- The Hindu

4. Revised Share buyback regulations

  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has recently revised the buyback regulations that stipulate 15% reservation for retail shareholders in a buyback offer.

Related Information

Buyback

  • A buyback is a mechanism through which a listed company buys back shares from the market.
  • A buyback can be done either through open market purchases(from the secondary market) or through the tender offer route.

Why does a firm go in for a buyback?

Buybacks are done when a company has a significant cash reserve and feels that the shares are not fairly valued at the current market price

What are the benefits?

  • The earnings per share (EPS) rise by default.
  • Shareholders get an attractive exit option, especially when the shares are thinly traded.

How can a company execute a buyback?

  • A company can use a maximum of 25% of the aggregate of its free reserves and paid-up capital for a buyback.
  • A special resolution needs to be passed at a general meeting.
  • If the company plans to use less than 10% of its reserves then only a board resolution is required.

Source- The Hindu

5. BIS to set standards for the services sector too

Related information

Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS)

  • The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is the National Standards Body of India.
  • Under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution.
  • It is established by the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986.
  • Came into effect on 23rd December 1986.
  • Its headquarters are in New Delhi.
  • With regional offices in Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai, Chandigarh and Delhi and 20 branch offices.
  • It also works as WTO-TBT enquiry point for India.

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Source- The Hindu

6. Government announces Regulations for Drones.

  • The regulations will be effective from the 1st of December this year. 
  • The regulations are intended to enable visual line-of-sight daytime-onlyand a maximum of 400 feet altitude operations. 
    Key Regulations-
  • Airspace has been partitioned into:
  1. Red Zone- In which flying is not permitted.
  2. Yellow Zone- That is controlled airspace.
  3. Green Zone- For automatic permission. 
  • The Digital Sky Platform is the first-of-its-kind national unmanned traffic management (UTM) platform that implements “no permission, no takeoff” (NPNT). 
  • One-time registration of drones is required.
  • For every flight (exempted for the nano category), users will be required to ask for permission to fly on a mobile app and an automated process permits or denies the request instantly.

Related Information

Drones

  • Drones are a technology platform which has wide-ranging applications from photography to agriculture, from infrastructure asset maintenance to insurance.
  • Drones range in size from very small and those that can carry multiple kilograms of payload.

Source-PIB

7. Galileo

Related information

  • Galileo is the global navigation satellite system(GNSS) that is being created by the European Union (EU) through the European GNSS Agency (GSA).
  • It is Headquartered in Prague in the Czech Republic.
  • The €10 billion projects is named after the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei.
  • The aim of Galileo is to provide an independent high-precision positioning system so European nations do not have to rely on any other system.
  • Galileo services will be free and open to everyone.
  • The first Galileo test satellite, the GIOVE-A, was launched 28 December 2005.
  • The complete 30-satellite Galileo system (24 operational and 6 active spares) is expected by 2020.

Source- BBC

8. 4th Asian electoral stakeholders forum

  • 4th Asian Electoral Stakeholders Forum was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
  • This was for the first time AESF was held in South Asia.
  • The theme of AESF-IV was ‘Advancing Election Transparency and Integrity: Promoting and Defending Democracy Together.

Related information

The Asian Electoral Stakeholder Forum (AESF) 

  • The Asian Electoral Stakeholder Forum (AESF) is a continuing engagement between election management bodies (EMBs) and civil society organizations (CSOs) in Asia.
  • It was first launched in 2012.
  • There have already been three successful gatherings:
  1. AESF-1 in Bangkok, Thailand (2012).
  2. AESF-2 in Dili, Timor-Leste (2015).
  3. AESF-3 in Bali, Indonesia (2016).

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Source- AIR

9. G20 Digital Economy Ministerial Meeting

  • The 2018 edition of Digital Economy ministerial meeting is being held in Salta, Argentina.
  • It took place as part of Sherpa Track for 2018 G20 Leaders’ Summit, which is to be hosted by Argentina by end of 2018.
  • The theme of the meeting was ‘Building consensus for fair and sustainable development‘.
  • Its three key issues for the agenda were future of work, infrastructure for development, and sustainable food future.

Related Information

G20

  • The G20 (or Group of Twenty) is an international forum for the governments and central bank governors.
  • Founded in 1999.
  • It aims to discuss policy pertaining to the promotion of international financial stability.
  • It seeks to address issues that go beyond the responsibilities of any one organization.
  • The G20 was born out of a meeting of G7 finance ministers and central bank governors in 1999.
  • It is made up of 19 countries and the European Union.
  • Countries are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • The work of the G20 is generally divided into two tracks:
  1. The Finance track comprises all meetings with G20 finance ministers and central bank governors and their deputies.
  2. The Sherpa track focuses on broader issues such as political engagement, anti-corruption, development, trade, energy and climate change, gender equality, among others.

Digital Economy Task Force:

  • The Digital Economy Task Force (DETF) was established under the 2017 German presidency, based on the decision adopted in Hangzhou in 2016 under the Chinese Presidency.
  • In Antalya in 2015, G20 leaders recognized the importance of the modern era of digital transformation, the advent of new technologies.

Digital economy

  • The “digital economy” is a term for all of those economic processes, transactions, interactions and activities that are based on digital technologies.

Source- The Hindu

10. 3rd Indian Ocean Conference

  • The 3rd edition of Indian Ocean Conference held at Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam.
  • The theme is ‘Building Regional Architectures’.

Related Information

Indian Ocean Conference

  • IOC is organised by Indian Foundation along with the partners from Singapore, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
  • It is an initiative to bring the state leaders, diplomats and bureaucrats from across the region under one roof to strengthen the understanding among each other.
  • Earlier, the conference was held:
  1. Singapore – 2016.
  2. Sri Lanka – 2017.
  • Both Conferences were supported by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) of India and had seen participation from over 35 countries.

Source- The Hindu

11. Madhya Pradesh seeks revival of cheetah reintroduction project

  • The Madhya Pradesh forest department has written to the National Tiger Conservation Authority to revive the plan to reintroduce cheetahs in the State’s Nauradehi sanctuary.
  • The ambitious project, conceived in 2009, had hit a roadblock for want of funds.
  • The country’s last spotted feline died in Chhattisgarh in 1947.
  • Later, the cheetah — which is the fastest land animal — was declared extinct in India in 1952.

Related information

Nauradehi sanctuary

  • It is the largest wildlife sanctuary of Madhya Pradesh state in India.
  • It is a potential site for the Cheetah Reintroduction in India.
  • The protected area sits astride two major river basins of India, namely the Narmada, flowing west to the Arabian Sea and the Ganges, flowing east to the Bay of Bengal.
  • 3/4th of the wildlife sanctuary falls in the basin of Ganges tributary, the Yamuna River, of which the Ken River is a tributary.
  • 1/4th of the sanctuary falls in the Narmada basin.
  • The north-flowing Kopra River, Bamner River, Vyarma River and Bearma River, which are tributaries of the Ken River, are the major rivers of this protected area.
  • The forest is spread over the southern area of the Vindhya Range of hills in which the Bandhavgarh National Park and Panna National Park are also located.

National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)

  • The National Tiger Conservation Authority is a statutory body.
  • Under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
  • Constituted under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • Amended in 2006, for strengthening tiger conservation, as per powers and functions assigned to it under the Act.

Source- The Hindu

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