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29 August Current Affair For All Competition Exams

1. Trump Reaches Revised Trade Deal With Mexico, Threatening to Leave Out Canada

Related Information

North American Free Trade Agreement

  • The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is an agreement signed by Canada, Mexico, and the United States, creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America.
  • The agreement came into force on January 1, 1994.
  • It superseded the Canada–United States Free Trade Agreement between the U.S. and Canada.
  • NAFTA has two supplements:
    1. The North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC)
    2. The North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC).

Source- BBC

2. Myanmar genocide report

  • The report prepared by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC)-appointed Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar.
  • Myanmar rejects UN accusation of ‘genocide’ against Rohingya.
  • It has also rejected the UN report for top Burmese military figures to be investigated for genocide against the Rohingya Muslim minority.

Key Highlights

  • The United Nations has charged Myanmar of “genocidal intent”, the strongest condemnation from the international community so far.
  • The UN report has charged Myanmar’s top military brass of the “gravest crimes”.
  • It blamed the country’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi for failing to use her “moral authority” to protect civilians.
  • The report also suggests setting up an ad hoc tribunal to try suspects or refer them to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
  • Impose an arms embargo on Myanmar and subject its officials to targeted sanctions and travel bans.

Related information

United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)

  • The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is a United Nations body whose mission is to promote and protect human rights around the world.
  • Established by the  UN General Assembly on March 15, 2006.
  • The headquarters is in Geneva, Switzerland.

Source- Money Control

3. ISRO to send first Indian into Space by 2022 as announced by PM

  • The programme will make India the fourth nation in the world to launch a Human Spaceflight Mission.
  • So far, only the USA, Russia and China have launched human spaceflight missions.
  • The total programme is expected to be completed before 2022 with the first unmanned flight within 30 months.
  • The mission will aim to send a three-member crew to space for a period of five to seven days.
  • The spacecraft will be placed in a low earth orbit of 300-400km.

Related Information

Mission Gangayaan

  • Gangayan is the third biggest space mission after Chandrayan and Mangalayaan.
  • It will be sending one Indian to the Moon by 2022.
  • GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle will be used to launch Gaganyaan.

Chandrayaan-2

  • Chandrayaan-2 is scheduled to be launched in January 2019.
  • The Mission will have an orbiter weighing 2379 kg.
  • Lander named Vikram weighing 1471 kg and a rover weighing 27 kg.

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Source-PIB

4. Heritage and North East Circuits of Swadesh Dashan Scheme

  • The Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned two new projects under Heritage and North East Circuits of Swadesh Dashan Scheme in Punjab and Tripura.

NOTE-

  • Under Heritage Circuit in the state of Punjab, the project covers sites of Anandpur Sahib – Fatehgarh Sahib – Chamkaur Sahib – Ferozpur – Amritsar – Khatkar Kalan – Kalanour – Patiala.
  • Under North East Circuit in Tripura, the sites of Surma Cherra- Unakoti- Jampui Hills- Gunabati-Bhunaneshwari- Matabari- Neermahal- Boxanagar- Chotta khola- Pilak- Avangchaarra.

Related Information

Swadesh Darshan Scheme

  • Ministry of Tourism (MoT) launched the Swadesh Darshan Scheme in 2014-15.
  • It is 100% central sector scheme.
  • The objective to develop integrated theme-based tourist circuits in the country.
  • The project covers two sites both in Manipur–
  1. Kangla Fort
  2. Khongjom

NOTE

  • In the first project under Swadesh Darshan Scheme, North East Circuit- Imphal and Khongjom were inaugurated in Manipur.

Tourist Circuit

  • Tourist Circuit is defined as a route having at least three major tourist destinations which are distinct and apart.
  • Circuits should have well-defined entry and exit points.

Source-PIB

5. Centre and the World Bank sign 300 million dollar loan agreements for India Energy Efficiency Scale up Programme

  • The Central government and the World Bank have signed 300 million dollar loan agreements for India Energy Efficiency Scale up Programme.
  • They signed 220 million dollar Loan Agreement and an 80 million Guarantee Agreement for the Efficiency Scale-Up Program.
  • The loan will be provided to EESL by International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).
  • It will have a maturity period of 19 years and the 5-year grace period.  

Related Information

Energy efficient programs

  • The Program will be implemented by the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL).
  • It will help scale-up the deployment of energy saving measures in residential and public sectors, strengthen EESL’s institutional capacity, and enhance its access to commercial financing.
  • 219 million LED bulbs and tube lights, 5.8 million ceiling fans, and 7.2 million street lights, will be supplied under EESL.

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Source- AIR

6. First SAARC Agri Cooperative Business Forum begins in Kathmandu

  • The First South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Agri Cooperative Business Forum began in Kathmandu.
  • The theme of three-day Forum is the ‘Organizing and Strengthening Family Farmers’ Cooperatives to attain the Sustainable-Development-Goals-1 and 2 in South Asia’. 
  • It is being co-organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Asian Farmers’ Association with the support from the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

Related Information

Food and Agriculture Organization

  • The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger.
  • Formed on 16th October 1945.
  • Headquarters in Rome, Italy.
  • Serving both developed and developing countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum.
  • The FAO has 197 member states, including the European Union(a “member organization”), Niue and The Cook Islands (States in free-association with New Zealand), and the Faroe Islands and Tokelau, which are associate members.

SAARC

  • The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is the regional intergovernmental organization and geopolitical union of nations in South Asia.
  • Its member states (8 countries) include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, the Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
  • SAARC was founded in Dhaka on 8th December 1985.
  • Its secretariat is based in Kathmandu, Nepal.
  • Amjad Hussain B Sial is the current Secretary General of SAARC.

Source- AIR
7. India, EU to develop new influenza research programme named Horizon 2020

  • The Indian government and the European Union (EU), on Tuesday, joined hands for Rs 240 crore research programme to develop a “Next Generation Influenza Vaccine” to protect citizens worldwide.
  • The EU and the Indian government’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT), have also committed €15 million each to fund this joint call for the program named “Horizon 2020”.
  • The projects require a minimum of three applicants from Europe (three different EU member states) or countries associated to the EU programme Horizon 20202) and the minimum of three applicants from India.
  • The projects are also ‘Open to the World’ and thus applicants from other countries can join the EU-India consortia.

Related information

Influenza

  • Influenza, commonly known as “the flu”, is an infectious disease caused by an influenza virus.
  • The virus is spread through the air.

Source- Business Standards

8. Namami Gange: PM-led body fails to meet even once

  • The National Ganga Council (NGC), has never met since it was constituted in October 2016. 

Related information

National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA)

  • The NGRBA was formed in 2009 
  • Headed by Prime Minister.
  • National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) is a financing, planning, implementing, monitoring and coordinating authority for the Ganges.
  • In 2014, the NGRBA has been transferred from the Ministry of Environment and Forests to the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, formerly Ministry of Water Resources (India).
  • Union government in 2016 took decision for formation of a new body named “National Council for River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management)”.

Source- Down to Earth

9. Odisha approves the proposal for the legislative council

  • Earlier, the state government had set up a committee in 2015 to study the legislative councils in other states and recommend for one in Odisha.
  • The committee led by transport minister Nrushingha Charan Sahu had submitted its report to the chief minister recommending the formation of the legislative council in Odisha.
  • The proposed legislative council will have 49 members.
  • The members of the proposed council will get salary and allowance as given to the members of the Legislative Assembly.

Related Information

Vidhan Parishad or Legislative Council

  • The Vidhan Parishad or Legislative Council is the upper house in those states of India that have a bicameral legislature.
  • As of 2017, seven (7) (out of twenty-nine) states have a Legislative Council.
  • The 7 states are:-
    (i) Andhra Pradesh
    (ii) Bihar
    (iii) Jammu and Kashmir
    (iv) Karnataka
    (v) Maharashtra
    (vi) Telangana
    (vii)Uttar Pradesh
  • Telangana and Andhra were together till 2013. So they had a single legislative council.
  • Further, Parliament has also cleared formation of Legislative Council Rajasthan and Assam.

Source- The Hindu

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