Current Affairs – April 08 2018
1. Humanity’s first mission to Sun set to launch on July 31
NASA is set to launch the Parker Solar Probe, also being called as the humanity’s first mission to the Sun, on July 31. The spacecraft will orbit directly through the solar atmosphere, closer than any human-made object has ever gone. The spacecraft, which will orbit at 64,37,376 km from the Sun, will have a speed of approximately 6,92,017 kmph.
2. China to make it rain over area 3 times the size of Spain
China has unveiled a cloud-seeding project intended to force rainfall and snow over an area roughly three times the size of Spain. As part of the plan, China will build combustion chambers to spray silver iodide towards the sky by burning solid fuel. China has been creating 55 billion tons of artificial rain every year since 2013.
3. Kerala 1st state to issue norms to declare brain dead cases
Kerala has become the first state in the country to issue guidelines for declaring a patient as brain dead. All hospitals in the state will be required to follow the guidelines in order to obtain organs for transplant from the patient. This comes amid growing concerns among the public about possibilities of manipulation to make organs available for transplant.
4. Anushka to get Dadasaheb Phalke Excellence Award as producer
Anushka Sharma will reportedly be honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Excellence Award for her contribution to films as a producer. The awards, which were established by the Dadasaheb Phalke Film Foundation, recognise contributions to Indian cinema. Anushka has already produced three films ‘NH10’, ‘Phillauri’ and ‘Pari’ under her own production house Clean Slate Films, which she started in 2014.
5. Cash vans should have CCTV, GPS, wireless sets: RBI
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has said that cash vans of banks should have CCTV, wireless communication, GPS connectivity and tubeless tyres. The service provider must have a net worth of ₹100 crore and a minimum fleet of 300 specifically fabricated cash vans. As per the guidelines, no cash van should move without armed guards.
6. 16-year-old shooter Manu Bhaker sets CWG record to bag gold
India’s 16-year-old shooter Manu Bhaker shot a total of 240.9 to set Commonwealth Games record and bag gold in the women’s 10m Air Pistol at the Gold Coast Games. Another Indian shooter Heena Sidhu finished second in the event, scoring 234. India have won one bronze, two silver and six gold medals so far at the CWG 2018.
7. India, Korea to ink pact for seafarers, boost bilateral ties
India and South Korea are set to boost bilateral ties in ports and shipping space and will sign pact to provide Indian seafarers employment on over 500 Korean ships. Shipping, Road Transport & Highways, Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation Minister Gadkari, who will be on a four-day visit to Korea, said both the nations are also eyeing partnerships in shipbuilding, waterways and smart transportation, among others.
Known for maritime technology prowess, Korea had partnered with the Ministry of Shipping in the Maritime India Summit held in Mumbai during April 2016.
8. Walmiki and Malhar: 2 unknown languages discovered
The University of Hyderabad said two languages “which were lying hidden from linguists” have been discovered by a professor of linguistics in the institution. As a part of the activity of the Centre for Endangered Languages and Mother Tongue Studies, Prof Panchanan Mohanty discovered two languages recently.
One of them is called Walmiki and is spoken in the district of Koraput of Odishaand on the bordering districts of Andhra Pradesh. The analysis showed that the language is an “isolate”, and does not belonged to a particular family of languages.
The second language “Malhar” is spoken in a remote and isolated hamlet about 165 km away from Bhubaneswar. The community consists of about 75 speakers including children.
9. UP Government launches Ganga Hariteema Yojana
The Uttar Pradesh Government launched the Ganga Hariteema Yojana, also known as Ganga Greenery scheme, on April 7, 2018 in the 27 districts of Uttar Pradesh that are located on the bank of river Ganga.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath launched the scheme at Allahabad in a function organised on the bank of Sangam, the confluence of rivers of Ganga, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati.
- The scheme aims to enhance the green cover in the catchment areas of the river Ganga and to control the land erosion.
- Under the scheme, plantation will be carried out in one-kilometre areas from the banks of river.
- Common people will also will be encouraged for plantation on their private lands under ‘One Person One Tree’ slogan.
10. RBI switches back to GDP model from GVA model to measure economy
The Reserve Bank switched back to the gross domestic product (GDP)-based measure to offer its growth estimates from the gross value added (GVA) methodology, citing global best practices.
Government had started analysing growth estimates using GVA methodology from January 2015 and had also changed the base year to 2018 from January. While GVA gives a picture of the state of economic activity from the producers’ side or supply side, the GDP model gives the picture from the consumers’ side or demand perspective.
11. Tamil Nadu Government launches Uzhavan app for farmers
In a bid to use technology for farmers’ benefit, Tamil Nadu government has come out with a mobile application that will allow ryots to have access to nine types of services including details about their crop insurance. Chief Minister K Palaniswami launched the bi-lingual ‘Uzhavan’ (farmer).
The app, which can be downloaded from Google Playstore, can be used by farmers to get information on farm subsidies, book farm equipment and related infrastructure and get details on their crop insurance, besides receiving weather forecast for the next four days.
12. Soft Drinks Sugar tax in UK to combat obesity and sugar related diseases
The tax has been put in place to help curb obesity levels, as one in three children leaves primary school overweight. Brits will be paying higher prices for some soft drinks after the country’s sugar tax on the sweet beverages came into effect. Announced in March 2016, the tax has already seen more than 50 percent of manufacturers modify their products to ensure they are below the levy’s sugar limit.
13. Desert Tiger 5: UAE and Malaysia conclude joint military exercise
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Malaysia concluded “Desert Tiger 5” joint military exercise aimed at sharing expertise and enhancing joint military actions. The military exercise was implemented within the framework of the UAE leadership’s continued desire “to support and create unique partnerships between both countries in all areas.”
The drill was also aimed at raising the level of performance and combat efficiency, and working together based on a strategy to improve the overall ability and combat readiness of the ground forces.
14. Assam Spring Festival organised at Manas National Park
The two-day Assam Spring Festival began at the Manas National Park, where visitors will get to experience the state’s local food, music, handloom and handicrafts. The aim of the event is to promote the local food and culture of the fringe villagers. It is an attempt to create a model of alternative livelihood through food, handloom and culture.
The National park which is also a tiger and rhino reserve covers five districts of Assam — Kokrajhar, Baksa, Chirang, Udalguri and Barpeta.