Latest Current Affairs – August 14 & 15 2018
1. Vienna named world’s most liveable city, Melbourne at 2nd
Austria’s capital Vienna has topped the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Index for the first time, beating Australian city Melbourne, which had topped the list for the past seven years. Syrian city Damascus was placed at the bottom of the list, while Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka, and Nigeria’s Lagos were placed at the second last and third last position respectively.
2. Australia resumes adoption of children from India
Australia has resumed the adoption of children from India after reportedly 8 years, the Women and Child Development (WCD) Ministry said. Australia had suspended the adoptions over reports of trafficking of children. Australia’s Assistant Minister for Children and Families David Gillespie said India had “improved its processes” to comply with the Hague Convention on Adoption.
3. Iran unveils new ballistic missile amid tensions with US
Iran has unveiled the next-generation of its ‘Fateh’ short-range ballistic missile amid ongoing tensions with the US. The new missiles reportedly have a range of between 300 and 500 kilometres. Iran has vowed to continue with its missile programme to enhance its defensive missile capability despite objections by the US.
4. Pineapple festival organised in Manipur’s Thayong
A 10-day pineapple festival showcasing different varieties of the fruit has been organised in Manipur’s Thayong village. The festival aims at encouraging farmers and locals to plant and cultivate pineapples. The village produces 20-30 tonnes of pineapple in a year, said an official of the organising committee.
5. Chhattisgarh Governor Balram Das Tandon passes away at 90
Chhattisgarh Governor Balram Das Tandon passed away at the age of 90 after suffering a cardiac arrest. He had complained of uneasiness earlier in the day and was rushed to the Dr BR Ambedkar Memorial Hospital in Raipur. Tandon, who had previously served as the Deputy CM of Punjab, was appointed as the state Governor in July 2014.
6. Allahabad Bank CEO fired on her last day in office
Allahabad Bank’s MD and CEO Usha Ananthasubramanian was fired on her last day in office, in relation to the PNB scam. She had served as the CEO and Managing Director of PNB from 2015 to 2017, and was named in the CBI chargesheet. Before that, she had also served as PNB’s Executive Director from 2011 to 2013.
7. Rajasthan’s Jodhpur railway station ranked as India’s cleanest
Rajasthan’s Jodhpur railway station was ranked the cleanest station in the A1 Category in a cleanliness report released by the Ministry of Railways. Jodhpur was followed by stations Jaipur and Tirupati in cleanliness in the A1 Category of railway stations. Rajasthan’s Marwar topped among the A Category railway stations, followed by Phulera and Warangal.
8. India releases 470 million Nepali rupess grant for Terai roads project in Nepal
The Government of India has released 470 million Nepali rupess grant for Terai roads project in Nepal. Indian Ambassador to Nepal Manjeev Singh Puri handed over a cheque of grant to Secretary, Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport of Nepal, Madhusudan Adhikari in Kathmandu.
The amount has been released to maintain fund liquidity for the ongoing construction of 14 road packages under Postal Highway Project.
With this payment, 2.35 billion Nepali rupees have been released so far out of total grant assistance of 8 billion Nepali rupees committed by the Government of India for implementing 14 packages under Postal Highway Project.
9. Footballer Lionel Messi confirmed as the new Barcelona captain
Lionel Messi has succeeded Andres Iniesta as captain of Barcelona, after the Spaniard ended his 22-year stay at the club to join Japanese side Vissel Kobe in May. Sergio Busquets will be the vice-captain, with Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto the third and fourth captains respectively. Messi, 31, joined the Barcelona club in 2001 and is their record goalscorer.
10. Researchers found that Aspirin may help to prevent AIDS
Researchers have found that Aspirin which is an affordable and globally available drug could help prevent HIV transmission. They tested the effect of acetylsalicylic acid or aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs on HIV target cells. It showed that Aspirin was the most effective as it reduced the number of HIV target cells.
Researches are being done whether Aspirin can reduce the level of target cells will actually prevent HIV infections. If the research turns out as expected then it could be a strategy for HIV prevention which is not only inexpensive but easily accessed globally.
11. PM Modi announces Rs. 1,000 crore financial aid for IIT Bombay
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay will get this financial aid under the status of Institution of Eminence (IoE). Prime Minister Modi also inaugurated the new building of the Department of Energy Science and Engineering and Centre for Environmental Science and Engineering at IIT Bombay.
He stated that, in the last four years, seven IITs, seven IIMs (Indian Institute of Management), two IISER (Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research) and 11 IIITs (Indian Institute of Information Technology) have been approved.
12. Exim Bank signed MoU with BRICS Development Banks
The MoU signed by Exim Bank Managing Director David Rasquinha. The main objective is to strengthen the cooperation under the BRICS Interbank Cooperation Mechanism. The signatories agreed to constitute a joint research working group which will formulate the research agenda and targeted outcome.
13. India’s first genetic bank for wildlife conservation inaugurated in Hyderabad
It is India’s first genetic resource bank where the genetic material will be stored for posterity which will further the cause of conservation of endangered species. It is equipped with sophisticated equipment to preserve the genetic resources that could be utilized to virtually resurrect an animal species. Laboratory of Conservation of Endangered Species (LaCONES) developed a universal DNA based marker for identification of wild animals from parts and remains.
14. Karnataka government to launch Green Mysuru drive on 15th August
The Forest Department of Karnataka is to launch a Green Mysuru drive on 15th August 2018 under Hasiru Karnataka programme. The aim is to increase the tree cover of the city and the district. The program involves planting saplings in vacant spaces of government offices and schools, available space on the roadside, embankment abutting farmland and agricultural fields, courtyards etc.
The drive considers the participation public as its key success of the programme. A total of 100,000 saplings have been prepared in various nurseries of the Forest Department.
15. India to participate in SCO Peace Mission 2018 exercise at Russia
India will participate for the first time in the joint SCO Peace Mission Exercise, a part of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) initiatives, being conducted by Central Military Commission of Russia from August 22-29 at Chebarkul. India became a full member of the SCO in June 2017.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is an eight-member multilateral organization, established on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai, China. 8 members of SCO are:- China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan.
16. Rekha Sharma appointed as chairperson of National Commission for Women
Sharma, 54, was earlier a member of the Commission and was holding the additional charge of chairperson after Lalitha Kumaramangalam demitted office in September last year. She belongs to Haryana. The National Commission for Women (NCW) was set up as statutory body in January 1992 under the National Commission for Women Act, 1990.
17. Scientists found that marine reefs could survive global warming
Scientists found that the marine reefs could survive global warming as the combination of coral reefs and the mutualistic micro-algae withstood various climate change events since the Mesozoic era.
The micro-algae, commonly called zooxanthellae, lives inside the cells of coral reefs. It allows them to acquire energy from sunlight and to build the massive, economically valuable reef formations upon which countless marine organisms rely for habitat.
18. Haryana to inaugurate its first licensed Hisar Airport
The airport will be inaugurated on August 15 by Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar. The team informed that the airport selected by the Ministry of Civil Aviation under the RCS-UDAN Scheme in which one airline namely M/s Pinnacle Airways Limited have bid for two routes namely Delhi-Hisar and Hisar-Chandigarh.
19. State Bank of India ranked as Indias most patriotic brand
According to the survey conducted by UK-based online market research and data analytics firm, *YouGov* Country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) is considered to be the most patriotic brand, followed by Tata Motors, Patanjali, Reliance Jio and BSNL. The survey, which covered 152 brands across 11 categories, is based on data collected online by YouGov Omnibus among 1,193 respondents in the country.
20. Indian Navy launched ‘Operation Madad’ in flood hit Kerala
The Southern Naval Command (SNC) launched ‘Operation Madad’ for assisting the Kerala administration and undertaking disaster relief operations due to the unprecedented flooding experienced in many parts of Kerala. All the five gates of the Idukki (Cherurhoni) Dam in Kerala have been opened for the first time in 26 years, due to heavy rain and flooding. The Idukki Dam system is constructed across the river Periyar.