Latest Current Affairs – August 20 & 21 2018
1. Vinesh Phogat 1st Indian woman wrestler to win gold at Asiad
Two-time CWG champion Vinesh Phogat defeated Japan’s Irie Yuki in the women’s freestyle 50kg final to become the first Indian woman wrestler to win gold at the Asian Games. Vinesh, who had won bronze medal in the 2014 edition of the Asian Games, bagged her second Asiad medal. India have won two gold medals at 2018 Asiad so far.
2. Djokovic defeats Federer to win record 9th Masters title
World number six Novak Djokovic defeated world number two Roger Federer 6-4, 6-4 in the final of the Cincinnati Masters to become the first man to claim all nine ATP Masters 1000 titles. Before this, Djokovic had reached Cincinnati Masters final five times and had lost every time, including three times to Federer. The title was Djokovic’s second of 2018.
3. 10,000 km roads, 1 lakh buildings destroyed in Kerala floods
Causing an over ₹19,000 crore loss, heavy rains and floods in Kerala have washed away 10,000 km of roads including highways and destroyed one lakh buildings, the Kerala government said. A more accurate damage assessment will be done after the rescue work is over, officials said. The areas under severe flood may take a decade to fully recover, reports said.
4. Cigarette packs to carry ‘Quit Today’ message from Sept 1
The Ministry of Health announced all cigarette and tobacco packs will carry new pictorial warnings including ‘Quit Today’ message from September 1. The packs will also carry a helpline number to help people quit tobacco. The first image will be carried for a year from September 1 and the second image will come into effect after a year.
5. Iran unveils 1st domestic fighter jet amid tensions with US
Iran unveiled its first fighter jet designed and manufactured by domestic military experts amid increased tensions with the US. The aircraft dubbed ‘Kowsar’ was unveiled ahead of the National Day of Defence Industry on August 22. President Hassan Rouhani said that Iran’s military strength was only designed to deter enemies and create “lasting peace”.
6. India wins first ever medal in Sepaktakraw at Asian Games
The Indian Sepaktakraw men’s team won the nation’s first ever medal in the sport after winning the bronze medal in the Men’s Team Regu category at the Asian Games 2018. The Indian team lost 0-2 to Thailand in the semi-final, registering India’s third bronze and ninth medal overall at the 2018 edition of the Asian Games.
7. 16-yr-old Saurabh bags India’s 1st shooting gold at Asiad 2018
Sixteen-year-old shooter Saurabh Chaudhary won the men’s 10m Air Pistol event to bag India’s first shooting gold at the 2018 Asiad. The junior world record holder shot a total score of 240.7 to set Games record, while another Indian shooter, Abhishek Verma won bronze in the same event. India have won five medals in shooting at the Games so far.
8. Centre declares Kerala floods ‘Calamity of Severe Nature’
The Centre has declared the Kerala floods as a ‘Calamity of Severe Nature’, categorising it as a Level 3 disaster. The highest Level 3 designation is given when the state may not have the capacity to respond adequately and require assistance from the Centre. Now MPs can use up to ₹1 crore from their local development fund to help Kerala.
9. India successfully tests Anti-Tank Guided Missile HELINA in Pokhran
The indigenously designed and developed guided bombs Smart Anti Airfield Weapon (SAAW) successfully flight tested from IAF aircraft at Chandan range in Jaisalmer. The missile is one of the most advanced anti-tank weapons in the world. The SAAW and Helina are being developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO).
10. World Humanitarian Day observed on 19 August
The campaign launched on World Humanitarian Day is “#NotATarget”. People in cities and towns struggle to find food, water, and safe shelter, while fighting drives millions from their homes. Children are recruited and used to fight, and their schools are destroyed. Women are abused and humiliated. The day was designated by the UN General Assembly to commemorate the 19 August 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq.
11. August 20: Sadbhavana Diwas
Sadbhavana Diwas or Harmony Day is celebrated on August 20 each year all over India to commemorate the birth anniversary of the former Prime Minister of India named Rajiv Gandhi. Sadbhavana meaning – having good feelings for others.
On this day, Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavana Award is presented to commemorate the contribution made by Rajiv Gandhi for promoting the communal hormony, peace and national integration.
Gopalkrishna Gandhi was declared as the winner of Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavana Award for the year 2018. He is a retired IAS officer and was 22nd Governor of West Bengal served from 2004 to 2009.
12. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj inaugurates Panini Language Laboratory in Mauritius
The lab is gifted by the Indian government and will help MGI in teaching Indian languages in Mauritius. Education Minister of Mauritius Leela Devi Dookun and other dignitaries were also present on the occasion.
13. General Dalbir Singh Suhag awarded US Legion of Merit 2018
The award was given to Singh Suhag for exceptionally meritorious service as Chief of Army Staff from August 2014 to December 2016. The Legion of Merit is awarded in four degrees; Degree of Chief Commander, Degree of commander, Degree of the officer, Degree of Legionnarie.
14. Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson announces retirement from all forms of Cricket
36-year-old Johnson announced his retirement from international cricket during the Test series against New Zealand in Perth in November 2015, but remained a useful bowler in Twenty20 competitions, including for Perth Scorchers in the Australian ‘Big Bash’ tournament.
He struggled with a back injury while playing for Kolkata Knight Riders in this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL). He claimed 239 wickets in 153 one-day internationals, and 38 wickets in 30 T20 internationals for Australia.
15. September 2018 will be observed National Nutrition Month
Union Ministry of Women and Child Development announced to observe September 2018 as the National Nutrition Month to mark the country’s fight against malnutrition.
The month-long intensive campaign will be undertaken with an aim of reaching every household with message of nutrition — ‘har ghar posha.
16. Chandrayaan-I data confirms presence of ice on Moon
Using data from the Chandrayaan-I spacecraft, Scientists have found frozen water deposits in the darkest and coldest parts of the Moon’s polar regions.
M3, aboard the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, launched in 2008 by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), was uniquely equipped to confirm the presence of solid ice on the Moon.
17. Novak Djokovic Won Western And Southern Open 2018
He became the first men’s tennis player in history to win all nine Masters 1,000 tournaments after finishing as the runner-up in Cincinnati five different times. He won Wimbledon Title before the Australian Open, Mercedes Cup and ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament.
18. Ten day long ‘Esala Maha Perahera’ festival begins in Sri Lanka
The Kandy Esala Perahera also known as ‘The Festival of the Tooth’ is a grand festival celebrated in July or August in Kandy, Sri Lanka. This historical procession is held annually to pay homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha, which is housed at the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy.
19. India and Japan agree to expand maritime co-operation to ensure peace & stability in Indo-Pacific region
India and Japan have resolved to expand their maritime cooperation and work together to ensure peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. Both sides also exchanged views on the current security situation in the Indo-Pacific region, including developments in the Korean Peninsula.
20. FSSAI Constitutes B Sesikeran Committee to Review Food Labelling Standards
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) constituted a group of experts from the health and nutrition sector to look into the issue of food labelling.
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is an autonomous body established under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India.
21. India and Thailand concludes Maitree Military Exercise
A two-week long platoon level military exercise called ‘Exercise Maitree 2018’ concluded at Jammu & Kashmir Srinagar. The main aim of the military exercise is to strengthen the partnership between armies of the two countries. The exercise began on August 6 and comprised of cross-training period, which included familiarization between the two armies to evolve drills and procedures that help in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations in varied terrains under the United Nations (UN) mandate.
22. HAL becomes first public sector enterprise to transact on TReDS
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has become the first public sector enterprise to make a transaction on the “TReDS platform”, which is an online electronic institutional mechanism for facilitating the financing of trade receivables of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) through multiple financiers.
TReDS refers to Trade Receivables Discounting System.
During October 2017, the central government mandated all major PSUs to join TReDS platform to facilitate payments to MSME vendors.
23. Israeli Journalist and Peace Activist Uri Avnery passes away
He is one of the famous journalist to openly advocate for a Palestinian state. After independence, he became a great publisher, member of parliament, author and activist. He began his adult political journey as a member of Irgun, an underground armed Zionist movement fighting the British and Palestine’s indigenous Arabs, but resigned in 1942 in revulsion at its terrorist methods.
24. India banned petroleum coke import for use as fuel
Among polluting fuels, petroleum coke (Petcoke) remains one of the most polluting ones as it emits 11% more greenhouse gas compared to coal. India is the world’s biggest consumer of Petcoke. Industries use pet coal because it’s much cheaper than coal and is easier to handle as fuel.
Import of Petcoke is allowed for only cement, lime kiln, calcium carbide and gasification industries, when used as the feedstock or in the manufacturing process on actual user condition.
25. SK Arora awarded as WHO World No Tobacco Day 2018 Award
S K Arora got award from Henk Bekedam, WHO India country head in New Delhi. This award given every year by World Health Organisation(WHO) to individuals or organisations alike in each of six WHO regions for their accomplishments in the area of tobacco control.
26. World Mosquito Day observed on 20th August
World Mosquito Day is a commemoration of British doctor Sir Ronald Ross’s discovery in 1897 that female mosquitoes transmit malaria between humans. Mosquito name comes from Spanish word meaning “little fly”. Around 6 million deaths every decade occur owing to malaria.