Latest Current Affairs – September 12 2018
1. Cabinet approves PM-AASHA scheme to protect farmers’ income
The Cabinet chaired by PM Narendra Modi approved Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan (PM-AASHA) to protect income of farmers growing pulses, oilseeds and copra. It will be a mix of sub-schemes involving direct procurement from farmers, involvement of private players for procurement on a pilot basis, and paying farmers the difference between the MSP and the selling price.
2. HDFC Life names Vibha Padalkar as new MD & CEO
HDFC Life has appointed Vibha Padalkar as its new Managing Director and CEO for a period of 3 years effective September 12. Padalkar, who joined the private life insurer in August 2008, was serving as the Chief Financial Officer. She will succeed Amitabh Chaudhry, who was recently named as the next MD and CEO of Axis Bank.
3. Padma Bhushan awardee economist VS Vyas passes away aged 87
Padma Bhushan awardee and economist VS Vyas passed away in Jaipur on Wednesday at the age of 87. He was previously a member of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council and worked with former prime ministers including Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh. He also served as the senior advisor to World Bank in its agriculture and rural development department.
4. Facebook’s ‘Rosetta’ AI can detect text from memes, videos
Facebook has developed an artificial intelligence (AI) system ‘Rosetta’ which can detect text from over a billion images like memes and videos in real time. The AI detects rectangular regions in images that potentially contain text and then uses a neural network to recognise and transcribe what’s written. To train the system, Facebook used a human-annotated dataset of public images.
5. Garcha won bronze in the 52nd ISSF World Championships in Korea
Gurnihal Singh Garcha won bronze in junior men’s shooting and qualified in the sixth place at the 52nd ISSF World Championships in Changwon, South Korea. Gurnihal, the 19-year old, was defeated by Elia Sdruccioli of Italy.
In total India won 22 medals, including seven gold and eight silver, and secured the fourth spot in the medals table behind China, Russia and Korea.
6. Indian American scientist awarded USD 6.5 million for cancer biomarkers
Arul Chinnaiyan, an Indian-American scientist and professor at the University of Michigan, has been awarded an “Outstanding Investigator Award” along with a grant of $6.5 million by the U.S. National Cancer Institute.
This grant is aimed at identifying cancer biomarkers which may improve diagnosis and help develop new targeted therapies for the deadly disease. The award is designed to support the very best researchers who have a track record of innovation and success.
7. Hima Das appointed as first ever Sports Ambassador of Assam
India’s ace sprinter Hima Das, who recently became the first Indian woman to win gold in track 400 m event at IAAF World U-20 Athletics Chamipionships in France, was appointed as Sports Ambassador of Assam by the state Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. She is nicknamed ‘Dhing Express’ after her village in Assam.
8. Haryana govt signs MoU with Indian Oil to set up Ethanol plant
An ethanol plant will be set up in Bohali village, Panipat with an outlay of over Rs 900 crore. The MoU will be valid for one year. The proposed capacity of this ethanol plant will be of producing 100 kilolitres of ethanol per day. Paddy and Sugarcane crop residues will be supplied as raw material for this plant in cyclic manner.
9. Justice Mukul Mudgal to head Selection Committee to pick up Dronacharya and Dhyanchand Awardees
Justice Mukul Mudgal, who headed the Supreme Court-appointed probe into the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal, has been named chairman of the 11-member selection committee to pick this year’s Dronacharya and Dhyanchand awardees. The panel headed by Mudgal, the retired Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, has been picked by the Sports Ministry.
The Dhyanchand honour is bestowed on sports persons for their life-time achievements and contribution to sport during both their active career and after retirement.
10. Rail Sahyog web portal launched for corporates to fund creation of amenities at Railway stations
The Minister of Railways and Coal, Piyush Goyal launched a web portal www.railsahyog.in today. The web portal will provide a platform for the Corporates and PSUs to contribute to creation of amenities at/near Railway Stations through Corporate Social Responsibility funds.
Based on the principle of first come first serve, the requests will be shortlisted and selected applicants will be intimated to deposit the funds with Railways/nominated agencies like RITES/RAILTEL etc. The nominated agency will get the work executed thereafter.
11. Apsara: BARC recommissions upgraded version of India’s oldest research reactor
The Bhaba Atomic Research Centre has recommissioned an upgraded version of ‘Apsara’, the country’s oldest research reactor that was decommissioned almost a decade ago. Apsara was first made operational on August 4, 1956, becoming Asia’s first research reactor at the time. The design of the pool-type reactor using enriched uranium fuel was conceptualised in 1955 by Dr Homi Bhabha himself.
The name Apsara was coined by then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Later, BARC set up two other research reactors Cirus and Dhruva. However, after having been in service for over five decades, the reactor was shut down in 2009 and decommissioned.
The country began production of radioisotopes with the commissioning of Apsara in 1956. Today, radioisotopes are used in the field of medicine for diagnosis and therapy, food preservation, agriculture, and other industries.