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- India on August 15, 2018 celebrated its 72nd Independence Day by paying tribute to its previous leaders and freedom fighters. The Day witnessed the unfurling of the National flag at Red Fort in Delhi by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. On the eve of 72nd Independence Day, President Ram Nath Kovind addressed the nation and called for creative thinking in governance that enables fast-track development and ensures social harmony. After the flag hoisting, National Anthem is sung and twenty-one gun shots are fired to salute and honour the Indian flag and solemn occasion. On this day, the UK Parliament passed the Indian Independence Act, 1947 and transferred the legislative sovereignty to the Indian Constituent Assembly. The then Viceroy Lord Louis Mountbatten advanced the date of independence to August 15, 1947 so as to mark the second anniversary of Japan’s Surrender in World War II.
- Justice Manjula Chellur has been appointed as Chairperson of Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (ATE), Ministry of Power for a period of 3 years. Prior to this appointment, she was Chief Justice of Bombay High Court. She was first woman Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court and first female judge of Karnataka High Court. Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (ATE) has been established by Union Ministry of Power in April 2004 by virtue of Section 110 of The Electricity Act, 2003.
- In Ease of Living Index released by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) Pune, Maharashtra, ranked first among 116 cities with population of 1 million plus. Besides, two more Maharashtra cities — Navi Mumbai and Greater Mumbai — figure in the second and third spots. The index exercise was launched in January 2018 by MoHUA with help of the consortium of IPSOS Research Pvt Ltd, Athena Infonomics, and Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). The index conceived in June 2017 is evaluated based on four parameters-institutional, social, economic and physical factors.
- Iran has unveiled Fateh Mobin (Bright Conqueror) next generation short-range ballistic missile capable of striking targets on land and sea. The missile has successfully passed its tests. It was unveiled as part of Iran’s thrust to further boost its defence capabilities at time of rising tensions with US. Fateh-110 missile is 100% domestically made in Iran. It is agile and has stealth, tactical and precision-guided capabilities. Iran’s missile programme is major bone of contention with world powers, particularly United States.
- Government has appointed senior bureaucrat Ashish Kumar Bhutani as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) till May 2020. He is IAS officer (1992 batch) of Assam-Meghalaya cadre. PMFBY is farmers’ welfare scheme launched in 2016 to ensure faster insurance services or reliefs to farmers. It was formulated in line with One Nation–One Scheme theme. It aims to reduce the premium burden on farmers and ensure early settlement of crop assurance claim for the full insured sum.
- Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has notified rules for utilisation of more than Rs 66,000 crore afforestation funds by states/UTs and for setting up authorities to monitor its use for afforestation and conservation. The rules have been framed two years after Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF) Act, 2016 to this effect was enacted. Though Parliament had enacted Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF) Act, 2016 to utilise money, it could not be implemented in absence of enabling rules within Act for two years.
- Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman approved procurement of six indigenously designed and manufactured Next Generation Offshore Patrol Vessels (NGOPVs) for Indian Navy. DAC is Defence Ministry’s highest decision-making body on capital procurement of Indian Armed Forces (Army, Navy and Air Force).
- Union Railway Ministry released Third Party Survey Report on Station Cleanliness which ranked 407 railway stations including 75 A1 category stations, 332 A category stations on basis of cleanliness performance. Jodhpur (Rajasthan) was ranked first in survey A1 category stations, Marwar (Rajasthan) first in A category stations and North Western Railway first among all Zonal Railways. This was third such audit cum cleanliness survey conducted by Indian Railways to increase level of cleanliness under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
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