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- Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee passed away on August 16, 2018. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the first non-Congress Prime Minister to serve a full five-year term. Vajpayee served three terms as the Prime Minister of India. He served the first term in 1996 for just 13 days. During his second term in 1998-199, he served for 13 months. In his final and third term, he served the nations for full five years from 1999-2004. He was elected to the Lok Sabha for ten times, and was twice elected to the Rajya Sabha, the upper house. Vajpayee was among the founding members of the erstwhile Bharatiya Jana Sanghwhich he also headed from 1968 to 1972. As a foreign minister, Vajpayee was the first person to deliver a speech at the United Nations General Assembly in Hindi in 1977. Within two weeks of assuming office for a second time, Vajpayee had ordered nuclear tests at Pokhran. In May 1998, India conducted five underground nuclear tests in Pokhran desert in Rajasthan. It was declared by the PM Modi government in 2014 that Vajpayee’s birthday, 25 December, will be observed as Good Governance Day every year.
- United States has announced to grant $39 million as part its foreign military financing to Sri Lanka to boost maritime security. The US funding for Sri Lanka is part of its $300 million set aside for South and Southeast Asia to ensure free, open, and rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific region. China (world’s second-largest economy) in recent has raised its investments in major ports in Sri Lanka, which are key to its ambitious ‘Belt and Road’ Infrastructure Initiative.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his addresses to the nation on occasion of 72nd Independence Day from Red Fort announced that permanent commission will be granted to serving women officers of armed forces. Henceforth, women officers who have been selected through Short Service Commission (SSC) in defence forces will now have option to take up permanent commission (PC). Unlike Indian Army, IAF and Indian Navy have opened up select combat roles for women.
- President Ram Nath Kovind has given Madhya Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel additional charge of Chhattisgarh. She will discharge additional duties until the regular arrangements for the office of governor of Chhattisgarh are made. She was given additional charge following death of Chhattisgarh Governor Balramji Dass Tandon.
Article 153: It says that there shall be Governor for each state. 7th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1956 facilitated appointment of the same person as governor for two or more states.
Article 156: It says that Governor is appointed by President and hold office during pleasure of President.
- Three US scientists James Allison, Carl June and Steven Rosenberg were declared winners 2018 Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research, United States’ second highest prize established in 2000. They were awarded in recognition of their research in immunology and translation of their ideas into effective therapies that have led to innovative treatments for cancer, HIV and other diseases. They will share this $500,000 medical prize. They will receive the award at ceremony to be held in September 2018 in Albany, New York.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi as part of his 72nd Independence Day speech vowed to put Indian in space by 2022 under manned space mission on board ‘Gaganyaan’. This announcement gives Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) definitive timeline for manned space mission it has been working on for the last 15 years. If successful, India will become fourth nation in the world to send astronaut into space after US, Russia and China. Former Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot Rakesh Sharma was first Indian to travel to space. He was part of the Soviet Union’s Soyuz T-11 expedition, launched on April 2, 1984, as part of the Intercosmos programme.
- Under Swadesh Darshan Scheme the first project ‘North East Circuit: Imphal and Khongjom’ was inaugurated in Manipur. The project covers two sites i.e. Kangla Fort and Khongjom in Manipur. Under this project, Union Tourism Ministry has carried out works such as restoration and improvement of outer and inner moat of old Govindajee Temple and rejuvenation of sacred ponds, reconstruction of old rampart, among others. Kangla Fort is one of the most important historic and archaeological sites of Manipur located in the heart of the capital city Imphal. It had served as tradition seat of past Meetei rulers of Manipur till 1891. The scheme was Union Tourism Ministry with an objective to develop theme-based tourist circuits in the country.
- The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) launched RUCO (Repurpose Used Cooking Oil) initiative to enable collection and conversion of used cooking oil to biodiesel. Under this initiative, 64 companies at 101 locations have been identified to enable collection of used cooking oil. According to FSSAI, India has potential to recover 220 crore litres of used cooking oil for production of biodiesel by 2022 through co-ordinated action. FSSAI is also working in partnership with Biodiesel Association of India (BAI) and food industry to ensure effective compliance of used cooking oil regulations.
- The 24th World Congress of Philosophy (WCP) was held in Beijing, China from August 13 to 17, 2018. It was organized by the International Federation of Philosophical Societies and Peking University with the theme of “Learning to Be Human”. This was first time that the quinquennial (once in five years) event was held in China. World Congress of Philosophy is global meeting of philosophers first organized in 1900 in Paris, France and since it has become one of the largest philosophical events in the world.
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