The Daily Brief – 30th August 2018


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  1. Union Government’s premier think tank NITI Aayog has made computer chip manufacturer NVIDIA its deep learning technology partner to support its MoveHack event. MoveHack is global mobility hackathon event organized by NITI Aayog to crowdsource solutions aimed at the future of mobility in India. As deep learning technology partner, NVIDIA will help NITI Aayog to solve grand challenge of making innovations in mass mobility matter of national importance using Artifical Intellegence (AI) and deep learning.
  2. Along with Government of Rajasthan, Central Government has signed $250 million Development Policy Loan (DPL) agreement with World Bank for Electricity Distribution Sector Reforms in Rajasthan. The loan will be provided by World Bank’s lending arm International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). It has maturity of 21 years and 3-year grace period. This program is aligned to Broader Reform Program developed by Central Government and adopted by Rajasthan Government.
  3. Punjab Legislative Assembly has unanimously passed Indian Penal Code (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2018 and Code of Criminal Procedure (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2018 to make sacrilege of all religious texts punishable with life imprisonment and in turn to preserve communal harmony in the society. This comes week after State Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Arminder Singh approved the amendments. Besides, Justice (retired) Ranjit Singh Commission report on incidents of desecration of religious texts was also table.
  4. Union Government (Finance Ministry) has inked $220 million Loan Agreement with World Bank to scale-up Inida’s Energy Efficiency Program. It also signed $80 million guarantee agreement with World Bank. It has maturity of 19 years and 5-year grace period. Energy Efficiency Program (EEP) will be implemented by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) in order to help to scale-up deployment of energy saving measures in residential and public sectors.

    Satya S. Tripathi
  5. Indian development economist and environment expert Satya S. Tripathi has been appointed as assistant secretary general of United Nation and will head New York office of UN Environment Programme (UNEP). He was appointed by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. He has rich experience of over 35 years with UN and has worked at UN since 1998 in Europe, Asia and Africa on strategic assignments in sustainable development, human rights, democratic governance and legal affairs. Since 2017, he has been senior adviser to UNEP on 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  6. Union Government and European Union (EU) have collaborated for research programme named Horizon 2020 to develop Next Generation Influenza Vaccine to protect citizens across the globe. For this research programme, India’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and EU have committed Euro 15 million (Rs. 240 crore). The outcome of this project is expected to contribute to achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG-3) to ensure health and well-being for all. It will also give boost India’s National Health Mission.
  7. Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) unveiled details of its first indigenous human space mission dubbed as Gaganyaan to be launched in 2022. The mission was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his 72nd Independence Day speech. Under it, three Indian astronauts (Gaganyatris) will be taken to space on board Gaganyaan spacecraft by 2022. This will be the first human space mission to be indigenously developed by ISRO. If successful, India will become fourth nation in the world to send astronaut into space after US, Russia and China.
  8. Union Government has constituted new 21-member advisory panel on science, technology and innovation called Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC). It will be headed by Principal Scientific Advisor to government K Vijay Raghavan and has nine members including chairman. It will replace earlier Scientific Advisory Committee to Prime Minister and to Cabinet. It will actively aid in formulation and timely implementation of major science and technology missions and evolve interdisciplinary technology development programmes.
  9. Search engine giant Google has unveiled Project Navlekha at fourth ‘Google for India’ event held in New Delhi to make online content relevant for more Indian users especially in local languages. India is important market for Google as it is second largest population of internet users in the world. At present, amount of online content in Indian languages is only 1% of what is available in English. Navlekha is word derived from Sanskrit meaning “a new way to write.” This project aims to bring 135,000 local language publishers online by making web hosting smooth and simple.

Asian Games 2018: (total 52 medals9 gold, 20 silver and 23 bronze.)

  1. Dutee Chand, who came second in the women’s 200 m event with a finish time of 23.20 sec won silver in Asian Games 2018. With this win, Dutee Chand joined her illustrious compatriots such as PT Usha in the list of athletes who have won more than one medal at the Asian Games as she added silver to her kitty after finishing second earlier in the women’s 100m dash. She crossed the finishing line in 23.20 seconds, behind Bahrain’s Edidiong Odiong who clinched the gold in 22.96. The bronze went to China’s Wei Yongli (23.27).
  2. Indian table tennis team Manika Batra and Achanta Sharath Kamal bagged the bronze medal in Asian games 2018. The Indian duo lost in the mixed doubles semi-finals 9-11, 5-11, 13-11, 4-11, 8-11 against the Chinese pair of Yingsha Sun and Chuqin Wangin. This is India’s second medal in table tennis at the Asian Games after the men’s team bagged bronze.
  3. Swapna Barman created history by winning the women’s heptathlon title.  Swapna’s triumph in the women’s heptathlon is the first-ever gold for India in the event at the Asiad. Swapna posted a score of 6026 points. Wang Qingling of China scored 5954 to take silver.
  4. In men’s triple jump, Arpinder Singh won gold with an effort of 16.77 metres. He pipped Uzbekistan’s Ruslan Kurbanov, who took the silver medal with a personal best jump of 16.62 metres. Before the 25-year-old Arpinder, the previous Indian champion at the Asiad was Mohinder Singh Gill in 1970 with an effort of 16.11m.

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Today’s Quiz

1. Who has been appointed as assistant secretary general of United Nation?

2. Horizon 2020 is a collaboration for research programme of Union Government with__

3. Who is appointed as the head of Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC)?

4. How many nations in the world have send astronauts into space till now?

5. Which among the following country has not sent astronauts into space yet?

6. Who is the first Indian to win women’s heptathlon title?

7. Arpinder Singh won gold in __ event at Asian Games 2018

8. Which of the following table tennis mixed doubles team bagged the bronze medal?

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