Current Affairs Quick Revision and Reminder (16-30 September 2018)

  • The Kolkata Municipal Corporation, with the support of the Asian Development Bank, on September 27, 2018 launched the country’s first flood forecasting and early-warning system, which will provide real-time data on inundation, rainfall intensity, temperature, air quality and other climate-related data. This is expected to help policy-makers make informed decisions during disasters.
  • The September 17 agreement between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan to prevent an all-out attack on Idlib, the last major enclave held by anti-government militants in Syria, signals a major realignment of the power dynamics within the Syrian theatre. The agreement, according to which Russia and Turkey will establish a demilitarised zone along the line of contact between Idlib’s militants and regime forces, has averted an imminent humanitarian crisis, but it also shows the increasing uneasiness in Russia’s policy towards a conflict which has bogged it down.

  • Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on September 28, 2018 launched Centre of Excellence for Data Analytics (CEDA) in New Delhi. It would strengthen citizen service delivery through data-driven governance. He said, NIC is having huge data and called upon the scientists to use the data innovative ways.

  • Canada’s parliament has voted unanimously to effectively strip Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi of her honorary Canadian citizenship over the Rohingya crisis. Canada had given the long-detained democracy advocate and Nobel laureate the rare honour in 2007. But her international reputation has become tarnished by her refusal to call out the atrocities by her nation’s military against the Rohingya minority, which Ottawa last week declared a genocide.

  • The World Rabies day is celebrated annually on September 28 to raise awareness about rabies prevention and to highlight progress in defeating this horrifying disease. This year the theme for the day is ‘Rabies: Share the message. Save a life’. This highlights the importance of education and awareness to prevent rabies. World Rabies Day provides a platform to improve awareness, engage communities and help endemic countries in building successful and sustainable rabies programmes. The day also marks the anniversary of Louis Pasteur’s death, the French chemist and microbiologist, who developed the first rabies vaccine.

  • Punjab and Himachal Pradesh governments on September 28 signed a Memorandum of Understanding to set up a ropeway in Public Private Partnership mode between Anandpur Sahib and Naina Devi. The ropeway will facilitate pilgrims visiting Anandpur Sahib in Punjab and Naina Devi in Himachal Pradesh.

  • An International conference on plastics recycling and waste management: Opportunity and Challenges was inaugurated by Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, in New Delhi on September 28, 2018.

  • The government has set up an eight-member Lokpal Search Committee under the Chairmanship of former Supreme Court Judge, Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai. Prasar Bharati Chairman A Surya Prakash, former SBI Chief Arundhati Bhattacharya and Justice Sukha Ram Singh Yadav among others will be members in the search panel. he Committee will recommend the names for the Chairperson and Members of the Lokpal to the Lokpal Selection Committee

  • The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has selected Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron for this year’s “Champions of the Earth” award—the UN’s highest environmental honour. Both have been selected in the “Policy Leadership” category for their pioneering work in championing the International Solar Alliance and promoting new areas of levels of cooperation on environmental action. Cochin International Airport was awarded in the Entrepreneurial Vision category.

  • The Supreme Court upheld the PAN-Aadhaar linkage, but declared linking Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile SIM cards unconstitutional.Statutory bodies such as the CBSE and the UGC cannot ask students to produce their Aadhaar cards for examinations like the NEET and the JEE.

  • The Ministry of Home Affairs has notified new rules amalgamating police forces in six Union Territories. The rules effectively mean that officers, who are not direct IPS recruits, could be posted in any of the six UTs and will be at the disposal of the MHA. The National Capital Territory of Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Chandigarh (Police Service) Rules, 2018, was notified on September 25.

  • A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on September 26, 2018 modified a 2006 judgment requiring the State to show quantifiable data to prove the “backwardness” of a Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe community in order to provide quota in promotion in public employment. The judgment gives a huge fillip for the government’s efforts to provide “accelerated promotion with consequential seniority” for SC/ST members in government services.

  • India’s foodgrains production is estimated at a record 141.59 million tonnes (MT) in the kharif season of 2018-19 crop year, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said on September 26. The country had produced 140.73 MT foodgrains in the kharif season of 2017-18 crop year (July-June).

  • Parakram Parv is being celebrated from September 28-30 to showcase the courage, valour and sacrifice of Indian Armed Forces. The main event is planned at India Gate Lawns, Rajpath in New Delhi. Similarly, 53 locations in 51 cities across the country will be showcasing the events highlighting valour of Indian Armed Forces in general and Special Forces in particular. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited India Gate lawns on the inauguration of the Parakram Parv and also interact with children.

  • The Union Cabinet approved increasing the government’s ownership in the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) to 100% from the existing 49% and also change the existing structure in line with a transition plan.

  • Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated a national literary and intellectual conference- “Lok Manthan 2018” on September 27 at Khel Gaon in Ranchi. This four-day event is being organised by Department of Culture of Jharkhand Government in association with a NGO to have discussions on present social and cultural issues facing the country.

  • India and United States have formed an alliance comprising leading experts in public and private sectors to combat the menace of tuberculosis. The formation of ‘USAID-India End TB Alliance’ was formally announced by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) administrator Mark Green in presence of Union Health Minister J P Nadda in New York on September 26. The experts in the alliance will offer innovative approaches to combat tuberculosis in India. He hoped that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious, and determined commitment to achieve a TB-free India by 2025 would become possible with this alliance.

  • The first international Conference on Biological controls was inaugurated by the Director General of ICAR Dr.Trilochan Mohapatrain in Bengaluru on September 27, 2018. He said up to 30% of agricultural yields are affected by pests and diseases despite intensive chemical pesticide use. Biological control of insect pests and diseases is one of the major ecosystem services provided to agriculture worldwide.

  • The first consignment of non-basmati rice of 100 tonnes was shipped to China from Nagpur on September 28. The consignment will be received by China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation which is one of China’s state-owned food processing holding companies. After concerted efforts of the government, 19 rice mills and processing units have been registered for export of non-basmati rice from India to China. 

  • Sweden’s centre-right Opposition and the far right ousted Prime Minister Stefan Löfven in a vote of no-confidence on September 25, as the left and right blocs wrangle over who can form a new government after neither won a majority in September 9 elections.

  • Crispr-Cas9 is a gene editing tool. Crispr, an acronym for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, harnesses the natural defence mechanisms of bacteria to alter an organism’s genetic code. Researchers in China used a variation of Crispr. Instead of snipping strands, they swapped DNA letters to correct Marfan Syndrome, an inherited disorder that affects connective tissue.

  • The Gandhi Smaraka Nidhi, in an initiative to spread Gandhian ideology, has distributed 500 statues of the Mahatma in Vizianagaram district. The statues, given away by the Andhra Pradesh Assembly Deputy Speaker Mandali Buddha Prasad at the Vizianagaram Police Grounds on September 26, will be sent to selected schools, colleges and villages for installation on October 2, the 150th birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation.

  • India will organise ‘Gandhi March’ from the iconic Peace Palace at the Hague to Grote Kerk on September 30 to launch the two-year long celebrations of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. On the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti on October 2, marked as International Day of Non-Violence, five other events will be held in The Hague, Amsterdam, Utrecht and Zoetermeer. The Netherlands has a special connection to India and Mahatma Gandhi. There are around thirty streets in the country named after Mahatma Gandhi.

  • In Nepal, the famous Indra Jatra festival is being celebrated in Kathmandu with gaiety and religious fervor. The eight day long annual festival is observed to worship Indra, the lord of rain and good harvest. It also marks end of monsoon and beginning of harvest season and festivity.

  • Union Power Minister R K Singh said that energy savings are 30 per cent more at 8.67 million tonnes of oil equivalent than the target in the first phase of the energy conservation scheme Perform, Achieve and Trade (PAT). He said under PAT Cycle I, more than 400 large industries from key energy intensive sectors in India took measures to improve energy efficiency during the last three years which resulted in energy savings worth Rs 9,500 crore annually. The PAT scheme is mandatory for all designated consumers notified by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) and it is one of the major initiatives under the National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE).

  • The Supreme Court on September 25, 2018 constituted a three-member committee headed by its former judge Justice Amitava Roy to look into the aspect of jail reforms across the country and suggest measures to deal with them. The committee will also look into the various issues concerning women prisoners. A bench headed by Justice M B Lokur said the panel will look into the issues including over-crowding in prisons.The Apex court on August 27 had reserved its order on the issue of constituting a committee to deal with issues pertaining to jails and suggest reforms for prisons across the country.

  • Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on September 24, 2018 dedicated to the nation the renovated and upgraded National Highway-44, which would boost industrial development in Meghalaya.

  • NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft on September 21, celebrates four years in orbit studying the upper atmosphere of the Red Planet and how it interacts with the Sun and the solar wind. To mark the occasion, the team has released a selfie image of the spacecraft at Mars. The mission launched on Nov. 18, 2013, and went into orbit around Mars on Sept. 21, 2014. During its time at Mars, MAVEN has answered many questions about the Red Planet.

  • Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences and Environment, Forest and Climate change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan on September 25, 2018 inaugurated air pollution control device WAYU  (Wind Augmentation PurifYing Unit) for traffic junctions at ITO intersection and Mukarba Chowk in Delhi .WAYU is developed by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research –National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-NEERI) as a part of Technology Development Project being funded by Department of Science and Technology.

  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi on September 24, 2018, inaugurated the Pakyong Airport in Sikkim. This is the first airport in the Himalayan State, and the 100th airport in the country.
    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on September 20, 2018 took South Korean President Moon Jae-in to Mount Paektu, one of Korea’s most important cultural and geological sites. Moon’s visit to the mountain was the realization of a dream for the South Korean leader. Moon is the first South Korean president to visit Mount Paektu and the cerulean lake at its summit from the North Korean side.


  • 16 people, including 12 civilians, were killed in a rebel attack on Beni in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s restive east. The Beni region is under siege from the Allied Defence Forces (ADF), an Islamist rebel group blamed for hundreds of civilian deaths over the past four years. The ADF is a militia initially created by Muslim rebels to oppose Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, but also operates in the DRC.
    A combination of four factors led to extreme flooding across Kerala this year, a study says. Above normal seasonal (May-August) rainfall, extreme rainfall events occurring almost across the State during the season, over 90% reservoir storage even before the onset of extreme rainfall events, and finally, the unprecedented extreme rainfall in the catchment areas of major reservoirs in the State led to the disaster.


  • The Hornbill Watch initiative (www.hornbills.in) is an interactive web interface that allows a person to report on hornbills anywhere in India. People can record the observation of a live hornbill, note its call or report a dead, hunted or captive bird. There are nine hornbill species in India, but experts say that information on its distribution in the country is not very clear.

  • The Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kits (SAECK) or ‘rape investigation kits’ are designed to carry out immediate medico-legal investigation and aid in furnishing evidence in sexual assault and rape cases.

  • India successfully conducted an interceptor missile test from Abdul Kalam Island in Odisha on September 24, achieving a major milestone in developing a two-layer Ballistic Missile Defence system. The Prithvi Defence Vehicle mission is for engaging targets at an altitude of above 50 km of the earth’s atmosphere.

  • Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal on September 24, 2018 inaugurated two-day National Orientation workshop on National e-Vidhan Application (NeVA). Mr Meghwal also launched the new website of the NeVA and administered the Swachhata Pledge to over 200 delelgates, including senior officers from Secretariats of Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, 31 Legislative Assemblies and 7 Legislative Councils from across the country.

  • The fourth edition of India International Science Festival will be inaugurated by President of India in Lucknow on October 6, 2018. IISF-2018 is expected to be represented by approximately 10000 delegates including 5000 students, 550 teachers, 200 students from North-East Region, 20 international delegates and approximately 200 startups.

  • For second year in a row, India is the third largest victim of terror attacks across the world after Iraq and Afghanistan while CPI- Maoists, which carried out 53% of the total attacks in India, is the fourth deadliest terror group after Islamic State, Taliban and Al-Shabaab, according to the data released by US Department of state.

  • Renowned filmmaker Kalpana Lajmi passed away at the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Mumbai on September 23, 2018. She was 64. Lajmi, a director, producer and screenwriter, was known for working on real subjects. She was known for her women-oriented films like “Rudaali”, “Daman”, “Darmiyaan”. Lajmi’s last movie as a director was “Chingaari” in 2006, based on a novel “The Prostitute and the Postman” by Bhupen Hazarika, who was her partner.

  • Nepal is likely to be the first country in the world to double its tiger population. On the occasion of National Conservation Day on September 23, Nepal announced that there are now an estimated 235 wild tigers in the country, nearly doubling the baseline of around 121 tigers in 2009. According to a press release issued by WWF, Nepal, if these trends continue, Nepal could become the first country to double its national tiger population since the launch of ambitious TX2 goal at the St Petersburg Tiger Summit in 2010 to double the world’s wild tiger population by 2022. Nepal conducted its national tiger survey between November 2017 and April 2018 in the transboundary Terai Arc Landscape (TAL), a vast area of diverse ecosystems shared with India.

  • Diviseema gained national attention in 1977 when it was hit by a devastating cyclone, leaving over 10,000 people dead. Four decades later, it is in the news because of the conflict between man and snakes. the snakes had no choice but to enter agriculture fields and human habitations, after the virtual collapse of their prey base on the island: mainly frogs. The food chain was hit as local communities hunted down frogs and shipped them illegally to China, depriving the snakes.

  • The Central Public Works Department (CPWD) has announced a country-wide ‘Swachh Building Competition’, under which various government buildings will be rated for their cleanliness. The competition, to be held from September 23-29, is being organised under the ‘Swachhta Hi Seva Campaign’.

  • The Vatican on September 22, 2018 announced a historic accord with China on the appointment of Bishops in the Communist country as Pope Francis recognised seven Beijing-appointed Bishops in a move that could pave the way for a rapprochement between the Catholic Church and the world’s most populous country.

  • Pop star Rihanna has been announced an Ambassador by the government of her home country Barbados. The singer has been given the role of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, with specific responsibility for promoting education, tourism and investment for the island nation.

  • Per capita alcohol consumption in India has more than doubled from 2005 to 2016, according to a report by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The consumption of alcohol has increased from 2.4 litres in 2005 to 5.7 litres in 2016 with 4.2 litres being consumed by men and 1.5 litre by women, the report said.

  • The Vantangiya community comprises people brought from Mayanmar during the colonial rule to plant trees for afforestation. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath government is making efforts to bring the forest dwelling Vantangiya community of Gorakhpur and Maharajganj to the mainstream of the society by declaring their settlements as revenue villages.

  • Commander Abhilash Tomy KC of the Indian Navy, representing India in the Golden Globe Race 2018(GGR) on an indigenously built sailing vessel ‘Thuriya’ was dismasted and suffered a back injury on September 21.

  • The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), which has had Fellows like Charles Darwin, Alfred Russel Wallace and Ernst Mayr, has nominated Dr. Shabuddin Shaik, biospeleologist (cave biologist) for its fellowship. Biospeleology is still in its infancy in the country. He has to his credit the discovery of 40 new cave fauna species, including five new genera. One micro-crustacean discovered by him even has his name — Andhracoides shabuddin.

  • Assamese movie ‘Village Rockstars’ has been selected as India’s official entry to the Oscars 2019. The film is directed by Rima Das. An all-India jury constituted by Film Federation of India (FFI) under the chairmanship of Kannada producer Rajendra Singh Babu made the announcement at a press conference in Mumbai on September 22. Set in Das’ own village of Chhaygaon in Assam, ‘Village Rockstars’ is the story of ‘poor but amazing children’ who live a fun-filled life. 

  • President Ram Nath Kovind on September 22 inaugurated the centenary celebrations of the Dakshina Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha in New Delhi. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Kovind said that languages connect people. He said, there are numerous languages and dialects in India and all of them have their special nature and beauty. He said, this diversity adds to India’s culture and well-being. 
  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has announced the revised guidelines for know your client (KYC) requirement for foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) allowing non-resident Indians (NRIs), resident Indians (RIs) and overseas citizens of India (OCIs) to be part of such FPIs investing in India. Such NRIs, OCIs and RIs can be part of a FPI if their aggregate holding in such an overseas fund is less than 50% of the corpus of the fund. Further, the individual share of such entities cannot exceed 25% in an FPI.

  • India and Nepal have agreed to explore the possibility of using high-resolution satellite images in boundary survey work. During the 5th meeting of Nepal-India Boundary Working Group (BWG) in Kathmandu on September 21, both sides also agreed to continue mapping of No man’s land encroachment and cross-border occupation.

  • The number of winged visitors at the Raiganj Wildlife Sanctuary in West Bengal’s Uttar Dinjapur district has crossed all previous records. As per a census carried out by the State Forest Department, the wildlife sanctuary, spread over 130 hectares, recorded 98,532 birds this year. The sanctuary has one of the highest numbers of Openbill stork population not only in India but in Asia and this makes the sanctuary unique. Of the new bird species visiting the sanctuary for the first time in 2018 are the Asian Paradise Flycatcher and Indian Pitta. The sanctuary, which is also known as the Kulik Bird Sanctuary, drawing its name from the river Kulik, attracts a large number of tourists every year.

  • Around a dozen lions have died in Dalkhania range of Gir forest in Amreli district of Gujarat within a week. According to sources, eight lions died owing to infections, one due to food poisoning and three due to infighting.

  • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight tested the indigenously developed surface-to-surface tactical missile ‘Prahar’, from Launch Complex-III, ITR, Balasore, on September 20. Range stations and electro optical systems tracked the missile throughout its flight. ‘Prahar’ is a contemporary weapon system capable of carrying multiple types of warheads and neutralizing a wide variety of targets.

  • The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Department of Space signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on September 20 for setting up of an state-of-the-art Integrated Control Room for Emergency Response (ICR-ER) in Ministry of Home Affairs. The MoU was signed by Joint Secretary (Disaster Management) Shri Sanjeev Kumar Jindal on behalf of MHA and Dr P.V.N Rao, Deputy Director, NRSC, ISRO. The ICR-ER will cater to the requirement of Disaster Management as well as Internal Security. ICR-ER will address the requirement of receipt of information on near real-time basis, strategic level monitoring, situation awareness, command and control, preparedness and response in the diverse internal security situation and disaster related emergencies. Resultantly, it will increase the operational effectiveness and will be helpful in rendering timely response / assistance during various emergency situations.

  • The inaugural Naval Flight Test Seminar was held at Goa today, on 20 Sep 18. The seminar witnessed some intensive brain-storming sessions on flight testing fixed and rotary wing aircraft towards integrating them on the aircraft carrier and small decks.

  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, on September 20, 2018 laid the foundation stone for India International Convention and Expo Centre (IICC) at Dwarka, New Delhi. This Centre would reflect India’s economic progress, rich cultural heritage, and our consciousness towards environment protection. He also said it is a part of the Government’s vision which gives importance to world class infrastructure, and ease of doing business.

  • Once sought after by Mughal emperors for their finesse, Kashmir’s master darners, known as rafugars, have become an endangered species. The Jammu & Kashmir government is now making efforts to revive this dwindling breed of craftsmen whose rare ability to repair expensive antique shawls is in great demand across the country and abroad.

  • Rolling out strict austerity measures, the Uttar Pradesh government has asked its officials to curtail expenses on foreign visits, fly economy class and avoid holding lunch or dinner meetings at five-star hotels. An 18-point order to this effect was issued by U.P. Chief Secretary Anup Chandra Pandey, on September 19, 2018.

  • Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on September 20, 2018 exchanged the MoUs with the Tata Trusts and Dell to provide a technological platform fornationwide prevention, control, screening and management program of Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs). theNational Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS) stresses on the preventive and promotive aspects of healthcare, which is also impressed upon in the National Health Policy 2017.
  • At least 28 Bru families from a refugee camp in Tripura entered Mizoram on September 19, 2018 as part of the repatriation process which commenced from August 25. With this, the number of repatriated families has gone up to 31. The 28 families would be taken to Dinthar village near Mizoram-Bangladesh border in Lunglei district.The repatriation process is scheduled to be completed by September 25.
    The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched a space technology incubation centre in Tripura capital Agartala on September 18. It is the first of six such centres planned nationally to build capacity in new locations.


  • Renowned scientist Kamlesh Nilakanth Vyas, director, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, has been appointed the secretary of Department of Atomic Energy, and chairman of Atomic Energy Commission till May 2021. In another top appointment, a 1985-batch IAS officer, Anindo Majumdar, has been appointed as secretary, Central Vigilance Commission.

  • An estimated 6.3 million children under 15 years of age died in 2017, or one every five seconds, mostly of preventable causes, according to the new mortality estimates released by UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Population Division and the World Bank Group on September 18, 2018.

  • A Japanese billionaire and online fashion tycoon, Yusaku Maezawa, will be the first man to fly on a monster SpaceX rocket around the moon as early as 2023, and he plans to bring six to eight artists along. Mr. Maezawa, 42, will be the first lunar traveller since the last U.S. Apollo mission in 1972. He paid an unspecified amount of money for the privilege.

  • Fed-up with a growing mountain of stinking disposable nappies, a Dutch firm on September 18 started building the country’s first recycling plant to turn poo into profit. Plastic from the nappies extracted by the facility in the central Dutch town of Weurt near Nijmegen will have a second life as household items like garden furniture or flower pots.

  • German business software giant SAP published on September 18 an ethics code to govern its research into artificial intelligence (AI), aiming to prevent the technology infringing on people’s rights, displacing workers or inheriting biases from its human designers.

  • Swiss NGO Public Eye called on September 18,2018 for an export ban on the pesticide Polo, produced by agriculture giant Syngenta, implicating it in the death of 20 Indian farmers last year. Syngenta, bought by ChemChina for $43 billion in 2017 in China’s largest ever foreign takeover, has rejected the allegations.

  • The Union Home Secretary Shri Rajiv Gauba launched an online ‘e-Sahaj’ portal in New Delhi on September 18, 2018 for grant of Security Clearance. The portal will facilitate an applicant to submit application online and also to view the status of his application from time to time.

  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, and the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, on September 18, jointly unveiled e-plaques for the ground-breaking ceremony of two projects, via video conference. The projects include: (a) India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline (b) Dhaka-Tongi-Joydebpur Railway Project

  • The Royal Bengal tigress ‘Sundari’ will continue to stay in Satkosia Wildlife Sanctuary in Odisha’s Angul district. The local people are demanding that the tigress be shifted from the sanctuary alleging that it killed a woman.

  • The region around Assam Secretariat and Assembly has been declared ‘Protected Area’ by the Kamrup Metropolitan district Guwahati administration with effect from September 18.

  • The Maharashtra Government has taken the first step towards setting up a varsity dedicated to mitigating cyber threats. It has set aside Rs. 80 crore for the first round of its funding and the proposal for the project will be tabled in the State cabinet’s consideration in the first week of October. The new Cyber University will train 3,000 professionals to fight online space cyber attacks, internet crimes, and conduct cyber forensics.

  • Malayalam actor Captain Raju, 68, died on September 17. He has starred in 500 movies, including Nadodikkattu, Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha and Aavanazhi.

  • India’s first woman IAS officer after Independence, Anna Rajam Malhotra, who served in the Madras State under then Chief Minister C. Rajagopalachari and at the Central government, died in Mumbai on September 17, 2018. She was 91. Born Anna Rajam George in Kerala’s Ernakulam district in July 1927 and later married R.N. Malhotra, who served as Governor of the Reserve Bank of India from 1985 to 1990. Ms. Malhotra joined the civil services in 1951 and opted for the Madras cadre.

  • Cyclotrons are used to produce radioisotopes for diagnostic and therapeutic use for cancer care. Cyclone-30, the biggest cyclotron in India for medical application became operational this month when 30 MeV beam reached the Faraday Cup for the first time.

  • The Government has decided to incorporate the provision of penalties for States and Insurance Companies for the delay in settlement of insurance claims under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal BimaYojana (PMFBY). This crucial provision is part of the new operational guidelines issued by the Govt for the implementation of PMFBY.The farmers will be paid 12% interest by insurance companies for the delay in settlement claims beyond two months of prescribed cut-off date. State Governments will have to pay 12% interest for the delay in release of State share of subsidy beyond three months of prescribed cut-off date submission of requisition by insurance companies. The new operational guidelines come at the onset of the rabi season, which starts from 1st of October.

  • Germany on September 17 rolled out the world’s first hydrogen-powered train, signalling the start of a push to challenge the might of polluting diesel trains with costlier but eco-friendly technology.  Two bright blue Coradia iLint trains, built by French TGV-maker Alstom, began running a 100 km (62-mile) route between the towns and cities of Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervoerde and Buxtehude in northern Germany — a stretch normally plied by diesel trains.

  • Union Science & Technology minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan on September 18, 2018 inaugurated a novel holistic Local Treatment of Urban Sewage Streams for Healthy Reuse (LOTUSHR) project at Sun Dial Park in New Delhi that produces clean water which is reused for various purposes, while simultaneously recovering nutrients and energy from the urban waste water, thus converting the Barapullah drain into profitable mines.

  • Bangladesh’s Cabinet on September 17, 2018 approved the draft of a proposed agreement with India to allow it to use the Chittagong and Mongla sea ports for transporting goods to and from the northeastern States. The agreement will be effective for five years.

  • The ITU South Asia Area Office and Technology Innovation Centre will be established in New Delhi. This was announced by Mr. Houlin Zhao, Secretary General (SG) of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), during the 4th BRICS Communications Ministers Meeting held in Durban, South Africa recently. ITU is a United Nations specialized agency for Information and Communication Technologies, with membership of 193 countries and nearly 800 private sector entities and academic institutions. As a member of the ITU since 1869, India has traditionally played a harmonising role in the deliberations and exchanges of the body, always respecting the core principles of equality and consensus-building. The country has also been a regular member of the ITU Council since 1952. The ITU South Asia Office will serve nine countries – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, in addition to the host country – which together account for nearly 24% of the global population.

  • A recent NITI Aayog publication on shifting cultivation which is particularly practised in the northeastern States, has recommended that the Ministry of Agriculture should take up a “mission on shifting cultivation” to ensure inter-ministerial convergence between ministries. Locally referred to as jhum cultivation, this practice is considered as an important mainstay of food production for a considerable population in northeast India in States like Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura and Manipur. The publication notes that between 2000 and 2010, the land under shifting cultivation dropped by 70 %.

  • A campaign for the freedom of an old and feeble elephant chained in Colombo’s Dehiwala Zoo for the past 66 years has garnered support from New Delhi. Union Minister Maneka Gandhi, who is known for her activism for animal rights, has written to Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, urging him to have Bandula, the jumbo, freed.

  • The government on September 17, 2018 proposed the amalgamation of state-owned Bank of Baroda (BoB), Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank to create India’s third-largest bank. The move is part of the reforms initiated in the public sector banking segment.

  • The number of polluted stretches in India’s rivers has increased to 351 from 302 two years ago, and the number of critically polluted stretches — where water quality indicators are the poorest — has gone up to 45 from 34, according to an assessment by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). Maharashtra, Assam and Gujarat ccount for 117 of the 351 polluted river stretches. The CPCB considers a BOD less than 3 mg/l an indicator of a healthy river and with a BOD greater than or equal to 30 mg/l is termed ‘priority 1′ river.

  • The Uttar Pradesh Police are set to launch a first of its kind dial-FIR scheme in the country where a common man can register regular crimes without going to a police station even as it is preparing an online photographic dossier of criminals that will be provided to policemen on 22,000 new i-pads.

  • ESIC “Chinta Se Mukti“ mobile app is available on UMANG platform of Govt. of India. With this app, the Insured Persons can view their contribution history, personal profile, claim status and also their entitlement to benefits. Grievances can also be lodged through this app. Besides, Insured Persons can also view knowledge bank on health topics and audio-visuals on benefits under ESI Scheme.

  • Indian artiste Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan won top honours at the first- of-its-kind International ‘Maqom’ music festival held in the ancient Uzbek city of Shakhrisabz. Maqom, the oriental system of music that is enhanced by string and percussion instruments across Asia, is quite different from the classical Hindustani “Thaat” system.

  • Prehistoric humans had a thirst for craft beer and were brewing such beverages at least 5,000 years earlier than thought, say scientists who have found evidence of alcohol production in the Eastern Mediterranean. Archeologists from the Stanford University in the U.S. and University of Haifa in Israel analysed three stone mortars from a 13,000-year old Natufian burial cave site in Israel. Their analysis confirmed that these mortars were used for brewing of wheat/barley, as well as for food storage.

  • Indigenously developed Man Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM), was successfully flight tested for the second time from the Ahmednagar range on September 16. All the mission objectives have been met. The two missions on 15 and 16 September 2018 have been successfully flight tested for different ranges including the maximum range capability.

  • Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge set a new marathon world record in Berlin on September 16, 2018, smashing the previous best as he clocked 2 hour 1 minute 39 second. The 33-year-old Olympic champion, aided by a string of pacemakers through to 25km of the 42.195 km race, took 1 minute 17 second off the previous best set four years ago by Dennis Kimetto. It was the largest single improvement on the marathon world record since Derek Clayton improved the mark by 2:23 in 1967.

  • Marking the revival of the spirit of warmth and cooperation of Marshal Tito-Pandit Nehru years, the Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu was extended the rare honour of addressing the special session of the Parliament of the Republic of Serbia in Belgrade on September 15, 2018. It was in the same hallowed hall of the National Assembly of Serbia that former Prime Minister, Shri Jawaharlal Nehru addressed the world leaders while launching the Non-Alignment Movement along with the veteran leader of Yugoslavia Marshal Tito.

  • Moutaz Mousa Abdallah has become the Sudan’s new Prime Minister. A 21-member cabinet was sworn in at the presidential palace in Khartoum on September 15. Mousa Abdallah is also holding the finance portfolio in a bid to revive the country’s ailing economy. Sudan has been grappling with an acute foreign exchange shortage and inflation above 65 percent for several months, prompting President Omar al-Bashir last Sunday to sack the previous cabinet to fix the situation.

  • Four ‘child friendly courts’ were inaugurated in West Bengal on September 15, 2018 to help juvenile victims and offenders. Justice Madan B. Lokur of the Supreme Court inaugurated the State’s first such court at Bankshall court.

  • NASA’s most advanced space laser satellite blasted off on September 15, 2018 on a mission to track ice loss around the world and improve forecasts of sea level rise as the climate warms.  The $1 billion ICESat-2 mission was launched aboard a Delta II rocket from Vandenberg Air Force base in California at 1302 GMT. The launch marks the first time in nearly a decade that NASA has had a tool in orbit to measure ice sheet surface elevation across the globe. The preceding mission, ICESat, launched in 2003 and ended in 2009.

  • The much awaited Jaipur Literature Festival began in Houston at the Asia Society of Texas on September 14, 2018. The festival is touted as the world’s largest free literary gathering. The inaugural session also saw Congress leader and writer Shashi Tharoor discuss his book “Why i am a Hindu” with writer Namita Gokhale.

  • Gate Mitras or gate counsellors will soon be deployed at 106 unmanned level crossings in Uttar Pradesh and efforts are on to enlist the services of 400 ex-servicemen to man them. These crossings are located on the Lucknow-Kanpur route, Lucknow-Varanasi route and Lucknow-Prayag route.

  • Former Union Minister Satya Prakash Malaviya died on September 16, 2018 at 84. Born at Malviyanagar in the city of Allahabad, the former Union minister was jailed for 18 months during Emergency. He began his political career as a member of Praja Socialist Party. He later joined the Congress. Malaviya served as the petroleum minister in the cabinet headed by former prime minister Chandra Shekhar. He also served as environment minister in the Uttar Pradesh cabinet.

  • Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik has declared the state open defecation free (ODF). All 22 districts, 4,171 Gram Panchayats and 7,565 villages in the state are ODF as per Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) guidelines.

  • Indian boxers Simranjit Kaur, Monika and Bhagyabati Kachari won gold medals at Ahmet Comert Tournament in Istanbul, Turkey. Simranjit defeated Sema Caliskan, Monika beat Ayse Cagirer while Bhagyabati humbled Selma Karakoyun. All those who lost are from Turkey. World Championship silver medallist Sonia Lather settled for a bronze.

  • Along with the Swcchata campaign, the Indian Coast Guard observed International Coastal Cleanup-2018 day in Mumbai on September 15, 2018. The International Coastal Clean-up day is conducted in various parts of the world on third Saturday of September every year under the aegis of United Nations Environment Program and under the aegis of South Asia Co-operative Environment Program in the South Asian Region. The Indian Coast Guard has been involved in this activity since 2006.

  • Two persons were killed today in a landslide set off by Super Typhoon Mangkhut as it smashed through the Philippines. Mangkhut tore through the northern part of Luzon island, where it made landfall today, ripping off roofs, felling trees and knocking out power. The Typhoon packed sustained winds of 170 kilometres or 105 miles per hour and gusts of up to 260 km per hour as it left the Philippines. Approximate 5000 kgs of garbage was collected and handed over to BMC for disposal.

  • In its 22-page judgment, a Supreme Court Bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra pointed out that though the country was declared leprosy-free on December 31, 2005, the reality is “entirely different”. The Supreme Court referred to progress reports of the National Leprosy Eradication Programme (NLEP) to show that only 543 districts of the total 642 districts in the country had achieved the World Health Organisation-required prevalence rate of less than one case of leprosy for 10,000 persons.

  • A report by the parliamentary panel on External Affairs, headed by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, has expressed concern that Chinese infrastructure built close to the India-Bhutan-China tri-junction has not been dismantled, but “commended” the overall handling of the Doklam crisis by the Narendra Modi government.

  • Mahindra Group has pledged to go carbon neutral by 2040. This was stated by chairman Anand Mahindra at the Global Climate Action Summit that is currently underway at San Francisco. Mahindra will focus on energy efficiency and the use of renewable power to achieve this target. Residual emissions will be addressed through carbon sinks.

  • A 1,500-year-old Mayan altar discovered in a small archaeological site in northern Guatemala is drawing comparisons to popular fantasy drama television series Game of Thrones for its descriptions of the Kaanul dynasty’s political strategies aimed at bringing entire cities under its control.

  • Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the richest person on the planet, has announced that he is creating a philanthropic fund to help homeless families and launch preschools in low-income communities, committing an initial $2 billion.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched nationwide Swachhata Hi Sewa Movement from New Delhi on September 15, 2018. The objective of the campaign is to mobilise people for sanitation to contribute to the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of a Clean India. It will continue till Gandhi Jayanti on 2nd of October.

  • The 15th Prawasi Bhartiya Diwas -2019 will be held at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh in January next year. The three day event will begin from 21st of January. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the event and President Ram Nath Kovind will give valedictory speech on the 23rd.
    The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi will visit Sikkim on September 23rd and inaugurate the state’s first Airport at Pakyong in east district.


  • Maldives have lifted the 2018 South Asian Football Federation Cup. In the final at the Bangabandhu Stadium in Dhaka on September 15, they defeated defending champions India 2-1. At half-time, the winners led One-nil. The win for Maldives comes 10 years after their first SAFF Cup title in 2008. Seven-time champions India had started as favourites in the summit-clash.

  • The Tata Mumbai Marathon, to be held on January 20, 2019, has been accorded the gold label by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). The 16th edition of the race became the only gold label marathon in the country and joined the elite list of marathons in Asia.

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