|91.||India, Germany ink agreement to improve grid integration of renewable energy|
India and Germany have signed an agreement on technical cooperation under the Indo-German Energy Programme – Green Energy Corridors (IGEN-GEC).
The agreement was signed between India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH India on behalf of Germany.
Indo-German Energy Programme–Green Energy Corridors (IGEN-GEC)
The IGEN-GEC programme was launched in 2013 by the Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and jointly implemented by India’s MNRE and GIZ. The main objective of this programme is to improve the sector framework and conditions for grid integration of renewable energies with conventional power grids.
This programme aims to supports the implementation of India’s Renewable Energy Management Centre (REMCs), Green Energy Corridors scheme which are prerequisite for large scale grid integration of renewable energy to achieve the 175 GW target for renewable energy generation capacity by 2022.
Under this programme, Germany had agreed to provide concessional loans of up to 1 billion euros through German Development Bank (KfW) and up to 10 million euros under technical assistance.
Green Energy Corridor Project
The Green Energy Corridor Project aims at synchronising electricity produced from renewable sources, such as solar and wind, with conventional power stations in the grid. Its objective is to synchronise electricity produced from renewable sources, such as solar and wind, with conventional power stations in the grid.
Need for synchronisation
The is Voltage Fluctuations is the main problem in integrating electricity generated from renewable energy to conventional power grids. The conventional grids face difficulty in absorbing renewable electricity because of its varying voltage and supply. The planned transmission system under Green Energy Corridor Project is made dynamic to handle the voltage variations leading to an integrated grid across the nation.
|92.||Government launches National Sports Talent Search Portal|
The Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has launched ‘National Sports Talent Search Portal’ to unearth sporting talent from every nook and corner of the country. The portal will be also available as smartphone application.
The portal will enable any person from across country to upload their information through a simple three step process for registration, profile creation and also upload their achievements. Using this portal, a child or his parents, coaches or teachers can upload their bio data or video on the portal.
The Sports Ministry will select talented players based on received information and impart training to them at Sports Authority India (SAI) centres. Its purpose is to tap sports talent and train selected children. It will also provide them with platform to showcase their sporting abilities irrespective of their social or economic status.
The portal will ensure that the grassroot population in India also gets an opportunity to contribute their share in sports. It will be available in English as well as in other regional languages, in order to ensure language doesn’t serve as a barrier to highlight their achievements.
|93.||August 29: National Sports Day|
The National Sports Day is observed every year on 29th august every year to birth anniversary of the legendary hockey player Dhyan Chand who was born on 29 August 1905.
To celebrate the day, Government had conducted various programs throughout the country. On this occasion, President Ram Nath Kovind presented National sports Awards to 29 players. The President conferred Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, Arjuna Award and Dronacharya Award.
About Dhyan Chand
The legendary hockey player was born on 29 August 1905 in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. He is widely considered as the greatest field hockey player of all time. He had started playing hockey only after joining the Army at the age of 16.
He was famously known as ‘The Wizard’ for his superb ball control and had scored more than 1000 goals during his international career. He is mostly remembered for his extraordinary goal-scoring feats, in addition to earning 3 Olympic gold medals in field hockey in 1928 (Amsterdam), 1932 (Los Angeles) and 1936 (Berlin).
|94.||IAEA opens world’s first low Enriched Uranium bank in Kazakhstan|
The UN global nuclear watchdog, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has opened world’s first low Enriched Uranium (LEU) Bank in Oskemen in Kazakhstan.
The bank is owned and managed by IAEA. It will be the first of its kind LEU bank not to be under control of any individual country. The IAEA also manages 123 tons of uranium in Angarsk, Russia but it is under the control of Russian government.
The LEU Bank has reserve capacity to store 90 tons of LEU, the essential ingredient needed to make the fuel for light-water nuclear reactors, which generate electricity. This reserve is enough to fully load a light-water reactor capable of supplying electricity to a large city for three years.
The IAEA has established a series of strict criteria for member state purchasing uranium from the bank. The project was funded by donors, including the United States, European Union, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Norway and Nuclear Threat Initiative.
Purpose of Bank
Last resort Supply: It will serve as last resort source of LEU after IAEA member countries are unable to either produce fuel or if it becomes unavailable on the international market for whatever reason. It will ensure that in the event of an international crisis or similar circumstances, countries dependent on nuclear power would still have access to uranium.
Non-proliferation efforts: It will discourage countries from developing their own uranium enrichment capacities as seen supposedly that peaceful use of enriched uranium can be converted into weapons-grade level.
No disruption to nuclear fuel trade: It will not disrupt usual trade of nuclear fuel purchased in the open market or by bilateral agreement between countries.
Peaceful use of atomic energy: It will ensure peaceful use of atomic energy without the need to develop a costly enrichment program. It will assure that suppliers in the international markets do not manipulate prices or when LEU ceases to be supplied for political reasons.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
IAEA is an international organization that seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and to inhibit its use for any military purpose, including nuclear weapons. It was established as an autonomous organization in 1957 through its own international treaty, the IAEA Statute. It is independent of the United Nations but reports to both the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and Security Council (UNSC).The IAEA has its headquarters in Vienna, Austria.
|95.||August 29: International Day Against Nuclear Tests|
The International Day Against Nuclear Tests was observed across the world on 29 August with an aim to raise awareness about the effects of nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions.
Observance of the day seeks to promote peace and security world-wide and calls for urgent need to prevent nuclear catastrophes to avert devastating effects on humankind, environment and the planet. It also highlights urgent need for cessation of nuclear weapons as one of the means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.
To mark this day, various events were organised across the world such as symposia, conferences, exhibits, competitions, publications, instruction in academic institutions.
International Day Against Nuclear Tests
The International Day against Nuclear Tests was instituted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) by unanimously adopting resolution 64/35 in December 2009. The resolution was initiated by Kazakhstan with support of large number of sponsors and cosponsors with a view to commemorate closure of Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test site on 29 August 1991. The Day was first observed in 2010 and since then observed annually to galvanize the necessity of banning nuclear weapon tests.
Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test site
The Semipalatinsk Test Site (also known as The Polygon) was the primary testing venue for the Soviet Union’s nuclear weapons. It is located on the steppe in northeast Kazakhstan (then the Kazakh SSR part of USSR), south of the valley of the Irtysh River. The Soviet Union had conducted 456 nuclear tests on this site from 1949 until 1989 including 340 underground and 116 atmospheric explosions (roughly the equivalent of 2500 Hiroshima atomic bombs) with little regard for their effect on the local people or environment.
|96.||ICEX launches world’s first diamond futures contracts|
The Indian Commodity Exchange (ICEX) as launched world’s first diamond futures contracts to provide exporters with a hedging tool.
India is a global diamond polishing hub where 14 out of every 15 rough diamonds in the world are polished. The futures contracts will enable companies involving in cut and polished gems business to better hedge price risks.
ICEX has received approval from market regulator Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to commence trading with diamond futures contracts.
The ICEX has started trading in 1 carat/100 cent contracts and eventually in future will add 50 cent and 30 cent contracts. It has put in place necessary infrastructure to handle deposits, grading and sealing, vaulting and delivery of diamonds for the diamond futures contracts.
To avail futures contracts sellers will need to get the diamond certified by De Beers-promoted International Institute of Diamond Grading and Research. The certification will allow getting credit in electronic form equivalent to the carat deposited.
Indian Commodity Exchange (ICEX)
ICEX is deemed recognized Stock exchange providing a nation-wide on-line trading platform in commodity derivative. It is a public-private partnership with Reliance Capital, MMTC Ltd, Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd, Indian Potash Ltd, KRIBHCO and IDFC Bank as major shareholders. It was established under the SCRA, 1956 in terms of Section 131(B) of Finance Act, 2015 pursuant to central Government notification issued in August 2015.
|97.||ICOSIS unveils Ocean forecasting system for Comoros, Madagascar and Mozambique|
The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) of the Ministry of Earth Sciences inaugurated the Ocean Forecasting System for Indian Ocean countries Comoros, Madagascar, and Mozambique.
It was unveiled at the third Ministerial Meeting of Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System for Asia and Africa (RIMES) held at Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.
The Ocean Forecast System will offer, high wave alerts, port warnings, forecast, oil spill advisory services along the ship routes in addition to tsunami and storm surge warnings and help in search and rescue operations. These ocean services are aimed towards safety at the sea.
The ocean forecast and early warming information on winds, high wave, currents, tides, sub-surface ocean conditions will cater to users like coastal population, fishermen, tourism sector, coastal defence officials, port authorities, marine police, research institutions and offshore industries of these countries.
INCOIS has been developing Ocean Forecast System for the Indian Ocean countries and already has provided these operational services to Maldives, Sri Lanka and Seychelles. Moreover, the real-time data from territories of these countries also help India to improve the ocean forecast and early warning system.
Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS)
INCOIS is an autonomous organization of the Union Government, under the Ministry of Earth Sciences is a unit of the Earth System Science Organization (ESSO). It was established in 1999 and is headquartered in Pragathi Nagar, Hyderabad.
Its mandated is to provide the best possible ocean information and advisory services to government agencies, society, industry and the scientific community through sustained ocean observations and constant improvements through systematic and focussed research.
|98.||Justice Dipak Misra sworn in as 45th Chief Justice of India|
Justice Dipak Misra (64) sworn in as the 45th Chief Justice of India (CJI). He was administered the oath of office by President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
He succeeds Chief Justice J S Khehar. He will have tenure of 14 months and will demit office in October 2018. He is third person from Odisha to be appointed the CJI, after Justices Ranganath Misra and G B Pattanaik.
About Justice Dipak Misra
Justice Dipak Misra was born on 3 October 1953 in Odhisha. He is the nephew of Justice Ranganath Misra who was CJI from September 1990 – November 1991. He began his career as an advocate in 1977 and has practised in constitutional, civil, criminal, revenue, service and sales tax matters in the Orissa High Court and Tribunals before was elevated to the High Court bench.
He was appointed Additional Judge of the Orissa High Court in January 1996 and later was transferred to the Madhya Pradesh High Court in March, 1997 where he became a permanent judge. In 2009, Justice Misra was elevated as Chief Justice of the Patna High Court and later as the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court in May, 2010.
He was elevated as a Judge of the Supreme Court in October 2011. In the apex court, he has already presided over several key cases and verdicts. He had led the SC bench which rejected the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts convict Yakub Memon’s appeal to stop his execution. He also had led a three judge SC bench which had upheld the death sentence awarded to the four convicts of the Nirbhaya rape case in May, 2017.
He also has given significant judgment directing states and UTs to upload First Information Reports (FIRs) filed with police on websites within 24 hours of their registration for enabling accused and others to file appropriate pleas in the courts for redress.
|99.||Government inaugurates India’s first Videsh Bhavan in Mumbai|
The Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) launched country’s first Videsh Bhavan by assimilating all Regional Passport Offices and allied departments under a single roof at the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
Currently, 90-plus RPOs and PoEs across the country function from rented offices. Merging and integrating them into similar Videsh Bhavans in different state capitals is expected to cut costs besides ensuring improving efficiency and speeding up the delivery of various services.
Under this first pilot project of Videsh Bhavan in Mumbai, four offices of MEA, Regional Passport Office (RPO), Protector of Emigrants (PoE) office, Branch Secretariat and Regional Office of ICCR were integrated and brought to function under one roof at the state-of-art office in BKC.
The pilot project is part of Union Government’s policy to bring together different offices of the MEA under a single roof and work closely with states as more and more Indians are going abroad for education, employment, business and tourism.
|100.||DRDO, IAI to produce MRSAM missile system by 2020 for Indian Army|
The DRDO has signed Rs.17,000 crore deal with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) for producing advanced medium—range surface to air missile (MRSAM) system for Indian Army by 2020. The deal envisages develping 40 firing units and around 200 missiles.
The MR-SAM, a land-based version of long range surface to air missile (LRSAM) of Indian Navy, has strike range of up 70 km. It is capable of shooting down enemy ballistic missiles, aircraft, helicopters, drones, surveillance aircraft and AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control Systems) aircraft.
The MRSAM for Indian Army’s Air Defence is an advanced all weather, 360 degree mobile land based theatre air defence system capable of providing air defence to critical areas against wide variety of threats in combat zone. The current version of MRSAM is operational with the Indian Air Force and the Navy.
The Indian Army has been pressing the government to enhance its aerial attack capability considering the evolving security challenges. Indian Army is the first land force in the world to deploy Brahmos missile in 2007. It has raised several regiments of this formidable weapon. In May 2015, the Army had inducted the indigenously— developed supersonic surface to air Akash missile which is capable of targeting enemy helicopters, aircraft and UAVs from a range of 25 km. The Army thinks procurement of MRSAM will mark paradigm shift in its strike capability.