Daily current Affairs 25 ,26 Oct ,2018

◆ Union HRD Minister launches the web portal: SPARC

  • The Minister of Human Resource Development launched the web portal of the Scheme “Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration”.
  • Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur is the National Coordinating Institute to implement the SPARC programme.
  • Under this Scheme, 600 joint research proposals will be awarded for 2 years to facilitate strong research collaboration between Indian research groups with the best in class faculty and renowned research groups in the leading universities of the world.
  • The researchers worked in areas that are at the cutting edge of science or with direct social relevance to mankind, specifically India.

Salient Features of SPARC

  • This scheme will improve the research ecosystem of India’s higher educational institutions by facilitating academic and research collaborations between Indian Institutions and the best institutions in the world.
  • SPARC proposes to enable productive academic cooperation by supporting the following critical components that can catalyze impact making research :
    i) Visits and long-term stay of top international faculty/researchers in Indian institutions to pursue teaching and research
    ii) Visits by Indian students for training and experimentation in premier laboratories worldwide
    iii) Joint development of niche courses, world-class books and monographs, translatable patents, demonstrable technologies or action-oriented research outcomes and products,
    iv) Publication, Dissemination and Visibility through a high profile annual international conference in India.

◆ Cabinet approves MoU among BRICS Nations on Environmental Cooperation

  • The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval for Memorandum of Understanding signed among the BRICS Nations on Environmental Cooperation.
  • The MoU was signed during the 10th BRICS Summit in July 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • The MoU identifies the following stress of cooperation:
    (a) Air quality
    (b) Water
    (c) Biodiversity
    (d) Climate Change
    (e) Waste Management
    (f) Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustainable Development Goals.
    (g) Other areas of cooperation as mutually agreed upon by the Participants.

Related Information

  • The MoU acknowledges the responsibility of the BRICS nations, an association of the five major economies of the world i.e. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
  • These countries comprise more than 40% of the population of the world, towards the protection, preservation and sustainability of the Environment.
  • The MoU is expected to bring in the latest technologies and best practices suited for bringing about better environmental protection, better conservation, and better management of climate change and wildlife protection/conservation.

◆ PM inaugurate farmers conclave “Krishi Kumbha” in Lucknow

  • Prime Minister inaugurated a farmers’ conclave ‘Krishi Kumbh 2018’ in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
  • This conclave is being organized to promote modern technique and diversification in agriculture that could help in doubling farmer’s income.
  • The Kumbh will witness two of the world’s top economies, Israel and Japan as official partners while Haryana and Jharkhand as partner states.

Related Information

  • The Uttar Pradesh government will also sign a MoU with Japan for investment in the agricultural and allied sectors.
  • The summit would introduce farmers to the evolving dynamics of farming so that they could increase their earnings by tapping the vast potential in agriculture and post-harvest management of crops.

◆ 10th Nuclear Energy Conclave

  • The 10th Nuclear Conclave is being organized by International Energy Forum (IEF).
  • The theme of the Nuclear Energy Conclave is “Nuclear Power: Towards A Clean And Base Load Energy”
  • Cabinet has given its approval for construction of 10 units of India’s indigenous Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWR).
  • The Kaiga Atomic Power Station has set a new world record among pressurised heavy water reactors with one of its units operating uninterrupted for 895 days.
  • Presently the share of nuclear energy in India is just 3%, as compared to the global average of about 10%.
  • The Government has amended sections of the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 through the Atomic Energy (Amendment) Bill, 2015.
  • It would enable Nuclear Power Corporation of India to form joint venture companies with other Indian PSUs to meet the additional funding requirements for further expansion of the nuclear power programme.

International Energy Forum

  • The International Energy Forum (IEF) is an inter-governmental, non-profit international organisation which aims to foster greater mutual understanding and awareness of common energy interests among its members.
  • The 72 Member Countries of the Forum are signatories to the IEF Charter, which outlines the framework of the global energy dialogue through this inter-governmental arrangement.
  • The IEF is promoted by a permanent Secretariat based in the Diplomatic Quarter of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

◆ Haryana to introduce Pashu Sanjeevni Sewa

  • Haryana Government will introduce “Pashu Sanjeevni Sewa” in the state.
  • It will provide free of cost quality veterinary services and health care facilities for the livestock and made available at the doorstep of livestock farmers through mobile veterinary clinics.
  • This service would be started in all blocks of three districts namely Jind, Yamunanagar and Nuh.

Related Information

  • The mobile veterinary services would be started in uncovered, staff deficient and remote areas of the State in Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode.
  • The livestock farmers would be able to avail the service of mobile veterinary clinics 24×7.
  • The scheme would not only help in providing prompt emergency veterinary services to the livestock but also keep a check on the activities of quacks.

◆ Cabinet approves National Monitoring Framework on Sustainable Development Goals

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the constitution of a High-Level Steering Committee for periodically reviewing and refining the National Indicator Framework for monitoring of SDGs.
  • The Committee will be chaired by Chief Statistician of India and Secretary, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI).


  • Measures to mainstream SDGs into on-going national policies, programmes and strategic action plans to address the developmental challenges.
  • Statistical indicators of NIF will be the backbone of monitoring of SDGs at the national and state level and will scientifically measure the outcomes of the policies to achieve the targets under different SDGs.
  • The Report will facilitate the assessment of progress, identify challenges and give recommendations for follow up at the national level.

Major Impact

  • It intends to eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world with the basic motto of ‘SabkaSaathSabkaVikash’.
  • SDGs are expected to bring change in the lives of people and the monitoring of progress of implementation of SDGs will benefit the entire nation.

Millennium Development Goals

  • This is adopted in the Millennium Summit held in 2000 at the UN Headquarters in New York, eight development goals known as the ‘Millennium Development Goals’ (MDGs).
  • It was formed the blueprint for countries to pursue their national development strategies from 2000 to 2015.
  • The MDGs comprise eight Goals and addressed various development issues.

Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs)

  • The UN General Assembly in its 70thSession considered and adopted the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) for the next 15 years
  • The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a set of 17 “Global Goals” with 169 targets covering various sectors like health, education and climate change among others.
  • They replaced UN’s Millennium Development Goals.
  • It is Spearheaded by the United Nations.
  • SDGs are not legally binding on the nation.
  • The SDGs have become de facto international obligations and have the potential to reorient the domestic spending priorities of the countries during the next fifteen years (2030).

◆ Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony

  • The Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony for the years 2014, 2015 & 2016 is being conferred of the following.
    • Rajkumar Singhajit Singh (A doyen of Manipuri Dancer )
    • Chhayanaut (a cultural organization of Bangladesh)
    • Ram Vanji Sutar (India’s greatest sculptors )

Tagore Award

  • The annual award was instituted by the Government of India during the commemoration of 150th Birth Anniversary of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore.
  • The first Tagore Award was conferred on Pt. Ravi Shankar; the Indian Sitar Maestro in 2012 and second was conferred on Shri Zubin Mehta in 2013.

◆ India wins CAPAM awards 2018

  • India got this award under various categories.
    (a) Unnayan Banka- Reinventing Education Using Technology of Banka District, State of Bihar has been awarded under the Category “Innovation Incubation”.
    Unnayan Banka” is an initiative which envisages “Quality education for all’ especially for those at the bottom of the Pyramid, using latest technologies.
    (b) Another initiative entitled “Unified Agriculture Markets” of Co-operation Department of Government of Karnataka has also been selected under the Category ‘Innovation in Public Service Management’.
  • The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG), Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions are an institutional member of Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management (CAPAM).

◆ Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management (CAPAM)

  • It is a non-profit association representing an international network of over 1100 senior public servants, Heads of Government, leading academics and researchers located in over 50 different countries across the Commonwealth.
  • CAPAM has been announcing its International Innovations Awards (IIA) Programme bi-annually since 1998.
  • The CAPAM Awards celebrate the spirit of innovation in the public service by recognizing organizations that have made significant contributions to improve governance and services in the public sector.