Current Affairs 20 Oct ,2018
- 1 1) Dharma Guardian- 2018 – Indo-Japan Joint Exercise
- 2 2. Climate change kills 98% insects in Puerto Rico’s rainforest: study
- 3 3. Stephen Hawking’s Final Book “Brief Answers To The Big Questions” Launched
- 4 4. North Central Railways Launches Apps: ‘NCR RASTA’ and ‘Yatri RASTA
- 5 5. 4th annual Carnot Prize to Union Minister Shri Piyush Goyal
- 6 6. NITI Aayog’s New Proposal for Fasal Bima Yojana Scheme
- 7 7. NCW Launches E-mail ID for Sexual Harassment at Workplace Cases
- 8 8. PM chaired the sixth meeting of National Disaster Management Authority
1) Dharma Guardian- 2018 – Indo-Japan Joint Exercise
- It is the first ever joint military exercise involving the Indian Army and Japan Ground Self Defence Force at Counter Insurgency Warfare School, Vairengte, India.
- It will help to promote Military cooperation between India and Japan.
- Exercise ‘DHARMA GUARDIAN-2018 will contribute immensely in developing mutual understanding and respect for each other’s militaries.
- It has also facilitated tracking the worldwide phenomenon of terrorism.
2. Climate change kills 98% insects in Puerto Rico’s rainforest: study
- A recent study reveals that Climate change is massively affecting the tiny creatures in Luquillo rainforest on the island of Puerto Rico in the Caribbean region.
- The number of Yellow chinned Anole lizards, which are commonly found in the area has been a decreased by 25 per cent.
- The research has been published in the journal ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’.
- The researchers landed at this number after noticing the number of insects in the sticky traps they put up under forest’s canopy between 1976-77 and 2012-13.
- When scientists recovered samples from the forest floor they observed that insects had decreased by four to eight times within this period.
- They used a measurement of insect biomass in milligrams to estimate the change in number of these organisms.
- Earlier, studies had predicted a 20 per cent decrease in insects owing to climate change.
- The current study shows a parallel decrease in the number of animals that feed on insects like lizards, frogs and birds.
- The number of Yellow chinned Anole lizards, which are commonly found in the area, had decreased by 25 per cent and the green-coloured Emerald Anole lizard had reduced by 91 per cent.
- The study also finds that the rainforest’s temperature has increased by 2 degree Celsius in the past 30 years which is a consequence of global warming.
- This has negatively impacted the forest’s food web, which results from a complex interaction of different species of plants and animals in an ecosystem to fulfill their nutritional requirements.
- The IPCC latest special report has also warned that tropical rainforests like the Amazon will lose a significant amount of biomass (trees, shrubs and grasses) if the planet warms by 1.5-2 degrees Celsius.
- Scientists have also predicted that increasing temperatures will decrease reproduction rates of insects and also increase the rate at which they digest their food.
- Theses impacts might have led to the catastrophic decrease in insect population in the Luquillo forest of Puerto Rico.
3. Stephen Hawking’s Final Book “Brief Answers To The Big Questions” Launched
- Stephen Hawking final book ‘Brief Answers To The Big Questions’ help to tackles big questions about the universe, delving into physics, cosmology, the existence of God and the future direction of humanity.
- Stephen William Hawking was an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author.
- He was the director of research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge at the time of his death.
- Stephen Hawking scientific works included collaboration with Roger Penrose on gravitational singularity theorems in the framework of general relativity.
- Hawking was the first to set out a theory of cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics.
- He was suffering from Motor neurone disease which caused the death of Stephen Willam Hawking.
4. North Central Railways Launches Apps: ‘NCR RASTA’ and ‘Yatri RASTA
- The North Central Railways launched two mobile apps, ‘NCR RASTA’ and ‘Yatri RASTA’, for its employees and passengers.
- “NCR RASTA (Railway assets Summerised Tracking Application) and Yatri RASTA (Railway Approach to Station Tracking Application) helps employees and passenger for locating assets and stations.
- The ‘NCR RASTA’ app is for the use of railway officers and staff and has exact mapping of all railway assets.
- It will enable railway staff to reach desired asset using Google Navigation in case of any emergency.
- ‘Yatri RASTA’ app will allow general public to locate the railway stations easily.
- It is already available for smart phones running on Android.
- It can be downloaded free of cost from Google Play Store.
5. 4th annual Carnot Prize to Union Minister Shri Piyush Goyal
- The Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Design is awarding its fourth annual Carnot Prize.
- Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways & Coal and former Minister of Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Government of India got this prestigious prize.
- The Carnot Prize is the Kleinman Center’s annual recognition of distinguished contributions to energy policy through scholarship or practice.
- This award is the most prestigious award in the energy sector.
- The 2018 Carnot Prize is recognition of India’s efforts under Prime Minister for the mission of ‘24×7 Affordable, Environment Friendly Power for all.
- India promised of massive thrust to green energy is reflected in India’s 175 GW target by 2022, being the world’s largest renewable expansion programmed with 72 GW already achieved.
- Government’s UJALA scheme the world’s largest LED distribution programme, and along with private sector participation, 130 crore LED bulbs have been distributed help in making India brighter and cleaner.
About Carnot Prize
- Carnot Prize is named after French physicist Nicolas Sadi Carnot who recognised that the power of the steam engine would “produce a great revolution” in human development.
- The Carnot Prize is intended to honour those leading revolutions in energy policy to further progress and prosperity.
6. NITI Aayog’s New Proposal for Fasal Bima Yojana Scheme
- NITI Aayog has recently announced a cash back proposal for Fasal Bima Yojana scheme.
- NITI Aayog has proposed that 75% of the premium paid by farmers under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) will be returned to them if they don’t file claims for crop damages for four-six consecutive agricultural seasons.
- It would help to attract more farmers into the insurance fold.
- Presently just 29% of the 12 crore farmers/cultivators in the country are covered under the crop insurance scheme.
- The government e estimated Rs 10,000 crore lying with insurers over the last two kharif seasons as an undue benefit accruing to the insurers at the cost of the farmer.
- It is because the agriculture is a high-risk activity given so much of it rain-dependent.
- This risk will increasingly get worse with climate change impact worsening.
- Those farmers who are receiving the payments against their claim with a significant lag, and given agri-households’ dependence on harvest incomes, such lags could actually be eroding farmers’ trust in the scheme.
- The famer pay only just a fifth of the premium and the center pay the rest but delay on the part of state in paying their share of the premium is the main problem.
- The Centre’s steps to improve compliance by insurers and close-fisted state government’s farmers need to be paid 12% interest by insurance companies for any delay in settlement of claims beyond two months of the prescribed cut-off date.
- States will have to pay 12% interest for the delay in release of their share of premium beyond three months
7. NCW Launches E-mail ID for Sexual Harassment at Workplace Cases
- The National Commission for Women has come out with a dedicated e-mail address.
- It will help to report instances of sexual harassment at workplace after several such complaints were made to the body by women under the #Metoo movement on social media.
- Those women who have come forward on social media and other platforms about their alleged harassers to send their formal written complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- This e-mail id has been launched when NCW received numerous formal written complaints from various women about instances of sexual harassment at their workplace.
- The National Commission for Women follows a zero tolerance of sexual harassment of women at all workplaces and the Commission is committed to ensure safety and dignity of women including at all workplaces.
- The National Commission for Women is a statutory body of the Government of India.
- It is generally concerned with advising the government on all policy matters affecting women.
- It was established in January 1992 under the provisions of the Indian Constitution as defined in the 1990 National Commission for Women Act.
8. PM chaired the sixth meeting of National Disaster Management Authority
- Prime Minister chaired the sixth meeting of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in New Delhi.
- The Prime Minister emphasized the need for better coordination between the various stakeholders and undertakes more joint exercises to bring about the effective response to save life and property.
- Pm also reviewed the activities of the NDMA to effectively manage and respond to disasters affecting the country.
- National Disaster Management Authority is an agency of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
- NDMA was established through the Disaster Management Act enacted by the Government of India in 2005.
- The Prime Minister is the ex-officio chairperson of the NDMA.
- NDMA primary purpose is to coordinate response to natural or man-made disasters and for capacity-building in disaster resiliency and crisis response.
- The agency is responsible for framing policies, laying down guidelines and best-practices and coordinating with the State Disaster Management Authorities to ensure a holistic and distributed approach to disaster management.