GK Update & Current Affairs: 24th August 2018
1. Government Unveils Draft UDAN Scheme For International Routes:
- The Centre unveiled a draft scheme for extending the affordable air travel programme UDAN to international circuits, with state governments identifying the routes for operation. The draft International Air Connectivity (IAC) scheme envisages to increase the international ticketing to 20 crore by 2027.
- According to the draft scheme, state governments will identify the routes to be connected, and airline operators will assess demand on the identified routes and submit proposals for providing connectivity.
2. NGT Appoints Justice S J Vazifdar As Chairman Of Panel To Decide Vedanta’s Plea
- The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has appointed former Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice S J Vazifdar as head of a three-member committee to decide mining company Vedanta’s plea challenging closure of its Sterlite copper plant at Tuticorin.
- A bench headed by chairperson A K Goel had stated a credible mechanism, through which rival contentions can be balanced and final view taken, has to be evolved.
3. EU Wind Survey Satellite ‘Aeolus’ Launched From French Guyana
- A new European satellite named ‘Aeolus’ using advanced laser technology to track global winds and improve weather forecasts has been successfully put into orbit on a Vega rocket from French Guyana.
- It is part of a European project to monitor environmental damage and help disaster relief. The “Aeolus” satellite has been named after the guardian of wind in Greek mythology that took place at the European spaceport in Kourou.
4. World Bank Launches World’s 1st Blockchain Bond
- The World Bank launched ‘bond-i’, the world’s first bond to be created, allocated, transferred and managed by using distributed ledger technology. This two-year bond successfully raised 110 million Australian dollars (USD 80.48 million).
- This was the first time that investors supported the World Bank’s development activities in a transaction that is fully managed using the blockchain technology from start to finish.
5. Treasurer Scott Morrison Elected New Prime Minister of Australia
- Treasurer Scott Morrison has been elected the new Prime Minister of Australia after winning an internal vote of 45-40 against former Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.
- Morrison will take over the charge as PM from Malcolm Turnbull.
6. India To Grow At 7.5% In 2018, 2019: Moody’s Report
- The Indian economy is expected to grow by around 7.5% in 2018 and 2019 as it is largely resilient to external pressures like those from higher oil prices, according to Moody’s Investors Service Global Macro Outlook for 2018-19.
- Moody’s put G-20 growth at 3.3% in 2018 and 3.1% in 2019. The advanced economies will grow 2.3% in 2018 and 2% in 2019, while G-20 emerging markets will remain the growth drivers at 5.1% in both 2018 and 2019.
7. NITI Aayog Releases 5 Thematic Reports On Indian Himalayan Region
- NITI Aayog released five thematic reports on Sustainable Development in Indian Himalayan Region. It was released by NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Dr Rajiv Kumar, CEO Amitabh Kant and member Dr V K Saraswat in New Delhi.
- The themes include Inventory and Revival of Springs in the Himalayas for Water Security, Sustainable Tourism, and Transformative Approach to Shifting Cultivation, Strengthening Skill and Entrepreneurship Landscape in the Himalayas.
- As per the Reports, Himalayan Tourism, growing annually at 6.8% has created a huge challenge related to solid waste, water, traffic, loss of bio-cultural diversity.
8. Ujjivan Small Finance Bank Launches Overdraft Facility For MSEs
- Ujjivan Small Finance Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ujjivan Financial Services Ltd, has launched an overdraft (OD) facility for micro and small enterprise (MSE) customers across its branches nationally.
- The facility is an add-on product to the existing MSE term loans offered by the bank. The OD facility is offered to all MSEs with a turnover of Rs 50 lakh or more, at a competitive rate of interest.
- This interest rate is for one year, with a credit limit between a minimum of Rs 11 lakh to a maximum of Rs 50 lakh, which can be renewed annually.
9. India Wins 2nd Gold In Rowing In Asian Games History
- Indian rowers Sawarn Singh, Dattu Bhokanal, Om Prakash and Sukhmeet Singh won the men’s Quadruple Sculls to win India’s fifth gold medal at the Asian Games 2018.
- The medal is only the second ever gold medal for India in the rowing competition in Asian Games history.
10. Bopanna, Sharan Win Tennis Maiden Doubles Gold
- Top seeds Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan notched up their maiden men’s tennis doubles gold medal at the Asian Games, in Palembang, Indonesia. Bopanna and Sharan defeated Aleksander Bublik and Denis Yevseyev of Kazakhstan.
- India have claimed the men’s doubles gold on four occasions at the Games, the last pair being Somdev Devvarman and Sanam Singh in the 2010 Guangzhou edition.