12th June Current Affairs
June 12, 2018
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June 14, 2018
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13 June Current Affairs

Swachh Iconic Places

In News:

The government has selected ten new iconic sites under Phase III of the flagship project Swachh Iconic Places (SIP) of the Swachh Bharat Mission.

Key facts:

Phase I iconic places are: Ajmer Sharif Dargah, CST Mumbai, Golden Temple, Kamakhya Temple, MaikarnikaGhat, Meenakshi Temple, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi, Shree Jagannath Temple, The Taj Mahal and Tirupati Temple.

Phase II included Gangotri, Yamunotri, Mahakaleshwar Temple, Charminar, Convent and Church of St. Francis of Assissi, Kalady, Gommateswara, BaidyanathDham, Gaya Tirth and Somnath temple.

Phase III includes RaghavendraSwamy Temple (Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh); Hazardwari Palace (Murshidabad, West Bengal); Brahma Sarovar Temple (Kurukshetra, Haryana); VidurKuti (Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh); Mana village (Chamoli, Uttarakhand); Pangong Lake (Leh-Ladakh, J&K); Nagvasuki Temple (Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh); ImaKeithal/market (Imphal, Manipur); Sabarimala Temple (Kerala); and Kanvashram (Uttarakhand).

About Swachh Iconic Places (SIP):

Swachh Iconic Places (SIP) is an initiative of Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation under Swachh Bharat Mission. Initiated as a project to implement Prime Minister’s vision to take iconic places and their surroundings to higher standards of Swachhata, so that all visitors benefit and also take away home the message of cleanliness, Swachh Iconic Places is now in its second phase.

Implementation of the project: SIP is a truly collaborative project with three other central Ministries: Urban Development, Culture, Tourism; all levels in the concerned States and more importantly, Public Sector and Private companies as partners.

Source: PIB

Khadi & Village Industies Commission (KVIC)

In News:

KVIC has created a world record of distributing maximum number of bee-boxes in one day.

Key facts:

The record was achieved by the KVIC in the Zangalee Army area at Kupwara in Kashmir beating its previous best of 1000 bee boxes distributed in Kaziranga forest area among the Mishing tribe on the occasion of World Honey Bee Day.

Two thousand three hundred thirty (2330) bee-boxes were distributed among 233 beneficiaries in the Zangalee Army area.

About Khadi & Village Industies Commission (KVIC):

The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) is a statutory body established by an Act of Parliament (Khadi and Village Industries Commission Act of 1956). In April 1957, it took over the work of former All India Khadi and Village Industries Board.

Functions: It is an apex organization under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, with regard to khadi and village industries within India, which seeks to – “plan, promote, facilitate, organise and assist in the establishment and development of khadi and village industries in the rural areas in coordination with other agencies engaged in rural development wherever necessary.”

The Commission has three main objectives which guide its functioning. These are:

  • The Social Objective – Providing employment in rural areas.
  • The Economic Objective – Providing salable articles.
  • The Wider Objective – Creating self-reliance amongst people and building up a strong rural community spirit.

Source: PIB

Kashmir Super 50

In News:

A group of 30 students, part of Kashmir Super 50 recently visited New Delhi and interacted with General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Army Staff.

About Project Kashmir Super 50:

Project Kashmir Super 50 is a joint initiative by Indian Army, Center for Social Responsibility and Leadership (CSRL) and PETRONET LNG Limited (PLL).

It was launched on 22 March 2013 to transform the educational status of children from economically weaker sections in the Kashmir region.

As part of the 11-month program, selected students are provided with complete free residential coaching for IIT-JEE, JKCET and other premier Engineering Institutes.

Significance of the scheme:

Kashmir Super 50 has been one of the most successful projects undertaken by the Indian Army in the valley and has directly impacted the lives of number of youths in J&K by providing them the right guidance and opportunity to make a career for themselves. The project has equally helped the families of these youths in their growth and prosperity. It is a major initiative towards bringing normalcy in the valley.

Source: The Hindu

Maitri Irrigation Project

In News:

India has extended a financial aid of about Rs 10 crore to Nepal for the construction of 2,700 shallow tube well irrigation systems to boost agricultural productivity. The assistance has been extended as part of the final payment for the Nepal-Bharat Maitri Irrigation Project.

About Maitri irrigation project:

The project was launched in January last year to boost growth to the Himalayan nation’s agricultural sector through enhanced facilities.

The project is aimed at installing 2,700 shallow tube wells in 12 districts of Nepal.

The project would ensure all-season irrigation facility to about 8,115 hectares of farm land, augment productivity of wheat, rice and seasonal fruits, vegetables and other crops, it said.

It would also uplift the socio-economic status of farming families in the 12 districts covered under the project.

Source: The Hindu

Atal Tinkering Labs

In News:

NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) has selected 3,000 additional schools for the establishment of Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs), bringing the total number of ATL schools to 5,441. The selected schools shall receive a grant of Rs 20 lakh spread over the next five years to establish Atal Tinkering Labs for nurturing innovation and entrepreneurial spirit among secondary school children across India.

What are ATLs?

With a vision to ‘Cultivate one Million children in India as Neoteric Innovators’, Atal Innovation Mission is establishing Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATLs) in schools across India.


Objective: The objective of this scheme is to foster curiosity, creativity and imagination in young minds; and inculcate skills such as design mindset, computational thinking, adaptive learning, physical computing etc.

Financial Support: AIM will provide grant-in-aid that includes a one-time establishment cost of Rs. 10 lakh and operational expenses of Rs. 10 lakh for a maximum period of 5 years to each ATL.

Eligibility: Schools (minimum Grade VI – X) managed by Government, local body or private trusts/society can set up ATL.

Significance of ATLs:

Atal Tinkering Labs have evolved as epicenters for imparting these ‘skills of the future’ through practical applications based onself-learning.

Bridging a crucial social divide, Atal Tinkering Labs provide equal opportunity to all children across the spectrum by working at the grassroot level, introducing children to the world of innovation and tinkering.

About AIM:

The Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) is the Government of India’s flagship initiative to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the country.

AIM is mandated to create an umbrella structure to oversee innovation ecosystem of the country and revolutionizing the innovation eco-system – touching upon the entire innovation life cycle through various programs.

Source: PIB

FAME scheme

In News:

Discussions on the FAME-II scheme, a subsidy programme for purchase of electric vehicles in India, seems to have hit another roadblock after Finance Ministry returned the scheme’s draft proposal raising questions on funding and policy structure. Finance Ministry has sought a more comprehensive scheme framework.

About FAME India scheme:

With an aim to promote eco-friendly vehicles, the government had launched the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME-India) scheme in 2015. It was launched by union ministry for heavy industries.

Aim: The FAME India Scheme is aimed at incentivising all vehicle segments, including two-wheelers, three wheeler auto, passenger four-wheeler vehicle, light commercial vehicles and buses. The scheme covers hybrid and electric technologies like a strong hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles.

Facts: FAME India – Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles in India – is a part of the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan. The scheme envisages Rs 795 crore support in the first two fiscals. It is being administered by the Heavy Industries Ministry.

Way ahead:

Electric vehicles (EVs) seem to be gaining in prominence as part of the renewable energy zeitgeist. However, mainstreaming electric vehicles will require an overhaul of the country’s energy and transport infrastructure. For example, EV charging stations will have to be set up on a war footing, and electricity generation will have to improve significantly even as its piggybacks on the push for solar energy. EV technology (especially the battery) will have to become much cheaper before it can perform well in a price-sensitive market like India.

Source: The Hindu

Einstein’s theory: Earth is a free-falling elevator in Sun’s gravity

In News:

Physicists at NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) pulled out a 14-year-long experiment to test a key principle underlying Einstein’s famous theory of general relativity – that describes how gravity relates to space and time.

Know about the experiment:

The test conducted by the NIST physicists is being considered as the most accurate test ever which confirms the ‘earth elevator’ phenomenon. They used the solar system as a laboratory, where they treated Earth as an elevator falling through the Sun’s gravitational field.

They monitored 12 high-precision atomic clocks spread around the world for 14 years, from 1999 to 2014. The experiment tested whether all parts of the earth would have the same acceleration at the same rate. The clocks remained synchronized for over 14 years, proving the earth elevator theory.


According to Albert Einstein, the earth is a free-falling elevator in Sun’s gravity. He theorised that all objects located in such an elevator would accelerate at the same rate as if they were in a uniform gravitational field or no gravity at all. He also predicted that the properties of these objects relative to each other would remain constant during the elevator’s free-fall.

In other words, the general relativity theory carries the principle of local position invariance (LPI), which holds that in a falling elevator, measures of non-gravitational effects are independent of time and place and the test confirmed the same.

Source: Times of India

World Day Against Child Labour – 12 June 2018

In News:

The International Labour Organization (ILO) launched the World Day Against Child Labour in 2002 to focus attention on the global extent of child labour and the action and efforts needed to eliminate it.


Target 8.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals calls on the global community to: “Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms.”

Theme this year: “Generation Safe & Healthy”.

Source: PIB

Norman AI

  • Norman is an artificial intelligence (AI) system created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
  • It is also known as the first psychopathic artificial intelligence.
  • The goal is to explain in layman’s terms how algorithms are made, and to make people aware of AI’s potential dangers.
  • Norman represents a case study on the dangers of Artificial Intelligence gone wrong when biased data is used in machine learning algorithms,
  • The AI was named after the psychopathic killer Norman Bates in the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock film “Psycho.”

Chernobyl disaster

  • Radioactivity levels post Chernobyl disaster still continues to contaminate milk in Ukraine.
  • It is a consequence of the catastrophic Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant explosion that took place over 30 years ago.
  • The highest levels found were about 500 Becquerel per liter – five times over the limit for adults and more than 12 times that for children.
  • The Chernobyl accident in 1986 was the result of a flawed reactor design that was operated with inadequately trained personnel.
  • Without large-scale intervention, the radiation will remain above the adult level until at least 2040 and above the child threshold even longer.

Ink from Pollutants

  • A team of Indian engineers has figured out how to capture some of the generator exhaust and turn it into ink, keeping the emissions from entering the atmosphere.
  • They have created the first-ever device to capture emissions specifically from diesel generators.
  • The Chakr Innovation’s device captures emissions from diesel generators and turns it into ink.
  • It is a welcome invention for a country that has 14 of the world’s 15 most polluted cities, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.
  • The company has collected over 500 kg of soot, which has been used to create more than 20,000 litres of ink.