17 September Current Affairs
September 17, 2019
19 September Current Affairs
September 19, 2019
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18 September Current Affairs

Engineers’ Day

In News:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has greeted engineers on Engineers’ Day. He also paid tributes to Sir M. Visvesvaraya on his birth anniversary. The theme of 52nd Engineers day was “Engineering for Change.”

About Sir M. Visvesvaraya:

He was an Indian engineer, scholar, statesman and the Diwan of Mysore from 1912 to 1918.

He was the chief engineer responsible for the construction of the Krishna Raja Sagara dam in Mandya district.

He was also the chief designer of the flood protection system for the city of Hyderabad.

Honours: 

In 1915, He was knighted as a Knight Commander of the British Indian Empire (KCIE) by King George V for his contributions to the public good.

He received Bharat Ratna, in 1955.

He is held in high regard as a pre-eminent engineer of India. 15 September is celebrated as Engineer’s Day in India in his memory.

Jayakar Bungalow

In News:

Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting inaugurated the renovated Jayakar Bungalow, a classic heritage site situated inside the premises of NFAI in Pune.

Jayakar Bungalow:

The bungalow, situated inside the campus of National Film Archives of India (NFAI), Pune, comprises digital library, three film review rooms, and some antique articles of value.

This grade I heritage structure was built in 1945.

It has a distinct Tudor style of architecture which is mostly found in Great Britain, one of its kind in Pune.

It was once home to Mukundrao Ramrao Jayakar, a barrister and the first vice-chancellor of the University of Pune. It was then acquired by the Indian law society, before it was handed over to the Archives.

National Anti-microbial Resistance Hub

In News:

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) inaugurated India’s first National Anti-microbial Resistance Hub in Kolkata.

About:

The National Anti-microbial Resistance Hub has been developed by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), in association with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The AMR hub will aim to identify antibiotics that work best for diseases and frame a policy for antibiotic use that will prevent resistance. It will carry out basic research and have a repository of viral strains that are being collected from all over the country.

The Kolkata centre would be the hub for research on antibiotic resistance not only for the country but for the entire South Asia.

Yank

In News:

Biologists and biomedical engineers are proposing to define a new term, “yank”, for changes in force over time. Their ideas are published in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

About:

‘Yank’ is a proposed new term for changes in force over time, so that scientists can study muscle behavior better.

‘Yank’ could be useful in understanding spasticity, a common muscle impairment in multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, stroke and cerebral palsy.

The objective is to quantify something that our muscles and nerves can feel and respond to.

Growing Better

In News:

A new global study by the Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU) – a global alliance of economists and scientists founded in 2017 – has quantified the damage that the modern food industry does to human health, development and the environment costs.

Global Findings:

Name of report: “Growing Better: Ten Critical Transitions to Transform Food and Land Use.”

The “hidden cost” i.e. the damage that the modern food industry does to human health, development and the environment costs to the world is $12 trillion a year — equivalent to China’s GDP.

Global over-dependence on a relatively small number of staple foods leaves populations vulnerable to crop failures, with climate change adding to the strain.

The report proposes a series of solutions, from encouraging more diverse diets to improve health and reduce dependency on specific crops, to giving more support to the types of farming that can restore forests, a key tool in fighting climate change.

Findings on India:

India has 4 per cent of global freshwater resources to support 19 per cent of the world’s population. Some 80 per cent of water in India goes to agriculture, primarily from groundwater sources, which is unsustainable.

Existing government policies – EatRight Movement of the FSSAI in 2017, the National Food Security Act of 2013 and the Zero Budget Natural Farming programme in Andhra Pradesh – already address critical transitions that the new report recommends.

Uranium Mining

In News:

Telangana State Assembly passed a resolution against proposed Uranium mining in Amrabad Tiger Reserve (ATR), located in Nallamala forest area of the State.

About:

The Assembly urged the Central Government to withdraw proposal of Uranium mining in Nallamala Forest in view of the possible threat to the habitation and biodiversity in and around Nallamala due to mining besides public fears of air and water pollution due to Uranium mining.

It said that the proposed exploration may contaminate Krishna river on which Hyderabad depends for drinking water.

It will also affect Chenchu tribals, who live in the Amrabad forests spread over Telangana’s Mahbubnagar and Nalgonda district.

On May 22, 2019, the Union Ministry of Environment had granted in-principle approval to the Department of Atomic Energy to survey and explore for uranium in 83 sq km of the Amrabad Tiger Reserve.

NIRVIK scheme

In News:

Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India (ECGC) has introduced ‘NIRVIK’ scheme to ease the lending process and enhance loan availability for exporters.

Key features of the scheme:

Insurance cover guaranteed will cover up to 90 percent of the principal and interest.

The increased cover will ensure that foreign and rupee export credit interest rates are below 4 percent and 8 percent respectively for the exporters.

The insurance cover will include both pre and post-shipment credit.

The gems, jewellery and diamond (GJD) sector borrowers with limit of over Rs 80 crore will have a higher premium rate in comparison to the non-GJD sector borrowers of this category due to the higher loss ratio.

For accounts with limits below Rs 80 crore, the premium rates will be moderated to 0.60 per annum and for those exceeding Rs80 crore, the rates will be 0.72 per annum for the same enhanced cover.

It mandates inspection of bank documents and records by ECGC officials for losses exceeding Rs.10 crore as against the present Rs 1crore.

The banks shall pay a premium to ECGC monthly on the principal and interest as the cover is offered for both outstandings.

Benefits of the scheme:

It will enhance accessibility and affordability of credit for exporters.

It will help make Indian exports competitive.

It will make ECGC procedures exporter friendly.

The insurance cover is expected to bring down the cost of credit due to capital relief, less provision requirement and liquidity due to quick settlement of claims.

It will ensure timely and adequate working capital to the export sector.

About ECGC:

The Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India (ECGC) is a fully government-owned company that was established in 1957 to promote exports by providing credit insurance services.

The ECGC provides Export Credit Insurance to Banks (ECIB) to protect the banks from losses on account of export credit at the Pre and Post-Shipment stage given to exporters due to the risks of insolvency or protracted default of the exporter borrower.

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO)

In News:

ISRO is attempting to figure out what happened to Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram with the help of NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).

About Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO):

It is a NASA mission to the moon within the Lunar Precursor and Robotic Program (LPRP) in preparation for future manned missions to the moon and beyond (Mars).

LRO is the first mission of NASA’s `New Vision for Space Exploration’.

The objectives of LRO are to:

Identify potential lunar resources.

Gather detailed maps of the lunar surface.

Collect data on the moon’s radiation levels.

Study the moons polar regions for resources that could be used in future manned missions or robotic sample return missions.

Provide measurements to characterize future robotic explorers, human lunar landing sites and to derive measurements that can be used directly in support of future Lunar Human Exploration Systems.

 

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