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Current Affairs 30th June 2018

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Orange colored crocodiles crocodiles found in Gabon, West Africa

Scientists have recently found orange colored crocodiles in the Omboue region, West African State of Gabon. The reason for the change in color is because of their food. In the total darkness, the animals survive on a diet of bats and crickets, unlike above-ground crocodiles of the same species which feed on fish and crustaceans. This has caused a specific ‘genetic signature’ in the cave-dwelling crocodiles.

Saturns moon, Enceladus, could support life

The Cassini spacecraft discovered complex organic molecules originating from one of Saturn’s moons, Enceladus, adding to its potential to support life. The Cassini spacecraft first flew close to the ice-covered moon in 2005 as part of a mission to gather data on Saturn that will be analyzed for years to come. Fragments of large organic molecules in ice grains that were ejected from geysers through cracks in the moon’s icy exterior have been identified.

James Webb telescope launch has further delayed to 2021

The launch of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has been further delayed to March 2021. The telescope was expected to launch in 2020. This move will cost the agency an additional $8.8 billion and its total cost stands now as $9.66 billion. The Independent Review Board (IRB) by NASA to assess recommended that progress on the Webb telescope is needed as it is vital to the next generation of research beyond NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. Webb is optimized to view the heavens in infrared light.

NITI Aayog partners with GNFC Ltd to implement Fertilizer Subsidy Disbursement through Blockchain Technology

NITI Aayog and Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers & Chemicals Limited (GNFC) have signed a Statement of Intent (SOI) to work together towards implementing a Proof-of-Concept (PoC) application using Blockchain Technology for fertilizer subsidy management. They will jointly develop the use case, undertake research, interact with multiple stakeholders, develop Blockchain solutions, exchange learnings, organize forums, and disseminate learnings across their networks. The distribution of subsidy takes around two to three months across India. By implementing Blockchain Technology the distribution will become effective and efficient, and subsidy transfer could be automated and made real time

India pledges USD 5 million for UN Palestinian aid agency

India has pledged to contribute $5 million to the UN agency which works for the welfare of Palestinian refugees to help bolster its “severe funding crisis” following US’ cut in its annual aid to United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). A total of 20 countries, including India, announced contributions to the 2018 budget of the UNRWA for Palestine Refugees in the Near East during a meeting. While India pledged $5 million, Sweden will contribute $250 million over four years, the UK $51 million and the UAE USD 50 million among other donors.

Gujarat CM announces agriculture JWG with Israel

Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani met Israel’s Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Uri Ariel on the second day of his visit to Israel. He announced a Joint Working Group (JWG) between Gujarat and Israel in the fields of agriculture, horticulture, and allied sectors. The objective of the meeting was strengthening the Indo-Israeli agricultural cooperation and extension of the Indo-Israel Agriculture Plan (IIAP) and also to explore the opportunities of using the hi-tech protective cultivation and precision farming methods of Israel, as Gujarat is committed to fulfilling the dream of Prime Minister Narendra Modi of doubling the farmers’ income by the year 2022.

Flying brain, an AI robot, is on its way to the International space station

An Artificial Intelligence (AI) robot hardwired to assist astronauts is launched to the International Space Station (ISS) atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Florida. The Crew Interactive Mobile Companion (CIMON), is an English speaking robot which will assist German astronaut Alexander Gerst to conduct experiments on ISS. CIMON is equipped with a microphone on the back, an infrared camera on the front, two batteries, and most importantly, an “offline” button. Once toggled to “offline,” Gerst can be sure nothing he is saying is streamed down to the IBM server on Earth. Once back on, voice recordings are activated again. CIMON can float as it is equipped with 14 internal fans that propel the white ball, by sucking in the station’s air and expelling it to move in whatever direction it needs. The robot has been described as a ‘Flying Brain’. The goal for this mainly to demonstrate the technology works. CIMON will return to earth on Dec 13, 2018.

IRDA approves LIC-IDBI Bank deal

The Board of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) has approved Life Insurance Corporation’s (LIC) proposal to the acquisition of up to 51% stake in state-run lender IDBI Bank. The insurance regulator gave the insurer exemption from 15% investment cap. The LIC is expected to invest Rs 10,000-13,000 crore in tranches in the NPA-mired state-run lender. The deal will also require approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

India will get Black Money Data from Swiss Bank by 2019

As part of a bilateral treaty signed between the India and Switzerland, India would start getting data on deposits made by Indians this year in Swiss Banks from 2019. Strong action would be taken against those found guilty of wrongdoing. Under Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) which was introduced by former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, an individual could remit up to USD 2,50,000 per year.

French government reintroduced compulsory national service for all 16 year olds

Under the plan, all 16 year old French boys and girls would do a minimum of one-month service in the first phase which would focus on voluntary teaching and working with charities among others. The second phase will be voluntary and focus on areas linked to defence and security. The service program will start at the beginning of the 2019. French Education Minister:- Jean-Michel Blanquer France’s prime minister:- Emmanuel Macron National service ended in Britain in 1957, though military service remains compulsory in Greece, Russia and Finland.

US withdraws its military from South Korean capital after 70 yrs

US withdrew its troops from Seoul after nearly 70 years and moved them to Camp Humphreys in the city of Pyeongtaek. Camp Humphreys, the largest US overseas military base, was built over a period of 10 years which cost nearly $11 billion. Over 28,000 US troops are stationed in South Korea.

Surat jewellers make 28 crore rupees ring with 6,690 diamonds, set Guinness world record

Surat-based jewellers Vishal Agarwal and Khushbu Agarwal manufactured a ring containing 6,690 diamonds, registering the Guinness world record for ‘Most diamonds set in one ring’. The ring is 18 karat rose gold structure, shaped like a lotus flower. The previous record of 3,827 diamonds was set by Jaipur-based Savio Jewellery.

Nobel laureate Satyarthi launches app named ReUnite to track missing kids

Nobel Peace Prize recipient Kailash Satyarthi, along with union minister Suresh Prabhu, launched a mobile application called ‘ReUnite’ that tracks missing or abandoned kids. The app is a collaboration between Bachpan Bachao Andolan led by Kailash Satyarthi and IT major Capgemini. The app will be linked with the Delhi Police’s database of missing children. The app will use Amazon Web Services based on face recognition technology to match the photographs of missing children with a database to give result after face matching.

LG appointed 40 year old founding family member as new CEO
South Korea’s fourth largest conglomerate, LG has announced the appointment of Koo Kwang-mo, the 40-year-old son of the family-controlled conglomerate’s late Chairman Koo Bon-moo, as its CEO. He has become the fourth-generation leader of the family-controlled conglomerate.

Haryana CM rides motorcycle to stadium for inspection

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar rode a Royal Enfield motorcycle to the Karan Stadium in Karnal for a surprise inspection of the development work being undertaken at a cost of about Rs. 7 crore. He also enquired about the problems faced by the athletes.

ICICI names ex IAS Girish Chaturvedi as part time Chairman

ICICI Bank appointed retired IAS officer and former petroleum secretary Girish Chandra Chaturvedi as part-time non-executive Chairman and independent Director on the bank’s Board, from July 1 for three years. Chaturvedi will replace current Chairman MK Sharma after his term ends on June 30.

Indian Railways installed plastic bottle crushers at 4 stations

The South Central Railway has installed plastic bottle crushers at Telangana’s Kachiguda, Secunderabad, and Nizamabad, and Andhra Pradesh’s Vijayawada stations in order to promote environmental protection. The machines can crush up to 5,000 bottles a day. The crushed plastic pieces can be reused to make bags or t-shirts. At Vadodara railway station, the railway authorities have set up bottle crushers, by which Passengers earn up to Rs 5 by feeding the machine with a plastic bottle.

 

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