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Evening News Digest: 11 Oct 2018


National Council for Vocational and Education Training to be set up

  • Central government has decided to create National Council for Vocational and Education Training (NCVTE).
  • NCVTE will be created by merging two existing regulatory institutions:
  • National Council for Vocational Training 
  • National Skill Development Agency (NSDA)
  • NCVET will regulate the functioning of entities engaged in vocational education and training, both long-term and short-term and establish minimum standards for the functioning of such entities.

Goa Maritime Symposium – 2018 to be held on October 16

  • The Indian Navy will host the 'Goa Maritime Symposium', aimed at establishing academic excellence and sharing of ideas with the country's maritime neighbours, on October 16.
  • It is likely to be attended by 16 Indian Ocean littoral countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand from South East Asia; Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka from India's immediate neighbourhood. 
  • It also includes the island nations of Seychelles, Mauritius and Maldives; Oman in West Asia; and South Africa, Madagascar, Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique from Africa.
  • The theme for the one-day symposium is 'Building Stronger Maritime Partnerships in IOR'.

IAF Trans Himalayan Mountain Terrain Biking Expedition

  • To commemorate the 86th anniversary of Indian Air Force a unique cycling expedition was undertaken by its Air Warriors covering more than 4200 Kms from Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) in Ladakh to Kibithu in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Sixteen Air Warriors including two women Officers, commenced their journey on 18 Aug from World’s highest airstrip at DBO to Kibithu. 
  • The team completed its successful expedition on 10 October.
  • The Team was led by Wing Commander S Sharathchandra.
  • S Sharathchandra was assisted by two women Officers, Squadron Leader Greeshma and Squadron Leader Paribasha.

17th CHG meeting of SCO to be held Tajikistan

  • External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will be participating in the 17th Council of Heads of Government (CHG) meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to be held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan on 11 Oct.
  • This will be the second CHG meeting since India became a full member of SCO in June 2017. 
  • The SCO CHG meeting is a forum that enables India to engage with SCO member countries and Observer states of Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia.
  • CHG is also considered as highest decision making body of Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
  • SCO
    • SCO is an economic, political and security forum created in 2001 by 6 founding members – China, Russia, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan.
    • India and Pakistan became full member in 2017.
    • The SCO’s eight members now account for about half of the world’s population, a quarter of the world’s GDP, and about 80 percent of the Eurasian landmass.
    • Two of the SCO members are permanent members of the UN Security Council (Russia and China), and four are nuclear states (Russia, China, India, and Pakistan).
    • Three of the SCO members are part of the BRICS grouping (Russia, China, and India).
  • Problems:
    • India was the only SCO member to refuse to endorse China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2017, for which Beijing has signed pacts with nearly 80 countries and international organizations.
    • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi referred to the $50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is part of the BRI, and which passes through Kashmir, a disputed territory between India and Pakistan, as part of New Delhi’s objection to the BRI.

Centre sets ‘minimum river flows’ for the Ganga

  • In a first, the Union government has mandated the minimum quantity of water — or ecological flow as it’s called in scientific circles — that various stretches of the Ganga must necessarily have all through the year.
  • The new norms would require hydropower projects located along the river to modify their operations so as to ensure they are in compliance.
  • The National Mission for Clean Ganga has laid down the flow specifications:
  • Upper Stretch: Gangotri Glacier to Haridwar
    • 20% of the monthly average flow of the preceding 10-days between November and March;
    • 25% of the average during the ‘lean season’ of October, April and May
    • 30% of monthly average during the monsoon months of June-September.
  • Middle Stretch: Haridwar to Unnao
    • Bhimgoda (Haridwar) must ensure a minimum of 36 cubic metres per second (cumecs) between October-May, and 57 cumecs in the monsoon; and the barrages at Bijnor, Narora and Kanpur must maintain a minimum of 24 cumecs in the non-monsoon months of October-May, and 48 cumecs during the monsoon months of June-September.
    • The Central Water Commission would be the designated authority to collect relevant data and submit flow monitoring-cum-compliance reports on a quarterly basis to the NMCG.

India’s first National Environment Survey to kick off in 2019

  • India’s first ever National Environment Survey (NES) will be kicked off in January, 2019 to map environment data of 55 districts across 24 states and 3 Union Territories.
  • NES
    • The first NES will be carried out by Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) through Environmental Information System (ENVIS) and its hubs and resource partners across the country.
    • It will be done through grid-based approach, using grids measuring 9×9 km to collect comprehensive data on various environmental parameters.
    • These parameters will include air, water, soil quality; solid, hazardous and e-waste; emission inventory; forest & wildlife; flora & fauna; wetlands, lakes, rivers and other water bodies.
    • It will also assess carbon sequestration potential of all the districts across the country.
    • The skilled manpower required for the survey will be provided from persons skilled and trained under MoEFCC’s Green Skill Development Programme.

Scientists develop world’s first bioelectronic medicine

  • Researchers at Northwestern University and Washington University School of Medicine have developed the first example of a bioelectronic medicine.
  • Bioelectronic medicine is an implantable, biodegradable wireless device that speeds nerve regeneration and improves the healing of a damaged nerve.
  • The device delivers regular pulses of electricity to damaged peripheral nerves in rats after a surgical repair process, accelerating the regrowth of nerves in their legs and enhancing the ultimate recovery of muscle strength and control. 
  • Possible Usage:
    • One day it could complement or replace pharmaceutical treatments for a variety of medical conditions in humans.
    • Bioelectronic medicine provides therapy and treatment over a clinically relevant period of time and directly at the site where it's needed, thereby reducing side effects or risks associated with conventional, permanent implants.

Tushar Mehta appointed Solicitor General of India

  • Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta has been appointed as the new Solicitor General of India. 
  • The senior lawyer will assume the office of the Solicitor General till June 30, 2020.
  • The post had been lying vacant since October last year when the then Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar had resigned.







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