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Evening News Digest: 11 September 2018

India, Bangladesh jointly inaugurate three projects

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, and Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on September 10, 2018 jointly inaugurated three projects in Bangladesh via video conferencing.
  • Project inaugurated
    • 500 MW additional power supply from India through the existing Bheramara (Bangladesh) – Baharampur (India) interconnection. With this, India is supplying 1.6 Gigawatts of power to Bangladesh.
    • Akhaura - Agartala Rail Link to enhance cross-border connectivity between the two countries
    • Rehabilitation of the Kulaura-Shahbazpur section of Bangladesh Railways.

India joins elite group of countries capable of Air-to-Air fuel transfer

  • The first ever mid-air refueling or Air-to-Air Refueling (AAR) of the indigenously developed light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas was successfully carried out on September 10, 2018.
  • The mid-air re-fueling of wet contact trial for LCA Tejas MK-1 was successfully carried out from an Indian Air Force base.
  • As part of trial, 1,900 kg of fuel was transferred from the Russian built mid-air refueling tanker of IAF's IL78 MKI to the Tejas LSP8 at an altitude of 20,000 feet.
  • The test, a follow-on of dry-link contact successfully conducted in first week of September 2018, was carried out by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).
  • With this, India joined an elite group of countries having air-to-air refueling capacity for military planes.

TCIL to implement e-Vidya Bharati, e-Aarogya Bharati--Network Project

  • The Ministry of External Affairs on September 10, 2018 signed an agreement with the Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd (TCIL) for the implementation of e-VidyaBharati and e-Aarogya Bharati (e-VBAB) Network Project between India and Africa.
  • E-VBAB Network project is a technological upgrade and extension of the Pan-African e-Network Project (Phase 1) which was implemented in 48 partner countries across Africa from 2009 till 2017.
  • The Phase 1 of the Project successfully imparted tele-education and tele-medicine by linking educational institutions and hospitals in India with those of African countries.
  • The project will be completely funded by the Government of India for its entire duration and will be open for participation to all our partner countries in Africa.
  • About Pan-African e-Network Project
    • The idea for the project came from the then President of India, A P J Abdul Kalam who proposed such a network during his address to the Pan-African Parliament in Johannesburg in 2004.
    • The Government of India decided to support the idea and gave the project a funding of $100 million in 2007.

US announces closure of Palestinian mission in Washington

  • The United States (US) on September 10, 2018 announced the closure of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) office in Washington, DC.
  • The US State Department said the PLO office "has not taken steps to advance the start of direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel".
  • The action is the latest in a series of measures by the Trump administration against the Palestinian leadership, which serves as the main entity representing the Palestinian people.
  • The PLO sees East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state and it suspended contacts with the US, after Washington recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in late 2017.
  • About PLO
    • The PLO was founded in 1964 for purpose of "liberation of Palestine" through armed struggle.
    • It has enjoyed observer status at the United Nations since 1974.
    • It is headquartered in Ramallah, West Bank and its chairman is Mahmoud Abbas.

Peru celebrates return of stolen gold funeral mask found in Germany

  • Peru on September 10, 2018 celebrated the return of an ancient funeral mask called ‘Sican mask’ made of gold.
  • The mask was returned handed over by Germany on September 6, 2018. The mask was seized in 1999 in Germany from a Turkish art dealer arrested for selling looted objects
  • President Martin Vizcarra attended a ceremony at the Government Palace in Lima where the mask was displayed publicly for the first time since its return to the South American nation.
  • About the Scion Mask
    • The 8th century mask depicts the pre-Incan deity ‘Lord of Sican’ from the Sican culture that inhabited the north coast of Peru between the eighth and 14th centuries. The mask is made of hammered gold alloy with silver eyes.

Sameer Verma wins Hyderabad Open badminton tournament

  • India's Sameer Verma on September 9, 2018 clinched the men's singles title at the Hyderabad Open badminton tournament.
  • Top seed Verma defeated Malaysia's Soong Joo Ven 21-15 21-18 in the men's singles final of the USD 75,000 BWF Tour Super 100 tournament.
  • Besides, the pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty won the men’s doubles title of the Hyderabad Open.
  • However, in the mixed doubles, the Indian pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy had to satisfy with Silver after the losing the final match.

MILEX 18: BIMSTEC Field Military Exercise begins

  • The first BIMSTEC field training military exercise MILEX-18 commenced on September 10, 2018 at the Foreign Training Node, Aundh in Pune, Maharashtra.
  • All member BIMSTEC countries, except Thailand and Nepal are taking active part in this exercise. Thailand and Nepal will only be sending group of observers.
  • The theme of the exercise is counter-terrorism in semi-urban terrain. Its main aim is to promote strategic alignment among member-states and to share best practices in the area of counter-terrorism.
  • About BIMSTEC
    • BIMSTEC stands for Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation. It was founded on June 6, 1997 through Bangkok Declaration.
    • Its permanent headquarter is at Dhaka, Bangladesh.
    • The seven-member countries are Bhutan, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Myanmar, and Thailand.

HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2017 came into effect

  • The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on September 10, 2018 announced the implementation of HIV, AIDS Prevention and Control) Act, 2017 with immediate effect.
  • Key Provisions
    • The Act, passed by the Parliament on April 11, 2017, provides for the prevention and control of the disease and protection of human rights of those affected by it.
    • The Act also prohibits any kind of discrimination against such people on ground of treatment, employment and workplace.
    • The Act requires that no HIV test, medical treatment, or research will be conducted on a person without his informed consent.
    • An ombudsman shall be appointed by each state government to inquire into complaints related to the violation of the Act and the provision of health care services. 
    • A person between the age of 12 to 18 years who has sufficient maturity in understanding and managing the affairs of his HIV or AIDS affected family shall be competent to act as a guardian of another sibling below 18 years of age.
  • The Act, which criminalises discrimination against victims of deadly disease, is significant since India has the third largest HIV epidemic in the world.
  • According to the UNAIDS Gap Report, there were close to 2.1 million people living with HIV in India till 2015.

Delhi government launches home delivery of 40 services 

  • The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led Delhi government on September 10, 2018 launched the ambitious scheme for doorstep delivery of public services.
  • A Delhiite just needs to call 1076 and a government appointed mobile sahayak will visit your house. Customers will be charged a fee of Rs 50 for availing this service.
  • In the first phase, 40 public services, including the issuance and renewal of driving licences, registration of marriage, new water connection, birth, death and caste certificates will be available.
  • The Delhi government plans to include 150 services in this scheme in a phased manner.

India’s first 205 tonne dump truck by BEML launched in Mysuru

  • India’s first 205T Electric Drive Rear Dump Truck (BH205-E) – designed and developed at the Mysuru plant of Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) – was flagged off in Mysuru on September 10, 2018.
  • P.K. Sinha, chairman and MD, NCL; and Deepak Kumar Hota, chairman and MD, BEML, flagged off the new generation truck.
  • The dump truck has been developed for use in the project of Northern Coalfields Limited (NCL), Singrauli.
  • The mega truck weighing 335 tonnes is powered by Tier-II emission complaint modular common rail electronic engine with 2300HP.
  • BEML Mysuru had recently developed and supplied 150T payload capacity dump truck (BH150-E) to the South Eastern Coalfields Limited (SECL) for its Gevra project.
  • About BEML
    • BEML is a premier manufacturer of mining and construction equipments and is a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) under the Ministry of Defence. It is a ‘Miniratna Category 1’ company and is headquartered in Bengaluru.

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