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Evening News Digest: 14 Aug 2018

DAC Approves Procurement of Six NGOPVs

  • The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has approved procurement of six indigenously designed and manufactured Next Generation Offshore Patrol Vessels (NGOPVs) for the Indian Navy.
  • DAC is Defence Ministry’s highest decision-making body on capital procurement of Indian Armed Forces (Army, Navy and Air Force).
  • Next Generation Offshore Patrol Vessels (NGOPVs)
    • NGOPVs will be built in indigenous shipyards at approximate cost of Rs. 4941 crore. They will be fitted with state-of-the-art sensor suite with increased endurance.
    • These platforms will strengthen maritime security by undertaking a multitude of operational roles both in blue water and littorals.
    • These include seaward defence, protection of offshore assets, search & seizure operations and maritime interdiction operations, mine warfare, surveillance and more.

Indian Army Mountaineering Expedition to MT Kamet

  • Indian Army is planning to attempt Mt Makalu (8485M), the fifth highest mountain peak in the world in 2019.
  • As a precursor to it, an expedition to Mount Kamet (7756M), Joshimath District Chamoli, Uttarakhand is being conducted under the aegis of Army Adventure Wing in August-September 2018.
  • Mt Kamet
  • Mt Kamet is the 3rd highest peak of India after Kanchanjanga and Nandadevi and is the only highest peak available to climb within the country.

Pune tops Ease of Living Index launched

  • Pune has emerged as the number one city in the Ease of Living Index 2018 released by the government of India.
  • The Index was launched by Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry.
  • The survey was conducted in 111 cities of the country.
  • The parameters for Ease of Living Index were - Governance, social institutions, economic and physical infrastructure.
  • The Ease of Living Index help cities assess their liveability in relation to global and national benchmarks. 

Justice Manjula Chellur sworn-in as APTEL Chairperson

  • Former Chief Justice of Bombay High Court, Justice Manjula Chellur has been appointed as the Chairperson of the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL) for a period of three years.
  • Justice Chellur:
  • She was the first female judge of Karnataka High Court, and was also the first woman to be appointed as the Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court.
  • She will now be taking over APTEL, which has been without a full-time Chairperson for eight months now, since the retirement of Justice (Retd.) Ranjana P. Desai on November 30, 2017.

IRDA constitutes working group to norms for insurance surveyors

  • Insurance Regulatory Authority of India has constituted a working group to update the norms for insurance surveyors.
  • It is a 7-member working group.
  • It will address areas pertaining to licencing, renewal and IIISLA membership in the context of the existing regulatory framework for Surveyors and Loss Assessors.
  • The group will be headed by Yegna Priya Bharat, Chief General Manager of IRDA (non-life).
  • The group will study the Memorandum of Association (MoA) and Articles of Association (AoA) of the Indian Institute of Insurance Surveyors and Loss Assessors (IIISLA) and make recommendations to bring about alignment with the Surveyor Regulations.
  • The working group has been asked to submit its report with recommendations within six weeks.

Third Party Survey Report on Station Cleanliness released

  • Jodhpur railway station has been ranked cleanest station among A1 stations, a report on Station Cleanliness conducted by Quality Council of India (QCI).
  • Jaipur and Tirupati have been ranked second and third among the cleanest railway stations.
  • Marwar was ranked first among A stations.
  • The third cleanliness survey covered 407 stations, including 75 stations in A1 and 332 stations in A category stations.
  • In terms of Railway Zones, North Western Railway is the cleanest.

North East Circuit-Imphal & Khongjom: First project under Swadesh Darshan Scheme  inaugurated

  • The first project under the central government's Swadesh Darshan Scheme, 'North East Circuit: Imphal and Khongjom', was inaugurated on 14 Aug 2018.
  • Kangla Fort
    • Kangla Fort is one of the most important historic and archaeological site of Manipur located in the heart of Imphal city.
    • It served as the seat of Manipur's power till 1891.
  • Khongjom War
    • In 1891 Manipuris fought with primitive weapons against the British.
    • Khongjom Day is observed every year on April 23.
  • Swadesh Darshan
    • 'Swadesh Darshan' is a flagship scheme of the Ministry of Tourism for the development of thematic circuits in the country in a planned and prioritised manner.
    • The scheme was launched in 2014-15 and the ministry has so far sanctioned 70 projects at a cost of Rs 5,708.88 crore.
    • Under this scheme, 13 thematic circuits have been identified for development.
    • They are Buddhist Circuit, North-East India Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Krishna Circuit, Desert Circuit, Eco Circuit, Wildlife Circuit, Tribal Circuit, Rural Circuit, Spiritual Circuit, Ramayana Circuit and Heritage Circuit.

Drug-laced mosquito net may help prevent malaria: Study

  • According to Lancet study a two-year clinical trial in West Africa involving 2,000 children showed that the number of cases of clinical malaria was reduced by 12 per cent with the new type of mosquito net compared to the conventional one used normally.
  • Magic Net:
    • The nets used in the study contain a pyrethroid insecticide, which repels and kills the mosquitoes, as well as an insect growth regulator, pyriproxyfen, which shortens the lives of mosquitoes and reduces their ability to reproduce. 
    • Scientists including those from Durham University and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in the UK found that sleeping under the new bed nets were 52 per cent less likely to be Malaria anaemic than those with a conventional net.
  • Malaria Anaemia:
    • Malaria anaemia is a major cause of mortality in children under two years old. 
    • Blood-seeking malaria mosquitoes (female Anopheles mosquitoes) are increasingly becoming resistant to the most common insecticides, called pyrethroids, used to treat traditional bed nets.
    • According to World Health Organisation report 2016, malaria infected about 216 million people across 91 countries, up five million from the previous year.

Brooks Koepka wins 100th PGA Championship

  • American Brooks Koepka won his second major of 2018 by defeating Tiger Woods to claim the US PGA Championship.
  • Koepka became the first man since Woods in 2000 to win the US Open and US PGA in the same season.

Facial recognition system set to be used in 2020 Olympic security

  • A facial recognition system will be used across an Olympics for the first time as Tokyo organizers work to keep security tight and efficient at dozens of venues during the 2020 Games.
  • The NeoFace technology developed by NEC Corp. will be customized to monitor every accredited person — including athletes, officials, staff and media — at more than 40 venues, games villages and media centers.

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