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Evening News Digest: 15 December 2017

Interactive online portal ECO-NIWAS launched

  • On the occasion of National Energy Conservation Day on December 14, 2017, President Ram Nath Kovind unveiled the interactive online portal, ECO-NIWAS.
  • The objective is to increase awareness to build sustainable and energy efficient homes in the country.
  • ECO-NIWAS stands for Energy Conservation – New Indian Way for Affordable & Sustainable homes.

Source: PIB

India, Morocco sign agreements in Water Resources, Road and Marine Sectors

  • India and Morocco signed four agreements for cooperation in Water Resources, Road and Marine sectors.
  • The agreements were signed during the visit of Abdelkader Amara, Moroccan Minister for Equipment, Transport, Logistics and Water to India.
  • Following MoUs/Agreements were signed and exchanged between the two countries

o   MoU on cooperation in the field of Water Resources;

o   Agreement to establish cooperation between Indian Maritime University (IMU) and Higher Institute of Maritime Studies (ISEM) of Morocco;

o   Framework Agreement for Cooperation in Training between the National Ports Agency (NPA) of Morocco and the Indian Maritime University (IMU); and

o   Cooperation Framework Agreement between the Institute of Training in Engines and Road Maintenance of Morocco (IFEER) and Indian Academy of Highway Engineers (IAHE).

Source: PIB

11th WTO Ministerial Meeting held in Buenos Aires

  • The 11th World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina ended in an impasse on December 14, 2017 with the US reneging on the commitment to give a permanent solution on public stockholding for developing countries.
  • It also objected to any reference to the Doha development mandate in the proposed Ministerial Declaration which was something that was not acceptable to India and many other countries.
  • The major takeaway from MC 11 was the commitment from members to secure a deal on fisheries subsidies which delivers on taking commitments for paring IUU (illegal, unregulated , unreported) subsidies by 2019.

Source: The Hindu

Jitesh Singh Deo bags Mr India title

  • Jitesh Singh Deo bagged the title of Peter England Mr India 2017. The first runner up was Abhi Khajuria and the second runner up was Pavan Rao.
  • The event was held at Bandra Fort Mumbai. Mr. World 2016 is Rohit Khandelwal.
  • Prathamesh Maulingkar bagged the title of Mr. India Supranational 2017.  
  • The winners were felicitated by actor Kangana Ranaut. Sixteen contestants from across the country were competing for the title.
  • Jitesh Singh is from Lucknow, will now represent India at Mr World 2020.

Source: India Today

Lanka becomes 163rd nation to accede to landmine ban treaty

  • Sri Lanka has become the 163rd nation to accede to the anti-personnel mine ban convention, fulfilling the pledge it made in 2016 to join the international community in supporting the ongoing landmine clearance programme.
  • Mine Ban Treaty: The Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction, commonly referred to as the Mine Ban Treaty or Ottawa Treaty, was adopted on September 18, 1997 at the Diplomatic Conference on an International Total Ban on Anti-Personnel Land Mines at Oslo, Norway.

Source: India today

FIH chief Batra elected unopposed as IOA President

  • International Hockey Federation (FIH) chief Narinder Batra was elected unopposed as the president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), while Rajeev Mehta was re-elected secretary general for a four-year term.
  • The 59-year-old Batra, thus, became one of the few sports administrators to head a national Olympic committee while heading an important international sports federation.

Source: India today

Google crunches data to help NASA find two new planets

  • Google and NASA identified two new planets around distant stars, including one that is part of the first star system with as many planets as Earth’s solar system. These two planets are Kepler 80g and Kepler 90i.
  • These planets were discovered with 96% accuracy by using Google software's artificial “neural network”, which combed through data of about 670 stars from the Kepler telescope.
  • NASA launched Kepler telescope into space in 2009 as part of a planet-finding mission that is expected to end next year as the spacecraft runs out of fuel.
  • The research by Google and the University of Texas at Austin provide new insights into the universe by feeding data into computer programmes that can churn through information faster and more in-depth than humanly possibly, a technique known as machine learning.

Source: The Hindu

World's newest island may offer insights into Mars

  • The world’s newest island formed during a volcanic eruption in the remote Pacific three years ago may offer clues to how life potentially developed on Mars.
  • The island of Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai rose from the seabed about 65 km northwest of the Tongan capital Nuku’alofa in late 2014 or early 2015.
  • Scientists initially expected the island was created when vast quantities of rock and dense ash spewed from the earth’s crust to wash away within a few months.
  • The island  which initially measured one km wide, two km long and about 100 metres high  has undergone significant erosion, it is now expected to last anywhere from six to 30 years. Mars had many similar volcanic islands.

Source: The Hindu

4th India-Australia-Japan Trilateral Dialogue held in New Delhi

  • 4th India-Australia-Japan Trilateral Dialogue was held in New Delhi on 13 December 2017.
  • Foreign Secretary of India Dr. S. Jaishankar hosted the 4th India-Australia-Japan Trilateral Dialogue with Secretary of Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia Ms. Frances Adamson.
  • The three sides welcomed the regular meetings of this important dialogue mechanism. The Japanese Vice-Minister proposed to host the next round in Tokyo.

Source: The Hindu

 Odisha Forest dept. set up protection units to ensure safety of Olive Ridley turtle

  • The forest department has set up nine protection units to ensure safe nesting of Olive Ridley turtles near Rushikulya river mouth in Ganjam distric.
  • The Rushikulya river mouth, 45km from the silk city of Berhampur, is one of the biggest rookeries in the state for the endangered sea creature.
  • The turtles are expected to turn up in large numbers as the beach from Gokharakuda to Purunabandh has widened naturally.
  • The mass nesting is likely to take place in the third week of February. A record number of over 3.70 lakh sea turtles had laid eggs near the Rushikulya river mouth between February 14 and 22, this year. Apart from the 4km stretch from Purunabandh to Gokharakuda, thousands of turtles had laid eggs on another 2km stretch between Podampeta and New Podampeta area.

Source: DDI News

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