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Evening News Digest: 16 September 2018

World Ozone Day: 16 September

  • World Ozone Day has been celebrated since 1994 on 16 September and was established by the United Nations General Assembly.
  • The day is mainly intended to spread awareness of the depletion of the Ozone Layer and search for solutions to preserve it.
  • Background:
    • This special day is held on September 16thto mark the day back in 1987 when the Montreal Protocol was signed.
    • As a result, a number of special events such as talks and seminars are held in the Canadian city of Montreal on this day.

India, Serbia sign two agreements to boost bilateral relations

  • Two agreements between India and Serbia has been signed in the area of 1. Co-operation in plant health and plant quarantine 2. Strengthening air services between the two countries. 
  • Indian Vice President Venkaiah Naidu is currently on a three Central European countries visit – Serbia, Malta and Romania.
  • Serbian President: Aleksander Vucic
  • Serbia and India connection:
    • This is the first high level visit to Serbia ever since the break-up of Yugoslavia.
    • Yugoslavia was disintegrated into 7 countries after political upheaval in 1990s:
      • Bosnia and Herzegovina
      • Croatia
      • Macedonia
      • Montenegro
      • Serbia
      • Slovenia
    • Yugoslavia under Marshal Tito was also a founder member of Non-alignment Movement.
    • Indian Vice President Naidu will address a special session of parliament, in the same building where the announcement of NAM was first made in Serbia.
    • Serbia announced an unconditional and open visa policy for Indians in 2017.
    • For short trips, Indians do not require a visa at all.

Maldives beat India to lift SAFF Cup

  • India was defeated by Maldives by 1-2 in the SAFF Cup finals.
  • From Indian side, only Sumeet Passi scored a goal.
  • It was held at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka on 15 September.
    • South Asian Football Federation Cup is held in every two years.
    • Bangladesh, Bhutan, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and India compete in the tournament.
    • It was started in Kathmandu in 1997.
    • India has won the SAFF Cup 7 times.

Centre to convert 1.5 lakh Primary Health Centers into Wellness Centers

  • Union Health Minister JP Nadda announced that 1.5 lakh Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and sub-centres will be converted into wellness centers by 2022. 
  • These centres will facilitate screening of every individual aged 30 for blood pressure, diabetes, tuberculosis, breast cancer and leprosy among others. 
  • Central government’s flagship Ayushman Bharat - National Health Protection Mission will be started from 23rd September 2018.

15th Prawasi Bhartiya Diwas to be held at Varanasi

  • The 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas will be held in Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) from January 21 to January 23, 2019.
  • Its theme will be “Role of Indian Diaspora in Building a New India”.
  • The mega event will be organised by Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in association with Uttar Pradesh government.
  • It will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Mauritian counterpart Pravind Jugnauth.
  • Pravasi Bharatiya Divas
    • Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is celebrated every year in India on 9 January.
    • The day also commemorates return of father of nation Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa in Mumbai (then Bombay) on January 9, 1915.

UN agrees global plan to step up fight against TB

  • United Nations member states have agreed on a global plan to step up fight against tuberculosis, the world's number one killer among infectious diseases. 
  • The text of a final declaration will be formally adopted at the first- ever TB summit on 26th September on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York.
  • At the summit, world leaders will commit to end the tuberculosis epidemic by 2030 and come up with 13 billion US dollars annually to achieve the goal.
  • TB:
    • As per WHO, about 1.7 million people died from TB in 2016. 
    • Five countries are the hardest- hit by the TB pandemic including India, which accounts for a quarter of cases.
    • Indonesia, China, the Philippines and Pakistan are among these countries.

IAAF accords gold label to Tata Mumbai Marathon

  • The Tata Mumbai Marathon, to be held on January 20, 2019, has been accorded the gold label by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). 
  • The 16th edition of the race became the only gold label marathon in the country and joined the elite list of marathons in Asia. 
  • According to the organisers, the over 400,000 US Dollar event is set to witness over 46,000 participants running across six race categories.

ISRO to launch PSLV C-42 carrying two British Satellite

  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched its polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV) C42 from Sriharikota on 16 September.
  • It will carry two earth observing satellites - NovaSAR and S1-4 of Surrey Satellite Technology Limited, UK. 
  • NovaSAR is an S-Band synthetic aperture radar satellite, which will map forest, land use and monitor ice cover, flood and disaster.
  • S1-4 is a high-resolution optical Earth observation satellite that will be used for surveying resources, urban management and monitoring of the environment and disasters.
  • The mission is a commercial arrangement between the British company and Antrix Corporation Limited, which is the commercial wing of ISRO. 
  • PSLV
    • PSLV is the third generation launch vehicle of India.
    • It is the first Indian launch vehicle to be equipped with liquid stages.
    • After its first successful launch in October 1994, PSLV emerged as the reliable and versatile workhorse launch vehicle of India with 39 consecutively successful missions by June 2017.
    • During 1994-2017 period, the vehicle has launched 48 Indian satellites and 209 satellites for customers from abroad.
    • Besides, the vehicle successfully launched two spacecraft – Chandrayaan-1 in 2008 and Mars Orbiter Spacecraft in 2013 – that later traveled to Moon and Mars respectively.

Nasa satellite ICESat-2 launched to measure Earth's ice changes

  • A NASA satellite designed to precisely measure changes in Earth's ice sheets, glaciers, sea ice and vegetation was launched into polar orbit from California.
  • A Delta 2 rocket carrying ICESat-2 lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base.
  • The mission in particular will advance knowledge of how the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica contribute to sea level rise.
  • The melt from those ice sheets alone has raised global sea level by more than 1 millimeter (0.04 inch) a year recently, according to NASA.
  • The first Delta 2 lifted off on Feb. 14, 1989, and since then it has been the launch vehicle for Global Positioning System orbiters, Earth observing and commercial satellites, and interplanetary missions including the twin Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity.

Rajdeep Sardesai’s new book 'Newsman' launched

  • Rajdeep Sardesai has launched a new book named ‘Newsman: Tracking India in the Modi Era’.
  • He is consulting editor of Indian Today Television.
  • Book Review:
    • The book is focused upon Narendra Modi’s tenure as Prime Minister and how he dominated the news cycle, attracting admirers and critics in equal measure.
    • It describes what makes Modi persona so attractive to Indians.
    • The book also has a commentary on who will be the next Prime Minister in 2019 General Elections.

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