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Evening News Digest: 18 December 2017

Phasing out ceremony of MI 8 “PRATAP” helicopters held

  • Soviet-era MI-8, the backbone of the Indian Air Force helicopter operations, was phased out on 17 December 2017, bringing an end to its glorious service career spanning 45 years. The phasing out ceremony was held at the Air Force Station at Yelahanka in Bengaluru.
  • The 107 MI-8 helicopters, also known as Pratap and the last chopper stopped its rotor at the Air Force Station, Yelahanka.
  • 112 Helicopter unit based at Yelahanka station is the last unit to operate this formidable platform. The station housed an MI-8 squadron. The MI-8 operated in several major IAF operations,including Operation Meghdoot in the Siachen Glacier and Operation Pawan in Sri Lanka. The last relief service it participated in was the Chennai floods in 2015.
  • PRATAP: The Pratap could carry a weight of 4000 kgs, of which 3000 kgs can be external, with its multi role capabilities. It could carry 60 bombs of a total weight of 1000 kgs.

Source: India Today

World Orange Day 2017 celebrations held in Nagpur

  • On the occasion of World Orange Day 2017, Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh said research and development projects in horticulture crops have yielded encouraging results, as a result, the production of horticulture crops have been more than food grains irrespective of adverse climatic conditions.  After China, India is the second largest producer of horticultural crops and fruits.
  • The World orange Day 2017 event was held in Nagpur. According to an estimate, a production of 30 crore metric ton horticulture crops on 2.5 crore hectare land is expected during 2016-17 in which contribution of fruit is significant.  The record achievement includes 42 million ton of fruit production on 65 lakh hectare land. In terms of area in India, the citrus fruits hold second position (10.37 lakh hectare) and third (12 million tonnes) in production.
  • Government has allotted a sum of Rs.13 crore and 68 lakh (Rs.2 crore and 73 lakh per year) only to the institute situated in Nagpur during 12th Five year plan, which has been increased to Rs.13.4 crore only within a span of 3 years from 2017.

Source: international News

Sebastian Pinera wins Chile's presidential election

  • Billionaire conservative Sebastian Pinera won Chile's presidency, with his center-left opponent Alejandro Guillier conceding the election as Chile followed other South American nations in a political turn to the right.
  • With 98.44 percent of the ballots counted, Pinera, 68, had won 54.57 percent in the run-off vote. Many Chileans had viewed the election as a referendum on her policies, which focused on reducing inequality by making education more affordable and overhauling the tax code.
  • Pinera has pledged support and stable funding for Chile's state-run miner Codelco , and has promised to slash red tape which had bogged down projects under Bachelet.

Source: News on Air

Juan Orlando Hernandez declared as winner of presidential vote

  • The electoral tribunal of Honduras has declared incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernandez as the official winner of the November 26 presidential vote.
  • According to the official count, Hernandez beat center-left Salvador Nasralla, a TV star, by 1 point 53 percentage points, which implies the president elect for the Republic of Honduras for the next four years is Juan Orlando Hernandez Alvarado.
  • Honduras has been roiled by political instability and violent protests since the vote, which initial counts suggested that Nasralla had won. The count has been questioned by the two main opposition parties and a wide swathe of the diplomatic corps.

Source: News on Air

Sushil Kumar clinches gold at Commonwealth Wrestling Championships

  • Sushil kumar has won the gold medal in the final of the men's 74 kilogram freestyle category, beating South African favourite Johannes Petrus in the final of the Commonwealth Wrestling Championship on 17 December 2017.
  • Sushil dominated his South African opponent, giving him no chance to make any sort of headway in the wrestling bout, and won 8-0 quite easily

Source: India Today

PV Sindhu settles for silver at Dubai World Badminton Superseries Finals

  • PV Sindhu fell just short of claiming her maiden title at the BWF Superseries Finals and settled for silver, losing to top seed Akane Yamaguchi of Japan in Dubai on 17 December 2017.
  • Sindhu fought valiantly but Yamaguchu topped her 15-21, 21-12, 21-19 to win the gold medal at the Dubai World Superseries Finals.
  • This is the third major event in the last two years where Sindhu has had to settle for a silver after a second-placed finish at Olympics 2016 and World Championships 2017.

Source: India Today

India won 10 medals in Wushu Sanda Asian Cup

  • India bagged as many as 10 medals in the first Wushu Sanda Asian Cup that concluded in Guangzhou, China.  Rajvir Singh was the coach of the Indian contingent.
  • Praveen (48kg), Mukesh Chaoudhary (70kg), Rajender Singh (90kg), Arunpama Devi (60kg) and Vishakhaptnam Malik (70kg) won five silver medals for India. Besides this, India also bagged five bronze medals.

Source: PTI

India clinches ODI series 2-1 against Sri Lanka

  • India have clinched the One-Day International series 2-1 against Sri Lanka. The hosts defeated Sri Lanka by eight wickets in the third and final cricket ODI at Visakhapatnam on 17 December 2017.
  • India also recorded their eighth successive win in a bilateral contest. Opener Shikhar Dhawan struck an unbeaten 100 which was his 12th ODI century.
  • Player of the match was given to Kuldeep Yadav, for taking 3 wickets at 42 runs, and Shikhar Dhawan was the Player of the series.

Source: News on Air

Run for Laadli” Half-Marathon flagged off by Rajnath Singh

  • A unique Half-Marathon named "RUN for LAADLI” is an initiative of Delhi Police and Ladli Foundation Trust. Home Minister Rajnath Singh today flagged off 'Run For Laadli' half marathon in National capital.
  • Aim: It is to spread awareness about gender equality and the need to stop crimes against women. The event also aims at administering a pledge to these boys to raise their voices against domestic violence and other deplorable crimes against women.

Source: DD News

Meghalaya launches India’s first social audit law

  • Meghalaya became the first state in India to operationalise a law that makes social audit of government programmes and schemes a part of government practice.
  • Chief Minister Mukul Sangma launched ‘The Meghalaya Community Participation and Public Services Social Audit Act, 2017’, at a national convention in Shillong.
  • The first of its kind social audit law in country was passed by Meghalaya state assembly in April 2017 and was followed by pilot social audits for 26 schemes in 18 villages of northeastern state. At present, it is applicable to 11 departments and 21 schemes in Meghalaya.
  • The law makes social audits part of the system as earlier it was civil society initiative rather than government-mandated.
  • The social audit facilitator will provide an outside perspective, but it will take into account what people directly benefitting or meant to benefit from the scheme have to say

Source: Indian Express

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