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Evening News Digest: 18 March 2018

President to inaugurate Festival of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

  • Indian President will inaugrate the Festival of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (FINE) on March 19 at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
  • He will also present Gandhian Young Technlogical Innovation Awards at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. The exhibition is open to public from March 19-23.
  • FINE will provide a platform for innovators for building linkages with potential stakeholders whose support can improve their prospects in coming years to develop their ideas into implementable projects for the larger social good.
  • FINE also includes an “In-Residence” Program as part of which a batch of ten innovation scholars will stay within the President’s Estate and will be provided mentoring as well as opportunities for idea sharing with key stakeholders.

Mauritius President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim resigns over a financial scandal

  • Mauritius President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim announced her resignation on March 17 amid an ongoing financial scandal. 
  • She is accused of purchasing personal luxury items with a credit card from a nongovernmental organization.
  • The president's role is primarily ceremonial, but Gurib-Fakim, who is a renowned scientist, joined the London-based Planet Earth Institute (PEI) in a supposed attempt to try to develop scientific capacity in Africa. In May 2016, she received a credit card to pay for travel and logistical expenses tied to her role.

Clean-up drive initiated at Mount Everest in Nepal

  • In Nepal, a clean-up drive has been initiated at the Mount Everest. It aims at airlifting 100 tonnes of waste left behind by tourists and climbers of the World's Highest Mountain.
  • This year's clean-up campaign is focused on items that could be recycled in the capital city. Privately-owned airlines are helping in the cause by transporting these items. 
  • Clean-up programmes had run by local guides, known as Sherpas, for decades, but are now coordinated by the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee.

UN issues $951 million appeal for Rohingya refugees

  • UN agencies and NGO partners on 16 March released a 2018 Joint Response Plan for the Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis.
  • They have appealed a $951 million to meet the urgent needs of 900000 Rohingya refugees.

More about Rohingya:

  • The Rohingya are a stateless Muslim minority in Myanmar's Rakhine State, thought to number about 1 million people.
  • Myanmar does not recognize them as citizens or one of the 135 recognized ethnic groups in the country.
  • Myanmar regards them as illegal immigrants, a view rooted in their heritage in East Bengal, now called Bangladesh.
  • Though many Rohingya have only known life in Myanmar, they are widely viewed as intruders from across the border.
  • According to Human Rights Watch, laws discriminate against the Rohingya, infringing on their freedom of movement, education and employment.
  • They are denied land and property rights and ownership, and the land on which they live can be taken away at any given time.

FIFA lifts three-decade ban on Iraq hosting international matches

  • FIFA has lifted its three-decade ban on Iraq hosting international football. 
  • FIFA has allowed international matches to be staged in three cities; Arbil, Basra and Karbala.
  • Iraq has not played full internationals on home turf since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
  • The ban, covering all but domestic matches, stayed in place after the US-led invasion of 2003 toppled dictator Saddam Hussein.

Nepal cricket team get One Day International status for first time

  • Nepal Cricket Team has been rewarded with One –Day International Status for the first time after its victory over Papua New Guinea (PNG) in the World Cup Qualifiers play-off.
  • Nepal, Hong Kong, and PNG were locked in a three-way battle for the last remaining ODI status and it was the Nepalese side which emerged triumphant.

Two day Global Digital Summit at Kochi from March 22

  • Global Digital Summit will be held in Kochi (Kerala) from March 22 to March 23.
  • Technology Disruption and Inclusion will be among the main topics for panel discussion.
  • Other topics to be covered will include the importance of technologies such as Blockchain and how technology be used to complement or bring to the forefront the differently abled and economically disadvantaged people.

Tata Sons head Chandrasekaran elected IISc President

  • Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekran has been elected as 8th President of the court of Indian Institute of Science (IISc) for 2018-21.
  • The court is the apex body of the autonomous and deemed university, comprising its senior academics, officials of the central and Karnataka governments, industry and civil society.
  • IISc was set up in 1909 by Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata and then Maharaja of Mysore Krishnaraja Wodeyar.
  • IISc is a primary institute for advanced scientific and technological research and education in the country

NASA's HAMMER inadequate to deflect Asteroid Bennu marching towards Earth

  • An enormous asteroid could crash into earth by 2135 and NASA’s spacecraft Hammer may not be able to deflect it, according to the NASA scientists.
  • Asteroid Bennu is as wide as 5 football fields weighing approximately 79 billion Kg.
  • Hammer weighs a massive 8.8 tonnes and is 9 meters tall and usually deflects asteroids from earth by destroying them with nuclear blasts.
  • There are currently 60000 known asteroids in our solar system.
  • Most asteroids are found orbiting in the Asteroid Belt, a series of rings located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

Vietnam’s reformist ex-PM Phan Van Khai dies at age 85

  • Former Vietnamese Prime Minister Phan Van Khai died at the age of 85.
  • He was Prime Minister of Vietnam from 1997 to 2006.
  • He was born in 1933 in Ho Chi Minh City’s suburban Cu Chi district.
  • He became a political activist at 14 by joining a children’s revolutionary movement against the French colonial regime.






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