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Evening News Digest: 18 September 2018

India-Bangladesh pipeline project flagged off

  • India and Bangladesh had entered into an agreement back in April 2018 for pipeline construction.
  • The 136km pipeline will carry diesel from Siliguri in West Bengal to Dinajpur district in Bnagladesh.
  • Only 6Km length of the pipeline falls into Indian Territory and remaining 130Km will be built by Bangladesh.
  • The 1 million tonne capacity pipeline will be financed by Bharat Petroleum Corporation.

First-ever India Tourism Mart 2018 inaugurated

  • India’s first ever Indian Tourism Mart was inaugurated in New Delhi on 17 September.
  • The India Tourism Mart is being organized by the Ministry of Tourism from 16th to 18th September 2018, in partnership with the Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) and with support of State /UT Governments. 
  • The ITM 2018 has a participation of around 225 hosted international buyers and Media personnel across the world such as North America, West Europe, East Asia, Latin America, CIS countries etc. 
  • India aspires to receive $100 billion through tourism industry in coming 5 years.

Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar 2017-18 conferred

  • Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar will confer the Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar 2017-18 in New Delhi on 18 September as a part of the Swachhata Hi Seva campaign launched by Prime Minister on 15th September, 2018.
    • Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar
    • The Department of School Education and Literacy, MHRD launched the Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar in 2016-17 to honour the schools that have done exemplary work in the field of water, sanitation and hygiene.
    • This year, first time the awards have also been extended to private schools besides government and government aided schools.
    • Under Swachh Vidyalaya Initiative, a record number of 4,17,796 toilets were constructed in 2,61,400 schools, including 1,90,887 girls toilets in one year upto 15th August, 2015.

India, Malta sign three MoUs to boost bilateral relations

  • India and Malta signed three MoUs during the Indian Vice President Venkiah Naidu to Malta.
  • The two countries signed the three MoUs for collaboration between the foreign services institutes and cooperation in maritime and tourism.
  • Indian Vice President Naidu is on a three nation tour of East Europe.
  • Malta helped India in rescuing Indians in 2011 during Libyan crisis.
  • Malta
    • Malta is Sothern European Island consisting of an archipelago in the Mediterranean sea.
    • It is considered world’s smallest and most densely populated countries of the world.
    • It is a part of European Union.
    • It has presidential system of governance.

Germany rolls out world’s first hydrogen train

  • Germany rolled out the world's first hydrogen-powered train on 17 September.
  • The train was built by French TGV-maker Alstom.
  • Hydrogen Train
    • Hydrogen trains are equipped with fuel cells that produce electricity through a combination of hydrogen and oxygen, a process that leaves steam and water as the only emissions.
    • Excess energy is stored in ion lithium batteries on board the train.
    • The Coradia iLint trains can run for around 1,000 kilometres on a single tank of hydrogen, similar to the range of diesel trains.
    • However, it is costly to build a hydrogen train and it will be difficult for developing countries to adopt.

First-ever three-way bank amalgamation process commences

  • Indian Finance Ministry has proposed the merger of three banks – Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank.
  • The boards of the three banks will now consider the proposal.
  • Among the three banks, Dena Bank is one of the 11 stressed public sector banks and currently faces restrictions on lending until it fixes its poor performance.
  • If all the three banks are merged then it will become India’s third largest bank.

  • Why public sector banks are being merged?
    • Large Nonn-Performing Asset ratio of smaller banks are a concern as their financial health gets compromised.
    • Dena bank has 11% NPA and currently is restricted to land. Merging with two healthy banks BoB and Vijaya bank will absorb the risks involved with Dena Bank.
    • It will help improve operational efficiency and customer services.
    • The amalgamated bank will be a strong competitive lender with economies of scale and will have synergies for network, low-cost deposits and subsidiaries. 
  • The process was started with the merger of SBI and 5 of its subsidiary banks and Bhartiya Mahila Bank. It was a success and that’s why government is keen on consolidating other public sector banks.

Bangladesh Cabinet clears deal with India for port usage

  • Bangladesh’s Cabinet approved the draft of a proposed agreement with India to use the Chittagong and Mongla ports for goods movement to and from northeast India.
  • Four routes were suggested for goods movements which are Chattagram Port/Mongla Port-Agartala via Akhaura, Chattagram/Mongla-Daouki via Tamabil, Chattagram/ Mongla-Sutarkandi via Sheola, and Chattagram/Mongla-Bibekbazar via Simantapur.
  • The draft suggested the agreement to be effective for five years with a provision of automatic renewal for another five years while either of the countries could scrap it giving a six-month notice.

Wrestler Ganpatrao Andalkar passes away

  • Wrestling legend Ganpatrao Andalkar passed away on 17 Sept at the age of 83 in Pune.
  • In 1960, he took the title of Hind Kesari.
  • In 1962 Asian Games, he took one gold and one silver medal.
  • He was given Arjuna Award in 1964.

Virat Kohli, Mirabai Chanu recommended for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna

  • Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli has been recommended for 2018 Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award.
  • Weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu and shuttler Kidambi Srikanth’s names have also been endorsed for the same.
  • Once the Sports Ministry gives it approval President Ram Nath Kovind will present the awards on September 25 at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
  • Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra has been selected for the Arjuna Awards.
  • The BCCI has been nominating Kohli for the Khel Ratna for the past three years but in 2016, it was given to Sakshi Malik, PV Sindhu and Deepa Karmakar for their good show at the Rio Olympic Games.
  • In 2017, the Khel Ratna was awarded to former India hockey captain Sardar Singh and para-athlete Devendra Jhajharia.

SpaceX’s first private passenger is Japanese fashion magnate Maezawa

  • Elon Musk’s space transportation company Space X has named its first private passenger on a voyage around the moon as Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa.
  • Space X Mission:
  • According to Musk, Big Falcon Rocket, or BFR, the super heavy-lift launch vehicle that he promises will shuttle passengers to the moon and eventually fly humans and cargo to Mars.
  • The BFR could be conducting its first orbital flights in about two to three years.
  • With SpaceX, founder Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and entrepreneur Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic are also battling it out to launch private-sector spacecraft.
  • SpaceX has already upended the space industry with its relatively low-cost reusable Falcon 9 rockets.
  • The company has completed more than 50 successful Falcon launches.


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