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Evening News Digest: 19 September 2018

Medical Cyclotron Facility Cyclone-30 Became Operational

  • The country’s biggest cyclotron facility that will produce radioisotopes vital for diagnosis and treatment of cancer has become operational in Kolkata.
  • The machine Cyclone-30 is housed at the Kolkata-based Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre (VECC) under the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE).
  • The cyclotron machine will produce radioisotopes for nuclear imaging specifically for cancer detection.
  • Cancer Detection 
    • According to Lancet Global Health report, 8.3% of the total number of deaths in India in 2016 was because of cancer, and the number of new cases has increased from 5.48 lakh in 1990 to 10.1 lakh in 2016.
    • At present, many radioisotopes are imported while some are produced in nuclear research reactors such as the Apsara at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC).
    • India mostly imports isotopes used in diagnosing cancers. Thus, the isotope production centre in Kolkata will help bring down the cost of treatment.

Centre modifies operational guidelines for PM Fasal Bima Yojna

  • Central government has tweaked Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) for the benefit of farmers.
  • Now, crop insurance companies delaying claim payouts beyond two months from the prescribed will have to pay 12 per cent interest to farmers.
  • Insurance firms, on the other hand, would get paid an interest of 12 per cent if State governments delay release of their share of subsidy beyond three months of the cut-off date or submission of requisition.
  • The new operational guidelines come into force from the rabi season, which commences on October 1.
  • Main Features of PMFBY:
    • It was launched in 2016.
    • Premium rate fixed @2% for kharif, 1.5% for rabi, 5% for horticultural crops and vegetables. Remaining burden of premiums to fall on Central and state government.
    • Use of technology being encouraged.
    • Smart phones used to upload crop yield data to facilitate quick settlement of claims.
    • Remote sensing satellites used for field surveillance in place of manual surveillance to quicken the process.

ITU South Asia Area Office and Technology Innovation Centre in New Delhi

  • The ITU South Asia Area Office and Technology Innovation Centre will be established in New Delhi. 
  • This was announced, during the 4th BRICS Communications Ministers Meeting held in Durban, South Africa recently.
  • ITU is a United Nations specialized agency for Information and Communication Technologies, with membership of 193 countries and nearly 800 private sector entities and academic institutions
  • ITU
    • The establishment of this ITU local area office will be an important milestone for us, as it signifies global recognition of the progress we have made in the field of ICT.
    • The ITU South Asia Office will serve nine countries – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, in addition to the host country – which together account for nearly 24% of the global population.

DAC Approves Procurement of Equipment Worth Rs 9,100 Crores

  • The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Raksha Mantri Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman accorded approval for the procurement of equipment for the Defence Forces valued at over Rs 9,100 crores. 
  • The DAC approved procurement of two Regiments of Akash Missile Systems under 'Buy (Indian)'.
  • The Missile to be procured is an upgraded version of the previously inducted Akash missiles and will include seeker technology, possess 360-degree coverage and will be of compact configuration with reduced signature.
  • Akash is a medium-range mobile surface-to-air missile defense system developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation.

Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary: President Kovind launches logo and web portal

  • President Ram Nath Kovind on 18 Sept launched the logo and the web portal to be used for commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • The logo will also be used by Public Sector Undertakings, subordinate or attached offices, autonomous bodies etc. under the central government.
  • The website will provide detailed information about Gandhi.
  • The two-year-long celebrations from October 2, 2018 to October 2, 2020 will be held across the country and all over the globe to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • Mahatma Gandhi was born in 1869 at Porbanadar, Gujarat.

'Game of Thrones,' 'Mrs. Maisel' triumph at Emmys

  • Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel became the first streaming series to win top Emmy comedy honors.
  • HBO’s Game of Thrones recaptured the best drama series award.
  • An Emmy Award, or simply Emmy, is an American award that recognizes excellence in the television industry, and is the equivalent of an Academy Award (for film), the Tony Award (for theater), and the Grammy Award (for music).
  • List of winners:
    • Outstanding Drama Series: Game of Thrones
    • Outstanding Comedy Series: The Marvelous Mrs Maisel
    • Best Lead Actor, Drama: Matthew Rhys, The Americans
    • Best Lead Actress, Drama: Claire Foy, The Crown
    • Best Lead Actor, Comedy: Bill Hader, Barry

India’s first woman IAS officer dead

  • India’s first woman IAS officer after Independence, Anna Rajam Malhotra, who served in the Madras State and also at the Central government, died in Mumbai on 17 Sept.
  • She was 91.
  • She was bron in Kerala’s Ernakulam district in July 1927, she moved to Chennai after her schooling in Kozhikode to pursue higher education at the University of Madras.
  • Ms. Malhotra joined the civil services in 1951 and opted for the Madras cadre.

7th UNWTO Global Summit on Urban Tourism held in Seoul

  • 7th UNWTO Global Summit on Urban Tourism was held in Seoul, capital of South Korea from 16 to 19 September, 2018.
  • The theme of the summit was ‘A 2030 Vision for Urban Tourism’.
  • The summit provided unique platform to discuss key issues shaping future of urban tourism in the context of the 2030 Urban Agenda.
  • It had brought together high-level representatives from National Tourism Administrations, city authorities and related stakeholders, serving as platform to exchange experience.
  • UNWTO is United Nations agency responsible for promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.
  • It is leading international organization in the field of tourism, which promotes tourism as driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability.

India first country in world to release Cooling Action Plan

  • Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) on eve of World Ozone Day (17th September) released draft India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP).
  • It makes India first country in world to develop such document. The draft was prepared by Ozone Cell  of MoEFC.
  • India Cooling Action Plan
    • Reduce refrigerant demand by 25% to 30% by year 2037-38. Reduce cooling demand across sectors by 20% to 25 % by year 2037-38. Reduce cooling energy requirements by 25% to 40% by year 2037-38.
    • Train and certify 100,000 servicing sector technicians by 2022-23, in synergy with Skill India Mission.
    • Recognize cooling and related areas as thrust area of research under national science and technology programme to support development of technological solutions and encourage innovation challenges.

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