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Evening News Digest: 20 May 2018


PM dedicates Kishanganga Hydropower Station to the nation

  • Indian PM Narendra Modi inaugurated the Kishanganga Hydropower project on 20 May.
  • The Kishanganga Hydroelectric Plant is an $864 million dam which is a part of run of the river hydroelectric scheme that is designed to divert water from the Kishanganga river to a power plant in the Jhelum river basin.
  • It is located 5 KM north of Bandipore in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • It will have an installed capacity of 330 MW.
  • The Kishanganga project was delayed for several years as Pakistan dragged India to the International Court of Arbitration, which ruled in India's favour in 2013.
  • India has said the hydropower projects underway in Jammu and Kashmir are "run-of-the-river" schemes that use the river's flow and elevation to generate electricity rather than large reservoirs, and do not contravene the treaty.

Green Good Deeds’ Movement Launched by India Gets Global Recognition

  • Green Good Deeds, the societal movement launched by Environment, Forest & Climate Change Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan to protect environment and promote good living has found acceptance by the global community.
  • Dr Harsh Vardhan at the ongoing 4th BRICS Environment Ministerial in Durban had urged the BRICS nations to jointly help in development of a social movement to fight for the protection and conservation of environment.
  • The Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change had drawn up a list of over 500 Green Good Deeds and asked people to alter their behaviour to Green Good Behaviour to fulfil their Green Social Responsibility.

NMCG asks DDA to expedite "Asita" project

  • National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) reviewed the progress of the Yamuna River Front Development project Asita.
  • Asita is another name of river Yamuna.
  • It aims to restore, revive and rejuvenate its floodplains and make them accessible to the people of Delhi. Riverfront walks, a major component of the project, will enable people to develop a relationship with Yamuna, it said.
  • The project envisages creating a green buffer area approximately 300 m wide along the river edge with species of riverine ecology.
  • Besides, a wide belt of 150 m along the peripheral roads will be developed as greenways for public amenities that will include a continuous trail of pathways and cycle tracks.

In a first, Railways to use AI to control air circulation in Manipur tunnel

  • For the first time, the railways will use artificial intelligence to control air circulation, signages and even supervision and maintenance work in the 10.28 km-long tunnel in Imphal as part of its 110 km railway line from Jiribam to Manipur's capital city.
  • The system will control air circulation in the system, along with other aspects. It will alert the passenger in case of fire and help us in quick evacuation in case of an issue.
  • AI is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems.
  • These processes include learning (the acquisition of information and rules for using the information), reasoning (using the rules to reach approximate or definite conclusions) and self-correction.


Russia unveils world's first floating nuclear power station

  • Russia on May 19 unveiled the world's first floating nuclear power station in the port of the far northern city of Murmansk where it will be loaded with nuclear fuel before heading to eastern Siberia.
  • Constructed by the state nuclear power firm Rosatom, the 144-by-30 metre ship holds two reactors with two 35 megawatt nuclear reactors that are similar to those used to power icebreaker ships.
  • It will be primarily used to power oil rigs as Russia pushes further north into the Arctic to drill for oil and gas and needs electricity in far-flung locations.

China, U.S. vow against trade war in joint statement

  • China has agreed to buy more US agricultural and energy products to help narrow a record bilateral trade deficit, addressing a key demand US President Donald Trump has pursued since announcing punitive tariffs threatening to push the two countries into an all-out trade war.
  • US president Donald Trump campaigned in 2016 on a pledge to get tough on China and other U.S. trading partners.
  • U.S. trade deficit with China was $337 billion last year, the biggest with any country.
  • In the month of March, US government made a list of $50 billion worth of goods imported from China under the tariff increase and the world stock exchanges reacted negatively after that.


Maharashtra govt to rename Solapur University

  • The Maharashtra government has decided to rename Solapur University as "Punyashlok Ahilyadevi Holkar Solapur Vidyapeeth".
  • The renaming function will be organised on May 31 to coincide with the birth anniversary of Ahilyadevi Holkar.
  • Ahilyabai Holkar (1725-1795) was a great ruler and the Queen of the Kingdom of Malwa. Popularly known as Rajmata Ahilyadevi Holkar and she was born in 1725 in the village of Chondi in Maharashtra, India.

Chatra Parivahan Suraksha Yojana to be launched in Haryana

  • Haryana government launched an initiative Chatra Parivahan Suraksha Yojana to ensure girls safety.
  • Under this this Yojana, all the girls in the Haryana State will get Free Travelling Facility.
  • Haryana had a very low gender ratio (900:1000) till 2016. However, the sex ratio at birth (SRB) in Haryana rose to 914 girls for 1,000 boys in 2017. 

Person in News

Populist cleric Moqtada Sadr wins Iraq parliamentary elections

  • A political bloc led by populist Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has won the country’s parliamentary election in Iraq.
  • The Saeroon Alliance led by al-Sadr has won the election by winning 54 seats out of 328 seats.
  • The Fatah Alliance, led by Hadi al-Amiri, took 48 seats, while the Victory Alliance, led by Washington's preferred candidate, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, won 42 seats.
  • Al-Sadr, who in 2008 was named as one of Time Magazine's 100 most influence people, campaigned on an anti-corruption platform, allied himself with the Communist Party and rode a wave of populist sentiment to victory.
  • An opponent of Iranian influence in his country, al-Sadr is also a longtime foe of the United States and its role in Iraq.


Cannes Film Festival: Japanese film 'Shoplifters' wins Palme d'Or, best film award

  • The Japanese family drama Shoplifters has received the coveted award for best film, the Palme d'Or, at the Cannes Film Festival.
  • Shoplifters has been hailed as a modest masterpiece from a veteran filmmaker that centres on a small-time thief who takes a young girl home to his family. After seeing scars from abuse, they decide to keep her and raise her as their own. 

Amitabh Bachchan honoured by European Union

  • Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan has been honoured by the European Union (EU) for strengthening cultural ties between India and Europe.
  • The megastar had recently been voted the most engaging Indian actor on Facebook in a new survey.  According to Score Trends, the 75-year-old actor has over 30 million followers on the popular social networking site.
  • European Union-India Free Trade Agreement has finally reached into final stage as both sides want to conclude the decades old pending agreement.

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