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Evening News Digest: 21 October 2018

Prime Minister dedicates National Police Memorial to nation

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the National Police Memorial (NPM) to the nation in New Delhi on the occasion of the Police Commemoration Day.
  • The memorial has been built in recognition of the supreme sacrifice made by police personnel since independence.
  • Police Commemoration Day
    • The Police Commemoration Day is observed on this day every year in memory of the policemen martyred at Hot Springs in Ladakh by Chinese troops on 21st October 1959.
    • The National Police Memorial represents all States and Union Territory  Police Forces and Central Police Organizations of the country.

US to withdraw from Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia

  • US President Donald Trump has annuounced to withdraw from Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty signed in 1987.
  • The deal banned ground-launched medium-range missiles, with a range of between 500 and 5,500km.
  • What is INF?
    • INF treaty was signed between then US president Ronald Reagan and Russian president Mikhail Gorbachev.
    • It led to nearly 2700 short and medium range missiles being eliminated.
    • It helped to put an end to dangerous standoff between US Pershing and cruise missiles.
    • President George W Bush in 2002 pulled the US out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which banned weapons designed to counter ballistic nuclear missiles.
    • In 2007, Russian president Vladimir Putin declared the treaty no longer served Russia's interests.
    • The move came after the US withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002
    • In 2014, then president Barack Obama accused Russia of violating the treaty after Russia tested ground launched cruise missile.
  • Impact:
    • The arms race will intensify as the world’s two powerful nations are out of the treaty.
    • European countries are again at risk as confrontation between NATO and Russia will also intensify.

Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa to form new govt in Bhutan

  • The Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) party will form new government in Bhutan.
  • DNT has won 30 seats in 47 member National Assembly, the lower house of the parliament.
  • This is the first time in Bhutan’s decade old parliamentary democracy that a new party has been chosen to form the government.
  • DNT leader Lotay Tshering will become the Prime Minister of Bhutan.  
  • He is urology surgeon who trained in Bangladesh and Australia, vowed to work for "nation building" in the country which is battling high foreign debt.
  • Bhutan
    • Bhutan is a landlocked country in South Asia.
    • It is bordered with four Indian states Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Sikkim and West Bengal.
    • It is second least populated country in South Asia.
    • It has a parliamentary democracy with king of Bhutan as the head of state.
    • It is one of the founding members of SAARC.
    • India and Bhutan revised their friendship treaty in 2007.
    • In 2017, India and China were engaged in a tense military standoff on Bhutan’s Doklam plateau after Chinese troops moved road building and construction equipment onto the plateau.
    • When the Chinese side brushed off objections raised by Bhutanese soldiers, Indian troops intervened leading to the face off that was resolved on 28 August.

INS Vikramaditya completes Rs 705-crore refit

  • India’s only aircraft carrier INS Vikarmaditya is set to sail from the Kochi port on October 23 for basin trials before returning to its home port at Karwar after undergoing a five-month refit at a cost of ₹705 crore at the Cochin Shipyard.
  • Commissioned in November 2013, the ship is assigned to the Western Fleet and is based at Karwar in Karnataka. 
  • The total designated crew strength of INS Vikramaditya is 145 officers and 1,600 sailors.
  • India is also working on developing INS Vikrant which was scheduled to be delivered in 2018.
  • India’s ambitious biggest aircraft carrier INS Vishal which will be 65000 ton carrier expected to be commissioned in 2025.

Mumbai wins Vijay Hazare Trophy of Cricket

  • Mumbai defeated Delhi by four wickets to win their third Vijay Hazare Trophy title at M Chinnaswamy stadium.
  • After winning the toss, Mumbai chose to field and bowled out Delhi for 177.
  • Aditya Tare, Mumbai batsman struck a half century to lead the Delhi side.
  • Mumbai last won the Vijay Hazare Trophy in 2006 by defeating Rajasthan.
  • Vijay Hazare Trophy
    • The Vijay Hazare Trophy, also known as the Ranji One Day Trophy, was started in 2002–03 as a limited-overs cricket domestic competition involving state teams from the Ranji Trophy plates.
    • It is named after the famous Indian cricketer Vijay Hazare.

RBI steps in to ease NBFC woes

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 19 Oct incentivized bank lending to non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) by easing liquidity norms and increasing the ceiling for lending to a single NBFC until 31 December.
  • The central bank allowed banks to use government securities as level 1 high quality liquid asset (HQLA) equivalent to the bank’s incremental lending to NBFCs and housing finance companies (HFCs) after 19 October 2018.
  • It is expected that RBI’s move will facilitate additional lending of Rs. 59000 Cr to NBFCs.
  • Currently banks hold more than 29% of their NDTL in government securities as SLR while the RBI mandated them to hold at least 19.5%.
  • After the ILF&S crisis, banks and investor have become wary of NBFCs and there is a liquidity crunch.
  • Shares of NBFCs are downgraded and shares have plumped in the share market.
  • What is NBFC?
    • NBFC is a financial institution that offer various banking services but don’t have a banking licence.
    • They are not allowed to take deposits from the general public.
    • NBFC, however, can offer banking services such as loans and credit facilities.
    • It is registered under the Companies Act, 1956.
    • NBFCs are not a part of the payment and settlement system.
    • RBI has been entrusted with the responsibility of regulating and supervising the NBFC.

Four Himalayan peaks named after former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee

  • Four Himalayan peaks near Gangotri glacier have been named after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
  • The peaks are located at 6,557m, 6,566m, 6,160m and 6,100m on the right flank of Gangotri glacier.
  • Located near Sudarshan and Saifi peaks in Raktvan valley, the peaks have been named Atal-1, 2, 3 and 4.
  • The Gangotri Group of mountains is a subdivision of the Garhwal Himalaya in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand.
  • Gangotri glacier is one of the primary sources of Ganges.
  • Mountain Ranges in India
    • Himalayan Range:
    • It is the highest and youngest mountain range of India.
    • Nanga Parbat and Namcha Barwa is considered as the western and eastern point of the Himalayas.
    • Mount Everest is the highest peak of the world at 8848m situated in Nepal.
    • Karakoram or Pirpanjal Range
    • Karakoram Range and Pir Panjal Range lies to the North-west and south of the Himalayan Range.
    • A major part of the Karakoram Range lies under the disputed category of Indian and Pakistan and both countries have declared a claim over it.
    • K2, the second highest peak of the world, at 8,611m lies in the Karakoram Range.
    • Hindu-Kush, an extension of the Karakoram Range runs in Afghanistan.
    • The Siachen Glacier and The Biafo Glacier, which are world's 2nd and 3rd largest glaciers, are located in this range.
    • Eastern or Poorvanchal Range
    • The Purvanchal Range can be considered as the extension of Himalayas in the eastern part of India although the range is not as high as the Himalayas.
    • The Purvanchal Range or the Eastern Mountain Range comprises three parts: The Patkai-Bum Hill, The Garo-Khasi-Jaintia Hills and Lushai Hill (Mizo Hill).
    • Mawsynram, in Meghalaya is the wettest place on Earth because of these hills and it lies in the Khasi Hill.
    • Vindhya Range
    • The Satpura and Vindhaya Range lies in central India and both these ranges run parallel to each other.
    • Out of these two, Satpura range is higher in length and is the source of rivers like Narmada and Tapti.
    • Kalumar Peak (752m) and Duphgarh Peak (1350m) are the highest point in Vindhaya and Satpura range.
    • Aravalli Range
    • The Aravalli Range is also the oldest mountain range in the world.
    • It passes Indian states of Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and Gujrat.
    • Guru Shikhar is highest point of Aravalli Range with total elevation of 1722m.
    • Western Ghats
    • Western Ghats is 1600m long mountain range that runs from Gujrat to Kanyakumari in south India.
    • This mountain range is also called "Sahyadri Mountains".
    • It comprises the mountain range of Nilgiris, Anaimalai and Cardomom.
    • Anaimalai Hills with elevation of 2695 m in Kerala is highest peak of this range.
    • Western Ghats is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and has great bio-diversity.
    • It is home for some 139 mammal species, 508 bird species, 179 amphibian species and 250 reptile species.
    • Eastern Ghat
    • Eastern Ghats is mountain range running in eastern part of Indian Peninsula parallel to Bay of Bengal.
    • The range runs through Indian states of West Bengal, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
    • Arma Konda with elevation of 1680m is highest peak of this region.
    • These Ghats are older than Western Ghats and they have some very important pilgrim sites like Tirumala Venkateshwara Temple in Andhra Pradesh.

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