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Evening news Digest 23 June 2018 (Including PDF)

Centre sells 12.6 percent stake in RITES

  • The Centre divested 12.6 percent of its stake in the PSU Rail India Technical and Economic Services Ltd. (RITES). With this, the stake of Centre in RITES comes down to 75 percent.
  • RITES also became the first state-run railway organization to launch an initial public offering (IPO).
  • The company raised Rs 466 crore from the offer. This was the first divestment exercise of the Modi government in the financial year 20181-19.
  • Also, the government plans to make IRCON International Ltd and Indian Railway Finance Corporation Ltd. (RFC) public. Sales of these stakes, which will add on in its divestment target of Rs 80,000 crore for FY 2018-19.

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Inaugurates Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre at Dushanbe

  • Nitin Gadkari, the Union   Minister for Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Road Transport & Highways and Shipping on June 22, 2018 inaugurated the Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre at the Indian Embassy in Dushanbe in Tajikistan.
  • The Centre will offer classes in Hindi, Sanskrit, Yoga and various performing arts like music and dance to the Indian diaspora as well as Tajik people.
  • Besides, he also said that India is trying to make Chabahar Port in Iran operational by 2019.
  • Nitin Gadkari was on a two-day official visit   to Tajikistan to represent India at the high level global conference on “International Decade for Action: Water for Sustainable Development”. 

Prime Minister dedicated Mohanpura Dam to nation

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his day-long visit to Madhya Pradesh on June 23, 2018 dedicated to the nation the Mohanpura Dam Project.
  • The project will facilitate irrigation of agricultural land in the district. It will provide drinking water to villages in the area.
  • The ambitious Urban Transport Scheme ‘Sutra Seva’ of Madhya Pradesh government was also inaugurated by the Prime Minister.
  • The Prime Minister also attended the Shehari Vikas Mahotsav in Indore and inaugurated several urban development projects worth over four thousand crore rupees.
  • These include houses under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana, urban drinking water supply schemes, urban solid waste management, urban sanitation, urban transportation and urban landscape projects.

India & Cuba sign two MoU to enhance cooperation

  • President Ram Nath Kovind held delegation-level talks with Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel and agreed to enhance cooperation in biotechnology, renewable energy and traditional medicine.
  • President Kovind visited Centro De Ingenera Genetica Biotechnologya and attended a presentation on Cuban Pharma industry.
  • President Kovind also visited the Revolution Square, where he paid respects to Cuban National Hero Jose Marti at the Jose Marti Memorial.
  • Prior to Cuba, President Kovind visited Greece and Suriname and discussed issues of bilateral concerns with the concerned dignitaries of respective countries.

Maharashtra bans single-use plastic

  • Maharashtra government on June 23, 2018 enforced the Maharashtra Plastic and Thermocol Products (manufacture, usage, sale, transport, handling, and storage) notification issued in March 2018.
  • Under the notification products manufactured from plastic and thermocol have been covered under the ban.
  • This includes, manufacture, usage, sale, transport, distribution, wholesale and retail sale and storage, import of plastic bags with or without handle, and disposable products made out of plastic and thermocol stands banned.
  • As per the notification, violators will be fined Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 for the first and second-time offense. A third-time offender will have to shell out Rs 25,000 and may also face imprisonment for a period of three months.
  • While the ban will be implemented within Maharashtra, passengers coming to the state from other parts of the country are also expected to maintain caution while disposing plastic at stations.

Centre clears changes in Delhi's master plan 2021

  • The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs approved changes in the Master Plan 2021 for local shopping complexes (LSCs) to pave the way for legalising unauthorised commercial establishments across the capital and provide relief from sealings to traders.
  • The amendments will halt sealings at local shopping complexes, but drives will continue in other areas, the Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee said.
  • As per the changes, LSCs will get a uniform floor area ratio (FAR) of 350, at par with residential plots, as well as the use of basements for commercial activities on payment of conversion and parking charges.
  • In order to promote parking, owners will be allowed to merge plots — provided the amalgamated plot size is at least 1,000 sq metres — and have a common parking area.
  • Such plots shall be entitled to a rebate of 50% in conversion charges. Rebate on levy of conversion charges and amalgamation of plots have been introduced to incentivise the creation of parking space.

AC manufacturers to regulate default AC settings at 24 degree Celsius

  • The Ministry of Power advised companies to regulate default air conditioner (AC) settings in order to promote energy efficiency.
  • While holding a meeting with major air-conditioner manufacturers in the national capital, Power Minister R K Singh asked to maintain default temperature setting at 24 degrees Celsius, which may also be made mandatory at a later stage.
  • Every one degree increase in the air-conditioner temperature setting results in saving of six percent of electricity consumed.
  • Normal human body temperature is approximately 36 to 37 degree Celsius, but large number of commercial establishments, hotels and offices maintain temperature around 18 to 21 degree Celsius, which is not only uncomfortable but is actually unhealthy.
  • During the meeting, the minister also pointed out that some countries like Japan have put in place regulation to keep the temperature at 28 degree Celsius.

US, South Korea agree to indefinitely suspend two training exercises

  • The United States and South Korea have agreed to indefinitely suspend two exchange program training exercises, the Pentagon said, in the aftermath of the summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
  • To support implementing the outcomes of the Singapore Summit, and in coordination with our Republic of Korea ally, Secretary Mattis has indefinitely suspended select exercises.
  • At a news conference after the meeting with Kim in Singapore, Trump announced that he would halt what he called “very provocative” and expensive regular military exercises that the United States holds with South Korea. North Korea had long sought an end to the war games.
  • Last year, 17,500 American troops and more than 50,000 South Korean troops joined the Freedom Guardian drills, although the exercise is mostly focused on computerized simulations rather than field exercises.

Ground breaking ceremony for Mongolia's first Oil refinery held

  • During the Ground Breaking Ceremony for the Oil Refinery at 'Stantsiin Hooloi' in Altanshiree Soum, Mongolia, the Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh observed that this Ceremony was an important milestone in the bilateral ties between India and Mongolia.
  • The Prime Minister of Mongolia, Mr. Ukhnaagin Khurelsukh and other dignitaries were present.
  • The Home Minister while recalling the statement made by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi during his historical visit to Mongolia in 2015 where he had announced Line of Credit of US$ 1 billion for this project, expressed confidence that with the start of this refinery, Mongolia would derive rich benefits.
  • Shri Rajnath Singh was of the opinion that this will further strengthen the relationship between both the countries and averred that it was India which first established Diplomatic relations with Mongolia after it came out of Communist Bloc.

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YoYo Test: What is it?

  • The Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test Level 1 test was developed to measure an athlete’s ability to repeatedly perform high-intensity aerobic work.
  • Since then, it has established itself as one of the most commonly used aerobic field tests for youth and recreational athletes.
  • It has been shown to be a valid and reliable predictor of high-intensity aerobic capacity and VO2 max amongst athletes from various sports and competition-levels.
  • What is the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test?
  • There are three variations of the yo-yo intermittent recovery test: level 1, level 2 and the submaximal test. The yo-yo intermittent recovery level 1 (YYIR1) focuses on an individual’s ability to repeatedly perform high-intensity aerobic work.
  • The yo-yo intermittent recovery level 2 (YYIR2) test examines the capacity to perform intense intermittent exercise with a large anaerobic component in combination with a significant aerobic contribution.
  • The submaximal yo-yo intermittent recovery test was developed as a method of monitoring performance during competitive periods (e.g. in-season), injury rehabilitation, or individuals who may struggle with performing the maximal tests.

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