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Evening News Digest: 23 September 2018

Israel, India to commemorate Centenary of the Battle of Haifa

  • The Indian Army commemorates September 23 every year as Haifa Day to pay its respects to the two brave Indian Cavalry Regiments, Mysore and Jodhpur Lancers, that helped liberate the city of Haifa.
  • It was fought in 1918 and this is the 100th year of the battle.
  • Battle of Haifa
    • Battle of Haifa was fought in 1918 as part of World War I.
    • In this battle, 15th Cavalry brigade which had troops from the various Indian princely states - Mysore, Jodhpur, Hyderabad and Patiala had regiments of lancers.
    • The allied army also had British yeomanry regiment.
    • The Ottoman army was encircled by the allied armies.
    • The allied armies captured 2 German officers, 35 Ottoman officers, artillery guns etc. 
    • The Indian army, formed after independence still commemorates the battle with 'Haifa day'. 

Assamese movie 'Village Rockstars' is India’s official entry for Oscars 2019

  • Assamese film Village Rockstars is India’s official entry for Oscars 2019 in the Best Foreign Language film category.
  • The announcement was made by the Film Federation of India (FFI) on 22 Sept.
  • The 91st Academy Awards is scheduled to be held on February 24, 2019.
  • The Rima Das film was also named Best Feature Film at the 65th National Film Awards.
  • Story of Village Rockstars
    • Village Rockstars is the story of a young girl who wants to be a guitarist.
    • In a world where almost every step taken by females is questioned, 10-year-old Dhunu (Bhanita Das), who belongs to a remote village in Assam, wants to make a name for herself in the world of music.

India, Nepal agree to use satellite images in boundary survey work

  • India and Nepal have agreed to explore the possibility of using high-resolution satellite images in boundary survey work. 
  • During the 5th meeting of Nepal-India Boundary Working Group (BWG) in Kathmandu on 22 Sept, both sides also agreed to continue mapping of No man’s land encroachment and cross-border occupation. 
  • BWG
    • BWG is a joint body constituted by the Governments of India and Nepal in 2014 to carry out works in the fields of construction, restoration and repair of boundary pillars including clearance of ‘No-man’s land’ and other technical tasks.

Vatican announces historic deal on bishops with China

  • The Vatican on 22 Aug announced a historic accord with China on the appointment of bishops in the Communist country.
  • Pope Francis recognised seven Beijing-appointed bishops in a move that could pave the way for a rapprochement between the Catholic Church and the world's most populous country.
  • There are an estimated 12 million Catholics in China divided between a government-run association whose clergy are chosen by the Communist Party and an unofficial church which swears allegiance to the Vatican.
  • The Vatican has not had diplomatic relations with Beijing since 1951, two years after the founding of the communist People's Republic.
  • The Vatican is one of only 17 countries around the world that recognises Taipei (Taiwan) instead of Beijing but Pope Francis has sought to improve ties with China since he took office in 2013.

Meghalaya cabinet passes resolution for inclusion of Khasi language in 8th Schedule

  • Meghalaya cabinet approved a proposal to pass an official resolution in the on-going Assembly session to seek inclusion of the language in the Schedule of official languages and the same will be forwarded to the Home Ministry for consideration. 
  • Khasi Language
    • According to the 2011 census, 14,31,344 people in India speak in Khasi.
    • Khasi, as a written language, has completed 176 years.
    • The language is being taught from the primary school level up to the PhD level.
  • 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution
    • The Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India lists the official languages of the Republic of India.
    • It recognizes currently 22 official languages which includes 3 Northeast languages – Assamese, Manipuri and Bodo.
    • At present, there are demands for inclusion of 42 languages.

Anil Kumar Chaudhary appointed Chairman of SAIL

  • Anil Kumar Chaudhary has been appointed as the new chairman of the Steel Authority of India (SAIL).
  • A K Chaudhary, at present, has been serving as the Director (Finance) in the country's largest steel making company.
  • SAIL
    • Steel Authority of India Limited is an Indian state-owned steel making company based in New Delhi, India.
    • It is a public sector undertaking, owned and operated by the Government of India with an annual turnover of INR 44,452 Crore for fiscal year 2016-17.

Pakistan beat India to win Asian Snooker Championship

  • Pakistan’s Babar Masih and Muhammad Asif became Asian Snooker Team Champions after defeating India’s Pankaj Advani and Malkeet Singh in the final of the team event in Doha on 22 Sept.
  • Asian Snooker Championship was held in Doha, Qatar.

Alcohol intake in India doubles in 11 years: WHO

  • Per capita alcohol consumption in India has more than doubled from 2005 to 2016, according to a report by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
  • The consumption of alcohol has increased from 2.4 litres in 2005 to 5.7 litres in 2016 with 4.2 litres being consumed by men and 1.5 litre by women.
  • Impact:
    • The harmful impact of alcohol is one of the leading risk factors for populations worldwide and has a direct impact on many health-related targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including those for maternal and child health, infectious diseases (HIV, viral hepatitis, tuberculosis), non-communicable diseases and mental health, injuries and poisonings.
    • In 2016, the harmful use of alcohol resulted in some three million deaths (5.3% of all deaths) worldwide and 132.6 million disability-adjusted life years (DALYs).
    • Some 2.3 billion people are current drinkers.
    • Globally more than a quarter (26.5% ) of all 15-19 year-olds are current drinkers, amounting to 155 million adolescents.

Maharashtra ready to unveil energy calculator

  • Maharashtra’s new energy calculator designed to enable better management of the State’s power requirements will be ready by end of September.
  • The MHSEC-2050, an exclusively web-enabled tool, is based on the central government’s IESS-2047, a brainchild of the NITI Aayog in collaboration with the Commonwealth Office of the U.K. government.
  • Benefits:
    • The MHSEC will allow policy makers to visualise choices in energy trade-offs, throw them open to the public, help align public opinion with State policy, and assist in long-term planning.
    • The calculator will be accessible not only to the government, but also universities, institutes, consultants and civil societies.
    • The tool will provide user-friendly graphic models, easily available data to construct demand and supply scenarios.
    • The total electricity generated in the State is around 1,50,000 million units (MUs) in 2017-18, while the consumption remains around 3,000 MUs higher.
    • The State’s per capital consumption, too, is higher than the national average.
    • In 2015, per capita consumption in the State was 962.2 units, as opposed to about 652.5 units across the country.

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