ForumIAS: Facts in News (August 8th – 15th)

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Read summaries of all important News Articles

Facts in news is published on a weekly basis that consists a gist of all crucial news articles from ‘The Hindu’ that may bear relevance to Civil Services Preparation for the Second week of August.

Here is the Summary of all current happenings from around the world for the Second week of August.

Bills, Programs, Policies, Schemes, Orders, Judgements
AIADMK factions bury the hatchet• Former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam was in 21st August, 2017 sworn in as Deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
• O. Panneerselvam merged his AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) with Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami’s AIADMK (Amma) faction.
• The unified AIADMK now enjoys the support of 117 MLAs, including the Speaker, in the 233-member House.
PM launches projects in Rajasthan, flays Congress• Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 29th August, 2017 inaugurated highway projects worth over 5,610 crore.
• Among the other 12 projects inaugurated, included a long pending project of constructing a 1.4-km six-lane cable-stayed bridge across the Chambal river in Kota, which was sanctioned in 2006.
• The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone for 11 road projects worth ₹9,490 crore in Rajasthan.
99% of demonetised notes returned, says RBI report• The Reserve Bank of India’s annual report has revealed that as much as 15.28 lakh crore of the high-value currency that was demonetised in November, 2016, returned to the central bank.
HC seeks government’s reply on relocation of child rape survivors• The High Court on 30th August, 2017 sought a response from the government on a plea seeking amendment in the Delhi Victims Compensation Scheme to provide for change of abode for child rape survivors as they may face threats in future from their attackers.
Aadhaar can be linked to schemes by December 31: Centre to SC• The Centre on 30th August, 2017 informed the Supreme Court that the deadline for linking Aadhaar to access various social welfare schemes and benefits had been extended from September 30, 2017 to December 31, 2017.
• December 31 is also the deadline announced by the government for linking bank accounts with Aadhaar.
All Parliamentary secys in Mizoram resign• All the seven parliamentary secretaries in Mizoram submitted their resignations on 30th August, 2017 to Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla and he accepted them.
• The mass resignation came in the wake of the Supreme Court’s July 26 ruling on the The Assam Parliamentary Secretaries
K.M. Abraham is next Kerala Chief Secretary • The Kerala Cabinet has decided to appoint K.M. Abraham as the next Chief Secretary.
• Kandathil Mathew Abraham, currently Additional Chief Secretary (Finance), will replace Nalini Netto, who retires on 30th August, 2017.
First women’s bank branch opened • Utttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Wednesday inaugurated the State’s first women’s branch of a co-operative bank at Banjarawala tea estate here.
‘Criminalising marital rape may become a tool to harass husbands’
It may destabilise institution of marriage, Centre tells HC
• The Central government submitted before the Delhi High Court that marital rape cannot be made a criminal offence as it could become a phenomenon which may destabilise the institution of marriage and an easy tool for harassing the husbands.
Govt staff to get higher salaries: Naveen• Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced that recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission will be implemented for the State government employees and pensioners with effect from January 1, 2018.
• About 4.5 lakh serving State government employees and 3.5 lakh retired State government employees will get enhanced emoluments and higher pension respectively.
Talaq to be a part of madrasa curriculum• To educate Muslims about the practice of talaq after the recent Supreme Court ruling on the matter, a leading dargah of the Sunni sect has decided to include it in the curriculum of the madrasas.
Minimum wage to vary across states• The Code on Wages Bill proposed by the Union government earlier this month will not fix a single national level minimum wage for the whole country, but will vary across states and geographies.
• The wage levels would vary state-wise and in some cases may differ based on geographies – coastal, hilly or plains.
• At present, various states are free to fix their own level of minimum wages as per the local conditions, cost of living and other factors
Centre clears 100% strategic sale of CEL• The Centre has approved a 100% strategic sale along with transfer of management control of Central Electronics Ltd. (CEL).
• CEL is under the administrative control of Ministry of Science and Technology.
• The Government of India (GoI) has decided to disinvest its 100 per cent equity in Central Electronics Ltd through strategic sale with transfer of management control.
Centre to unveil ‘future-ready’ industrial policy in October• The government on 29th August, 2017 said that it would announce the new ‘future-ready’ Industrial Policy in October.
• The policy would incorporate measures to facilitate the use of smart technologies such as the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics for advanced manufacturing.
• The new policy would aim at making India a manufacturing hub by promoting ‘Make in India’.
Judicial commission to probe cow deaths in Chhattisgarh• The Chhattisgarh government has set up a judicial commission to probe the reasons and make recommendations about improving the condition of ‘gaushalas’ (cow shelters).
• This initiative comes up in the light of large scale death of cows in three State-aided shelters allegedly due to starvation and lack of care.
• The probe will broadly focus on how many cattle died and reasons for it, whether these could have been averted, fix responsibility, and suggest measures for improvement of management of cow shelters.
SC forms panel to look into abortion plea• The Supreme Court on 28th August, 2017 set up a medical board to examine a 20- year-old woman who sought permission to terminate her 24-week pregnancy as the skull of the foetus had not been formed, and the child, if born alive, may not survive.
• Section 3(2)(b) of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act prohibits abortion of a 20-week-old foetus.
Medical fee in Kerala is 11 lakh• The Supreme Court on Monday, in an interim order, allowed self-financing medical colleges in Kerala to charge students 11 lakh as uniform annual fee.
• Besides the base admissions fee of 5 lakh, students have been allowed 15 days’ time to furnish bank guarantees for the balance 6 lakh
Incentives await doctors, staff  for deliveries in Telangana• The launch of KCR kits programme for women and newborns took place from June 2, 2017.
• The Telangana government has proposed the replication of incentives paid to doctors and paramedical staff under the Aarogyasri for the KCR kits too.
• In Aarogyasri, the team of doctors, nurses and paramedics at government hospitals are paid incentives at different rates depending upon the seriousness of illnesses and procedures involved but it was sought to be pegged at a flat 1,500 in KCR kits.
‘Centre ready to provide capital support for merger of PSBs’• The Finance Ministry is open to providing capital support for facilitating consolidation among state owned banks.
• There are now 20 public sector banks (PSBs) other than SBI.
• These state-owned banks are grappling with 6 lakh crore worth of non-performing assets (NPAs) or bad loans, which is about 75% of the total distress.
• Thus the Union Cabinet has approved the setting up of an alternative mechanism, or a panel of ministers, to decide on consolidation proposals for state-run banks.
Bright yellow 200 note hits market today• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will start pumping 200 notes into the system from 25th August, 2017 in a bid to ease cash transactions and make the currency system more efficient.
‘GST may hit natural rubber prices hard’ ‘No clarity on rates for some products’• With lack of demand from micro and small industries due to ambiguity on Goods and Services Tax (GST), prices of natural rubber are likely to decline in the coming months.
• The price has dipped considerably from 143 per kg in April this year to 129-130 per kg.
• This price drop may accentuate in the months of October and November, which is the peak production season.
New mechanism to spur PSB mergers• The Cabinet approved ‘in-principle’ the constitution of an alternative mechanism, likely to be a ministerial group, that will oversee the proposals for mergers among banks.
• As of today, there are 20 public sector banks plus the State Bank of India (SBI).
Privacy is a fundamental right, declares SC
While saying it is intrinsic to life and liberty, the court also said that it is not an absolute right
• A nine-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on 24th August, 2017 declared that privacy is intrinsic to life and liberty and an inherent part of the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution.
• The court held that privacy is a natural right that inheres in human beings because they are human.
• Natural rights like privacy exist equally in all individuals, irrespective of class, strata, gender or orientation.
SC rips apart its 2014 ruling on Section 377• The nine-judge Bench of the Supreme Court on 24th August, 2017 cancelled its own judgment of 2014 upholding Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.
• The 2014 judgment criminalises consensual sexual acts of adults in private.
• In separate judgments, the Constitution Bench concluded that the 2014 verdict by a two-judge Bench of the court pandered to a “majoritarian” view to deny the LGBT community their inherent fundamental rights of life, personal liberty, equality and gender discrimination.
Sisodia proposes new tourism advisory board
Wants Capital to be a tourism hub
• Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of Tourism, Art, Culture and Language Manish Sisodia on 24th August, 2017 proposed the creation of a tourism advisory board for the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
After SC clarification, bars in Bengaluru set to reopen• Pubs and bars that were affected by the ban on sale of liquor on highways, have either opened or are in the process of going back to serving liquor from this week.
• This has been possible with the Supreme Court’s clarification that liquor ban on highways would not apply to municipal areas.
Hiring of govt school teachers put on hold
Move instils hope among guest staff; officials seeking opinion on weightage policy
• 17,000 guest teachers working in Delhi government schools were supposed to be recruited for permanent teaching jobs.
• But it was put on hold by the Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board (DSSSB) on Thursday.
• Previously, on October 6, 2015, the Cabinet had decided to grant guest teachers a relaxation in the age limit and credit for their experience when recruiting for permanent jobs.
• While the age relaxation had been accepted, the decision to give preference to the guest teachers was approved citing certain court orders.
No division of Scheduled Castes, says Paswan• There would be no sub-categorisation among the Scheduled Castes.
• The reservations for Scheduled Castes did not have any economic basis.
• It was essentially a social move.
HC notice to FB, Google on petition against online game• The Delhi High Court on 22nd August, 2017 sought the response of Facebook, Google and Yahoo on a plea to direct them to take down links to Blue Whale Challenge.
• Blue Whale Challenge is an internet-based suicide game that has been allegedly linked to several deaths of children worldwide.
Naveen launches rooftop solar project• Odisha Chief Minister on 25th August, 2017 launched a grid-connected rooftop solar programme through net-metering system at the State Secretariat here.
• The Chief Minister also launched a web portal of the programme created by the Odisha Renewable Energy Development Agency (OREDA) and released a handbook on grid connected rooftop solar projects on the occasion.
• Under the programme, consumers can install small solar plants on their rooftops and consume the generated solar power during daytime. Excess power if any can be exported to the grid at 220V/440V level through their service cables.
Microsoft to help Karnataka farmers• Karnataka Agriculture Department has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Microsoft India to develop a unique “farm price forecasting model.”
• The proposed initiative will examine a slew of related factors including weather, rainfall and external factors that impact market behavior.
A BIT of critique• Justice B.N. Srikrishna committee, constituted to prepare a road map to make India a hub of international arbitration.
Mysore scraps dry law after 20 years• Prohibition, which had been in force for about 20 years in Mysore, is being scrapped throughout the State, with minor exceptions.
• The scrapping of law will be in effect from September 1.
Understanding work
In a timely initiative, a global commission is to look at the changing dynamics of work
• The Global Commission on the Future of Work was established on 21st August, 2017.
• It has a critical role in addressing the decent jobs deficit that affects the lives of roughly three billion working people.
• It has to present a report at the 2019 commemoration of the centenary of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
• Experts will build on recent dialogues in over 100 states on the implications for individuals and societies from the changing dynamics of work, production processes and rapid technological transformation.
• The body includes two representatives from India.
Transport dept. to monitor, track all cabs plying in Capital
Keeping safety of commuters in mind, Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot says government to also create database of cabbies
• A Central Control Room (CCR) will soon be made operational.
• In addition, the Transport Department is in the process of creating a comprehensive database of cab operators.
• The database will have the personal and background information of each driver.
SC: liquor sale ban does not extend to municipal areas• The Supreme Court has declared a nationwide ban on sale of liquor within a distance of 500 meters along National and State Highways on December 15, 2016.
• The court has further clarified that the ban does not extend to municipal areas.
• Also, the order does not prohibit licensed establishments within municipal areas.
• The ban on liquor sale only extends along and in proximity to high ways which provide connectivity between cities, towns and villages.
OBC list to be sub-categorised• The Union Cabinet on 23rd August, 2017 approved a proposal to set up a commission which will examine the issue of sub-categorisation of the Other Backward Classes (OBC).
• The committee has to examine the extent of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation among various castes and communities that come under the Central OBC list.
• The committee also has to work out the mechanism, criteria and parameters for the actual sub-categorisation.
• The third task is bringing order to the Central list of OBCs by removing any repetitions.
• The Cabinet also increased the “creamy layer” ceiling for the Other Backward Classes to 8 lakh per annum from the existing 6 lakh for Central government jobs
• At present, there is a single Central OBC list, with entries from each State.
• People belonging to all these castes can seek reservation from within the single 27% OBC reservation pie for Central government jobs and Central educational institutions.
• Nine States, however, have already sub-categorised OBCs. These are Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Puducherry, Karnataka, Haryana, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.
Govt. seeks to replicate Ujjwala success• The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) was the successful scheme to give free LPG connections to the poorest households in the country.
• Thus the government wants to replicate its success for all the other welfare schemes, especially the ones implemented by the Rural Development Ministry.
Govt. approves plan to deploy more troops on the frontline• The number of soldiers available for active combat with the Army is set to dramatically go up by over 57,000.
• This hike in number comes in the wake of the Union cabinet accepting a slew of military reforms on 30th August, 2017
• The various areas of reform include optimisation of signal establishments, restructuring of repair echelons including base workshops, redeployment of ordnance depots, better utilisation of supply and transport echelons and animal transport units, closure of military farms and Army postal establishments in peace locations, and improving efficiency of the National Cadet Corps (NCC).
North Delhi civic body renames two zones• The name of Civil Lines zone will be changed to Mukherjee Nagar zone, and the newly combined CitySadar Paharganj zone will be renamed Chandni Chowk zone.
SC to deliver verdict on triple talaq today• A five-judge Supreme Court Bench on 22nd August, 2017 will pronounce its judgment on the legality of the Islamic personal law practice of triple talaq.
• The court will decide if the law, which allows a Muslim man to divorce his wife by saying talaq (divorce) thrice, violates the fundamental and human rights of Muslim women.
Kanyashree project in school curriculum KOLKATA • The West Bengal Board of Secondary Education is in the process of including the ‘Kanyashree’ project of the Mamata Banerjee government in the curriculum.
• The inclusion is to let the future generation be aware about the ‘Kanyashree’ project and how it received the UN award.
CM opens campuses of Kashmir university • Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, on 21st August, 2017 inaugurated the Leh and Kargil satellite campuses of the University of Kashmir.
BJP plans ‘Sushasan Yatra’• The government discussed a plan to undertake a “Sushasan Yatra” (good governance march) in the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
• The ‘Sushasan Yatra’ will highlight the 17 welfare and development schemes of the Central government
Haryana property records to go online • The Haryana government on Tuesday said that its revenue department has rolled out a cloud-based centralised online system called ‘Web-HALRIS’.
• The system manages property registration and land records in the State.
Now, passport sans police verification• The physical police verification for getting a passport may soon be dispensed.
• The Centre plans to connect the procedure with the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems Project (CCTNS).
• The CCTNS project aims to connect about 15,398 police stations and 5,000 offices of supervisory police officers across the countr
No, no, no: SC on instant triple talaq• A 3:2 majority judgment was delivered on the matter of triple talaq on 22nd June, 2017.
• The majority set aside instant talaq as a “manifestly arbitrary” practice not protected by Article 25 (freedom of religion) of the Constitution.
• The Supreme Court declares the practice of instant triple talaq as unconstitutional.
• It has sent out a clear message that personal law can no longer be privileged over fundamental rights.
National Issue
Gujarat grapples with swine flu• With 280 deaths and 3,220 reported cases, swine flu has emerged as a major challenge for the Gujarat government.
• To contain the spread of H1N1, Rajkot police commissioner has banned public fairs, which are organised in the festival season in August and September.
• Jamnagar administration has also cancelled permission to fairs.
B.R.D. Hospital saw 296 deaths this month• As many as 296 children died this month at the Baba Raghav Das (B.R.D.) Medical College Hospital.
• In total, there were 1,256 deaths since January this year at the State-run hospital.
Odisha rated as low-growth State• Odisha has been categorised as a low-growth State in the country in the latest NITI Aayog survey.
• The World Bank 2017 Doing Business report ranks India at number 25 for getting electricity connection and it is estimated that getting the connection takes about 46 days.
• It takes an average of 31 days to get electricity connection in Karnataka, 32 days in Gujarat and around 95 days in Odisha.
Rain pounds Mumbai to standstill; no relief in sight• According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Mumbai had recorded 297 mm of rain, highest in a single day since 1997.
• The IMD has predicted heavier to very heavy rainfall for the city over the next 24 to 48 hours.
Under-employment severe in India: NITI• NITI Aayog has said that not unemployment but a “severe under-employment” is the main problem facing the country.
• The Employment Unemployment Surveys (EUS) of the National Sample Survey Office have reported low and stable rates of unemployment over more than three decades.
• The ‘Make in India’ campaign needs to succeed by manufacturing for global market.
Around 100 passengers injured as Kaifiyat Express derails in U.P.• Ten coaches of Delhi-bound Kaifiyat Express derailed in Auraiya district of Uttar Pradesh.
• The incident left around 100 passengers injured.
• This is the second case of train derailment in the last five days.
Diversity in Delhi Police
Reality is far from the affirmative policies that are on paper
• The country has strength of 76,348 personnel, as of January 2016.
• Delhi Police is one of the largest metropolitan police forces in the world.
• As it is responsible for a diverse population of 1.68 crore (2011 census), it too needs to be diverse, inclusive, and sensitive to the people it serves.
• But comparatively, there are only 7,004 women in Delhi Police out of 76,348, which is less than 10%.
Huge haul of painting brushes made of mongoose hair• The West Bengal Forest Department has seized 32,985 mongoose-hair painting brushes from Kolkata’s Burrabazar area.
• It is said to be the country’s largest seizure.
• Mongoose is a protected species under Schedule II and part II of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
• Any trade of its body parts involves similar punishment as is laid down for tigers and rhinoceroses.
Science and Tech
China to relaunch one of world’s fastest bullet trains• China is set again to unveil world’s fastest bullet train.
• The train will make the 1,250-km journey from the Beijing to Shanghai in just 4 hours, 30 minutes.
• China has laid more than 20,000 km of high-speed rail, with a target of adding another 10,000 km by 2020.
IRNSS-1H set for launch on Thursday• The country’s eighth regional navigation satellite gets lined up for launch on 30th August, 2017.
• The next satellite, IRNSS-1I, is planned as a ground spare, to be launched in an emergency, and is expected to be ready in the first quarter of 2018.
ISRO opens up satellite making to industry• The Indian Space Research Organisation has opened the door to domestic entities that can give it up to 18 spacecraft a year starting mid to late 2018.
• ISAC would sign a three-year contract with the finalists, train, handhold and supervise their teams in making its range of satellites at its facility.
• The Indian Space Research Organisation currently makes four categories of spacecraft — communication, remote sensing, navigation and scientific missions — and in three sizes of 1,000 kg to 4,000 kg.
International Issue
Britain to look into spousal visa concerns• The British Home Office has said it will look at arrangements for spousal visas.
• This concern has come up in the light of argument which says that the terms of the visa leave the partner not only dependent on the British partner for five years after arriving in the U.K. but enables the British spouse to cancel the non-EU spouse’s visa.
The threat of nuclear war• North Korea on 29th August, 2017 launched its 22nd missile, the most it has fired since it started building its own projectiles in 1984.
• It was an intermediate-range ballistic missile called the Hwasong-12, which flew over the Japanese island of Hokkaido and splashed into the Pacific.
BRICS off the wall• BRICS now faces its most challenging summit because of growing differences between its two biggest members, India and China.
• As Prime Minister Narendra Modi prepares to travel to Xiamen for the September 3-5th, 2017 summit, it is important to see how the bilateral relationship and several other changes in geopolitics are now going to change the course of the BRICS engagement as well.
N. Korea fires ballistic missile over Japan• Nuclear-armed North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan on 29th August, 2017.
• This triggered a global alarm and a furious response from the government in Tokyo.
• The last time a North Korean rocket overflew Japan was in 2009.
Doklam stalemate may continue, say officials• The stalemate at Doklam is likely to continue till the BRICS summit i.e. first half of September.
• China is hosting the 9th BRICS Summit from August 31 to September 4.
Troubles of Separation
Why the U.K.’s exit from the EU Customs Union is tricky
• The EU Customs Union is an association of countries and territories in Europe that applies uniform tariffs to imports and thus acts as a single trade area with no internal border checks.
• It accounts for approximately 16% of world trade.
• Customs Union member states cannot enter into independent trade deals with third parties.
New Qatar law protects domestic workers• Qatar has approved a law limiting domestic staff to a maximum of 10 hours’ work a day.
• The legislation was issued on Tuesday by Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.
• The “Domestic Employment Law” also orders employers to pay staff wages at the end of each month and entitles workers to at least one day off per week and an annual leave of three weeks.
• They will also receive end-of-service benefits equating to a minimum of three weeks’ wages for each year of service when their contract ends.
• The law prohibits staff being recruited from abroad who are older than 60 and younger than 18.
China agrees to tackle trade imbalance• China has agreed to send a high-level official team by December-end to address the issue of growing trade imbalance with India.
• Reports says that China is keen to ensure that trade with India is not adversely affected by the prevailing military tension.
• In case of a ‘trade war,’ China will have much to lose with its goods exports to India in 2016-17 valued at a whopping $61.3 billion against India’s shipments worth just $10.2 billion to that country.
Anti-dumping duty:
• Antidumping duty is in force on 93 products concerning imports from China, covering products in broad groups of chemicals and petrochemicals, products of steel and other metals, fibres and yarn, machinery items, rubber or plastic products, electric and electronic items and consumer goods.
Qatar restores diplomatic relations with Iran• Qatar restores diplomatic relations with Iran DUBAI Qatar restored full diplomatic relations with Iran early on 24th August, 2017 and promised to send its ambassador back to Tehran.
China slams India over road-building in Ladakh• India was building a road between Marsimik La and Hot Spring.
• The area is not far from the Pangong lake in Ladakh, where there was an unarmed clash between Indian and Chinese troops.
• China criticizes India for apparently building a new road in the Ladakh sector.
The threat of nuclear war• North Korea on 29th August, 2017 launched its 22nd missile, the most it has fired since it started building its own projectiles in 1984.
• It was an intermediate-range ballistic missile called the Hwasong-12, which flew over the Japanese island of Hokkaido and splashed into the Pacific.
Environmental Issue
Bihar flood toll 482; five more die in UP• As many as 42 deaths in flood related incidents were reported from Bihar in the last 24 hours, taking the toll to 482, whereas five persons lost their lives in Uttar Pradesh, pushing the flood toll in that State to 101.
• As many as 1.71 crore people in 19 districts of Bihar were still affected by the flood.
Bad news for Telangana’s big cats
Fewer eco-bridges in the Bejjur forest range will hamper movement of tigers
• The National Board for Wildlife has approved the construction of 18 ecobridges.
• The ecobridges will be constructed across Pranahita canal in the Bejjur forests of Kumram Bheem Asifabad district.
• But eventually the forest department has sought a reduction in the number of bridges.
Ocean forecasting system unveiled• The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) of the Ministry of Earth Sciences inaugurated the Ocean Forecasting System for Comoros, Madagascar, and Mozambique.
• The ocean forecast and early warming information on high wave, currents, winds, tides, sub-surface ocean conditions cater to users like fishermen, coastal population, tourism sector, coastal defence officials, marine police, port authorities, research institutions and offshore industries of these countries.
• Thus, the Ocean Forecast System developed for the Indian Ocean countries and the real-time data from their territories also help to improve the ocean forecast and early warning system for Indian coast too.
Geological stresses seen in Indian Ocean• The fifth national conference of the Ocean Society of India (OSI) was held on 28th August, 2017.
• Leading geophysicist says that Geological stresses building along the Indo-Australian tectonic plate boundary in the Southern Indian Ocean have the potential to cause a powerful earthquake, triggering a tsunami across much of South India.
2,000-year-old Roman tombs found in Egypt• Archaeologists discovered five tombs dating back to about 2,000 years ago when the Romans were ruling Egypt.
• The tombs, made of mudbricks, were excavated at the Dakhla Oasis of Egypt. Some of the tombs are quite large containing multiple burial chambers.
N. Bhupathi, a frog with the face of a pig Close cousin of Seychelles’ Purple frog, it strengthens the theory of continental drift• Indian scientists have discovered a new species of frog that has a snout-shaped nose, just like a pig’s.
• The new discovery is named Nasikabatrachus bhupathi.
Defence Related Issues
Navy to get advanced choppers• The Indian Navy is looking to add to its fleet helicopters for ‘Special Operations’.
Navy gets amphibious landing craft• The second Landing Craft Utility L52 of Mk-IV class was commissioned at Port Blair 21st August, 2017.
• This is an amphibious ship to transport combat equipment and troops of the Navy.
ITI targets 7,000-crore Army project
Deal involves providing and maintaining communication equipment, network over a 13-year period
• State-owned ITI is hoping to secure a 7,000-crore contract from the Indian army for providing and maintaining its strategic communications network over a 13-year period.
• It is a 13-year-long project.
• The project includes civil works for providing the complete infrastructure required at various stations in addition to supply, installation, commissioning and maintenance of telecom equipment, satcom equipment, optical fibre cables, and equipment.
Army seeks funds to buy munition• The Army has sought 20,000 crore from the Defence Ministry.
• The financial help is required to build up emergency reserves of spares and ammunition.
• In a report to Parliament, the Comptroller and AuditorGeneral (CAG) found deficiencies in the Army’s War Wastage Reserves to fight an intense war
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