21.08.18 APSC (Assam) Current Affairs



  • UN concern over spurt in human trafficking cases



  • Illegal migration from Bangladesh to India is now a well established fact, but incidents of human trafficking, particularly trafficking of children from Bangladesh to India and vice versa has become a major cause of concern. The United Nations office of Drugs and Crime has also expressed serious concern over the issue. The UN office , in a report, has also laid down a standard operating procedure for the stakeholders to deal with the menace.


  • The report said that the crime of trafficking in persons (TIP) is clandestine, complex and globally very challenging. It is controlled by highly organized transnational and transcontinental criminal networks and is a $150-$200 billion industry. In South Asia alone, it is estimated that the industry profits $52 billion annually and is often referred to as one of the fastest growing transnational organized crimes. This is not surprising as the region comprises vast countries with high levels of socio-economic inequalities, large populations and intense internal migratory flows.


  • A large number of Indian and Bangladeshi citizens attempt to cross over to either territory in search of better life, employment opportunities and medical treatment. This in turn, makes it extremely difficult for the first responders, that are the border guarding to identify/distinguish between an undocumented migrant and a victim of trafficking. Additionally, trafficking in persons may also take place through the ‘border haats’.





·        India and Thailand concludes Maitree Military Exercise


  • A two-week long platoon level military exercise called ‘Exercise Maitree 2018’ concluded at Jammu & Kashmir Srinagar.
  • The main aim of the military exercise is to strengthen the partnership between armies of the two countries.


  • The exercise began with a cross training period involving familiarization training between two armies to evolve drills and procedures involved in counter insurgency & counter terrorist operations in urban, rural and jungle terrain under UN mandate.


·        Helium steps into 150th year since its discovery

  • Helium(He), with atomic number 2, was discovered on 18th August 1868 by French astronomer Jules Janssen along with Norman Lockyer. The first evidence was discovered while the astronomers during a total solar eclipse in Guntur, India. It was initially named as D3 as it resembled D1 and D2 Fraunhofer line lines of sodium. Later on March 26, 1895, the Scottish chemist Sir William Ramsay isolated helium on Earth.
  • Helium is the key to astrophysics. Liquid helium is used in cryogenics and  MRI scanners. It is also used in pressurizing and purge gas, as a protective atmosphere for arc welding and in processes such as growing crystals to make silicon wafers. In common it is used as a lifting gas in balloons and airships.





·         India banned petroleum coke import for use as fuel


  • Among polluting fuels, petroleum coke (Petcoke) remains one of the most polluting ones as it emits 11% more greenhouse gas compared to coal.
  • India is the world’s biggest consumer of Petcoke. Industries use pet coal because it’s much cheaper than coal and is easier to handle as fuel.
  • Import of Petcoke is allowed for only cement, lime kiln, calcium carbide and gasification industries, when used as the feedstock or in the manufacturing process on actual user condition.
  • This is in an effort to tackle India’s severe air pollution.



·        India is building AMCA, a new fifth generation fighter jet


  • Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft(AMCA), India’s only fifth-generation fighter aircraft, will make its first flight in 2032. The AMCA will fly with two GE-414 engines. It is being designed in a way that it can deflect away maximum radar waves and thus minimize its radar cross-section. It can also absorb the radio waves thereby reducing the radar footprint.
  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) has given land and provisions to the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) to set up facilities for this project. IAF plans to produce a medium fifth-generation fighter aircraft based on the capabilities and expertise developed during the development of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA). This aircraft programme is after the decision by IAF not to go ahead with the fifth-generation project with Russia.




·        Bajrang Punia won gold in the Asian Games 2018


  • Bajrang Puniawon gold in the final of the 65kg freestyle wrestling competition at the Asian Games 2018. He defeated Japan’s Daichi Takatani with a scoreline of 11-8. He became the winner of India’s 140th Asiad gold. Punia is the sole torch-bearer of Indian wrestling.


  • General Suhag awarded US ‘Legion of Merit’


  • The United States government has awarded the Legion of Merit (Degree of Commander) to General Dalbir Singh Suhag (Retired), of the Indian Army, for exceptionally meritorious service as chief of the Army staff, Indian Army.


  • The award was presented to General Suhag on August 17, 2018, at Pentagon, Washington DC.


  • The Legion of Merit to General Dalbir Singh was announced by the US Government in March 2016.


·        Novak Djokovic Won Western And Southern Open 2018


  • He became the first men’s tennis player in history to win all nine Masters 1,000 tournaments after finishing as the runner-up in Cincinnati five different times.
  • He won Wimbledon Title before the Australian Open, Mercedes Cup and ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament.




·        HAL becomes first public sector enterprise to transact on TReDS


  • Hindustan AeronauticsLimited (HAL) has become the first public sector enterprise to make a transaction on the “TReDS platform“, which is an online electronic institutional mechanism for facilitating the financing of trade receivables of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) through multiple financiers.
  • TReDS refers to Trade Receivables Discounting S
  • During October 2017, the central government mandated all major PSUs to join TReDS platform to facilitate payments to MSME vendors.
  • RXIL (Receivables Exchange of India)is India’s first TReDS platform operating since January 2017 and is promoted by the National Stock Exchange, Small Industries Development Bank of India, State Bank of India, ICICI Bank and Yes Bank.


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