- Indo-Bhutan border along Assam to be laser-mapped
- In a significant and strategic move, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has given the go-ahead for a laser-based aerial mapping of the 267-km stretch of the Indo-Bhutan border along Assam, which could aid security agencies to pinpoint militant hideouts through remote sensing.
- The adverse Indo-Bhutan terrain has, over the last few years, been a major den for insurgent groups, especially the banned National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Songbijit). Top leaders of the insurgent group, including the elusive most-wanted militant G Bidai, are also believed to be hiding somewhere along the Indo-Bhutan border.
- Widely known as Lidar (light detection and ranging) survey, the highly critical and ambitious project would see mapping experts using light in the form of pulsed laser to measure ranges of variables from the ground and detect surface characteristics.
- The idea behind opting for the survey is also to penetrate through the uninhabited thick forest and uneven terrain so as to enable linkage of border guarding forces and prevent crime along the Indo-Bhutan border, which is manned by the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).
- The laser-based aerial mapping to be executed by the State home department will be funded by the Border Management Department of the MHA.
- Although the Centre’s long-term plan is to survey the entire 699-km Indo-Bhutan border, also passing along Arunachal Pradesh (217 km), West Bengal (183 km) and Sikkim (32 km), the laser-mapping would begin from Assam.
· European Union announced Euro 190,000 to flood hit Kerala
- The European Unionannounced an offer of €190,000(Rs.1.53 crore) in aid funding to the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS). It is to provide immediate relief to flood-affected people in Kerala. The announcement was made by the office of the grouping that comprised 28 European countries. The funding is part of the EU’s overall contribution to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
- It is said the aid will directly benefit 25,000 people from some of the worst hit areas of the state, adding a humanitarian expert from the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Operations (ECHO) has also been deployed to assess the situation in the state. As outbreaks of vector-borne diseases such as dengue, chikungunya and malaria are common following the flood, disease prevention and hygiene promotion activities are also being conducted. The mosquito nets are being provided.
· European wind survey satellite Aeolus launched from French Guiana
- This satellite will be put into orbit at an altitude of 320 kilometers (200 miles) above the Earth which will track global winds, allowing for improved weather forecasting.
- Aeolus is equipped with a single instrument: a Doppler wind lidar — an advanced laser system designed to accurately measure global wind patterns from space.
- Aeolus is the fifth of the ESA’s planned Earth Explorer missions.
- President inaugurates “International Buddhist Conclave 2018”
- The President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the “International Buddhist Conclave (IBC), 2018”.
- The 4 days long Conclave has been organized by the Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with the State Governments of Maharashtra, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh from 23rd – 26th August, 2018 at New Delhi and Ajanta (Maharashtra), followed by site visits to Rajgir, Nalanda and Bodhgaya (Bihar) and Sarnath (Uttar Pradesh).
- The Ministerial level delegation from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka are participating in the conclave.
- NITI Aayog launches 5 Thematic Reports on Sustainable Development in Indian Himalayan Region
- Recognizing the uniqueness of the Himalayas and the challenges for sustainable development, NITI Aayog had set up 5 Working Groups (WGs) in June 2017 to prepare a roadmap for actions in 5 thematic areas.
- The themes include: Inventory and Revival of Springs in Himalayas for Water Security, Sustainable Tourism in Indian Himalayan Region, Transformative Approach to Shifting Cultivation, Strengthening Skill & Entrepreneurship Landscape in Himalayas and Data/Information for Informed Decision Making.
- The reports lists challenges in all 5 thematic areas. Nearly 30% of springs crucial to water security of people are drying and 50% have reported reduced discharge.
- Himalayan Tourism growing annually at 6.8% has crated huge challenge related to solid waste, water, traffic, loss of bio-cultural diversity etc.
· Government allowed Oxytocin sale through all private chemists
- TheHealth Ministry has lifted the ban and allowed all private retail stores to sell Oxytocin, life-saving hormone, from 1st September. It has already banned the import of oxytocin and its formulation.
- Earlier, the Ministry said that the sale of Oxytocin through private retail chemists will be banned from 1st July and the State-owned Karnataka Antibiotics Pvt. Ltd.(KAPL) will be the only company to manufacture and distribute oxytocin. It would be sold only in government hospitals and clinics.
- Oxytocinhas been misused in the dairy industry where livestock is injected with oxytocin to make them release milk at a time convenient to farmers. The hormone is also used to increase the size of vegetables such as pumpkins, watermelons, brinjals, gourds and cucumbers.
- Oxytocin is a naturally occurring hormonethat causes uterine contractions during labour and helps new mothers lactat
· Reliance becomes 1st Indian company to hit 8 trillion market cap
- Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries(RIL) became the first Indian company to hit ₹8 trillion or ₹8 lakh crore in market capitalisation.
- This comes after Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) data showed that Reliance Jio continued to add more subscribers. RJio added 9.71 million users in June, taking its subscriber base above 215 million.
- The Market capitalisation (m-cap) of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) stood at ₹7.79-lakh crore.
· INS Vikramaditya to have marine hydraulic systems for the first time
- For the first time, India’s only aircraft carrier INS Vikramadityawill be fitted with a marine hydraulic system to boost the air operations of the ship.
- Technodinamika, a subsidiary of Russia’s Rostec State Corporation, will install the system in the Indian Navy ship by May 2019.
- The INS Vikramaditya worth $2.3 billion, came to India from Russia in January 2014.
- INS Vikramaditya is 284 metres long and 60 metres high — that’s about as high as a 20-storeyed building. The ship weighs 40,000 tonnesand is the biggest and heaviest ship in the Indian Navy.
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