Current Affairs- 12th August

Science and Technology

DRDO tests Nirbhay missile, indigenous engine a success

DRDO tests Nirbhay missile, indigenous engine a success
  • After the October 2020 failed test, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Wednesday fired the 1,000-km range Nirbhay cruise missile from Chandipur testing facility in Odisha. The sub-sonic cruise missile was fired at 9:55am and was tested for 100 km in flight and 15 minutes in time.
  • The firing was a partial success. According to DRDO sources, the indigenous engine was successfully tested but the delivery platform came down due to inexplicable reasons. “Maybe a snag in the controller, but the engine worked well. Next test firing will be done in mission mode before user trial for air force and navy,” said an official.

National

Niti Aayog releases handbook for EV charging infra implementation

Niti Aayog releases handbook for EV charging infra implementation
  • NITI Aayog has released a handbook to guide state governments and local bodies to frame policies and norms towards setting up charging networks for electric vehicles. The objective is to enhance charging infrastructure and facilitate a rapid transition to electric mobility in the country. The Handbook for Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Implementation has been jointly developed by NITI Aayog, Ministry of Power, Department of Science and Technology, Bureau of Energy Efficiency, and World Resources Institute India.
  • The Handbook provides a systematic and a holistic approach for adoptions by implementing authorities and other stakeholders involved in planning, authorisation and execution of electric vehicles charging infrastructure.

Kamlesh Kumar Pant appointed as new NPPA chairman

Kamlesh Kumar Pant appointed as new NPPA chairman
  • The Appointments Committee of the Union Cabinet appointed Kamlesh Kumar Pant, a 1993-batch IAS officer of Himachal Pradesh cadre as the new chairman of National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), under a senior-level bureaucratic reshuffle effected on Wednesday.
  • The apex pharmaceutical pricing body is currently being headed by senior bureaucrat Shubhra Singh, appointed in 2018. Singh replaced by Pant, has been repatriated to her cadre state Rajasthan, as per the order of Department of Personnel and Training.

International

China firmly rejects US approval of Taiwan related bill

China firmly rejects US approval of Taiwan related bill
  • China has rejected the US Senate’s approval of a bill to help Taiwan regain WHO observer status. On August 6, the US Senate passed a bill to “direct the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to regain observer status for Taiwan in the World Health Organization”. Chinese FM Spokesperson Hua Chunying said on Thursday that it is totally a political manipulation by some anti-China politicians. China deplores & firmly rejects the move, and has lodged solemn representations with the US side, she said.
  • China urges the US to fully recognize the highly sensitive nature of the Taiwan question, abide by the one-China principle & the three China-US joint communiqués, stop helping the Taiwan region expand ” international space” and sending any wrong signals to “Taiwan independence” forces, Hua said.

China’s latest 5-year (2021-25) plan continues its tough policy towards private businesses

China’s latest 5-year (2021-25) plan continues its tough policy towards private businesses
  • China has unveiled its 2021-2025 five-year plan outlining tighter regulatory measures for private companies. The blueprint which outlines regulation of much of its economy says new rules will be introduced covering areas including national security, technology and monopolies in the world’s second largest economy.
  • The plan was released jointly on Wednesday by China’s State Council and the Communist Party’s Central Committee. The plan comes soon after Beijing started targeting the technology and education industries.
  • It said laws will be strengthened for “important fields” such as science and technological innovation, culture and education, monopolies and “foreign-related rule of law”. Regulations relating to China’s digital economy, including “internet finance, artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing etc.” will also be reviewed.

Sports

Durand Cup returns after Covid-19 break, Kolkata to host 16 teams in September

Durand Cup returns after Covid-19 break, Kolkata to host 16 teams in September
  • 130th Edition of Durand Cup Football Tournament is scheduled to be held at Kolkata from 5th of September to 3rd of October this year.
  • Defence Ministry has said that sixteen teams from across the country, including four from the Services will participate in the tournament.
  • Durand Cup is the world’s third oldest and Asia’s oldest football tournament.
  • It is named after Mortimer Durand, who was then the Foreign Secretary in- Charge of India. The tournament was a conscious way to initially maintain health and fitness amongst the British troops, but was later opened to civilians. Currently, it is one of the leading sports event in the world

Awards and Honours

Home Minister's medal for Excellence in Investigation-2021 awarded to 152 policemen

  • The Union Home Minister’s Medal for Excellence in Investigation for the year 2021 have been awarded to 152 Police personnel .This medal was constituted in 2018.The objective is to promote high professional standards of investigation of crime and to recognize such Excellence in Investigation by investigating officers.
  • Among the personnel receiving these awards, 15 are from CBI, eleven each from Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra Police. These include also twenty eight women Police officials.

Govt announces Prime Minister’s Shram Awards for year 2018

Govt announces Prime Minister’s Shram Awards for year 2018
  • Government today announced the Prime Minister’s Shram Awards for the year 2018.
  • These awards are to be given to 69 workers employed in the Departmental Undertakings and Public Sector Undertakings of the Central and State Governments and Private Sector Units employing 500 or more workers.
  • These awards are in recognition of their distinguished performance, innovative abilities, outstanding contribution in the field of productivity and exhibition of exceptional courage and presence of mind.

Days and Dates

International Youth Day: 12th August

International Youth Day: 12th August
  • Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya today launched the first phase of the awareness campaign for HIV, TB and Blood Donation on the occasion of International Youth Day. He virtually engaged with more than one lakh students from government schools and colleges as part of the nationwide celebration of Bharat Ka Amrut Mahotsav to mark the 75th year of India’s Independence. Three survivors and warriors who were earlier affected by HIV, Tuberculosis and Thalassemia shared how the schemes of Government of India have helped and supported them in their fight against these diseases.
  • This year’s theme is “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health.

World Elephant Day: 12th August

World Elephant Day: 12th August
  • Environment, Forest and Climate Change minister Bhupender Yadav today said, all India Elephant and Tiger population estimation exercise to be done in convergence for the first time next year. Mr. Yadav released the population estimation protocol today. This protocol will be adopted in the exercise, which will be taken up for All India elephant and tiger population estimation in 2022.
  • He expressed happiness that the ministry for the first time is converging both elephant and tiger population estimation and the protocol is released today on the occasion of World Elephant Day.
  • This theme for this year’s World Elephant Day has not been announced, however, last year it was ‘Haathi Hamara Saathi.’

Other Important Affairs

  • The Tamil Nadu Government is in consultation with Germany to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to procure 2,500 buses for public transport.
  • The Uttar Pradesh government has renamed a landmark freedom movement event as Kakori Train Action while paying tributes to the revolutionaries who were hanged for robbing a train at Kakori to buy weapons in 1925.
  • Assam’s Kaziranga National Park (KNP) has become the first national park in India to be equipped with satellite phones.
  • In a major breakthrough, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has built one of the world’s highest mobile air traffic control (ATC) towers at the Advanced Landing Ground in Ladakh’s Nyoma area.
  • US President Joe Biden will convene a virtual “Summit for Democracy” on December 9 and 10, the White House says.
  • Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur appealed to the public to participate in FIT India Freedom Run 2.0 to commemorate the 75th Independence Day – Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. With the concept Run Anywhere – Anytime, the public can participate in physical or virtual run to get freedom from obesity, laziness, stress, anxiety and diseases. “Fit India Freedom Run, being organized from 13th August to 2nd October this year.