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Crewed SpaceX mission is to take place by June next year

NASA has announced the first crewed flight by a SpaceX rocket to the International Space Station (ISS). It is expected to take place in the month of June 2019. It will be the first manned U.S. launch to the orbiting research laboratory since the space shuttle program was retired in 2011, forcing U.S. astronauts to hitch costly rides aboard Russian Soyuz spacecraft. A flight on Boeing spacecraft is set to follow in August 2019. Both missions are considered tests: the two astronauts transported in each flight will spend two weeks aboard the orbiting ISS before returning to the earth. Later missions could last about six months.

Centre appointed Rakesh Sharma as head of IDBI Bank

The Centre has appointed Rakesh Sharma, former Canara Bank MD, as head of IDBI Bank. He has been appointed as MD for a period of six months. The tenure of B.Sriram, who was appointed as chief executive of IDBI Bank for three months, ended in September 2018. IDBI Bank: Type: Public Sector Bank Industry: Banking, Financial services Owner: Government of India Founded: 1 July 1964 Headquarters: Mumbai, India Key people: Mr.Rakesh Sharma

NITI Aayog approved APL project on cooking stove fuelled with methanol

Ritu Bordoloi of Namrup, Assam became India’s first owner and user of a cooking stove fuelled by methanol. This success is a part of a pilot project by the Namrup-based Assam Petrochemicals Limited (APL). In the project, APL handed over a stove with two 1.2-litre canisters of methanol to 500 people. Among them, Ms.Bordoloi, a 50-year-old homemaker, successfully cooked in a stove fuelled by Methanol. APL is India’s first public sector producer of methanol and formalin from natural gas as the feedstock. Considering the 30 years of experience of APL and the success in the cooking stove project, NITI Aayog approved the project. In Africa, around 5.5 lakh people and 8 million in China use methanol as cooking fuel. But India is the first country where the focus is on replacing LPG.

EC waits for the approval of Law ministry for its ad format

The Election Commission (EC) asked the Law Ministry, the nodal agency of EC, to verify the format of an advertisement that EC wants the polling candidates to issue to publicise cases lodged against them. The Supreme Court had recently said that candidates contesting polls should repeatedly advertise their criminal antecedents in print and electronic media after filing nomination papers so that people can make an informed decision. As asked, the Legislative Department in the Law Ministry will go through the format and approve the ad format of EC.

CDV is responsible for the death of Gir lions said ICMR

The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) confirmed that the reason for the death of lions, that happened in between the month of September and October 2018, in the Gir forest of Gujarat is the Canine Distemper Virus (CDV). It also recommended that the remaining Gir lions should be vaccinated to prevent further outbreaks. The wildlife biologists are against the lions being vaccinated. The Pune-based ICMR-NIV compared the available CDV sequences with the East African strains and found that the genetic sequence of the virus is related. Thus it made sure that CDV is responsible for the death of the Gir lions.

Tribal and dalit literary study centre established at Sri Krishnadevaraya University, Karnataka

Upon the approval of University’s Academic Council (AC), Ramanika Gupta Centre for Tribal and Dalit Literary Studies and Development has been established at the Vijayanagara Sri Krishnadevaraya University in Ballari, Karnataka. The Ramanika Trust donated Rs.5 lakh for the purpose. The interest accrued will be used for organising endowment lectures and literary competitions for students belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) communities. It also specified that eminent scholars are to be invited to deliver lectures on issues of tribals and Dalits, and cash awards should be given to winners, who should be tribals or Dalits, of literary competitions.

Karnataka is to organise the annual Organics and Millets International Trade Fair

The Karnataka State Department of Agriculture is set to organise the annual Organics and Millets International Trade Fair in Bengaluru from January 18 to 20. The theme for this event is ‘K-Source, celebrating the State of Karnataka as the source for Next Gen Smart Foods’. The International Competence Centre for Organic Agriculture (ICCOA) will be the knowledge partner for the event. The event is mainly conducted for farmers, buyers, sellers and exporters of organic produce and millets. It is expected that around 250 exhibitors will participate. The exhibition occupies a space of 10,000 square metres, including stalls from other States, countries, Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) and several farmer federations from Karnataka.

Indian Railway to withdraw DEMU service in Kerala

The Indian Railway is set to withdraw Kerala’s first Diesel Electrical Mainline Unit (DEMU) train service. This was introduced 10 days ago between Ernakulam Junction and Harbour Terminus on Willingdon Island. The IR cited very poor patronage as the reason. It also said that less than 15 people are travelling in the three-coach train during each trip in the 8-km corridor and the operational expenditure per day is over Rs. 35,000 whereas the daily income is around Rs.500. Mr.Sinha, Thiruvananthapuram Divisional Railway Manager, said a steam engine rake would be introduced between Harbour Terminus and Ernakulam Junction.

India and Russia signed S 400 missile deal after summit

On October 5, 2018, India and Russia after the annual summit concluded the contract for five S-400 ‘Triumf’ missile systems. The deal is one of the biggest defence deals in recent times. India Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin participated in the summit. The announcement of the deal was made in a joint statement issued by both sides. The sides welcomed the conclusion of the contract for the supply of the S-400 long-range surface to air missile to India. It is expected that the deliveries of S-400 will begin in 24 months, at the end of 2020. The agreement for the estimated $5.43 billion (Rs.40,300 crores) S-400 system was not referred to by either leader. India would pay about 15% in advance, likely through the rupee-rouble mechanism both countries use for trade in their own currencies.

IRDAI gave final approval to Reliance Health Insurance to start operations

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) approved Reliance Health Insurance, a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Capital, to begin operations. It will commence operations by December 2018.

Coast Guards Of India, Vietnam Hold Joint Exercise Sahyog HOP TAC-2018

A Vietnam Coast Guard ship, on its maiden visit to Chennai, undertook joint exercises with the Indian Coast Guard ‘Sahyog HOP TAC-2018’, off the city coast aimed at strengthening the working level relationship between them. Coast Guard ships Shaurya, Arnvesh and interceptor boat C-431 along with a Dornier aircraft and Chetak helicopter participated in the joint exercise.

JNU created a special centre for e learning

The Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi created a special centre for e-learning. It aims to offer a certificate, skill development and degree programmes in an online format in different subjects keeping in mind the need for online education. The Academic Council (AC) said that the School of Sanskrit and Indic Studies will have three online courses: ♦ MA in Sanskrit ♦ Certificate of Proficiency in Computational Linguistics ♦ Certificate Proficiency in Pali

India Chem 2018 Conference Begins In Mumbai

India Chem 2018, the 10th Biennial International Exhibition & Conference began in Mumbai. The largest event of Chemicals and Petrochemical Industry in India is a two-day event.

Aung San Suu Kyi, first Person To Lose Honorary Canadian Citizenship

Aung San Suu Kyi became the first person to be stripped of the honorary Canadian citizenship for her role in gross human rights violations against the Rohingya people. The Canadian Senate formally revoked the symbolic honour that was bestowed on Suu Kyi in 2007.

GI Tag For Alphonso Mango From Konkan

Alphonso Mango from Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg and other adjoining areas in Maharashtra, finally gets a Geographical Indication (GI) Tag. A Geographical Indication or a GI is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. Darjeeling Tea, Mahabaleshwar Strawberry, Blue Pottery of Jaipur, Banarasi Sarees and Tirupati Laddus are some of the GIs.



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