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  • Current Affairs 11th January 2018

    Updated : 11-Jan-2018
    Current Affairs 11th January 2018

    Current Affairs 11th January 2018 - Important Points

    • Who has been appointed as new chairman of ISRO?- Rocket expert K. Sivan
    • MoU between India and Canada for cooperation in field of S&T approved by - Union Cabinet
    • 2017 deadline for Kala Azar elimination missed by - India
    • Harjinder Singh appointed as Chef de Mission for 23rd Winter Olympic Games on - 10th January 2018
    •  Virtual ID, limited KYC to address privacy concerns introduced by - UIDAI
    •  Free education for girls up to PG level recommended by - CABE sub-committee
    • India begins countdown to launch 31 satellites stated by ISRO on - 11th January 2018

    Current Affairs 11th January 2018 - Details

    Who has been appointed as new chairman of ISRO?- Rocket expert K. Sivan

    The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has chosen rocket scientist K. Sivan as forthcoming  Secretary of the Department of Space and Chairman of Space Commission and ISRO. He will succeed A.S. Kiran Kumar and will have term period of 3 years.
    More about K. Sivan

    • He is a graduate in aeronautical engineering from Institute of Technology- Madras, ME from Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru. He obtained his doctorate in aerospace engineering from IIT Bombay.
    • He had been connected with ISRO since 1982 in then young PSLV project and has been served as project director of the GSLV rocket. presently he is Director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre and was assigned in June 2015.
    • He also had played crucial role in developing indigenous Geosynchronous Satellite Launching Vehicle MKII and was part of group that ideated on a reusable launch vehicle that in known as Swadeshi space shuttle.
    • It was K.Sivan’s skilfulness that gave ISRO the capability to release 104 satellites in a single mission, mounting a world record in February past year. He was the crucial person who worked on the  technicalities of placing the satellites into an orbit.

    MoU between India and Canada for cooperation in field of S&T approved by - Union Cabinet

    The Union Cabinet Sanctioned Memorandum of Understanding with Canada for cooperation in field of Science &Technology. The MoU was finalised by Department of Science and Technology with Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council- NSERC of Canada.
    Key Points

    • The MoU will provide process and assistance to foster scientific cooperation between Research & Development and educational institutions of India and Canada. In it, an unconventional model of R&D cooperation between India and Canada will be executed.
    • In this Memorandum of Understanding, India-Canada Centre for Innovative Multidisciplinary
      Partnership to Accelerate Community Transformation and Sustainability initiative will be supported to assist multi-disciplinary research partnerships between both the nations.
    • The R&D projects will be focused at speeding up social transformation by delivering solutions through application of S&T. The members will include researchers from scientific companies, academia and R&D laboratories from India and Canada.
    • Recognised areas of mutual cooperation under the MoU comprise secure and sustainable infrastructure and homogenous water management.
    • This will assist to develop institutional networking and support establishment of connections between scientific companies, scientists and specialists of both the nations.

    2017 deadline for Kala Azar elimination missed by - India

    India has failed to reach to a deadline of December 2017 declared for complete removal of Kala Azar -
    black fever in 2017-18 Budget by the Union Government. Removal in this case is defined as decreasing
    annual incidence of disease to less than one case per 10,000 people at the sub-district level.
    Increased Endemic blocks

    • In past time endemic blocks have grown from 61 to 68 in seventeen districts of Bihar and Jharkhand.
    • The fresh case findings rather than actual rise in disease are main factors for growing in number of endemic blocks. Moreover, very less known skin condition known as Post Kala Azar Dermal Leishmaniasis also has been increasing steadily over the last few years.
      Reasons behind missing deadline
    • For removal of Kala Azar, its vector requires to be removed first. But it is very difficult to remove vector as it dwells in wooden structure and escapes different actions to kill it. The majority of homes in endemic blocks are made up of wood. Hence, to end infection transmission, concrete houses need to be constructed.
      More about Kala Azar
    • Kala-azar, also known as black fever is most serious form of leishmaniasis. It is slow growing indigenous disease caused by single cell parasite of Leishmania family. It is related to Neglected Tropical Disease family of diseases which affect below poverty line population.
    • Its infection is transmitted by sand fly, which is a blood-sucking pest, which is one-third the size of
      mosquitoes and found in humid mud and sand and in close presence to livestock.
    • It symptoms include fever, loss of weight, fatigue, anaemia, and swelling of liver and spleen. It can be
      treated and needs a medical diagnosis. If kept untreated, kala-azar can kill patient within 2 years of
    • It is 2nd-largest parasitic killer in world after Malaria.

    Harjinder Singh appointed as Chef de Mission for 23rd Winter Olympic Games on - 10th January 2018

    Harjinder Singh on 10th January 2018 was designated as the Chef De Mission of Indian Contingent participating in the 23rd Winter Olympic Games to be organised in Pyeongchang, South Korea in February 2018. Singh's designation was assured by the Indian Olympic Association. 
    Presently, Singh is at the position of General Secretary in the Ice Hockey Association of India.
    2018 Winter Olympics

    •  The 2018 Winter Olympics, formally known as the XXIII Olympic Winter Games is planned to take place from 9th to 25th February 2018 in Pyeongchang County, South Korea.
    • Pyeongchang was declared as the host city of the winter games on 6th July 2011 by the International Olympic Committee post 123rd IOC Session in Durban, South Africa.
    • Pyeongchang won its bid on the 1st round of voting, getting more votes than both Munich & Germany and Annecy &France jointly.
    • This will be the 2nd time for South Korea to organise the Olympic Games. Seoul organised the Summer Games in 1988. 
    • Pyeongchang will be the 3rd Asian city to organise the Winter Games; the first 2 were Sapporo, Japan- 1972 and Nagano, Japan-1998.

    Did you know?

    The 2014 Winter Olympic was kept in Sochi, Russia and at the payment of USD 51 billion, which took it to the most expensive Olympics in the history.

     Virtual ID, limited KYC to address privacy concerns introduced by - UIDAI

    The Unique Identification Authority of India, in order to address privacy issues, initiated a new concept of Virtual ID which Aadhaar-card holder can generate from its website and give for different purposes, wherever Aadhaar number is compulsory to provide. Thus, Aadhaar-card holders need not to share the actual 12-digit biometric ID for any authentication, alternatively they can simply provide the newly initiated Virtual ID.
    More about Virtual ID

    • The Virtual would be an unplanned 16-digit number.  It will be connected with the biometrics of the user that would provide any authorised agency like a mobile company, limited access of details like name, address and photograph, which are sufficient for any kind of verification.
    • User can produce as many Virtual IDs as they need. The older ID will get automatically invalid at a time when a new one is produced.
    • The Aadhaar-issuing body will start taking the virtual ID from March 1st, 2018.
    • From June 1st, 2018 it will be compulsory for all organizations that undertake authentication to take the Virtual ID from their subscribers.
    • Till date, an Aadhaar-card bearer had to provide 12-digit identity number along with other information including demographic and biometrics and through a OTP, throughout authentication for accessing different services and interests from service providers like banks or mobile operators.
    • The UIDAI has also initiated the concept of restricted KYC under which it will only give need-based or limited information of an user to an authorised organization that is giving a particular service.
    • Organizations that do not move to the new system to offer this extra option to their subscribers by the specified deadline will face economic disincentives.
    • The action to include virtual ID focuses to strengthen the reliability and privacy of Aadhaar information and comes amid heightened issues around the gathering and storage of personal and demographic information of persons.
    • It will also decrease the gathering of Aadhaar numbers by different organizations.

     Free education for girls up to PG level recommended by - CABE sub-committee

    The sub-committee of Central Advisory Board of Education going through issues of girl’s education has
    advocated free and mendatory education for girls up to post-graduate level across the nation. The sub-committee is likely to present an interim report to Union Human Resource Development Ministry during CABE meeting on January 15th, 2018.
    Did you know?

    • The assembly of sub-committee was organized in Hyderabad, Telangana and was chaired by Kadiam
      Srihari, Deputy CM and Education Minister of Telangana.
    • The meeting was witnessed by Education Ministers of Telangana, Assam and Jharkhand and Special Human Resources Development Department Special Secretary Rinarayi, Member Secretary Meenakshi Garg and various officials.
      Crucial Outcomes
    • The sub-committee of CABE will also advising establishing of entire residential degree colleges for SC/ST females besides provision of giving health and hygiene packs to girls.
    • The committee also require schools to maintain educational atmosphere, apart from providing fundamental amenities like toilets, safety measures, maintenance, running water and power supply and also nominate a counsellor for teenage girls.
      Central Advisory Board of Education
    • CABE is the policy making advisory committee of the HRB Ministry. The body has officials of central
      organisation, state and bodies including planning commission, universities, NGOs and civic society.
    • The CABE committee led by HRD Minister is generally made for 3 years.

    India begins countdown to launch 31 satellites stated by ISRO on - 11th January 2018

    The Indian Space Research Organisation on 11th January 2018 started the 28-hour countdown to release 31 satellites in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. It will be the 1st space mission of India in 2018.
    Among these 31 satellites, 3 will be of India and 28 of 6 other nations. These satellites will be released
    onboard the PSLV-C40 rocket. 
    This release comes 4 months after the rocket failed to deliver the India's 8th navigation satellite in the earth's lower orbit on 31st August 2017. The PSLV-C39 was not successful as the heat shield failed to get apart. 
    Key Highlights 

    • The Indian satellites are 710 kg Cartosat-2 series for earth observation, a 100- kilograms micro satellite and a five kilograms Nano satellite. 
    • As an observational satellite, Cartosat will support high-quality pictures for cartographic, urban and rural apps, coastal land utilises and utility management.
    • The Micro-satellite will be India's 100th satellite in space.
    • The 28 other satellites are from Canada, Finland, the UK, France, South Korea and the USA.
    • The sum total weight of all 31 satellites is 1323 kilograms. The complete release of satellites is believed to happen over a period of two hours and twenty-one seconds.
    • The 28 international consumers satellites will be released as part of the business arrangements between ISRO and its business arm Antrix Corporation Ltd.

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