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  • Current Affairs 23rd November 2018

    Updated : 23-Nov-2018
    Current Affairs 23rd November 2018

    Current Affairs 23rd November 2018  - Important Points

    • International Space Station completes 20 years on - 20th November 2018
    • IIT-Hyderabad researchers develop smartphone-based system to detect adulteration in -Milk
    • J&K Governor dissolved state assembly on - 21st November 2018
    • Joyce Msuya appointed as acting Executive Director of - UNEP
    • Kim Jong-yang of South Korea elected as - New President of Interpol
    • WTO to set up panels to rule on - US tariff disputes
    • India, Australia sign five agreements on - 22nd November 2018
    • Sangai tourism festival organised in - Manipur
    • WCCB wins Asia Environment Enforcement Awards for - Combating trans-boundary environmental crime

    Current Affairs 23rd November 2018 - Details

    International Space Station completes 20 years on - 20th November 2018

    The International Space Station- ISS grown 20 years old on November 20th, 2018. The project was initiated by Russian space agency Roscosmos when it released its Zarya module from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on November 20th, 1998.
    The release was trailed by NASA’s Unity module. The couple was linked in low-earth orbit, which stimulated 13 years building effort of the most determined construction project in the history of humanity. The result of the exertion was a livable artificial satellite, which presently serves as a giant orbiting observatory and laboratory.
    ISS Key Facts

    • International Space Station is the largest manned object in space, 357ft long, just a yard short of a full-length football ground.
    • It weighs 419,725 kilograms including the weight of spacecrafts. The space station can accommodate as many as 6 spacecrafts at one time.
    • It is the single most expensive thing ever constructed at £93.4bn. It is the 3rd brightest object in the Earth’s night sky after the moon and Venus.
    • The space station travels at a velocity of 4.791 miles per second, fast enough to go to the moon and back in a same day.
    • It orbits the earth about 16 times in a 24-hour period.
    • It passes over 90% of the earth’s population in the course of its orbital path. The living space in the station consists 6 sleeping quarters, a gym and a 360-degree bay window, but only two bathrooms.
    • The zero gravity causes astronauts to float while doing their daily actions. The orbiting station has been uninterruptedly occupied since November 2000.
    • On September 2nd, 2017, Nasa’s Peggy Whitson set the record of being the longest-serving human in space.

    IIT-Hyderabad researchers develop smartphone-based system to detect adulteration in -Milk

    Scholars from Indian Institute of Technology-Hyderabad are working to progress smartphone-based
    sensor to detect adulteration in milk. They have produced detector system which can measure level of
    acidity in milk with the help of indicator paper. They have also developed algorithms that can be
    combined in smartphone to accurately detect change in acidity. The sensor-chip based method calculates pH, which is indicator of the acidity and colour of paper indicates different pH levels.
    Key Highlights

    • In this adulteration detection system, scholars have used process called “electrospinning” to produce paper-like material made of nanosized fibres of nylon, combined with combination of 3 dyes.
    • The paper is halochromic which changes colour in response to changes in acidity.
    • Scholars developed prototype smart phone-based algorithm in which colours of sensor strips following dipping in milk are captured using camera of phone and information is transformed into pH ranges.
    • They have utilised 3 machine-learning algorithms and compared their detection efficiencies in classifying colour of indicator strips.
    • On testing this system with milk spiked with numerous combinations of contaminants, it found near-perfect classification with precision of 99.71 percent.

    J&K Governor dissolved state assembly on - 21st November 2018

    The J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik on November 21st, 2019 dissolved the State Assembly with instantaneous effect after rival alliances staked claim to formulate the government.
    Important facts

    • The governor ordered the communiqué of dissolution minutes after PDP leader and earlier CM Mehbooba Mufti publicized a letter on Twitter declaring that she would seek to form the government with her traditional rivals, the National Conference and Congress. 
    • The earlier CM and PDP President, Mehbooba Mufti staked claim to form the government in the state by explaining that her party, which is the largest party in the assembly with 29 MLAs, had the supporting of 15 lawmakers of National Conference and 12 of Congress. 
    • Earlier, both National Conference and Congress had demanded the dissolution of the assembly to dodge horse-trading and possible poaching of legislators amongst the emergence of the Lone-led front.
    • Mufti’s letter was trailed by People’s Conference Chief Sajad Lone’s letter to the governor, in which he betted claim to form the government with the backing of the BJP, which has 25 seats and above 18 other elected members.
    • People’s Conference has just 2 seats in the assembly

    Imposed President’s rule

    • The Governor's rule was forced in the state on June 19th for a six months period following the collapse of the PDP-BJP coalition government after the Bhartiya Janta Party withdrew its support. 
    • The state assembly was kept suspended so that political parties could explore the likelihood of forming a new government.
    • The 6-month tenure of the Governor's rule is scheduled to end on December 18th, after which the state will be put under the President’s rule till it goes into polls.
    • The state experienced polls at the end of 2014 and the Assembly's occupancy was till October 2020.

    Joyce Msuya appointed as acting Executive Director of - UNEP

    Tanzanian National Joyce Msuya was designated as acting Executive Director of UN Environment
    Programme after resignation of the Executive Director Erik Solheim. Solheim had resigned in wake of
    internal audit report accused of rule-breaking UN Environment Programme. The report has accused him of gulping up $500,000 in unnecessary and budgeted travel expenses in only 22 months.
    United Nations Environment Programme

    • UN Environment Programme is voice for environment within the UN system. It was originated as result of United Nations Conference on Human Environment in June 1972. It is HQ in Nairobi, Kenya.
    • UN Environment Programme also has 6 regional offices and various nation offices.
    • It is the leading global environmental authority that sets global environmental programme, promotes coherent implementation of environmental dimension of sustainable development within UN system, and works as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.
    • It acts as catalyst, advocate, educator and implementor to promote wise utilise and sustainable
      development of global environment.
    • It operates with wide range of partners, including United Nations entities, international groups, national governments, NGOs, private sector and civil society.

    Kim Jong-yang of South Korea elected as - New President of Interpol

    Kim Jong Yang of South Korea was designated Interpol President for 2-year term by member nations at
    87th General Assembly of Interpol, organised for first time in Dubai. He won at least two-thirds of votes
    cast at general assembly and beaten Russia’s Alexander Prokopchuk. He will work until 2020, completing the 4-year mandate of his predecessor, Meng Hongwei, who was detained in China over corruption charges.  

    • Interpol is global police cooperation agency and an NGO.
    • It was recognized as the International Criminal Police Commission in year 1923. Its HQ is situated at Lyon, France.
    •  It is the world’s largest international police organization, with 194-member nations including India. It is 2nd-largest international organization after UN in terms of international representation.
    • Its efforts focus on public safety and combat terrorism, crimes against humanity, genocide, war crimes, environmental crime. It pursues to facilitate international police co-operation even where diplomatic relations do not exist between particular nations.
    • It ensures that police worldwide have access to tools and services essential to do their jobs effectively. It also provides targeted training, expert investigative support, relevant information and secure communications networks.

    WTO to set up panels to rule on - US tariff disputes

    The World Trade Organization- WTO decided to hear complaints from a number of nations over new US steel and aluminium tariffs, and complaints from Washington over retaliatory duties. 
    The Dispute Settlement Body of World Trade Organization approved the constitution of panels to review US decision to hit a long line of nations with tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminium. 
    Earlier, the EU, China, Canada, Norway, Mexico, and Russia all assured that they would escalate their disputes by starting adjudication proceedings, while the United States wants dispute panels against Canada, China and the EU.

    The Dispute Settlement Body will develop separate panels for the complaints by the EU, China, Canada,
    Mexico, Norway and Russia, after the US said it would not approve to a single panel to hear all of them. A 7th request from Turkey for a panel will be discussed during a meeting later.
    The Dispute Settlement Body also decided for a panel which will review certain Chinese measures pertaining to the protection of intellectual property rights as needed by US. 
    Did you know?
    Earlier, USA President Trump forced the tariffs levying 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium import. While imposing the tariffs, United States President justified it and informed that it’s a matter of national security and hence it is the protection under World Trade Organization rule and out of purview the World Trade Organization’s remit. 
    United States departure from a decades-long strive for free trade, the exporter nations contacted World Trade Organization. They say the USA should compensate them for the damage, and have imposed their own tariffs in response.

    India, Australia sign five agreements on - 22nd November 2018

    India and Australia on November 22nd, 2018 inked 5 agreements to boost investments and enhance co-
    operation in areas including services to the disabled, bilateral investment, scientific collaboration and agricultural research and education.
    The pacts were inked during the meetings organised between Indian President Ram Nath Kovind and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Sidney, Australia. The Indian President has become the 1st-ever Indian head of state to visit Australia. He arrived in the nation on November 21st, as a part of the 2nd leg of his 2-nation trip.
    The five pacts:
    i. Pact among the Government of India and the Government of Australia for co-operation in the area of disability and to distribute services to the differently-abled.
    ii. Pact among Invest India and Austrade to facilitate bilateral investment.
    iii. Pact among the Central Mine Planning and Design Institute, located in Ranchi and the Commonwealth
    Scientific and Research Organisation, based in Canberra, to foster scientific association and innovation.
    iv. Pact among the Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University, Guntur and the University of Western Australia, Perth, for co-operation in agricultural research and education.
    v. Joint Ph.D. pact among the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi and the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane.

    Sangai tourism festival organised in - Manipur

    The yearly Sangai Festival was observed in North-Eastern state of Manipur. It is magnificent festival of
    state called after state animal, Sangai, the unsympathetically endangered brow-antlered deer found only in Manipur. The festival goals to promote Manipur as world class tourism destination. It was initiated by Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
    Sangai Tourism Festival
    The festival was initiated in 2010 and has grown with the passage of years into big platform for Manipur
    to display its rich tradition and culture to the world. It displays tourism potential of Manipur in field of
    arts and culture, handloom, handicrafts, native sports, cuisine, music and adventure sports of state.
    The attention areas of festival reflect Manipur’s rich cultural heritage and love for art of numerous tribes inhabiting state. It also displays “Ras Leela’, which is state’s classical dance style along with numerous other folk-dance performances like Bamboo dance, Maibi dance, Kabui Naga dance, Lai Haraoba dance, Khamba Thoibi dance.
    Indigenous sports including martial arts- Thang Ta, Mukna Kangjei-game that joins hockey and wrestling, Yubi-Lakpi- game played with greased coconut similar to rugby and Sagol Kangjei- Modern Polo will be also showcased festival.
    Sangai Deer
    Sangai Deer also known as the Dancing Deer. It is the state animal of Manipur. Once it was located across Manipur Valley in abundant now only its residual natural habitat is found in Keibul Lamjao National Park, only floating national park in the world. It is enlisted as unsympathetically endangered species by International Union for Conservation of Nature- IUCN. Keibul Lamjao National Park is floating park in Manipur’s Loktak Lake with its unique composition of biomass vegetation that floats on surface of lake.

    WCCB wins Asia Environment Enforcement Awards for - Combating trans-boundary environmental crime

    UN Environment Program has nominated Wildlife Crime Control Bureau- WCCB and its administration officer RS Sharath for 2018 Asia Environmental Enforcement Awards. They were nominated under organization and individual categories individually for their outstanding contributions in fighting the trans-boundary environmental crimes.
    The 2018 Awards will be presented by UN Environment Programme with UN Development Programme, UN Office on Drugs and Crime, INTERPOL, USAID, Freeland Foundation, and Government of Sweden.
    This is 2nd time in continuation that Wildlife Crime Control Bureau is bestowed by UN Environment award. Last year, it was bestowed for its efforts in conducting and co-ordinating species-specific wildlife enforcement operation identified “Operation Save Kurma”.
    Asia Environmental Enforcement Awards

    • The awards widely recognize and observe excellence in enforcement by government delegates and
      institutions combating transboundary environmental crime in Asia.
    • They are given to outstanding individuals or government organizations which validate excellence and leadership in enforcement of national laws to fight transboundary environmental crime.
    • The thematic scope of these prizes covers any transboundary environmental crimes, including illegal trade in wildlife and illegitimate trade in chemicals/waste.
      Wildlife Crime Control Bureau
    • Wildlife Crime Control Bureau is statutory multi-disciplinary organisation under Union Ministry of
      Environment, Forests and Climate Change to fight systematized wildlife crime in the nation.
    • It was recognized in June 2007 by amending Wildlife (Protection) Act (WLPA), 1972, a special Act to protect wildlife and fauna in the nation.
    • Under Section 38 (Z) of WLPA, 1972, it is directed to collect and collate intelligence related to planned wildlife crime and disseminate it to state and other enforcement agencies for instant action.
    • It supports foreign authorities and international group concerned to simplify coordination and universal action for wildlife crime control.

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