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  • Current Affairs 8th February 2018

    Updated : 08-Feb-2018
    Current Affairs 8th February 2018

    Current Affairs 8th February 2018 - Important Points

    • Space Department tasked to deliver 3 earth observation, 2 communication satellites by  next fiscal of  during - 2018-19 budget presentation
    •  Start-up- India ranking framework launched by - Government
    • Government sets up mechanism in CSRI for transfer of technology by - Ministry of Science & Technology
    • Government to ban cryptocurrencies from its payments system by - Union Finance Ministry
    • Separate state flag recommended by - Committee constituted by Karnataka government
    • 60 Solar Cities to be developed under - Solar Cities scheme
    • "Pay as You Use Tolling" Pilot Project to be launched by - NHAI
    • Foundation stone laid in Tawang for - Rhodendron Park

    Current Affairs 8th February 2018 - Details

    Space Department tasked to deliver 3 earth observation, 2 communication satellites by  next fiscal of  during - 2018-19 budget presentation

    In the Budget presentation for 2018-19, the Union Government assigned Rupees 10,783 crores to the
    Department of Space for different space-related assignments.
    The Department has been tasked with attaining high targets consisting delivering 3-earth observation satellites and 2 communication satellites by coming fiscal year.
    Key Highlights

    • The budget's total allocation for the Department of Space present time has increased from last year’s allocation, which was Rupees 9,155.52 crores.
    • The 3 earth observation satellites to be delivered by the space department consist:
      4 Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle flights
      Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark II
      Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III
    • A sum of Rupees 6,576.02 crores has been assigned for the release of these earth observation satellites coming year.
    • For the motive of completion and launch of 2 communication satellites in the coming fiscal a sum of Rupees 411.60 crore has been assigned.
    • In the design and growth of apps for earth observation, communication and disaster management plan, the Department of Space has to supply 9 earth observation/communications payloads, information helps for 5  disaster programmes, 8,500 maps to help national operations and subscriber assignments and 300,000 value- added products disseminated to subscribers. The assignment for the same is Rupees 1,746.25 crores.
    • Further, the Union government has assigned a sum of Rupees 230.10 crores for undertaking space science operations and interplanetary journeys, in which the Department of Space has to supply:
       Indian lunar operation or Chandrayaan-II
       Readiness of 2 sub-systems for Aditya-L1 operation
       35 publications from space science operations
       Release of 2 terabyte of space science-related information for public usage
       250 research assignments in academia helped via ISRO programmes.

     Start-up- India ranking framework launched by - Government

    Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion under Commerce Ministry has presented Start-up- India ranking framework to grade states/UTs based on measures areas that have taken to encourage
    entrepreneurship. It was initiated by Union Minister of Commerce and Industry at a programme
    organised in New Delhi.

    Start-up States and UTs Ranking Framework

    • The framework focuses to initiated competitiveness and push states and UTs to act proactively in start-up issues.
    • This grading will assist states to bring development made in their start-up environment and
      also enable various states learn and replicate good activities.
    • Its objective is to encourage States and UTs to take proactive actions towards fortifying Start-up
      environments at local level. It will also calculate effect of each step started at local level for constructing strong Start-up environment. It will also facilitate continuous learning via dissemination of good actions.
    • It is dependent on feedback gathered from Start-up environment stakeholders, which consist of start-ups, investors, incubators, accelerators, mentors and government bodies. The parameters of this feedback focus on all activities and initiatives undertaken by states till March 2018.
    • These parameters include having start-up cell or helpline and mobile or web portal for enquiries, size of start-up mentor group formed by state government and number of crucial incubators for incubation support to start-ups. 
    • It also provides greater push like seed funding support, women entrepreneurship.
      Did you know?
    • India is home to approximate 20,000 start-ups, with about 1,400 starting operations yearly.
    • They are driving economic development and also moving towards technological innovations and generating employment in every state.
    • Entrepreneurs in these start-ups are launching new solutions on daily basis and also are upgrading present processes. Thus, this framework will encourage and aid start-ups and facilitate government to form policies for ease of performing business for start-ups.

    Government sets up mechanism in CSRI for transfer of technology by - Ministry of Science & Technology

    Ministry of Science & Technology has formed Mechanism in Council of Scientific & Industrial Research to interact with Small-Scale Industry for shifting of Technology from CSIR laboratories.
    Nodal officer in CSIR will cooperate with the SSIs and CSIR laboratories for correct technology needed
    by them. SSI sector is mega employment provider in nation, after agriculture. It gives almost 40 percent
    of gross industrial value addition in Indian economy.
    Key Points

    • Council of Scientific & Industrial Research covers large spectrum of S&T–from radio and space physics, geophysics, genomics, oceanography, chemicals, earth sciences, drugs, materials, aeronautics, instrumentation, biotechnology, environmental engineering, nanotechnology, mining and information technology.
    • Council of Scientific and Industrial Research laboratories have patented more than 1,000 technologies and processes, which are accessible for commercial exploitation.
    • Few of these technologies have been used commercially. They are ready to work with user industries to grow applications and products to meet the market need.
      Council of Scientific & Industrial Research
    • Council of Scientific & Industrial Research is a self-governing body and India’s premier research and development institution. It was inaugurated in 1942.
    • It operates as a self-governing body registered under the Registration of Societies Act of 1860. It is primarily capitalized by the Union Ministry of Science and Technology.

    Government to ban cryptocurrencies from its payments system by - Union Finance Ministry

    The Union Finance Ministry is planning to restrict cryptocurrencies from payments system and at the
    same time appoint regulator to supervise unregulated exchanges that do business in crypto assets. The
    Dinesh Sharma committee formed by the Government to look into problems relating to cryptocurrencies will conclude its guidance by submitting its report in present fiscal year, ending on March 2018.

    Did you know?

    • In Union Budget 2018-19, finance minister Arun Jaitley had informed that government does not consider cryptocurrencies lawful tender and it will take all measures to remove usage of crypto assets in financing illegal actions or as part of payment system.
    • Earlier, Government had released repeated warnings against digital-currency investments, informing these were the ponzi schemes that offer high returns to early investors.
      Crypto Currencies
    • Cryptocurrencies are type of illegal digital money.
    • They are peer-to- peer specially decentralised system, and transacted between subscribers directly.
    • These transactions are confirmed by network nodes and recorded in public distributed blockchain.
    • They are neither released by central bank or public authority, nor is automatically attached to fiat currency, but is utilised and granted among the users of a specific virtual community. They are being moved, stored and electronically traded.
    • The Bitcoin, Litecoin, Darkcoin, Peercoin, Dogecoin, Primecoin etc are the examples of virtual currencies.

    Separate state flag recommended by - Committee constituted by Karnataka government

    9-member committee formed by Karnataka government has suggested distinct state flag. It presented
    report on designing dictinct flag for the state and providing a legal standing for it. It has discounted any
    constitutional or legal difficulties for it.
    Key Points

    • The committee has advised new tricolour having yellow- at top, white- in middle and red- at bottom
      colours, with state’s emblem Gandaberunda- a 2-headed mythological bird in centre.
    • It has altered pattern of past unofficial flag having yellow and red which is unofficially utilised now.
    • The white colour in new flag represents peace and expresses Karnataka’s image the best, while other 2 colours are closely associated with Kannada identity.
      Centres Approval
    • After getting official state Cabinet acceptance, state government will make an official application to
      Union Ministry of Home Affairs under whose thought the issue falls to modify the Flag Code 2002.
    • The modification will add provisions of containing Karnataka flag as one of the symbols in the Flag Code.
      Did you know?
    • The committee was led by the principal secretary, Department of Kannada and Culture and was formed in June 2017 after a presentation from eminent Kannada writer and journalist Patil Puttappa, and social worker Bheemappa Gundappa Gadada had appealed state government to design a distinct flag for Kannada Naadu and grant it legal standing.
    • Presently, unofficial yellow and red Kannada flag is raised in state on 1st November every year to commemorate state formation-day. It was outlined by Veera Senani Ma.Ramamurthy in the 1960s.

    60 Solar Cities to be developed under - Solar Cities scheme

    Ministry of New and Renewable Energy under its Development of Solar Cities plan has passed
    development of 60 Solar Cities consisting 13 Pilot and five5 Model Cities up to 12th 5-year Plan period
    2012–2017. So far, master plans of 49 Solar Cities have been formed.

    Moreover, Stake holder Committees have been formed in 21 Cities and Solar City Cells have been built in 37 Solar Cities. Development of Solar Cities plan .The Plan focuses at decreasing minimum 10 percent in predicted requirement of conventional energy at end of 5 years, via combination of enhancing contribution from renewable energy origin in city and energy efficiency measures. In this, local Governments are inspired for accepting renewable energy techniques and energy efficiency measures.
    Solar City elaborated in this plan will have all types of renewable energy related projects consisting solar, biomass, small hydro, wind, waste to energy and many more. It may be fixed along with possible energy efficiency measures depending on the demand and resource availability in the city.

    • Enable and empower Urban Local Governments to handle energy challenges at City levels.
      Provide outline and support to prepare Master Plan consisting assessment of present energy situation, future requirement and action plans.
    • Oversee the execution of sustainable energy measures through public-private partnerships.
      developing capacity in ULBs and spread awareness between all sections of society.

    "Pay as You Use Tolling" Pilot Project to be launched by - NHAI

    The National Highways Authority of India -NHAI is ready to release pilot project of Pay as you utilise
    tolling on the Delhi-Mumbai National Highway to observe implement ability of system in the nation.
    The pilot project consists executing a satellite dependant electronic toll collection system executing on
    GPS and GSM technology for approximately 500 commercial vehicles on identified national highway for
    1 year.
    Key Points

    • The suggested tolling system will work on joining of mobile telecommunications technologies and
      satellite dependent Global Positioning System.
    • It will be capable to subtract money from vehicle-account, credit money to grant within 1 day and open toll gates.
    • In case of any declined transaction, it will be able to aware toll operator to take payment manually and not to open the gate.
    • The pilot project will look at methods to combine new solution with present pre-paid wallet account
      provided under FASTag programme by NHAI.
    • It will also outline comparison between distance related tolling and present tolling system, as also between virtual tolling and normal tolling.

    Foundation stone laid in Tawang for - Rhodendron Park

    Foundation stone of Rhodendron Park was placed in Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh by CM Pema
    Khandu. Tawang district was earlier home to approximately 100 species of rhododendron but now they
    have been decreased to 50 plus species only due to manufacturing actions in border areas.
    Key Points

    • The park will be constructed in an area of 1.15 hectares.
    • It will be partly financed under border area development programme.
    • Over 30 species of rhododendrons would be planted and protected in park where terrace cutting to increase the beauty and scenic component.
    • The park will also have up to date nursery, resting sheds, public toilet facility, information center on
      rhododendron, parking opportunity, lightings and iron security gate.
    • Rhododendron is a genus of 1,024 species of woody-plants in heath family. It could be evergreen or
    • Maximum species of Rhododendron have bright-coloured flowers which bloom from late winter till early summer. It is the National flower of Nepal also.

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