UPSC Daily Current Affairs- 29th June 2018

www.iasinsights.in; www.iasgyaan.com posts UPSC Daily current Affairs -29th June 2018. This info is taken from News papers, PIB, AIR News and Summarized for your easy understanding.

Daily Current Affairs- 29th June 2018

GS-I (Geography) 

Bali airport shut down as Agung volcano erupts

  • The Indonesian tourist island of Bali closed its international airport on Friday, stranding thousands of travelers, as the Mount Agung volcano gushed a 2,500-metre column of ash and smoke.
  • Winds could carry the ash southwest toward Java, Indonesia’s most densely populated island.
  • Volcanic ash is a potentially deadly threat to aircraft that can cause engines to “flame out.”

Mount Agung:

  • Mount Agung or Gunung Agung is a volcano in Bali, Indonesia, southeast of Mt Batur volcano, also in Bali.
  • Gunung Agung stratovolcano is the highest point on Bali. It dominates the surrounding area, influencing the climate, especially rainfall patterns.
  • Balinese believe that Mt Agung is a replica of Mt Meru, the central axis of the universe.
  • Gunung Agung is an active volcano, with a large and deep crater that occasionally emits smoke and ash. It is currently active.

GS-II (Governance)

Centre to Replace UGC with HECI

  • The Centre is set to replace the apex higher education regulator body University Grants Commission (UGC) with Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) by repealing the UGC Act, 1951.
  • The new commission to be established through an Act will not have grant-making authority, will promote reduced inspection system and will focus more on quality outcome at universities and colleges.
  • The new Act will separate grant-making functions, end inspection raj, focus on academic quality and empower the new commission to enforce quality issues.
  • University and college managements found wanting and violating penalty imposed by the commission “shall be liable for prosecution as per procedure laid down under the Criminal Procedure Code and may be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend up to three years”.
  • It will specify learning outcomes for colleges and universities, prescribe teaching, assessment, research standards.
  • Presently, the University Grants Commission (UGC), which came into existence in 1953, provides financial assistance to eligible colleges.

Constitution of new Board:

The new commission shall consist of a

  1. Chairperson,
  2. Vice chairperson and
  3. 12 members to be appointed by the central government.
  • The secretary of the commission will act as the member-secretary.
  • Of the 12 members, three members will represent union government namely: secretary of higher education, secretary of ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship and secretary, department of science and technology.
  • Also there will be an “industry specialized” among the board members.

Cabinet apprised of the Agreement between India and Denmark over Agriculture, Science

  • The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was apprised of agreements signed between India and Denmark for cooperation in the fields of animal husbandry and dairying, and on cooperation in the field of science, technology and innovation.
  • Renewable energy, water, material science, affordable healthcare, synthetic biology, functional food, and blue economy were identified as potential areas for immediate collaboration.

Arunachal Pradesh to scrap anti-conversion law

  • Arunachal Pradesh may lift a 40-year-old anti-conversion law to uphold secularism.
  • Chief Minister Pema Khandu said his government could repeal the Arunachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, an anti-conversion law, that the frontier State’s Assembly has passed in 1978 primarily to check proselytisation.
  • Uttarakhand enacted a similar law in May this year.

Some facts:

  • Arunachal was the third State after Odisha (1967) and Madhya Pradesh (1968) to enact an anti-conversion law.
  • Chhattisgarh in 2000, Gujarat in 2003, Himachal Pradesh in 2007 and Rajasthan in 2008 also passed anti-conversion laws, prohibiting forced or money-induced conversions.

Indian real estate transparency ranked 35th globally

  • India has emerged as one of the top 10 countries to have registered maximum improvement in transparency in real estate over last two years, showed JLL’s Global Real Estate Transparency Index (GRETI) 2018.
  • According to the survey, UK is at the top position followed by Australia and the US. France, Canada, Netherlands, New Zealand, Germany, Ireland and Sweden are in top 10 in the list of 100 countries.
  • Venezuela is the least transparent market with 100th rank.

Global Real Estate Transparency Index (GRETI) 2018.

  • This index is published by JLL company annually
  • JLL is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. Our vision is to reimagine the world of real estate, creating rewarding opportunities and amazing spaces where people can achieve their ambitions.
  • JLL is a Fortune 500 company with nearly 300 corporate offices, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of 83,500 as of March 31, 2018. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated.

GS-II (International Affairs)

Pakistan placed on FATF’s grey list

  • Pakistan has been placed on the Grey list of countries that financially aid terrorism, in Paris by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
  • The placement on to grey list could hurt Pakistan’s economy as well as its international standing.
  • The FATF is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.

What is FATF?

  • The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 by the Ministers of its Member jurisdictions.
  • The objectives of the FATF are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.
  • The FATF is therefore a “policy-making body” which works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in these areas.

GS-III (Economy)

Bengaluru ranked world’s 2nd best location to launch tech startups

  • According to research firm SmallBusinessPrices.co.uk, Bengaluru has claimed the second spot in the list of best locations for launching tech startups.
  • The first place was secured by Boulder city in the US while the third best location was Johannesburg in South Africa.
  • The research measured the average internet speed, the average business valuation, and cost of living, among other metrics.

What is a start up?

Startup means an entity, incorporated or registered in India:

  • Up to a period of seven years from the date of incorporation/registration or up to ten years in case of Startups in Biotechnology sector
  • As a private limited company or registered as a partnership firm or a limited liability partnership
  • With an annual turnover not exceeding Rs. 25 crore for any of the financial years since incorporation/registration
  • Working towards innovation, development or improvement of products or processes or services, or if it is a scalable business model with a high potential of employment generation or wealth creation
  • Provided that an entity formed by splitting up or reconstruction of an existing business shall not be considered a ‘Startup’.

GS-III (Environment) 

Sweden, Finland developing technology to curb India’s pollution woes

  • Sweden is exploring ways to come up with innovative technology to address the issue of stubble-burning in parts of north India that leads to pollution in Delhi-NCR
  • Finland also had innovative solutions to offer in the matter like converting rice paddy to fiber that can later be used for making clothes. Also project involves Fortum, a leading clean-energy company which is working on charging point technology.
  • Iceland’s support to India was “unwavering” for permanent membership of the UN Security Council or the NSG (Nuclear Suppliers Group).
  • Norwegian Embassy, highlighted the need to care for the environment as India and Nordic countries further build on their ties.

GS-III (Science and Technology)

Why Are We Going Over the Moon on ISRO and Helium-3 All Over Again?

  • ISRO mining the moon for He-3, a fuel that could be used for nuclear fusion, it may be prudent to first produce surplus power from fusionable isotopes – a breakthrough that is still years away.
  • The idea of mining helium on the moon has been discussed by NASA and the European Space Agency but with far less noise.
  • ISRO has an impending moon mission, in October/November this year, over the course of which the organization hopes to deploy its first rover on the lunar surface.

Helium-3

  • Helium-3 (He-3, also written as 3He, see also helion) is a light, non-radioactive isotope of helium with two protons and one neutron (common helium having two protons and two neutrons)
  • It occurs as a primordial nuclide, escaping from the Earth’s crust into the atmosphere and into outer space over millions of years.
  • It is also thought to be a natural nucleogenic and cosmogenic nuclide, one produced when lithium is bombarded by natural neutrons, which can be released by spontaneous fission and by nuclear reactions with cosmic rays.
  • Some of the helium-3 found in the terrestrial atmosphere is also a relic of atmospheric and underwater nuclear weapons testing.
  • Much speculation has been made over the possibility of helium-3 as a future energy source.
  • Unlike most other nuclear fusion reactions, the fusion of helium-3 atoms releases large amounts of energy without causing the surrounding material to become radioactive. However, the temperatures required to achieve helium-3 fusion reactions are much higher than in traditional fusion reactions.

Important days

“Statistics Day” will be celebrated on 29th June, 2018

  • In recognition of the notable contributions made by Late Professor Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis in the fields of statistics, statistical system and economic planning, Government of India in 2007, has designated 29thJune as the “Statistics Day” in the category of Special Days to be celebrated every year at the National level.
  • 29th June, 2017 marked the beginning of the 125th year of birth of Prof. P.C. Mahalanobis.
  • ISI has held year-round celebrations which will be culminated on 29th June, 2018.
  • The objective of celebration of this Day is to create public awareness about the importance of statistics in socio-economic planning and policy formulation, to acknowledge the contribution of Prof. Mahalanobis, and to pay homage to him.

Others

Indian, Indonesian navies participated in PASSEX

  • Indian Naval ships INS Shakti and INS Kamorta under the command of Rear Admiral Dinesh K Tripathi, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet, undertook Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with Indonesian Naval Ship KRI Madidihang (855) a Stingrays Class Fast Patrol Craft on leaving the Port of Makassar, Indonesia.
  • During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Indonesia last month, the two countries decided to enhance their maritime cooperation.

Sonakshi joins UNESCO to promote safe cyberspace for kids

  • Sonakshi Sinha joins UNESCO to promote safe and secure online environment for children and help empower our future digital citizens.
  • Stressing on the importance of education on the safe use of online spaces, the actress said it will equip boys and girls to be prepared to report any type of abuse or exploitation.

Indian shooter Manu sets world record, wins 8th gold of year

  • 16-year-old Manu Bhaker won gold medal in 10m air pistol event at ISSF Junior World Cup in Germany.
  • This was Manu’s seventh ISSF individual gold in the year, third with a world record.
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