August 2019

Daily Current Affairs (19-08-19)

WORLDSKILLS INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION

Related Topics: Skill Development, International Events

News

The 48-member Indian Team representing the country at WorldSkills Kazan 2019 was given a grand send-off at a ceremony in New Delhi.

Candidates were selected through 500+ district, state, regional and national level competitions across the country.

About the Competition

It is a biennial event and the biggest showcase of skills excellence in the world.

It is also referred as the ‘Olympics for Skills’.

WorldSkills 2019 is scheduled in Kazan, Russia from 22nd to 27th August 2019.

More than 1,500 competitors from 60 countries will compete in 55 skill competitions at this mega event.

India will participate in 44 skills including mobile robotics, prototype modelling, hairdressing, baking, confectionary & patisserie, welding, brick laying, car painting, floristry among others.

National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) under the aegis of MSDE has been leading India’s delegation at this biennial event since 2011.

WorldSkills International

It is a not for profit membership association open to agencies or bodies which have a responsibility for promoting vocational education and training in their respective countries/regions.

The organization is registered in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

About NSDC

It is a not-for-profit public limited company incorporated on July 31, 2008 under section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956 (corresponding to section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013).

It was set up by Ministry of Finance as Public Private Partnership (PPP) model.

The Government of India through Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) holds 49% of the share capital of NSDC, while the private sector has the balance 51% of the share capital.

 

INDIA – BHUTAN RELATIONS

Related Topics: International Relations, RuPay Card

Why in News

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a wide range of discussion over the expansion of bilateral partnership with his Bhutanese counterpart Lotay Tshering.

The two nations signed 10 Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) in the field of space research, aviation, IT, power and education.

Education

An MoU was signed for interconnection between India’s National Knowledge Network and Bhutan’s Druk Research and Education Network.

Energy Sector

Modi inaugurated Mangdechhu hydroelectric power plant.

It is a 720MW run-of-river power plant built on Mangdechhu River in Trongsa Dzongkhag district of central Bhutan.

Most of the electricity generated by Rs 4,500-crore hydroelectric plant will meet energy requirements of Bhutan and surplus electricity will be exported to India.

A Power Purchase Agreement was signed between PTC India Limited and Druk Green Power Corporation Limited for Sale and Purchase of Mangdechhu Power.

India is the largest buyer of Bhutanese hydropower.

Space Research

The two prime ministers jointly inaugurated the Ground Earth Station and SATCOM network, developed with assistance from ISRO for utilization of South Asia Satellite in Bhutan.

MoU was signed between ISRO and Department of Information Technology and Telecom (DITT) of Bhutan on the establishment of SATCOM Network for the Utilization of South Asia Satellite in Bhutan.

India will also enhance the communication, public broadcasting and disaster management coverage in Bhutan through the use of space technology.

RuPay Card

Modi launched RuPay Card in Bhutan by making a purchase at Simtokha Dzong.

Built in 1629 by Shabdrung Namgyal, Simtokha Dzong functions as a monastic and administrative centre and is one of the oldest dzongs in Bhutan.

Currency Swap

An additional USD 100 million will be available to Bhutan under a standby swap arrangement to meet the foreign exchange requirement.

Aviation Sector

MoU was signed between the Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU), Bhutan, and Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau, India on cooperation on Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation.

 

HIGH-LEVEL COMMITTEE TO REVIEW DEFENCE PROCUREMENT PROCEDURE

Related Topics: Defence Procurement, Make in India

Why in News

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has constituted a 12 member Committee under the Chairmanship of Director General (Acquisition) to review the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2016 and Defence Procurement Manual (DPM) 2009.

About the Committee

The Committee will revise and align the procedures to ensure seamless flow from asset acquisition to life cycle support.

Apart from DG (Acquisition), 11 members, not below the rank of Joint Secretary/Major General equivalent, are part of this committee.

The panel will revise and align the procedures with the aim of ensuring seamless flow from asset acquisition to life cycle support.

The review panel will lay down policies to remove procedural bottlenecks and hasten defence acquisition.

The primary task of the panel is to simplify policy and procedures to facilitate greater participation of indigenous industries and to develop a robust defence industrial base in the country.

The panel will examine and incorporate new concepts, such as life cycle costing, life cycle support, performance-based logistics, Information Communication Technology (ICT), lease contracting, codification and standardisation.

The panel will also include provisions in the policies in order to promote Indian start-ups and boost research and development.

The Committee has been given six months to submit recommendations.

Why the Review?

DPP 2016 and the DPM 2009 had been due for revision and aligning the procedures will ensure seamless flow from asset acquisition to life cycle support and strengthen the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the government.

 

NASA’s PARKER SOLAR PROBE

Related Topics: Science &Technology, Solar Missions

News

On August 12, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe completed a year in service.

It is part of NASA’s “Living With a Star” programme that explores different aspects of the Sun-Earth system.

About Parker Solar Probe

It is NASA’s first planned robotic spacecraft to study outer corona of Sun.

The probe seeks to gather information about the Sun’s atmosphere and NASA says that it “will revolutionise our understanding of the Sun”.

The spacecraft will fly through the Sun’s atmosphere as close as 3.8 million miles to our star’s surface, well within the orbit of Mercury and more than seven times closer than any spacecraft has come before.

The spacecraft is designed to endure harsh environment near Sun, by approaching within 8.5 solar radii (5.9 million kilometers) to ‘surface’ (photosphere) of Sun where incident solar intensity is approximately 520 times intensity at Earth orbit.

The probe will be fitted with thermal protection system (TPS) or heat shield made of reinforced carbon-carbon composite that will allow it to survive temperatures in Sun’s corona.

The primary science goals for the mission are to trace how energy and heat move through the solar corona and to explore what accelerates the solar wind as well as solar energetic particles.

Parker Solar Probe will carry four instrument suites designed to study magnetic fields, plasma and energetic particles, and image the solar wind.

In order to unlock the mysteries of the Sun’s atmosphere, Parker Solar Probe will use Venus’ gravity during seven flybys over nearly seven years to gradually bring its orbit closer to the Sun.

 

                    FACTS OF THE DAY

 

  • Iceland held funeral for Okjokull glacier, country’s 1st glacier lost to climate change. The glacier was officially declared dead by Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) when it was no longer thick enough to move.

 

  • World Humanitarian Day (WHD) is observed across the world on August 19 to pay tribute to workers who risk their lives in humanitarian services and to gather support for people affected by crises around the world. WHD 2019 is set to celebrate Women Humanitarians and their contributions in making the world a better place.

 

  • The Odisha Wetland Authority has approved implementation of an integrated management plan of lakes “Chilika and Ansupa“.

 

  • Union Minister of State for Chemical & Fertilizers has announced that the first Central Institute of Chemical Engineering & Technology (CICET) will be set up in Gujarat.

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