Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - August 7, 2018

Ministry of Defence

Indo - Thailand Joint Exercise Maitree 2018


  • Exercise Maitree is a joint military exercise between Indian Army and Royal Thai Army which will be conducted from 06 to 19 August 2018 in Thailand.

Enlighten about the Exercise

  • It is a platoon level exercise which comprises of infantry component. The opening ceremony started with familiarization of organisation and display of weapons & equipment of both armies.
  • The exercise will emphasize to hone the tactical and technical skills in joint counter insurgency and counter terrorist operations in rural and urban scenario under UN mandate.
  • Due emphasis will be laid on increasing interoperability between forces from both countries which is crucial for success of any joint operation.

Ministry of Culture

64th Foundation Day Celebrations of Lalit Kala Akademi


  • The National Academy of Art, Lalit Kala Akademi(LKA), established in 1954 by the then Education Minister MaulanaAbulKalam Azad, celebrated its 64th Foundation Day, today the 6th August, 2018.

Enlighten about the Academy

  • The Lalit Kala Akademi or National Academy of Art is India's national academy of fine arts.
  • It is an autonomous organisation, established in New Delhi in 1954 by Government of India to promote and propagate understanding of Indian art, in and outside the country.
  • LKA provides scholarships and a fellow program, and sponsors and organises exhibitions in India and overseas. It publishes a bilingual journal.
  • It is funded by the Union Ministry of Culture. Its headquarters are at Ravindra Bhawan, Ferozshah Road, New Delhi.
  • In April 2015, Government of India took over management control of Lalit Kala Akademi citing complaints regarding alleged administrative and financial irregularities in its functioning

Ease of Doing Business/Start up India

Startup India’s Academia Alliance Programme


  • To promote the spirit of entrepreneurship in the country, Startup India launched the Startup Academia Alliance programme, a unique mentorship opportunity between academic scholars and startups working in similar domains.


  • The Startup Academia Alliance aims to reduce the gap between scientific research and its industrial applications in order to increase the efficacy of these technologies and to widen their impact.
  • By creating a bridge between academia and industry, the Alliance strives to create lasting connections between the stakeholders of the startup ecosystem and implement the third pillar on which the Startup India Action Plan is based - Industry Academia Partnerships and Incubation.

Enlighten about the first phase

  • The first phase of Startup Academia Alliance was kickstarted through partnering with Regional Centre for Biotechnology, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), Council on Energy, Environment and Water, and TERI School of Advanced Studies.
  • Renowned scholars from these institutes, in fields such as renewable energy, biotechnology, healthcare and life sciences were taken on board to provide mentorship and guidance to startups working in relevant arenas.
  • The applications for Startup Academia Alliance were hosted on the Startup India Hub, a one-stop destination for startups

Clean India Mission

Official Trailer launching of Film “Halkaa” Under the Aegis Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban)


  • Bollywood film “Halkaa” under the aegis of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban), in partnership with the New Delhi Municipal Council has been launched


  • It is expected that the film can contribute to the aim of achieving an Open Defecation Free India and accelerate the pace of achieving the Swachh Bharat Mission’s targets, through its powerful messaging.

Enlighten about Halkaa

  • “Halkaa” (Relief) is the story of an 8-year-old boy Pichku who aspires for a better quality of life.
  • The film is a unique take on the child (Pichku)’s heroism: the boy refuses to be part of the age-old practice of open defecation and decides to make a change for his betterment.

Ministry of Human Resource Development

NITI Aayog identified 117 districts as Aspirational Districts for RUSA Scheme


  • NITI Aayog has identified 117 districts as ‘Aspirational Districts’.

Selection criteria

  • These districts have been selected on the basis of composite index which includes published data of deprivation enumerated under Socio-Economic Caste Census, Health & Nutrition, Education and Basic Infrastructure.

2nd phase of RUSA/Opening of Degree colleges

  • During the second phase of the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), central assistance is provided for opening of new Model Degree Colleges(MDCs) in ‘Aspirational Districts’ identified by NITI Aayog and in unserved & underserved districts in North Eastern and Himalayan States.
  • The Project Approval Board (PAB) of RUSA has approved central support for one MDC each in 70 such districts including 6 in Odisha.
  • An Expert Committee constituted by the University Grants Commission (UGC) had identified 374 Educationally Backward Districts (EBDs) where Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education was less than the national average of 12.4% based on 2001 census data.
  • During the first phase of RUSA, central assistance to States has been provided for creation of one Model Degree College each in 60 EBDs including 8 in Odisha.

Enlighten about the details

  • Centre support -The central support provided under the component of new MDCs is infrastructural in nature in which funds are released for creation of Colleges with requisite infrastructure such as appropriate number of class rooms, library, laboratory, faculty rooms, toilet blocks and other essential requirements for technologically advanced facilities.
  • State’s ambit - All recurring expenditure (including salaries) in respect of the MDC being established, will be borne by the respective State Government.
  • Additionally, under a separate component of RUSA viz., Faculty Recruitment Support, central support is provided for creation of additional posts of Assistant Professors

Infrastructure Development

Launch of Bidder Information Management System and Bhoomi Rashi - PFMS Linkage Portals


  • Launch of Bidder Information Management System (BIMS) and Bhoomi Rashi and PFMS linkage - two IT initiatives of the Road Transport & Highways Ministry


  • Aimed at expediting pre construction processes relating to bidding and land acquisition respectively.
  • The Minister also announced institution of Annual Awards for Excellence in National Highways Projects from this year onwards.

Enlighten about BIMS

  • BIMS is aimed at streamlining the process of pre-qualification of bidders for EPC Mode of contracts for National Highway works with enhanced transparency and objectivity.
  • The portal will work as a data base of information about bidders, covering basic details, civil works experience, cash accruals and network, annual turnover etc.
  • BIMS will be used by all the project implementation agencies of the Ministry for maintenance of technical information of civil works of contractors/ concessionaires, and for online technical evaluation of civil works bids.
  • It is estimated that BIMS portal will significantly reduce the procurement time for projects through an objective and transparent online evaluation system thereby leading to accelerated project implementation.

Enlighten about Bhoomi Rashi

  • The portal developed by MoRTH and NIC, comprises the entire revenue data of the country, right down to 6.4 lakh villages.
  • The entire process flow, from submission of draft notification by the State Government to its approval by the. Minister of State for RT&H and publication in e-Gazette, is online.
  • The portal, created for expediting the process of publication of notifications for LA, is now being fully utilized for issuing the notifications, and more than 900 notifications have been issued using the portal so far.
  • Bhoomi Rashi portal has been instrumental in reducing the time taken for approval and publication of notifications pertaining to land acquisition

Public Financial Management System (PFMS

  • Integration of Public Financial Management System (PFMS) with Bhoomi Rashi is one of the key functionalities to facilitate payment related to compensation for land acquisition to all the beneficiaries directly through the Bhoomi Rashi system.
  • PFMS is a web-based online software application developed and implemented by the Office of Controller General of Accounts (CGA). to facilitate sound public financial management system for Government of India (GoI)
  • With integration of Bhoomi Rashi with PFMS, payment of Compensation by the Ministry to the beneficiaries will be just-in-time, and without any parking of funds.
  • Annual Awards for Excellence in National Highways Projects from this year onwards, for recognizing concessionaires and contractors who are performing exceptionally. The Annual Road Awards to be presented every year starting 2018, are designed across five categories as follows:

a. Excellence in Construction Management
b. Excellence in Operation & Maintenance
c. Best Toll Plaza
d. Safe Highway
e. Innovation in Design or Construction Technology

NITI Aayog

International Conference on Sustainable Growth through Material Recycling inaugurated


  • NITI Aayog’s International Conference on “Sustainable Growth through Material Recycling: Policy Prescriptions”


  • Identifying policy prescriptions for the development and growth of material recycling in India towards creating more jobs, reduce dependence on exports, protect the environment and take steps towards adopting circular economy concepts.

Recycling movement

  • Recycling will increase growth, create wealth, and generate employment
  • Material recycling can reduce our reliance on finite resources, virtually eliminate our dependence on landfills and minimise the impact on our environment for the sustainable development of the Indian state and the wellbeing of citizens.

Enlighten about the conference

  • The day-long conference has 5 technical sessions on “Circular Economy in Material Recycling”, “Infrastructural Issues in Recycling Industry”, “Standardization and certification in Recycling Industry”, “Environmental Benefits of Material Recycling”, “Financial and Taxation issues in Recycling Industry”, “Financial and Taxation issues in Recycling Industry” respectively

Human Resource Development (MHRD)

IMPRINT-II (Impacting Research Innovation and Technology) scheme

Implementing Ministry

  • Union Ministry of Hume Resource Development (MHRD)


  • MHRD has approved 122 new research project proposals worth Rs 112 crore for funding under its IMPRINT-II (Impacting Research Innovation and Technology) scheme.
  • These projects were approved at IMPRINT-II Apex Committee meeting chaired by HRD Minister Prakash Javddekar in New Delhi.

Enlighten about it

  • The 122 approved new research projects aims to advance research in energy, healthcare, security and defence domains in the high education institutions.

Enlighten about IMPRINT

  • IMPRINT is first of its kind MHRD supported scheme to address major science and engineering challenges and boost original scientific and technological research in 10 technology identified domains in the country.
  • It was launched in November 2015 with an aim to develop new engineering education policy and create road map to pursue engineering challenges.
  • These 10 domains are Health Care, Computer Science and ICT, Advance Materials, Water Resources and River systems, Sustainable Urban Design, Defence, Nano-technology Hardware, Environmental Science and Climate Change and Energy Security.
  • IMPRINT provides overarching vision that guides research into areas that are predominantly socially relevant.
  • Initially under IMPRINT-I, IITs and IISC, were asked to identify major areas where India is facing engineering and technology challenges.
  • In IMPRINT – II it included private institutions along with IITs and IISc under IMPRINT-II and jointly funded and steered by MHRD and Department of Science and Technology (DST).

Science and Technology



  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has postponed Chandrayaan-2, India’s second mission to moon to January 2019.
  • This will be second time mission has been postponed. The ambitious mission was earlier planned to be launched in April 2018 and was later shifted for October 2019.

Enlighten about Chandrayaan 2 Mission

  • India’s second mission to Moon. It is advanced version of previous Chandrayaan-1 mission (launched in 2008) which only involved orbiting around moon, Chandrayaan-2 is much complicated mission as it involves an orbiter, lander and rover.
  • The mission components have been completely developed indigenously by ISRO and consists of Orbiter, Lander and Rover
  • ISRO will for the first time attempt to land rover on moon’s south-pole.
  • The mission involves soft-landing on lunar surface and rover that will walk and analysis content on moon’s surface
  • Chandrayaan 2 will be launched on board of Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk III (GSLV-F10).
  • It will be ISRO’s first inter-planetary mission to land rover on any celestial body.
  • The soft-landing on the lunar surface of the moon will be most complex part of Chandrayaan 2 mission. Only US, Russia and China have been able to soft-land spacecraft on lunar surface


Three-judge SC Bench to hear Article 35A issue Will study if it is violative of basic structure of Constitution


  • Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on Monday orally observed that the Supreme Court will consider whether Article 35A, giving special status to the State and people of Jammu and Kashmir, is violative of the basic structure of the Constitution.

Basic structure

  • Basic structure is a collective term coined by a 13-judge Bench in the historic Keshavananda Bharati case to include a catena of fundamental rights, including right to equality, non-discrimination, liberty, life and dignity, enshrined and preserved in the Constitution.

Centre’s plea for adjournment

  • The Centre, represented by Attorney-General K.K. Venugopal, persisted that the case should be adjourned as an interlocutor is carrying on a dialogue with the State’s stakeholders.

Enlighten about Article 35A

  • Article 35 A of the Indian Constitution is an article that empowers the Jammu and Kashmir state's legislature to define “permanent residents” of the state and provide special rights and privileges to those permanent residents.
  • It was added to the Constitution through a Presidential Order, i.e., The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954 - issued by the President of India on 14 May 1954, exercising the powers conferred by the clause (1) of the Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, and with the concurrence of the Government of the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

Sources – PIB , The Hindu , livemint