Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - February 23, 2018

Railway Reforms

Union Minister of Railways & Coal Shri Piyush Goyal launches Digital Receipt Note, Receipted Challan & Digital Bill Submission To Improve Transparency Inauguration of Suppliers’ Samvad

Why -

  • To improve its efficiency and promote Ease of Doing Business. Suppliers’ Samvad
  • In order to disseminate the information on such initiatives and to have open house discussion with its vendors, covering above areas and formulate plan and strategy to meet future challenges,
  • Journey towards Digitisation, Transparency & Ease of Doing Business” in association with RITES Ltd. and The Associated Chambers of Commerce of India (ASSOCHAM)

Science & Technology

Indian scientists develop next generation technology loop to generate clean energy

  • Indian scientists have developed a super critical carbon di oxide Brayton test loop facility that would help generate clean energy from future power plants including solar thermal.
  • This next generation technology loop was developed indigenously by Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
  • This is India’s first test-bed for next generation, efficient, compact, waterless super critical carbon dioxide Brayton cycle test loop for power generation.

Enlighten about this new technology -

  • This test loop is designed to generate the necessary data for future development of scaled up S-CO2 power plants, which would require overcoming several technological challenges –developing critical components such as the turbine, compressor and heat exchangers that can work at the desired pressure and temperature ranges and using materials that can withstand these conditions.
  • Today’s thermal power plants use steam to carry heat away from the source and turn a turbine to generate power.
  • It could generate more power if, instead of steam, supercritical CO2 (SCO2) is used. The term “supercritical” describes the state of carbon dioxide above its critical temperature of 31°C and critical pressure of 73 atmospheres making it twice as dense as steam.

Bilateral Agreements

Government of India signs a MoU with Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

Why -

  • To usher the “programme based research support” in addressing current and future global and local developmental challenges

Enlighten about International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

  • IDRC has been supporting quality research in various fields including finance, agriculture, industry and health in India.
  • Since 1972, IDRC has funded 551 research activities worth CA$159 million in India through institutions, researchers and NGOs.
  • During the last five years (2012-17), 96 research projects worth CA$ 51 million were funded by the IDRC in India

North-East Development

Formation of Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAPs) for NER coordinated by the Ministry of Development of North-East Region (MDoNER) Role of IMC

  • IMC will suggest actionable measures for enhancing the livelihood and economic transformation based on cultivation and sustainable management of MAPs resource in North East Region.
  • An Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAPs) has been set up for the North Eastern Region (NER).
  • This was decided after a meeting between Secretaries of DoNER and AYUSH.
  • The IMC is to create synergy in various programmes of the Union Government to enable medicinal and aromatic plants sector become vibrant and develop the resources to its potential.

Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare

Six new user friendly features of National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) Platform launched e-NAM integrates Central Farmer Database to increase the efficiency and reduce queue time

  • six new features of National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) Platform to make it more users friendly
  • e-NAM is one of the major and important flagship schemes of the Government of India which is being implemented by Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare with the objective of providing competitive and remunerative price to farmers for their produce through online competitive bidding process.
  • The Minister said that the agriculture ministry is now strengthening e-NAM platform with new and user-friendly features by rolling out MIS Dashboard for better analysis, BHIM payment facility by traders, mobile payment facility by traders, enhanced features on Mobile App such as gate entry and payment through mobile, integration of farmer’s database, eLearning module in e-NAM website etc.

1. e-NAM Mobile App:

  • the Mandi operators can carry out one of the critical operation of Gate Entry directly from e-NAM Mobile App.

2. BHIM payment facility :

  • Facilitation of Unified Payment Interface (UPI) through BHIM is another milestone in easing out payment to farmers which will also reduce the payment realization time from buyers’ account to the pool account and in turn disbursal to farmers.

3. New and improved Website with eLearning Module:

  • A new website has been developed with improved and more informative features like live status of markets of e-NAM based on gate entry, latest information on events, dynamic training calendar etc. Also e-Learning module in Hindi language has been designed and incorporated in the website

4. MIS Dashboard:

  • It will provide a greater insight into the performance of each Mandi in terms of arrival and trade. This will help the Mandi Board officials and APMC Secretary to compare the performance of each Mandi on daily, weekly, monthly/quarterly and Year-on-Year Basis.

5. Grievance Redressal Management System for Mandi Secretaries:

  • This system will help Mandi Secretary to raise technology issues related to portal/ software and its operation and also track the status of redressal of their query online.

6. Integration with Farmer Database:

  • e-NAM has been integrated with Central Farmer Database so that the registration process becomes easier and Identification of farmers can be done easily on arrival at the Mandi Gate

Ministry of Culture

Ras Banaras – Swachhagrah – Bapu ko Kaaryaanjali”


  • begins in Varanasi

What -

  • Celebrating the creative and cultural industries of Varanasi,
  • The two day long Sanskriti Mahotsavorganised

Organising agency -

  • The Ministry of Culture “Ras Banaras – Swachhagrah – Bapu ko Kaaryaanjali” at Man Mandir and Assi Ghat began in Varanasi

India and UNDPF

Tropical Cyclone Gita - Tonga India-UN Development Partnership Fund for the rehabilitation

  • India has allocated USD 500,000 for the rehabilitation efforts in Tonga after the Tropical Cyclone Gita caused massive destruction in the Pacific island nation.

Enlighten About the India-UN Development Partnership Fund

  • It was set up as a partnership between India and the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC).
  • The fund will support Southern-owned and led, demand-driven, and transformational sustainable development projects across the developing world.
  • Focusing on Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States, United Nations agencies will implement the Fund’s projects in close collaboration with partnering governments.

World Day

World Environment Day 5 June 2018 To be hosted by India

  • India will be the host for 2018 World Environment Day which will take place on June 5, 2018.
  • Theme: “Beat Plastic Pollution”.

World Environment Day

  • It is a UN Environment-led global event, started in 1972, it isthe single largest celebration of our environment each year, which takes place on June 5 and is celebrated by thousands of communities worldwide.