Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - June 11, 2018

Science & Technology

India’s first indigenous Lithium Ion Battery project Technology to be provided by CSIR lab

Enlighten about the MoU

  • Central Electro Chemical Research Institute (CECRI), Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu under Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) and RAASI Solar Power Pvt Ltd have signed a Memorandum of Agreement for transfer of technology for India’s first Lithium Ion (Li-ion) Battery project.

Lithium-ion cell development

  • A group at CSIR-CECRI headed by Dr Gopu Kumar has developed an indigenous technology of Lithium-ion cells in partnership with CSIR-National Physical Laboratory (CSIR-NPL) New Delhi, CSIR- Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute (CSIR-CGCRI) Kolkata and Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (CSIR-IICT) Hyderabad.

Manufacturing of cells

  • CSIR-CECRI has set up a demo facility in Chennai to manufacture prototype Lithium-Ion cells.
  • It has secured global IPRs with potential to enable cost reduction, coupled with appropriate supply chain and manufacturing technology for mass production.
  • Currently, Indian manufacturers source Lithium Ion Battery from China, Japan and South Korea among some other countries.


  • India is one of the largest importers and in 2017, it imported nearly 150 Million US Dollar worth Li-Ion batteries.
  • It will give tremendous boost to two flagship programmes of the government– increasing the share of Clean Energy in the energy basket by generating 175 Giga Watts by 2022, of which 100 Giga Watts will be Solar and the second, National Electric Mobility Mission, to switch completely to electric vehicles by 2030.
  • Raasi Group will set up the manufacturing facility in Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu close to Bangalore.

Enlighten about Council of Scientific and Industrial Research

  • Chairman - Prime Minister of India
  • The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research was established by the Government of India in 1942 is an autonomous body that has emerged as the largest research and development organisation in India.
  • It runs thirty-eight laboratories and thirty-nine field stations or extension centres throughout the nation, with a collective staff of over 12,000 scientists and scientific and technical personnel.
  • Although it is mainly funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology, it operates as an autonomous body through the Societies Registration Act, 1860.
  • The research and development activities of CSIR include aerospace engineering, structural engineering, ocean sciences, life sciences, metallurgy, chemicals, mining, food, petroleum, leather, and environmental science.


Vigilance Commissioner

  • Shri Sharad Kumar (Indian Police Service, Retd.) has been appointed as the Vigilance Commissioner in the Central Vigilance Commission, New Delhi for a term of four years from the date on which he enters upon his office, or till he attains the age of sixty five years, whichever is earlier.

Enlighten about Central Vigilance Commission (CVC)

  • It is an apex Indian governmental body created in 1964 to address governmental corruption.
  • In 2003, the Parliament enacted a law conferring statutory status on the CVC.
  • It has the status of an autonomous body, free of control from any executive authority, charged with monitoring all vigilance activity under the Central Government of India, advising various authorities in central Government organizations in planning, executing, reviewing and reforming their vigilance work.
  • It was set up by the Government of India in February, 1964 on the recommendations of the Committee on Prevention of Corruption, headed by Shri K. Santhanam Committee, to advise and guide Central Government agencies in the field of vigilance

The Commission shall consist of:

  • A Central Vigilance Commissioner - Chairperson
  • Not more than two Vigilance Commissioners - Members

Rural Development

National Awards on Best Performing Self Help Groups under DAY – National Rural Livelihood Mission

  • National Awards on Best Performing Self Help Groups under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM)
  • The National Awards to the Self-Help Groups (SHGs) are intended to provide public recognition to the outstanding performance of the community institutions and incorporate a sense of pride among the poor community members.
  • Conferring awards to best performing SHG and Village Organizations was initiated by DAY-NRLM in 2016-17.

Enlighten about the procedure

  • The DAY-NRLM awards are conferred on the Best Performing Community Based Organizations (Self Help Groups and Village Organizations) after screening the nominations received from the SRLMs.
  • The selection process adopted is that the SHGs are first assessed for their performance on several indicators such as Institution Building-Capacity Building, Financial Inclusion, Livelihoods, Convergence etc. and then nominated by the respective SRLMs for receiving awards.
  • The National Unit of DAY-NRLM then screens the applications thus received and finalizes the awardee list.
  • The Awards have motivated the State Missions across the country to perform better

Self Help Groups

  • The financial resources leveraged by the Self Help Group members has enabled them to undertake a large ensemble of livelihood activities such as agriculture and allied activities, sheep and goat rearing, horticulture, running of local means of transportation, rearing of milch animals, irrigation development through bore wells, carpentry etc.
  • The SHGs are a perfect example of how livelihoods of households can transform through a collective approach, managed in line with core democratic and financial principles.
  • The SHG has contributed to several community level activities for the common good.
  • These include awareness promotion for constructing household toilets using SBM funds, environmental sanitation, liquid waste management and support for maintenance of village commons.

Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy Revised guidelines for MAKA Trophy


  • To rationalize and simplify the selection of top performing university in sports for award of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy

Enlighten about MAKA

  • Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy was instituted in 1956- 57 as a running trophy by the Ministry of Education, Govt. of India.
  • This running trophy is awarded by the President of India each year to a University which has all round best performance in sports at Inter-University, National and International competitions.

Enlighten about the revised guidelines

  • Under the revised guidelines, the applications from the universities, which were hitherto used to be invited and scrutinized by the Association of Indian Universities (AIU), will now be invited by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports/Sports Authority of India.
  • Scrutiny of applications will also be done by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports/Sports Authority of India.
  • Criteria for calculation of marks for selection of universities for MAKA Trophy has been revised in which the performances of the students of the universities in various national and international Games
  • Tournaments which are held more than once a year will not be considered for computation of marks.
  • The amount of award money for the overall all winner university has been enhanced from Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 15 lakh

International Organisations

The 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit

  • Where – Qingdao (china)
  • The 18th SCO concluded with the adoption of the Qingdao declaration.

Enlighten about Qingdao declaration

  • It was adopted by leaders of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan
  • It was India and Pakistan’s first summit as full members of SCO grouping
  • The Qingdao declaration calls for implementing three-year plan to combat terrorism, separatism and extremism.
  • It also calls for implementation of treaty on long-term good neighbourliness, friendship and co-operation.
  • SCO participating leaders also adopted total of 17 documents at the summit, which particularly include documents endorsing 2018-2022 Action Plan to implement Treaty for Long-term Good-Neighborly Relations, Friendship and Cooperation between SCO states and 2019-2020 Program for Cooperation in countering terrorism, separatism and extremism.
  • They also signed decision to approve 2018-2023 Anti-Drug Strategy and Action Plan to implement it.
  • India refused to endorse China’s ambitious One Belt
  • One Road (OBOR) project as part of Qingdao Declaration at the 18th SCO summit.

Concept of SECURE by India

  • Indian Prime Minister Modi presented concept of SECURE: ‘S’ for security for citizens, ‘E’ for economic development, ‘C’ for connectivity in the region, ‘U’ for unity, ‘R’ for respect of sovereignty and integrity, and ‘E for environment protection.

Enlighten about SCO

  • Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) SCO is a Eurasian economic, political and security organisation headquartered in Beijing, China.
  • Its main objective is military cooperation between members.
  • It also works towards intelligence-sharing, counter-terrorism operations in Central Asia.
  • The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan became its members last year.
  • The eight member countries of the SCO represent around 42% of the world’s population and 20% of the global GDP.
  • The full members of the organization are China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, India and Pakistan.
  • India and Pakistan were granted SCO membership in June 2017. Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia currently enjoy observer status of SCO

44th annual G7 Summit

  • Where - held in Quebec, Canada.

Enlighten about G7 Summit

  • An annual event where world leaders from seven powerful economies of the world, US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Japan and Italy come together to discuss burning issues happening around the globe.
  • Every year few international issues which need to be tackled are taken into account and policies are formed around them.

Canada has put forward the following 5 themes for this year’s summit:

  • Investing in growth that works for everyone.
  • Preparing for jobs of the future.
  • Working together on climate change, oceans and clean energy.
  • Building a more peaceful and secure world.
  • Advancing gender equality and impacting women’s empowerment.

Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation

Rural sanitation coverage under Swachh Bharat crosses the 85% mark

  • Under the Swachh Bharat Mission, the largest behavior change programme in the world, the rural sanitation coverage of India has now risen to 85%.
  • 7.4 crore toilets have been built across rural India, and as an outcome, over 3.8 lakh villages and 391 districts have been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF).
  • The Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen), sanitation coverage has increased to more than double the coverage at the time of the launch of the Mission.
  • Two independent surveys conducted in the past by the Quality Council of India in 2017, and National Sample Survey Organization in 2016, have pegged the usage of these toilets at 91% and 95% respectively.
  • The Swachh Bharat Mission is the first sanitation programme in the country to measure outcomes (ODF) instead of output (toilets) alone.
  • The SBM's emphasis on behavior change in rural sanitation at the grassroots also leads to rigorous verification and sustainability of the benefits accrued to rural communities under the progress made.

Sources – PIB,The Hindu,LiveMint,IE