Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - March 17, 2018

Science & Technology

105th Indian Science Congress

  • Prime Minister inaugurated the 105th Indian Science Congress at Manipur University today.
  • This is the second time in over a century that the Indian Science Congress is being held in the North-East.
  • This is a testimony to the resurgent spirit of the North East.
  • The theme of this Session “Reaching the Unreached through Science & Technology
  • The five day-long mega event will conclude on the 20th of this month.

Enlighten about 105th ISC

  • This congress will focus on translational science for promoting affordable sustainable innovation.
  • During the five days, thrust will be given on various science disciplines, which has reached to the society.
  • In a way, discussions will be on science for all, Science and Technology Fostering Inclusive Societal Development and Science & Society: Bridging the Gap through Innovations.
  • A technology based start-up conclave also will be showcased inviting the top class innovators and entrepreneurial researchers.

105th ISC General Information

  • More than 3-4 Nobel Laureates (Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Peace, Economics, Field prize in mathematics)
  • All science and engineering academies of India
  • All Ministers promoting Science & Technology (DST, DBT, CSIR, ICMR, ICAR, MSME, AICTE, UGC, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Skills). Represented by Minister, Secretary, Advisor.
  • All national Science Academies of the world (USA, UK, Germany, Switzerland, Singapore, Sweden, Austria, Belgium, South Korea, Australia, Japan etc.
  • Showcasing & promoting bilateral programs on science & technology such as Indo-US, Indo-German, Indo-Swiss, Indo-Israel, Indo-Australia.
  • Industry partnership promoting Institute-industry collaboration (Medical device, Biotech Industries, Chemical, Mining, IT)

NITI Aayog

SATH-E Roadmap SATHE to introduce System-wide Governance Transformation in School Education

  • NITI Aayog will release comprehensive roadmaps and detailed timelines for its initiative ‘Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital in Education (SATH-E)’ project at NITI Aayog

Enlighten about the roadmap -

  • These roadmaps, which operate between 2018 to 2020, lay out detailed interventions which will taken by the three participating States- Jharkand, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha – aiming to become ‘Role Model States’ in school education.
  • These roadmaps present the first-of-its-kind, customized, action-oriented programmes, outlining interventions at the individual, district and State level.
  • The roadmaps were jointly prepared by NITI Aayog, the three States and the knowledge partners of the SATH Initiatives, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Piramal Foundation For Education Leadership (PFEL).


INDIA and ADB Sign $120 Million Loan to Improve Rail Infrastructure

  • Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) today signed a $120 million loan agreement for completion of works for double-tracking and electrification of railways tracks along high-density corridors to improve operational efficiency of Indian railways.
  • The tranche 3 loan is part of the $500 million multi-tranche financing facility for Railway Sector Investment Program approved by the ADB Board in 2011.
  • The loan amount will be used to complete the ongoing works commenced under earlier tranches.
  • The project is aimed at enhancing the efficiency of the rail infrastructure through electrification, introduction of modern signaling system, and doubling rail tracks
  • The Program will help develop an energy-efficient, safe, and reliable railway system that will result in reduced travel time along project rail routes and improved operational and financial efficiency


Krishi Unnati Mela 2018

  • The three-day farmers’ fair, to be hosted at the Mela Ground, IARI, New Delhi, will showcase innovations in farming technologies.

Enlighten about Krishi Unnati Mela

  • It is an annual event that witnesses congregation of lakhs of farmers from across the country, showcases latest technology in agriculture and allied services.
  • Farmers are also updated on various Government initiatives. The event, through a 360 degree information dissemination mechanism like setting up of stalls and pavilions, organizing seminars and conferences, live demonstrations, cultural shows etc provides limitless opportunity to farmers to share, interact and learn about the various initiatives of the Government.
  • More than 800 stalls have been set up by the Central and State Governments, various organizations, etc. in this fair.
  • Ways to enhance farmers’ income through theme pavilions like micro irrigation, neem-coated urea, soil check/Soil Health Card, reducing costs through less use of fertilizer, effectiveness of crop insurance scheme and new dimensions of income generation, such as animal husbandry, bee keeping, poultry farming, are being showcased.
  • Through a Live demo, farmers can witness actual farming at the fair.

Cabinet Decisions

India – Iran – cabinet approves Agreement for Avoidance of Double Taxation

  • The agreement will stimulate flow of investment, technology and personnel from India to Iran & vice versa and prevent double taxation.
  • It will provide for exchange of information between two contracting parties as per latest international standards.
  • It will improve transparency in tax matters and will help curb tax evasion and tax avoidance.
  • It also meets treaty related minimum standards under G-20 OECD Base Erosion & Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project, in which India participated on equal footing.
  • The Central Government is authorized to enter into Agreement with other country or specified territory for avoidance of double taxation of income for exchange of information for prevention of evasion or avoidance of income-tax chargeable under Section 90 of Income Tax Act, 1961