Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - March 19, 2018

Science & Technology

7th Women Science Congress Inaugurated at Imphal

  • Inaugurating the 7th Women Science Congress at the ongoing 105th session of Indian Science Congress in Imphal
  • Women empowerment may be through innovative scientific activities and integrating action-oriented literacy.
  • 7th Women Science Congress is a significant step towards nation-building
  • The Ministry has launched the India-US Fellowships in December 2017 to encourage research by women in the field of science and technology.
  • The Governor of West Bengal also released a souvenir of Women Science Congress on the occasion.
  • The first Women Science Congress was held in 2012.

Ansupa lake

  • Odisha’s largest freshwater lake which silted up following drastic reduction of water inflow from the Mahanadi, may soon get a new lease of life, thanks to holistic intervention initiated by the State government

IIT Kanpur researchers find why babies need to move in the womb

  • Permanent cartilage is formed in an embryo due to mechanical movement.
  • They also found out how permanent cartilage is lost and temporary or transient cartilage is formed in its place in the absence of movement.
  • While permanent cartilage lines the joint, the transient cartilage is a bone-forming one
  • BMP and Wnt are two major signals regulating this process.
  • While BMP promotes transient cartilage formation, Wnt promotes permanent cartilage formation.
  • The role of the Smurf1 inhibitor is to maintain a BMP-free area thereby enabling the progenitor cells to become permanent cartilage. But due to increased BMP signalling the permanent cartilage gets converted into transient-like cartilage

No sign of new neurons in adult humans, says study

  • Finding, published in Nature, contradicts earlier experiments, according to which neurons in the hippocampal region of the brain could be formed even late in adulthood.
  • Researchers observe that the latest neurons form in the brain when the subject is about 13 years old and no later
  • The hippocampus is a region which is believed to be the abode of long-term memory and emotional responses. This was also believed to be true in other mammals such as chimpanzees and rodents.

Commerce & Industry

Informal World Trade Organisation Ministerial Meeting 19-20th March in New Delhi

  • Representatives from 50 countries will be gathering in New Delhi on 19-20 March for an informal World Trade Organisation (WTO) ministerial meeting.
  • The informal meeting of ministers will provide an opportunity to engage in free and frank discussions with the hope that it will lead to political guidance on some major issues.
  • In the absence of Ministerial guidance at the Eleventh Ministerial Conference (MC 11) that took place from 10 to 13 December 2017 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, it is hoped that the New Delhi meeting will provide an opportunity for ministers to explore in greater detail the options on different issues for re-invigorating the WTO.


We For Victory Campaign

  • Felicitation Programme organised for Atal Pension Yojana Service Providers under ‘We for Victory’ Campaign
  • More than 4 lakh accounts mobilised by the Banks on the occasion.
  • The Atal Pension Yojana became operational from June 1, 2015 and is available to all the citizens of India in the age group of 18-40 years.

Enlighten about the scheme –

  • Under the scheme, a subscriber would receive a minimum guaranteed pension of Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000 per month, depending upon his contribution, from the age of 60 years.
  • The same pension would be paid to the spouse of the subscriber and on the demise of both the subscriber and the spouse, the accumulated pension wealth is returned to the nominee.
  • The Central Government would also co-contribute 50% of the total contribution or Rs. 1000 per annum, whichever is lower, to each eligible subscriber account, for a period of 5 years, that is, from 2015-16 to 2019-20, to those who join the NPS before 31st December, 2015 and who are not members of any statutory social security scheme and who are not Income Tax payers.

Disaster management

Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES)

  • It is an UN-registered agency

What –

  • RIMES in collaborating with Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) to strengthen its quality, prediction ability and response capacity.

Enlighten about theb collaboration

  • RIMES will provide technical support to OSDMA regarding analysis of data to be generated through automatic weather stations being installed in all the gram panchayats, validation of the forecast, early warning and preparedness for lightening, heat wave, flood, draught and Tsunami.
  • It would enhance the warning response capacities of the OSDMA by imparting specialized expert training.
  • It will also help to develop a one-stop risk management system for all OSDMA needs- integration of multiple data database/servers.

Enlighten About RIMES

  • RIMES, an inter-governmental body registered under the United Nations.
  • It is being owned and managed by 45 collaborating countries in Asia Pacific and Africa Region.
  • At present, India is chairing RIMES.
  • The programme unit of the agency is located in Thailand.
  • RIMES evolved from the efforts of countries in Africa and Asia, in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, to establish a regional early warning system within a multi-hazard framework


Maharashtra to ban plastic

  • The Maharashtra government has decided to ban the use of plastic.
  • The Solid Waste Management Act 2016 and the Plastic Carry Bags (Manufacture and Usage) Rules 2006. – needs to be changed in order to implement the new rule
  • The highlight of the ban is that both manufacturers and users will be penalized.
  • The punishment is a fine ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 25,000 and a jail term of three months.

New species of water strider found in Nagaland By the Scientists from Zoological Survey of India named Ptilomera nagalanda Jehamalar and Chandra.

  • Water striders are a group of insects adapted to life on the surface of water, using surface tension to their advantage.
  • Their presence serves as an indicator water of water quality and they are found on water surface.
  • Other than being a good indicator of water quality, water striders also play an important role in the food chain by feeding on mosquito larvae.


International Competition Network 2018 (ICN2018)

  • India to host 17th Annual Conference of International Competition Network 2018 (ICN2018) from 21st to 23rdMarch 2018 in New Delhi.
  • This is the first time India is hosting the ICN2018 Annual Conference since it joined International Competition Network (ICN) in 2009
  • Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Shri Arun Jaitley will inaugurate ICN2018 Annual Conference on 21st March 2018

Surveys Undertaken by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Consumer Confidence released by the RBI

  • Consumer confidence improved in December 2017 as the current situation index (CSI) recorded a significant rise after more than a year