Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - October 20, 2018

International Organisations

12th ASEM Summit The 51 nations’ summit is seen as the highest platform for dialogue and cooperation between Asia and Europe


  • The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today to attend the two-day 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Brussels.
  • The theme of the ASEM Summit is ‘Global Partners for Global Challenges’.

Connect to the event

  • The bi-annual event is considered the highest platform for dialogue and cooperation between Asia and Europe in the areas of trade, investment, security and tourism.
  • As many as 51 Heads of States/ Heads of Government are expected to participate in the Summit where a wide range of issues from climate change to terrorism are expected to be discussed.

Connect to ASEM

  • The Asia–Europe Meeting (ASEM) is an Asian–European political dialogue forum to enhance relations and various forms of cooperation between its partners.
  • It was officially established on 1 March 1996 at the first summit in Bangkok, Thailand, by the then 15 members of the European Union (EU) and the European Commission, the then 7 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the individual countries of China, Japan, and South Korea.
  • A series of enlargements saw additional EU members join as well as India, Mongolia, Pakistan and the ASEAN Secretariat, Australia, New Zealand and the Russian Federation in 2010, Bangladesh, Norway, and Switzerland in 2012, as well as Croatia and Kazakhstan in 2014.

The main components of the ASEM process rest on the following 3 pillars:

  • Political & Security Pillar
  • Economic & Financial Pillar
  • Social, Cultural & Educational Pillar


Dharma Guardian


  • The first joint military exercise between India and Japan


  • It will be held at the Army’s Counter Insurgency Warfare School at Vairengte (Mizoram) from November 1 to 14, 2018.

Connect to the exercise

  • The exercise is aimed at developing mutual understanding and respect between militaries of both countries, as also facilitate in tracking worldwide phenomenon of terrorism.
  • Indian Army will be represented by 6/1 Gorkha Rifles, while Japanese Ground Self-Defence Force will eld its 32 Infantry Regiment.
  • The emphasis of this exercise will be on building interoperability.

NITI Aayog

Guidelines and Model Concessionaire Agreement for Public Private Partnership for Non Communicable Diseases in launched by NITI Aayog


  • NITI Aayog launched today the Guidelines and Model Concessionaire Agreement, MCA for Public Private Partnership, PPP for Non Communicable Diseases.
  • The documents have been designed to supplement efforts for provision of prevention and treatment services of non-communicable diseases related to Cardiac Sciences, Oncology, and Pulmonary Sciences at the district hospitals especially in tier 2 & 3 cities.
  • The documents have been developed by NITI Aayog in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, State Governments and representatives from the healthcare industry.

Salient features

  • PPP Units to be established in District Hospitals
  • Model covers prevention and treatment of 3 Non-Communicable Diseases viz. Cardio Vascular diseases, Cancers and Pulmonary diseases.

Increase in the contribution of NCD

  • The guidelines comes in the backdrop of the fact that the contribution of non-communicable diseases (NCD) to the overall disease burden in the country has increased over the years.
  • In the past many district hospitals in the country have focused mainly on communicable diseases and reproductive and child health.
  • As a result of which the capacity for handling NCD cases has not been adequately developed.
  • The Model Concessionaire Agreement and the guidelines co-locating private players for the Non Communicable Diseases - Cardiac, Oncology, and Pulmonary diseases at district hospital covers the rationale, roles and responsibilities, partnership structure, governance and management structure etc.
  • These PPP guidelines and MCA target the critical gaps that can be filled by ‘strategic purchasing’ in public health services highlighted in the National Health Policy 2017.
  • This would play a key role in directing private investment towards those areas and those services for which currently there are no providers or few providers.
  • The MCA and Guidelines for the provision of prevention and treatment services for NCDs could be adapted and customized by each State to ultimately develop appropriate strategies in accordance with the requirements provided in these documents.


Commemoration of '75th Year of Establishment of Azad Hind Government' at Red Fort, Delhi


  • The Prime Minister of India would be hoisting the National flag and unveiling the plaque to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the formation of Azad Hind Government on 21st October, 2018, at the Red Fort, Delhi.

Connect to the Azad Hind Government

  • The Azad Hind Government, founded on 21st October, 1943 was inspired by Neta ji Subhash Chandra Bose who was the leader of Azad Hind Government and also the Head of State of this Provisional Indian Government-in-exile.
  • It was a part of the freedom movement, originating in 1940s outside India with a purpose of allying with Axis powers to free India from British rule.
  • The existence of the Azad Hind Government gave a greater legitimacy to the independence struggle against the British.
  • Pertinently, the role of Azad Hind Fauj or the Indian National Army (INA) had been crucial in bequeathing a much needed impetus to India’s struggle for Independence.

Environment/Energy Sector

4th Annual Carnot Prize Recognising the pathbreaking transformations in India’s energy sector


  • The Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design is awarding its fourth annual Carnot Prize to Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways & Coal and former Minister of Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Government of India.

Connect to Carnot Prize

  • The Carnot Prize is the Kleinman Center’s annual recognition of distinguished contributions to energy policy through scholarship or practice.
  • The most prestigious award in the energy sector, Carnot Prize is named after French physicist Nicolas Sadi Carnot who recognised that the power of the steam engine would “produce a great revolution” in human development.
  • The Carnot Prize is intended to honour those leading revolutions in energy policy to further progress and prosperity.
  • The Carnot Prize recognises pioneering scholarship and path breaking policies in the energy sector.


NCR RASTA and Yatri RASTA Mobile App launched by Railways


  • The North Central Railways (NCR) launched two mobile apps
  • NCR RASTA (Railway assets Summerised Tracking Application) - for employees
  • Yatri RASTA (Railway Approach to Station Tracking Application) for passengers


  • For locating assets and stations.

Connect to the app

  • Both these apps are made with an objectives of better passenger service and asset maintenance by using cutting-edge technology and for handling emergencies.

Connect to NCR RASTA app

  • It is to be used by railway officers and staff and has exact mapping of all railway assets.
  • It will enable railway staff to reach desired asset using Google Navigation in case of any emergency.

Connect to Yatri RASTA app

  • This app will allow general public to locate railway stations easily.

State Specific

Bihar's 'Shahi Litchi' Gets Geographical Indication Tag


  • The famous Shahi litchi, which is famous for its sweet, juicy, unique flavour and aroma, is mostly grown in Muzaffarpur and neighbouring districts including East Champaran, Vaishali, Samastipur and Begusarai.
  • After Katrani rice, Jardalu mango and Magahi paan (betel vine), Bihar's Shahi litchi has got the Geographical Indication (GI) tag and has become an exclusive brand in the national and international market
  • It has officially become an exclusive brand with the GI tag.
  • The GI registration was done in the name of Litchi Growers Association of Bihar, which had applied for the tag
  • The GI tag to Shahi litchi will boost up its demand in the market and will minimise the fear of fake and poor quality litchis.

Connect to GI tag

  • A geographical indication (GI) is a name or sign used on certain products which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin (e.g. a town, region, or country).
  • India, as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), enacted the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 has come into force with effect from 15 September 2003.
  • GIs have been defined under Article 22(1) of the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights(TRIPS) Agreement as: "Indications which identify a good as originating in the territory of a member, or a region or a locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographic origin.
  • In India, GI tag Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection Act), 1999 governs it.
  • This Act is administered by Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks, who is also Registrar of Geographical Indications and is based in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
  • The GI tag ensures that none other than those registered as authorised users (or at least those residing inside the geographic territory) are allowed to use the popular product name.
  • Darjeeling tea became the first GI tagged product in India, in 2004-05

Sources – PIB ,The Hindu , Indianexpress