Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - September 12, 2018

NITI Aayog

NITI Aayog, Intel and TIFR collaborate to set up a Model International Center for Transformative AI (ICTAI) The center will focus on application-based AI research in healthcare, agriculture and smart mobility


  • NITI Aayog, Intel, and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) announced to set up a Model International Center for Transformative Artificial Intelligence (ICTAI) towards developing and deploying AI-led application-based research projects.
  • This initiative is part of NITI Aayog’s ‘National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence’ Discussion Paper that focuses on establishing ICTAI in the country through private sector collaboration.

Enlighten about ICTAI

  • Based in Bengaluru, the Model ICTAI aims to conduct advanced research to incubate AI-led solutions in three important areas – healthcare, agriculture and smart mobility – by bringing together the expertise of Intel and TIFR.
  • It aims to experiment, discover and establish best practices in the domains of ICTAI governance, fundamental research, physical infrastructure, compute and service infrastructure needs, and talent acquisition.

International events

The World Hindu Congress (WHC2018)


  • The WHC2018 was held Chicago, United States.


  • It was organized to commemorate 125 years of Swami Vivekananda’s historic Chicago address on September 11, 1893.


  • The theme of WHC-2018 was “Sumantrite Suvikrante” — think collectively, achieve valiantly”.
  • It was second edition of World Hindu Congress and was attended by Vice President Venkaiah Naidu.

Enlighten about World Hindu Congress (WHC)

  • It is global platform for Hindus to connect, share ideas, inspire one another, and impact the common good.
  • It offers Hindus opportunity to introspect towards improvement and tap into collective resources to seek tangible solutions to most pressing issues of our age.
  • The inaugural WHC was held in November 2014 in New Delhi with theme ‘Sangachchhadhwam Samvadadhwam’ which means ‘Step together, Express together’. Since then, it is held once every four years.

Human Resource Development (HRD)

The World Summit on Accreditation (WOSA-2018)


  • It was held New Delhi.


  • Challenges and Opportunities in Outcome Based Accreditation

Sub -theme

  • Achieving excellence through learning outcomes, role of industry in technical education, ranking and rating of higher education institutions – Do they have Role in Quality Improvement, linking government funding with quality and use of ICT in accreditation in large jurisdictions

Enlighten about WOSA 2018

  • The Summit facilitated exchange of information on various challenges being faced during transition between input-output based accreditation to outcome based accreditation.
  • It saw participation of accreditation agencies from across world on common platform to share best practices.
  • It also provided opportunity for academia and industry to explore avenues for future partnerships and to create an environment for open dialogue to facilitate mobility of students and professionals worldwide to gain international experience.
  • It provides platform to stakeholders to share their knowledge and information on accreditation.

National Board of Accreditation (NBA)

  • It is an autonomous organisation under Union Ministry of Human Resource Development.
  • It is engaged in quality assurance of programs offered by professional and technical institutions in India through accreditation.
  • It has been accorded Permanent Signatory Status of Washington Accord since June, 2014.


INDO-US joint military exercise Yudh Abhyas 2018


  • As part of the ongoing Indo-US defence cooperation, a joint military training Exercise Yudh Abhyas 2018 is scheduled to be conducted in the foothills of Himalayas at Chaubattia in Uttarakhand from 16 September to 29 September 2018.
  • This will be the 14th edition of the joint military exercise hosted alternately by both countries.

Enlighten about the exercise

  • The joint exercise Yudh Abhyas 2018 will simulate a scenario where both nations will work together in counter insurgency and counter terrorism environment in mountainous terrain under United Nation charter.
  • The two week exercise will witness participation of about 350 personnel of the US Army and similar strength of the Indian Army.
  • The exercise curriculum is progressively planned where the participants are initially made to get familiar with each other’s organizational structure, weapons, equipment, confidence training and tactical drills.

Commerce & Industry

India focus country in Izmir International Trade Show


  • The Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI) led a75-member Indian delegation for the ongoing 87th Izmir International Trade Show in Turkey.
  • The delegation had several B2B meetings and business tie-ups with members of the Turkish business community.
  • India is the Focus Country in the trade show with a standalone pavilion named ‘Source India’.
  • The India Pavilion is a multi-product pavilion, including companies displaying products like ceramics, cereals and mechanical appliances.
  • A business collaboration has been worked out by TPCI and BIM, a Turkish supermarket chain,having 6500 stores in Turkey, 600 in Morocco and 400 in Egypt.
  • TPCI, a trade and investment promotion organization of Department of Commerce, has organized similar pavilions in countries like Nigeria and South Africa. These events serve the purpose of opening new areas for co-operation in trade and investment between India and the rest of the world.
  • India and Turkey had set a bilateral trade target of $10 billion during a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in May 2017.


Piyush Goyal launches a web portal “Rail Sahyog” It will provide a platform for the Corporates & PSUs to contribute to creation of amenities at/near Railway Stations through CSR funds


  • The Minister of Railways and Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal launched a web portal www.railsahyog.intoday.

Enlighten about the web portal

  • The web portal will provide a platform for the Corporates and PSUs to contribute to creation of amenities at/near Railway Stations through Corporate Social Responsibility funds.
  • The companies desirous of contributing can show willingness on the portal by registering their requests.
  • The requests will be processed by Railway officials. Based on the principle of first come first serve, the requests will be shortlisted and selected applicants will be intimated to deposit the funds with Railways/nominated agencies like RITES/RAILTEL etc.
  • The nominated agency will get the work executed thereafter.
  • The “Rail Sahyog” portal is an example of changing times & speedy execution of projects in Railways.
  • Salient feature of this portal is its simplicity & transparency.
  • This portal will provide an opportunity for Industry/ Companies/ Associations to collaborate with Railways.
  • This portal will not only be beneficial for passengers but also for neighbourhood of Railway vicinity.
  • The portal has been envisaged as a platform for all including individuals as also private & public organisation to contribute towards CSR activities in association with Indian Railways.
  • Rail Sahyog will remove all hurdles faced by the companies for cooperation with Railways.
  • Individuals, Private companies have the freedom to execute projects in Railways.”

Health and Family Welfare

Health Ministry issues a notification for bringing the HIV/AIDS Act, 2017 in force


  • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued a notification for bringing the Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Prevention and Control) Act, 2017 in force from 10th September, 2018.

Enlighten about the act

  • The Act, safeguards the rights of people living with HIV and affected by HIV.
  • The provisions of the Act address HIV-related discrimination, strengthen the existing programme by bringing in legal accountability, and establish formal mechanisms for inquiring into complaints and redressing grievances.
  • The Act seeks to prevent and control the spread of HIV and AIDS, prohibits discrimination against persons with HIV and AIDS.
  • The Act lists various grounds on which discrimination against HIV positive persons and those living with them is prohibited.
  • These include the denial, termination, discontinuation or unfair treatment with regard to: (i) employment, (ii) educational establishments, (iii) health care services, (iv) residing or renting property, (v) standing for public or private office, and (vi) provision of insurance (unless based on actuarial studies).
  • The requirement for HIV testing as a pre-requisite for obtaining employment or accessing health care or education is also prohibited.
  • Every HIV infected or affected person below the age of 18 years has the right to reside in a shared household and enjoy the facilities of the household.
  • The Act also prohibits any individual from publishing information or advocating feelings of hatred against HIV positive persons and those living with them.


India’s first missile tracking ship is readying for sea trials Built by Hindustan Shipyard Ltd


  • Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) is gearing up to undertake sea trials of India’s first missile tracking ship by the first week of October.
  • It will be India’s first, a force multiplier and cruise the country into a global elite club.

Enlighten about the ship

  • The keel of the ship, which was laid on June 30, 2014, is being built for the National Technical Research Organisation, the technical intelligence agency working directly under the supervision of the Prime Minister’s Office and the National Security Adviser.
  • Considered a “topmost secret project”, a lot of confidentiality is being maintained in executing the project costing about ₹750 crore.
  • It will be named after its induction into the Navy. For now, it is simply referred as VC 11184.
  • This will be the first of its kind ocean surveillance ship being built as part of the efforts under the NDA government to strengthen the country’s strategic weapons programme.
  • This would put India in the elite of club of a few countries that have such a sophisticated ocean surveillance ship
  • The ship was built inside the covered dry dock. It has the capacity to carry 300-strong crew with hi-tech gadgets and communication equipment, powered by two diesel engines, and a large deck capable of helicopter landing.

Visakhapatnam( a strategic location)

  • It is considered a strategic location on the East Coast for the Indian defence forces as it is home for Ship Building Centre to build nuclear powered submarine INS Arihant class, Naval Alternate Operational Base at Rambilli, the second naval base after Eastern Naval Command headquarters, training centre for Marine Commandos and headquarters of the submarine arm.

Sources – The Hindu , PIB , Indianexpress