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Current Affairs 18th August 2018 in English

By: D.K Chaudhary
1. Ministry of Railways Launches Digital Screens To Spread Awareness About Indian Railways Heritage 
i. In the wake of Prime Minister’s vision for creating digital museums at stations using QR code, Ministry of Railway has made “digital screens” operational at 22 stations on this Independence Day as an innovative low-cost solution to spread awareness among public about the opulent heritage of Indian Railways.
ii. The project aims at showcasing the legacy of Indian Railways through one to two-minute-long movie clips on digital LED screens at the entrance gate of railway stations and also at different comfort areas.
  • Piyush Goyal is the present Railways Minister of India.
  • John Mathai was the first Railway Minister of Independent India.

2. Ministry of Agriculture Proposes To UNFAO To Declare 2019 as ‘International Year of Millets’ 
 
i. The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Radha Mohan Singh urged to Jose Graziano da Silva, the Director General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (UNFAO) to declare the upcoming year as the ‘International Year of Millets’.
ii. The adoption of this proposal by the FAO with the support of its Member Nations will enable it to be moved to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) for the declaration of an upcoming year as International Year of Millets.
  • United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation Headquarters in Rome, Italy.

3. 24th World Congress of Philosophy Held in Beijing 
i. The 24th World Congress of Philosophy (WCP) was held in Beijing, China. It was organized by the International Federation of Philosophical Societies, and Peking University.
ii. Its theme was “Learning To Be Human”. This was the first time that the quinquennial (once in five year) event was held in China.
 
 
4. US Forms ‘Iran Action Group’ For Post-Nuclear Deal Policy 
i. US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo announced the formation of the Iran Action Group (IAG) to coordinate and run the country’s policy towards Iran.
ii. Pompeo has named Brian Hook, the State Department’s director of policy planning, as the group’s head. The aim behind the formation of IAG is to change the Iranian regime’s behaviour.
  • Iran Capital: Tehran, Currency: Iranian rial, President: Hassan Rouhani.
 
5. Qatar To Invest 15 billion in Turkey’s Financial Markets And Banks 
i. Qatar King Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has pledged to make direct investment in Turkey and announced a 15-billion US dollar investment into the country’s financial markets and banks.
ii. The announcement came after holding talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara. Turkey is currently grappling with a currency crisis and heightened tensions with the United States, its NATO ally.
  • Turkey Capital- Ankara, Currency- Turkish lira, President- Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
  • Qatar Capital- Doha, Currency- Qatari riyal.

6. Smitha V. Crishna Tops List of India’s Wealthiest Women 
i. Smitha V. Crishna, a third-generation heir of the Godrej family, ranks first in the Kotak Wealth Hurun-Leading Wealthy Women 2018 list with an estimated wealth of Rs37,570 crore. Ms. Smitha owns one-fifth of the Godrej Group.
ii. Roshni Nadar, CEO and executive director at HCL, ranks second in the list with an estimated wealth of Rs30,200 crore. She also heads the Shiv Nadar Foundation. The chairperson of the Times Group, Indu Jain, ranks third in the list. Her wealth is estimated at Rs26,240 crore.
7. India Rating Lowers FY19 Growth Forecast to 7.2% 
i. India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) has revised down its FY19 economic growth forecast to 7.2% from 7.4% earlier.
ii. It cited the headwinds emanating from elevated global crude oil prices and the government’s decision to fix the minimum support prices of all kharif crops at 1.5x of the production cost as the reason for the downward revision.
 
8. EIU Releases Global Liveability Index 2018: Vienna tops, Delhi Stands 112th 
i. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) released the Global Liveability Index 2018, the ranking of 140 global cities based on their living conditions. The EIU is part of UK magazine ‘The Economist’ and provides forecasting and advisory services through research and analysis.
ii. Delhi was ranked at 112th position and Mumbai fetched 117th spot.  Austria’s capital Vienna has been ranked as the world’s most liveable city, displacing Australian city of Melbourne.
iii. The Top three cities on the list are: 
1. Vienna,
2. Melbourne,
3. Osaka.
9. Ang Lee To Be Honoured By Directors Guild Of America 
i. Oscar-winning director Ang Lee will be one of the recipients of the annual Directors Guild of America (DGA) honours at its ceremony.
ii. Apart from the 63-year-old director, Fox Searchlight chairman Nancy Utley, US Senator Amy Klobuchar, SAG-AFTRA senior adviser John McGuire and costume designer Ann Roth will also be honoured at the ceremony.
  • The Directors Guild of America is a labor organization that represents the creative and economic rights of directors and members of the directorial team working in film, television, commercials, documentaries, news, sports and new media.
  • It was Founded in 1936.
10. 2018 Albany Medical Center Prize Awarded To 3 US Scientists 
i. Three US scientists James Allison, Carl June and Steven Rosenberg were declared winners 2018 Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research. They were awarded in recognition of their research in immunology and translation of their ideas into effective therapies that have led to innovative treatments for cancer, HIV and other diseases.
ii. They will share this $500,000 medical prize. They will receive the award at the ceremony to be held in September 2018 in Albany, New York.
Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research: 
  • It is United States’ second-highest value prize in medicine and biomedical research, awarded by the Albany Medical Center.
  • It was established in 2000.
11. Independence Day Gallantry Awards Announced: Complete List of Winners 
i. The President and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces has approved 131 Gallantry Awards to Armed Forces Personnel and members of Paramilitary Forces which include one Kirti Chakra, 20 Shaurya Chakras, three Bar to Sena Medals (Gallantry), 93 Sena Medals (Gallantry), 11 Nao Sena Medals (Gallantry) and three Vayu Sena Medals (Gallantry). 
12. K S Srinivas Appointed Chairman of Marine Products Export Development Authority 
i. IAS officer K S Srinivas has taken over as Chairman of Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA). 
ii. Prior to this appointment, he had served as Joint Secretary in Department of Agriculture Cooperation and Farmers’ Welfare in Ministry of Agriculture.
  • MPEDA is a nodal coordinating state-owned agency engaged in fishery production and allied activities.
  • It was established in 1972 under Marine Products Export Development Authority Act (MPEDA), 1972.
13. Ibrahim Boubacar Keita Re-Elected Mali President 
i. Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has been re-elected for a five-year term after winning a landslide in a runoff ballot.
ii. Keita, 73, picked up 67.17% of the vote against 32.83% for opposition challenger and former finance minister Soumaila Cisse, 68, who also ran against Keita in 2013.
  • Mali Capital: Bamako, Currency: West African CFA franc.
14. Mario Abdo Benitez Sworn In As New President Of Paraguay 
i. Colorado Party’s Mario Abdo Benitez was sworn in as the new President of Paraguay for a five-year term.
ii. Benitez clinched the top spot after defeating his closest rival, Efrain Alegre from the liberal opposition alliance, by four percentage points in the nation’s elections, which were held in April 2018.
  • Paraguay Capital: Asuncion, Currency: Paraguayan guarani.


15. PhonePe To Facilitate Convenient Payments On IRCTC App 

i. PhonePe announced entering into a partnership with Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to facilitate convenient, fast and secure payments through PhonePe on the IRCTC Rail connect Android app.
ii. The partnership will enable PhonePe’s 100 million-plus users to now pay directly from their bank accounts using UPI, credit and debit cards and also the PhonePe wallet for their travel bookings.
16. US Singer Aretha Franklin Passes Away at 76 

i. US singer Aretha Franklin has died at the age of 76. The “Queen of Soul” was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and made her debut in 1961. Her style on such hits as “Respect” and “Natural Woman” attracted fans all over the world.
ii. She received the Grammy Award 18 times and was the first female vocalist to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

 

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