Russia prepares for biggest war games ‘Vostok-2018’
• Russia on September 11, 2018 will launch the biggest military drills in its history involving 300000 troops as well as Chinese soldiers, a move US agency NATO condemned as “exercising large-scale conflict”.
• Around 300000 soldiers, 36000 military vehicles, 1000 planes and 80 warships will be taking part in the drills.
• The week-long deployment alongside Chinese and Mongolian armies will start in eastern Siberia.
• The exercise comes at a time of escalating tensions between Moscow and the West over accusations of Russian interference in the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Syria.
• The Russian army has compared the show of force to the USSR’s 1981 war games that saw between 100000 and 150000 Warsaw Pact soldiers take part in “Zapad-81” (West-81), the largest military exercises of the Soviet era.
Nepal refuses to participate in inaugural BIMSTEC joint military exercise
• Nepal refused to participate in inaugural joint military exercise of Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), which is scheduled to be held in Pune, Maharashtra.
• As per Nepal, the BIMSTEC military drill is beyond the agenda of BIMSTEC. It goes against country’s history of following policy of keeping equal distance from its neighbours without being part of a regional bloc militarily.
• Experts believe that non-participation of Nepal seems like political call and comes at time when Nepal-China relations are on upward trajectory and BIMSTEC connectivity seen as counter to China’s BRI (Belt and Road Initiative).
• Armies of BIMSTEC members including India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand and Nepal were to participate in it.
Novak Djokovic wins men’s singles title in 2018 US Open
• Novak Djokovic from Serbia won 2018 US Open title of tennis in men’s singles category by defeating Argentina’s Juan Martín del Potro (world no 3).
• It was Djokovic’s third US Open title and overall 14th Grand Slam title.
• With this win, he equalled Pete Sampras’ haul of 14 Grand Slams.
• He becomes seventh man to win US Open singles title at least thrice in the Open Era.
• It was the 138th edition of tennis’ US Open held on outdoor hard courts at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City. It was fourth and final Grand Slam event of the year.
Snow leopard spotted in wildlife sanctuary of Himachal Pradesh
• Snow leopard was spotted at height of about 4000 metres in Lippa-Asra wildlife sanctuary in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh.
• Its picture was captured by camera-trap installed by State Wildlife Department.
• The findings ascertained that snow leopards inhabit new areas.
• Snow leopard (Panthera uncial) is large cat, native to mountain ranges of Central and South Asia- including Himalayas, and Russia’s remote Altai mountains.
• In India, it is found in states of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh.
Bengaluru airport set to become first in Asia to use face recognition as boarding pass
• Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) of Bengaluru is set to become first airport in Asia to introduce face recognition based passage system technology from 2019.
• For this, Bengaluru International Airport Ltd. (BIAL), which operates KIA has signed agreement with Portuguese software firm Vision Box.
• The face recognition based passage system will allow passengers to board flights and move across different sections of the airport using automatic biometric boarding procedure, instead of manual boarding passes verification.
• In this case, face will serve as boarding pass.
• The first implementation milestone of this system will be completed in the first quarter of 2019, with Jet Airways, Air Asia and SpiceJet passengers as first users.
World Hindu Congress 2018 held in Chicago, United States
• The World Hindu Congress (WHC-2018) was held in Chicago, United States.
• It was organised 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.
• World Hindu Congress is global platform for Hindus to connect, share ideas, inspire one another, and impact the common good.
Hima Das appointed as Sports Ambassador of Assam
• India’s ace sprinter Hima Das was appointed as Sports Ambassador of Assam to inspire budding players of northeastern state to take up sports seriously.
• Hima Das was born in January 2000 at Kandhulimari village near Dhing Town of Nagaon district, Assam.
• She was the first Indian athlete to win gold medal in track event at IAAF World U20 Championships held in Tampere, Finland.
• In 2018 Asian Games (Jakarta), she had won silver medal in 400 m final to win a silver medal.
• She is nicknamed as ‘Dhing Express’ after her village in Assam.
Odisha Assembly passes resolution for creation of Legislative Council
• The Odisha State Assembly passed resolution seeking creation of Legislative Council (Vidhan Parishad or second house of legislature).
• The resolution now will be sent to Central Government for approval, following which it will be tabled in both houses of the Parliament.
• The proposal for creation of Legislative Council in Odisha was passed by State Cabinet chaired by Chief Ministry in August 2018.
• The proposed Council will have 49 members.
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