International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer observed
• The International Day for Preservation of Ozone Layer was observed globally on September 16, 2018 with the theme ‘Keep Cool and Carry On: The Montreal Protocol’.
• The day was designated by United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on December 19, 1994.
• The Day commemorates the date in 1987 when the Montreal Protocol was signed on substances that deplete the ozone layer.
• Montreal Protocol is an international treaty designed to protect ozone layer by phasing out production of numerous Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs) that are responsible for ozone depletion.
• Under it, production and consumption of key ODSs like chlorofluorocarbon (CFCs), Methyl Chloroform, CTC halons and Methyl Bromide have been phased-out globally.
Government to convert 1.5 lakh Primary Health Centers into Wellness Centers
• Union Health Minister JP Nadda announced that 1.5 lakh Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and sub-centres will be converted into wellness centers by 2022.
• These centres will facilitate screening of every individual aged 30 for blood pressure, diabetes, tuberculosis, breast cancer and leprosy among others.
• The Government is also set to launch the flagship Ayushman Bharat - National Health Protection Mission from September 25, 2018.
Kerala Tourism wins two Gold awards of Pacific Asia Travel Association
• Kerala Tourism won two Gold Awards of Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) for its innovative marketing campaigns.
• These awards were won by Kerala Tourism’s Yalla Kerala print campaign and Live Inspired Posters under PATA’s Travel Advertisement Print and Travel Poster categories respectively.
• Both campaign and posters were developed and designed by Stark Communications, the advertising agency of Kerala Tourism.
• Yalla Kerala was print media travel advertisement campaign launched in Gulf countries. It showcased state’s greenery and backwaters.
• Live Inspired Poster was developed for third edition of Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB), the biggest contemporary art show in South Asia.
15th Prawasi Bhartiya Diwas to be held at Varanasi
• The 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas will be held in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh from January 21 to January 23, 2019.
• The theme of the 2019 will be “Role of Indian Diaspora in Building a New India”.
• The event will be organised by Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in association with Uttar Pradesh government.
• It will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Mauritian counterpart Pravind Jugnauth.
• Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is celebrated every year in India on 9 January. The day commemorates return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa in Mumbai (then Bombay) on January 9, 1915.
ISRO inaugurates S–Band Polarimetry Doppler Weather Radar at Sriharikota spaceport
• Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) inaugurated S–Band Polarimetry Doppler Weather Radar (DWR) at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota spaceport, Andhra Pradesh.
• It will be used for observation of weather system up to range of 500 km and also for early warning of severe weather events.
• The Doppler Weather Radar (DWR) was indigenously developed by Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL), Bengaluru under ToT (Training of Trainers) from ISRO.
• It is the seventh radar of such type manufactured in the country under “Make in India”.
• It will provide detailed information on storm’s internal wind flow and structure as compared to conventional radars which are only able to track and predict cyclones.
UN agrees to step up fight against TB
• United Nations member states agreed on a global plan to step up fight against tuberculosis, the world's number one killer among infectious diseases.
• The text of a final declaration will be formally adopted at the first- ever TB summit on September 26, 2018 on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York.
• At the summit, world leaders will commit to end the tuberculosis epidemic by 2030 and come up with 13 billion US dollars annually to achieve the goal.
• As per WHO, about 1.7 million people died from TB in 2016.
Nepal and China conducts second Mt Everest Friendship Exercise in Sichuan province
• The second edition of Nepal-China joint military exercise named Mt Everest Friendship Exercise 2018 (Sagarmatha Friendship-2018) commenced in China’s southwestern Sichuan province.
• The 12 day long joint exercise will focus on combating terror and disaster management trainings.
• Sagarmatha is the Nepali name for Mt Everest, which stands in between both the countries.
• This will be the second time that Nepal Army will participate in joint military drill with People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China.
• This joint exercise is aimed at promoting military relations and enhances interoperability between armies of Nepal and China.
India’s first underwater robotic drone EyeROV TUNA handed over to NPOL
• India’s first underwater robotic drone EyeROV TUNA was handed over to Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL) of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
• This underwater drone will be used by NPOL for research and development activities which in turn would result in commercial product for defence purposes.
• EyeROV TUNA was designed and developed indigenously by Kochi-based start-up IROV Technologies Pvt Ltd (EyeROV).
• It is smart micro-ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) or underwater drone.
• It is designed to perform visual inspection and surveys of submerged structures up to depth of 100 metres.
• It can be controlled using laptop or joystick. It is fitted with camera that helps to give live HD video feed of the submarine environment.
Nasa satellite ICESat-2 launched to measure Earth's ice changes
• NASA satellite ICESat-2, designed to precisely measure changes in Earth's ice sheets, glaciers, sea ice and vegetation, was launched into polar orbit from California.
• The mission aims to advance knowledge of how the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica contribute to sea level rise.
• The melt from those ice sheets alone has raised global sea level by more than 1 millimeter a year recently.
Indian Coast Guard commissions indigenously built patrol vessel Vijaya
• Indian Coast Guard (ICG) commissioned indigenously built patrol vessel ICGS Vijaya in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
• It is second in the series of 98 m offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) commissioned by ICG.
• It was designed and built indigenously by Larsen & Toubro (L&T).
• This 98-metre long ship can carry one twin engine helicopter and four high speed boats, including two inflatable boats for boarding.
• It is fitted with advanced technology navigation and communication equipment and sensors.
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