Current Affairs in Short: 19 September 2018
Bollywood actors Varun Dhawan and Anushka Sharma were signed as the ambassadors of Skill India Campaign to promote and endorse the Skill India Mission, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Varun Dhawan and Anushka Sharma signed as ambassadors of Skill India Campaign
• Bollywood actors Varun Dhawan and Anushka Sharma were signed as the ambassadors of Skill India Campaign to promote and endorse the Skill India Mission, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
• The duo, through their film ‘Sui Dhaaga - Made in India’, are saluting India’s entrepreneurs and skilled workforce, especially homegrown artisans, craftspeople and weavers who are making the country proud the world over.
• The film highlights the untapped potential of India’s talented craftsmen and skilled workers at the grassroot level and the challenges and issues faced by them.
• Varun and Anushka, the star cast of the film, have partnered Skill India and will dedicate time to promote India’s skilled talent and their fine work by engaging with them across different parts of the country.
PM Modi to lay foundation stone for India International Convention and Expo Centre, Dwarka
• Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone for India International Convention and Expo Centre (IICC) at Dwarka, New Delhi on September 20, 2018.
• Located in Sector 25 of Dwarka, the Centre would be a world-class state-of-the-art Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre, with facilities like financial, hospitality and retail services.
• The estimated cost of the project is Rs 25700 crores.
• The project is implemented by India International Convention & Exhibition Centre Limited, a 100 percent Government owned company under Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
Health Ministry goes digital with Budget Dashboard
• The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare made a new Budget Dashboard on Budget, Expenditure and Bill Payment position.
• The Budget Dashboard also incorporates Ministry of AYUSH and Department of Health Research.
• Budget and expenditure is available in a snapshot and also details flagship schemes, Central sector expenditure, North East, SC/ST, Centrally Sponsored Schemes, etc.
• The dashboard has the unique feature of Bill Position for All India Pay & Accounts Offices (PAOs) of this Ministry and also mentions the reason for return of bills. It is another step in transparency.
• The dashboard has SMS facility of information on demand and can be accessed on mobile.
• SMS alerts to concerned officers are also being introduced for shortfall in expenditure.
India signs loan agreement with the World Bank for Uttarakhand Workforce Development Project
• A Loan Agreement for IBRD Credit of USD 74 million for the Uttrakhand Workforce Development Project (UKWDP) was signed between India and the World Bank on September 18, 2018.
• The Project objective is to improve the quality and relevance of training at priority Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and to increase the number of labor-market-relevant workers through short term training in Uttrakhand.
• The Project has three components - Improving the quality and relevance of ITI Training; Increasing the number of skilled workers certified under National Skills Qualification Framework; and (3) Policy and Institutional Development and Project Management.
• Twenty-five ITI’s have been selected – 13 located in District Centers and 12 ITI’s are well-linked to industries.
• Two out of four women’s ITIs in the State will be included in the list.
CCI imposes penalties upon Sugar Mills for supporting the bids in respect of Joint Tender floated by Oil Marketing Companies
• The Competition Commission of India (CCI) imposed penalties upon 18 sugar mills and 2 Associations for rigging the bids in respect of a Joint Tender floated by Oil Marketing Companies (HPCL, BPCL, and IOCL) in 2013 for procurement of ethanol for blending with petrol.
• The Government owned Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies - IOCL/ HPCL/ BPCL invited quotations from alcohol manufacturers for supply of ethanol through a Joint Tender dated 02.01.2013 which was issued by BPCL on behalf of OMCs - as the coordinator of the tender process.
• Through the joint tender, OMCs invited sealed tenders under the two bid system i.e. technical bid and price bid from ethanol suppliers.
• The supply was to be made available to various Depots/ Terminals of OMCs across the country for a period of one year.
• The joint tendering by OMCs was alleged to be an Agreement amongst horizontal players to procure ethanol from various suppliers which was in contravention of the provisions of Section 3 of the Competition Act, 2002.
• The move was likely to cause appreciable adverse effect on competition within India in supply and distribution of ethanol.
ITU South Asia Area Office and Technology Innovation Centre to be established in New Delhi
• The ITU South Asia Area Office and Technology Innovation Centre will be established in New Delhi.
• This was announced by Houlin Zhao, Secretary General (SG) of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), during the 4th BRICS Communications Ministers Meeting held in Durban, South Africa.
• ITU is a United Nations specialised agency for Information and Communication Technologies, with membership of 193 countries and nearly 800 private sector entities and academic institutions.
• As a member of the ITU since 1869, India has traditionally played a harmonising role in the deliberations and exchanges of the body, always respecting the core principles of equality and consensus-building.
• The country has also been a regular member of the ITU Council since 1952.
• The ITU South Asia Office will serve nine countries – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, in addition to the host country.
Medical Cyclotron Facility Cyclone-30 became pperational at Kolkata
• Cyclotrons are used to produce radioisotopes for diagnostic and therapeutic use for cancer care.
• Cyclone-30, the biggest cyclotron in India for medical application became operational in September 2018 when 30 MeV beam reached the Faraday Cup for the first time.
• Subsequently, beam from this facility was used to produce 18F (Fluorine-18 isotope) for the preparation of FlFluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), a radio-pharmaceutical used by Board of Radiation & Isotope Technology (BRIT).
• The facility will start regular production by the middle of the next year after the commissioning of the supporting nuclear systems and regulatory clearances.
• Cyclone-30 facility at VECC, Kolkata, a Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) unit, will have many unique features, under various stages of implementation, which are first of its kind in many ways.
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