China launches high-resolution Earth observation satellite
• China on July 31, 2018 launched Gaofen-11, an optical remote sensing satellite, as part of the country's high-resolution Earth observation project.
• The Gaofen-11 satellite was launched on a Long March 4B rocket from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in northern Shanxi Province. It was the 282nd flight mission by a Long March carrier rocket.
• The satellite can be used for land survey, urban planning, road network design, agriculture, and disaster relief. Its data will also be used for the Belt and Road Initiative.
• Since the Gaofen project began in 2010, China has gained an increasingly clearer view of the planet.
India, China armies want to improve ties along LAC
• The Indian Army and its Chinese counterpart have expressed mutual desire to maintain peace and improve relations at the functional-level along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
• The ceremonial Border Personnel Meeting (BPM) was held on August 1, 2018 on the occasion of China's PLA Day at Chinese BPM hut of Chushul-Moldo meeting point in Eastern Ladakh.
• The ceremonial BPM was marked by saluting of national flags by delegation members.
• The ceremonial address by both delegation leaders included exchange of greetings and vote of thanks and reflected the mutual desire for improving relations at functional-level at the border.
Radioactive molecule detected in space
• In a first, astronomers have detected a radioactive molecule in space, believed to be from a stellar explosion that took place in the 17th century.
• The radioactive molecule was spotted with the Northern Extended Millimetre Array and the Atacama Large Millimetre/ Submillimeter Array radio telescopes.
• The radioactive molecule is an isotope of aluminium monofluoride.
US Congress passes bill to slash Pak's defence aid to USD 150 million
• The US Congress on August 1, 2018 passed a defence spending bill capping its security-related aid to Pakistan at 150 Million dollars, significantly below the level of more than one billion US dollars per year.
• The Senate passed the conference report on National Defense Authorisation Act-2019 (NDAA-19), by 87 to 10 votes. The House of Representatives had passed the conference report last week.
• The bill will now head to the White House for President Donald Trump's assent. The US has also voiced its disapproval of growing Chinese involvement in Pakistan, adding to tensions in bilateral ties.
US advises its citizens to reconsider their visit to Pakistan
• The US on August 2, 2018 advised its citizens to reconsider their visit to Pakistan and asked them not to travel to Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province due to threat of possible terror attacks.
• In its latest travel advisory, the US State Department also asked its citizens not to travel to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir area due to threat of terrorism and potential threat of armed conflict between the two South Asian neighbours.
• Terrorist attacks continue to happen across Pakistan, with most occurring in Balochistan and KPK, including the former FATA. Large-scale terrorist attacks have resulted in hundreds of casualties.
• The US government has limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens in Pakistan due to the security environment.
Telangana police gets new tool to identify criminals
• Telangana police is now equipped with another 'powerful' tool - 'Facial Recognition System' (FRS) that would help them prevent crime and identify criminals/suspects at lightning speed.
• FRS is an integrated feature of TSCOP mobile app for assisting investigation officers for developing effective and efficient services to citizens and thereby improving responsiveness.
• The tool will allow the police to identify potential offenders by comparing a suspect's face with lakhs of digital photographs of people including offenders, wanted and those missing stored in the central database of Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS).
Rajasthan Government approves setting up of 55 POCSO courts
• Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje on August 1, 2018 approved a proposal to set up 55 courts under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act in the state.
• The Chief Minister stated that each district would have at least one such court to deal with cases of crime against children, especially rape and to ensure that accused are convicted at the earliest.
• One such court is already operational in the state capital. Total 660 new posts would be created and filled in these courts.
• The POCSO courts would be set up in Bikaner, Balotara, Banswara, Chittorgarh, Churu, Dausa, Dholpur, Dungarpur, Sriganganagar, Hanumangarh, Jaipur, Jalore, Jaisalmer, Jhunjhunu, Karauli, Merta, Pratapgarh, Rajsamand, Swai Madhopur, Sikar, Sirohi, Jodhpur and Tonk.
Boat racing team to be added to India's Asian Games contingent after Delhi HC order
• Boat racing team is set to be added to Indian contingent for next month's Asian Games in Indonesia following Delhi High Court orders.
• The orders came on July 30 on a petition filed by one of the athletes in the boat racing squad, Abhay Singh against Indian Olympic Association's (IOA) decision to not send a team of the water sport.
• He had sought High Court's intervention in the matter after the Indian team returned home with a silver and bronze at an Asian level tournament.
Noted ghazal singer Umbayee passes away
• Noted ghazal singer and composer from Kerala, Umbayee, passed away on August 1, 2018 at a private hospital at nearby Aluva, where he had been undergoing treatment for some ailments.
• He was 68. He is survived by his wife and three children,.
• The singer, who popularised ghazals among the common people in Kerala, had been undergoing treatment for some ailments for the last seven months.
• Umbayee, with his unique style of singing ghazals, had a huge fan following in the state. He had performed ghazals in many states in India and abroad, particularly in the Gulf countries.
Biogas plant to be set up at Golden Temple
• The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee (SGPC) has decided to install a biogas plant at the community kitchen of the Golden Temple here in an effort to reduce its carbon footprint.
• The SGPC, a body managing the day-to-day affairs of the Golden Temple, said the move was aimed at making the religious shrine environment friendly.
• The biogas plant will be set up to run the Golden Temple's community kitchen, which serves food to around one lakh visiting devotees every day.
Veteran screenplay writer Jalees Sherwani dies at 70
• Jalees Sherwani, who had penned lyrics for several of Salman Khan hit films such as Dabangg, Wanted and Tere Naam, passed away on August 1, 2018. He was 70.
• Sherwani died to due to prolonged illness and breathed his last on route to the hospital after his health deteriorated.
• Apart from writing dialogues for "Sangam" and "Loafer", Sherwani also penned lyrics for films like Partner, Hello, Garv and Hello Brother.