Government asks citizens not to use plastic national flags
• Ahead of Independence Day, the government has urged all citizens not to use national flags made of plastic.
• The States were told to ensure strict compliance of the provisions contained in the ‘Flag Code of India, 2002’ and ‘The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971.
• As per Section 2 of The Prevention of insults to National Honour Act, 1971, whoever burns, mutilates, defaces, destroys, or otherwise shows disrespect to the Indian National Flag, he or she shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine.
• The code states that on important occasions like national, cultural and sports events, flags made of paper shall only be used by the public.
• Such flags are to be disposed off in private, consistent with the dignity of the flag.
Indian-American Avi Goel wins International Geography Bee World Championship
• Indian-American high school student Avi Goel won the world championship at the International Geography Bee's junior varsity division which was held in Berlin in July 2018.
• Avi is a tenth grader at Silver Creek High School in Evergreen, San Jose, California.
• He won a gold medal in seven out of the 10 medal events, and a silver medal in two of the events, topping the overall medals tally.
• He also bagged the top spot in all the three events: the International Geography Exam, the International Geography Showdown, and the International Geography Bee.
NITI Aayog will host Investors’ Conference
• NITI Aayog will host an Investors’ Conference on August 10, 2018 at Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra for the Holistic Development of Islands.
• The Conference will be inaugurated by Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog.
• It will attract investment for the sustainable development of eco-tourism projects in Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands.
• The 11 anchor tourism projects are proposed to be implemented with private sector participation under suitable risk-sharing model and through open-competitive bidding.
• These tourism projects have been identified on Government owned land in Smith, Aves, Long, Neil & Little Andaman Islands of Andaman & Nicobar, and in Kadmat, Suheli & Minicoy islands of Lakshadweep.
• Out of these 11 projects, 7 (4 in Andaman & Nicobar and 3 in Lakshadweep) are in “Ready to Launch” stage.
ISRO plans to launch various satellites in 2018-19 to enhance operational applications
• The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has planned to launch a number of state-of-the-art satellites to further enhance operational applications and cater to the needs of emerging applications. These satellites are:
• Third generation Cartosat series satellite for very high resolution mapping
• Second generation stereo imaging satellite for Digital Elevation Model
• Geostationary Imaging Satellite (GISAT) for Earth observation from Geostationary Orbit
• Third generation Ocean imaging satellite for ocean colour, sea surface temperature mapping and ocean surface wind vector mapping
• Third generation ResourceSat series of satellite with improved spatial resolution and swath
• Nanosatellite for Aerosol monitoring
Government E-Marketplace completes 2 Years
• Government e-Marketplace (GeM), the National Public Procurement Portal, turned 2 years old on August 9, 2018.
• It was launched on August 9, 2016 with an aim to create an open, transparent and efficient procurement platform for government.
• Till now, GeM has grossed over Rs 10,000 Crores in Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) through more than 6.16 Lacs transactions on the platform.
• GeM has made over 4.2 lakh products available on its platform through a network of over 1.3 lakh sellers and service providers.
• These products and services are being bought by over 25000 government organisations (Central, State Governments and PSUs) registered on the platform.
Hardeep Puri to launch Swachh Survekshan 2019, ODF+ & ODF ++ Protocols and Swachh Manch Web Portal
• Hardeep S Puri, Minister of State for Housing & Urban Affairs, will launch the Swachh Survekshan 2019 on August 10, 2018 in New Delhi.
• Puri will also launch a slew of new initiatives under the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) as well as the Ease of Living Index.
• The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) had conducted ‘Swachh Survekshan-2016’ survey for the rating of 73 cities in January 2016, followed by ‘Swachh Survekshan-2017’ conducted in January-February 2017 ranking 434 cities.
• The recently concluded Swachh Survekshan 2018 ranked 4203 Cities.
Jal Bachao, Video Banao, Puraskar Pao contest
• The Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation announced the winners for the first fortnight of the Jal Bachao, Video Banao, Puraskar Pao contest that was launched on July 10, 2018.
• Shreshth Sahu from Varanasi, Satish Mewada from Bhopal and Gopal Kumar Prajapati from Bokaro have secured the first, second and third positions respectively for the period of July 10-24, 2018.
• The winners were given prize amount of Rs 25000, Rs 15000 and Rs 10000 respectively.
• Jal Bachao, Video Banao, Puraskar Pao contest was launched by the Ministry in collaboration with the MyGov portal of the Government of India with the objective of spreading awareness about water conservation.
Bihar Social Welfare Minister Manju Verma resigns
• Bihar Social Welfare Minister Manju Verma tendered her resignation from her post on August 8, 2018.
• Manju Verma handed over her resignation to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
• Her resignation came in the wake of allegation levelled against her husband Chandeshwar Verma in alleged sexual exploitation of 34 minor girls at Muzaffarpur shelter home.