13 August 2018 Current Affairs from The Hindu and PIB . Read Important Current Affairs for UPSC/SSC/Bank and other state exam

Current Affairs 13 August 2018 The Hindu, PIB

Paleo-rivers predated Harappans by 35,000 years

A recent study on direct dating of sediments extracted from paleochannels close to Harappan sites in the region of Sutlej-Yamuna interfluve by a team of scientists from the Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad (PRL) and CNRS, France, indicate that these rivers changed their course nearly 35,000 years before the Harappans came to settle there.

The study analysed the distribution of Harappan sites along the two main rivers in the region – the Indus, which is perennial, and the Ghaggar-Hakra, which is ephemeral; examined the mineralogy of river sediments to establish their source and dated the entire sediment succession of the region using dating technique to establish the event chronology of the evolution of the region.

  • This study now provides scientific evidence that contradicts the suggestions on Harappans flourishing on the banks of the mythical Vedic rivers, Sarasvati and Drishadvati.
  • These studies provide evidence that these rivers changed their course much before the time of Harappan settlements about 5,000 years ago.
  • More Assembly seats for Sikkim

    The Home Ministry has moved the Union Cabinet to increase the number of seats in the Sikkim Assembly from 32 to 40. The Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will soon decide on the proposal

    More Assembly seats for Sikkim
  • If approved, it will be the first expansion of the Assembly since Sikkim merged with India in 1975.
  • By the Delimitation Act, 2002, the number of seats in an Assembly can be readjusted only on the basis of the first census after 2026.
  • A petition was moved in the Supreme Court that Limboos and Tamangs were not adequately represented in the Assembly, and the court in 2016 directed the Home Ministry to take action.
    • Background

    • SC has directed the Home Ministry in 2016 to take action regarding this

    ‘Inspect mosques for noise levels at random’

    The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to conduct joint inspections of mosques in east Delhi to ascertain if they are violating prescribed noise levels.

    The directions came while the green panel was hearing a plea moved by NGO Akhand Bharat Morcha that alleged that some mosques in the area were not complying with the prescribed decibel levels.

    Earlier, the green panel had disposed the plea after taking into account the State government’s submission that regular inspections would be carried out.

    Centre to spend Rs.10,000 crore on Northeast: To boost connectivity.

    To boost connectivity in the northeastern States of the country, the Union government has announced investments worth nearly Rs.10,000 crore in the region over the next four years to implement more than 400 projects.

  • The majority of the projects will be implemented by the Department of Telecom.
  • The Ministry of Electronics and IT is expected to fund projects to the tune of Rs.1,397 crore, while the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region will spend Rs.411 crore.
  • The Home Ministry has committed investments of Rs.53 crore.
  • Genetic ‘barcodes’ reveal three frogs unreported in India

    • Each species can be recognised by its unique genetic ‘barcode’ and using this method, a team of scientists has identified three frog species not recorded in India before.
    • The researchers also found that the ornate narrow-mouthed frog — thought to be widely-distributed in Asia — is seen only in peninsular India and Sri Lanka.
    • It was the complex taxonomy of the ornate narrow-mouthed frog — it was first described in 1841 — that prompted the team to study it further.

    They collected 62 of these frogs across India and analysed their genetic data using DNA barcoding. They compared this with available genetic data from across south Asia. Unravelling complex taxonomy, the team found that India is home to not just the ornate narrow-mouthed frog but also the Nilphamari, Mymensingh and Mukhlesur’s narrow-mouthed frogs (seen in other south Asian countries).

    Basel papyrus

    • For four centuries now, Basel, in Switzerland, has been home to a mysterious papyrus (a material similar to thick paper that was used in ancient times as a writing surface).
    • With mirror writing on both sides, it has puzzled generations of researchers.
    • It now emerges that it was probably an unknown medical document from late antiquity, written by Galen, the famous Roman physician.
    • The Basel papyrus collection comprises 65 papers in five languages, which were purchased by Basel University, in 1900, for the purpose of teaching classical studies — with the exception of two papyri.
    • The secrets of the papyrus were revealed only through ultraviolet and infra-red imaging.
    • It turns out that the 2,000-year-old document was not a single papyrus at all but several layers of papyrus glued together.
    • A specialist papyrus restorer was brought to Basel to separate the sheets, enabling the ancient document to be decoded for the first time.

    FDI in education institutions

    • The Government has allowed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) upto 100% under automatic route in the educational institutions.
    • Consolidated FDI Policy of 2017 has accorded this limit but subject to applicable laws, rules/regulations/security conditions.
    • UGC and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) have issued regulations/guidelines on collaboration between Indian and Foreign Universities.
    • It is with a view to increase synergy between Indian and foreign academic institutions and to improve curriculum and educational content.
    • As per these regulations, Indian Universities and Colleges having the highest grade of accreditation/threshold accreditation, can apply online to the UGC for starting twinning arrangement with Foreign Educational Institutions (FEI) having the prescribed quality.

    World Elephant Day observed to spread awareness about the animal

    World Elephant Day is being observed today to spread awareness about the animal. Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu inaugurated a four-day special event Gaj Mahotsav in New Delhi to mark the day.

  • The first International Elephant Day was held on August 12, 2012.
  • India has a little over 27,000 wild Asian elephants. Yet, these animals face an uncertain future in the country.

    The poor condition of elephants can not only be attributed to poaching and habitat loss but also to the negligence of people about the threats this magnificent animal faces.

    Parker Solar Probe: Nasa launches mission to 'touch the Sun'.

    The Parker Solar Probe rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

    touch the Sun mission

    The probe aims to dip directly into our star's outer atmosphere, or corona.

    Over the course of seven years, Parker will make 24 loops around our star to study the physics of the corona, the place where much of the important activity that affects the Earth seems to originate.

    The probe will dip inside this tenuous atmosphere, sampling conditions, and getting to just 6.16 million km (3.83 million miles) from the Sun's broiling "surface".