18th August 2018 Current Affairs from The Hindu and PIB . Read Important Current Affairs for UPSC/SSC/Bank and other state exam

Current Affairs 18 August 2018 The Hindu, PIB

Ministry of Railways Launches Digital Screens To Spread Awareness About Indian Railways Heritage

In the wake of Prime Minister’s vision for creating digital museums at stations using QR code, Ministry of Railway has made “digital screens” operational at 22 stations on this Independence Day as an innovative low-cost solution to spread awareness among public about the opulent heritage of Indian Railways.

The project aims at showcasing the legacy of Indian Railways through one to two-minute-long movie clips on digital LED screens at the entrance gate of railway stations and also at different comfort areas.

Competition Commission of India

Competition Commission of India is a statutory body of the Government of India, which is responsible for enforcing, The Competition Act of 2002, throughout India and to prevent activities that have an appreciable adverse effect on the competition in India.

  • It is the duty of the Commission to eliminate practices having adverse effect on competition, to promote and sustain competition, protect the interests of consumers and ensure freedom of trade in the markets of India.
  • The Competition Act, 2002, authorises the CCI to impose fewer penalties on firms that provide “full and true disclosure” of any cartel they are part of. 
  • This process of imposing zero or fewer penalities in dealing with cases related to cartelisation is known as Leniency Regime.
  • The Lesser Penalty Regulations were first passed in 2009. 
  • In general, the investigation into cartels has proved to be difficult. 
  • The leniency regime has the possibility of affecting the formation of cartels among players because that trust is broken.

Indian Naval Ship Sahyadri visits Fiji

In an attempt to strengthen bilateral relations with Fiji, an Indian Naval Ship (INS) Sahyadri which was on a good will visit to the island nation entered the Port of Suva.

About INS Sahyadri

  • It is the third and latest indigenously built stealth frigates.
  • It belogs to the Shivalik Class of Frigates and forms a part of the Eastern Fleet of Indian Navy.
  • It participated in trilateral Malabar war games with Japan and the U.S. off the Coast of Guam.
  • It has also participated in RIMPAC (Rim of the Pacific Exercise) off the Hawaii coast and has been adjudged runner-up in an innovation competition.
  • It is visiting the Republic of Fiji enroute to India after participating in the RIMPAC.

India’s first penguin - Humboldt

Mumbai’s Byculla zoo gives India its first baby penguin (Humboldt penguin). Eight Humboldt penguins were brought to Byculla Zoo from South Korea in July 2016.

The penguin is named after the cold water current (Humboldt current) it swims in.

Turkey Crisis and its impact

What happened to the Turkish lira?

The Turkish lira lost a fifth of its value against the U.S. dollar last week, hitting a new low on Monday before some recovery later in the week. The currency has lost over 40% of its value against the dollar this year.

What caused this?

  • US has doubled steel and aluminium tariffs on Turkey, as US has been pushing for the release of Pastor Andrew Brunson, who was being held by Turkey on terrorism charges.
  • Turkey retaliated by increasing import taxes on US goods, such as automobiles by 120 per cent, alcohol by 140 per cent and tariffs on coal, cosmetics and rice.
  • The Turkish currency, lira has fell steep (depreciating around 80 percent against the US dollar so far in 2018) – This has rattled investors globally, with the currencies of other emerging markets too coming under pressure.
  • High debt – Turkey’s economy is grappling with high levels of debt in the private sector and significant foreign funding in the banking system.

Its impact:

  • Indian markets along with some Asian markets have seen some volatility due to the Lira crisis.
  • This is typical as foreign investors will fear higher risk assets in emerging markets and will dump the local currency for US Dollars.
  • In other words, the foreign funds that freely flowed into emerging markets may dry up.
  • India is less vulnerable relative to other emerging markets (EMs) in terms of external debt and current account deficit. But if the crisis continues, it could hurt India.
  • India’s exports would slow down if the global situation deteriorates.

What are the wider financial ramifications?

The Indian rupee breached the 70 mark against the dollar for the first time, largely caused by the lira’s fall. Analysts have been concerned that the turmoil could hit other (emerging) markets. European banks that own significant stakes in Turkish lenders are also at risk. For now it looks like the lira is recovering but, longer term, Turkey will likely raise the already high interest rates, or it may even look to the IMF for financing.

Scientists to test land for LIGO

LIGO stands for: Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory

The Environment Ministry has allowed scientists to test the suitability of land in Maharashtra’s Hingoli district to host the India wing of the ambitious Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) project.

What is LIGO

  • It is a large scale physics experiment observatory established in 2002 to detect gravitational waves.
  • The present telescopes could detect objects which emit electromagnetic radiations like X-ray, gamma rays etc. However, merger of black holes and many other cataclysmic events do not emit electromagnetic waves rather gravitational waves.
  • Thus, LIGO was established to unfold the many unknown phenomenon in universe through the gravitational waves detection.