21st October 2018, Current Affairs and News Analysis for UPSC Civil Service Examination, SSC CGL and State Civil Service Examinations.

21st October 2018 - Current Affairs for UPSC IAS and State Civil Service Exam

Science and Technology

Indian researchers develop skin gel that will protect farmers from pesticides

Indian researchers have developed a skin gel that inhibits the absorption of the most commonly used pesticides that can cause serious ill effects on health and, in worst cases, result in the death of pesticide handlers such as farmers.

A 13-member team from the Bengaluru-based Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine (inStem), under the Department of Biotechnology, have formulated and patented the poly-Oxime gel made of chemically modified chitosan — found in the shells of crustaceans such as lobsters, crabs and shrimps.

  • The gel, when applied on animal models, chemically deactivated or neutralised organophosphate-based pesticides on their skin and reduced the inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) – the most abundant enzyme in the central and peripheral nervous system and critical for controlling nerve signals in the body.

You shoud know

Organophosphates can result in neurological disorders, neurotoxicity, cognitive dysfunction, reduction in motor coordination, suffocation, paralysis, and in severe cases, death due to cardiovascular collapse and respiratory failure.

Disaster Management

61 dead as train mows down Dasara crowd in Amritsar

  • At least 61 people were killed and 72 injured on Friday evening at Joda Phatak in Amritsar, when a train mowed down a crowd of Dussehra revellers that had spilled on to the railway track while watching the burning of a Ravana effigy.
  • Over 500 people were watching ‘Ravana dahan’ at a ground near the track.
  • As the effigy was set on fire amid bursting of firecrackers, people reportedly could not hear the sound of the oncoming train.
  • There was a stampede as people rushed towards the track when crackers were burst in large numbers during the burning of the effigy.
  • Two trains arrived from the opposite direction at the same time, giving little opportunity for the people to escape, officials said.

Related Concept

NDMA had released an elaborate document at this link for integrated crowd management. As per this document, the integrated crowd management is based on several pillars such as capacity planning, risk assessment, improved preparedness planning, incidence response, capacity building etc.

  • Type of event (such as religious, schools/ university, sports event, music event, political event, product promotion etc.)
  • Expected Crowd (age, gender, economic strata etc. such as farmers, shopkeepers)
  • Crowd Motives (such as social, academic, religious, entertainment, economic etc.)
  • Venue (location, topography of area, temporal or permanent, open or closed, public or private)
  • Role of other stake holders (such as NGOs, neighbours of event venue, local administrators etc)


India To Host 4th Edition Of Global Partners' Forum in December 2018

India will host the fourth edition of Global Partners' Forum in December 2018 in New Delhi. The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH) will unite over 100 countries' representatives to discuss issues, strategies and solutions to women's, children's and adolescents' health

It will be co-hosted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and PMNCH. Dr Michelle Bachelet, former President of Chile is the chair of PMNCH.

Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa To Form New Government in Bhutan

The Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) will form new government in Bhutan. The party has won 30 seats in 47 member National Assembly, the lower house of the parliament. The Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) has got remaining 17 seats.

According to the commission, 71.46% polling was recorded in the third general election. This is the first time in Bhutan’s decade old parliamentary democracy that a new party has been chosen to form the government.

Europe, Japan Send Spacecraft On 7-year Journey To Mercury

European and Japanese space agencies stated that an Ariane 5 rocket successfully lifted a spacecraft carrying two probes into orbit for a joint mission to Mercury, the closest planet to the sun.

The unmanned BepiColombo spacecraft successfully separated and was sent into orbit from French Guiana as planned to begin a seven-year journey to Mercury.

Sajjan Jindal Elected As Treasurer Of World Steel Association

JSW Steel CMD Sajjan Jindal was elected as the Treasurer of the World Steel Association (worldsteel). The association has also appointed Tata Steel MD TV Narendran and ArcelorMittal Chief LN Mittal as its members.

The appointments were made during the worldsteel General Assembly in Toyko, Japan during which the Board of Directors elected new officers for 2018-19 at the.

World Wrestling Championships-2018 Begins at Budapest

  • World Wrestling Championship has begun in Budapest, Hungary. Asian Games gold medallist Bajrang Punia will be India’s best bet for a medal as a 30-member team seeks a strong performance in the flagship event.
  • India's Sumit Malik recorded one of the biggest results of his career by reaching the semifinals of the World Wrestling Championships even as Sonba Tanaji Gogane was outclassed by reigning European champion Rashidov Gadzhimurad in the men's free style quarterfinals, in Budapest, Hungary today.

#MeToo movement: Union Minister MJ Akbar resigns

Union Minister of State for External Affairs, MJ Akbar resigned from his post on October 17, 2018 over sexual harassment charges levelled against him by several women journalists in the wake of #MeToo movement.

President Ram Nath Kovind accepted Akbar's resignation from the Union Council of Ministers with immediate effect.

What is #MeToo Movement?

  • Me Too means 'I too' or 'with me too' Since September 25, 2018, a large number of Indian women, who were victims of sexual harassment, are sharing their stories with social media with hashtags #MeToo .
  • The #MeToo campaign first began as a hashtag on Twitter in 2017, when Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual harassment by over 70 women.
  • Almost after an year, the movement has now arrived in the Bollywood, Indian film industry; and is spreading through India.
  • The #MeToo movement started after former Bollywood actress Tanushree Dutta alleged that Nana Patekar sexually harassed her on a movie set in 2008. However, Patekar has rejected Dutta's allegations and said he made the same denial 10 years ago.

RBI approves appointment of Sandeep Bakshi as MD & CEO of ICICI Bank

Private sector lender ICICI Bank on October 16, 2018 announced that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) approved the appointment of Sandeep Bakshi as the Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ICICI Bank for three years.

Sandeep Bakshi, in his 32 years at ICICI, he has looked after the insurance, corporate and lending businesses of the group. Under his leadership, the company redesigned various products, re-engineered the distribution architecture and made significant improvement in productivity.

Canada Become the second country to legalise use of cannabis.

  1. Canada on October 17, 2018 legalised the possession and use of recreational cannabis. After Uruguay, it has become the second country and the largest country to do so.
  2. Canada has become the second country after Uruguay to legalise possession and use of recreational cannabis.
  3. Medical marijuana has been legal in the country since 2001.

Person In News

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies of cancer at 65

Paul Gardner Allen, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, an investor, entrepreneur and philanthropist, passed away on October 15, 2018. He was 65.

He died in Seattle from complications related to Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, the less-common Hodgkin's disease, is a cancer of the lymphatic system.

Career of Paul Allen

  • Paul Allen co-founded Microsoft with his childhood friend Bill Gates in 1975 before becoming a billionaire philanthropist.
  • They founded the Microsoft in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and their first product was a computer language for the Altair hobby-kit personal computer.
  • Microsoft’s big break came in 1980, when IBM Corporation decided to move into personal computers and asked Microsoft to provide the operating system.
  • The first versions of two classic Microsoft products, Microsoft Word and the Windows operating system, were released in 1983.
  • Allen served as Microsoft’s Executive Vice President of Research and New Product Development until 1983, when he resigned after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
  • However, Allen stayed on Microsoft’s Board of Directors for several years until 2000 while establishing his own philanthropic foundation, along with his investment firm ‘Vulcan’, which managed his business and philanthropic interests.