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Important Current Affairs 31st August 2017

Important Current Affairs 31st August 2017

Current Affairs 31st August 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Smt Harsimrat Kaur Badal launches Common Food Processing Incubation Center for Shallots, Perambalur 

Smt Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Union Minister for Food Processing Industries launched Common Food Processing Incubation Center for Shallots (Small Onions) in Chettikulam village in Perambalur District of Tamil Nadu through video conferencing from here today.
●    Speaking on the occasion Smt Harsimrat Kaur Badal said that it is a historic & auspicious occasion for Tamil Nadu and Chettikulam Village in particular. 
●    She also congratulated Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT), Thanjavur for their initiatives to help double farmers' income by 2022. 
●    She also said that farmers in Perambalur District are producing 70000 tons of shallots per year in a cultivation area of 8000 hectares, in spite of the increasing difficulty in cultivation due to increase in prices of inputs, unpredictable weather, disease outbreak and not getting adequate prices in the market. 
●    This Central Processing Center for Shallots in Perambalur will ensure that no shallots are getting wasted, increase farmers' income and also ensure availability of shallots to consumers. 
●    This Onion processing technology should be taken to all parts of India.


Shri Rajiv Gauba takes over as Union Home Secretary 

Shri Rajiv Gauba, IAS (Jharkhand cadre-1982 batch) today took over as Secretary to the Government of India in the Ministry of Home Affairs.
●    Shri Gauba joined the Ministry of Home Affairs as Officer on Special Duty on June 27, 2017 and took charge as the Union Home Secretary upon the superannuation of Shri Rajiv Mehrishi.
●    Prior to this, Shri Gauba was Secretary in the Ministry of Urban Development. 
●    He has wide-ranging experience in senior positions in the Central and State Governments and in international organisations. Hailing from Punjab, the 1959 born Shri Gauba is a Physics graduate.
●    He has worked as Chief Secretary, Jharkhand. 
●    Earlier, Shri Gauba served in the Central Government in the Ministries of Home, Defence, Environment and Forests and Department of Electronics and Information Technology.

Ministry of Railways Signs two Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with Swiss Confederation (Switzerland) 

Two MoUs have been signed in the course of the visit of President of the Swiss Confederation, Mrs. Doris Leuthard to India on today i.e.31.8.2017 between Ministry of Railways and Swiss Confederation.
●    The first MoU is between Ministry of Railways and Federal Department of the Environment, Transport and Communications of the Swiss Confederation for technical cooperation in Rail Sector.  
●    This was signed in the presence of Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi and President of the Swiss Confederation, Mrs. Doris Leuthard by Shri Ashwani Lohani, Chairman Railway Board and Dr. Andreas Baum, Swiss Ambassador to India.
●    The MoU is a follow up on bilateral cooperation in Rail sector discussed in the meeting held between Minister of Railways Mr. Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu and Swiss Ambassador in July 2016.

Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi gives National Level Awards to Anganwadi Workers 

The Minister of Women & Child Development, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi gave away National Level Awards to anganwadi workers to recognize their exemplary voluntary service in the field of child development and related areas under the ICDS Scheme, at New Delhi today. 
●    The Awards for the year 2016-17 were given to 51 awardees today. These awards are given annually.
●    Speaking on the occasion, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi congratulated the awardees and urged them to keep up their dedication to the cause of child development, community mobilization and awareness generation while delivering the ICDS Services. 
●    The functionaries anganwadi workers and anganwadi helpers play a pivotal role in child development since the responsibility of taking care of small children has been given to these frontline workers across the country under the ICDS, the Minister explained.


National Nutrition Week to be observed from 1st to 7th September 

The National Nutrition Week will be observed throughout the country from 1st to 7th September. 
●    The theme of the National Nutrition Week for 2017 is "Optimal Infant & Young Child Feeding Practices: Better Child Health". 
●    The basic objective of this annual event is to intensify awareness generation on the importance of nutrition for health which has an impact on development, productivity, economic growth and ultimately National development.
●    The Food and Nutrition Board of Ministry of Women & Child Development, through its 43 Community Food and Nutrition Extension Units (CFNEUs) located in 30 States/UTs, will coordinate with concerned Department of the State/UT Governments, National Institutions, NGOs and organize State/UT Level Workshops, Orientation Training of Fields Functionaries, Awareness Generation Camps, Community meetings during the week on the specified theme.

Workshop on implementation of Emergency Action Plan for Dams held 

With the purpose of increasing awareness about dam safety measures in the country and finalisation of Emergency Action Plan (EAP) a stakeholders consultation Workshop was organised by Tamil Nadu Water Resources Department in collaboration with Central Water Commission was held recently at Krishnagiri dam site, district Krishnagiri, Tamil Nadu. 
●    Over 150 delegates representing the stakeholders involved with relief and rescue operations and representatives from National Disaster Management Authority, State Disaster Management Authority, India Meteorological Department, State Health, Fire, Police, Revenue and Road Departments and Railways participated in the Workshop.
●    Shri NK Mathur, Member, Central Water Commission presided over the Workshop and highlighted the need for the preparation of EAP for each dam and involvement of all agencies in ensuring effective relief and rescue operations. 
●    The brief backgrounds of few of the national as well as international dam disasters were also discussed, along with step by step process for evolving a sound and bankable EAP document.

GST collection for first month exceeds estimates: FM Arun Jaitley


The goods and services tax (GST), launched on 1 July, has got off to a good start, with collections exceeding the revenue target for the first month.
●    And this is when a third of the tax payers are yet to submit their returns and tender their tax dues. 
●    The government is cautiously optimistic that GST revenues will stay on course for the remaining eight months of 2017-18.
●    Addressing a press conference, finance minister Arun Jaitley disclosed that in July, Rs92,283 crore had been received as GST receipts from 3.9 million tax payers, compared with the target of Rs91,000 crore.
●    Not only does this put to rest fears, at least for the time being, that the transition to GST could lead to revenue losses, it is also a shot in the arm for the Union and state governments which had backed the reform initiative.

Current Affairs 31st August 2017: SPACE SCIENCE

Nasa plans to make oxygen on Mars

Nasa is planning to make oxygen from the atmosphere on Mars when its next robot arrives on the mysterious red planet in 2020.
●    Scientists will send microbial life - possibly algae or bacteria - on the 2020 Rover mission in a bid to create air fit for human consumption.
●    They aim to feed the microorganisms in Martian soil in the hope that they will pump out oxygen as a byproduct.
●    If the experiment is successful it will mark a major step towards making Mars habitable for human colonies in the future.
●    Mars's atmosphere contains just 0.13% oxygen, compared with 21% on Earth.
●    Nasa Acting Chief Administrator Robert Lightfoot told Futurism: "Mars 2020, has an experiment where we are going to try and actually generate oxygen out of the atmosphere on Mars, clearly that’s for human capability down the road."
 

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