- Excise Department used drones with camera to identify ganja plants in Karnataka
- Excise Departmenthas employed drones fitted with a camera for surveillance in areas vulnerable for the cultivation of ganja. It served well by finding banned crops being cultivated in a clandestine manner in the Shivamogga district of Karnataka.
- The department had used three drones for surveillance. Each drone has a maximum flight distance of 1.5 kilometre and maximum flight time of 20 minutes. Fifteen Excise personnel have been deployed for the operation.
- UAE top source of inward remittances in 2016-17: RBI
- The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has emerged as the top source of inward remittances, while Kerala has received the maximum funds sent from abroad, according to the Reserve Bank of India’s survey of inward remittances for 2016-17.
- UAE’s share in total remittances was 26.9%, followed by the United States (22.9%), Saudi Arabia (11.6%), Qatar (6.5%) and Kuwait (5.5%).
- According to the survey, 82% of the total remittances received by India originated from eight countries — UAE, the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, the United Kingdom and Malaysia.
- Among destinations, Kerala has the highest share with 19%, followed by Maharashtra (16.7%), Karnataka (15%), Tamil Nadu (8%) and Delhi (5.9%).
· India ranked 177 on the Environmental Performance Index 2018
- According to the World Economic Forum(WEF) ranking, India has been placed 177th rank out of 180 countries on the Environmental Performance Index 2018. The Union Environment Ministry has rejected the score by considering it as arbitrary and unscientific. India slipped 36 points from 141 in the 2016 report, prepared by Yale and Columbia Universities along with the WEF.
- WEF said that India’s remark was linked to the poor performance in the environmental health policy and deaths due to air pollution categories. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change said that the reason for India’s decline is because of the change in parameters between two editions of the report.
- Nasa launches mission to ‘touch the Sun’
- US space agency Nasa has launched its mission to send a satellite closer to the Sun than any before.
- The Parker Solar Probe rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
- The probe is set to become the fastest-moving manmade object in history. Its data promises to crack longstanding mysteries about the Sun’s behaviour.
- It is the first space craft to be named after a living person – astrophysicist Eugene Parker, 91, who first described solar wind in 1958.
· India to launch its second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 on January 3 next year
- Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO)is aiming to launch the mission but the window to land on the lunar surface is open till March 2019.
- The 800-crore rupeesis the overall cost of lunar mission named “Chandrayaan-2”
- The 3,890-kg Chandrayaan-2, which will be launched onboard the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk-3, will orbit around the moon.
- Environment Ministry Celebrates World Elephant Day
- Strongly emphasizing the need to address the root cause behind the man-animal conflict, Union Minister for Commerce & Industry, Mr. Suresh Prabhu pointed out that the man-animal conflict is an existential crisis not for the animals, but for human beings.
- Addressing a gathering to celebrate World Elephant Day on 12 August at Indira Gandhi Centre for National Arts, Mr. Prabhu said that there is an urgent need to explain this existential crisis to the human population.
- He underlined the fact that protection of wilderness and forests is a must to protect any wildlife species.
- Israel opens visa centre in Kolkata
- In a bid to encourage more Indian travellers to visit Israel, the Middle East nation has opened a Visa Application Centre in Kolkata that would cater to West Bengal and seven northeastern states.
- Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura would come under the purview of the centre, which can also accept visa applications in jurisdiction under the New Delhi centre.
- The visa application categories include B1 for employment, B2 for business, tourism and meeting or conference, and A2 for students.
· Govt hikes import duty on 328 textile items to boost domestic production
- Under Section 159 of the Customs Act, 1962, the Government increased customs duty on 328tariff lines of textile products from the existing rate of 10 per cent to 20 per cent, to provide a boost to manufacturing of these items in India.
- A notification to this effect was tabled by minister of state for finance Pon Radhakrishnanin the Lok Sabha.
- The government last month had doubled import duty on over 50 textile products – including jackets, suits and carpets – to 20 per cent.
- Nobel Laurate VS Naipaul passes away
- Nobel Laureate writer VS Naipaul has passed away on August 11 at the age of 85.
- He was a Trinidadian by birth, an Indian by descent and in terms of citizenship he was British.
- Some of his notable books are A House for Mr Biswas, Guerrillas, The Middle Passage, In a Free State, A Bend in the River and The Enigma of Arrival
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