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  1. SIMBEX 18 – Bilateral Exercise between Indian & Republic of Singapore Navies
  • The 25th edition of annual naval exercise SIMBEX (Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise) begins at Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal.
  • The 2018 edition marks the Silver Jubilee of SIMBEX.
  • It will help in complementing India’s ‘Act-East’ policy, there have been a number of agreements and high-level visits in the recent past between the two countries.

Related Information

  • In the Shangrila Dialogue PM of India and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore inked many agreements including those under the ‘Defence and Strategic Partnership Sectors’.

Topic- GS Paper 3 – Defence

Source-PIB

  1. Global Cooling Innovation Summit inaugurated in New Delhi
  • Global Cooling Innovation Summit inaugurated by Union Science & Technology Minister in New Delhi.
  • The Summit is a first-of-its-kind solutions-focused event that will bring together leaders from around the world to explore concrete means and pathways to address the climate threat that comes from the growing demand from room air conditioners.
  • The event is jointly organized by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, along with Rocky Mountain Institute, Alliance for An Energy-Efficient Economy (AEEE), Conservation X Labs and CEPT University.
  • The summit also saw the launching of Global Cooling Prize— Mission Innovation challenge that aims to spur development of a residential cooling solution that has at least five times (5x) less climate impact than today’s standard.
  • Global Cooling Prize is a competition with global reach and participation to achieve dramatic breakthroughs in cooling technologies.
  • The objective of this competition would be to develop a cooling technology that requires radically less energy to operate, utilizes refrigerants with no ozone depletion potential.

Topic- GS Paper 3 – Environment

Source- The Hindu

  1. Cabinet approves privatization of six airports under PPP model
  • The Union cabinet has given its approval for privatization of the management of six airports of AAI (Airports Authority of India).
  • These airports are Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram and Mangaluru for operation, management and development under public-private partnership (PPP) through (the) Public Private Partnership Appraisal Committee.

Related Information

  • PPP in airport management has helped the government raise sizeable revenue and utilize the model for better air connectivity elsewhere in the country.
  • It hopes the move will bring more foreign investment into airport infrastructure.
  • The government also set up an empowered committee of secretaries to oversee the process.
  • Other airports which are already working on PPP model are Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kochi and Hyderabad.

Other PPP model Project

  • The cabinet also approved the filling of Padur strategic petroleum reserves in Karnataka through the PPP route.
  • The cabinet gave in-principle approval for strategic disinvestment of all government shares in the Dredging Corp. of India Ltd to a consortium of four ports that includes Visakhapatnam Port Trust, Paradip Port Trust, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust and Kandla Port Trust.

Topic- GS Paper 2 – Governance

Source-Live mint

  1. NASA probe set to visit Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids
  • NASA’s Ralph – a space instrument that has travelled as far as Pluto – is set to explore Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids, which are remnants from the early days of the solar system.
  • Ralph was first launched aboard the New Horizons spacecraft in 2006m and obtained stunning flyby images of Jupiter and its moons.
  • This was followed by a visit to Pluto where Ralph took the first high-definition pictures of the iconic minor planet.
  • In 2021, Ralph is set to journey with the Lucy mission to Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids.
  • The Lucy spacecraft carries a near-twin of Ralph, called L’Ralph, which will investigate Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids.
  • The L’Ralph instrument suite will study this diverse group of bodies.
  • Lucy will fly by six Trojans and one Main Belt asteroid – more than any other previous asteroid mission.
  • L’Ralph will detect the Trojan asteroids’ chemical fingerprints.

Related Information

  • L’Ralph allows scientists to interpret data provided by the Sun’s reflected light that are the fingerprints of different elements and compounds.
  • These data could provide clues about how organic molecules form in primitive bodies, a process that might also have led to the emergence of life on Earth.

Topic- GS Paper 3 – Science and Technology

Source- The Hindu

  1. China debuts artificial intelligence (AI) news anchors
  • Xinhua news agency launched the world first two virtual news anchors amid a state-directed embrace of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI).
  • AI Synthetic Anchors based on the appearances of two flesh-and-blood Chinese news presenters.
  • The computerised avatars read out text that is fed into their system, their mouths moving in tandem with the reports.
  • “AI Synthetic Anchors”, one for Chinese and one for English news, were developed along with Sogou Inc, a Beijing-based creator of search engines and voice-recognition technology.

Related Information

  • The digital anchors offer certain advantages over humans such as being able to work 24 hours a day and to quickly disseminate breaking news.
  • “The AI Synthetic Anchor has officially become part of the Xinhua reporting team.
  • He will work together with other anchors to bring you authoritative, timely and accurate news and information in Chinese and English.

Topic- GS Paper 3 – Science and Technology

Source- The Hindu

  1. Cabinet approves extradition agreement with Morocco
  • Union Cabinet approved signing and ratifying the extradition agreement between India and Morocco.
  • The agreement will provide a strong legal base for the extradition of fugitive offenders who are accused of economic offences, terrorism and other serious offences in one contracting state and found in another contracting state.
  • This Treaty will also strengthen bilateral relations to deal with criminal elements acting against the national interest of both India and Morocco.

Related Information

  • The union cabinet also approved the agreement between India and Morocco on mutual legal assistance in civil and commercial matters.
  • India and Morocco both nations are part of the Non-Aligned Movement.
  • The Extradition Arrangements with Italy and Croatia confine to Crimes related to Illicit Traffic in Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.
  • India, Italy and Croatia are parties to the 1988 UN Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.

About Morocco

  • It is a North African country bordering the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.
  • The capital of Morocco is Rabat.

Topic- GS Paper 2 – International Relation

Source-PIB

  1. Novel ‘bionic mushrooms’ can produce electricity
  • Scientists, including those of Indian origin, have created a bionic device that generates green power by 3D-printing clusters of cyanobacteria on an ordinary white button mushroom.
  • The researchers took an ordinary white button mushroom from a grocery store and made it bionic, supercharging it with clusters of cyanobacteria that create electricity and swirls of graphene nanoribbons that can collect the current.
  • It can be created by integrating cyanobacteria that can produce electricity, with nanoscale materials capable of collecting the current.

Related Information

Cyanobacteria

  • These are the group of only photosynthetic prokaryotes bacteria able to produce oxygen.
  • They live in a wide variety of moist soils and water either freely or in a symbiotic relationship with plants or lichen-forming fungi.
  • Cyanobacteria are also called “blue-green algae.

Topic- GS Paper 3 – Science and Technology

Source- The Hindu

  1. No double jeopardy bar if there was no trial: SC
  • The Supreme Court held that the bar of double jeopardy does not arise if an accused was discharged of a criminal offence, even before the commencement of trial, on the basis of an invalid sanction for prosecution.
  • A Bench of two Judges held in an October 30 judgment that if an “accused has not been tried at all and convicted or acquitted, the principles of double jeopardy cannot be invoked at all.
  • If an earlier order of sanction was found to be invalid, there is no bar for the competent authority to issue a proper order of sanction for prosecution, Justice Banumathi, who wrote the verdict for the Bench in a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
  • The courts are not to quash or stay the proceedings under the Act merely on the ground of an error, omission or irregularity in the sanction granted by the authority unless it is satisfied that such error, omission or irregularity has resulted in the failure of justice.

Related Information

  • The judgment is based on the State of Mizoram Vs. Dr. C. Sangnghina,
  • In this case, an appeal filed by the State of Mizoram against an order passed by the Gauhati High Court in August 2015, upholding a Special Court decision to decline to entertain a second charge sheet filed in a corruption case against the accused, Dr. C. Sangnghina, on the ground of double jeopardy.

About Double Jeopardy

  • Double jeopardy is a procedural defence that prevents an accused person from being tried again on the same (or similar) charges and on the same facts, following a valid acquittal or conviction.
  • Article 20 (2) of the Constitution mandates that a person cannot be prosecuted or punished twice for the same offence.

Topic- GS Paper 2 – Judiciary

Source- The Hindu