Current Affairs – March 18, 2018

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NITI Aayog’s ‘SATH-E’ To Introduce System-Wide Governance Transformation in School Education

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NITI Aayog has recently released comprehensive roadmaps and detailed timelines for its initiative ‘Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital in Education (SATH-E)’. Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog and the Chief Secretaries of the States of Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, and Odisha released the blueprints after a day-long workshop with Principal Secretaries of the States, State Project Directors and other experts and representatives operating in the field.
“Three participating States of #SATH-E’s programme –Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh & Odisha – with #NITI will kickstart a system-wide transformation of school education,” tweeted NITI Aayog. “NITI Aayog’s Project SATH-E will promote data-driven analysis to strengthen academic monitoring across schools in the country,” said another tweet by the body.

Maharashtra cabinet decides to ban plastic

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The Maharashtra government has taken the decision to ban the use of plastic in two phases, a notification for which will be issued soon. The decision was taken at the cabinet meeting led by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on March 15 night. The government cited environmental and public health concerns for taking the significant step which would be strictly enforced in a time-bound manner.
Earlier, State Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam had said the ban would be enforced on March 18. A senior cabinet minister requesting anonymity said: “The government has taken the decision to get rid of the use of plastic in two phases. A short-term and a long-term policy have been drafted to tackle the plastic menace.

Sierra Leone – the First Nation to run Blockchain powered Election

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This is really a welcome development in the blockchain industry as Sierra Leone emerge as the first country in the whole world to run a blockchain-powered election. Sierra Leone utilized the blockchain solution to count the votes, and provide proof of the recently held elections in the country. Agora, a Switzerland based voting technology company is the developer of the blockchain solution.
The election was contested by 16 candidates, and Agora used their proprietary blockchain distributed ledger during the elections to keep track of the votes. It is now evident that a blockchain-based solution that uses a publicly visible ledger for keeping track of elections can complement, or subsequently replace electronic voting machines. However, opposition politicians in the Democratic Republic of Congo are against the use of e-voting machines as they claim that they can be hacked and manipulated.

Xi Jinping re-appointed as President with no term limit

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Chinese parliament has approved President Xi Jinping’s second term and appointed Wang Qishan, the tough former anti-corruption czar, as vice-president. Wang is likely to be given the charge of dealing with the Trump administration which has adopted an aggressive stance against imports of Chinese goods resulting in a situation that might precipitate a trade war.
Xi was re-elected by all members of the National People’s Congress (the parliament). Wang got just one vote less. Wang, known to be Xi’s most trusted advisor, is likely to marginalize the influence of premier Li Keqiang who runs the day-to-affairs of the state administration.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang appointed to the second five-year term

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China’s ceremonial legislature appointed Premier Li Keqiang, the no. 2 leaders of the ruling Communist Party, to a second five-year term Sunday and approved the appointment of a director for a new anti-corruption agency with sweeping powers. National People’s Congress delegates voted 2,964 to 2 to approve Li’s appointment.
That comes a day after party leader Xi Jinping was reappointed China’s president with no limits on how many terms he can serve. The premier traditionally is China’s top economic official but Xi, the country’s most dominant leader since Mao Zedong, has stripped Li of many of the post’s most prominent duties by appointing himself to lead party bodies that oversee economic reform and state industry.

Russia, US is India’s 1st and 2nd biggest arms suppliers: Report

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As New Delhi diversifies its arms purchases, the US is rapidly increasing its arms sales to India, emerging over the last five years as its second-biggest supplier by providing 15 percent of its weapons imports, a study by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said. Washington increased its sales by more than five times compared to the previous five years, the authoritative SIPRI said in its report released this week. Israel has moved up to the third spot accounting for 11 percent of India’s imports during the 2013-17 calendar years, SIPRI added.
Although Russia remained by far India’s biggest arms seller, its share of total imports has fallen. Russia had a 62 percent share of India’s arms imports during the past five years, down from 79 percent in 2008-12, according to the report that tracks the global arms trade. Overall, India is the world’s biggest importer of major arms accounting for 12 percent of the total global imports during the last five years and it increased purchases abroad by 24 percent compared to the previous five-year period, SIPRI said.

Chennaiyin FC conquer fortress Bengaluru to lift ISL 4 title

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Bengaluru FC was denied their date with history by John Gregory and his resilient band of warriors as Chennaiyin FC sealed a 3-2 win to secure their second Indian Super League title in four years at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on 17th March. Brazilian Mailson Alves – whose early gaffe helped Sunil Chhetri hand the hosts the advantage – came back in style to score a brilliant double and compatriot Raphael Augusto’s inch-perfect finish in the second half ended Bengaluru’s 15-match unbeaten run across all competitions in front of their 25,000-odd fans at their ‘Fortress’. It was a cold, brutal jolt. Both of Alves’ goals were an exquisite display of one of Chennaiyin’s biggest strengths this season – set-pieces. Gregory, on match eve, had predicted the game would be decided on set-pieces and his boys stayed true to his words.

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