This page contains "11th August 2018" current affairs analysis from different newspapers and magazines like The Hindu, Indian express, PIB and Yojna.
Quality and relevance are two key features considered while writing the content, all the topics are based on the pattern of previously asked questions in exams like UPSC CSE, IAS, State PCS, SSC, Banks PO and likewise competitive exams.
What is SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation)
The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), founded in Dhaka on 8 December 1985, is a south asian
geopolitical and intergovernmental organisation consisting of 8 nations named Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India,
Nepal, the Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
As of 2015, SAARC member countries covers 3 per cent of world's area, 21 per cent of the world's population and 3.8 per
cent of the global economy.
SAARS's headquarter is located in Kathmandu(Nepal), in order to promote economic and regional integration,
South Asian Free Trade Area was launched by the organisation in 2006.
SAARC has maintained relations with multilateral entities like European Union and have permanent diplomatic relations
with United Nations as an observer.
SAARC also consists of several states as observers including Australia, China, the European Union, Iran, Japan, Mauritius,
Myanmar, South Korea and the United States.
Russia and Turkey has already applied for the observer state of the organisation while Myanmar has expressed interest
in upgrading its status from an observer to a full member.
Major Initiatives by SAARC
In order to maintain peace and prosperity in the region SAARC has provided a common platform for political dialogue
between member countries.
Counter terrorism is one of the key area of concentration for SAARC member countries, extreme emphasis is laid
upon greater cooperation to start a collective fight against it.
South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) was launched by SAARC in 2006 as a first step in integrating south Asia as a
common market and the Economic Union. Under the agreement SAARC members were to bring their duties down to 20 percent by
2009. A Ministerial Council (SMC) is also created under SAFTA consists of Commerce Ministers of the Member States.
More is needed to be done in the area of trade collaboration as ASEAN has shown more attractive results in terms of intra
members trade despite being a much smaller organisation than SAARC.
One of the major aim of the SAARC was to move towards a South Asian Economic Union but current situations are not
encouraging and it may be difficult to achieve this target. Both foreign direct investment and intra-regional trade needs
to be increased to captured the full potential of the organisation.
The "e-Mor" software to bridge the gap between deaths registered and medically certified
National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research under the Indian Council of Medical Research (NCDIR-ICMR)
has developed an software to capture the gap between deaths registered and deaths medically certifies called "electronic
What is Electronic mortality (e-Mor) software ?
The e-Mor software is launched to address the concerns related to low quality of information and the lack of completeness
on the cause of death. Existing system are able to record only the immediate cause of death and not the underlying
contributing causes of death.
World Health Statistics 2018, released by the World Health Organisation Organisation (WHO) revealed that
only 10 per cent registered deaths have complete and quality information about cause of death.
The Electronic mortality (e-Mor) software will help in reducing the gap in analysing mortality statistics by
strengthening cause of death reporting systems in hospitals.
Impact of e-Mor on Hospitals
Now medical practitioners will be able to use appropriate tools provided bu "e-Mor" to improve death audits and better
surveillance in India.
Eight hospitals has been selected from the northeastern states to use these softwares and state governments of Karnataka and
Tamil Nadu are asked to implement these free of cost softwares in their hospitals.
Hospitals using the software will be able to maintain a mortality register to record accurate cause of death,
issue death certificates, prepare Form 4 and generate Form 2, which can be submitted with the MCCD form to the Local
Research and public health will also be improved with the software installation, vital event registration like
survival analysis, cause of mortality statistics can be recorder using these software.
"India Science Technology and Innovation portal" launched by Vigyan Prasar
Vigyan Prasar a wing of Union science ministry has launched "India Science Technology and Innovation portal"
to keep a track on information about the organisations carrying out research.
India Science Technology and Innovation portal
The portal will be able to answer the queries about organisations carrying out research, those funding them, international
collaborations, the scientists involved in the research, the states in which they are being carried out, their achievements
The India Science Technology and Innovation portal will help the students, researchers, scholars, scientists both from
India and abroad in choosing fellowships, scholarships and funding.
The move will strengthen Startup India by providing opportunities to interested students, researchers, scholars and
scientists for converting their research into a corporate idea.
The Science Ministry has proposes to spend 15 crore rupees over five years to cover costs of portal development and
What is Vigyan Prasar (VP) ?
Vigyan Prasar (VP) is an autonomous organization under the Department of Science and Technology (DST),
Government of India. The organization is aimed at popularisation of Science in the country by fostering a well-informed
Vigyan Prasar also helps in evolution of science related knowledge systems by providing formal teaching and learning
systems across thrust areas and regions of the country.
The organization expects to help reach the unreached through concerted networking at the local level to achieve science
popularization and strengthen national missions to increase science outreach.
NASA's Parker Solar Probe to the Sun
NASA is sending "Parker Solar Probe" a spacecraft straight into the sun's atmosphere or corona, for exploring
the Sun closer than ever before.
The Parker probe is named after a solar physicist Eugene Parker, who in 1958 first predicted the existence of the
solar wind and the stream of charged particles, magnetic fields that flow continuously from the Sun.
The probe will help scientist to know miseries like, why the outreaching corona is hundreds of times hotter than the
sun's actual surface, and what is driving the solar wind, the supersonic stream of charged particles constantly blasting away from the sun etc.
Parker Solar Probe spacecraft
The parker spacecraft has a 11 centimetres thick lightweight heat shield made of carbon composite foam material between
two carbon fibre face sheets, that can withstand 2,500 degrees as well as extreme
radiation while keeping the spacecraft cool on the backside.
The science instruments will be safe behind a 8-foot shield that will face the sun during the close solar encounters,
the shield will ensure to maintain 27-29 degrees celsius temperature for the instruments, while facing
1,371 degrees celsius heat on its surface.
In its nominal mission lifetime of just seven years the spacecraft will cover 24 orbits between Venus and the sun where
the final three orbits will put the spacecraft just 6.16 million kilometres far from the sun in 2024 and 2025.
The spacecraft will use gravity of Venus to draw its orbit increasingly closer to the sun. NASA's former Helios 2 got
within 43 million kilometers in 1976, while the Parker will come within 6.16 million kilometres.
Delta IV Heavy rocket
Delta IV Heavy rocket is used to put the Parker spacecraft closer to the Sun than any spacecraft in history.
Delta IV Heavy rocket is one of the world's most powerful rockets, with a added third stage.
Delta IV Heavy rocket, having 635 kgs weight, is a relatively light spacecraft that will blast off toward the Sun with an
immense amount of energy to get to our final orbit around the Sun, which is 55 times more than is required to reach
Delta IV is the fastest spacecraft in history to reach up to 700,000 kms per hour while zooming through space in a
highly elliptical orbit.