Current Affairs – August, 2018

Latest Current Affairs August, 2018 with Current Affairs, news summary on current events of National and International importance of August, 2018 for Banking, SSC, CLAT, UPSC, State PCS, IBPS, Railways and other Competitive Examinations.

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Rajasthan first State to implement biofuel policy

Rajasthan became first state in the country to implement National Policy on Biofuels unveiled by Union Government in May 2018. Its implementation was approved by high-power Biofuel Authority. It was also decided that dtate Government will release Biofuel Rules, 2018.

Key Facts

Under this policy, State Government will lay emphasis on increasing production of oilseeds and establish Centre for Excellence in Udaipur to promote research in fields of alternative fuels and energy resources. Biodiesel plant of capacity of eight tonnes per day already has been installed in State with financial assistance of Indian Railways. State government will give emphasis to promote marketing of biofuels and generate awareness about them. State Rural Livelihood Development Council will also encourage women’s self help groups (SHGs) to explore the scope for additional income through supply of biodiesel.

National Policy on Biofuels – 2018

The policy categorises of biofuels into first generation (1G), second generation (2G) and third generation (3G) to enable extension of appropriate financial and fiscal incentives under each category. It seeks to help farmers dispose of their surplus stock in economic manner and reduce country’s oil import dependence. It has expanded scope of raw material for ethanol production by allowing use of sugarcane juice, sugar containing materials like sweet sorghum, sugar beet, starch containing materials like corn, cassava, damaged food grains like broken rice, wheat, rotten potatoes, unfit for human consumption for ethanol production. It also encourages setting up of supply chain mechanisms for biodiesel production from non-edible oilseeds, used cooking oil, short gestation crops.

WHO instructs India to keep lens on tourist for SARS-like virus

As instructed by the WHO, India is keeping a closeimage watch on incoming tourists, fearing transmission of a new respiratory virus that belongs to the same family as the deadly Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

The WHO has instructed member countries, under the international health regulations, against screening this virus at point of entry. The deadline was originally till the end of 2012, which has been extended by a year. The organization encourages all member states to continue their surveillance for Severe Acute Respiratory Infections (SARI) and is currently reviewing the case definition and other guidance related to the novel SARS-coronavirus.

India has 25 airports, 12 ports and 7 international land borders catering to international traffic. These can be possible points through which dangerous pathogens can be brought by international passengers. Health units, however, exist only at 21 points most of which were established way back in 1950.

The 12th Five Year Plan seeks to establish health surveillance units, isolation wards and quarantine facilities in 23 additional airports, ports and land borders.

What is SARS?

  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
  • A serious form of pneumonia
  • caused by a member of the coronavirus family of viruses (the same family that can cause the common cold), so it is also called   SARS-CoV.
  • It infects both humans and animals (livestock, birds, etc.).
  • It had spread like a pandemic in Hong Kong in March 2003, and from there it transmitted to several other countries.

SARS is a dramatic example of how quickly world travel can spread a disease.

How SARS spreads?

When someone with SARS coughs or sneezes, infected droplets spray into the air. One can catch the SARS virus if you breathe in or touch these particles. The SARS virus may live on hands, tissues, and other surfaces for up to 6 hours in these droplets and up to 3 hours after the droplets have dried. Live virus has even been found in the stool of people with SARS, where it has been shown to live for up to 4 days. The virus may be able to live for months or years when the temperature is below freezing.


It includes flu-like symptoms such as fever, muscle pain, headaches, diarrhea, sore throat, runny nose, malaise, and myalgia (muscle pain), dry cough, shortness of breath, and an upper respiratory tract infection.

People with active symptoms of illness are contagious.


  • There is no cure or preventive vaccine available currently. The treatment is only supportive.
  • Antibiotics are ineffective, as SARS is a viral disease.
  • If a person is suspected of having SARS, they should be kept isolated in the hospital.


  • Reducing contact with people who have SARS
  • Hand hygiene is the most important, thus Wash hands or clean them with an alcohol-based instant hand sanitizer.
    • Avoid travel to places where there is an uncontrolled SARS outbreak.
  • Do not share food, drink, or utensils.