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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G20 Digital Economy Ministerial Meeting held in Salta, Argentina

The G20 Digital Economy Ministerial Meeting was held in Salta, Argentina from 23 to 24 August, 2018. It took place as part of Sherpa Track for 2018 G20 Leaders’ Summit, which is to be hosted by Argentina by end of 2018. The theme of the meeting was ‘Building consensus for fair and sustainable development‘. Its three key issues for the agenda were future of work, infrastructure for development, and sustainable food future. It concluded with adaptation of declaration that reflects G20’s commitment towards promoting policies and actions that catalyze digital transformations.

Key Facts

The meeting was attended by 33 heads of delegation- ministers, senior officials and representatives from invited countries and international organizations like EU, UNCTAD, ITU etc. India was represented by Union Minister for Electronics and IT & Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad.

The participating delegates deliberated upon efforts to create conditions that help governments, private sector and civil society maximize benefits and confront challenges posed by technological progress. The other focus areas which were also deliberated included digital inclusion in particular gender divide, digital government, digital infrastructure and measuring digital economy.

Participating G20 member nations agreed to promote policies that will contribute to bridging all forms of digital divide with special attention to digital gender divide. They also agreed to promote digital government and digital infrastructure, strengthen digital skills of workforce, deepen analysis towards digital economy measurement and to share experiences and lesson learned.

G20

Group of Twenty (G20) is premier forum for international economic cooperation and decision-making. It is a forum for governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies to focus on economic issues and other important development challenges.

The G20 comprises of total 19 countries plus European Union (EU), representing 85% of global GDP, 80% of international trade, 65% of world’s population. Its members include Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, India, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Turkey, South Africa, UK, US and EU.

It was started in 1999 as meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in the aftermath of the South-east Asian (Tiger economies) financial crisis. It was established for studying, reviewing, and promoting high-level discussion of policy issues pertaining to the promotion of international financial stability.

In 2008, the first G20 Leaders’ Summit was held in Washington DC, US. Prior to this, it was merely forum for meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors. The group has played key role in responding to the global financial crisis.

Month: Categories: International Current Affairs 2018

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NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft catches its first glimpse of its target Bennu asteroid

NASA’s asteroid sampling spacecraft OSIRIS-REx has captured first images of its target asteroid Bennu and began its final approach towards it after almost two-year journey. OSIRIS-Rex stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer. The first glimpses of targeted asteroid were captured by PolyCam camera OCAMS on board of OSIRIS-Rex from a distance of 2.1 million kilometre. It will help to study Bennu’s size, shape, surface features, and surroundings.

OSIRIS-Rex

OSIRIS-Rex mission was launched in September 2016 for studying 101955 Bennu, a carbonaceous asteroid. It is NASA’s first asteroid sampling mission i.e. it will survey surface, collect sample and deliver it safely back to Earth. So far, it has travelled approximately 1.8 billion kilometres since its launch. During its approach phase, OSIRIS-REx will regularly observe area around the asteroid to search for dust plumes and natural satellites and study its light and spectral properties.

The spacecraft is scheduled to reach small, roundish asteroid in 2018 and return to Earth after collecting some of its gravels by 2023. OSIRIS-Rex will capture 60 grams dirt and debris from surface of asteroid using its robotic arm without landing i.e. by hovering like hummingbird stirred up by nitrogen gas thrusters and then to Earth for detailed analysis of the collected samples.

After arrival at Bennu, OSIRIS-Rex spacecraft will spend first month performing flybys of asteroid’s northpole, equator and south pole at distances ranging between 19 and 7 kilometres from it. These manoeuvres will allow for first direct measurement of Bennu’s mass as well as close-up observations of surface. These trajectories will also provide the mission’s navigation team with experience navigating near the asteroid.

Bennu

Bennu is near-Earth carbonaceous asteroid about the size of a small mountain in the Apollo group. It was discovered in September 1999 by the LINEAR Project. It is carbon-rich asteroid and believed to be the type of asteroids that may have chemical building blocks of life, along with lots of water. So, analysis of returned sample from it could help to reveal key insights about early solar system and the origin of life on Earth. It is potentially hazardous asteroid and there is very slight chance it could strike into Earth in the late 22nd century.

Month: Categories: Science and Technology Current Affairs - 2018

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