Current Affairs 2018 – July

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

ISRO successfully conducts ground test of high thrust version of Vikas Engine

ISRO has successfully conducted ground test of its high thrust version of Vikas Engine at ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC) in Mahendragiri, Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu for duration of 195 seconds. The tests meet all its propulsion parameters and were found satisfactory and closely matched the predictions.

Vikas Engine

Vikas belongs to family of liquid fuelled rocket engines conceptualized and designed by ISRO’s Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre in the 1970s. The design was based on licensed version of Viking engine with chemical pressurisation system. It is the workhorse liquid rocket engine powering second stage of India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), second stage and four strap on stages of Geosynchronous Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and is part of first stage i.e. twin engine core liquid stage (L110) of GSLV Mk-III. The propellant loading for Vikas engine in PSLV, GSLV Mark I and II is 40 tons, while in GSLV Mark III it is 55 tons. The recently tested high thrust version of Vikas engine will improve payload capability of PSLV, GSLV and GSLV Mk-III launch vehicles.

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India becomes Vice Chair of the Asia Pacific Region of World Customs Organisation

India became Vice-Chair or regional head of Asia Pacific Region of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) for two years from July 2018 to June 2020. By becoming Vice Chair, India will be able to take up leadership role at the WCO.

Key Facts

To mark assumption of Vice Chair, an event will be organised in New Delhi by Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) in partnership with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The event was attended by Customs delegations of 33 countries of Asia-Pacific Region, Customs officers from different Ports in India, Partner Government Agencies and representatives from the trade among others.

World Customs Organisation (WCO)

WCO is an independent intergovernmental body whose mission is to enhance effectiveness and efficiency of Customs administrations. It was established in 1952 as Customs Co-operation Council (CCC). It is the only international organization with competence in Customs matters and is considered as voice of international Customs community.

WCO represents 182 Customs administrations across the globe that collectively process approximately 98% of world trade. It is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. It plays leading role in discussion, development, promotion and implementation of modern customs systems and procedures.

Objectives: It aims to enhance efficiency and effectiveness of member customs administrations and assist them to contribute successfully to national development goals, particularly revenue collection, national security, trade facilitation, community protection, and collection of trade statistics.

Organistaional Structure: WCO’s governing body – the Council relies on competence and skills of WCO Secretariat and a range of technical and advisory committees to accomplish its mission. The Secretariat comprises over 100 international officials, technical experts and support staff of some nationalities. WCO has divided its membership into six regions whereby each region is represented by elected vice-chairperson to WCO Council.

Functions: It offers range of Conventions and other international instruments, as well as technical assistance and training services to its members. It also actively supports its members in their endeavours to modernize and build capacity within their national Customs administrations.

It also plays vital role in stimulating growth of legitimate international trade and combats fraudulent activities. It also promotes emergence of honest, transparent and predictable Customs environment, thus directly contributing to economic and social well-being of its members.

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