GK Today: Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS Preparation: 12 September 2018

India, Bangladesh jointly inaugurate three projects

India, Bangladesh jointly inaugurated three projects related to power supply and rehabilitation of existing railway section. These projects were jointly inaugurated Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina, and Chief Ministers of West Bengal and Tripura through video conference. The first project — Supply of 500 MW additional power supply from India to Bangladesh through Baharampur – Bheramara interconnection was unveiled by Prime Minister Modi, Bangladeshi counterpart Hasina and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The second project — construction work of the Bangladesh part of Akhaura-Agartala railway link was inaugurated by Indian and Bangladeshi Prime Ministers, and Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb. The third project on the rehabilitation of Kulaura-Shahbazpur section of Bangladesh Railways was jointly inaugurated by the Prime Minister of both the countries.


Haryana signs MoU with Indian Oil for ethanol plant

The Haryana government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) to set up an ethanol plant in Panipat with an outlay of over Rs 900 crore. The MoU will be valid for one year. This plant will motivate farmers in its 50 km radius area to manage crop residue and prevent straw burning and help to fulfill increasing demand of ethanol and also bio-fuels for consumers of petroleum product. The proposed capacity of this ethanol plant will be of producing 100 kilolitres of ethanol per day. It will help to manage crop residue and prevent straw burning before upcoming paddy season. 10 cooperative and three private sugar mills in the state will provide raw fuel to this plant. There will be regular supply of raw material to this plant as paddy crop residue will be provided as raw material after end of paddy season in October and November and thus, there will be regular supply of raw material to the plant.


BARC’s ‘Apsara’ reactor recommissioned after 9 yrs

The country’s oldest research reactor ‘Apsara’, which was shut down permanently in 2009 for revamp, has been recommissioned with a higher capacity. It was recommissioned after upgradation. The reactor came into existence in August 1956 and was utilised for various experiments including neutron activation analysis, radiation damage studies, forensic research, neutron radiography, and shielding experiments. Nearly 62 years after Apsara came into existence, a swimming pool type research reactor ‘Apsara-upgraded’ of higher capacity was commissioned. The reactor made indigenously uses plate type dispersion fuel elements made of low enriched uranium. The upgraded reactor will increase indigenous production of radio-isotopes for medical application. By virtue of higher neutron flux, this reactor will increase production of radio-isotopes for medical application by about 50 per cent and would also be extensively used for research in nuclear physics, material science and radiation shielding.


Government sets up panel of secretaries to look into e-Commerce issues

With concerns being raised on some proposals of the draft e-commerce policy, the government has set up a group of secretaries to look into the issues. The group will be chaired by the Secretary in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). The other members of the group include Secretaries of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and Department of Commerce. The group would look into all the issues of e-commerce sector.