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Current Affairs of 4 Jan 2018

Keshav Kishore, Published On:04-Jan-2018



1.       NITI Aayog is working to adopt blockchain and AI in governance

• The Aayog is working on a strategy paper for blockchain in India which will outline use cases as well as map out schemes of GOI that stand to benefit the utilization of the technology.

• Blockchain technology was originally used in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, but it is now being expanded for being used for other fields.

• International hackathon on blockchain were conducted in IIT Delhi from Nov 10 to Nov 12, 2017 in which working prototypes were solicited from premier international and national institutes on social applications of blockchain.

• The Aayog is also seeking Artificial Intelligence (AI) for health, education and agriculture projects.

• The Aayog has already begun exploring ways in which advanced encryption technologies can be used so that data can be used for training AI algorithms while maintaining individual privacy. 


2.       Indian Agriculture expresses sign of optimism

• Indian agriculture production is ranked 2nd globally with a share of 8% of world’s overall production. 

• At the same time Service sector is ranked 11th and industrial sector is ranked 12th with just 2% share of each in their domain across the world.

• Agriculture in India is largest private sector which gives employment to half of India’s workforce.

• India is 9th in agriculture export while 19th in merchandise export.

• India’s estimated food market of $312 billion, fruits and vegetable consists $101 billion, milk and egg $74 billion, cereals $61 billion and meat $14billion.


3.       TRAI seeks regulator’s suggestion on New Telecom Policy

• TRAI has formed a number of work groups internally to decide broad contours of the proposed telecom policy. 

• The objective of the new policy is to provide 900 million broadband connections with a minimum download speed of 2 Mbps and establishing 10 million public Wi-Fi hotspots.

• The other objective of this policy is to enable 10 billion Internet-of-Things (IOT) and Machine-to-Machine sensors and devices attracting $100 billion investment in the communication sector.

• The twin goal of National Telecom Policy 2018 will be to facilitate development of communication infrastructure and services to achieve inclusive socio-economic growth in the country.


4.       Zojila Tunnel got green signal of cabinet

• The cabinet has given green signal for Zojila tunnel which will be at the height of 11578 feet and will provide all weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh. 

• The total cost of the project is Rs. 6809 crore and will be a two lane bidirectional tunnel of length 14.1 km along with a 14.2 km parallel egress tunnel.

• The project will be implemented by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highway through the National Highway and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited.


5.       Four new balsam species discovered in Arunachal Pradesh

• During an expedition to the Eastern Himalayas scientists have identified four new species of balsam from various location of Arunachal.

• Impatiens haridasanii from Pongchan, Impatiens pseudocitrina from Anjaw district, Impatiens nilaohitae from lower Dibang valley and I. roingensis was discovered from Roing and Upper Siang.

• The researchers have also reported the rediscovery of another species I. agastyamalayensis from Western Ghats after more than a century.

• India is home to more than 230 balsam species.




Source: The Hindu, The Indian Express


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