Must Read News Articles – August 19, 2018

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GS: 3

PM Modi announces Rs. 500 crore aid

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced an immediate financial assistance of Rs. 500 crore to rain-battered Kerala after reviewing the flood situation, even as rescue operations continued in Pathanamthitta and Thrissur districts amid heavy rain.

Revise trade laws, tariffs: U.S. Ambassador

Calling upon India to rethink trade barriers, tariffs and regulations in order to become a “hub” for innovation and production, U.S. Ambassador Kenneth Juster says that India and the U.S. need to see trade relations as an “important strategic element” of their ties.

In rhino country, a division to boost conservation efficiency

According to the last rhino census in March, the KNP has an estimated 2,413 rhinos. The park also has 57% of the world’s wild water buffalo population, one of the largest groups of Asian elephants and 21 Royal Bengal tigers per 100 – arguably the highest striped cat density.

Dropout rate soaring after school mergers in tribal belts

The flawed policy of the NITI Aayog and the Human Resource Development Ministry to close public schools that have low enrolment rate or single teachers in tribal districts is leading to a huge spike in dropout rates.

Walkabouts help the brain

Sitting for hours without moving can slow the flow of blood to our brains, according to a cautionary new study of office workers — a finding that could have implications for long-term brain health. But getting up and strolling for just two minutes every half-hour seems to stave off this decline in brain blood flow and may even increase it.

Seeing through the smoke

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of deaths worldwide. It is reported to kill an estimated seven million people every year. On average, tobacco users lose 15 years of their life. Up to half of all users will die prematurely due to tobacco-related causes by any year or time estimation.

Social factors too define skin colour of Indians

Skin colour variation in Indians is determined not just by the environment and genetics but by sexual selection, too. A complex interaction between physical and social forces is responsible for patterns of skin colour seen in males and females in India, says a study by CCMB researchers who collaborated with an international team.

JNCASR: A new, robust form of gold

Researchers from Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bengaluru, have developed a new type of gold in the form of very small crystals — microcystallites. The microcrystal gold has been found to be nobler than gold — it do not dissolve in mercury and Aqua regia (a mixture of nitric acid and hydrochloric acid), and showed the least interaction with copper.

Meghalayan farms are also bird habitats

The researchers studied how different groups (guilds) of birds — including nectar drinkers like sunbirds and insectivores such as drongos — use these two habitats and the different woodland vegetation found there. They find that areas outside the protected areas were used by all guilds of birds, suggesting that these areas maintained a functional bird community.





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