This Daily Current Affair Capsule is a brief collection of important news from national dailies and government releases on PIB useful for UPSC IAS, CDS, SSC CGL, NDA, etc. It covers national, international, economic, sports news.
National Important Current Affairs – 16 March 2017
■ Ending 15 years of Congress rule in Manipur, BJP leader Nongthombam Biren Singh has been sworn in as the state’s Chief Minister in Imphal.
- Y Joykumar Singh of the National People’s Party was sworn in as the deputy chief minister at the Raj Bhawan in Imphal.
■ The government has approved the National Health Policy which proposes to provide assured health services to all in the country. The policy increases the gambit of sectors covered in the Primary Health Centre (PHC) level and envisages a comprehensive approach.
■ A Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jet of the Indian Air Force crashed in Rajasthan’s Barmer area, hours after a Chetak helicopter crash landed and toppled in Kaushambi near Allahabad. The two pilots of the helicopter were safe while both the pilots of the Sukhoi frontline jet ejected before the plane crashed. The IAF headquarters has ordered separate Court of Inquiry (CoI) into both the incidents.
■ The Karnataka government has allocated Rs 100 crore for setting up of Namma Canteens across the state to provide breakfast for Rs 5 and lunch, dinner for Rs 10 each. Around 200 Namma Canteens will be set up in Bengaluru alone.
■ The Cabinet has approved financial assistance for bifurcated Andhra Pradesh by way of special dispensation in funding of externally aided projects (EAPs) and also the 100% irrigation component of Polavaram project. The special assistance will be provided to the state towards repayment of loan and interest for EAPs signed and disbursed from 2015-16 to 2019-20.
- The Andhra Pradesh Government will execute the Polavaram project on behalf of the Centre. However, overall coordination, quality control, design issues, monitoring and clearance related issues are to be dealt by the Polavaram Project Authority of the Ministry of Water Resources.
- The Centre while fulfilling its commitments under Andhra Pradesh Re-organisation Act 2014, has already provided ‘Special Assistance’ of over 1,975 crore rupees to the state during the current financial year.
■ An analysis of National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) data has revealed that the ability to use computers (computing ability) remains low in India, in spite of campaigns for digitalisation.
- What is computing ability? Computing ability is defined as an user’s ability to operate a desktop, laptop, palmtop, notebook, smartphone and tablets. It is not related to digital infrastructure or internet penetration.
- An estimated 8.8% of the rural population has computing ability. In urban areas, the figure is nearly four times higher, at 30.2%.
- Kerala has the highest computing ability at 32.3% in rural areas, while Chhattisgarh has the lowest, 2.9%.
- In the urban areas, Kerala stands at second position, after Delhi.
- Computing ability was found to be the lowest in the tribal population.
■ Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) every year organises Krishi Vigyan Mela(Agriculture Science Fair) to display and popularise the latest advancement in agricultural research and technology development among farmers and end users. Thousands of farmers and visitors from across the country are participating in the mela every year.
- The KrishiUnnatiMela 2017 is being organised jointly by ICAR and Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare.
International Current Affairs Capsule – 16 March 2017
■ The Pakistan Army is set to send an army brigade to Saudi Arabia to protect the country’s borders from Islamic State and Houthi rebels in the ongoing Yemen war. The two-year-old war in Yemen has killed more than 10,000 people and injured another 40,000. Note that : Saudi Arabia is supporting Yemeni President Mansour Hadi against the Houthi rebels.
■ US President Donald Trump’s administration is considering a military proposal that would designate various undeclared battlefields worldwide to be “temporary areas of active hostility”. If it is approved, the measure will give military commanders the right to launch strikes, raids and campaigns against enemy forces for up to six months in places such as Yemen and Somalia.
■ In the United States, a Federal judge in Hawaii has blocked President Donald Trump’s new travel ban, a day before it was due to begin. The ruling by US District Judge Derrick Watson stops the executive order from going into effect.
- The directive would have placed a 90-day ban on people from six mainly Muslim nations and a 120-day ban on refugees.
Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 16 March 2017
■ US Federal Reserve has raised its benchmark interest rate by 0.25 per cent for only the 3rd time in a decade. The central bank voted to raise its key rate target to a range of 0.75 per cent to 1 per cent. The Fed had been expected to raise rates after a robust February jobs report, solid pay gains, rising inflation and a dip in the unemployment rate to 4.7 per cent.
■ Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman launched the Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES) focused on addressing the needs of the exporters.
- The scheme will provide assistance for setting up and up-gradation of infrastructure projects with overwhelming export linkages like the Border Haats, Land customs stations, quality testing and certification labs, cold chains, trade promotion centres and export warehousing and packaging.
- There will be an empowered committee to periodically review the progress of the approved projects in the Scheme and will take necessary steps to ensure achievement of the objectives of the Scheme.
- The proposals of the implementing agencies for funding will be considered by an inter ministerial empowered committee specially constituted for this Scheme to be chaired by the Commerce Secretary.
■ LinkedIn Co-founder Reid Hoffman has joined the board of directors at Microsoft. This follows Microsoft’s $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn last year.
Sports News Current Affair Capsule – 16 March 2017
■ The South African city of Durban has been stripped of its rights to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games after it failed to meet the eligibility criteria due to financial constraints. After this, the Indian Olympic Association is considering to bid for the event subject to government support.
■ ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar has resigned from his post with immediate effect citing personal reasons. Manohar was elected unopposed in May last year and became the first independent Chairman of cricket’s governing body. He had signed a two-year term after stepping down as BCCI President.
“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims”
Q1. The Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties functions under which of the following ?
- A) Ministry of Finance
- B) Ministry of Commerce and Industry
- C) Ministry of External Affairs
- D) None of these
Q2. The Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation or PESO comes under which of the following ?
- A) Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers
- B) Ministry of Commerce and Industry
- C) Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas
- D) Ministry of Defence
Q3. The Sri Rama Sagar Project, which is described as lifeline for a large part of Telangana, is constructed across which of the following rivers?
- A) River Krishna
- B) River Godavari
- C) River Musi
- D) River Marikal
O4. What is the theme of the 2017 World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD)?
- A) Antibiotics off the menu
- B) Transparency and insformation for all
- C) Building a digital world consumers can trust
- D) Consumer Justice to all
Q5. Who is the author of the book “When Breath Becomes Air”?
- A) Siddhartha Mukherjee
- B) Arundhati Bhattacharya
- C) Paul Kalanithi
- D) H R Nirupam
Answer these questions in the comments below. Have a Good Day!
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