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 – 19, 20 March 2017

 Yogi Adityanath, the preist turned politician, has took over as the 32nd Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. Two Deputy Chief Ministers — Dinesh Sharma and Keshav Prasad Maurya — and 47 Ministers were also sworn in.

  • Born on 5 June 1972, Adityanath was the youngest member of the 12th Lok Sabha at 26.
  • He has been elected as an MP from Gorakhpur to the Lok Sabha in the 1998, 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014 elections.

■  The Union Labour Ministry has proposed a labour code which will provide social security cover to the entire workforce in the country, including self-employed and agricultural workers. The proposed a draft code on Social Security and Welfare with an aim to provide social security cover to the entire workforce in the country of about 45 crore workers.

  • It will cover every working person of the organised sector or the unorganised sector in the country.
  • Agricultural workers along with self-employed people will be covered under the social security cover.
  • Also factories employing single worker will have to contribute towards social security benefits.
  • It will cover any factory, mine, shop, plantation, charitable organisations and all establishments or households employing casual, fixed-term, part-time, informal, apprentice, domestic and home-based workers.
  • If such establishments or factories fail to contribute towards the social security schemes of the workers, they will be liable to pay compensation.
  • It will cover households employing domestic help and they will also have contribute towards schemes, including gratuity for the worker and provident fund.
  • It also proposes National Social Security Council (NSSC), chaired by the Prime Minister to streamline and make policy on social security schemes related to all the Ministries. It will also have Union Finance Minister, Labour Minister, Health and Family Welfare Minister along with employer and employees’ representatives. It will also co-ordinate between central and State governments, monitor the implementation of social security schemes, regulate funds collected under various social security schemes, among others.

■  National Physical Laboratory (NPL) has established an atmospheric monitoring station in the campus of Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (IHBT) at Palampur, Himachal Pradesh for generating the base data for atmospheric trace species & properties to serve as reference for comparison of polluted atmosphere in India.

  • This station houses calibrated state-of-the-art-equipment for the continuous measurements of ambient and greenhouse gases (CO, NO, CO2 & CH4, NO2, NH3, SO2, O3, PM1, PM2.5, PM10, hydrocarbons, black-carbon), and weather parameters.
  • Because of Palampur’s pristine air, and the capability of the new monitoring station for detection of small amounts of pollutants, the impact of faraway pollution sources can be measured precisely.
  • The data generated by pristine station at Palampur will act as background data for the measured pollution at various cities in the country.
  • The generated background data will be shared with different pollution control boards and agencies in the country so that the more precise pollution mapping traceable to standard values can be done, which in turn, would assist policy decisions for the abatement of air pollutants.
  • The NPL’s station will also serve as a base station for inter-comparison of air quality monitoring equipment being used in India to improve quality of monitored data in India.

 

■ The proposed Jat agitation in Delhi has been called off after a meeting between Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal and Jat leaders. The Chief Minister said there are other constitutional ways to press for demands. Jat leader Yashpal Malik said Jats will not come to Delhi today to protest, as they have agreed to the five points laid down by Chief Minister. He also said they trust the government and are sure that their demands will be met.

  • Note that: The All India Jat Aarakshan Sangarsh Samiti is demanding reservations in education and government jobs. It had given a call for a march to gherao Parliament and to hold dharnas on the Delhi border blocking all highways to press for its demands.

 

■ The nearly 5-month-long economic blockade on the two National Highways of Manipur by the United Naga Council has come to an end. This comes after successful tripartite talks among the representatives of the Centre, new BJP State Government and the UNC. State Government has agreed to release the arrested leaders of the UNC without any condition and all the cases related to the economic blockade against Naga leaders including its student leaders will also be closed.

  • Background: The blockade was imposed on NH-2 and NH-37 by the United Naga Council on 1st of November last year to protest against the creation of seven new districts by the erstwhile Okram Ibobi Singh-led Congress government in the state.
  • This led to steep rise in prices of essential commodities and severely affected the normal life and had become a major issue in the recent Assembly polls in the state.

■ A parliamentary panel has asked the Home Ministry to re-publicise the vacant NATGRID posts and offer remuneration commensurate with that of the private sector to attract the most qualified professionals.

  • The Union Home Ministry recently informed a parliamentary panel that it couldn’t get qualified IT professionals to fill 35 posts in the National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID), an ambitious intelligence project conceptualised by the United Progressive Alliance government after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks in 2008.
  • NATGRID is an ambitious counter terrorism programme, which will utilise technologies like Big Data and analytics to study and analyse the huge amounts of data from various intelligence and enforcement agencies to help track suspected terrorists and prevent terrorist attacks.
  • It will connect, in different phases, data providing organisations and users besides developing a legal structure through which information can be accessed by the law enforcement agencies.
  • NATGRID is a post Mumbai 26/11 attack measure. It aims to mitigate a vital deficiency — lack of real time information, which was considered to be one of the major hurdles in detecting US terror suspect David Headley’s movement across the country during his multiple visits between 2006 and 2009.

 

 

International Current Affairs Capsule – 19, 20 March 2017

 

■ The troops of Indian and Oman armies today concluded their exercise ‘Al-Nagah-II 2017’ in Bakloh belt of Himachal Pradesh. The exercise was aimed at strengthening the military ties between the two countries.

  • During the 14-day joint exercise, the troops of the two armies shared expertise in counter-insurgency and other operations in various terrains like snow-bound areas and dense woods.
  • The exercise of the Indian Army and the Royal Army of Oman was declared closed by Major General Naveen Kumar Airy of the Indian Army.
  • The first joint exercise between India and Oman was held in Oman in 2015.
  • The Joint Exercise was aimed to share expertise in counter insurgency operations and demonstrated the growing relationship between two countries

 

Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 19, 20 March 2017

 

■ In a bid to benefit small farmers in India and globally, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) would work together on crop improvement and agronomy programmes for grain legumes and dryland cereals.

  • ICAR and ICRISAT, recently signed an agreement in which climate smart crops, smart food and digitalisation of breeding database were identified as some of the core areas of research.
  • Other areas of focus include – integrating systems modelling tools for upscaling climate resilient agriculture, developing genetic and genomic resources of finger millet and enhancing genetic gains for priority traits.
About ICRISAT:

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is an international organisation which conducts agricultural research for rural development, headquartered in Patancheru (Hyderabad, Telangana, India) with several regional centers.

It was founded in 1972 by a consortium of organisations convened by the Ford and the Rockefeller foundations. Its charter was signed by the FAO and the UNDP.

Since its inception, host country India has granted a special status to ICRISAT as a UN Organization operating in the Indian territory making it eligible for special immunities and tax privileges.

 

Sports News Current Affair Capsule – 19, 20 March 2017

■ A talent search portal will soon be launched by Sports Ministry to spot, support and encourage young Indian talents across the country especially from the rural region. This was shared by Vijay Goel, Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs while interacting with the Indian Diaspora in Dubai.

 

Obituaries

Pyari Mohan Mohapatra, former bureaucrat turned politician, once considered the most influential force behind Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s BJD government succumbed to a brain haemorrhage. The 77-year-old former Rajya Sabha member and founder of the Odisha Jan Morcha was battling lung cancer in the hospital. He is widely credited with Biju Janata Dal’ unstoppable growth from until 2012 and political advisor of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, when he was sacked from the party on an anti-party issue.

■ Noted Gujarati poet and ghazal writer Chinu Modi passed away in Ahmedabad, he was 78 . Born in Vijapur town in North Gujarat, he completed LLB in 1961 and MA with Hindi subject from Gujarat University in 1968. During 1965-75 he was professor in Ahmedabad’s Swaminarayan Arts College. He worked as script writer in Indian Space Research Organisation during 1975- 1977. 

  • Chinu Modi has written over 50 books of poetry, drama, novel, stories, critics, biography, collection, songs and translation.
  • Chinu Modi had received Sahitya Academy award in 2014.

 

“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims”

Q1. Which Indian-American personality has won the 2017 Regeneron Science Talent Search (STS) award?

  • A) Archana Verma
  • B) Arjun Srinivasan Ramani
  • C) Prathik Naidu
  • D) Indrani Das

 

Q2. With reference to an institution known as ‘PRS Legislative Research’, which of the following statements is NOT correct?

  • A) The Laws of India website is a public database, created by it, of all laws passed by the legislatures of different states in India
  • B) It provides Members of Parliament with the necessary data and analysis for debates in the Parliament
  • C) It is funded entirely by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs
  • D) All the above

 

Q3. India has recently signed a Social Security Agreement (SSA) with which country to protect rights of detached workers?

  • A) Indonesia
  • B) Brazil
  • C) China
  • D) South Africa

 

O4. The “rollback provision”, which appears in the context of Advance Pricing Agreements (APA), most appropriately refers to

  • A) Applicability of the APA provisions retrospectively
  • B) A penalty levied in the event of new evidence surfacing regarding subversion of laws by group companies involved in the transactions
  • C) Discounting the Arm’s Length Price (ALP) if the transaction is carried out between group companies headquartered within Indian borders
  • D) Cancellation of the APA in case of changes in any assumptions that were made by the tax payer while entering into an APA with the government

 

Q5. Who is the author of the book “Indica: A Deep Natural History of the Indian Subcontinent”?

  • A) Hari V. Krishna
  • B) John Miller
  • C) Pranay Lal
  • D) Valmiki Thapar

 

Answer these questions in the comments below.  Have a Good Day!

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