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 – 26 to 31 March 2017
■ At the 6th National Photography Awards (NPA) 2017, Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) awarded Life Time Achievement (LTA) award to veteran photojournalist Raghu Rai for his remarkable contribution to the field.
■ The Indian Navy is de-inducting its TU142M Long Range Maritime Patrol aircraft after 29 years of dedicated service to the nation. This aircraft participated in operation ‘Cactus’ in Maldives along with operational missions off Sri Lanka to provide airborne surveillance.
- This aircraft is the fastest turboprop aircraft in the world and reportedly has been difficult to intercept by fighters.
■ The Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has launched MoPNG e-Seva, a grievance redressal platform for the customers regarding to petroleum and gas sector. It will handle queries received on the official handles of Petroleum Ministry, Petroleum Minister and MOPNG eSeva on real-time basis 24/7.
■ President Pranab Mukherjee has awarded the Dr. B. C. Roy National Awards (the highest recognition for medical practitioners in India) to 49 physicians for the year 2014, 2015 and 2016. He also presented the Hari Om Ashram Alembic Research Awards to four physicians.
- Note that : Dr. B. C. Roy National Award was instituted by the Medical Council of India (MCI) in 1976 in memory of renowned physician and former West Bengal Chief Minister Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy.
■ The 5th edition of ‘Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav (RSM) – 2017’ was held in Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh. It was organized by the Union Ministry of Culture to preserve, promote and popularize the heritage and cultural diversity of India.
■ The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed public sector oil companies to immediately stop plying Bharat Stage-I (BS-I) and Bharat Stage-II (BS-II) vehicles for transporting petrol or petroleum products in Delhi.
- The order was issued against Indian Oil Corporation Limited, Bharat Petroleum Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum.
- The NGT direction was given during the hearing of batch of petitions filed by various contractors seeking registration of new BS-IV compliant diesel vehicles purchased for transport of petrol from company depots to identified petrol pumps in Delhi-NCR.
■ Gauri Singh, a 14 year old teenager from Udaipur, Rajasthan has became the first Indian girl swim from Sea Link near Worli Koliwada to the Gateway of India in the Arabia Sea. She took over 6 hours 30 minutes to complete the 36 km long distance route.
■ Odisha-based installation artist Sitaram Swain has been chosen as the Glenfiddich’s Emerging Artist of the Year 2017. He will be the sixth recipient of the honour, who will represent India at the Glenfiddich Artists in Residence (AiR) programme at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Scotland with seven artists from around the world.
■ The Parliament has passed Finance Bill 2017 after Lok Sabha rejected all the five amendments made by the Rajya Sabha. This bill gives effect to the financial proposals of the central government announced in the budget for the financial year 2017-18. Earlier, the Rajya Sabha had returned the Finance Bill 2017 to the Lok Sabha with five amendments moved by the opposition.
■ The Uttarakhand High Court has ordered a complete ban on all mining activities in the state for four months. The court has given this order while hearing on Public Interest Litigation (PIL), which came after a forest guard was allegedly killed by illegal miners near Corbett National Park when he had tried to stop them.
- Court has ordered the state government to constitute a high-powered committee to look into various aspects of mining activities and find out whether mining activity should be permitted in the state at all and also prepare a 50-year blueprint taking into consideration environment limits vis-a-vis mining operations and submit an interim report within four month.
- The HC order will stop mining in interstate rivers such as Ganga, Yamuna and also nearly 100 seasonal rivers and rivulets on foothills of the state, apart from forest areas.
■ Lok Sabha has passed four Bills relating to the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), paving way for implementing a new, consolidated indirect tax regime from the proposed date of July 1, 2017. These Bills were passed as Money Bills, thus eliminates the role of Rajya Sabha. These four bills passed are –
- Central GST Bill,
- Integrated GST Bill,
- GST Compensation Bill
- Union Territory GST Bill, 2017.
■ The Indian Navy has unveiled the Integrated Automatic Aviation Meteorological System (IAAMS) at Rajali Air Station in Tamil Nadu. It aims to modernise the meteorological infrastructure of the nine Naval Air Stations (NAS) and bring accuracy in weather monitoring mechanism in the Indian Navy.
- The IAAMS installation at remaining eight stations is expected to be completed by March 2019. After completion, the project will give a major fillip to aviation safety, through automation of weather monitoring process.
■ Kanha Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh has became first tiger reserve in India to officially introduce a mascot named Bhoorsingh the Barasingha, to create a better connect with its visitors. The mascot aims to present the hard ground swamp deer (Barasingha) as the spirit of the reserve and spread awareness to save it from possible extinction.
- The mascot has been designed by cartoonist Rohan Chakravarty, who runs a popular website greenhumour.com which showcases cartoons, comics and illustrations about wildlife and nature conservation, environment, sustainability etc.
- The Barasingha, or swamp deer is the state animal of Madhya Pradesh. The Kanha tiger reserve, is the only place in the world where the Barasingha species exists. Barasingha differs from all the Indian deer species such that its antlers carry more than three tines, giving it the name barasingha, meaning “twelve-tined. It has been listed vulnerable in the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List of Threatened Species.
Note that: Kanha is the largest national park of Madhya Pradesh and had inspired Rudyard Kipling for his famous novel Jungle Book. The park has a significant population of Bengal tiger, Indian leopards, sloth bear, and Barasingha.
■The Odisha Assembly passed a unanimous resolution asking the Centre to increase the minimum support price of paddy, as the cost of production of paddy has increased over the years.
International Current Affairs Capsule – 26 to 31 March 2017
■ United Nations General Secretary Antonio Guterres has appointed David Beasley as head of the Rome-based World Food Programme (WFP). Beasley is former governor of US state of South Carolina.
- World Food Programme (WFP) is the food-assistance branch of the United Nations and world’s largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger and promoting food security. It was established in 1961 after the 1960 Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) Conference. Its headquarter is in Rome (Italy).
■ Carrie Lam is set to become the first woman Chief Executive (CE) of the Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China. She has won 777 votes compared with 365 for her closest rival and was backed by China. Note that: The CE of Hong Kong is the head and representative of the Hong Kong and also head of the Government of Hong Kong.
■ Indian-American Vanita Gupta has been appointed as President and CEO of ‘The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights’. She had headed civil rights division in the Department of Justice in the Obama Administration.
■ Britain has formally launched the process for leaving the European Union (EU) by invoking Article 50 of EU’s Lison Treaty. Britain will become the first country ever to seek departure from the European Union since its formation 60 years ago. British Prime Minister Theresa May will trigger the process nine months since UK’s referendum vote to leave the EU.
■ US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to roll back his predecessor’s climate change measures. The Executive Order directs all agencies to conduct a review of all regulations, rules, policies and guidance documents that are putting up roadblocks to US’s domestic energy production. This order was issued in order to lift the restrictions on American energy, to reverse government intrusion and to cancel job-killing regulations.
Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 26 to 31 March 2017
■ All existing subscribers of mobile services will have to go for Aadhaar-based re-verification, according to a notification issued by the Telecom department. All telecom operators shall re-verify all existing mobile subscribers (pre-paid and postpaid) through Aadhaar-based eKYC process. Verification of a subscriber would not be required in case of conversions – that is pre-paid to postpaid connections or vice versa.
■ The Union Government has imposed 10% import duty on wheat and tur dal with immediate effect to protect farmers’ interest amid projection of a record crop this year.
- Note that: Earlier in December 2016, government had reduced customs duty on wheat to 0 from 10% to boost domestic availability and check retail prices.
- There has been nil duty on tur dal.
■ As per latest report by the Sydney-based aviation think-tank, Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), India has become the third largest aviation market globally in terms of domestic passenger traffic. This report has stated that India’s domestic air passenger traffic at 100 million in 2016 has overtaken that of Japan (97 million) to bag the third spot. Now India stands behind US (719 million) and China (436 million).
■ Airtel has acquired 4G business of Tikona Networks for Rs 1600 crore. With this acquisition, Airtel will be second company after Reliance Jio to have pan-India presence in 2300 Mhz band. Note that: The 2300 Mhz band has second largest ecosystem of 4G devices.
Sports Current Affair Capsule – 26 to 31 March 2017
■ West Bengal have lifted the Santosh Trophy for the 32nd time by defeating Goa One-zero in the final of the premier domestic football tournament held at Bambolim. West Bengal has thus, ended a six-year wait having last won the title in 2011.
■ Srinath Narayanan has become India’s 46th Grandmaster after he defeated GM David Anton Guijarro of Spain at the ongoing Sharjah Masters 2017 chess tournament. He was India’s youngest FIDE-rated player in 2002 when he was just eight.
■ Ethiopian-born Turkish middle and long-distance runner Elvan Abeylegesse (34) has been stripped of her two Olympic silver medals won at 2008 Beijing Olympics and one world silver medal after a re-analysis of an in-competition doping test dating back to 2007. She had tested positive for stanozolol, which is a banned steroid.
■ Indian cricketer Ravichandran Ashwin was awarded Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for the ICC Cricketer of the Year 2016 as well as the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year 2016.
- With this, he has become the third Indian to win this award after Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar.
- The Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy is awarded annually by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to its chosen world player of the year.
■ Argentina forward Lionel Messi has been banned from their next four competitive internationals for swearing at a match official. Messi had directed insulting words at an assistant referee during the 1-0 win over Chile. Now, he will play in only one of Argentina’s remaining five World Cup qualifiers.
■ South Africa’s revered Indian-origin anti-apartheid activist, Ahmed Kathrada has passed away at age of 87. He was one of Nelson Mandela’s closest aides in his struggle to end the white minority rule. He was among three political prisoners who were sentenced to life imprisonment together with Nelson Mandel after the infamous Rivonia Trial of 1964.
■ Renowned playwright Arun Sarma has passed away in New Delhi after a brief illness at age of 86 years. He has won a number of awards, including Padma Shri, Sahitya Academi and Assam Valley Literary.
■ Senior Advocate and eminent jurist Tehmtan R. Andhyarujina has passed away at 84 years of age. He had served as Solicitor General of India from 1996 to 1998. He authored “The Kesavananda Bharati Case: The untold story of struggle for supremacy by Supreme Court and Parliament” about the landmark Judgment in Kesavananda Bharati Case (1973) in which he also had appeared.
UPSC Prelims Current Affairs Practice Questions
Q1. What is the theme of the first-ever Houston India Conference-2017?
- A) Make in India -The Inside Story
- B) Make in India -The Inside Culture
- C) Make in India -The Inside Revolution
- D) Make in India -The Inside Strategy
Q2. Truecaller has partnered with which bank to launch its UPI-based mobile payment service “Truecaller Pay”?
- A) HDFC Bank
- B) ICICI Bank
- C) State Bank of India
- D) Axis Bank
Q3. Which union ministry has launched an online film certification system “e-Cinepramaan” to promote transparency and ease of doing business?
- A) Ministry of Science and Technology
- B) Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
- C) Ministry of Communications
- D) Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology
Q4. Who has been appointed the new member to the Sports Authority of India (SAI)?
- A) Vijender Singh
- B) Sania Mirza
- C) Siddhartha Upadhyay
- D) Sachin Tendulkar
Q5. Which country is set to become the new member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)?
- A) Alaska
- B) Guina Bissau
- C) Montenegro
- D) Ghana
Q6. Which Indian personality has been inducted into the international advisory board of the Atlantic Council?
- A) Bibek Debroy
- B) M RadhaKrishnan
- C) Bharath Gopalaswamy
- D) Anil Ambani
Q7. Which of the following has become the first e-commerce company to take membership of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI)?
- A) FreeCharge
- B) Amazon
- C) Paytm
- D) PhonePe
Q8. Which country hosted the 3rd edition of World Conference on Environment held recently?
- A) Sri Lanka
- B) India
- C) Rwanda
- D) China
Q9. The tropical cyclone “Debbie” has recently hit which country?
- A) Australia
- B) China
- C) USA
- D) Brazil
Q10. Where is the headquarters of the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR) ?
- A) Minicoy
- B) Kavaratti
- C) Vasco da Gama
- D) Andrott
Answer these questions in the comments below. Discuss your thoughts on the news and issues mentioned in today’s current affairs post.
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