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 – 29 April 2017
■ India and Cyprus have signed four agreements following delegation-level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades in New Delhi. These cover :
- Agreement on cooperation in the area of merchant shipping.
- Agreement to boost air services between the two countries.
- Executive programme on culture, education and scientific cooperation for the years 2017 to 2020.
- Work plan under a programme of cooperation in agriculture for the period 2017-2018.
■ The Home Ministry is raising an all-woman India Reserve Battalion (IRB) in Jammu and Kashmir, in the wake of girl students throwing stones at security forces in Srinagar.
- The all women contingent will be among the five IRBs sanctioned earlier by the Centre for the State.
- The IRBs are being raised to provide jobs to the local youths with 60% of the vacancies to be filled with candidates from the border districts.
- The cost of raising each battalion is around Rs. 61 crore, and 75% of the expenditure will be borne by the Centre.
- Note that: IRB personnel are normally deployed in their respective States but they can also be sent elsewhere if required.
■ India has successfully test-fired its surface-to-surface intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM) Agni-III from a defence test facility off Odisha coast. The indigenously built highly sophisticated missile was launched from the complex-IV of Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Abdul Kalam Island.
■ Bhubaneswar has become the first Indian city to win Pierre L’enfant International Planning excellence award-2017 instituted by the American Planning Association (APA). The city has been chosen for its good and advanced town planning and engaging its residents in the planning process.
■ Delhi’s Teen Murti Marg is set to be renamed after Israeli city Haifa ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the Jewish nation. The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) will rename the Teen Murti Marg as Teen Murti Haifa Marg, and the Teen Murti Chowk will be renamed as Teen Murti Haifa Chowk.
■ The officers of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) will be adopting a family of the martyred soldiers of the Defence forces and Central Armed Police Forces.
- The officers will ensure that all the dues and ex-gratia should be paid to the dependents of the martyred soldiers on time by the concerned organisation.
- They will also ensure that the children of the martyred soldier get education of their choice.
- They will also regularly cross check with the family that they are not subject to any harassment or exploitation through property disputes.
■ President Pranab Mukherjee conferred the Jnanpith Award on an eminent Bengali poet Professor Sankha Ghosh at a function in New Delhi. He was awarded for his outstanding contribution in the field of literature. The Jnanpith Award is one of the prestigious literary honours in the country. The award was instituted in 1961.
- He praised him by saying Prof. Ghosh’s poetry often takes on superficiality in the society and is indeed a candid commentary on contemporary issues.
- Ghosh is a Sahitya Academy award winner and was also honoured with Padma Bhushan in 2011.
International Current Affairs Capsule – 29 April 2017
■ UNESCO will screen the Indian short film “Azaad” directed by Rahul V. Chittella, as a part of its World Press Freedom Day event from May 1-4 in Jakarta, Indonesia. World Press Freedom Day is celebrated by UNESCO to celebrate the principle of freedom of the press.
■ The Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) will build a new oil terminal at Motihari (Bihar) to supply fuel to Nepal via the planned pipeline up to Amlekganj in Nepal. The existing terminal functioning at Raxaul in Bihar will be shut down as it does not conform to the current OISD (Oil Industry Safety Directorate) guidelines.
■ Bhutan government has announced that it will not go ahead with the BBIN Motor Vehicle agreement process at present. It has asked the other members of the ‘BBIN’ grouping — India, Bangladesh and Nepal — to continue to operationalise it without Bhutan. This decision has come on the back of severe domestic opposition to the motor vehicles agreement, especially on fears of vehicular pollution and environmental degradation of Bhutan, a country that prides itself on its “carbon neutrality” and preserving the environment.
- Note that: The BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement, was signed on June 15, 2015, and allows vehicles to enter each other’s territory and does away with trans-shipment of goods from one country’s truck to another at the border, which is a time consuming and costly process.
■ In Germany, the lawmakers have partially banned burqa, the Islamic veil, as part of security measures to prevent extremist attacks. The prohibition will apply to public servants, including election officials, military and judicial staff. This measures follow several attacks, including a Berlin Christmas market attack that claimed 12 lives.
■ Poland has assured India of its support to New Delhi’s bid for membership in the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and a permanent seat in the expanded UN Security Council. This was conveyed by Polish Prime Minister Beata Syzdlo to visiting Vice President Hamid Ansari when the two leaders met here to discuss issues of bilateral and mutual interests.
Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 29 April 2017
■ China’s SoftBank, the largest investor in Snapdeal, has given an in-principle, non-binding approval for the e-commerce startup’s merger with rival Flipkart. SoftBank has given an in-principle nod to hold 20% stake in the merged entity and has also approved a plan to buy out Snapdeal’s existing investors ahead of the potential merger.
■ International Monetary Fund has said the ambitious Goods and Services Tax (GST) to be implemented from July would help raise India’s medium-term growth to above 8 per cent. The reforms being done are expected to pay off in terms of higher growth in the future, and the government has made significant progress on important economic reforms that will support strong and sustainable growth going forward.
■ The ‘Financial Security for India’s Elderly’ report by PFRDA has recommended providing flexibility to workers from the informal economy and the agricultural sector in contributions and withdrawals from pension plans. It also recommends a specific pension scheme for young women along the lines of the government’s Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme for young girls.
- Also, agriculture sector employs the highest population in India and is highly dependent on monsoons. In a year of bad monsoons, the earnings of many of the farmers are very low even to suffice their basic needs, let alone put something aside for pension in later years. Flexibility for them will be highly beneficial.
- Young girls are labourers who work on a daily wage are unsure of whether they would be employed the next day.
- Also, women account for 70% of non-workers in India, are financially dependent on their male counterparts, and generally outlive men, the ‘feminisation’ of the elderly is set to become increasingly evident in the years to come and bring substantial fiscal burden.
■ A tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between BBNL, Department of Posts and BSNL to provide broadband connectivity of BharatNet to Post Offices in rural areas.
- BSNL would provide the broadband services.
- The infrastructure expenses and the operational expenses would be paid by the Department of Posts.
- BBNL will facilitate and coordinate this entire project.
Note that: BharatNet is Central government’s rural internet connectivity programme which is implemented by Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL). It is also world’s largest rural broadband connectivity programme using Optical fibre. The project is being funded by Universal service Obligation Fund (USOF).
Sports News Current Affairs – 29 April 2017
■ The International Cricket Council (ICC) has slashed BCCI’s revenue share by nearly half. The Indian cricket board will now get a total of 293 million US dollars or nearly 1875 crore rupees for the eight-year revenue cycle, which is a major drop from the 570 million or about 3647 crore rupees the BCCI was getting till last year. Still, the BCCI will get the biggest share in the new ICC revenue model.
■ Four stands at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens stadium have been named after Indian Army martyrs by Cricket Association of Bengal President Sourav Ganguly and Army’s Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi.
These 1962 Indo-China war martyrs are :
- Subedar Joginder Singh
- Lt Col Dhan Singh Thapa.
- Late Col NJ Nair
- Late Hav Hangpan Dada.
“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims”
Q1. Who has become the first Indian actor to deliver a speech at the internationally acclaimed TED Talks?
- A) Amitabh Bachchan
- B) Shah Rukh Khan
- C) Aamir Khan
- D) Akshay Kumar
Q2. Which international organisation has observed the 2017 World Day on Safety and Health at Work?
- A) United Nations Security Council (UNSC)
- B) International Court of Justice (ICJ)
- C) World Health Organization (WHO)
- D) International Labour Organization (ILO)
Q3. Which country has become the first country in the world to ban the mining of metals?
- A) El Salvador
- B) Mozambique
- C) Seychelles
- D) Nicaragua
Answer these questions in the comments below. Discuss your thoughts on the news and issues mentioned in today’s current affairs post. Have a good day!
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