This Daily Current Affair Capsule aims to be a time-saving tool for going through relevant news from national dailies and government releases on PIB. Aspirants for UPSC IAS, CDS, SSC CGL, NDA, etc. will find it highly useful to cover for revision and awareness purposes.
National Important Current Affairs – 10 and 11 January 2018
■ The Unique Identification Authority of India, UIDAI has introduced a concept of Virtual ID to strengthen privacy and security of Aadhaar number holders. The Aadhaar number holder can use the Virtual ID in place of an Aadhaar number whenever authentication or KYC services are required, instead of sharing the actual 12-digit biometric ID.
- Aadhaar card holder can generate the Virtual ID from UIDAI website.
- The Virtual ID will be a temporary and revocable 16 digit random number mapped to a person’s Aadhaar number.
- It will is not possible to derive Aadhaar number from Virtual ID.
- UIDAI will start the service from 1st of March this year and it will be compulsory for all agencies that undertake authentication to accept the Virtual ID from the 1st June.
■ World Hindi Day has been celebrated on 10th January to promote use of Hindi language abroad. Apart from India, the language is also spoken in Nepal, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Fiji and Mauritius. The World Hindi Day (WHD) is observed every year on January 10 to mark the anniversary of first World Hindi Conference (WHC) held in 1975.
The first WHC was inaugurated by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
Note that: World Hindi Day and National Hindi day are different. The National Hindi Divas (NHD) is celebrated every year in India on September 14 to mark the day on which the Constituent Assembly adopted Hindi written in Devanagari script as the Official Language of the Union in 1949.
■ Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has launched a Common mobility card for rides on public buses and the metro. With this Delhi became the first city in the country to have such a facility. The common mobility card scheme will allow seamless travel between the city’s bus transport and the Metro system. The card will function like a debit card and will be operational in all DTC and cluster buses from April. The city has around 3,900 DTC and over 1,600 cluster buses.
■ Music maestro AR Rahman has been officially appointed as the Brand ambassador of Sikkim. This declaration was made by Sikkim chief minister Pawan Kumar Chamling who felicitated the renowned composer during an inauguration of the 2018 Sikkim Red Panda Winter Carnival in Gangtok.
■ Modifying its order on the National Anthem, Supreme Court has announced that it is not mandatory to play the anthem in cinema halls before movie screenings.
■ Haryana became the first state to launch High-Risk Pregnancy (HRP) Portal, to help in early identification of high-risk pregnant cases and ensure their timely referral to civil hospital. This portal will track every high-risk pregnant woman until 42 days after delivery, so that she receives adequate treatment during the ante-natal period for healthy outcome of pregnancy.
The High-Risk Pregnancy Policy has been implemented across the state for identifying 100 percent name-based high-risk pregnancy cases and ensuring their delivery by specialists at civil hospitals. It is aimed at increasing the pace of decline in Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR), Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and Still Birth Incidence as morbidity and mortality is quite high in high-risk pregnant cases.
■ Bhopal railway station in Madhya Pradesh has become India’s first railway station to have a sanitary napkin vending machine. The machine that is named ‘Happy Nari’ that has been installed by the Railway Women Welfare Association of Bhopal dispenses two sanitary napkins for Rs 5.
■ Supreme Court will set up a new special investigation team (SIT) to probe 186 anti-Sikh riots cases that were closed without proper investigation. These riots broke out following the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1984. The proposed committee will be headed by a former High Court Judge and will consist of one retired and one serving police officer.
■ In order to end the practice of manual scavenging, the Kerala government is procuring 50 robots which are developed to clean sewer holes. The robot named ‘Bandicoot’ has been developed by Kerala-based startup ‘Genrobotics‘.
■ The first all-women station in India, Matunga suburban station on Central Railway (CR) of Mumbai division , which is manned entirely by a staff of 41 women, has entered the Limca Book of Records. This achievement comes six months after Matunga became the first railway station in the country to be run by an all-woman staff.
International Current Affairs Capsule – 10 and 11 January 2018
■ External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has outlined the four-point agenda of the Government on rescue and repatriation of distressed workers abroad. This includes free repatriation on government cost in case of war or natural calamity and in case of company closure of legally migrated persons.
In case of illegal migration, the emigrant would be brought back only once the State lodges FIR against the illegal agent and cost would be recovered from the agent. If a person goes illegally in the second instance, the cost would be recovered from the person and his passport would be suspended for five years.
■ China will fund the construction of an Afghan counterterrorism base in Badakhshan province to block cross-border infiltration of ethnic Uyghur militants. China will provide financial support to build the base and cover all material and technical expenses for this base — weaponry, uniforms for soldiers, military equipment and everything else necessary for its functioning.
■ The front section of an Iranian oil tanker that has been on fire for days off the east China coast has exploded. Thirty-two crew members, went missing after the tanker carrying 136,000 tonnes of oil condensate from Iran to South Korea collided with a cargo Chinese freighter and caught fire.
■ The UK’s ban on plastic microbeads used in cosmetics and personal care products has come into effect. This move is aimed at protecting marine life as the small beads enter water bodies and get absorbed or eaten by the wildlife, affecting their growth.
About Microbeads :
Microbeads are tiny pieces of plastic found in many beauty products, such as exfoliating scrubs, toothpastes and more. Evidence has shown that microbeads can find their way from your bathroom to the sea. Trillions of tiny pieces of plastic are accumulating in the world’s oceans, lakes and estuaries, harming marine life and entering the food chain.
■ Sunny Verghese, the Singapore-based Indian-origin businessman, has been appointed as the Chairman of the Geneva-based World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). He succeeded Paul Polman, the CEO of Unilever, and will serve a two-year term.
Note that: The WBCSD is a global network of more than 200 CEOs who are responsible for a combined revenue of more than $ 8.5 trillion and 19 million employees.
Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 10 and 11 January 2018
■ The Union Cabinet cleared a proposal allowing 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) in single-brand retail and real estate broking services through the automatic route. It will lead to larger FDI inflows contributing to growth of investment, income and employment. This will make it easier for foreign brands to fully own their Indian stores when earlier they needed to partner with local brands.
Additionally, investment up to 49 percent under approval mechanism was allowed in Air India to facilitate its divestment process. Also, Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) and Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) have been permitted to invest in power exchanges through the primary market.
These moves are intended to “liberalise and simplify the FDI policy so as to provide ease of doing business in the country”.
■ The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has barred auditor major Price Waterhouse’s network entities from issuing audit certificates to any listed company in India for two years after finding it guilty in the multi-crore Satyam scam. SEBI has also ordered disgorgement of over 13 crore rupees wrongful gains from the audit major and its two erstwhile partners who worked on the IT major’s accounts.
This order comes nearly nine years after the scam at Satyam Computer Services surfaced and after two failed attempts by Price Waterhouse to settle the case through consent mechanism.
Sports Current Affairs – 10 and 11 January 2018
■ India has bagged its first-ever Skiing medal at an international skiing event after Aanchal Thakur won Bronze at the Alpine Ejder 3200 Cup in Erzurum, Turkey. Aanchal Thakur, the 21-year-old from Himachal Pradesh, has created history by becoming the first Indian to register an international medal in skiing.
■ Professional Snooker player Aditya Mehta won the Kolkata Open 2018 International Invitation Snooker Championship held at Hindusthan Club, Kolkata.
“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims – 11 January 2018 “
Q1. The world’s largest Ice festival has started in which country which features ice and snow-themed scenic spots?
- A) China
- B) Japan
- C) Italy
- D) United States
Q2. Which research arm of Indian Railways has launched “New Online Vendor Registration System”?
- A) Indian Railway Institute of Signal Engineering and Telecommunication
- B) Research Designs and Standards Organisation
- C) National Academy of Indian Railways
- D) Indian Railway Service of Electrical Engineers
Q3. Which country has recently banned the teaching of English language in primary schools to fight against western cultural invasion?
- A) Iraq
- B) Iran
- C) Israel
- D) UAE
Q4. Which state has topped the Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS) index, according to the report by Union Ministry of Commerce & Industry?
- A) Punjab
- B) Karnataka
- C) Maharashtra
- D) Gujarat
Q5. Which Indian personality will be conferred with France’s highest order of merit ‘Legion of Honour at the 42nd International Kolkata Book Fair 2018?
- A) Soumitra Chattopadhyay
- B) Priyanka Chopra
- C) Deepika Padukone
- D) Amitabh Bachchan
Answer these questions in the comments below. We encourage you to discuss your thoughts on the news and issues mentioned in today’s current affairs post. The idea is to promote healthy discussions on interesting issues to make preparation fun. Have a good day!