“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog”

― Mark Twain.

This post covers relevant news from national dailies and government releases for aspirants of examinations like UPSC IAS, CDS, SSC CGL, NDA, etc. It is highly useful for both, revision and awareness purposes.

National Important Current Affairs – 11 April 2019

  • According to the State of World Population 2019 report by the United Nations Population Fund, India’s population grew at an average annual rate of 1.2 per cent between 2010 and 2019 to reach 1.36 billion. This rate is more than double the annual growth rate of China.

Report’s key points for India include:

  1. India’s population in 2019 stood at 1.36 billion, growing from 942.2 million in 1994 and 541.5 million in 1969.
  2. The UN sexual and reproductive health agency said in the State of World Population 2019 report, the total fertility rate (TFR) per woman was 5.6 in 1969, dropping to 3.7 in 1994 and 2.3 in 2019.
  3. The age demographic for India according to the report: 27 % of the country’s population was in the age bracket of 0-14 years and 10-24 years each, while 67 % of the country’s population was in the 15-64 age bracket. Only 6% of the country’s population was of the age 65 and above.
  4. The report noted that Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) in the country dropped from 488 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1994 to 174 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2015, indicative of the improvement in the quality of India’s health care system.
  5. India recorded an improvement in life expectancy at birth. The life expectancy at birth in 1969 was 47 years, growing to 60 years in 1994 and 69 years in 2019.

 

  • Election Commission has stalled the release of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s biopic namely PM Narendra Modi during election period. In its order, the Commission found that such biopic will affect the level playing field in this election.

Citing several provisions of Model Code of Conduct and Constitution, the Commission said any biopic material in the name of biography, hagiography sub serving the purpose of any political entity or any individual connected to it or has the potential of disturbing level playing field during election should not be displayed in electronic media including cinematography during election period. The commission also ordered that any poster or publicity material related to such certified content will not be put on display in electronic and print media.

 

  • President Ram Nath Kovind recently launched ‘Veer Parivar App’, a mobile application for families of CRPF personnel killed in the line of duty.

The application will act as an interface between the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) authorities and the next of kin of the slain personnel. It will render all assistance to the families of the martyred CRPF personnel with regard to issuance of ex gratia, pensionary benefits and also dispense all information regarding the welfare schemes introduced for them by the government.
Note that: This Android-based app will be installed by the force’s officials securely on the phone of the families and will not be available over the app stores.

 

International Current Affairs Capsule – 11 April 2019

  • Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is likely to secure a record 5th term after results from election suggest a new right-wing coalition. Netanyahu’s Likud tied with rival Benny Gantz’s Kahol Lavan party with 35 seats each. Both leaders made victory speeches after the exit polls, vowing to be prime minister. However, almost all right-wing parties have said they would support Netanyahu in forming the next ruling coalition. The 69 year old premier is now facing corruption accusations. No political party has ruled on its own in Israel.

 

  • India has built a 25-bed maternity hospital in Nepal, under the Government of India’s Small Development Projects Scheme. The Chandra Narayan Yadav Memorial Maternity Hospital in Siraha district will provide quality maternity and health care services to the people. It will also help in reducing maternal and child mortality rate, in and around Siraha district.

Note that: Health is one of the core areas of cooperation between India and Nepal. The Government of India has undertaken several health posts, nursing campuses maternity centres, eye hospitals, naturopathy hospitals under the Small Development Project scheme.

 

  • Astronomers have taken the first ever image of a black hole M87, which is located in a distant galaxy. The image have been published in Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Important points about the telescopes that captured the Black Hole Image:
It was captured by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), which is a network of eight linked telescopes, as no single telescope is powerful enough to image the black hole. Each of these telescopes is located high up at a variety of exotic sites, including on volcanoes in Hawaii and Mexico, mountains in Arizona and the Spanish Sierra Nevada, in the Atacama Desert of Chile, and in Antarctica. A team of 200 scientists pointed the networked telescopes towards M87 and scanned its heart over a period of 10 days. The information they gathered was too much to be sent across the internet. Instead, the data was stored on hundreds of hard drives that were flown to a central processing centres in Boston, US, and Bonn, Germany, to assemble the information.

Details  of the black hole captured:
The black hole is 500 million trillion km away and measures 40 billion km across – i.e. 3 million times the size of the Earth – and has been described by scientists as “a monster”. The image photographed by a network of eight telescopes across the world shows an intensely bright “ring of fire“, surrounding a perfectly circular dark hole. This bright halo is caused by superheated gas falling into the hole. The light is brighter than all the billions of other stars in the galaxy combined – which is why it can be seen at such distance from Earth.

What is a black hole? A black hole is a region of space from which nothing, not even light, can escape.
They are not empty but instead consist of a huge amount of matter packed densely into a small area, giving it an immense gravitational pull.
There is a region of space beyond the black hole called the event horizon. This is a “point of no return”, beyond which it is impossible to escape the gravitational effects of the black hole

This is being touted as a remarkable achievement in the field of astrophysics. Astrophysicist and Project Director Sheperd Doeleman said that the image of the Black Hole is the strongest evidence of the existence of black holes.

 

Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 11 April 2019

  • The State Bank of India has re-priced home loans up to Rs 30 lakh by 10 basis points. Accordingly, the interest rate on housing loans of such size will now be in the range of 8.6 to 8.9 per cent.

The bank has also lowered its lending rates by a nominal 5 basis points across all tenors. The new one-year marginal cost of funds-based lending rate is down to 8.50 per cent now from 8.55 per cent. This is the first reduction by SBI in over 17 months. 
Note that: The reduction in lending rate by the bank follows a 50 basis point cut in repo rate by the RBI in the course of two monetary policy reviews held in February and April this year.

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Chief Economist Gita Gopinath has projected that global growth will be 3.3% in 2019, down from 3.6% in 2018 and 4% in 2017, at the release of the World Economic Outlook 2019 April report.

This lower projection for global economy is due to :

  1. lower global expansion in the second half of 2018 caused by U.S.-China trade tensions,
  2. macroeconomic stress in Turkey and Argentina,
  3. tighter credit policies in China
  4. financial tightening along with a normalisation of monetary policy in advanced economies.

 

  • According to the IMF, India’s growth rate is estimated to rise from 7.3% in 2019 to 7.5% in 2020 provided it receives impetus from the fiscal policy and is backed by the ongoing recovery of investment and consumption within expanded approach of monetary policy.

According to the latest (WEO) World Economic Outlook, India’s growth rate was 7.1% in 2018 against China’s 6.6%. According to the report, India’s growth is approximated to stabilise at just under 7% over the medium term. This will be possible when structural reforms will continuously be implemented and infrastructure gridlocks would be eased.

 

  • The government has retained the interest rate for General Provident Fund, GPF, Contributory Provident Fund and other related schemes at 8 % for the first quarter of current financial year.

The interest rate on these funds was at 8 per cent in January-March quarter of 2018-19 and government kept it unchanged for April to June for 2019-20.
The Department of Economic Affairs, said the interest rate will be applicable on provident funds of central government employees, railways and defence forces.
Note that: Last month, the government had also retained interest rates on small savings, including National Savings Certificate and PPF for the first quarter of current fiscal.

Sports Current Affairs – 11 April 2019

  • A National Anti-Doping Agency disciplinary panel has banned Asian champion woman professional Olympic shot putter, Manpreet Kaur for 4 years. She has been handed the suspension for 4 years for failing dope tests on four occasions over a period of 84 days during 2017. She failed for an anabolic steroid in the Asian Grand Prix and for a stimulant in the Federation Cup, Asian championships and National inter-state championships.

 

  • In cricket, Team India captain Virat Kohli has been named as the Wisden Almanack’s ‘Leading Cricketer of the Year’ for the third time in a row.

 

“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims – 11 April 2019 “

Q1. BIS has signed an MoU with ________, in order to make the process of standardization more effective.

  • A) IIT-Bombay
  • B) IIT-Delhi
  • C) IIT-Kharagpur
  • D) IIT-Goa

Q2. RNAM has recently partnered with _______ to enable its customers to carry out voice-based financial transactions.

  • A) Facebook
  • B) Google
  • C) Instagram
  • D) Whatsapp

Q3. Who clinched the 2019 men’s singles Malaysia Open badminton tournament?

  • A) Srikanth Kidambi
  • B) Lin Dan
  • C) Chen Long
  • D) Sinisuka Ginting

Q4. Who has taken oath as the new Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court?

  • A) Pawan Kalyan
  • B) Rishi Bagree
  • C) Pradeep Nandrajog
  • D) Vidyasagar Rao

Q5. India has recently evacuated peacekeeping CRPF contingent from which of the following African countries?

  • A) Tunisia
  • B) Libya
  • C) Kenya
  • D) Ethiopia

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!

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