11 September 2017 Current Affairs : Nancy Dupree, BPCL Maharatna status, Hurricane Irma, Sahara Forest Project

///11 September 2017 Current Affairs : Nancy Dupree, BPCL Maharatna status, Hurricane Irma, Sahara Forest Project

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.)


National Important Current Affairs – 11 September 2017

■ This day today, 11th September, marks the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s Chicago address. 


■ Senior advocate and former Law minister Ram Jethmalani has announced his retirement from legal practice, after practicing the profession for over 70 years.


■ Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman has flagged off the “Navika Sagar Parikrama” in Goa, a circumnavigation programme by women naval officers. A team of 6 woman officers of the Indian Navy have began this 6-month-long circumnavigation of the globe.

Note that: This is the the first Indian circumnavigation of the globe by an all-women crew.


■ Manipur’s Nungthang Tampak village has became the 1st in the northeast region to achieve 100% computer literacy.


■  The Ministry of Civil Aviation has unveiled new rules to tackle on-board disruptive and unruly behaviour by passengers. These new rules have been devised in accordance with the provisions of Tokyo Convention 1963. The focus has been on ensuring on board safety while maintaining an element of balance and safeguarding the interest of passengers, cabin crew and the airlines.

  • The new rules will allow for the formation of a national No Fly List of unruly passengers. The concept of the No-Fly List is based on the concern for safety of passengers, crew and the aircraft, and not just on security threat.
  • The DGCA has revised the relevant sections of the Civil Aviation Requirement ( CAR Section 3, Series M, Part Vl on “Handling of Unruly Passengers ) to bring in a deterrent for passengers who engage in unruly behaviour on board aircrafts.
  • The revised CAR will be applicable for all Indian operators engaged in scheduled and non-scheduled air transport services, both domestic and international carriage of passengers. The CAR would also be applicable to foreign carriers subject to compliance of Tokyo Convention 1963.
  • The complaint of unruly behavior would need to be filed by the pilot-in-command. These complaints will be probed by an internal committee to be set up by the airline. As per the CAR provisions, the internal committee will decide the matter within 30 days, and also specify the duration of ban on the unruly passenger.
  • During the period of pendency of the enquiry the concerned airline may impose a ban on the said passenger. For every subsequent offence, the ban will be twice the period of previous ban.
  • The internal committee will be composed of retired District & Sessions Judge as Chairman and representatives from a different scheduled airline, passengers’ association/consumer association/retired officer of Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum as Members. 
  • The revised CAR also contain appeal provisions against the ban. Aggrieved persons (other than those identified as security threat by MHA) may appeal within 60 days from the date of issue of order to the Appellate Committee that is constituted by MoCA.
  • The Appellate Committee will be comprising of retired Judge of a High Court of India as Chairman and representatives of passengers association/consumer association/retired officer of Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum and airlines as Members.

What amounts to unruly behaviour? The revised CAR defines three categories of unruly behavior –

  • Level 1 refers to behaviour that is verbally unruly, and calls for debarment upto 3 months;
  • Level 2 indicates physical unruliness and can lead to the passenger being debarred from flying for upto 6 months and
  • Level 3 indicates life-threatening behaviour where the debarment would be for a minimum of 2 years.


The Tokyo Convention, (The Convention on Offences and Certain Other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft), 1963,  governs criminal offenses and other acts committed on board aircraft that jeopardize the safety of flights.


■  The Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) has inked Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru for Development of ground water flow models and preparation of aquifer management plans for parts of Karnataka


International Current Affairs Capsule – 11 September 2017

■ US President Donald Trump has nominated Indian-American Manisha Singh as Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs.

■ Pakistan has opened its 5th Nuclear power plant to meet its growing energy demands, with help from China. The country will receive a major energy boost as the “new plant will generate 340 MW of electricity”, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi announced at the plant’s inauguration.

■ In the United States, hurricane Irma has lashed the Florida mainland. Hurricane Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys Sunday as a Category 4 storm with 130 mph winds, and threatens much of the Florida peninsula with dangerous storm surge, high winds, and drenching rains. With its high winds and rains now impacting all of south Florida, this is the strongest storm seen in the Atlantic so far.

How is the strength of a hurricane determined?

The strength of a hurricane is determined by three main factors:

  1. water temperature;
  2. wind shear;
  3. moisture in the atmosphere.

Warmer water and atmospheric moisture give the system energy. A low wind shear — i.e., sharp changes in wind directions as you go higher and higher in the atmosphere — keeps a hurricane from dissipating.

Factors helping Irma:

All these above three conditions have been ideal for Irma to strengthen and retain.

The Atlantic, meanwhile, reaches its hottest temperatures for the year in September (that’s why the peak of hurricane season is September 10). The Atlantic is a degree or two Fahrenheit hotter than it usually is this time of year, which is providing Irma with some extra fuel.


Within the past two week, two other storms — Katia and Jose — have also achieved hurricane status in the Atlantic and Gulf.

Hurricane Jose, after strengthening to Category 4 status, has passed 135 kilometres (83 miles) north of St Barts and 125 kilometres from Saint Martin. While Hurricane Katia, made landfall in eastern Mexico on Friday, just as the country grappled with the deaths and damage inflicted by its worst earthquake in a century.


■ A new project named “Sahara Forest Project” has been launched in Jordan, to turn it’s sand dunes into farming land to produce food using sun and sea water.

  • In the first stage, the project aims to produce up to 130 tonnes of organic vegetables per year from an area the size of four football pitches. It also produces fresh water.
  • Solar panels to provide power and include outdoor planting space, two saltwater-cooled greenhouses, a water desalination unit and salt ponds for salt production.
  • The project is funded by Norway and the European Union, is to be expanded from three hectares to around 200 hectares of desert.

According to recent United Nations estimations, deserts are expanding 30 times faster than at any time in history. In Africa, where the worst effects of climate changes are already visible, millions are on the move in search of arable land. With the world’s population expected to top 9 billion in 2050, land for food growth is growing scarce.


■ Two mountain ranges on Pluto have been named after Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary respectively by the International Astronomical Union. These are the first geological features on the planet to be named following the close flyby by the New Horizons spacecraft in July 2015.

Tenzing Montes and Hillary Montes are mountain ranges honouring Tenzing Norgay (1914-1986) and Sir Edmund Hillary (1919-2008), the Indian/Nepali Sherpa and New Zealand mountaineer who were the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest and return safely.


Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 11 September 2017

■ The government will deactivate SIM cards not linked to Aadhaar number by February 2018. The Supreme Court had passed an order in February this year asking the government to link all SIM cards with Aadhaar within a year to remove fictitious subscribers to crackdown fraudulent activities.


■ State-run oil marketing company Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) is all set to become a Maharatna company. Presently it has Navratna status.

The “Maharatna” category for CPSEs was introduced in 2009 with objective to empower mega CPSEs to expand their operations and emerge as global giants or become Indian Multinational Companies (MNCs),


Read all about Navratna, maharatna, miniratna companies- their status here.


■ The GST Council has announced that GST rates on as many as 30 items have been reduced. These include goods such as custard powder, idli/dosa batter, dried tamarind, raincoats, and rubber bands, among others.  Further, khadi products sold through Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) stores have been exempted from GST.


■ Government of India has imposed an additional 18.95% import tax on certain stainless steel products from China for five years in order to curb influx of cheaper foreign imports.


Sports Current Affairs – 11 September 2017

■ World number 83 Sloane Stephens has clinched her maiden Grand Slam title, defeating fellow American Madison Keys in the first all-American US Open women’s singles final since 2002.

■ Indian squash player Harinder Pal Sandhu has won his 21st international game on the trot and his fifth consecutive title, winning the Malaysian Squash Tour X event held in Kuala Lumpur.



Nancy Hatch Dupree, a historian from the United States who helped set up the Afghanistan Centre at Kabul University, has died at age of 89 years.  She worked for more than five decades to preserve the culture of Afghanistan, where she is fondly called “Grandmother of Afghanistan”.

She was born in Kerala (then Travancore). Dupree arrived in Kabul in 1962 as a diplomat’s wife but soon divorced and married Louis Dupree, an archaeologist celebrated for his adventurous exploits and groundbreaking discoveries of Paleolithic Afghan tools and artefacts.


“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims”

Q1. The Southern Birdwing has been declared as the `State Butterfly’ of which state?

  • A) Karnataka
  • B) Maharashtra
  • C) Tamil Nadu
  • D) Andhra Pradesh


Q2 .Which Indian State will host the men’s World Cup Hockey tournament in 2018 ?

  • A) West Bengal
  • B) Odisha
  • C) Madhya Pradesh
  • D) Rajasthan


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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