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 September 2018
■ The National Green Tribunal has appointed three committees to monitor disposal of garbage in an eco-friendly manner across the country. The apex monitoring committee will be headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice D K Jain and also comprise Chairman, Central Pollution Control Board, Joint Secretary of Ministry of Environment and Forests and Joint Secretary & Mission Director of Swachh Bharat Mission, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
Warning that failure to ensure proper management of solid waste will have disastrous consequences, the green panel said that deficiencies in the proper management of solid waste have resulted in an outbreak of serious diseases in the past and are likely to do so in future.
Note that: Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) management is one of the most serious challenges to environment protection and although Solid Waste Management Rules have been framed in 2016, their implementation remains a problem, a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said expressing its anguish over the issue.
■ The first ever mid-air refuelling of the indigenously developed light combat aircraft Tejas was successfully carried out, thereby placing India in an elite group of countries having air-to-air refuelling system for military planes.
- This milestone was achieved when 1,900 kg of fuel was transferred from the mid-air refuelling tanker of IAF’s IL78 to the Tejas LSP8 at an altitude of 20,000 feet.
- With this, India joins an elite group of countries who have developed the Air-to-Air (AAR) (refuelling) system for military class of aircraft.
Note that: The mid-air refuelling of Tejas comes only three months after it successfully fired an air-to-air beyond visual (BVR) range missile.
■ The Tamil Nadu cabinet has recommended to Governor that all seven life convicts in the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case be released under Article 161 of the Constitution.
- Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a female suicide bomber on 21st May 1991, while conducting an election campaign in Tamil Nadu.
About Pardoning powers: Article 161 deals with power of governor to grant pardons, etc., and to suspend, remit or commute sentences in certain cases. On the other hand, Article 72 deals with power of president to grant pardons, etc., and to suspend, remit or commute sentences in certain cases. The Governor of a State shall have the power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence against any law relating to a matter to which the executive power of the State extends.
■ The government has granted the status of a trust to ‘Bharat Ke Veer’, which is a private initiative which aids families of paramilitary personnel killed in action. Actor Akshay Kumar and former national badminton champion Pullela Gopichand have been included as trustees.
- This initiative has now been formalized into a registered trust for providing a platform for all citizens to contribute and provide assistance to the families of martyred personnel.
- The public can visit the ‘Bharat Ke Veer’ application and website, and contribute to support the families of jawans who die in the line of duty.
- Note that: Contributions to Bharat Ke Veer have been exempted from Income Tax.
About Bharat ke Veer: It is a fund-raising initiative by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India on behalf of members of the Indian Armed Forces. It aims to enable willing donors to contribute towards the family of a braveheart who sacrificed his/her life in line of duty. It allows anyone to financially support the bravehearts of his choice or towards the “Bharat Ke Veer” corpus. The amount so donated will be credited to the account of ‘Next of Kin’ of those Central Armed Police Force/Central Para Military Force soldiers. To ensure maximum coverage, a cap of 15 lakh rupees is imposed and the donors would be alerted if the amount exceeds, so that they can choose to divert part of the donation to another braveheart account or to the “Bharat Ke Veer” corpus.
■ Delhi government started its ‘Doorstep Delivery of Services’ programme to make available 40 government services such as Driving License, New Water connection and Ration Card at residents’ doorstep. This service will be available in the first phase at an extra fee of Rs 50, for which applicants have to call the helpline number 1076 to request for the services.
■ Union Woman and Child Development Minister Menaka Gandhi have reprimanded the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) for being lax in enforcement of rules that specify how wild animals can be depicted in films and television programmes. The letter cites an instance of approval given for a scene showing animal sacrifice, which is against the Supreme Court’s orders.
Rules regarding Depiction of Animals: Tigers, monkeys, lions, bears, panthers (including leopards) are banned from being exhibited under Section 22 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. All Indian snakes and birds except the crow are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act and any certification for performance or exhibition is only possible after permission from the Chief Wildlife Warden of the relevant State.
About Animal Welfare Board of India: The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), is is a statutory advisory body advising the Government of India’s Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, headquartered at Ballabhgarh in Haryana state. It was established in 1962 under Section 4 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act,1960. Well-known humanitarian Rukmini Devi Arundale was instrumental in setting up the board and was its first chair.
■ The researchers at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Bhopal have developed cheaper and more flexible organic solar cells using a synthetic derivative of vitamin B12.
- An organic solar cell is made up of acceptor and donor materials.
- The donor absorbs light from solar radiation and the harvested energy is passed to the electrodes with the help of the acceptor.
- The IISER Bhopal researchers synthesized the donor using an artificial aromatic chemical which has a similar structure to the corrin ring in vitamin B12. The artificially synthesised corrole (Cor-BODIPY) absorbs light much like porphyrin in natural chlorophyll.
International Current Affairs Capsule – 11 September 2018
■ The World Hindu Congress (WHC-2018) was held in Chicago, the United States from 7th to 9th September 2018.
It was organized to commemorate 125 years of Swami Vivekananda’s historic Chicago address on September 11, 1893. It was second edition of World Hindu Congress and was attended by Vice President Venkaiah Naidu. Swami Vivekananda’s ideas of universal tolerance, compassion, and concern for the poor are as relevant today as they were during his lifetime.
- The Theme of WHC-2018 : “Sumantrite Suvikrante”, which means – “Think collectively, achieve valiantly”.
About WHC: The World Hindu Congress is an informal organization organized by World Hindu Foundation. The World Hindu Congress (WHC) is a global platform for Hindus to connect, share ideas, inspire one another, and impact the common good. It offers Hindus an opportunity to introspect towards improvement and tap into our collective resources to seek tangible solutions to the most pressing issues of our age. It is held once every four years. WHC also serves as a platform to address critical issues impacting Hindus worldwide, including human rights, discrimination, and cultural assaults.
■ The 12 days long Indo-Mongolia joint exercise Nomadic Elephant-2018 has commenced at Mongolian Armed Forces (MAF) Five Hills Training Area, Ulaanbaatar – the capital of Mongolia. This joint exercise is an annual, bilateral exercise since 2006 which is designed to strengthen the partnership between Indian Army and Mongolian Armed Forces. During the exercise both sides will jointly train, plan and execute a series of well developed tactical drills for neutralisation of likely threats that may be encountered in urban warfare scenario.
■ Russia has accused the United States of carrying out bombing using white phosphorous in eastern Syria against military targets in civilian areas. An international coalition led by the United States is helping a coalition of Kurdish and Arab fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces (FDS) which for months have been conducting an offensive to oust IS.
- Use of white phosphorous is banned under the Geneva Convention for use against civilians and against legitimate military targets in areas with a major civilian population.
The Russian army, which has been intervening militarily since 2015 in Syria in support of the forces of its ally President Bashar al-Assad, was accused in March by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights of having used incendiary bombs during the regime’s offensive against the rebel stronghold of Eastern Ghouta near Damascus.
■ The study conducted by the non-profit “BirdLife International” has ascertained eight species of birds to be extinct in what are being seen as the first avian extinctions of the 21st century. It assessed 51 species judged “critically endangered” on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) “Red List” by using a new statistical method.
- These species include Spix’s macaw, the Alagoas foliage-gleaner, the cryptic treehunter, the Pernambuco pygmy-owl, the poo-uli, or black-faced honeycreeper and the glaucous macaw.
- The five extinctions that have occurred in South America, have been attributed by scientists to deforestation.
- Four out of the eight species declared extinct belong to Brazil.
About Birdlife International: BirdLife International (formerly the International Council for Bird Preservation) is a global partnership of conservation organisations that strives to conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity, working with people towards sustainability in the use of natural resources. BirdLife International is the official Red List authority for birds, for the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It is the world’s largest partnership of conservation organisations, with over 120 partner organisations. BirdLife International publishes a quarterly magazine, World Birdwatch, which contains recent news and authoritative articles about birds, their habitats, and their conservation around the world.
Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 11 September 2018
■ The government of Singapore’s Temasek Holdings has agreed to invest as much as $400 million in the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), a fund set up by the government of India to boost infrastructure financing in the country. Now, Temasek has joined the government of India, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), HDFC Group, ICICI Bank Ltd, Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance and Axis Bank Ltd as investors in NIIF’s Master Fund.
About NIIF: The government had set up the Rs 40,000 crore NIIF in 2015 as an investment vehicle for funding commercially viable greenfield, brownfield and stalled infrastructure projects. The Indian government is investing 49% and the rest of the corpus is to be raised from third-party investors such as sovereign wealth funds, insurance and pension funds, endowments, etc. NIIF’s mandate includes investing in areas such as energy, transportation, housing, water, waste management and other infrastructure-related sectors in India.
■ The Union government has raised the monetary limit from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh for filing an application for recovery of debts in the Debts Recovery Tribunals by such banks and financial institutions. As a result, no bank or financial institution or a consortium of banks or financial institutions can approach the DRTs if the amount due is less than Rs 20 lakh. This is aimed at helping reduce pendency of cases in the 39 DRTs in the country.
About DRTs: The Debt Recovery Tribunals were established to facilitate the debt recovery involving banks and other financial institutions with their customers. DRTs were set up after the passing of Recovery of Debts due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act (RDBBFI), 1993.
The Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT) enforces provisions of the Recovery of Debts Due to Banks and Financial Institutions (RDDBFI) Act, 1993 and also Securitization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interests (SARFAESI) Act, 2002. The Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT) are fully empowered to pass comprehensive orders and can travel beyond the Civil procedure Code to render complete justice.
A DRT is presided over by a presiding officer who is appointed by the central govt. and who shall be qualified to be a District Judge; with tenure of 5 years or the age of 62, whichever is earlier.
Sports Current Affairs – 11 September 2018
■ Triple jumper Arpinder Singh has created history by becoming the first Indian to win a medal in the IAAF Continental Cup after he clinched a bronze at Ostrava in Czech Republic. Earlier, Arpinder clinched gold in the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games.
The IAAF Continental Cup is being competed in 37 events in men and women sections taken together with two top athletes from the four regions of Europe, Americas, Africa and Asia-Pacific taking part in each of them.
“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims – 11 September 2018 “
Q1.Which of the following cities is the venue of the 12th Aero India 2019?
- A) Bengaluru
- B) New Delhi
- C) Pune
- D) Chennai
Q2.Who is the head of the committee to select new Chief Economic Advisor (CEA)?
- A) Amartya Sen
- B) Bimal Jalan
- C) Jagdish Bhagwati
- D) Bibek Debroy
Q3.Who has become the first Japanese player to clinched the women’s singles title of US Open 2018?
- A) Ai Sugiyama
- B) Kimiko Date
- C) Kurumi Nara
- D) Naomi Osaka
Q4.Who clinched the men’s singles title of US Open 2018?
- A) Rafael Nadal
- B) Kei Nishikori
- C) Juan Martin del Potro
- D) Novak Djokovic
Q5.Which of the following cities is the venue of the Regional Conference on Good Governance with Focus on Aspirational Districts?
- A) Patna
- B) Lucknow
- C) Jaipur
- D) Bhopal
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!