“Life contains but two tragedies. One is not to get your heart’s desire, the other is to get it.”

– Socrates.

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 – 12 April 2019

  • Telugu poet K Siva Reddy will be conferred the Saraswati Samman for the year 2018 for his collection of poetry titled ‘Pakkaki Ottigilite‘ (Turning Aside While Lying Down)..
    • The award carries a cash prize of  15 lakh rupees, a citation and a plaque.
    • The award, instituted by the KK Birla Foundation, is given annually for an outstanding literary work written in any official Indian language and published during the preceding 10 years.
    • It is the highest recognition in the field of Indian literature.
    • Past recipients of the Saraswati Samman include poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan, and writers Vijay Tendulkar, Shamsur Rahman Faruqi among others. 

 

  • The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) was awarded the distinction of “Public Water Agency of the Year” by Global Water Intelligence at the Global Water Summit in London.

About the Global Water Awards: These awards are presented at the Global Water Summit, the major business conference for the water industry worldwide. These awards recognise excellence across the international water industry and reward those initiatives in the water, waste water, and desalination sectors, which bring remarkable improvements in the lives of people.

Note that: An integrated mission for Ganga rejuvenation, the Namami Gange programme has a comprehensive multi-sector intervention with multi-stakeholder involvement and adopts a basin-based approach.

 

  • The Election Commission has issued notice to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and BSP chief Mayawati for alleged violation of Model Code of Conduct during political rallies. 

The Commission said Model Code of Conduct provides that there shall be no appeal to caste or communal feelings for securing votes. It is prima facie of the opinion that Yogi Adityanath violated this provision while speaking at an election rally in Meerut last Tuesday. While BSP chief Mayawati violated the Model Code of Conduct in her public rally at Saharanpur on 7th when she appealed to a community for votes during her speech. 

 

International Current Affairs Capsule – 12 April 2019

  • India and Sweden have inked a pact that will deal a range of challenges around smart cities and clean technologies among others. The programme co- sponsored by Indian Department of Science and Technologies  and Swedish agency Vinnova. Triple helix model of innovation that include participation of industry, academia and government is implemented in this project.

Note that: While Vinnova will donate to Swedish participants upto 2,500,000 Swedish Krona (around Rs. 1.87 crore). From Indian side, the department will provide upto 50% per project to the Indian partners. 

 

  • Sudan’s army ousted and arrested President Omar al-Bashir, while a three-month state of emergency has also been put in place. Sudan’s constitution has been suspended, border crossings were closed until further notice and airspace was also closed for 24 hours.
    Meanwhile, Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) service announced that it was freeing all the political detainees across the country.

Note that: Protests against Omar al-Bashir, who has governed Sudan since 1989, have been underway for several months. Omar al-Bashir is also the subject of an international arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC), which accuses him of organising war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sudan’s western Darfur region.

 

  • The UK and the European Union came on an agreement to extend BREXIT till October 31. This decision was taken in an emergency meeting at Brussels where the EU leaders agreed to offer British Prime Minister Theresa May a 6 month extension. Accepting the offer, May said that the UK would still aim to leave the EU as soon as possible.

The extension is quite flexible, which indicates that Britain can leave once it’s withdrawal deal is ratified in the Parliament. However, if it stays after 22nd of May, the country will be required to participate in the EU elections.

 

  • London Police arrested WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested after being invited into the embassy following the Ecuadorian government’s withdrawal of asylum. He had holed up in Ecuador’s embassy in Britain to avoid capture. Assange’s South American hosts abruptly revoked his 7-year asylum, paving the way for his extradition to the United States. Thereafter, he was convicted on by a London court of skipping bail in 2012 after an extradition order to Sweden over an allegation of rape.

WikiLeaks has said Ecuador had illegally terminated his political asylum in violation of international law. Earlier, the U.S. has alleged that Mr. Assange engaged in a 2010 conspiracy with Chelsea Manning, who served seven years in military prison for leaking classified data, and charged him with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion with a maximum penalty of 5 years.

Note that: WikiLeaks angered the US Government by publishing a large number of secret U.S. diplomatic cables that exposed highly critical U.S. appraisals of world leaders, ranging from Russian President Vladimir Putin to members of the Saudi royal family. Julian Assange made international headlines in early 2010 when WikiLeaks published a classified U.S. military video showing a 2007 attack by Apache helicopters in Baghdad that killed a dozen people, including two Reuters news staff.

 

Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 12 April 2019

  • The Delhi High Court has asked the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to explain how Google was operating its payment services in India without taking any approvals or licence from the RBI. The court’s query has come in the backdrop a plea which had alleged that Google Pay was acting as a payments system provider in violation of the Payments and Settlements Act, 2007.

Google’s Google Pay uses BHIM unified payments Interface for money transfers. The issue arises because it is not listed in the RBI list of authorised payment systems operators. Further, the plea has also raised concerns that GooglePay might have violated RBI’s April 2018 Master Circular on Storage of Payment System Data and pose significant threat to privacy of citizens.

A payment system refers to a system that enables payment to be effected between a payer and a beneficiary, involving clearing, payment or settlement service or all of them.

Note That: The Payments and Settlements Act, 2007 provides for the regulation as well as supervision of payment systems in India where the Reserve Bank of India is the authority for the purpose and all related matters. 

 

  • According to the International Monetary Fund(IMF), the level of non-performing loans in India remains high. These remarks were made at the release of April 2019 Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR) as part of the World Bank IMF Spring Meetings. IMF has favoured strengthening the level of capitalisation of government-owned banks. This was one of the key recommendations of the Financial Sector Assessment Programme (FSAP) for India.

     

About GFSR: The GFSR provides an assessment of balance sheet vulnerabilities across financial and non-financial sectors in advanced and emerging market economies.

About Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP): It is a joint program of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. It was launched in 1999 in the wake of the Asian financial crisis. The program brings together the World Bank and IMF expertise to help countries reduce the likelihood and severity of financial sector crises.

 

Sports Current Affairs – 12 April 2019

  • The Indian women’s hockey team beat Malaysia by a single goal to complete a 4-0 win in the 5-match bilateral series in Kuala Lumpur. It was Navjot Kaur’s field goal in the 35th minute and a good defensive display that helped India win.

 

  • All India Tennis Association (AITA) has inked pact with Serbian Tennis Federation to train Junior players under world renowned Serbian coaches, at the RK Khanna Stadium. The objective is to cooperate towards the development of junior tennis players in India. Under the pact, Serbia’s trainers and coaches will come to India for a camp for the under 12, 14, 16 and 18 categories. Then in the latter half of the year, preparation camp will also be conducted in Serbia for 8-10 players in the age group of 15-18 and 3-4 trainers.

 

  • Indian Women’s Cricket Team opener Smriti Mandhana has been named as the Wisden Almanack’s ‘Leading Women’s Cricketer of the Year’.  Mandhana is currently also the top-ranked player in women’s ODIs and third in T20Is. 

 

“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims – 12 April 2019 “

Q1. Who has became the first Indian gaming company to enter the Unicorn club?

  • A) Dream 11
  • B) Mobistar
  • C) Players 11
  • D) Goibibo

 

Q2. NGT has recently formed a committee to look into the erosion of the floodplains of which among the following rivers?

  • A) Ganga
  • B) Yamuna
  • C) Sutlej
  • D) Indus

 

Q3. Which of the following recently came out with guidelines for banks to set up new currency chests?

  • A) SEBI
  • B) RBI
  • C) NITI Aayog
  • D) Finance Ministry

 

Q4. The government has managed to meet the revised fiscal deficit target of _____ of the GDP.

  • A) 3.0%
  • B) 3.4%
  • C) 3.8%
  • D) 4.2%

 

Q5. Who has become the first woman to head Pawan Hans?

  • A) Sakshi Mahajan
  • B) Usha Padhee
  • C) Rubika Liyaqat
  • D) Anju Pranhita
     

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!