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. It covers national, international, economic, sports news.
National Important Current Affairs – 12 March 2017
■ The BJP has scripted a historic victory in Uttar Pradesh where it has emerged as the single largest party with win in over 300 seats. In Uttarakhand, the party defeated Congress led by Harish Rawat, winning 55 seats. In Punjab, the Congress party made a comeback with Captain Amrinder Singh at the helm. In Goa and Manipur, the Congress has emerged as the single largest party.
■ For the first time in India, four states (Odisha, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand) have decided to conduct a synchronised elephant census. These four states have the maximum number of human-elephant conflict-prone regions in India. These states will conduct the census based on an identical set of rules using the direct and indirect counting methods.
|About the Elephant Survey:
The direct elephant counting method is based on sightings of elephants, while in the indirect method, surveyors follow a dung decay formula for arriving at a population estimation.
Dung decay methods have already been used by Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. A variation of about 8% to 9% has been noticed between the two methods.
The synchronised census will indicate the size, distribution, structure and density of the elephant population in the region.
According to the 2015 census, Odisha has 1,954 elephants, while Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal have approximately 700, 275 and 130 elephants respectively.
■ India has successfully test-fired an extended range BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, which is capable of carrying a warhead of 300 kg, from the Chandipur Integrated Test Range, off the Odisha coast. This missile has already been inducted into the Army and Navy, while the Air Force version is in the final stage of its trial.
- This is the first test of the missile after its strike range was extended following India’s entry in Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).
- DRDO sources said the strike range of the new BrahMos missile has been enhanced from 290 to 450 km.
- This test was aimed at gauging the efficiency of the weapon system’s superior version which is incorporated with an advanced seeker software having target discriminating capabilities.
■ Following the precedent of Tamil Nadu, traders in Kerala have decided to stop sale of drinks produced by Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, in order to promote local beverages like lime soda. This boycott is in protest against exploitation of groundwater by the companies amid threats of a drought.
■ The Chief Justices of Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Jharkhand have been appointed.
- Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court – Justice Navniti Prasad
- Chief Justice of the Chhattisgarh High Court – Justice T B Radhakrishnan
- Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court – Hemant Gupta
- Chief Justice of the Jharkhand High Court – P K Mohanty
■ Rajya Sabha has passed the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016 – a bill to amend the Enemy Property Act, 1968, by voice vote. The 49-year-old law was amended to guard against claims of succession or transfer of properties left by people who migrated to Pakistan and China.
- The amendments proposed include that once an enemy property is vested in the Custodian, it shall continue to be vested in him as enemy property irrespective of whether the enemy, enemy subject or enemy firm has ceased to be an enemy due to reasons such as death.
- This new Bill ensures that the law of succession does not apply to enemy property.
- The amendments are aimed at plugging the loopholes in the Act to ensure that the enemy properties that have been vested in the Custodian remain so and do not revert to the enemy subject or firm.
- The Bill prohibits civil courts and other authorities from entertaining disputes related to enemy property.
- Note that : In early 2016, the government had identified over 16,000 properties across India that could be taken over under this law.
■ After a brief lull, Maoists have struck again in Bastar, killing 12 CRPF personnel and injuring two in strife-torn Sukma district of Chhattisgarh on Saturday morning. The 112-member-party of CRPF was ambushed around 9am near Kotacheru, one of the worst Maoist-hit areas, around 450km from the state capital.In a deeply forested region, the Maoists triggered an IED blast and riddled the jawans with gunfire. The Maoists escaped after looting 10 assault rifles and VHF radio sets.
■ India’s first air-conditioned rail ambulance was unveiled in Mumbai. The Central Railway ambulance aims to provide victims of train accidents emergency treatment within the first hour, when chances of survival are highest.
International Current Affairs Capsule – 12 March 2017
■ EU nations have re-elected Donald Tusk as President of the European Council despite a bid to oust him by his home country, Poland.
■ A bill to regulate marriages of Pakistan’s Hindu minority has been unanimously passed by the lower house of Pakistan’s Parliament, paving the way for adoption of a comprehensive and widely acceptable family law for Hindus. The Hindu Marriage Bill 2016 is the first personal law for the minority community and will help Hindu women get documentary proof of their marriage, which is needed while applying for passports and other official documents.
■ India-born US attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara has been fired by the Trump administration after he refused to quit. Bharara and 45 other federal prosecutors, who were appointed by former President Barack Obama, were told earlier by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to submit their resignations.
Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 12 March 2017
■ Iceland became the first country in the world to force companies to prove they pay all employees the same, regardless of gender, sexuality or nationality. The country’s government announced a new law that will require every company with 25 or more staff to get a certificate demonstrating pay equality. Note that : Iceland has pledged to eradicate gender pay gap by 2022.
■ State-run NTPC has installed India’s largest floating solar photovoltaic (PV) plant at Rajiv Gandhi Combined Cycle Power Plant at Kayamkulam in Kerala. This 100 kWp (kilowatt peak) plant has been indigenously developed as a part of ‘Make In India’ initiative.
Sports News Current Affair Capsule – 12 March 2017
■ The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has awarded Rs 1 crore to the Indian blind cricket team that won the Twenty20 World Cup last month by beating arch-rivals Pakistan in the title clash in Bengaluru.
■ Former Argentina captain Diego Maradona is set to become the ambassador of the Chinese Super League.
“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims”
Q1. Which os the following bank has launched India’s first Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based banking chatbot “Electronic Virtual Assistant (EVA) for customer service?
- A) ICICI Bank
- B) HDFC Bank
- C) Axis Bank
- D) PNB
Q2. India’s longest cable-stayed bridge across river Narmada, which was recently inaugurated, is situated on which National Highway?
- A) NH-12
- B) NH-7
- C) NH-18
- D) NH-8
Q3. Which union ministry is hosting the 13th executive committee meeting of International Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN)?
- A) Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology
- B) Ministry of Power
- C) Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
- D) Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship
O4. Who among the following has been bestowed with the 2016 Moorti Devi Award?
- A) Irom Sharmila
- B) Virendra Hegde
- C) M P Veerendra Kumar
- D) Namita Kaur
Q5. Who is the author of the book “The Secret Diary of Kasturba”?
- A) Neelima Dalmia Adhar
- B) GopalKrishna Gandhi
- C) Som Sharma
- D) Narendra Verma
Answer these questions in the comments below. Have a Good Day!
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