“As a rule, men worry more about what they can’t see than about what they can.”

― Julius Caesar.

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 – 14 April 2019

  • By 2050, India will likely to be staring at a pile of a new category of electronic waste, i.e., solar e-waste.  India’s Photovoltaic waste volume is estimated to grow to 200,000 tonnes by 2030 and around 1.8 million tonnes by 2050. Currently, India’s e-waste rules do not have any laws mandating solar cell manufacturers to recycle and dispose waste. India is poorly positioned to handle Photovoltaic waste as it doesn’t have policy guidelines on the same till date.

Note that: Solar modules use potentially hazardous materials, including lead compounds, polymers and cadmium compounds. If it is disposed off in an inappropriate way, potential leaching of the hazardous materials can have adverse environmental and health impacts.

 

  • According to the Air Quality in India 2014-2019 report, Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh is the most polluted city in the world and is ranked one on the list. Faridabad in Haryana has been ranked second and Varanasi third. Gaya and Patna in Bihar are fourth and fifth on the list. While Delhi has been ranked sixth and Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow is ranked seventh. Other Indian cities in the WHO list of polluted cities are Agra, Muzaffarpur, Srinagar, Gurugram, Jaipur, Patiala and Jodhpur.

WHO’s report states that Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh is witnessing a rise in the number of people suffering from allergies and respiratory problems due to the huge amount of construction in the city. 

Note that: 14 of the total 15 cities, including four in Uttar Pradesh, on the World Health Organization list of most polluted cities in the world are located in India.

 

International Current Affairs Capsule – 14 April 2019

  • A viral image of a 2-year-old Honduran asylum seeker toddler crying at the US-Mexico border has been named 2019 World Press Photo of the Year. The photo titled ‘Crying Girl on the Border‘ was taken by Getty Images photojournalist and Pulitzer Prize-winner John Moore on June 12 near McAllen, Texas.  It was taken when the girl and her mother were being detained by US border authorities.

The importance of the C’Crying Girl on the Border’ photo: These Photos that Moore took of the girl that night were widely published amid a fierce public debate last year about the Trump administration’s immigration policies – which had resulted in children being separated from adults after they crossed the US border from Mexico. After the picture was published, Trump signed an executive order reversing the policy to separate children from adults.

About the Award: The Netherlands-based World Press Photo organization announced the award Thursday evening at a ceremony in Amsterdam. The annual photo award, decided by a jury of photojournalists and photographers, carries a prize of 10,000 euros (nearly $11,300).

 

  • US lawmakers are introducing new legislation to strengthen US-India strategic partnership – The bill H R 2123. If it is enacted, the new bill would make sure that the US State Department treats India as a NATO ally for the purposes of the Arms Export Control Act.

Note that: This law would likely send a strong signal regarding defence sales to India that should be prioritized according to US-India Strategic Partnership Forum, which had worked on this important legislation. The legislation bolsters national security and helps ensure full alignment between the Department of Defence and the Department of State. 

 

  • A Pakistani Senate panel has sought a report from the interior ministry on the action taken against terrorists and banned outfits involved in the killing of Hazaras. The Senate panel also sought a report about the release of activists of the banned outfits in the near past in Balochistan.

Note that: This comes a day after a suicide blast targeting the minority Shia community killed 21 people in restive Balochistan province. 

 

Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 14 April 2019

  • HDFC Bank has been identified as number one bank by customers in India, as per Forbes World’s Best Bank survey for which Forbes partnered with market research firm Statista to measure the best banks within 23 countries. HDFC Bank emerged as India’s 1st bank. ICICI Bank was at 2nd  and SBI was surprisingly ranked 11th  in the list. At third rank was DBS, followed by Kotak Mahindra Bank and IDFC Bank taking the fourth and fifth spot.

 

  • State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda and other leading banks have revised their monthly minimum average balance requirements according to the location of a customer’s account. Banks will additionally charge a penalty from customers who fail to keep up an average monthly balance in their savings account.

Customers of SBI branches located in metro and urban areas require to maintain a minimum average balance of Rs 3,000, in semi-urban branches Rs 2,000, and in rural branches Rs 1,000. The minimum quarterly average balance for Bank of Baroda advantage savings accounts for urban and metro branches is Rs 2,000 and for semi-urban branches, Rs 1,000.

 

  • Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has been awarded as the prestigious AIMA Managing India Award 2019 for outstanding PSU of the year. The award was presented by former President Pranab Mukherjee to Sanjiv Singh who serves as the Chairman of Indian Oil, at a glittering ceremony. 

Note that: The AIMA awards, declared under 11 categories, were headed by Sanjiv Goenka, chairman, RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group, and shortlisted 11 eminent enterprises and personalities of the country for their contribution to nation-building.

 

“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims – 14 April 2019 “

Q1. RBL Bank has recently partnered with __________ to improve the lender’s customer experience. 

  • A) BankVidya 
  • B) CreditVidya 
  • C) ShaalaVidya 
  • D) SaarthiVidya

 

Q2. The government has recently cleared the procurement of 464 T-90 tanks from ________ in a deal worth over Rs 13,500 crore. 

  • A) US 
  • B) Russia 
  • C) France 
  • D) United Kingdom

 

Q3. ________ became the 1600th station to become a RailWire Wi-Fi zone. 

  • A) Ludhiana 
  • B) Agra 
  • C) Santacruz 
  • D) Pune

 

Q4. WikiLeaks founder ___________ was arrested by British police recently. 

  • A) Julian Assange 
  • B) Tiger Woods 
  • C) Neil Robinson 
  • D) Amelia Spileberg

 

Q5. NGT imposed an interim penalty of Rs 100 crore on ___________ for inaction to prevent illegal sand mining. 

  • A) Telangana 
  • B) Andhra Pradesh 
  • C) Punjab 
  • D) Delhi

 

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!