This Daily Current Affair Capsule is essentially a time-saving tool for going through important news from national dailies and government releases on PIB. Aspirants for UPSC IAS, CDS, SSC CGL, NDA, etc. will find it highly useful to cover for revision and awareness purposes.


National Important Current Affairs – 17 March 2018

■ The Central Government has informed the Supreme Court that it will not damage the mythological Ram Sethu for the Sethusamudram Ship Channel project in the interest of the nation, considering the socio-economic disadvantages. 
The Union Ministry of Shipping told the bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra that the government of India intends to explore an alternative to the earlier alignment of Sethusamudram Ship Channel project without damaging the Adam’s Bridge or Ram Sethu.

About Ram Sethu: ‘Ram Sethu’ or Adam’s Bridge is a chain of limestone shoals between Pamban or Rameswaram Island off the south-eastern coast of Tamil Nadu, India and Mannar Island on the north-western coast of Sri Lanka.

About Sethusamudram Project: The Sethusamudram Shipping Channel project has been facing stiff resistance from environmentalists and Hindu groups. Under the project, an 83 km-long deep water channel was to be created, linking Mannar with Palk Strait, by extensive dredging and removal of the limestone shoals.

Note that: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy had filed a PIL against the Sethusamudram ship channel project on the basis of religious beliefs — Ram Sethu is believed to have been built by Lord Rama’s army to cross the sea — and sought a national heritage status for it.


■ Indian mystic Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev released a book titled ‘Fulfilling Bapu’s Dreams – Prime Minister Modi’s Tribute to Gandhiji’ at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan and the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, received the first copy of the book. It has been authored by Dr Bindeshwar Pathak (well-known Social Reformer and Mentor of Sulabh Movement).


■ The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has announced the launch of LaQshya, a programme aimed at improving quality of care in labour room and maternity operation theatre (OT).  The Program will improve quality of care for pregnant women in labour room, maternity Operation Theatre and Obstetrics Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and High Dependency Units (HDUs) in public health facilities across the country.

The programme aims at implementing ‘fast-track’ interventions for achieving tangible results within 18 months.


India has improved maternal survival as Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR), which reduced from 301 maternal deaths in 2001-03 to 167 in 2011-13, an impressive decline of 45% in a decade. There has been a substantial increase in the number of the institutional deliveries in the last decade of implementation of the National Health Mission (NHM). However, this has not translated into improvements in the key maternal and new-born indicators such as maternal mortality and morbidity, still birth rates and early initiation of breastfeeding.


■ Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has quit the BJP-led NDA over the Centre’s refusal to grant special category status to Andhra Pradesh, which was promised at the time of bifurcation of Telangana state. The party has also moved a No-confidence motion against the Modi government in the Parliament.


■ Prime Minister Modi has laid the foundation stone of the National Sports University, residential complexes for teachers, doctors and nurses, and other development projects at the Luwangpokpa Multi-Sports Complex in Luwangsangbam in Imphal in Manipur. Besides, Prime Minister also inaugurated 1000 Anganwadi Centers, new hostel for girls in the tribal area, the Luwangpokpa Multi-Sports Complex and Rani Gaidinliu Park.

About Rani Gaidinliu:

Born at Nungkao in Manipur’s Tamenglong district, Gaidinliu (1915-1993) was a revolutionary who led an army of Nagas against the British in 1931. This year marks 25th death anniversary of Rani Gaidinliu, the spiritual and political leader of the Zeliangrong Nagas. Gaidinliu was dedicated to preserving the traditional Naga culture. Her religion was Heraka, which means ‘pure’ and she never liked any alien religion.
The leader, who was revered by her people as goddess, received Padma Bhushan in 1982. In 2000, the Centre instituted one of the five Stree Shakti awards in Gaidinliu’s honour.


■ The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence, headed by Maj Gen (retd) B C Khanduri has recommended making 5-year military training compulsory for aspirants of state and central government jobs. This recommendation is influenced by the “alarming shortage of officers and PBOR (Personnel Below Officer Rank) in the armed forces”. The panel has also asked the Defence Ministry to give priority to the issue of shortage of officers.


International Current Affairs Capsule – 17 March 2018

Xi Jinping has been re-elected as President for a second five-year tenure by China’s rubber-stamp parliament, merely days after it scrapped the two-term rule for the Presidency which allowed him to have a life-long tenure. Xi has also been elected as the head of the Central Military Commission, which the overall high command of the Chinese military.

About Constitution Change in China:

Under the previous constitution, Xi was set to retire by 2023 as head of the CPC, the military and Presidency following a two-term limit followed by his predecessors. He had first become president in 2013. The two-term limit was adopted by the party after Mao’s death to ensure collective leadership to avert mistakes like the dreaded cultural revolution in which millions were killed.

Wang Qishan has been elected as the new Vice-President. He is a close ally of Xi, was the head of China’s anti-corruption department till 2017 and was instrumental in carrying out President Xi-mandated purges, in which over 1.5 million officials, including over 100 ministers and top generals, were punished.


India was ranked at 78th position among 114 countries on World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Energy Transition Index (ETI).  World Economic Forum (WEF) has released the ETI as part of the report titled Fostering Effective Energy Transition. The index ranks 114 countries on how well they are able to balance energy security and access with environmental sustainability and affordability.

Among BRICS countries, India is at the lowest while Brazil stood at the 38th place, Russia at 70th and China at 76th place. The Top 10 countries in Energy Transition Index (ETI) 2018 are :

  1. Sweden
  2. Norway
  3. Switzerland
  4. Finland
  5. Denmark
  6. Netherlands
  7. UK
  8. Austria
  9. France
  10. Iceland

India at 78th position highlights that energy needs in India are primarily met by fossil fuels with implications for environmental sustainability and increasing energy import costs. A large part share of India’s population still lacks access to electricity and clean cooking fuel.


Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 17 March 2018

■ The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has launched a mobile application called ‘Lost and Found’  through which travellers can register complaints to recover items they lost or forgot at various airports in the country.

The app can be downloaded from the website of the Information and Technology Ministry. The passengers can directly register complaints and get status of their complaint immediately from the airports under CISF security cover. The CISF guards 59 civil airports across the country. The app can also be used to place a request for obtaining technical consultancy provided by the force.

Note that: The ‘Lost and Found’ scheme was first launched on its website in 2015 to trace and restore items and valuables left behind by the commuters at airports.


Sports Current Affairs – 17 March 2018

■ Indian para-athlete Deepa Malik has won a Gold medal in the F-53/54 category javelin event at the World Para Athletics Grand Prix held in Dubai. With this win, Deepa has qualified for the 2018 Asian Para Games which will be held in Indonesia, in October.


■ India’s Baskaran Adhiban has won the 33rd Reykjavik Open Chess Tournament 2018 with an impressive performance that saw him win five of the nine games. He has became only the second Indian after Abhijeet Gupta (in 2016) to win the prestigious Reykjavik Open.


“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims – 17 March 2018 “

Q1. Which Indian city has topped the 5th edition of Janaagraha’s Annual Survey of India’s City-Systems (ASICS) 2017?
A) Thiruvananthapuram
B) Kolkata
C) Pune
D) Bhubaneswar

Q2.India’s first cloned Assamese buffalo male calf ‘Sach-Gaurav’, by Central Institute for Research on Buffaloes (CIRB)
has born in which state?
A) Assam
B) Punjab
C) Haryana
D) Uttar Pradesh

Q3.The 2018 Krishi Unnati Mela has started in which city?
A) Lucknow
B) New Delhi
C) Indore
D) Jaipur

Q4.Which state is hosting the 105th edition of the Indian Science Congress (ISC-2018)?
A) Tripura
B) Manipur
C) Mizoram
D) Nagaland

Q5.The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has recently partnered with civil aviation ministry in India. Where are the headquarters of IATA situated?
A) France
B) Canada
C) Russia
D) Germany

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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