“The real measure of our wealth is how much we’d be worth if we lost all our money.”

– J. H. Jowett

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 – 18 April 2019

  • World Heritage Day 2019 is being celebrated on April 18, to celebrate and promote the cultural heritage across the world. The International  Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), in 1982, had suggested that April 18 be celebrated as the International Day for Monuments and Sites and the UN approved the proposal the following year. The celebration of World Heritage Day also aims to recognize the efforts of all relevant organizations in this field. These include architects, engineers, geographers, civil engineers, artists and archaeologists.

The World Heritage Day 2019 theme is rural landscapes. Protecting and preserving heritage rural sites requires the collective efforts of the entire international community

Note that: India stands at the sixth position in terms of the number of World Heritage Sites located in the country with 37 sites. The list is topped by Italy, followed by China, Spain, Germany and France.

Read the list of all World Heritage Sites in India here

 

  • Indian and Pakistan officials has held a meeting to discuss the technical aspects of the proposed Kartarpur corridor. The two countries discussed on the – timing for completion of bridge, the alignment of roads and engineering aspects of the proposed crossing points.

Note that: The Kartarpur Corridor is a 4 kilometre long corridor comprising border gates, road and bridge to link Dera Baba Nanak gurdwara in Gurdaspur district in India to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur in Pakistan. The gurdwara in Kartarpur is situated on the bank of River Ravi, about 120 km northeast of Lahore. It is revered as Guru Nanak’s final resting place.

  

  • There are 150 Great Indian Bustards (GIB) in Rajasthan’s Desert National Park (DNP), as per a survey. The DNP, is spread over Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Barmer and Bikaner districts. The GIB is also found in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

The GIB is a critically endangered species listed in the International Union for conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List. It is listed in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection)Act, 1972 and in the CMS Convention and in Appendix I of CITES. It has also been identified as one of the species for the recovery programme under the Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India.

Note that: Project Great Indian Bustard in Rajasthan is ongoing for identifying and fencing off bustard breeding grounds in existing protected areas as well as provide secure breeding enclosures in areas outside protected areas.

 

  • The 2nd edition of the bilateral maritime exercise between the Indian Navy and Vietnam Peoples’ Navy, (IN – VPN BILAT EX) was held at Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam from 13th to 16th April, 2019.

The exercise was undertaken as a part of the ongoing Overseas Deployment of Eastern Fleet ships to South East Asian countries. INS Kolkata under the command of Captain Aditya Hara and INS Shakti under the command of Captain Sriram Amur participated in the exercise.

 

International Current Affairs Capsule – 18 April 2019

  • According to the UN Secretary General, the United Nations (UN) owes India $38 million for peacekeeping operations as of March 2019. It is the highest UN has to pay to any country for the peacekeeping operations. The UN chief has also said that the troop and police-contributing countries will or will not be paid depends on the financial position of the individual missions to which they contribute. 

Note that: The United Nations Security Council takes collective decision to maintain international peace and security. United Nations Peacekeeping was created in 1948 with three basic principles which are: 

(a) Consent of the parties, 

(b) Impartiality and non-use of Force except in self-defence and 

(c) Defence of the mandate. 

The Peacekeeping forces are contributed by UN member states on a voluntary basis. India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are among the largest individual contributors to the peace keeping mission of the UN.

 

  • US President Donald Trump has vetoed a bill passed by the Congress to end US military assistance in Saudi Arabia’s led war in Yemen. The Congress had voted to invoke the War Powers Resolution to stop US involvement in a foreign conflict. This is the Second veto in Trump’s presidency after last month’s veto on legislation associated with immigration.

 

  • Using data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, scientists have found that there are small liquid lakes in Titan, which is Saturn’s largest moon. These lakes are composed of methane and are more than 100 metres deep. Other than lakes, Titan also hosts rivers and seas of hydrocarbons.

Titan is the only other planetary body in our solar system apart from our Earth which is known to have stable liquid on its surface.

Note that: The Cassini spacecraft has had helped study the geology and hydrology of Titan. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA (European Space Agency) and the Italian Space Agency. The spacecraft had arrived in the Saturn system in 2004 and ended its mission in 2017.

 

  • India has set up an Indo-Pacific division in the External Affairs Ministry. MEA’s territorial divisions are crucial for policy making, so the creation of an Indo-Pacific division is a big step by the government. This division of the foreign office will integrate the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), ASEAN region and the Quad to the Indo-Pacific table. The new division is intended to give a coherent architecture to the policy, which was articulated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Shangri-La Dialogue in 2018.

Note that: India is planning to put greater energy to the IORA because the heart of its Indo-Pacific policy is rooted in the Indian Ocean. This adds the blue economy part of the Indian policy with the security part. In its Indo-Pacific diplomacy, India has repeatedly placed ASEAN at the centre of its policy.

 

“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims – 18 April 2019 “

Q1. Which country to host the world’s foremost Artificial Intelligence (AI) Summit? 

  • A) China
  • B) India
  • C) UAE
  • D) Japan

 

Q2. Who has become the first Indian to be appointed Chair of International Hockey Federation (FIH) Health and Safety Committee? 

  • A) S V Sunil
  • B) P R Sreejesh
  • C) Dilip Tirkey
  • D) Bibhu Kalyan Nayak

 

Q3. Who has been conferred with Lifetime Achievement Award-2019 at the 4th APJ Abdul Kalam Innovation Conclave? 

  • A) Mamta Kharab
  • B) Arjun Halappa
  • C) A K Singh
  • D) Amit Rohidas

 

Q4. Who of the following has been chosen for 2019 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano Press Freedom Prize? 

  • A) Mazen Darwish
  • B) Mahmoud Abu Zeid
  • C) Kyaw Soe Oo
  • D) Dawit Isaak

 

Q5. Which of the following banks has topped Forbes’ list of Indian banks 2019? 

  • A) HDFC Bank
  • B) ICICI Bank
  • C) IDFC Bank
  • D) SBI

 

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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