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 – 18 August 2017
■ The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind has presented the National Safety Awards (Mines) for the years 2013 and 2014 at a function held at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi. He has laid emphasis on safety of people, which should be accorded top most priority. He said, the mineral sector contributes 2.6 per cent of country’s GDP and provides direct employment to over 10 lakh people on a daily basis. He has urged the sector to put in place world class safety measures for prevention of accidents in mines.
■ The Defence Ministry has cleared a proposal to procure 6 Apache attack helicopters for Army. The decision was taken in Defence Acquisition Council meeting chaired by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi. The acquisition of the helicopters, equipment and training will cost around Rs 4,168 crore.
The Council has also given its approval to procure two gas turbine engines for Naval ships at a cost of 490 crore rupees.
■ The Union Cabinet has recently given its approval to the proposal to complete the balance works of the North Koel Reservoir Project in Jharkhand and Bihar. It has also approved storage of water in dam restricted at lower level than envisaged earlier in order to reduce the submergence and to protect Betla National Park and Palamau Tiger Reserve.
This project is situated on North Koel river which is a tributary of Sone river finally joining the river Ganga. The North Koel Reservoir is located in the most backward tribal areas in Palamau and Garhwa districts of Jharkhand State. The North Koel river rises on Ranchi plateau and flows through Jharkhand.
■ The Union Cabinet has approved creation of a Single corpus fund non-lapsable known as Madhyamik and Uchchtar Shiksha Kosh (MUSK). Under this fund, all proceeds of secondary and higher education cess will be credited and utilised for the government’s schemes in education sector.
■ PM Narendra Modi met the 1st all-woman Indian navy crew preparing to sail around the world, under the project named “Navika Sagar Parikrama”. The 6-member crew will sail on the 55-foot sailing vessel Tarini, inducted into the Navy earlier this year.
Navika Sagar Parikrama is a project wherein a team of first-ever Indian women officers crew of the Indian Navy would circumnavigate the globe. The Indian built sailboat, INSV Tarini is the sister vessel of INSV Mhadei (on which the first Indian solo circumnavigation was completed by Capt Dilip Donde in 2010).
This project is considered essential towards promoting Ocean Sailing activities in the Navy while depicting Government of India’s thrust for ‘Nari Shakti’.
■ The Union Cabinet has approved Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Sweden on cooperation in the field of Intellectual Property (IPRs). The MoU establishes wide ranging and flexible mechanism, allowing both countries to work together and exchange best practices on training programs and technical exchanges to raise awareness and protect IPRs.
■ A grant agreement from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) of the World Bank of USD 24.64 million for “Ecosystem Service Improvement Project” has been signed between India’s Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) and the World Bank. This project will entirely be financed by the World Bank out of its GEF Trust Fund.
About Ecosystem Service Improvement Project:
MoEF&CC will implement the Project in the States of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh through Indian Council of Forestry Research & Education under the National Mission for Green India.
It aims to improve the livelihoods of forest dependent communities in Central Indian Highlands and strengthen the institutional capacity of the Departments of Forestry and Community Organisations to enhance forest ecosystem services.
International Current Affairs Capsule – 18 August 2017
■ U.S. President Donald Trump has disbanded two high-profile business advisory councils (American Manufacturing Council, and the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum) after corporate CEOs quit in protest at his remarks blaming violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, not only on white nationalists but also on the protesters who opposed them.
Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 18 August 2017
■ Uber Technologies Inc., is starting the service of its food delivery service UberEATS in Bengaluru, with plans to launch it across more cities over the next 6-12 months.
■ National Highways Authority of India has launched two mobile Apps – MyFASTag and FASTag Partner, to facilitate the availability of FASTags for Electronic Toll Collection.
MyFASTag is a consumer App that can be downloaded from the App Store for both Android and iOS systems. Through this app, a consumer can purchase or recharge FASTags, and also keep track of transactions and get online grievance redressal.
FASTag Partner is a merchant Ap for agencies like Common Services Centre, banking partners and vehicle dealers to sell and enroll FASTag through this App.
In addition to this, the App can also be used to activate the RFID tags that came built in with around 74 lakh cars in the country following the 2013 Gazette Notification in this regard. These RFID tags are already fixed on the cars but are presently dormant. This App will convert these RFID tags into ETC Tag (FASTag).
■ The Telecom Regulation Authority of India (TRAI) has proposed setting up of a panel – cloud services advisory group (CSAG) – with members from both government and the industry to advise the government on requirements, functions and security challenges in cloud services sector.
The group should include members of the Centre and State IT departments, MSME associations, consumer advocacy groups, industry experts and members from law enforcement agencies.
TRAI recommends a ‘light-touch approach’ to regulate the sector at present where regulation largely comes through their industry body. Such framework will create an environment to speed up investment and growth while also ensuring capability to efficiently control and regulate restrictive and anti-consumer practices simultaneously ensuring a code of conduct in the sector.
TRAI notes that the scope, nature, security requirements and creation of transparent networks beyond national boundaries will certainly require considerable oversight on cloud service provisioning.
■ State-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has unveiled its mobile wallet in partnership with MobiKwik to enable one-tap bill payment for its over 100 million subscribers. The subscribers will also be able to use the digital wallet at over 1.5 million merchants across India. The app will allow users to pay for online recharges, make bill payments, shop and book bus and train tickets.
BSNL has claimed that with over 1.5 million merchants on the network, this is India’s largest wallet by any telecom company.
■ The Government has banned exports of gold jewellery, medallions and other articles above 22-carat purity in a bid to check round tripping of the metal. The notification is issued by Directorate General Foreign Trade (DGFT).
Sports Current Affairs – 18 August 2017
■ Young Indian shuttler Lakshya Sen clinched the Bulgaria Open International Series title after securing a hard-fought win over Croatia’s Zvonimir Durkinjak in the men’s singles final in Sofia, Bulgaria.
■ In Hockey, India finished its European tour on a high with a victory over Austria. In its 5th and last game of the tour, India won the match by a last second goal, against the Austrians, 18 -3. Earlier, in the European tour, team India had lost first two matches to Belgium and went on to win the other two against the Netherlands.
■ Veteran photographer S Paul has passed away at the age of 88. He was a self-taught photographer who received recognition and fame as a professional photographer when his pictures were selected for publication in three renowned British publications — Amateur Photographer, Miniature Camera and Miniature Camera World. B&W Magazine of US had described him as ‘The Henry Cartier-Bresson of India‘. Apart from other recognitions, he was the first Indian to win the Nikon International Photo Contest in 1971. His younger brother, Raghu Rai, is also a renowned photographer.
“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims”
Q1.Which country has been declared the world’s most liveable city by The Economist’s Global Liveability Report-2017?
- A) Melbourne
- B) Sydney
- C) New York
- D) Hong Kong
Q2. The ‘Pink Whale Challenge’, recently in the news, is _ ?
- A) An online game which has been blamed for the deaths of more than a hundred lives all over the world
- B) An online challenge which “proves that the internet can be used to spread the good”
- C) The International Whaling Commission’s initiative which enables anyone with an internet connection to keep a tab on activities in the oceans in near real-time, to check illegal whale hunting activities
- D) A worldwide hands-on, school-based science and education programme focusing on the environment protection
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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