19 April 2017 Current Affairs : Sasikala ousted, Mount Abu fire doused, Mallya held, Barmer refinery, H-1B tightening

///19 April 2017 Current Affairs : Sasikala ousted, Mount Abu fire doused, Mallya held, Barmer refinery, H-1B tightening

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 – 19 April 2017

■ In a major political development in Tamil Nadu, the ruling faction of the AIADMK has decided to sideline Ms VK Sasikala, who has been the long time aide of late leader Jayalaithaa from the party and Government.

  • Note that: Ms Sasikala has been the long time aide of the late leader Jayalaithaa, who was made the party faction’s General Secretary and now serving a prison sentence in Bengaluru.
  • Now, the ruling AIADMK faction in in talks with the rival group led by Mr O.Panneerselvam for a merger any time.

■ The Centre informed the Supreme Court that it has constituted a task force to frame a road-map for implementation of the Law Commission’s recommendations on decriminalisation of politics. 

  • A bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha yesterday asked the Centre to file the affidavit on the Public Interest Litigation seeking debarring of convicts for life from contesting polls and stopping them from entering judiciary and the executive.

■ The country is likely to receive normal monsoon rainfall this year. Meteorological Department has said that the South-West monsoon rainfall from June to September is likely to be 96 per cent of the Long Period Average plus minus five per cent. There would be good distribution of rainfall across the country.

Dr. Paduru Gururaja Bhat Award 2017 has been conferred upon Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy, Chairman, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (BVB), Mysuru. Murthy was selected for the award in consideration of his contribution to Indian Archaeology, Ancient History and Numismatics.

■ Five days after intense fire fighting measures taken by Army, Air Force and district administration, the fire on hills of Mount Abu, Rajasthan has been doused. Note that: Mount Abu of Rajasthan had witnessed the massive fire which broke out 14th of this month near the famous sunset point.

■The Government has stated that 14 scholarship schemes for Scheduled Castes and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) / Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-nomadic Tribes (DNTs) students come under Digital Payments Initiatives. All scholarship amount will now be deposited in the bank accounts of the students.

■ The Supreme Court has exempted several categories of disabled persons from standing during the national anthem before movie screenings. In earlier order by the court, it was mandatory for every person to stand during the anthem before movie screenings.

  • The court also sent a notice to the Centre over making Vande Mataram mandatory in educational institutes.

■The Union Home Ministry has issued Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for security agencies in Kashmir, directing them to use plastic bullets and chilli-filled shells to control violent protests. The ministry has also directed the agencies to use pellet guns as the last resort.


International Current Affairs Capsule – 19 April 2017

■  Indian businessman Vijay Mallya, was arrested in London by Scotland Yard on India’s request for his extradition. He appeared before the Westminster’s Magistrates’ Court in London for his bail hearing where the court has granted bail to him.

Note that: India had given a formal extradition request for Mallya as per the Extradition Treaty between India and the UK through a note verbale on February 8.

  • CBI court had issued a non-bailable warrant against Mallya in the Rs 720-crore IDBI Bank loan default case.


South Korean prosecutors have formally charged ousted President Park Geun-hye in a corruption scandal that had led to her impeachment in December last year.  She was accused of allowing friend Choi Soon-sil to extort money from companies in return for political favours.

Australia has abolished the 457 Visa Programme used by thousands of temporary foreign workers, a majority of them Indians to address growing unemployment in that country. Instead, Australia wants to adopt `Australians first’ approach to skilled migration.

US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to tighten the rules for technology companies seeking to bring highly skilled foreign workers to the United States. The order targets the H-1B visa programme, which undercuts American workers by bringing in large numbers of cheaper foreign workers, which drives down US wages.

  • This order directs US agencies to propose rules to prevent immigration fraud and abuse in the programme.
  • It also seeks changes so that the H-1B visas are granted to the most-skilled or highest-paid applicants.

United Nations will issue special stamps commemorating the International Yoga Day on June 21 this year. The first International Yoga Day was commemorated at the UN in 2015 with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj leading the celebrations along with then UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and others.


Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 19 April 2017

 Rajasthan state government and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) signed an agreement for the Rs 43,129 crore Barmer refinery in Jaipur.

  • The refinery would be completed within next four years and for that period around Rs 70 thousand crore will be invested in the refinery.
  • Note that: Barmer refinery will be the first in the country to produce BS-6 standard fuel.
  • The state government will have 26% stake in the project while rest will be held by HPCL.
  • The government has made 4800 acre land available at Pachpadra for the project.


■ In a new World Bank report titled Globalization Backlash, the agency expects India’s Gross domestic product (GDP) to reach to 7.2% in the financial year 2017-18 from 6.8% the previous fiscal year.

Dynamic or flexi-fare in the Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains will now be admissible under the leave travel concession (LTC) allowance. The Department of personnel and training (DoPT) has issued a directive in this regard to all central government ministries.


Sports News Current Affairs – 19 April 2017

■ Acclaimed former international cricket captains including India’s Sourav Ganguly and Australia’s Ricky Ponting have become a part of a stellar line-up of commentators named by the ICC for the upcoming Champions Trophy which is scheduled from June 1 this year. Other former captains include Brendon McCullum of New Zealand, Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka and Graeme Smith of South Africa.

■ Tainted Indian pacer S Sreesanth’s plea for a review of his life ban has been rejected by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The cricket governing body will not compromise on its zero tolerance policy towards corruption.

  • In July 25,2015, a Delhi Sessions court had exonerated him in the spot fixing case registered by Delhi Police which invoked the Maharashtra Control of organised crimes Act MCOCA.
  • Sreesanth’s appeal for revocation of his ban in the 2013 spot-fixing scandal has been discarded by the BCCI saying that a criminal court exonerating Sreesanth of spot fixing charges was not enough to lift the life time ban on him.
  • On account of life ban, player cannot play even league cricket nor get access even for practice to any of the cricket grounds where the BCCI or the state cricket associations have a stake.


“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims”

Q1. What is the theme of the 2017 World Heritage Day (WHD)?

  • A) World Heritage for Tourism
  • B) Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Tourism
  • C) The Heritage of Sport
  • D) Cultural Heritage for Tourism


Q2. The Manipur government has launched ‘DARPAN’ web portal to check corruption. What does “DARPAN” stands for?

  • A) Digital Application for Revalue by Public And Nation
  • B) Digital Application for Reappraisal by Public And Nation
  • C) Digital Application for Review by Public And Nation
  • D) Digital Application for Reassessment by Public And Nation


Q3. Who has been bestowed with the 6th edition of MS Swaminathan award?

  • A) C. Parthasarathy
  • B) M Y Saxena
  • C) M V R Prasad
  • D) R R Hanchinal


Answer these questions in the comments below. Discuss your thoughts on the news and issues mentioned in today’s current affairs post. Have a good day!

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