19 August 2017 Current Affairs : “Harit Diwali, Swasth Diwali”, NHRC notice to govt, Partition Museum, Vishal Sikka resigns

///19 August 2017 Current Affairs : “Harit Diwali, Swasth Diwali”, NHRC notice to govt, Partition Museum, Vishal Sikka resigns

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 August 2017

■ The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to the Home Ministry regarding the reported deportation of illegal Rohingya immigrants from Myanmar. Taking suo motu cognisance of the issue after reports in media, NHRC has sought a detailed report in the matter within four weeks. The Commission observed that refugees are no doubt foreign nationals but they are human beings and before taking a big step, the Centre has to look into every aspect.

Note that: Nearly 40,000 Rohingyas are residing in various parts of India.


■ A new Partition Museum that commemorates and documents the largest migration in history across borders in 1947 was inaugurated at the historic Town Hall (Amritsar). This Museum will be the first museum of its kind anywhere in the world.


■ Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan has launched a new campaign titled “Harit Diwali, Swasth Diwali”.
The campaign is aimed at reducing the environmental pollution in the country post Diwali celebrations due to excessive bursting of crackers which contributes significantly to air and noise pollution. This campaign enlightens children about harmful fire crackers and motivates them to not to buy fire crackers, instead buy a gift, food items, or sweets for poor and underprivileged children living in their locality.

What is the need for such campaign?

Diwali is an integral part of our rich tradition and a festival that embodies joy and happiness. In recent times, the pattern of celebration has changed somewhat and has got associated with excessive bursting of crackers causing air and noise pollution. This results in significant adverse impact on the environment and health of the people.

In the past few years, airborne pollution has been rising above safe limits during winter in many cities, aggrevated by the excessive burning of crackers during Diwali. Lat year, the pollution levels in Delhi post Diwali, reached such levels that the government had to declare an emergency situation, which had socio-economic consequences like closing down of schools, construction sites and power stations.


■  The Supreme Court has asked the Karnataka and Tamil Nadu governments to envision the Mekedatu dam project as a facility to store excess water from Karnataka, which can be released to Tamil Nadu. This suggestion was mooted during the hearing of appeals in the Cauvery case.

Note that: Karnataka intends to build a reservoir across river Cauvery near Mekedatu in Kanakapura taluk. It was first proposed along with Shivanasamudra hydro power project at Shimsa in 2003 with an intention to use the water for a hydro power station and supply drinking water to Bengaluru city. The project is estimated to cost 5,912 crore and about 4,900 hectares of forest land will submerge if the project is implemented.


International Current Affairs Capsule – 19 August 2017

■  The United States has designated ISIS leaders Ahmad Alkhald and Abu Yahya al-Iraqi as Specially Designated Global Terrorists. These designations seek to deny them the resources they need to plan and carry out further terrorist attacks.
Note that: The US has so far designated over 30 ISIS leaders and operatives.


■ SriLanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena appointed Rear Admiral Travis Sinniah as Navy chief from the Tamil minority, giving a significant boost to reconciliation efforts. This post was formerly held by Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne. He is the senior most naval officer who combated operations against the LTTE terrorists.


Stephen Bannon, the chief strategist of US President Donald Trump, has stepped down as US administration is engulfed in a storm over latter’s remarks on Charlottesville violence. His exit caps a tumultuous four weeks in which a slew of senior officials have announced their departures, including the White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, press secretary Sean Spicer and communications director Anthony Scaramucci, who was hired and fired within the space of 11 days.



Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 19 August 2017

Vishal Sikka has resigned as the MD and CEO of India’s 2nd largest software export firm Infosys. He has now been appointed the Executive Vice Chairman of the company. Infosys’ Chief Operating Officer UB Pravin Rao has been appointed as the interim CEO. Much distress in the sharemarket has been caused by this sudden announcement.


■ New Development Bank (NDB) set up by the “BRICS” group of emerging economies plans to lend $1.5 billion to South Africa for infrastructure projects over the next 18 months. The bank also officially opened its African regional centre in Johannesburg.

About the New Development Bank – The NDB is touted as an alternative to the existing US-dominated World Bank and International Monetary Fund. It was agreed to by BRICS leaders at the 5th BRICS summit held in Durban, South Africa in 2013. Headquartered in Shanghai, China. Unlike the World Bank, which assigns votes based on capital share, in the New Development Bank each participant country will be assigned one vote, and none of the countries will have veto power.





“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims”

Q1. Which country is the current chair of BIMSTEC?

  • A) Bhutan
  • B) Bangaldesh
  • C) India
  • D) Nepal


Q2. Under the provisions of which one of the following legislations did the state of Haryana recently ban the use of liquid nitrogen in food and drink items?

  • A) Chemicals (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction) Act, 2006
  • B) Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006
  • C) Insecticides Act, 1968
  • D) Essential Commodities Act, 1955


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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