This Daily Current Affair Capsule covers relevant 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 – 19 February 2018
■ The Supreme Court verdict on Cauvery water dispute has come as a big relief for Karnataka. The court has directed the Karnataka government to release 177.25 TMC of water to Tamil Nadu, 14.75 TMC lesser than what was allotted by the tribunal in 2007. Karnataka will now get 284.75 TMC and Tamil Nadu will get 404.25 TMC of Cauvery water. Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have been at loggerhead for their ‘due share’ of Cauvery river. The Supreme court has said that increase in the share of Cauvery water for Karnataka has been done keeping in view the fact that there is an increased demand of drinking water by the ‘global city’ Bengaluru and also for many industrial activities.
- The Cauvery Dispute: The dispute began with Karnataka’s demand of ‘equitable sharing of the waters’ after it expanded farming activities in the Cauvery basin. It claimed that the previous agreements, which happened between erstwhile Madras Presidency and Kingdom of Mysore in 1924, were highly skewed towards present-day Tamil Nadu.
Previous Actions: In 1990, the union government set up a Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal or CWDT to look into inter-state river water disputes. In 2007, the Tribunal ordered that, of the total water of the river 740 thousand million cubic feet (TMC) which it divided (majorly) in Karnataka (270) and Tamil Nadu (419 TMC). The tribunal gave Kerala: 30 TMC, Kabini sub-basin: 21 TMC, Bhavani sub-basin: 6 TMC, Pambar sub-basin: 3 TMC, the Union Territory of Pondicherry: 7 TMC. The Tribunal also awarded 10 TMC for environmental protection and 4 TMC for escaping into the sea.
■ In Tripura, 74 percent voting has been recorded for the Assembly elections for 59 seats. A total of 292 candidates’ fate have been sealed. There was no report of any untoward happenings from anywhere of the state. This time CPIM led Left Front and BJP-IPFT alliance are mainly entangled in the electoral battle.
■ Delhi Metro commuters can now pay the fares of feeder buses and a number of parking lots at metro stations through their smart cards. Delhi Metro has more than 200 feeder buses plying on over 40 routes to ferry commuters to the nearest metro network.
■Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has inaugurated the 8th edition of the Theatre Olympics at Lal Quila in New Delhi. The 51-day long nationwide theatre extravaganza event has been organised by National School of Drama under the aegis of Ministry of Culture. The theme of the festival is – “Flag of Friendship”. There will be exhibitions, seminars, symposia, interactive discussions and workshops with well-known authors, actors, designers and directors.
It will feature Indian and international theatre groups, eminent theatre personalities along with their performances. It will include 60 ‘living legends’ series conversing with theatre enthusiasts and 50 ‘masterclasses’ on various art forms.
■ The Punjab government has launched the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS), a project to keep digitised records of FIRs and information on crimes and criminals on CCTNS ‘Go-Live’.
The Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) is a project initiated in June 2009 which aims at creating a comprehensive and integrated system for enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of policing at the Police Station level. This will be done through the adoption of principles of e-Governance. CCTNS is a Mission Mode Project (MMP) under the National e-Governance Plan of Govt. of India.
■ The National Banana Festival (NBF-2018) has started at Kalliyoor, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala from February 17 to 21. The festival is organised by Centre for Innovation in Science and Social action (CISSA) in partnership with Kalliyoor Grama Panchayat and a host of National and State organisations. The two-day event is aimed at helping farmers from across the country get exposure to new technologies and new species in banana cultivation.
■ The two days Conference of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association of India Region has concluded in Patna. Bihar Governor Satya Pal Malik expressed concern at the pandemonium created in Parliament as well as state legislatures by opposition parties. Over one hundred delegates from across the country and abroad including Australia, Britain and Uganda participated in the conference.
■ Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the ‘Magnetic Maharashtra’ Convergence Summit 2018 at Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex. This is Maharashtra’s first Global Investors Summit and is being regarded as one of the biggest such events, especially on the lines of the ‘Make In India’ initiative launched by the Prime Minister in 2016 in Mumbai. It is being run with the tagline #MadeForBusiness.
International Current Affairs Capsule – 19 February 2018
■ Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has arrived in India for his 7-day state visit with his family. His visit is aimed at meeting government and business leaders and strengthening the “close friendship” between the two nations.
■ An Iranian passenger plane crashed into the country’s Zagros mountains killing all 66 people on board. The Aseman Airlines flight left Tehran’s Mehrabad airport for Yasuj in Isfahan province. The plane crashed into Dena mountain, part of the Zagros range. The aviation industry in Iran is suffering from an old and ageing fleet and due to international sanctions on the procurement of aircrafts.
■ The 2018 World Sustainable Development Summit will be held in New Delhi. The WSDS is TERI’s flagship event, and has been conceptualized as a single platform to accelerate action towards sustainable development and especially climate change. The event was earlier known as the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS). The theme of the Summit this year is ‘Partnerships for a Resilient Planet’.
The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) is a leading think tank dedicated to conducting research for sustainable development of India and the Global South. TERI was established in 1974 as an information centre on energy issues. However, over the following decades, it made a mark as a research institute, whose policy and technology solutions transformed people’s lives and the environment.
■ India and Iran have recently signed Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to taxes on income in New Delhi. The Agreement will stimulate the flow of investment, technology and personnel from India to Iran & vice versa, and will prevent double taxation. The Agreement will also provide for exchange of information between the two Contracting Parties as per latest International Standards. The Agreement also meets treaty related minimum standards under G-20 OECD Base Erosion & Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project, in which India participated on an equal footing.
■ Women in Saudi Arabia can now open their own businesses without the consent of a husband or male relative. The Saudi government announcement marks a major step away from the strict guardianship system that has ruled the country for decades. Women can now launch their own businesses and benefit from governmental e-services without having to prove consent from a guardian. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the powerful heir to the Saudi throne, has been leading the drive to expand the role of women in the workforce in recent months.
Note that: Under Saudi Arabia’s guardianship system, women are required to present proof of permission from a male guardian to do any government paperwork, travel or enrol in classes.
■ Researchers have discovered a new class of antibiotics, named malacidins, which can be extracted from soil bacteria that difficult to culture in labs and study.
The findings of the research are encouraging towards a fight agiant drug resistant ‘Super Bugs’. The malacidins may be able to attack and kill many types of superbugs.
A superbug, also called multiresistant, is a bacterium that carries several resistance genes. These are resistant to multiple antibiotics and are able to survive even after exposure to one or more antibiotics. Antibiotic-resistance is passed relatively easily from one bacteria to the next since it is transmitted by way of loose genetic material that most bacteria have in common. The World Health Organization (WHO) is afraid of a post-antibiotic world, where loads of bacteria are superbugs. Already, infections like tuberculosis, gonorrhea, and pneumonia are becoming harder to treat with typical antibiotics.
■ Facebook will soon rely on the post office, to try to prevent foreign meddling in US elections. Baffled in 2016 by Russian agents who bought ads to sway the US Presidential campaign, Facebook will send postcards to potential buyers of political ads to confirm they reside in the United States. The recipient will then have to enter a code on Facebook to continue buying the ad. The method will first apply to ads that name candidates ahead of the midterm elections in November.
Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 19 February 2018
■ RBI has directed all banks to accept small denomination notes and coins tendered at their counters. Denial of service causes inconvenience to the public at large as shopkeepers and traders refuse to accept coins for payment of goods and services. Banks have been asked to remit excess coins at currency chest as per existing procedure. RBI has said that non-compliance in this regard will be in held in violation and penal measures will be initiated.
■ The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) will launch Asia’s first large-scale CO2-injected project in its Gandhar oil field in Gujarat to recover an extra 20 million barrels of crude oil under the Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) programme which is being undertaken to improve India’s energy security. The EOR programme is set to play a crucial role within the country for recovering up to 20% of residual oil from such ageing fields. While the technology is a proven concept in the West especially the US and Canada, it will be afirst in Asia.
Sports Current Affairs – 19 February 2018
■ Japanese Yuzuru Hanyu has become the first figure skater in 66 years to win back-to-back Winter Olympic gold medals in the men’s singles event after he won Japan’s first gold medal at the PyeongChang Winter Games.
Hanyu emulated American Dick Button’s feats of 1948 and 1952. The 23-year-old also became the 1,000th gold medal winner in the history of Winter Olympics. He joined countryman Ole Einar Bjoerndalen as the most successful winter Olympian of all time on 13 medals.
■ South Africa beat India by five wickets in the 3rd Women’s T20 Cricket International match in Johannesburg. South Africa first restricted India to 133 in 17.5 overs. The hosts reached the target in exactly 19 overs.
“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims – 19 February 2018 “
Q1. The 54th Munich Security Conference (MSC-2018) was held in which country?
- A) France
- B) Belgium
- C) Brazil
- D) Germany
Q2. Who has been conferred with the 5th edition of Yash Chopra Memorial Award 2018?
- A) Jackie Shroff
- B) Asha Bhosle
- C) Poonam Dhillon
- D) David Dhawan
Q3. Which Indian-origin personality has been honoured with the Scientific and Engineering Academy Award at the Oscars Scientific and Technical Awards 2018?
- A) Vikas Sathaye
- B) Jignesh Kumar
- C) TS Jain
- D) Vandana Sharma
Q4. Which state to launch cheap sanitary pad scheme “Asmita Yojana” for rural women?
- A) Punjab
- B) Haryana
- C) Maharashtra
- D) Rajasthan
Q5. Which state hosted the 6th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) India Regional Conference?
- A) Chhattisgarh
- B) Bihar
- C) West Bengal
- D) Assam
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!