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 – 19 November 2018
■ In order to foster and reinforce the spirit of Communal Harmony, National Integration and pride in vibrant, composite culture and nationhood, the “Qaumi Ekta Week” (National Integration Week) is being observed across the country from 19th November. The observation of the Qaumi Ekta week will help highlight the inherent strength and resilience of the nation to withstand actual and potential threats to the eclectic and secular fabric of the country.
The week beginning will be observed as National Integration Day while the last day of the Week will be observed as Conservation Day.
Note that: The Qaumi Ekta Week is oragnised by the National Foundation for Communal Harmony, an autonomous organisation with the Ministry of Home Affairs. It organises the Communal Harmony Campaign coinciding with the and observes the Communal Harmony Flag Day on the 25th of November. The NFCH promotes Communal Harmony and strengthens National Integration. It also provides financial assistance for relief and rehabilitation of children rendered orphan or destitute in communal, caste, ethnic or terrorist violence.
■ The Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) celebrated the World Toilet Day with mass awareness and mobilization activities across States and districts. The focus is on usage of toilets, which is closely linked to the Prime Minister’s call for a Swachh Bharat by October 2019.
In recognition to the work done by the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen), the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the World Toilet Summit in Mumbai.
■ India’s first specialized hospital for elephants was opened at Farah block’s Churmura village, Mathura. This facility is armed with facilities such as wireless digital X-Ray, thermal imaging, ultrasonography, tranquilization devices and quarantine facilities. It has not only come as a respite to the elephants but is also attracting local and foreign tourists.
The hospital is designed to treat injured, sick or geriatric elephants and is equipped with a medical hoist for lifting elephants, as also an elephant restraining device with a dedicated indoor treatment enclosure for long duration medical procedures. The hospital is on the banks of the Yamuna River, is close to an elephant conservation and care centre run by Wildlife SOS that is home to 22 elephants.
Note that: While elephants are revered as a cultural and religious symbol in India, they are still ill-treated by their unschooled mahouts and often fall victim to electrocution, poaching, train accidents and poisoning. Government data shows, India’s elephant population fell to 27,312 in 2017 from 29,391-30,711 in 2012.
International Current Affairs Capsule – 19 November 2018
■ Modi was on his first Maldivian visit since assuming office. In the recently held elections in the Maldives’ Joint Opposition Coalition candidate, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih emerged victorious in the presidential elections. The win came as a surprise both to the opposition in the Maldives and to international observers, as the election was believed to be rigged.
Prime Minster Narendra Modi and Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih have expressed confidence in renewal of bilateral ties and maintaining security and peace in the Indian Ocean. PM Modi assured Solih of India’s firm commitment in helping Maldives achieve sustainable economic development.
Note that: New President-elect of Maldives Solih is viewed as a clean and efficient lawmaker in the Maldives, where corruption and nepotism have remained prominent issues.
■ President Ram Nath Kovind is on a week-long state visit to Vietnam and Australia. Kovind will be visiting Vietnam in the first leg of his trip, which will be his first visit to an ASEAN country. The second leg of the visit will be in Australia from November 21 to 24, which will be the first visit by an Indian President to Australia.
■ The 26th General Conference on Weights & Measures (GCWM), which is comprised of 60 member countries, has voted for the redefinition of the kilogram.
For over 130 years now, the kilogram had been defined by the artefact, nicknamed ‘Le Grand K’ – the “international prototype kilogram”, which is the mass of a cylinder of platinum-iridium alloy kept in a high-security vault in France. That had been the world’s sole true kilogram since 1889. Several close replicas were made and distributed around the globe. But the master kilogram and its copies were seen to change slightly as they deteriorated. This had to be fixed in the increasing accurate world where measurement is now critical in many areas, such as in drug development, nanotechnology and precision engineering
But now, the kilogram will be defined in terms of unchanging value called the ‘Planck constant’. The ‘Planck constant’, derives from quantum physics, can be used along with a Kibble balance (Kibble balance is a self-calibrating electromechanical balance), an exquisitely accurate weighing machine. The new kilogram definition uses the Planck constant to measure the mass of an object using a precisely measured electromagnetic force.
The new definition will be adopted on May 20, which is World Metrology Day.
About SI units: There are seven fundamental units. Every other unit of measurement can be derived from one or more of these seven units: the unit for speed, for instance, factors in the units for distance and time.
The kilogram, the SI unit for mass, is one of four fundamental units that are being redefined, the others being the ampere (current), the Kelvin (temperature) and the mole (amount of substance). On the other hand, the other three fundamental units are already based on unchanging properties of nature. These are the second (time), the metre (distance), and the candela (luminous intensity, a measure for light’s brightness).
Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 19 November 2018
■ The Indian government has signed three agreements with the Asian Development Bank (ADB). They are :
- $105 million loan agreement to continue financing transmission system upgrades in Himachal Pradesh for increased supply of hydropower to state and national grid.
- $300 million loan agreement to support lending by India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited (IIFCL).
- $169 Million loan agreement for Tamil Nadu Urban Flagship Investment Program
Sports Current Affairs – 19 November 2018
■ India’s top two women’s tennis players, Ankita Raina and Karman Kaur Thandi, have won their 1st doubles title together as they lifted the OEC Open trophy in Taipei. This was also the first WTA title, singles or doubles, for both the Indian players.
■ The 21 year old german, Alexander Zverev has stunned world number one Novak Djokovic in straight sets to win the season-ending ATP Finals and earn the biggest victory of his career.
■ Alyque Padamsee, advertising veteran, communication adviser and theatre personality, who created iconic ads such as Surf’s Lalitaji, Hamara Bajaj and Liril girl, has passed away in Mumbai on Saturday at an age of 87 years. Padamsee was also known for his role as Muhammad Ali Jinnah in 1982 historcial drama “Gandhi”. He also received the Padmashri in 1999 for his contributions to the field of advertising and theatre.
The Advertising Club of Bombay named him the Advertising Man of the Century. He was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi award for direction in 1986 and also received the Lifetime Achievement Award for theatre.
“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims – 19 November 2018 “
Q1. Where is the headquarters of National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC)?
- A) Chennai
- B) Kolkata
- C) New Delhi
- D) Pune
Q2. The Himalayan State Regional Council (HSRC), which is recently set up by NITI Aayog, will be chaired by whom?
- A) K. Radhakrishnan
- B) V K Saraswat
- C) Kailasavadivoo Sivan
- D) G. Madhavan Nair
Q3. Which country is the current chair at the 13th East Asia Summit (EAS -2018)?
- A) New Zealand
- B) South Korea
- C) Singapore
- D) Australia
Q4.The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has recently lifted sanctions against which African nation after 9 years?
- A) Eritrea
- B) Burundi
- C) Somalia
- D) Ethiopia
Q5.On which date, the 2018 International Day for Tolerance was observed recently to generate public awareness of the dangers of intolerance?
- A) November 17
- B) November 18
- C) November 16
- D) November 15
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!