This Daily Current Affair Capsule aims to be a time-saving tool for going through 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 – 2 April 2018
■ The Centre government will file a review petition in the Supreme Court over its recent ruling on the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. The apex court had recently introduced the provision of anticipatory bail in the Act while directing that there will be no automatic arrest on any complaint filed under the law.
Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawarchand Gehlot had earlier appealed to those opposing the Supreme Court’s verdict to withdraw their protests in the wake of the government’s decision to file a review petition.
Recall that: The Supreme Court observed in a judgment on March 20 that the anti-atrocities law, which protects Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes from casteist slurs and discrimination, has become an instrument to “blackmail” innocent citizens and public servants. The court issued a slew of guidelines to protect public servants and private employees from arbitrary arrests under the Atrocities Act, that public servants can only be arrested with the written permission of their appointing authority. And for private employees, the Senior Superintendent of Police concerned should allow the arrest.
But Dalit organisations, and some political parties fear the dilution of the provisions might lead to increase in violence against Dalits.
■ The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is yet to restore communication link with its GSAT-6A satellite. ISRO had successfully launched its high-power S-band communication satellite GSAT-6A using GSLV-F08 on Thursday from Sriharikota. Orbit raising manoeuvres were carried out from the Master Control Facility in Hassan to place the satellite in its intended orbit of 36,000 kms. The first two manoeuvres were successful but during the third manoeuvre, the satellite stopped responding.
■ Upcoming Hot Weather Season (April to June-AMJ) will have the above normal average seasonal temperatures (maximum, minimum and mean) over most of the meteorological sub-divisions of the country. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) issues operational seasonal forecast outlooks for subdivision scale temperatures over the country for both hot and cold weather seasons. These outlooks are generated based on predictions from the Monsoon Mission Coupled Forecasting System (MMCFS) Model and implemented by the office of Climate Research and Services (CRS), IMD, Pune.
■ Madhya Pradesh has won the Geographical Indication (GI) tag for Kadaknath, a black-feathered chicken known for its flavorful meat. The GI tag will ensure that no one else can use the name Kadaknath while selling any other black chicken. This will translate into higher prices for producers. Kadaknath is an indigenous chicken breed found in tribal-dominated Jhabua district in the state. The GI registry office has awarded the GI tag for Kadaknath chicken to MP after dismissing claim of similar recognition to its Kadaknath breed by Chhattisgarh.
Kadaknath chicken is in demand because of its low cholesterol and high protein content. Kadaknath lays black eggs and its blood is also black in colour. The breed is also popular abroad due to high iron content.
■ Anandibai Gopalrao Joshi, India’s first female doctor and the first woman to obtain a degree in western medicine was in news after Google Doodle celebrated her 153rd Birthday on March 31st. Anandi Joshi was born in Maharashtra.
■ The Congress has appointed former Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot as the new general secretary in charge of organization and training. Gehlot replaces Janardan Dwivedi, who has served a long stint in one of the most crucial posts in the party organization. This move is significant as it comes in the backdrop of party president Rahul Gandhi’s bid to infuse changes in the party organization ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Gehlot has been largely credited with Congress’s turnaround in Gujarat where the party put up a stellar performance in the December elections.
■ The construction works on 60 MW Naitwar Mori Hydro Electric Project, located on River Tons, a major tributary of River Yamuna on the Ganga basin, in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand state in North India have begun. This run-of-the river project was allocated to SJVN Ltd by the Government of Uttarakhand.
Note that: SJVN Ltd is a Mini Ratna PSU under the administrative control of the Ministry of Power, Govt. of India.
International Current Affairs Capsule – 2 April 2018
■ A defunct Chinese space lab has plunged through Earth’s atmosphere, breaking up into pieces as it headed towards a watery grave in the South Pacific. The eight-tonne Tiangong-1 was mostly burnt up above the Pacific ocean’s central region.
Note that: Tiangong-1 was launched in 2011 to carry out docking and orbit experiments. It was part of the country’s efforts to build a manned space station by 2022 but stopped working in March 2016.
■ China has successfully launched two satellites with a single rocket to strengthen its BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS). These two satellites are coded as the 30th and 31st members in the BDS.
About BeiDou Satellite System: The BeiDou system started providing independent services over China in 2000. It has total 22 Operational satellites in orbit and the full constellation is scheduled to comprise 35 satellites.It is being projected by Beijing as a rival to the American Global Positioning System (GPS). BeiDou has two separate constellations, BeiDou-1 and BeiDou-2. BeiDou-1 also known as first generation was a constellation of three satellites. BeiDou-2, also known as COMPASS, is the second generation of the system. It became operational in the year 2011.
Note that: The four global Global Navigation Satellite systems are – GPS (US), GLONASS (Russia), Galileo (EU), BeiDou (China). There are two regional systems also – QZSS (Japan) and IRNSS or NavIC (India).
■ India and Pakistan have agreed to solve the diplomatic tussle over the allegations of harassment of the diplomats in each other’s countries as per the 1992 code of conduct (COC) ensuring the diplomats and their families are not harassed.
About 1992 Code of Conduct:
As per the 1992 code of conduct, the two countries would ensure “smooth and unhindered functioning of their diplomatic and consular officials in conformity with recognised norms of international law and practice.” The two governments will also ensure that there is “no violation of the privileges and immunities of their diplomatic and consular officials” and there should be “no offences against their dignity and person”.
It also states that intrusive and aggressive surveillance and actions such as verbal and physical harassment, disconnecting of telephone lines, threatening telephone calls, pursuit in cars and unauthorised entry into residences shall not be resorted to.
Note that: The diplomatic ties of India and Pakistan recently took a hit over the harassment of the diplomats in each other’s countries. Both the countries have accused each other of harassing and intimidating their diplomats.
■ Scientists have discovered a new organ in the human body which they have named the ‘interstitium’. The new organ Interstitium is found everywhere in our bodies, acting as a shock absorber in all places where tissues are moved or subjected to force.
It lies beneath the top layer of skin, but is also in tissue layers lining the gut, lungs, blood vessels, and muscles. The organ is a network of interconnected, fluid-filled spaces all over the body. It may even be one of the largest organs in the body. The organ is a network of interconnected, fluid-filled spaces all over the body and is made up of both strong (collagen) and flexible (elastin) connective tissue proteins, with interstitial fluid moving throughout. Interstitial spaces are organized by a collagen “mesh”, can shrink, expand, and “may thus serve as shock absorbers.”
Note that: The discovery of this new organ which acts as fluid ‘highway’ could help to explain how cancer spreads in the body, and pave the way for new ways to detect and treat the disease.
Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 2 April 2018
■ In a milestone for India’s new energy sourcing strategy, the first long-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) US cargo from the US under long-term contract of GAIL (India) Limited arrived at the Dabhol LNG terminal in Maharashtra. GAIL has signed two 20-year LNG supply agreements, potentially worth $32 billion, for US LNG exports from the Dominion Cove Point project in Maryland and the Sabine Pass project in Louisiana. This shipment is the first of the contracted loads under the agreement.
Note that: India is the world’s fourth-largest LNG importer, and has been trying to leverage the overabundance in global LNG supplies to renegotiate its contracts. Bilateral trade between the US and India is around $126.1 billion. Gas accounts for around 6.5% of India’s primary energy mix as compared to a a global average of 24%.
■ State-owned oil firms have begun the supply of petrol and diesel meeting stringent Bharat Stage VI emission norms in Delhi NCR from 1 April. The Indian Oil Corp. Ltd, Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Co. Ltd will supply the BS VI fuel at all their petrol pumps from 1 April, Indian Oil officials said. Recall that, the BS VI fuel supplies in the national capital have been advanced from the 1 April 2020 target rollout for the entire country to show the oil industry’s commitment to supplying cleaner fuel.
About BS VI Fuel: BS VI norms seek to cut down sulphur content to 10 parts per million (ppm) from 50 ppm of the existing BS IV. Sulphur in the fuel contributes to fine particulate matter emissions. High sulphur content in the fuel also leads to corrosion and wear of the automobile engine. BS VI norms also seek to reduce the level of certain harmful hydrocarbons in the emissions that are produced due to incomplete combustion of fuel.
■ The E-way Bill System has been implemented from today across the country, under the goods and services tax (GST) regime. As per the decision of the GST Council, e-Way Bill system became mandatory for all inter-State movement of goods from April 1.
Karnataka will be an exception having notified the e-way bill for both inter-state as well as intra-state movement of goods. Karnataka was the first state to operationalise the e-way bill system in September 2017, using the existing information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure available with the state.
About e-way bill:
E-way bill is an electronic way bill for movement of goods which can be generated on the GSTN (common portal) – ewaybillgst.gov.in. An e-way bill is required for movement of goods worth more than Rs 50,000. When goods are transported for less than 10 km within a state, the supplier or the transporter need not furnish details on the GST portal.
The e-way bill mechanism has been introduced in the GST regime to plug tax evasion loopholes. The e-way bill system will enable faster movement of goods through a seamless portal-driven payment system.
■ India has become the second-largest mobile phone producer in the world after China.With this rise in mobile phone production, imports of the devices in the country also reduced to less than half in 2017-18.
According to the data shared by Indian Cellular Association with the government, the annual production of mobile phones in India increased from 3 million units in 2014 to 11 million units in 2017. With this, India has replaced Vietnam to become the second largest producer of mobile phones in 2017.
Sports Current Affairs – 2 April 2018
■ Kerala have lifted their sixth Santosh Trophy Football title in a thrilling final held at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata, beating the defending champions and 32-time winners Bengal via penalty shootout.
■ Indian women’s cricket team captain Mithali Raj has been adjudged ‘Sportsperson of the Year’ while ace shuttlers Kidambi Srikanth and P V Sindhu bagged the best senior male and female athletes at the Telangana Sports Journalists Association annual awards for 2017 in Hyderabad.
■ Former Guatemala dictator Rios Montt, who was accused of genocide, has passed away. Efrain Rios Montt, a former military dictator who ruled Guatemala between 1982 and 1983 and is accused of being responsible for the murders of 1,771 indigenous Ixil-Maya people during his short reign, which came at the height of a brutal 36-year civil war. According to the UN, some 200,000 people died or were made to disappear during the Guatemala’s long, brutal civil war, which ended only in 1996.
“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims – 2 April 2018 “
Q1. Who has been elected as the new President of Egypt?
A) Moussa Mostafa Moussa
B) El-Sayyid el-Badawi
C) Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
D) Ahmed Shafik Sisi
Q2. The Union Cabinet has approved formulation of a new Integrated Scheme for School Education by subsuming which of the following schemes?
A) Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan
B) Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan
C) Teacher Education
D) All of the above
Q3. Who has been appointed as the new Deputy Election Commissioner of India?
A) Anurag Agarwal
B) Mukul Ratra
C) Girish C Hosur
D) Chandra Bhushan Kumar
Q4. Which union ministry has recently joined hands with Ministry of Power to support household electrification scheme ‘Saubhagya’?
A) Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship
B) Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
C) Ministry of Rural Development
D) Ministry of Women and Child Development
Q5. The Union Cabinet has approved MoU between India and SACEP for cooperation on oil and chemical pollution in the South Asian Seas Region. What does ‘SACEP’ stands for?
A) South Asian Compatibility Environment Programme
B) South Asian Cooperative Environment Programme
C) South Asian Connectivity Environment Programme
D) South Asian Coercive Environment Programme
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!