This Daily Current Affair Capsule of 21st January aims to be a time-saving tool for going through relevant news from national dailies and government releases on PIB for the aspirants of UPSC IAS, CDS, SSC CGL, NDA, etc.


National Important Current Affairs – 21 January 2018

■ The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has announced the Cyber Surakshit Bharat initiative in association with National e-Governance Division (NeGD) and industry partners. Cyber Surakshit Bharat is the first public-private partnership of its kind and will leverage the expertise of the IT industry in cybersecurity. Recognizing the need to strengthen the cybersecurity ecosystem in India, it is aimed to spread awareness about cybercrime and building capacity for safety measures among government officials.

Cyber Surakshit Bharat will be operated on three principles of Awareness, Education and Enablement. It will include an awareness program on the importance of cybersecurity; a series of workshops on best practices and enablement of the officials with cybersecurity health tool kits to manage and mitigate cyber threats.


■ The Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) to be employed during the bypolls in Rajasthan’s Ajmer, Alwar and Mandalgarh constituencies will carry photographs of candidates along with names of the candidates and the party symbol.


■ The President of India has appointed the former Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel as the Governor of Madhya Pradesh with effect from the date she assumes charge of her office. She will replace Gujarat Governor OP Kohli, who has been given the additional charge of the office of Madhya Pradesh Governor in 2016.


■ The Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri and Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar launched the Protocol for Star Rating of Garbage-free Cities in Panaji. The initiative under Swachh Bharat Mission – Urban, will rate Indian cities on a 7-star rating system based on multiple cleanliness indicators for solid waste management. The initiative was launched from Goa because the state has made impressive strides under the Swachh Bharat Mission. The new rating protocol provides a single metric to rate a city’s cleanliness rather than separately evaluating multiple factors that contribute to its overall cleanliness and garbage-free status.


■ Goa hosted the 3rd edition of Science Film Festival 2018, a film festival based on Sci-Fi genre. It was held from 16th January 2018 to 20th January.



International Current Affairs Capsule – 21 January 2018

■ The US government has officially shut down after the Senate failed to agree on a bill to fund the government until February 16, causing the fourth government shutdown in 25 years and the first time in five years. Despite last-minute bipartisan meetings, the bill to fund the government until 16 February did not receive the required 60 votes in the Senate. The shutdown means many government services will close down until a new budget is agreed.


However, essential services like national security, post, air traffic control, inpatient medical services, emergency outpatient medicine, disaster assistance, prisons, taxation and electricity production will continue to run.

Note that: The last US shutdown happened in 2013 over health care policy lasted for 16 days. President Donald Trump has blamed the Democrats for the shutdown which comes exactly a year after he was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.


■ Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lead the largest-ever Indian delegation to the 48th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland. The delegation will comprise of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu among others. PM Modi will deliver a keynote address on the opening day of the 48th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, being held under the theme “Creating a shared future in a Fractured World”. The meet aims to set an agenda to address political, economic and Social challenges of recent times.

About the WEF Davos Meet:

WEF is an international organization for public-private cooperation which brings together global leaders from different sectors including business, politics, academia and journalism to discuss the most pressing issues facing the world. It was formed in 1971, and is headquartered at Geneva in Switzerland. The annual meet of the World Economic Forum (WEF) takes place every year in January with an aim to improve the state of the world.

■ In a move aimed at promoting Indian traditions abroad, India will offer Yoga training sessions at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.


Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 21 January 2018

■ Finance Minister Arun Jaitley performed the traditional annual ‘Halwa’ ceremony to mark the commencement of the printing process for Budget 2018-19. The Halwa ceremony is conducted to maintain the secrecy of the budget preparation process. After the Halwa ceremony, officials of Finance Ministry will stay in Budget printing press until the Budget is presented in Parliament. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will present the Union Budget in Parliament on 1st February 2018.


■ In line with the Budget announcement, the government has entered into an agreement with Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) Limited for the strategic sale of its 51.11 percent equity share-holding in Hindustan Petroleum Corporation limited for 36,915 crore rupees. Through this acquisition, ONGC will become India’s first vertically integrated oil major company, having a presence across the entire value chain. The integrated entity will have the advantage of having enhanced capacity to bear higher risks, take higher investment decisions and neutralizing the impact of volatility of global crude oil prices.

Note that: The Union Cabinet had given its ‘in-principle’ approval to the said proposal and also decided to set up an Alternative mechanism under the Finance Minister to decide on the price, timing and the terms and conditions of the strategic sale. The Alternative mechanism has approved the price bid of ONGC and the terms and conditions of the sale.


■ Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended allowing mobile and Internet services for passengers during air travel in the country through both satellite and terrestrial network. TRAI said, for mobile services, there should be flexibility to IFC service providers in terms of use of technology and frequencies inside the aircraft cabin that should be consistent with international standards.

The authority also recommended that the operation of Mobile Communication on Aircraft services should be permitted with a minimum height restriction of three thousand metres in Indian airspace for its compatibility with terrestrial mobile networks. Internet services through Wi-Fi onboard should be made available when electronic devices are permitted to be used only in-flight or aeroplane mode.


■ The Principle Chief Commissioner of Income Tax of Delhi, S S Rathore has said that, failure to deposit the tax deducted by a company (TDS) will lead to criminal prosecution with imprisonment from three months to seven years. The department is very serious about timely depositing of the TDS deducted by the employers, because the TDS is government money which has to be deposited in treasury on timely basis. The Principal Chief Commissionerate, New Delhi has sanctioned the prosecution in approximately 240 cases of defaulters this year.


Sports Current Affairs – 21 January 2018

■ India beat Pakistan by two wickets in thrilling final to retain title of the 5th Blind Cricket World Cup 2018 tournament played at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in UAE. Team India achieved the victory target of 309 runs by losing 8 wickets with one over to spare. Sunil Ramesh scored a notable 93-run knock for India. This is India’s second consecutive title win in the Blind Cricket World Cup.


■ The International Olympic Committee has approved that North Korea will send 22 athletes to next month’s Winter Games in the South. It has also confirmed that the athletes from the North and South will march together under a Korean unification flag at the opening ceremony for the Games in Pyeongchang, which will begin on 9th of February. The IOC has also approved a plan for North and South to field a unified women’s hockey team.


“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims – 21 January 2018 “

Q1. Which of the following countries has recently joined the Australia Group export control regime?

  • A) South Africa
  • B) China
  • C) Russia
  • D) India

Q2. The Union Government will set up how much amount of Solar Development Fund (SDF) for financing solar projects?

  • A) $350 million
  • B) $450 million
  • C) $550 million
  • D) $650 million

Q3. What is India’s economic growth forecast for FY19, as per the latest report by India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra)?

  • A) 6.5%
  • B) 7.1%
  • C) 7.4%
  • D) 7.6%

Q4. Which union minister has recently launched 100 accessible websites for Divyangs?

  • A) Narendra Modi
  • B) Alphons Kannanthanam
  • C) Thaawarchand Gehlot
  • D) Narendra Singh Tomar

Q5. Who has led Indian delegation at the 2018 Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) military cooperation meeting?

  • A) Yogesh Kumar Shukla
  • B) Dinesh Kumar
  • C) Ajay Seth
  • D) Akansha Ranjan

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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