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 – 22 and 23 October 2018
■ PM Narendra Modi celebrated to mark the 75th anniversary of Azad Hind government constituted by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. He hoisted the Tricolour at Red Fort and become only the second Prime Minister to do so apart from Independence Day. The Azad Hind Government was founded in Singapore on 21st October 1943. It was a part of political freedom movement originating in 1940s outside India with purpose of allying with Axis powers during Second World War (WWII) to free India from British Rule. It was inspired by ideas of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, who was leader of Azad Hind Government and also Head of State of this Government-in-exile. It was India’s first independent government established by Indian nationalists-in-exile during latter part of WWII in Singapore with monetary, military and political assistance from Imperial Japan.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a National award in the name of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose for police personnel who do “exemplary” work in rescue and relief operations during disasters. The award will be announced on January 23, on Bose’s birthday.
■ The Supreme court has refused the ban on firecrackers and has permitted the sale and manufacture of “green” crackers which have low emission across the country. The apex court has also fixed the 8 pm to 10 pm time period for bursting of firecrackers on Diwali as well as other festivals. The court has also restrained e-commerce websites like Flipkart and Amazon from selling firecrackers which are beyond the permissible limit. The apex court also directed that Firecrackers with only permissible decibel sound limits would be allowed to be sold in the market. The court also asked Centre to encourage community cracker bursting during Diwali and other festivals in Delhi-NCR.
These instructions from the Supreme Court came on a plea seeking a ban on manufacture and sale of firecrackers across the country to curb air pollution.
■ The Environment Ministry has launched Harit Diwali, Swasth Diwali campaign , wherein large number of school children will take pledge to minimize bursting of crackers on a pan-India level. The Ministry is encouraging all schools and colleges to be part of this campaign.
The Harit Diwali-Swasth Diwali campaign is now merged with “Green Good Deed” movement that has been initiated as a social mobilization for conservation and protection of environment.
■ Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated and dedicated to the nation a newly-refurbished National Police Memorial and a newly-built Police Museum in Delhi. A 30-foot-tall and 238-tonne heavy black granite sculpture honouring the slain troopers and a wall of valour bearing the names of over 34,800 martyred personnel were also unveiled during the event.
■ The 27th Fusion Energy Conference (FEC 2018) was held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.The six-day event was organised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and hosted by Department of Atomic Energy and Gandhinagar-based Institute of Plasma Research.
The FEC 2018 aims to provide a forum for the discussion of key physics and technology issues as well as innovative concepts of direct relevance to the use of nuclear fusion as a source of energy.
About IAEA: The International Atomic Energy Agency serves as an intergovernmental forum for scientific and technical cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear technology and nuclear power worldwide. It reports to both the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council. The IAEA has its headquarters in Vienna, Austria.
■ Ten year old Arshdeep Singh from Jalandhar has made the country proud by winning the 2018 Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year (Asia) Award (10 years and under age category) for his photograph ‘Pipe Owls’. The award ceremony was held at the Natural History Museum, London. The award winning photograph portrays two owlets closely sitting inside a pipe.
■ The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notices to the Punjab government and Chairman, Railway Board over mowing down of more than 60 people by a train in Amritsar on Dussehra. Taking a suo motu cognizance of media reports about the incident, the Commission has sought a detailed report in the matter, within four weeks.
- The NHRC has observed that to sit on the railway tracks cannot be called a sane act by people, yet at the same time, the negligence on the part of the district authorities is apparent behind this horrific incident. It was the responsibility of the state to provide proper safety and protection to the citizens.
■ Union Minister for Railways, Coal and Corporate Affairs Piyush Goyal has received the prestigious Carnot prize for his contribution towards sustainable energy solutions. The Carnot Prize is the Kleinman Center’s annual recognition of distinguished contributions to energy policy through scholarship or practice.
The award in the energy sector is named after French physicist Nicolas Sadi Carnot who recognised that the power of the steam engine would “produce a great revolution”in human development. The Carnot Prize is intended to honour those leading revolutions in energy policy to further progress and prosperity.
International Current Affairs Capsule – 22 and 23 October 2018
■ US President Donald Trump has announced that the USA is going to withdraw from the Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia. The treaty required elimination of short-range and intermediate-range nuclear and conventional missiles by both countries.
- Note that: The INF Treaty eliminated operational and non-operational medium range and shorter range, ground-launched missiles. The Soviet Union eliminated 1,846 missiles, and the United States, 846.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has expressed hope that the US and Russia will come to accords in settling recently emerged disputes on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
■ US-based writer Sujatha Gidla has won Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize 2018. She was honored with this award for her debut book “Ants Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India”.
About Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize: The Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize is funded by the Shakti Bhatt Foundation. It was set up in 2008 in memory of young writer and editor Shakti Bhatti. It honours first-time writers from Indian sub-continent for their outstanding work of fiction or non-fiction. It carries cash prize of Rs. 2 lakh.
■ The next edition of ‘Cope India’ Air exercise between India and USA will also include Japan. India and US have agreed to elevate their bilateral ‘Cope India’ Air Exercise to trilateral format by including Japan. The next edition of this exercise is scheduled to be held in December 2018.
■ Dutch photographer Marsel van Oosten has won the prestigious Wildlife Photographer Of The Year (WPY) 2018 for his stunning portrait of two endangered golden snub-nosed monkeys in China’s Qinling mountains.
- Note that: The WPY is one of the most prestigious and also the largest wildlife photography competition in the world. Started in 1964, the winning entries and runners-up are published in a book format each year since 1992.
The winning image that has been named as ‘Golden Couple’ showcases a beautiful golden fur-blue face male monkey rested briefly on a stone seat, joined by female baby monkey.
About the golden snub-nose monkeys: They are little known outside of their native range of China’s Qinling Mountains. These monkeys represent the poorly known primate diversity found in China, much of which is silently sliding toward extinction.
■ The 12th ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) and 5th ADMM-Plus were held at Singapore recently.
The ADMM and ADMM-Plus serves as key Ministerial-level platforms in regional security architecture for promoting strategic dialogue and practical cooperation between ASEAN and its partners.
- The conferences were attended by defence ministers from India, Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia and US. India was represented by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
■ China has officially opened the world’s longest sea-crossing bridge connecting Hong Kong to Macau and the mainland Chinese city of Zhuhai. The bridge spans 55 km including its access roads and has cost about $20bn. About 30km of its total length crosses the sea of the Pearl River delta.
■ The European and Japanese space agencies have launched a 7-year mission to Mercury titled BepiColombo.
The mission comprises two satellites launched together: the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) and Mio (Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter, MMO). European Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency have jointly named after Italian scientist Giuseppe “Bepi” Colombo. Scientists hope to build on the insights gained by NASA’s Messenger probe, which ended its mission in 2015 after a four-year orbit of Mercury.
Note that: The only other spacecraft to visit Mercury was NASA’s Mariner 10 that flew past the planet in the mid-1970s.
■ Anna Burns has won the 2018 Man Booker Prize for her work ‘Milkman’. She has also become the first Northern Irish writer and the first woman since 2013 to win Britain’s renowned Man Booker Prize.
- The novel chronicles the struggles of a middle sister in a family as she confronts rumour, social pressures and politics amid violent sectarian divisions in her community. The judges of the annual award praised Anna Burns’ work as utterly distinctive.
- Milkman is an exploration of Northern Ireland’s three decades of sectarian violence told through the voice of a young woman.
- Burns had previously authored two novels – ‘No Bones’ and ‘Little Constructions’.
Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 22 and 23 October 2018
■ The Ministry of Finance has imposed anti-dumping duties of up to $185.51 per tonne for 5 years on certain Chinese steel products. The duties have been imposed to guard domestic industry against cheap imports of straight length bars and rods of alloy steel.
Sports Current Affairs – 22 and 23 October 2018
■ Portuguese professional footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has became the first player to score 400 goals across the top-five European football leagues.
■ Asian Games and Commonwealth Gold medalist Bajrang Punia has settled for silver in the 65 kg category of the World Wrestling Championship after losing to Japanese Takuto Otoguro in the final held at Budapest. In the process, Otoguru became Japan’s youngest World Champion at the age of 19.
Note that: So far, Sushil Kumar is the only Indian to win a gold medal at the World Championships, when he grabbed the gold in 2010 in Moscow in the 66kg category.
“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims – 22 and 23 October 2018 “
Q1. Which country to host four nation summit on Syria crisis?
- A) Turkey
- B) Russia
- C) Israel
- D) Iran
Q2. The first-ever joint maritime exercise will be conducted between ASEAN and which country in the South China Sea?
- A) Brazil
- B) China
- C) Japan
- D) Russia
Q3. The scientists of which space agency have found superflares flares from the Young Red Dwarf Stars imperiling planets?
- A) ISRO
- B) JAXA
- C) NASA
- D) Roscosmos
Q4. Which Indian-American has been honoured with US Presidential award for Combating Human Trafficking?
- A) Minal Patel Davis
- B) Neil Jain
- C) Vivek R Sinha
- D) Jagdeep Rajput
Q5. Which of the following national parties will form new government in Bhutan after winning 30 seats in 47 member National Assembly?
- A) Druk Phuensum Tshogpa
- B) People’s Democratic Party
- C) Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party
- D) Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa
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!