22 August 2017 Current Affairs : Presidential colours for Ladakh Scouts, Digital Policing Portal, Trump’s South Asia policy

///22 August 2017 Current Affairs : Presidential colours for Ladakh Scouts, Digital Policing Portal, Trump’s South Asia policy

This Daily Current Affair Capsule covering a brief collection of important news from national dailies like The Hindu, Indian Express and government releases on PIB useful for UPSC IAS, CDS, SSC CGL, NDA, etc.) It covers national, international, economic, sports news.


National Important Current Affairs – 22 August 2017

■ President Ram Nath Kovind has awarded the Presidential Colours to Ladakh Scouts, on his Leh visit — his first official trip outside Delhi. The Ladakh Scouts, or “Snow Warriors” as they are called, is a regiment of the Army stationed in Ladakh and serving as the first line of border defence. Presidential Colours is one of the greatest honours conferred upon a unit for their extraordinary service.

Mr. Kovind’s visit comes just a week after Indian and Chinese troops got into a scuffle following an attempt by the Chinese soldiers to cross the Line of Actual Control near the Pangong Lake.


O Panneerselvam took oath as the Deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, hours after merger of the two rival AIADMK factions was announced.  Panneerselvam was also allotted the Finance Ministry, the portfolio which was earlier held by D Jeyakumar. While his close aide K Pandiarajan was sworn-in as Minister for Tamil Official Language and Tamil Culture.


‘Swasth Bachche, Swasth Bharat’ Programme, an initiative of Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan to prepare a physical Health and Fitness Profile Card for more than 12 lakhs of Kendriya Vidyalaya students has been launched in Kochi by Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Prakash Javadekar.

Swasth Bachche, Swasth Bharat programme will provide a comprehensive and inclusive report card for children covering all age groups and children of different abilities. The objective of this program is to encourage 60 minutes of play each day and  to make students, teachers and parents aware about the importance of good health and fitness.


■ The Defence Ministry has granted additional administrative and financial powers to the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) to speed-up the construction of roads along the Indo-China border. The BRO DG’s financial powers have been enhanced from earlier Rs 10.5 crore to Rs 100 crore.


India’s exclusive rights to explore Polymetallic nodules from seabed in Central Indian Ocean Basin (CIOB) have been extended by five years. These rights cover 75000 sq. km of area in international waters allocated by International Seabed Authority for developmental activities for polymetallic nodules.  This has been approved unanimously in the 23rd session of International Seabed Authority (ISA) which concluded on August 18, 2017 at Kingston, Jamaica.

India implements a long–term programme on exploration and utilization of Polymetallic Nodules through Ministry of Earth Sciences. This includes survey and exploration, environmental studies, technology development in mining and extractive metallurgy, in which significant contributions have been made.

India is the first country to have received the status of a pioneer investor in 1987 and was allocated an exclusive area in Central Indian Ocean Basin by United Nations (UN) for exploration and utilization of nodules.

What are Poly Metallic Nodules?

Polymetallic nodules (also known as manganese nodules) are porous nodules found in abundance carpeting the sea floor of world oceans in deep sea. Besides manganese and iron, they contain nickel, copper, cobalt, lead, molybdenum, cadmium, vanadium, titanium, of which nickel, cobalt and copper are considered to be of economic and strategic importance.

About International Seabed Authority (ISA): 

International Seabed Authority (ISA) is a UN body set up to regulate the exploration and exploitation of marine non-living resources of oceans in international waters. India was last year, re-elected as a Council member of ISA.


■ The Union home minister Rajnath Singh has launched a Digital policing portal, which will make it possible to electronically apply and seek verifications for tenants, domestic helps and even passports. Digital Police portal that integrates the country’s 15,398 police stations online and allows citizens to report crime and request antecedents verification online.
The initiative is a follow up of Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems Project (CCTNS) or the crime and criminal tracking network system. CCTNS portal will provide investigator the complete record history of any criminal from anywhere across the country. This software offers Google-type Advance Search engine and analytical reports.


■  Physical police verification for passport will not be needed from next year as the Centre is planning to connect the procedure with the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems, CCTNS. The CCTNS is expected to be linked with the passport service of the External Affairs Ministry allowing online police verification for passports within a year.


International Current Affairs Capsule – 22 August 2017

■ Unveiling a new strategy for South Asia that has many elements of continuity from the past, President Donald Trump has said the US troops would stay in Afghanistan for an open-ended period of time and America would no longer tolerate Pakistan’s policy of harbouring terrorists.

Trump has sought to differentiate his Afghanistan policy from those of his predecessors – he is the third U.S President to oversee the country’s longest war which has entered its 16th year – by saying American involvement in Afghanistan is not for nation building but is limited to “killing terrorists.” He called this policy “Principled Realism.”

US President Donald Trump, in a prime-time televised address to the nation, laid out his South Asia policy saying a “critical part” of it was to further develop US’ strategic partnership with India. India, the world’s largest democracy, is a key security and economic partner of the United States, he said. “We appreciate India’s important contributions to stability in Afghanistan.

Trump has slammed Pakistan for its continued support to terrorist groups and warned Islamabad of consequences if it continues to do so, saying USA can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organisations, the Taliban, and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond.


Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 22 August 2017

■ Foreign direct investment (FDI), into the country grew by 37 per cent to 10.4 billion US Dollar during the first quarter of the current fiscal, according to the figures of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, DIPP. 

India had received around 8 billion FDI US Dollar during the same period last year. The main sectors which attracted the highest foreign inflows include services, telecom, trading, computer hardware and software and automobile. Bulk of the FDI came in from Singapore, Mauritius, the Netherlands and Japan.

A strong inflow of foreign investments helps improve the country’s balance of payments situation and strengthen the rupee value against other global currencies, especially the US dollar.


■ The State Bank of India (SBI) accounts for over 27% of the total amount owed to public sector banks by wilful defaulters, with 1,762 such defaulters owing as much as Rs 25,104 crore to it as on March 31. Punjab National Bank (PNB) was next on the list with 1,120 wilful defaulters owing Rs 12,278 crore.


■ The board of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp, ONGC, has given ‘in-principle’ approval to acquire government’s 51.11% stake in Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd. The government has last month had approved sale of its 51.11 per cent stake in oil refiner HPCL to India’s largest oil producer ONGC.

Note that: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had in his Budget for 2017-18 talked about creating an integrated oil behemoth.


■ The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has put imports of Urad and Moong dal under the restricted category from earlier free category, and fixed an annual cap of 3 lakh tonnes for their import. This move will help stabilise domestic prices which have fallen below the minimum support level and are hurting farmers.

However, this restriction will not apply to the government’s import commitments under any bilateral and regional agreement. Earlier this month, the government had also put imports of pigeon peas and toor dal under the restricted category.


■ India has imposed anti-dumping duty on Chinese tempered glass, used for protecting mobile phone screens, aimed at protecting the domestic industry from cheaper imports.


Sports Current Affairs – 22 August 2017

Qatar will build a stadium shaped like an Arabian skull cap for the 2022 Football World Cup, organisers said on Sunday, as the Gulf state moves ahead with preparations for the tournament despite a diplomatic rift with its neighbours. Doha’s Al Thumama stadium, designed by a Qatari architect in the shape of a traditional knitted “gahfiya” Arabian cap, will host 40,000 fans at a World Cup quarter final match.


“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims”

Q1. Which state chief minister has been chosen for the National Agriculture Leadership Award-2017?

  • A) Shivraj Singh
  • B) K Chandrashekhar Rao
  • C) Devendra Fadnavis
  • D) Mamta Baneerjee


Q2. Which state government will launch a new scheme for Compassionate Family Pension (CFP) in lieu of compassionate appointment?

  • A) Assam
  • B) Manipur
  • C) Rajasthan
  • D) Jharkhand


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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