This Daily Current Affair Capsule aims to be a comprehensive and time-saving tool for going through relevant news from national dailies and government releases on PIB for aspirants for UPSC IAS, CDS, SSC CGL, NDA, etc. Tell us if you find it useful to cover news for revision and awareness purposes.
National Important Current Affairs – 23 February 2018
■ The Kerala government has recently made vaccination compulsory for school admissions to Class 1 from the 2018-’19 academic year. Parents will have to show details of immunization shots given to children during enrolment in school.
The new health policy draft, comes in the wake of stiff opposition from certain communities against the vaccination drive. The purpose of the new health draft policy is to reduce the maternal mortality rate from 66 per lakh to 30 per lakh in the short term, and infant mortality from 12 per lakh to eight. It aims to reduce neonatal mortality from seven per lakh to five. The draft envisages a new Kerala Public Health Act to cover all issues in the health sector.Other provisions of the new policy include a standard treatment guideline for all hospitals, including private institutions, and transgender clinics at all district hospitals.
An antibiotic guidelines committee will also be formed to prepare a policy for antibiotics.
■ The Union Government will set up the ‘NITI Forum for North-East’ to identify various constraints on the way of accelerated, inclusive and sustainable economic growth in the North East Region of the country and to recommend suitable interventions for addressing identified constraints.
- It will also review the development status in the NER. The forum will be co-chaired by the Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog and Minister of State (I/C), Ministry of Development of Northeastern Region (DoNER).
- The forum will have its Secretariat in the Ministry of DoNER.
■ The Haryana government has officially launched the Parivartan scheme, which is designed to address 10 issues including cleanliness and pollution, in 46 developmental blocks of the state.
These 10 issues include facilitation of financing, making agriculture profitable and sustainable, improving health services, implementing Swachh Bharat, decongesting market areas, engaging the youth, checking air pollution, ensuring availability of identity-related services, effective policing, and ensuring road order and conduct.
Under the Parivartan scheme, the state government will provide training (practical) to the employees to create strong training workforce in the state. This is a unique scheme in order to ensure that the benefit of all government scheme must reach the people.
■ More than 3,100 female olive ridley turtles have come out of the sea to the sandy beach of the Rushikulya rookery coast in Ganjam district of Odisha, to start the mass nesting this year. The Rushikulya coast is considered to be a major nesting site in the world and lakhs of olive ridleys come here every year to lay eggs. In 2017, over 3,85,000 turtles had reached the Rushikulya rookery coast to lay eggs.
About Olive Ridley turtles:
Olive turtles are a medium-sized species of sea turtle found in warm and tropical waters, primarily in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, also known as the Pacific ridley sea turtle.
They are known for their behavior of synchronized nesting in mass numbers.
- The olive ridley is classified as Vulnerable according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), and is listed in Appendix I of CITES.
- The Convention on Migratory Species and the Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles have also provided olive ridleys with protection.
International Current Affairs Capsule – 23 February 2018
■ The 6th edition of annual joint military exercise ‘Garuda Shakti-2018’ has started between Indian and Indonesian Army in Bandung, Indonesia. This joint exercise between Indian and Indonesian Special Forces highlights the increasing trust and cooperation between the two armies.
The aim of the exercise is to build experience sharing in counter-terrorism operations, close quarter combat and other areas of special operations. It is a two-week long joint Military drill.
■ India has contributed USD one million for the rehabilitation efforts in the Pacific island nation, Tonga after the Tropical Cyclone Gita caused massive destruction. USD 500,000 has been allocated in the India-UN Development Partnership Fund for the rehabilitation efforts while USD 500,000 will be provided for immediate relief assistance.
About the India-UN Development Partnership Fund:
The India-UN Development Partnership Fund was set up as a partnership between India and the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC). It is managed by UNOSSC, the fund will support Southern-owned and led, demand-driven, and transformational sustainable development projects across the developing world. Focusing on Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States, United Nations agencies will implement the Fund’s projects in close collaboration with partnering governments.
■ India has been ranked 81st out of 180 countries in the global Corruption Perception Index (CPI) for 2017, released by Transparency International (TI). In 2016 India was in the 79th place among 176 countries. The report has named India among the “worst offenders” in terms of graft and press freedom in the Asia Pacific region. This year, New Zealand and Denmark scored the highest scores with 89 and 88 out of 100, respectively. Somalia was found to be the most corrupt country in the world.
The Corruption Perception Index (CPI) measures perception of corruption in the public sector, uses a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean. India’s score remained intact at 40 points in both 2016 and 2017.
Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 23 February 2018
■ The Ministry of Finance, has announced that first sale of Electoral Bonds will commence from the 1st of March for a period of 10 days. State Bank of India has been authorized to issue and encash Electoral Bonds initially at its four authorised branches. The Centre had notified the Electoral Bond Scheme 2018 through a Gazette Notification on the 2nd January. As per provisions, Electoral Bonds may be purchased by a person, who is a citizen of India or incorporated or established in India.
- Electoral Bond will be valid for 15 days from the date of issue and no payment shall be made to any payee Political Party if the Bond is deposited after the expiry of the validity period. The Bond deposited by any eligible political party to its account shall be credited on the same day.
- Only Political Parties registered under Representation of People Act, which secured not less than one percent of the votes polled in the last General Election to the House of People or Legislative Assembly of the State shall be eligible to receive Electoral Bonds.
■ According to the latest data released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the currency in circulation in India stood at Rs17.78 trillion in February, reaching 98.94% of the pre demonetisation level. According to central bank’s annual report, 98.96% of notes (by value) that were invalidated had returned to the RBI by the end of June 2017.
Note that: The demonetisation, aimed at countering tax dodgers and counterfeiters, took out 86% of the currency in circulation. The government has then also pointed out to relatively lower levels of currency with the public as a success.
“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims – 23 February 2018 “
Q1. Which committee has been constituted by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to look into bank frauds?
- A) Y H Malegam committee
- B) A.K. Misra committee
- C) Nandkumar Saravade committee
- D) S Raman committee
Q2. Avani Chaturvedi has become the first Indian woman to fly fighter aircraft solo. She comes from which state?
- A) Gujarat
- B) Himachal Pradesh
- C) Madhya Pradesh
- D) Rajasthan
Q3. Which country has recently declared to impose a ‘carbon tax’ from 2019 to cut its greenhouse gas emissions?
- A) India
- B) Singapore
- C) Malaysia
- D) Japan
Q4. The Uttar Pradesh government has signed a pact with which online company for khadi products sale?
- A) Flipkart
- B) Paytm
- C) Amazon India
- D) PhonePe
Q5. Which union minister has launched New Swajal Project in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand?
- A) Narendra Modi
- B) Maneka Gandhi
- C) Uma Bharati
- D) Arun Jaitely
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!