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 – 25 January 2018
■ The Election Commission of India is celebrating its the 8th National Voters’ Day across the country for enhanced participation of citizens in the electoral process. The Election Commission of India, which was founded on this day in 1950.
President Ram Nath Kovind will give away awards at the National level function in New Delhi for best electoral practices to District Collectors, Superintendents of Police and other functionaries involved in election management.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged all eligible voters, particularly youngsters, to register themselves and strengthen democracy with their participation.
■ Himachal Pradesh is celebrating its 48th Full Statehood day. It was on this day in 1971, Himachal Pradesh was declared as an 18th state of the Indian Union.
■ Maharashtra State government has announced a ban on the sale of tobacco at shops that sell FMCG items such as chocolates, chips and other edible items in the state. The move is aimed at ensuring youngsters do not get addicted to tobacco products, as children tend to get influenced a lot by the presence of tobacco and other items while they are out shopping for food items like chocolates and chips.
Note that: The Union government had directed state governments to enforce a ban on the sale of tobacco at outlets which also sell Fast Moving Consumer Goods (items of general public consumption).
■ A total eclipse of the moon, with a rare coincidence of a blue moon and a super full moon, will occur on January 31, 2018. This is the first eclipse of the year.
- A Blue Moon: The full moon on that day happens to be the second full moon of the calendar month of January, known as a blue moon.
- A Super Moon: The moon will be at perigee on January 30, as such the full moon will occur when the moon is near the closest to earth in its orbit. Hence, this full moon will be a little bigger and brighter than the regular full moon, popularly termed a super moon.
During totality, the moon will completely enter the earth’s umbral shadow and may look reddish. The reddish colour becomes more apparent because it scatters the least. When sunlight, comprising of seven colours, fall on the earth’s atmosphere, blue, violet and green portion of it are scattered most and are filtered out, while the red and orange portion of it are scattered less. The red part of this light gets bent by refraction in the earth’s atmosphere, fall on the moon’s surface during totality, thereby making it reddish in colour to look from the earth.
■ The Ministry of Science and Technology has announced four new schemes to promote young scientists and researchers in the country.
- The Teacher Associateship for Research Excellence (TARE) Scheme will connect the educators to leading public funded institutions like IIT, IISc or national institutions like CSIR to pursue research.
- The Overseas Visiting Doctoral Fellowship – which offers support to 100 PhD scholars for training in universities/laboratories abroad up to 12 months during their doctoral research.
- The Distinguished Investigator Award – offers a maximum of 100 fellowships to principal investigators of Science and Engineering Research Board and Department of Science and Technology projects.
- The ‘Augmenting Writing Skills for Articulating Research (AWSAR)’ aims to encourage science writing.
■ The Andhra Pradesh government has signed a sister-state agreement with the Canton of Zurich in order to strengthen the friendly ties and promote mutual understanding. Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu said, the purpose of the agreement is to achieve mutual prosperity and development, it will strengthen economic and scientific relations between the two governments in the areas such as information and communication technology, environmental technology, life sciences and urban and regional Development.
■ Civil Aviation Ministery has announced the names of 73 new airports and helipads to be set-up under the Regional Connectivity Scheme Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik-UDAN. The ambitious scheme seeks to boost regional air connectivity and provides various incentives to airlines. Out of 73, forty three will be constructed in the North-East and the hill states and will add 29 lakh seats annually.
Under the UDAN scheme the fare for a one hour journey of approximately 500 kilometre on a fixed wing aircraft or for a 30 minute journey on a helicopter will be capped at two thousand 500 rupees.
■ For the poor and disabled people, Manipur chief Minister N Biren Singh has launched a health assurance scheme titled Chief Minister-gi Hakshelgi Tengbang (CMHT). The CMHT will provide cashless treatment to the poor at government hospitals, health centres and other empanelled selected private hospitals.
The scheme has innovative features like – it will be a truly IT platform driven scheme and will also have convergence with Government of India programmes like PM’s Jana Aushadhi Programme and Free Diagnostic Programme.
The scheme will also provide cover up to Rs 2 lakh per eligible family identified from the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) in the treatment of seven critical identified critical ailments – cardiovascular diseases, kidney ailments, neurological conditions, liver ailments, cancer, neonatal diseases and burns per year.
International Current Affairs Capsule – 25 January 2018
■ Rachel Morrison, an American cinematographer, who has been nominated for the 90th Academy Awards 2018 for her work in the film ‘Mudbound’. She has become the first female cinematographer to receive an Oscar nomination in the 89-year-old history of the Awards.
Hollywood actress Meryl Streep has received her 21st Oscar nomination for the movie titled ‘The Post’. With this, she has broken her own record as the most nominated actress in Oscar history.
■ India has been ranked 177 among 180 countries in the recently released Global Environmental Performance Index 2018. The list was topped by Switzerland, followed by France, Denmark, Malta and Sweden.
■ The 5th edition of the Global Talent Competitiveness Index released by INSEAD in partnership with The Adecco Group and Tata communications has ranked India on 81st position, moving up from the 92nd position last year. Among the five BRICS countries, China is at 43rd, Russia 53rd, South Africa 63rd and Brazil 73rd. Switzerland has topped the list followed by Singapore and the US.
The Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) was launched for the first time in 2013. It is an annual benchmarking report that measures the ability of countries to compete for talent. The index measures how countries grow, attract and retain talent.
Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 25 January 2018
■ A report titled ‘Reward Work, Not Wealth’ has been released by the international rights group Oxfam, which reveals how the global economy enables the wealthy elite to accumulate vast wealth even as hundreds of millions of people struggle to survive on poverty pay.
- The report highlighted that the richest 1% in India cornered 73% of the wealth generated in the country last year. Their wealth increased by over Rs. 20.9 lakh crore during 2017, an amount equivalent to the total budget of the central government in 2017–18. Besides, 67 crore Indians comprising the population’s poorest half saw their wealth rise by just 1%. This showcases the mounting problem of rising income inequality in the country.
Globally, 82% of the wealth generated last year worldwide went to the 1%, while 3.7 billion people that account for the poorest half of population saw no increase in their wealth. The survey also showed that women workers suffer the most and nine out of 10 billionaires are men. In India, there are only four women billionaires and three of them inherited family wealth.
Sports Current Affairs – 25 January 2018
■ Lifter Rakhi Halder of Railways Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) has won a gold medal in the 63kg women’s category in the 33rd Women Senior National Weightlifting Championships, in Mangaluru, Karnataka, while she created a new national record in clean and jerk. She lifted 128kgs in the clean and jerk for a total of 230kgs to create a new national record, bettering Karnam Malleswari’s feat (127kg) created in Athens in 1999.
■ Hugh Masekela, the legendary jazz musician and anti-apartheid activist, has passed away at age of 78 years in Johannesburg, South Africa. He was also known for his jazz compositions and for writing well-known anti-apartheid songs such as “Soweto Blues” and “Bring Him Back Home”.
“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims – 25 January 2018 “
Q1. Which city is hosting the 2018 India-ASEAN Business & Investment Conference?
- A) Kochi
- B) Chandigarh
- C) New Delhi
- D) Lucknow
Q2. Which Bollywood personality has been honoured with the 24th Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum (WEF-2018) for championing children’s and women’s rights in India?
- A) Deepika Padukone
- B) Aamir Khan
- C) Shah Rukh Khan
- D) Priyanka Chopra
Q3. Which Union ministry has launched the ‘Protocol for Star Rating of Garbage-Free Cities’?
- A) Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
- B) Ministry of Corporate Affairs
- C) Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs
- D) Ministry of Law and Justice
Q4. The cultural extravaganza “2018 Bharat Parv” will organise from which Indian monument?
- A) India Gate
- B) Jantar Mantar
- C) Red Fort
- D) Gateway of India
Q5. What is the theme of the 48th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF-2018)?
- A) Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution
- B) Responsive and Responsible Leadership
- C) Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World
- D) Together create a United World
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!