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 – 26 July 2018
■ The 19th anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas is being celebrated today. The day marks India’s victory over Pakistan in the 1999 Kargil War and remembers the supreme sacrifice of 500 war heroes who laid down their lives for the country and others who fought in the war.
- On 26th July 1999, India successfully took command of the high outposts which had been lost to Pakistani intruders. The war was fought for more than 60 days.
- The Kargil conflict is also referred to as Operation Vijay which was the name of the Indian operation to clear the Kargil sector.
■ The Supreme Court has reprimanded the central government over the delay in the appointment of Lokpal. The Court has also expressed dissatisfaction over the government’s stand on completing the appointment of the Lokpal.
What is the issue of Lokpal appointment? According to the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, a five-member panel to select the anti-corruption ombudsman, comprising the Prime Minister, the Lok Sabha Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition, the Chief Justice of India and an eminent jurist. But the post leader of the opposition is not recognised, as no party (other than ruling party) secured the 10% of total seats in Loksabha and it is the main reason behind the delay in the appointment.
The only reason for the delay in the appointment of the Lokpal is that a minor amendment to the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, to enable the leader of the largest party in the opposition in the Lok Sabha to join the five-member selection committee, is yet to be passed.
About Lokpal: Lokpal is the central governing body that has jurisdiction over all members of parliament and central government employees in case of corruption. Lokpal is an ombudsman to protect the common man from corruption in public service and power centres.
■ President Ram Nath Kovind has launched Chhattisgarh government’s Sanchar Kranti Yojna at Jagdalpur in the Naxal-affected Bastar region of the state. Under the scheme, 50 lakh smartphones will be distributed free of cost to the people. President is on a two-day visit to the Maoist affected Bastar and Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh. In Bastar, he interacted with farmers and members of self-help groups and observed the Integrated Agriculture model at the Organic Agriculture Field near Dantewada.
■ The Punjab State government has asked the Centre to grant it special category status under the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Swasthya Suraksha Mission. In fighting the menace of drugs, the Punjab government alleges that – it is a victim of proxy war waged by Pakistan.
If Punjab gets special category status, that would make it eligible for a higher grant from the Centre.
■ The Parliament has passed the Fugitive Economic offenders Bill, 2018 with the Rajya Sabha has approving the Bill that has already been passed by the Lok Sabha. The Government can now attach properties of fugitives who flee the country after committing tax and loan related offences. The Bill enables action against such offenders committing offences worth 100 crore rupees and above.
The bill was supported by the Congress, SP and Trinamool Congress, among other political parties but they also voiced some concerns.
- The bill will extend not only to loan defaulters and fraudsters but also to individuals who violate laws governing taxes, black money, benami properties and financial corruption.
- The confiscation of property will not be limited to those acquired through the proceeds or profits of the crime.
- Those classified as fugitives will also not be able to pursue civil cases in India unless they come back to India and face prosecution.
Who is a Fugitive Economic Offender: A Fugitive Economic Offender is a person against whom an arrest warrant has been issued in respect of a scheduled offence and who has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution, or being abroad, refuses to return to India to face criminal prosecution.
International Current Affairs Capsule – 26 July 2018
■ China has invited Bhutan to join the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), following the visit of China’s Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou to the country. This was the first high-level visit by a Chinese politician to Bhutan since the Doklam standoff between India and China last year. The Doklam region is of contention between both China and Bhutan.
■ The 10th BRICS summit has started in Johannesburg, South Africa and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is attending it after his visit to Rwanda and Uganda earlier.
- The theme of this year’s Summit is BRICS in Africa: Collaboration with Developing Countries for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the 4th Industrial Revolution“.
- The Prime minister will hold several bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summit.
Note that: BRICS is home to nearly 50% of the world’s population, while BRICS countries generated 22.53% of the world GDP in 2015 and have contributed more than 50% of world economic growth during the last 10 years.
■ According to a report led by Italian researchers in the US journal Science, a massive underground lake has been detected for the first time on Mars, thereby raising the possibility that more water – and maybe even life – exists there. The lake is about 20 kilometres wide, located under a layer of Martian ice. This is the largest body of liquid water ever found on the Red Planet.
It is believed that Mars was home to plenty of liquid water and lakes at least 3.6 billion years ago. Now, Mars is cold, barren and dry but used to be warm and wet.
Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 26 July 2018
■ The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has liberalised the definition of petroleum to bring more hydrocarbons such as coal bed methane and shale gas under its fold. It has amended the Petroleum and Natural Gas Rules 1959 to include shale in the definition of petroleum, a change that would allow private companies to explore and produce the resource in the blocks they already operate.
This would help in enhancing domestic exploration and production of hydrocarbons and increasing India’s energy security and reducing dependency on imports. It would open up exploration of all hydrocarbons in existing fields which is in line with the new Hydrocarbon Exploration Licensing Policy (HELP).
- Petroleum means naturally occurring hydrocarbons, whether in the form of natural gas or in a liquid, viscous or solid form, or a mixture thereof, but does not include coal, lignite, and helium occurring in association with petroleum or coal or shale.
- Shale: Shale is a fine-grained, clastic sedimentary rock composed of mud that is a mix of flakes of clay minerals and tiny fragments (silt-sized particles) of other minerals, especially quartz and calcite.
- Shale Gas: Shale gas is natural gas that is found trapped within shale formations. It is colourless, odourless gas, lighter than air. It is cheaper than natural gas, releases lesser carbon dioxide. It is an unconventional source of methane.
Sports Current Affairs – 26 July 2018
■ A total of 734 youngsters have been shortlisted for a scholarship under the Khelo India Talent Development Scheme. This scheme is a unique programme to nurture sporting talent. Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore said transformational changes have been introduced into Indian sports.
He pointed out that ‘Catch Them Young’ is no longer a slogan but visible in government’s action.
■ Pulitzer Prize-Winning food critic, Jonathan Gold, has passed away at 57 years. He became the first food critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in the year 2007.
“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims – 26 July 2018 “
Q1.Who has won the 2018 Formula 1 German Grand Prix tournament?
- A) Kimi Raikkonen
- B) Sebastian Vettel
- C) Valtteri Bottas
- D) Lewis Hamilton
Q2.Which city is hosting the men’s team event of the World Junior Squash Championships 2018?
- A) Chennai
- B) Kolkata
- C) Hyderabad
- D) Kochi
Q3.Which state government has recently decided to set up a separate directorate for the Divyangs?
- A) Kerala
- B) Punjab
- C) Haryana
- D) Assam
Q4.Which city to host the 3rd edition of Kabira festival 2018?
- A) New Delhi
- B) Mathura
- C) Varanasi
- D) Udaipur
Q5.Who has been declared as the best male athlete in the 15th National Youth Athletics Championships 2018?
- A) Jaydeep Rathod
- B) Navtejdeep Singh
- C) Dhanvir Singh
- D) V.A. Shashikanth
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!