“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realise how close they were to success when they gave up. ”
― Thomas Edison.
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 – 29 April 2019
- A deep depression over southeast Bay of Bengal has developed into cyclonic storm ‘Fani’, and is expected to further intensify into a “severe cyclonic storm”. The storm has been named ‘Fani,’ as suggested by Bangladesh. India Meteorological Department has advised fishermen along the coasts of Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry not to venture into the seas.
- The United States has again placed India on its Priority Watch List. India has been on the priority watch list reportedly for over 25 years, for lack of sufficient measurable improvements to its IP framework which have negatively affected US right holders. This list topped by China includes Indonesia, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.
Note that: Priority Watch List and Watch List countries are identified by the annual Special 301 Report. Priority Watchlist countries are judged by the USTR as having serious intellectual property rights deficiencies that require increased USTR attention.
- India and China came to a proposed arrangement to form a buyer’s bloc to bargain collectively for oil supplies, which acquired an institutional character with the two strategic rivals moving ahead to set up a Joint Working Group on energy. As part of the emerging playbook that will have a major bearing on the global energy architecture, the scope of the first such group on energy between the Asian rivals will not only be limited to crude oil but will also extend to Liquefied Natural Gas.
Note that: India and China wield enormous buying power on the global energy stage, being the world’s second and fourth largest importers of LNG. China and India are the world’s second and third largest oil importers as well, respectively.
- India has been ranked 80th on Global Talent Competitive Index 2019. Switzerland maintains its top position followed by Singapore and the United States. The theme of this year was Entrepreneurial Talent and Global Competitiveness. It attempts to identify the ways in which companies, countries, and cities can foster entrepreneurial talent which makes up a critical component of competitiveness and innovation.
Note that: Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) is based on the research conducted by INSEAD. It is an annual benchmarking report that measures the ability of countries to compete for talent.
- United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) India and NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission has signed a Letter of Intent to provide an open platform to promote participation, skilling and empowerment among young children across different communities. The plan will be implemented through Atal Tinkering Lab which established under Atal Innovation Mission.
- Investor Education and Protection Fund Authority claims that Crypto currency is a ponzi scheme and should be banned in India to protect the interests of investors. According to IEPF, crypto currencies are based on blockchain technology and there are concerns about its viability in the long-term due to risk to investors, especially considering the huge variations in the prices.
Note that: Crypto currency is a digital currency. It allows transacting parties to remain anonymous while confirming that the transaction is valid one and is not owned by any government institutions or private institutions.
International Current Affairs Capsule – 29 April 2019
- The United States has imposed sanctions on Pakistan after Islamabad refused to take back its citizen deportees and visa over-stayers from America. It warned that it may withhold visas of Pakistanis beginning from its senior officials.
Note that: Sanctions have been imposed under a US law according to which countries refusing to take back deportees and visa over-stayers will be denied American visas.
- According to the UN’s International Labour Organization, Qatar is going to abolish its controversial exit visa system for all foreign workers by the end of 2019. Qatar has introduced a series of labor reforms since its selection to host the 2022 football World Cup. In September 2018, Qatar had approved legislation to scrap the kafala or sponsorship system.
Note that: Kafala system is a system which is used to monitor migrant laborers working primarily in the construction and domestic sectors in countries such as Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
- US President Donald Trump has rejected the United Nations’ 2013 Arms Trade Treaty aimed at regulating the global arms trade. According to Trump, the UN arms trade treaty as misguided and an intrusion on US sovereignty. By pulling out of the ATT, United States joins India which has not signed the treaty.
Note that: India is against the treaty because, one of the arguments made by India in 2013 against the treaty was that New Delhi had strong and effective national export controls on military hardware to ensure they do not fall in the wrong hands.
- The 2nd edition of Belt and Road Forum was held in Beijing, China from April 25th to April 27th, 2019 in which 37 heads of state and 159 countries had participated along with United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres and International Monetary Chief Christine Lagarde. The theme of this event was Belt and Road Cooperation: Shaping a Brighter Shared Future.
Note that: The Belt and Road Forum is a part of the Belt and Road Initiative. The idea of Belt and Road Initiative was first proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013.
Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 29 April 2019
- The Reserve Bank of India has extended the coverage of Ombudsman Scheme for Non-Banking Financial Companies, 2018 to eligible Non Deposit Taking Non Banking Financial Companies. The coverage will be extended to Non Deposit Taking Non Banking Financial Companies having asset size of Rs 100 crore or above with customer interface.
Note that: An officer at the RBI not below the rank of general manager will be appointed by the regulator as the ombudsman with territorial jurisdiction being specified by the central bank.
- The Reserve Bank of India will issue new Rs 20 denomination banknotes having a base color of greenish-yellow with size of 63×129 mm. The first Rs 20 notes were issued in the Mahatma Gandhi Series in August 2001.
Note that: The new note will have a motif of Ellora caves on the dorsal side. The notes will have a geometric pattern in the front and back side, matching with the overall color scheme.
- Supreme Court bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao has directed the Reserve Bank of India to disclose information related to its annual inspection report of banks under the Right to Information (RTI) Act until and unless they are exempted under law. The bench has also directed the RBI to review its policy to disclose information relating to banks under RTI. According to the petitioners, they had asked copies of RBI’s inspection reports of ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank and State Bank of India between April 2011 and December 2015.
Note that: Right to Information (RTI) act is an act of the Parliament of India to provide for setting out the practical regime of the right to information for citizens.
- Financial Software Services has launched FSS Voice Commerce which is a real-time voice banking platform to provide customers with personalized banking interactions. It uses machine-learning language processing techniques for analysis and synthesis of language and speech to deliver the service.
Note that: This platform interfaces with any retail banking system to provide real-time information of accounts and balances.
Sports Current Affairs – 29 April 2019
- India’s Abhishek Verma clinched a Gold medal in the 10-metre Air Pistol event at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup at Beijing in China. With the Gold, Abhishek has secured India’s fifth 2020 Tokyo Olympic quota.
- The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has recommended cricketers Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja and Poonam Yadav for the Arjuna award.
Note that: Arjuna Award is given by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India to recognize outstanding achievement in sports.
- Papua New Guinea, a south-western pacific country got their One Day International (ODI) status and a place in International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket World Cup League 2 after beating Oman by 145-run.
Note that: Papua New Guinea is going to join Namibia, Oman, Scotland, the US, Nepal and UAE in the ICC Cricket World Cup League 2.
- The 31 year old, Australia’s Claire Polosak became the first woman umpire to stand in a men’s ODI in the final match of ICC World Cricket League 2 on April 27. Earlier, she stood in 15 women’s ODIs matches.
Note that: She was also the first woman to stand ever in a men’s domestic fixture in Australia in her first List A match in Australia in 2017.
- India ranked first in the standings at the International Shooting Sport Federation, ISSF World Cup on the final day in Beijing, bagging four medals comprising 3 Gold and 1 Silver.
- Former South African cricketer, Jacques Kallis has been honoured with the Order of Ikhamanga in the Silver Division for his contribution to cricket and for putting South Africa on the global sporting map by Cyril Ramaphosa,
Note that: Order of Ikhamanga is given to honor citizens who have made significant contributions to arts, literature, music, journalism, culture and sports.
“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims – 29 April 2019 “
Q1. United States recently placed India on its ____________ for alleged violations of intellectual property rights.
• A) Priority Watch List
• B) Prioritised Watch List
• C) Green Watch List
• D) Red Watch List
Q2. World Intellectual Property Day is observed annually on _________.
• A) 25 April
• B) 26 April
• C) 27 April
• D) 28 April
Q3. _________ is the first central bank in the Asia-Pacific region to begin an explicit interest rate easing cycle.
• A) RBI
• B) Bank of Japan
• C) Bank Indonesia
• D) People’s Bank of China
Q4. Recently, a tele-presence facility in _________ has been inaugurated, making it the first High Court in the country to have high-tech video teleconferencing tools for conducting judicial proceedings?
• A) Punjab & Haryana HC
• B) Allahabad HC
• C) Madras HC
• D) Delhi HC
Q5. Former army chief Dalbir Singh Suhag has been appointed as India’s next high commissioner to ________.
• A) Mauritius
• B) Seychelles
• C) Zimbabwe
• D) Ukraine
Q6. Which of the following central banks is the first Asia-Pacific (APAC) central bank to begin interest rate easing cycle?
• A) Central Bank of Sri Lanka
• B) Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan
• C) Reserve Bank of India
• D) People’s Bank of China
Q7. Which of the following banks has become the first Destination Bank to launch debit card-based e-mandate on NPCI’s API platform?
• A) ICICI Bank
• B) Kotak Mahindra Bank
• C) HDFC Bank
• D) Axis Bank
Q8. Which country has successfully tested the world’s first Floating Nuclear Power Plant (FNPP)?
• A) United States
• B) China
• C) Japan
• D) Russia
Q9. Who is the newly appointed Controller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA)?
• A) Tajinder Pal Singh
• B) Nirmal Jain
• C) Rajendra Kumar Nayak
• D) Vineet Sharma
Q10. Cyril Almeida, who won the 2019 IPI World Press Freedom Hero award, is from which country?
• A) Pakistan
• B) Iran
• C) Myanmar
• D) Bangladesh
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!