This Daily Current Affair Capsule is quite 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 – 29 March 2018

■ The nation is celebrating Mahavir Jayanti today, marking the birth anniversary of Lord Mahavir. Mahavir Jayanti is a significant day for the Jain community across the world. Lord Mahavir was the 24th and last Tirthankara, or saviour and spiritual teacher to the righteous path. Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated on the 13th day of the month Chaitra.

Lord Mahavir was believed to be a proponent of non-violence, and preached love and respect of all kinds of living beings, from the tiniest micro-organisms to the largest multi-celled creatures.


Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship has partnered with the Ministry of Power to ensure access to electricity for every household in the country through an ambitious scheme, Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojna (SAUBHAGYA). It is meant to empower and uplift the rural youth and development.

About SAUBHAGYA Scheme:

The Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana – ‘Saubhagya’ was launched in September, 2017, to provide  free electricity connections to all households (both APL and poor families) in rural areas and poor families in urban areas. The prospective beneficiary households for free electricity connections under the scheme would be identified using SECC 2011 data.

The nodal agency for SAUBHAGYA Scheme is Rural Electrification Corporation (REC). The scheme aims to achieve universal household electrification in all parts of the country at a cost of Rs 16,320 crore. All DISCOMs including Private Sector DISCOMs, State Power Departments and RE Cooperative Societies shall be eligible for financial assistance under the scheme in line with DDUGJY.


■ The government has extended the deadline for linking Aadhaar with Permanent Account Number (PAN) to June 30 for the 4th time.

Note that: Recently, the Supreme Court had indefinitely extended the March 31 deadline for linking Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile numbers.


■ The Department of Posts under Ministry of Communications has launched Cool EMS Service between India and Japan. It is one-way service from Japan to India which allows customers in India to import Japanese food items for personal use which is allowed under Indian regulations. Food items will be carried by Japan Post in special cool boxes containing refrigerant to preserve the quality of the food items.

Initially, Cool EMS Service will be available in Delhi only. Features like track and trace, etc of Express Mail Service (EMS) will be available for Cool EMS service as well.


■ The famous Madhavpur Ghed Mela has concluded in Porbandar district of Gujarat with a grand wedding procession of Lord Krishna and Rukmini. This fair was jointly organised by the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), Manav Sangrahalay of Ministry of Culture and States of Gujarat, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and others under Ek Bharat Shreshth Bharat programme.

About Madhavpur Ghed:

It is a small but culturally significant village, according to folklore, it is the place where, Lord Krishna married Rukmini, the daughter of King Bhishmaka. Madhavpur lies on the seashore, close to Porbandar. The Madhavpur Mela of Gujarat shares its connect to the Mishmi Tribe of Arunachal Pradesh. The Mishmi Tribe traces its ancestry to the legendary King Bhishmak and through him to his daughter Rukmini and Lord Krishna. This event is commemorated by a cultural fair held every year, commencing on Ram Navami. A 15th century Madhavrai temple is situated at Madhavpur Ghed.

For the first time ever, the festival will celebrate the immortal journey which Rukmini undertook from Arunachal Pradesh to Gujarat with Lord Krishna.


India’s first Insect Museum has been inaugurated at the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in Coimbatore in a 6,691 sqft area. The museum is fully dedicated to insects, with display insects preserved as specimens as well as live ones depicting their different developmental stages, images, videos and models of their unique behaviour, habits and habitats.


■ The first-ever National conclave on Psychological Trauma, Child Protection and Mental Illnesses was held in AIIMS, New Delhi, by the Ministry of Women & Child Development (WCD) in collaboration with the Dept. of Psychiatry of AIIMS. It’s objective is to provide a comprehensive synthesis of research, service provision, and clinical practice in addressing psychological trauma and subsequent mental illnesses in Indian children and adolescents.


■ India will host the 8th 3R Regional Forum in Asia and the Pacific in Indore, in April, 2018 with theme: “Achieving Clean Water, Clean Land and Clean Air through 3R and Resource Efficiency- A 21st Century Vision for Asia-Pacific Communities”. It is co-organised by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) Government of India, the Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan (MOEJ), and the United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD).

About the 3R Regional Forum:

The Regional 3R Forum in Asia and the Pacific was launched in 2009 in Tokyo, Japan by United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD) with the support of Government of Japan. It promotes the concept of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle in industry, service and agriculture sector. It provides a strategic platform for addressing the needs and priorities of 3Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle) in Asian countries and sharing best practices from the region, including emerging concerns in waste management.

The objective of 3R Forum is to establish sound material cycle society by adopting resource conservation techniques and technologies.

Participating Countries in 3R Regional Forum: Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Cook Islands, People’s Republic of China, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kiribati, Republic of Korea, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nauru, New Zealand, Nepal, Niue, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Viet Nam.

About UNCRD: The United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD) was established in 1971 based on the agreement between the United Nations (UN) and the Government of Japan to assist developing countries in their transition to sustainable development path in line with the new Development Agenda – Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. UNCRD’s interventions in developing countries are clustered under three main thematic interrelated and complementary areas of work – (a) Integrated Regional Development Planning; (b) Sustainable Urban Management; and (c) Knowledge Management.

The 3R Forum highlights the focus on scientific management of 100% municipal solid waste by Indian government through its ambitious Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban). Through this Forum, India aims to strengthen this focus through its ‘Mission Zero Waste’ approach thereby encouraging cities, industries and other diverse stakeholders to look at waste as a resource.


■ The Supreme Court has appointed Justice Jawad Rahim as the new acting chairperson of the National Green Tribunal (NGT). He will discharge his duties until a regular appointment is made and will also take part in selection process of other members of the NGT.


International Current Affairs Capsule – 29 March 2018

■ India and Pakistan are meeting for the Permanent Indus Commission to discuss various issues under the Indus Waters Treaty. This will be the 114th meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC), which is meant to meet at least once a year as per the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT). The meeting of the PIC is held alternately in India and Pakistan every year. It last met in March 2017 in Islamabad.

About Indus Water Treaty:

The Indus Waters Treaty is a water-distribution treaty between India and Pakistan, brokered by the World Bank. The treaty was signed in Karachi on September 19, 1960 by Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru and President of Pakistan Ayub Khan. According to this treaty, waters of the three western rivers (the Jhelum, the Chenab, and the Indus itself) were allocated to Pakistan, and those of the three eastern rivers (the Ravi, the Beas, and the Sutlej) were allocated to India. The Treaty also provides arbitration mechanism to solve disputes amicably. Though Indus originates from Tibet, China has been kept out of the Treaty.

About PIC:

The Permanent Indus Commission is a bilateral commission of officials from India-Pakistan, created to implement and manage goals of Indus Waters Treaty. Under the treaty, it is required that India and Pakistan meet every financial year. The Indus Commission is the first step for conflict resolution. If an agreement cannot be reached at the Commission level, the dispute is to be referred to the two governments. If the governments too fail to reach an agreement, the Treaty provides an arbitration mechanism. The last meeting of the commission was held in July 2016.


Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 29 March 2018

■ The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a stiff monetary penalty of Rs 58.9 crore on ICICI Bank for non-compliance with directions issued by the RBI on direct sale of securities from its HTM (held-to-maturity) portfolio and specified disclosure in this regard. According to the RBI, this penalty has been imposed in the exercise of powers vested in the RBI under the provisions of Section 47A(1)(c) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949. 

Note that: Many banks, which are reeling under huge bad loans, had suffered losses recently due to the sharp rise in yields on government securities in the last one year. In fact, banks have been selling securities from their portfolio and not buying new securities also.


■ The Government of India (GoI) has signed $80 million loan agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to help modernize technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions and improve the skills ecosystem in Himachal Pradesh.

It will fund short-term and long-term training programs in growth areas including automobiles, electronics, pharmaceutical, tourism and hospitality and banking and financial services and healthcare to help enhance the skills set of the youth and increase their employability. The Project will help in developing relevant and good quality TVET programs thereby improving employment prospects of nearly 65 thousand youths by 2022.

This Project involves establishing a polytechnic for women, six city Livelihood Centers, and seven Rural Livelihood Centers, and upgrade 11 employment exchanges into model career Centers.


Sports Current Affairs – 29 March 2018

■The 16-year-old Indian shooter Muskan has clinched the gold medal in women’s 25m pistol event at the ISSF Junior World Cup held in Sydney, Australia. Beside Muskan, Anish Bhanwala from India bagged the gold medal in the men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol event.


■ Steve Smith and David Warner have been slapped with a one-year international ban and also ousted from this year’s IPL, while Cameron Bancroft was suspended for nine months by Cricket Australia for their role in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa. The three players were also banned from Australia’s domestic cricket.  All three players will, however, be permitted to play club cricket to maintain links with the cricket community.

Smith was supposed to captain Rajasthan Royals and Warner was to lead Sunrisers Hyderabad.


“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims – 29 March 2018 “

Q1. Which state has the highest number of fully covered tribal habitations with the safe drinking water?
A) Madhya Pradesh
B) Odisha
C) Rajasthan
D) Jharkhand

Q2. Which district has become India’s first district to have 100% solar powered health centres?
A) Kolkata
B) Chennai
C) Bangaluru
D) Surat

Q3. Who has won the 2018 Formula One Australian Grand Prix tournament?
A) Kimi Raikkonen
B) Max Verstappen
C) Lewis Hamilton
D) Sebastian Vettel

Q4. Who has been appointed as the Principal Scientific Advisor (PSA) to Government of India (GoI), a post created by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in 1999, as the topmost advisor to the government on all matters related to science policy?
A) K Vijay Raghavan
B) Mukesh Maheshwari
C) Trilok Nath Das
D) R Chidambaram

Q5. Aleksandra Liashkova, who crowned the Miss Supermodel Worldwide 2018, belongs to which country?
A) Uzbekistan
B) Belarus
C) Russia
D) Thailand

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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