This Daily Current Affair Capsule is a brief collection of important news from national dailies and government releases on PIB useful for UPSC IAS, CDS, SSC CGL, NDA, etc.) It covers national, international, economic, sports news.
National Important Current Affairs – 3 and 4 May 2017
■ The Indian Army has successfully test-fired an advanced version of the Brahmos land-attack cruise missile in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. This is a land-to-land configuration of the missile and was launched from a mobile autonomous launcher.
■ The first-ever induction training programme for the newly appointed General Duty Medical Officers (GDMOs) of the Central Health Service Cadre has been recently inaugurated. This foundation training programme is a nine week course especially designed for the new recruits to enable the medical officers to broaden their knowledge base, confidence level and experience in public health facilities.
- On an average, every year around 400 to 600 doctors are recruited through UPSC. Since, these doctors are not trained in management, supervision, leadership, communication, conduction of office procedures, etc., throughout the under-graduate and post-graduate education.
- The training module is designed to fill this gap so that they can look after the administration of the organization and implementation of various national health programmes for which they have very limited exposure.
- Note that: Central Health Service (CHS) Cadre is a cadre governed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
- CHS has four sub-cadres, namely, GDMOs, Teaching, Non-Teaching Specialists and Public Health, with a sanctioned strength of more than 4000 of which the GDMOs constitute the largest chunk, more than 2000.
■ The Bhitarkanika National Park authorities have imposed restrictions on entry of tourists into the park for three months in order to provide undisturbed environment for breeding by estuarine crocodiles. Note that: Bhitarkanika is one of the largest sanctuaries of crocodiles in the region with a strength of 1,671 reptiles.
■ Six tigers wil be relocated to Buxa Tiger Reserve (BTR) in north Bengal from neighbouring Assam as part of a plan for augmentation of tiger population in the reserve.
- Location: Northern boundary of Buxa Tiger Reserve runs along the international border with Bhutan.
- The Phipsu Wildlife Sanctuary of Bhutan is contiguous to the north of BTR.
- Manas National Park lies on east of BTR.
- The reserve serves as international corridor for Asian elephant migration between India and Bhutan.
- The Sinchula hill range lies all along the northern side of Buxa Tiger Reserve and the eastern boundary touches Assam.
- It is the eastern most extension of extreme bio-diverse North-East India and represents highly endemic Indo-Malayan region. The fragile “Terai Eco-System” constitutes a part of this reserve.
■ The “One IP- Two Dispensaries” scheme was launched by the government on the occasion of International Labour Day.
- Under this scheme, ESIC has given an option to an Insured Person (IP) to choose two dispensaries, one for self and another for family through an employer.
- Because of non-availability of option of second dispensary, the dependant members of family are often deprived of medical benefits.
- By introducing the concept of ‘One IP- Two Dispensaries’, IP as well as their family members will now be able to get treatment from either of the dispensaries and in case of emergency from any ESI Institution.
■ A team of scientists have found decadal variations in temperatures of North Indian Ocean waters.
- The North Indian Ocean consists of the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and part of the Indian Ocean up till the 5°S latitude.
- The study pointed out that from 1993 to 2003 — the first decade when satellites began consistently tracking the rise and fall of ocean heights and global temperatures soared — the North Indian Ocean (NIO) sea levels fell.
- After 2004, sea levels began an unprecedented, accelerated spike till 2014. This rise and fall occured was even when global temperatures steadily climbed and registered their largest two-decadal jump in more than a century.
- Scientists associated with the study said that such a “decadal swing” in the North Indian Ocean was unique and never observed in either the Pacific or Atlantic oceans.
- Scientists say wind flows, which welled warm water on the Indian Ocean surface, changed directions every decade and probably influenced sea level patterns.
- There’s speculation that in the coming decades — in spite of rapid, rising temperatures — will see a fall in sea levels.
Reasons for rise in sea level temperatures in NIO: Sea levels primarily rise due to water expanding from atmospheric heat and, more water being added from, for instance, melting ice sheets and glaciers. In this case, 70% of the NIO’s warming could be explained by expansion. Unlike the Pacific and Atlantic, the NIO is hemmed in all sides, except for an outlet on the southern side. This influenced the rate at which heat was absorbed and flushed out from within the system.
■ Supreme Court has allowed former union minister Salman Khurshid to assist it as an amicus curiae in hearing of pleas challenging constitutional validity of ‘triple talaq’, ‘nikah halala’ and polygamy among Muslims. A five-judge constitution bench will commence hearing from 11th of this month to decide a batch of petitions challenging ‘triple talaq’, ‘nikah halala’ and polygamy.
■ Sualgiri and Swalgiri communities of Odisha have been notified as Scheduled Castes after President Pranab Mukherjee gave his assent to the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Act, 2017.
■ The Madhya Pradesh Cabinet has decided to grant the status of “living human entity” to Narmada river. This proposal to grant the status to Narmada river has come after the Uttarakhand High Court accorded the status to Ganga and Yamuna rivers.
International Current Affairs Capsule – 3 and 4 May 2017
■ 3rd May is observed globally as World Press Freedom Day, which the United Nations General Assembly declared for raising awareness of the importance of freedom of the press and remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression enshrined under Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has wished on the day and reiterated his unwavering support towards a free and vibrant press, which is vital in a democracy. He also highlighted that social media has emerged as an active medium of engagement and has added more vigour to press freedom.
- Theme of World Press Freedom Day 2017 : “Critical Minds for Critical Times: Media’s role in advancing peaceful, just and inclusive societies”
■ Researchers have successfully generated cartilage tissue using a 3D bioprinter, an advance that could lead to new treatments for osteoarthritis.
The advance represents a giant step forward in the ability to generate new, endogenous cartilage tissue.
- The team has used cartilage cells harvested from patients who underwent knee surgery, and these cells were then manipulated in a laboratory, causing them to rejuvenate and revert into “pluripotent” stem cells — cells that can develop into many different types of cells.
- The stem cells were then expanded and encapsulated in a composition of nano-fibrillated cellulose and printed into a structure using a 3D bioprinter.
- Following printing, the stem cells were treated with growth factors that caused them to differentiate correctly, so that they formed cartilage tissue.
Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 3 and 4 May 2017
■ A study by ASSOCHAM has found that job opportunities under the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) fell over 9.5% year-on-year to 3 and 4 .2 lakh in FY16 from more than 3 and 4 .5 lakh in FY15.
- The number of projects set up under the PMEGP have reduced from over 48,100 in FY15 to about 44,300.
The Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) is a scheme aimed at reducing unemployment and generating sustainable employment opportunities in rural and urban India. It is also mandated to facilitate participation of financial institutions for higher credit flow to micro sector.
This is credit linked subsidy Scheme of Govt. of India by merging erstwhile REGP and PMRY scheme.
The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) is a statutory body which is the Nodal Agency at National Level.
■ The Karnataka government has passed an order putting a cap of Rs 200, exclusive of taxes, on the price of movie tickets at cinema halls, including multiplexes, across the state.
■ Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the Patanjali Research Institute at Patanjali Yogpeeth in Haridwar. This institute will be the first organisation in India to conduct clinical trials as per international standards in the field of Ayurveda.
■ In just six months of launching its telecom operations, Reliance Jio is accounting for nearly 40% of India’s broadband connections, according to data by telecom regulator TRAI.
Sports News Current Affairs – 3 and 4 May 2017
■ The Indian T20cricket team has slipped a spot to the 4th place in the ICC T20I team rankings, according to the latest ICC rankings. New Zealand with 125 rating points is the top-ranked T20I team. Indian team, with 118 rating points, is three points behind World T20 2009 winner Pakistan and World T20 2010 winner England.
“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims”
Q1. Who will be representing India at the 2017 Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) ?
- A) Amitabh Kant
- B) Bibek Debroy
- C) Shaktikanta Das
- D) Mukul Rohatgi
Q2. Who has been bestowed with the 2017 Avvaiyar Award instituted to encourage women excel in social reforms, women’s development, communal harmony, arts, science, culture, journalism and administration?
- A) Kirti Ghosh
- B) Sarada Menon
- C) Padma Venkataraman
- D) Anu Agha
Answer these questions in the comments below. Discuss your thoughts on the news and issues mentioned in today’s current affairs post. Have a good day!
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