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 – 3 and 4 April 2018
■ The Supreme Court has refused to defer its earlier order preventing automatic arrests on complaints filed under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. The court has asked the parties to file written submissions within two days. The matter will then be taken up after 10 days. The Centre’s review petition was heard by the same bench of justices Goel and Lalit.
The centre, in its review petition, has said that the order “adversely affects a substantial portion of the population of India being SC/ST members”. It was also “contrary to the legislative policy of the Parliament” as reflected in the SC/ST Act. Any dilution of the provisions of the amended SC/ST Act would result in depriving the community of their constitutional rights. It was also highlighted that under the SC/ST Act, there was no provision for anticipatory bail due to which once a complaint was filed, it could lead to an immediate arrest. Attorney General K.K. Venugopal urged the court to stay or clarify its ruling and claimed that it led to the dilution of the law meant to protect the marginalized.
Recall that: On 20 March, a bench comprising justices U.U. Lalit and A.K. Goel held a public servant could be arrested under the SC/ST atrocities Act, only after approval of the appointing authority and of a non-public servant after approval by the senior superintendent of police, if considered necessary. To avoid false implication, a preliminary enquiry may be conducted by the deputy superintendent of police to verify if the allegations fall under the SC/ST Act.
This ruling has triggered protests by Dalit groups across the country, with sporadic violence at a Bharat Bandh organised on 2 April.
■ The exiled government of Tibet has launched a year-long ‘Thank you India” campaign to mark the 60th year of the arrival of the spiritual leader Dalai Lama to India. The function was also attended by Naren Chandra Das, the 79-year-old man retired Havaldar of 5 Assam Rifles who had received the Dalai Lama when he entered the Indian soil in 1959.
■ The verification of citizenship documents of 29 lakh married women, mostly migrant Muslims, for the Supreme Court-monitored, exercise to update the 1951 National Register of Citizens (NRC) has begun in Assam. The verification of family trees and the documents of married women has to be completed by May 31, which is the deadline set by the court. The NRC will be updated as per the provisions of The Citizenship Act, 1955 and The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.
About National Register of Citizens (NRC): The NRC was introduced to identify illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and recognise the Indian citizens in Assam. It was first prepared in 1951 and Assam is the only state having this arrangement. Under the NRC, immigrants who have documents proving that they entered Assam before 1971 will be considered Indian citizens and others have to show that their ascendants have lived in Assam even before 1971.
■ In order to ensure safe future for young women, West Bengal government has launched a scheme titled “Rupashree”.
Under the Rupashree scheme, the government provides one-time financial support for marriage of poor girls.
■ As per latest data released by the government, 34 projects have been successfully implemented under National Culture Fund Scheme till date, aimed at promoting, protecting and preserving India’s cultural heritage.
About National Culture Fund:
The National Culture Fund (NCF) was set up as a Trust under the Charitable Endowment Act, 1890 in November 1996 by the Government, with a view to mobilize extra resources through Public Private Partnerships. The National Culture Fund is managed and administered by a council headed by the Culture Ministery. It aims at inviting the participation of the corporate sector, non-government organizations, private/public sector as well as individuals in the task of promoting, protecting and preserving India’s cultural heritage.
■ A ‘Kalamkari art museum’ has been opened at Pedana in Andhra Pradesh. The museum aims at tracing the history of the art and displays the process of extraction of natural colours from various sources.
Kalamkari is an ancient style of hand painting done on cotton or silk fabric with a tamarind pen, using natural dyes. The word Kalamkari is derived from a Persian word where ‘kalam‘ means pen and ‘kari‘ refers to craftsmanship.
There are two identifiable styles of Kalamkari art in India – Srikalahasti style and Machilipatnam style. In the Machilipatnam style of Kalamkari, motifs are essentially printed with hand-carved traditional blocks with intricate detailing painted by hands. In Srikalahasti style, inspiration from the Hindu mythology describing scenes from the epics and folklore. This style holds a strong religious connect because of its origin in the temples.
■ The Government has appointed 1995 batch IAS officer of Union Territories Cadre and senior bureaucrat Chandra Bhushan Kumar as Deputy Election Commissioner. He will have a tenure of 5 years.
International Current Affairs Capsule – 3 and 4 April 2018
■ The 7th Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS 2018) is being held in Moscow, Russia from April 4. The two-day conference will be focused on the defeat of terrorists in Syria. The Indian delegation is led by Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman met her Russian counterpart General Sergei Shoigu and discussed defence cooperation between the two countries with a focus on military-technical cooperation.
■ Pakistan has successfully test-fired it’s indigenously designed and built nuclear-capable, submarine-launched cruise missile (SLCM) Babur III. This missile was fired from the underwater dynamic platform and can also be successfully engaged to its target with precise accuracy.
Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 3 and 4 April 2018
■ The Centre has allowed states to set up their own insurance companies for implementing the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY). Currently, five public sector insurers and 13 private insurance companies are empanelled for implementation of the scheme. This move comes after several requests from states as well as observations made by Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in its 2017 report that old crop insurances schemes which have now been merged with PMFBY, have been poorly implemented during 2011-2016.
The PMFBY, launched in April 2016, compensates farmers for any losses in crop yield. In the event of a crop loss, the farmer will be paid based on the difference between the threshold yield and actual yield.
■ The fast track task Force, a body under Ministry of Electronics and IT, has set a target to achieve around 500 million mobile phone production in India by 2019, with a value estimated to be around USD 46 billion.
About Fast Track Task Force:
Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) formed a Fast Track Task Force to re-establish growth in the country’s mobile handset and component manufacturing eco-system. It has members from industry and government.
It promotes large-scale manufacturing/assembling activity to achieve production of 500 million units by 2019. This can create additional employment opportunities for 1.5 million approximately. The task force has to create a roadmap to align technology, demand, standards and regulations for enhancing the competitiveness of domestic manufacturing across the supply chain for manufacturing mobile phone.
■ SIDBI has celebrated its Foundation day on April 2nd with the launch of ‘Samridhi – the virtual assistant’. It will answer standard queries of aspirants 24×7.
Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) was set up on 2nd April 1990 under an Act of Parliament.
It acts as the Principal Financial Institution for Promotion, Financing and Development of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) sector as well as for co-ordination of functions of institutions engaged in similar activities.
Sports Current Affairs – 3 and 4 April 2018
■ Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended his best wishes to the Indian contingent for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018, saying the whole country is behind the athletes. India have sent a 227-member strong contingent for the Games and ace badminton player PV Sindhu will be the flag-bearer for India at the opening ceremony. At the grand opening, the Indian squad would also be sporting their new attire.
The 21st edition of the Commonwealth Games will see more than 4,500 athletes from 71 nations compete for 275 gold medals. This is also the first major multi-sport event which will have the same number of men’s and women’s medal events. The Games will continue for 12 days in Australia.
■ Sloane Stephens, a US professional tennis player, has won the 2018 women’s singles Miami Open tennis tournament by defeating Latvian Jelena Ostapenko in the final. It is her first Miami Open tennis title.
■ The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has appointed ex-Director General of Police (Rajasthan), Ajit Singh, as the head of its Anti-Corruption Unit ahead of this year’s Indian Premier League season. Ajit Singh replaces ex-Police Commissioner of Delhi, Neeraj Kumar.
“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims – 3 and 4 April 2018 “
Q1. Who has won the 2018 men’s singles Miami Open tennis tournament?
A) John Isner
B) Alexander Zverev
C) Roger Federer
D) Kei Nishikori
Q2. According to recent data released by Indian Cellular Association (ICA), India has acquired what position in the world in producing mobile phones, replacing Vietnam?
Q3. Which of the following cities has become India’s first city to switch from BS-IV grade fuels to BS-VI (equivalent to fuel meeting Euro-VI emission norms)?
D) New Delhi
Q4. Who has been appointed the protem Chairman of the Lalit Kala Akademi?
A) C S Krishna Setty
B) M L Srivastava
C) T S Thakur
D) N K Khan
Q5. Who has been chosen for the prestigious J.C. Daniel Award for 2017?
A) Satyan Anthikkad
B) K.G. George
C) Sreekumaran Thampi
D) Adoor Gopalakrishnan
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!