“Before the reward there must be labor. You plant before you harvest. You sow in tears before you reap joy.”

 Ralph Ransom.

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 – 4 May 2019

  • The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a review plea filed by 21 Opposition leaders seeking a further increase in the random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs in the ongoing general elections next week.Note that: The apex court earlier directed the Election Commission to increase random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs in 5 polling booths per assembly segment from one booth. Opposition leaders are asking for the increase from 1 to 5.

 

  • The landfall process of extremely severe Cyclone Fani happened close to Puri in Odisha, at a wind speed of 145 kilometres per hour, according to the India Meteorological Department. Nearly 11 lakh people have been evacuated from vulnerable and low-lying areas of at least 11 coastal district. It has triggered heavy rainfall coupled with high velocity winds of 175 to 200 kmph. The cyclone  has left a trail of destruction after it hit the landmass. 

Note that: Fani (prnounced foni) is touted as one of the severe cyclones to hit Odisha in the past few decades. It has resulted in extremely heavy downpour in Puri, Bhubaneswar, Jagatsinghpur. High winds are also sweeping across several coastal districts like Ganjam, Khurda and Gajapati.

 

  • The Chief Economic Advisor of the Government of India, Dr. Krishnamurthy Subramanian had been included as Member of the Advisory Council of the 15th Finance Commission. The role and function of the Advisory Council is to:
    • To advise the Commission on any issue related to the Terms of Reference (ToR) of the Commission, which may be of relevance.
    • To assist in the preparation of any research paper or study which may enhance the Commission’s understanding on the issue contained in its ToR
    • To help in broadening the Commission’s understanding in seeking the best national and international practices for fiscal devolution and improving the quality and reach and enforcement of its recommendations.

About the Fifteenth Finance Commission: The 15th Finance Commission of India was constituted in November 2017 and is mandated to give recommendations for devolution of taxes and other fiscal matters for five fiscal years, commencing 1 April 2020. The commission’s chairman is N. K. Singh.

 

  • Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-National Physical Laboratory, (CSIR-NPLD) has found with research that continuous exposure to noise above 85 decibel can have harmful impacts on physiological activities in human body.  High decibel noise level also affects hearing and learning behaviour. It highlights to the public of the necessity of creating a quiet home, school and recreational environment.

Note that: The Directorate of Education (DoE) in New Delhi has sent a circular to all the schools under its jurisdiction in the Capital asking them to build awareness about harmful effects of noise pollution and educate students on how to make changes to stop noise pollution.

 

International Current Affairs Capsule – 4 May 2019

  • The US Federal Reserve has left its key benchmark rate unchanged despite the renewed calls by President Donald Trump to cut interest rates. While the policymakers unanimously agreed to leave rates alone, the uncertainty about where the US economy is headed remains uncertain. The Central bankers have agreed at their regular policy-setting meeting in Washington to keep the federal funds rate between 2.25% and 2.5%. This rate influences the cost of mortgages, credit cards and other borrowing.The Fed has observed that the country’s labor market remains “strong” with economic activity continuing to rise at a “solid rate,”.  A slowdown in household spending and business investment in the first quarter has been observed.

 

  • US Air Force General Tod D. Wolters has been sworn in as the head military officer of the NATO military alliance. He will also serve as the commander of U.S. forces in Europe. The former pilot has served in Afghanistan and Iraq, and has now become Supreme Allied Commander Europe at NATO’s military headquarters in Mons, Belgium.

Note that: This post has always been held by an American military officer.

 

Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 4 May 2019

  • Instant messaging app WhatsApp has told the Supreme Court that it is working on the trials of its payment service to comply with RBI norms on data localisation before launching the full service. A bench of Justices R.F. Nariman and Vineet Saran was hearing a plea filed by an NGO, Centre for Accountability and Systemic Change (CASC), which has staked a claim that WhatsApp has not fully complied with RBI’s circular which prescribed data localisation norms.

About Data Localisation: Data localization is the act of storing data on any device that is physically present within the borders of a specific country where the data was generated. The Reserve Bank of India wants payment firms to ensure their data are stored exclusively on local servers. India, China and Russia have some of the strictest data localization rules.

 

“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims – 4 May 2019 “

Q1. _______ and ______ have retained their top spots in the team rankings for Tests and ODIs respectively.

  • A. India, England
  • B. Pakistan, New Zealand
  • C. England, South Africa
  • D. New Zealand, India

 

Q2. The first part of the Indo-French joint naval exercise, Varuna 19.1 is being held off the coast of which among the following states?

  • A. Goa
  • B. Telangana
  • C. Maharashtra
  • D. Andhra Pradesh

 

Q3. Which among the following approved a long-term plan for the government to abandon sinking and polluted Jakarta and build a new capital?

  • A. Malaysia
  • B. Indonesia
  • C. Sri Lanka
  • D. Maldives

 

Q4. Election Commission (EC) recently barred BJP candidate from Bhopal Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur from campaigning for _______ for her remarks.

  • A. 24 hours
  • B. 72 hours
  • C. 120 hours
  • D. 180 hours

 

Q5. International Workers’ Day, sometimes seen in the news, is observed on ______.

  • A. May 1
  • B. May 5
  • C. May 7
  • D. May 10

 

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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