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 – 5 April 2018
■ The 3rd National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) India Rankings 2018 have been announced. The Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru and Delhi’s Miranda House are India’s best university and college this year.
All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Delhi, the Nalsar University of Law in Hyderabad and Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur ranked number one in their respective categories. Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras has been declared the best engineering college. Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad has occupied the top position among management institutions this year also.
The 2018 rankings include nine different categories-overall, universities, engineering, colleges, management, pharmacy, medical, architecture, and law. Out of which sections like medical, architecture and law have been introduced this year.
The National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) outlines a methodology to rank institutions across the country. The parameters for ranking broadly cover “Teaching, Learning and Resources,” “Research and Professional Practices,” “Graduation Outcomes,” “Outreach and Inclusivity,” and “Perception”.
This ranking promotes competition among the Universities and drive them to strive for excellence. The rankings assume significance as performance of institutions has been linked with “Institutions of Eminence” scheme.
■ The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has constituted a high-power committee under Chairmanship of Vinay Sheel Oberoi, retired secretary (higher education) to examine the system of conducting Class 10 and Class 12 examinations to prevent question paper leaks.
The seven-member committee with a mandate to“revisit all aspects related to the security checks built into the system for ensuring that the question papers reach the examinees without tampering” will submit its report by May 31. The panel will also examine all areas of potential weakness in the present system of transporting question papers from the printing presses to the examinees.
■ The National Commission for Scheduled Castes has written to the governments of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh to file reports on the reasons behind the violence and deaths during the recent Bharat Bandh protest called by Dalit organisations against the alleged dilution in the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act by the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court.
■ According to private forecaster Skymet, the Monsoon 2018 is likely to be ‘normal’ with ‘zero chance’ of a drought. The year 2018 is likely to remain ‘normal’ rainfall which refers to India getting, within a 4% error margin, 887 mm of rainfall during the monsoon season. The India Meteorological Department has indicated that the chances of an El Nino during the monsoon are slim.
■ The Election Commission has told the Supreme Court that it supports the proposal to allow one candidate to contest from only one constituency in an election. The Supreme Court had in December 2017 issued notices seeking replies from the Election Commission and the Centre on the issue.
A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging Section 33(7) of the Representation of the People Act of 1951 that allows a candidate to contest elections (Parliamentary, State Assembly, Biennial Council, or bye-elections) from two constituencies and sought an end to the practice. The Supreme Court has said the practice of one candidate contesting multiple seats was a drain on the exchequer since it necessitated bypolls.
Political parties across the country field senior leaders from more than one seat in order to ensure victory. If they win from multiple seats, these leaders are then required to vacate other seats and continue to hold only one. This results in a bye-election to the seats that have been vacated.
The alternative suggested by the Election commission: The ECI has alternatively suggested that if existing provisions are retained then the candidate contesting from two seats should bear the cost of the bye-election to the seat that the contestant decides to vacate in the event of his/her winning both seats. The amount in such an event could be Rs 5 lakh for assembly election and Rs 10 lakh for parliament election.
International Current Affairs Capsule – 5 April 2018
■ The world’s chemical watchdog, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is meeting in the Hague after being requested by Moscow which wants to “address the situation around the allegations in regards to the incident in Salisbury. The British defence laboratory analysing the nerve agent has revealed that it could not say whether the substance came from Russia.
Russia has hailed this observation as a vindication of its repeated denials of involvement in the Salisbury incident and also insisted it was ready to cooperate.
The OPCW is an independent, autonomous international organisation with a working relationship with the United Nations. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is the implementing body of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which entered into force in 1997. OPCW has 192 Member States, who are working together to achieve a world free of chemical weapons. The organisation was awarded the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize “for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons”. The OPCW Member States share the collective goal of preventing chemistry from ever again being used for warfare, thereby strengthening international security.
The Chemical Weapons Convention prohibits: Developing, producing, acquiring, stockpiling, or retaining chemical weapons. The direct or indirect transfer of chemical weapons. Chemical weapons use or military preparation for use. Assisting, encouraging, or inducing other states to engage in CWC-prohibited activity. The use of riot control agents “as a method of warfare.”
■ China’s Commerce Ministry has proposed 25% tariff on 106 US products unless the US abandons proposed tariffs on Chinese goods. This has been done in retaliation to Washington’s intent to impose fresh tariffs on Chinese products worth $50 billion which includes items like soya beans, cars, chemicals and aircraft, triggering fears that the world’s top two economies maybe locking horns in a major and escalating trade war. The Chinese move was announced soon after the U.S. listed nearly 1,300 Chinese products worth $50 billion for additional duties.
About Trade Tendions between US and China:
On March 1st US proposed imposing 25% and 10% tariff upon steel and aluminium imports (inclusing from China). On April 2nd, Beijing proposes duties of about $3 billion on US exports such as posrk, wine and fruit. On April 3rd, US releases a $50 billion list which includes impoerts like electronics, aircrafft parts and satellites. Now,
■ NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has discovered the farthest individual star ever seen — an enormous blue stellar body nicknamed Icarus that is located over halfway across the universe. The scientists took advantage of a phenomenon called “gravitational lensing” to spot the star.
The star is harboured in a very distant spiral galaxy, so far away that its light has taken nine billion years to reach Earth. It appears to us as it did when the universe was about 30% of its current age. This star Icarus is located at least 100 times further away than any other star previously observed, with the exception of things like the huge supernova explosions that mark the death of certain stars. The star’s discovery is the first time a lensing event has revealed a star so distant that wasn’t part of a violent stellar event.
About Gravitational lensing:
Many useful results for cosmology have come out of using this property of matter and light. It involves the bending of light by massive galaxy clusters in the line of sight, which magnifies more distant celestial objects. This makes dim, faraway objects that otherwise would be undetectable, like an individual star, visible. The idea of gravitational lensing was first suggested in Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity. Around 1912, Einstein himself derived the math for how light is deflected as it passes through the Sun’s gravitational field.
The bending of light by massive galaxy clusters in the line of sight—can magnify the distant universe and make dim, far away objects visible. In general relativity, the presence of matter (energy density) can curve spacetime, and the path of a light ray will be deflected as a result. This process is called gravitational lensing and in many cases can be described in analogy to the deflection of light by (e.g. glass) lenses in optics.
These observations provide a rare and detailed look at how stars evolve, especially the most luminous stars. Detecting the amplification of a single and pinpoint background star has provided a unique opportunity to test the nature of dark matter in the cluster.
About the Hubble Space Telescope:
The Hubble Space Telescope is a large telescope in space. NASA launched Hubble in 1990.
It was built by the United States space agency NASA, with contributions from the European Space Agency.
Hubble is the only telescope designed to be serviced in space by astronauts.
Expanding the frontiers of the visible Universe, the Hubble Space Telescope looks deep into space with cameras that can see across the entire optical spectrum from infrared to ultraviolet.
Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 5 April 2018
■ The second lead-up regional conference to 3rd Annual Meeting of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) on ‘Enhancing Port and Coastal Infrastructure’ is being held Visakhapatnam. It is being organized by the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with AIIB, CII and Research and Infrastructure System (RIS) for Developing Countries. The panel discusses issues relating to trade promotion through the sea route, building-up robust port & coastal infrastructure and revising & relaxing maritime regulatory issues to promote blue economy in India.
About the AIIB:
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia and beyond, headquartered in Beijing. It commenced operations in January 2016 and has now grown to 84 approved members from around the world. By investing in sustainable infrastructure and other productive sectors today, it aims to connect people, services and markets that over time will impact the lives of billions and build a better future. The capital of the bank is $100 billion, equivalent to 2⁄3 of the capital of the Asian Development Bank and about half that of the World Bank.
Sports Current Affairs – 5 April 2018
■ Mirabai Chanu has clinched India’s first gold medal at Commonwealth Games 2018. The 23-year-old World Champion improved her silver-medal-winning performance in Glasgow four years ago to win the gold medal in Gold Coast.She also lifted a Commonwealth record of 196kg to give the country its first gold on the opening day of the Games. In a stunning manner, Chanu also broke six records in her six lifts including her personal best of 194kg.
About Mirabai Chanu:
Saikhom Mirabai Chanu, hails from Manipur, broke into limelight during the trials of Rio Olympics 2016 weightlifting event in Patiala, where she went on to break the 48 kg national record held by women’s national coach Kunjarana Devi for 12 years. In 2017 she became only the second Indian, after Karnam Malleswari, to win gold at the at the World Weightlifting Championship in Anaheim, California.
“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims – 5 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.Who has lead the Indian delegation in the 7th Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS – 2018)?
A) Narendra Modi
B) Sushma Swaraj
C) Nirmala Sitharaman
D) Ajit Doval
Q3. The Gold Coast Commonwealth Games have begun recently in Australia, This is the _ time that Australia is hosting the CWG?
Q4.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
Q5.Who has been adjudged ‘Sportsperson of the Year’ at the Telangana Sports Journalists Association annual awards for 2017?
A) Sania Mirza
B) Kidambi Srikanth
C) P V Sindhu
D) Mithali Raj
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!