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 – 8 February 2018
■ Indigenously developed Agni-I ballistic missile that can carry a nuclear payload was recently flight tested for the 18th time as part of a user trial by the Army from the Dr Abdul Kalam Island, formerly known as Wheeler Island off the Odisha coast. The sophisticated Agni-I missile is propelled by a solid rocket propellant system and is equipped with a specialised navigation system that ensures it reaches the target with a high degree of precision. The Agni – I missile was inducted into service in 2004. The missile is also capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
About Agni 1 missile:
Agni-1 is an indigenously developed surface-to-surface, single-stage nuclear-capable missile. It was developed by the Advanced Systems Laboratory or ASL in collaboration with the Defence Research Development Laboratory (DRDL) and the Research Centre Imarat (RCI). Weighing around 12 tonnes, the 15-metre-long Agni-I can carry payloads up to 1,000 kg and is capable of hitting a target beyond 700 km.
The ASL is the premier missile development laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO).
■ As a part of an ambitious project of the Armed Forces Medical Services to develop a repository of 11,30,000 armed forces personnel, DNA samples of over 7,000 armed forces personnel, who are considered to be “at the highest risk of death”, have been collected and stored at the DNA profiling centre and repository in the Armed Forces Medical College, Pune. The exercise has already helped establish the identity of Indian Air Force personnel killed in two separate air crashes last year.
DNA profiling of body parts is the only fool-proof scientific method to establish the identity of the deceased. This is because methods like identifying the deceased by examining personal belongings, studying identification marks and comparing photographs don’t work when there are extensive mutilation and disfigurement of the body.
■ Suresh Prabhu, the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, has launched the Start-up-India ranking framework to help the Startup India initiative to drive economic growth of the country. The key objective of the Startup States and Union Territories ranking framework is to encourage States and Union Territories to take pro-active steps towards strengthening the Startup ecosystems at the local level. The Ranking Framework will measure the impact of each step initiated at the local level for building a strong Startup ecosystem. The Ranking Framework will also enable continuous learning through the dissemination of good practices.
The State and Union Territory Startup Ranking Framework, the Compendium of Good Practices for Promoting Startups in India and the Startup India Kit have been launched. These will act as catalysts to help the Startup India initiative to drive India’s economic growth.
■ All coaches of the Shatabdi, Rajdhani and Duronto trains will soon have 4 CCTV cameras each to ensure passenger safety. 23 pairs of Rajdhani, 26 pairs of Shatabdi and 18 pairs of Duronto trains would have the facility of CCTVs — one each on the (two) entry gates and two in the gallery (corridor).
Around Rs 3,000 crore was allocated in the 2018-19 Union Budget to install CCTV cameras in more than 11,000 trains eventually, including all the premier and suburban services and the 8,500 stations in the railway network.
The money for the project would, however, come from the Nirbhaya fund.
■ The Uttar Pradesh has launched massive door to door campaign called, DASTAK, in association with UNICEF to eradicate deadly Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) and Japanise Encephalitis (JE) disease in the state. The war cry of DASTAK is (Darwaja khatkhatao, AES aur JE ko bhagao).
The whole state machinery with the help of UNICEF will now go door to door in 38 JES and AE affected districts which mostly fall in the Tarai region of the state and contributes to about 60% of the total AES cases all over the country. Many departments of the state especially health, rural development, primary education will work together to spread awareness about the diseases through mass media communication, provide clean drinking water, initiate sanitation drive, ensure vaccination and early treatment so that disease should be nipped in the bud.
■ The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy under its scheme “Development of Solar Cities” has approved 60 Cities including 13 Pilot and 5 Model Cities up to 12th Five-year Plan period.
About Development of Solar Cities scheme:
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is implementing a programme on ‘Development of Solar Cities’ which aims to reduce a minimum of 10% of the projected demand of conventional energy of the city through renewable energy installations and energy efficiency measures.
The Master plan for each Solar City is being prepared to assess and utilize various renewable sources including Solar, Wind, Municipal Waste etc. The criteria set by the ministry for the identification of cities include a city having population between 50,000 to 50 lakh (with relaxation given to special category states including northeast states), initiatives and regulatory measures already taken along with a high level of commitment in promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy.
■ The J&K government has asked the Centre to revisit former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s doctrine to defuse tension with Pakistan. The state government advocates that dialogue and reconciliation is the only way to restore peace along the borders and on the mainland.
About Atal Doctrine:
The Atal doctrine on Kashmir called for peace, progress and prosperity in the Valley by imbibing the spirit of Insaniyat (Humanity), Jamhuriyat (Democracy) and Kashmiriyat (Identity of the people of Kashmir), which was universally acclaimed by all segments across of political spectrum in the state, including the extremist elements in the Valley.
Vajpayee’s mantra included resolving all outstanding issues with Pakistan, including that of Jammu and Kashmir issue in a peaceful manner through bilateral dialogue without any third party intervention.
Vajpayee also signed a Lahore Declaration with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on February 21, 1999, under which Pakistan agreed to resolve all bilateral issues between the two countries and to promote people to people contact.
International Current Affairs Capsule – 8 February 2018
■ India has expressed it disturbance to the declaration of emergency in the Maldives and has said that it is carefully monitoring the situation in the island nation. The arrest of the Supreme Court Chief Justice and political figures are also reasons for concern. India had earlier issued an advisory to its nationals asking them not to undertake non-essential travel to the Maldives.
Meanwhile, Maldives President Abdullah Yameen declared a state of emergency in the country as the Supreme Court had a plan to overthrow his government by first making it dysfunctional through a series of orders.
Note that: The impasse in the Maldives began when the Supreme Court ordered the release of nine opposition leaders. Abdullah Yameen expressed his inability to implement the decision.
■ The Sixth Edition of World Government Summit will be held in in Dubai, UAE. The World Government Summit is a knowledge exchange centre at the intersection between government, futurism, technology, and innovation. It functions as a thought leadership platform and networking hub for policymakers, experts, and pioneers in human development. It is also an arena to showcase innovations, best practice, and smart solutions to inspire creativity to tackle these future challenges.
The World Government Summit is a global platform dedicated to shaping the future of government worldwide. Each year, the Summit sets the agenda for the next generation of governments with a focus on how they can harness innovation and technology to solve universal challenges facing humanity.
■ The 5th South Asia Region Public Procurement Conference is being held in New Delhi. The Government of India (GOI), is hosting the conference through the Public Procurement Division (PPD) of the Ministry of Finance and All India Management Association (AIMA). The theme of the Fifth Conference is: “Public Procurement and Service Delivery”.
The objective of the Conference is to enable the Heads of Public Procurement and other key stakeholders in the eight South Asian countries to meet and learn from one another and from experts in the field of public procurement.
The Conference is held under the auspices of the South Asia Region Public Procurement Network (SARPPN), which is sponsored and facilitated by the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Islamic Development Bank.
- The First Conference was held in Kathmandu in 2010, the second in Islamabad in 2014, the third in Dhaka 2015 and the fourth in Sri Lanka 2017.
■ Bollywood Actors Bhumi Pednekar and Vicky Kaushal have featured in Forbes India’s ’30 under 30′ list.
Mithila Palkar, known for her roles in web series, singer Jubin Nautiyal, fashion designer Alan Alexander Kaleekal and jewellery designer Suhani Parekh were also included in the list, which focuses on young achievers under the age of 30.
Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 8 February 2018
■ In the 6th Bi-monthly Monetary policy statement for 2017-18, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has kept the key interest rate “repo rate” unchanged at 6% and reverse repo at 5.75%. Also, the Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate kept at 6.25%.
This decision of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is consistent with the neutral stance of monetary policy in consonance with the objective of achieving the medium-term target for consumer price index (CPI) inflation of 4% within a band of +/- 2% while supporting growth.
■ Jerome Hayden Powell has been sworn-in as the new Chairman of the Federal Reserve for a 4-year term to succeed Janet Yellen, the first woman to lead the US central bank in its 100-year history. Prior to this appointment, Powell served as a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. He was nominated to the position by President Donald Trump on November 2, 2017, and was later confirmed by the United States Senate.
■ In order to create awareness around Internet safety, the search engine giant Google has launched ‘#SecurityCheckKiya’ campaign in India to promote security awareness among general public. This campaign was launched on the occasion of Safer Internet Day (6 February).
The aim of #SecurityCheckKiya Campaign to protect first-time web users from account hijacking, safeguard Android devices from malicious apps and secure all their personal data if they lose their device.
Under the campaign, Google recommended three simple steps for Internet safety. It includes reviewing security settings and Google account activity. Furthermore, ‘Google Play Protect’ service scans and checks Android devices for any harmful apps.
■ The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International airport has become the world’s busiest single-runway airport, after creating a new world record for single-runway operations by handling 980 arrivals and take-offs in 24 hours, or almost one flight every minute on 20th January, 2018.
Sports Current Affairs – 8 February 2018
■ Indian cricketers Jasprit Bumrah and Harmanpreet Kaur have been named in Forbes India 30 Under 30 achievers list. The list also includes women’s hockey team goalkeeper Savita Punia and shooter Heena Sidhu.
■ Shubhankar Sharma from Chandigarh has become the highest ranked Indian golfer after grabbing a 72nd position in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR). He has won the Maybank Championship in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Shubhankar has joined the exclusive club of Indians who have achieved two wins in the same European Tour season, the others being Jeev Milkha Singh (2006) and Anirban Lahiri (2015).
“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims – 8 February 2018 “
Q1. Which state hosted the first-ever Pelican Bird Festival-2018?
- A) Karnataka
- B) Andhra Pradesh
- C) Kerala
- D) Tamil Nadu
Q2. The Ministry of Railways has signed MoU with which Union Ministry to augment services in Railway hospitals?
- A) Ministry of Women and Child Development
- B) Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation
- C) Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
- D) Ministry of AYUSH
Q3. What is the theme of the 2018 World Wetland Day (WWD)?
- A) Wetlands and Tourism
- B) Wetlands for our Future – Sustainable Livelihoods
- C) Forests and Wetlands
- D) Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future
Q4. The Assam Government has signed MoU with which cab company for a pilot project of app-based river taxi services in Guwahati?
- A) Ola
- B) Uber
- C) Meru
- D) Carzonrent
Q5. Which state government has launched the ‘Gobardhan Yojana’ to support farmers?
- A) Assam
- B) Gujarat
- C) Rajasthan
- D) Haryana
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!