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 – 7 February 2019

■ External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj and Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation – Nitin Gadkari inaugurated the 30th National Road Safety Week, 2019 at New Delhi.

The theme of the 30th National Road Safety Week is “Sadak Suraksha-Jeevan Raksha”.

  • A motor car rally called Suraksha Yatra was flagged off as a part of an event to launch the 30th National Road Safety Week.
  • The motor rally also commemorates the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. It will cover around 7250 km and will travel through those places in India, Bangladesh and Myanmar which are historically associated with Gandhiji. It will conclude at Yangon in Myanmar on the 24th February 2019.
  • The aim of this event is to generate awareness and sensitizing people about safe road usage.
  • To underline its commitment and support for promoting safety on Indian roads, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) has declared 2019 as the Year of Road Safety.

■ The Punjab government headed by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has decided to constitute a 5 members high-powered committee to prepare a comprehensive action plan for boosting the dairy sector with the aim of supplementing the income of farmers in a result-oriented manner. The role of the committee will be to recommend measures for promoting diversification of agriculture with the aim of enhancing farmers’ income from allied sources.

  • The committee will be comprised of including Chairman State Farmers Commission, Director Animal Husbandry, Director Dairy Development, a representative of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU).

■  The Ministry of Textiles of the Government of India has launched Artisan Speak at Elephanta Caves (UNESCO heritage site) to strengthen the handlooms and textiles sector of India.

  • The event has been held to showcase the GI Textiles of India, through a confluence of fashion, music, and dance.
  • Many textiles companies signed agreements with the Office of Development Commissioner (Handlooms), Ministry of Textiles on the occasion.
  • Under the agreements, the Weavers Service Centres (WSCs) under the Office of DC (Handlooms) will enable textile firms to directly source their requirements from handloom clusters, as per defined quality, cost and time constraints.

■ The Coal Ministry of India, Government of India has signed an MoU with Ministry of Energy, Republic of Poland in-order to foster relations in the field of coal mining and clean coal technologies. The MoU in the field of coal mining and clean coal technologies was signed between India and Poland

The objective of MoU includes – promoting trade and investment in the coal sector, enhancing the understanding of coal related energy issues, clean coal technologies.

■ The Union Cabinet has approved the introduction of National Institutes of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management Bill, 2019.

  • This bill will confer the status of Institutions of National Importance to National Institute of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM) at Kundli, Haryana, and the Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT) at Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu.
  • It will also provide for functional autonomy to the institutes for designing and developing courses, undertaking research activities and leveraging enhanced status in their academic pursuits, so that they become world class institutes.
  • These institutes will also implement the reservation policy of the Government and would also undertake special outreach activities for the benefits of concerned stakeholders.
  • It will also enable the institutes to provide world class teaching and research experience by adopting innovative practices.

■ The government has approved setting up of three new naval air squadrons in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu as part of efforts to bolster the Indian Navy’s overall strength.

  • The central government has also sanctioned recruitment of manpower for manning additional aircraft in existing Dornier surveillance squadrons in Kerala and Andaman Islands.
  • Note that: A contract for procurement of 12 Dornier aircraft was signed with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd two years back and their delivery is commencing soon.

■The Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation has launched Shehri Samridhi Utsav, an initiative initiated in New Delhi, with aim to extend the reach of Deendayal Antyodaya Mission – National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM).

  • It is the National Exhibition cum sale of Self Help Group products and National Street Food Festival.
  • The event will provide access of Self-Help Group (SHG) members to the other government schemes.

About Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Antyodaya Yojana (DDU-AY):

It is a government scheme to provide skill training to poor in rural and urban India as per international standards. Initially the scheme was launched as Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY) in 1999. SGSY was renamed as National Rural Livelihood Mission in 2011 and then merged into DDU-AY.

■  The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal for establishment of Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog for Conservation protection and development of cows and their progeny.

  • The Aayog will function in collaboration with Veterinary, Animal Sciences or Agriculture University or departments or organizations of the Central/State Government engaged in the task of research in the field of breeding and rearing of cow, organic manure, biogas etc.
  • It will also take up scientific activities for genetic upgradation and increasing productivity of cows.
  • It will also provide the policy framework and direction to the cow conservation and development programmes in the country and for ensuring proper implementation of laws with respect to the welfare of cows.

Note that: Union Minister, in interim budget, has announced that Rs 750 crore would be allocated for the Rashtriya Gokul Mission. Under the scheme, a ‘Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog’ would also be set up.

■ The Union Environment Minister, Harsh Vardhan-led panel has given the nod to the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed train corridor. This corridor is said to encroach some of the forest land of Thane Creek Flamingo Wildlife Sanctuary and the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, which is a home to leopards, in Mumbai.

Note that: The first lot of bullet trains are expected to run on six high-speed corridors by 2022-23 namely—

  • Delhi-Mumbai;
  • Mumbai-Chennai;
  • Delhi-Kolkata;
  • Delhi-Nagpur;
  • Mumbai-Ahmedabad;
  • Mumbai-Nagpur.

International Current Affairs Capsule –  7 February 2019

■  The European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) Hera mission will become the first spacecraft to explore a binary asteroid — the Didymos pair.

The moon orbiting Didymos, called as ‘Didymoon’ — which is almost the size of the Giza Pyramid in Egypt, measuring just 160 metres in diametre — will be the smallest asteroid ever explored.

  • Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART): USA’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will also launch the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) between 2020 and 2021, which will target Didymoon as part of its planetary defence programme. This is designed to protect Earth from dangerous comets and asteroids, and aims to crash DART into Didymoon in 2022 to alter its orbit around Didymos. The collision will change the speed of the moonlet in its orbit around the main body.
  • Following the collision, Hera would explore the asteroid in 2026 and check the impact and deflection created by DART.

About Didymoon: The Didymoon was chosen because of its close proximity to Earth and its size. Didymoon is small and in a tight enough 12-hour orbit around its parent, that its orbital period can indeed be shifted in a measurable way.

Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule –  7 February 2019

■  The Reserve Bank has penalised Axis Bank, UCO Bank and Syndicate Bank with a total of Rs.5.2 Crore for violating the guidelines in regulatory compliance.

  • Axis Bank and UCO Bank has been imposed with a Penalty of Rs.2 Crore each for their not commiting with the norms related to payment through cheques. Syndicate Bank is imposed with a Penalty of Rs.1 Crore for contradicting the norms in Checking norms and Risk Management.
  • Further Axis Bank has also imposed a Penalty of 20 Lakhs for the detection and impounding of counterfeit notes.

■ The Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs has approved the creation of a corpus of Rs. 2000 crore for Agri-Market Infrastructure Fund (AMIF).

  • The AMIF fund will be created with NABARD for development and up-gradation of agricultural marketing infrastructure in Gramin Agricultural Markets and Regulated Wholesale Markets.
  • The AMIF will provide the State/UT Governments have subsidized loan for their proposal for developing marketing infrastructure in 585 Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs) and 10,000 Grameen Agricultural Markets (GrAMs).
  • The States may also access AMIF for innovative integrated market infrastructure projects including Hub and Spoke mode and in Public Private Partnership mode.

Sports Current Affairs –  7 February 2019

■ The non-stop round the world Golden Globe Race winner, French sailor Jean-Luc Van Den Heede has completed the Round-the-world yacht race aka the Golden Globe Race after 212 days alone at sea without using any modern instruments. The 73-year-old, who completed his sixth circumnavigation of the globe, has also become the oldest to complete the 30,000-mile Golden Globe race.

“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims –  7 February 2019 “

Q1. In which city is the first State Level Awareness Programme on Agri Export Policy was recently held in?

  • A. Kolkata
  • B. Pune
  • C. Mumbai
  • D. Chennai

Q2. The 2nd ASEAN-India Youth Summit has been recently inaugurated in which city?

  • A. New Delhi
  • B. Guwahati
  • C. Patna
  • D. Jaipur

Q3. The theme for World Cancer Day 2019 is _ ?

  • A. Not Beyond Us
  • B. Debunk the Myths
  • C. Prevention is better than Cure
  • D. I am and I will

Q4. The Ministry of Coal entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with which country to foster relations in the field of coal mining and clean coal technologies?

  • A. Spain
  • B. Poland
  • C. Denmark
  • D. Russia

Q5. Which company recently launched India’s first PolicyHack for teachers?

  • A. Dell
  • B. Samsung
  • C. Microsoft
  • D. Apple

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!