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 – 7 January 2018
■ A World Bank paper has noted a 10% gender gap in opening accounts under the Jan Dhan Yojana – the country’s flagship financial inclusion programme — with 73% men applying for the accounts against 63% women.
The paper titled, ‘Making It Easier to Apply for a Bank Account: A Study of the Indian Market’ has also noted an income gap — 64% being poorer adults and 71% richer adults — in applying for an account. State of Madhya Pradesh recorded the largest gender gap of 21%. It also pointed out that 40% of adults cited lack of trust in financial institutions for not opening an account.
■ A special CBI court has sentenced Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav along with other convicts to 3.5 years in jail in the Rs 89-lakh fodder scam case of 1996, which led to his resignation as the Bihar CM. The case relates to fraudulent withdrawal of 89 lakh 27 thousand rupees from the Deoghar Treasury 21 years ago.
■ West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has unveiled the Official emblem of the West Bengal State government. This logo has been designed by the Chief Minister herself. It highlights the Ashoka emblem on the top with the theme of “Biswa Bangla” at the centre.
International Current Affairs Capsule – 7 January 2018
■ The annual ASEAN India Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is being celebrated at Singapore. The conference is being attended by top leaders and businessmen from Singapore and India and will discuss the contribution of the Indian diaspora community in Southeast Asia. This event coincides with the 25th anniversary of India-ASEAN dialogue partnership, which will be marked by a summit on Jan 25 in New Delhi.
It aims to highlight the “ancient human, maritime, cultural, commercial and religious links between India and Southeast Asia” and to promote greater economic, cultural and diplomatic cooperation between the two regions.
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is celebrated every year on January 9 to mark the contribution of the overseas Indian community in the development of India. January 9 was chosen as the day to celebrate this occasion since it was on this day in 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi, the greatest Pravasi, returned to India from South Africa, led India’s freedom struggle and changed the lives of Indians forever.
■ Micro-blogging website Twitter has announced it would not block the accounts of world leaders even if their statements are “controversial,” citing a need to promote a “public discourse” on political issues.
■ The eastern United States and Canada are shivering under record-breaking low temperatures following Arctic blasts followed a deadly winter storm. The deep freeze follows a winter storm which has been dubbed a “bomb cyclone” by forecasters. In Canada, temperatures approaching minus 50 degrees Celsius were forecast in northern Ontario and Quebec. The US National Weather Service has warned that below normal temperatures are likely to continue into early next week.
■ Britain is considering implementing a “latte tax” in order to curb the consumption of disposable coffee cups. The fee will amount to 50 cents on top of every coffee sold, and it’s intended to encourage people to use reusable coffee cups.
Note that: In the UK, 500 takeaway coffee cups are thrown away every minute. Most takeaway cups are laminated with plastic or polyethylene that is difficult to strip away and recycle.
■ Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has announced the issuance of over $5.9 billion in the country’s new oil-backed cryptocurrency in coming days to fight the ongoing economic crisis. Every unit of the cryptocurrency will be equal in value to Venezuela’s one oil barrel.
Note that : Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves and is struggling with its economy.
Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 7 January 2018
■ Gross NPAs of state-owned banks stood at Rs 7.34 trillion by the end of second quarter this fiscal. The finance ministry data showed that as many as 1,463 entities account for bad loans of Rs100 crore or more in 21 public sector banks (PSBs).
Note that: The RBI has issued directions to certain banks for referring 12 accounts, with fund and non-fund based outstanding amount greater than Rs5,000 crore and with 60% or more classified as non-performing as of 31 March 2016, to initiate insolvency process under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.
- Rising NPAs have curtailed the lending capacity of state-owned banks as they have make extra provisions for bad loans.
Recall that: In order to strengthen them, the government has come up with a Rs 2.12 triillion recapitalisation plan and has taken nod of Parliament to pump in Rs 80,000 crore through recapitalisation bonds in the current fiscal ending March 2018.
■ Cab-hailing major Uber is relaunching its ‘AUTO’ service in India, starting with Bengaluru and Pune. This comes almost two years after shutting down the offering in March 2016. The US-based company will allow customers to book autorickshaw rides through ‘AUTO’ option on its platform later this month in these two cities.
Sports Current Affairs – 7 January 2018
■ The Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore, has released Khelo India logo at the Nehru Stadium. It The three-stroke Khelo India logo was designed by Ogilvy India, would go a long way in achieving the twin objectives of mass participation and promotion of excellence in sports.
The Khelo India School Games, is being held in collaboration with the School Games Federation of India and National Sports Federations by setting up an Organizing Committee as per the procedure of the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports. Khelo India School Games, to be broadcast by Star Sports, will be staged from January 31.
■ Gilles Simon of France has lifted the inaugural Tata Open Maharashtra Tennis trophy in Pune. Simon is ranked 89 in the world. This tournament is India’s only ATP event.
Note that: For the past 22 years, the tournament had been associated with the big metro cities, New Delhi hosting the inaugural edition in 1996, and Chennai becoming home to it for the next 21 years. This time, the event moved to the tier two city Pune and was rechristened Tata Open Maharashtra.
“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims – 7 January 2018 “
Q1. Who has been appointed the Secretary (Economic Relations) in the Ministry of External Affairs?
- A) Mukesh Agnihotri
- B) Janardan Dwivedi
- C) T S Tirumurti
- D) Narayanan Chandrakumar
Q2. Which city is hosting the Himalayan Hydro Expo 2018, to unleash its massive hydro-power potential and bring all stakeholders under one roof.?
- A) Kathmandu
- B) Shimla
- C) Gangtok
- D) Itanagar
Q3. Who has been named as the 2018 best central bank governor in the Asia-Pacific?
- A) Ravi Menon
- B) Pramod Jain
- C) Usha Visvas
- D) Nirmal Kumar
Q4. Which of the following is the focus country in the New Delhi World Book Fair 2018?
- A) The European Union
- B) The United States
- C) The United Kingdom
- D) Egypt
Q5. Which country has become the world’s first country to enforce equal pay for women and men?
- A) Finland
- B) France
- C) Iceland
- D) Sweden
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!