This Daily Current Affair Capsule is a brief collection of important news from national dailies and government releases on PIB useful for UPSC IAS, CDS, SSC CGL, NDA, etc. It covers national, international, economic, sports news.
National Important Current Affairs – 8 April 2017
■ President Pranab Mukherjee has posthumously conferred the Kirti Chakra, which is second highest peacetime gallantry award on Lance Havildar Prem Bahadur Resmi Magar of Gorkha Rifles. President also presented 13 Shaurya Chakras, of which four were posthumous and 45 Distinguished Service medals that included 15 Param Vishisht Seva Medals, 2 Uttam Yudh Seva Medals and 28 Ati Vishisht Seva Medals.
■ The Centre has told the Supreme Court that it has taken a conscious decision not to extend the period beyond December 30 last year for exchanging the demonetised currency notes.
- The Finance Ministry has filed an affidavit in response to petitions by private individuals and a firm seeking a window like those given to NRIs and people who were abroad during the period of demonetisation.
- The Ministry was not legally bound to come out with a fresh notification to grant grace period or window.
■ The Centre has decided to revive the North Koel Irrigation project, which was envisaged nearly 40 years ago, to address the water requirements in Jharkhand and Bihar. Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti has said that when completed, the project is expected to irrigate 1 lakh hectares of land in the two states at the estimated cost of 1,600 crore rupees.
■ The Union Government has favoured in the Supreme Court the existing practice of booth-wise counting of votes, saying it helps candidates and political parties in improving their performance. In an affidavit, it said the Election Commission’s proposal for using totaliser machine for counting of votes was referred to a team of ministers, headed by the Union Home Minister. The team has concluded that revelation of booth-wise votes polled by a candidate will be more beneficial and useful.
- This response came on a petition which claimed that the declaration of result of every polling booth strikes at the root of right to privacy attached to voting.
■ North India will soon get its first DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) bank for wildlife at the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh. The scientists at IVRI in Bareilly are in the process of collecting the DNA samples of all kinds of wildlife to set up the bank. It will help in wildlife research and also bring down poaching.
■ The month of April this year marks the centenary of the Champaran Satyagraha – which was Mahatma Gandhi’s first Satyagraha in India. A century ago, Gandhi had taken several steps to improve the condition of the people in Champaran. These included efforts towards basic education, skill development, women empowerment and cleanliness.
■ The Union has declared Kerala drought-hit, along with seven other States. The declaration has been based on a memorandum submitted to the Union Ministry of Agriculture by Kerala Government seeking assistance for drought relief activities.
- Other seven states are Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
■ NITI Aayog has launched a framework to track the performance of district hospitals across all States and Union Territories focusing on outputs and outcomes. The index is named – Health of our Hospitals was launched by NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Dr. Arvind Panagariya.
- It will be first time that feedback from patients will be captured.
- Under this framework, ranks would be generated in an online portal with no manual entries and minimal additional work for States.
International Current Affairs Capsule – 8 April 2017
■ In Sweden, Police have arrested two men after a lorry crashed into a Stockholm department store, killing at least four people. The first man to be arrested was held on suspicion of committing a terrorist crime by murder. Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has called it a terrorist attack.
■ The United States has carried out a missile attack against targets in Syria in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack on a rebel-held town in Khan Sheikhun in Idlib province. The US warships launched between 50 to 60 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Shayrat Airfiled from where the Syrian warplanes had allegedly carried out the chemical attacks.
- Russia’s United Nations envoy, Vladimir Safronkov, has accused the US of violating international law by carrying out military strikes in Syria.
- However, France and Britain said the US response was appropriate and have laid the blame on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
■ Malala Yousafzai, the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, has become the youngest United Nations Messenger of Peace. The 19-year Pakistani education activist will be appointed by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and it will help promote girl education around the world as part of her new role.
- Note that: Malala came to prominence when a Taliban gunman shot her in the head on her school bus in 2012 as punishment for campaigning for girls to go to school which defied the terror group’s ban on female education.
- She became the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2014.
■ Iceland will become the first country in the world to neutralise gender pay gap. Regarding this, a bill was introduced in Iceland’s parliament that makes mandatory for public and private businesses to prove they offer equal pay to employees.
Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 8 April 2017
■ The Income Tax department has clarified that the ban on cash transaction in excess of 2 lakh rupees will not be applicable to withdrawals from banks and post office savings accounts.
- Note that: Through the Finance Act 2017, the government has banned cash transactions of over 2 lakhs and said a penalty of an equal amount would be levied on the receiver.
■ The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has appointed Malvika Sinha as new Executive Director (ED) following the appointment of B P Kanungo as Deputy Governor. She will look after foreign exchange department, internal debt management wing and department of government and bank accounts. Note that: Prior to her elevation, she was the Principal Chief General Manager, Department of Cooperative Banking Supervision in the RBI.
■ The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has ordered Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio Infocomm to withdraw its complimentary ‘Jio Summer Surprise’ that offered 3 months of free services to a user who paid an initial fee. TRAI’s order came amid increasing pressure on it from incumbent telcos and the telecom department over the Jio’s two promotions Welcome Offer and Happy New Year.
- These offers were cleared earlier by the TRAI but had led to a rate war, which had badly affected telecom industry’s finances, leading to a sharp fall in government revenue.
Sports News Current Affair Capsule – 8 April 2017
■ The Indian Olympic Association, IOA, has granted affiliation to the Boxing Federation of India, BFI. With this, the BFI now becomes the fully recognised body for Indian boxing, having already been granted affiliation by AIBA and the Sports Ministry.
- The IOA had initially refused to grant recognition to BFI stating that it still considered the now-defunct Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) as the official national body for the sport.
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