“Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”

― Theodore Roosevelt.

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 – 8 April 2019

  • The Bureau of Indian Standards has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with IIT-Delhi for collaborating in the field of standardization and conformity assessment. This Memorandum was signed by  IIT Delhi Professor V Ramgopal Rao and Director General of BIS, Surina Rajan. The following Points can be concluded:

1. According to the MoU, BIS will provide financial support for IIT Delhi for projects and IIT will provide infrastructure support for research and development projects of relevance to standardisation.
2. BIS and IIT Delhi have also agreed to set up a Centre of Excellence in the field of standardization , testing and conformity assessment.
3. The MoU will remain in force for a period of five years and can be extended further.

Note that: BIS was established in 1986 and was founded was Parliament of India. Headquarters are situated in Manak Bhawan and Director General is Surina Rajan.

 

  • In Jammu & Kashmir, the 2-day per week ban on movement of civilian vehicles on the Jammu-Srinagar-Baramulla national highway for facilitating safe passage of security convoys, has come into effect from Sunday.

It will remain in place till May 31st. This ban has been imposed in view of large number of security personnel being moved around for election duty in the state.

 

  • Union Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu said that Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) should be brought under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime as it will ensure a level playing field for the domestic airline industry.

He said that different rates of taxes in states push the prices of ATF due to which refuelling costs completely changes from state to state. The airlines have been demanding inclusion of ATF under the GST as it would bring relief to them.

 

  • The Election Commission has barred the political parties, candidates as well as other organizations from publishing advertisement in print media on the poll day and a day prior to it in all the election phases until unless approved.

The Commission mentioned about facilitating the process of pre-certification of advertisements, the Media Certification and Monitoring Committee at the state and district levels should be immediately activated to examine as well as pre-certify all such advertisements received from the political parties. For the first time web – based corporations have also voluntarily adopted the norms for online campaign to make sure free, fair and ethical usage of Social Media Platforms to maintain the integrity of the electoral process.

The Election Commission of India has also advised all the enforcement agencies working under the administrative control of the Department of Revenue that their actions should be absolutely neutral, impartial and non-discriminatory. The Commission said, in case of suspected use of illicit money for the electoral purpose, the Chief Electoral Officer should be kept informed during the period of model code of conduct.

Note that: The use of money power with the intention of influencing voter behaviour has over the period emerged as one of the biggest challenges for the conduct of free, fair and credible elections according to the EC.

 

International Current Affairs Capsule – 8 April 2019

  • The UAE Government has announced granting long-term visas for the top 100 start-ups shaping the fourth industrial revolution.

The 100 Arab start-ups were selected at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa, held in Jordan between 6-7th April. The Forum witnessed for the first time bringing together a hundred rising firms from the Arab region, which are working to shape the future of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.  

The start-ups will also have a chance to team up with “Area 2071” which serves as a gateway and a platform for designing future, through encouraging creativity, fostering talents as well as attracting local and global partnerships. According to the world Economic Forum’s latest report, two hundredth of the Arab world’s the hundred most promising startups are primarily based within the UAE. The initiative aims to further integrate the Arab world’s most promising start-up entrepreneurs into a national and regional dialogue on pressing challenges.

 

  • External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has informed that India has evacuated its entire contingent of 15 CRPF personnel from Tripoli after the situation abruptly worsened in Libya. The CRPF contingent was deployed as a peacekeeping force in Tripoli.

Note that: The military conflict in Libya has escalated after forces of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar have launched an air strike in an area in Tripoli and the government vowed a major counteroffensive. Rivalries between Haftar and the government have threaten to plunge the North African country into a civil war.

 

Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 8 April 2019

  • For promoting the adoption of Unified Payments Interface (UPI), the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has reduced the transaction fees up to Rs 1,000 by 60%. The Key Points Includes:

1. For UPI transactions up to Rs.1,000, the charge has been cut to 10 paise from 25 paise, and for transactions above Rs.1,000 has been retained at 50 paise.
2. This will help the service provider banks, third-party applications and at the same time will also help the consumers in the long run as more cash backs and incentives can get offered.
3. At present Google Pay, Paytm and PhonePe are aggressively promoting UPI by offering case back and other benefits.

Note that: National Payments Corporation of India was founded in 2008 by Praveena Rai and it’s headquarters are situated in Mumbai.

 

  • Under ‘Category II Alternate Investment Fund’, for the first time SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) has approved an ‘airport’ specific fund ‘Taking Off To the Future Airport Fund’. It can raise a capital amounting to 1.5$bn (Rs. 10,000 crore). The Key Points Include:

1. The ‘Sponsor and Investment Manager’ of the fund is based in Chennai and is termed as ‘Taking Off To The Future Investment Management LLP’.
2. A minimum capital contribution of Rs. 3500 crore and a maximum of Rs. 7000 crore is targeted by the fund.

Note that: India is presently the third largest aviation market in the world.

 

Sports Current Affairs – 8 April 2019

  • Chinese badminton ace Lin Dan has clinched the Malaysia Open in Kuala Lumpur. After an electric performance, he beat countryman Chen Long 9-21, 21-7, 21-11. The title is Lin’s first win this year, and also his first major success since taking the Malaysia Open in 2017.

 

“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims – 8 April 2019 “

Q1. President Abdelaziz Bouteflika will resign before his fourth term expires. He is the president of which among the following countries?

  • A) Mongolia
  • B) Kazakhstan
  • C) Israel
  • D) Algeria

Q2. Which nation unveiled a new name “Reiwa” for the imperial era that begins on May 1?

  • A) South Korea
  • B) Japan
  • C) Russia
  • D) Kazakhstan

Q3. Which among the following banks has become the first lender to charge UPI beyond a monthly limit of 30 transactions from May?

  • A) ICICI Bank
  • B) Kotak Mahindra Bank
  • C) HDFC Bank
  • D) SBI

Q4. The Meeting of India-Ukraine Working Group on Trade and Economic Cooperation (IU-WGTEC) was recently held in ________.

  • A) Mumbai
  • B) New Delhi
  • C) Nagpur
  • D) Pune

Q5. Which among the following countries retained the ICC Test Championship Mace?

  • A) Pakistan
  • B) Sri Lanka
  • C) India
  • D) Malaysia

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!