This Daily Current Affair Capsule will 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 – 9 March 2018
■ The leader of Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) Neiphiu Rio has sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Nagaland for the fourth time in Kohima, as the head of a new alliance, the People’s Democratic Alliance. The ruling alliance has 18 legislators of Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) — a new party Rio heads after he broke away from the Naga People’s Front — 12 BJP MLAs and has the support of one JD(U) MLA and an Independent.
■ A 24×7 Unique Toll Free Helpline “1033” has been launched for road users on National Highways. The NHAI had assigned the work for the establishment of the Helpline using 4-digit toll free number “1033” to IHMCL. It will be a single point of contact for the public in case of accident or other emergencies on National Highways. It will also act as a single point contact for reporting issues related to National Highways e.g. obstruction of highways due to a fallen tree, dharna, flat tyre, bad road condition etc.
■ The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) has launched a Udyam Sakhi portal for women entrepreneurs of India on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
The “www.udyamsakhi.org” portal is a network for nurturing social entrepreneurship and creating business models for low-cost products and services in order to empower women and make them self-reliant and self-sufficient.
The portal provides assistance through its platform for entrepreneurship learning tools, incubation facility, training programs for fundraising, providing mentors, one-on-one investor meet, provide market survey facility and technical assistance.
■ The Supreme Court has set aside a Kerala High Court order annulling the marriage of Hadiya to Shafin Jahan, whom she had married after converting to Islam. Justice Chandrachud observed that “Marriage and plurality are the fundamental core of our culture. Plurality in India should be zealously guarded”. Chief Justice Misra emphatically added that it is not just the state, but parents too cannot wield their influence against adults who marry a person of their own choice. It is not for the courts or the state or the parents to question a woman’s choice of her husband.
In an order coinciding with the International Women’s Day, the Supreme Court recognised and upheld Hadiya’s freedom “to pursue her future endeavours according to law”.
■ Forty Indian-origin students from 9 countries have arrived in India as part of the 46th edition of Know India Programme (KIP). The partner state for this edition of the programme is Madhya Pradesh.
About Know India Programme (KIP): It is a flagship programme of Ministry of External Affairs for engagement with Indian origin youth (between 18-30 years) to enhance their awareness about India, its cultural heritage, art and to familiarise them with various aspects of contemporary India.
Minimum qualification required for participating in KIP is graduation from a recognized University /Institute or enrolled for graduation and have basic skills in spoken English. The applicant should not have visited India through any previous Programme of Government of India. Those who have not visited India before are given preference.
■ Nari Shakti Puraskars 2017 were presented to 30 women by the President on the eve of International Women’s Day. Gita Mittal, the Delhi High Court Acting Chief Justice, has become the first woman from the field of law and justice to be conferred the ‘Nari Shakti Puraskar’, which is India’s highest civilian honour for women.
About Nari Shakti Puraskars:
Aimed at acknowledging Women’s achievements, the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India confers Nari Shakti Puraskars on eminent women and institutions in recognition of their service towards the cause of women empowerment. The Nari Shakti Awards were initiated in the year 1999.
The Nari Shakti Puraskar carries a cash award of Rs.1 Lakh and a certificate for individuals and institutions.
■ The government has launched the #YesIBleed menstrual hygiene campaign. It aims to create a holistic approach to the issue of menstruation, as it transcends culture, class, and caste. The campaign has been initiated formally across all multi-media platforms, including Facebook and YouTube to spread awareness about the issue.
The United Nations (UN) has recognised menstrual hygiene as a global public health and a human rights issue – “Period poverty”- is a reality for millions of women and girls. Menstruation is still a taboo subject in our country and there is a much-needed awareness campaign.
■ Union Minister Ananthkumar has launched 100% Oxo-biodegradable Sanitary Napkin, ‘Suvidha’, under the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP). The affordable sanitary napkin will be available for Rs. 2.50 per pad at over 3200 Janaushadhi Kendrasacross India.
Note that: India generates estimated 13 tonnes of menstrual waste annually. More than two-thirds of women in urban centres use hygienic methods of protection during periods, but this number is not even half in rural areas, according to the National Family Health Survey 2015-2016.
■ The biennial event on Civil Aviation and Aerospace titled “Wings India 2018” is being held in Hyderabad, with the theme “India-Global Aviation Hub”. It is organised jointly by the Union Civil Aviation Ministry, Airports Authority of India and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
“Wings India 2018” aims to be a comprehensive platform in the region for the interactions, forging alliances, investments and air connectivity between the States and the global aviation players/ stakeholders.
■ The Karnataka government has unveiled the State flag (nada dhwaja) for Karnataka. The yellow-white-red flag has the State emblem at the centre. The proposal will be now sent to the Union Home Ministry for approval since a State has no powers to announce its own flag. If approved by the Centre, Karnataka will be the second State to have a flag after Jammu and Kashmir.
International Current Affairs Capsule – 9 March 2018
■ The Union Cabinet has also approved the signing of Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement between India and France. This agreement will be signed during the forthcoming state visit of French President to India starting today.
■ In the UK, Indian-origin steel tycoon Sanjeev Gupta has been appointed by Britain’s Prince Charles as an official ambassador for the Industrial Cadets programme designed to nurture manufacturing skills. Gupta was appointed to the flagship programme to give children and young people the direct structured experience of the industry at school or college level.
■ The European Space Agency (ESA) is building Air-Breathing Electric Thruster (ABET) aimed at extending the working life of satellites by years and help with interplanetary travel using just the air around it as a propellant.
About Air-Breathing Electric Thruster (ABET): An air-breathing engine will work by collecting the sparse air at the edge of the atmosphere and compresses it to a point that it becomes thermalised ionised plasma. It then fires out the plasma using an electric charge to achieve thrust. An air breathing thruster could keep a satellite operational for extended periods of time if it only uses the air around it for fuel instead of propellants. This Air-Breathing Electric Thruster (ABET) works in low Earth orbit (LEO) – altitude of 2,000 km or less.
■ NASA is inviting people around the world to submit their names online to be placed on a microchip aboard NASA’s Parker Solar Probe mission which will be launching in summer 2018. The Parker Solar Probe is part of NASA’s Living with a Star Program (LWS), to explore aspects of the Sun-Earth system that directly affect life and society.
- The Parker Solar Probe will move within 4 million miles of the sun’s surface, facing heat and radiation like no spacecraft before it.
- Launching in 2018, Parker Solar Probe will provide new data on solar activity and help in forecasting major space-weather events that impact life on Earth.
- Parker Solar Probe will provide a statistical survey of the outer corona.
- The primary goal of the mission is to trace the flow of energy and understand the heating of the solar corona and to explore what accelerates the solar wind.
Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 9 March 2018
■ The Cabinet has approved a hike in Dearness Allowance to central government employees and Dearness Relief to pensioners from 5% to 7%, with effect from January 1, 2018. This hike is expected to benefit 48.41 lakh central government employees and 61.17 lakh pensioners.
■ The Tech giant Microsoft has inked its first renewable energy deal in India for powering its new facility in Bengaluru. This facility will be operational from June 2018, is spread over 5.85 lakh square feet. This is Microsoft’s first solar energy agreement in India, and one of the first ones in the Asian region.
This agreement will see Microsoft purchase 3 megawatts of solar-powered electricity from Atria Power to help power its new office building in Bangalore. Once completed, the project will bring Microsoft’s total global direct procurement in renewable energy projects to nearly 900 megawatts.
It will meet 80% of the projected electricity needs at the new facility. This deal is part of Karnataka government program to encourage investments in local solar energy operations, in line with the country’s goal of ramping up solar power generation to 100 gigawatts by 2022.
Sports Current Affairs – 9 March 2018
■ In the new contract system announced today, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has hiked the pay of Grade A+ cricketers from Rs 2 crore to Rs 7 crore. The newly incorporated A+ bracket includes Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah.
“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims – 9 March 2018 “
Q1. What is the theme of the 2018 International Women’s Day (IWD)?
- A) Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030
- B) Equality for Women is Progress for All
- C) Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives
- D) Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality
Q2. Who has become the first woman officer to be inducted as the first direct-entry combat officer in Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)?
- A) Prakriti
- B) Geetanjali
- C) Radhika
- D) Sudha
Q3. Which platform has been launched by the Union Government on the occasion of 2018 International Women’s Day?
- A) Women Entrepreneurship Platform
- B) Women Combat Platform
- C) Women Power Platform
- D) Women Literacy Platform
Q4. The Investment Dispute Settlement Navigator (IDSN) is compiled by _ ?
- A) World Trade Organization
- B) United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
- C) World Fair Trade Organisation
- D) None of the above
Q5. Who has become the first-ever Indian architect to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize?
- A) Chitra Vishwanath
- B) Raj Rewal
- C) Balkrishna Doshi
- D) Hafeez Contractor
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!