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 – 9 to 11 July 2018
■ (11th July) is World Population Day. This day was established by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme in 1989. The objective of World Population Day is to increase the awareness of the people towards the worldwide population issues. The theme of World Population Day 2018: “Family Planning is Human Right”.
■ Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel has been appointed the new chairperson of the National Green Tribunal (NGT). His tenure as NGT Chairperson will be for a period of 5 years from the date he assumes office, or till he reaches the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier. He will succeed Justice Jawad Rahim, who is the acting chairperson of NGT. The NGT was established on October 18, 2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources. The tribunal’s principal bench is located in New Delhi while its zonal benches are in Bhopal, Pune, Kolkata and Chennai and its circuit benches are in Shimla, Shillong, Jodhpur and Kochi.
About National Green Tribunal : NGT has been established under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010 for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources. The tribunal deals with matters relating to the enforcement of any legal right relating to the environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property. The Tribunal is not bound by the procedure laid down under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, but shall be guided by principles of natural justice.
The Tribunal is mandated to make and endeavour for disposal of applications or appeals finally within 6 months of filing of the same. The Sanctioned strength of NGT is – 10 expert members and 10 judicial members (the act allows for up to 20 of each).
■ Ministry of Railways has approved Digital Aadhaar and Driving License from Digital Locker as proof of identity of passengers for undertaking the journey by Train. The Digi Locker is a secure cloud-based platform for storage, sharing and verification of documents & certificates launched by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
■ The Union Human Resource Development Ministry has extended the term till August 31 of K. Kasturirangan Committee to draft a new education policy. The committee was supposed to submit the report by 30 June, but had sought an extension to give final shape to the policy and the minister has approved it. This is the third extension granted to the panel.
The existing National Education Policy (NEP) was framed in 1986 and later revised in 1992. A new National Education Policy (NEP) was part of the BJP manifesto. The committee headed by the former ISRO chief will also take into account the report of a panel headed by former cabinet secretary TSR Subramanian.
About K Kasturirangan: He headed ISRO between 1994 and 2003 and was awarded the country’s second-highest civilian honour — Padma Vibhushan — in 2000.
■ The Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has declared the 438 sq. km. area around Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) as an Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ). This will prohibit construction and commercial mining activities and restrict hotels and resorts near the reserve in the Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu. This area supports an ecologically sustainable habitat in the Western Ghats landscape for about 60-65 tigers, 600 to 800 Asian elephants and gaur apart from 227 species of birds, 50 species of fish, 21 species of amphibians and 34 species of reptiles. The Mudumalai reserve, comprising the wildlife sanctuary and the national park, extending over an area of 321 sq. km, was declared a core/critical tiger habitat in 2007. It is a critical part of the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve spread over 5,500 sq. km.
■ The first-ever ‘India Tourism Mart (ITM)’ will be hosted by the Ministry of Tourism in New Delhi from 16th to 18th September 2018. The Tourism Ministry has partnered with the Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) to organize this event. The event is aimed at creating an annual Global Tourism Mart for India in line with major international travel marts being held in countries across the world. The Mart will provide a platform for all stakeholders in the tourism and hospitality industries to interact and transact business opportunities.
■ The Union Environment Ministry has set Noise Standards for civil Airports across the country, excluding defence aircraft, and those that are landing and taking off. According to these rules, a civil airport with more than 50,000 aircraft movements per year should not exceed noise levels beyond 75 dB(A) Leq (decibels) during the daytime and 65 dBA during the night. It states that noise standards within the overall boundary for various airports are equivalent and applicable as ‘Industrial Zones’.
Note that: DB (A) Leq denotes the time weighted average of the level of sound in decibels on scale ‘A’ which is relatable to human hearing.
■ The Odisha government and Tata Trust will jointly spend Rs 1,000 crore for development of cancer care facilities in the State over the next 5 years. Under the Odisha comprehensive cancer care programme, a state-of-the-art Tata Memorial Hospital will be set up in Bhubaneswar. Odisha will provide 25 acres of land free of cost for the hospital.
■ The Supreme Court has upheld the death penalty for the convicts of the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape case, after hearing a review petition seeking a reduction of sentence. The death penalty was awarded to four of the six convicts, while the fifth, a juvenile, was sent to a correction home and the sixth had committed suicide inside the Tihar Central Jail.
■ The Government has shortlisted Six Institutions of Eminence (IoEs) including 3 from Public Sector and 3 from Private Sector. It is expected that these Institutions will come up in top 500 of the world ranking in 10 years and in top 100 of the world ranking eventually over time.
The institutions from the Public Sector are:
- Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Karnataka
- Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, Maharashtra
- Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.
The institutions from the Private Sector are :
- Jio Institute (Reliance Foundation), Pune under Green Field Category
- Birla Institute of Technology & Sciences, Pilani, Rajasthan
- Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka.
■ The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has launched a mobile help centre “Saathi” to reach out to people undertaking the annual pilgrimage to the 3,880-metre high holy cave shrine of Amarnath. The purpose of this initiative is to provide help and information to yatris staying in camps outside the Bhagwati Nagar base camp in Jammu. The CRPF personnel of the mobile help centre will be visiting various camps in Jammu and apprising the pilgrims about the security measures to be kept in mind. In addition , the trained CRPF personnel of the centre would provide first aid treatment to people in need and would also be distributing medicines.
■ The Gujarat Government has granted religious minority status to Jewish community living in the state. As religious minority members professing the faith of Judaism, they shall get the religious minority rights envisaged in the Constitution and various acts and rules of the state government. The Jews in Gujarat will also get benefits of welfare schemes formulated for religious minority communities within the jurisdiction of Gujarat. With this, Gujarat has become the 3rd state in India to grant religious minority status to Jews after West Bengal and Maharashtra.
Note that: Jews were one of the first foreign religions to arrive in India (3500 years ago). The Indian Constitution does not define the term ‘minority’. Six religious communities, viz. Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Zoroastrians (Parsis) and Jains have been notified in the Gazette of India as minority communities by Union Government all over India.
■ The International Round Table Conference on “Data for New India’’ has organised by the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (MoSPI) in New Delhi during 9-10th July, 2018. The Conference aims to identify innovative ideas for improving the statistical system in India, taking cue from the best practices followed in advanced countries like Canada, UK and Australia.
The conference is expected to suggest measures paving way for initiating the reform process in the Indian Statistical System. Experts from National and International agencies would deliberate on key statistical issues, such as data governance structure and capabilities, organizational issues, managing data systems in a federal structure and resource mobilization for ensuring quality statistical products to be produced.
■ The 67th plenary meeting of North Eastern Council (NEC) has started at Shillong in Meghalaya, chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. During the meet, they reviewed various presentations on matters related to all-round development of north-eastern region. Apart from this some of the major issues including transformation of several districts in the region, strengthening livelihood programmes, water resources management, doubling farmers’ income by 2022, road connectivity, Implementation of ‘Poshan Abhiyan’ Ayushman Bharat pertaining to the northeastern states were discussed in the plenary.
NEC is a regional planning body of eight Northeastern states. The NEC is being held for the first time after the Union Cabinet brought NEC under the direct control of the Home Ministry.
■ The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved Lining Project of Son Canal in Shahbad-Bhojpur region of Bihar, which would significantly benefit the agriculture sector in the region. The estimated cost of this project is USD $503 million out of which US $352 million is being provided by ADB.
About ADB: It is a regional development bank established on 22 August 1966 and is headquartered in Philippines. It aims to facilitate economic development of countries in Asia. It also aims for an Asia and Pacific free from poverty. The bank admits the members of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), (formerly known as the United Nations Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East) and non-regional developed countries. Currently, it has 67 members – of which 48 are from within Asia and the Pacific and 19 outside.
International Current Affairs Capsule – 9 to 11 July 2018
■ The 6th edition of biennial World Cities Summit (WCS-2018) has started in Singapore with theme “Liveable & Sustainable Cities: Embracing the Future through Innovation and Collaboration” from July 8. The 2018 WCS will explore how cities can be more liveable and resilient through better governance and planning, technology and social innovations, as well as collaborations with various stakeholders and with other cities. The 5-day event is co-organised by the Centre for Liveable Cities and the Urban Redevelopment Authority. It is held in conjunction with the Singapore International Water Week, the CleanEnviro Summit Singapore, and the Singapore International Transport Congress and Exhibition.
WCS is an exclusive platform for government leaders and industry experts to address sustainable city challenges, share integrated urban solutions and forge new partnerships. The key highlights of the Summit include the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize and the annual World Cities Summit Mayors Forum.
■ The Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister, Prakash Javadekar inaugurated the 5-day 17th World Sanskrit Conference (WSC) in Vancouver, Canada. More than 500 scholars and delegates from over 40 countries will exchange their knowledge by presenting papers on various subjects. The purpose of this conference is to promote, preserve and practice the Sanskrit language all over the world by the people. The World Sanskrit Conference is being held in various countries across the globe once in every three years and so far it has been held thrice in India. Previous WSC was held in Bangkok in 2015.
■ The leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea have signed a declaration to fully implement a peace deal reached in 2000, thereby ending the 20-year war between these two countries. Both these nations have also agreed to re-establish trade and diplomatic ties.
Note that: Eritrea seceded from Ethiopia in 1993, and the two countries have fought a border war from 1998 to 2000.
■ South Korean President Moon Jae-in is on his first state visit to India. During this 4 day visit, he will hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on key issues such as the situation on the Korean peninsula, and ways to boost trade and defence cooperation.
India and South Korea have signed following set of MoUs:
- 5 MoUs in the fields of Science & Technology.
- 3 MoUs are for Programme of Cooperation 2018-21, Establishment of Future Strategy Group, and Cooperation in Biotechnology and Bio-economy.
- 2 other MoUs were signed between Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), and South Korean National Research Council for Science and Technology and IIT Mumbai and Korea Institute of Science and Technology, to further accelerate future-oriented cooperation in their respective sectors
■ British Prime Minister Theresa May has appointed Jeremy Hunt as Foreign Secretary after Boris Johnson resigned in protest at the May government’s Brexit plan.
■ ‘The English Patient’, the wartime love story by Michael Ondaatje, has won the Golden Man Booker Prize. The prize was instituted to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Man Booker prize.
About the Book: The English Patient is a compelling work of fiction – both poetic and philosophical. It moves seamlessly between the epic and the intimate – one moment you’re in looking at the vast sweep of the desert and the next moment watching a nurse place a piece of plum in a patient’s mouth.
■ China has successfully launched two remote sensing satellites PRSS-1 and PakTes-1A of Pakistan on board of Long March-2C rocket from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre. It was overall 279th mission for the Long March rocket series (mainly used to send satellites into low Earth or Sun-synchronous orbits) and first international commercial launch in nearly two decades after it carried Motorola’s Iridium satellites into orbit in 1999.
Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 9 to 11 July 2018
■ South Korean consumer electronics major, Samsung has set up the world’s largest mobile phone factory in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. This facility was inaugurated jointly by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
The new plant will help the company raise its capacity in a phased manner, from 68 million units at present, to 120 million by 2020. Presently all Samsung mobile phones, including its flagship Galaxy S9, S9+ and Galaxy Note8, are manufactured at its Noida plant. The Noida factory was set up in 1996 , is one of the first global electronics manufacturing facilities set up in India. A bigger manufacturing plant, which is spread over 129000 sq. metres, will help Samsung meet the growing demand for its innovative products and services across the country and also fulfil the company’s goal of making India an export hub for the world.
■ Dr. Tapan Kumar Chand, CMD, NALCO, was honored with the Knowledge Excellence Award 2018 for Outstanding Contribution in Aluminium Knowledge domain at the 22nd International Conference on Non-Ferrous Minerals and Metals 2018 at Ranchi.
■ The government has proposed to create a special group to keep a check on e-commerce platforms like Flipkart and Amazon India so that the foreign investment policy is not violated by these entities. This special group will comprise officials from industry department and Enforcement Directorate.
■ The Department of Telecommunications has approved the merger of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular that will create India’s largest telecom operator. However, both these telecom companies will have to meet certain conditions for final approval. The department has reportedly asked Idea to pay Rs 3,926 crore in cash for Vodafone’s spectrum and furnish a bank guarantee of Rs 3,342 crore.
Sports Current Affairs – 9 to 11 July 2018
■ India’s expert squash player Dipika Pallikal has been appointed as Asia’s representative in the prestigious Athletes Advisory Commission of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF). The Indian Olympic Association/CGA India had proposed the name of Commonwealth gold medallist Pallikal to represent Asia in the CGFAAC. The CGFAAC is the body that represents and speaks on behalf of all Commonwealth athletes.
■ Goalkeeper PR Sreejesh is set to lead the 18-member Indian men’s hockey squad in the 18th Asian Games, in Jakarta and Palembang from August 18. Midfielder Chinglensana Singh Kangujam has been named the vice-captain and will be joined by the experienced Sardar Singh, Manpreet Singh, Simranjeet Singh and Vivek Sagar Prasad in the midfield.
■ Anju Khosla has become the oldest Indian woman to complete an Ironman Triathlon, which is one of the toughest one-day sporting events at the age of 52 years. She completed her first full Ironman Triathlon, in Carinthia, Austria, in 15 hours, 54 minutes and 54 seconds.
- The Ironman Triathlon comprises 3.86 km swimming leg, 180.25 km bike leg followed by a marathon (42.2 km), to be completed without a break.
■ Actor Kavi Kumar Azad, best known for his role of Dr Hansraj Hathi in much-loved teleseries ‘Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah’, has passed away after suffering from a heart attack.
■ Kabutari Devi, the famous Kumaoni folk singer, has passed away in Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand at age of 70 years. Her songs depicted the struggles in the life of Pahari women. She rose to fame after her maiden performance at All India Radio, Lucknow in the 1980s. The folk singer has received several honours, which includes the Ministry of Culture, Government of Uttarakhand for her outstanding contribution which echoed the sound of Kumaon hills.
“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims – 9 to 11 July 2018 “
Q1.Who authored the book “Winning Like Sourav: Think & Succeed Like Ganguly”?
- A) Mihir Bose
- B) Sundeep Misra
- C) Abhirup Bhattacharya
- D) Nirad C. Chaudhuri
Q2.Who has become the first from the minority community to contest assembly elections in Pakistan?
- A) Sunita Parmar
- B) Bishnu Chattopadhyay
- C) Bhawani Shankar Chowdhry
- D) Mukesh Kumar Chawla
Q3.The Civil Aviation Research Organisation (CARO) will be set up at which airport by the Airports Authority of India (AAI)?
- A) Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport
- B) Birsa Munda Airport
- C) Begumpet Airport
- D) Raja Bhoj Airport
Q4.Which Indian gymnast has clinched a gold in the vault event of FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup 2018 in Turkey?
- A) Ankita Kumari
- B) Aruna Reddy
- C) Dipa Karmakar
- D) Deepa Malik
Q5.Who has become the 3rd Indian cricketer to reach the coveted milestone of playing 500 international matches after Sachin Tendulkar (664 matches) and Rahul Dravid (509)?
- A) M S Dhoni
- B) Virat Kohli
- C) Rohit Sharma
- D) Ravichandran Ashwin
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!