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Current Affairs 2017

General Studies has now become the core area for testing the abilities of the Civil Services aspirants. There are two parts of General Studies, one is the topics related to the different subjects, and the other is Current Affairs. While subject related topics are static, the Current Affairs is the dynamic aspect of the General Studies.

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So the study and analysis of current affairs has to be given more emphasis because significant portion of it is dedicated to it both in the civil services mains and the prelims exam.

Even at the interview stage awareness about current affairs is very important as it decides the rank of the candidates.

In such a scenario the preparation of current affairs topics related to India and the world is an important part of your preparations. The students have to be aware of the happening in India and around the world as this portion is an integral part of the general studies paper.

In order to make you ready for the challenges of the Current Affairs preparation, we are covering the current affairs topics on a regular basis.

Our current topics are categorised in such a way that it includes; political affairs, current news, science news, general knowledge, government's scheme and policies and international affairs.

We provide you comprehensive topics of preparation that covers not only India's current scenario but also international events. We also cover Indian news headlines and other important international events under the current affairs segment.

For the very purpose of getting you ready for the challenge that is current news and views in India, we are covering the current affairs 2015 on a regular basis. Our hot topics are categorised such that they include political affairs, current news, science news, general knowledge, current government affairs and international affairs. Only studying India's current scenario or political affairs is not sufficient as you have to cover international events and affairs along with the Indian newsspace, as well as important and current events in the field of science and sports.

Current Affairs

Current affairs books and magazine

Current Affairs March 06th to March 12th 2017

International Current News

  • 0.637 seconds - the new record set by a robot in solving the Rubik’s cube with 21 moves in Germany which is a new Guinness World Record. The Sub 1 Reloaded beat a previous record of 0.887 seconds which was achieved by an earlier version of the same machine using a different processor. 4.904 seconds is the official record for a human set by a 14-year old boy in 2015.
  • 6 - the number of countries from which the migrant’s entry will be banned in United States as per the new executive order signed by US President Donald Trump. The new order, aimed at getting around the legal smack down that spiked the first presidential decree on the subject, drops Iraq from the list of seven countries that includes Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. US Green card holders will be exempted. About the six countries identified for the travel ban, the new order said that each of these countries is a state sponsor of terrorism, has been significantly compromised by terrorist organizations, or contains active conflict zones. Any of these circumstances diminishes the foreign government's willingness or ability to share or validate important information about individuals seeking to travel to the United States.

National Current News

  • 40,000 MW - the new capacity for the scheme for development of solar parks and ultra mega solar projects, recently revised by the government. The capacity of the solar park scheme has been doubled from 20,000 MW after considering the demand for additional solar parks from the states. The solar parks and ultra mega solar power projects will be set up by 2019-20 with financial support of Rs.8100 crore from the centre. Production of 64 billion units of electricity per year will lead to abatement of about 55 million tonnes of carbon every year. All states and union territories are eligible for benefits under the scheme which is up to Rs.20 lakh per megawatt or 30% of the project cost.
  • 1% - the proposed Tax Collected at Source(TCS) on ecommerce companies under the Goods and Services Tax(GST) as decided recently by the GST Council. The GST council also approved the Central GST(CGST) and Integrated GST(IGST). The government plans to roll out GST from July 1,2017.
  • M3 - the latest avatar of the Electronic Voting Machine(EVMs) which the Election Commission is looking to ramp up its production ahead of the 2019 Loksabha polls. The plans are to replace all pre 2006 EVMs with M3-the more sophisticated machine with built in self diagnostics, minimal chances of machine failure and the ability to shut the moment any tampering effort is made. The M1 and M2 are the older versions of the EVM with M1 being kept out of use. The first EVM was used in 1982 by poll election and came to be used on a larger scale starting in 1992.
  • 30th June 2017 - the deadline set by government for the people to get biometric identification document-Aadhaar. The government has made Aadhaar mandatory to avail of benefits under nearly three dozen central schemes apart from the midday meal scheme at schools and Sarv Siksha Abhiyan. People should apply for card by 3oth June and till then other documents will be sufficient to get the benefits.
  • 58% - the percentage of the Indian kids below five years are anaemic as per the recently released family health survey (NFHS 4). This means that they suffer from insufficient hemoglobin in the blood, leaving them exhausted, vulnerable to infections and possibly affecting their brain development. The survey which was carried out in 2015-16 covered six lakh households, also showed that around 38% of children in the same age group were stunted,21% were wasted and 36% underweight. Kids with low weight relative to their height are considered wasted, those with low height relative to age are stunted and those with low weight relative to age are underweight.
  • 2017-23 - the period for which India launched its latest plan to phase out a key refrigerant, hydrochloroflurocarbon (HCFC), under its efforts to end the use of ozone-depleting substance (ODS) that harm the environment and human wealth. Though the plan is meant for the period 2017-23 , the goal is to phase out consumption and manufacturing of HCFC by 2030. HCFCs are currently used in sectors including refrigeration, air-conditioning and foam manufacturing. India being a signatory of Montreal Protocol in 1987 has successfully phased out CFCs and halo well in time. After phasing out HCFCs, India will have to work on to phase out Hydro fluorocarbon(HFC). Though HFC is not an ODS, it has climate-damaging potential. India has to phase out HFC by 85% by 2047 over the 2024-26 level(baseline).
  • INS Viraat - the longest-serving aircraft carrier which was decommissioned from the Naval dockyard in Mumbai recently. It was commissioned in 1959 and had worked with the British Royal Navy and the Indian Navy.
  • ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ - the Indian film which won the audience award at Glasgow Film Festival recently. Director Alankrita Shrivastava received the award from ‘Doctor Who’ star David Tennant during the fest’s closing ceremony. This film was in the news after it was denied release in India by censor board. The film, which stars Ratna Pathak Shah and Konkana Sensharma in key roles, resolves around the lives of four Indian women seeking more from life than docile domesticity.
  • DFS - it stands for Double Fortified Salt will be distributed in Uttar Pradesh to help end anaemia. The DFS augments iodised salt with iron, vital to countering anaemia. Professor Levente Diosady, an emeritus professor in the department of chemical engineering and applied chemistry at University of Toronto, is the man behind the salt.
  • 2% - the number of world millionaires which are in India as per the recently released Knight Frank Global Wealth Report 2017. As per the report India was sixth in 2016 in terms of growth rate in the number of ultra high net worth individuals(UHNWI) and is likely to move up to third rank over the next decade out of 89 countries. In the last 10 years, India added about 500 new UHNWIs annually and over the next decade this number is expected to double with 1,000 new additions every year.
  • 40% - the percentage increase witnessed in institutional births in all Empowered Action Group(EAG) states(Bihar, Jharkhand, MP, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Rajasthan, UP and Uttarakhand) and Assam, according to the National Family Health Survey-4. A rise in the number of institutional deliveries is crucial as it helps reduce maternal and infant mortality, besides ensuring better health for women and children in the long run. Kerala, Lakshadweep and Puducherry are the best states in institutional birth with 99.9% while Rajasthan is worst at 29.6%.
  • 26 weeks - the weeks of paid paternity leave, which will now be granted to women working in the organised sector which is up from earlier 12 weeks, a decision which will benefit around 1.8 million women. The law will apply to all establishments employing 10 or more people and the entitlement will be for the first two children. For the third child, the entitlement will be 12 weeks. With this, India becomes the country with the third highest maternity leave. Canada and Norway grant 50 weeks and 44 weeks respectively as paid maternity leave. The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 was passed by Lok Sabha recently. Rajya Sabha had passed it in August last year. The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 protects the employment of women during the time of her maternity and entitles her full paid absence from work to take care of her child.
  • Among other things, the bill provides for 12 weeks of maternity leave to a woman who legally adopts a child under three months of age and a commissioning mother (defined as a biological mother) who uses her egg to have a surrogate child.
  • The bill also requires every establishment with 50 or more employees to provide creche facilities within a prescribed distance. The woman will be allowed four visits to the creche a day. This will include her interval for rest.

Current Affairs February 27th to March 05th 2017

International Current News

  • 12 - the number of families of bacteria that are present today that pose the greatest threat to human health according to the WHO which recently published the first-ever list of antibiotic-resistant "priority pathogens", to guide and promote research and development of new antibiotics. The Geneva-based World Health Organisation (WHO) said that list was drawn up as part of its efforts to address growing global resistance to antimicrobial medicines.According to the global health body, the list is divided into three categories according to the urgency of need for new antibiotics: critical, high and medium priority."The most critical group of all includes multi-drug resistant bacteria that pose a particular threat in hospitals, nursing homes, and among patients whose care requires devices such as ventilators and blood catheters. They include Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas and various Enterobacteriaceae (including Klebsiella, E. coli, Serratia, and Proteus). The second tier which includes antibiotics of high priority includes for Enterococcus faecium, which is vancomycin-resistant, Staphylococcus aureus which is methicillin-resistant, Helicobacter pylori which is clarithromycin-resistant, Campylobacter spp which is fluoroquinolone-resistant, Salmonellae which is fluoroquinolone-resistant, Neisseria gonorrhoeae which is cephalosporin and fluoroquinolone-resistant. The third tier which includes medium priority includes Streptococcus pneumoniae which is penicillin-non-susceptible, Haemophilusinfluenzae, which is ampicillin-resistant and Shigellaspp which is fluoroquinolone-resistant.
  • Sun - the celestial body to which the NASA plans to send its first robotic spacecraft next year that is slated to get within six million kilometers of the blazing star to probe its atmosphere. The unmanned spacecraft Solar Probe Plus which will travel to the sun will have special heat tubes called thermal radiators that will radiate heat that permeates the heat shield to open space, ‘so that it does not go to the instruments’. The mission will hopefully unveil why the surface of the Sun called the photosphere is not hot as its atmosphere called the corona.
  • FORPHEUS - it stands for Future Omron Robotics Technology for Exploring Possibility of Harmoniseda Utomation with Sinictheoretics, is the name of the first robot table tennis tutor developed in Japan which made its entry into the Guinness World Records recently. It is easily able to act as a coach thanks to cutting-edge vision and motion sensors it can use to gauge movement during a match.
  • Trappist-1 - the name of the planetary system that has been discovered by NASA recently. A NASA telescope has detected the first known system of seven earth-size planets around a single star. This exoplanet system, is named for the Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope (TRAPPIST) in Chile. The planets have no real names. They’re only known by letters, ‘b’ through ‘h’. ‘A’ refers to the star itself.

National Current News

  • SPARSH - the life size model of a green building which was inaugurated in India recently. Launched by the Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA), SPARSH has been designed to enhance the user experience of a "green building". According to a statement by the GRIHA Council, SPARSH "is an effort to bring an economically viable and structurally sound green building option to the masses. The cost of building a structure of any size on the SPARSH platform would be much less than the cost of traditional building of an equivalent size with similar amenities". GRIHA, developed by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) together with the New and Renewable Energy Ministry, has been endorsed as the national rating system for green buildings in India in 2007. It is an indigenous green building rating system developed specifically to suit Indian climate and construction practices.
  • Antyodaya Express - the long distance, fully unreserved, superfast train service which has been started by Indian Railways. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu recently flagged off the first Antyodaya Express between Kochi's Ernakulam Junction and Howrah Junction. The 22-coach train will cover a distance of 2,307 kilometres in 37 hours. Antyodaya Express is a long distance, fully unreserved, superfast train service, for the common man to be operated on dense routes. Prabhu also flagged off Humsafar Express between Rajasthan's Sriganganagar and Tiruchirappalli in Tamil Nadu. Humsafar Express is an all-AC 'affordable' luxury train for the common man and was announced in the Railway Budget 2016. The train has air-conditioned 3-tier coaches.
  • Dabfi - it stands for Digital Asset and Blockchain Foundation of India is the name of the body that will work as a self-regulatory organisation for Bitcoin start-ups. Bitcoin start-ups Zebpay, Unocoin, Coinsecure and Searchtrade have jointly launched Dabfi, with the aim of orderly and transparent growth of the virtual currency market. They have appointed Nishith Desai Associates, an international law firm, to develop self-regulation norms for the segment.Dabfi will prepare self-regulatory regimes for trading of bitcoins and other block chain-based digital assets, and, standardise Know Your Cusotmer and anti-money laundering norms for member companies.It is to also build credibility and create awareness about the benefits and risks, liaise with regulators and get clarity on taxation, attract investment and set up incubators to promote start-ups, build global relations and actively engage with the global community in this regard.And, create a public website and regularly print reports on and around bitcoins and block chain, the body said. Bitcoin is not yet legally recognised in India.
  • Alibaba - the international firm that has joined hands with India’s firm Paytm and has launched Paytm Mall, a consumer shopping app, to take on local rival Flipkart and global rival Amazon in the country. The Paytm Mall, an Android app for smartphones is modelled on TMall, China’s dominant e-commerce platform. Alibaba is stepping up investments in the online commerce market in India. The Chinese firm has already infused around $200 million into Paytm, valuing the company at around $1 billion making it a unicorn.It has expanded its offerings from over 0.14 million local sellers, across products to consumers and has set up 17 fulfilment centres for speedy service as the company aims to dominate the Indian online shopping market.
  • BBC - the network which along with its journalist Justin Rowlatt has been banned for five years by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) that governs all tiger reserves in the country. This was done following a BBC documentary questioning India's aggressive protection measures at Kaziranga national park in Assam. BBC's South Asia correspondent Justin Rowlatt's documentary titled `One World: Killing for Conservation' on Kaziranga's rhino conservation methods came in for sharp criticism from the Union environment ministry for being "grossly erroneous". The documentary had claimed forest guards in Kaziranga had been given powers to shoot and kill anyone they think was a threat to rhinos. It has asked chief wildlife wardens of all tiger range states and field directors of tiger reserves to disallow filming permission to BBC for five years.
  • Tropex - it stands for The Theatre Readiness Operational Exercise, is the name of a month-long naval exercise put to test the combat readiness of the Navy, the IAF and the Army with over 45 ships and 70 aircraft taking part which was completed recently. It started on January 24 and concluded on February 23. It was conducted along the Western seaboard. Tropex, in complete coordination with the Army and the Indian Air Force, took place in phases to test the various facets of war-fighting and joint combat capabilities of the armed forces. The previous edition of the exercise was conducted in January 2015.
  • Kalvari - the first of indigenously-built submarine from which the Indian Navy recently successfully test-fired an anti-ship missile in the Arabian Sea. This missile launch is a significant milestone, not only for the Kalvari, which is the first in a series of Scorpene-class submarines being built in India, but also in enhancing the Navy's sub-surface warfare capability. All six Kalvari submarines will be equipped with the missile, with a proven record in combat, to neutralise surface threats at extended ranges.
  • Thamirabarani - the river of Tamil Nadu which was in the news recently after the Madras High Court order allowing Pepsi and Coca Cola to draw water from this river for their bottling plants for manufacturing soft drinks. In opposition to this order a large number or persons stood in knee deep water in the river to express their ire. The protesters also shouted slogans against the state government for not taking necessary steps to prevent the carbonated water companies from drawing water from Thamirabharani, when the farmers in the was facing acute water shortage for their farming activities. The Thamirabarani River is a perennial river that originates from the famous Agastyarkoodam peak of Pothigai hills of the Western Ghats, above Papanasam in the Ambasamudram taluk. It flows through Tirunelveli and Tuticorin districts of the Tamil Nadu state of southern India into the Gulf of Mannar.
  • Jawaharlal Nehru University - this university bagged the annual 'Visitor's Award' for the best varsity in the country. JNU has been hogging limelight for all the wrong reasons since last February when three of its students were arrested on sedition charges in connection with an event on campus during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised.
  • World Bank - the international organization whose CEO Kristalina Georgieva visited India recently. She praised India’s Prime Minister Narendra’s Modi decision to ban high-value banknotes as part of efforts to stamp out corruption which she said will have profound and positive impact on India’s economy.
  • Rs.50,000 - the expected savings made by government due to Direct Benefit Transfer(DBT) over the last three years as on 31st December 2016. This amount is equivalent to the subsidy paid put under DBT in this financial year, implying nearly a year’s subsidy was saved. This savings figure is expected to significantly rise further in the next financial year as the government will be bringing a total of 533 central payout schemes in 64 ministries under the DBT mechanism by 31st March, 2018-Rs.14,000cr saved in PDS & deleting 2.33cr ration cards, Rs.7,633crore saved in MGNR EGS & Rs.26408cr savings in LPG PAHAL, Rs.399cr saved in National Social Assistance Programme.
  • 12th - it is the rank of India in holding of the US government securities at the end of 2016, with exposure of $118 billion. With holdings of $1.09 trillion, Japan remained the largest holder of these securities followed by China with exposure to the tune of $1.06 trillion.
  • Liveability Index - the index which was recently introduced for India taking a leaf out of international practice of rating cities on liveability. Beginning with 100 smart cities, the liveability index would rank all Indian cities on 77 parameters including how they fare in terms of grievance redressal of citizens, pollution, availability of water and power, online citizen services, upkeep of historical buildings, increase in tourists footfalls, crime rate, extent of crimes recorded against women, children and elderly, availability of traffic surveillance system and education. Presently Hyderabad is the most liveable city, but ranks 139 globally. Vienna has been topping the survey for the past 4 years.
  • IFC - the World Bank arm which is planning an aggressive foray into startups at Series-a level, as part of its recent push towards early-stage investing in India. As part of the programme, IFC will invest between $1-3 million in early stage focused venture funds and accelerators. Till now, it has backed more mature startups like Byju’s, Lenskart, Bigbasket and Blackbuck, with ticket sizes upwards of $5 million at Series-B stage and onwards.
  • Rs.20lakh - the amount of gratuity which will now be exempt from taxes for private sector employees after the Centre decided to amend a law and bring them at par with central government staff. Currently, private sector employees can get tax exemption up to Rs.10 lakh in gratuity after five years of continuous employment.
  • 4.5% - the percentage of India’s population which is suffering from depression, which is similar to global percentage, which stands at 4.4%, as per the latest World Health Organisation (WHO) data. The number of people in India suffering from depression is roughly about 5,66,75,969. Also,3% of India’s population(3,84,25,093) is living with anxiety disorder. Depression is ranked by WHO as the single largest contributor to global disability and anxiety disorders is ranked 6th.India also has the highest cases of depression in the WHO’s South East region(WHO-SEAR)- Pakistan(4.2%), Bhutan (4.2%) etc.
  • Indian nationals - they accounted for nearly 60% of the skilled work visa granted by UK last year according to the new figures released by the British government recently. Indians accounted for 53,575 of the 93,244 skilled work visas granted by Britain-or 57%- for the year ending September 2016. This was followed by US nationals with 9,348 visas or 10% of the total.

Sports Updates

  • Steve Smith - the Australian captain who consolidated his position at the top of the ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen following his outstanding batting effort in the opening Test against India recently. The 27-year-old right-hander reached a career-high 939 rating points which is the sixth best ever after Don Bradman (961), Len Hutton (945), Jack Hobbs and Ricky Ponting (both 942) and Peter May (941).Gary Sobers, Viv Richards and Kumar Sangakkara all had career-high ranking points of 938, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced recently.
  • John - John Dohmen- the skipper of Belgium who guided the team to silver medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics was adjudged the international hockey federation(FIH) male player of the year at the gala FIH Hockey Stars Award ceremony held recently at Chandigarh. It is for the first time that a ceremony was held to honour the best outfield players, goalkeepers, rising stars, coaches and umpires by FIH. Belgium’s Arthur Van Doren was named the male ‘Rising Star of the Year’ and Argentina’s Maria Granatto the female Rising Star of the Year. Naomi van AS, the player of Netherlands who was part of the Rio Olympics silver medal winning women’s team was adjudged the international hockey federation (FIH) female player of the year at the gala FIH Hockey Stars Award ceremony held recently at Chandigarh.
  • Kalinga Lancers - they defeated Dabang Mumbai in the final to clinch their maiden title in the Coal India Hockey India League (HIL) played at the Chandigarh Hockey Stadium recently. Uttar Pradesh Wizards beat Delhi Waveriders 5-4 in the bronze medal match. Kalinga's goal-scorers, Turner and Furste shared the maximum goal-scoring chart with 12 goals each in the successful campaign.
  • Harika Dronavalli - the Indian Grandmaster who won the bronze medal after a heartbreaking defeat against Tan Zhongyi of China via the tie-breaker in the semi-finals of the FIDE World Women's Chess Championship in Tehran. Harika had to settle for a bronze medal for the third time. In 2012, Harika had lost the semi-final against Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria while in 2015 she had lost to eventual winner Mariya Muzychuk of Ukraine.
  • Heena Sidhu - she partnered with Jitu Rai to win the 10m mixed team air pistol event of the ISSF World Cup held recently. However, since the mixed event is being used on a trial basis in line with IOC's aim to achieve gender equality in its 2020 Tokyo Olympics program, medals are not being awarded even though the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) executive committee has ratified the recommendations. The recommendations to include mixed gender event was given by the AbhinavBindra-led ISSF Athletes Committee and the world governing body soon approved the proposal.
  • Jitu Rai - he clinched the gold medal while compatriot Amanpreet Singh bagged the silver in men's 50m pistol event at ISSF World Cup, in New Delhi, recently. He shot a total of 230.1, a world record, to finish on top of the podium, while Amanpreet, who was leading for a major part of the final, had to be satisfied with the silver medal after aggregating 226.9. Iran's Vahid Golkhandan took away the bronze with a score of 208.0
  • Virat Kohli - he became the first Indian sportsperson to strike a Rs. 100 crore endorsement deal with a single brand. He signed an eight-year contract with sports lifestyle brand Puma that’s worth about Rs.110 crore. He joins Usain Bolt and Thierry Henry, among others, as Puma’s global ambassador. Sachin Tendulkar and Mahendra Singh Dhoni have been in the Rs.100-crore club through multi-year contract with sports and talent management agencies.