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Current Affairs 2019

The value of Current Affairs in Civil Service Examinations is enormous. This is the most critical part of both Prelims and Mains Exam. Aspirants should study in depth to understand the significance of current affairs for the Union Public Service Commission. In fact, all the questions in Civil Service Exams are framed around current affairs. Questions are not asked directly for current news and information in the exam. Questions are framed by combining current affairs with practical knowledge. The primary motive behind this type of strategy is to check the ability of correlation a candidate can make to the fact.

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Why current affairs is more important in Civil Service Exam?

Success in Prelims and Mains Exam is directly related to an aspirant’s awareness in current affairs. Preparation of current affairs for UPSC is the key to unlock the exam. It requires practice and revision in a well-connected manner... 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 2019 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 news space, as well as important and current events in the field of science and sports.

Current affairs books and magazine

Current Affairs May 26 to June 01

Indian polity Current News

  • UAPA: It stands for the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. It was in the news recently after Bangladesh-based terror outfit — the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) — was banned by the Centre under this anti-terror law. This law is aimed at effective prevention of unlawful activities associations in India. Its main objective is to make powers available for dealing with activities directed against the integrity and sovereignty of India. The UAPA, framed in 1967, has been amended twice since: first in 2008 and then in 2012.
  • Article 83(2) of the Constitution: It is the Article under which completion of five years from the first day of its meeting amounts to dissolution of the Lower House. It was in the news recently after the Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi gave its approval to the Resolution advising the President to dissolve the Sixteenth Lok Sabha, which was constituted on 18.05. 2014.The Lower House can also be dissolved earlier by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister. It can also be dissolved if the President feels that no viable government can be formed after the resignation or fall of a regime.
  • SKM: Which stands for Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) President Prem Singh Tamang (Golay) was sworn in as the sixth chief minister of Sikkim during a public function at Paljor Stadium recently. Governor Ganga Prasad administered the oath of office and secrecy to Golay and his cabinet members. SKM had won 17 of the 32 seats in the recently-concluded assembly polls. It ended the 25 year-long rule of SDF led by five-term CM Pawan Chamling
  • PM-AASHA: Which stands for Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan is the government’s flagship price support scheme.Greaves Cotton -it is the company which recently launched high-speed electric scooter Ampere Zeal that meets the specifications of the FAME-II policy of the government. Zeal will have a top speed of 55kmph and a range of 75km with charge time of 5.5 hours. Under FAME (Faster Adoption and manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India) II benefit, Zeal would attract Rs. 18,000 subsidy per scooter.
  • NSIC: It recently signed MOU with Ministry of MSME which envisages provision of enhanced services by NSIC under its marketing, financial, technology and other support services schemes for MSMEs in the country. Under the scheme of National SC-ST Hub being implemented by NSIC on behalf of the Ministry of MSME, it will be a continued endeavour to provide assistance to SC/ST entrepreneurs through different interventions and various outreach activities with the overall objectives to increase their participation in public procurement. The National SC/ST Hub has been set up to provide professional support to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Entrepreneurs to fulfil the obligations under the Central Government Public Procurement Policy for Micro and Small Enterprises Order 2012, adopt applicable business practices and leverage the Stand-Up India initiative.
  • Operation Safed Sagar:It was undertaken by the Air Force jointly to flush out infiltrators in the Kargil sector along the Line of Control.
  • BJD: Which stands for Biju Janata Dal is the party whose President Naveen Patnaik took oath as the chief minister of Odisha for a fifth consecutive term, in Bhubaneswar recently. Odisha governor Ganeshi Lal administered the oath of office and secrecy to Patnaik. The BJD, which won 112 seats in the 147-member assembly in the recently concluded elections, held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls, has been in power in Odisha since 2000.
  • BIMSTEC: Which stands for Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation is the group whose leaders have been invited for the swearing-in ceremony on May 30, 2019 of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. With this move India has made a carefully calibrated diplomatic move that signals a major outreach to India’s neighbourhood from the Bay of Bengal to Central Asia, as well as the Indian diaspora across the world. BIMSTEC was formed in 1997, originally with Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand, and later included Myanmar, Nepal and Bhutan. BIMSTEC, which now includes five countries from South Asia and two from ASEAN, is a bridge between South Asia and Southeast Asia. It includes all the major countries of South Asia, except Maldives, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Geography Current News

  • Mount Agung: It is the volcano located on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali which erupted recently. Mount Agung or Gunung Agung is a currently active volcano in Bali, Indonesia, southeast of Mt Batur volcano, also in Bali. Gunung Agung stratovolcano is the highest point on Bali. It dominates the surrounding area, influencing the climate, especially rainfall patterns.
  • Kappaphycus alvarezii:It is an invasive, which smothers and kills coral reefs. It has spread its wings to coral reef areas in Valai island in the Gulf of Mannar (GoM) and set to invade new coral colonies in the marine national park. It has already invaded Shingle, Kurusadai and Mulli islands in Mandapam cluster of the GoM, the red algae invaded Valai island along Kilakarai coast following its cultivation in south Palk Bay.

Environment & Climate Current News

  • Mandapam, Keezhakkarai and Palk Bay in Gulf of Mannar regions: They are the places where the researchers have found an alarming pattern of bleaching in the reefs. Sea surface temperature ranged from 28.7°C to 31°C in the August 2018-February 2019 period and there was no bleaching seen then. However, when the temperatures rose to between 32°C and 36°C between March 2019 and May 2019, researchers observed a pattern of bleaching in corals, which was different at different layers within the sea. Coral reefs are important hotspots of biodiversity in the ocean. Corals are animals in the same class (Cnidaria) as jellyfish and anemones. They consist of individual polyps that get together and build reefs.

Economic Current News

  • India and Switzerland:They are the two countries which were recently removed by USA from its currency monitoring list of major trading partners, citing certain developments and steps being taken by them which address some of its major concerns. The US currency monitoring list includes Japan, South Korea, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam. In both Switzerland and India, there was a notable decline in 2018 in the scale and frequency of foreign exchange purchases, the report said. India for the first time was placed by the US in its currency monitoring list of countries with potentially questionable foreign exchange policies in May 2018 along with five other countries - China, Germany, Japan, South Korea and Switzerland.
  • NSIC: It recently signed MOU with Ministry of MSME which envisages provision of enhanced services by NSIC under its marketing, financial, technology and other support services schemes for MSMEs in the country. Under the scheme of National SC-ST Hub being implemented by NSIC on behalf of the Ministry of MSME, it will be a continued endeavour to provide assistance to SC/ST entrepreneurs through different interventions and various outreach activities with the overall objectives to increase their participation in public procurement. The National SC/ST Hub has been set up to provide professional support to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Entrepreneurs to fulfil the obligations under the Central Government Public Procurement Policy for Micro and Small Enterprises Order 2012, adopt applicable business practices and leverage the Stand-Up India initiative.
  • EQUIP: It is the name of the ambitious ₹1.5 lakh crore project which the Ministry of Human Resource Development plans to launch to improve the quality and accessibility of higher education over the next five years. EQUIP stands for the Education Quality Upgradation and Inclusion Programme and was crafted by ten committees led by experts within the government. EQUIP is meant to bridge the gap between policy and implementation. The project is made to bring transformation in the higher education system in the upcoming 5 years.
  • OMO: It stands for Open Market Operations. Open market operations is the sale and purchase of government securities and treasury bills by RBI or the central bank of the country. The objective of OMO is to regulate the money supply in the economy. RBI carries out the OMO through commercial banks and does not directly deal with the public. It was in the news recently that The Reserve Bank of India is planning to inject Rs. 15,000 crores into the financial system next month through purchase of government bonds via the auction route.
  • Elephant Bonds:They are the one which the high-level government-appointed committee on trade and industry has suggested to issue to people for declaring undisclosed income to mandatorily invest 50%. Elephant Bonds are the 25-year sovereign bonds in which people declaring undisclosed income will be bound to invest 50 per cent. The fund, made from these bonds, will be utilized only for infrastructure projects.
  • Requirement of strong room: Area of the strong room/ vault of at least 1,500 sq ft. Area of the strong room/ vault of at least 600 sq ft in hilly areas are the two major requirement for setting up of currency chests as per the Reserve Bank of India new guidelines. The other requirements are that the new chests should have a processing capacity of 6.6 lakh pieces of banknotes per day. Those situated in the hilly/ inaccessible places, a capacity of 2.1 lakh pieces of banknotes per day. The currency chests should have Chest Balance Limit (CBL) of Rs 1,000 crore, subject to ground realities and reasonable restrictions, at the discretion of the Reserve Bank.

Science & Technology Current News

  • SKA:Which stands for Square Kilometre Array is the name of the world’s largest radio telescope which the scientists at Cambridge recently finished brain designing. It consists of a supercomputer that will process the enormous amounts of data produced by the SKA’s telescopes. The total compute power will be around 250 PFlops — that’s 25 per cent faster than IBM’s Summit, the current fastest supercomputer in the world. When complete, the SKA will enable astronomers to monitor the sky in unprecedented detail and survey the entire sky much faster than any system currently in existence. The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project is an international effort to build the world’s largest radio telescope, with eventually over a square kilometre (one million square metres) of collecting area. Whilst 10 member countries are the cornerstone of the SKA, around 100 organisations across about 20 countries are participating in the design and development of the SKA. Location of SKA antenna dishes will be built in South Africa (in the Karoo), with outstations in other parts of South Africa, as well as in eight African partner countries, namely Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia. Another part of the telescope, the low-frequency array, will be built in Western Australia.
  • Athena and LISA: These are the two future missions of ESA which the researchers have proposed to combine the observing power to study the effects when two supermassive black holes collide. Currently in the study phase, both missions are scheduled for launch in the early 2030s. Athena will be the largest X-ray observatory ever built, investigating some of the hottest and most energetic phenomena in the cosmos with unprecedented accuracy and depth. LISA will be the first space-borne observatory of gravitational waves—fluctuations in the fabric of spacetime produced by the acceleration of cosmic objects with very strong gravity fields, like pairs of merging black holes.
  • Akash-MK-1S: It is the name of missile which was successfully test fired by India from the integrated test range at Chandipur in Odisha. The surface-to-air anti-aircraft missile with a strike range of 25 km and capability to carry warhead of 60 kg. Akash weapon system has combination of both command guidance and active terminal seeker guidance.

International Current News

  • UNSC: It stands for The United Nations Security Council is one of the organs of the United Nations which is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of international sanctions, and the authorization of military action through Security Council resolutions; it is the only UN body with the authority to issue binding resolutions to member states. The Security Council consists of fifteen members. Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, and the United States—serve as the body’s five permanent members. These permanent members can veto any substantive Security Council resolution, including those on the admission of new member states or candidates for Secretary-General.
  • Ravi: The name of the river in Pakistan on whose banks Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur is located which is in the news recently for construction of special corridor. Officials from Pakistan and India recently held a meeting to discuss the modalities for a corridor linking Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur across the border. The Kartarpur corridor will be implemented as an integrated development project with Government of India funding, to provide smooth and easy passage, with all the modern amenities.
  • Sri Lanka, Japan and India: These countries have signed an agreement to jointly develop the East Container Terminal at the Colombo Port. The joint initiative is estimated to cost between $500 million and $700 million. As per the agreement signed, the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) retains 100% ownership of the East Container Terminal (ECT), while the Terminal Operations Company is jointly owned. Sri Lanka will hold a 51% stake in the project and the joint venture partners will retain 49%. The ECT is located some three km away from the China-backed international financial city, known popularly as “port city”.
  • The International Labour Organization (ILO): It recently released its second global report, titled Women in Business and Management: The business case for change. As per the report a critical mass of 30 per cent women is need by the enterprises in order to reap the benefits of gender diversity. Almost half of the surveyed enterprises reported women holding less than 30 per cent of entry-level management positions. Across the world, men are still more likely to participate in the labour market than women. The average global labour force participation rate of women in 2018 stood at 48.5 per cent, while that of men was 75 per cent. This equates to a 26.5 percentage point gender gap in labour force participation.
  • Burn-Out: It is the disease which the World Health Organization has for the first time recognised in its International Classification of Diseases (ICD), which is widely used as a benchmark for diagnosis and health insurers. The decision could help put to rest Sdecades of debate among experts over how to define burnout, and whether it should be considered a medical condition. In the latest update of its catalogue of diseases and injuries around the world, WHO defines burn-out as “a syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” The syndrome is characterised by three dimensions: “1) feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; 2) increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and 3) reduced professional efficacy.”
  • Scott Morrison:He was recently sworn in as the new Prime Minister of Australia. Mr. Morrison became Australia’s 30th Prime Minister through an internal party vote in which he replaced Malcom Turnbull as chief of the ruling Liberal Party.
  • World Health Organization:They unveiled a new strategy to dramatically cut deaths and injuries from snakebites, warning a dearth of antivenoms could soon spark a “public health emergency”. Each year, nearly three million people are bitten by poisonous snakes, with an estimated 81,000-138,000 deaths. Another 400,000 survivors suffer permanent disabilities and other after-effects, according to WHO figures. Most snakebite victims live in the world’s tropical and poorest regions, and children are worse affected due to their smaller body size. WHO has already categorised “snakebite envenoming” as a Neglected Tropical Disease.
  • Artemis: It is the name of programme unveiled by NASA that will return astronauts to the Moon for the first time in half a century, including eight scheduled launches and a mini-station in lunar orbit by 2024. Artemis 1 will be an uncrewed mission around the Moon planned for 2020. Next will come Artemis 2, which will orbit Earth’s satellite with a crew around 2022; followed finally by Artemis 3 that will put astronauts on lunar soil in 2024, including the first woman. The three will be launched into space by the biggest rocket of all time, the Boeing-led Space Launch System (SLS), which is currently under development but has seen numerous delays and has been criticized in some quarters as a bloated jobs program. ARTEMIS stands for Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence and Electrodynamics of Moon’s Interaction with the Sun. The mission was named Artemis after the Greek mythological goddess of the Moon and twin sister to Apollo, namesake of the program that sent 12 American astronauts to the Moon between 1969 and 1972.
  • Bishkek: In Kyrgyzstan is the place which recently hosted the Second Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Mass Media Forum. The Forum aims to strengthen the exchange and cooperation in the field of mass media amongst SCO countries. It offers a unique platform for active work through mass media to create an objective vision of the organization and strengthen its positive image in the global information space. The first SCO Media Summit was held in Beijing on 1 June 2018. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, also known as the Shanghai Pact, is a Eurasian political, economic, and military organisation which was founded in 2001 in Shanghai. The founding members were China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The cooperation was renamed to Shanghai Cooperation Organisation after Uzbekistan joined the organisation in 2001.
  • Chagos islands: It is the main reason for the dispute between Britain and Mauritius. The United Nation General Assembly (UNGA) has passed a non-binding resolution asking United Kingdom (UK) to return Chagos Archipelago in Indian Ocean to Mauritius. The UK should end its control of the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean as rapidly as possible. The islands are not lawfully separated from the former colony of Mauritius.
  • China:This country has been illegally emitting Trichlorofluoromethane or CFC-11 — the banned ozone-depleting chemical — according to the research published in the journal Nature recently. CFC-11 was phased out under the 1987 Montreal Protocol. Despite being the signatory to the Montreal Protocol, and agreeing to phase out production of CFC-11 in 2010, China continued to emit the polluting gas. China has the world’s largest polyurethane foam market, accounting for about 40 per cent of the world’s consumption. Chinese foam manufacturers have been using CFC-11 illegally to save on the higher cost of alternatives, such as hydrochloro-fluorocarbons like HCFC-141b, which is to be phased out in China by 2026.

National Current News

  • SLCP: Which stands for Social and Labour Convergence Programme is an initiative to have a standard-neutral, converged assessment framework for the textile and clothing industry, will be launched in India shortly. It eliminates the need for repetitive audits to be carried out on the same facility. The initiative is led by world’s leading manufacturers, brands, retailers, industry groups, non-governmental organisations and service providers. The objective of the initiative Its aim is to improve the working conditions in textile units by allowing resources that were previously designated for compliance audits to be redirected towards the improvement of social and labour conditions. This is a voluntary adoption by the textile and clothing makers.

Sports Current News

  • England and South Africa: These are the two countries which will play the inaugural match of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019. This edition of ICC World Cup is being played in England.
  • Pakistan:This country was recently awarded the hosting rights for the next edition of Asia Cup in 2020. The Asian Cricket Council in its meeting in Singapore recently awarded continental meet in T20 format to Pakistan which will most likely organise it in neutral venues of the United Arab Emirates, its cricket home since the 2009 terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus.

People in News

  • Jaganmohan Reddy: He recently became the 1st CM in Andhra Pradesh to step into his father’s shoes. Since the birth of Andhra Pradesh in 1956, Y S Jaganmohan Reddy is the first CM-elect whose father was a chief minister himself. This after the state has seen 16 chief ministers, with some of them serving second terms. While northern states have seen nearly a dozen father-son duo as CMs, there are just two instances in the southern parts. Karnataka was the first state to see an ex-CM’s son sit on the chief minister’s chair when HD Kumaraswamy became the chief minister. Kumaraswamy’s father HD Deve Gowda served as the chief minister from 1994 to 1996. On the other hand, Jaganmohan Reddy’s father YS Rajasekhara Reddy served as the chief minister of AP from 2004 till his death in 2009.
  • Veer Savarkar :He is the freedom fighter whose birth anniversary was observed on 28th May, 2019. In Pune, Savarkar founded the “Abhinav Bharat Society”. He was also involved in the Swadeshi movement and later joined Tilak’s Swaraj Party. His instigating patriotic speeches and activities incensed the British Government. As a result, the British Government withdrew his B.A. degree.

Places in News

  • Odisha: This is the state which has launched DAMaN Durgama Anchalare Malaria Nirakaran initiative to fight malaria. The initiative aims to deliver services to the most inaccessible and hardest hit people of the State. The initiative has in-built innovative strategies to combat asymptomatic malaria. The programme is jointly implemented by Indian Council of Medical Research-National Institute of Malaria Research (ICMR-NIMR), National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), Odisha and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV).
  • Vellore: In Tamil Nadu is the place where the recently concluded General Elections 2019 was cancelled by President of India acting on recommendation of Election Commission of India.
  • Prakasam: This district of Andhra Pradesh is known for Ongole Cattle breed which was in the news recently after Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu called for protecting Ongole cattle breed. The breed derives its name from the place the breed originates from, Ongole. The Ongole breed of cattle, Bos Indicus, has a great demand as it is said to possess resistance to both foot and mouth disease and mad cow disease.
  • India: It has inked Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ISE Foods, Japan’s largest egg producer. The objective is to improve the quality of eggs, disease diagnosis and waste management in poultry farms across India. ISE Foods will establish two poultry farms in India out of which first will be in Gujarat’s Surat city and second will be in Telangan’s Siddipet. The egg production process used by ISE Foods is fully automated, the chickens are totally antibiotic-free and ISE’s production process is considered the most hygienic in the world. ISE Foods also regulates “ISE Integration System” which supervise the production of feed, poultry farming, egg collection, packing and delivery production to control quality.
  • India: It has been elected to the Executive Board of the first UN-Habitat Assembly. The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN–Habitat) is the United Nations agency for human settlements and sustainable urban development. It was established in 1978 as an outcome of the First UN Conference on Human Settlements and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat I) held in Vancouver, Canada in 1976. It is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. It is a member of the United Nations Development Group. The mandate of UN-Habitat derives from the Habitat Agenda, adopted by the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1996.
  • India and Switzerland:They are the two countries which were recently removed by USA from its currency monitoring list of major trading partners, citing certain developments and steps being taken by them which address some of its major concerns. The US currency monitoring list includes Japan, South Korea, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam. In both Switzerland and India, there was a notable decline in 2018 in the scale and frequency of foreign exchange purchases, the report said. India for the first time was placed by the US in its currency monitoring list of countries with potentially questionable foreign exchange policies in May 2018 along with five other countries - China, Germany, Japan, South Korea and Switzerland.
  • The Orchha : The town of Madhya Pradesh has been included in tentative list of the World Heritage Sites of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). It is situated on the banks of the river Betwa, in Niwari district of Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh. A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as of special cultural or physical significance. The list is maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 UNESCO member states which are elected by the General Assembly.
  • Haryana:The state which is planning to discourage planting of the water-guzzling rice (paddy) crop, which threatens to deplete the State’s groundwater. Meanwhile, farmers have asked the government to first come out with a mechanism to procure alternative crops at the Minimum Support Price (MSP) so that farmers are not at the receiving end. Water depletion in Haryana over the years has led to 60 dark zones in the State, which include 21 critical ones in 10 districts. The Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs announces MSP for various crops at the beginning of each sowing season based on the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP). The CACP takes into account demand and supply, the cost of production and price trends in the market among other things when fixing MSPs.
  • Bihar :The state which registered the maximum None of The Above (NOTA) votes of about 8 lakh, with the highest share of 5.04% reported from the Gopalganj constituency in the recently concluded General Elections 2019. The high NOTA percentage was an indicator that people were frustrated with the state of affairs in their constituency, did not find any of the candidates worthy enough and therefore, even after reaching the polling station, decided to press the NOTA button. The option of NOTA for Lok Sabha and assembly elections was prescribed by the SC in 2013. The option of NOTA in RS polls was introduced by the EC in 2014. Thus, India became the 14th country to institute negative voting.

Current Affairs June 02 to June 08

Indian polity Current News

  • 14 days: It is the period in which one candidate if elected to 2 parliamentary seat has to vacate one seat. Under Sec 33(7) of RPA, 1951, an individual can contest from two parliamentary constituencies but, if elected from both, he has to resign one seat within 14 days of the declaration of the result, failing which both his seats shall fall vacant. [Sec 70, RPA, 1951 read with Rule 91 of the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961]. Under Article 101(2) of the Constitution (read with Rule 2 of the Prohibition of Simultaneous Membership Rules, 1950, made by the President under this Article) members of state legislatures who have been elected to Lok Sabha must resign their seats within 14 days “from the date of publication in the Gazette of India or in the Official Gazette of the State, whichever is later, of the declaration that he has been so chosen”, failing which their seats in Lok Sabha shall automatically fall vacant.
  • CBI Raids:Consent of the state is required for raids in State by CBI. Unlike the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is governed by its own NIA Act and has jurisdiction across the country, the CBI is governed by the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act that makes consent of a state government mandatory for conducting investigation in that state. There are two kinds of consent: case-specific and general. It was in the news recently when reversing his predecessor’s orders, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has allowed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to go ahead with investigations and raids in the State without prior permission of the State government. The Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal governments, had last year, withdrawn “general consent” to the CBI for investigating cases in their respective states. The state governments said they had lost faith in the CBI in the backdrop of its internal turmoil marked by the open war among the agency’s top officers. They had also alleged that the Centre is using the CBI to unfairly target Opposition parties.
  • Hawa Aane De:It is the name of song launched by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on air pollution. The song was launched in the national capital recently. The main aim is to spread awareness regarding protecting the environment. Secretary of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change launched the song in the presence of actor Shekhar Suman and singer Shaan. World Environment Day is celebrated on June 05.
  • Union Environment Ministry:They on the eve of World Environment Day, has launched a people’s campaign called #SelfiewithSapling, urging people to advocate the cause on social media. Under the campaign, people have been urged to plant a sapling and post selfie with the planted sapling on social media. Every June 5th is World Environment Day. The World Environment Day is a part of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) for creating awareness and action worldwide for the environment. The first World Environment Day was celebrated in 1973. The theme for 45th World Environment Day is Beat Air Pollution. It is the call for action to combat the global crisis for ‘fresh air’.
  • The Government of India, Government of Tamil Nadu (GoTN) and the World Bank:They recently signed a $287 million loan agreement for the Tamil Nadu Health System Reform Programme. The programme aims to improve the quality of health care, reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and fill equity gaps in reproductive and child health services in Tamil Nadu. The programme supports interventions to strengthen institutional and state capacity to achieve results. The programme will promote population-based screening, treatment and follow-up for NCDs, and improve monitoring and evaluation. Patients will be equipped with knowledge and skills to self-manage their conditions. Another key aim of this programme is to reduce the equity gaps in reproductive and child health. Tamil Nadu ranks third among all Indian states in the NITI Aayog Health Index which is reflected in vastly improved health outcomes.
  • JSS:Which stands for Jan Shikshan Sansthans is the name of the scheme under which the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has decided to waive off fee for SC/ST candidates who join vocational training under this scheme. Formerly under the Ministry of Human Resources Development, Jan Shikshan Sansthan was transferred to the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship in 2018. Jan Shikshan Sansthans (JSS) were established to provide vocational training to non-literate, neo-literate, as well as school dropouts by identifying skills as would have a market in the region of their establishment. They were formerly known as Shramik Vidyapeeth.
  • PRC:Which stands for Population Research Centre has been established by The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) with the mandate to provide, inter alia, critical research-based inputs related to the Health and Family Welfare Programs and Policies at the national and state levels. Their main role is to undertake research projects relating to family planning, demographic research and biological studies & qualitative aspect of population control, with a view to gainfully utilize the feedback from these research studies for plan formulation, strategies and modifications of on- going schemes. Autonomous in their functioning, these PRCs are provided 100 per cent central assistance in the form of grant-in-aid on a year-to year basis.
  • Small Retailers Benefits:The Union Cabinet has approved a monthly pension scheme for small retail traders and shopkeepers. The scheme that offers pension coverage to the trading community will cover 3 crore small retail traders and shop keepers. Under the scheme all small shopkeepers, retail traders and self-employed persons are assured a minimum of Rs.3,000 monthly pension after attaining 60 years of age. All small shopkeepers, self-employed persons and retail traders aged between 18-40 years and with Goods and Service Tax (GST) turnover below Rs.1.5 crore can enrol for pension scheme. The scheme is based on self-declaration as no documents are required except bank account and Aadhaar Card. The Central Government will make matching contribution (same amount as subscriber contribution) i.e. equal amount as subsidy into subscriber’s pension account every month.
  • Jal Shakti :It is the name of the new Ministry created by Centre. It has been created by merger of Ministries of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation along with Drinking Water and Sanitation. The ministry will roll out government’s ambitious plans to provide piped water connections to every household in India by 2024. It will also address international and inter-states water disputes and the Namami Gange project which is the flagship initiative to clean the River Ganga, its tributaries and sub-tributaries. ‘Nal se Jal’ scheme to provide piped drinking water to every household will be a component of government’s Jal Jivan Mission.
  • Features of revised PM-KISAN scheme are:The revised Scheme is expected to cover around 2 crore more farmers, The coverage of PM-KISAN extended to around 14.5 crore beneficiaries, Vulnerable landholding farmer families, having cultivable land upto 2 hectares covered, Eligible farmers will be provided direct income support at the rate of Rs. 6,000 per year. This income support will be transferred directly into the bank accounts of beneficiary farmers, in three equal installments of Rs. 2,000 each.The complete expenditure of Rs 75000 crore for the scheme will borne by the Union Government in 2019-20. For the purpose of the calculation of the benefit, the Centre has defined a small and marginal landholder family as the one comprising of husband, wife and minor children up to 18 years of age, who collectively own cultivable land up to two hectare as per the land records of the concerned states.
  • Farmer’s benefit Schemes :Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana in Madhya Pradesh is sought to provide relief to farmers by providing the differential between MSPs and market prices. The Rythu Bandhu scheme of the Telangana government provides ₹4,000 per acre for every season to all the farmers of the state. Similar initiatives have also been framed in Jharkhand and Odisha. In December 2018, Odisha launched the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income augmentation (KALIA). KALIA is more complicated in design and implementation. It commits to give Rs 5,000 per SMF, twice a year, that is Rs 10,000 a year.
  • FICCI's :(Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) economic outlook survey projected India's median GDP (Gross Domestic Product) 7.1% for FY20 and 7.2% for FY21. The survey was conducted among economists belonging to the industry, banking and financial services sectors of Survey for 2019-20: Minimum and maximum growth estimate stood at 6.8 per cent and 7.3 per cent. Wholesale Price Index (WPI) based inflation rate is projected at 3.1% in 2019-20.
  • Solar Capacity Targets :The Government had set a target of installing 100 GW of solar capacity by 2022 in the country. The Government had set a target of installing 60 GW of wind power capacity by 2022 in the country. A target of installing 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by the year 2022 has been set, which includes 100 GW from solar, 60 GW from wind, 10 GW from bio-power and 5 GW from small hydro power.

Environment & Climate Current News

  • The Indian fertiliser industry: This industry has overlooked the aspects related to environmental pollution, while making improvements in energy efficiency, according to a study conducted by the Centre for Science and Environment, a New Delhi-based non-profit, under its Green Rating Project (GRP). The fertiliser industry has been classified under the ‘red category’ of polluting sectors by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
  • Air pollution: This pollution is responsible for 12.5 per cent of all deaths in India. Climate change poses the biggest economic threat in the world today. These are the major findings of The State of India’s Environment 2019, an annual quantified statement of environmental statistics and analysis put together by Down To Earth magazine, which Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) helps publish. Air pollution impact on children is equally worrying. Over 100,000 children below the age of five die due to bad air in the country. While India was one of the first countries to pledge the phasing out of non-electric vehicles, its national scheme to promote the sale of e-vehicles is yet to pick up. Against the target of 15-16 million e-vehicles by 2020, the county had 0.28 million vehicles till May 2019. Both surface and groundwater in the country are under stress. 86 water bodies are critically polluted. The bulk of the polluted water bodies are in Karnataka, Telangana and Kerala. One of the reasons is the substantial increase (136 per cent) in the number of grossly polluting industries between 2011 and 2018. Groundwater is also reeling under overexploitation, which is running 94.5 per cent of all minor irrigation schemes in the country. There has been an unsustainable increase in the number of deep tube wells that has gone up by 80 per cent between 2006-07 and 2013-14.

International Current News

  • Quad Collation:India, Japan, Australia and the United States constitutes the Quad Collation. The fourth edition of the Quadrilateral meet, after it was revived in November 2017, was held recently at Bangkok, Thailand. They held consultations on collective efforts to “advance a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific”. The meet also referred to efforts to “maintain universal respect for international law and freedom of navigation and overflight”. The idea was first mooted by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2007. However, the idea couldn’t move ahead with Australia pulling out of it. Quad is an opportunity for like-minded countries to share notes and collaborate on projects of mutual interest. All four countries share a vision of an open and free Indo-Pacific. Each is involved in development and economic projects as well as in promoting maritime domain awareness and maritime security.
  • Mecca, Saudi Arabia:It is the place where the 14th summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) was held recently. The agenda of meeting was to address ‘current issues in Muslim world’ and ‘recent developments in a number of OIC member states. Organisation of Islamic Cooperation is an international organization founded in 1969, consisting of 57 member states. It is the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations. The OIC has permanent delegations to the United Nations and the European Union.
  • USA President Donald Trump:He has terminated India’s designation as a beneficiary developing nation under the GSP (Generalized System of Preference)trade program with effect from 5th June 2019.The trigger for the latest downturn in trade ties was India’s new rules on e-commerce that restrict the way Amazon.com Inc. and Walmart-backed Flipkart do business in a rapidly growing online market set to touch $200 billion by 2027. GSP is a U.S. trade program designed to promote economic growth in the developing world by providing preferential duty-free entry for up to 4,800 products from 129 designated beneficiary countries and territories. Removal of GSP indicate a tough trade position by the US; especially for countries like India who benefited much from the scheme. India is the 11th largest trade surplus country for the US and India enjoyed an annual trade surplus of $ 21 bn in 2017-18.
  • Equal Measures 2030:They recently released the 2019 edition of SDG Gender Index. Developed by Equal Measures 2030, it is a joint effort of regional and global organisations including African Women’s Development and Communication Network, Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation etc. It accounts for 14 out of 17 SDGs (sustainable development goals) that cover aspects such as poverty, health, education, literacy, political representation and equality at the workplace. India is ranked 95th among 129 countries. India’s highest goal scores are on health (79.9), hunger & nutrition (76.2), and energy (71.8).
  • Economic Performance, Infrastructure, Government Efficiency, Business Efficiency:These are the four parameters on which the economies are judged in the IMD World Competitiveness Rankings. The 2019 edition of the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) Business School World Competitiveness Rankings has been released. Started in 1989, the report ranks 63 economies on 235 indicators which are incorporated from each of these economies. India has moved up one place to rank 43rd (Previously: 44th position in 2018, 45th in 2017 and 41st in 2016.) This improved rank is result of India’s robust economic growth, a large labour force and its huge market size. The 2019 ranking is topped by Singapore. It has grabbed top position for the first time in nine years. In 2018 it stood at third rank.
  • Kilogram:It is the unit whose definition has changed recently. The decision was made at the General Conference on Weights and Measures in 2018. The new definitions came into force on 20 May 2019. The International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) had agreed to change the way we measured weight and as of the World Metrology Day (May20th), the kilogram has shed its 130-year-old definition to be more accurate and consistent. General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM) is the highest international body of the world for accurate and precise measurements and comprises of 60 countries including India and 42 Associate Members. The new definition involves an apparatus called the Kibble balance, which makes use of the constant to measure the mass of an object using a precisely measured electromagnetic force.
  • 31st May :This day was recently celebrated as World No Tobacco Day (WNTD). Every year the World Health Organization (WHO) and global partners celebrate World No Tobacco Day (WNTD). The annual campaign is an opportunity to raise awareness on the harmful and deadly effects of tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure, and to discourage the use of tobacco in any form. It is intended to encourage a 24-hour period of abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption around the globe.
  • 1st June :This day was recently celebrated as World Milk Day by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations to recognize the importance of milk as a global food. It has been observed on June 1 each year since 2001. The day is intended to provide an opportunity to bring attention to activities that are connected with the dairy sector. Objective of the day: - To provide information about the need and importance of milk in a human being's life.

National Current News

  • Unemployment rate:The unemployment rate (UR) in both rural and urban India is at its highest since 1972. The increase in the UR is more than three times among rural men and more than double among rural women according to the usual status since 2011-12. These are some of the major findings in the latest edition of Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS). The unemployment rates in urban areas are higher than those in rural areas. In rural areas, the UR is 5.3 per cent, whereas in urban areas, the UR is 7.8 per cent according to the usual status. The overall unemployment rate is 6.1 per cent in India according to the usual status. The rural employment rate is 8.5 per cent whereas the urban rate is 9.6 per cent. The overall unemployment rate is 8.9 per cent. The Union Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation had constituted PLFS under the chairmanship of Amitabh Kundu. The data was collected by NSSO from July 2017 to June 2018. The survey was spread over 12,773 first-stage sampling units (7,014 villages and 5,759 urban blocks) covering 1,02,113 households (56,108 in rural areas and 46,005 in urban areas) and enumerating 4,33,339 persons (2,46,809 in rural areas and 1,86,530 in urban areas).

People in News

  • Nandan Nilekani: He led the panel on digital payments which recently submitted its recommendations. The major recommendations are: Targets: It has set a target for the government and regulators to achieve a ten-fold volume growth in digital payments over the next three years through customer-friendly pricing mechanisms and broadening access infrastructure. Measures to increase the outreach: Banks need to ensure that no user is more than 5 kms away from a banking access point and if such areas are found, these must be considered ‘shadow areas’ and a local vendor be made a banking correspondent (BC) as he deals in money and stays there. Measures to less-cash economy: removing transaction charges on digital payments made to government, inducing a competitive Merchant Discount Rates (MDR) pricing structure and easing KYC costs to banks are amongst the key recommendations put forward by the committee. Role of the governments: committee has put the onus on government to be at the forefront of the transition by taking steps such as removing transaction charges on all digital payments made by customers to the government. The committee recommends that the Government, being the single largest participant in payments, take the lead on all aspects of digitization of payments. Committee has also asked RBI to set an interchange rate for transaction between customers and leave the MDR on competitive market pricing which would reduce the transaction cost for customers. The panel has also asked the government to set up special risk mitigation and complaint registering digital portals.
  • Chandrani Murmu: A tribal woman from Odisha, aged 25 of Biju Janata Dal (BID) party became the youngest MP in the country. She defeated the two-time BJP MP Ananta Nayak by a margin of 66,203 votes and claimed the Keonjhar constituency, Odisha. She replaced Dushyant Chautala who was elected at the age of 26 from the Hisar Lok Sabha seat in 2014. She defeated the two-time BJP MP Ananta Nayak by a margin of 66,203 votes and claimed the Keonjhar constituency with her victory.
  • Anita Bhatia: The Indian-origin woman who was recently appointed as Deputy Executive Director in UN Women. A veteran in strategic partnerships, resource mobilization, and management, has been appointed by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women) for Resource Management, Sustainability, and Partnerships. The agency focussed on women empowerment and gender equality.
  • Pratibha Patil: The Former Indian President who has been conferred the "Orden Mexicana del Aguila Azteca" (Order of the Aztec Eagle), the highest civilian award of Mexico given to foreigners, on 1 June 2019. The Ambassador of Mexico to India, Melba Pria, conferred the award on Patil, who created history as this country's first woman President (2007-2012), at a special ceremony held in the MCCIA Bhavan, Pune.

Science and Technology Current News

  • RISAT-2B :It is the name of country’s newest microwave Earth observation satellite which rode to its orbit 557 km above the ground recently. With the successful pre-dawn launch of RISAT-2B satellite, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has added another feather to its cap. Data that will come from the all-weather day-and-night satellite are considered to be vital for the Armed Forces as also agriculture forecasters and disaster relief agencies. Dubbed as a ‘spy’ satellite, RISAT-2B (Radar Imaging Satellite-2B) will replace its predecessor RISAT-2 which has been actively used by India to monitor activities in terror camps across the border in Pakistan to thwart infiltration bids by terrorists.

Places in News

  • Kerala: It is the state where the deadly Nipah Virus has resurfaced. According to WHO, the Nipah virus infection is a newly emerging zoonosis, that is, a disease transmitted from animals to humans. The virus belongs to a new genus termed Henipavirus (subfamily Paramyxovirinae). The natural host of the virus are fruit bats belonging to the family Pteropodidae. In 2004, humans were affected after eating the date palm contaminated by infected fruit bats. Pigs can also act as intermediate hosts. It was first identified in 1998 at Kampung Sungai Nipah village, Malaysia. The virus is named after this village.
  • Agartala, Tripura: It is the place where the 10th National Science Film Festival of India (NSFFl) will be held in January-February 2020. This is for the second time the event will be held in a North-Eastern city. It will be jointly hosted by Vigyan Prasar of the Central Government, State Government, and Tripura Central University.
  • Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati:It signed an MoU with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to set up an IITG-ISRO Space Technology Cell (STC) at the institute where Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi inaugurated a new academic complex and research and development building. IITG-ISRO STC would be first of its kind in the North-east region to augment research and capacity building processes in the field of space technology.
  • Rajasthan: It is the state whose Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot announced the ban on the sale of e-cigarettes in Rajasthan. Gehlot issued the order on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day on May 31. Ban: The government had banned the online or offline sale, storage, production, distribution, and advertisement of e-cigarettes in the state. The CM said that the ban follows his party's manifesto to discourage the youth from addiction.
  • Punjab: It is the state which recently announced to ban online delivery of food without hygiene rating as per the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) guidelines. The announcement was made by the Health Minister Brahm Mohindra recently. The decision was taken under the 'Tandarust Punjab Mission'.