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Current Affairs 2018

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.

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 2018 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 News


Current affairs books and magazine

Current Affairs December 09 to December 15

International Current News

  • Ukraine: It is a large country in Eastern Europe known for its Orthodox churches, Black Sea coastline and forested mountains. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed the legislation on ending the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between Ukraine and Russia. The treaty, which has been in place for about two decades, will be terminated on April 1, 2019 amid rising tensions between the two countries. The Ukrainian leader said that the non-extension of the deal is "a part of the Ukrainian strategy of reorientation towards Europe. The bill was approved by the Ukrainian parliament on Thursday, supported by 277 votes, far more than the 226 minimum required.

National Current News

  • Indian Railways: It is India's national railway system operated by the Ministry of Railways. It manages the fourth-largest railway network in the world by size, with 121,407 kilometres of total track over a 67,368-kilometre route. Ministry of Railways has planned to provide CCTV based surveillance System at Stations and in passenger carrying trains to enhance safety and security of the passengers. The project of installing CCTV cameras at 8,244 Railway Stations (Including halt stations) and in 58,276 passenger coaches of trains has been sanctioned at the cost of Rs 3,771 Crore. These include provision of CCTV cameras at 983 stations costing approximately Rs 500 Crore being funded through Nirbhaya Fund.
  • Commonly used devices: Medical devices such as nebulizers, blood pressure monitors, digital thermometers and glucometers have been notified as drugs under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act. The move was made to ensure and enable the government to ensure their quality and performance. The Drug Controller-General of India (DCGI) would regulate the import, manufacture and sale of these devices from January 1, 2020. All these devices will have to be registered under the quality parameters prescribed under Medical Devices Rules 2017 and other standards set by the Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS) certification. The Drug Technical Advisory Body (DTAB), the country’s highest drug advisory body, had approved the proposal to include nebulizers, blood pressure monitoring devices, digital thermometers and glucometers under the purview of the Drug Law. Currently, only 23 medical devices are monitored for quality by the country’s drug regulator. With four new devices being notified, 27 medical devices now fall under the definition of drugs under the Act. The other medical equipments are sold without any quality checks or clinical trials.
  • Online travel aggregators: They are an intermediary / agent selling travel products and services such as the airlines, car rental, cruise lines, Hotels / Accommodation, railways and vacation packages on behalf of suppliers using internet as a medium. They establish an online market place and earn profits on the discounts commonly referred to as commission offered by the suppliers. In doing so, they may list the travel related service providers/agents or other service providers like hotels, homestays on its platform under its brand, connect the buyers with potential travel, hospitality and related service providers/ sellers on its platform under its brand, prescribe amenities and/or quality standards and influence the service providers to match the potential customer’s needs, enter into agreements with such service providers laying down benchmarks, standards, commission rates and other services required from such service providers. Tourism Ministry formulates Guidelines for approval of Online Travel Aggregators and the guidelines to be rolled out by December end this year.
  • Supreme Court of India: It is the highest judicial forum and final court of appeal under the Constitution of India, the highest constitutional court, with the power of judicial review. SC has directed the print and electronic media not to reveal the identity of victims of rape and sexual assault even in a remote manner. The SC bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta stated that it was not necessary to disclose the identity of victims of rape and sexual assault to "arouse public opinion and sentiment" as these issues need to be dealt with sensitively.
  • Shahpurkandi Dam: It is an upcoming dam project on the river Ravi in Punjab. The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved implementation of Shahpurkandi Dam Project, Punjab on river Ravi. For this, Central Assistance of Rs. 485.38 cr (for irrigation component) would be provided over five years from 2018-19 to 2022-23. Implementation of this project would help minimising some of the water of the River Ravi which at present is going waste through the Madhopur Headworks downstream to Pakistan.
  • NMICPS: It is an acronym for National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS). It is a new initiative launched by government of India to address the ever increasing technological requirements of the society, and takes into account the international trends and road maps of leading countries for the next generation technologies. The mission implementation would develop and bring Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) and associated technologies within reach in the country, adoption of CPS technologies to address India specific National / Regional issues. The project will be implemented by Department of Science &Technology at a total outlay of Rs. 3660 crore for a period of five years.
  • Global Nutrition Report 2018: It is a data update released by World Health Organisation. It shines a light on where there has been progress – and where major problems still lie in health sector. It highlights new innovations in data and the status of financing. It places actions that have been taken under the spotlight. Throughout it highlights data that can help us better understand the nature of the burden of malnutrition. For if we are to end malnutrition in all its forms, we must understand the nature of the problem we are dealing with. India has the highest number of ‘stunted’ children in the world and nearly a third of all stunted children worldwide are to be found in India. About 46.6 million children in India suffer from stunting due to poor nutrition intake in the long term and repeated infections. India is also the country with the highest number of children who are ‘wasted’. This is an even more severe indicator of acute malnutrition. India has 25.5 million children who are wasted. Among the 50.5 million children who are wasted globally, India has half of the global wasting burden.
  • ENSURE portal: It is a new portal launched by Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare for EDEG National Livestock Mission scheme. It is developed by NABARD and operated under the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries. The portal helps to offer sustainable development of the livestock sector. Under the Mission’s component called Entrepreneurship Development and Employment Generation (EDEG), subsidy payment for activities related to poultry, small ruminants, pigs etc. through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) goes directly to the beneficiary’s account. In order to make it better, simpler and transparent, the NABARD has developed an online portal “ENSURE” (https://ensure.nabard.org) so that the information related to beneficiary and processing of application can be made readily available. Under the new process, controlling officer/branch manager of the bank, after scrutinizing & sanctioning of proposal, uploads the subsidy claims in the portal.
  • PCS 1x: It is a cloud based new generation technology, with user-friendly interface and launched by Indian Ports Association to Increase Ease of Doing Businessfor . This system seamlessly integrates 8 new stakeholders besides the 19 existing stakeholders from the maritime trade on a single platform. The platform offers value added services such as notification engine, workflow, mobile application, track and trace, better user interface, better security features, improved inclusion by offering dashboard for those with no IT capability. A unique feature of ‘PCS1x’ is that it can latch on to third party software which provides services to the maritime industry thereby enabling the stakeholders to access wide network of services. The system enables single sign on facility to provide one stop interface to all the functionalities across all stakeholders. Another major feature is the deployment of a world class state of the art payment aggregator solution which removes dependency on bank specific payment eco system.
  • @CyberDost: It is the Twitter account launched by union Ministry of House Affairs. It is aimed at maximizing people’s essential knowledge about cybercrimes and safeguards to be taken for avoidance. This twitter manage will educate individuals about different channels by way of which complaints about cyber-crimes can be submitted and will make individuals informed of their responsibilities relating to misuse of cyber place by some people today in the region. It will also support to mitigate options of disruption in normal company things to do or losses due to cyber-crimes by developing ecosystem to avoid and control cyber-crimes. The data shared on this take care of will greatly enhance simple expertise of followers about cyber-crimes and precautionary actions to be taken to prevent such criminal offense.
  • National Pension System (NPS) : It is a voluntary defined contribution pension system in India Aiming to make retirement income scheme more attractive for central government employees, the government has agreed to chip in a higher 14 per cent of the basic salary of an individual as its contribution to the National Pension System (NPS). According to an official source, the move would benefit over 36 lakh central government employees. Individual contributions, which will continue to be capped at a maximum of 10 per cent of the basic salary, will be exempt from taxable income. National Pension System (NPS) is a government-sponsored pension scheme that was launched in January 2004 for government employees. However, in 2009, it was opened to all sections. The scheme allows subscribers to contribute regularly in a pension account during their working life.
  • Dam Safety Bill 2018: It is a new bill which aims to provide a robust legal and institutional framework under Central and state governments for the safety of dams. The Bill provides for the surveillance, inspection, operation and maintenance of specified dams for prevention of dam failure related disasters, was introduced by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal. The Bill also provides for an institutional mechanism to ensure their safe functioning. Once enacted, the Bill will apply to specified dams across all states.
  • Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) : It is an autonomous body responsible for co-coordinating agricultural education and research in India. Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has approved registration of record 15 new breeds of livestock and poultry this year taking the total to 40. The 15 newly registered breeds include two cattle breeds - Ladakhi (J&K) and Konkan Kapila (Maharashtra and Goa); three buffalo breeds - Luit (Assam & Manipur), Bargur (Tamil Nadu), Chhattisgarhi (Chhattisgarh); one sheep breed – Panchali (Gujarat); six goat breeds – Kahmi (Gujarat), Rohilkhandi (UP), Assam Hill (Assam and Meghalaya), Bidri (Karnataka), Nandidurga (Karnataka), Bhakarwali (J&K); one pig breed – Ghurrah (UP); one donkey breed – Halari (Gujarat) and one chicken breed – Uttara (Uttarakhand).

Defence:

  • Agni-5: It is a three stage missile, 17 metres tall, two metres wide and capable of carrying 1.5 tonne of nuclear warheads. Unlike other missiles of the series, Agni-5 is the most-advanced in terms of navigation and guidance, warhead and engine, according to officials. The missile was launched with the help of a mobile launcher from launch pad-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Dr Abdul Kalam Island in the Bay of Bengal. The missile has been designed to hit the designated target point accurately, guided by the on-board computer with the support of a Ring Laser Gyro-based Inertial Navigation System, the Micro Inertial Navigation System, fully-digital control system and advanced compact avionics.
  • Deep Sea Submarine Rescue System: It is a new Indian Navy’s first flyaway Deep Sea Submarine Rescue System was formally inducted at the Naval Dockyard, Mumbai. Acquisition of this capability is a significant and pioneering jump in the Indian Navy's capability in deep submarine rescue. The Indian Navy currently operates submarines of the Sindhughosh, Shishumar, Kalvari Classes as well as nuclear powered submarines. The operating medium and the nature of operations undertaken by submarines expose them to high degree of inherent risk. In such an eventuality, traditional methods of search and rescue at sea are ineffective for a disabled submarine. To overcome this capability gap the Navy has acquired a third generation, advanced Submarine Rescue System considering of a Non-tethered Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV) and its associated equipment. The Indian Navy now joins a select league of Nations worldwide with the sovereign capability, in fly away configuration, to search, locate and rescue crew from a disabled Submarine. The Deep Sea rescue system would have a global footprint and can be mobilised from the Naval base at Mumbai to the nearest mobilisation port by air/land or sea to provide rapid rescue to the Submarines in distress. The newly acquired capability would be operated and deployed by the crew of Indian Navy's newly formed Submarine Rescue Unit (West) from its base in Mumbai. The Indian Navy's Deep Sea Submarine Rescue System considered to be the most advanced system currently in operation globally, is capable of undertaking rescue from a disabled Submarine upto 650 m depth. The DSRV, which is operated by a crew of three, can rescue 14 personnel from a disabled Submarine at one time and can operate in extreme sea conditions (upto Sea State 6).

Current Affairs December 02 to December 08

International Current News

  • G20 Summit : It is an international forum for the governments and central bank governors from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. India will be hosting G20 Summit in 2022. India will host the G20 Summit In 2022, when the country celebrates its 75th year of Independence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the ongoing meet of the international grouping in Argentina.

National Current News

  • Heart attack rewind campaign: It is a new mass media initiative launched by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for the elimination of industrially-produced transfat in the food supply. It is a 30-second public service announcement (PSA) - the first mass media campaign of its kind – will support FSSAI’s global target of eliminating trans fat in India by the year 2022, a year ahead of the global target by the World Health Organization (WHO) for the complete elimination of trans fat. According to an official, ‘FSSAI is committed to reducing the industrially-produced trans fatty acids to less than two per cent by the year 2022 in a phased manner. This is in line with our objective to get Freedom from Trans Fat: India@75. I am hopeful that this media campaign will educate consumers about the harmful effects and its link to cardiovascular diseases.’ Heart Attack Rewind warns citizens about the health hazards of consuming trans fat and offers strategies to avoid them through healthier alternatives. The campaign was developed by experts at Vital Strategies.
  • Bhasha Sangam : It is a new initiative launched the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) for class 10 and 12 students where it aims to offer to explore the various languages under the Schedule VIII of the Constitution of India. It is an initiative under “Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat" ushers in a programme for schools and educational institutions to provide multilingual exposure to students in Indian languages listed in Schedule VIII of the Constitution of India. This initiative is just the beginning of a journey meant to create interest in these languages and a curiosity to learn more. It will be followed by other activities subsequently. The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has suggested all the heads of the CBSE schools to follow Bhasha Sangam Initiative. All the students of class 10 and 12 who are studying under CBSE board will get the opportunity to explore the various languages under the Schedule VIII of the Constitution of India.
  • United Nations: It is an intergovernmental organization that was tasked to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international co-operation and be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations. United Nations has decided to launch a new framework to combat the scourge of international terrorism and coordinate efforts across the peace and security, humanitarian, human rights and sustainable development sectors. Termed the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact, the framework is an agreement between the UN chief, 36 organizational entities, the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) and the World Customs Organisation, to better serve the needs of Member States when it comes to tackling the scourge of international terrorism.
  • Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) : It is a new emergency response system launched for the State of Nagaland at Kohima. According to an official release, residents in Nagaland do not require to remember multiple helpline numbers now. They can dial 112 or use Panic Button on their phones or 112 India mobile App to connect to a single number based 112 emergency services which will connect to Police, Fire, Health and other helplines through an Emergency Response Centre in the State. Central Government has allocated Rs. 321.69 Crore under Nirbhaya Fund for implementation of ERSS project across the country. Nagaland has been allocated Rs.4.88 crore for the project. Nagaland is the first amongst the North-Eastern States and the second State in India to launch Pan-India single emergency number ‘112’ under ERSS. Under this project, one Emergency Response Centre (ERC) has been established in Kohima along with 3 District Command Centers (DCCs), namely Kohima, Dimapur and Mokokchung. The Emergency Response Centre is capable of receiving emergency calls through voice call to 112, email, panic buttons activated calls and 112 India mobile App.
  • Patent: It is a government authority or licence conferring a right or title for a set period, especially the sole right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention. The patents granted by India improved from 8,248 in 2016 to 12,387 in 2017, thus retaining up pattern of good increase. In accordance to Entire world Mental Assets Indicators 2018 report introduced by United Nation’s World Mental Property Organisation (WIPO), amount of patents granted by India shot up by 50% in 2017. Patents granted in 2017 in India had been extra than double 6,022 patents granted in 2015. Of the patents granted in 2017, 1,712 went to entities and people today dependent in India, and 10,675 to foreigners. The steep boost in variety was pushed by patents granted to foreigners, which accounted for 85% of total raise. The quantity of patents presented to domestic entities also has revealed increasing pattern.
  • Kandhamal turmeric: It is an organic and is cultivated since ages. Currently, more than 60,000 families, about half the population of Kandhamal, is engaged in its cultivation. It is environmentally resilient and grows in adverse climatic conditions. According to an official release, Kandhamal haladi known as the golden yellow spice, named after the district where it is produced, has been cultivated since time immemorial and is known for its medicinal value. A GI is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. A team of experts, scientists and members of Kandhamal Apex Spices Association for Marketing (KASAM) have carried out research work for over two years on the origin and properties of the turmeric variety with technical guidance from the CTTC and the district administration. More than 60,000 families (nearly 50% of Kandhamal population) are engaged in growing the variety. The crop is sustainable in adverse climatic conditions.
  • Sahitya Akademi: It is an organisation dedicated to the promotion of literature in the languages of India. Founded on 12 March 1954, it is supported by, though independent of, the Indian government. Sahitya Akademi has announced winners for 2018. The winners include Anees Saleem in English, Rama Kant Shukla in Sanskrit, Rajesh Kumar Vyas in Rajasthani, Rahman Abbas in Urdu, Lok Nath Upadhyay in Nepali, Chitra Mughal in Hindi and S. Ramakrishnan in Tamil.
  • Freight village : It is a designated area where facilities for various modes of transportation, distribution of goods and other logistics are available in a synchronized manner on a large scale. The Ministry of Shipping has approved the development of Rs 156 crore freight village in Varanasi adjoining the Inland Waterways Terminal on River Ganga. The Varanasi freight village will be developed by the Inland Waterways Authority of India . It will serve as a cargo hub, and a centre for aggregation and value addition. It will also provide support to stimulate development of a professional logistics industry in Varanasi.

Science and Technology Current News

  • Exoplanets: These are planets beyond our own solar system. Thousands have been discovered in the past two decades, mostly with NASA's Kepler Space Telescope. Scientists have discovered a cache over 100 new exoplanets using data from NASA’s Kepler Space telescope as well as ground-based observatories. The diverse planets are expected to play a large role in developing the research field of exoplanets and life in the Universe. Exoplanets, which revolve around stars other than the Sun, have been actively researched in recent years.
  • Digital Sky : It is registration process initiated by the government for operations of remotely piloted aircraft, to come into effect from December 1. Under these norms, drone users will be required to do one-time registration of their drones. They will also need to register the pilots of drones as well as their owners. For drones of micro size and above categories, operators are required to register on the Digital Sky portal. This digital platform has begun accepting registrations of users, and payments for Unmanned Aerial Operator’s Permit (UAOP) and Unique Identification Numbers (UIN) will be accepted through the Bharat Kosh portal (bharatkosh.gov.in). According to the ministry, to get the permission to fly, RPAS (remotely piloted aerial system) or drone operators or remote pilots will have to file a flight plan. Flying in the ‘green zones’ will require only intimation of the time and location of the flights via the portal or the app. Permissions will be required for flying in ‘yellow zones’ and flights will not be allowed in the ‘red zones’. The location of these zones will be announced soon. Permission will be made available digitally on the portal.
  • Train 18: It is the first locomotive less train in India. The train has breached the 180 kmph speed limit during a test run recently. According to an official release, train 18 breached the 180 kmph speed limit in the Kota-Sawai Madhopur section. The major trials are now over, with just some more remaining. Based on the reports, fine tuning would be done if needed. As of now no major technical problem has cropped up. Train 18 will be planning to commence its commercial run from January 2019. Normally the trials take three months. But now it is happening faster than expected. If all things go well, Train 18 will replace the current Shatabdi Express - a day train. Train 18 is capable of touching 200 kmph provided the rest of Indian Railways' system such as tracks and signals permit. The ICF will roll out one more Train 18 this fiscal and four by the next fiscal.
  • ISRO: The Indian Space Research Organisation is the space agency of the Government of India headquartered in the city of Bangalore. Its vision is to "harness space technology for national development while pursuing space science research and planetary exploration. ISRO launches its heaviest satellite from French Guyana. GSAT-11, the heaviest satellite built by Isro (Indian Space Research Organization), was launched successfully. The satellite was onboard Ariane-5 VA246, which blasted off from Kourou Launch Zone in French Guiana at 20:37 GMT. The 5,854-kg satellite, almost double the biggest one built or launched by Isro till date, was launched aboard the European launch vehicle Ariane 5 ECA. The heavy-duty Ariane-5 vehicle was also carrying GEO-KOMPSAT-2A for the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI). GSAT-11 would play a vital role in providing broadband services across the country and provide a platform to demonstrate new generation applications, Isro said.

Economics:

  • Gold dore : It is a semi-pure alloy which is refined for further purification. Refined gold bars are manufactured from gold dore bar. Govt puts curbs on gold dore imports, places it under restricted category. According to an official release, an importer needs a license to import this commodity. Gold dore is a semi-pure alloy which is refined for further purification. Refined gold bars are manufactured from gold dore bar. India, the world's second-biggest gold consumer after China, imports about 900 tonnes of gold a year. In value terms, gold imports fell by about 43 per cent to $1.68 billion in October. The imports mainly take care of demand of the jewellery industry.
  • RBI: The Reserve Bank of India is India's central banking institution, which controls the monetary policy of the Indian rupee. The Reserve Bank will introduce an 'ombudsman scheme' to provide cost-free mechanism to redress grievances of customers related to digital transactions. With the digital mode for financial transactions gaining traction in the country, there is an emerging need for a dedicated, cost-free and expeditious grievance redressal mechanism for strengthening consumer confidence in this channel. It has therefore been decided to implement an 'Ombudsman Scheme for Digital Transactions' covering services provided by entities falling under Reserve Bank's regulatory jurisdiction. The scheme will be notified by the end of January next year.
  • Currency Swap: It is a financial transaction involves the exchange of interest and sometimes of principal in one currency for the same in another currency. India and the UAE has signed two agreements, including one on currency swap. Deal was signed after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held exhaustive discussions with her counterpart Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan to step up cooperation in areas like trade, security and defence.
  • Rural Electrification Corporation: It is a public Infrastructure Finance Company in India’s power sector. The company is a Public Sector Undertaking and finances and promotes rural electrification projects across India. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its ‘In Principle’approval for strategic sale of the Government of India’s existing 52.63% of total paid up equity shareholding in Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) to Power Finance Corporation (PFC) along with transfer of management control. The acquisition intends to achieve integration across the Power Chain, obtain better synergies, create economies of scale and have enhanced capability to support energy access and energy efficiency by improved capability to finance power sector. It may also allow for cheaper fund raising with increase in bargaining power for the combined entity. Both REC and PFC are Central Public Sector Enterprises under the Ministry of Power.

Current Affairs November 25 to December 01

International Current News

  • China: It is the most populous and biggest economy in the world. It has avast landscape encompasses grassland, desert, mountains, lakes, rivers and more than 14,000km of coastline. India and China have agreed and signed protocol regarding fish meal and fish oil. According to an official release, the Vice Minister, General Administration of Customs of China (GACC), Hu Wei, led a six-member delegation to India to discuss various issues of market access for different products like milk and milk products, agricultural products like soy meal, fruits and vegetables, tobacco and pharmaceutical products for which India has been seeking market access from China. Departments of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Agriculture Cooperation and Farmers Welfare and Health and Family Welfare and associated agencies participated in the meetingheld today in New Delhi. The meeting was coordinated by the Department of Commerce. Both the Indian and Chinese sides appreciated each other’s concerns and agreed to resolve the market access issues expeditiously to achieve the vision of the leaders of both the countries by promoting a more balanced trade. A protocol on Hygiene and Inspection requirements for the export of Fish Meal and Fish Oil from India to China was signed today. The signing of Protocol formalises the consensus reached by both sides on hygiene and inspection requirements of fish meal and fish oil to be exported from India to China, and will enable India to commence export of fish meal and fish oil to China.

National Current News

  • Logix India 2019 : It is a national event focus on the importance of logistics. Logix India 2019 is scheduled to take place in New Delhi from 31stJanuary to 2ndFebruary 2019.The mega logisticsevent is being organized by the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) as a major initiative to improvelogistics cost effectiveness and operational efficiencies for India’s global trade. Over 20 countries are sending delegations to explore logistics partnerships with India and FIEO is focusing on logistical solutions for difficult to reach markets.Over 100 international delegates are expected to attend Logix India 2019.FIEOwill also focus on investment opportunities in infrastructure development, warehouse consolidation, technology integration and IT enablement andskilling of manpower at the three-day meet.
  • 112: It is a single emergency system launch by Himachal Pradesh government. The system will connect to police, fire, health and other helplines through an Emergency Response Centre (ERC) in the state. According to an official source, under the project, one ERC has been established in Shimla along with 12 District Command Centres covering the entire state. The ERC has been integrated with police (100), fire (101), health (108) and women helpline (1090) services to provide emergency services via single emergency number 112. The service is part of the Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) which includes a '112 India' mobile app integrated with panic button of smartphones and ERSS state website for ease of citizen in availing immediate assistance. Ensuring safety of women, a 'SHOUT' feature has been introduced in '112 India' mobile app to seek immediate assistance from registered volunteers in the vicinity apart from the immediate assistance from ERC. The SHOUT feature is exclusively available to women. To increase the effectiveness of emergency response, the ERC has also been integrated with location-based services provided by telecom service providers. It said the '112 India' mobile app will be subsequently rolled out in all states and Union Territories to help people across the country access the unified emergency services.
  • 70-feet tall statue of Lord Buddha: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has unveiled a 70-feet tall statue of Lord Buddha at Rajgir in Nalanda district. Mr Kumar unveiled the statue of Lord Buddha, the second tallest statue of Buddha in the country, in the presence of Mahabodhi temple's chief monk Bhante Chalinda amid the chanting of hymns. The statue has been installed above a 16 metre radius pedestal in the middle of the lake Ghora Katora and has been made from 45,000 cubic foot pink sand stone. Ghora Katora lake is a historical place. It is a natural lake surrounded by five hills where Lord Buddha's statue has been installed. People will visit the lake where they can also have the privilege of offering their prayers to Lord Buddha."

Sports Current News

  • 2018 Men's Hockey World Cup: It is the 14th edition of the Hockey World Cup field hockey tournament. The tournament is being held from 28 November to 16 December 2018, at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, India. A total of 16 countries will be participating in the tournament, namely hosts India, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, England, Spain, Pakistan, New Zealand, France, China, South Africa, Malaysia, Canada and Ireland. A total of 36 matches will be played during the 19 day event.
  • Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI): It is the national governing body for cricket in India. The BCCI has announced that a cricketer guilty of age fraud will be barred from all its recognised tournaments for two years. “The BCCI has a zero-tolerance policy for age fraud in sport and has taken strict action against cricketers found guilty of manipulating their date of birth certificates while registering for BCCI tournaments,” said the BCCI in a statement. “As conveyed to state associations at the start of the season, BCCI wishes to reiterate that from the 2018-19 season, any cricketer who is found guilty of tampering his/her date of birth will be disqualified and barred from participating in any BCCI tournament for a period of 2 years i.e. 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons,” it added. Earlier, a cricketer faced a ban for one year.

Science and Technology Current News

  • Silent airplane with no propellers: It is a new airplane built by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It is was inspired from the movie and television series "Star Trek", have, in a breakthrough, built and flown the first-ever silent airplane with no moving propellers. The aircraft is powered by an "ionic wind" -- a silent but mighty flow of ions that is produced aboard the plane, that generates enough thrust to propel the plane over a sustained, steady flight. And unlike propeller-driven drones, the new design is completely silent. "This is the first-ever sustained flight of a plane with no moving parts in the propulsion system," said Steven Barrett, Associate Professor of aeronautics and astronautics at the MIT.
  • Indian Meterological Department: It is an agency of the Ministry of Earth Sciences of the Government of India. It is the principal agency responsible for meteorological observations, weather forecasting and seismology. It has been developed technology called the 'Impact Based Forecasting Approach' to assess the rise of water level in rivers and reservoirs by rain and can help state governments to minutely monitor the impact of rainfall. It shows "pre-event scenario" can help authorities in taking real-time decisions.
  • Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP): It is a segment of Integrated Health Information Platform (IHIP) which was launched by Ministry of Health in seven states. It is a path-breaking initiative will provide near-real-time data to policy makers for detecting outbreaks, reducing the morbidity and mortality and lessening disease burden in the populations and better health systems. The first one-of-its-kind initiative by the Government of India, IHIP uses the latest technologies and digital health initiatives. The success of this platform will depend primarily on the quality of data shared by the states. The effective implementation of the platform, 32,000 people at the block level, 13,000 at the district level and 900 at the state level have been trained.
  • NASA Insight lander: It is a new explorer which made its successful landing in planet Mars. The satellite landed on November 26, 2018, after an almost seven-month journey through deep space. This is the eighth time in human history that NASA has executed a successful landing on the red planet and the first in six years. The landing kicks off a two-year mission for the InSight lander to study Mars' deep interior. Operated by NASA, the explorer is built by scientists in the United States, France and Germany. It is designed to give the Red Planet its first thorough checkup since it formed 4.5 billion years ago. It is the first outer space robotic explorer to study in-depth the "inner space" of Mars: its crust, mantle, and core. InSight was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on May 5, 2018. It touched down November 26 near Mars' equator on the western side of a flat, smooth expanse of lava called Elysium Planitia. It will carry out mission objectives on the surface of Mars for a period of two years (one Martian year, plus 40 Martian days) till November 24, 2020. The landing signal was relayed to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, through one of NASA's two small experimental Mars Cube One (MarCO) CubeSats, which launched on the same rocket as InSight and followed the lander to Mars. They are the first CubeSats sent into deep space. After successfully carrying out a number of communications and in-flight navigation experiments, the twin MarCOs were set in position to receive transmissions during InSight's entry, descent and landing.
  • Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro): It is the space agency of the Government of India headquartered in the city of Bangalore. Its vision is to "harness space technology for national development while pursuing space science research and planetary exploration. ISRO has launched hyperspectral imaging satellite (HySIS), an earth observation satellite, from the Sriharikota. Over 30 foreign commercial satellites will be launched along with primary payload HySIS by the PSLV C43 rocket. The satellite, which can see in 55 spectral or colour bands from 630 km above the ground, will be used for a range of applications like agriculture, forestry and assessment of coastal zones, inland waters, soil and other geological environments. Being an earth observation satellite, HySIS will also be used by the military for surveillance purpose. The optical imaging detector array chip in the HySIS satellite has been designed by Isro's Ahmedabad-based Space Applications Centre and manufactured by its electronic arm, Semi-Conductor Laboratory, Chandigarh. The hyspex technology is still an evolving science and has become a new global trend. Hyperspectral imaging combines the power of digital imaging and spectroscopy. It collects and processes information from across the electromagnetic spectrum. Hyspex imaging enables distinct identification of objects, material or processes on the Earth by reading the spectrum for each pixel of a scene from space. Soon after the HySIS launch on November 29, Isro will shift its eye to the European spaceport as its heaviest commercial satellite Gsat-11 weighing 5.7 tonnes will be launched from French Guiana on December 5 (December 4 evening according to Indian standard time). The high-throughput satellite, which carries 40 transponders in the Ku-band and Ka-band frequencies, is capable of "providing high bandwidth connectivity" with up to 14 gigabit per second (GBPS) data transfer speed. Gsat-11, which will help increase internet speed in the country, was earlier this year recalled from French Guiana in order to check for possible glitches. Isro felt the need to take the unusual step of recalling the satellite in April as a precaution especially after the failure of the Gsat-6A satellite mission around the same time.
  • eDrishti: It is a new software launched by Indian Railways. The software has been developed by the Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS). The software was connected with the base kitchens of the Indian Rail Catering and Tourism Corp (IRCTC) following complaints regarding the quality of food served on trains. This software helps Railway Minister Piyush Goyal to keep a track of punctuality of trains as well as freight and passenger earnings – and much more – from anywhere in the country. The minister will reportedly be able to keep a track of all information related to Indian Railways. The Minister can track any information with just a click of the mouse — whether from his office or while on the move. The Minister will also be able to know at any given point of time the day’s freight and passenger earnings, freight loading and unloading, punctuality, progress of major projects, and public grievances. Further, the movement of trains across the country, and details of railway stations and many more informations will be in the reach of Railway minister.
  • Sashastra Seema Bal: It is one of India's Central Armed Police Forces. Dudhwa Tiger Reserve and Sashastra Seema Bal have joined hands to provide security to Dudhwa forests and its rich wildlife. “A consensus was reached among all security agencies including SSB on the border and the Dudhwa field staff to strengthen the patrolling in and around Dudhwa to check forest and wildlife crimes,” DTR Field Director Ramesh Kumar Pandey said.

Economics:

  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) : It is India's central banking institution, which controls the monetary policy of the Indian rupee. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had relaxed rules for non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) to sell or securitise their loan books, in a bid to ease persistent stress in the sector. NBFCs can now securitise loans of more than five-year maturity after holding those for six months on their books, the Reserve Bank of India said. Earlier, they had to hold these assets for at least one year, a banker said. However, the relaxation on the minimum holding period will be allowed when the NBFC retains 20 per cent of the book value of these loans, the RBI said.
  • PAiSA: It is a new centralized electronic platform for processing interest subvention on bank loans to beneficiaries under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana - National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM) named "PAiSA - Portal for Affordable Credit and Interest Subvention Access". This new web platform has been designed and developed by Allahabad Bank which is the Nodal bank. Launching the portal, Durga Shankar Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs said , "PAiSA is yet another effort by the government to connect directly with the beneficiaries, ensuring that there is greater transparency and efficiency in delivery of services. DBT of subvention on monthly basis under DAY-NULM will give the necessary financial support to small entrepreneurs in a timely manner".
  • Miniratna: It is a category conferred to public limited companies that have made profits continuously for the last three years or earned a net profit of Rs. 30 crore or more in one of the three years. These miniratnas granted certain autonomy like incurring capital expenditure without government approval up to Rs. 500 crore or equal to their net worth, whichever is lower. National Projects Construction Corporation Limited (NPCC) has been conferred with the status of Miniratna : Category –I by the Government of India. The empowerment of Miniratna Status to NPCC will help the company in taking speedy decisions by enhancing the delegation of powers to the Board. NPCC, a schedule ‘B’ CPSE under the administrative control of Ministry of Water Resources RD & GR, has also been awarded ISO 9001:2015 Certification. The Corporation, incorporated in 1957, is a premier construction company having mandate with creation of infrastructure to provide impetus for economic development of the country. The Corporation is making continuous profit since 2009-10, having positive networth for the last six years and has ambitious business plan with enhanced order book position of Rs. 11833 c.

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