Cyclone Fani

Cyclone Fani has left a trail of destruction across a large part of coastal Odisha ,but its management has emerged as a Cyclone Faniglobal example of how timely weather alerts,  preparedness and informed public participation can dramatically reduce loss of life.

The toll from the extremely severe cyclonic storm on May 3 , 2019 stood, at last count, at 34 deaths. In terms of material losses, several districts were battered, houses flattened and electricity and telecommunications infrastructure destroyed, but the relatively low mortality shows a dramatic transformation from the loss of over 10,000 lives in 1999 when super cyclone 05B struck. Odisha then worked to upgrade its preparedness, which was tested when very severe cyclonic storm Phailin struck in 2013. It was able to bring down the number of deaths to 44 then, in spite of a wide arc of destruction: 13 million people were hit and half a million houses destroyed. The Odisha government and the Centre now have the task of rebuilding infrastructure. They should use the opportunity to upgrade technology, achieve cost efficiencies and build resilience to extreme weather, all of which can minimise future losses. Given the vulnerability of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh to cyclones, the frequency and intensity of which may be influenced by a changing climate, the center should press for global environmental funding under the UN framework to help in the rebuilding. Both States have received funding from the World Bank in cyclone risk mitigation efforts since 2011.

Cyclones in India

India is highly vulnerable to natural hazards especially earthquakes, floods, drought, cyclones and landslides. Studies indicate that natural disaster losses equate to up to 2% of India Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and up to 12% of Central government revenue. The cyclones that occur between Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn are known as Tropical Cyclones. Tropical cyclones are weather systems in which winds equal or exceed gale force (minimum of 34 knot, i.e., 62 kmph). Indian sub-continent is the worst affected region of the world, having a coastline of 7516 kms. (5400 kms along the mainland, 132 kms in Lakshadweep and 1900 kms in Andaman and Nicobar Islands) is exposed to nearly 10% of the world.Tropical Cyclones. There are 13 coastal states/UTs encompassing 84 coastal districts which are affected by cyclones Four States (Andhra Pradesh , Odisha, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal) and one UT ( Pondicherry ) on the East Coast and One State (Gujarat) on the West Coast are more vulnerable to cyclone disasters. 40% of the total population lives within 100 km of coastline. Cyclones occur in the month of May-June and October-November, with primary peak in November and secondary peak in May. Although cyclones affect the entire coast of India the East Coast is more prone compared to the West Coast. Recurring cyclones account for large number of deaths, loss of livelihood opportunities, loss of public and private property and severe damage to infrastructure, thus seriously reversing the developmental gains at regular intervals. Climate change and its resultant sea-level rises can significantly increase the vulnerability of coastal population.

Classification of tropical Cyclone

The criteria followed by Meteorological Department of India (IMD) to classify the low pressure systems in the Bay of Bengal and in the Arabian Sea as adopted by World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) are as under:

Type of Disturbances Associated Wind Speed in the Circulation
Low pressure Area Less than17 knots (<31 kmph)
Depression 17 to 27 knots (31 to 49 kmph)
Deep Depression 28 to 33 knots (50 to 61 kmph)
Cyclonic Storm 34 to 47 knots (62 to 88 kmph)
Severe Cyclonic Storm 48 to 63 knots (89 to 118 kmph)
Very Severe Cyclonic Storm 64 to 119 knots (119 to 221 kmph)
Super Cyclonic Storm 119 knots and above (221 kmph and above)

Refrences –

The Hindu

National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project

All about United Nation (Important for PCS-J /PCS/ IAS )

 

 

 

What are the aims of the United Nations?

(a) To keep peace throughout the world;

(b) to develop friendly relations between nations;

(c) to work together to help people live better lives, to eliminate poverty, disease and illiteracy in the world, to stop environmental destruction and to encourage respect for each other’s rights and freedoms and

(d) to be a centre for helping nations achieve these aims.

What are the principles of the United Nations?

(a) All Member States have sovereign equality;

(b) All Member States must obey the Charter;

(c) Countries must try to settle their differences by peaceful means;

(d) Countries must avoid using force or the threat of force to settle disputes;

(e) The UN may not interfere in the domestic affairs of any country and

(f) Countries should try to assist the United Nations.

 When did the UN come into existence and Who coined the name “United Nations” ?

(a)  On October 24, 1945. The day is now celebrated each year around the world as United Nations Day.

United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was first used in the “Declaration by United Nations” of 1 January 1942 during the Second World War, when representatives of 26 nations pledged their governments to continue fighting together against the axis powers.

Continue reading All about United Nation (Important for PCS-J /PCS/ IAS )

CURRENT AFFAIRS FOR UPPCS-2018 & UPPCS-J 2017 -JUNE 2018

 CURRENT AFFAIRS FOR UPPCS-2018 & UPPCS-J 2017 -JUNE 2018

 

  1. What is the theme for Reserve Bank of India’s “Financial Literacy Week” that started from 4 June 2018? – Consumer Protection

-The week will focus on four consumer protection messages like ‘know your liability’ for unauthorised electronic banking transaction and Good practices for a safe digital banking experience.

  1. Indian economy grew 7.7% in the January-March quarter of 2017-18, the biggest expansion in seven quarters, as was disclosed in the government data released on 31 May 2018. What is India’s economic growth for financial year 2017-18? – 6.7%
  2. Tata Chemicals exited the chemical business by selling which fertilizer unit in West Bengal, as was disclosed by the company on 1 June 2018? – Haldia fertilizer unit
  3. The foundation stone of an advanced DNA forensic laboratory especially to assist in investigation and prosecution of crimes including those committed against women and children was laid at which place on 1 June 2018? – Chandigarh
  4. Which is the only Indian institution to make it to the top 100 universities in the Times Higher Education’s World Reputation Rankings 2018 that was released on 31 May 2018? – Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bengaluru
  5. On 4 June 2018 India received its cheapest LNG under a long-term deal from which country? – Russia

-India got first of its cheapest liquefied natural gas (LNG) consignment from Russia at a delivered price of close to $7 per million British thermal unit (mmBtu) on 4 June 2018.

– LNG carrier ‘LNG Kano’, bringing cargo from Russian gas supplier Gazprom, docked at Petronet LNG Ltd.’s import facility in Dahej on 4 June 2018.

– At current oil prices, the Russian rate is $1.5 per mmBtu less than the price at which Qatar, India’s oldest supplier, delivered LNG. This delivery is part of the historic 20-year import deal with Russian gas major Gazprom. India will import LNG worth an estimated $25 billion over the contract period from Russia.

  1. Who was appointed as the fourth deputy governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) by the Union Government on 4 June 2018? – Mahesh Kumar Jain
  2. What is the name of the active volcano in Guatemala that erupted on 3 June 2018 resulting in death of at least 60 persons? – Volcán de Fuego
  3. Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. achieved which landmark car production figure during June 2018? – 20 million units
  4. On the occasion of World Environment Day on 5 June 2018 which Indian beach became the first in Asia to get the Blue Flag certification, the tag given to environment-friendly and clean beaches? – Chandrabhaga Beach (Odisha)
  5. The Chandrabhaga beach on the Konark coast of Odisha became the first in Asia to get the Blue Flag certification. This tag is given to environment-friendly and clean beaches, equipped with amenities of international standards for tourists.

– The tag was awarded on World Environment Day on 5 June 2018. To achieve the Blue Flag standards, a beach must be plastic-free and equipped with a waste management system. Clean water should be available for tourists, apart from international amenities. The beach should have facilities for studying the environmental impact around the area.

– Twelve more beaches in the country are being developed in accordance with the Blue Flag standards. Among them are the Chiwla and Bhogave beaches in Maharashtra and one beach each from Puducherry, Goa, Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

  1. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) hiked the Repo Rate, the rate at which banks borrow from RBI, by 25 basis points (bps) during its second bi-monthly monetary policy review of 2018-19 on 6 June 2018. When was the last time the RBI had hiked the Repo Rate? – January 2014
  2. The Defence Ministry gave its approval for construction of which port mouth on the Bay of Bengal in Odisha during June 2018? – Subarnarekha port
  3. What is new minimum support price (MSP) for sugar, as was announced by the Union Government on 6 June 2018? – Rs. 29/kg
  4. What is the latest Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) of India, as was disclosed in latest Sample Registration System (SRS) data released during June 2018? – 130

-As per the latest Sample Registration System (SRS) data, the Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR), i.e., number of maternal deaths per 1,00,000 live births, has dropped from 167 (in 2011-2013, the last SRS period) to 130 for India.

– This 28% drop is an achievement arising from efforts reducing the MMR in each of the States.

– Kerala remains at the top with an MMR of 46 (down from 61). Maharashtra retains its second position with 61, but the pace of fall has been much lower, dropping from 68 during 2011-13. Tamil Nadu with 66 (79) is in the third position.

  1. Spanish tennis great Rafael Nadal defeated which player to win his record 11th French Open men’s singles title on 10 June 2018? – Dominic Thiem (Austria)
  2. Who won the women’s singles title of French Open 2018 to win her first ever tennis grand slam singles title on 9 June 2018? – Simona Halep (Romania)
  3. Which 117-year-old US agribusiness brand-name is poised to be dropped as German conglomerate Bayer on 7 June 2018 closed the $63 billion merger with this company? – Monsanto
  4. Union Government on 8 June 2018 constituted a bankers’ committee to study setting up of asset reconstruction firms (ARCs) for clean-up of non-performing assets (NPAs). This committee was set-up in the backdrop of the state-owned banks reeling under bad loans and losses. Who is heading this committee? – Sunil Mehta (PNB)
  5. Which state topped the first ever national disaster risk index to map hazards and vulnerabilities across 640 districts that was released by the Union Government on 9 June 2018? – Maharashtra

-A national disaster risk index mapping hazards and vulnerabilities across 640 districts puts Maharashtra at the top of the chart followed by West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, while Delhi is most at risk among Union territories (UTs).

– The index factors in exposure of population, agriculture and livestock and environmental risk in drawing up the rankings. The top states are followed by Rajasthan, Karnataka, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Bihar while those vulnerable to disasters like cyclones, landslides and earthquakes, like Andhra Pradesh and hill states, are relatively lower in the index.

– The index is currently in the form of a draft report prepared by the Union home ministry with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

  1. The historic meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un took place at which place on 12 June 2018? – Singapore
  2. The US reclaimed the title of having the fastest supercomputer in the world from China, as it unveiled a new supercomputer during June 2018. What is the name given to this supercomputer? – “Summit”

-The US has reclaimed the title of having the fastest supercomputer in the world, with the unveiling of a machine known as “Summit”. “Summit” was unveiled at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

– It is capable of performing 200,000 trillion calculations per second, known as 200 petaflops. This is more than twice the previous record holder, China’s Sunway TaihuLight, capable of 93 petaflops.

– Summit weighs in at 340 tons, needs 4,000 gallons of water to stay cool, and uses the same amount of energy required by 8,000 US homes. It spans about 860 square meters (9,250 square feet), roughly three times the size of a tennis court.

  1. Who was appointed as the chief operating officer (COO) of ICICI Bank by bank’s board on 19 June 2018 after MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar went on leave? – Sandeep Bakhshi
  2. Which India-born executive was named the CFO of US’ largest automaker General Motors and will thus become the first woman to get the position in the auto industry? – Dhivya Suryadevara
  3. Who took over as the acting chairman of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on 20 June 2018? – Arvind Saxena
  4. During June 2018 which company became the first listed company in India to close the day’s trade with a market capitalisation of over Rs. 7 lakh crore? – Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)
  5. Which team posted the highest score of 481 runs in a men’s one-day international (ODI) on 19 June 2018? – England

-England broke the record for the highest score in a men’s one-day international for the second time in two years at Trent Bridge by scoring 481 for six against Australia on 19 June 2018.

– England thus surpassed their own previous all-time record men’s ODI total of 444 for three, also set at Trent Bridge, against Pakistan in 2016. With this mammoth total England humiliated Australia by 242 runs as the team was bundled out for mere 239 runs off 37 overs. This was England’s biggest run-margin of victory in an ODI.

– Alex Hales (147) and Jonny Bairstow (139) played pivotal role in this match. England captain Eoin Morgan became England’s all-time leading run-scorer in this format during a 67 that featured 21-ball fifty – England’s quickest at this level.

  1. Which team became the first Asian side to beat a South American one at the FIFA World Cup on 19 June 2018? – Japan

-Japan created footballing history as it defeated Colombia by 2-1 in a Group-H match on 19 June 2018 to become the first Asian side to beat a South American one at the FIFA World Cup

  1. The Indian rupee crashed to a lifetime low of 69.10 against the US dollar on 28 June 2018 as rising crude oil prices deepened concerns about the country’s current account deficit and inflation dynamics. When the rupee had touched it previous record low of 68.8650 per dollar? – On 24 November 2016
  2. Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) Arvind Subramanian on 20 June 2018 submitted his resignation and expressed his desire to return to the United States due to family commitments. When he took charge as India’s CEA? – 16 October 2014
  3. The High Court of which state banned paragliding, and white water rafting and other water sports in the state on 18 June 2018 and directed the state govt. to enact suitable legislation for regulating adventure and water sports? – Uttarakhand
  4. Which state government during June 2018 launched the Suryashakti Kisan Yojna (SKY) under which grid-connected solar panels will be provided to farmers? – Gujarat
  5. The two agricultural scientists chosen for the 2018 World Food Prize, as announced on 25 June 2018, are – Lawrence Haddad and Dr. David Nabarro

-Lawrence Haddad, who is a British economist and food policy researcher, and Dr. David Nabarro, who has worked with the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations (UN) on health and hunger issues, were named the 2018 prize recipients in a ceremony at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington on 25 June 2018.

  1. Which country became the last in the world to officially lift the ban on women drivers on 23 June 2018? – Saudi Arabia
  2. Which country announced legalizing marijuana sales from October 2018 by passing a legislation on 20 June 2018? – Canada

 

 

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CURRENT AFFAIRS FOR UPPCS-2018 & UPPCS-J 2017 -MAY 2018

CURRENT AFFAIRS (MAY’18)

 

  1. Which Indian city topped the list of 20 most polluted cities in the World (in terms of air pollution) that was released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Geneva on 2 May 2018? – Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh)

-Uttar Pradesh’s industrial city Kanpur has topped the list of 20 most polluted cities in the World (in terms of air pollution) that was released by the WHO on 2 May 2018.

-According to WHO’s global air pollution database released in Geneva, India has 14 out of the 15 most polluted cities in the world in terms of PM 2.5 concentrations – the worst being UP’s Kanpur with a PM 2.5 concentration of 173 micrograms per cubic metre, followed by Faridabad, Varanasi and Gaya.

-Other Indian cities that registered very high levels of PM2.5 pollutants are Delhi, Patna, Agra, Muzaffarpur, Srinagar, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Patiala and Jodhpur, followed by Ali Subah Al-Salem in Kuwait and a few cities in China and Mongolia.

-The study considered PM2.5 (particulate matter of diameter less than 2.5 micrometres) and PM10. PM2.5 is more dangerous than PM10. The period considered for the study was 2010 to 2016.

 

  1. What is the name given to the newly developed state-of-the-art bullet-proof jacket by BARC capable to withstand eight 7.62mm bullets fired from an AK-47 rifle from a distance of 5-10 metres that will be used by the Central Armed Police Force (CARF)? – “Bhabha Kavach”

-“Bhabha Kavach” is the name given to the newly developed state-of-the-art bullet-proof jacket developed by the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). It can withstand eight 7.62mm bullets fired from an AK-47 rifle from a distance of 5-10 metres. It can even withstand the 5.56mm bullet of the Indian Small Arms System (INSAS) or that of the now decommissioned 7.65mm bullet of self-loading rifle (SLR).

 

  1. Noted scholar, economist and eminent leftist leader Ashok Mitra passed away on 1 May 2018. He was a former Finance Minister of which state? – West Bengal
  2. Who was appointed the new Chairman of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) on 2 May 2018? – Subhash Chandra Khuntia
  3. The Telecom Commission on 2 May 2018 approved the proposal of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for Internet and mobile communication on aircraft. According to TRAI’s recommendations the in-flight connectivity will be available at what altitude? – 3,000m
  4. A restored Dakota joined the Indian Air Force (IAF) on 4 May 2018 in an induction ceremony at Hindan air force station, more than four decades after the aircraft fleet was phased out following an illustrious service record. Who took the main initiative to induct this iconic aircraft into the IAF? – Rajeev Chandrasekhar

 

-A restored Dakota DC-3 VP 905 aircraft was formally inducted into the IAF at a grand ceremony at Hindon air base (Ghaziabad) where a key was received by the Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal B.S. Dhanoa from Air Commodore (retd) M.K. Chandrasekhar whose son and Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar bought and restored the aircraft.

– Dakota was bought by the MP from “scrap” and got restored in the UK. The restored Dakota has been rechristened as ‘Parashuram’. This aircraft commenced its journey from the UK on 17 April with a joint crew of IAF and Reflight Airworks. It flew a total of 9,750 km during its ferry en-route halts in France, Italy, Greece, Jordan, Bahrain and Oman, and finally landed on Indian soil at air force station Jamnagar on 25 April 2018.

– The Dakota popularly known as the ‘Gooney Bird’ was the first major transport aircraft inducted in the fledgeling Indian Air Force. It was at the forefront of operations from 1947 to 1971.

– Rajeev Chandrasekhar’s father M.K. Chandrasekhar, who flew the aircraft during his service in the IAF, has been deeply attached with the aircraft and felt the need to restore it back to the service.

 

 

  1. Which airport is set to become the 100th operational airport in India as per information disclosed by Civil Aviation Minister Jayant Sinha on 2 May 2018? – Pakyong (Sikkim)
  2. Which Chinese smartphone maker filed for $10 billion IPO in Hong Kong on 3 May 2018, which is expected to be world’s biggest IPO since Alibaba’s debut IPO in 2014? – Xiaomi
  3. According to a report released by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on 2 May 2018, India overtook which country to become one of the world’s top five military spenders in 2017? – France

 

-India’s defence spending rose by 5.5% to US$63.9 billion in 2017, overtaking that of France as it became one of the world’s top five military spenders. This was disclosed in a report published by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on 2 May 2018.

– The United States, China, Saudi Arabia and Russia were the leading four last year in military spending. The list of the world’s biggest military spenders has remained largely consistent in recent years, dominated by the US and China, which spent US$610 billion and US$228 billion during 2017.

  1. In which south eastern country the opposition alliance won a historic election on 10 May 2018 and thus ending the six-decade rule of the ruling coalition? – Malaysia

-Malaysia’s opposition alliance headed by veteran ex-leader Mahathir Mohamad won a historic election according to official results that were released on 10 May 2018, and thus ending the six-decade rule of the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.

– The results from the Election Commission showed the opposition grouping, “Pakatan Harapan”, plus a party in the Borneo state of Sabah they are allied with, winning 115 seats, over the threshold of 112 seats needed in parliament to form a government.

– Mahathir, who is now poised to become the world’s oldest elected prime minister, came out of retirement to take on Prime Minister Najib Razak, who has become embroiled in massive corruption scandal surrounding state fund 1MDB.

 

 

  1. Karl Marx’s which iconic anniversary was observed on 5 May 2018? – 200th
  2. Which entity bought 77% stake in home-grown e-commerce behemoth Flipkart for $16 billion, as was announced by the entity on 9 May 2018? – WalMart
  3. Which major foreign mutual fund made its exit from India as was announced on 7 May 2018? – BlackRock
  4. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nepali PM K. P. Sharma Oli on 11 May 2018 jointly inaugurated a direct bus service between which two sacred cities? – Janakpur and Ayodhya

 

-Nepal’s Janakpur and India’s Ayodhya have been connected through a bus service as part of the “Ramayan Circuit” to promote religious tourism in Nepal and India. The service was jointly inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart K. P. Sharma Oli on 11 May 2018.

– Janakpur is known as the birthplace of Sita, the wife of Lord Rama. Janaki temple was built in memory of Sita in 1910.

– The Indian government has identified 15 destinations in India for development under the Ramayana Circuit theme namely Ayodhya, Nandigram, Shringverpur & Chitrakoot (Uttar Pradesh), Sitamarhi, Buxar & Darbhanga (Bihar), Chitrakoot (Madhya Pradesh), Mahendragiri (Odisha), Jagdalpur (Chattisgarh), Nashik & Nagpur (Maharashtra), Bhadrachalam (Telangana), Hampi (Karnataka) and Rameshwaram (Tamil Nadu)

  1. Noted Indian physicist E.C.G. Sudarshan, who passed away in the US on 14 May 2018, was known for making path-breaking discoveries which field of physics? – Quantum Optics

-Ennackal Chandy George Sudarshan, popularly known as E.C.G. Sudarshan, who made path-breaking discoveries in the realm of Quantum Optics, died aged 86 in Texas (United States) on 14 May 2018. He was recommended for the Nobel Prize nine times but never awarded.

– Professor Sudarshan was a faculty at the University of Texas for the past 40 years. He made significant contributions to the field of theoretical physics  – optical coherence, tachyons, quantum Zeno effect, open quantum system, spin-statistics theorem, non-invariance groups, positive maps of density matrices and quantum computation, to name a few.

– He worked for a brief period with Homi Bhabha, father of Indian nuclear programme before moving to the US.

 

 

  1. The world’s second oldest rock dating back to 4.2 billion years has been discovered in which Indian state, as was reported during May 2018? – Odisha
  2. On 12 May 2018 which public sector bank was kept under the Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) mechanism by the RBI due to worsening asset quality? – Dena Bank
  3. Electric vehicles (EVs) in India will get number plate of which colour, as was approved by the Union Government during May 2018? – Green
  4. Which state government on 10 May 2018 launched “Rythu Bandhu Scheme”, an ambitious scheme under which farmers will get Rs. 8,000 per acre per year for two crops? – Telangana

-Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao launched the ambitious “Rythu Bandhu Scheme” (meaning brother of farmers scheme) in Karimnagar on 10 May 2018 that ensures farmers will get Rs. 8,000 per acre per year for two crops.

– The Chief Minister gave the first passbook of the scheme to B Sanjiva Reddy at Huzurabad constituency of the Karimnagar district. He became the first beneficiary of the scheme as he received the cheque from the CM.

– According to the CM, of 2.9 crore acres land in the state of Telangana, about 2.3 crore acres of land have been verified and around 1.4 crore acres of them have been identified as cultivable land. Whether they take up cultivation or not, the government will issue cheques as well as passbooks to all 58 lakh eligible farmers for this season

 

  1. Sterlite’s copper smelter plant situated in which district of Tamil Nadu came into news as least 10 people were killed in police firing on 22 May 2018 after protests against the plant turned violent? –Thoothukudi (Tuticorin)
  2. What is the name of the deadly virus carried mainly carried by fruit bats that during May 2018 struck Kerala causing large-scale panic in the state? – “Nipah”

 

-“Nipah” is the name of a deadly virus that struck the state of Kerala during May 2018. It induces flu-like symptoms that often lead to encephalitis and coma. Fruit bats are considered the main carrier of the virus for which there is no vaccination, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

– The traces of this virus were found in blood and body fluid samples of two persons who died of viral fever in Kerala’s coastal Kozhikode region. It was confirmed by laboratory results from National Institute of Virology, Pune. By 21 May at least 11 persons died in Kerala, including a nurse who treated a Nipah patient.

– Nipah was first identified in Malaysia in 1998. In India the disease was first reported in 2001 and again six years later, with the two outbreaks claiming 50 lives. There is no effective treatment of Nipah and treatment mostly focuses on managing symptoms like fever.

  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 19 May 2018 inaugurated which ambitious tunnel project, which will provide all-weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh and, at 14.2 km, will also be the country’s longest road tunnel? – Zojila Pass tunnel
  2. How much is the net loss of India’s largest banking entity SBI for the quarter ending March 2018, as was reported by the bank on 22 May 2018? – Rs. 7,718.17 crore
  3. Janata Dal (Secular) Legislature Party leader H.D. Kumaraswamy was sworn in as Chief Minister on 23 May 2018. He became the 24th Chief Minister of Karnataka. Who was sworn in as the Deputy Chief Minister? – G. Parameshwara
  4. What is the name of India’s first all-women crew circumnavigation expedition (round the globe expedition) that arrived in Goa on 21 May 2018 after successfully circumnavigating the globe for over seven months? – “Navika Sagar Parikrama”
  5. What is the name of world’s first floating nuclear power station that was launched by Russia during May 2018 as part of its plan to develop oil resources in Arctic? – “Akademik Lomonosov”
  6. What is the name of the specialised anti-Naxal combat force for the state of Chhattisgarh that was announced by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on 21 May 2018? – “Black Panther”

-“Black Panther” will be the name of the proposed specialised anti-Naxal combat force for the state of Chhattisgarh that will be constituted on the lines of the Greyhounds. This was announced by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on 21 May 2018. He was speaking to reporters after chairing a meeting on Left-Wing Extremism (LWE).

– The Greyhounds is a special force in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh that specialises in anti-insurgency operations against Naxals and Maoists.

  1. Who was appointed the new Chairman of the Lalit Kala Akademi by the Union Government on 17 May 2018? – Uttam Pacharne
  2. Who was sworn in as the new Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) on 21 May 2018 thus becoming the first-ever woman Director of US’ intelligence agency? – Gina Haspel
  3. Which corporate entity on 25 May 2018 became the first-ever Indian company to surge past market capitalization of Rs. 7 trillion? – Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. (TCS)
  4. What is India’s place in the health care access and quality (HAQ) index that was released by an international consortium of researchers during May 2018? – 145 among 195 countries

-The health care access and quality (HAQ) index, based on a comprehensive research done by an international consortium of researchers to draw conclusions on global healthcare access, was released in ‘The Lancet’ journal on 23 May 2018. The study ranked India 145 among 195 countries and lower than China, Bangladesh and Sudan on health care access and quality.

– The study measured healthcare access through countries’ capacities to prevent premature deaths from 32 diseases. India’s overall score on the health care access and quality (HAQ) index increased to 41.2 in 2016 from 24.7 in 1990.

– Goa and Kerala had the highest scores, both above 60, implying populations in these states have the best access to quality health care in the country, while Assam and Uttar Pradesh had the least scores, both below 40, meaning people there had the poorest access.

– For comparison, Iceland had the highest score (97.1) for health care access and quality, followed by Norway (96.6) and the Netherlands (96.1), while the countries with the lowest scores were Central African Republic (18.6), Somalia (19) and Guinea-Bissau (23.4).

  1. Which country became the first from South-East Asia Region to eliminate trachoma, which is the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness? – Nepal.

– Nepal thus became the first country in WHO’s South-East Asia Region to defeat trachoma, which is rated as the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness. It is worth mentioning that trachoma was the second leading cause of preventable blindness in Nepal in the 1980s.

 

 

  1. The Union Cabinet on 23 May 2018 approved an ordinance to set up the country’s first national sports university. This proposed university will be established in which state? – Manipur
  2. What is the name of the community reserve in Arunachal Pradesh that was awarded the India Biodiversity Award 2018 on 22 May 2018 for its effort to conserve a critically endangered bird? – Singchung Bugun Village Community Reserve
  3. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 27 May 2017 inaugurated the first phase of India’s first 14-lane expressway. Which expressway is this? – Delhi-Meerut Expressway
  4. Delhi-Meerut Expressway (DME), India’s first 14-lane expressway will connect Delhi to Meerut, and on completion will reduce the travel time between Delhi and Meerut to 45 minutes from the present about 3-4 hours. It has been built at a cost of Rs. 841 crore.

 

– The first package of the DME will provide a major relief to the commuters in Delhi-Noida and starts from Nizamuddin Bridge to UP Border having a 6 lane Expressway and 4+4 lane Highway.

– DME is the first bridge in the country that have vertical gardens with solar power system and drip irrigation. The scheduled time period for the construction of this project was 30 months whereas the project has been completed in 17 months.

– The Prime Minister also inaugurated the 135-km Eastern Periphery Expressway (EPE) which bypasses Delhi on the eastern side. The expressway provides connectivity between Delhi and the cities of Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Greater Noida, Baghpat and Sonipat. The expressway has been constructed at a cost of Rs. 11000 crores to relieve traffic congestion in the Faridabad-Ghaziabad stretch and also to prevent pollution causing commercial vehicles from entering Delhi.

– The EPE has several unique features and is India’s first highway to be lit by solar power besides provisions of rain water harvesting on every 500 metres on both sides.

 

 

  1. Chennai Super Kings (CSK) defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) by 8 wickets to win the Indian Premier League (IPL) title for 2018 on 27 May 2018. With this win CSK has now won three IPL titles and on par with Mumbai Indians (MI) for title wins. Who was named the most valuable player (or Man of the Series) of IPL 2018? – Sunil Naraine (Kolkata Knight Riders)
  2. The “Bangladesh Bhavan” was inaugurated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina at which place in West Bengal on 25 May 2018? – Santiniketan
  3. Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation of the first phase of 2,400 Megawatt (Mw) capacity of NTPC’s Patratu Super Thermal Power Project on 25 May 2018. This super thermal power plant being established at a cost of around Rs. 18,000 crore is in which state? – Jharkhand
  4. The University Grants Commission (UGC) on 24 May 2018 gave which important permission to top Indian universities and colleges? – It allowed them to offer online courses from 2018-19
  5. Toyota Motor Corp. entered into a technology transfer agreement with which auto company for the development of an ultra high-efficiency powertrain for India? – Suzuki Motor Corp.
  6. Which European country voted overwhelmingly to overturn the ban on abortion on 25 May 2018? – Ireland
  7. A cloud-enabled National Data Centre of the National Informatics Centre (NIC) was inaugurated at which place on 28 May 2018? – Bhubaneswar

 

IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on 28 May 2018 inaugurated a cloud-enabled National Data Centre (NDC) of the National Informatics Centre (NIC) at Bhubaneswar (Odisha). This is the fourth NDC of the NIC after Delhi, Hyderabad and Pune.

 

 

  1. Which country is poised to become the first country in Latin America to join NATO as a “global partner”, as was announced on 25 May 2018? – Colombia
  2. Who won the Man Booker International Prize for 2018 during May 2018? – Olga Tokarczuk (Poland)

-Olga Tokarczuk became the first Polish writer to win the Man Booker International Prize. She took the £50,000 prize for her novel ‘Flights’. She had to split the cash prize with translator Jennifer Croft.

– Tokarczuk thus became the first-ever Polish writer to win the coveted prize. The annual award goes to the best work of translated fiction from around the world. The prize is different from the Man Booker Prize, which is given to the best original English language novel each year.

  1. Who assumed charge as the first Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) during May 2018? – Sudha Balakrishnan
  2. Who became the first ever Indian to receive the prestigious Linnean Medal in Botany during May 2018? – Kamaljit S. Bawa

– Indian botanist Kamaljit S. Bawa, president of Bengaluru-based non-profit Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), received the prestigious Linnean Medal in Botany from the Linnean Society of London on 24 May 2018.

– He is the first Indian to win the award ever since it was first constituted in 1888. He is recognized for his pioneering research on the evolution of tropical plants, tropical deforestation, non-timber forest products and for decades of work on the biodiversity of forests in Central America, the Western Ghats, and the Eastern Himalaya.

  1. Who was appointed Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister on 28 May 2018? – Nasir Ul Mulk

 

  1. Yog guru Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali entered the telecom space on 28 May 2018 by launching its own SIM card called Swadeshi Samriddhi SIM card. This SIM has been launched in collaboration with which telecom entity? – Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL)

-After gaining popularity in the consumer goods market, Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali entered the telecom space on 28 May 2018 by launching its own SIM card in collaboration with State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). This SIM card has been named ‘Swadeshi Samriddhi SIM’.

 

– Alongside the data and voice calling benefits, the Swadeshi Samriddhi SIM also offers health, accidental and life insurances to the customers.

– This SIM card and its benefits will be available only to Patanjali employees for now. As of now, there’s no information on when the SIM card will be available publicly.

 

  1. About 85,000 bank branches of two dozen public sector banks across India were largely shut on 30-31 May 2018. The call for the 2-day nationwide bank strike was given primarily to protest what? – Government’s casual approach to wage revision for bank employees
  2. Andhra Pradesh government on 30 May 2018 announced separate symbols for the state after the bifurcation of Telangana. What is the new state animal of Andhra Pradesh? – Black Buck

-Black Buck has been declared the state animal of Andhra Pradesh while Neem has been declared the state tree. Rose-ringed Parakeet will be the state bird while Jasmine will be the state’s flower.

– This was announced through an official order by the Andhra Pradesh government on 30 May 2018.

– It is worth mentioning that Black Buck was the state animal of the undivided Andhra state while Telangana adopted spotted deer (Chital) as its official animal. The government felt that it is necessary to have separate symbols for the state after the bifurcation of Telangana from it in June 2014.

  1. Who was appointed as the new Deputy National Security Advisor (DNSA) by the Union Government on 29 May 2018? – Pankaj Sharan

 

  1. Which airline will launch world’s longest commercial flight in October 2018 covering 15,329 km, as was announced on 29 May 2018? – Singapore Airlines

-Singapore Airlines on 29 May 2018 announced that it would launch the world’s longest commercial flight in October 2018, a near-19 hour non-stop journey from Singapore to the New Jersey area.

– The 15,329 km flight from Singapore to Newark, New Jersey with 161 business class and premium economy seats will eclipse the around 14,535 km Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Auckland as the world’s longest.

 

 

CURRENT AFFAIRS FOR UPPCS-2018 & UPPCS-J 2017 -JUNE 2018

IAS NEXT: BEST IAS PCS AND PCSJ COACHING IN LUCKNOW 

 

 

 

 

CURRENT AFFAIRS FOR UPPCS-2018 & UPPCS-J 2017 -APRIL 2018

CURRENT AFFAIRS (APR’18)

  1. On 1 April 2018 which city became the first city in India to retail Bharat Stage-VI grade petrol and diesel? – Delhi

– Now 13 other cities are likely to get BS-VI grade fuel by 2019.  However, vehicle makers and fuel suppliers were caught off-guard by the government’s shock announcement in early 2016 of skipping BS-V altogether and bringing forward the introduction of BS-VI norms to 2020.

  1. What is the name of the Chinese space station that burned over the South Pacific Ocean as it re-entered the earth’s atmosphere on 2 April 2018? – ‘Tiangong-1’
  2. India surpassed which country to emerge as the second largest mobile phone producer in the world after China, as was disclosed on 1 April 2018? – Vietnam
  3. What is the population of the famous one-horned rhino in Assam’s Kaziranga National Park as disclosed in the 2018 census that was released on 30 March 2018? – 2,413
  4. On 30 March 2018 who was appointed the first Director-General of the National Testing Agency (NTA), the upcoming body dedicated to conducting entrance tests for higher education in India? – Vineet Joshi
  5. Share prices of ICICI Bank slumped drastically on 2 April 2018 to log its biggest single day drop in two years primarily due to which reason? – A news report that the CBI has launched a preliminary enquiry to verify the bank’s Rs. 40,000 crore loan to Videocon group
  6. Which new payments bank started its operations from April 2018? – Jio Payments Bank Ltd.
  7. Which institution was named overall India’s top higher educational institute in the NIRF India Rankings 2018 that were released on 4 April 2018? – Indian Institute of Science (IISc)

-Bangalore-based Indian Institute of Science (IISc) is India’s top-ranked higher educational institute. This was disclosed in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF)’s India Rankings 2018 that was released on 4 April 2018 in New Delhi’s Vigyan Bhawan. NIRF is the nationwide ranking study undertaken by the Union Human Resources Ministry (HRD Ministry) that analysed 3,954 institutes across nine parameters this year.

– This year the ranking has been given in 9 categories which include the Top Universities, Top Colleges, Top Engineering College, Top Medical College, Top Management College, Top Law Colleges, Top Pharmacy Colleges and Top Architecture Colleges of India. There is also an Overall Category.

– IISc topped in the category of Top Universities as well as Overall Category. It was followed by Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University and Banaras Hindu University in top Universities category.

Results of NIRF India Rankings 2018

Overall Top Institute – IISc Bangalore

Top University of India: IISc Bangalore

Top College of India: Miranda House, Delhi

Top Engineering College: IIT Madras

Top Management College: IIM Ahmedabad

Top Medical College of India: All India Institutes of Medical Sciences, Delhi

Top Architecture College of India: IIT Kharagpur

Top Pharmacy College of India: National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Mohali (Punjab)

Top Law College of India: National Law School of India University, Bengaluru

  1. The trial run of the first container train from India to Bangladesh was flagged-off on 2 April 2018 from the Concor terminus in West Bengal. What was the end destination of this ambitious train? – Bangabandhu West station (Bangladesh)

-It is worth mentioning that while passenger and goods trains run between the two countries, it was for the first time that a container train went to Bangladesh from India.

  1. The 21st edition of the Commonwealth Games (officially called XXI Commonwealth Games) started with a grand opening ceremony held Carrara Stadium in Gold Coast city of Queensland, Australia on 4 April 2018. Who led the 227-member Indian contingent as the flag bearer in the opening ceremony? – PV Sindhu

-Ace badminton player PV Sindhu was the flag-bearer for India at the opening ceremony of the 2018 edition of Commonwealth Games. The opening ceremony was held at Carrara Stadium in Gold Coast city. It is the fifth time Australia is hosting the Commonwealth Games.

– Around 71 countries of the Commonwealth fraternity are taking part in these games, which comprises of 275 events from 19 sports. “Share the Dream” is the official motto of these Games. Borobi, a blue koala, is the official mascot of the Games. The term “Borobi” is an Aboriginal term for koala.

– Australian athlete Sally Pearson was the final runner of the traditional Queen’s baton while Karen Murphy took oath representing all athletes.

  1. Homegrown ride-hailing major Ola on 3 April 2018 acquired which end-to-end public transport ticketing app with the primary objective of integrating its own services with mass transit infrastructure that exists in cities? – Ridlr
  2. ho won India’s first gold medal at the 21st Commonwealth Games on the first day of competitive events on 5 April 2018? – Saikhom Mirabai Chanu

-She broke six records in six lifts to finish first in the women’s 48 kg with a combined effort of 196kg to smash her previous career best of 194kg. This was Saikhom’s second CWG medal following the silver she won in Glasgow four years ago.

– However, India’s first medal of the games came through weightlifter P. Gururaja. He claimed a silver medal in the men’s 56kg category in Gold Coast on 5 April 2018, before Chanu’s golden lift. He equalled his personal best of 249kg (111+138) to finish second after Malaysia’s three-time Commonwealth Championships medallist Muhammad Izhar Ahmed (117+144).

  1. Which city has become the first-ever Indian urban area of the country where the total number of vehicles surpassed the human population? – Pune
  2. On 6 April 2018 who became the youngest athlete to win a CWG medal for India after winning a bronze medal in the men’s 69kg weightlifting? – Deepak Lather

-18-year old Deepak Lather created history for India as he won a bronze medal in the men’s 69kg weightlifting category at the ongoing 21 Commonwealth Games on 6 April 2018. With this medal win he became the youngest athlete to win a CWG medal for India.

– Lather lifted a total of 295 kg (136kg (snatch) + 159 kg (clean and jerk)) to finish in the third position. He had held a national record at the age of 15.

  1. 5 Lok Sabha MPs of which political party on 6 April 2018 submitted their resignations to the Lok Sabha Speaker in protest against Andhra Pradesh not being accorded special category status? – YSR Congress Party (YSRCP)
  2. What is the name of South Korea’s disgraced former president who was jailed for 24 years on 6 April 2018 for corruption? – Park Geun-Hye
  3. The RBI has switched back to the gross domestic product (GDP)-based measure to offer its growth estimates from the gross value added (GVA) methodology. From when was the GVA methodology employed? – January 2015

-The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has switched back to the gross domestic product (GDP)-based measure to offer its growth estimates from the gross value added (GVA) methodology, citing global best practices.

– The government had started analyzing growth estimates using GVA methodology from January 2015 and had also changed the base year to 2018 from January.

– While GVA gives a picture of the state of economic activity from the producers’ side or supply side, the GDP model gives the picture from the consumers’ side or demand perspective. The switch to GDP is mainly to conform to international standards.

  1. Who is Union Government’s new nominee on ICICI Bank’s Board, as was announced on 6 April 2018? – Lok Ranjan
  2. Leander Paes became the most successful doubles player in the history of Davis Cup with a record 43rd win over China on 7 April 2018. He was tied on 42 wins with which great Italian player for long? – Nicola Pietrangeli
  3. What are the names of two languages unknown to linguists till now, which were discovered by a professor of linguists of the University of Hyderabad? – Walmiki and Malhar

-The University of Hyderabad on 6 April 2018 announced that two languages – Walmiki and Malhar, “which were lying hidden from linguists” have been discovered by a professor of linguistics in the institution.

– These two languages were discovered by Prof. Panchanan Mohanty of the University.

– First of these languages is called “Walmiki” and is spoken in the district of Koraput of Odisha and on the bordering districts of Andhra Pradesh. The second language “Malhar” is spoken in a remote and isolated hamlet about 165 km away from Bhubaneswar.

  1. Which state on 7 April 2018 launched the “Ganga Hariteema Yojana” with the primary objective of enhancing the green cover in the catchment areas of the river Ganga and to control the land erosion? – Uttar Pradesh
  2. Indian women’s table tennis team created history at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast on 8 April 2018 by winning the team gold medal for the first time ever. India defeated which powerful team in the finals? – Singapore
  3. What is the name of the 16-year old shooter who became the youngest Indian to win a Commonwealth Games gold medal by winning the women’s 10m Air Pistol title on 8 April 2018? – Manu Bhaker

-16-year old Manu thus became the youngest Indian ever to win any Commonwealth Games medal. It is worth mentioning that just 2 days back 18-year old weightlifter Deepak Lather had achieved this distinction.

  1. India’s first 12,000 horsepower electric locomotive was flagged-off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 10 April 2018. This first-of-its-kind engine has been developed at which locomotive plant of Bihar? – Madhepura Locomotive Factory

-India’s first 12,000 horsepower electric locomotive has been developed at Madhepura’s Electric Locomotive Factory (Bihar). It is the first big Make-in-India project completed by Alstom of France. It is a double section locomotive each having a hauling capacity of 6,000 tonnes.

– With a speed of 120 km/hr., the high-speed all-electric locomotive will reduce the congestion faced by Indian railways. The heavy haulage locomotives will be used to transport coal and iron ore.

– With 100% electrification, the new locomotive will not only bring down operating costs for the Railways but will significantly cut down greenhouse gas emissions as well. With launch of this state-of-the-art locomotive India will now competing with Russia, China, Germany and Sweden that have successfully run 12,000 horsepower and above capacity electric locomotives.

– Under the Make-in-India project, about 35 locos will be manufactured at the Madhepura facility in the next fiscal (2019-20) and 60 in 2020-21.

  1. Which Indian airport made its debut in Airports Council International (ACI’s) World’s 20 Busiest Airports List that was released on 9 April 2018? – Indira Gandhi International Airport (New Delhi)
  2. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 10 April 2018 attended the concluding ceremony of the Champaran Satyagraha’s centenary celebrations in Motihari (Bihar) where he led the nation in offering the gratitude to this iconic movement led by Mahatma Gandhi. What was the theme of this centenary celebration? – “Satyagraha se Swachhagrah”

-“Satyagraha se Swachhagrah” was the theme selected for the concluding ceremony of the Champaran Satyagraha’s centenary celebrations that was held on 10 April 2018 in Motihari in Bihar. Cleanliness was chosen as the pivot for this historic occasion and the Prime Minister addressed around 20,000 ‘Swachhagrahis’ (cleanliness ambassadors).

– Swachhagrahis are the ‘foot soldiers’ and motivators to implement the community approaches to sanitation at the village level.

– Mahatma Gandhi had launched the Champaran Satyagrah on 10 April 1917 against the British to fight for rights of farmers who were forced to undertake indigo cultivation. The success of this movement inspired the Mahatma to take on his fight against British to greater levels.

  1. What is the name of the framework devised by the NABARD for regional rural banks (RRBs) that aims at enabling RRBs that fail to meet prudential requirements relating to numerous performance parameters? – ‘Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) Framework’
  2. Which country hosted the 2018 Commonwealth Games (officially known as the XXI Commonwealth Games)? – Australia
  3. – Which city of Australia was the host city of the 2018 Commonwealth Games? – Gold Coast (Queensland)
  4. – With completion of 2018 Commonwealth Games, Australia has now hosted these Games how many times? – Fifth time (Sydney (1938), Perth (1962), Brisbane (1982), Melbourne (2006) and Gold Coast (2018))
  5. 2018 Commonwealth Games was which edition of these Games? – 21st
  6. What was the motto of 2018 Commonwealth Games? – “Share the Dream”
  7. – What was the official mascot of the 2018 Commonwealth Games? – Borobi (Borobi, the mascot of 2018 Commonwealth Games, is a male Koala with blue fur and unusual markings on his paws. It is based on a character submitted by Merrilyn Krohn)
  8. What was an important landmark fact associated with the 2018 Commonwealth Games? – It was the first time a major multi-sport event achieved gender equality by having an equal number of events for males and females
  9. – Which was the main stadium for the 2018 Commonwealth Games? – Carrara Stadium (Gold Coast)
  10. How many countries participated in 2018 Commonwealth Games? – 71

 

  1. Which African country made its return to Commonwealth Games through this edition of the Games? – Gambia (It was readmitted as a Commonwealth Games Federation member on 31 March 2018)
  2. Which Asian country didn’t participate in these Games as it had withdrawn as a member of the Commonwealth? – Maldives (It was scheduled to participate in these Games, but didn’t participate as in October 2016 it withdrew from the Commonwealth)
  3. Which country topped the medals tally of 2018 Commonwealth Games? – Australia (It won total 198 medals including 80 gold medals, 59 silvers and 59 bronze medals. It was followed by England, India, Canada and New Zealand in top 5 countries list)
  4. What is India’s position in the medals tally? – 3rd (It won total 66 medals including 26 gold, 20 silver and 20 bronze medals)
  5. In total how many countries won medals in these Games? – 43 countries (The medals shared between 43 countries beat the previous best of 39 which was set at Manchester 2002 and equalled at Melbourne 2006)
  6. – How many countries won Gold medals/medal in the 2018 Commonwealth Games? – 29 countries
  7. – Who won the first Gold medal of the 2018 Commonwealth Games? – Flora Duffy of Bermuda (She won Gold medal in Women’s Triathlon event. She also claim Bermuda’s first ever women’s gold medal)
  8. – Who was the fastest male athlete of 2018 Commonwealth Games? – Akani Simbine (South Africa) – He won the gold medal of men’s 100m sprint in a time of 10:03 seconds
  9. – What is an important fact associated with Akani Simbine’s 100m title win? – It marked the first time in 20 years that an athlete from a Caribbean country has not held the title of the Commonwealth’s fastest man
  10. -Who was the fastest female athlete of 2018 Commonwealth Games? – Michelle-Lee Ahye (Trinidad and Tobago) – With her win, she became the first woman from Trinidad and Tobago to win 100m Commonwealth Games gold and the nation’s first gold medallist since Ato Bolden won the men’s 100m race in 1998
  11. Who won the highest 5 gold medal in the 2018 Commonwealth Games? – Mitchell James Larkin (Australia) – Larkin is an Australian swimmer who won 5 gold medals in the Games. He won gold medals in men’s backstroke 50m, 100m and 200m, Men’s 200m Individual Medley and Men’s 4 x 100m Medley.
  12. – Which three players won the highest individual medals in 2018 the 2018 Commonwealth Games? – Emma McKeon (Australia), Nile Wilson and Diamanto Evirpidou (Cyprus) – All these players won four gold, a silver and a bronze medal. While McKeon won these medals in swimming, Wilson and Evirpidou won in gymnastics.
  13. – Who was recognised as the outstanding athlete of the 2018 Commonwealth Games and was awarded the David Dixon Award? – David Liti (New Zealand) – Liti a weightlifer from New Zealand, had lifted a total 403kg in the men’s 105kg division while breaking a Commonwealth Games record in the clean and jerk, lifting 229kg, to take home gold)
  14. Complete Medals Tally – 2018 Commonwealth Games
  15. Position Country                                      Gold      Silver     Bronze Total

1                              Australia                              80           59           59           198

2                              England                               45           45           46           136

3                              India                                     26           20           20           66

4                              Canada                                15           40           27           82

5                                         New Zealand                      15           16           15           46

 

  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 14 April 2018 rolled-out the ambitious Ayushman Bharat Yojana that aims at covering 10 crore poor and vulnerable families and provide a medical cover of Rs 5 lakh per family per year. The first healthcare and wellness centre under this scheme was inaugurated at which place? – Bijapur (Chhattisgarh)

– “Ayushman Bharat”, also known as the National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS), has twin missions – first, creating a network of health and wellness centres to deliver comprehensive primary healthcare close to the community, and second, providing insurance cover to 40% of India’s population, that is most deprived, for secondary and tertiary care, including for instance, hospitalisation costs.

– It aims at covering 10 crore poor and vulnerable families and provide a cover of Rs 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation.

  1. What is the name of the eighth and the last satellite of the IRNSS series that was launched on April 2018 with which India’s long cherished dream of owning an indigenous navigation satellite system has been accomplished? – IRNSS-1I

-India’s long cherished dream of owning an indigenous navigation satellite system, officially known as NavIC (navigation with Indian constellation), has been accomplished as Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C41) successfully launched IRNSS-1I, eighth and the last satellite of the IRNSS constellation into the targeted Sub-Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit on 12 April 2018.

– The PSLV-C41 rocket measuring 44.4 m in height and weighing 321 tonnes lifted off from the first launch pad at 4.04 am from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota. IRNSS-1I was placed in the desired orbit by the rocket.

– It is a culmination of 17 years of rigorous work by Indian space scientists. India took a firm decision on IRNSS in 1999 after the US government refused to share GPS data that would provide vital information on Pakistani troops position during Kargil war.

 

  1. Who was appointed the new Chairman of the Banks Board Bureau (BBB) by the Union Government on 12 April 2018? – Bhanu Pratap Sharma
  2. India’s first laboratory dedicated to standardisation, research and manufacturing of 5G equipment has been opened in which IIT? – IIT Delhi
  3. 257 people were killed after an Algerian military plane crashed near capital Algiers on 11 April 2018. This was the worst-ever air disaster in Algerian history. This plane took-off from which military airport? – Boufarik
  4. Who is heading the newly constituted task force for fast-tracking the roll-out of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology, which was announced by the Union Government on 12 April 2018? – Jayant Sinha
  5. The remaining six matches of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in Chennai were moved out of the city on 11 April 2018. What is the reason for this? – Protests over Cauvery water dispute (Pune will be home team Chennai Super King’s new home venue.)
  6. Which publications jointly won the Pulitzer Prize for public service for explosive reporting, as was announced by the Pulitzer Prize committee on 16 April 2018? – “The New York Times” and “The New Yorker”
  7. Which corporate entity on 17 April 2018 became the latest entrant to the Rs.1 trillion market capitalization club of the Indian capital markets? – Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd (M&M)

-It also became the second most valued automaker in India. Its market cap is now higher than Tata Motors Ltd, Eicher Motors Ltd and Bajaj Auto Ltd. India’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India Ltd remained nation’s most valuable automaker with market cap of Rs. 2.77 trillion.

  1. What is the name of the judge hearing the Mecca Masjid blast case of 2007 who resigned from his post after acquitting all accused from the case on 16 April 2018? – K. Ravinder Reddy
  2. The Minister of Commerce & Industry Suresh Prabhu on 17 April 2018 launched a digital platform named “FIEO GlobalLinker” for digitalizing export businesses. This platform is for which category of exporters? – MSME exporters
  3. Surendra Nihal Singh, who passed away on 16 April 2018, was an eminent personality associated with which field? – Journalism
  4. 89-year old Surendra Nihal Singh was a senior journalist and was associated with some of the most reputed newspapers/publications like “The Statesman”, “The Indian Express” and “The Indian Post” (of which he was the founding editor).

– He was editor of Calcutta-based “The Statesman” when the Emergency was imposed by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1975. He was awarded the prestigious “International Editor of the Year Award” in New York for his role in opposing the Emergency.

– His last assignment was as Editor of the “Khaleej Times” of Dubai in 1994. After that, he turned independent columnist.

  1. Veteran filmmaker and Bhimsain, best known for his film “Gharaonda”, passed away late in Mumbai on 17 April 2018. He was a pioneer of which field through which he made enormous contribution to the Indian television industry? – Animation
  2. Which entity became the first of the 12 large loan defaulters identified by the RBI to win court approval to exit bankruptcy, after an NCLT bench cleared its resolution plan on 17 April 2018? – Electrosteel Steels Ltd.
  3. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) on 16 April 2018 named one crater on Pluto’s largest moon – Charon after which mythological character from Mahabharata? – ‘Revati’
  4. Which bank bagged the prestigious “Banco Award” for best performing cooperative bank in a function held on 15 April 2018? – Bhuj Mercantile Cooperative Bank
  5. According to the database of the IMF’s World Economic Outlook (WEO) for April 2018, India has displaced which country to emerge as the world’s sixth largest economy? – France

-With Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $2.6 trillion, India is now the world’s sixth largest economy, displacing France. The five economies ahead are the United States, China, Japan, Germany and United Kingdom.

– This was disclosed in the database of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF’s) World Economic Outlook (WEO) for April 2018, which was released on 19 April 2018.

  1. On 19 April 2018 who was named the new President of Cuba replacing Raul Castro and thus became the first-ever non-Castro to become country’s President in more than 4 decades? – Miguel Díaz-Canel
  2. Which state government on 18 April 2018 claimed to have achieved the Open Defecation Free (ODF) status? – Maharashtra

– According to the disclosure made by the Chief Minister, 60.41 lakh households have got toilets in three-and-a-half years.

– According to the guidelines issued by the Centre, an area is declared ODF if 95% of the population has a toilet or access to it within 100 meters from the household.

  1. Which global FMCG and pharma conglomerate is buying the consumer health business of German drugmaker Merck for $4.2 billion, as was announced on 19 April 2018? – Procter & Gamble (P&G)
  2. What is the name given to the special chartered train that started from Chennai Central on 19 April 2018 to take the fans of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to travel to Pune to watch the match against Rajasthan Royals? – ‘Whistlepodu Express’
  3. Which African country on 18 April 2018 announced that it would officially change the name of his country to the “Kingdom of eSwatini”? – Swaziland

– It is worth mentioning that the king on several previous occasions, including during a 2017 address to the U.N. General Assembly, has referred to Swaziland using his preferred term eSwatini. eSwatini means “land of the Swazis” in the Swati language.

– The King made this announcement during a joint celebration of the 50th anniversary of Swazi independence as well as his own 50th birthday. He described the change as reverting back to the country’s original name before colonization by the British. The small country situated in southern Africa, gained independence in 1968.

  1. Former Delhi High Court Chief Justice Rajinder Sachar, who passed away on 20 April 2018, had chaired an important committee that looked into the status of which community? – Muslims
  2. During April 2018 the RBI imposed withdrawal and business restrictions on which Mumbai-based bank? – The City Co-operative Bank Ltd
  3. Private sector lender YES Bank has got approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to open two international representative offices. The new offices will come up in which cities? – London and Singapore
  4. The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) for 2018 was held on 19 and 20 April 2018 at which place? – London

– The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018 (also known as CHOGM 2018, was the 25thmeeting of the heads of government of the Commonwealth nations. It was held in London (UK) on 19 and 20 April 2018. The meeting had been planned to have been held by Vanuatu at the end of 2017, but was moved to the United Kingdom after the impact of Cyclone Pam on the infrastructure of Vanuatu.

– The theme of the summit was “Towards a Common Future”. This was the first CHOGM held following the United Kingdom’s decision to withdraw from the European Union, a decision which has resulted in calls for Britain to strengthen its economic ties with and play a greater role in the Commonwealth.

– CHOGM 2018 was headed by Theresa May, Prime Minister of the UK. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi represented India in the meeting marking the first time since CHOGM 2011 that a Prime Minister of India has attended the summit.

  1. What is the name given to Indian Air Force’s biggest exercise in over three decades to showcase its air dominance over the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) that concluded on 22 April 2018? – “Gagan Shakti”
  2. “Gagan Shakti” is the name of the biggest air exercise in over three decades undertaken by India to showcase its air dominance over the entire extended area of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). It was undertaken by the Indian Air Force (IAF) from 8 to 22 April 2018 in three stages.

– To conduct this exercise, the IAF mobilized almost the entire assets of the IAF, including its fighter squadrons, and was used to assess war waging might of the force. More than 1,100 combat, transport and rotary wing (helicopter) aircrafts, apart from 300 officers and 1500 airmen were involved in it.

– “Gagan Shakti” was conducted in all terrain operations – desert, high altitude, maritime scenarios and special operations- in real time with specific focus on key areas like aerial combat, air to surface combat, paratrooper assault and medical evacuation.

– The first stage was conducted in the western border with Pakistan, the second in the eastern corridor near China and the third in the southern peninsula and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

  1. What is the name of the ordinance promulgated by President Ram Nath Kovind on 22 April 2018 that paves way for providing stringent punishment, including death penalty, for those convicted of raping girls below the age of 12 years? – Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance 2018

-The Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance 2018 that was promulgated by President Ram Nath Kovind on 22 April 2018 stipulates stringent punishment for perpetrators of rape, particularly of girls below 16 and 12 years. Death sentence has been provided for rapists of girls under 12 years

– New fast-track courts will be set up to deal with such cases and special forensic kits for rape cases will be given to all police stations and hospitals in the long term. There will also be no provision for anticipatory bail for a person accused of rape or gang rape of a girl under 16 years.

  1. A group of 50 alumni from the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) across the country quit their jobs to form a political party to fight for the rights of SCs, STs and OBCs. What the name of this political party is, as was announced on 22 April 2018? – “Bahujan Azad Party”
  2. Cinema returned to which Muslim country after nearly 35 years with the screening of the first film on 20 April 2018 in a newly opened cinema hall? – Saudi Arabia
  3. The Union Government withdrew the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) totally from which Northeastern state, as was disclosed on 23 April 2018? – Meghalaya

-With insurgency-related incidents in the northeast region down by 85% from the levels recorded at the peak of militancy two decades ago, the Centre has withdrawn the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) totally from Meghalaya as well as from eight out of 16 police stations in Arunachal Pradesh, with effect from 31 March 2018.

– This information was disclosed by the Union Home Ministry on 23 April 2018. AFSPA, which gives special powers and immunity to the armed forces deployed in areas declared “disturbed” under the Act, had been in force in Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh for almost 27 years.

– The two states bordering Assam were declared “disturbed” in 1991 to avoid a spillover effect of insurgency by Assam-based outfits like the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA).

  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the restructured Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA) on the occasion of National Panchayati Raj Day on 24 April 2018. This scheme was launched at which place? – Ramnagar, Mandla (Madhya Pradesh)

-The new scheme will focus on training, building infrastructure, stepping up initiatives for e-governance under the e-Panchayat Mission Mode Project (MMP). It will extend to all states and Union Territories and will also include institutions of rural local government in non-Part IX areas, where panchayats do not exist.

– It was launched in Ramnagar in Mandla district of Madhya Pradesh. Ramnagar, which is located on the banks of the river Narmada and falls in a tribal dominated area, was decorated in a grand manner for the occasion.

  1. The Committee constituted by the Ministry of Women and Child Development on legal issues related to inter country removal & retention of children submitted its report on 23 April 2018. Who is heading this committee? – Justice Rajesh Bindal

-The Committee submitted its report to Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, Minister for Women and Child Development on 23 April 2018. Stressing upon the need for mediation as the first step, the Committee has recommended that the Government may establish an ‘Inter Country Parental Child Removal Disputes Resolution Authority’. The authority has been envisaged to provide a one window solution in cases of inter country removal and retention of Children.

  1. During April 2018 which city became the first city in India to run 100% on renewable energy during the daytime? – Diu Smart City
  2. Which entity on 23 April 2018 the first Indian technology company to achieve the $100 billion market capitalization mark? – Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)

-Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) became first Indian technology company to achieve the $100 billion market capitalization mark on 23 April 2018. On this day TCS’ share price grew by 4 per cent to Rs. 3,541, pushing the market capitalisation of India’s biggest outsourcer to Rs. 6,78,002 crore.

– Earlier the company had posted its biggest-ever net profit of Rs. 6,904 crore in the 4th quarter on 19 April 2018.

– It is worth mentioning that Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) became India’s first $100 billion m-cap company way back in 2008. Its preset m-cap is below $90 billion mark. Thus TCS is the second Indian corporate company to achieve $100 billion m-cap.

  1. What history was created by senior advocate Indu Malhotra on 27 April 2018? – She became the first-ever woman lawyer to be directly appointed to the Supreme Court

-She thus became the first-ever woman lawyer to be directly appointed to the apex court.

– She is the 7th woman to become Supreme Court judge. All the women SC judges, six in all, had so far been elevated from High Courts. In 2007, Indu was only the second woman lawyer to be appointed as senior advocate by the Supreme Court, three decades after the first, Justice Leila Seth, was designated.

– Earlier her name was cleared by the Union Government while the name of Uttarakhand high court Chief Justice Kuttiyil Mathew Joseph, the chief bone of contention between the SC collegium and the government, remained on hold.

  1. Former Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar was appointed for the post of Group President (Global Corporate Affairs) by which noted corporate group, as was announced on 23 April 2018? – Tata Sons
  2. What is India’s rank in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index (WPFI) that was released by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on 25 April 2018? – 138 out of 180 countries

-India is ranked 138 out of 180 countries in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index, down two places from 2017, in the latest annual report released by Reporters Without Borders. The report was released on 25 April 2018.

– The physical violence against journalists is largely responsible for India’s low ranking. The organisation cited the case of the killing of journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh who was shot down outside her house in Bengaluru in September last year.

– Norway topped the list for the second year in a row, the while North Korea remained the most repressive country followed by Eritrea, Turkmenistan, Syria and then China.

– Reporters Without Borders, or Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF), is an international non-profit, non-governmental organization that promotes and defends freedom of information and freedom of the press. It is headquartered in Paris (France).

  1. What is the name of the cellular tower business of Vodafone, Idea and Providence Equity Partner that will be merged into Bharti Infratel’s to form the largest tower company in the world outside China? – Indus Towers
  2. Which village of Manipur state on 28 April 2018 became the last village in India to be added to the national power grid with which the Union Government met the ambitious target of connecting all villages of the country to the national electricity grid? – Leisang

-The Narendra Modi-led Union Government on 29 April 2018 announced that it had achieved the target of connecting all 18,452 un-electrified villages of the country to the national electricity grid. It claimed that Leisang in Manipur became the last village to be added to the national power grid on 28 April 2018.

– The rural electrification scheme to supply power to 18,452 census villages that have never seen power since Independence has been one of the pet schemes of PM Narendra Modi.

– The government started electrifying over 18,000 villages, which did not have access to power, in 2015 and has already connected them to the central grid ahead of the 2019 deadline.

– Of the 170 million rural households in the country, the government website claims to have connected 82% of them. Metered households are 50% of the total.

  1. The historic informal summit meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping was held in which Chinese city on 27 and 28 April 2018? – Wuhan
  2. Which group became the first corporate house in India’s history to adopt a historical monument, as was disclosed on 29 April 2018? – Dalmia Bharat Group

-Dalmia Bharat Group became the first corporate house in India’s history to adopt a historical monument after it was awarded a contract worth Rs. 250 million (or Rs. 25 crore) spanning five years for maintaining the 17th century Red Fort.

– The Dalmia Bharat group won the contract by beating IndiGo Airlines and the GMR group in the race to bag one of the most prestigious contracts under the Indian government’s ‘Adopt A Heritage’ scheme.

– A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Dalmia Bharat Limited, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Culture and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on 9 April, even though the Ministry of Tourism went public with the deal on 25 April 2018.

– This was part of the Modi administration’s plan to allow corporate control of some monuments and heritage sites, so that their maintenance and operations could be handled more professionally.

  1. What is the name of the Pakistani-origin politician who was appointed United Kingdom’s new Interior Minister on 30 April 2018, a day after Amber Rudd resigned from the post? – Sajid Javid

-Pakistani-origin MP Sajid Javid was on 30 April 2018 appointed U.K.’s new Home Secretary. He replaced Amber Rudd who resigned a day earlier after admitting that she had “inadvertently misled” Parliament over the existence of deportation targets for immigrants.

– Javid, the son of a Pakistani bus driver whose family migrated to Britain in the 1960s, was promoted from his Cabinet post of Communities, Local Government and Housing Minister. The 48-year-old former investment banker is the Conservative party MP for and has previously held business and culture portfolios in the U.K. government.

 

 

 

 

CURRENT AFFAIRS FOR UPPCS-2018 & UPPCS-J 2017 -may 2018

 

CURRENT AFFAIRS FOR UPPCS-2018 & UPPCS-J 2017 -MARCH 2018

 

CURRENT AFFAIRS (MAR’18)

 

1)           As part of the government’s effort to strengthen oversight of the audit profession, the Union Cabinet on 1 March 2018 paved the way for an independent regulator, which can now investigate both chartered accountants and their firms. What will be the name of this new proposed regulator? – National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA).

 

2)           Tata Boeing Aerospace Limited, a joint venture between Boeing and Tata Advanced Systems Ltd. On 1 March 2018 inaugurated its facility to make fuselages and secondary structures. This first-of-its-kind facility is situated near which city? – Hyderabad

 

3)           T. Thomas, who passed away on 2 March 2018, was the former Chairman of which corporate entity? – Hindustan Lever Limited (HLL)

 

4)           90th Academy Awards were presented on 4 March 2018 at Dolby Theatre (Los Angeles). Which film won the highest 4 Oscars including the award for ‘Best Picture’? – “The Shape of Water”

-“The Shape of Water”, the 2017 American fantasy drama directed by Guillermo del Toro, won the highest 4 Oscar Awards (including the ‘Best Picture’ award) in the 90th Academy Awards. The award ceremony presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) was held on 4 March 2018, rather than its usual late-February date to avoid conflicting with the 2018 Winter Olympics. Guillermo del Toro won the ‘Best Director’ award for this film.

– The best Actor award was won by Gary Oldman for his role in ‘Darkest Hour’ as Winston Churchill while Frances McDormand won the ‘Best Actress’ award for the film ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’.

– 89-year old James Ivory became the oldest person to win an Oscar as he was awarded the Oscar for best adapted screenplay for his work on the film ‘Call Me By Your Name’.

 

5)           What is the growth rate for Indian economy for Oct-Dec 2016 quarter as was reported on 28 February 2018 with which India regained its status as the fastest growing major economy? – 7.2%

 

6)           Jayendra Saraswathi, the Shankaracharya of the Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam – passed away on 28 February 2018. Who succeeded him as the 70th Shankaracharya of the Kanchi Peetam? – Vijayendra Saraswathi

Jayendra Saraswathi – the 69thShankaracharya of the Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, passed away following a cardiac arrest at Kanchipuram on 28 February 2018. He was the senior pontiff of the mutt founded by Adi Shankaracharya, receiving the mantle from his predecessor, the late Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi Swamigal.

– Jayendra Saraswathi was at the forefront of innumerable community service initiatives such as the chain of ‘Sankara Eye Hospital’. The junior pontiff Vijayendra Saraswathi succeeded Jayendra Saraswathi.

 

7)           Which pan-India telecom operator filed for bankruptcy during February 2018? – Aircel.

-The country’s sixth largest telecom operator Aircel along with its units – Aircel Cellular and Dishnet Wireless – on 28 February 2018 filed for bankruptcy in the National Companies Law Tribunal (NCLT) in Mumbai. It filed for bankruptcy after its Malaysian promoter Maxis Communications decided against pumping additional funds into the company.

– It thus became the fourth telecom firm to wind up its operations mainly due to fierce competition and high levels of debt.

– It is worth mentioning that prior to Aircel the three other telecom operators who had decided to wind-up their operations are – Anil Ambani-run Reliance Communications, Norway-based Telenor and the wireless business of Tata Teleservices.

 

8)           Which Indian architect won the prestigious Pritzker Prize on 7 March 2018, considered architecture’s Nobel equivalent? – Balkrishna Doshi

– Balkrishna Doshi became the first-ever Indian to win the prestigious Pritzker Prize, widely considered architecture’s Nobel equivalent.

– 90-year old Doshi, a pioneer of low-cost housing design, has distinguished his work by committing to sustainable architecture and inexpensive housing, bringing modernist design to an India rooted in traditionalism.

– He is one of the last living architects to have apprenticed with the Franco-Swiss trailblazer Le Corbusier.

– The international Pritzker prize, established by Chicago’s Pritzker family in 1979, bestows laureates with $100,000 along with a bronze medallion. Doshi is the 45th Pritzker laureate and the first from India.

 

9)           Who was sworn in as the 12th Chief Minister of Meghalaya on 6 March 2018? – Conrad Sangma

– The NPP-led government is supported by 2-member BJP. It is worth mentioning that Congress had emerged as the single largest party in the recently held assembly elections, the results for which were declared on 3 March 2018. NPP had won from 19 seats while Dr. Donkupar Roy-led United Democratic Party (UDP) had won 6 seats. UDP has supported NPP to form the government along with help from the BJP and a few independents. Meghalaya Assembly has 59 members.

– Kongkal Sangma, the Son of the former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangma, replaced Mukul Sangma.

 

10)         Who took over as the new Chief Minister of Nagaland on 8 March 2018? – Neiphiu Rio

 

11)         The Union Government on 5 March 2018 set up a committee to find ways to make it easier for financial technology ( fintech) firms to do business. Who is heading this 8-member committee? – Subhash Chandra Garg (Economic Affairs Secretary)

 

12)         What is the name of the Lokayukta of Karnataka who was stabbed in his office on 7 March 2018? – Vishwanath Shetty

 

13)         Renowned British physicist Stephen Hawking, whose mental genius and physical disability made him a household name, passed away at his home in Cambridge on 14 March 2018. What is the name of his 1988 bestseller book that cemented his superstar status? – “A Brief History of Time”

 

14)         Who took over as the new Chief Minister of Tripura on 9 March 2018? – Biplab Kumar Deb

 

15)         In a historic judgment, the Supreme Court on 9 March 2018 held that the right to die with dignity is a fundamental right and allowed the provision of passive euthanasia under certain circumstances. This historic decision was delivered on a 2005-public interest litigation (PIL) filed by which NGO? – Common Cause

-The apex court had sought the Centre’s response on the plea that sought the declaration of ‘Right to Die with Dignity’ as a Fundamental Right under Article 21 (right to life) of the Constitution.

16)         Which Union Territory became India’s first fully solar-powered Union Territory, as was reported during March 2018? – Diu

 

17)         What is the name of the new affordable 100% oxo-biodegradable sanitary napkin launched by the Union Government under the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) on 8 March 2018? – “Suvidha”

 

18)         State Bank of India (SBI) on 13 March 2018 reduced the penalty for non-maintenance of the stipulated average monthly balance. What is the new penalty for SBI customers in metro and urban branches? – Rs. 15

 

19)         The first-ever Summit of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) was held at which place on 11 March 2018? – New Delhi

-France is the co-sponsor of ISA. The first-ever Summit of the ISA was held at New Delhi on 11 March 2018. In the meeting, France pledged an extra €700 million ($861.5 million) for solar energy projects in developing nations. France had already committed €300 million in 2015. Other than leaders from member countries, the event was attended by leaders from major development banks such as the Asian Development Bank and African Development Bank who are expected to sign solar energy-related agreements.

-The alliance set a target of producing 1 trillion watts of solar power by 2030. So far 61 countries have signed the treaty and 32 have ratified it.

20)         On 12 March 2018, the Union Government notified constitution of the “Mahanandi Water Disputes Tribunal” (MWDT) to resolve the long-standing dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh over the sharing of water of Mahanadi river. Who was appointed Chairman of this 3-member tribunal? – Justice A M Khanwilkar

-Supreme Court judge Justice A M Khanwilkar is heading the 3-member “Mahanandi Water Disputes Tribunal” (MWDT) that was constituted by the Union Government on 12 March 2018 in furtherance of the Supreme Court order directing it to constitute the same to resolve the long-standing dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh over the sharing of Mahanadi River’s water.

– ‘The Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal’ will be headquartered in New Delhi. Other members of the tribunal are Patna High Court (HC) judge Ravi Ranjan and Delhi HC judge Indermeet Kaur Kochhar.

– Hearing a petition of the Odisha government in December 2016, the apex court had asked the Union government to form the tribunal under the provisions of the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956.

 

21)         The Indian Air Force’s (IAF) largest transport aircraft – C-17 Globemaster -made a historic landing at which of Arunachal Pradesh’s advanced landing grounds (ALGs) situated near the Chinese border on 13 March 2018? – Tuting.

22)         The Union Government is implementing a national strategic plan to end tuberculosis by which year, as was disclosed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at ‘Delhi End TB Summit’ on 13 March 2018? – 2025

-Launching the TB Free India Campaign at ‘Delhi End TB Summit’ on 13 March 2018, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi disclosed that his government is implementing a national strategic plan (NSP) to end tuberculosis by 2025. This is five years ahead of the global target of 2030.

– The PM disclosed that under the NSP his government will spend over Rs. 12,000 crores for the next three years to ensure every TB patient has access to quality diagnosis, treatment, and support.

– TB is the leading infectious killer in India. There was an estimated 28 lakh new cases of TB in 2016, with over 4 lakh people succumbing to the disease, including those with TB and HIV.

23)         National Academy of Coastal Policing (NACP), India’s first-ever coastal policing academy, is being established at which place, as was disclosed by the Union Government on 11 March 2018? – Okha (Gujarat)

24)         What is the name of the political party of estranged AIADMK leader T.T.V. Dhinakaran, as was announced by him on 15 March 2018? – Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam

25)         How many institutes of higher education were granted full autonomy by the Union Government on 20 March 2018? – 60

The Union government on 20 March 2018 gave autonomy to 60 institutes of higher education, which have maintained a high standard of academic excellence. These 60 institutes include 5 central universities, 21 state universities, 24 deemed universities,  2 private universities besides 8 colleges.

– Institutions that were given full autonomy will not need the permission of the University Grants Commission (UGC) to start a course, fix course fees, set up a new department or open offline campuses. These will also be free to have collaboration with foreign counterparts, hire foreign faculty, and admit students from abroad.

– The government has placed the universities and institutes in two categories on the basis of their National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) rankings. Those who scored 3.5 and above were kept in the first category and were given full autonomy. Universities with a score below 3.5 were in the second category and were given partial autonomy.

– Some prominent institutes in this list are Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Jadavpur University, National Law University Delhi, University of Jammu, O P Jindal Global University (Sonipat), Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) and Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE).

26)         What is the name of the British data firm that came to the news with regard to the data controversy surrounding social media behemoth Facebook during March 2018? – Cambridge Analytica

 

27)         the 105th edition of Indian Science Congress (ISC) was held in which northeastern state during March 2018? – Manipur

-inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 16 March 2018 at the Manipur University in Imphal. Manipur hosted this prestigious annual event for the first time ever.

-The focal theme of the Congress was “Reaching the Unreached Through Science & Technology”. This edition of ISC was originally scheduled to be hosted in Osmania University, Hyderabad (Telangana) during January 2018. But citing several law and order issues, Osmania University backed out at the last moment.

 

28)         Peter Peterson, who passed away on 20 March 2018, was the co-founder of which major private equity firm? – Blackstone Group LP

 

29)         Which country overtook Norway to become the happiest nation in the world, as was disclosed in the 2018 World Happiness Report that was released during March 2018? – Finland

-Finland has overtaken Norway to become the happiest nation on earth, according to a UN report – the 2018 World Happiness Report. Finland has been ranked as the most stable, the safest and best-governed country in the world. It is also among the least corrupt and the most socially progressive. Its police are the world’s most trusted and its banks the soundest.

– Finland is followed by Norway, Denmark, Iceland, and Switzerland among the 5 Happiest countries.

– Burundi in east Africa, scarred by bouts of ethnic cleansing, civil wars, and coup attempts, is the unhappiest place in the world. Strikingly, there are five other nations – Rwanda, Yemen, Tanzania, South Sudan and the Central African Republic – which report happiness levels below that of even Syria.

– The report also charts the steady decline of the US as the world’s largest economy grapples with a crisis of obesity, substance abuse, and depression.

30)         Which company surpassed Google parent Alphabet Inc. for the first time on 20 March 2018 to become the second most valuable publicly listed US company? – Amazon

31)         Which entity announced an exit from the general insurance business by selling its entire stake to the DP Jindal Group and Enam Securities for an undisclosed sum on 20 March 2018? – Videocon Industries

32)         Which party quit the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) on 16 March 2018? – Telugu Desam Party (TDP)

33)         Indian Government on 19 March 2018 signed a loan agreement for completion of works for double-tracking and electrification of railways tracks along high-density corridors to improve the operational efficiency of Indian railways. What is the amount of loan being taken under this agreement? – $120 million

-The $120 million loan is part of the $500 million multi-tranche financing facility for Railway Sector Investment Program (RSIP) that was approved by the Board of Asian Development Bank (ADB) in 2011.

– The government of India and the ADB on 19 March 2018 signed a $120 million loan agreement for completion of works for double-tracking and electrification of railways tracks along high-density corridors to improve the operational efficiency of Indian railways.

– The loan amount will be used to complete the ongoing works commenced under earlier tranches.

34)         The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on 19 March 2018 directed telecom operators and their associations not to accept any bank guarantee from which bank? – Axis Bank

35)         What history was made by Air India during March 2018 pertaining to its flight to Israel? – For the first time, an Air India flight flew over Saudi Arabian airspace for reaching Israel

36)         What was the name of India’s newest communication satellite that was launched on 29 March 2018 and ISRO’s contact with which was lost later? – GSAT-6A

37)         Which district figured at the bottom of the Niti Aayog’s recent list of 101 most backward districts in the country that was released during March 2018? – Nuh (Haryana)

38)         Which commodity exchange of India started trading in the world’s first brass futures contract from 22 March 2018? – Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX)

39)         A museum fully dedicated to insects and claimed to be the first-of-its-kind in India was inaugurated in which university on 26 March 2018? – Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (Coimbatore)

40)         The largest-ever deal in India’s healthcare sector was announced on 27 March 2018 under which private equity (PE) firm TPG-backed Manipal Hospitals will acquire which entity’s hospital division? – Fortis Healthcare

-Under the deal, Manipal Hospitals Enterprises Pvt Ltd, promoted by Ranjan Pai of the Manipal Group, and TPG Capital Asia, would infuse Rs 3,900 crore of fresh capital into the venture.

 

 

 

CURRENT AFFAIRS FOR UPPCS-2018 & UPPCS-J 2017 -MARCH 2018

IAS NEXT : BEST IAS PCS PCS-J COACHING IN LUCKNOW

 

 

CURRENT AFFAIRS FOR UPPCS-2018 & UPPCS-J 2017 -FEBRUARY 2018

CURRENT AFFAIRS FOR UPPCS-2018 & UPPCS-J 2017 -FEBRUARY  2018

  • Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the Union Budget for 2018-19 on 1 February 2018. What the fiscal deficit target for 2018-19 is, as outlined in the budget declaration? – 3% of GDP
  • Explanation: In the Budget declaration, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley disclosed that the government has revised the fiscal consolidation glide path and set fiscal deficit target for 2018-19 now at 3.3% of GDP against earlier target of 3% of GDP.
  • It was also disclosed that the government has breached the fiscal deficit target for 2017-18. While the budget estimate was 3.3%, the revised estimate is 3.5%.

 

  • Which 3 public sector general insurance companies will be merged to form a single insurance company, as was announced in the Union Budget on 1 February 2018? – The Oriental Insurance Company Ltd., National Insurance Company Ltd. and United India Insurance Company Ltd.

 

  • What is the disinvestment target for 2018-19, as was announced in the Union Budget on 1 February 2018? –  80,000 crore
    • The government in the Budget presented on 1 February 2018 announced a disinvestment target of Rs 80,000 crore for 2018-19 while suggesting that the figure for the current fiscal may cross the Rs 1 lakh crore mark.
    • In his previous Budget speech in 2017, Jaitley had pegged the divestment target at Rs 72,500 crore. With total disinvestment proceeds of Rs 54,338 crore so far, the Rs 37,000 crore ONGC-HPCL deal is all set to push the divestment proceeds in FY18 to a record Rs 1 lakh crore mark.

 

  • What is the name of the world’s largest government-funded national health programme that was announced in the Union Budget on 1 February 2018? – National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS)-Explanation: The Union Government announced the ambitious mega health scheme for the poor named ‘National Health Protection Scheme’ (NHPS) in the Union Budget of 2018-19 on 1 February 2018. NHPS the world’s largest government-funded national health programme and will provide 10 crore families with medical coverage of up to Rs 5 lakh per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.

 

  • NHPS is based on the cost of the existing Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY), that provides Rs 30,000 cover for up to five members of a below the poverty line (BPL) family. The Centre provides 75% of the total premium while states pay the rest. Around 36 million of 59 million BPL families across 15 states are enrolled in the RSBY scheme.

 

  • What is the name given to the 4% cess announced in the Union Budget 2018-19 on 1 February 2018 that will replace the present 3% Education cess? – ‘Health and Education Cess’
  • Explanation: The Union Government proposed to replace existing 3% education cess on personal income tax and corporation tax with a new 4% ‘Health and Education Cess’ to take care the education and health needs of poor and rural families, as was announced on 1 February 2018.

 

  • At present, a 3% cess, consisting of 2% cess for primary education and 1% cess for secondary and higher education, is levied on personal income tax and corporation tax.

 

  • Finance minister Arun Jaitley introduced the much talked about long-term capital gains tax (LTCG) on the sale of listed securities on gains of over Rs1 lakh. This tax was abolished in which year? – 2005-06
  • -As part of its attempts to encourage long-term investment in equity shares, the Union Government in 2005-06 had abolished LTCG tax replacing it with securities transaction tax (STT).
  • But the LTCG was reintroduced in the Union Budget of 2018-19 on 1 February 2018. While the Centre has brought back LTCG, it has, however, decided against abolishing or reducing the STT rates, which, many feel, is a case of double taxation.

 

  • What is the name of Indian Navy’s third Scorpene class submarine that was launched on 31 January 2018? – Karanj
  • -‘Karanj’ is the name of Indian Navy’s third Scorpene class submarine that was launched by Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba’s wife Reena Lanba on 31 January 2018. The submarine has been constructed at the Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) in Mumbai.
  • A total of six submarines are to be built at the MDL in collaboration with French shipbuilding major Naval Group (formerly DCNS).
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi had commissioned INS Kalvari, the first of the six Scorpene-class submarine during December 2017. The second submarine, INS Khanderi, named after the Island fort of Maratha ruler Chhatrapati Shivaj, was launched on 12 January 2018.

 

  • Indian taxi aggregator Ola launched its first overseas service in which country on 30 January 2018? – Australia

 

  • Which Japanese conglomerate is buying control of the iconic American corporate giant Xerox Corp. to create a $18 billion company, as was announced on 31 January 2018? – Fujifilm Holdings Corp.

 

  • Who was chosen to receive WHO’s prestigious IhsanDogramaci Family Health Foundation Prize, thus becoming the first Indian to receive this award? –  Vinod Paul
  • Vinod Paul, the member of the NITI Aayog, has been chosen to receive WHO’s prestigious IhsanDogramaci Family Health Foundation Prize for his services in the field of family health. He was chosen unanimously from among shortlisted candidates from Algeria, China, Malaysia, Mexico, Russian Federation, and Uzbekistan. This was announced by the WHO on 27 January 2018.

 

  • –The award will be presented to Paul at the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, in May 2018. According to a notification by the WHO Executive Board, Dr. Paul has made distinguished contributions towards improving the health and well-being of families, especially in developing countries.
    • A well-known name in public health circles in India, Paul has played a key role in formulating national child health guidelines and programmes in the country.

 

  • What is the name of India’s High-Performance Computer (HPC) system that was commissioned at the National Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting at Noida on 30 January 2018? – ‘Mihir’
  • -India on 30 January 2018 commissioned its High-Performance Computer (HPC) system – named   (meaning Sun) – at the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) at Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
  • Mihir is India’s largest HPC facility in terms of peak capacity and performance and will propel India’s ranking from the 368th position to the 30thin the list of top 500 HPC facilities in the world.

 

  • It will improve India’s capacity in weather forecasting and help it to come out with weather forecast down to the block level (for about 6500 blocks) across the country later this year. At present, such facility is available at district level.

 

  • India defeated Australia in the ICC U-19 World Cup final on 3 February 2018 to become the first team to win the U-19 World Cup for the fourth time. Which Indian player was declared man of the Tournament? – Shubham Gill
  • -Indian U-19 (boys) cricket team created history as it won the ICC U-19 World Cup 2018 by defeating Australia in the final and thus became the first-ever team to win this tournament four times. Indian vice-captain Shubham Gill was adjudged the man of the match.

 

  • A brilliant century by Manjot Kalra, backed up by able bowling performances by Ishan Porel, Shiva Singh, Ankul Roy and Kamlesh Nagarkoti sealed the deal for the Indian side with an emphatic 8-wicket win in the final. Manjot Kalra was later declared man of the match.

 

  • Australia had set a target of 217 runs for India as they were bowled out for 216 in 47.2 overs. India chased the target by losing 2 wickets with 67 balls to spare.

 

  • ICC U-19 World Cup 2018 was held from 13 January to 3 February 2018 in New Zealand. It was the 12th edition of the tournament. Ace former cricketer Rahul Dravid is the Head Coach of the Indian team.

 

  • Who is heading the task force constituted by the Union Government to study use of artificial intelligence for defence purposes on 2 February 2018? –  Chandrasekaran
  • -Tata Sons Chairman N. Chandrasekaran is heading the 17-member task force constituted by the Department of Defence Production on 2 February 2018 to study use of artificial intelligence for defence applications and production.

 

  • The task force will study the whole gamut of issues surrounding strategic implications of artificial intelligence (AI) in national security perspective.

 

  • Apart from Chandarsekaran, the 17-member task force comprises National Cyber Security Coordinator Gulshan Rai, representatives from the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force, Chairman and Managing director of Bharat Electronics Ltd, other representatives from Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Atomic Energy Commission and Defence Ministry.

 

  • Which regiment of the Indian Army celebrated 250 years of its formation on 4 February 2018? – Maratha Light Infantry

 

  • What is the name of the book written by Prime Minister that focuses on strategies for students appearing in exams and advises them to stay calm and focused during the examination period? – “Exam Warriors”

 

  • What is India’s rank in the Global Democracy Index 2018 compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)? – 42nd

 

  • -India has slipped to 42nd place on the annual Global Democracy Index (GDI) that was released during January 2018. The annual listing compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has downgraded India by 10 places as India moved down from 32nd place last year.

 

  • India remains classified among ‘flawed democracies’ amid “rise of conservative religious ideologies” and increase in vigilantism and violence against minorities as well as other dissenting voices.

 

  • The index ranks 165 independent states and two territories on the basis of five categories: electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, the functioning of government, political participation and political culture. Norway has again topped the list, followed by Iceland and Sweden. New Zealand is at fourth and Denmark at fifth place, while others in top ten include Ireland, Canada, Australia, Finland and Switzerland.

 

  • EIU is the research and analysis division of the UK- based media behemoth The Economist Group.

 

  • Kolkata’s iconic “Rabindra Setu” (Howrah Bridge) completed how many years during February 2018? – 75
  • -“Rabindra Setu” (popularly known as Howrah Bridge), the iconic cantilever bridge in Kolkata, completed 75 years of its opening on 3 February 2018. The bridge is over Hooghly River and connects the two cities of Howrah and Kolkata (Calcutta).

 

  • Howrah Bridge was commissioned on 3 February 1943 as it replaced an old pontoon bridge at the same location, which was set up in 1874. On 14 June 1965 it was renamed Rabindra Setu after the great Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore.

 

  • Out of total steel required for the historic bridge, only 3,000 tonnes were supplied from England. The remaining 23,000 tonnes were supplied by India’s Tata Steel and even the erection work was reassigned to a local engineering firm of Howrah – the Braithwaite, Burn and Jessop Construction Co.

 

  • Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen declared a 15-day state of emergency in the island country on 5 February 2018 while Chief Justice of Supreme Court Abdulla Saeed was arrested in the early hours of 6 February 2018. What is the main cause for an emergency declaration of President Yameen? – The Supreme Court ruling that overturned terrorism convictions against nine of his opponents
  • What are the most important aspects associated with the All India Tiger Census 2018 that was kicked-off during February 2018? – This tiger census is employing the most modern technology ever used and is relying on digital methods of data collection
  • -All India Tiger Census 2018, which is the largest survey of wildlife anywhere in the world, was kicked-off during February 2018. This Census is using more technology, including a mobile app, with more intensive ground coverage and a higher focus on the northeast to determine the country’s tigers. The Census is being undertaken by the National Tiger Conservation Authority and Wildlife Institute of India.

 

  • The ground staff involved in the count will be using a mobile app, M  STrIPES, for the first time. On the other hand, more units of high-resolution digital cameras are being employed. The last census, in 2014, had estimated India’s tiger population at 2,226, up from 1,706 in 2010.

 

  • However, the basic census methodology – double sampling based on ground-based surveys for tiger signs and actual images captured on camera-traps, along with statistical extrapolation – remains unchanged. It was first used in 2006 after the previous “pugmark” surveys were found woefully inaccurate.

 

  • What is the name of the campaign started by search engine giant Google in India from 5 February 2018 to create about Internet safety? – #SecurityCheckKiya
  • -#SecurityCheckKiya (Hindi for “Did you do a Security Check?”) is the name given to the awareness campaign started by Google India that primarily aims to create security awareness among young and first-time internet users. The campaign was started from 5 February 2018, on the eve of the Safer Internet Day.

 

  • The campaign outlines basic steps users can take to protect themselves from account hijacks, safeguard Android devices from malware, and secure personal data in the event of a device loss.

 

  • What is the name of the world’s most powerful rocket that was launched into space by the private rocket company SpaceX on 6 February 2018 and which carried a Tesla car as a mock payload with it? – Falcon Heavy
  • -Falcon Heavy is a reusable super heavy-lift launch vehicle (rocket) designed and manufactured by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s private rocket company SpaceX. The 23-story-tall jumbo rocket, carrying a cherry red Tesla Roadster automobile into space as a mock payload, was launched into space on 6 February 2018 from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral (Florida).

 

  • The flight capitalized SpaceX’s pioneering cost-cutting reusable rocket technology in which the two side boosters flew themselves back to Earth for safe simultaneous touchdowns on twin landing pads. The launch was conducted from the same site used by NASA’s towering Saturn 5 rockets to carry Apollo missions to the moon more than 40 years ago.

 

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 7 February 2018 held the policy repo rate at 6%. Five of the six members of the RBI’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted in favor of keeping the benchmark interest rate unchanged. Which member recommended a 25 basis points (bps) rate increase? – D. Patra
  • Which city is seemingly poised to become a first major city to run out of drinking water, with the city authorities imposing strict water usage policy during February 2018? – Cape Town (South Africa)
  • -South Africa’s most populous city Cape Town is poised to become the world’s first major city to run out of drinking water. The shortage is the result of a three-year drought that emptied the city’s dams.

 

  • Experts initially calculated “Day Zero,” (the date upon which there is insufficient water in the city) to be around 16 April 2018. It has since been pushed back to mid-May. Cape Town’s more than 4 million residents have been told to cut their daily limits from 87 liters to 50 liters per person.

 

  • Which Indian player on 7 February 2018 became the first-ever female cricketer to take 200 ODI wickets? – Jhulan Goswami
  • -India’s veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami on 7 February 2019 added another feather to her illustrious cap by becoming the first female cricketer to take 200 ODI wickets. She achieved the feat during the second ODI between India and South Africa that was played in Kimberley in South Africa.

 

  • The 35-year-old Indian, playing her 166th ODI, dismissed opener Laura Wolvaardt for her 200th scalp. It is worth mentioning that the first male cricketer to pick 200 ODI wickets, was also an Indian – the great Kapil Dev.

 

  • Which South Korean automobile company made its debut in India by unveiling its concept vehicle at the Auto Expo 2018 on 6 February 2018? – Kia Motors

 

  • -Kia Motors, the world’s eighth largest and South Korea’s second-largest automaker made its debut in India by unveiling its SP Concept vehicle at the Auto Expo 2018. SP Concept is an SUV designed and developed for the Indian market. It will be Kia’s first product to go on sale in India.

 

  • The South Korean company will start retail sales in the country by the second half of 2019. It has invested USD 1 billion in its plant in Andhra Pradesh. It is worth mentioning that Korea’s largest automobile company Hyundai Motors has been in India for almost 2 decades now.

 

  • 2018 Winter Olympics started with a grand opening ceremony on 9 February 2018 in which South Korean city? – PyeongChang
  • -The 2018 Winter Olympics (officially known as the XXIII Olympic Winter Games) were started from 9 February 2018 in the South Korean city of PyeongChang. The Games were inaugurated with a grand opening ceremony held at the PyeongChang Olympic Stadium. The Games will conclude on 25 February 2018.

 

  • Nearly 3000 athletes from 92 countries are participating in these Games that will witness 102 events from 7 sports. The motto of these Games is Passion. Connected

 

  • Some important developments associated with these Games are – the joint participation of North and South Koreas, the participation of Russian athletes in the wake of doping scandals and the extreme cold caused due to icy Siberian winds blowing through the PyeongChang county.

 

  • Russia as a nation is not present after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) instigated a ban in the wake of the McLaren report into state-sponsored doping, including at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Instead, 168 Russian athletes who were able to prove their clean credentials were invited by the IOC to compete as individuals.

 

  • PyeongChang was awarded the Games in July 2011.

 

  • Which state topped the NITI Aayog’s national health index report titled ‘The Healthy States, Progressive India’ that was released on 9 February 2018? – Kerala
  • -Kerala was followed by Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and Gujarat. Apart from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, and Odisha were among those that performed poorly on the index.

 

  • According to the report, “in the reference year (2015-16), among the larger states, the index scope for overall performances ranged widely between 33.69 in Uttar Pradesh to 76.55 in Kerala”.

 

  • In terms of annual incremental performance, Jharkhand, Jammu & Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh are the top three states. These three states showed the maximum gains in indicators such as Neonatal Mortality Rate (NMR), Under-five Mortality Rate (U5MR), full immunization coverage, and institutional deliveries.

 

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 7 February 2018 disclosed that it will link the base rate for loans with the marginal cost of funds-based lending rate (MCLR). What is the effective date for this linking? – 1 April 2018
  • What is India’s rank in the 6thedition of International Intellectual Property (IIP) Index that was released by the US Chambers of Commerce on 8 February 2018? – 44th(Out of 50 countries)
  • -India has increased substantially its score in the latest International Intellectual Property (IIP) index from 25% (8.75 out of 35) in the 5th edition of the Index (2017) to 30% (12.03 out of 40) in the 6th edition that was released by the US Chambers of Commerce on 8 February 2018. But despite this improvement, India continues to remain towards the bottom of the ladder. It now ranks 44 out of 50 countries. Last year, India ranked 43rd out of 45 countries in the index.

 

  • IIP is an annual report prepared by the Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) of the US Chambers of Commerce. The report analyses the intellectual property (IP) climate in 50 world economies based on 40 unique indicators that benchmark activity critical to innovation development surrounding patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secrets protection.

 

  • The US tops the latest list with 37.98 points, followed by United Kingdom (37.97) and Sweden (37.03).

 

  • Who was appointed as the first-ever independent female director of the International Cricket Council (ICC), as was announced by the ICC on 9 February 2018? – Indra Nooyi
  • ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) and its partners on 11 February 2018 signed an agreement to acquire a 10% stake in a large offshore oilfield in Abu Dhabi for USD 600 million. What is the significance of this deal? – This is the first time an Indian company has set foot in oil-rich UAE
  • Among Indian cities which is the only city to feature in the list of top 15 wealthiest cities globally that was disclosed in a report by New World Wealth? – Mumbai
  • -India’s financial capital Mumbai, with a total wealth of USD 950 billion, has been named among the top 15 wealthiest cities listing by New World Wealth. India is the 12th wealthiest city, while New York topped the list with a total wealth of USD 3 trillion. Total wealth refers to the private wealth held by all the individuals living in each city. It includes all their assets (property, cash, equities, business interests) less any liabilities.

 

  • According to the report, Mumbai is home to 28 billionaires, individuals with USD 1 billion or more in net assets. It is also home to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), the 12th largest stock exchange in the world. Major industries in the city include financial services, real estate, and media.

 

  • London ranked second in the list with USD 2.7 trillion, followed by Tokyo (USD 2.5 trillion), and San Francisco Bay area (USD 2.3 trillion). Others in the list include Beijing (USD 2.2 trillion), Shanghai (USD 2 trillion), Los Angeles (USD 1.4 trillion), Hong Kong (USD 1.3 trillion), Sydney (USD 1 trillion), Singapore (USD 1 trillion) and Chicago (USD 988 billion).

 

  • Mumbai is followed by Toronto with a total wealth of USD 944 billion, Frankfurt (14th, USD 912 billion) and Paris (15th, USD 860 billion) in top 15 cities.

 

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on 10 February 2018 conferred with which highest honor by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas? – “Grand Collar of the State of Palestine”
  • -President Mahmoud Abbas bestowed the “Grand Collar of the State of Palestine” on Indian President Narendra Modi after the conclusion of their bilateral meeting in Ramallah on 10 February 2018.

 

  • He was bestowed with this honour in recognition of his contributions to promoting relations between India and Palestine.

 

  • The Grand Collar is the Highest order given to foreign dignitaries – Kings, Heads of State/Government and persons of similar rank. This award has in the past been awarded to King Salman of Saudi Arabia, King Hamad of Bahrain, President Xi Jinping of China, among others.

 

  • Asma Jahangir, who passed away on 11 February 2018, was a noted personality of Pakistan associated with which field? – Human rights activist
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 11 February 2018 officially launched a project for the construction of the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi. Which religious institution will build this temple? – Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Sanstha (BAPS)
  • What are India’s forest and tree cover in percentage as disclosed in the India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2017 that was released on 12 February 2018? – 39%
  • -India’s forest and tree cover have increased by 8,021 sq. km, up 1% since 2015, to 802,088 sq. km, which is about 24.39% of the total geographical area (GA) of the country. Of the total increase of 8,021 sq. km in forest and tree cover, forest cover grew by 6,778 sq. km and tree cover by 1,243 sq. km.

 

  • According to the report, India’s total forest cover is 708,273 sq. km (about 21.54% of India’s total GA) and tree cover is 93,815 sq. km (about 2.85% of the total GA). The increase in total forest cover also includes an increase of 181 sq. km in mangrove cover, taking the total mangrove area in the country to 4,921 sq. km.

 

  • In 2015, India’s forest cover was 701,673 sq. km. The ISFR comes every two years and the 2017 report is the 15th such report. ISFR 2017 is also more comprehensive as it is based on information from 633 districts of the country compared to 589 in 2015.

 

  • Who was elected as the new president of the Sahitya Akademi on 12 February 2018? –  Chandrashekar Kambar (Noted Kannada litterateur )
    • Kambar is the third Kannada writer to head the country’s premier literary institution, after Vinayak Krishna Gokak (1983) and U.R. Ananthamurthy (1993).

 

  • This was the second time election was held in the history of Sahitya Akademi, after Ananthamurthy’s election to the post. Kambar will replace Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari.

 

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 12 February 2018 tightened norms for bad loan resolution by setting timelines for resolving large Non Performing Assets (NPAs), failing which banks will have to mandatorily refer them for insolvency proceedings. What is the prescribed time-line for such loans? – 180 days
  • -According to the notification issued by the RBI on 12 February 2018, banks must implement a resolution plan within 180 days (starting 1 March 2018) where the exposure is Rs. 2,000 crore and above, failing which the NPA account has to be referred to the insolvency and bankruptcy code within 15 days. This guideline was issued to set timeline for resolving large NPAs.

 

  • The large accounts are mainly those where banks have initiated resolution and are classified as restructured standard assets. Indian banks are sitting on a stressed assets pool of over Rs.10 trillion.

 

  • What is the name of the India-born engineer who was part of the team that bagged the scientific and engineering award at the Oscars 2018 Scientific and Technical Awards on 11 February 2018? – Vikas Sathaye
  • Which public sector bank on 14 February 2018 disclosed that it has found fraudulent transactions totalling over $1.77 billion (Rs. 11,500 crore) in one of its branches in Mumbai? – Punjab National Bank (PNB)
  • -Indian banking sector was rocked as country’s second largest public sector bank Punjab National Bank (PNB) on 14 February 2018 disclosed that it has detected fraudulent transactions amounting to more than $1.77 billion (Rs. 11,500 crore) involving billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi, his wife, brother and partners.

 

  • The bank informed the stock exchanges that the fraud was detected in one of its branches in Mumbai (Kalaghoda branch) and that it has referred the matter to law enforcement agencies. PNB’s deputy manager Gokulnath Shetty and another official Manoj Kharat were charged in the case, who had fraudulently issued Letters of Undertakings (LoUs) to 3 diamond firms (Diamonds R Us, Solar Exports and Stellar Diamonds) for raising buyers’ credit.

 

  • Who was elected as South Africa’s new president by ruling party legislators on 15 February 2018 after the resignation of Jacob Zuma a day earlier? – Cyril Ramaphosa
    • Ramaphosa is South Africa’s fifth President since majority rule started after the end of apartheid in 1994.

 

  • China welcomed the Chinese New Year on 16 February 2018 with start of 15-day celebrations. This New Year is observed as the year of which animal? – Dog
  • Which state government on 13 February 2018 announced that it would not participate in the National Health Protection Scheme, the ambitious health care programme that was announced in this year’s Union Budget? – West Bengal
  • What is the name of the first woman from Pakistan’s tiny minority Hindu community who was nominated for the upcoming Senate elections by country’s main opposition party Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on 12 February 2018? – Krishna Kumari
  • The Supreme Court on reduced the allocation of Cauvery water from Karnataka to Tamil Nadu to 177.25 tmc. Karnataka was supplying how much Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu till now? – 192 tmc
  • -A Special Bench of the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, in its order of 16 February 2018 reduced 14.75 tmc (one thousand million cubic feet) from the 192 tmc Cauvery water supplied by Karnataka from its Billigundlu site to Mettur dam in Tamil Nadu. Karnataka needs to supply only 177.25 tmc Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu now.

 

  • Though largely upholding the water-sharing arrangements finalized by the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal (CWDT) in its award on 5 February 2007, the court said Karnataka is entitled to marginal relief. The apex court was of the view that the CWDT in its order did not take into account Tamil Nadu’s stock of an “empirical” 20 TMC of groundwater.

 

  • Further, the court observed that Bengaluru has attained the “global status” and its drinking water requirement has increased multi-fold. It said the need for drinking water is at the top of the hierarchy.

 

  • What will be the new base-year for calculation of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Index of Industrial Production (IIP) and Consumer Price Index (CPI) as was disclosed by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) on 15 February 2018? – Year 2017-18 for GDP and IIP and Year 2018 for CPI
  • -Unveiling the plans of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) for 2018-19 the Union Minister, MoSPI, D.V. Sadananda Gowda on 15 February disclosed that the new base year for GDP and IIP will be 2017-18 and for CPI, it will be 2018. He elaborated that base-year revision of these macro-economic indicators will begin soon.

 

  • The current base year followed for these indices is 2011-12. It will take about two years for the revision to take effect and the new series will be available from 2020-21.

 

  • However, economists expressed concern over the choice of 2017-18, as it was not a normal year due to effects of demonetization and the implementation of the goods and services tax.

 

  • Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addressed the gathering and offered Friday prayers at which historic mosque on 16 February 2018, which is first-of-its-kind of event in India associated with an Iranian premier? – Makkah Masjid (Hyderabad)
  • -Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, who is on a state visit of India, offered Friday prayers at the historic Makkah Masjid in Hyderabad on 16 February 2018. He also addressed the gathering at this mosque. This is first-of-its-kind event in India associated with any Iranian President. Makkah Masjid is located near the historic Charminar in the Muslim-majority old city of Hyderabad.

 

  • An important fact associated with Rouhani’s India visit is that he landed in Hyderabad instead of capital New Delhi as the first stage of his state visit.

 

  • Hyderabad has historic cultural links with Iran. The city, founded by Quli Qutub Shah, was designed on the lines of Iranian city Isfahan. Mir Momin Astrabadi, who had migrated from Iran, had prepared the design of Charminar and Hyderabad.

 

  • In a major departure from rules, India is allowing its businesses to invest in Indian rupees in Iran, as was disclosed in the media reports on 16 February 2018. This facility has been made available for which two countries till now? – Nepal and Bhutan
  • -So far permission to invest in rupees has only been given to Indian businessmen investing in Nepal and Bhutan. But now an exception for Iran has been made because it has had restrictions imposed on it, barring it from dealing in dollars and euros, over its nuclear programme.

 

  • Which station of Rajasthan has become India’s only non-suburban railway station to be entirely run by women, as was disclosed on 19 February 2018? – Gandhinagar (Jaipur)
  • -Overall, this is India’s second railway station with an all-women crew, with the first being Matunga Railway station in Mumbai’s suburban rail network

 

  • On 18 February 2018 which political party became the first major political party of India to shift its office outside Lutyens’ Bungalow Zone, following a Supreme Court directive that party offices should be relocated from there? – BJP
  • The inaugural flight of Bhubaneswar-based airline Air Odisha under the Centre’s Ude Desh ke Aam Nagrik (UDAN) scheme was launched on 17 February 2018. This inaugural flight connects which two places in Gujarat? – Ahmedabad and Mundra
  • Tennis great Roger Federer on 16 February 2018 returned to world No. 1 spot for the first time since 2012 to become the oldest top-ranked player in history. Who was the oldest player to become No. 1 in men’s tennis till now? – Andre Agassi (USA)
  • Which commercial entity has proposed to build a super-fast hyperloop transportation system in India that would connect Pune with the new airport in Mumbai in 25 minutes, as was disclosed on 19 February 2018? – Virgin Hyperloop One
  • -British tycoon Richard Branson-backed Virgin Hyperloop One is proposing to build a super-fast transportation system in India that would connect the city of Pune with the planned new airport in Mumbai in 25 minutes, saving about three hours. This was announced on 19 February 2018.

 

  • Virgin Group signed a preliminary agreement on 18 February 2018 in Mumbai for a broad hyperloop framework. A demonstration track will be built in two to three years from the signing of the final agreement, while the second phase will aim to complete construction of the full Pune-Mumbai route in five to seven years.

 

  • The Pune-Mumbai hyperloop project could result in $55 billion in socio-economic benefits over 30 years of operation, according to an initial study by Virgin Hyperloop One.

 

  • Stung by the Rs. 11,400 crore fraud in Punjab National Bank (PNB), the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 21 February 2018 constituted an expert committee to look into the entire gamut of issues relating bad loans. Who is heading this expert committee? – H. Malegam
  • What is the name of the new political party launched by noted actor Kamal Haasan at a massive function held in Madurai on 21 February 2018? – ‘Makkal Neethi Meyam’ (MNM)

 

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 20 February 2018 issued which major KYC guideline for payments banks? – It directed payments banks to get their KYC information verified by third parties
  • According to a report of the Census Directorate released during February 2018, there are how many languages or dialects in India that are considered to be endangered and are believed to be heading towards extinction? – 42
  • -There are 42 languages which are spoken by fewer than 10,000 people. These are considered endangered and may be heading towards extinction. This was disclosed in a report of the Census Directorate that was released during February 2018.

 

  • The languages or dialects which are considered endangered, include 11 from Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Great Andamanese, Jarawa, Lamongse, Luro, Muot, Onge, Pu, Sanenyo, Sentilese, Shompen and Takahanyilang), seven from Manipur (Aimol, Aka, Koiren, Lamgang, Langrong, Purum and Tarao) and four from Himachal Pradesh (Baghati, Handuri, Pangvali and Sirmaudi).

 

  • The other languages in the endangered category are Manda, Parji and Pengo (Odisha), Koraga and Kuruba (Karnataka), Gadaba and Naiki (AP), Kota and Toda (Tamil Nadu), Mra and Na (Arunachal Pradesh), Tai Nora and Tai Rong (Assam), Bangani (Uttarakhand), Birhor (Jharkhand), Nihali (Maharashtra), Ruga (Meghalaya) and Toto (West Bengal).

 

  • On the other hand, there are 22 scheduled languages and 100 non-scheduled languages in the country, which are spoken by a large number of people – one lakh or more.

 

  • Which country has been designated as the host country of the World Environment Day for 2018, as was announced by UN Environment on 19 February 2018? – India
  • -The United Nations Under-Secretary-General and head of UN Environment, Erik Solheim on 19 February 2018 announced that India will be the host for the World Environment Day 2018, that will be observed on 5 June 2018.

 

  • Solheim called India an emerging leader as it has one of the highest recycling rates in the world. In the case of the case of polyethylene terephthalate or PET India’s recycling rate stands around 80% while 10 percent is reused by people at home.

 

  • The theme for this year is ‘Beat Plastic Pollution‘. It urges governments, industry, communities, and individuals to come together and explore sustainable alternatives and urgently reduce the production and excessive use of single-use plastic that is polluting our oceans, damaging marine life and threatening human health.

 

  • The Ministry of Human Resource Development approved the constitution of the Empowered Expert Committee (EEC) for selecting 20 institutes of higher education that will be developed into ‘World Class Institutes’. Who was selected as the head of this EEC? –  Gopalaswami.
  • -Former chief election commissioner N. Gopalaswami will head the Empowered Expert Committee constituted for selecting 20 institutes of higher education that will be developed into ‘World Class Institutes’. This was announced by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) on 20 February 2018.

 

  • The HRD ministry had in 2017 invited institutes to apply to be upgraded into “world-class universities.” It had received 100 applications, including from seven IITs, Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Jadhavpur University, Goa University and Mangalore University.

 

  • Universities from the public and private sector will be selected for the programme in the next few months. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promised Rs. 10,000 crore over the next 10 years and autonomy to these institutes.

 

  • While Gopalaswami will be the chairperson, Tarun Khanna of Harvard Business School, Houston university chancellor Dr. Renu Khator and Dr. Pritam Singh, a former director of MDI Gurugram and IIM Lucknow, will be the others on the panel.

 

  • The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) on 22 February 2018 recommended what interest rate for 2017-18? – 55%
  • Which private sector banking entity is acquiring a 26% stake in Mumbai-based investment bank Equirus Capital Pvt. Ltd., as was disclosed on 22 February 2018? – Federal Bank
  • What is India’s rank in the Corruption Perception Index 2017, the annual corruption index, which was released by Transparency International (TI) on 22 February 2018? – 81 among of 180 countries
    • India’s ranking in the annual corruption index (Corruption Perception Index 2017) slid to 81 among a group of 180 countries. The 2017 index was released by Berlin-based non-government organization Transparency International (TI) on 22 February 2018.

 

  • In 2016, India was in the 79th place among 176 countries. India’s ranking in the index had plummeted in 2013 and 2014 in the wake of the spectrum and coal scams. The ranking has improved since then but seems to be showing signs of weakening.

 

  • New Zealand and Singapore scored the highest scores with 89 and 84 out of 100, respectively. Somalia was found to be the most corrupt country in the world. A majority of the world’s countries scored below 50 on the index with the global average score coming at around 43. India’s score of 40 in 2017 puts it below the global average.

 

  • Global research firm Gartner on 22 February 2018 reported which important trend in the worldwide sale of smartphones for year 2017? – It reported the first year-on-year quarterly decline since Gartner started tracking the global smartphone market in 2004
  • The 2018 Winter Olympics held at PyeongChang (South Korea) concluded with a grand closing ceremony held on 25 February 2018. Which country topped the medals tally? – Norway
  • Noted former bureaucrat T.S.R. Subramanian, who passed away on 26 February 2018, had played an important role in which issue associated with the bureaucracy? – Political Interference in Bureaucracy
  • -Former cabinet secretary T.S.R. Subramanian passed away at the age of 79 on 26 February 2018. He was a 1961-batch IAS officer of the Uttar Pradesh cadre and his efforts led to the landmark Supreme Court judgment protecting bureaucrats from political interference.

 

  • Subramanian was Cabinet Secretary from 1 August 1996 to 31 March 1998. As Cabinet Secretary, he worked with three Prime Ministers – Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Inder Kumar Gujral and H D Deve Gowda.

 

  • He was part of a group of former bureaucrats that filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court seeking a mechanism to insulate the bureaucracy from political interference.

 

  • What is the name of the gymnast who created history on 24 February 2018 by becoming the first Indian gymnast to clinch an individual medal at the Gymnastics World Cup? – Aruna Budda Reddy
  • -22-year Aruna Budda Reddy created history on 24 February 2018 by becoming the first Indian gymnast to clinch an individual medal at the Gymnastics World Cup in Melbourne. Reddy scored 13.649 to win a bronze medal in the women’s vault.

 

  • She finished behind gold medallist Tjasa Kysslef of Slovakia and Australia’s Emily Whitehead, who bagged silver.

 

  • Aruna won her first national medal in 2005 that encouraged her to take up the sport. Her international journey began with Commonwealth Games participation in 2014 where she finished at the 14th spot at the qualification round of the Vault apparatus.

 

  • What is the name of India’s under-development Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) that was successfully test-flown by the DRDO on 25 February 2018? – Rustom-2
  • -Rustom-2 belongs to a family of India’s UAVs under development, besides Rustom-1 and Rustom-H. It is a Medium Altitude Long Endurance drone (MALE). It can fly up to an altitude of 22,000 feet and has an endurance of over 20 hours. It is capable of carrying payloads for electronic and signal intelligence missions.

 

  • Rustom-2 was successfully test-flown by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) at its Aeronautical Test Range at Chitradurga in Karnataka on 25 February 2018.

 

  • Currently, India’s three services employ hundreds of Israeli drones and have projected a requirement of hundreds of more UAVs, including armed variants, in the near future.

 

  • Which state won Vijay Hazare Trophy for 2017-18 on 27 February 2018? – Karnataka

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  •   Which two countries of Gulf introduced value-added tax (VAT) from 1 January 2018 and thus became the first Gulf countries to bring VAT system in practice? – Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

 

  • Which state launched 24-hours free power supply for farmers from 1 January 2018 and claimed that it became the first-ever state to launch such initiative in India? – Telangana

 

  •  Which state became the second Open Defecation Free (ODF) state of Northeast India on 1 January 2018? – Arunachal Pradesh
  • -Sikkim was the first Northeastern state to achieve this status while Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, and Haryana are other three ODF states.
    • The project was undertaken under Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) – SBM (G) saw the light of day only after the state government extended an incentive of Rs. 8,000 per toilet. This is in addition to the Centre’s support of Rs. 12,000, raising the grant for constructing a toilet to Rs 20,000.

 

  • Who was named as the next Foreign Secretary by the Union Government on 1 January 2018? – Vijay Gokhale

 

  • Which team won its maiden Ranji Trophy title by defeating 7-time champion Delhi on 1 January 2018? – Vidarbha
  • Rajneesh Gurbani of Vidarbha, who took eight wickets in the match, including a hat-trick in the first innings, was adjudged Man of the Match.
  •  The Rajya Sabha on 2 January 2018 made which unique record of sorts? – It took up all the Zero Hour issues and special mentions listed in the agenda for that period

 

  •  The Union Government closed subscription of which popular savings bonds with effect from 2 January 2018? – 8% Government Savings (taxable) Bonds 2003

 

  • Lakhs of doctors and innumerable hospitals and nursing homes were planning to observe a 12-hour nationwide strike on 2 January 2018 on the call given by the Indian Medical Association (IMA). This strike call was given to protest against which bill? – The National Medical Commission Bill

 

  •  India’s second largest rooftop solar plant was commissioned by GAIL at which place, as was announced on 1 January 2018? – Pata (Uttar Pradesh)

 

  • What is the name of the new online portal for women empowerment that was launched by Maneka Gandhi, the Minister of Women & Child Development on 2 January 2018? – ‘NARI’

 

  • The Union Cabinet on 4 January 2018 approved the construction of which tunnel in Jammu & Kashmir that will be Asia’s longest bi-directional tunnel? – Zojila Pass tunnel

 

  •  The Parliament on 2 January 2018 passed the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Amendment) Bill, 2017. What are the main objectives of this Bill? – Increase the authorized capital of NABARD by Rs. 30,000 crore and enable exit of RBI from it
  • -National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Amendment) Bill, 2017, the bill to increase authorised capital of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) by six times to Rs. 30,000 crore and enable exit of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was passed by Parliament on 2 January 2018.
    • The bill was passed on this day by voice vote in the Rajya Sabha while it was passed by the Lok Sabha in August 2017.
  • -At present the authorized capital of NABARD is Rs. 5,000 crore. With this bill RBIs 0.4% equity in NABARD will be transferred to the center and as a result, 100% equity will come to the government.
  • Which country became the first to implement a law that makes it illegal for women less than men? – Iceland
  • on 1 January 2018 Iceland became the first country in the world to take the fight against the gender pay gap as in implemented a law that makes it illegal to women less than men. Under this law, the employers in Iceland now have to prove that they pay men and women in the same jobs equally. If they fail to do so, they risk being fined.

 

  • The law applies to all companies and organizations with at least 25 full-time employees. Firms with more than 250 employees will have to get the certification by the end of this year, while smaller companies will follow in the next few years, according to their size.

 

  • It is worth mentioning that discrimination based on gender is already illegal in many countries – but research shows the legislation is far from effective. Women are paid less than men in every country in the world, according to research by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

 

  • According to Central Statistics Office’s (CSO’s) first advance estimate for India’s GDP growth rate in 2017-18, what will be the growth rate for Indian economy during 2017-18? – 6.5%

 

  • -The first advance estimate data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) on 4 January 2018 disclosed that the Indian economy is expected to decelerate to 6.5% in 2017-18 from 7.1% in the previous year. This will be the slowest GDP growth rate in last 4 years.
    • The CSO data showed that the agriculture sector is expected to grow at 2.1% in FY18, slower than 4.9% in the previous year, while manufacturing is likely to grow at 4.6%, compared with 7.9% a year ago. Electricity and trade, hotels sectors are the only sectors that will grow at a faster rate of 7.5% and 8.7% in FY18 than in FY17.
    • The nominal GDP, or gross domestic product at market prices, is expected to grow at 9.5% against 11.75% assumed in the 2017-18 budget presented last year.

 

  • Who was appointed the new Deputy National Security Adviser (NSA) of India on 2 January 2018? – Rajinder Khanna

 

  • The North American blizzard of January 2018 that caused severe disruption along the East Coast of the United States, was unofficially called by which name? – “Bomb Cyclone”

 

  • Which public sector bank completed 75 years on 6 January 2018? – UCO Bank

 

  • The 2018 ASEAN-India Pravasi Bharatiya Divas conference was held at which place on 6 and 7 January 2018? – Singapore
  • -The conference also marked the 25thanniversary of the partnership between ASEAN and India. This annual conference is held primarily to mark the contribution of the Indian diaspora in the region.

 

  • What is the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in India in the year 2016-17 as was disclosed in All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) for the year 2016-17 that was released on 6 January 2018? – 25.2%

 

  • -The Union Minister for Human Resource and Development (HRD), Prakash Javadekar released the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) for the year 2016-17 in New Delhi on 6 January 2018.
    • According to the survey, the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) for the year 2016-17 stood at 25.2%. GER is the ratio of enrolment in higher education to a population in the eligible age group (18-23) years. The GER in 2010-11 stood at 19.4%, the year in which the first AISHE was conducted. The GER recorded an increase of around 7% in the year 2016-17 as compared to the previous year (2015-16).
    • On the other hand, overall enrolment increased from 27.5 million in 2010-11 to 35.7 million in 2016-17. The survey covers almost all the Higher Education institutions (HEIs) in the country including Universities, Colleges, and Stand-Alone institutions.

 

  • The Union Cabinet approved setting up of an AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) at which place in Himachal Pradesh on 4 January 2018? – Bilaspur

 

  •  Which country won tennis’ prestigious Hopman Cup for 2018 on 6 January 2018? – Switzerland(defeated Germany)

 

  • India’s fastest supercomputer till date ‘Pratyush’ was unveiled and established at which institute on 8 January 2018? – Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune.

 

  • The bilateral annual Haj 2018 agreement between India and Saudi Arabia was signed on 7 January 2018 in which Saudi government has agreed to India’s decision to revive the option of sending Haj pilgrims through sea route also. The practice of ferrying Haj pilgrims by waterways was stopped in which year? – 1995.

 

  • What was the name of the legendary NASA astronaut who passed away on 5 January 2018 and was the only agency astronaut to go into space as part of the Gemini, Apollo, and space shuttle programs and was known for his moonwalks? – John Young

 

  • Who became first Indian-American and first Asian to win a Golden Globe award for best actor on 7 January 2018? – Aziz Ansari

 

  • Which film won the Best Film award (in Drama category) at the 2018 Golden Globes award ceremony held on 7 January 2018? – “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
  • “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” – a film predicated on the aftermath of rape, won the Best Film award (in Drama category) at the 2018 Golden Globes award ceremony. Frances McDormand won the Best Actress award for this film while Best Actor award went to Gary Oldman for his performance in “Darkest Hour”.

 

  • Guillermo Del Toro won the Best Director award for the film “The Shape Of Water”. On the other hand, Sterling K Brown made history as the first African-American to win Best Actor award (for a television series) for his performance in TV series “Drama for This Is Us”.
  • Oprah Winfrey was awarded the Cecil B DeMille Lifetime Achievement award.

 

  • North and South Korea kicked off their first formal talks in more than two years on 9 January 2018. This meeting, closely watched by world leaders, was held primarily to discuss which issue? – How North Korean athletes can attend the Winter Olympics to be held in South Korea

 

  • Which railway station found its way into the Limca Book of Records 2018 for having an all-woman staff, as was disclosed on 9 January 2018? – Matunga

 

  • Which private sector infrastructure entity signed a concession agreement for the implementation of the mega Rs. 16,000-crore Navi Mumbai International Airport project on 8 January 2018? – GVK Power & Infrastructure Ltd.

 

  • Which state topped the newly commenced logistics index called Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS) that lists logistics performance of Indian states and Union territories? – Gujarat
  • -Gujarat has topped the newly commenced Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS) index, a composite indicator to assess international trade logistics across Indian states and union territories. Punjab and Andhra Pradesh took the second and third positions, respectively.
    • The findings of LEADS were released by the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry during January 2018. The index has primarily concluded that the logistics performance of Indian states and Union territories is “sub-par” owing to a host of inefficiencies.
    • LEADS is loosely based on the World Bank’s biannual Logistics Performance Index (LPI), on which India was ranked 35 among 160 countries in 2016.
    • Logistics is the management of the flow of resources such as cargo, documents, information and funds through a range of activities and services between points of origin and destination.

 

  • Brigadier (retd.) Kapil Mohan, who passed away at the age of 88 years on 6 January 2018, was the man behind which famous Indian liquor brand? – Old Monk

 

  • The UIDAI on 10 January 2018 announced the introduction of Virtual ID and limited know-your-customer (KYC) for Aadhaar number holders with a view to Virtual ID and limited know-your-customer (KYC) for Aadhaar number holders. According to the announcement by UIDAI, the system based on virtual ID will be pressed into service from which date? –1 June 2018

 

  • -The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) announced the introduction of Virtual ID and limited know-your-customer (KYC) for Aadhaar number holders. The virtual ID for an Aadhaar holder can be used in lieu of his/her Aadhaar number to avoid the need for sharing the Aadhaar number at the time of authentication. The move came just days after a newspaper report in ‘The Tribune’ claimed a major breach in the Aadhaar database through a sting operation.
    • Virtual ID will be a temporary, revocable 16-digit random number mapped with the Aadhaar number. It will not be possible to derive the Aadhaar number from the virtual ID.
    • UIDAI will be releasing necessary APIs (Application Programming Interface) by 1 March 2018 and all agencies have been directed to make the necessary changes for the use of virtual ID, UID token and limited KYC to start using the new system by 1 June 2018.
  • The Union Government from 10 January 2018 opened for the subscription which new bond scheme that replaced the immensely popular 8% Savings Bonds Scheme? – 7.75% Savings (Taxable) Bonds, 2018
  • The Union Government divested how much of its stake in NMDC Limited through a 2-day offer for sale (OFS) on 9 and 10 January 2018? – 1.5%
  • -The two-day offer for sale (OFS) of government’s 1.5% stake in NMDC was conducted on 9 and 10 January 2018. While the OFS was meant for the institutional investors on 9 January, the retail investors were given chance to invest on 10 January.
    • The 1.5% stake sale fetched Rs. 750 crore to the Union Government, the floor price for the OFS being Rs. 153.50 per share.
    • The NMDC Limited (earlier known as National Mineral Development Corporation) is a state-controlled mineral producer of the Government of India. It is owned by the Government of India and is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Steel.
    • The government has already raised over Rs. 52,500 crores in current fiscal through stake sale in public sector units (PSUs), including the listing of insurance PSUs and exchange-traded fund. It has set an ambitious target of raising Rs. 72,500 crore for disinvestment in the current fiscal.
  • What is the name of the woman skier who created history by becoming the first Indian to register an international medal in skiing on 9 January 2018? – Aanchal Thakur

 

  • Which state became the first state in India to launch High-Risk Pregnancy (HRP) Portal, as was disclosed during January 2018? – Haryana
  • -Haryana achieved the distinction of becoming the first state in the country to launch a High-Risk Pregnancy (HRP) Portal. This was disclosed by Anil Vij, Haryana’s Health Minister on 6 January 2018.
    • The HRP portal not only helps in early identification of high-risk pregnant cases up to the grass-roots level but also ensures their timely referral to the civil hospitals for further management and delivery by specialists. Haryana state government has implemented the High-Risk Pregnancy Policy across the state since November 2017, for identifying 100 percent name-based high-risk pregnancy cases and ensuring their delivery by specialists at civil hospitals.

 

  • Union Government on 9 January 2018 disclosed that it has completed the first phase of the BharatNet project under which it has laid optical fiber in more than 1 lakh gram panchayats. What is the primary aim of the BharatNet project? – To bring high-speed broadband to all 2.5 lakh gram panchayats (GPs) through the optical fiber
  • -The bharatnet project, earlier called the National Optical Fibre Network (NOGN), is an ambitious project that forms the backbone for the Digital India initiative. It aims to bring high-speed broadband to all 2.5 lakh gram panchayats (GPs) through optical fibre.
    • The project had obtained Cabinet approval in 2011 and the deadline was fixed for the end of 2013. It was later deferred to September 2015 by the UPA government. The NDA government re-examined the project status and set a target to complete the roll-out by the end of 2016. This was later delayed to December 2018. Now, the deadline is set for March 2019.
    • The first phase of BharatNet project has been completed and now the government is ready to roll-in the second phase.

 

  • Who is heading the 12-member Inter-Ministerial Committee appointed by the Union Home Ministry, which will take a call on the playing of the national anthem in cinema halls and public places? – B.R. Sharma (Additional Secretary)

 

  • The Supreme Court on 11 January 2018 set up a three-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) to supervise further probe into 186 anti-Sikh riot cases. Who is heading this SIT? – Justice S.N. Dhingra

 

  • Who is poised to become the first woman lawyer to be directly appointed to the Supreme Court after her name was recommended for appointment by the Supreme Court collegium on 11 January 2018? – Indu Malhotra

 

  • SEBI on 10 January 2018 barred which international auditing firm from auditing any listed company in India for a period of two years for its alleged role in the Satyam scam? – Price Waterhouse

 

  • Who was appointed next Chairman of ISRO to replace A.S. Kiran Kumar, whose term ends on 14 January 2018? – K. Sivan

 

  • What will be the name of the photo-centric cryptocurrency to be launched by Kodak, the announcement of which led to incredible frenzy and incredible appreciation in company’s share price? – “KodakCoin”
  • -“KodakCoin” is the proposed name of a photo-centric cryptocurrency to be launched by the former camera and film heavyweight Eastman Kodak Co., as announced by the company on 10 January 2018.
    • According to the company, “KodakCoin” will be a photo-centric cryptocurrency to empower photographers and agencies to take greater control in image rights management.
    • This announcement more than doubled the company’s share prices. It is worth mentioning that investors have been snapping up virtually any asset that is related to digital currencies after the meteoric rise in Bitcoin’s value.
  • In an ambitious move, the Union Cabinet on 10 January 2018 allowed how much stake for foreign airlines in state-owned airline company Air India? – 49%
  • -The Union Cabinet allowed foreign airlines to buy a stake of up to 49% in Air India with prior government approval ahead of the state-owned airline’s proposed privatization. Existing rules allow foreign airlines to own as much as 49% in private Indian airlines, but not in Air India.
    • The Government clarified that substantial ownership and effective control of Air India will remain with Indian nationals. Air India had total debt of about Rs. 48,877 crore at the end of March 2017 – Rs. 17,360 crore of aircraft loans and Rs. 31,517 crore of working capital loans.
    • The cabinet also approved 100% FDI in single-brand retail without the requirement of prior government approval. India allows 100% FDI in single-brand retail, but investment beyond 49% requires prior government approval.
  • Which state government during January 2018 came up with a unique way of preserving trees by allowing people to forge fraternal ties with trees? – Sikkim
  • The Government of Sikkim came up with a unique way of preserving trees by encouraging people to forge a relationship of brotherhood or sisterhood with trees through a practice locally known as Mith/Mit or Mitini.
    • As per the notification titled “Sikkim Forest Tree (Amity & Reverence) Rules 2017” issued during January 2018, “State government shall allow any person to associate with trees standing on his or her private land or on any public land by entering into a Mith/Mit or Mitini relationship.”
    • The notification also states that a person can also adopt a tree “as if it was his or her own child in which case the tree shall be called an adopted tree.” A third way to forge a relationship with a tree is by “preserving a tree in remembrance of a departed relative in which case the tree shall be called a smriti tree.”
    • The notification is in consonance with the age-old tradition of promoting amity between man and nature, particularly trees. Sikkim is one of the cleanest and greenest states of the country.

 

  •  Which was the most important satellite that was carried on-board PSLV-C40 rocket in ISRO’s historic 100th satellite launch on 12 January 2018, a launch that altogether carried 31 satellites? – Cartosat-2

 

  • -The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on 12 January 2018 successfully launched a Cartosat-2 series weather observation satellite, along with 30 other spacecraft, using its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C40). While this was the 100thsatellite launch by ISRO, it was the 42nd flight for PSLV.
    • The 710-kg Cartosat-2 series remote sensing satellite was the main satellite to be carried in this launch that lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) at Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. Other 30 satellites included 2 Indian nano-satellites (Nanosat and Microsat) and 28 other small satellites of 6 other countries, including those from the US and the UK.
    • The rocket first injected the Cartosat-2 series satellite for earth observation about 17 minutes after lift-off while other 30 satellites were released into orbit one by one in a space of about seven minutes.
    • This launch came about four months after ISRO’s PSLV-C39 failed following a technical snag involving its heat shield.

 

  • In an unprecedented event, four senior sitting judges of the Supreme Court on 12 January 2018 met the media to complain that the administration of the apex court was not in order and criticised its distribution of cases to judges. Who are these four judges who jointly came out against Chief Justice of India Justice Dipak Misra? – Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph

 

  • IDFC Bank Ltd. will acquire which non-bank financial firm for about $1.5 billion, as was announced on 13 January 2018? – Capital First Ltd.

 

  • The 4th International Dharma-Dhamma Conference was held at which place from 11 to 13 January 2018? – Rajgir (Bihar)
  • -The 4thedition of the International Dharma-Dhamma Conference was inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind at Rajgir (Nalanda) in Bihar on 11 January 2018. The theme of the 3-day conference was “State and Social Order in Dharma-Dhamma Traditions”. It concluded on 13 January 2018.
    • The conference was organized by Nalanda University, in collaboration with the Centre for Study of Religion and Society, India Foundation, Ministry of External Affairs and the Vietnam Buddhist University.
    • Addressing the gathering, the President said that Buddhism promoted pluralism and diversity of thoughts. He said anyone who has been touched by Lord Budha has embraced the process of ceaseless and constant striving to become a better person.

 

  • The third edition of “Raisina Dialogue” was inaugurated by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New Delhi on 16 January 2018. What is the theme of this edition of the annual geo-political conference? – “Managing Disruptive Transitions: Ideas, Institutions and Idioms”

 

  • -Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inaugurated the third edition of the geo-political conference, Raisina Dialogue, in New Delhi on 16 January 2018. The theme of the 3-day conference is “Managing Disruptive Transitions: Ideas, Institutions, and Idioms”.
    • The inaugural session was attended by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj. The event is jointly organized by the Ministry of External Affairs and Observer Research Foundation (ORF). Important dignitaries taking part in the conference include former Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai, former prime minister of Canada Stephen Harper, former prime minister of Sweden Carl Bildt, Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat, Indian Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba and Admiral Harry Harris, commander of US Pacific Command.
    • The conference based on the lines of “Shangri-La Dialogue’ of Singapore was first held in 2016.

 

  • The central government on 16 January 2018 scrapped the Haj subsidy and announced that the funds saved will instead be used for providing education to minorities. The government’s decision to scrap the subsidy is in line with the 2012 order of the Supreme Court and which committee’s recommendations? – Afzal Amanullah Committee

 

  • BSE Sensex closed above which mark for the first time on 17 January 2018? – 35,000 points
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu on 17 January 2018 inaugurated the iCREATE facility near which city? – Ahmedabad
  • -Prime Minister Modi and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu on 17 January 2018 dedicated to the nation, the iCREATE facility located on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. This facility aims to develop an ecosystem in India to generate quality entrepreneurs.
    • iCreate is an independent centre created with the objective of facilitating entrepreneurship through a blend of creativity, innovation, engineering, product design and leveraging emerging technologies to deal with major issues such as food security, water, connectivity, cybersecurity, IT and electronics, energy, bio-medical equipment and devices etc.

 

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 16 January 2018 launched the commencement of work for the Rs 431-billion petroleum refinery at which place in Rajasthan? – Barmer
  • -Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 16 January 2018 kicked-off the commencement of work for the Rs. 431-billion petroleum refinery at Rajasthan’s Barmer. The joint venture between state-run Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) and the government of Rajasthan will be the first refinery in the country to completely produce Bharat Stage VI (Euro 6) compliant fuel when it commences work by 2022.
    • However, this is not the first time that the refinery plan is being floated by the government. It was way back in 2009, that state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) had also proposed to set up a refinery there, but it shelved it later citing viability concerns. Later on 22 September 2013, the then UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi laid the foundation stone for the refinery by HPCL.
    • It was in January 2004 that Barmer rose to prominence after Cairn Energy struck oil in the Mangala field – the largest onshore oil discovery in India in more than 20 years.
  •  According to a notification issued by the Union Road Transport Ministry on 17 January 2018 all taxis, buses and public transport vehicles will have to install location tracking device or GPS and an alert button mandatorily from which date? – 1 April 2018

 

  • During January 2018 which state became the first in India to come out with a public cloud policy virtually mandating its departments to shift their data storage onto the cloud? – Maharashtra
  • -Maharashtra government on 17 January 2018 unveiled its public cloud policy and thus became the first state in India to do so. This policy will allow all government departments to have access to public cloud.
    • According to the announcement made by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at the Maharashtra Technology Summit, the state government has created a US$ 2 billion opportunity for the cloud industry. State government is expected to impanel five to six top cloud service providers like Amazon or Microsoft for availing this facility.
  • Which banking entity on 18 January 2018 became the third Indian company to cross Rs. 5 trillion market capitalization? – HDFC Bank
  • India’s most-valued bank HDFC Bank Ltd on 18 January 2018 crossed Rs. 5 trillion market capitalisation for the first time, making it only the third Indian company to achieve this milestone.
  • HDFC Bank’s share price touched a fresh record high of Rs. 1,938.40 on 18 January on the BSE, up 2.5% from its previous close with a market cap of Rs. 5.02 trillion. With this HDFC Bank also became the first-ever banking entity to cross the Rs. 5 trillion market capitalization mark in India.
  • Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) and Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) are the other two companies which crossed market capitalisation of Rs. 5 trillion. RIL remained the most-valued company with a market cap of Rs. 5.86 trillion, followed by TCS with a market cap of Rs. 5.46 trillion.
  • During January 2018 which corporate entity became India’s eighth company to cross Rs. 3 trillion market capitalization? – Hindustan Unilever Ltd.
  • -India’s largest packaged consumer products firm by sales, Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) on 16 January 2018 became the country’s eighth company to cross Rs. 3 trillion market capitalisation. In intraday, the HUL stock touched a fresh record high of Rs. 1,388.45 on the BSE with the market capitalization hitting Rs. 3.01 trillion.
    • Earlier, seven companies have crossed this landmark-Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS), HDFC Bank Ltd, ITC Ltd, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, Housing Development Finance Co. Ltd and Oil & Natural Gas Corp. Ltd.

 

  • Who was appointed as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NCDEX, the leading commodity bourse, on 18 January 2018? – Vijay Kumar Venkataraman
  • -Vijay Kumar Venkataraman was on 18 January 2018 appointed as the new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of leading agri-commodity exchange NCDEX. His appointed for 3 years was announced by NCDEX Chairman Nabi Narayan Das. Kumar will replace Samir Shah, who was holding the post for over four years.

 

 

  • India’s first sovereign wealth fund – the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) on 22 January 2018 announced its first-ever investment platform that will invest up to $3 billion in ports, terminals, transportation and logistics businesses in India. This investment platform is being created with international ports operator? – DP World Pvt. Ltd.
  • -An investment platform to invest up to $3 billion in ports, terminals, transportation and logistics businesses in India will be created by the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) and Dubai-based ports operator DP World Pvt. Ltd. This was announced by the two entities on 22 January 2018.
    • This is the first investment platform from NIIF and will see investment up to $3 billion of equity to acquire assets and develop projects in these sectors. NIIF is India’s first sovereign wealth fund. On the other hand, with a portfolio of 78 operating marine and inland terminals, DP World, majority owned by the Dubai government, is the world’s fourth biggest container port operator.
    • The Indian government had created NIIF in 2015 to catalyse capital from international and domestic investors into energy, transportation, housing, water, waste management and other infrastructure and allied sectors in India.

 

  • Union Government has decided to declare year 2018 as the ‘National Year of Millets’. This decision has been taken following a request by which state? – Karnataka
  • -The decision to declare 2018 as the ‘National Year of Millets’ was taken following a request by Karnataka, which is the country’s leader in the millet sector.
    • Union Statistics and Programme Implementation Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda on 20 January 2018 confirmed that the Union Agriculture Ministry had already completed the formalities regarding declaring 2018 as the ‘national year of millets’.

 

  • Which nine cities were chosen in the fourth round of the central government’s flagship Smart Cities Mission, as was announced on 19 January 2018? – Bareilly, Moradabad, Saharanpur, Erode, Bihar Sharif, Silvasa, Diu, Kavarati and Itanagar

 

 

  • -According to an announcement made by Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on 19 January 2018, 9 more cities have been chosen in the latest round (fourth round) of the central government’s flagship Smart Cities Mission.
    • The nine cities chosen in this round are – Bareilly, Moradabad and Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh, Erode in Tamil Nadu, Bihar Sharif in Bihar, Silvasa in Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Diu in Daman and Diu, Kavarati in Lakshadweep and Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh. These cities were selected from 15 cities that had submitted their proposals to the ministry. Shillong will be the 100th city provided it submits its proposal to the centre in next three months.
    • The number of cities picked under the project now stands at 99. Under the scheme, each city will get Rs. 500 crore from the centre for implementing various projects. An equal amount, on matching basis, will have to be contributed by the state or urban local bodies.

 

  • Which entity is acquiring 51.1% government stake in Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) for Rs. 36,915 crore, a deal with which the Union Government surpass the disinvestment target of Rs 725 billion for 2017-18? – ONGC

 

  • Indian stock markets achieved which dual milestones on 23 January 2018? – Nifty and Sensex breached the 11,000 and 36,000 marks for the first time in history

 

  •  Who took over as the new Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India on 23 January 2018? – Om Prakash Rawat

 

  •  What is the name of the former football star who took over as President of African country Liberia on 22 January 2018 and thus marking the country’s first democratic transfer of power for more than 70 years? – George Weah

 

  • Who took oath as the Governor of Madhya Pradesh on 23 January 2018? – Anandiben Patel

 

  • Which film was nominated for 13 Oscars in the nominations for 2018 that were announced on 23 January 2018? – The Shape of Water
  • -The nominations for the 90th Academy Awards were announced on 23 January 2018 in which Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy romance ‘The Shape of Water’ led the field with the highest 13 nominations. The highest record for Oscars’ nominations is 14 for three films – ‘All About Eve’ (1950), ‘Titanic’ (1997) and ‘La La Land’ (2016).
    • World War Two drama “Dunkirk” follows with eight nominations, while “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” received seven.
  • On 24 January 2018 which company became the second company to achieve Rs. 6 lakh crore market capitalization after Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL)? – Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)
  • What was the most important fact associated with the 69th Republic Day Parade held at New Delhi’s Rajpath on 26 January 2018? – For the first time as many as 10 Chief Guests were invited for this annual event
    • In an effort to expand its influence in the Southeast Asian region, India invited 10 ASEAN leaders as Chief Guests at the 69thRepublic Day Parade that was held at the stately Rajpath on 26 January 2018. This was the highest number of Chief Guests for this national event held annually to showcase the country’s military might and cultural diversity.
      • Prime Minister Narendra Modi had invited the ASEAN leaders for the India-ASEAN Commemorative Summit and to attend the Republic Day celebrations as chief guests.
      • Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, Thai Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, Singaporean Premier Lee Hsien Loong, Brunei’s Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Prime Minister of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith and Cambodian Premier Hun Senwere were the ten ASEAN leaders who attended the event.

 

  • Who became the first-ever airman of the Indian Air Force (IAF) to be awarded the Ashoka Chakra, the highest peacetime gallantry award of the country, on the 69th Republic Day on 26 January 2018? – Corporal Jyoti Prakash Nirala
  • -Nirala had laid down his life after gunning down two terrorists in Changer village of Bandipora district in Jammu and Kashmir on 18 November 2017. He was part of a Garud Special Forces Unit of the Indian Air Force, a detachment of which was attached to a Rashtriya Rifles Battalion under the aegis of ‘Op Rakshak’ in Jammu and Kashmir. All six terrorists were killed in the operation later.

 

  • Which state won the award for “Best Tableau” at the 69th Republic Day Parade held on 26 January 2018? – Maharashtra

 

  • -The tableau of Maharashtra titled “Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj coronation” was judged the “Best Tableau” at the 69thRepublic Day Parade held on 26 January 2018.
    • Assam’s tableau depicting traditional “Masks and sastras” bagged the second prize while third prize went to Chhattisgarh’s display of Ramgarh’s ancient amphitheater and artistes performing a dance based on Kalidasa’s ‘Meghadootam’.
    • Among the tableaux by Union Ministries and departments, the first prize went to KheloIndia of the Youth Affairs and Sports Ministry.
  • Which contingent won the best marching contingent among the three services at the 69th Republic Day Parade held on 26 January 2018? – Punjab Regiment

 

  • Dr. Gurcharan Singh Kalkat, who passed away on 27 January 2018, was a pioneer associated with which field? – Agriculture and Green Revolution

 

  • Who won the women’s singles title of 2018 Australian Open on 27 January 2018 to win her maiden Grand Slam title? – Caroline Wozniacki(Denmark) defeated Simona Halep (Romania)

 

  • Tennis great Roger Federer (Switzerland) won his sixth Australian Open as he defeated Croatian Marin Cilic in the men’s singles final on 28 January 2018. This was overall the …….tennis Grand Slam title for Federer – 20th

 

  • Who was chosen for the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award for 2017, as was announced by the Indian Parliamentary Group for 2017 on 29 January 2018? – Bhartruhari Mahtab  of Biju Janata Dal (BJD)
  • -Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader Bhartruhari Mahtab was chosen for the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award for 2017. This was announced by the Indian Parliamentary Group on 29 January 2018.
    • Sabha Dinesh Trivedi would get the award for 2016 and Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad (Congress) for 2015. On the other hand, former Rajya Sabha member Najma Heptulla will get the award for 2013 and Lok Sabha member Hukumdev Narayan Yadav for 2014. Both are from BJP. The names were shortlisted by a committee headed by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.
    • The Outstanding Parliamentarian Award was constituted in 1992 by the then Lok Sabha Speaker Shivraj Patil to recognize the overall contribution of members of parliament.

 

CURRENT AFFAIRS FOR UPPCS-2018 & UPPCS-J 2017 -DECEMBER 2017

CURRENT AFFAIRS FOR UPPCS-2018 & UPPCS-J 2017 -DECEMBER 2017

CURRENT AFFAIRS (DEC’17)

  • Which port was inaugurated by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on 3 December 2017 as the first phase of the ambitious Indo-Iran Chabahar Port project billed as an “International Gateway”? – Shahid Beheshti Port

 

  • -Chabahar Port project being built by India in Iran’s southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan is being seen as a rival to the Chinese-built Gwadar port off Pakistan, about 80 km away, which is a critical link in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Chabahar provides India with an easy land-sea linkup with Afghanistan.
    • The first phase of this port in the form of Shahid Beheshti Port was inaugurated by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on 3 December 2017.
    • Chabahar is Iran’s only oceanic port town and consists of two separate ports named Shahid Kalantari and Shahid Beheshti. The opening of the first phase of Shahid Beheshti Port (out of five phases defined for the project), which has tripled its capacity to 8.5 million tons (equal to that of all the northern ports of the country), will allow the docking of super-large container ships (between 100,000 DWT and 120,000 DWT) and increase India’s connectivity with Afghanistan.

 

 

  • What is the name of the new virtual currency (cryptocurrency) announced by Venezuela on 3 December 2017 that will be backed by country’s natural resources? – ‘Petro’
  • -‘Petro’ is the name of the new virtual currency (cryptocurrency) of struggling Latin American country Venezuela that was announced by President Nicolas Maduro on 3 December 2017. It will be backed by oil, gas, gold and diamond reserves, which Venezuela has in abundance. ‘Petro’ is being launched to shore up country’s collapsed economy.
    • The announcement highlighted how sanctions enacted this year by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration are hurting Venezuela’s ability to move money through international banks.
    • Venezuela’s real currency, the Bolivar, is in freefall, and the country is sorely lacking in basic needs like food and medicine.
  • -Cryptocurrencies are typically are not backed by any government or central banks. With ‘Petro’, Venezuela looks to pivot away from the U.S. dollar.

 

  • Renowned Indian actor Shashi Kapoor (born as Balbir Prithviraj Kapoor) passed away on 4 December 2017 in Mumbai. The youngest son of Prithviraj Kapoor, he was among the popular Hindi film actors and one of India’s first actors to go international. In which year he was awarded the prestigious ‘Dada Sabab Phalke Award’? – 2015

 

 

  • Who was named as CEO of Infosys by the company on 2 December 2017? – Salil S. Parekh

 

  • The first international conference and exhibition on AYUSH and wellness systems, “International Arogya 2017” was inaugurated on 4 December 2017 at which place? – Delhi

 

 

  • -“International Arogya 2017”, the first-ever global summit on AYUSH and wellness, was inaugurated by Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce and Industry in Delhi on 4 December 2017. This summit will conclude on 7 December 2017 and will showcase the strength and scientific validation of traditional Indian systems of medicine in the global context.
    • The 4-day event is organized by FICCI in collaboration with Govt. of India’s Ministry of AYUSH and Ministry of Commerce & Industry, and Pharmaexcil.
    • The medicinal systems being showcased in the event include Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa and Homoeopathy (AYUSH), and facilitate their worldwide promotion, development and recognition.

 

  •  India-led International Solar Alliance (ISA) formally came into existence on 6 December 2017 as it became a treaty-based international inter-governmental organisation with more than 121 countries joining hands to focus on large scale deployment of solar energy. ISA is having its headquarters at which place? – Gurugram

 

  • Which religious event of the country has been listed as an Intangible Cultural Heritage under UNESCO as announced on 7 December 2017? – Kumbh Mela
  • The Intergovernment Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage under UNESCO inscribed ‘Kumbh Mela’ on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity during its 12th session held at Jeju, South Korea from 4-9 December 2017.

 

  • Which elite nuclear weapons export control regime on 7 December 2017 decided to admit India as its new member thus raising country’s stature in the field of non-proliferation? – “Wassenaar Arrangement”
  • -The Madhya Pradesh Assembly on 4 December 2017 unanimously passed a Bill awarding death to those found guilty of raping girls aged 12 and below. With this, Madhya Pradesh becomes the first State where those convicted of such rapes will face the gallows.
    • Under this Bill, capital punishment would be awarded to convicts under Section 376 (A), which is related to rape, and Section 376 (D, A), pertaining to gang rape.
    • Introduced in the House by Law and Legislative Affairs Minister Rampal Singh, the Bill was discussed in detail and then passed by all parties, including the ruling BJP and the Opposition Congress.

 

  • Which state became the first in India to come up with a Bill to award death penalty to those found guilty of raping girls aged 12 and below? – Madhya Pradesh

 

  • US President Donald Trump on 6 December 2017 reversed which decades-old American policy pertaining to Palestine-Israel relations and thus upset the Arab world as well as some of its Western allies? – It recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel

 

 

  • In a surprising and almost unexpected move US President Donald Trump on 6 December 2017 reversed decades of U.S. policy and recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. He announced his administration would begin a process of moving the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
  • The status of Jerusalem – home to sites holy to the Muslim, Jewish and Christian religions – is one of the biggest obstacles to reaching a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
  • The international community does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the entire city, believing its status should be resolved in negotiations. No other country has its embassy in Jerusalem.
  • The announcement was hailed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu but other close Western allies of Washington such as Britain and France were critical.

 

  • To rein in the problem of malnourishment and stunted growth in the country, the Union Cabinet on 1 December 2017 gave its approval to set up which new mission? – National Nutrition Mission (NNM)
  • The cabinet on 1 December 2017 approved the setting up of a National Nutrition Mission (NNM) with a three-year budget of Rs. 9,046.17 crore, to rein in malnourishment and stunted growth.
  • Under the mission, the government is targeting a reduction of 2% a year in stunting, under-nutrition and low birthweight among 100 million people. It aims to reduce anaemia among young children, women and adolescent girls by 3% a year. The programme would be undertaken in a phased manner, covering 315 districts in 2017-18, 235 districts in 2018-19 and the remaining districts in 2019-20.
  • The NNM would be implemented using information technology as the basic tool; workers at anganwadis (women and child development centres) would be given smartphones and their supervisors the smart tablets to monitor daily activities and compile reports. Under this mission the ministries of women and child development, health and family welfare, and water and sanitation will work together.

 

  • What is the name of the first made-in-India Scorpene class submarine that was commissioned into the Indian Navy by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 14 December 2017? – INS Kalvari
  • INS Kalvari is the name of the most modern and first made-in-India non-nuclear Scorpene class submarine, which was inducted into the Indian Navy on 14 December 2017. It was inducted into the service by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at an induction programme held in Mumbai.
  • Kalvari, named after a deep sea tiger shark, weighs about 1,600 tonnes. Powered by an extremely silent diesel-electric motor, it is very difficult to detect underwater. For self-defence it has mobile anti-torpedo decoys.
  • The Navy last inducted a conventional diesel-electric submarine, INS Sindhushastra, procured from Russia in July 2000.
  • It is worth mentioning that six Scorpene-class indigenous submarines are being built by Mazagon Dock Limited in Mumbai as a part of Project-75 of the Indian Navy in technical assistance with French naval defence and energy company DCNS. The remaining five boats of the Project 75 would be delivered by the yard to the Navy by 2020.
  • At present India has just about 15 submarines, a mix of Russian-origin Kilo class vessels and German HDW submarines while China has four times as many. The second Scorpene submarine, INS Khanderi, is currently undergoing trials and is likely to be inducted soon.

 

  • Which railway station was adjudged the first Energy Efficient ‘A1 Category’ Railway Station of Indian Railways on 8 December 2017? – Kacheguda

 

  •  Sri Lankan government handed over which strategic port to China on a 99-year lease during December 2017? – Hambantota

 

 

  • Which state during December 2017 became the first State to endorse the Central government’s draft bill that makes instant triple talaq a cognisable and non-bailable offence? – Uttar Pradesh.
  • Union Government’s draft Bill on triple talaq, which provides for three-year imprisonment and a fine to a man trying to divorce his wife by uttering “talaq” three times, got the Uttar Pradesh state government’s approval. The decision to endorse the bill was taken in a Cabinet meeting headed by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on 5 December 2017.
  • Uttar Pradesh thus became the first state to endorse the Central government’s draft bill. The draft ‘Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill’ was sent by the Centre to the States as the practice continued despite the Supreme Court striking it down.
  • On 22 August 2017, the Supreme Court struck down triple talaq, calling the practice unconstitutional and in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution, which provides for equality before the law.

 

  •  The Union Government has proposed setting up how many special courts to decide cases involving politicians as accused, a proposal that was given green-signal by the Supreme Court on 14 December 2017? – Twelve (12)

 

  • -It also allotted Rs 7.8 crore for the purpose.
    • The apex court had on 1 November 2017 directed the Centre to place before it details regarding 1,581 cases involving MPs and MLAs, as declared by the politicians at the time of filing their nominations during the 2014 general elections.
    • On 14 December 2017 the Supreme Court gave its approval to establish these 12 fast track courts.

 

  •  The 11th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) was held at which place from 10 to 13 December 2017? – Buenos Aires (Argentina)

 

  • -The Conference was be chaired by Minister Susana Malcorra of Argentina.
    • The conference ended without any substantial outcome as consensus eluded the 164-member multilateral body. After the US blocked permanent solution on public stockholding for food security purposes, India toughened its stand on new issues like e-commerce and investment facilitation.
      • Finally, consensus could not be reached on a ministerial declaration and the conference ended with a chair’s summary which is non-binding in nature.
  • Federal Reserve, the US central bank, increased the benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points (bps) on 13 December 2017. What was an important aspect associated with this policy meeting? – This was expected to be the last policy meeting chaired by Janet Yellen

 

  • Which state became the first in India offer Hindi e-mail IDs in an effort to offer vernacular e-mail service to its residents? – Rajasthan
  • In a move to ease electronic communication for residents who are not fluent in English, Rajasthan government on 3 December 2017 launched a Hindi e-mail service under the facility – name@rajasthan.bharat (in Devnagari script). It thus became the first state to offer vernacular e-mail service to its residents.
  • The first Hindi e-mail id to be created under the service was that of the chief minister, Vasundhara@rajasthan.bharat (in Devnagari). All state government personnel are also expected to receive an e-mail id in Hindi soon.
  • It is worth mentioning that state-owned BSNL had launched a similar service in eight Indian languages in December 2016. However, unlike the Rajasthan government’s service, BSNL’s initiative was not available for all internet users.

 

  • Who won the Peter England Mr. India 2017 title on 14 December 2017? – Jitesh Singh Deo

 

  • In an effort to boost digital payments, the Union Cabinet on 15 December 2017 decided to waive the merchant discount rate (MDR) applicable on all debit cards, BHIM and UPI transactions up to Rs 2,000. This waiver will be applicable for what period initially? – 2 years

 

 

  • Which entity during December 2017 struck a deal to buy film, television and international businesses from Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. for $52.4 billion? – Walt Disney Co.

 

  • Who was elected unopposed as the President of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on 14 December 2017? – Narinder Batra

 

 

  • What is India’s place in ‘The Legatum Prosperity Index 2017’ among 149 countries included in the index? – 100
  • An important conclusion drawn by the index is that the gap between China (90thrank) and India’s prosperity has narrowed since 2016 and to a quarter of what it was in 2012. India’s best performance is in the Governance parameter where it is ranked 41st in the world while its worst performance is the Natural Environment parameter where it was ranked a measly 139th.

 

 

Norway was placed at the top place in the index followed by New Zealand, Finland, Switzerland and Sweden in the top 5 while Yemen was placed at the last place (149).

  • Rahul Gandhi formally took charge as the President of the Indian National Congress (INC) at a function held in New Delhi on 16 December 2017. He became ………….member of the Nehru-Gandhi family to occupy this post – Sixth

 

  • In an exceptional step the UIDAI on 16 December 2017 temporarily barred which major telecom company from conducting Aadhaar-based SIM verification of mobile customers using eKYC on charges of related malpractices? – Bharti Airtel

 

  • The Goods and Service Tax (GST) Council on 16 December 2017 decided to make electronic permits (e-way bills) compulsory for inter-state movement of goods from which date? – 1 February 2018

 

 

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that Mizoram had become the third power- surplus state in the north-east after commissioning of the 60-MW Tuirial hydropower project on 16 December 2017. Which are the other two power-states of the region? – Sikkim and Tripura

 

  • Who defeated India’s P.V. Sindhu in the women’s singles final of Dubai BWF World Superseries badminton tournament on 17 December 2017? – Akane Yamaguchi (Japan)

 

 

  • The United Nations General Assembly on 21 December 2017 voted by a huge majority to reject US President Donald Trump’s unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Apart from US and Israel, which other 7 countries voted against the resolution and thus supported the US? – Guatemala, Honduras, Marshal Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Togo

 

  • The Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2017 that seeks to strengthen corporate governance, initiate action against defaulting firms and improve ease of doing business was passed by the Parliament on 19 December 2017. It will bring about major changes in which Act? – The Companies Act, 2013

 

 

  • A Delhi court on 21 December 2017 acquitted all accused, including former Telecom Minister A. Raja and DMK Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi in the 2G spectrum allocation scam case. This anticipated ruling was delivered by which Special Judge of the CBI? – Justice O.P. Saini
  • for the first time in its 105-year history, the Indian Science Congress (ISC), the largest congregation of Indian and foreign scientists in India, indefinitely postponed as announced on 20 December 2017. Which university was to host this prestigious event? – Osmania University (Hyderabad)

 

  •  A bill to exclude which plantation entity from the definition of ‘tree’ under the Indian Forest Act was passed by the Lok Sabha on 20 December 2017? – Bamboo

 

 

  • -The Lok Sabha on 20 December 2017 passed a bill to exclude bamboo from the definition of ‘tree’. The bill permits felling and transit of bamboo grown in non-forest areas and will amend the Indian Forest Act, 1927.
    • The bill will also replace the pertaining ordinance promulgated by the President on 23 November 2017. The government is of the view that bamboo taxonomically is grass and expects that change in law would encourage bamboo plantation by farmers.
    • It is worth mentioning that India imports bamboo despite being its second largest producer after China. Bamboo is used extensively in variety of applications such as furnishing, yarn, pulp and paper, handicrafts, decoration, musical instruments, etc.

 

  • Congress improved it tally remarkably in the 2017 Gujarat Assembly elections despite unable to defeat the ruling BJP. With this win the BJP was able to retain the power for which successive term in the state? – Fifth

 

  • The United Nations General Assembly on 21 December 2017 voted by a huge majority to reject US President Donald Trump’s unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Apart from US and Israel, which other 7 countries voted against the resolution and thus supported the US? – Guatemala, Honduras, Marshal Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Togo

 

 

  • -The United States was effectively isolated on the issue of President Donald Trump’s controversial decision of 6 December 2017 to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as the United Nations’ General Assembly on 21 December 2017 voted by a huge majority (128-9) to declare the recognition “null and void”.
    • At an emergency session of the body’s General Assembly, 128 countries voted in favour of the resolution rejecting US President Donald Trump’s controversial decision, 9 countries voted against, while 35 abstained.
    • All 4 other members of the UN Security Council (Russia, China, France and UK) opposed the US. Other important countries that voted against the US include India, Iran, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Japan, Pakistan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Switzerland.

 

  • The Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2017 that seeks to strengthen corporate governance, initiate action against defaulting firms and improve ease of doing business was passed by the Parliament on 19 December 2017. It will bring about major changes in which Act? – The Companies Act, 2013

 

  • -The major changes in the amendment bill include simplification of the private placement process; rationalization of provisions related to loans to directors and replacing the requirement of approval of the central government for managerial remuneration above prescribed limits by approval through special resolution of shareholders. The Companies Act, 2013 has already been amended once under the current government.

 

 

  •  A Delhi court on 21 December 2017 acquitted all accused, including former Telecom Minister A. Raja and DMK Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi in the 2G spectrum allocation scam case. This anticipated ruling was delivered by which Special Judge of the CBI? – Justice O.P. Saini

 

  • For the first time in its 105-year history, the Indian Science Congress (ISC), the largest congregation of Indian and foreign scientists in India, indefinitely postponed as announced on 20 December 2017. Which university was to host this prestigious event? – Osmania University (Hyderabad)

 

 

  • A bill to exclude which plantation entity from the definition of ‘tree’ under the Indian Forest Act was passed by the Lok Sabha on 20 December 2017? – Bamboo
  • The Lok Sabha on 20 December 2017 passed a bill to exclude bamboo from the definition of ‘tree’. The bill permits felling and transit of bamboo grown in non-forest areas and will amend the Indian Forest Act, 1927.
  • The bill will also replace the pertaining ordinance promulgated by the President on 23 November 2017. The government is of the view that bamboo taxonomically is grass and expects that change in law would encourage bamboo plantation by farmers.
  • It is worth mentioning that India imports bamboo despite being its second largest producer after China. Bamboo is used extensively in variety of applications such as furnishing, yarn, pulp and paper, handicrafts, decoration, musical instruments, etc.

 

  • Congress improved it tally remarkably in the 2017 Gujarat Assembly elections despite unable to defeat the ruling BJP. With this win the BJP was able to retain the power for which successive term in the state? – Fifth ( Gujarat-Total:182,BJP-99,Cong-77,Others-6)(Himanchal Pradesh-Total:68,BJP-44,Congress-21,Others-3)

 

  • India’s first-ever air-conditioned (AC) suburban train services were commenced in which city from 25 December 2017? – Mumbai

 

 

  • Which city’s logo was launched on 24 December 2017 with which it became the first Indian city to have its own logo? – Bengaluru
  • -Based on a crowd-sourced design, Bengaluru’s logo (scripted in English and Kannada) was unveiled on 24 December 2017 at the ‘Namma Bengaluru Habba’ fest to promote ‘Brand Bengaluru’ on the global tourist map.

 

  •  The Union Government on 21 December 2017 launched DARPAN, the project to improve the quality of service, add value to services and achieve “financial inclusion” of un-banked rural population through post offices. The term DARPAN stands for? – Digital Advancement of Rural Post Office for a New India

 

 

  • -DARPAN (Digital Advancement of Rural Post Office for a New India) was launched by the Union Minister of Communications Manoj Sinha on 21 December 2017. It is an IT modernization project with an outlay of Rs. 1400 Crore and seeks to provide a low power technology solution to each Branch Postmaster (BPM) that will enable each of approximately 1.29 Lakhs Branch Post Offices (BOs) to improve the level of services being offered to rural customers across all the states.
    • As on 1 December 2017, 43,171 Branch Post Offices have migrated under the “DARPAN”project with the aim of financial inclusion to rural population and it is targeted to complete the project by March, 2018.
    • The ‘Darpan’ Project is expected to increase the rural reach of the Department of Posts and enable BOs to increase traffic of all financial remittances

 

  • Who was appointed as the next Secretary General of Amnesty International on 21 December 2017? – Kumi Naidoo

 

  • Which Indian IT firm during December 2017 won a $2.25 billion outsourcing contract, the largest ever bagged by an Indian IT firm? – Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS)

 

 

  • Who won Chennai’s prestigious R.K. Nagar seat for Tamil Nadu Assembly, the result of which was declared on 24 December 2017? – T.T.V. Dhinkaran

 

  •  The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) recently allowed which made-in-India aircraft to be used for commercial flights? – Dornier 228
  • What is the name of India’s first home-grown high purity gold reference standard that was launched at the India Government Mint (IGM) Mumbai on 23 December 2017? – BND-4201

 

  • What is the name of the new online platform launched for central government employees on 25 December 2017 that facilitates access to all service details of the employees? – electronic-Human Resource Management System (e-HRMS)

 

 

  • Indian professional boxer Vijender Singh defeated which African boxer on 23 December 2017 to win his tenth consecutive bout and successfully defend his two titles? – Ernest Amuzu
  • The Union Government on 27 December 2017 reduced the interest rate on small savings schemes by what percent for Jan-Mar 2018 quarter? – 0.2%
  • Who took over as the 14th Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh on 27 December 2017? – Jai Ram Thakur

 

  • Which university will host the 2018 edition of the Indian Science Congress during March 2018, the annual event which was initially scheduled to be hosted in Hyderabad? – Manipur University

 

 

  • Which Indian photographer was declared the National Geographic’s Nature Photographer of the Year 2017? – Jayaprakash Joghee Bojan

 

  •  Who was appointed the new President of Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) by the Union Government on 29 December 2017? – Vinay Sahasrabuddhe
  • He will replace Lokesh Chandra, appointed by the NDA government in October 2014 and has completed his three-year-term.
  • Sahasrabuddhe is the vice-president of Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini which is South Asia’s only training and research academy for elected representatives and voluntary social workers.
  • ICCR was founded in 1950 by India’s first Education Minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and its main objectives are to actively participate in the formulation and implementation of policies and programmes pertaining to India’s external cultural relations and to foster and strengthen cultural relations and mutual understanding between India and other countries.
  • What is the name of the Palestinian Ambassador to Pakistan, who was recalled by the Palestinian Authority for sharing dais with Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed at Rawalpindi’s Liaqat Bagh? – Walid Abu Ali

 

  • What is the name of the CEO of Compass Group Plc., the world’s biggest catering firm, who died in a tragic seaplane accident in Australia on New Year’s Eve on 31 December 2017? – Richard Cousins

 

 

  • What is the name of the senior bureaucrat who was appointed as Joint Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) during December 2017? – Sumita Misra

CURRENT AFFAIRS FOR UPPCS-2018 & UPPCS-J 2017 -NOVEMBER 2017

Current Affairs for UPPCS-2018 & UPPCS-J 2017 -NOVEMBER 2017  

CURRENT AFFAIRS (NOV ’17)

 

  • What is India’s rank in the latest ease of doing the business ranking by the World Bank, in its Doing Business 2018 report, that was released on 31 October 2017? – 100 among 190 countries (Last year, India was ranked 130.)

 

  • In a bid to push consolidation among state run banks, the Union Government on 1 November 2017 announced constitution of an Alternative Mechanism that may also direct banks to examine proposals for amalgamation. Who is heading this mechanism? – Arun Jaitley

 

  • -The other members of the panel include Railway and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

 

  • Who was chosen for the Jnanpith Award for 2017, as announced on 3 November 2017? – Krishna Sobti(92 years old)
    • Some of her celebrated works include ‘Daar Se Bichhudi’, ‘Mitro Marjani’, ‘Zindaginama’, ‘Dil-o-Danish’, ‘Badalom ke Ghere’, ‘Ai Ladki’ and ‘Gujarat Pakistan Se Gujarat Hindustan’.

 

  • -Renowned Hindi littérateur Krishna Sobti has been chosen for country’s most prestigious literary award – the Jnanpith Award (for 2017). This was announced by the Jnanpith Selection Board on 3 November 2017. The board is chaired by noted scholar, writer and critic Namwar Singh. It will be the 53rd edition of this prestigious prize.

 

  • According to the findings of the first-ever gender vulnerability index (GVI) commissioned by the Women and Child Development Ministry, which state is the safest state to be a woman in India? – Goa
  • -The safest state to be a woman in India is Goa, followed by Kerala, Mizoram, Sikkim and Manipur. This was disclosed in the first-ever Gender Vulnerability Index (GVI) that was prepared by Plan India and released by the women and child development ministry on 1 November 2017.
    • States where women and girls are the most vulnerable are Bihar, Jharkhand, UP and Delhi.
    • The index puts Goa on top with a GVI of 0.656, more than the national average of 0.5314. The index scores are on a scale of zero to one. The closer the score is to one, the better the performance. Goa also ranks first in protection, fifth in education, sixth in health and survival, and eighth in poverty.

 

  • Who was nominated to chair the US Federal Reserve by President Donald Trump on 2 November 2017 to replace Janet L. Yellen? – Jerome H. Powell

 

  • The Union Government on 3 November 2017 made it mandatory for all new four-wheelers to have FASTag devices fixed on front windscreens by which date? – 1 December 2017

 

  • Who was appointed the new Finance Secretary by the Union Government on 6 November 2017? – Hasmukh Adhia

 

  • Indian Railway on 6 November 2017 unveiled the first of its overhauled premium trains under its ‘Swarn’ project. Which is the first train to be accorded the ‘Swarn’ status under this overhauling initiative? – New Delhi-Kathgodam Shatabdi Express

 

  • Which entity on 6 November 2017 became the first mutual fund to be listed on Indian stock exchanges? – Reliance Nippon AMC.

 

  • India defeated which country in the final of women’s Asia Cup Hockey tournament on 5 November 2017 to secure qualification in next year’s hockey World Cup? – China

 

  • Which Australian bowler created history by taking a second hat-trick in the same match on 7 November 2017 to become the eight bowler overall to achieve this feat in a first-class match? – Mitchell Starc

 

  • During November 2017 which city became the third city from India to be included in Creative Cities Network of UNESCO for its contributions to music? – Chennai

 

  • -Chennai joined the elite club of world cities on 7 November 2017 when it was included in Creative Cities Network (CNN) of UNESCO for its contributions to music. The city joined two other cities in India – Jaipur and Varanasi – to have figured in the prestigious list for their contributions to music and folk arts.
    • Other cities included in this prestigious list this year are Cairo (Egypt), Cape Town (South Africa), Manchester (UK) and Milan (Italy).The dossier to nominate Chennai for the CCN was submitted a few months back to the UNESCO by the Union culture Ministry.
    • Once a city is included on the list, it holds cultural events for four years to highlight its uniqueness and it is monitored by the UNESCO. CCN currently has 116 member cities from 54 countries, covering various fields.

 

  • Which Global online payments giant on 8 November 2017 announced the launch of its domestic operations in India as payment aggregator? – PayPal

 

  • In an attempt to tackle the issue of sexual harassment at workplaces in the country, the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) on 8 November 2017 launched an online complaint portal named SHe-Box. The term SHe-Box stands for – Sexual Harassment electronic box.

 

  • -The Union Ministry of Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi on 8 November 2017 launched an online complaint portal, SHe-Box (Sexual Harassment electronic box). The portal can be accessed by women working in the government, as well as the private sector.
    • She-Box will attempt to tackle the issue of sexual harassment at workplaces in India. It is worth mentioning that the prevalence of sexual harassment at workplaces in India can mostly be attributed to the lack of proper grievance redressal system, which gives perpetrators the confidence to carry forth their atrocious acts without the fear of being reprimanded.
    • Once a complaint is filed, it will be sent to the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) of the concerned organisation, and the complainant, as well as WCD, can monitor the progress of the inquiry. As per the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, it is mandatory for every organisation, with 10 or more employees, to ordain an ICC to address workplace harassment complaints.

 

  • Fossils of the oldest-known ancestors of most living mammals, in the form of teeth and dating back to 145 million years, were discovered recently in which country? – England

 

  • Who emerged the National men’s and women’s singles champions at the 82nd Senior National Badminton Championship that concluded in Nagpur on 8 November 2017? – H.S Prannoy (men’s) and Saina Nehwal (women’s)

 

  • -H.S Prannoy outwitted World No. 2 and title favourite Kidambi Srikanth in a thrilling finale to claim the men’s singles title at the 82nd Senior National Badminton Championship on 8 November 2017.
    • On the other hand 27-year-old Saina Nehwal, a former world number one and presently world no. 11, dug deep into her reservoir of experience and upstaged the much fancied and World No. 2 PV Sindhu by 21-17, 27-25 in a pulsating summit clash. This was the third Senior National Badminton title for Nehwal.
    • The 82nd Senior National Badminton Championship was held at the Divisional Sports Complex in Nagpur.

 

  • The Goods and Services Tax Council (GST Council) sharply reduced GST rates levied on number of items on 10 November 2017 at its meeting held in Guwahati. After this announcement how many items remain in the highest GST slab rate of 28%? – Fifty (50)current-228.

 

  • What is the name of the express train that was inaugurated between Kolkata and Khulna in Bangladesh by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina on 9 November 2017? – “Bandhan Express”

 

  • the Union Government on 9 November 2017 raised the amount of loans a central government employee can take under the house building advance (HBA) scheme by more than three times. What is the new loan limit? – Rs. 25 lakh

 

  • What is India’s place in business optimism ranking in Grant Thornton’s International Business Report (IBR) survey for the quarter ended September 2017? – Seventh
    • India has slipped to the 7th position this quarter in business optimism ranking in Grant Thornton’s International Business Report (IBR) survey for the quarter ended September 2017. In the prior quarter, India was ranked second in the survey.
    • Businesses have expressed low confidence over expected revenue in the next twelve months with 75% respondents hoping for an increase in the revenue. There were clearly signs of lag in the economy which caused the drop in ratings.
    • However, the survey was conducted in September 2017 before the government had announced its major reforms like bank recapitalisation and infrastructure investments among others. The sample size of the survey is 2,500 businesses spread across 37 economies.

 

  • The 31st Summit of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) formally started on 13 November 2017. This summit is being hosted by which country? – The Philippines
  • -Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte formally opened the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN Summit) in capital Manila on 13 November 2017. The theme for the ASEAN Summit this year is “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World”. Security and regional integrity will be among the key issues during the summit for the world leaders.
    • ASEAN, the regional intergovernmental organization established in 1967, is celebrating 50 years of its existence this year. World’s seventh largest market and third-largest labour force, the organisation has matured into a community that focuses on economic integration and growth.
    • ASEAN comprises of Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam. Later China, Japan and South Korea were accorded plus three status in the organisation. Australia, India, New Zealand, Russia and the United States are the 5 partner states of the association while Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste are the two observer states. Bangladesh, Canada, Mongolia, North Korea, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and European Union are also associated with ASEAN as member countries of East Asia Summit.
    • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is representing Indian in the ASEAN Summit.

 

  • The 2017 Summit meeting of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) was held on 10 and 11 November 2017 in which country? – Vietnam
  • -Da Nang city of Vietnam hosted the 2017 Summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. The theme of this edition of summit was “Creating new Dynamism, Fostering a shared future”.
  • -The summit was marked by different views to free trade expressed by US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. Trump reiterated “America First” policy while Jinping called on for strengthening multilateral trade. But in the resolution passed on 11 November 2017, the APEC Leaders reiterated their commitment to the full implementation of the Free-Trade Agreement of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).
    • Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a forum for 21 Pacific Rim member economies that promotes free trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region. It was established in 1989 in response to the growing interdependence of Asia-Pacific economies and the advent of regional trade blocs in other parts of the world.
    • The United States, China, Australia, Japan, Russia, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, South Korea, New Zealand, Philippines, Vietnam, Mexico, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, Peru, Chile, Brunei and Papua New Guinea are the 21 member countries of APEC at present.

 

  • Which project became the first one to be commissioned under the Prime Minister’s Ladakh Renewable Energy Initiative on 10 November 2017? – Biaras Drass Hydropower plant

 

  • During November 2017 which state became the first state in the country to treat Hepatitis C patients of all categories through oral medicines? – Haryana

 

  • Telangana state government declared which language as state’s second official language on 10 November 2017? – Urdu

 

  • The Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry on 14 November 2017 recognised ‘Banglar Rossogolla’, the iconic sweet, as deserving of protection under geographical indication (GI) and recognized that it was invented in West Bengal. Which state in 2015 had claimed that the rossogolla was its invention? – Odisha
  • -Rosogolla, the syrup-soaked spongy ball that has served as a gastronomic identity marker for the Bengali community for almost 150 years, just got recognition for its uniqueness. The Union ministry of commerce and industry on 14 November 2017 granted the “Geographical Indications of Goods Registration” (GI) tag for rossogolla to West Bengal.
    • The so-called “rossogolla war” between West Bengal and Odisha began in September 2015, after the Odisha government began celebrating “Rossogolla Diwas”, or ‘Rossogolla Day’, on the day that a festival called ‘Ulto Ratha’ falls. The state government had claimed that rossogollas were invented when Lord Jagannatha had offered a bowl of rossogollas to her wife Goddess Lakshmi to appease her.
    • This claim was refuted by West Bengal. It claimed that rossogolla is made of curdled milk which has always been considered ‘impure’ and was never an offering to the gods. Nobin Chandra Das a renowned confectioner from Kolkata is known to be the inventor of rossogolla.

 

  • What is the name given to India’s largest time-bound “upskilling” exercise to be implemented by Indian Railways from January 2018 to upgrade the skillsets of its 13 lakh-strong workforce? – “Project Saksham”
  • -“Project Saksham” is the name of country’s largest time-bound “upskilling” exercise for government employees that will be implemented by Indian Railways.
    • The exercise will start in January 2018 and go on till September 2018, putting through training courses and specially designed skill-upgrade modules. Employees from the rank of a peon to the Railway Board Members and everyone in between will undergo the training.
    • This was disclosed in the circular sent to all General Managers of zones and production units by Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani during November 2017. General Managers (GMs) would identify training modules, divide their workforce into small groups and communicate the entire plan to the ministry by 31 December 2017.

 

  • Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore on 13 November 2017 released the India Youth Development Index and Report 2017. This first-of-its-kind index has been prepared by which institution? – Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development (RGNIYD), Sriperumbudur

 

  • -India Youth Development Index and Report for year 2017 was released on 13 November 2017 by Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports (Independent Charge) Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore. The objective of constructing the India Youth Development Index (YDI) 2017 is to track the trends in Youth Development across the States. The Index enables recognizing the high and low performing states, identifies the weak domains and informs the policy makers the priority areas of intervention for youth development in the states.
    • The Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development (RGNIYD), Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, an Institute of National Importance has come out with Youth Development Index and Report 2017.
    • Constructing Youth Development Index for the year 2017 was done using the latest definition of youth as used in National Youth Policy – 2014 (India) and World Youth Development Report of Commonwealth (15 – 29 years) as well as using the Commonwealth Indicators in order to facilitate Global comparison.

 

  • Which 4-time FIFA World Cup title holder failed to qualify for the 2018 edition of FIFA World Cup to be staged in Russia on 13 November 2017? – Italy
    • Sweden, which qualified for the first time since 2006, became the 29th team to punch a ticket to Russia.

 

  • India’s first-ever Tribal Entrepreneurship Summit was hosted at which place during November 2017? – Dantewada (Chhattisgarh)

 

  • -The NITI Aayog in partnership with the US government organized India’s first Tribal Entrepreneurship Summit on 14 November 2017 at Dantewada in the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh.
    • It was the first-of-its-kind event in India and tries to address the issues faced by the tribal community in pragmatic and progressive ways. Tribal entrepreneurs from various sectors across the country and abroad took part in the event.

 

  • India’s sovereign rating has been upgraded by global rating agency Moody’s Investors Services (from Baa3 to Baa2) for the first time in how many years on 17 November 2017? – 13 years
  • -After 13 years, global rating agency Moody’s upgraded India’s sovereign ratings to Baa2 from Baa3 on 17 November 2017 and gave credit to Narendra Modi government for its wide-ranging economic and institutional reforms.
    • It was in 2004 when Moody’s had last upgraded India’s sovereign rating. The upgrade from Baa3 to Baa2 is a one-level shift from the lowest investment-grade ranking and puts India in line with countries like the Philippines and Italy.
    • Moody’s has also raised India’s long-term foreign-currency bond ceiling to Baa1 from Baa2, and the long-term foreign-currency bank deposit ceiling to Baa2 from Baa3. The short-term foreign-currency bond ceiling remains unchanged at P-2, and the short-term foreign-currency bank deposit ceiling has been raised to P-2 from P-3. The long-term local currency deposit and bond ceilings remain unchanged at A1.
    • The rating agency, however, warned that India’s rating could be downgraded if its fiscal metrics and the outlook for general government fiscal consolidation deteriorate materially.

 

  • What is the name of the Indian beauty who won the coveted Miss World 2017 pageant held in Sanya (China) on 18 November 2017, sixteen years after Priyanka Chopra won the title? – Manushi Chillar (Miss World 2016 winner Puerto Rico’s Stephanie Del Valle gave away the coveted crown to the winner.)
  • -Manushi, born to doctor parents, studied in St. Thomas School in New Delhi and Bhagat Phool Singh Government Medical College for Women in Sonepat.
    • She thus became the first Miss World from India, 16 years after Priyanka Chopra won the title in 2000. Mexican beauty Andrea Meza was adjudged First Runner Up while Stephanie Hill of England was adjudged Second Runner Up. Miss Kenya and Miss France also made it to the top 5. It is also worth mentioning that with this title India has tied-up with Venezuela in most number of Miss World titles (six).

 

  • What is the name of the second exchange-traded fund (ETF) established by the Government of India after CPSE ETF comprising of 22 blue-chip public sector entities that were offered for investment during November 2017? – Bharat 22 ETF

 

  • RBI Governor Urjit Patel was appointed to the advisory board of which international banking entity on 16 November 2017? – Financial Stability Institute (FSI)

 

  • -RBI Governor Urjit Patel was on 16 November 2017 appointed to the Financial Stability Institute Advisory Board or the Bank of International Settlement (BIS), a global financial organization owned by major central banks from across the world.
    • Jaime Caruana, General Manager of the BIS, will be Chair of the new FSI Advisory Board (until 30 November 2017 after which he will be replaced by Agustín Carstens, incoming General Manager of the BIS). Members would include Patel, as also William Dudley, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, central bank governors in Brazil, South Africa, Japan, among other top bankers from across the world.
    • The FSI was jointly created in 1998 by the BIS and the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. Among other mandates, the FSI seeks to promote cross-sectoral and cross-border supervisory contacts and cooperation.
  • The Union Cabinet on 16 November 2017 approved the setting up of a National Anti-Profiteering Authority, a body with the mandate to ensure that the reduction in tax rates under the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime gets passed on to consumers by way of lower prices. What is the important power to be vested with this authority? – The power to cancel a registration of any entity or business if it fails to pass on the benefit of lower taxes under the GST regime to consumers

 

  • Who took over as the new President of Zimbabwe on 24 November 2017 thus ending 37 years of authoritarian rule of Robert Mugabe? – Emmerson Mnangagwa

 

  • -The event marked the dramatic departure of Robert Mugabe after 37 years of authoritarian rule.

 

  • What is the name of India’s nominee to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Dalveer Bhandari was on 20 November 2017 re-elected to the fifth and the last seat of the court after Britain withdrew its candidate from the election? – Dalveer Singh
  • -Britain withdrew its candidate Christopher Greenwood from the election. The ICJ comprises of 15 members.
  • -Thus it is first time in 71 years that Britain has no representative in the ICJ.

 

  • What is the name of the new all-in-one application (app) launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 24 November 2017 that offers 100+ center and state government services under a one-single platform? – ‘Umang’
  • -Umang stands for ‘Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance’ and is envisaged to make e-governance easier.

 

  • Which country is ranked the world’s richest in terms of per capita GDP of countries as per latest data released by the IMF on 18 November 2017? – Qatar
  • -Qatar’s per capita GDP stood at $1,24,930 with a population of approximately 2.27 million.
    • After Qatar the data listed following country chronologically in the top 10 – Luxembourg ($109,190), Singapore ($90,530), Brunei ($76,740), Ireland ($72,630), Norway ($72,630), Kuwait ($69,670), United Arab Emirates ($68,250), Switzerland ($61,360) and Hong Kong ($61,020).
    • India was placed at 126th place in the listing, with one place improvement. India’s GDP rose to $7,170 in 2017, from $6,690 last year, helping improve its rank by a position to 126th.

 

  • The Indian Navy will soon get its first-ever woman pilot who will be flying a maritime reconnaissance aircraft. What is her name? – Shubhangi Swaroop ,shahjahanpur,UP
  • The first-ever North East Development Summit was held at which place during November 2017? – Imphal (Manipur), inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind in Imphal on 21 November 2017.
    • The Summit was organized by the Manipur government in association with India Foundation, a Delhi-based think tank, and was aimed at “building confidence” and altering the “perception” about India’s North Eastern region.
    • While Chief Ministers of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland addressed the gathering

 

  • What is the objective of the new scheme called “Pradhan Mantri Mahila Shakti Kendra” that was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on 22 November 2017? – Empowering rural women through community participation.
    • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on 22 November 2017 approved a new scheme called “Pradhan Mantri Mahila Shakti Kendra” (“PMMSK”), which aims at empowering rural women through community participation to create an environment in which they realise their full potential.
    • The scheme is part of the Umbrella Scheme “Mission for Protection and Empowerment for Women” of the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
    • The scheme is envisaged to work at various levels. The national level (domain based knowledge support) and state level (State Resource Centre for Women) structures will provide technical support to the respective governments on issues related to women. The district and block level centres will provide support to PMMSK and also give a foothold to Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme in 640 districts to be covered in a phased manner.”

 

  • According to a latest report by UN Women and the UN Development Programme (UNDP), which region is ranked as the World’s most violent region for women? – Latin America and the Caribbean

 

  • Who was appointed as Chairman of 15th Finance Commission by the Union Government on 27 November 2017? – NK Singh

 

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the services of Hyderabad Metro on 29 November 2017. Hyderabad thus became ………..Indian city to have metro train service – Ninth

 

  • Who was named as the first Chairman of the National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) by the Union Government on 28 November 2017? – Badri Narain Sharma

 

  • What important milestone was marked by the mundane One Rupee note on 30 November 2017? – It celebrated its 100th anniversary of its release

 

  • In its 2nd Meeting held on 29 November 2017, the Higher Education Funding Agency (HEFA) approved projects for Rs. 2,066.73 Cr for six higher education institutions. Which are these 6 institutions? – IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IIT Madras, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Kanpur and NIT Suratkal

 

  • Who was appointed India’s G20 Sherpa for the G20’s Development Track on 27 November 2017? – Shaktikanta Das

 

Current Affairs for UPPCS-2018 & UPPCS-J 2017 -NOVEMBER 2017

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