Current Affairs - Sep 29, 2018

current affairs

India Won the Asia Cup for the 7th time

  • In the final match of Asia Cup 2018 (ODI), India defeated Bangladesh in the last delivery.
  • In the entire series India did not lose any match, however, one match ended up as a draw against Afghanistan.
  • Shikhar Dhawan won Man of the Series title.
  • Liton Das was named Man of the Match.
  • Asia Cup 2018 hosted by the United Arab Emirates. Asia Cup 2016 (T20) was hosted in Bangladesh and won by India.
  • First Asia Cup match was held in 1984 in Sharjah, UAE.

Important Supreme Court Judgements in this month

Mosque, Islam, and Ayodhya Dispute

  • Observations in Ismail Faruqui need to be viewed in the context of land acquisition proceedings; not relevant in Ayodhya Title Dispute - SC
  • SC refuses to review 1994 judgment that said ‘mosque is not integral to Islam’
  • The Supreme Court ruled that the civil suit has to be decided on the basis of evidence and that the previous verdict, which was announced during the hearing of the Ayodhya land dispute, has no relevance to it.


  • In a landmark verdict on the Aadhaar Act, the Supreme Court upheld its Constitutional validity.
  • The apex court struck down Section 57 of the Act which allowed private bodies to use Aadhaar number for establishing the identity of the person. 
  • The controversial Section 33(2) of the Aadhaar Act, which makes an exception to the primacy of security of data of an individual and allows an officer of the rank of joint secretary to disclose it in matters of national security, has been revoked by the Supreme Court.


  • The Supreme Court has declared that Section 497 (of IPC) is unconstitutional. Adultery is not a crime. 
  • This judgment has overturned the three previous rulings by the Supreme Court on Section 497.
  • Adultery law under Section 497 views women as a property of men
  • It allows men to file a complaint but doesn't give women the same right

Sabarimala Temple

  • In a landmark judgment, a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court lifted the ban on the entry of women aged 10-50 inside the 800-year-old Sabarimala temple.
  • Women of all ages are now allowed to enter the Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala, Kerala.
  • Devotion cannot be subjected to gender discrimination", the Supreme Court said.

Bhima-Koregaon Arrest

  • No relief to arrested activists. SC has given permission to go ahead with the investigation to Maharashtra Police and refused the demand SIT formation.

Female Genital Mutilation

  • Three judges bench of Supreme court which included Chief Justice of India has referred the case to a larger bench (Constitution Bench).

Live-streaming of court proceedings

  • "Sunlight is the best disinfectant," said the Supreme Court bench headed by CJI and ordered live-streaming and video recording of the court proceedings.
  • The three judges bench observed that live streaming would bring in more transparency in judicial proceedings and effectuate the "public right to know".

Gay Sex - Article 377

  • The Supreme Court, in a landmark judgment which came out in early September, decriminalized gay sex holding that consensual sex between two adults was covered under the right to privacy.
  • A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by CJI Dipak Misra partly struck down Section 377 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) holding it violative of the fundamental right to privacy. 
  • However, the Supreme Court said that Section 377 would continue to be in force in cases of unnatural sex with animals and children.

Current Affairs - Sep 28, 2018

daily current affairs

World Rabies Day - 28 September

  • World Rabies Day is celebrated on 28th September to increase awareness about rabies prevention.
  • The subject of 2018 'Rabies: Share the message. Save life '.
  • This day marks the death anniversary of Louis Pasteur, French chemist, and microbiologist, who developed the first rabies vaccine.

Global Wetland Outlook

  • The Ramsar Convention has recently issued its first-ever global report on the state of World's wetlands.
  • The report found that around 35% of wetlands were lost between 1970 and 2015.
  • Wetlands include lakes, rivers, marshes and peatlands, as well as coastal and marine areas like lagoons, mangroves and coral reefs.
  • In India, The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is the nodal Ministry for wetlands conservation.
  • Wetlands in India account for 4.7% of the total geographical area.

Economic Freedom Index - India ranked 96th

  • India's 96th place in 162 countries on the Global Economic Freedom Index released by the Center for Civil Society (CCS).
  • In the previous year's report, India was at the 98th place in the index.
  • Hong Kong and Singapore topped the index with the first and second positions respectively.
  • The 2018 report is based on 2016 data.

Model Code of Conduct

  • Election Commission has recently asserted that MCC will come into effect from the day the premature dissolution of an Assembly in a State or a Union Territory is announced.
  • It will remain in force until the new government is formed.

Center boosts grant for SDRF

  • The Government of India has increased its contribution in the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) from 75% to 90% from April 2018.
  • According to the revised guidelines, the Government of India will contribute 90% while the State Relief Fund will contribute 10%.
  • SDRF was established at the state level to meet the rescue and relief expenditure of disaster-affected states.

Largest loan to Argentina from IMF United Nations agency

  • Argentina has received the biggest loan package ever from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
  • In the next three years, a loan quantity of $ 57 billion is going to be distributed.
  • Its goal is to revive the economy of Argentina.
  • According to the loan agreement, as long as the value of peso remains above the level of 44 Peso per USD the Central Bank of Argentina will not be allowed to intervene in stabilizing its currency.

One-Liner Current Affairs

  • RBI has recently notified that banks are allowed to use up to 15 % (currently 13%) of holdings under the SLR reserves to meet their liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) requirements.
  • NASA's Mars orbiter has recently spotted Opportunity Rover on the red planet for the first time since it went into hibernation after a dust storm.
  • The government has set up an 8-member Lokpal Search Committee under the chairmanship of Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai, a judge of the Supreme Court, Justice.
  • India and United Nations signed India-United Nations Sustainable Development Framework (UNSDF) for 2018-2022.

Current Affairs - Sep 27, 2018

daily current affairs

Highest UN Environment Award to PM Modi

  • Indian Prime Minister and France President selected to be awarded highest UN Environment award - Champions of the Earth for their International Solar Alliance Initiative.
  1. Lifetime Achievement - Joan Carling, defenders of environmental and indigenous rights
  2. Policy Leadership - Indian PM and French President for ISA initiative and pledge to eliminate single-use plastic in India by 2022
  3. Action and Inspiration China’s Zhejiang’s Green Rural Revival Programme
  4. Entrepreneurial Vision  - Cochin International Airport, India for use of Sustainable energy
  5. Science and Innovation Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods
  • Cochin International Airport is the world’s first solar-powered airport. It runs its entire operations on solar energy.
  • This award was launched in the year 2005 by UNEP to recognize exemplary individuals and organizations whose actions created a positive impact on the environment.

Live streaming of court proceedings allowed

  • The Supreme Court on 26 September 2018 agreed to live-streaming and video recording of court proceedings.
  • The apex court said that necessary rules for balancing rights of public and protecting dignity of litigants will be placed soon.
  • The verdict was passed on a batch of petitions filed by, law student Snehil Tripathi and NGO ‘Centre For Accountability and Systemic Change’ on the issue.

GSTN 100% share acquisition by Govt.

  • Union Cabinet has recently approved increasing the government stake in GSTN to 100 percent from the current 49%.
  • Currently, out of 49% stake owned by govt Centre and states own equal halves. The acquisition of the rest 51% from five non-government institutions will be made by the Central and state governments in equal quantity.
  • The Cabinet also decided to allow a change in the existing composition of the GSTN board.
  • New GSTN board will have a total of 11 directors including a Chairman and a Chief Executive (CEO), 3 directors each will be nominated by the Central and state governments, 3 other independent directors would be nominated by the board of directors.
  • GSTN provides the technical support to the GST by handling massive amounts of data and deals with crucial data sets such as indirect tax returns and refunds.

Astra Missile

  • Astra, indigenously developed Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) successfully tested from Su-30 aircraft.
  • This best in class weapon system comprises a launcher and a missile and having a long range of 110 km and short range of 20 km.

Jan Dhan Darshak App

  • It is a mobile application launched by the Finance Ministry as a part of Financial Inclusion.
  • It is jointly developed by National Informatics Centre and Ministry of Finance.
  • The app provides a citizen-centric platform for locating financial service touch points across all providers such as banks, post office, CSC, etc at a given location in the country.

Current Affairs - Sep 26, 2018

daily current affairs

Financial Inclusion Index

  • Department of Financial Services under the Ministry of Finance has launched the Financial Inclusion Index.
  • The index has taken into account three factors viz. access to financial services, usage of financial services and quality of financial services.
  • The index will be a measure of access and usage of various financial products and services.
  • The services include savings, remittances, credit, insurance and pension products.
  • It enables fulfillment of G20 Financial Inclusion Indicators requirements.

Human Capital Score

  • A recent study that ranks countries for their levels of spending on human capital - education and health care has been published in Lancet.
  • The study was conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the request of the World Bank.
  • India ranks 158th in the list behind Sudan and ahead of Namibia, in 1990 it was at 162.
  • Finland topped the score while Turkey showed highest jump, USA at 27, China 44, Pakistan 164, Srilanka 102. 

Amitava Roy Panel for Jail reform

  • Supreme Court has recently set up a panel headed by retired SC Judge Amitava Roy Panel to look in to prison reforms and decongest crowded jails.
  • The panel will examine way and means to prevent violence against inmates, get the required legal aid and rehabilitate them.
  • It will also examine the feasibility of setting up more open prisons.
  • It will examine the functioning of undertrial review committees, availability of legal aid and advice, grant of remission, parole, and furlough.

New Telescope in India

  • Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) are developing a new gamma ray telescope in near the High Altitude Gamma Ray (HAGAR) array at Hanle in Ladakh.
  • It will be the second such telescope to be available globally after the first one is in La Palma in Canary Islands set up jointly by Switzerland and Germany in 2011.
  • HAGAR houses the Indian Astronomical Observatory operated by Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bengaluru.

WAYU - Device to clean street air

  • WAYU is a device to clean polluted air in high traffic areas with lots of nearby buildings restricting air flow causing street canyon effect. 
  • The device sucks polluted air and cleans it using activated carbon.
  • National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Nagpur-based laboratory's of CSIR has developed it.

New Police Forces Rules for UTs

  • Ministry of Home Affairs has recently notified new rules amalgamating police forces in six Union Territories.
  • The rules effectively mean that officers who are not direct IPS recruits could be posted in any of the six UTs and will be at the disposal of the Ministry.
  • It would include personnel currently employed in the Delhi Police, A&N Islands Police, Lakshadweep Police, Daman & Diu Police, Dadra and Nagar Haveli Police and Chandigarh Police.
  • The Rules will come into effect upon the promotion or direct recruitment of Inspectors to the post of ACP.
  • It is being viewed as the first step towards the creation of a central police cadre allowing for the posting of police personnel across the country irrespective of the force they are initially inducted into.


  • Brazilian scientists have recently identified four young asteroids (less than 7 million years old) orbiting between Mars and Jupiter along with other 700 asteroids in the same main asteroid belt.
  • It is an interactive web interface that allows a person to report on hornbills anywhere in India. It was launched by Scientists from Nature Conservation Foundation and Conservation India. Hornbills play essential roles in forest ecosystems as dispersers of seeds of forest plants.

Current Affairs - Sep 25, 2018

daily current affairs digest

Govt to roll out e-Vidhan

  • e-Vidhan, part of Digital India Programme, is a Mission Mode Project to digitize and make the functioning of State Legislatures paperless.
  • Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs (Nodal Ministry for this project) desires to roll out e-Vidhan as National e-Vidhan Application (NeVA), covering all 40 Houses including two Houses of Parliament and State legislatures.
  • This project was first executed in Himachal Pradesh which made the Shimla Legislative Assembly the first Assembly in India to go paperless in 2014.
  • It can be used by - Government Departments, Chair of Houses to conduct proceeding smoothly, Members of Houses to carry duties, and anyone can access the information on business in legislatures through NeVA mobile app (a workflow based app) deployed on MeghRaj Cloud.

Hyderabad Metro 2nd largest in India

  • Hyderabad Metro Rail (45 km) has now become the second largest metro rail network in India after Delhi Metro(350 km).
  • It is also the world’s largest metro project under the public-private-partnership (PPP) model.

Scientists grew oesophageal organoids

  • Scientists have successfully grown world's first oesophageal organoids (miniature, functional versions of the human food pipe) using pluripotent stem cells.
  • The production of organoids using stem cells paves new ways to study and test drugs against gut disorders.
  • The organ can be affected by congenital diseases called oesophageal atresia - a narrowing or malformation of the esophagus caused by genetic mutations.

Ease of Living Index

  • Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has released the state wise ranking of Ease of Living Index to help the cities assess their liveability vis-à-vis national and global benchmarks.
  • Top three are Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and Madhya Pradesh respectively.
  • Ministry has earlier revealed the ranking of cities based on four pillars namely Institutional, Social, Economic and Physical.
  • Three cities in Maharashtra - Pune, Navi Mumbai and Greater Mumbai topped the first Ease of Living Index.
  • The national capital, New Delhi, is ranked 65 among 111 cities, while Chennai is in 14th place. While Kolkata did not participate in the survey.

India International Science Festival

  • Lucknow is all set to host 4th India International Science Festival (IISF) under theme 'Science for Transformation'
  • Ministry of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences in association with Vijnana Bharati is organizing this festival since 2015 (1st hosted in Delhi).
  • Like previous years this year too, World Record attempt will be made, and this time it will be “isolate DNA” by 500 students from class 8th to 10th standard.

Current Affairs - Sep 24, 2018

current affairs

India's 100th Airport

  • PM Narendra Modi inaugurated India's 100th Airport in Sikkim
  • It will be the first airport at 4500 feet above sea level.
  • This new Pakyong Airport is situated near Gangtok, capital of Sikkim.
  • It has been built at a cost of over Rs. 600 crores.

Opposition wins Maldives Presidential election

  • Maldives' opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has won the presidential election.
  • He received 134,616 votes compared to 96,132 votes of incumbent China backed President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom.
  • Gayoom has conceded the defeat followed by hours of silence after the announcement of result by Election Commission.
  • Voter turnout was 89%. Many international observers raised their concern over rigging election in favor of Gayoom.
  • The US and India have welcomed Mr. Solih's win. Mr. Yameen had drawn the Maldives closer to China, which has stepped up its presence in the Indian Ocean in recent years.
  • Mr Solih entered the Parliament for the first time after defeating a ruling party candidate in 1994.
  • He has been representing ‘Lhaviyani Atoll’ in the Maldivian Parliament.
  • Many opposition politicians in the Maldives have been jailed under Mr. Gayoom, and the US and European Union had threatened sanctions before the vote if the democratic situation did not improve.

Flipkart to get new CEO

  • Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal is likely to be replaced by a new Group CEO in now Walmart controlled Flipkart.
  • Binny Bansal took over this position after its founder Sachin Bansal left the startup.
  • Walmart has acquired a 77 percent stake in Flipkart for $ 16 billion earlier.

Fitch raises India growth forecast

  • Global research agency Fitch raised India’s growth forecast for the current fiscal to 7.8% from the earlier 7.4%.
  • Fitch has revised the forecast for current fiscal ‘on the back of the better-than-expected 2018 outturn’.
  • Fitch’s latest projection for the current fiscal is higher than what is estimated by the Reserve Bank of India (7.4%) and even the Government (7.5%).

‘Village Rockstars’ India's Official Oscars entry

  • Assamese movie ‘Village Rockstars’ has been selected as India’s official entry to the Oscars 2019.
  • This winner of Best Feature film Award at the 65th National Film Awards was directed by Rima Das.
  • The film which had its World Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and India premiere at the Mumbai Film Festival 2018.
  • Irrfan Khan’s Doob – No Bed of Roses is Bangladesh’s official entry for Oscars 2019.


  • Nepal's wild tiger population has reached 235, nearly doubling the baseline of around 121 tigers in 2009.
  • US President Donald Trump is going to address UN General Assembly UNGA next week, before that he has said that the United Nations (UN) has not lived up to its "tremendous potential".
  • BRICS Bank's $ 525 mn loans for Indian Infrastructure Development
  • BSNL has inked a pact with Japan’s Softbank and NTT Communications to roll out 5G and internet of things (IoT) technology in India.
  • Japanese space agency’s MINERVA-II1 (Micro-Nano Experimental Robot Vehicle for Asteroid, the second generation) is the world’s first rover to land on the surface of the asteroid Ryugu.​​ It consisted of two rovers, Rover-1A and Rover-1B.

Current Affairs - Sep 23, 2018

Current Affairs

PM launched Ayushman Bharat

  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched the Ayushman Bharat - Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) at Ranchi, Jharkhand, on September 23, 2018.
  • Under this scheme, over 10 crore families (i.e. 50 crore people), the poorest 40% of India’s population will be provided with health assurance every year.
  • PMJAY will provide insurance up to Rs. 500,000 per family per year for in-patient secondary and tertiary treatment.
  • A list of 1,350 procedures across 23 specializations, including pre- and post-hospitalization, diagnostics, and medicines have been prepared along with their rates for the scheme.
  • A cadre of frontline health service professionals called Pradhan Mantri Aarogya Mitras (PMAMs) are being trained to facilitate the provision of treatment to beneficiaries at hospitals.

Kakrapar Atomic Power Station

  • Two units of Pressurised heavy water reactors in Kakrapur Atomic Power station recently attained 'criticality', that means now they have attained self-sustaining nuclear fission chain reaction in the reactor (a good thing).
  • Two years ago, KAPS-1 automatically shut down due to a leak of heavy coolant water, leaving both reactors non-operational.
  • Kakrapar Atomic Power Station has total four units divided into KAPS-1 (two units of 220 MW reactors) and KAPS-2 (two units of 700 MW reactors); these went critical for the first time in 1992 and 1993 respectively.

India in Asia Cup Final

  • India secured its place in the final match of 10th Asia Cup Cricket 2018 (ODI).
  • It became confirmed after India defeated Pakistan and Afghanistan's defeat by Bangladesh.
  • Now India will play with the winner of Pakistan vs Bangladesh in final.

India's biggest cyclotron - VECC

  • Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre (VECC) is now India's biggest cyclotron facility after starting its operations last week, it houses the machine, Cyclotron-30.
  • VECC is under the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) which is directly under the Prime Minister of India.
  • What is Cyclotron? An apparatus in which charged atomic and subatomic particles are accelerated by an alternating electric field while following an outward spiral or circular path in a magnetic field. This cyclotron facility will produce radioisotopes vital for diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
  • At present, many radioisotopes are imported while some are produced in Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and remaining in cyclotrons facilities run by private hospitals.


  • Kenyan runner and Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge has set a new world record, winning the Berlin marathon in 2 hours, 1 minute and 39 seconds. He broke the record of Kenyan Dennis Kimetto by 1 minute and 18 seconds.
  • The first General Assembly of the International Solar Alliance, ISA, will be inaugurated on the 2nd of October in New Delhi.
  • The Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (KVASU) has set up a flightless bird research center. The center has been set up on the university campus at Pookode in Wayanad district.

Current Affairs - Sep 22, 2018

current affairs

Live-in partners can adopt

  • Individuals in a live-in relationship will once again be able to adopt children from and within India, which was earlier barred by CARA circular issued on May 31.
  • Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) is a statutory body of Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government of India.
  • It functions as the nodal body for the adoption of Indian children and is mandated to monitor and regulate in-country and inter-country adoptions.
  • India’s nodal adoption agency decided to withdraw a circular issued earlier this year disallowing them from doing so.
  • India has ratified the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption 1993 in 2003.

271 mn Indians moved out of poverty: UN

  • Over 270 million people in India moved out of poverty between 2005-06 and 2015-16.
  • It is according to the 2018 global Multidimensional Poverty Index released by United Nations.
  • The Report stated that India’s poverty rate came down to 27.5% from 54.7% during the period.
  • In South Asia 546 million people (31% of the population) are multidimensionally poor, the report claimed.

Parker Solar Probe beamed first-light data

  • NASA’s Parker Solar Probe has beamed back the first-light data from each of its four instrument suites.
  • Wide-field Imager for Solar Probe’s (WISPR) is the only imager on the probe to take the first images during its journey to the Sun.
  • Over the next month, it will fly towards Venus, performing its first Venus gravity assist in early October.
  • The Parker Solar Probe’s first close approach to the Sun will be in November.
  • It will perform the closest-ever observations of the Sun’s outer atmosphere, called the corona.
  • The mission may also ascertain why the Sun occasionally emits high-energy particles that are a danger to unprotected astronauts and spacecraft.
  • The probe is named after Eugene Parker, a solar physicist, who first predicted the existence of the solar wind.

India-Pakistan Foreign Minister Meet Cancelled

  • India cancelled the meeting it had announced just the day before between external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, in New York.
  • The meet was to be held on the sidelines of 73rd Session of UNGA
  • The reason of cancelled meeting was the brutal killing of security personnel by Pakistan-based entities and the recent release of a series of 20 postage stamps by the neighbouring country “glorifying a terrorist and terrorism”.


  • E-commerce firms from 1 October 2018, will have to deduct 1% tax collected at source (TCS) under GST, before making payments to their suppliers.
  • The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) lifted a ban on Russia’s anti-doping agency, RUSADA, this paved the way for Russian athletes to return to compete in all sports.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the much-awaited Jharsuguda Airport in Odisha.

Current Affairs - Sep 21, 2018

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Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna

  • Virat Kohli and Mirabai Chanu are selected to be awarded Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna.
  • Virat Kohli is currently Indian cricket captain and Mirabai Chanu is a weightlifter to receive the prestigious award September 25, 2018.
  • Chanu was chosen for the prestigious award following her gold medal in the 48kg category at the World Championships 2017.
  • Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna is the highest sporting honour of India.
  • Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra was among 20 sportspersons picked for the Arjuna Awards.

Home Ministry to get integrated control room

  • Ministry of Home Affairs is to get Integrated Control Room for Emergency Response (ICR-ER)
  • Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is about to set up this state-of-the-art facility in Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • ISRO will render its technical expertise for setting up of proposed ICR-ER whereas the project will be executed under the overall supervision of MHA.
  • The ICR-ER will cater to the requirement of Disaster Management as well as Internal Security.
  • ICR-ER will address the requirement of receipt of information on near real-time basis, strategic level monitoring, situation awareness, command and control, preparedness and response in the diverse internal security situation and disaster-related emergencies.
  • Resultantly, it will increase the operational effectiveness and will be helpful in rendering timely response/assistance during various emergency situations.

ISRO's tech incubator in Agartala

  • The ISRO Technology Incubation Centre has been launched in Agartala.
  • The Centre was launched at the first edition of ‘Spacetronics’ organized by the India Electronics and Semiconductor Association.
  • The Incubation Centre is located at National Institute of Technology Agartala.
  • On the launch event K. Sivan said that ISRO is looking to incubate space-related innovation and start-ups.

India successfully test fires Prahaar missile

  • Prahaar is a solid-fuel road-mobile surface-to-surface tactical missile.
  • It is a contemporary weapon system capable of carrying multiple types of warheads and neutralizing a wide variety of targets.
  • India successfully test-fired this indigenously developed ballistic missile on 20 September 2018.
  • ‘Prahaar‘ has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • The missile is equipped with state-of-the-art navigation, guidance and electromechanical actuation systems with the advanced onboard computer.
  • Prahaar is expected to replace the short-range Prithvi-I missile
  • Its operating range is 150 km, and flight altitude is 35 km.


  • The International Day of Peace is observed every year on 21 September. This year's theme was “The Right to Peace – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70”
  • Home Minister Rajnath Singh launched India’s first ever online and centralised National Database on Sexual Offenders (NDSO) in New Delhi. The database will have a record of the name, photographs, address, fingerprint and other details of convicted offenders.

Current Affairs - Sep 20, 2018

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Exercise AVIAINDRA 2018

  • Air forces of India and Russia are participating in a 12-day drill 'Exercise Aviaindra' which focuses on anti-terrorist operations in a bilateral scenario.
  • It is a bi-annual exercise.
  • First Aviaindra was conducted in the year 2014.
  • Aviaindra is being conducted at Lipetsk, Russia, from September 17 to 28.
  • In its second leg, it will be conducted in Jodhpur from December 10 to 22.
  • Aircraft participating in the exercise include Su-30 SM, Mig-29, Su-25, Mi-8 and An-26.

Cabinet Approved Triple Talaq Ordinance

  • Union Cabinet approves the ordinance to make instant triple talaq a penal offense.
  • It was signed by President Ram Nath Kovind as per the ordinance making power assigned by The Constitution of India under Article 123.
  • In a landmark verdict, five-judge Constitution Bench of Supreme Court had declared the centuries-old practice of instant triple talaq or talaq-e-biddat unconstitutional (Aug 2017).
  • In pursuance of SC verdict, Government had managed to get Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 passed in Lok Sabha but stuck in Rajya Sabha because of lack of consensus.

India's four more nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards

  • Sekhar Basu, Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) at the 62nd General Conference of IAEA held in Vienna, Austria announced that India will put four more nuclear facilities under IAEA Safeguards.
  • These include two Russian-designed Pressurised Light Water Reactors and two Pressurised Heavy Reactors being built with Indian technology.
  • After this a total of 26 Indian nuclear facilities will be now under IAEA safeguards.
  • This legal arrangement of this safeguard is as under Information Circular 66 [INFCIRC 66] of IAEA, an agreement between IAEA and member states provides for the conduct of limited safeguards within the member state.

Nuclear Power Plants

  • Activists and villagers are raising concern over proposed 1400 MW Nuclear Power Plant of NHPC in Chutka, MP (Mandla district).
  • Nuclear Power reactors currently various stages of construction
  1. Kakrapar (2 reactors) in Gujarat
  2. Rawatbhata (2 reactors) in Rajasthan
  3. Kudankulam (2 reactors) and Kalpakkam (1 reactor) in Tamil Nadu
  4. Gorakhpur ( 1 reactor) in Haryana
  • There are few nuclear power reactors accorded administrative approval and financial sanction. Each site has 2 reactors.
  1. Gorakhpur in Haryana
  2. Mahi-Banswara in Rajasthan
  3. Kaiga in Karnataka
  4. Chutka in Madhya pradesh
  5. Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu

Atal Bimit Vyakti Kalyan Yojna’ rolled Out

  • The Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) has approved a new scheme- ‘Atal Bimit Vyakti Kalyan Yojna’ to provide cash relief to insured unemployed Persons covered under the Employees’ State Insurance Act.
  • The relief will be payable in cash directly to their Bank Account in case of unemployment and while they search for new engagement.

One-Liners for Prelim Exams

  • Renowned sand artist Sudarshan Pattnaik (Padma Shree in 2014) has been appointed as the president of the Odisha Lalit Kala Akademi (LKA).
  • Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and National Stock Exchange (NSE) have received the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI) approval to launch commodity derivatives segment from October 1, 2018.
  • India and Morocco signed the revised Air Services Agreement between the two countries enabling greater connectivity through a modernized agreement.
  • India’s first ‘smart fence’ pilot project was launched at Pakstan border.
  • S. Jaishankar has been included on the board of US – India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF).
  • Odisha government has Launched ‘StarRating’ System For Industries to Cut Air Pollution.
  • First international Maqom musical Festival was organized in Uzbekistan.
  • Union government along with UN body Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has launched an agriculture project which will be implemented in five states viz. Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand.
  • Lewis Hamilton won Singapore Grand Prix 2018.
  • The Punjab government has signed an agreement with Jammu and Kashmir state for Shahpurkandi dam project

Current Affairs - Sep 19, 2018

current affairs

e-Sahaj for Security Clearance

  • e-Sahaj is a portal launched by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • It will enable individuals and private companies to submit the application for security clearances and view its status online.
  • The Home ministry is the nodal authority for granting security clearances in certain sensitive sectors.

India Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline Project

  • India-Bangladesh has launched construction of 130 km long India Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline Project.
  • It will supply 2.5 lakh tonnes of refined diesel yearly to Parbatipur depot from Numaligarh of Assam in India, later it will be increased to 4 lakh tonnes.
  • The project cost is estimated to be Rs. 346 crore and to be completed in 30 months.
  • 6 km of the pipeline is to be constructed on Indian side while remaining 124 kilometers will in Bangladesh.

Akash Missile Procurement 

  • Defense Acquisition Council has approved the procurement of new upgraded Akash Missile System.
  • Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) was set up in 2001, it is headed by Defense Minister.
  • DAC is the apex defense procurements decision-making body in India.
  • These upgraded Akash Missiles are indigenously built Short Range Surface to Air Missile (SRSAM) System by Bharat Dynamics Limited.
  • Akash missile was developed by DRDO under Integrated Guided Missile Development Program
  • It has a range of 25 km and can engage multiple targets (fighter jets and other incoming missiles) at a time in all weather conditions. 

India and Germany Pact

  • India and Germany have signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) to focus on the field of dual vocational education and training and skill development.
  • Under the MoA, students who complete specific training courses in India will get a certificate that is recognized in India and in Germany too.
  • These students can apply for jobs in India and also in Germany.

Cooling Action Plan

  • India became world's first country to have documented Cooling Action Plan, developed and released by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
  • India Cooling Action Plan aims to provide sustainable cooling while keeping in mind, at the same time, the need to protect the ozone layer from substances that can deplete it. 
  • It was released earlier on Ozone Day i.e. 16 September.
  • The goals emerging from the suggested interventions stated in ICAP are:
    (i) Recognition of “cooling and related areas” as a thrust area of research under national science and technology programme to support the development of technological solutions and encourage innovation challenges,
    (ii) Reduction of cooling demand across sectors by 20% to 25 % by the year 2037-38,
    (iii) Reduction of refrigerant demand by 25% to 30% by the year 2037-38,
    (iv) Reduction of cooling energy requirements by 25% to 40% by the year 2037-38, and
    (v) Training and certification of 100,000 servicing sector technicians by the year 2022-23, in synergy with Skill India Mission. 
  • The broad objectives of the India Cooling Action Plan include -
    (i) Assessment of cooling requirements across sectors in next 20 years and the associated refrigerant demand and energy use,
    (ii) Map the technologies available to cater the cooling requirement including passive interventions, refrigerant-based technologies and alternative technologies such as not-in-kind technologies,
    (iii) Suggest interventions in each sector to provide for sustainable cooling and thermal comfort for all,
    (iv) Focus on skilling of RAC service technicians, and
    (v) Develop an R&D innovation ecosystem for indigenous development of alternative technologies.
  • "Keep Cool and Carry on”: The Montreal Protocol is the theme of 24th World Ozone Day celebrations. 
  • The Montreal Protocol is the only environmental treaty which enjoys universal ratification of 197 UN numbers countries. 
  • The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer has been recognized as the most successful international environment treaty in history.

Current Affairs - Sep 18, 2018

current affairs

Goldman downgrades Indian Stocks

  • First time since 2014, Goldman Sachs has downgraded Indian Equities from BUY to HOLD.
  • Reasons cited were Expensive Valuation and Upcoming Election.
  • Goldman has been bullish on Indian stocks since March 2014 because of expected 'pro-growth government policies and structural reforms'.
  • Goldman Sachs is a multinational investment bank and financial services company headquartered in New York, US.

70th Emmy Awards

HBO series Game of Thrones won 9 awards at this year's Emmy Awards given by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
  • Drama Series: "Game of Thrones"
  • Comedy Series: "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"
  • Actor, Drama Series: Matthew Rhys, "The Americans"
  • Actress, Drama Series: Claire Foy, "The Crown"
  • Supporting Actor, Drama Series: Peter Dinklage, "Game of Thrones"
An Emmy Award, or simply Emmy, is an American award that recognizes excellence in the television industry, and is the equivalent of an Academy Award (for film), the Tony Award (for theater), and the Grammy Award (for music).

Yusaku Maezawa to become 1st Moon Tourist

  • Billionaire Yusaku Maezawa is set to become the first paying passenger to the fly around moon trip.
  • SpaceX founder Elon Musk, termed him 'the bravest person' for the 'dangerous mission. 
  • SpaceX is has planned various test flights before final manned mission in 2023.
  • The SpaceX's BFR rocket will take him to this journey.
  • He is founder of Japan's largest clothing website zozotown and haing USD 2.9 bn net worth.
  • He is well known for his art collection, and drummer at Punk Band.

New US Tariffs on $200 bn Chinese goods

  • The United States has imposed 10 percent tax on an additional $200 billion Chinese goods, this will increase to 25 percent next year.
  • This new tariff has intensified the trade war between both the countries, effect of which is being felt on global market.
  • Earlier US put tarrifs on $50 bn of Chinese goods.
  • Along with this new tariff US has thretened that any retaliation from Chinese side will invite tarrif cover on further $267 bn of goods left.

Merger of BoB, Dena and Vijaya

  • Boards of Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank are adviced by Governmet to merge the three Banks.
  • Merged entity will form India's 3rd larget bank.
  • Government also assured that no employee will face adverse service condition due to this merger.

One-Liners for Preliminary Tests

  • Germany has launched the world’s first hydrogen-powered train named ‘Coradia iLint train’ built by French TGV-maker Alstrom, it can run 1,000 kilometres on a single tank of hydrogen.
  • Bangladesh cabinet approved agreement that allows India to use the Chittagong and Mongla seaports for transporting goods to and from its land-locked northeastern states.

Current Affairs - Sep 17, 2018

current affairs ias

ISRO Successfully launched UK satellites

  • ISRO has successfully launched two earth observation satellites NovaSAR and S1-4, weighing 450kg each into Sun Synchronous Orbit.
  • ISRO has used PSLV-C42 (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle - C42) rocket to send these satellites of United Kingdom. It was 44th mission of PSLV.
  • These satellites are synthetic Aperture radar and high-resolution optical earth observation satellites aimed at imaging, surveying resources, forest mapping, land use, ice cap, flood n disaster monitoring, urban management etc.
  • The satellites belong to UK-based Surrey Satellite Technology Limited.

Nepal-China joint military drill

  • Nepal-China began its 12-day long Military Exercise 'Mt. Everest Friendship Exercise'.
  • It is the second edition of Nepal-China military drill.
  • It is being organized in China's Sichuan province.
  • Indo-Nepal battalion-level military exercise is known as ‘Surya Kiran’.

MP Fund remain unspent 

  • Under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) funded and administered.
  • In this scheme, every MP is allocated Rs.5 crore per year in their constituency.
  • Central Information Commission (CIC) in its recent report has highlighted that Rs.12,000 crore of MPLADS remains unspent.
  • CIC has aksed Lok Sabha Speaker and the Rajya Sabha Chairman to come out with a legal framework to ensure accountability of parliamentarians and political parties for their obligations under the scheme.

One-Liners for Preliminary Exams

  • Boxers Simranjit Kaur (64kg), Monika (48kg) and Bhagyabati Kachari (81kg) won gold medals at the Ahmet Comert Tournament in Istanbul, Turkey.
  • An indigenously DRDO developed low weight Man Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM) was successfully flight tested for the second time from Ahmednagar test range. It will complement Israel made Spike Anti-Tank Guided Missile.
  • The Jaipur Literature Festival began in Houston at the Asia Society of Texas on 14th September 2018.

Current Affairs - Sep 16, 2018

current affairs

First Tribal Tourist Circuit

  • Under Swadesh Darshan Scheme, Union Ministry of Tourism has inaugurated India’s first tribal circuit in Chhattisgarh.
  • This tribal circuit connects 13 tourist sites Jashpur, Kunkuri, Mainpat, Kamleshpur, Maheshpur, Kurdar, Sarodadadar, Gangrel, Kondagaon, Nathiya Nawagaon, Jagdalpur, Chitrakoot, and Tirthgarh.
  • In Swadesh Darshan Scheme scheme total 13 thematic circuits have been identified for development viz. Buddhist Circuit, North-East India Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Krishna Circuit, Desert Circuit, Eco Circuit, Wildlife Circuit, Tribal Circuit, Rural Circuit, Spiritual Circuit, Ramayana Circuit and Heritage Circuit.
  • More tribal circuits are to be devloped in Nagaland and Telangana.
  • Swadesh Darshan Scheme is 100% centrally funded scheme for the project components undertaken for public funding. It also has provision for leveraging voluntary funding under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.

Government moves to stabilize Rupee

The government announced a set of five measures aimed at supporting the rupee.
  1. The government will take steps to reduce non-essential imports and increase exports.
  2. To push Indian corporates to take the masala bond route, the government has exempted all such bond issues until March 31, 2019, from withholding tax.
  3. The government will take steps to attract more Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPI) into the corporate debt market.
  4. The government will review the mandatory hedging condition for infrastructure loans borrowed under the external commercial borrowing (ECB) route.
  5. Manufacturing companies borrowing up to $50 million through ECBs will be able to do so only for a 1-year term.

Excellence Award to Hyderabad Airport

  • Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hyderabad received Airports Council International Airport Service Quality World no.1 Airport Award in the 5-15 Million Passengers Per Year category.
  • Earlier in 2016 also Hyderabad Airport won this award.
  • It is operated and maintained by GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd, a public-private venture.
  • Hyderabad airport is India's sixth busiest airport by passenger traffic.
  • It was a greenfield airport started operating in 2008.

Coast Guard commissions patrol vessel Vijaya

  • Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has commissioned indigenously built patrol vessel ICGS Vijaya in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
  • It is second in the series of 98 m offshore patrol vessels (OPVs).
  • It is built by Indian conglomerate Larsen and Toubro (L&T).
  • The OPV is fitted with advanced technology navigation and communication equipment and sensors.
  • On joining the Coast Guard fleet, the ship will be based at Paradip.
  • The Ship will be deployed extensively for Exclusive Economic Zone surveillance, search and rescue and other ICG tasks.

NASA's ICESat-2 Launched

  • The Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) satellite has been launched recently by NASA. It is a laser-armed satellite capable of capturing 60,000 measurements per second.
  • It has Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) measures height by timing how long it takes individual light photons to travel from the spacecraft to Earth and back.
  • ICESat-2 will also measure changes in the heights of Earth’s polar ice, average annual elevation change of land ice covering Greenland and Antarctica, the height of ocean and land surfaces, including forests.

Current Affairs - Sep 15, 2018

ias current affairs

Paryatan Parv 2018

  • India is organizing 2nd edition of Paryatan Parv to draw focus on the benefits of tourism.
  • The idea is to showcase the cultural diversity of the country and reinforcing the principle of 'Tourism for All'.
  • It is being organized by the Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with other Central Ministries, State Governments.
  • The three components of Paryatan Parv, are:
  • Dekho Apna Desh: To encourage Indians to visit their own country
  • Tourism for All: Tourism Events at sites across all States in the country are being organised
  • Tourism & Governance: Interactive Sessions & Workshops with Stakeholders on varied themes will be organized across the Country

India’s 1st underwater robotic drone

  • India has launched its first underwater robotic drone, ‘ EyeRov TUNA’.
  • It can send real-time videos of ships and other underwater structures to help with their repair and maintenance.
  • It is designed to perform visual inspection and surveys of submerged structures up to the depth of 100 m.
  • It was handed over to the Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL) of DRDO.
  • Eyerovtuna was developed by a Kochi based Startup EyeROV Technologies.

New Tuberculosis Drug

  • British scientists have developed a non-antibiotic drug that may in future treat tuberculosis (TB) in humans effectively.
  • TB is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a species of pathogenic bacteria that is spread through the air.
  • Instead of targeting the bacteria that causes Tuberculosis this drug works by targeting the defense mechanism of the bacteria.

G-20 meet in Argentina

  • G-20 trade and investment ministerial meeting held in Argentina.
  • Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu participate in this meeting at Mar del Plata in Argentina.
  • Over 35 heads of the delegation are attending the G20 Trade and Investment Ministerial Meeting. 
  • Global supply chains and the new industrial revolution are high on the agenda.
  • The G20 members include India, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, EU, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, UK and the US.
  • In spite of the current international trade environment, the ministerial statement calls on keeping markets open, addressing economic development and reinvigorating the international trading system. 

Current Affairs - Sep 14, 2018

ias current affairs

Anti-Nuclear Medical Kit

  • Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS) has developed the first indigenous medical anti-nuclear kit.
  • This kit is for protection against nuclear warfare or radioactive leakage.
  • The kit contains 25 items capable of absorbing 80-90 percent of radiation.
  • Amongst others, the kit contains Prussian blue tablet, Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) injection, Ca-EDTA Respiratory Fluid, Radioactive Blood Mopping Dressing, Radioactive urine/biofluid collector, Anti-gamma ray skin ointment, Amifostine injection, Indranil 150 mg tablet.
  • It took 20 years of research to develop this kit by INMAS scientists.
  • INMAS is a laboratory of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). 
  • It is located in New Delhi and it was established in 1961.
  • Currently, we are purchasing anti-nuclear kits from US and Russia at a much higher price.

Lion Safari at Nahargarh Biological Park

  • Rajasthan to open its first Lion Safari at Nahargarh Biological Park.
  • Nahargarh Park is of spread around 94 acres, at 12 km from Jaipur on Jaipur-Delhi highway.
  • Nahargarh is located at the edge of Aravalli hills, is famous for having Nahargarh Fort built in 1734 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the founder of Jaipur.
  • 10 lions to be released in the park are brought from Junagarh, Gujarat under the exchange program.
  • Starting this October visitors can watch these lions in their natural habitat from their 4 km safari.
  • Apart from lions, the park also hosts wolves, jackals, and hyenas.
  • Gir National Park of Junagarh, Gujarat is another famous destination for Lion Safari.

Bru Refugees Rehabilitation

  • In a bid to rehabilitate Bru Refugees from Tripura camps to their villages in Mizoram, the government has asked them to leave refugee camps and move back to their homes or soon they won't be given free ration and other facilities at these camps.
  • Bru militancy came to life as a reaction to the Mizo nationalist movement, in 1997 the murder of a Mizo forest guard at the Dampa Tiger Reserve in Mizoram allegedly by Bru militants led to a violent backlash against the community resulted into displacement of thousands of people from the community to Tripura back (in 1997).
  • In those times, Mizo nationalists claimed that they are not indigenous to Mizoram so must not vote in elections.
  • As scenario has changed long ago now, the Centre and the state governments of Tripura and Mizoram has recently signed an agreement for repatriation of Bru community from Tripura to Mizoram.

Current Affairs - Sep 13, 2018

current affairs

Health ministry banned 327 FDC drugs

  • The Ministry of Health has banned the production, sale, and dispersal of about 328 fixed-dose combinations of drugs (FDCs).
  • The expert panel probing the efficacy of 349 banned FDCs complied with the December 2017 apex court judgment and gave its report to India’s top drug advisory body, the Drug Technical Advisory Board (DTAB).
  • These drugs include popular brands like Saridon (painkiller), Panderm (skin cream), Gluconorm PG (combination diabetes drug), Lupidiclox (antibiotic) and Taxim AZ (antibacterial). Around 6,000 drug brands are expected to be affected by this ban.
  • This ban will bring an end to a long legal battle between the ministry and the drug manufacturers.

CPI Inflation fell from 4.17% to 3.69%

  • Data released by the Central Statistics Office showed that retail inflation was at 3.69 percent in August compared to 4.17 percent in July.
  • Consumer price inflation fell below 4 percent for the first time in 2018.
  • Inflation is currently running below the MPC’s forecast of 4.6 percent in the second quarter of the current financial year.

US threat to International Criminal Court

  • United States has recently threatened to bar ICC judges and prosecutors from entering the country, sanction their funds in the U.S. financial system and prosecute them in the American criminal justice system if Americans are charged with war crimes committed in Afghanistan.
  • ICC is world's first permanent international criminal court headquartered at The Hague in the Netherlands.
  • States which become the party to the Rome Statute (aka ICC statute) becomes a member of ICC and the co-operation of the non-party states with the ICC is of voluntary nature.
  • India is not a signatory to the Rome Statute.
  • The United States has signed the Rome Statute but has not ratified it.
  • But when a case is referred to the ICC by the UN Security Council, all UN member states are obliged to cooperate, since its decisions are binding for all of them.
  • The United States has not signed up to the court and in 2002, its Congress passed a law enabling U.S to invade the Netherlands to liberate any U.S. citizen held by the court.

Current Affairs - Sep 12, 2018

ias current affairs

BARC Recommissioned its Oldest Reactor

  • India's oldest nuclear research reactor Apsara has been upgraded and recommissioned under new name Apsara-U (Upgraded).
  • Apsara was Asia's first nuclear research reactor, installed at India's nuclear weapon facility at BARC's Trombay campus (Maharashtra) since 1956.
  • It was permanently shut down by BARC in 2009 for repair, which is complete and its capacity has been doubled now.
  • Father of Indian Nuclear Program, Dr. Homi Jahangir Bhabha conceptualized the design of this indigenous reactor.
  • It will increase indigenous production of radio-isotopes for medical application by about 50 percent, according to India's Department of Atomic Energy (DAE).
  • Apsara-U uses plate type dispersion fuel elements made of Low Enriched Uranium (LEU).
  • In the original reactor, the maximum thermal neutron flux level was about 1×1013 n/cm2/s at designed power (1 MW) whereas, in the upgraded version, flux is 6.1×1013 n/cm2/s of 2 MW power.

Railsahyog Portal for CSR

  • Indian Railways Railsahyog portal for the creation of amenities around Railway Stations through Corporate Social Responsibility funds of public/private companies.
  • The companies desirous of contributing can show the willingness of the portal by registering their requests.
  • The portal has been envisaged as a platform for all including individuals as also private & public organization to contribute towards CSR activities in association with Indian Railways.

Earthquake in North Eastern region

  • Moderate earthquake tremors were felt in Assam, West Bengal, Sikkim, Bihar, Jharkhand, and also in Bhutan.
  • The earthquake was of 5.5 on the Richter Scale.
  • Its epicenter was at 7 km from Kokrajhar district of Assam, Kokrajhar is known form being home of Boro tribe and Manas National Park.

One-Liners for Preliminary Exams

  • Hindustan Shipyard Limited has successfully built India’s first missile tracking ship VC 11184 powered by two diesel engines, and having the capacity to carry 300-strong crew, large deck capable of the helicopter landing and communication equipment.
  • Under NITI Aayog’s ‘National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence' NITI Aayog, Intel and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research are collaborating to set up a Model International Center for Transformative Artificial Intelligence (ICTAI).
  • World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), has forecasted a 70% chance of an El Nino developing by the end of this year.
    Anticipated El Nino may not be as powerful as the 2015-16 event but will have considerable impact.
  • After direction of Supreme Court, the Election Commission has removed NOTA option for Rajya Sabha election and elections of legislative councils of states.

Current Affairs - Sep 11, 2018

current affairs ias

39th session of UN Human Rights Council

  • UNHRC Headquarters in Geneva is all set to host the 39th session of UNHRC. The 38th session was held a few months ago in June-July this year. It holds regular sessions three times a year, in March, June, and September.
  • UNHRC was formed in 2007 after replacing UNCHR (UN Commission on Human Rights) as under the UN system of the intergovernmental body, with the mission to promote and protect human rights around the world.
  • In this session, it is expected to adopt a resolution on the human rights situation in Myanmar as session follows the report by the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, which detailed crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide by Myanmar’s security forces in Rakhine State.
  • It has 47 seats with tenure of 3 years, and no member can occupy a seat for more than two terms. Also, these 47 seats are divided on the basis of the group of countries from various continents.
  • Earlier its report on the human rights situation in Kashmir and urged the Indian government to repeal Armed Forces (Jammu & Kashmir) Special Powers Act, 1990. But the Indian government rejected the report.

7 countries at risk of exchange rate crises: Nomura

  • Nomura's new index Damocles has assessed that assessed the risk of exchange rate crises for 30 emerging market economies and predicted seven countries to be at risk.
  • Seven countries namely Sri Lanka, South Africa, Argentina, Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey and Ukraine are at risk of exchange rate crises as investors re-assess their risks.

Military Exercises

  • MILEX - 2018, the first BIMSTEC military exercise began in Pune. Amongst all BIMSTEC members, Nepal and Thailand sent their observers only.
  • Nomadic Elephant, Indo-Mongolia joint military exercise to be held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. 
  • Yudh Abhyas 2018, Indo-US joint military exercise (14th edition) to be held in Chaubattia in Uttarakhand between 16-29 September.

NASA found new exoplanet

  • Kepler Space Telescope of NASA has discovered a new exoplanet Wolf 503b.
  • Exoplanet Wolf 503b is located in the Virgo constellation, is twice as big as the Earth, its distance from earth is about 145 light years, and it orbits its star every 6 days.
  • Kepler telescope is a space observatory launched in 2009 to discover planets outside our solar system (exoplanets). Apart from it, TESS spacecraft is also aimed at finding planets that can support life. 

One-Liners for Preliminary Tests

  • Indian food regulator FSSAI (The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) has envisaged audits of food business operators by third-party private auditing agencies recognized by the regulator.
  • During 3rd meeting of the ‘Joint Working Group on Political and Security Cooperation’ between India and Afghanistan in Kabul, India had announced taking up 116 “high impact community developmental projects” in Afghanistan and enhance cooperation under 'New Development Partnership'.
  • India-Bangladesh jointly inaugurated three projects including Rehabilitation of the Kulaura-Shahbazpur section of Bangladesh Railways, 500 MW additional power supply from India to Bangladesh, Akhaura – Agartala Rail Link.
  • Snow leopard was spotted at height of 4,000m in Lippa-Asra wildlife sanctuary in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh.

    Current Affairs - Sep 10, 2018

    ias current affairs

    India's Import Basket

    • With the fall in rupee value, the rise in Current Account Deficit is generally attributed to crude oil imports. Though crude oil import is the largest component of import basket but not be the only one disturbing the equilibrium.
    • While crude imports jumped $21.7 billion, the imports of coal and coke, metal and mineral, non-ferrous metal and iron and steel rose $15.9 billion, 73% of the jump in petroleum and crude imports.
    • Second largest import item, Electronic, accounted for 11.4% of the total, jumped 23.4% to $52.9 billion in FY18, from $42.8 billion last year.
    • India’s imports rose 21% in FY18 over those in the previous year, its exports grew by only 9.98%, thereby widening the trade deficit.
    • Gold, precious metals, gems, stones, machinery, transport equipment are having a similar growth trajectory.

    Sarala Puraskar

    • Noted Odia poet Satrughna Pandav will receive the prestigious Sarala Puraskar for his poetry work ‘Misra Dhrupad.’
    • The 39th edition of Sarala Puraskar – instituted by eminent Odia industrialist Late Dr. Bansidhar Panda and Late Ila Panda in the year 1979 and continuously awarded by Indian Metals Public Charitable Trust (IMPaCT) – will be presented to Pandav on October 26.
    • Pandav will receive a cash award of Rs 5 lakh along with a citation.

    Bengaluru Space Expo

    • The 6th edition of the Bengaluru Space Expo inaugurated by ISRO Chairman Dr.K Sivan in Bengaluru.
    • The biennial space expo, which was started in 2008, is held jointly by the ISRO, Antrix and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
    • Representatives and heads of space agencies from France, Russia, and Taiwan are also taking part in the event.

    Khanderi Submarine

    • Indian Navy is very soon going to get Khannderi Submarine (by 2018 end). It will be second of six Kalvari-class submarines to be inducted into Indian Navy.
    • The Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) building this submarine as a part of the submarine building contract.
    • Its name 'Khanderi' is taken from the Island fort of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
    • According to Deal signed between Navy and MDL in 2005, the company is required to build six Scorpene class diesel-electric submarines in collaboration with 'Naval' group of France.

    Air-to-Air Refuelling of LCA Tejas

    • The mid-air refueling of ‘wet contact’ trial for LCA Tejas MK-1 was successfully carried out today from an Indian Air Force base.
    • Before this ‘wet contact’ trial, the ‘dry contact trials’ were successfully conducted on September 04 & 06, 2018 where the Drogue (basket) extended from the IAF tanker aircraft by a fuel hose, was tracked and plugged into using the aircraft refuelling probe without taking fuel.
    • The Air-to-Air refueling capability for LCA is a ‘force multiplier’ for the IAF, giving the aircraft the potential to stay airborne for much longer periods of time.

    US Open

    • Men's Single: Novak Djokovic from Serbia won his 14th Grand Slam title.
    • Women's Single: Naomi Osaka of Japan won her first Grand Salm title after defeating 23 times Grand Slam winner Serena Williams in US Open.
    • Men's Doubles: Jack Sock & Mike Bryan of United States
    • Women's Double: Ashleigh Barty (Australia) & CoCo Vandeweghe (United States)
    • Mixed Doubles: Bethanie Mattek-Sands (United Kingdom) & Jamie Murray (United States)

    One-Liners for Preliminary Tests

    • The government made the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana an open-ended scheme. Earlier it was launched for four years in 2014.
    • Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) appointed R Madhavan as its Chairman and Managing Director for five years.
    • No permits would be required for vehicles running on alternative fuel, including CNG, ethanol and electric vehicles.
    • India and France to work together on Gaganyaan, they are going to announce a working group for Gaganyaan.

    Current Affairs - Sep 9, 2018

    China To Allow Nepal Access To Ports

    • Ending India's monopoly on transit, China has allowed Nepal the access to its ports at Tianjin, Shenzhen, Lianyungang, and Zhanjiang. 
    • Nearest of these ports is Zhenjiang which is 2755 km away from Nepal border. While the Indian port (in their use) of Kolkata is only 774 km and Visakhapatnam is 1194 km away.
    • Nepal imports from Japan, South Korea, and other North Asian countries; access to Chinese ports will cut cost and time, Nepal officials claim.
    • China had also agreed to allow Nepal use its dry (land) ports at Lanzhou, Lhasa, and Xigatse as well as roads to these facilities. 
    • Apart from this development, China is already making fast inroads into Nepal with aid and investment in the field of infrastructure development especially road and railways.
    • Nepal depends heavily on India for the supply including essential goods.

    Nepal snubs India for BIMSTEC First Military Drill

    • Pune is hosting first ever six-day BIMSTEC joint military exercise focusing on counter-terrorism from September 10. 
    • Nepal's Prime Minister PK Oli has reportedly instructed his Chief of Army to cancel its participation.
    • The reason for such a decision has been attributed to questions raised by ruling party and opposition parties in Nepal for the purpose of any such exercise.
    • Such a decision was taken in a time when next PM in line Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachand' (as per power-sharing agreement with Oli) is already on the visit to India on the invitation of PM Mode.
    • It must be noted that the whole government has denied the information about the military drill in local media, as the decision was of Nepal Army. Relation of Nepal civilian govt and army has been rough in past, and even now lack of communication is clearly visible, though there is no major friction.

    Odisha's Resolution for Legislative Council

    • Odisha Legislative Assembly has passed a resolution for formation of a 49 member Legislative Council in the state.
    • Now it will require the approval of Union Cabinet and then Parliament followed by President's assent to become an Act.
    • Currently, seven states have Legislative Councils viz. Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, and Telangana.
    • Currently, proposals for the formation of Legislative Council in Rajasthan and Assam is pending in Parliament. Earlier, Tamil Nadu withdrew the similar proposal.
    • The strength of the Legislative Council of any state cannot have more than one-third of its state assembly and less than 40. (Article 171)

    Amitabh Chaudhry, Axis Bank's new MD & CEO

    • HDFC Life's 54-year-old MD and CEO has received RBI's nod to be appointed as the MD and CEO of Axis Bank.
    • He will take over the position after Shikha Sharma on January 1, 2019; and will hold this position for the next three years.

    Current Affairs - Sep 8, 2018

    current affairs 2018

    Power Subsidy to be under DBT

    • The Central government is to bring new rules in electricity subsidy.
    • It has proposed an amendment to Electricity Act, 2003 (currently draft) to make Direct Benefit Transfer compulsory for providing any subsidy.
    • This will be for all the categories of consumers in any state.
    • This step is taken to curb the practice of debt accumulation by distribution companies. 
    • The consumers will get subsidy directly in bank accounts via DBT.

    Current Account Deficit Widens

    • India's current Account Deficit CAD widens to 2.4% of GDP in the first quarter.
    • The CAD stood at $15.8 billion (in Q1 2018-19) compared to $15 billion in last year's Q1.
    • The widening of the CAD on a year-on-year basis was primarily due to a higher trade deficit.
    • The trade deficit is at $45.7 billion as compared with $41.9 billion in 2017

    India, Lanka begin the Joint Naval exercise

    • Three Indian naval ships reached Trincomalee for Joint Naval Exercise, SLINEX 2018.
    • This will be the sixth edition of the bilateral exercise between India and Sri Lanka. It was initiated in 2005
    • The exercise began on 7th September 2018.
    • The inaugural ceremony of the exercise was held on board Sri Lankan Navy’s SLNS Sayurala.
    • The exercise is being conducted in two phases.

    Visa-less entry for Kartarpur Sahib, Pakistan

    • As the Sikh community all set to celebrate 155th Birth Anniversary 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev next year; Pakistan government is likely to allow ‘visa-less entry’ to pilgrims headed for Kartarpur Sahib.
    • The Kartarpur Gurdwara is located in Narowal district of Punjab province near the Indian border and is revered by Sikhs due to the belief that the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak died there.
    • A corridor will be made to visit the Gurdwara for visa-less entry, but tickets may be charged for the visit. The official announcement is yet to be made in this regard.
    • There has been a longstanding demand in India for opening a corridor for the Sikh pilgrims between Kartarpur Sahib in Narowal district of Pakistan's Punjab province and Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur- the two sites, barely 6km apart.

    2nd World Hindu Congress in Chicago

    • The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu is on a two-day visit to USA on September 7-9.
    • The VP will address the 2nd World Hindu Congress being held in Chicago on the occasion of 125th Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s Historic Speech at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in 1893.
    • VP is also expected to participate in a programme organized by 14 Telugu Associations of the US.

    Current Affairs - Sep 7, 2018

    daily current affairs

    Pakistan to become 5th Largest Nuclear State

    • The current state of nuclear warhead distribution across the globe - 
    1. Russia - 6850
    2. United States - 6550
    3. France - 300
    4. China - 280
    5. United Kingdom - 215
    6. Pakistan - 145
    7. India - 135
    8. Israel - 80
    9. North Korea- 15
    • According to reports, Pakistan is developing several nuclear weapons delivery systems, four plutonium production reactor, and its uranium enrichment facilities are further expanding.
    • Pakistan's current 145 nuclear warheads are already way above US Defense Intelligence Agency prediction and its stockpile is expected to increase to 220 to 250 by 2025 (surpassing the United Kingdom) if its current proliferation trend continues.
    • Its nuclear program seeks to create a full-spectrum deterrent that is designed not only to respond to nuclear attacks but also to counter an Indian conventional incursion onto Pakistani territory.

    Swadesh Darshan Scheme

    • It is one of the flagship schemes of Ministry of Tourism for development of thematic circuits in the country in a planned and prioritised manner.
    • It is a central sector scheme.
    • The following thematic circuits have been identified, for development namely North-East India Circuit, Buddhist Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Krishna Circuit, Desert Circuit, Tirtankar circuit, Tribal Circuit, Eco Circuit, Wildlife Circuit, Rural Circuit, Spiritual Circuit, Sufi circuit, Ramayana Circuit and Heritage Circuit.
    • It is different from "PRASAD" scheme of Ministry of Tourism.
    • National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) focus on development and beautification of the identified pilgrimage destinations.

    Nari Shakti Puraskar

    • It is the Highest Civilian Honour for women in India.
    • It is the national level award given by the Ministry of Women and Child Development on eminent women and institutions in recognition of their service towards the cause of women empowerment.
    • The Puraskars are open to all Indian Institutions, organisations, and individuals.
    • It is conferred every year on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
    • The Ministry of Women & Child Development has recently invited nominations for the Nari Shakti Puraskars.

    One-Liners for Preliminary Exams

    • National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) is soon expected to deliver the fate of the controversial Hubballi–Ankola railway line. It is been opposed because will claim nearly 1,300 acres of pristine forest land apart from the cutting of 1.73 lakh trees, spanning three elephant corridors in Dharwad, Yellapur, and Karwar.
    • The world is ready to celebrate 52nd Internat,onal teracy Day on September 8, is an opportunity for governments, civil society and stakeholders to highlight improvements in world literacy rates. 
    • China launched a marine satellite to help improve the understanding of maritime waters and climate change. A Long March-2C rocket carrying the ‘HY-1C satellite’ was launched from China. The satellite will help monitor ocean colour and water temperatures, providing basic data for research on the global oceanic environment.

    Current Affairs - Sep 6, 2018

    current affairs 2018

    CM KCR dissolved Telangana Assembly

    • Telangana Cabinet passed the resolution to dissolve first Legislative assembly of Telangana State.
    • Governor has accepted the recommendation of Chief Minister but asked him and his council of ministers to continue in office as a caretaker government
    • The Legislative Assembly of Telangana currently consists of 119 elected members and one nominated member from the Anglo-Indian community. And, it has 17 Lok Sabha (Lower House of the Parliament) constituencies.
    • CM K. Chandrashekhar Rao is from TRS, and Congress is the major opposition party in Telangana.

    Supreme Court Decriminalised Gay Sex

    • A five-judge Supreme Court bench headed by CJI Deepak Mishra, by the unanimous decision today decriminalised Section 377 making gay sex legal in India.
    • In 2013, the SC had overturned Delhi HC's 2009 judgement which had decriminalised sex between consenting adults of the same gender.
    • Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Uruguay are some of other countries with this provision.

    India-US 2+2 Dialogues

    • After being canceled twice in the last 14 months, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman held the 2+2 dialogue with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Defence Secretary James Mattis.
    • Both countries signed the long-pending Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) that will enable India to access advanced technologies from the US.
    • India-US to set up hotline between External Affairs Minister and Defence Minister with their American counterparts.
    • An Indian liaison officer will be deployed at the US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT), in charge of US naval operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the oil-rich Gulf countries.
    • USA reiterated its endorsement for the quest of India's NSG membership and agreed to speed up the process (Beijing is blocking India's entry saying India has not signed NPT).
    • Meeting also included topics like H1B visa, terrorism from Pakistan, maritime security, strategic defence partnership etc.

    North America Free Trade Agreement

    • U.S. and Canada pulled back from a standoff regarding the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
    • US NAFTA is a trilateral arrangement between US, Canada and Mexico. US has been accusing provision of agreement for the trade deficit with Mexico and American job loss, so wants to renegotiate the agreement with Mexico, but Canada is opposing.
    • US and Mexico have reached an agreement for a new deal but Canada is refusing to sign; thus the threat of excluding Canada out NAFTA raised.
    • In the new agreement, Canada is concerned about the protection of its Dairy, Movies, Media industries and also mechanism to settle trade disputes (US removed chapter 19 related to anti-dumping and countervailing duties before the committee but Canada wants to retain it).
    • Canada is the major export destination of as many as 36 US states, thus taking a tough stance against Canada is not going to be viable for US Congress, no matter what President Trump says.
    • Currently, negotiations are to continue.

    One-Liners for Preliminary Tests

    • Rupee hits a new low, breaches 72 marks for the first time.
    • Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL), a PSU, has bagged order worth Rs. 9,200 crore for supply of seven Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LRSAM) systems to Indian Navy.
    • Asian Games gold-medallist Saurabh Chaudhary shattered the world record to claim the junior 10m air pistol gold at the ISSF World Championships.