Weekly Current Affairs 29 January – 4 February 2018
Daily Weekly Current Affairs 2018 with questions and answers on Current Affairs and Important National and International events for SSC
8. First Ever ‘Khadi Haat’ Inaugurated in Delhi
23-Union Budget 2018: Financial Sector
The Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on 1 February 2018 presented the Union Budget 2018 in the parliament. In the independent India, this will be the 88th budget and the fifth of the Modi Government.
The government will explore use of blockchain technology proactively to boost digital economy. However, the government will not consider cryptocurrency as legal tender.
The Union Commerce Ministry will develop a National Logistics Portal as a single window program to boost the logistics sector. The Union government will recapitalise public sector banks to help them lend an additional Rs 5 lakh crore. Unit Trust of India, Oriental Insurance and National Insurance will be merged and then listed.
24-. NHRC issues notice to Centre, Punjab government over use of pesticides
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notices to the Centre and Punjab Government over the reported high incidence of serious diseases in the Malwa region of the state due to excessive use of pesticides and insecticides.
Taking Suo Motu cognizance of a media report, the Commission asked Union Health Secretary and State Chief Secretary to submit a detailed report within six weeks. They have also been asked to inform about the steps taken, after 2012, when the Commission had disposed the matter on the assurance given by the State Government for an affirmative and prompt action to deal with the menace
NHRC stated that it seems that even after the lapse of a period of more than seven years, things have not moved and the people residing in the region are still suffering from various diseases including cancer, liver failure, renal failure and birth defects.
25. 30 % of young people in conflict or disaster-stricken countries are illiterate: UNICEF
According to a new study by UNICEF, nearly 30 percent of young people aged between 15 and 24 years in countries affected by conflict and disaster are illiterate, almost triple the global rate.
The children’s agency stated that among these 59 million young people, girls are at the biggest disadvantage when it comes to getting an education. It said that the four impoverished African countries with a long history of instability had the highest rates of young people unable to read or write. Niger with 76 percent illiteracy among young people tops the list followed by Chad with 69 percent, South Sudan with 68 percent and the Central African Republic with 64 percent.
According to UNICEF’s New Executive Director, Henrietta Fore, these numbers are a stark reminder of the tragic impact that crises have on children’s education, their futures, and the stability and growth of their economies and societies.
26. India ranks 42nd in 2017 Global Democracy Index
India has been ranked 42nd among 165 independent states on the annual 2017 Global Democracy Index (GDI) released by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), a UK-based company.
India’s rank has slipped from 32nd in 2016 GDI and its overall score dropped 0.58 points from 7.81 to 7.23. Moreover, India was classified India as a flawed democracy in 2017 GDI.
The GDI index ranks 165 independent states and 2 territories on basis of 60 indicators grouped in five different categories such as electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, the functioning of government, political participation and political culture.
It categories countries into four broad categories including full democracy, flawed democracy, the hybrid regime and authoritarian regime based on their score on a scale from 0 to 10.
27. India, Pakistan extend Thar Link Express for 3 years
India and Pakistan on January 30, 2018, extended their agreement on Thar Link Express, the second solitary rail service between the two nations, for three more years.
The extension comes at a time tension prevailed along the border between the two countries in Jammu and Kashmir. The agreement to link the two countries by rail was signed in 2006 to facilitate people-to-people contact. The agreement was set to expire in March 2018 but has now been extended to January 31, 2021.
The two sides currently have only two trans-border trains. The Samjhauta Express operates on the Delhi-Lahore route through the Attari-Wagah border crossing and carries both passengers and freight. The Thar Express links Jodhpur and Karachi through the Munabao-Khokhrapar border crossing and carries only passengers.
28. Neelam Kapoor appointed as Director General of Sports Authority of India
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has appointed senior bureaucrat Neelam Kapoor as Director General (DG) of the Sports Authority of India (SAI). The committee was headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Neelam Kapoor is a 1982 batch officer of the Indian Information Service (IIS). At present, she is Principal Director General of the Directorate of Field Publicity. She previously served as the Principal Director General of Press Information Bureau (PIB) in UPA Government headed by then PM Manmohan Singh.
29-Union Budget 2018: Agriculture Sector
The Budget 2018 has identified Agriculture Sector as one of the key drivers of the economy. The government wants to assist farmers to earn 1.5 times the production cost, and the Minimum Selling Price (MSP) for the Kharif Crops has been set at 1.5 times the produce price.
The government would be setting up an Agri-Market Infrastructure Fund with a corpus of `2000 crore for developing and upgrading agricultural marketing infrastructure in the 22000 Grameen Agricultural Markets (GrAMs).
Government plans to launch ‘Operation Green’ with a corpus of Rs 500 crore. It will promote Farmer Producers Organizations (FPOs), agri-logistics, processing facilities and professional management.
30. Union Government proposes key amendments to Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002
The Union government on February 1, 2018 proposed changes to various provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002 through the Finance Bill. The amendments are expected to make the implementation of PMLA more effective.
One of the key amendments empowers the Special Court to restore confiscated assets to the rightful claimants even during the trial.
The amended definition of “proceeds of crime” allows the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to proceed against assets of equivalent value located even outside the country.
31. Mary Kom clinches gold medal at India Open Boxing tournament
The five-time World Champion and Olympic bronze medallist, Mary Kom on February 2, 2018, claimed the gold medal in the India Open International Boxing tournament at Thyagraj Indoor Stadium in New Delhi.
Kom defeated Josie Gabuco from the Philippines in a split 4-1 decision to grab the gold in the women’s 48kg weight category. The 12th seeded boxer had earlier booked her place in the finals after defeating Mongolian Altansetseg Lutsaikhan in the semi-final clash.
In the 64 kg category, the former world and Asian bronze medallist Pwilao Basumatary was the first among the women to fetch gold by claiming a 3-2 win over Thailand’s Sudaporn Seesondee. Pinki Rani also fetched gold for India after defeating Mongolia’s Jargalan Ochirbat in the final of fly (48-51 kg) category.
32. New tunnel at Sela Pass to boost Defence Preparedness in border areas
The Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced while presenting the Union Budget 2018 that the government would be building a tunnel through the Sela Pass in Arunachal Pradesh.
The construction of the tunnel will ensure faster movement of troops in Tawang, a strategically- located town in Arunachal Pradesh bordering China. According to the Defence Ministry, the approval for the construction of Sela pass in Arunachal Pradesh has given further impetus to the defence preparedness.
The development is a part of the Union Government’s effort to develop connectivity infrastructure in border areas to secure India’s defence.
33. India joins Ashgabat agreement
India on February 1, 2018, joined the Ashgabat agreement, which envisages the establishment of an international transport and transit corridor linking Central Asia with the Persian Gulf to significantly ramp up trade and investment.
The agreement was originally signed on April 25, 2011, among the four founding members – Iran, Oman, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan with an aim to set up a trade and transit corridor between them.
The External Affairs Ministry in its official release stated that Turkmenistan, as depository state of Ashgabat agreement, informed India on Feb 1 that all the four founding members have consented to the accession of India to the agreement.
34. In Detail: Union Budget 2018-19 and Economic Survey
Since the beginning of the year 2018, there has been abuzz surrounding Budget 2018-19- What would be the allocation for agriculture sector? What Budget 2018 is likely to bring for infrastructure sector? Will Budget 2018 witness increase in income tax slab?.
Besides, all these questions and expectations, Budget 2018-19 happens to be little more crucial as it comes following government’s two big financial decisions – demonetisation and the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Now, with the presentation of the Budget 2018-19, it becomes clear that there aren’t any major changes in indirect tax as most of them are now under the purview of GST council. However, there might be some doubts and queries still lingering in the mind of few.
35-Cochin Shipyard Limited Signs MoU With Russian Firm USC
Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) and Joint Stock Company United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), Russia have signed an MoU to collaborate and engage in Design, Development and Execution of contemporary, State-of-Art vessels for Inland and Coastal Waterways.
The MoU will give a push to the Government’s Make-in-India programme, as also its plans to develop eco-friendly and economic transportation along India’s inland waterways and coastal shipping routes under SAGARMALA.
36-IOB Receives Rs173 Cr Capital Infusion From Government
In a regulatory filing, IOB has received Rs173.06 crore a the contribution of the central government in the preferential allotment of equity shares of the bank as government’s investment during the 2017-18 fiscal.
37-UAE Launches World’s Longest Zip Line
The Jebel Jais Flight takes thrill-seekers atop the country’s largest mountain peak, from a launch pad 1,680 meters (5,512 feet) above sea level.
38-CRISIL, SIDBI Launch India’s First MSE Sentiment Index
39-India Lifts U-19 World Cup 2018
40-Saurav Ghosal Becomes The Highest-Ranked Indian Squash Player
India’s leading squash player, Saurav Ghosal jumped five places to No. 14 to become the highest ranked Indian in the latest Professional Squash Association (PSA) rankings.
Ghosal beat Joshna Chinappa who slipped three places to No. 17 while Dipika Pallikal Karthik remained on 20. Former Indian national champion Harinder Pal Sandhu was placed at 49th.
41-John Hennessy Appointed Alphabet’s New Board Chairman
42-Shabnam Asthana Wins Times Power Woman 2017 Award
43-Shyam Benegal Awarded V Shantaram Lifetime Achievement Award
44-EAM Sushma Swaraj Goodwill Visit To Nepal- Complete Coverage
45-PM Modi Inaugurates Global Investment Summit In Assam
46-Country’s first def industrial corridor to link Chennai with Bengaluru
According to Union Budget 2018-19, the government will develop two defence industrial production corridors. Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the first corridor will link Chennai and Bengaluru and will pass through Coimbatore and several other industrial clusters.
47-Maharashtra becomes first state to set up welfare board for transgenders
The Maharashtra government has decided to set up a Transgender Welfare Board to protect their Constitutional and human rights. This will make Maharashtra the first Indian state to have such a board. An amount of ₹5 crore has also been set aside to provide education, housing, and employment for the transgender community.
48-India’s biggest floating island released in Neknampur lake
With February 2 being observed as World Wetlands Day, the floating treatment wetland (FTW), a joint effort of Dhruvansh, the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority and the Ranga Reddy district administration, supported by other organisations, was inaugurated in Hyderabad, Telangana. The India Book of Records recognised it as the largest FTW in the country.
49-Sri Lanka celebrated its 70th Independence Day today
Sri Lanka celebrated its 70th Independence Day today (4 February 2018). It was on this day in 1948 that Sri Lanka, then Ceylon, gained independence from 133 years of British colonial rule.
50-Maharashtra has largest share in India’s export and GST base: Economic Survey
According to the Economic Survey 2017-18, Maharashtra’s has come out to be one of the largest states in terms of its economic size and prosperity gives it the largest share in India’s exports and the goods and service tax (GST) base.
- The survey found Maharashtra had the largest share of the tax base at 16 per cent.
51-CBEC to be renamed CBIC by April
The change of name of apex indirect tax policy making body Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC) to Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) is likely to happen by April after the budgetary exercise gets Parliament nod.
In his budget speech for 2018-19, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said with the roll out of GST the name of CBEC
would be changed to CBIC
52-Sindhu loses to Beiwen Zhang in India Open final
Star Indian shuttler P. V. Sindhu fell to fifth seeded Beiwen Zhang from the US in the women’s singles final of the $350,000 India Open BWF World Tour Super 500 held in New Delhi.
53-Golfer Shubhankar wins Maybank Championship
India’s Shubhankar Sharma overcame a four-shot deficit to win the US$3mil (RM11.7mil) Maybank Championship for his second victory on both the Asian Tour and European Tour.
- Earlier he had won the European Tour’s Joburg Open in the second week of December 2017.
54-Malaysian chef wins International Young Chef Olympiad 2018
The 4th edition of International Young Chef Olympiad (YCO) concluded in New Delhi with Lai Jia Yi from Malaysia winning the top spot and Indian student chef Surya Sekhar Roy Choudhury claiming the second position.
- Touted as the “World’s biggest culinary battle of student chefs”, the competition was judged by eminent celebrity chefs and Michelin-starred winners including Sanjeev Kapoor, Ranveer Brar, John Wood, Chris Galvin, Scott Baechler, and Enzo Oliveri.
55-Anjana Sukhani pens book for housewives’ budgeting blues
Actress Anjana Sukhani, seen in films like “Salaam-e-Ishq”, “Golmaal Returns” and “Allah Ke Banday” has penned a book titled ‘Hisaab Kitaab’. The book is a how-to book on household budgeting.