Current Affairs for NDA, CDS, AFCAT, Airforce X&Y Groups – News
Analysis from THE HINDU (January 02, 2019)
1. India, Pak. move towards release of civilian prisoners
In a peace overture, India has asked Islamabad to take back
dozens of Pakistani nationals who have completed jail terms here. The Indian
request came in the context of the exchange of the lists of prisoners in both
countries on the first day of the new year.
“India has also asked Pakistan to expedite response in the
cases of 80 Pakistan prisoners who have completed their sentences and await
repatriation for want of nationality confirmation by Pakistan,” the Ministry of
External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement after India handed over a list of
249 civilian Pakistani prisoners and 98 fishermen in its custody.
Pakistan shared lists of 54 civilian prisoners and 483
fishermen in its jails, who it claims are Indian.
Of the total number of Indian prisoners, Delhi has asked
Islamabad to release 17 civilian prisoners and 369 fishermen whose nationality
has been confirmed. The MEA said India had shared details of the reconstituted
Joint Judicial Committee and of the medical professionals who are expected to
visit Pakistan to help the elderly and mentally unsound Indian prisoners.
2. Ganga water quality has improved, govt. tells RS
The water quality of the Ganga in 2018 has “improved over
last year”, according to a written statement in the Rajya Sabha on Monday by
junior Water Resources Minister Satyapal Singh.
The statement said “dissolved oxygen” levels had improved at
39 locations, and “biological oxygen demand” (BOD) levels and faecal coliform
had decreased at 42 and 47 locations respectively. These three parameters are a
proxy for both the presence of aquatic life as well as microbes that may be
harmful to these biota, and are conventionally used to assess the quality of
These improved stretches of the river included places such
as Rishikesh, the Har-Ki-Pauri Ghat at Haridwar; Ranighat in Kanpur; Tarighat
in Ghazipur; Narora in Bulandshahr; Kachhla Ghat in Badaun, Aligarh; Buxar,
Mokama and Munger — all in Bihar; Uluberia, Dakshineshwar and Diamond Harbour
in West Bengal.
3. Global advertising meet in Kochi on February 20-22
The International Advertising Association (IAA) will host
the IAA World Congress at Kochi from February 20-22. The event, covering
marketing, advertising and media, would be held at the Grand Hyatt Lulu
International Convention Centre in that city.
Pradeep Guha, chairman, steering committee, IAA World
Congress, said: “This is being planned as the most significant event with talks
by 35 speakers on marketing, advertising, communications, media and related
technology areas across the globe. We have also planned three evenings of great
entertainment. And we have special rates for academics and students so that
they learn from this great line-up of speakers.”
Srinivasan Swamy, chairman and world president, IAA, said:
“The world congress is held every alternate year. We are expecting about 2,000
delegates from India and around the world to attend.”
4. ₹1.49 crore grant for Pondicherry varsity
The Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology of
the School of Life Sciences, Pondicherry University has been sanctioned ₹1.49
crore as grant by the Department of Science and Technology. The DST-FIST
support is given to internationally competitive institutions into teaching and
5. ‘India to welcome 69,944 babies on New Year’s day
India would welcome as many as 69,944 babies on New Year’s
Day, the highest in the world, the UNICEF said on Tuesday. India would be
followed by China which would welcome 44,940 babies, the United Nations
International Children’s Emergency Fund said in a report. In Nigeria, 25,685
babies will be born, it added.
6. Inflation targeting
This refers to an approach to monetary policy where the primary
mandate of a central bank is to manage the rate of price inflation in the wider
economy. Economists who support inflation targeting believe that a stable
inflation rate is essential to keep the economy fully employed while protecting
the value of the currency at the same time. Central banks with an explicit
inflation targeting mandate usually have a target range of inflation. They try
to keep inflation within the target range by adjusting the economy’s money
supply. The policy of inflation targeting, which was first introduced in some
European countries in the 1970s, became a popular approach in the 1990s.
7. Centre approves ‘Prayagraj’
The Union Home Ministry has approved a Uttar Pradesh
government proposal to rename Allahabad as Prayagraj.
The decision comes days ahead of the Kumbh Mela being
organised in the city, and over two months after the State Cabinet decided to
The Centre has agreed to the renaming of at least 25 towns
and villages nationwide in the past one year. The plan to rename Faizabad
district as Ayodhya is yet to come in from the State government.
8. Final NRC to offer Aadhaar benefit
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) will
record biometric data including the fingerprints and iris scans of about 30
lakh applicants who have sought to be included in the National Register of
Citizens (NRC) after having been excluded from the final draft published last
Almost 30 lakh out of the 40 lakh people who found their
names missing had filed claims to be included during the claims and objections
round that ended on December 31.
A senior government official said the UIDAI would obtain the
biometrics when the applicants appeared for hearings to be held by Class-I
officers starting from February 15. By the standard operating procedure (SOP)
submitted by the Centre in the Supreme Court, “during the course of the
hearings, the State government in collaboration with UIDAI will undertake the
process of biometric enrolment of all the applicants of NRC. The biometric
enrolment in respect of persons who are part of claims and those persons
objected upon will be distinctive and separate ID will be generated.”
9. U.S., Israel officially quit UNESCO
The U.S. and Israel officially quit the UN’s educational,
scientific and cultural agency (UNESCO) at the stroke of midnight, the culmination
of a process triggered more than a year ago amid concerns that the organisation
fosters anti-Israel bias.
The withdrawal is mainly procedural, yet serves a new blow
to UNESCO, co-founded by the U.S. after the Second World War to foster peace.
The Donald Trump administration filed its notice to withdraw
in October 2017 and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu followed suit.
The withdrawals will not greatly impact UNESCO financially,
since it has been dealing with a funding slash ever since 2011 when both Israel
and the United States stopped paying dues after Palestine was voted in as a
member state of the organisation.
10. Bolsonaro sworn in as Brazil’s President
Right-wing nationalist Jair Bolsonaro, who has vowed to
crack down on political corruption and violent crime and ignite a moribund
economy with deregulation and fiscal discipline, was sworn in as Brazil’s
President on Tuesday. He plans to realign Brazil, moving away from developing
nation allies and closer to the policies of Western leaders.
11. Seven ITF events for juniors
The Indian tennis players will have seven ITF junior
tournaments at home, starting with the grade-3 event in Chandigarh from January
The qualifying event will be played on January 5 and 6.
The other three tournaments are scheduled to be held in
Delhi from January 14, Kolkata (January 21), and Indore (January 28). The
events in Delhi and Kolkata will be grade-2, while the one in Indore will be
The juniors will have three more events in March and April
at Raipur, Dehradun and Madurai.
However, there is only one Challenger, scheduled to be
played in Chennai from February 4, for the men in National federation’s
The women, too, have a solitary event — a $25,000 ITF
tournament in Jodhpur from January 28.
12. Legion of Honour for French WC champions
The players in France’s football team which last year won
the World Cup, on Tuesday were awarded the the Legion of Honour in the new
year’s honours list. The 23 players each received France’s top medal. The
French team that won the 1998 World Cup also received the Legion of Honour.
13. Kader Khan — the actor who wrote the best lines
Kader Khan’s career in Hindi cinema seemed split into two —
the screenwriter and the actor; further when it came to acting, there were the
villains he played as against the comedians; and, in terms of the star eras,
there was the Amitabh Bachchan phase that led later into the Govinda years.
Through all the years, encompassing hundreds of films, Khan remained at the top
of his game, specially as a writer.
He died on Monday at the age of 81.
Khan would be best remembered as the influential writer who
defined entertainment in the 70s and the 80s and guided film-making of the time
in his own way. So Amitabh Bachchan may have been the face of Prakash Mehra’s
Sharaabi (1984)but look closely and the film is sustained on the streetside
lingo and dialoguethat Khan wrote.
14. Parallel Lit Fest to begin on Jan. 27
The second edition of the Parallel Literature Festival
(PLF), which started last year as an answer to the Literature Festival, will be
organised here from January 27 to 29 to provide a forum to distinguished
personalities from the fields of literature, art, culture and cinema. Speakers
have been invited from 20 States as well as from Sri Lanka and Nepal.
Creativity will be showcased on the lush green lawns, art
galleries, studio theatre and open air theatre of Jaipur’s cultural centre,
Ravindra Manch, where the three-day event will be held. The six stages to be
set up at the venue will be named after the writers and books of the
Progressive Writers’ Movement.
The PLF-2019 has been dedicated to Urdu writer Razia Sajjad
Zaheer, who was born in Ajmer, as the country celebrates her birth centenary
year. The festival’s chief convenor Ish Madhu Talwar said here on Tuesday that
Ravindra Manch would be named and decorated as “Razia Gram” to commemorate the
15. NASA spacecraft zips past Ultima Thule
NASA spacecraft New Horizons on Tuesday flew past the most
distant world ever studied by humankind, Ultima Thule, a frozen relic of the
early solar system that could reveal how planets formed. Scientists are waiting
for the images collected by the spacecraft.
Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD)
International Advertising Association (IAA)
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)
Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC)
17. Things to Remember:
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi
18. Improve your Vocabulary:
Meaning 1 – (incumbent on/upon) Necessary for (someone) as a
duty or responsibility.
Example – ‘the government realized that it was incumbent on
them to act’
Synonyms – binding, obligatory, mandatory, necessary,
compulsory, required, requisite, essential, imperative
Meaning 2 – (of an official or regime) currently holding
Example – ‘the incumbent President was defeated’
Synonyms – current, existing, present, in office, in power