Current Affairs for NDA, CDS, AFCAT, Airforce X&Y Groups – News
Analysis from THE HINDU (January 18, 2019)
1. Indian cinema’s new address: Gulshan Mahal in Mumbai
Gulshan Mahal, the elegant 19th-century bungalow in South
Mumbai, was once known for qawwalis and cultural gatherings. Now it is all set
to return in a new avatar — as the home of the National Museum of Indian Cinema
The refurbished building of five floors and two mezzanine
floors, will be opened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 19. An
evacuee property, the Peddar Road structure has been refurbished by the NBCC
(India) Ltd at a cost of ₹140.61 crore.
Built in mid-1800s
Originally known as Gulshan Abad (garden of prosperity), it
was built in the mid-1800s. It was owned by Peerbhoy Khalakdina, a Gujarati
businessman from the Khoja Muslim community. The house, where he lived with his
wife and son, was in a five-acre property between Peddar Road and Warden Road,
overlooking the sea.
Over the years, Gulshan Mahal has been put to different
uses. It has served as a hospital for soldiers, was a temporary campus for Jai
Hind College, has housed the Documentary Films of India and the Films Division,
and been used for film shoots like Munnabhai MBBS.
Court sets deadline for Lokpal panel
The Supreme Court on Thursday gave the Lokpal search
committee time till February-end to short-list a panel of names for chairperson
and members of the Lokpal to be placed before the high-power selection
committee led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
3. AAI to study early arrivals at three busy airports
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) will conduct an year-long
study to examine early arrivals at the Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru airports —
among the busiest in the country — in order to devise ways to improve
Early arrivals to an airport lead to bunching of flights and
impact the punctuality of planes scheduled to land or arrive at the same
airport. The three airports under study are among the most sought after by
domestic and international airlines, but capacity constraints here mean there
are no slots available to accommodate more flights.
Block-timing refers to the span of time between switching on
the aircraft’s engines before take-off and switching them off after landing.
Officials are of the opinion that if airlines are able to inculcate discipline
or self-regulate, there may be no need for penalties.
A study conducted by the AAI between September and November
2018 showed that 20.6% of aircraft arriving at Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru from
80 other airports were landing earlier than their scheduled time.
4. ISRO to launch a satellite for Home Ministry
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch a
satellite exclusively for the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), a Ministry
statement said. Home Minister Rajnath Singh approved the report of a task force
created by the MHA to identify areas for use of space technology in improving
5. Vacancy chain
This refers to any social arrangement that determines the
use of scarce resources among a population. When a resource enters a vacancy
chain, it is first allocated to a certain member of the population. After its
use by the first member, the resource is then allocated to the next member in
the hierarchy and so on. This phenomenon has been observed across organisms
ranging from human beings to hermit crabs. Jobs in governments and companies,
for instance, become available to other members of a population when an
employee retires from his position. The idea of vacancy chains was proposed by
American sociologist Harrison C. White in his 1970 book Chains of Opportunity.
6. Govt. to move strategic ITBP unit to Leh
Amid growing concerns over the Chinese military build-up
along the eastern flank of the country, the government has ordered moving a
strategic ITBP command from its current base in Chandigarh to the border of Leh
in Jammu and Kashmir, official sources said on Thursday.
The North West (NW) frontier of the Indo-Tibetan Border
Police has been ordered to move by the end of March, documents showed. The Leh
district in the mountains of Jammu and Kashmir is the base for 14 Corps of the
Army and the proposed shift will allow a better interaction between the two
forces “for strategic and defence planning”, sources said.
7. Indigenous attack copter crosses another milestone
The indigenously developed Light Combat Helicopter has
crossed a milestone, successfully firing an air-to-air missile at a moving
target, and it is now ready for induction, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, which
is developing the helicopter, said on Thursday.
“This is the first time in the country that a helicopter has
carried out an air-to-air missile engagement. None of the helicopters in the
military services in the country has demonstrated such a capability. The LCH
has successfully completed all weapon integration tests and is ready for
operational induction,” R. Madhavan, CMD, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, said
in a statement.
During the tests conducted recently at the integrated test
range at Chandipur, Odisha, the helicopter scored a direct hit on an aerial
target and destroyed it. The LCH is the only attack helicopter in the world
that can operate at altitudes as high as Siachen Glacier.
The Defence Acquisition Council has approved the procurement
of an initial batch of 15 LCHs — 10 for the IAF and 5 for the Army.
8. Delhi-Nepalgunj direct flights to help pilgrims
Pilgrims headed for Kailash Mansarovar from New Delhi will
soon be able to fly directly to one its key entry points at Nepalgunj in Nepal
and avoid the 11-hour drive from Kathmandu. “The Ministry of Civil Aviation has
given an in-principle nod for the air route,” an official said.
9. Indian-American named to key panel
Democratic lawmaker Raja Krishnamoorthi has been appointed
as a member of a Congressional committee on intelligence, becoming the first
South Asian to serve in the powerful body tasked to strengthen U.S.’s national
Mr. Krishnamoorthi, 45, who represents Illinois’s 8th
Congressional District in the House, was chosen along with Congresswoman Val
Demings of Florida, Sean Patrick Maloney of New York and Peter Welch of Vermont
as the four new Democratic members of the House Permanent Select Committee on
Intelligence (HPSCI) for the 116th Congress. The HPSCI is tasked with
overseeing the activities and budget of the 17 intelligence agencies of the
Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi
appointed Mr. Krishnamoorthi on Wednesday. Ms. Pelosi said: “Our new members of
the Intelligence Committee bring exceptional judgment, expertise and
determination to our mission to honour that oath and, guided by the strong,
principled leadership of Chairman Adam Schiff, will restore the long tradition
of bipartisanship and integrity of this critical committee.”
10. Rupee pact with Iran to aid pharma exports
The Indian pharma industry now has an opportunity to
increase exports to Iran, following a rupee payment mechanism agreed upon
recently by India and the Persian Gulf nation.
Under the agreement, Indian refiners make payments in rupee
for oil imports from Iran, to designated accounts maintained with UCO Bank. A
portion thus received is to be used by Iran to pay for imports from India,
“Indian pharma exports to Iran were at $124.05 million last
fiscal. Iran has a well-established pharma industry that meets 80% of the
country’s requirement. The remaining 20% is met predominantly through imports
from Europe,” said Ravi Uday Bhaskar, director general, pharmaceuticals export
promotion council of India (Pharmexcil).
With a cloud of uncertainty hovering over continued
pharmaceutical supplies from Europe in the wake of the U.S. sanctions against
Iran, the Indian pharma industry could explore opportunities to step up
exports, he emphasised. The U.S., had in May last year, come out from a nuclear
accord with Iran and re-imposed sanctions. The rupee payment agreement came
within weeks of the sanctions to cover oil imports from Iran.
11. Vinesh nominated for a Laureus
Ace wrestler Vinesh Phogat has become the first Indian to
receive a nomination in one of the seven main categories at the prestigious
Laureus World Sports Awards to be held here on February 18.
The 24-year-old, who made a sensational comeback after
battling a long injury lay-off to win a gold at the Gold Coast Commonwealth
Games and Jakarta Asian Games, has been nominated for the Laureus World
Comeback of the Year Award.
She has been nominated alongside Tiger Woods and four Winter
12. World record entries boost Delhi Open
Finally, the C-category event of the Delhi International
Open chess tournament stands officially acknowledged by the World Chess
Federation (FIDE) as the one with most number of entries.
The premier annual event, played at the spacious Indira
Gandhi Indoor Stadium here in three rating sections offering a prize money of
₹1.01 crore is already the richest prize-money chess event in the country.
Nationally, it stands only second to golf across all
sporting disciplines, not counting the dollar-events.
In addition to the unprecedented entries, that rose from
last year’s 2320 to 2815 for the just-concluded event, an email from FIDE
provided an added reason for the organiser, Delhi Chess Association, to be in a
buoyant mood. According to FIDE director Vladimir Kukaev, the previous highest
number of entries was 1273 in the C category of the 2018 edition of the
Unlike a year ago, Kukaev’s confirmation has ended all
speculation over the authenticity of the record. The 2019 edition attracted
1534 entries in the C category and that stands as the new world record in any
Swiss League event in the game.
Ironical as it may sound, the number rose sharply despite
the organiser reducing the maximum rating stipulation from 1600 to 1500 this
13. Gambhir launches cricket scholarship
Gautam Gambhir, along with Sports Technology firm
Funngage.com, launched a cricket scholarship programme, FG PowerPlayer,’ here
Through this programme, boys and girls in the age group of
12 to 24 years will get a fully paid five-year scholarship with a three-week of
training camp in Perth, under the guidance of former South African Test
Cricketer H.D. Ackerman.
Airports Authority of India (AAI)
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
15. Things to Remember:
Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh
16. Improve your Vocabulary:
Meaning – Free (someone or something) from a constraint or
Example – ‘he was trying to extricate himself from official
Synonyms – extract, free, release, disentangle, get out,
remove, withdraw, let loose, loosen, unloose, detach, disengage, disencumber,
untwine, disentwine, unfasten, unclasp, disconnect