Online Current Affairs based on National

23 Apr, 17

World Bank to extend $375 mn loan for National Waterway-1 on Ganga

  • The World Bank has approved a loan of $375 million for capacity augmentation of National Waterway-1 (NW-1) on the river Ganga under the Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP).
  • The financial assistance from the World Bank would help to develop the Rs 5,369-crore NW-1 from Haldia to Varanasi.
  • The project will enable commercial navigation of vessels with capacity of 1,500-2,000 deadweight tonnes along a 1,390-km stretch.
  • NW-1 is a waterway of national significance passing through ;
    1. Uttar Pradesh,
    2. Bihar,
    3. Jharkhand and
    4. West Bengal,
  • serving the cities of;
    Allahabad,
    Varanasi,
    Ghazipur,
    Bhagalpur,
    Patna,
    Howrah,
    Haldia and
    Kolkata.
  • Their industrial hinterland including several industries located in the Ganga basin. The rail and road corridors in this region are already saturated.

Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:

The World Bank has approved a loan of how much amount for capacity augmentation of National Waterway-1 (NW-1) on the river Ganga under the Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP)? 
-  $375 million. 

India Enters Select Club As Navy Successfully Test-Fires Land-Attack Brahmos Missile

  • Indian Naval ship for the first time fired a land-attack BrahMos supersonic cruise missile.
  • Land attack version of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was fired for the first time from an Indian Navy's stealth frigate, off the eastern coast, at a land target.
  • This puts India in a select club of nations with such capability.
  • The land-attack version of BrahMos has been operationalised in the Indian Army since 2007.

Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:

Indian Naval ship for the first time fired which land-attack supersonic cruise missile? 
 - BrahMos. 

India wins elections to two UN subsidiary bodies

  • India has won elections to two subsidiary bodies of a UN organ focussed on social and economic issues.
  • India along with 12 other members was elected to the Committee for Programme and Coordination (CPC), a subsidiary body of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
  • The country garnered the most number of votes in the Asian group, with 49 out of 50 members of ECOSOC voting in its favour.
  • The 13 members elected for three-year terms, beginning January 2018, include;
    1. Burkina Faso,
    2. Iran,
    3. Japan,
    4. Pakistan,
    5. Belarus,
    6. Bulgaria,
    7. Moldova,
    8. Brazil,
    9. Chile,
    10. Cuba,
    11. The United Kingdom and
    12. United States.
  • The CPC is the main subsidiary organ of the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly for planning, programming and coordination.

Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17: 

Which country has won elections to two subsidiary bodies of a UN organ focussed on social and economic issues? 
 - India. 

22 Apr, 17

Law ministry launches 3 legal aid services for poor

  • Aiming at extension of legal aid to marginalised, poor and vulnerable communities, the law ministry launched three initiatives—
    1. pro bono legal services,
    2. a tele law service and
    3. ‘Nyaya Mitra’ scheme
    using technology for providing access to justice is in tandem with the Digital India initiative, the primary focus being transparency, good governance and digital delivery of services.
  • Pro bono legal services is a web-based initiative which can be accessed through the website www.doj.gov.in using which litigants from marginalised communities who cannot afford legal services can apply for legal aid and advice from pro bono lawyers.
  • Tele law’, aims to facilitate legal advice for marginalized communities through an expert panel of lawyers stationed at State Legal Services Centres (SLCA).
  • Nyaya Mitra scheme aims to reduce pendency of cases across selected districts, with a special focus on those pending for more than 10 years.

Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:

 The law ministry launched which three initiatives using technology for providing access to justice with the Digital India initiative? 
- 1. pro bono legal services,
2. a tele law service and 
3. ‘Nyaya Mitra’ scheme

Alimony to Be 25% of Husband’s Net Salary: Supreme Court

  • The Supreme Court has set a limit on how much alimony a man is to pay his estranged wife, and it should be 25 per cent of his net salary.
  • A Bench of justices R Banumathi and MM Santanagoudar made the observation when directing a man from West Bengal to pay his ex-wife Rs 20,000 out of a monthly salary of Rs 95,527. They turned down his plea that the amount was excessive.
  • The court noted that the amount given as alimony must be sufficient that a woman lives in dignity after separation from her husband.
  • Twenty-five per cent of the husband's net salary would be just and proper to be awarded as maintenance to the (former) wife.

Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:

According to the Supreme Court what is the limit for the alimony a man is to pay his estranged wife? 
- 25 per cent of his net salary. 

21 Apr, 17

National Surveillance System for antimicrobial resistance set up

  • Health ministry of India has taken a slew of measures against Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) like setting up a National Surveillance System.
  • The ministry has also enacted regulations to regulate the sale of antibiotics and brought out National Guidelines for the use of antibiotics.
  • AMR is the ability of a microorganism (like bacteria, viruses, and some parasites) to stop an anti-microbial (such as antibiotics, antivirals and antimalarials) from working against it.
  • As a result, standard treatments become ineffective, infections persist and may spread to others.

Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:

Which ministry of India has taken a slew of measures against Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) like setting up a National Surveillance System?
- Health ministry of India. 

20 Apr, 17

India jumps to 8th place on Global FDI Confidence Index

  • India has jumped one spot to rank 8th in the 2017 AT Kearney Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Confidence Index with 31 percent of the surveyed respondents being more optimistic on economic outlook over the next three years.
  • Investor confidence in India has been growing steadily over the last two years, making it one of the top two emerging market performers on the FDI Index.
  • Among the investors surveyed, over half said a successful GST implementation would cause them to significantly or moderately increase their investment in India.
  • More broadly, 70 percent of the respondents plan to maintain or increase their FDI in India in the coming years.
  • For the second year in a row, India appears in the top 10. The country has the world’s fastest-growing major economy, and the government is seeking to loosen FDI regulations to support Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” initiative.
  • Top Five:
    1. United States,
    2. Germany,
    3. China,
    4. United Kingdom,
    5. Canada

Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:

What is the rank of India in the 2017 AT Kearney Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Confidence Index? 
 - 8th.

Cabinet clears Election Commission’s proposal to buy VVPAT machines

  • The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, cleared the Election Commission’s proposal to buy new Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines.
  • Ahead of the 2019 General Elections, the EC has been given the go ahead to procure 16,15,000 units, at an estimated base price of Rs. 3,173.47 crore.
  • A VVPAT machine dispenses a slip — called a ‘Ballot Slip’ — with the serial number, name and symbol of the chosen candidate which a person has voted for.
  • The voters see the voter-verifiable paper audit trail slip for seven seconds after which it drops into a sealed box, which would be proof of the party he or she has voted for.

Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:

Which is the new machine which will be introduced in the upcoming 2019 General Elections? 
 - Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT). 

Vistadome, India's First Train With Glass Ceiling

  • Aiming to provide a delightful travelling experience to the picturesque Araku valley in Visakhapatnam, the Railways introduced a see-through Vistadome coach on its Visakhapatnam-Kirandul passenger train.
  • Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu flagged-off the train through a video link from Bhubaneswar.
  • The specially-designed Vistadome air-conditioned coach, claimed to be a first-of-its-kind in Indian Railways, has large glass windows and an observation lounge that offer passengers a panoramic view of the sites along the 128-km rail route from Visakhapatnam to Araku valley hill station.
  • The coach also has a glass-domed ceiling, automatic sliding doors and a multi-tier luggage rack

Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:

Which is the first Indian train that has large glass windows and an observation lounge that offer passengers a panoramic view of the sites along the rail route? 
- Vistadome. 

Govt bans use of red beacons on vehicles

  • Union Cabinet on Wednesday decided to ban the use of red beacons on all VIP vehicles, including those of the President, Vice-President and Prime Minister, from May 1.
  • From May 1, no person in the country will be able to put a red light on their vehicles.
  • There is no exception to this
    Emergency services, like;
    1. ambulances and
    2. fire brigade,
    will be allowed to use blue beacons.
  • Earlier, the Supreme Court had also asked all state governments to restrict the list of VIPs who are allowed beacons on their vehicles.
  • Some state governments like Punjabi. Uttar Pradesh and Delhi have already barred the use of red beacons.
  • The government will bring about the necessary amendment to the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989, in this regard.

Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:

Which rule has been amended by the central government that will ban the use of red beacons on all VIP vehicles? 
 - Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989. 

18 Apr, 17

UAE Billionaire To Invest Rs 1000 Cr To Make 'Mahabharata'

  • UAE-based billionaire B R Shetty will invest Rs 1,000 crore ($150 million) to produce a two-part film 'Mahabharata'.
  • The film will be directed by ad filmmaker V A Shrikumar Menon and is scheduled to be released in early 2020.

Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:

Which UAE-based billionaire will invest Rs 1,000 crore ($150 million) to produce a two-part film 'Mahabharata'?
 - B R Shetty. 

Supreme Court orders auction of Aamby Valley as Sahara fails to deposit Rs 5k crore

  • Supreme Court on Monday ordered auction of its prime Aamby Valley township near Lonavala in Pune for failing to deposit Rs 5,000 crore of the Rs 14,000-crore due towards refund to investors.
  • In August 2012, the court had ordered group companies Sahara Real Estate and Sahara Housing to refund Rs 25,000 crore illegally raised through one-time fully convertible debentures from nearly three crore investors.

Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:

Supreme Court has ordered auction for which property of Sahara Group for failing to deposit Rs 5,000 crore of the Rs 14,000-crore due towards refund to investors? 
 - Aamby Valley township near Lonavala in Pune. 

17 Apr, 17

Supreme Court recognizes transgenders as 'third gender'

  • In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court on Tuesday created the "third gender" status for hijras or transgenders. Earlier, they were forced to write male or female against their gender.
  • The SC asked the Centre to treat transgender as socially and economically backward.
  • The apex court said that transgenders will be allowed admission in educational institutions and given employment on the basis that they belonged to the third gender category.
  • The SC said absence of law recognizing hijras as third gender could not be continued as a ground to discriminate them in availing equal opportunities in education and employment.
  • This is for the first time that the third gender has got a formal recognition.
  • The third gender people will be considered as OBCs.
  • The SC said they will be given educational and employment reservation as OBCs.

Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:

The Supreme Court on 11th of April created the "third gender" status for which type of people? 
 - hijras or transgenders.

15 Apr, 17

World Bank approves $375-mn loan for India’s first waterway project

  • The World Bank has approved a $375 million loan to India’s first waterway project.
  • The National Waterway 1 project is to create a water transport fairway on a 1,360-km stretch of the Ganga river between Varanasi and Haldia.
  • NW1 passes through one of India’s most densely populated areas, and a sizeable 40 per cent of the country’s traded goods either originate from this resource-rich region or are destined for its teeming markets.
  • While the region generates about 370 million tonnes of freight annually, only about 5 million tonnes currently travels by water.
  • The project will help build the infrastructure needed to develop water transportation in the area. It will finance the construction of six multi-modal terminals, 10 RORO jetties, ship-repair facilities as well as passenger jetties along the river.
  • It will also help modernise the ageing Farakka lock and add a new lock to allow for smoother passage of boats.
  • The project will also help the Inland Waterways Authority of India acquire a state-of-the-art River Information System as well as navigation aids to make travel on the river safer and more reliable.
  • The project will also support the design and development of a new fleet of low-draft barges capable of carrying up to 2,000 tonnes of cargo in these shallower depths.
  • Where needed, temporary structures (bandals) made of natural materials such as bamboo will be erected to provide additional sailing depth.

Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:

The World Bank has approved a $375 million loan to India’s which first waterway project? 
 - Ganga river between Varanasi and Haldia.

PM Narendra Modi launches BHIM-Aadhaar platform to push digital payments

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the BHIM-Aadhaar platform, putting in place yet another keystone of a digital payment system that will help India make the shift to a less-cash economy.
  • The biometric-based indigenous payment solution will enable real-time bank-to-bank money transfers even for those without a phone and at no additional cost.
  • This app can work even on a Rs 1,000-1,500 phone, you don’t need a smartphone. If you don’t have a phone you can use your thumb.
  • Close to 30 banks, including the country’s biggest have adopted BHIM-Aadhaar, also known as Aadhaar Pay.
  • 1.The Unified Payment Interface (UPI),
    2. BHIM,
    3. Bharat QR code and
    4. Aadhaar Pay
    form the basis of a digital payment ecosystem that’s part of the government’s initiative to reduce the dependence on cash, track transactions and end the scourge of black money.
  • The BHIM-Aadhaar channel is "reverse” MDR.
  • The government has allocated Rs 495 crore for a period of six months for the scheme, which will be paid from the Digital Inclusion Fund. Almost 715,000 merchants are already on the BHIM platform.
  • Referral Bonus and Cash Back schemes were also launched to promote digital payments. The first will pay Rs 10 to a BHIM user who refers a new one. Under the Cash Back scheme, merchants will get money back on every transaction using BHIM.

Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:

Who launched the BHIM-Aadhaar platform, putting in place yet another keystone of a digital payment system? 
 - Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

14 Apr, 17

Government sets up inter-ministerial panel to monitor UDAN

  • The government has set up an inter-ministerial committee to monitor the regional air connectivity scheme UDAN which seeks to make flying affordable by connecting unserved and under-served airports.
  • Besides, the panel would be responsible for coordination among stakeholders, including state governments, for "time-bound" implementation of the scheme.
  • Chaired by Civil Aviation Secretary, the 'Inter- Ministerial Monitoring-cum-Coordination Committee' would have representations from the ministries of finance, defence, home as well as petroleum and natural gas, as per a notification.
  • The committee would be responsible for "overall monitoring of the schemes of promotion of regional connectivity by way of revival of unserved and under-served airports/airstrips and RCS-UDAN.

Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17: 

The government has set up an inter-ministerial committee to monitor which  regional air connectivity scheme? 
 - UDAN. 

13 Apr, 17

Three Indians selected for Gates scholarship at Cambridge University

  • Three Indians are among 90 Gates Cambridge scholars selected from nearly 6,000 applicants from around the world for postgraduate study at the University of Cambridge from the academic year beginning later this year.
  • The three Indians in the Gates Cambridge Class of 2017 are ;
    1. Yaikhomba Mutum,
    2. Saloni Atal and
    3. Akhila Denduluri,
  • Atal will study PhD in Psychology, exploring innovative and culturally appropriate solutions to tackle the problem of gaps in access to mental healthcare in India.
  • Denduluri’s PhD research in Chemistry will focus on developing biophysical tools to better understand and elucidate the protein chemistry and associated toxicity in neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Mutum will pursue a PhD Biological Science at the MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit, looking at the mechanism of active proton transport in Complex I, an enzyme involved in making energy rich ATP molecules.
  • The scholarship aims to identify and select applicants who are academically outstanding and are likely to be transformative leaders across all fields.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
How many Indians have been selected for Gates scholarship at Cambridge University? 
 - 3.

11 Apr, 17

100 years of Champaran Satyagraha: PM Modi inaugurated 'Swachhagraha' exhibition

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated an exhibition to mark the 100 years of Mahatma Gandhi's Champaran Satyagrah.
  • The exhibition, titled 'Swachhagraha - Bapu Ko Karyanjali - Ek Abhiyan, Ek Pradarshani', was held in the Delhi.
  • Champaran Satyagraha was a historic mass movement which had a phenomenal impact and appealed to the countrymen to become 'Swachhagrahis' and create a Swachh Bharat.
  • Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Movement) was launched on October 2, 2014, with an aim to achieve clean India and aims to achieve an Open-Defecation Free (ODF) by October 2, 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • Gandhi had arrived in Champaran, a district in Bihar, in 1917 to take up the cause of the farmers who were forced to grow indigo, instead of food crops, by the British.
  • Champaran Satyagraha was the first non-violence action initiated by Gandhi, who during his stay in Bihar, also delved in detail with the social problems like;
    1. scavenging,
    2. illiteracy, and
    3. issues related to women and
    4.  health.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Who inaugurated an exhibition to mark the 100 years of Mahatma Gandhi's Champaran Satyagrah titled 'Swachhagraha - Bapu Ko Karyanjali - Ek Abhiyan, Ek Pradarshani'? 
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

Google Doodle Pays Tribute To Famous Indian Artist Jamini Roy

  • Google doodle celebrated the birth anniversary of world-renowned Bengali painter, Jamini Roy.
  • Born on this day in the last century, Mr Roy is one of the most significant modernists in the world of Indian fine arts of the 20th century.
  • He was also accorded with the honour of Padma Bhushan award in 1955.
  • The National Gallery of Modern Art says Mr Roy "turned to the folk arts of Bengal".
  • As brought out quite simplistically in the Google doodle, Jamini Roy exhibited use of bold, flat but dazzling colours unlike the natural colour palette used at that time.
  • His style was restricted his palette to seven colours-
    1. Indian red,
    2. yellow ochre,
    3. cadmium green,
    4. vermillion,
    5. grey,
    6. blue and
    7. white.
  • Even though he is known for his distinctive style, the artist is also identified as one of the most famous students of Rabindranath Tagore.
  • Some of his notable works include;
    1. Gopini,
    2. Three Pujarans,
    3. Standing woman,
    4. Bengali Woman
    among many others.
  • Many of these can be viewed in the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Google Doodle recently celebrated the birth anniversary of which world-renowned Bengali painter? 
 - Jamini Roy. 

10 Apr, 17

Akshay Kumar launches Bharat Ke Veer for families of soldiers

  • Launching the app and website ‘BharatKeVeer’ with Union Minister Rajnath Singh, Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar, lauded the Government of India for making his dream come true and providing a platform for everyone to help the next of the kin of slain soldiers financially.
  • The portal is an IT based platform, with an objective to enable willing donors to contribute towards the family of a braveheart who sacrificed his/her life in line of duty.
  • The amount so donated will be credited to the account of ‘Next of Kin’ of those Central Armed Police Force/Central Para Military Force soldiers.
  • Actor Akshay Kumar was the Guest of Honour during the function.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Who launched the application ‘BharatKeVeer’ with Union Minister Rajnath Singh? 
 - Akshay Kumar. 
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