Current Affairs 03rd February 2018 (03/02/2018)

National Current Affairs:

  • The nation celebrated 69th Republic Day with great enthusiasm on January 26. The day was marked by a grand parade from Rajpath to Red Fort in the national capital. President Ram Nath Kovind took the salute   of the parade which was watched by thousands of people along with the ten ASEAN leaders who attended the event as chief guests, in a historic first. Marching contingents of defence and paramilitary forces and strategic defence weaponry showcasing the country’s military prowess were the main attraction of the parade. Colourful tableaux from 14 states and nine Central ministries participated in the parade presenting the varied historical and cultural heritage of India.
  • President Ram Nath Kovind awarded India’s highest peace- err time military decoration Ashok Chakra posthumously to Indian Air Force Garud commando Corporal Jyoti Prakash Nirala, who laid down his life after gunning down two terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir. The award was received by Corporal Nirala’s wife Sushmanand and his mother Matti Devi.
  • The President approved the Padma awards for 85 individuals, which includes 3 Padma Vibhushan, 9 Padma Bhushan and 73 Padma Shri. Fourteen of the awardees are women and 3 persons have been awarded posthumously. Prominent citizens from each of the 10 ASEAN member countries are among the 16 foreigners named for the Award.
  • Centre announced the Prime Minister’s Shram Awards for 2016 which will be conferred on 50 workers including three women for their distinguished and outstanding performances. Shram Awards are given in four categories namely Shram Ratna Award, Shram Bhushan Award, Shram Vir/Shram Virangana and Shram Shree/Shram Devi Awards. 34 workers from Public Sector and 16 workers from Private Sectors have won the Awards.
  • Union Minister of Textiles Smriti Irani said that India has potential to become the one-stop sourcing destination for brands and retailers from ASEAN as opportunities exist for textile           manufacturers from the 10-nation bloc to invest here and cater to the domestic market as well as exports. Addressing a seminar on India-ASEAN Weaving Textiles Relationship, Smt. Irani said, India has strengths in production and exports of almost all kinds of textiles and apparel including all handloom and handicraft products that demonstrate the unique skills of the country’s weavers and artisans.
  • Twenty MLAs of the ruling Aam Aadmi Party, AAP, in Delhi have been disqualified from the Legislative Assembly in the Office of Profit case. President Ram Nath Kovind accepted the recommendation of the Election Commission, seeking the MLAs disqualification. A total of 21 MLAs were facing a complaint of holding office of profit. The disqualified MLAs were appointed as Parliamentary Secretaries to the Ministers of the Delhi government to assist in their work.
  • Mr Om Prakash Rawat is the new Chief Election Commissioner. He succeeded Achal Kumar Joti. A 1977-batch IAS officer from the Madhya Pradesh cadre, Rawat was appointed to the Election Commission in August 2015.A notification by the Law Ministry said, former Finance Secretary Ashok Lawasa has been appointed as the new election commissioner against the vacancy caused by the elevation of Mr Rawat.

International Current Affairs:

  • The ASEAN nations have              agreed  to further            strengthen and deepen the ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership for mutual benefit, across the whole spectrum of political security, economic and socio-cultural and development cooperation. The Delhi declaration of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit to mark the 25th Anniversary of ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations was issued on January 25th. In the summit, the ASEAN nations decided to continue to exert efforts and cooperate towards the full, effective and timely implementation of the Plan of Action to Implement the ASEAN-India Partnership for Peace, Progress and Shared Prosperity. They decided to strengthen maritime cooperation to address common challenges on maritime issues.
  • The leaders of ten ASEAN countries have lauded India’s role in Indo-Pacific region and acknowledge its growth story. Briefing reporters in New Delhi about the commemorative summit of India-ASEAN which was held on January 25, Secretary East in the External Affairs Ministry, Preeti Saran said, the group of ten countries acknowledge that India has a significant role in peace, stability and prosperity of Indo-Pacific region.
  •  Afghanistan, a Taliban assault on -the Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel killed18 people, including 14 foreigners. Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said, the 18 killed included 14 foreigners and a telecommunications official from the western Farah province who was attending a conference.
  • Continuing its stride against terrorism, the Trump administration has designated six individuals as global terrorists who are accused of supporting the Taliban and Haqqani network in Afghanistan and having their links to Pakistan. The black listed individuals include senior members of the former Taliban government in Afghanistan, and former central bank governor Abdul Samad Sani.
  • China has decided to set up three international courts to deal with disputes related to its mufti-billion dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), under which it is making massive investments. The state-run Xinhua news agency reported, the Chinese Supreme People’s Court will set up international courts in Beijing, Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi Province and Shenzhen. The Xi’an court in North-west China will handle cases related to the Silk Road and the Shenzhen court in South China with those related to Maritime Silk Road disputes.

Business & Economy Current Affairs:

  • The government has allowed Small Finance Banks and Payments Banks to offer Atal Pension Yojana, APY. Finance Ministry in a statement said, 10 Small Finance Banks and 11 Payment Banks have got license from Reserve Bank of India to start banking operations in the country. The Banks include, Ujjivan Small Finance Bank, Janalakshmi Small Finance Bank, Suryoday Small Finance Bank, India Post Payment Bank and Paytm Payment Bank. The Ministry said, given the strength, expertise and reach of these new age banks, they can play a pivotal role in outreach of subscribers under APY.
  • Government has collected 86,703 crore rupees under GST in December, 2017. Finance Ministry said, one crore taxpayers  have been registered under GST so far. Of them over 17              lakh are Composition Dealers which are required to file returns every quarter. It said, over 56 lakh GSTR 3B returns have been filed for the month of December till January 25.The Ministry said, a total of over 8 lakh returns were filed by Composition Dealers for the July-September, quarter, paying a total of around 336 crore rupees as GST.
  • The government has reduced the Minimum Export Price, MEP, of onions by 150 dollars to 700 dollars per tonne. Directorate General of Foreign Trade, in a notification, said the rate will remain in force till the 20th of next month. The government reduced the MEP as onion prices have now started moderating. An MEP is the floor price below which exports are not allowed. MEP of onions was scrapped in December 2015 but brought back in November 2017 to check rising prices of onions.

Sports Current Affairs:

  • In Badminton, former World No 1 Saina Nehwal entered the women’s singles, semi-finals of the Indonesia Masters in Jakarta, defeating her compatriot P.V.Sindhu 21-13, 21-19 in a quarterfinal clash. This is Saina’s second official win over Sindhu in three meetings.
  • In Tennis, Hungarian-French pairing and fifth seeds Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic won the Australian Open women’s doubles title in Melbourne and were crowned Grand Slam champions for the first time. The duo battled past second-seeded Russians Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina 6-4, 6-3 in the finals. Overall, they won three other doubles titles as a team, all in 2015- at Dubai, Marrakech and Rome.

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