Current Affairs 27th January 2018 (27/01/2018)

National Current Affairs:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that India has become the center of attraction to the world and International Ratings Agencies have acknowledged its progress. In an interview to a TV channel, Mr Modi said massive Foreign Direct Investment is coming to the country and India never witnessed such a jump in the FDI in the past. He said the country’s democratic values are a great attraction to the world.
  • The Election Commission has announced the schedule for the Assembly elections in Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland. Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti said, in Tripura, the polling will take place on the 18th of next month, while Meghalaya and Nagaland will go to polls on 27th February. The counting of votes for all the three states will be held on 3rd March.
  • India has successfully test-fired indigenously developed long-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile, Agni-5, off the Odisha coast. The state-of-the-art missile, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation DRDO, was test fired successfully from the Abdul Kalam Wheeler Island at 9:54 AM. The three-stage solid propellant Agni-5 missile has a strike range of over 5,000 kilometres and can carry a nuclear warhead of more than one tonne.
  • The Government has launched 100 accessible websites for Divyangs. These 100 government websites are now div yang friendly. The divyang-friendly web-sites, especially for visually impaired, use features such as screen readers and screen magnifiers, which can relay website content to the user in audio format. Mr Gehlot said 900 such websites will be launched in a phased manner.
  • Pradhan Man. Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA) has crossed one crore mark in antenatal check-ups. The programme was launched in 2016 to fulfil Mr Modi’s vision and ensure comprehensive and quality antenatal checkups to pregnant women across country. The PMSMA has provided quality antenatal checkups to pregnant women on the 9th of every month. Health Minister J P Nadda has said now safe pregnancy has become a social movement in
  • Eighteen children have been selected for National Bravery Awards, 2017. The awardees include seven girls. Three of the awards will be given posthumously. The coveted Bharat Award will go to sixteen year old Kumari Nazia of Uttar Pradesh. She showed courage in collecting evidence against the illegal business of gambling and betting and passed on information to the Police which led to the arrest of all the people involved in the racket. The prestigious Geeta Chopra Award has gone to 14-year old late Netrawati M. Chavan for saving two young boys from drowning.

International Current Affairs:

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrapped his six-day visit to India and left Mumbai on 19th January. During his address in Mumbai, the visiting PM said India and Israel are the oldest cultures on earth and both are democracies. Both the countries share love for freedom and are a match made in Heaven, he added. Mr Netanyahu attended the much-anticipated “Shalom Bollywood” event that attracted a galaxy of leading actors, directors and producers.
  • India has once again reiterated that there is no change in situation at the face-off site in Doklam after disengagement of troops by India and China. External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar today said, any            suggestion to the contrary is incorrect and mischievous. In response to media queries about the situation in Doklam, Mr Kumar said, government had stated that there was no basis for such imputations. He said, it may be recalled that last year, a face-off situation that had arisen in the Doklam region, was resolved following diplomatic discussions between the two countries. Both the sides had arrived at an understanding for the disengagement of their border personnel at the site.
  • India has urged the UN Security Council to focus on eliminating terrorist safe havens in Pakistan and accused Islamabad of differentiating between good and bad terrorists. Indian Ambassador to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin said support for voices of peace in Afghanistan alone is not enough; the United Nations must focus on addressing the challenges posed by cross border terrorism emanating from safe havens and sanctuaries to our region and especially to Afghanistan. Mr Akbaruddin was addressing the UN Security Council during a special ministerial meeting on Afghanistan.
  • The United States has asked Pakistan to prosecute Hafiz Saeed to the fullest extent of the law. Endorsing the Indian view on the Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) chief, US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told a news conference that Saeed was the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks which killed many people, including Americans as well. He said America regards him as a terrorist, a part of a foreign terrorist organisation. The spokesperson said, the US has made its points and concerns to the Pakistani government very clear.

Business & Economy Current Affairs:

  • Goods and Services Tax Council has reduced the tax rate on 29 goods and 53 categories of services by bringing them in lower category. The GST rate on tailoring service has been reduced from 18 to 5 percent and tax on entry services to theme parks, water parks, joy rides, merry-go-rounds, go-carting and ballet from 28 percent to 18. The tax rate on construction of metro and monorail projects has been brought down from 18 percent to 12 percent. Besides, the rate on job work services for manufacture of leather goods and footwear has been reduced to 5 percent. The GST rate on transportation of petroleum crude and petroleum products including ATF has been cut down from 18 percent to 5 percent without input tax credit and 12 percent with it. The GST rate on the Works Contract Services provided by sub-contractor to the main contractor to governments and local bodies has been lowered.
  • India Ratings and Research projected the country’s economic growth to improve to 7.1 per cent next fiscal from 6.5 per cent this year, buoyed by robust consumption demand and low commodity prices. In its outlook for 2018-19, the agency said there will be a gradual pickup in growth momentum owing to structural reforms like GST and Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code in place. India Ratings, a subsidiary of Fitch Ratings, further said GDP is expected to grow 7.1 per cent year-on-year in 2018-19.
  • Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended allowing mobile and Internet services for passengers during air travel in the country through both satellite and terrestrial network. TRAI said, for mobile services, there should be flexibility to IFC service providers in terms of use of technology and frequencies inside the aircraft cabin that should be consistent with inter-national standards.

Sports Current Affairs:

  • Manav Thakkar climbed to World Number 2 in the boys’ under-18 category while Diya Chitale rose to Number 5 in the girls’ under-15 category in the International Table Tennis Federation rankings. Thakkar’s jump has been particularly phenomenal as he moved from 18th to his current position. An ITTF release said, the top place is within striking distance, which will become India’s moment of crowning glory. He has also broken into the top-15 in the boys’ under-21 rankings.
  • In the Under19 world cup, India, Australia and Pakistan have secured quarterfinal berths of the tournament. India thrashed Zimbabwe by 10 wickets in New Zealand. India achieved the 155 run target without losing any wicket. India, who sealed a quarterfinal spot with back-to-back wins against Australia and Papua New Guinea in Group B, produced another spectacular show to top the Group B.

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