2nd March 2017 – Current Affairs Today

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National Current Affairs

Improved Sex Ratio, Decline In Infant Mortality Rate in India

  • As per the latest health survey by the government, India’s health index has shown a notable improvement over the last decade including an improvement in sex ratio at birth and a decline in infant mortality rate.
  • As per the survey report, the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) saw a decline from 57 to 41 per 1,000 live births between NFHS-3 (2005-06) and NFHS-4
  • As per the survey, the sex ratio at birth (number of females per 1,000 males) improved from 914 to 919 at the national level over the last decade with the highest in Kerala (1,047), followed by Meghalaya (1,009) and Chhattisgarh (977).
  • The Total Fertility Rate (TFR) declined to 2.2 children per woman from 2.7 in NFHS-3. This rate shows that the country is moving closer to target level of 2.1.
  • The report stated that the Children within the age of 12-23 months have been fully immunized(BCG, measles and 3 doses each of polio).

Swachh Shakti Saptah in Haryana

  • The program aims to highlight the role of women in Swachh Bharat Mission and to recognize their leadership.
  • The inauguration was marked by launch of a sanitation related exhibition and a series of folk cultural presentation relating to women and Swachhta.
  • An Aadhaar Enrolment machine was placed in one of the stalls for women who were still not enrolled.
  • The program would have nationwide events including honoring women champions, women sarpanches, ASHA workers, school teachers, young students and senior citizens.

International Current Affairs

Russia, China Opposes UN resolution to Impose Sanctions on Syria

  • Russia and China vetoed a UN resolution to impose sanctions on Syria over the alleged use of chemical weapons during the six-year war.
  • The UN Security Council resolution drafted by Britain, France and the United States won nine votes in favor while three countries comprising China, Russia and Bolivia opposed it. Kazakhstan, Ethiopia and Egypt did not vote.
  • The resolution required nine votes in favor and no vetoes by any of the five permanent members in order to be adopted.
  • This was the Russia’s seventh veto to protect the Syrian government from UN Security Council action.

Business & Economy

SEBI Plans to Tighten Algo Trading Regulations

  • Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)has planned to further tighten the regulations for algorithmic trading to minimise instances of misuse of such systems.
  • The market watchdog aims to minimize the instances of flash crashes that have happened overseas and also in India a few times.
  • India is one of the very few countries in the world which regulate algorithmic trading popularly called algo-trading and have some mechanism for controlling the misuse of algo.
    Algorithmic Trading
  • Algorithmic trading refers to the use of software programs to execute complex trading strategies at a much faster speed.
  • Flash Crash is an extremely rapid decline in the price of one or more commodities or securities, typically caused by automated trading. The speed and interconnectedness can result in the loss and recovery of billions of dollars in just few minutes and seconds.

India & World Bank Signs USD 63 Million Financing Agreement

  • India has signed a financing agreement of USD 63 million(equivalent) with World Bank on 23rd February, 2017 in Jharkhand for its Socio-Economic Empowerment of Adolescent Girls and Young Women Project named “Tejaswini”.
  • The project aims to empower adolescent girls and young women with basic life skills and provide opportunity to them to complete their secondary education and further acquire market driven skill training
  • Three main components of the project
    1. Expanding social, educational and economic opportunities
    2. Intensive service delivery
    3. State capacity-building and implementation support.
  • About 6,80,000 adolescent girls and young women are expected to benefit from the program in the project Districts.

Government Notifies Law to Make Possession of Demonetized Note as Punishable Offence

  • Government of India has officially notified the law that makes holding of more than 10 scrapped notes punishable with a minimum fine of Rs 10,000.
  • It also provides for a minimum fine Rs 50,000 for false declaration by persons who were abroad during the demonetisation period (November 9-December 30, 2016). Besides, a further time limit has been given to deposit such scrapped notes with RBI till March 31.
  • The law makes possession of more than 10 pieces of the old notes by individuals and more than 25 pieces for study, research or numismatics purpose as criminal offence, attracting fine of Rs 10,000 or five times the cash held, whichever is higher.
  • The law also prohibits the holding, transferring or receiving of scrapped notes effective from December 31, 2016, and seeks to confer power on the court of a first class magistrate to impose penalty.

CBDT Signs 10 Unilateral APAs With Indian Taxpayers

  • Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has signed 10 unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) in past one week with Indian taxpayers to provide certainty in transfer pricing.
  • Out of these 10 agreements,2 are Bilateral APAs with the United Kingdom and Japan while 7 agreements have rollback provisions in them.
  • With this, the total number of APAs entered into by the CBDT has reached 140 (10 Bilateral APAs and 130 Unilateral APAs).
  • Under the agreement, the international transactions will include payment of royalty fee, trading in goods, IT-enabled services, software development services, marketing support services, clinical research services and payment of interest on ECBs.

India’s Core Sector Growth Slows Down to 3.4% in January 2017

  • The growth of eight core sectors slowed down to a five-month low of 4% in January 2017 due to contraction in output of refinery products, fertilizer and cement.
  • The eight core sectors which contribute 38% to the total industrial production includes coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilizers, steel, cement and electricity.
  • The growth rate of the core sector was 7% in January 2016. Besides, it expanded to 4.8 percent in April-January of 2016-17, compared to 2.9% growth in the same period of 2015-16.

People in News 

Nand Kumar Sai Assumes Charge as Chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes

  • Nand Kumar Sai, a senior tribal leader from Chhattisgarh and ex-parliamentarian took over as the new Chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST)
  • Sai would be responsible to protect the rights of the tribal people living in far-flung areas of the country. He has been actively involved in spread of education in tribal areas.

Gopal Baglay appointed as new spokesperson of External Affairs Ministry

  • Baglay would also take charge of joint secretary of external publicity.
  • He has also served as joint secretary (States) from October 2014 to December 2015

Shri Sudeep Lakhtakia to hold additional charge as DG CRPF

  • IPS officer Sudeep Lakhtakia from Telangana to take additional charge as Director General (DG) of Central Reserve Police Force(CRPF).This was announced by the Home Ministry .
  • He is a 1984-batch IPS officer, joined the CRPF in June 2016. He was earlier an Inspector General of the elite Special Protection Group for about eight years.

Awards

Indian Film 'Lipstick Under My Burkha' Wins Audience Award at Glasgow Film Festival

  • Indian movie, Lipstick Under My Burkha was awarded the third annual Audience Award at the Glasgow Film Festival 2017.
  • The movie was denied a release certificate by the censor board in India for its too bold references and use of abusive words among other reasons.
  • The movie revolves around the secret lives of four women of different ages in a small town in India as they search for different kinds of freedom.

Science & Technology

India Successfully Test-Fires Indigenously Developed Supersonic Interceptor Missile

  • India successfully conducted the test-fire of its indigenously developed supersonic interceptor Advanced Air Defence (AAD) missile, capable of destroying any incoming enemy ballistic missile at low altitude.
  • The testing of ADA missile was done against a target which was a Prithvi missile launched from launch complex 3 of the Integrated Test Range.
  • Advanced Air Defence (AAD) missile was stationed at Abdul Kalam Island in the Bay of Bengal. It received signals from radars about the incoming target missile. The interceptor was launched and managed to destroy the incoming hostile missile in mid-air.

Environment and Ecology

Government Bans BBC from 50 tiger reserves for FIVE years

  • British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has been barred by the Indian Government from shooting in any of its 50 tiger reserves for a period of five years.
  • The ban was imposed for allegedly misrepresenting facts in a documentary film “One World: Killing for Conservation” made by BBC about poaching in the Kaziranga National Park in Assam.
  • NTCA’s parent body, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), is also considering a similar action against the British channel and could prohibit it from its sanctuaries and national parks as well.

Sports Current Affairs 

Rio Open 2017 Winner List

Winners List

Title Winner Runner Score
Men’s Single Dominic Thiem (Austria) Pablo Carreno Busta (Spain) 7–5, 6–4
Men’s Double (Spain) Pablo Carreno Busta/Pablo Cuevas (Uruguay) Juan Sebastián Cabal / Robert Farah (Colombia) 6–4, 5–7, 10–8

 

India to host women’s Youth World Boxing Championship in November 2017

  • 2017 World Women’s Youth Boxing Championship will be hosted by India in November for the first time since 2010.
  • AIBA signed Memorandum of Understanding with the Sports Ministry to set up the International Boxing Academy to be set up at the IG Stadium in New Delhi
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