Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - August 17, 2017


‘Sankalp Parva-Sankalp se siddhi’ (Attainment through Resolve)

  • A major cultural event was organized by the Ministry of Culture in New Delhi. The event began with the rendering of Gandhi and Nirgun bhajans by Pandit Madhup Mudgal.
  • Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Cultural and Tourism in his address appealed to the youth and other to come forward and join hands for working for a new India by 2022.
  • The New India Movement 2017-2022 envisions an India free from Poverty, Corruption, Terrorism, Communalism, Casteism and Un-cleanliness.
  • The participants took the New Delhi Pledge of “Come, let us together pledge for building a New India by 2022, a Clean India, a Poverty free India, a Corruption free India, a Terrorism free India, a Communalism free India, and a Casteism free India”.
  • The first Sankalp Parva was organized by this Ministry at Sri Ramalinga Sowdambigai College of Science and Commerce, Onappalayam, Ciombatore on 12th August, 2017

Bilateral Trade

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Sweden on IPRs

  • The Union Cabinet has given its approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Sweden
  • On cooperation in the field of Intellectual Property (IPRs).
  • The MoU establishes a wide ranging and flexible mechanism through which both countries can exchange best practices and work together on training programs and technical exchanges to raise awareness on IPRs and better protect intellectual property rights


  • The MoU will enable India to exchange experiences in the innovation and IP ecosystems that will substantially benefit entrepreneurs, investors and businesses on both sides.
  • The exchange of best practices between the two countries will lead to improved protection and awareness about India's range of Intellectual creations which are as diverse as its-people.
  • It will be a landmark step forward in India's journey towards becoming a major player in global Innovation and will further the objectives of National IPR Policy, 2016.


  • A Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) with members from both sides will be formed to decide cooperation activities to be taken under the MoU in following areas:
  • Exchange of best practices, experiences and knowledge on IP awareness among the public, businesses and educational institutions of both countries
  • Collaboration in training programmes, exchange of experts, technical exchanges and outreach activities


NHAI launches mobile App MyFASTag and FASTag Partner

Apps will facilitate the availability of FASTags for Electronic Toll Collection

  • National Highways Authority of India launched two mobile Apps – MyFASTag and FASTag Partner to facilitate the availability of FASTags for Electronic Toll Collection.
  • The mobile Apps launched today will ease the process of purchasing it and making it possible to buy or recharge FASTags at the click of a mobile button.
  • MyFASTag is a consumer App that can be downloaded from the App Store for both Android and iOS systems. A consumer can purchase or recharge FASTags on this App. The App also helps to keep track of transactions and provides for online grievance redressal.


The World’s Most Liveable City – MELBOURNE

  • BY - Annual Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Global Liveability Index.
  • The EIU’s Liveability Ranking assesses living conditions in 140 cities across the globe by assigning a rating across five broad categories
  • Five broad categories – stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure
  • Top 5 most liveable cities -
  • Melbourne
    Adelaide, Calgary

  • No Indian city was ranked in the top ten or bottom ten in the most liveable city ranking.
  • As per the survey, the least liveable city was Damascus at 140th place

Discovery Of New Tectonic Plate

  • WHERE – off the coast of Equador
  • Earlier there were 56 plates now there are 57

Enlighten about the new plate- Malpelo:

  • Scientists discovered the microplate — which they’ve dubbed “Malpelo” — while analyzing the movements of what they believed to be the convergence of a trio of plates.
  • Researchers were studying the coming together of a major tectonic plate and two smaller plates.
  • The edges of the Pacific lithospheric plate roughly form the Ring of Fire, a region of volcanic activity. Filling in the gaps between larger plates are smaller plates. Just west of the Galapagos Islands, the Pacific plate is met by Cocos and Nazca.
  • Evidence for the Malpelo plate came with the researchers’ identification of a diffuse plate boundary that runs from the Panama Transform Fault eastward to where the diffuse plate boundary intersects a deep oceanic trench just offshore of Ecuador and Colombia.
  • A diffuse boundary is best described as a series of many small, hard-to-spot faults rather than a ridge or transform fault that sharply defines the boundary of two plates.


North Koel Reservoir Project

  • APPROVED BY – UNION Cabinet to complete the project (Balance work of the North Koel reservoir in Jharkhand and Bihar)
  • The Cabinet also approved storage of water in dam restricted at lower level than envisaged earlier to reduce the submergence and to protect Betla National Park and Palamau Tiger Reserve.

Enlighten about the North Koel Reservoir Project:

  • The project is situated on North Koel river which is a tributary of Sone river finally joining the river Ganga.
  • The North Koel Reservoir is located in the most backward tribal areas in Palamau and Garhwa districts of Jharkhand State.
  • The construction was originally started in the year 1972 and continued till 1993 when it was stopped by the Forest Department, Govt. of Bihar. Since then, the work on dam is at a standstill.
  • The project aims to provide irrigation to 111,521 hectares of land annually in the most backward and drought prone areas of Palamu & Garhwa districts in Jharkhand and Aurangabad & Gaya districts in Bihar.

Enlighten about North Koel River

  • North Koel river rises on Ranchi plateau and flows through Jharkhand. It joins the Sone a few miles north-west of Haidarnagar.
  • The North Koel, along with its tributaries, meanders through the northern part of Betla National Park.
  • The principal tributaries are the Auranga and the Amanat.

Global Environment Facility (GEF) – agreement signed between World bank and India

  • For Ecosystem Service Improvement Project
  • A Grant Agreement from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) of the World Bank was recently signed between India and the World Bank.
  • The size of Project is USD 24.64 million which entirely will be financed by the World Bank out of its GEF Trust Fund.

Enlighten about Ecosystem Service Improvement Project:

  • Implementing body - Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC)
  • Area - Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh
  • Through Indian Council of Forestry Research & Education under the National Mission for Green India
  • Objective - to strengthen the institutional capacity of the Departments of Forestry and Community Organisations to enhance forest ecosystem services and improve the livelihoods of forest dependent communities in Central Indian Highlands.

Mitigation measures under the project include:

  • Promoting use of bio-fertilizers and bio-pesticides.
  • Ensuring that legitimate users are not denied access to resources as a result of declaration.
  • Establishing village level participatory monitoring protocols and social audit arrangements for the project.
  • Using only approved and safe bio-control agents and following release and documentation protocols.
  • Avoiding using general bio-control agents; use host-specific ones for targeted species.
  • Creating village level household beneficiary lists and identifying the most poor, farthest, marginal, and backward beneficiaries.