Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - January 16, 2018

Bilateral Relations

India and Israel Signed nine agreements to boost cooperation in the areas of space, cyber security and oil and gas between both countries

  • The agreements were signed following delegation-level talks headed by Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu in New Delhi.
  • Netanyahu is first Israeli Prime Minister to visit India in span of last 15 years and second one overall.
  • Ariel Sharon was first and only Israeli Prime Minister to visit India in 2003.

Enlighten about the MoU

  • MoU on Cyber Security Cooperation between India and Israel
  • MoU between the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and the Ministry of Energy on Cooperation inOil and Gas Sector
  • Protocol between India and Israel on Amendments to theAir Transport Agreement
  • Agreement on Film-co-production between India and Israel
  • MoU between the Central Council for Research in Homeopathy, Ministry of AYUSH and the Centre for Integrative Complementary Medicine, Shaare Zedek Medical Center on Cooperation in the field of Research inHomeopathic Medicine
  • MoU between Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) and the Technion- Israel Institute of Technology for cooperation in the field ofspace
  • Memorandum of Intent between Invest India and Invest in Israel
  • Letter of Intent between IOCL and Phinergy Ltd. For cooperation in the area of metal-air batteries
  • Letter of Intent between IOCL and Yeda Research and Development Co Ltd for cooperation in the area of concentrated solar thermal technologies

Ministry of Culture

7th edition of ‘Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav-2018’ inaugurated in Karnataka

  • The 7th edition of ‘Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav-2018’ was inaugurated at Bangaluru, Karnataka on 14thJanuary 2018.

Statements -

  • celebrating the same through the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’.
  • that there is unity in diversity in our country and it is the Culture which binds all of them together.
  • organizing such a unique cultural event gives people from different regions a chance to showcase their talent, artworks and delicacies at one platform.

Enlighten about the event -

  • Ministry of Culture plays a very important role in preserving our rich cultural heritage and in uniting our country.
  • The event brought together the art, artisans, dance, handicrafts, flavours and music from different regions, making itself the largest ensemble of Indian culture.
  • While this event introduced and connected country’s youth to the various facets of our rich and vibrant culture, it also gave people from different regions a chance to showcase their talent, artworks and delicacies at a larger-than-life podium”.

Multilateral Agreements

BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement Regains Momentum
Bangladesh, India and Nepal agree on operating procedures for movement of Passenger vehicles

  • Bangladesh, India and Nepal have agreed on the text of the operating procedures for passenger vehicle movement in the sub-region under the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA) signed in June 2015, and will soon complete the internal approval processes for signing of the passenger protocol.
  • The participating countries have also agreed to conduct more trial runs for cargo vehicles under the agreement.

Enlighten about BBIN

  • The landmark MVA was signed by Transport Ministers of the BBIN countries in Thimphu, Bhutan on 15 June 2015.
  • Trial runs for cargo vehicles under the MVA were conducted along the Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala and Delhi-Kolkata-Dhaka routesin the past.
  • Bangladesh, India, and Nepal have already ratified the MVA and have agreed to start implementation of the MVA among the three signatory countries, with Bhutan joining after it ratifies the Agreement.
  • The Asian Development Bank(ADB) has been providing technical, advisory, and financial support to the BBIN MVA initiative as part of its assistance to the South Asia Sub regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) program


National Medical Commission Bill 2017

  • The bill was drafted by a four-member committee headed by the Niti Aayog vice-chairman and aims to reform the medical education sector, which has been under scrutiny for corruption and unethical practices.
  • If passed, the Bill will repeal the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 and provide for a medical education system which ensures:
  • Availability of adequate and high-quality medical professionals
  • Adoption of the latest medical research by medical professionals
  • Periodic assessment of medical institutions
  • An effective grievance redressal mechanism

Enlighten about the key features of the Bill

  • The Bill allows practitioners of Ayurveda and other traditional Indian systems of medicine the licence to prescribe allopathic drugs after they have passed a ‘bridge course.’
  • A National Medical Commission (NMC) is to be set up within three years of the passage of the Bill.
  • State governments will establish State Medical Councils at the state level.
  • The NMC will consist of 25 members, appointed by the central government.

Some of the functions of the NMC include –

  • Framing policies for regulating medical institutions and medical professionals.
  • Assessing the requirements of healthcare-related human resources and infrastructure.
  • Framing guidelines for the determination of fees for up to 40% of the seats in private medical institutions and deemed universities, which are regulated as per the Bill.
  • The central government will constitute the Medical Advisory Council, which will be the primary platform through which the states/union territories can put forth their views and concerns before the NMC.
  • There will be a uniform National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test for admission to undergraduate medical education in all-medical institutions regulated by the Bill.
  • The NMC will specify the manner of conducting common counselling for admission in all such medical institutions.
  • According to the Bill, the Ethics and Medical Registration (EMR) Board shall maintain a separate National Register –Including the names of licensed AYUSH practitioners.
  • The names of BAMS (Bachelor of Ayurveda Medicine and Surgery) and BHMS (Bachelor of Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery) graduates are already registered with their respective councils.
  • One of the clauses of the Bill calls for a joint sitting of the National Medical Commission, the Central Council of Homoeopathy, and the Central Council of Indian Medicine at least once a year “to enhance the interface between homoeopathy, Indian Systems of Medicine and modern systems of medicine”.

Government Schemes

Operation Digital Board
Govt. aims at improving digital education
Union Human Resource Development Minister Shri Prakash Javadekar chairs the 65th Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE)

  • The Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) on Monday passed a resolution to take steps towards Operation Digital Board on the lines of Operation Blackboard of 1987, which was started with the purpose of providing minimum basic facilities to all primary schools.
  • The idea of Operation Digital Board is aimed at providing better digital education in all schools.
  • This will offer new opportunities and new ways of teaching and learning to schools
  • Education Ministers of 22 States took part in the CABE meeting.

Environment & Ecology

    What –

  • Elcysma Ziroensis – New moth species


  • Discovered from Talley Wildlife Sanctuary in Arunachal Pradesh

By -

  • Researchers from Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS)

State Specific

Sikkim allows people to forge fraternal ties with trees Sikkim Forest Tree (Amity & Reverence) Rules 2017

  • The Government of Sikkim has come up with a unique way of preserving trees by encouraging people to forge a relationship of brotherhood or sisterhood with trees through a practice locally known as Mith/Mit or Mitini.
  • With this, Sikkim is keen to not just preserve its forest cover but also forge amity between people and trees.