Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - June 27, 2018

Bilateral Relations

India gifts plane to Seychelles Dornier maritime patrol aircraft

  • India on Tuesday gifted a Dornier maritime patrol aircraft to Seychelles, which will increase the island nation’s surveillance capabilities.
  • India has also announced a $100 million credit for Seychelles to buy military hardware from India.
  • The Do-228 aircraft, built by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), was formally handed over by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to Seychelles President Danny Faure
  • The aircraft would help to bolster the coastal surveillance of Seychelles and the policing of its extensive Exclusive Economic Zone.
  • The aircraft is expected to be flown at the 42nd Independence Day celebrations of Seychelles on June 29.
  • It will be operated by men of the Seychelles Air Force, who have been trained in its operation and maintenance.

Giant Aldabra tortoise

  • Seychelles has gifted pair of Giant Aldabra tortoise to India as a goodwill gesture.
  • They were brought to India as gift from the President of Seychelles Danny Faure
  • The pair was handed over to Nehru Zoological Park, Hyderabad after Central Zoo Authority (CZA) in New Delhi gave permission to house them.
  • They have been kept under quarantine at Nehru Zoological Park and will continue to be under observation for 30 days, after which they will be released into enclosure for public view
  • Gifting or giving Aldabra tortoise on loan to friendly countries is a part of the Seychellois diplomacy.

Enlighten about Aldabra Giant Tortoise

  • Aldabra Giant Tortoise (Aldabrachelys gigantea) is endemic to Aldabra Atoll in Seychelles.
  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has classified this species of tortoises as Vulnerable in its Red List of Threatened Species.
  • It is said to be one of the largest species of tortoises on planet and also one of the world’s longest living animals (can live above 200 years)
  • Aldabra Atoll has been protected from human influence and is home to around 100,000 giant tortoises, the world’s largest population of the animal.

Commerce & Industry

15th India-Australia Joint Ministerial Commission held in Australia

  • The 15th India-Australia Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) was held in Canberra, Australia.
  • The meeting was jointly chaired by Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu and Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo.
  • The JMC took place after a gap of 4 years in a very warm and cordial atmosphere.
  • The Ministers discussed at length on ways to increase two-way investment flows between the two countries.
  • In this regard, both sides agreed to have greater collaboration between Austrade,the Australian Trade and Investment Commissionand Invest-India,which is the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency of India.
  • The talks culminated in the signing of an MoU between Austrade and Invest-India in order to facilitate bilateral investment flows.

Social Issues

National Awards for Outstanding Services in the field of Prevention of Alcoholism & Substance (drug) abuse

  • Presented by the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind
  • On the occasion of International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (26 June)
  • India’s geographical location between Myanmar-Laos-Thailand’s ‘Golden Triangle’ and Iran-Afghanistan-Pakistan’s ‘Golden Crescent’, makes the problem of Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking even more acute and complicated.
  • Increase in drug trafficking and drug abuse in the border areas is also associated with issues of terrorism and political unrest.
  • That is why there is a need to be more vigilant in Border States like Punjab and Manipur.


India most unsafe for women Poll by Thomson Reuters Foundation

  • India has been ranked as the most dangerous country out of the world’s 10 worst countries for women, behind Afghanistan, Pakistan and Somalia, according to a poll conducted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
  • The same poll conducted in 2011 had placed India at the fourth place.
  • The findings are based on perceptions of experts on women’s issues.
  • India was followed by Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Yemen, Nigeria and the U.S. — in that order.
  • The world’s second most populous nation, with 1.3 billion people, ranked as the most dangerous on three of the topic questions — the risk of sexual violence and harassment against women, the danger women face from cultural, tribal and traditional practices, and the country where women are most in danger of human trafficking including forced labour, sex slavery and domestic servitude
  • The other category in which India ranked the worst was sexual violence which comprised rape as a weapon of war, domestic rape, rape by a stranger, lack of access to justice in rape cases, sexual harassment and coercion into sex as a form of corruption.


China proposed 2+1 format for India talks a “two-plus-one” format for dialogue

Enlighten about this dialogue

  • This is different from a trilateral mechanism.
  • Under the Chinese proposal, China and India can jointly conduct a dialogue with a third regional country
  • The Chinese initiative is not Nepal-specific.
  • The two-plus-one formulation is flexible and can be applied to any other country in South Asia

Brexit Bill becomes law The document has received the Queen’s assent

  • A Bill enacting Britain’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) has become law after months of debate
  • The EU (Withdrawal) Bill, which repeals the 1972 European Communities Act through which Britain became a member, had received royal assent from Queen Elizabeth II.
  • It also enshrines Brexit day in British law as March 29, 2019 at 11 p.m. (2300 GMT) — midnight Brussels time, defined by the end of the two-year Article 50 withdrawal process.


The Monsoon Session of Parliament From July 18 to August 10, 2018

  • Announced by Cabinet Committee of Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
  • The CCPA recommendation now sets in summoning motion process of President Ram Nath Kovind for formally convening the session.
  • The upcoming Monsoon Session, 2018 will include passing of six Ordinances promulgated during the inter-session period before the session.

Enlighten about the upcoming bills

  • Government is going to introduce bills including Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Third Amendment) Bill, 2017 that seeks to accord constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC), Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016, Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017, National Medical Commission Bill, 2017, Rights of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Second Amendment) Bill, 2017 for consideration and passing in both Houses of Parliament.
  • The election to post of Deputy Chairman, Rajya Sabha will also be held during the session as term of PJ Kurien ends in June 2018.

State Specific

Suryashakti Kisan Yojana (SKY) – by Gujrat government A Solar Power Scheme for farmers

  • This scheme will enable the farmers to generate electricity for their captive consumption as well as sell surplus power to grid and earn extra buck.
  • It is a first of a kind scheme where farmer will produce his power and sell surplus to State power utility.
  • The pilot project of the scheme will starts from July 2018
  • The project cost is around Rs 870 crore and it will generate 175 MW.
  • The scheme aims at empowering farmers of state to generate their own electricity using solar energy and help doubling their income.
  • It envisages setting up of separate feeders for agricultural solar energy consumption.
  • The State and Central governments will give 60% subsidy on cost of project.
  • The farmer is required to take 5% cost, while 35% will be provided to him as affordable loan with interest rates of 4.5 to 6%.
  • The time period of the scheme will be of 25 years which is split between 7-year period and 18-year period.
  • In first 7 years, farmers will get per unit rate of Rs 7 (Rs 3.5 by state power utility + Rs 3.5 by state government) and the subsequent 18 years they will get rate of Rs 3.5 for each unit sold.

Sources – The Hindu , PIB , LiveMint