Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - March 14, 2018

Bilateral Relations

World Hindi Secretariat building Inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind


  • in Port Louis, Mauritius.
  • President Kovind visited Mauritius as part of first leg to his two-nation state visit (Mauritius and Madagascar).

Enlighten about World Hindi Secretariat building

  • It is fully financed by Government of India and provided grant of Rs. 33 crore.
  • The Land for it was given by Government of Mauritius. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone of this building during his visit in 2015.
  • The aim of secretariat is to present Hindi as common man’s language, in front of the world.


Agreement between IATA, Civil Aviation Ministry and National Aviation University

MoU -

  • The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and National Aviation University (NAU) on sidelines of Wings India 2018

why -

  • to enhance human resource availability in India’s aviation industry.

Enlighten about the agreement -

  • The signatory institutions will leverage existing infrastructure for training in India to expand reach of vocational training in aviation disciplines.
  • It also provides for developing closer academic cooperation between IATA and National Aviation University.
  • India is expected to be third largest aviation market in the world behind China and US by 2024.

Enlighten about IATA

  • It is a trade association of the world’s airlines.
  • It was established in April 1945 and is headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Canada with Executive Offices in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • It supports airline activity and helps formulate industry policy and standards. Its mission is to represent, lead and serve the airline industry.


C-17 Globemaster landed successfully at strategic Tuting Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) in Arunachal Pradesh

  • The landing of this aircraft is seen as part of IAF’s move to strengthen its overall operations in strategically-key border state.
  • It also demonstrated IAF’s capability in terms of operational performance and tactical air mobility in challenging Tuting airfield which is surrounded high hills in narrow valley.

Earlier strategic landing

  • In November 2016 IAF had successfully carried out landing of C-17 Globemaster at its strategic ALG of Mechuka in West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh

Enlighten about The C-17 globemaster

  • It is US-manufactured transport aircraft commonly used to perform strategic airlift missions, transporting troops and cargo throughout the world along with medical evacuation and airdrop duties.
  • It can be operated in diverse terrain from Himalayan air bases in North India at 13,000 ft to Indian Ocean bases in South India. It can carry payload of 77.50 tonnes and its maximum takeoff weight is 265 tonnes.

India and its neighbourhood

Bidya Devi Bhandari – re elected Nepal’s first woman President

  • President of Nepal is ceremonial head of state, under the new Republican Federal Constitution of Nepal.
  • The electoral college for presidential election comprised of members of Parliament and Provincial Assemblies.


Herbicide Tolerant (HT) or BG-III cotton Constitution of Field Inspection and Scientific Evaluation Committee (FISEC)

  • FISCE has been constituted by The Department of Biotechnology in Ministry of Science and Technology
  • to investigate matter of illegal cultivation of Herbicide Tolerant (HT) or BG-III cotton in four states.
  • illegal or unauthorised cultivation of HT cotton in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
  • The cultivation of HT cotton (BG-III) is not approved by country’s biotech regulator, Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) of Ministry of Environment.

Enlighten about Herbicide-Tolerant (HT) Cotton also known as BG-III cotton

  • it takes care of weeds problem in cotton at much lower cost as compared to physical labour required for weeding.
  • It contains Round-up Ready and Round-up Flex (RRF) gene.
  • The RRF herbicide-tolerant trait was developed and commercialised by US-based multinational seed giant Monsanto.

Why it is harmful –

  • The herbicide-resistant gene in HT cotton can spread through pollen into biodiversity system leading to transformation of weeds into super weeds on large-scale.
  • It will threaten growth and yields of all crops in future and also increase cultivation costs and lead to health hazards.


Kochon Prize – 2017 Awarded to The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)

Awarded for -

  • For excellence in Tuberculosis (TB) research and development.
  • For establishing India TB Research Consortium to accelerate R&D efforts in the country.

Enlighten about the consortium –

  • The consortium is working with public and private institutes to guide country’s research efforts towards development of point-of-care diagnostics, shorter treatment regimens and effective vaccine for TB.

Enlighten about ICMR

  • It is India’s apex scientific body for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research.
  • It was established in 1911 as Indian Research Fund Association (IRFA) making it one of the oldest and largest medical research bodies in the world.
  • The ICMR functions under the Department of Health Research, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. It is headquartered in New Delhi.

Enlighten about Kochon Prize

  • It is awarded annually by Stop TB Partnership to individuals and organizations that have made significant contribution to combating the disease.
  • It was initiated by Kochon Foundation, a non-profit foundation registered in South Korea. It consists of prize of US $65,000 award.
  • The prize was established in 2006 in honour of late Chairman Chong-Kun Lee (left), founder of Chong Kun Dang Pharmaceutical Corporation and Kochon Foundation.