Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - November 4, 2017


Hindi Writer Krishna Sobti awarded Jnanpith award 2017

  • Eminent Hindi Litterateur Krishna Sobti (92) was awarded the 53rd Jnanpith Award for the year 2017 for her path-breaking contribution to Indian literature.
  • She will be overall eight women to win this prestigious award.

Enlighten about Jnanpith award

  • Jnanpith Award is India’s highest literary honour.
  • Its name has been taken from Sanskrit words Jnana and Pitha which means knowledge-seat.
  • It was instituted in 1961 by Bharatiya Jnanpith trust founded by the Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain family that owns the Times of India newspaper group.
  • It is bestowed upon any Indian citizen who writes in any 22 official languages of India mentioned in VIII Schedule of Constitution of India and English.
  • Prior to 1982, the award was only given for a single work by a writer. But after 1982, the award is given for lifetime contribution to Indian literature.
  • The award carries cash prize of 11 lakh rupees, a citation plaque and a bronze replica of Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of knowledge and wisdom

Ministry Reforms

Government makes FASTag mandatory for all new 4-wheelers from December 1, 2017

  • The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has issued notification to make FASTag mandatory for all new four-wheelers from December 1, 2017.
  • The notification follows amendment to Central Motor Vehicle (CMV) Rules, 1989 made by central government as per powers vested in it under Motor Vehicles Act, 1989.
  • FASTag has a validity of five years and after purchasing it only needs to recharge or top up as per the requirement. The system is inter-operable and same FASTag can be used across all toll plazas under National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) programme.

Intellectual Property Rights

Etikoppaka toys from Andhra Pradesh get GI tag

  • The Geographical Indication Registry (GIR) has given Geographical Indication (GI) tag traditional Etikoppaka toys (Etikoppaka Bommalu) from Andhra Pradesh.
  • These traditional toys are made by artisans in Etikoppaka village located on banks of river Varaha in Visakhapatnam district of the state.
  • With this, Etikoppaka toys join elite products from Andhra Pradesh such as Kondapalli toys, Tirupati laddu, Bobbili Veena, Srikalahasthi Kalamkari, Uppada Jamdani sarees and Shadow puppets to have coveted GI tag.

Etikoppaka toys (popularly known as Lakkapidathalu)

  • The art of making traditional wooden Etikoppaka toys is more than 400 years old and it has been traditionally handed over to them by their ancestors through generations. The art of this toy making is also known as turned wood Lacquer craft.
  • The toys are unique in shape and form. They are made of wood and painted with natural dyes.
  • The wood used is from ‘Ankudi Karra’ (Wrightia tinctoria) tree that is soft in nature.
  • The artisans are yet to get heavy metal analysis certificate for exporting to the US and European countries.
  • Facing a new threat from dumping of identical Chinese wooden toys into the markets
  • Getting little help from the government, the artisans are now looking for online trading agencies to sell their products.

Enlighten about Geographical Indication (GI)

  • The Geographical Indication (GI) is name or sign used on certain products which correspond to specific geographical location or origin.
  • It is used for agricultural, natural and manufactured goods having special quality and established reputation.
  • These goods and products having tag are recognised for their origin, quality and reputation and gives it required edge in the global market.
  • It also ensures that none can use their name, giving them exclusivity.
  • The registration of a GI is valid for 10 years after which it needs to be renewed.
  • GI is covered as element of intellectual property rights (IPRs) under Paris Convention for Protection of Industrial Property.
  • At international level, GI is governed by WTO’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
  • In India, GI tag is governed by Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection Act), 1999.
  • This Act is administered by Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks, who is also Registrar of Geographical Indications.


India’s first Blackbuck conservation reserve to come up in UP

  • The Uttar Pradesh State Cabinet has approved Blackbuck Conservation Reserve in trans-Yamuna belt near Allahabad.
  • It will be first of its kind conservation reserves in India exclusively dedicated to blackbuck.
  • In this regard, state government has evoked Section 36 A (1) and (2) of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, to declare the conservation reserve.

Enlighten about it

  • The wildlife conservation reserve will come up on over 126 hectares in Meja forest division known for its rocky, undulating and arid terrain.
  • A herd of around 350 blackbucks is estimated to be inhabiting the region.
  • In India, there are a few national parks and sanctuaries inhabited by blackbuck, like the Velavadar Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat and the Ranibennur Blackbuck Sanctuary in Karnataka. However, there are not many conservation reserves exclusively dedicated to the antelope.
  • The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) lists the blackbuck as least concerned.
  • In India, hunting of blackbuck is prohibited under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.
  • The Bishnoi community of Rajasthan is known worldwide for their conservation efforts to blackbuck and Chinkara.
  • The blackbuck has significance in Hinduism; Indian and Nepali villagers do not harm the antelope.


  • Indian Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) is an antelope and is the only living species of the genus Antilope.
  • It is considered to be the fastest animal in the world next to Cheetah.
  • The horns of the blackbuck are ringed with one to four spiral turns and the female is usually hornless.


  • Blackbuck inhabits grassy plains and slightly forested areas. Due to its regular need of water, it prefers areas where water is perennially available.
  • It is found in Central- Western India (MP, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra and Odisha) and Southern India (Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu).

Maritime Policies

India offers to share real-time maritime data with 10 Indian Ocean littoral states

  • India has made an offer to share intelligence of maritime movements in the Indian Ocean in real-time with 10 Indian Ocean littoral states.
  • It was announced by Indian Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba at the Goa Maritime Conclave (GMC).

Enlighten about it –

  • The information to be shared includes movement of commercial traffic as well as intelligence.
  • The sharing of intelligence will not be much for conventional military purposes but to deal with non-traditional threats arising at sea.


Goa Maritime Conclave (GMC)

  • Indian Navy had hosted Navy and Maritime Chiefs of 10 countries of IOR at first GMC to identify common threats in region and evolve a mechanism on how to tackle them.
  • It aimed to bring together like minded nations to evolve and formulate collective responses to emerging challenges in maritime domain.
  • It was aimed at “Addressing Regional Maritime Challenges”. The deliberations in it focused on emerging maritime threats and force structuring, maritime domain awareness, maritime security architecture, and maritime security challenges in IOR.

Health Sector

World Congress of Mental Health is taking place in India for the first time

  • Our National Mental Health Survey 2016 found that close to 14 per cent of India’s population required active mental health interventions. About two per cent suffered from severe mental disorders. sector
  • Biggest obstacle that mental health patients have to encounter is stigma and denial. This leads to the issue being ignored or simply not discussed.
  • A second biggest obstacle is that of human resources.
  • There are only about five thousand psychiatrists and less than two thousand clinical psychologists in our country.


  • We need to talk about mental health issues and treat ailments such as depression and stress as diseases that can be cured
  • National Mental Health Programme is building 22 centres of excellence in the field of mental health. In parallel, the District Mental Health Programme has already covered 517 of the approximately 650 districts in India.
  • It is taking the conversation about mental health to the grassroots of our society.
  • To spread awareness, it is important to build partnerships between the public and private sectors and between the government and civil society organisations.
  • It would also be valuable to stitch together community support networks.
  • The World Congress will also have sessions on yoga, meditation and traditional approaches to mental health.
  • It will tap into our wealth of traditional knowledge and link it’s learning to modern research on mental health.
  • This will promote a holistic approach to mental health-care and can combine the best of different fields of practice.
  • Information Technology and telemedicine are also coming of aid. Such technologies are linking doctors and counsellors in cities to mental health patients in rural areas. As Internet penetration expands in our country, this holds much potential.

Energy Sector

7th Asia Ministerial Energy Roundtable(AMER) in Bangkok, Thailand

  • India is the current chair of International Energy Forum (IEF) which is promoting the AMER – a biennial event bringing together Energy Ministers and experts from Asian countries.
  • IEF is the largest inter-governmental organisation in the field of oil and gas comprising 72 member countries, accounting for 90% of global supply and demand of oil and gas. Members include developing, developed, OPEC, Non-OPEC and G20 countries. 18 of the G20 countries are members of IEF

World Food India 2017

  • It is a three-day event, which is organised by the Food Processing Industries Ministry, will see investors, manufacturers, producers, food processors, policy makers and organisations from all over the world.
  • This is the first time that India is hosting such an event for the food processing sector.
  • Over 800 kg khichdi will be prepared live on November 4 at the World Food India event in a bid to create world record and popularise it as brand India food globally.

World Food India

  • World Food India aims to transform food economy and realize the vision of doubling of farmers’ income by establishing India as a preferred investment destination and sourcing hub for the global food processing industry.


Various schemes and programs initiated by the Government to achieve the target of Doubling of Farmers’ Income by 2022:

  • Special focus on irrigation with sufficient budget, with the aim of “Per Drop More Crop”.
  • Provision of quality seeds and nutrients based on soil health of each field.
  • Large investments in Warehousing and Cold Chains to prevent post-harvest crop losses.
  • Promotion of value addition through food processing.
  • Creation of a National Farm Market, removing distortions and e-platform across 585 Stations.
  • Introduction of a New Crop Insurance Scheme to mitigate risks at an affordable cost.
  • Promotion of ancillary activities like poultry, beekeeping, and fisheries.

Power Sector

PowerGrid completes extending grid connectivity to Leh-Ladakh region

  • This is the first time in the country that any 220kV voltage level substation is built at such a high altitude of over 11,500 feet.
  • Implementation of Srinagar-Leh Transmission System has been entrusted to Power Grid Corporation of India Limited.
  • The commissioning of these elements will facilitate delivery of power from the Nimmo Bazgo Hydro-electric power stations in Leh/Ladhakh Region, with reliability.

Enlighten about Powergrid

  • Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID), is an Indian state-owned electric utility company headquartered in Gurugram, India.
  • POWERGRID transmits about 50% of the total power generated in India on its transmission network.
  • A “Navaratna” Central Public Sector Enterprise.
  • India’s largest Electric Power Transmission Utility
  • Third Largest Public Sector Enterprise in terms of Gross Block