Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - September 16, 2017

Bilateral Relations

India, Japan ink 15 agreements for enhancing bilateral co-operation

  • India and Japan have signed 15 agreements for enhancing bilateral cooperation in several key areas including investment promotion, civil aviation, and science and technology.
  • The agreements were signed in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe after 12th annual summit talks in Gandhinagar, Gujarat

Enlighten Some of the Signed Agreements

  • MoU on International Academic and Sports Exchange
  • MoC(memorandum of cooperation) in field of Japanese Language Education in India
  • Exchange of RoD on Civil Aviation Cooperation (Open Sky)
  • MOC between Ministry of Home Affairs and Cabinet Office of Japan
  • India-Japan Investment Promotion Road map between DIPP and METI
  • MoU between DBT and National Institute of Advanced Science & Technology (AIST)
  • Arrangement between India Post and Japan Post for the Implementation of Cool EMS service.
  • MoU between RIS and IDE-JETRO for promotion of Cooperation in Research Related Activities.


  • Between METI and Gujarat on ‘Japan-India special programme for Make In India’ in Mandal Bechraj-Khoraj in Gujarat

India-Japan Act East Forum:

  • To enhance connectivity and promote developmental projects in North East India in efficient and effective manner.
  • Joint Research Contract India’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and between National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science & Technology (AIST), Japan.
  • Agreement for International joint exchange programme between interdisciplinary theoretical and mathematical sciences programme, RIKEN and National Centres for Biological Sciences.

Internal Security

Government launches Operation Insaniyat to help Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

  • The Ministry of External Affairs has started Operation Insaniyat to provided assistance to Bangladesh in response to humanitarian crisis being faced by it due to large influx of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar.
  • Under this operation, India will provide relief material consisting of items including rice, sugar, salt, pulses, cooking oil, biscuits and mosquito nets to the affected people


IAF successfully conducts development trials of Astra missile

  • Indigenously developed Astra beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) over the Bay of Bengal, off the coast of Chandipur in Odisha.
  • Total of seven trials of Astra BVRAAM were conducted in various missions and two of them were against Pilotless Target Aircrafts (PTA) successfully fired from Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft.
  • They were final development flight trials of the missile, paving way for its early induction into IAF.

Enlighten about Astra Missile

Enlighten about the MoU

  • Astra is air to air beyond visual range air-to-air indigenously developed by DRDO.
  • It is one of the smallest weapon system developed by DRDO, having length of 3.8-metre and weighing 154kg.
  • It is single stage solid fuelled missile and has payload capacity of 15 kg conventional explosives.
  • It can be launched from different altitudes and is capable of engaging targets at varying range and altitudes at both short-range targets (up to 20 km) in tail-chase mode and long-range targets (up to 80 km) in head-on mode.
  • It is radar homing supersonic missile having maximum speed of Mach 4 (four times speed of sound).
  • It possesses high Single Shot Kill Probability (SSKP) making it highly reliable.
  • It is all-weather missile with active radar terminal guidance, excellent electronic counter-counter measure (ECCM) features, smokeless propulsion and process improved effectiveness in multi-target scenario.
  • It has advance on-board electronic counter-measures that jam radar signals from enemy radar, making tracking of the missile difficult.
  • It is fitted with terminal active radar-seeker and an updated mid-course internal guidance system that helps missile to locate and track targets.
  • The missile can be integrated with all fighter aircraft of IAF including Sukhoi-30 MKI, Mirage-2000, MiG-29, Jaguar and the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).

INDRA 2017: India-Russian to conduct first tri-services military exercise

  • India and Russia have begun discussions to work out modalities for conducting their first tri-service military exercise INDRA 2017 in October 2017 in Russia.
  • It will be India’s first bilateral military exercise with any country involving all three services.
  • Indian Navy is fielding two ships, stealth frigate, INS Satpura, and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) corvette, INS Kadmatt, along with two on-board helicopters.
  • Indian Air Force (IAF) is likely to share fighter jets of host.

Swachh Bharat Mission

Swachhta Hi Seva

Unprecedented nationwide campaign on Swachhta

  • The whole country will take up sanitation initiatives, for over 15 days, in an unprecedented campaign to highlight, once again.
  • The jan aandolan that is the Swachh Bharat Mission.
  • This follows an impassioned call by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, ahead of the 3rd anniversary of Swachh Bharat Mission that falls on 2nd October.

‘SWACHHTA’ Ranking - 2017 of Higher Educational Institutions

  • Save water & electricity, promote cleanliness and manage waste for Smart Campus
  • SWACHHTA’ Ranking 2017 of Higher Educational Institutions was held in New Delhi today.
  • Union Human Resource Development Minister, Shri Prakash Javadekar gave away the prizes to the awardees.

Science & Tech/Medical

A push for cooperation in S&T and medical research

  • In the light of Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit, agreements were signed to further cooperation in science and technology including research into stem-cells for making bone-marrow transplants more accessible.
  • The aim of the programme is to develop infrastructure and expertise for India to be a competitive force in regenerative medicine and induced pluripotent stem cell biology. The focus of the collaboration is on developing treatments for sickle-cell anaemia, Beta thalassemia and brain disorders, and creating a haplobank relevant to Indian populations,
  • A haplobank refers to a specially maintained collection of embryonic cells that can, in theory, be directed to become any kind of cell and thus progenitor of replacement organs
  • Japanese scientist Shinya Yamanaka was a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for medicine for discovering ways to reprogram mature stem cells


2-day National Conference on “Uniformed Women in Prison Administration”

  • The Minister of State for Home Affairs Shri Kiren Rijiju will inaugurate the 2-day National Conference on “Uniformed Women in Prison Administration”
  • The Conference is being organised for women officers of the rank of Jailors to Dy. Superintendents of Prisons.

This Conference will have Panel Discussions, Deliberations and Syndicate Discussions on 4 themes:

1. Are Woman Prison Officers getting mainstream duties
2. Difficulties in balancing family and work environment of Women Prison Officers.
3. Training needs of Woman Prison Officers and Correctional Staff
4. Is there need for change of uniform for Woman Prison Officers?

Foreign Funding License of JNU, DU, IIT delhi , ICMR

Cancellation of Foreign Funding

  • The Union Home Ministry has cancelled registrations of many institutions, under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010 (FCRA)
  • Many prominent higher education institutions, including JNU, DU, IIT-Delhi and the ICAR, are among several hundred organisations which have been barred by the Centre from receiving foreign funds
  • Reason behind this cancellation: These institutions have reportedly failed to file their annual returns for the last five years, despite being served repeated notices

Rules for receiving foreign funds

  • No organisation or institution is allowed to receive funds from abroad unless it is registered under FCRA
  • It is mandatory for such organisations to submit their annual income and expenditure statements to the government
  • An educational institution, for instance, needs its FCRA registration number to receive donations from its alumni based abroad

Directions for NGOs

  • The Home Ministry has also directed 1,222 NGOs across the country to validate the bank accounts in which they receive foreign funds, failure of which will invite punitive action
  • All NGOs registered under FCRA should receive foreign donations in a single designated bank account
  • However, many organisations had not validated these accounts, causing problems for the banks which are required to report receipt of foreign funds within 48 hours

Pin(Person In News)

SPMCIL to Mint Commemorative Coins on the Birth centenaries of Dr. M S Subbulakshmi and Dr. M G Ramachandran

Dr. Madurai Shanmukhavadivu Subbulakshmi

  • Also known as Dr. M.S. Subbulakshmi, was a Carnatic vocalist born on 16/09/1916 in Madurai under Madaras Presidency.
  • She was the first musician ever to be awarded the Bharat Ratna.
  • She is the first Indian musician to receive the Ramon Magsaysay award

Shri Marudhur Gopalan Ramachandran

  • M.G. Ramachandran was born on 17th Jan, 1917 in Kandy, British Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).
  • He was an Indian actor, director, producer and politician who worked primarily in Tamil films and also served as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu successively for three terms.