Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 12 October 2018
Global hunger Index report worries India
• At least one in five Indian children under the age of five are
wasted, which means they have extremely low weight for their height, reflecting
acute under-nutrition, according to the Global Hunger Index 2018. The only
country with a higher prevalence of child wasting is the war-torn nation of
South Sudan, says the report, which was released on Thursday.
• Overall, India has been ranked at 103 out of 119 countries in
the Index, with hunger levels in the country categorised as “serious”. India’s
ranking has dropped three places from last year, although the Index says its
results are not accurately comparable from year to year and instead provides a
few reference years for comparable data.
• Child wasting is high across South Asia, constituting a
“critical public health emergency”, according to UN organisations. The report
notes that wasting rates are highest for infants aged 0 to 5 months, suggesting
that attention to birth outcomes and breastfeeding is important.
• The report notes that in South Asia, “maternal BMI and access
to improved water and sanitation are more closely associated with rates of child
wasting than household wealth, suggesting that a reduction in poverty alone may
not be sufficient to correct the problem…Factors that could reduce child
stunting in South Asia include increased consumption of non-staple foods, access
to sanitation, women’s education, access to safe water, gender equality, and
national food availability.”
FC chairman says special category status not part of its terms
• Grant of ‘Special Category Status’ to states is out of purview
of the Ṭerms of Reference of Finance Commission, said Chairman of Finance
• Responding to the questions from the media, he stated that the
issue was forcefully raised by the Chief Minister but it would be a
transgression of the Presidential Notification by the Commission if it considers
the issue of Special Category as it does not figure in its Terms of Reference.
Philosophy of Special Category Status never emanated from any Finance Commission
but from the resolution of erstwhile National Development Council.
• The Commission believes that current initiatives of the state
govt are credible, timely and speedy and for a prosperous India, prosperous
Andhra Pradesh is must. He lauded the contribution of Andhra Pradesh to the
national GDP and said that it will do everything possible in constitutional
framework to realise the state’s potential.
IMF chief warns currency wars detrimental to growth
• International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine
Lagarde on Thursday warned countries of the perils of a trade or a currency war,
saying they could be detrimental to global growth and hurt ”innocent
• “We certainly hope we don’t move in either direction of a
trade war or a currency war. It will be detrimental on both accounts for all
participants,” Ms.Lagarde told a news conference during the annual meetings of
the IMF and World Bank in Indonesian resort island of Bali.
• China and the United States have slapped tit-for-tat tariffs
over the past few months, rattling financial markets as investors worried the
escalating trade war could knock global trade and investment.
• On recent yuan declines, Ms.Lagarde said they were mainly
driven by the strength of the dollar, noting that it has not depreciated as much
against a basket of currencies.
• The yuan currency has faced strong selling pressure this year,
losing over 8% between March and August at the height of market worries, though
it has since pared losses as authorities stepped up support.
• A U.S. Treasury official on Monday repeated that the Trump
administration was concerned about the yuans recent weakening as the department
prepares a semi-annual report on currency manipulation due out next week.
Improved connectivity boosts bilateral trade between India and
• Bangladesh is sending a strong buyer delegation to India
during the upcoming Indus Food-II to be held in January, 2019, in Greater Noida,
organized jointly with Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and
• CEO, IBCCI said that trade growth depends on the developmental
progress of Bangladesh. He further said that Bangladesh is growing and hence
trade is increasing with India and the rest of the world. India being an
immediate neighbour with whom Bangladesh not only shares a long border but also
culture, traditions and language will be looking towards India to import the
items it needs.
• Fresh fruits going from India to Bangladesh are: mangoes,
grapes, pomegranates and apples. Among other F&B products, there is still great
scope for added export of dried, shelled chickpeas, fresh or chilled onions and
shallots, food preparations, cumin seeds, fresh grapes, semi-milled or wholly
milled rice, black fermented tea and partly fermented tea, turmeric and cane
• Improved connectivity between the two countries will help a
lot in developing trade further. Till only a sometime back, maximum trade
between India and Bangladesh was routed through ports in Singapore. The
traditional river waterways that connected various cities in Bangladesh to India
were operational till 1965.
Indians top amongst U.K overstayers
• India accounts for the largest number of individuals staying
in the U.K. illegally, and the number of those subjected to forced returns to
India has fallen by 50% in three years, Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth
Office has said.
• The problem of “visa overstayers” was highlighted by the
department in its submission to a British parliamentary committee’s “Global
Britain and India’ inquiry into post-Brexit relations with India.
• The focus on overstayers is significant, suggesting that there
is little sign of change on an issue that has overshadowed bilateral
relationships. Tensions came to a head earlier this year when Britain’s Trade
Secretary Liam Fox linked the decision on excluding Indians from a relaxation of
student visa requirements to cooperation between the two countries on the return
of illegal migrants, including India’s failure to sign an MOU with the U.K. on
the issue during Prime Minister NarendraModi’s visit in April.
• Subsequently, Indian High Commissioner Y.K. Sinha questioned
Britain’s focus and stance on overstayers. “I am sure there are many [overstayers]
but where did this figure of 100,000 come from?” he said in June.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
PM to launch Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
• The Prime Minister, ShriNarendraModi, today attended, and
delivered an address at the event to mark the launch of the Centre for the
Fourth Industrial Revolution.
• He said the components of “Industry 4.0” actually have the
ability to transform the present and future of human life. He said the launch of
this Centre, the fourth in the world after San Francisco, Tokyo and Beijing,
opens the door to immense possibilities in the future.
• He said emerging fields, including Artificial Intelligence,
Machine Learning, Internet of Things, Blockchain, and Big Data, can take India
to new heights of development, and improve the quality of life of its citizens.
He said that for India, this is not just an industrial transformation, but a
• He said Industry 4.0 has the strength to drive irreversible
positive change in India. He added that it will help bring the required speed
and scale to work being done in India.
• The Prime Minister mentioned how the Digital India movement
has brought data to villages of India. He explained how tele-density, internet
coverage, and mobile internet subscriptions have increased in the recent past.
He spoke of the rapid growth in number of Common Service Centres in India.
Power bat launched to enhance fan experience
• V.V.S. Laxman, AbhinavMukund, Robin Uthappa and Ian Bishop
spoke about the benefits of Power Bat, a tool that provides players, coaches,
commentators, fans and viewers a completely new and unique way to engage with
cricket and improve their game.
• Spektacom Technologies, start-up by former India leg-spinner
Anil Kumble, Microsoft Corp and broadcast partner Star India introduced the
product at the Star India studio on Thursday.
• The Power Bat is powered by the Microsoft Azure cloud platform
using AI and Internet of Things (IoT) services.