Current Affairs 7th February, 2019


Topics Covered

1. Art and Culture

2. Awards, Titles and Rewards

Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards – 2017

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What to read?

Prelims – About the award and the Akademi

The President of India presented the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards for the year 2017 at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Sangeet Natak Akademi

  • India’s national academy for music, dance and drama – is the first National Academy of the arts set-up by the Republic of India. It was created by a resolution of the Ministry of Education, Government of India, dated 31 May 1952.
    Since its inception the Akademi has been functioning as the apex body of the performing arts in the country, preserving and promoting the vast intangible heritage of India’s diverse culture expressed in the forms of music, dance and drama.

  • In furtherance of its objectives the Akademi coordinates and collaborates with the governments and art academies of different States and Territories of the Union of India as also with major cultural institutions in the country.

  • The Akademi establishes and looks after institutions and projects of national importance in the field of the performing arts.

  • The National School of Drama, set up in 1959, was the first of their two national institutions of danceJawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy in Imphal and Kathak Kendra (National Institute of Kathak Dance) in New Delhi – were set up in 1964 respectively.

  • National Projects of Support to Kuttiyattam – the age-old Sanskrit theatre of Kerala – Chhau dances of eastern India and Sattriya traditions of Assam have been lauched subsequently.

  • After ten years of intensive work under the Kutiyattam project, the UNESCO declared Kutiyattam as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in May 2001.It organizes performances of music, dance, and theatre.

  • The Akademi Awards are the highest national recognition conferred on eminent artistes. The Akademi also confers Fellowships and Scholarship, their numbers being restricted to 30 living recipients.

  • To subsidize the work of institutions engaged in teaching, performing or promoting music, dance, or theatre; the Akademi gives grants-in-aid for research, documentation, and publishing in the performing arts; organizes and subsidizes seminars and conferences of subject specialists; documents and records the performing arts for its audio-visual archive.

  • The Sangeet Natak Akademi is at present an autonomous body of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Government of India and is fully funded by the Government for implementation of its schemes and programmes.

PAPER – 2 and PAPER - 3

Topics Covered

1. International Relations

2. Space Missions

Second Satellite of Iran - Doosti

What to read?

Prelims – About the Satellite

Mains – Impact in International Relations

Satellite images suggest Iran has attempted a second satellite launch despite U.S. criticism of its program. Iran has not acknowledged conducting a launch.

  • Images released early by the Colorado-based company DigitalGlobe show a rocket at the Imam Khomeini Space Center in Iran’s Semnan province on. Images show the rocket was gone with what appears to be burn marks on its launch pad.

  • The images come as Iran has said it would launch its Doosti, or “Friendship,” satellite. A launch in January failed to put another satellite into orbit.

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Blame of U.S on Iran

  • The U.S. alleges such launches defy a U.N. Security Council resolution calling on Iran to undertake no activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

  • Iran insists the launches do not violate the resolution.

UNSC Resolution on Iran

  • The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has adopted seven resolutions as part of international efforts to address Iran’s nuclear program, although only one is in effect today.

  • When Iran and the P5+1 reached a comprehensive nuclear deal on July 14, 2015, the UN Security Council endorsed the deal and put in place measures to lift UN sanctions that targeted Iran's nuclear program.

  • The resolution, 2231,retained some restrictions on ballistic missile activities and arms sales. It was passed on July 20, 2015 by a unanimous vote.

  • The central demand in the first six resolutions was that Iran suspend its uranium enrichment program, as well as undertake several confidence-building measures outlined in a February 2006 International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors resolution - including reconsidering the construction of its heavy-water reactor and ratifying the IAEA Additional Protocol

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Topics Covered

1. International Organisations

World Bank President

What to read?

Prelims – About World Bank

Mains – Role of World Bank in development of India

President Donald Trump announces his nomination of David Malpass, under secretary of the Treasury for international affairs, to head the World Bank.

World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. This is not only a bank in the ordinary sense but a unique partnership to reduce poverty and support development.

  • Origin – 1944

  • Headquarter: Washington, D.C.

  • Publications- Global Economic Prospects, Ease of doing business index

There are 2 goals for the world to achieve by 2030 –

  • End extreme poverty by decreasing the percentage of people living on less than $1.90 a day to no more than 3%

  • Promote shared prosperity by fostering the income growth of the bottom 40% for every country

World Bank Group is not just World bank but comprises of 5 institutions managed by their member countries

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These 5 institutions are as follows

  • International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)- Commonly known as the world bank. It is the single largest provider of development loans

  • International Development Association (IDA) – assists the poorest countries

  • International Finance Corporation (IFC) – supports private enterprise in developing countries.

  • Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) – offers investors insurance against non-commercial risk and help developing country governments attract foreign investment (non commercial risks such as political instability, govt deciding to nationalise a private business etc).

  • International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) – encourages the flow of foreign investment to developing countries through arbitration and conciliation facilities

  • Except for ICSID, India is member of other four groups

  • India is one of the founder members of IBRD, IDA and IFC

The President of World Bank

  • The President of World Bank has always been a US citizen and nominated by the United States only. The United States has largest shareholder in the Bank. The current president of World Bank is Jim Yong Kim.

  • The nominee is subject to confirmation by the Board of Executive Directors, to serve for a five-year, renewable term. While most World Bank Group presidents have had banking experience, some have not.

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Paper – 2

Topics Covered

1. Polity

National Institutes of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management Bill, 2019 

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Prelims and Mains – Highlights of the bill

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister has approved the introduction of National Institutes of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management Bill, 2019.


To confer the status of Institutions of National Importance to National Institute of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM) at Kundli, Haryana, and the Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT) at Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu.


  • The legislation would provide for functional autonomy to the institutes to design and develop courses, undertake research activities and leverage enhanced status in their academic pursuits, so that they become world class institutes.

  • The institutes would implement the reservation policy of the Government and would also undertake special outreach activities for the benefits of concerned stakeholders. It would enable the institutes to provide world class teaching and research experience by adopting innovative practices.


Topics Covered

1. Polity

2. Indian Economy

Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill

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What to read?

Prelims and Mains – Highlights of the Bill

The Union Cabinet approved the official amendments to an Act that classifies any deposit scheme not registered with the government as an offence and bans it.

The Cabinet has given its approval to move official amendments to the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2018, pursuant to the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Finance.

Highlights of the Bill

  • Deposit - The Bill defines a deposit as an amount of money received through an advance, a loan, or in any other form, with a promise to be returned with or without interest.  Such deposit may be returned either in cash or as a service, and the time of return may or may not be specified.

  • Currently, nine regulators oversee and regulate various deposit-taking schemes.  These include: (i) the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), (ii) the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), (iii) the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, and (iv) state and union territory governments.

  • Unregulated deposit scheme: A deposit-taking scheme is defined as unregulated if it is not registered with the regulators listed in the Bill.

  • Designated Courts: The Bill provides for the constitution of one or more Designated Courts in specified areas.  This Court will be headed by a judge not below the rank of a district and sessions judge, or additional district and sessions judge.

  • Central database: The Bill provides for the central government to designate an authority to create an online central database for information on deposit takers.  All deposit takers will be required to inform the database authority about their business.  The Competent Authority will be required to share all information on unregulated deposits with the authority.

  • Offences and penalties: The Bill defines three types of offences, and penalties related to them.  These offences are: (i) running (advertising, promoting, operating or accepting money for) unregulated deposit schemes, (ii) fraudulently defaulting on regulated deposit schemes, and (iii) wrongfully inducing depositors to invest in unregulated deposit schemes by willingly falsifying facts.

  • Accepting unregulated deposits will be punishable with imprisonment between two and seven years, along with a fine ranging from three to 10 lakh rupees.  Defaulting in repayment of unregulated deposits will be punishable with imprisonment between three and 10 years, and a fine ranging from five lakh rupees to twice the amount collected from depositors.  Repeated offenders under the Bill will be punishable with imprisonment between five to 10 years, along with a fine ranging from 10 lakh to five crore rupees.

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  • The Bill has adequate provisions for disgorgement or repayment of deposits in cases where such schemes nonetheless manage to raise deposits illegally

  • The Bill provides for attachment of properties/assets by the competent authority, and subsequent realisation of assets for repayment to depositors

The amendments will further strengthen the Bill in its objective to effectively tackle the menace of illicit deposit-taking activities, and prevent such schemes from duping poor and gullible people of their hard-earned savings.