News Burger – Your Weekly Prep Diet – Week #2 (March)

For MBA aspirants, Current Affairs are one of the most key components for MBA preparation.

In exams such as XAT, IIFT and SNAP, an entire section is dedicated to it in order to test your Current Affairs and General Knowledge. Furthermore, Current Affairs become an interesting topic of discussion in almost all GD-PIs, WATs/AWTs.

Therefore, we have come up with the Weekly News Burger, a curation of weekly Current Affairs which will help aspirants avoid scrambling for Current Affairs content at the end of the year when it is most important for competitive exams.

This week’s News Burger is:

  1. Sri Lanka Declares State of Emergency:
    Sinhalese Buddhists attacked Mosques and Muslim owned properties in Kandy, Sri Lanka. 2 people have lost their lives in the clashes. 10 suspects have been arrested in connection with the clashes. The clash was instigated by the death of a Buddhist man from the Kandy region. The man was killed by intoxicated Muslim youth. Sinhalese mobs burned Muslim shops to violently protest against the “racial killing” of the man.
    The state of emergency has been declared for a duration of 10 days.
    Note – Muslims in Sri Lanka constitute 9% of the total population, while Sinhalese Buddhists make up 70% of it.
  2. Indian Military Ranked In Top 5:
    The Indian armed forces have been ranked 4th on the Global Firepower Index for its strength. The list is topped by the USA, followed by Russia and China. France is 5th on the list of military strength.
  3. Biplab Deb Assume’s Office as CM of Tripura:
    The Swearing-In-Ceremony took place on the 8th of March, 2018. Jishnu Devvarma, a member of the royal family,  was sworn in as the Deputy-Chief Minister.
    In related news – Neiphiu Rio is Nagaland’s new Chief Minister.
  4. Assam Government Extends AFSPA By Six Months:
    The BJP Government has declared the entire state as “Disturbed Area”, and has extended the Armed Forces Special Powers Act by 6 months. The AFSPA has been in force in Assam since 1990.
    What is AFSPA?
    a) The Armed Forces Special Powers Act came into action on July 9th, 1958, to curb the Naga insurgency. It was put in place to take control over areas with frequent cases of conflict, or as the Government describes it: “Disturbed Areas”.
    b) The Act allows the Military to arrest anyone without a warrant based on reasonable suspicion, without any legal processes.
    c) Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Nagaland, Manipur (Except Imphal), Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh come under AFSPA.
    d) For a state to be declared as disturbed, it must maintain its status quo of conflict for a minimum period of 3 months.
    e)  Until 2017, only the Central government (Union Home Ministry) could invoke the Act with State governments playing an advisory role. Now, State governments can decide whether or not AFSPA must be invoked in their state.
    f) The act has been amended in 1972, 1987 and was applied to J&K in 1990.
    g) There is a lot of opposition against the AFSPA, the most notable being Irom Sharmila’s 15-year hunger strike to force the government to repeal the Act from Manipur. Activists claim that over 1500 civilians have been killed in Manipur by the Army under AFSPA.
  5. Iraq Overtakes Saudi Arabia As India’s Top Crude Oil Supplier:
    The country meets 1/5th of India’s requirements for crude oil. Iran is the 3rd largest crude oil supplier to India, followed by Venezuela.
  6. Union Road and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari Launches The Sukhad Yatra App:
    The app will help travellers to know the waiting time at various Toll Plazas and their respective Toll Fee.
    Another toll-free emergency number  – 1033 – was also launched for travellers.
  7. At 39, Vijay Shekhar Sharma Is The Youngest Indian Billionaire:
    PayTM Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, who owns 16% of PayTM, ranked 1394th with a fortune of $1.7 Billion in a list released by Forbes. Only 63 of those listed are under 40 years of age.
    In related news – Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, is the richest man on Earth. His personal wealth is estimated to be $110 Billion, as per the annual Forbes magazine list of billionaires. Bill Gates is the second richest man with a personal wealth of $90 Billion.
    You can find the full list here.
  8. Telangana Announces Holiday For Women On International Women’s Day:
    In related news – The AAP Government in Delhi announced panic buttons in buses for women passengers. Each bus will be equipped with 4 buttons, which will beep for 40-seconds when pressed.
  9. Delhi & Mumbai Airports Top The AIC List:
    Delhi’s IGI Airport and Mumbai’s CSI Airport have been jointly named as the best airports in the 40 Million+ Passengers category by the Airports Council International. Hyderabad is no.1 in 5-15 Million Passengers category.
  10. Tejaswin Shankar Beats National Record:
    The 19-year-old cleared the 2.28 m record set earlier by him (2.26m), and also qualified for the Common Wealth Games.
  11. Muskan Kirar and Promila Daimary Win Archery Gold:
    The women won Gold in the Archery Asia Cup held in Bangkok. Muskan Kirar is only 17-years-old.
  12. Mumbai Ranks 47th In Wealth Index:
    Mumbai ranked 47th in the Knight Frank Wealth Report of 2018. The city is also in the Top 20 costliest cities of the world.
  13. Passive Euthanasia Legalized By Supreme Court of India:
    The Supreme Court on 9th March 2018 has legalized passive euthanasia. According to the ruling, only an adult of a sound and healthy state of mind can provide the passive euthanasia. It must be voluntarily executed with a clear statement mentioning as to when medical treatment may be withdrawn.
  14. Karnataka Unveils State Flag:
    Mr Siddaramaiah unveiled the state’s Yellow White and Red flag. The unofficial “Kannada Paksha Flag” is yet to be approved by the Centre. Only J&K has its own State flag. The state of Sikkim also has its unofficial flag.
    Across the globe, countries such as United States, Germany, Australia and Myanmar allow regional flags.
    Why does J&K have its own flag?
    a) J&K has a special place in the Indian Constitution(Article 370 i.e. Autonomous status to J&K). In 1952, a resolution was passed by the Constituent Assembly of J&K, making it the official flag of the State.
    b) The Flag is deep red in colour, representing labour. The plough represents the agriculture of Jammu and Kashmir. The three stripes represent Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.
  15. Suresh Prabhu Made In-Charge Of Aviation Ministry:
    The Commerce and Industries Minister was given the additional responsibility of the Civil Aviation Ministry.
    Mr Prabhu was formerly the Railway Minister of India.
  16. Uber Announces Brand Ambassador For The First Time In Asia-Pacific Region:
    Virat Kohli has been announced by Uber as its first Brand Ambassador in India. Liverpool FC’s Mohammed Salah was named the Brand Ambassador for Egypt.
  17. Mauritius President Resigns:
    Ameena Gurib-Fakim has been asked to resign after the 50th Independence ceremony of Mauritius. Ms. Fakim was the first female President of Mauritius. She will step down from her position after being embroiled in a Bank Card scandal, where she used a Credit Card provided by a charity to make personal purchases such as jewellery, clothes etc.
  18.  President Macron Visits India:
    French President Emmanuel Macron is visiting India for 4 days. He is accompanied by his wife, Brigitte Marie-Claude Macron.
    PM Modi received the French Leader at the New Delhi IGI Airport and greeted him with a hug. Mr Macaron was also received by President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on 10th March. After a 90-minute long meeting between Prime Minister and French President, 14 agreements have been signed between India and France.
    Here is a more detailed review of the French President’s visit.
  19. Death Penalty For Crime Against Girls:
    The Rajasthan assembly has approved a bill which will send those found guilty of raping girls under the age of 12 to the gallows.
    Madhya Pradesh has passed a similar bill in 2017. National Crime Records revealed that 19,920 children were allegedly victims of child rape in 2016 alone.
  20.  Xi Jinping Set To Become China’s Leader For Life:
    Almost 3,000 delegates to the National People’s Congress cast their ballots on a series of proposed amendments which included the removal of the law which allows a President to have only two consecutive 5-year terms.
    In related news – China has also set up a National Anti-Corruption Agency, which is considered to be as significant as the removal of the term limit.
  21. Tata Consultancy Services Named As Fastest Growing IT Services Brand In The World:
    The assessment was done by a brand valuation firm known as Brand Finance.
  22. IIT Bombay Alumnus Appointed As CTO Of Twitter:
    Twitter has appointed Parag Agarwal as its Chief Technology Officer. He had joined Twitter in 2011 as an Ads Engineer. He has previously worked in collaboration with Microsoft, Yahoo and AT&T.
  23. Passport Made Mandatory For Loans of 50 Crores:
    The move has been made in light of various scams that have surfaced over the past few months. It is a preventive measure against economic offenders.
    In related news – The Cabinet approved the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill. The proposed fugitive law aims to sell assets of Nirav Modi-type offenders.
  24. Uttar Pradesh’s Largest Solar Power Plant Inaugurated:
    French President Emmanuel Macron and PM Modi inaugurated UP’s largest solar power plant in the Mirzapur district’s Chhanvey block. The plant was built for approximately Rs 500 crore by a French firm ENGIE.
  25. Navjot Kaur Becomes World No.2:
    In the list revealed by United World Wrestling, Navjot Kaur has climbed to the No.2 position in the Women’s 65kg category. Finland’s Petra Oly, the 2016 European Champion, has secured the first place in the UWW rankings.
    In related news – Navjot Kaur has recently won gold at the Asian Wrestling Championship in Kyrgyzstan.
  26. Russia Test-Fires Hypersonic Missile:
    The superpower claims that it has tested the Hypersonic Missile Kinzhal (dagger). According to Russia’s Defence Ministry, the missile was launched by a MiG-31 supersonic interceptor jet.

Which news item did you find the most interesting?
Have some thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!

Chirag Shukla

Aspirant.

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