GS Paper I- Indian Heritage and Culture.
Haryana Crowned Champions Of Khelo India School Games With 38 Gold Medals.
- Sports powerhouse Haryana topped the overall medal tally after claiming 38 gold medals in the inaugural edition of the Khelo India School Games that concluded in New Delhi on 8th February, 2018.
- Overall, Haryana won 102 medals, with 26 silver and 38 bronze. Maharashtra (110) finished second overall while Delhi (94) came third.
Highlights Of The Development-
- On the final day, Haryana pugilists ruled the boxing ring, winning 10 of the 26 gold medals at stake. The boys won six while the girls won four finals.
- Haryana girls defeated Jharkhand 2-1 to win the girls’ hockey gold. The girls’ team from the state also won the football title at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, by defeating Manipur 5-4 in the gold medal clash.
- Haryana also lived up to the reputation as a wrestling hub as well. Its athletes won 14 gold in wrestling, five each in judo and track and field. Thrower Pooja stood out in athletics, winning gold in discus and shot put.
- Haryana also made a mark in archery (1) and shooting (1).
- Maharashtra finished second overall with a tally of 110 medals, 36 of them gold. The team won 32 silver and bronze each. Maharashtra mainly dominated swimming, winning six golds in the pool.
- On the final day of the games, Malivika Bansood won the last gold medal for the state defeating Aakarshi Kashyap of Chattisgarh 21-12, 21-10 in the girls badminton singles final.
- Delhi team was third with 94 medals, including 25 gold. The team won 29 silver and 40 bronze.
GS Paper II- International Relations.
Sushma Swaraj Discusses Bilateral Partnership With Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, Inaugurates Janadriyah Festival In Riyadh.
- External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on 7th February, 2018 met Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, who inaugurated the prestigious National Heritage and Culture Festival ‘Janadriyah’ at which India is the guest of honour country.
- King Salman in the presence of Swaraj inaugurated the festival which exhibits Saudi Arabia’s rich tapestry of culture and heritage and is organised by the National Guard.
- Speaking at the inaugural function, Swaraj thanked Saudi Arabia for according the ‘Guest of Honour’ status to India. Showcasing the core values and traditions of India, the India Pavilion mounted on the occasion is based on the theme “Saudi ka Dost Bharat”.
Highlights Of The Development-
- Swaraj, who arrived in Riyadh on 6th February, 2018 on her maiden visit to Saudi Arabia, called on King Salman.
- They discussed steps to further intensify the bilateral strategic partnership in all sectors and to work towards each other’s progress.
- Earlier, Swaraj met her Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir and discussed ways to enhance bilateral trade, energy, defence and security ties.
- Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the discussions between the two leaders focused on enhancing trade and investment, energy, defence and security, culture and people-to-people ties.
- The two leaders also discussed the regional and global situation, Kumar said.
- Swaraj reaffirmed India’s support to peace in the region and called for collective efforts in fighting the menace of terrorism.
- She called for taking the strategic partnership to a higher level and in a variety of sectors.
- Swaraj said that India’s flagship programmes including ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’ complement well with ‘Vision 2030’ launched by Saudi Arabia and invited Saudi investments in India.
- A welcome sign in Hindi appreciating India’s rich cultural heritage was placed at the foreign ministry building where Adel Jubeir hosted a lunch in honour of Swaraj.
- Swaraj thanked the Indian community for the goodwill it has earned for the country and lauded the Indian embassy for its promptness.
- Saudi Arabia is home to more than 3 million Indian people and ties between the two countries are on an upswing in the last few years especially after the landmark visit of PM Narendra Modi to the Gulf Kingdom in April 2016.
GS Paper III- Economic Development.
CRISIL, SIDBI Launch India’s First MSE Sentiment Index.
- The Finance minister Shri Arun Jaitley on 3rd February, 2018 launched CriSidEx, India’s first sentiment index for micro and small enterprises (MSEs) developed jointly by CRISIL and SIDBI.
- CriSidEx is a composite index based on a diffusion index of 8 parameters, and measures MSE business sentiment on a scale of 0 (extremely negative) to 200 (extremely positive). The parametric feedback was captured through a survey of 1,100 MSEs in November-December, 2017.
- The first reading of CriSidEx stood at 107, indicating mildly positive sentiment during October-December (or the ‘survey quarter’). For January-March 2018 (or the ‘next quarter’), the sentiment is expected to be more positive.
Highlights Of The Development-
- CriSidEx will have 2 indices – one for the ‘survey quarter’ and another for the ‘next quarter’ once a trend emerges after few rounds of the survey, providing independent time series data.
- The crucial benefit of CriSidEx is that its readings will flag potential headwinds and changes in production cycles, and thus help improve market efficiencies. And by capturing the sentiment of exporters and importers, it will also offer actionable indicators on foreign trade.
- More than half of the respondents expected an improvement in their business situation during the January-March (2018) quarter compared with a third in October-December (2017).
- Between manufacturing and services, the sentiment was more positive in manufacturing, with more than half of the MSEs expecting faster growth in orders and improved capacity utilisation in January-March compared with less than a third in October-December.
- Exporters, too, were hopeful of business improving in January-March, with a third of them expecting an above-normal orderbook compared with less than a quarter in October-December. On the other hand, more than half of the domestic-focussed MSEs foresaw improved orderbook in January-March.
- CRISIL also interacted with lenders for their views on the MSE sector. For the next quarter, lenders held a favourable view, expecting overall business situation to improve.