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Exam Specific Current Affairs for UPSC Aspirants – 18 February 2019

Trump declares national emergency to build US-Mexico border wall
US President Donald Trump signed an exclusive order stating national emergency in the nation on February 15, 2019.  The executive order would unblock billions of dollars of federal money to build a wall along the US-Mexico border.

  • Constructing a wall along US-Mexico border was one of the important promised made by President Trump during his 2016 election campaign.
  • He has been facing much opposition from the opposition parties for funding of the wall since then.

Inland Waterways Authority of India launches new portal ‘LADIS’
A new portal called ‘LADIS’ was launched by The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) on February 15, 2019 in New Delhi. ‘LADIS’ stands for “Least Available Depth Information System”, the portal will ensure optimum use of national waterways.

  • Built in house by IWAI, the ‘LADIS’ portal is hosted on the on IWAI’s website.
  • Information about national waterway 1, national waterway 2, Indo-Bangladesh Protocol route and national waterway 3 will be available initially on ‘LADIS’ portal. Other national waterways’ information will soon be available.

India withdraws Most Favoured Nation status accorded to Pakistan
Following the Pulwama terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir on 14th February 2019, India has withdrawn the ‘Most-Favoured Nation’ status accorded to Pakistan. The terror attack has led to the killing of 44 CRPF Jawans and injuring of many others.

  • Under WTO’s General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the most favoured nation (MFN) status was accorded to Pakistan in 1996.
  • Both India and Pakistan are parties to this which means they have to treat each other and rest of WTO member countries as favoured trading partners.

India liberalises e-visa regime, makes it more tourist friendly
With the aim to liberalize the country and making it tourist friendly, the Union Tourism Ministry recently made a series of amendments in India’s e-visa regime. In September 2014, the e-tourist Visa was launched for 46 countries, now it’s available for 166 countries.

  • E-visa will be effective for entry through 2 two more selected airports such as Bhubaneswar and Port Blair, raising the total number of such airports to 28.
  • People attending a destination wedding in India can do so under normal e-tourist visa or tourist visa, without applying for a separate destination wedding VISA.


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