GK Eduwrap – Monthly – April 2015 | Click to download in PDF Format

Click here to download GK Eduwrap – Monthly Edition – April 2015 in PDF format

 

National:

1. The Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime (GUJCOC) Bill, 2015 was passed by the Gujarat Assembly. The bill is a re-worked version of the Gujarat Control of Organised Crime Bill (GUJCOC), 2003, which was earlier rejected twice by the President. It was rejected in 2004 and 2008 by the then Presidents APJ Abdul Kalam and Pratibha Patil respectively.

2. The term MPGO (Multi-Parametric Geophysical Observatory) was in news as the Union Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Dr. Harsh Vardhan inaugurated Port Blair Magnetic Observatory (PBMO) at Shoal Bay No. 8 in Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The observatory is a part of the network of 14 MPGOs which has been set up by the Indian Institute of Geomagnetism (IIG) under Union Ministry of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences. The purpose of the observatories is to monitor seismic and co-seismic signals by using multi techniques.

3.  Union Ministry of Finance allocated 1500 crore rupees to Andhra Pradesh for the construction of necessary infrastructure in the new capital. Out of the 1500 crore rupees sanctioned 1000 crore rupees are meant for essential amenities and 500 crore rupees for administrative buildings.

4. World Justice Project (WJP) released the Open Government Index 2015. Out of the 102 countries assessed in the 2015 Index, Sweden topped the list in terms of openness in the government. It is followed by New Zealand and Norway at second and third place respectively. Cambodia, Iran, Myanmar, Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe are positioned last in the Index.

India has been placed at the 37th position in the 2015 Index. India scored 0.54 with 27th rank, 0.50 with 66th rank, 0.58 with 43rd rank and 0.65 with 39th rank among the surveyed countries in terms of publicised laws and government data, right to information, complaint mechanisms and civic participation respectively.

5. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) proposed three policy initiatives to enhance security of women in the country under the Nirbhaya Fund. The initiatives are: Central Victim Compensation Fund (CVCF), Investigative Units on Crime Against Women (IUCAW) and an initiative to prevent and monitor obscene online content.

6. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its approval for the Approach and Key Components of e-Kranti: National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) 2.0. “e-Kranti” is an important pillar of the Digital India programme and the programme has been envisaged by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY).

7. Virbhadra Singh, the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh launched part one of e-Vidhan Mobile app. The app could be accessed by all the members 45 minutes before the question hours on android and tablets having information about the day business. With this launch, Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha became the first state assembly in the country to launch e-Vidhan Mobile app. This e-Vidhan system will help the state to save about 8 crore rupees per annum that is spent on the paper.

8. Former Union Minister and veteran Congress Party leader Paty Ripple Kyndiah died on 26 March 2015 due to cardiac arrest. He was 87. He had served as the Union Minister for Tribal Affairs and Union Minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) in 2004 under the UPA-I government led by Manmohan Singh. He retired from active politics in 2009 prior to the Lok Sabha polls.

9. The Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (DAC) under the Union Ministry of Agriculture approved the creation of Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF) as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS). The purpose of the scheme is to provide interest free advances towards working capital to the government agencies which are involved in procurement and distribution of perishable agri-horticultural commodities. The hassle-free flow of funds will enable the agencies to regulate volatile prices of commodities in an effective manner.

10. Andhra Pradesh Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu approved that Amaravati will be the new capital city of the state. The capital will come up at Tullur in Vijayawada-Guntur region of the state.

11. Odisha Government launched a cheap meal scheme Aahar for providing subsidised food to urban poor. The scheme was launched by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on the occasion of State’s Foundation Day, that is, Utkala Diwas. In the first phase, the scheme was launched in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Sambalpur and Rourkela.

12. Renowned Hindi poet Kailash Vajpeyi died on 1st April 2015 due to cardiac arrest in a private hospital of Saket in New Delhi. He was 79.

13. India launched a massive air and sea operation called Operation Raahat to evacuate over 4000 Indian nationals from Yemen. The operation will involve total of five ships and four aircrafts.

14. Rajasthan Government opened women milk bank Jeevan Dhara in Jaipur. It was inaugurated by Health Minister Rajendra Rathore. The move is aimed at curbing the high infant mortality rate of Rajasthan. The state Government launched the bank in collaboration with Norwegian government and JK Lon Hospital. The bank would store milk from donating lactating mothers that can be used for feeding infants who are deprived of it.

15. Vice President of India Hamid Ansari released a book titled Aatank Ke Saaye Men written by Garima Sanjay. She is a professional author & documentary filmmaker by profession.

16. Punjab Government has launched ‘Padho Punjab- Khedo Punjab Mission’ i.e. Learn Punjab- Play Punjab Mission. It is a special mission launched to provide school students a separate period in the curriculum for playing along with studies. The purpose of the mission is to encourage more youngsters towards sports to produce quality players for the country. This will also inculcate the sportsmanship spirit and competitiveness amongst them.

17. India’s largest trapdoor spider has been found in Dang district of Gujarat. The 3 cm long spider was documented by researchers from MS University’s (MSU) Department of Zoology. The spider which belongs to the genus (class) ‘Idiops’ was also reported for the first time in Gujarat. Trapdoor spider is known to grow to the size of 1.5 cm.

18. Sunita Tomar, the face of India’s anti-tobacco campaign, died on 1 April 2015 at her native village in Bhind district of Madhya Pradesh. She was 28. In 2014, she shot a 30-second video titled Sunita highlighting the devastating effect of smokeless tobacco. In the video she shared her experience, which later was used by the government for its anti-tobacco drive to warn people against consumption of smokeless gutkha and pan masalas.

19. Union Government launched Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles (FAME) – India Scheme. The scheme was launched with an aim to boost sales of eco-friendly vehicles in the country. It is a part of the National Mission for Electric Mobility.

20. Union Government issued Guidelines for utilization of the Nirbhaya Fund with a corpus of 3000 crore rupees. The fund has been approved by the Union Finance Ministry. The Nirbhaya Fund was set up by Union Government under which various departments can seek money from the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) for schemes to improve safety and security of women in the country.

21. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a National Air Quality Index (NAQI) to tackle the menace of air pollution. This National Air Quality Index will provide information on the quality of air in 10 major cities in the country on a real-time basis. The ten cities where the quality of air can be monitored are Delhi, Agra, Kanpur, Lucknow, Varanasi, Faridabad, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Bangalore and Ahmedabad. Later the index will be extended to 22 State capitals and 44 other cities with a population exceeding one million.

22. Malli Mastan Babu, one of the top mountaineers of India, died on 4 April 2015. His dead body was recovered from Andes Mountains in South America, between Argentina and Chile, after he went missing on 24th March 2015. He was 40. He went missing during his attempt to scale the Cerro Tres Cruces Sur Mountain, the second highest peak of Chile at 6749 meter. Babu hailed from Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh and was the fastest seven summiteers in the world. That is, he was the fastest in world and the first Indian mountaineer to climb the seven summits of the world in record 172 days in 2006.

23. The Union Government extended the deadline for implementation of the National Food Security Act (NFSA) deadline by six months in the states.

24. Kochi arachnologists discovered rare spiders in Western Ghats. Researchers at Division of Arachnology record the sighting of a huntsman and jumping spider in Western Ghats. The huntsman spider was sighted at Ponmudi, while the researchers found the jumping spider at the Malayattoor and Bhoothathankettu reserve forest. Huntsman spiders are known for their speed and mode of hunting.

25. Union Minister of Commerce & Industry unveiled Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 2015-2020. The policy was unveiled by Minister of State for Ministry of Commerce & Industry Nirmala Sitharaman at Vigyan Bhawan, Delhi.

26. Union Government formally launched the ‘Give It Up’ movement in Karnataka. It was launched by Union Minister of State (MoS) for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradan. The movement appeals to the rich people to voluntarily give up their subsidy amount given on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders.

27. 88th Akhil Bhartiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan (All India Marathi Sahitya Sammelan) began in Ghumaan village inGurdaspur district of Punjab. It was inaugurated by Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari along with the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

28. India is going to host the 5th meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Health Ministers in New Delhi. The 5th meeting will start on 9 April 2015 and is being held in pursuance of decisions taken by the SAARC Summit of Heads of States held at Kathmandu in November 2014.

29. A three party MoU was signed between Union Ministry of Textiles, Maharashtra government and National Textile Corporation for transfer of land for construction of the memorial forDr. Babasaheb Ambedkar memorial in Mumbai. The MoU was signed in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union textile minister Santosh Gangwar in New Delhi.

30. President Pranab Mukherjee gave his assent to re-promulgate the Land Acquisition Ordinance as per Article 123 of Constitution. Earlier, in this regard Union Cabinet had made a recommendation to President as present Land Acquisition Ordinance promulgated in December 2014 is going to lapse on 5 April. The new ordinance includes 9 amendments that were part of Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill, 2015.

31. Dena Bank signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India to provide insurance cover to all Aadhaar-linked savings account holders of the bank in the age group of 18 to 50 years. The insurance cover will be provided under the Prime Minister’s Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJBY) scheme.

32. Piplantri Village of southern Rajasthan’s Rajsamand district was in news in second week of March 2015. This village not only embraces daughters but also created a tradition of planting 111 trees every time on the birth of a girl child. The village came into news, at the time when documentary India’s Daughters created national debate. The documentary portrayed violence against women like rape and abuse in India. The tradition was started by village’s former sarpanch Shyam Sundar Paliwal in 2006. He started the initiative in the memory of his daughter Kiran, who died a few years ago.

33. The Supreme Court (SC) of India asked the Union Government to re-examine the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 and make it more stringent at least in cases pertaining to heinous crimes like rape and murder.

34. Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to deepen partnership between Indian companies and the bank in those countries where the bank has operations.

35. Scientists from four research institutions in Kerala discovered a rare species of plant named Oldenlandia dineshi from Palakkad region of Western Ghats. The plant species named Oldenlandia dineshi is a shrub with long linear tapering leaves and dark blue flower. The flowering period is from July to September and fruiting from September to October. The species has been named in honour of TK Dinesh Kumar, former Professor of Botany, University College, Thiruvananthapuram.

36. Major Indian Steel Companies signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with Union Ministry of Steel for setting up of Steel Research and Technology Mission of India (SRTMI) in New Delhi. The primary objective of SRTMI is to promote collaborative Research and Development (R&D) programmes between the ministry and steel industries in priority areas of national importance in the steel sector.

37. The Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence (DGCEI) slapped Rs. 570 crore excise duty fine against confectionery giant Cadbury India Limited. The fine was slapped for allegedly evading excise duty by fraudulently taking exemption for one of its unopened production units in Himachal Pradesh.

38. First indigenously-built Scorpene Submarine was undocked at the Mazagaon Dockyard Limited (MDL) in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The undocked submarine was named Kalvari and is expected to be commissioned into Indian Navy by September 2016. The submarine is part of the Indian Navy’s ambitious submarine programme- Project 75. This programme is undertaken in collaboration France to build fleet of six such submarines. Remaining 5 Submarines will delivered by the MDL to the Indian Navy by 2020 and will form core of the navy’s submarine arm for the next two decades.

39. A three party MoU was signed between Union Ministry of Textiles, Maharashtra government and National Textile Corporation for transfer of land for construction of the memorial for Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar memorial at Indu Mills, Mumbai. The MoU was signed in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union textile minister Santosh Gangwar in New Delhi.

40. The Supreme Court (SC) of India said that divorced Muslim women are entitled to seek maintenance from their ex-husbands. They are entitled for maintenance under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) which provides the same relief to wives, children and parents.

41. The Chestnut-breasted Partridge (Arborophila mandellii) was photographed by a Bengaluru-based wildlife photographerGururaj Moorchingin the first week of April 2015. The bird was spotted in West Kamang district of

42. Arunachal Pradesh. The click was the first-ever photograph of the bird endemic to the Eastern Himalayas whose scientific name was given by an Italian naturalist and is classified as hill patridge.

43. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended the establishment of Integrated Emergency Communication and Response System (IECRS) in the country. This system can be accessed through a single emergency number112 from a landline or mobile phone/device for all emergency phone-calls across the country. The recommendation with respect to setting up of IECRS was made in exercise of its power conferred under section 11 (1)(a)(ii) and (vii) of the TRAI Act, 1997 which empowers TRAI to make recommendations, either suo motu or on a request from the licensor.

44. Grey Hypocolius (Hypocolius ampelinus), a rare bird, was sighted by two Mumbai-based professionals and keen amateur birders. The bird was photographed on 26 February 2015 by Kunal Munsiff and Nosherwan Sethna at the Narara Marine National Park near Jamnagar in Gujarat. The findings were published by Bombay Natural History Society (BHNS) after Munsiff and Sethna submitted their findings to the BHNS.

45. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency Ltd. (MUDRA) Bank to fund the small entrepreneurs. The Bank was launched under the ambitious Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY). The bank will provide credit of up to 10 lakh rupees to small entrepreneurs and act as a regulator for Micro-Finance Institutions (MFIs).

46. The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change proposed a colour-coded system to re-classify industries based on pollution potential.

Proposed colour-coded scheme:
• Red Category: Industrial sectors with a score of 60 and more.
• Orange Category: Industrial sectors with a score between 30 to 59.
• Green Category: Industrial sectors with a score between 15 to 29.

Industrial sectors scoring below 15 will be considered as white as they are environment friendly.

47. The Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry formed an expert committee under the chairmanship of Ajay Shankar to suggest simplified compliance for establishing new industries. He is a former Secretary to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).

48. Mayilsamy Annadurai was appointed as Director of ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC), Bengaluru. He took over as Director, ISAC from Dr SK Shivakumar who superannuated on 31 March 2015.

49. TheParalympic Committee of India (PCI) suspended its president Rajesh Tomar. He was charged with gross mismanagement of the 15th National Para-Athletics championship for differently-abled sports persons. The 15th National Para-Athletics championship was held from 22 March to 24 March 2015 in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh.

50. The Union Cabinet approved amendments to the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2013. The bill protects the interests of millions of consumers and curbs malpractices in the real estate sector. The decision was taken at the Cabinet meet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.

51. National Green Tribunal (NGT) banned all the diesel vehicles, heavy or light, over 10 years old from plying on Delhi roads. It asked the governments and concerned agencies to ensure within 20 hours that all entry points have units to check pollution levels, weight and age of vehicle. The ruling was given by a bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar.

52. Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved strengthening and widening of three sections connecting the two temple towns of Varanasi and Madurai.

CCEA approved four laning of
 Sultanpur-Varanasi section of National Highway-56 in Uttar Pradesh
 Varanasi to Ghazipur, Gorakhpur and Nepal section of NH- 29 in Uttar Pradesh.
 Madurai-Ramanathapuram section of NH- 49 in Tamil Nadu.

53. Sumit Mazumder was elected as the President of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for the year 2015-16. He succeeded Ajay Shriram. He is the Chairman and Managing Director of the TIL Limited, India’s largest manufacturer of material handling equipment.

54. Noted singer EM Hanifa whose voice transcended religious lines died on 8th April 2015 at Chennai. He was 97. He is survived by two sons and four daughters.

55. 20th Law Commission headed by Justice (retd) Ajit Prakash Shahsubmitted the Report No 256 titled Eliminating Discrimination against Persons Affected by Leprosy to the Union Ministry of Law and Justice.

56. The two-day State Environment and Forest Ministers’ Conference concluded at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi on 7th April 2015. The conference started on 6th April 2015. The two-day conference, which was participated by 30 ministers from different state looked upon a wide range of issues like waste to wealth, ease of doing business,

57. TSR Subramanian committee recommendations, forest, wildlife, pollution-related issues, biodiversity and climate change.

58. Supreme Court (SC) of India quashed the Kottayam collector’s notification of 1990 banning the performance of the drama in the district. The verdict was delivered by a SC Bench headed byJustice Ranjan Gogoi. Jesus Christ Superstar is a 1970 rock musical album for which music was provided by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice. The musical album started as a rock opera concept before its first staging in the United States (US) in 1971.

59. The Union Cabinet gave its approval to release an additional installment of Dearness Allowance (DA) to Central Government employees and Dearness Relief (DR) to pensioners at the rate of six percent increase over the existing rate of 107%. With this decision, Central Government employees as well as pensioners are entitled for DA or DR at the rate of 113 percent of the basic pay with effect from 1 January 2015.

60. Former Air Chief Marshal of IAF Hrushikesh Moolgavkar

61. Jnanapith awardee Tamil writer Jayakanthan died.

62.  Lt. General (retd) Hanut Singh, the recipient of the Mahavir Chakra and hero of 1971 Indo-Pak war, died on 11 April 2015 in Dehradun, Uttarakhand. He was 82. Singh, who was famous as Sant General died, while meditating.

63. Union Home Ministry notified amendments to the Governors (Allowances and Privileges) Rules, 1987 and named these rules as Governors (Allowances and Privileges) Amendment Rules, 2015.

Main Highlights:
• The Governors can leave the State for a private visit to a foreign country or within India only after receiving the due approval of the President except in emergent or extraordinary circumstances.
• The requests for permission to travel outside the State will have to be sent to President Secretariat anywhere between two weeks (for domestic visit) and six weeks (for foreign visit) before the date of travel.
• It bars Governors to stay in their respective states for at least 292 days in a year.
• The Governor cannot undertake such visits even under any emergent or extraordinary circumstance. In such cases, the governors will have to provide details of the circumstances and compelling reasons why it was not possible to obtain prior permission.
• The intimation to the President Secretariat in emergency circumstances shall be given as soon as the programme is finalised.
• It also says that the duration of visits in extraordinary circumstances cannot exceed 20 percent of the days in calendar years.
• The Governors shall also obtain clearance under the Foreign Contributions Regulations Act (FCRA clearance) and Political clearance before undertaking any official foreign visit.
• The Governors shall endorse the copies of communications to President Secretariat related to visit outside their State to the Prinicipal Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Home Minister.
• The rules also say that frequency of visit to the home State shall also be avoided or limited.

64. The National Food Security Act would be implemented from July 1, 2015 in Jharkhand.

65. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) imposed ban on all construction activities in the Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) that do not follow the guidelines provided by the then Union Ministry of Environment and Forest in 2010. The directive was delivered by a bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar, NGT chairman, in order to check growing menace of air pollution in Delhi-NCR.

66. The President of India Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the first ever Songs and Dances of Northeast event in New Delhi. The purpose of the event is to showcase the various facets of Northeast to people living outside Northeast.

Key features of Songs and Dances of Northeast
• It denotes a series of events planned by the North-Eastern Council (NEC) and Union Ministry of Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER) with an aim to attract investors and visitors to the region.
• A series of events will be held by rotation in different parts of the country in the coming months.
• Each event will be held in collaboration with one of the eight States of the region.
• The present event was organised in collaboration with Meghalaya.
The theme of events in this series will be determined on the basis of the characteristics of whichever State is hosting the event and the city in which it is being held.
• The necessary financial resources will be provided by the NEC.

67. The Supreme Court (SC) of India directed all the private hospitals in the country to provide for full and free medical treatment to acid attack victims. The verdict was delivered by a social justice bench of the court comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and UU Lalit in the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) Laxmi vs Union of India filed under the Article 32 of the Indian Constitution. The recent order is in addition to its earlier orders aimed at providing justice, relief and rehabilitation to acid attack victims.

Earlier orders of the SC are
• Amendment of the IPC (Indian Penal Code) by inserting a special section to deal with issues related to acid attacks. In effect, the Union Government inserted the Section 357C into the IPC in February 2013.
• Fixing 3 lakh rupees as minimum compensation to the acid attack victims.
• Imposing complete ban on over-the-counter sale of acid.

The verdict assumes significance in the back drop of 309 cases reported in 2014 as against 66 and 85 cases reported in 2013 and 2012 respectively.

68. India was designated to chair the ninth meeting of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) council to be held for two days starting from 10th June 2015. The scheduled meeting will be held in Abu Dhabi, the capital of United Arab Emirates.

About IRENA
• IRENA was established on 26th January 2009 as an intergovernmental organization to supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future.
• It serves as the principal platform for international cooperation, a centre of excellence, and a repository of policy, technology, resource and financial knowledge on renewable energy.
• It has 140 members including India, which is a founder-member of the organization.
• IRENA has two main governing structures-IRENA Assembly and IRENA Council.
• The IRENA Assembly takes decisions at the macro level and gives overall policy direction to IRENA.
• The IRENA Council is the main Governing Body of the Agency, which is responsible for implementing decisions of the Assembly.
• The Director-General of IRENA is Adnan Z. Amin, a national of Kenya.

69. Surface-to-Surface nuclear-capable Dhanush ballistic missile was successfully test-fired from a naval ship off the Odisha coast. The missile is a naval variant of India’s indigenously-developed Prithvi missile. The missile was fired from an Offshore Patrolling Vessel (OPV) of Indian Navy by the Strategic Force Command (SFC).

70. The state legislature of Oklahoma passed a bill that allows use of nitrogen gas (nitrogen-induced hypoxia) as a method of execution. The bill was passed by the legislature without a single dissenting vote. The bill now awaits the signature of the governor’s signature to become a law. With Governor’s nod, Oklahoma will become the first state in the United States that will allow use of nitrogen for execution.

71. The Union Government rejected the Odisha Government proposal to grant mining license to South Korean steel major Posco which needed mining license for its proposed 12 billion US dollar mega steel plant at Paradip in Odisha.

72.  A painting titled Tree of Life was gifted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to French President Francois Hollande during his visit to France from 9th April to 12th April 2015. The painting reflects traditional societal respect for nature in India and tree as a divine gift central to human life is a recurring element in Indian artistic practice. The Tree of Life, with multiple roots and branches like a banyan tree, is a motif for a tree’s benevolence, fruit, seeds, shelter, healing, procreation and regeneration faculties that sustain life and clean the environment. The painting is the work of Bhaskar Mahapatra, an Odisha artist and the art form is pigments on silk which he has been practicing for last thirty years along with rest of his family. He works from his home in the heritage crafts village of Raghurajpur. Bhaskar Mahapatra, who has been honoured by Lalit Kala Akademi, is inspired by his training and expertise in palm leaf painting and pattachitra.

73. India and France signed 20 Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) and Agreements to give new impetus to bilateral co-operation between the two nations. The two nations signed agreements covering the fields of Defence and Nuclear Energy, Space, Economic relations, Railways, Energy, Tourism, Science and Technology, Skill Development and Ayurveda. The MoUs and Agreements were signed during visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to France between 9 April and 12 April 2015.

74. Thane (Mumbai), Maharashtra was named as the National Earth Hour Capital 2015. It was named so after it emerged as winner among the three finalists from India viz., Thane, Rajkot and Pune, in the Earth Hour City Challenge (EHCC) 2015 conducted by World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

75. Gujarat government has launched Industrial Tourism Package to promote its development by showcasing its major industrial installations which have earned global acclaim for state. It is a first of its kind initiative India, offered by Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Ltd (TCGL) in collaboration with Ahmedabad based Akshar Travels Pvt Ltd.

The tour package is called as Industrial Tour of Gujarat will cover some of the major industrial attractions of the state. It includes Tata Nano plant in Sanand, Amul Dairy in Anand, Alang ship breaking yard in Bhavnagar and Pipavav port near Amreli. It will also include Mrbi-based ceramic industry, Tata Chemicals factory in Mithapur, Asia’s biggest Ajanta clock factory, Reliance Refinery in Jamnagar. The package will also take tourists to salt pans near Okha and Kadi in Mehsana, which has the highest number of cotton gins in Asia.

76.  A statue of Mahatma Gandhi here has been defaced by a group of people who threw buckets of white paint on it amid racist taunts. The incident occurred yesterday when the group came in a car at about noon and threw buckets of white paint on the statue and surrounding plaques detailing Gandhi’s history in South Africa.

77. India’s first International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) became operational at Gujarat International Finance Tec (GIFT) City in Gandhinagar district of Gujarat. It became operational after Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley unveiled the rules and regulations for this global financial hub.

78. Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) commissioned 600 MW unit of a thermal power project for the Dainik Bhaskar Power Limited (DBPL) at Dhabra in Janjgir Champa district of Chhattisgarh. The commissioned unit is the second unit of DBPL’s 2 × 600 MW power project. The first 600 MW Unit was commissioned in 2014. With this commissioning of second unit, BHEL’s cumulative installed capacity has increased at 11,400MW in Chhattisgarh and accounts for 68 per cent share of the total installed capacity in the state.

79. Union Government has brought into force the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act, 2014 along with the 99th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2014. In this regard, notification to effect from 13th April 2015 was issued by the Union Law Ministry.

Composition of NJAC:
• As per Article 124A, NJAC is a 6 member constitutional body.
• Consisting of Chairman- Chief Justice of India (CJI).
• Members- Two senior most Judges of the Supreme Court, the Union Minister of Law and Justice and two eminent persons.
• Two eminent persons will be nominated by committee led by Prime Minister of India, the CJI, and the Leader of the Opposition in the House of the People.

As per 124B, functions of NJAC are:
• Recommend persons for appointment as CJI, Judges of SC, Chief Justices and other Judges of High Courts.
• Recommend transfer of Chief Justices and other Judges HCs from one HC to another HC.

80. Mobile commerce platform Paytm inked memorandum of understanding (MoU) with National Centre for Trade Information (NCTI) to promote Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). As per MoU, Paytm will offer a virtual marketplace platform for NCTI members and will extend its services and enable them to sell online.

81. Haryana government decided to give status equivalent to state Cabinet Minister to yoga guru Ramdev. Earlier in January 2015, state government had appointed him as its brand ambassador to promote yoga and ayurveda.

82. India was elected to four important United Nations (UN) agencies. These agencies are United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Food Program (WFP), Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) and the Governing Council of UN-Habitat.

83. The fourth Lighthouse Museum of India will be opened at Kannur, Kerala to promote lighthouse tourism. The other three lighthouses museums have been set up at Alappuzha in Kerala and Chennai and Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu.

84. Union Government plans to push for Green Bonds to meet its target to install 100 gigawatts (GW) of solar power and 60000MW of wind power by 2022 for which it needs 200 billion US dollars. Green Bonds or Climate Bonds are fixed-income financial instruments (bonds) linked to climate change solutions. These bonds are either dollar or rupee denominated and are relatively a new asset class.

85. World Economic Forum (WEF) released a report titled Urban Development Recommendations for India under the Future of Urban Development and Services (FUDS) Initiative. The report has been written in collaboration with Accenture. The report highlights the importance of wider private-sector participation to bridge the urban infrastructure and services funding gap of 110 billion US dollars, which is widening due to India’s rapid urban population growth.

86. India-Germany Joint Statement was released with an aim to upgrade and further strengthen the Strategic Partnership between the two countries. The Joint Statement was released after the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Hannover and Berlin. PM Narendra Modi is on a three-day visit to Germany. As part of the statement, the two nations agreed to take proactive steps to advance collaboration in the areas of manufacturing, skill development, urban development, environment, railways, cleaning of rivers, language and science & technology.

87. Meenakshi Madan Rai sworn in as the first lady judge of the Sikkim High Court. Her oath of the office was administered by the Governor Srinivas Patil at Ashirwad Hall at Raj Bhavan in Gangtok.

88. Justice AR Dave of the Supreme Court of India (SC) recused himself from five-judge Constitutional bench that was to hear a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act, 2014. The act replaces the two-decade-old collegium system of judicial appointments with the NJAC.

89. Renowned film director and actor of Assam Bidyut Chakraborty died on 15th April 2015 in a private nursing home in Guwahati after brief illness. He was 55.

90. Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) decided to rename Tourist Visa on Arrival-Electronic Travel Authorization (TVoA-ETA) scheme as e-Tourist Visa (eTV) scheme. MHA decided to change the name of the scheme after it observed that the name of the scheme (TVoA-ETA) created confusion among tourists and also it had received requests of name change from some Indian embassies.

In the present scheme of things, tourists presumed that the Visa was granted on their arrival; however, the pre-authorization of Visa to foreigners was given prior to travel. The new name eTV scheme was chosen after the committee constituted for the purpose conducted a contest on mygov.in and selected e-Tourist Visa (eTV) as the appropriate new name. The committee comprised of officers from Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs and Bureau of Immigration (BoI).

About Electronic Travel Authorization (TVoA-ETA):

The Union Government launched Tourist Visa on Arrival enabled by Electronic Travel Authorization (TVoA-ETA) on 27th November 2014. The scheme was launched for 44 countries at nine airports to facilitate short duration international travellers. Under the scheme, pre-authorisation of Visa to foreigners was given prior to travel, under which a foreign tourist was required to apply for a visa online. The visa authorities were supposed to process the application and send an electronic travel authorization, or simply e-visa, via e-mail to the applicant within 72-hours.

91. The 45-day long annual fishing ban in the territorial waters of Eastern Coastal Zone of the country including Andaman & Nicobar Islands was enforced on 15th April 2015. The ban will help to safeguard fish in their breeding season and increase the fish catch. During this period of ban, the fishermen with mechanized boats are barred from venturing out into the sea for fishing till mid-night of 31st May 2015. With imposition of this ban, the fisheries authorities have stopped issuing tokens for fishing.

92. Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation constituted a Task Force on Interlinking of Rivers (ILR). It will look into the issues relating to Interlinking of Rivers in the country. The task force will be chaired by ex-UPSC member and advisor to the Gujarat Chief Minister BN Navalawala and constitutes of experts and senior officials.

93. Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley inaugurated the Vividh Bharati Service of Delhi on FM Mode in a function held at premises of New Broadcasting House of All India Radio (AIR). The service will be available on 100.1 Megahertz frequency.

94. Ri Su Yong, the Foreign Minister of North Korea, visited India. He was on a three-day visit to India and this was the first-ever visit of a foreign minister of North Korea to India. He visited India on an invitation of Sushma Swaraj, the Minister of External Affairs of India.

95. Indian Railways is on track to take the e-auction route for the first time for redevelopment of stations through public-private partnership (PPP).

96. The government is set to give a major push to the e-tourist visa scheme by extending it to 31 more countries and allowing foreign tourists to avail of the facility at seven more airports by 15th of June. Among the countries that will benefit from the latest extension are the United Kingdom, Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal, Malaysia, Tanzania and Argentina.

97. India and Belarus agreed to enhance their bilateral ties especially in the field of trade and economy. The agreement was reached during the meeting of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus Vladimir Makei with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi. He also met with President Pranab Mukherjee.

98. Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) and Russian company INTMA signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to set up a gas-based power project in Kazakhstan. According to the MoU, the two parties will endeavour to assist each other in the implementation of the deal.

99. Canada has agreed to supply 3,000 metric tonnes of uranium to India under a $254 million five-year deal to power Indian atomic reactors. The agreement for uranium supply was signed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper after comprehensive talks in Ottawa, Canada.

100. India and Canada signed a nuclear agreement on supply of uranium to India. The agreement was signed between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. PM Modi is on a three-day official visit to Canada, which is the first bilateral visit by an Indian Prime Minister in 42 years.

101. The Delhi Government launched the third phase of the Mass Deworming Programme. The third phase aims to cover over 3.7 million children from 3032 schools and 11500 anganwadis as part of this statewide campaign.

102. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi gifted a miniature painting titled Guru Nanak Dev to Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper. Modi was on an official visit to Canada from 14 April to 16 April 2015. The painting is the work of Virendra Bannu, a Jaipur-based artist, who is the seventh generation artist in his family.

103. A new species of Gecko, a type of lizard usually found in warm climates was spotted by researchers from the Osmania University in Hyderabad. It was spotted at the ruins of the World Heritage Site of Hampi in Karnataka. The gecko was named as Cnemaspis adii after a young herpetology researcher from Hyderabad, Aditya Srinivasulu.

104. Nasim Zaidi assumed the charge as Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India. He succeeded Hari Shankar Brahma.

105. Communist Party of India (Marxist) CPI (M) unanimously elected Sitaram Yechury as the general secretary of the party. He is the fifth general secretary of the party. He succeeded Prakash Karat, who was the General Secretary of the party from 2005 to April 2015.

106. India and South Korea held high level defence talks in Seoul. The talks were held on the sidelines of four day visit of Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to South Korea. The meeting was held with South Korean Defence Minister Han Min-koo at the Ministry of Defence of Korea in Seoul.

107. The world’s largest kidney weighing 2.75 kgs was removed by Indian surgeons in the 3 hour surgery. The operation was done by the Surgeons of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRM), Delhi.

108. Indian Railways launched E-Samiksha, an online monitoring mechanism. E-Samiksha aims at monitoring implementation of various ongoing projects of Indian Railways on real-time basis including Rail Budget proposals. It was launched by Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in New Delhi.

109. The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) accorded final approval to Rajaji National Park, Uttarakhand as India’s 48th Tiger Reserve. With this notification, Uttarakhand got its second tiger reserve after the Corbett Tiger Reserve.

110. 12 Indian pilgrims died and 37 more injured after a bus accident in Kathmandu, Nepal. The bus with Indian number plate was carrying around 45 pilgrims from Gujarat on a visit to the Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu.

111. Tamil Nadu Government cancelled allotment of land for Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Private Limited (HCCBPL) in the State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu Limited (SIPCOT) Industrial Growth Centre in Perundurai. SIPCOT Managing Director R. Selvaraj issued the cancellation order of 71.34 acres allotted to HCCBPL for non-compliance of terms and conditions of allotment order / lease deed.

112. Haryana assembly Speaker Kanwar Pal inaugurated the excavation work on the Rs 50-crore Saraswati Revival Project at Rolaheri village in Yamunanagar district of Haryana.

113. Indian Railways launched online monitoring mechanism E-Samiksha to monitor rail projects. It aims at monitoring implementation of various ongoing projects of Indian Railways on real-time basis including Rail Budget proposals.

114. The President of India Pranab Mukherjee released a Postage Stamp commemorating the 200 years of the Orthodox Theological Seminary or Old Seminary, Kottayam in Kerala. The Orthodox Theological Seminary known as Old Seminary or Cottayam Syrian College is run by the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, the St. Thomas Christians.

115. The Railway Ministry launched a mobile application named utsonmobile, for paperless unreserved tickets. This mobile application aims to eliminate the need for printing of unreserved tickets. The application was launched as a pilot project in New Delhi by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and will cover 15 stations between Egmore and Tambram suburban sections in Chennai of the Southern Railway. Later, the service will be extended to in suburban section in all metros of the country in phases.

116. The President of India Pranab Mukherjee released a Postage Stamp commemorating the 200 years of the Orthodox Theological Seminary or Old Seminary, Kottayam in Kerala. The Orthodox Theological Seminary known as Old Seminary or Cottayam Syrian College is run by the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, the St. Thomas Christians.

117. Union Cabinet has approved lowering of age of juveniles from eighteen to sixteen years for heinous crimes. Decision in this regard was taken by Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The cabinet also approved to introduce Amendment to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2014.

118. Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) received an ISO 9001:2008 certification from the British Standards Institute (BSI).

119. Nitish Kumar, the Chief Minister of Bihar constituted a high level committee to consider demand of hike in pay for fixed pay teachers. The four member committee headed by Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh has been asked to submit its report to the government in one month time.

120. Cyclonic storm struck the north-eastern border districts of Bihar. The storm with a wind speed of more than 150 kmph hit several districts of the state namely Purnia, Madhepura, Madhubani, Katihar, Sitamarhi, Darbhanga, Samastipur, Bhagalpur and Supaul.

121. The Union Cabinet gave its approval for signing of a shipping agreement between India and Jordan. The agreement aims at strengthening cooperation and providing sustained mutual assistance on merchant shipping and other related maritime matters. The nod was given in a Cabinet meet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi after recognizing the significant mutual benefit which can be derived from cooperation in area of shipping between the two countries.

122. Union Cabinet approved the introduction of The Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts and Commercial Courts Bill, 2015 in the current session of Parliament. The bill aimed at setting up exclusive commercial divisions in courts was approved by the union cabinet chaired by the PM Narendra Modi. The bill will provide a mechanism to ensure speedy disposal of high value commercial disputes.

123. Indian-American Vivek Murthy took oath as the 19th US Surgeon General. The oath was administered by Vice President Joe Biden at a ceremony in the US. He took the oath on the Gita. Vivek Muthy became the youngest-ever in-charge of the country’s public health. As the US Surgeon General, Murthy carries the rank of Vice Admiral.

124. The fourteenth edition of Indo-French Naval Exercise named VARUNA-15 commenced on 23rd April 2015 off the coast of Goa. The 10-day long joint naval exercise will end on 2nd May 2015. It is aimed at further deriving mutual benefit from the experiences of the two navies and strengthening the bilateral ties between India and France.

125. Union Government rolled out an online system for submission of the Long Term Visa (LTV) applications by the eligible Pakistani nationals and for its processing by various agencies. The Union Home Ministry took the decision to address the difficulty of the minority communities in Pakistan who come to India with the intention to settle permanently. The applications can be submitted online through hyperlink indianfrro.gov.in/frro

126. Two Indian nationals in Singapore were hailed as heroes and commended for saving a dangling toddler stuck between the rails on a parapet of a second floor apartment block. S. Shammugun Nathan (35) and P. Muthukumar (24) were both lauded by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) for their bravery act.

127. India launched a relief and rescue operation named Operation Maitri in earthquake hit Nepal. The operation will involve two dozen military aircraft and choppers along with bus services through road route.

128. Andhra Pradesh Government constituted an eight-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the Chittoor firing case in which 20 people were killed in Seshachalam forest area of Chittoor district.

129. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India’s Healthcare Portal at the SAAARC Trade Mart in the Global Exhibition on Services, in ITPO, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.

130. The World Happiness Report 2015 was released. The report was published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) an initiative under the United Nations. The report was topped by Switzerland followed by Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Canada. The World Happiness Report examined 158 countries and is aimed at influencing government policy. Togo, Burundi, Benin and Rwanda, with civil-war wracked Syria, were least happy.

131. Pathai Ananthasubramanian Murali resigned as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Executive Director (ED) of Bengaluru-based United Spirits Limited. Murali also resigned from the boards of all subsidiaries. United Spirits is the largest alcoholic beverage company of India.

132. Union Minister for Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal flagged off three NTPC Mobile Science Labs (MSL) for revolutionizing education in rural India. MSL is a vehicle fitted with LCD TV carrying working Science Models which emphasizes curiosity based learning for children in rural India. It is an initiative to make hands-on learning accessible amongst underprivileged children.

133. Prime Minister Narendra Modi conferred the 50th Jnanpith Award on eminent Marathi literateur Bhalchandra Nemade in Parliament House Complex, New Delhi. Nemade received the country’s highest literary award for his outstanding contribution towards Indian literature.

134. Union Government cancelled the licences of around 9000 NGOs for violation of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010. These foreign funded NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) failed to file annual returns for the years 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12.

135. The Andhra Pradesh Government appointed Chadalavada Krishnamurthy as the Chairman of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) Board of Trustees, a body which administers Tirupati’s Lord Venkateswara temple.

136. Indian Army conducted a major exercise ‘Akraman-II’ in Rajasthan. The exercise was conducted by the Chetak Corps, a part of South Western Command based in Bhatinda, Punjab.

137. Government of Delhi gave its approval for setting up of a farmer compensation scheme named after Gajendra Singh. Gajendra Singh is the person who allegedly committed suicide during an AAP (Aam Aadmi Party) rally on 22nd April 2015 by hanging himself with a tree.

138. Novelist Siddhartha Gigoo has won 2500 pounds 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize in Asia region for his novel Umbrella Man.

139. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) ordered a complete ban on burning of any kind of garbage, leaves, plastic waste and rubber in the open in Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) to control air pollution. The order was given by a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar.

International:

1. Prime Minister of Peru Ana Jara was sacked after she lost the vote of confidence in Congress. Congress voted 72 to 42 to censure Jara, with two abstentions. The Peruvian Prime Minister was forced to step down over alleged domestic spying. This is the first time in half a century that the Congress of Peru deposed a Prime Minister. It was the first such vote since 1963, and only the third in the past century.

2. Myanmar Government and 16 ethnic rebel groups signed a draft nationwide cease-fire agreement. The draft is aimed at ending more than 65 years of civil unrest and armed conflict in the country. The agreement witnessed by Myanmar’s President U Thein Sein was signed between the Union Peace-making Working Committee and the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team at the Myanmar Peace Centre in Yangon.

3. China and Sri Lanka signed five agreements to deepen development partnership between the two countries. The agreements were signed in Beijing during the maiden visit of Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena to China after assuming the office in January 2015.

4. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Baghdad for talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and other top officials. He is also due to meet President Fuad Masum, Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari and parliament speaker Salim al-Juburi.

5. Book titled “God’s Bankers: A History of Money and Power at the Vatican” authored by Gerald Posner was released on 3 February 2015.

6. Japan organised the world’s first Otaku Expo from 28 March 2015 to 29 March 2015 at Makuhari Messe Convention Center in Chiba Prefecture. The Expo was organized as a part of a special comic book fair held every five years, which attracts about half a million visitors. The term “Otaku” is commonly used in the country to refer to people obsessed with Japan’s unique take on comics and animation.

7. Former military ruler General Muhammadu Buhari won the Presidential election in Nigeria. He defeated incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan by more than two million votes. With this historic win, Buhari became the first opposition candidate in history of Nigeria to win a presidential election.

8. Recently released Country Threat Index (CTI) by US-based intelligence think tank- Intel Center has placed Pakistan eighth in the list of the most dangerous countries in the world as of March 2015. Iraq is on the top, followed by Syria, Nigeria, Somalia, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Pakistan, Ukraine & Egypt.

9. The global community pledged financial support of USD 3.8 billion to crisis hit Syria at the third International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria held in Kuwait city. The financial aid will help the United Nations (UN) organisations and partners to meet urgent needs of victims of Syria’s civil war and neighbouring countries. The UN-led conference was attended by representatives of 78 nations and 38 humanitarian organisations.

10. Misao Okawa, the World’s oldest person died in Japan at the age of 117 and 27 days. She was awarded the Guinness World Records title of oldest living person as well as the oldest living woman on 27 February 2013, a few days before her 115th birthday.

11. FM Global in the first week of April released Global Resilience Index 2015. The Index offers powerful insights to help business executives target their investments towards more reliable returns and to protect their customers from unforeseen disruption.

Keypoints to Remember:
a. Out of the 130 countries and regions assessed Norway topped the list in terms of business resilience & Venezuela was at the bottom of the list. India has been placed at the 119th position out of 130 countries.
b. In the Risk Quality factor, India is placed at the 109th position.
c. In the Supply Chain category, India is placed at 89th position.

12. Iran, the P5+1 and the European Union (EU) conceded on a framework agreement called as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) intended to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons. The agreement was reached at Lausanne’s Beau-Rivage Palace hotel in Switzerland.

13. Al-Shabaab carried out a massacre killing 147 people in the Garissa University College situated in Garissa County in northeastern Kenya.

14. The President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain promulgated the General Elections 2013 Inquiry Commission Ordinance 2015 to inquire into the organization and conduct of the 2013 elections. The ordinance was promulgated on the demand of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) which alleged that the ruling party Pakistan Muslim league Nawaz (PML-N) was involved in rigging by printing fake ballot papers to win the elections.

15. Sri Lanka and Pakistan signed six agreements. The signing of the agreement was witnessed by the Pakistan Prime Minsiter Nawaz Sharif and Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena at the PM House in Islamabad. The six agreements pertained to advancing cooperation in disaster management, sports, shipping, socio-economic development, education and narcotics control.

16. Richie Benaudalso known as ‘Voice of Cricket’passed away.

17. China plans to build rail link between Tibet-Nepal through Mount Everest.

18. Asteroid 316201 was named as ‘316201 Malala’ after the youngest Nobel laureate and girls’ education campaigner Malala Yousafzai. The asteroid was named after her by Amy Mainzer, astronomer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, United States under the International Astronomical Union rules. In 2010, Mr. Mainzer had discovered the asteroid which was known as 316201. As a discoverer of the asteroid he had owned the rights to name it. Asteroid 316201 Malala is located in the Main Belt between Mars and Jupiter. It orbits around the Sun every 5.5 years and is more-than 2 mile wide.

19. International Monetary Fund (IMF) released World Economic Outlook (WEO) April 2015 Report. The report is titled Uneven Growth: Short-term and Long-term Factors.

Global growth is forecasted at 3.5% in 2015 and 3.8% in 2016 which is in line with forecasts made in the January 2015 WEO Update. Also the global growth rate in 2015 is broadly same as it was in 2014.

Projection about India:
• India’s growth is projected to strengthen from 7.2% in 2014 to 7.5 % in 2015 and 2016.
• For the first time since 1999, India’s growth rate may eclipse China’s and there is increasing divergence in the growth paths of the two countries.
• India is trying to shift from consumption to investment led growth at a time when China is going opposite way.

20. Former Prime Minister of Nepal, Surya Bahadur Thapa died on 15th April 2015 in Gurgaon, Haryana. He was 87. Thapa, who was suffering from cancer for some time, was undergoing treatment at Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon.

21. The fifth meeting of the foreign ministers of the group members of Normandy Group was held on 13th April 2015 in Berlin, the capital of Germany. Normandy Group or Normandy Quartet is a group of four countries including Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine. The group was formed to facilitate a diplomatic resolution to the ongoing conflict between the Ukraine Army and pro-Russia forces in the Donbass region of Ukraine. It was formed on 6th June 2014 after an informal meeting of the four heads of state on the sidelines of commemoration of the seventieth anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, France.

22. Over 120 people were killed and 1281 were injured while celebrating the Songkran Festival of Thailand. Songkran festival is a traditional New Year Eve celebration of Thailand. It is also known as Thailand Water Festival. It is originally celebrated as a way for the Thai people to sprinkle water on their family members and elders for good fortune and pay their respects to images of the beloved Buddha.

23. A statue of Mahatma Gandhi was defaced, in Johannesburg in South Africa, by a group of people calling him a racist. The group had placards that read: Racist Gandhi must fall.

24. The Chinese Government quashed the bid of Taiwan to become a full member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) for lack of appropriate name.

25. Parliament of Ukraine, Verkhovna Rada, passed a legislation that equates Communism with Nazism (nationalist-socialist) and banned both the regimes. The law even banned the public use and propaganda of their symbols.

26. The Tennessee House of Representatives voted to make Andrew Jackson’s Bible as the official book of Tennessee, a US state. Now, the Bill will go to Senate for being passed and if it is passes in Senate then it will become an Official book of the state.

27. Pakistan and Russia agreed to hold first-ever joint military exercises as a part of their enhanced defence cooperation. The agreement was reached during the meet held in Moscow between Pakistan defence minister Khawaja Asif and his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu.

28. United Nations (UN) peace envoy to Yemen Jamal Benomar resigned. He was serving as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s special envoy for Yemen since 2012.

29. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper presented ancient Indian sculpture Parrot Lady to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He was presented with the sculpture during his official visit to Canada.

30. The 13th UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice was held from 12th April 2015 to 19th April 2015 at Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha, Qatar. The Summit concluded with the adoption of Doha Declaration.

31. Finland’s opposition Centre Party led by Juha Sipila won the General Election. Centre party, the advocates of wage freeze and spending cuts to regain Finland’s competitiveness, defeated the centre-right National Coalition party of incumbent Prime Minister Alexander Stubb.

32. Pakistan Government conferred Nishan-e-Pakistan, top civilian award on Chinese President Xi Jinping. He was bestowed with this award for his outstanding contribution in promotion of relationship between the two countries by Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain.

33. Japanese bullet train Maglev created a new world speed record of 603 kilometer per hour (kmph) in a test run near Mount Fuji. The seven-car maglev (short for magnetic levitation) train broke its previous record of 580 kilometer per hour created in 2003. Central Japan Railway (JRC) said that the train hit a top speed of 603 kilometer per hour (375 miles per hour) in a test run and managed nearly 11 seconds at over 600 kilometer per hour.

34. United Nations (UN) released a report titled Global E-Waste Monitor 2014. The report has been compiled by the United Nations University (UNU), the UN’s think tank. The report offers a wealth of insights into the location and composition of the world’s fast-growing e-waste problem.

35. Russia and Argentina signed a series of framework agreements on economic and energy co-operation. The agreements were inked during the two-day visit of Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner to Moscow. Kirchner and Russian President Vladimir Putin termed the agreements as a comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.

36. Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica erupted. The eruption led to rise of a column of gas and ash in the sky and forced closure of the airport in the capital city San Jose. The blast from the Turrialba volcano in the east of the Central American country came after the Calbuco volcano in Chile erupted twice on 22nd April and 24th April 2015.

37. China and Pakistan signed an agreement on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) plan worth USD 46 billion. The agreement was signed by China’s President Xi Jinping and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

38. Senior Pakistani politician and Baloch nationalist leader Nawabzada Talal Akbar Bugti passed away on 27th April 2015 in Quetta, Balochistan after suffering from cardiac arrest. He was 63. Bugti was a senior leader of the Jamhoori Watan Party. He received his education from Aitchison College, Lahore and was considered to be a significant political personality in Balochistan.

39. Incumbent President of Sudan Omar Hassan al-Bashir won the Presidential election of the country. He won another term in office with 94% of votes.

40. Loretta Lynch was sworn-in as the United States’ 83rd Attorney General, the first African-American woman to serve as the nation’s top law enforcement official.

41. A moderate earthquake of magnitude 5.5 on the Richter scale struck Pakistan on 28th April 2015. The epicenter of the quake that jolted parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was in the Hindukush mountain ranges on the border area of Tajikistan-Pakistan at a depth of 144 kilometres.

42. Calbuco volcano of Chile erupted twice after 42 years. Tonnes of ash rained down following two volcanic eruptions leading to declaration of state of emergency by President Michelle Bachelet.

43. Japan and the United States (US) signed a new set of defence agreements that allow for greater co-operation between their militaries. Both the countries have revised their defence deal after 18 years to deal with growing global security concern.

44. Loretta Lynch has sworn-in as United States’ first African-American woman Attorney General. She is 83rd Attorney General of country.

45. Sri Lankan Parliament has amended the constitution to reduce the power of Executive President and to put into place a Constitutional Council for making key government appoints.

The bill brings reforms to
->Ensure an independent judiciary and police.
->Curbs and checks President’s power to dissolve the parliament.
->Two-term limit of Presidents is restored.
->The term of the President is reduced from 6 to 5 years.

Appointment:

1. Wipro’s chief business operations officer and former TCS veteran Satishchandra Doreswamy has resigned from the company, weeks after India’s third largest software exporter unveiled a new organizational structure and appointed Abid Ali Neemuchwala as its chief operating officer (COO).

2. Sony appoints Sunil Nayyar to head consumer electronics in US. He is the first Indian executive to move to such role in the Japanese major directly from India.

3. Ronen Sen and Farida Khambata will be Non-Executive Independent Directors of Tata Sons Limited.

4. Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba took over charge as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Southern Naval Command. He took the charge from Vice Admiral SPS Cheema at a ceremonial parade held at the Naval base in Kochi.

5. The Uttar Pradesh government today appointed Amit Mishra as Agriculture Production Commissioner. Mishra, Chairman of UPSRTC and State Vigilance Commission, has been appointed in place of V. N. Garg, who retired on 31st March 2015.

6. Justice Sunil Kumar Sinha was appointed as the Chief Justice of the Sikkim High Court (HC). He was appointed by the President Pranab Mukherjee in accordance with the Article 217 (1) of the Constitution of India.

7. Gulshan Rai took charge as India’s first cyber security chief under the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) as Special Secretary for cyber security. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in March 2015 had created this new post in PMO and had appointed Rai as its head.

8. Vijay L. Kelkar, the Chairman of the 13th Finance Commission, resigned from the Tata Chemicals Board. He was appointed on the Board of Tata Group firm on 30 May 2012.

9. N. Venkatram replace Udayan Sen as the new CEO of Deloitte.

10. Keshari Nath Tripathi was sworn-in as the 16th Governor of Mizoram. He will discharge the functions of the Governor of Mizoram in addition to his own duties as Governor of West Bengal and Bihar.

11. Pedro Cateriano Bellidowas appointed as the seventh Prime Minister of Peru. He replaced Ana Jara, who was sacked after losing the vote of confidence in Congress. She was sacked by Peruvian Congress amid allegations of spying and corruption.

12. Captain Anoop Kumar Sharma has taken over as whole-time director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Essar Shipping Ltd (ESL). He replaced Ramakrishnan A. R. who had retired from service on 31 March 2015.

13. Ms. Manimekalai Murugesan, presently Ambassador of India to Romania has been concurrently accredited as the Ambassador of India to the Republic of Albania, with residence in Bucharest.

14. Sumit Mazumderwas elected as the President of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for the year 2015-16. He is Chairman & Managing Director (MD) of TIL Limited. He will succeed Ajay Shriram, Chairman of DCM Shriram Consolidated Ltd.

15. President of India, Pranab Mukherjee appointed Dr. Nasim Zaidias the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC). Zaidi is the 20th CEC of India and will succeed Harishankar Brahma who will demit his office on 18th April 2015.

16. Flipkart has appointed Peeyush Ranjan as company’s Senior Vice President and Head of Engineering. Ranjan spent the last nine years in Google at its Mountainview, California headquarters, where most recently he managed Google’s Android One engineering group. 

17. NRI Samba Natarajan is appointed as CEO of digital division of Singtel in Singapore.

18. Founder Kunal Shahto become new CEO of FreeCharge.

19. Bharat Hari Singhania became the president of JK Organization. He succeeded Gaur Hari Singhania who died on 4th April 2015. The JK Group is 125-year-old and has footprint in 100 countries. It has overseas manufacturing operations in Indonesia, Mexico, Romania, Belgium, Portugal and the UAE.

20. Arun Kumar Jha was appointed as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC).

21. Dr. Mohan Kumar was appointed as the next Ambassador of India to France. He is a 1981-batch Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer.

22. Vijender Gupta was appointed the leader of opposition (LoP) in the Delhi assembly with immediate effect.

23. Accounting giant KPMG elected company veteran Lynne Doughtie as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chairman. She is the first women to be elected to this position. She will succeed John Veihmeyer, who has served as Chairman and CEO since 2010 and simultaneously as Global Chairman of KPMG International since February of 2014.

24. The Global Risk Institute in Financial Services named Richard Nesbitt, a former CIBC executive, as its new president and CEO.

25. United Nations (UN) has nominated Peter Jan Graaff of the Netherlands as the new chief of UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER).

26. Chennai-born Raja Rajeswari has been sworn-in as a criminal court judge in New York by Mayor Bill de Blasio, becoming the first India-born woman to be appointed a judge in New York City.

27. Idi Srinivas Murthy named senior vice president of Marketing, at Snapdeal.

28. Saudi King Salman appointed Interior Minister Mohammed Bin Nayef as his new heir, replacing the monarch’s half brother Prince Muqrin, and made his son, Defence Minister Mohammed bin Salman, second in line to succeed.

Mergers & Acquisition:

1. Snapdeal acquires majority stake in RupeePower. Through RupeePower.com, Snapdeal now plans to offer loans to consumers, and has targeted disbursements of $1 billion (about Rs 6,200 crore) over the next 24 months.

2. World’s largest e-commerce firm Alibaba signed digital distribution deal with Germany’s music rights group BMG in a bid to become a digital media empire.

3. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) sanctioned the scheme of amalgamation of ING Vysya Bank Ltd. with Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. The Scheme will come into force with effect from 1 April 2015. With this sanction, all branches of ING Vysya Bank will function as branches of Kotak Mahindra Bank.

4. India’s largest online marketplace Snapdeal announced to acquire RupeePower, a leading digital financial products distribution platform.

5. Online search giant Google entered into a strategic partnership with consulting firm Price water house Coopers (PwC) to target Digital India Projects and large enterprise deals. With the Indian partnership, Google wants to push itself into large e-governance projects and improve the sales for its cloud services in India. Google is already working with the government on several projects, including MyGov, the citizen engagement platform of the government of India, to launch a nationwide contest to build a mobile app.

6. Microsoft in the end of March 2015 announced a similar partnership with KPMG to include a global collaboration to deliver new suites of innovative solutions and services in data and analytics, cloud compliance and transformation and business solutions.

7. Both Google and Microsoft have been aggressively trying to be a part of the 1.13-lakh crore rupees Digital India initiative that seeks to transform the country into a connected economy, attract investment in electronics manufacturing, and create millions of jobs and support trade.

8. Online marketplace Snapdeal acquired India’s fastest growing mobile transaction platform FreeCharge. With this acquisition, Snapdeal has become India’s largest mobile commerce firm with 40 million users and the largest mobile transactions base for any company.

9. Flipkart ties up with one dabbawala union for delivery in Mumbai.

10. Snapdeal acquired mobile recharge service FreeCharge.

11. Royal Dutch Shell Plc acquired BG Group for about 70 billion US dollar. The deal would vault Shell far ahead of rivals like Exxon Mobil Corp and Chevron Corp. in the race to build market share for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). The deal marks the most aggressive step yet in the competition to be the world’s dominant supplier of LNG.

12. The food retail arm of the diversified Godrej Group, Godrej Nature’s Basket joined hands with Amazon for selling its products through the e-commerce giant’s platform in India.

13. Singapore-based investment firm Temasek acquired InnoVen Capital India, formerly known as SVB India Finance, for 300 crore rupees. InnoVen Capital India will be independently managed with a reconstituted board of 5 members, comprising Madhabi Puri Buch, former chief executive officer of ICICI Securities, as chairperson.

14. Online travel services provider MakeMyTrip has acquired startup travel guide firm Mygola. MakeMyTrip Group has acquired 100 per cent of Mygola. The amount of the acquisition was not disclosed. The acquisition is done through the company’s earlier announced innovation fund, which is formed to invest in start up or early-stage companies in the travel technology space.

15. Online restaurant guide Zomato has acquired United States (US) based online table reservation platform NexTable for undisclosed amount. It is Zomato’s ninth acquisitions since past nine months.

16. Bank of Baroda (BoB) tied-up with UAE Exchange to offer instant money transfer facility to its non-resident Indian (NRI) customers.

17. French IT services firm Capgemini has announced its plan to acquire US based information technology (IT) outsourcer IGATE for US 4 billion dollars. This acquisition will help Capgemini to strengthen its foothold in the North American market.

18. Online marketplace Flipkart has announced the acquisition of Appiterate, a mobile engagement and marketing automation company based out of Delhi. Appiterate helps ecommerce companies target consumers better and increase sales by using push notifications and inapp messages.

Awards & Recognition:

1. Dr. Subadhra Devi Rai, a nurse and a senior lecturer at the School of Health Sciences (Nursing) at Nanyang Polytechnic in Singapore, will receive an international achievement award for her work in the healthcare sector of women and refugees, becoming the first Singaporean to get the prestigious biennial prize.

2. Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) won the prestigious Golden Peacock National Quality Award for the year 2015. The award will be presented to DIAL by the UAE Minister for Culture, Youth and Development Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan at a ceremony to be held in Dubai. DIAL is a joint venture consortium of GMR Group, Airports Authority of India, Fraport and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB).

3. Minor planet was named after India’s chess legend and first grandmaster Vishwanathan Anand by the Minor Planet Center. His name was given to the minor planet which was previously identified as planet 4538. Now the planet will be called as 4538 Vishyanand and is located somewhere between the Mars and Jupiter. A minor planet is a term used to describe an astronomical object that is neither a dominant planet nor a comet and thus includes the dwarf planets that orbit around the Sun.

4. Mariyam Asif Siddiqui, a 12-year-old Muslim girl won the first position at the Shrimad Bhagwad Gita Champion League. She won the prize for explaining the teachings of the Bhagwad Gita. Siddiqui who studies in Class 6 of Cosmopolitan High School at Mira Road near Mumbai won the contest from among 4500 students of 195 schools.

5. Pratap Singh, a 15-year-old Indian-origin schoolboy in the United Kingdom was awarded with the 500 pounds Institute of Physics (IOP) Prize. The prize also includes a trip to a national physics-related activity. He was awarded for conducting an experiment that verified an effect of Albert Einstein’s theory of special relativity.

6. Syrian-Lebanese Arab poet Adonis has been chosen for 2015 Kumaran Asan World Prize for poetry. Adonis was born as Ali Ahmad Said Esber in Western Syria in 1930. Since 1985, he had settled in Paris, France.  His famous work includes- If Only the Sea Could Sleep, Pages of Day and Night, Songs of Mihyar the Damascene, Not a Star, A Voice, A King is Miyhar, The Adoring Rock, Take me to God.

7. 15-year-old Indian-origin student,Pratap Singh from United Kingdom (UK) has won prestigious award Institute of Physics (IOP) Prize. Singh, who is a student at The Perse School, Cambridge received the prize for his experiment to verify an effect of Albert Einstein’s special relativity theory.

8. Uttar Pradesh Government conferred Sahitya Shiromani Samman on noted Hindi poet Gopaldas Neeraj and veteran Hindi litterateur Uday Pratap Singh. Along with the award, the duo was given a cash prize of 21 lakh rupees. Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav conferred the award on Neeraj and Singh. Yadav also announced that Neeraj will be given Rashtra Ratn-Sitara-e Hind award for his lifelong service to Hindi literature.

9. Professors Susanta Lahiri and Kattesh V. Katti received Hevesy Medal Award 2015 for their outstanding contributions in the fields of radio and nuclear chemistry. The awards were presented to them at the Tenth International Conference on Methods and Applications of Radio-analytical Chemistry held in USA.

10. Microsoft’s Indian-origin CEO Satya Nadella was honoured with the White House Champions of Change. He is one of the 12 local Champions of Change who were honoured for their exemplary leadership. Champions of Change honour is given to those who support working families and help make change in their companies or communities.

11. Professor Susanta Lahiri was awarded prestigious the Hevesy Medal Award 2015. The award was presented to him for his outstanding contributions in heavy ion induced radioisotope production, converter targets, tracer packet technique and green chemistry.

12. Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan and teen idol Zyan Malik were honoured at the 5th Asian Awards held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. Khan was awarded with the prestigious Outstanding Contribution to Cinema award. The 49-year-old actor received the award by Indian-origin British filmmaker Gurinder Chadha.

13. The Income Tax Department was awarded the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration for easy tax compliance through quality service. The award was presented at a function at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on occasion of Civil Services Day.

14. The New York Times won two prestigious Pulitzer prizes for coverage of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The coverage is described by the Pulitzer board as courageous and vivid journalism that engaged the public and held authorities accountable. For its Ebola coverage, The New York Times staff won the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting and freelancer Daniel Berehulak won Pulitzer Prize for the feature photography.

15. Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) Ltd won the Asian Banker Achievement Award 2015. It was awarded for Technology Implementation in the category of Best Outsourcing Project (New Bank). The award was received by Usha Ananthasubramanian, the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of BMB at a function held in Hong Kong during the Asian Banker Summit 2015.

16. Indian-origin diplomat Gopinath Pillai was awarded the Outstanding Service Award for his services in Singapore by the National University of Singapore (NUS). Currently, Pillai is serving as Ambassador-at-Large of Singapore and special envoy to Andhra Pradesh. He is the chairman of Management Board of the Institute of South Asian Studies, a National University of Singapore funded research institute.

17. Sangeeta Bhatia, an Indian-origin scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) won the prestigious 2015 Heinz Award in the Technology, the Economy, and Employment category. This was the 20th Heinz Award which is given annually since 1993.

18. Former Union Finance Minister and veteran BJP leader Yashwant Sinha conferred with the Officier de la Légion d’Honneur (Officer of the Legion of Honour) in recognition of his valuable contribution to thought on international issues.

19. Sangeeta Bhatia, an Indian-Origin scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has won prestigious Heinz award for year 2015. She had won this award for her work in tissue engineering and disease detection in the Technology, the Economy, and Employment category of the award.

20. Margarita, with a Straw directed by Shonali Bose of India in the fourth week of April 2015 won the Audience Award for Best Feature Film at the Washington DC International Film festival. Kalki Koechlin-starrer film is a disability drama. In the film, Kalki has played the role of a cerebral palsy patient named Laila. The film also stars Revathi and Sayani Gupta in prominent roles.

Economics:

1. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) imposed a monetary penalty of five lakh Rupees on 16 Central Co-operative Banks (CCBs). The penalty was imposed for non-adherence of the Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering guidelines.

2. Insurance Australia Group Ltd (IAG) announced that it will raise its stake in SBI General Insurance (SBIGI) from 26% to 49%.

3. Bharti AXA General Insurance Company LimitedlaunchedSmart Traveller that offers global coverage for students, individuals, families and frequent travellers. The SmartTraveller Insurance policy offers a choice of two major plans catering to Individuals and Families and frequent travelers through a variant known as Annual Multi Trip International travel insurance plan.

4. Bangladesh cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has approved the revised India-Bangladesh trade agreement. The revised agreement will facilitate both countries to use each other’s land and water routes for trade with a third country and remove long standing barrier in regional trade. With this Bangladesh will be able to use Indian railways, roads and waterways in transshipment of goods to Bhutan and Nepal. While, India will be able to send goods to Myanmar through Bangladesh.

5. The RBI (Reserve Bank of India) notified hike in FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) limit in Insurance Sector to 49% from the present 26%. 

6. EPFO suspended 1000 rupees minimum monthly pension scheme.

7. India and USA signed Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) on transportation.

8. SEBI raised the limit for currency derivatives trades to 15 million US dollar.

9. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) kept the repo rate unchanged at 7.5%. Raghuram Rajan also kept the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) at 4%.

10. HDFC cut home loan rates by 0.20 per cent to 9.9 per cent.

11. India to buy 36 Rafale jets in ready condition.

12. The country’s economy will grow at 7.9% this fiscal and 8.4% in FY 2016-17, on the back of policy reforms, spurt in domestic demand and lower inflation, according to foreign broking firm Morgan Stanley.

13. Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), the retirement fund body suspended the 1000 rupees minimum monthly pension scheme from April 2015. The end of the minimum monthly pension provided under Employee Pension Scheme (EPS)-95 will hit about 32 lakh pensioners.

14. Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) raised the transaction limit in exchange traded currency derivatives to 15 million US dollars for both foreign and domestic investors without having any underlying exposure. Earlier, the limit was 10 million dollars.

15. German financial group Deutsche Bank has been fined a whopping $8.4 million by Dubai’s top regulator for committing “serious contraventions” in its dealings.

16. Global Rating Agency Moody’s forecasted that Indian economy will grow at 7.5% in 2015. This growth rate is marginally higher compared with 7.2% in 2014.

17. Union Finance Ministry retained the rate of interest for General Provident Fund (GPF) and other related schemes at 8.7% for 2015-16. The notification was issued by the Finance Ministry on 21 April 2015. The 8.7% interest will apply on Provident Funds of central government employees, railways and defence forces.

18. Toyota beats Volkswagen and General Motors for top place in global vehicle sales.

19. Union Government allowed Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) to invest 5% of its corpus in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). The decision will result into an inflow of around 5000 crore rupees into the stock markets during fiscal 2015-16.

Sports:

1. Kyle Mills of New Zealand retired from all forms of International Cricket. The 36-year-old Mills was a member of New Zealand’s 15-man World Cup Squad but didn’t play in any of its nine matches.

2. Mustafa Kamal resigned as ICC president, as he was denied the honour of handing over the World Cup winners’ trophy.

3. Hockey India conferred Major Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award on legendary Balbir Singh Senior. As an award, he received a trophy and a cash prize of 30 lakh rupees.

4. Hockey India conferred the inaugural Hockey India Annual Awards:

List of Awards
• The Dhruv Batra Award for Player of the Year (Men and Women) awarded to Birendra Lakra and Vandana Katariya.
• Jaman Lal Sharma Award for Invaluable Contribution (for coaches and support staff) awarded to Harendra Singh.
• Hockey India President Award for Outstanding Achievement conferred to One Thousand Hockey Legs for its exceptional contribution towards the sport.

Six awards named after players who represented India in the past included:
• The Jugraj Singh Award for Upcoming Player of the Year (Men – Under 21) awarded to Harmanpreet Singh.
• Asunta Lakra Award for Upcoming Player of the Year (Women – Under 21) to Namita Toppo
• Baljit Singh Award for Goalkeeper of the Year awarded to PR Sreejesh
• Pargat Singh Award for Defender of the Year to Deepika
• Ajit Pal Singh Award for Midfielder of the Year given to Manpreet Singh and
• Dhanraj Pillay Award for Forward of the Year awarded to Akashdeep Singh

5. Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF) provisionally suspended 21 weightlifters after they were tested positive for banned substances. This could be termed as one of the biggest doping scandals in recent years.

6. Apurvi Chandela books Rio ticket with World Cup bronze.

7. Union Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports (MYAS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited (IIFCL) to support Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOP) Scheme for Badminton sport. Under the MOU, IIFCL shall contribute 30 crore rupees to the TOP Scheme under its initiatives for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). IIFCL have contributed 10 crore rupees so far.

8. Miami Open 2015:

Men’s Singles Title
World No. 1 and Serbian ace tennis player Novak Djokovic has won the 2015 Miami Open Men’s Singles Title. In the final match he defeated Britain’s Andy Murray by 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 6-0 score. This was Djokovic’s fifth Miami Open trophy.

Women’s singles Title
World No. 1 and American ace tennis player Serena Williams has won the 2015 Miami Open Women’s singles Title. In the final match she defeated Spain’s Carla Suárez Navarro by 6-2, 6-0 score.

Men’s doubles Title
American Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan pair has won the 2015 Miami Open Men’s doubles Title. In the final match they defeated Vasek Pospisil (Canada) and Jack Sock (US) pair by 6–3, 1–6, 10–8 score.

Women’s doubles Title
India’s Sania Mirza and Switzerland’s Martina Hingis pair has won 2015 Miami Open Women’s doubles Title. In the final match they defeated Russian pair of Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina by 7–5, 6–1 score.

9. Rajeev Shukla was re-appointed as the chairman of the Indian Premier League (IPL) Governing Council by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). His appointment came just a day before the opening ceremony of the IPL-8 in Kolkata. Former Union Minister and Congress leader Shukla was the IPL chairman till 2013 when he resigned from the post in the aftermath of the IPL spot-fixing scandal.

10. Indian chess Grandmaster Dronavalli Harika won the bronze medal in the World Women’s chess championships along with Swedish Grandmaster Pia Cramling. In the semifinal match played at Sochi in Russia, Harika lost to Ukraine’s Mariya Muzychuk and settled to Bronze medal with US $ 20,000.

11. Indian Grandmaster Dronavalli Harika won Bronze medal along with Swedish Grandmaster Pia Cramling in the World Women’s chess championships held at Sochi, Russia. In the semi-final clash, Harika lost to Mariya Muzychuk of Ukraine. She got 20000 US dollars for the Bronze medal finish.

12. Gujarat cricket team won the 2014-15 Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy played at the KIIT Cricket Stadium, Bhubaneshwar. In the final clash, Gujarat defeated Punjab by two wickets. Wicketkeeper and opening batsman Smit Patel’s unbeaten 50 helped Gujarat to win their second Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Gujarat won the trophy in 2012-13 by defeating Punjab in the final by four wickets.

13. Indian shooter Jitu Rai won Bronze medal in the 10-meter Air Pistol Men final at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Rifle/Pistol World Cup held in Changwon, South Korea. The Gold medal of the event was won by Jin Jongoh of South Korea and Silver medal was won by Nuang Ye Tun of Myanmar. Jin Jongoh is five-time Olympic medallist and the reigning World Champion. It was the fourth world cup medal for Jitu.

14. Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis, the top-seeded Indo-Swiss pair of Tennis on 12 April 2015 won the 731000 US dollar WTA Family Circle Cup doubles title. In the title clash played at Charleston in the United States, the duo defeated Australian-Croatian pair of Casey Dellacqua and Darija Jurak 6-0, 6-4. This was third consecutive team title for the Indo-Swiss pair. Earlier, they won the Miami Open Tennis women’s doubles title on 5 April 2015 and Indian Wells Open title on 21 March 2015. With this win, Sania Mirza also became the first female tennis player from India to achieve the world number one rank in doubles. Sania is also first female player from the country to win Grand Slam tournaments. Before Sania, only Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhuapthi had achieved the top rank when they dominated men’s doubles circuit in the last 1990s.

15. New Zealand won the 2015 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup men’s hockey tournament. In the final clash played at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh, Malaysia, New Zealand defeated World Champions Australia 3-1. New Zealand won the title for only the second time since the inception of Sultan Azlan Shah Cup competition in 1983. New Zealand’s first victory came in 2012 against Argentina. On the other hand, Australia had won the cup in 1983, 1996, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2011, 2013 and 2014.

16. Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang retired on 7th April 2015. Xiang, the first man from China to win an Olympic gold medal in track and field, announced his retirement due to injury.  He won the Gold medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics in the 110m hurdles track event. For this Olympic gold he equaled the then world record of 12.91. Later in July 2006, he improved the world record to 12.88 seconds in Lausanne, Switzerland. He also won the Gold medal at the 2007 IAAF World Championships.

17. Mercedes Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton from Britain won Chinese Grand Prix of Formula One on the Shanghai International Circuit in China. This was his second win of the season and his fourth Chinese Grand Prix win. It was also Lewis Hamilton’s overall 35th Grand Prix win. In Chinese Grand Prix, Hamilton was followed by teammate Nico Rosberg at second place.

18. Yuki Bhambri has won the 15,000 US Dollar ITF Futures tournament title. In the final he recorded a straight-set win over Dzmitry Zhyrmont of Belarus played at Karshi, Uzbekistan. Bhambri defeated his rival with Bhambri with 6-2 6-4 score. This win has pocketed 27 ranking points on Bhambri which will take him to a rank between 215 and 220. It was also Yuki’s 10th ITF Futures singles title.

19. Indian shooter Apurvi Chandela won Bronze medal in the 10-metre air rifle event at the (International Shooting Sport Federation) ISSF Rifle and Pistol World Cup in Changwon, South Korea. She won the bronze after she shot score of 185.6 in the qualifying fifth final round.

20. Brijbhushan Sharan Singh was on 11 April 2015 re-elected as the president of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) for a four-year term. As the president of the WFI he will guide the General Council of the federation and set the policy tone in order to achieve the objectives enshrined in the WFI Constitution.

21. Former South African cricketer Allan Donald resigned as the bowling coach of South Africa Cricket team.

22. Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal today regained the number one position in international rankings after China’s Li Xuerui dropped a couple of rungs to third in the latest list issued today.

23. Sachin Tendulkar was elected as member of prestigious Laureus Sports Academy. He was named as member at the 16th Laureus World Sports Awards ceremony in Shanghai, China. He was elected along with retired Chinese professional basketball player Yao Ming. With this, the total number of members of Laureus Sports Academy reached 52.Kapil Dev and Rahul Dravid are the other Indian cricketers to have received this recognition. Besides, former FC Barcelona and Spain star Carles Puyol was named as the Laureus Ambassador.

24. Archana Girish Kamath and Anezka Ilcikova, the Indo-Czech Republic pair won the cadet girls’ doubles table tennis title at the French junior and cadet open in Metz, France. In the title clash, Archana and Anezka defeated the French pair of Lucie Gauthier and Leili Mostafavi 10-12, 7-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-5 and clinched the gold medal. 2015 French Junior & Cadet Open, ITTF Premium Junior Circuit was held at Metz, France from 15th April to 19th April 2015.

25. Former Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar appointed as chief adviser of the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) Anti-Corruption & Security Unit (ACSU). Neeraj Kumar succeeded Ravi Sawant.

26. Ankit Keshri, an East Bengal Club cricketer died on 20th April 2015 due to an injury sustained during a Cricket Association of Bengal’s senior one-day knock-out match. He was 20.

27. The Supreme Court of India (SC) appointed Vivek Priyadarshi to head the team probing the Indian Premiere League (IPL) scandal. The decision was taken by a SC bench headed by Justice TS Thakur.

28. Cricket South Africa (CSA) on 21 April 2015 announced a new tournament to be known as the Africa T20 Cup. The tournament was planned to promote the game and nurture young talent in the continent. The tournament featuring Zimbabwe, Kenya, Namibia, hosts South Africa and 12 CSA affiliates will run from 4 September to 4 October 2015.

29. Indian Cricketer Virat Kohli announced to set up his chain of gyms and fitness centres with the investment of 90 crore rupees. The gyms will be launched under the brand name Chisel. The brand is jointly owned by Kohli, Chisel Fitness and CSE, the sister concern of Cornerstone Sport & Entertainment.

30. Archana Girish Kamath and Anezka Ilcikova, the Indo-Czech Republic pair won the cadet girls’ doubles table tennis title at the French junior and cadet open in Metz, France.

31. Bangladesh won the three-match One Day International (ODI) Series against Pakistan in Dhaka by 3-0. This was Bangladesh’s first series whitewash against an Asian Test-playing nation.

32. The Union Sports Ministry suspended the recognition of Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) with immediate effect. It was suspended for poor management and conduct of 15th National Para-Athletics Championships held in Ghaziabad in March 2015.

33. Indian goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu made his way into the record books becoming the first Indian to start for a top-division European club when he started for Norwegian club Stabaek. He kept a clean sheet as his side romped to a 6-0 win. The 23-year-old Sandu had moved to Stabaek in August last year.

34. Wladimir Klitschko of Ukraine successfully defended his world heavyweight boxing title for the 18th time in a row. At Madison Square Garden in New York, Klitschko defeated his American challenger Bryant Jennings with a lopsided 12-round unanimous point decision.

35. Lin Dan of China won the men`s title at Badminton Asia Championships 2015 held in the central city of Wuhan, China. He won the title by defeating compatriot Tian Houwei 21-19, 21-8.

36. Railway Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) won 5th Senior Men’s National Hockey championship 2015. In the final match played in Pune, Maharashtra, Railways defeated Uttar Pradesh Hockey (UPH) by 5-3.

Individual Awardees
• Best Goalkeeper: Arpit Choudhary (Jharkhand)
• Best Defender: Amit Rohidas (Railways)
• Best Mid-fielder: Jasjit Singh (Railways)
• Best Forward: Lali Upadhyay (Uttar Pradesh)
• Promising player of the Championship: Vikramjit Singh (Punjab)
• Promising player from Maharashtra: Akash Chikte (Goalkeeper)

37. World Champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway won the Shamkir chess tournament held in Shamkir city of Azerbaijan. He defeated Azerbaijani Rauf Mamedov in the last and final round to finish the tournament with 7 points.

Science & Technology:

1. Motorola opens India’s first Moto Care store at Jayanagar Road in Bangalore.

2. The Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS) 1-D satellite was launched successfully by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR), Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. The satellite will provide navigation, tracking and mapping services.

3. Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) the corporate entity of Vizag Steel Plant (VSP) launched novel green project that can generate 120 MW power. It is first of its kind green project launched in Indian Steel Industry that can generate pollution free captive power using 100 per cent Blast Furnace Gas and Coke Oven Gas.

4. Amazon and IBM  announced their plans to enter the IoT (Internet of Things) marketpace. IBM is setting up a separate IoT unit with an investment of USD 3 billion in the next four years. Amazon introduced Dash Button on its devices which help the devices connect with the internet.

IoT - loT refers to a network of devices which are embedded with electronic sensors and data transmitting technologies and connected over the internet. By using the Internet the data collected by sensors in a device can be transmitted to other networked devices and systems. The technology goes beyond machine-to-machine communications (M2M) and covers a variety of protocols, domains, and applications. The technology helps in developing smart devices which work using information provided on a real time basis.

5. Reliance Jio launches messaging, calling app Jio Chat.

6. Ayurvedic formulations like Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) powder and Sidh Makardhwaj are effective in treating rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which causes irreversible joint damage. This was revealed by a study conducted by All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). The pilot prospective study titled Efficacy & safety evaluation of Ayurvedic treatment (Ashwagandha powder & Sidh Makardhwaj) in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients was published in the latest issue of the Indian Journal of Medical Research on 2 April 2015.

7. Major Indian Steel Companies signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with Union Ministry of Steel for setting up of Steel Research and Technology Mission of India (SRTMI) in New Delhi. The primary objective of SRTMI is to promote collaborative Research and Development (R&D) programmes between the ministry and steel industries in priority areas of national importance in the steel sector.

8. Researchers at Stanford University created a smartphone battery that charges in only one minute. Stanford University chemistry professor Hongjie Dai is the lead researcher of the project. The battery invented is the first high-performance aluminum battery which is fast-charging, long-lasting and inexpensive.

9. India today successfully test fired its nuclear-capable Agni-III ballistic missile with a strike range of more than 3,000 km from Wheeler Island off Odisha coast.  The Agni-III missile is powered by a two-stage solid propellant system. With a length of 17 metres, the missile’s diameter is 2 metres and launch weight is around 50 tonnes. It can carry a warhead of 1.5 tonne which is protected by carbon all composite heat shield.

10. Finish telecom network equipment maker Nokia announced acquisition of French telecom network firm Alcatel- Lucent. This merger will create the world’s largest supplier of telecom equipment’s that powers mobilephone networks by surpassing Ericsson and Huawei.

11. The First ship of Project-15B, a Guided Missile Destroyer Visakhapatnam was launched at Mazagaon Dock Limited (MDL), Mumbai. It is the largest missile destroyer commissioned in India till now.

12. India’s largest private sector lender Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India (ICICI) Bank has launched a payment service Tap-n-Pay. It was launched by bank in collaboration with Tech Mahindra.

13. NASA engineers have developed the first full-scale three dimensional (3-D) printed copper rocket engine part. The part developed was a combustion chamber liner that operates at extreme temperatures and pressures using additive manufacturing technique.

14. INS Tarangini, the Sail Training Ship of Indian Navy, on 27th April 2015 left Kochi for Lokayan 2015. The theme for Lokayan -15 is Taking for a Broader Reach. As part of Lokayan-15, Tarangini will be on an eight month voyage through Europe and will participate in the annual Tall Ship Races and other events organised under the aegis of Sail Training International. During these eight months the ship will travel approximately 17 thousand miles under sails.

15. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully tested an indigenous cryogenic engine. The powerful version of the cryogenic engine was tested successfully at ISRO’s propulsion complex at Mahendragiri in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. A team headed by Director D Karthikesan had led the testing.

Death:

1. Former Czech Republic Prime Minister Stanislav Gross passed away. He was 45. Stanislav Gross was the youngest PM of Czech Republic and was elected in July 2004 at the age of 34. He had led the Social Democrat government as PM for one year i.e. till 2005.

2. German Nobel laureate novelist Guenter Grass passed away on 12 April 2015 in Berlin. He was 87. Grass is recognized for his efforts to revive German culture in the aftermath of World War II and also had given voice and support to democratic discourse in the post war Germany.

3. Former Governor of Assam and three-time Chief Minister of Odisha Janaki Ballabh Patnaik died on 21st April 2015 in Tirupati. He was 89. Born on 3rd January 1927, in Rameshwar, Puri, Patnaik was a senior leader of Indian National Congress. He served Odisha as its Chief Minister from 1980 to 1989 and again from 1995 to 1999.

4. Eminent historian Professor Christopher Alan Bayly died on 20th April 2015 in Chicago due to heart attack. His death was announced by the Centre for South Asian Studies at the University of Cambridge. He was 70.

5. The Oscar-winning cinematographer Andrew Lesnie passed away following a fatal heart attack. He was 59.

Important Days:

1. World Health Day (WHD) 2015 was observed globally on 7th April 2015. The theme for the year is “From farm to plate, make food safe”.

2. 11th April 2015 was observed as National Safe Motherhood Day across India.

3. 13th April 2015 was remembered for Jallianwala Bagh incident. The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre (also known as the Amritsar Massacre) was one of the saddest events. On 13th April 1919 people gathered at the Jallianwala Bagh to peacefully protest the arrest of two leaders Dr. Satyapal and Dr. Saifuddin, despite a curfew being declared. The protest, however, was not a non-violent one. On the order of General Dyer, the troops fired on the crowd for ten minutes resulting in the death of about 1000 people and injuring an equal number. To save themselves, people resorted to jumping into a nearby well and it is said that 120 bodies were recovered from here after the massacre.

4. Ninth Civil Services Day was observed across India on 21st April 2015. The day is observed by all Civil Services to re-dedicate and re-commit themselves to the cause of the people.

5. International Mother Earth Day was observed globally on 22nd April 2015 with the theme “It’s our turn to lead”.

6. United Nations (UN) observed World Book and Copyright Day across the world on 23rd April 2015. The day is an opportunity to recognise the power of books to change our lives for the better and to support books and those who produce them.

7. National Panchayati Raj Day was observed across India on 24th April 2015. The day is observed to mark the passing of the Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 that came into force with effect from 24 April 1993.

8. World Malaria Day (WMD) was observed on 25th April 2015. The theme for the 2013-2015 campaign is Invest in the Future. Defeat Malaria.

9. National Panchayati Raj Day was observed across India on 24th April 2015. The day is observed to mark the passing of the Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 that came into force with effect from 24th April 1993.

10. World Dance Day or International Dance Day was observed globally on 29th April 2015. It is observed with an aim to attract the attention of the wider public to the art of dance.

 

Click here to download GK Eduwrap – Monthly Edition – April 2015 in PDF format

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