GK Eduwrap – Monthly – April 2016 | Click to download in PDF Format

GK-Eduwrap-April-2016

 

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National – Across the India:

 

1. Kachhabali village in Bhim tehsil of Rajsamand district has become the first in Rajasthan to liquor-free village.

The village achieved this feat after villagers voted to close down its lone liquor shop to stop alcohol sale in village in the referendum by 67.11%.

It is for the first time the provision of the Rajasthan Excise Act, 1975, that provides for the closure of a country liquor shop, was invoked.

 

2. The Union Finance Minister has extended the safeguard duty on import of some steel products by two years (March 2018).

The safeguard duty is tariff barrier imposed by government on the commodities to ensure that imports in excessive quantities do not harm the domestic industry.

 The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has issued a notification stating that safeguard duty will be reduced to 10% in stages till 2008 from current 20%.

 It will be imposed on steel products hot-rolled flat products of non-alloy and other alloy steel in coils of 600 mm width.

 The main intention of this move is to protect domestic industry from onslaught of cheap steel supplies (imports) from China amid a global glut.

 

3. India has been ranked sixth among the world’s Top-Ten largest manufacturing countries in the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) 2015 Yearbook report.

 

UNIDO is a specialized agency in the United Nations and is member of the United Nations Development Group (UNDG). It is headquartered in Vienna, Austria.

In this edition of report India has jumped by three positions to sixth position compared to earlier ninth position in the previous report.

 

4. The Indian Institute of Sciences (IISc), Bangaluru was adjudged as the best Indian university in the first National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF).

 

NIRF Survey was the first of its kind of indigenous ranking framework for higher education institutions in the country.

It was launched by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development in September 2015.

 

5. World’s first White Tiger Safari was inaugurated at Mukundpur in Satna district of Madhya Pradesh.

 

It was inaugurated and opened to public by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

The first of its kind safari is situated adjacent to the Mukundpur Zoological Park.

It is spread over an area of 25 hectares and has been built at cost of 50 crore rupees.

 

6. Bihar Government is going to ban all types of liquor (alcohol) throughout the state including Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL).

 

It was decided by the state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in Patna.

On 1st April 2016, state government had banned country made liquor in the state except IMFL.

Now foreign liquor (IMFL) will also be banned with immediate effect.

From now person found indulging in manufacturing trade, transportation, sale and consumption of liquor across the state will be punished under the stringent provisions of the Bihar Excise (Amendment) Act, 2016.

 

7. India’s First Semi-High Speed Train (SHST) Nizamuddin-Agra Gatimaan Express was flagged off between New Delhi and Agra.

 

It was flagged off by Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu from Nizamuddin Railway station in New Delhi and reached Agra on time in 100 minutes.

It is faster than Shatabdi Express which takes 117 minutes between two destinations.

The train runs at a speed of 160 kilometres per hour. For first time train hostesses will be present on board of the train.

 

8. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the Stand-up India scheme aimed at providing credit to Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST), and women borrowers in the non-farm sector.

 

The scheme is intended to promote entrepreneurship among SC/ST and women and further give a push to government’s financial inclusion programme.

Under the scheme, 1.25 lakh bank branches will provide loans up to 1 crore rupees to SC/ST and women entrepreneurs.

Thus it will help in creating 2.5 lakh entrepreneurs throughout the country.

 

9. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has constituted high-level committee to suggest ways to tighten security along India-Pakistan border.

 

The committee will be headed by former Union Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta.

It will suggest ways to strengthen the security along the India-Pakistan Border and address the issue of gaps and vulnerability in border fencing.

 

10. Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singhlaid the foundation stone of Haryana State University of Horticultural Sciences at Karnal.

 

It is the first Horticulture University in the state that will cater the needs to support the gap between research, teaching and extension activities in the state.

It will also act as a skill development centre in order to cater the larger demand for skilled (trained) manpower in the production, post-harvest and processing industries.

 

11. Odisha Government has launched Adarsh Vidyalaya (AV) project to provide modern schools facilities on the lines of Kendriya Vidyalayas in the underdeveloped rural areas of the state.

 

It was launched by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at Sasan Ambagaon village in his home constituency Hinjli in Ganjam district.

Odisha Government has launched Adarsh Vidyalaya (AV) project to provide modern schools facilities on the lines of Kendriya Vidyalayas in the underdeveloped rural areas of the state.

It was launched by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at Sasan Ambagaon village in his home constituency Hinjli in Ganjam district.

 

12. The third phase of Union Health Ministry’s universal vaccination programme Mission Indradhanush began on 7 April, 2016.

 

It will cover 216 Districts across several States including Bihar, Gujarat, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.

Mission Indradhanush depicts 7 colours of the rainbow which aims to cover all those children by 2020 who are either unvaccinated, or are partially vaccinated against 7 vaccine preventable diseases.

The diseases include diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, measles and hepatitis B.

 

13. The East Coast Railway (ECoR) Zone headquartered in Bhubaneswar (Odisha) has emerged as largest Freight Loading Railway Zone the country in year 2015-16 in terms of revenue loading performance.

 

During 2015-16, the ECoR loaded 173.49 million tonnes of freight as compared to 161.91 during the 2014-15, registering a 7.1 per cent growth.

The ECoR zone is one of the sixteen railway zones of Indian Railways that came into existence on 1 April 2003.

 

14. The first-ever North East-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Business Summit kicked off in Imphal, Manipur with the focus on road connectivity, trade and tourism.

 

The two day summit has been organized by Manipur Commerce and Industries Department (MCID) in collaboration with the Union Ministries of External Affairs and Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and Indian Chamber of Service Industries (ICSI).

The Summit aims at attracting investment from both domestic and foreign firms to the North-Eastern states to increase productivity and generate employment in the region.

 

15. Pakistan and China have launched a joint bilateral air force exercise named Shaheen (Eagle) 5 in Pakistan.

 

This is the fifth edition of such drill between the two countries.

It will take place from April 9 to 30, 2016.

The motive behind this exercise is to boost bilateral relations between all-weather friends China and Pakistan.

 

16. Union Government in the second week of April 2016 signed Sachin Tendulkar to endorse the I Support Skill India campaign.

 

The step is taken in an attempt to reach out to the youth and build awareness on the importance of skill development.

Tendulkar was signed for the campaign as he resonates the best with skills. He is a true global icon and brand that disrupted the game of cricket through his skill sets and inspired generation.

 

17. The Information & Broadcasting ministry constituted a three-member committee (B B Tandon Committe) to check violations of the Supreme Court guidelines with regard to content in government advertising.

 

The committee was formed in compliance with the Supreme Court directions dated 13 May 2015.

The committee is headed by former Chief Election Commissioner B B Tandon. Apart from Tandon, the other two members of the committee are Rajat Sharma, Editor-in-Chief of India TV, and Piyush Pandey, Executive Chairman South Asia, Ogilvy and Mather.

 

18. Haryana Government has decided to rename Gurgaon as Gurugram.

 

State government also has renamed Mewat as Nuh.

In this regard, Chief Minister Manohar Lal has approved the proposal to change the names of Gurgaon and Mewat.

Decision to change the name of Gurgaon has been taken on the basis of the representations received at several forums.

 

19. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Global Tiger Forum (GTF), the global tiger population has increased by 22 per cent after a century of constant decline.

 

The number of wild tigers across the globe has gone up globally by 22 per cent to 3,890, from the 2010 estimate of 3,200.

The data was based on national estimates of countries reported by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).

Datas regarding Tiger population in different countries are: – India (2226), Russia (433), Indonesia (371), Malaysia (250), Nepal (198), Thailand (189), Bangladesh (106) and Bhutan (103).

 

20. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the third edition of Asia Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi to save wild tigers.

 

India is host of this edition of conference in which more than 700 tiger experts, scientists, managers, donors and other stakeholders are participating.

Ministers and government officials from all 13 tiger range countries (TRCs) participating in the conference.

These 13 TRCs are: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

 

21. The Union cabinet has given its formal approval for adopting the Statute of the South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN).

 

SAWEN is regional inter-governmentalwildlife law enforcement support body launched in January, 2011 in Paro, Bhutan.

With this, India will become member of SAWEN, a regional inter-governmental body in combating wildlife crime in the region and beyond.

By becoming member of SAWEN, India will strengthen its ties with the member countries for controlling the trans-boundary wildlife crimes through coordination, communication, collaboration, cooperation and capacity building in the region.

 

22. As per recently report of World Bank, India remained the world’s largest remittance recipient in 2015.

 

It was revealed by the World Bank’s annual report Migration and Development Brief. In 2015, India attracted about 69 billion US dollars in remittances, down from 70 billion in 2014.

Other large remittance recipients in 2015 were China (64 billion dollars), Philippines (28 billion), Mexico (25 billion) and Nigeria (21 billion dollar).

 

23. India ranked 44th with total score of 30 among 50 different countries in the 2016 Global Connectivity Index (GCI) report compiled by Chinese telecom giant Huawei.

 

The GCI analyzes the full spectrum of measurements for connectivity and provides a detailed map of the global digital economy.

The index benchmarks 50 countries on the basis of its ICT infrastructure including broadband, data centers, cloud services, big data and IoT in the scale ranging from 0 to 100. These 50 countries, account for 90 percent of global GDP.

 

24. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched ‘Gram Uday Se Bharat Uday Abhiyan’ (Village Self Governance Campaign).

 

This Campaign was strengthen Panchayati Raj in villages and ensure social harmony in villages.

It was launched on the occasion of 125th birth anniversary of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar at his birthplace at Mhow, Madhya Pradesh.

 

25. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched National Agriculture Market portal eNAM to connect e-mandis in several States.

 

eNAM is an online inter-connectivity of e-mandis, aimed at ushering in much needed agriculture marketing reforms to enable farmers to get better price of their produce.

e-National Agriculture Market (NAM) is a pan-India e-trading platform. It is designed to create a unified national market for agricultural commodities.

 

26. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Maritime India Summit 2016 in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

 

This is India’s first ever Maritime Summit and the flagship event organised by Union Ministry of Shipping.

On the occasion of this event, Union government also released a national perspective plan for the Sagarmala Project.

 

27. The Union Government has imposed an anti-dumping duty of up to US 149 dollars on imports of N-Butyl Alcohol from five countries viz. European Union (EU), Malaysia, Singapore and US.

 

In this regard, Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has issued a notification based on the recommendation of Directorate General of Anti-dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD).

DGAD in its investigation had found out that Normal Butanol, or N-Butyl Alcohol exported from five countries mentioned above was found to be below normal value compared to domestic value, thus causing material injury to domestic injury.

 

28. The Union Government has renamed Panagarh Air Force Base of Indian Air Force in West Bengal as ‘Air Force Station Arjan Singh’ in honour of the Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh.

 

It was renamed on the occasion of 93rd birthday of Arjan Singh.

Air Officer Commander-in-Chief of the Eastern Air Command, Air Marshal C. Harikumar unveiled the rechristening plaque.

This is first time in India’s defence history, a military installations has been named after individuals, especially when they are alive.

 

29. Delhi government has banned the manufacture, distribution, storage and sale of all forms of chewable tobacco for one year in the interest of public health.

 

The ban incudes all forms of chewable tobacco including scented, flavoured or mixed and sold in other forms such as gutkha, pan masala, khaini and zarda.

In this regard, Delhi Department of Food Safety has issued an official notification and it will also cover unpackaged products of chewable tobacco within the ambit of the ban.

The ban will be valid for one year from the date of publication of this notification in the official gazette.

 

30. National Capital of India, Delhi has been ranked 44th among the world’s 50 ‘future-ready economies cities’ that are embracing technology for growth.

 

It was revealed by the recently released report ‘Future-Ready Economies Model’ by the Information Technology major Dell.

The list is topped by San Jose, followed by San Francisco, Singapore, London, Washington DC, etc.

 

31. The Indian Army conducted major battle exercise named as ‘Shatrujeet’ in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan near to the border with Pakistan.

 

The sole purpose of the exercise was to evaluate the capability of the Indian Army and fine tune its proactive war strategy to respond swiftly to any threat to nation’s security.

The 2016 Shatrujeet battle exercise was steered by the Mathura based 1 Corps, one of the three principle strike corps of the Indian Army.

 

32. Maharashtra Government has decided to make it mandatory to have a hologram on every alcohol bottle manufactured and sold in the state in order to check sale of spurious liquor.

 

 With this decision, no liquor bottle will be allowed to be sold in the state without the hologram.

The decision was taken keeping in mind the 2015 tragedy at Malwani where about 100 people died after consuming spurious liquor.

 

33. Maharashtra Government has banned digging of borewells beyond 200 feet in order to check the steep decline in ground water level across the state.

 

It was announced by Water Supply and Sanitation Minister Babanrao Lonikar.

State Government has taken this decision in the wake for severe drought and decreasing ground water level across various regions in the state.

This ban will be implemented under the Maharashtra Groundwater Development and Management Act in order to control the excess water pumping through borewell.

 

34. The Union Government has extended the Beti Bachao Beti Padho Scheme in additional 61 districts across 11 States and Union Territories with low Child Sex Ratio.

 

It was announced by the Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi while addressing the function in New Delhi.

It was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January 2015 from Haryana in 100 districts of the country to address the issue of declining Child Sex Ratio.

 

35. In recently released 2016 World Press Freedom Index (WPFI), India ranked 133rd out of 180 nations surveyed worldwide in terms of press freedom in 2015.

 

In this edition, India with a score of 43.17 has jumped three spots from the 136th position it had in 2015.

The Index was published by Reporters Without Borders (RWB).

WPFI is compiled and produced by France-based international non-governmental organization Reporters Without Borders (RWB), or Reporters Sans Frontiers (RSF).

 

36. The Union Cabinet gave its approval for signing the Paris Agreement adopted at the 21st Conference of Parties of UNFCCC held in Paris in December 2015.

 

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar will sign the agreement on behalf of India.

The Paris Agreement on climate change is considered as a milestone in global climate cooperation.

 

37. The Union Cabinet has given its approval for operationalization of new Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) at Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh.

 

The operationalisation IISER Tirupati will commence from the Academic Year of 2015-16 from a transit or temporary campus.

IISERs are a group of most premier statutory science education and research institutes in India of national importance and are intended to be the IITs of basic sciences.

 

38. Union Government has renamed as Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM).

 

In this regard, the Union Finance Ministry has issued notification.

The renaming decision aims at proper management of Central government’s investments in equity and also its disinvestment proceeds in central public sector undertakings (PSUs).

 

39. The Supreme Court has stayed the judgement of the Uttarakhand High Court quashing the imposition of President’s rule imposed under Article 356 in the Constitution till April 27, 2016.

 

With this President rule has been again restored in Uttarakhand as the High Court judgement will be kept in abeyance till the next date of hearing of SC.

The apex court stay order came after the Union Government had moved the Court against the Uttarakhand High Court verdict quashing President’s rule in the state.

 

40. President Pranab Mukherjee has nominated of six eminent members to Rajya Sabha as per the provisions of Article 80 of the Constitution.

 

These nominated members are: Mary Kom, Narendra Jadhav, Suresh Gopi, Swapan Dasgupta, Subramanian Swamy, Navjot Singh Sidhu.

As per Article 80 (Part V) of the Constitution, President can nominate 12 members in the Council of States (Rajya Sabha).

These persons should have special knowledge or practical experience in the field of Art, Science, Literature and Social Service.

 

41. The term India Pride Project (IPP) was in news in the fourth week of April 2016. It is an initiative by two NRIs who seek to bring back the lost artefacts to India.

Through the initiative, they seek to answer that India was looted of more artefacts in the post-colonial era than under the British or Mughals.

The India Pride Project is a small, but brave attempt to bring this loot back into the places where they belong in India.

In simple terms India Pride Project’s mission is to restore the Nation’s pride through restoring its culture.

 

42. The Union Government has recently constituted 8-member inter-ministerial committee to prepare a blueprint for doubling farmers’ income by 2022.

 

The committee will be headed by Ashok Dalwai, Additional secretary at the Union Agriculture Ministry and is expected to submit the report in two months.

Its members will include officials from Agriculture and Food Ministries, experts from the Delhi-based National Council of Applied Economic Research and National Institute of Agricultural Economics and Policy Research.

 

43. The Shyam Benegal headed committee constituted by the Union Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry has submitted its report to Union I&B minister Arun Jaitley.

 

The committee was tasked to look holistically into the functioning of the censor board and revamp the film certification nuances by Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

CBFC should only be a film certification body and its scope should be restricted to categorizing the suitability of the film to audience groups on the basis of age and maturity.

 

44. The Union Railway Ministry has decided to create a 1 lakh crore rupees safety fund named Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh to strengthen safety measures on the rail network to prevent accidents.

 

It was announced by Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in the Lok Sabha while replying to a debate on Demands for Grants for Railways for 2016-17.

In this regard Union Railway Ministry has forwarded a proposal to the Union Finance Ministry for approval.

45. The Southern Command of the Indian Navy has inaugurated a naval detachment at Androth Island of the Lakshadweep archipelago.

 

The naval detachment seeks to strengthen maritime security in and around Arabian Sea and enhance surveillance of crucial shipping lanes.

Key facts are as follows: -

The facility will function as an observance and reporting organization.

It will provide connectivity with mainland.

Enable sea lanes of communication (SLOC) monitoring.

It will also facilitate radar surveillance. Enhance the Navy’s reach and contribute significantly to strengthen maritime security.

 

46. The Union Government has decided to allow States to impose and enforce stock limits on sugar in order to check the price rise of sweetener in the market.

 

The decision to bring sugar under the purview of stock holding limits on dealers of sugar was taken in Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.

It will empower State and Central Government agencies to impose stock limits and regulate supply, storage, distribution and trade of sugar in order to bring down sugar prices at reasonable level by curbing unscrupulous trading.

 

47. The Union Cabinet has given its approval to enhance investment by Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) in Bharat Oman Refineries Limited (BORL).

 

The investment amount of BPCL could be enhanced up to a maximum of 3000 crore rupees by way of subscription of convertible warrants or other instruments.

The infusion of funds by the BPCLs will Enable expansion of Bina Refinery in Madhya Pradesh and overcome the implications on account of the erosion of the net worth

  

48. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been invited to address a joint meeting of the United States (US) Congress on June 8, 2016 during his visit to the US.

 

He was invited by President Barack Obama for a bilateral visit during the fourth nuclear summit.

It was announced by the Speaker of the US House of Representative Paul Ryan.

PM Narendra Modi will be the fifth Indian Prime Minister to address a joint meeting of Congress, and the first since 2005.

 

49. Supreme Court has approved holding a single common entrance test National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to MBBS and BDS courses for the academic year 2016-17.

 

The SC bench comprising Justices A. R. Dave, Shiva Kirti Singh and A K Goel gave nod to the NEET proposal put before it by the Union Government, CBSE and the Medical Council of India (MCI).

The proposal had requested for treating All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT) fixed for May 1, 2016 as NEET-1.

 

50. Gujarat Government has decided to provide 10 percent reservation for economically backward classes (EBCs) in general category.

 

State government is going to promulgate ordinance and will be applicable in government jobs as well as admission to the educational institutions from next academic year.

This 10 percent reservation for EBCs in general category will be available to all non-reserved class, whose total family income is less than 6 lakh annually.

The new reservation will not affect the present reservation available to Scheduled Castes (SC)/ Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Other Backward Classes (OBC).

 

International – Across the Globe:

 

1. The fourth edition of Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) began in Washington, United States to discuss a gamut of issues pertaining to nuclear security.

In this edition of summit, heads of about 53 countries and representatives of five international organizations including the UNO, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), European Union (EU), and Interpol are taking part.

India is being represented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the two-day summit.

The fourth summit is the last summit under the current format and also under the presidency of Barack Obama.

 

2. The world’s first public dengue vaccination programme was launched in the Philippines with a French drug Dengvaxia (world’s 1st dengue fever vaccine) to combat mosquito-borne disease.

 

Several hundred children aged between 9 and 10 were vaccinated with the injections in front of government health workers at a public school in eastern Manila.

Mexico was first country in the world to approve first-ever Dengvaxia Dengue fever vaccine for the public use and Philippines was the first county in Asia to allow it.

 

3. A bronze bust of ancient Indian mathematician and astronomer Aryabhatta was unveiled at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France.

 

It was unveiled by Union Human Resource and Development Minister Smriti Irani.

She was in the French capital to attend the International Conference on Zero.

The bust has been sculpted by renowned Indian sculptor Ram Sutar who was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian awards for his contribution to the world of art.

 

4. A statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh will be installed in France’s Saint-Tropez town on 17 September 2016.

 

The town is the birth place of Maharaja’s Army General Jean-Francois Allard.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh was the founder of the Sikh Empire, which came to power in the Indian subcontinent in the early half of the 19th century.

In September 2016, the Indian embassy in France will hold also an exhibition on the life of the king.

 

5. Saudi Arabia and Egypt agreed to build a bridge over the Red Sea. The announced bridge will connect the two countries.

 

The planned bridge would help in boosting commerce between the two allied countries.

It will also connect the two continents, Africa and Asia, and result in increasing trade between the two continents to unprecedented levels.

 

6. United Nations (UN) will observe the birth anniversary of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, father of the Indian Constitution on April 13, 2016, a day before his date of birth, for the first time.

 

The main focus of this observance will be on combating inequalities to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The 125th birth anniversary Dr. Ambedkar will be commemorated at the UN headquarters in New York by the Permanent Mission of India to the UN, in association with the Kalpana Saroj Foundation and Foundation For Human Horizon.

 

7. Pakistan has test fired anti-ship surface to sea “Zarb” missile from the coastal areas successfully.

 

It hit its target in the Arabian Sea after it was fired from a strategic point located at a coastal area.

The missile was formally inducted into Pakistan Navy‘s defence system soon after the test.

 

8. The two-day G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held from 10 April to 11 April 2016 ended in Hiroshima.

 

The focal points of the meet were Global security, the refugee crisis and political instability.

The meeting ended with adoption of Hiroshima Declaration, a joint communique, and two other statements on nonproliferation and maritime security.

 

9. The Republic of Nauru, a tiny South Pacific island nation in Pacific Ocean became the 189th member of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank i.e. Bretton-Woods institutions.

 

Nauru had applied for membership in the Washington-based IMF and World Bank in April 2014. Its initial subscription quota for IMF will be of SDR (Special Drawing rights) 2 million or about $2.81 million.

It will be the second smallest member of the Fund, after Tuvalu.

 

10. The G20 countries including India have sought a crackdown on tax heavens, shell companies and terror financing in the wake of the ‘Panama Papers’ scandal.

 

In this regard a communiqué was issued by G20 countries after meeting of its Finance Ministers and Governors of Central Banks on the sidelines of the annual Spring Meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank at Washington.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan attended the meeting on behalf of India.

 

11. The European Parliament has approved creation of a European passenger name records (PNR) system to combat terrorism.

 

The proposal in this regard was passed by 461 votes to 179 against. Now the EU member countries will have two years to turn it into national law.

PNR is a joint system for security agencies to access airline passenger data on all flights to and from the EU.

It will enable police and justice officials to systematically store the data of airline passengers travelling to, from and within the EU.

 

12. The federal grand jury in the US State of Wisconsin has slapped 940 million US dollars fine against two companies of India’s Tata group – Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Tata America International Corp.

 

They were fined in a trade secret lawsuit filed against them by the US based electronics medical records vendor Epic Systems.

The jury verdict has directed two companies of India’s Tata group to pay 240 million dollars to Epic Systems for ripping off its software and pay 700 million dollars in punitive damages.

 

13. The BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) has approved its first package of loans worth 811 million dollars for four renewable energy projects in Brazil, China, South Africa and India.

 

The decision to approve the first loans was approved by the NDB board of governors on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank spring meetings in Washington DC, US.

The New Development Bank is a multilateral bank created by BRICS Nations viz. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

 

14. The 14th meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Russia, India and China (RIC) Forum have vowed to deepen cooperation in combating terrorism.

 

The meeting was held in Moscow, Russia and was attended Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Union Minister of Foreign Affairs Sushma Swaraj, and Minister of Foreign Affairs of China Wang Yi took.

RIC Forum is a trilateral grouping of Russia, India and China that has met annually since 2002. In recent years, the RIC has functioned as a complement to other frameworks involving three countries and including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

  

15. India and China have agreed to adhere to peaceful negotiations to settle the border issue and reach a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution.

 

Decision in this regard was taken during the annual 19th round of boundary talks between National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi at Beijing.

They also had an extensive, deep discussion on the 3,488 km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC) which remains undemarcated resulting in tensions between the two sides.

 

16. According to FDI Intelligence Report India has replaced China as the top Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) destination by attracting $63 billion worth FDI projects in 2015.

 

FDI Intelligence is a division of international media company – The Financial Times Limited.

India was the highest-ranked country by capital investment in the year 2015, with 63 billion dollars-worth of FDI projects announced.

It was the biggest change in Greenfield FDI in 2015 was near tripling with an estimated 63 billion dollars.

 

17. 175 nations including India have signed the historic Paris Climate Agreement at United Nations Headquarters in New York along marking a significant step to combat global warming.

 

On behalf of India, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar signed the agreement at a high-level ceremony hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the occasion of Earth Day (22 April).

The ceremony was attended by heads of governments, foreign ministers, corporate leaders and artists from across the world.

The agreement will come into force 30 days after at least 55 Parties to the UNFCCC, accounting for at least 55 per cent of global emissions ratify the agreement.

 

18. The eleventh edition of India-Mongolia joint military training Exercise ‘Nomadic Elephant – 2016’ has commenced at Mongolia.

 

It seeks to promote military associations between India and Mongolia.

The first joint exercise was held in 2004 and since then it is annually held.

 

19. The Heart of Asia (HoA) conference began in New Delhi with the objective of bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan.

 

The conference was attended by officials of a number of countries and is likely to deliberate on a host of issues like combating challenge of extremism and terrorism.

HoA conference is a part of the Istanbul Process established 2011 which provides a platform to discuss an agenda of regional cooperation with Afghanistan at its centre.

 

Sports:

 

1. Shiva Thapa, ace Indian boxer has won the silver medal at the Asian/Oceania Qualifying Tournament held in Qian’an, China in the 56 Kilogram category final.

 He had also booked his ticket to 2015 Rio de Janeiro Olympics Games after beating Kazakhstan’s Kairat Yeraliyev in the semifinals.

 He is a World Championship bronze-medalist in the Bantamweight category held in Doha in 2015.

 He had also participated in the 2012 London Olympics and was the youngest Indian boxer to qualify for the Olympics.

 

2. Cyprian Kotut (23) from Kenya has won the 40th edition of the 2016 Paris marathon held on 3 April 2016 in the men’s category.

 

He finished the 35km race in an official time of 2hr 07min 10sec.

The women’s title was won by Visiline Jepkesho (Kenya).

She completed the race in 2hr 25 min 52sec ahead  of  Ethiopian  pair  Gulume  Chala (2nd position)  and Dinknesh  Tefera (3rd position).

 

3. Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg from Germany has won the 2016 Gulf Air Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix held at Bahrain International Circuit in Manama.

 

Bahrain Grand Prix title race was the second race of the 2016 season of Formula One in which total 11 teams had participated.

It was Roseburg’s overall sixteenth championship title of F1 in his career and the second win in the 2016.

 

4. Novak Djokovic, World Number One tennis player from Serbia has won the 2016 Miami Open Title in the men’s singles category, Kei Nishikori (Japan) by 6-3, 6-3 score.

 

It was his third consecutive and overall sixth ATP Miami Open title, equaling Andre Agassi’s Miami record total.

It was also his record 28th career ATP Masters title.

 

5. West Indies has won the ICC Cricket World Men’s T-20 Cup 2016 by defeating England by 4 wickets in the final match played at Eden Gardens, Kolkata.

 

In the final match, England batting first had scored 155 runs for 9 wickets.

West Indies successfully chased the target by scoring 161 runs in 19.4 over at the loss of 4 wickets.

With this win, West Indies became the only team to win the ICC World Twenty20 title twice.

Earlier it had won its first title in 2012 by defeating Sri Lanka.

 

6. Indian men have won the 2016 Asian Nations Cup Chess tournament by defeating Vietnam in the final round by 3-1 score played in Abu Dhabi.

 

With this win India gained 17 points, two more than World and Olympiad champions China.

India drew Mongolia and beat the rest of the teams in a 22-team tournament.

It was overall third time, Indian men won the event earlier they had won at Esfahan, Iran in 2005 and Kolkata 2009.

 

7. Malaysia’s badminton star Lee Chong Wei has won2016 Malaysian Open title in the men’s single category.

 

Lee defeated Chen Long (world number 1) of China.

It was Chong Wei’s overall 11th Malaysia Open title after having won in 2004, 2005, 2006 and consecutively from 2008-2014.

 

8. Danny Willett from England won the prestigious 2016 US Masters Golf tournament.

 

It was his first major championship with a score of 283 (−5) and three strokes ahead of runners-up Lee Westwood (UK) and the defending champion Jordan Spieth (US).

By winning the tournament Willett became the first European golfer to win the Masters since 1999, and the first from England since Nick Faldo’s similar win in 1996.

 

9. Iconic Indian woman boxer Mary Kom has been named as the International Boxing Association (AIBA) ambassador for Women’s World Championship.

 

She is one of the eight ambassadors for the upcoming World Championship of AIBA scheduled from May 19 to 27, 2016 in Astana, Kazakhstan.

The AIBA-appointed ambassadors for the World Championship also include Nicola Adams (Great Britain), Marlen Esparza (US), Adriana Arauja (Kazakhstan), Stanimira Petrova (Bulgaria) and Khadija Mardi (Morocco).

The female officials chosen as ambassadors are Kheira Siki Yakoub (Algerian) and Jennifer Huggins (Canada).

 

10. Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg from Germany has won the 2016 Chinese Grand Prix held at the Shanghai International Circuit.

 

Chinese Grand Prix title race was the third race of the 2016 season of Formula One in which total 11 teams had participated.

the 2016 season.

 

11. Veteran Sri Lankan left-arm spinner Rangana Herath (38) has announced his retirement from T20 and One Day International Cricket (ODI).

 

However he will continue to play in Test matches which always have been his personal passion.

He took the decision of retiring from T20 and ODIs in order to make room for fresh talent to be groomed for the 2019 World Cup.

 

12. Australia has won the 25th edition of Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Tournament 2016 for record ninth time.

 

In the final match played at Ipoh, Australia defeated India by 4-0 goals. With this India settled at the second position and was followed by New Zealand (defending champion) at the third position.

This was the second time India had finished with the silver medal in seven final appearances.

 

13. Ace tennis player Rafael Nadal (World No 5) from Spain has won the 2016 Monte Carlo Rolex Masters title of Tennis.

 

In the final match he defeated Gael Monfils of France by 7-5, 5-7, 6-0 score.

It was his overall 9th Monte Carlo Masters title and his 68th win from 100 finals on the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) World Tour.

 

14. India’s Durga Thakur has been promoted to international outdoor umpire by the International Hockey Federation (FIH).

 

She was promoted following her good performance at the recently-held Hawke’s Bay Cup in Hastings, New Zealand.

She had started her career as an umpire from the third Hockey India (HI) Sub-Junior Men & Women National Championship (Finals) held in Bhopal in 2013.

 

15. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on suspended the accreditation of the National Anti-Doping Laboratory of Beijing.

 

It prohibits the Chinese laboratory from carrying out any WADA-related anti-doping activities including all analyses of urine and blood samples.

The suspension was for up to four months with immediate effect, although the laboratory has 21 days to appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

 

16. Ace tennis player Rafael Nadal (World No 5) from Spain has won the 2016 Barcelona Open title of Tennis.

 

It was Nadal’s overall 9th Barcelona Open title and 69th win from 101 finals on the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) World Tour.

He also has now won his first 10 matches of the European clay-court 2016 season.

 

17. French pair of Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic won women’s doubles final of the Stuttgart Grand Prix tournament.

 

18. Russian pair Anastasia Bryzgalova and Alexander Krushelnitskiy claimed the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship title with a 7-5 victory over China at  Karlstad, Sweden.

 

19. India’s Mairaj Ahmed Khan has won the silver medal in the men’s skeet event at ISSF World Cup held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

 

In the final, Mairaj lost gold medal to Sweden’s Marcus Svensson and the bronze medal was won by Tamarro Casandro of Italy.

With this victory, he becomes first Indian shooter to win skeet medal for India at a World Cup.

 

20. Indian rower Dattu Baban Bhokanal qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics scheduled to be held in August 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

 

He qualified Rio Olympics after winning a silver medal in the men’s single sculls event at the FISA Asian and Oceania Olympic Qualification Regatta held at Chung-ju in South Korea.

He clocked 7 minutes, 7.63 seconds in the 2 km course to finish second.

South Korea’s Dongyong Kim won the gold medal after finishing the race in 07 minutes, 5.13 seconds.

 

21. India is going to host the 2018 Commonwealth Judo Championships in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

 

It was announced by the Judo Federation of India (JFI).

The announcement came after the Commonwealth Judo Congress allotted the Championships to India at its meeting held at Port Elizabeth in South Africa.

This will be the first time that Commonwealth Judo Championships will be held in India.

However the Championships dates are yet to be finalized.

 

22. India’s Deepika Kumari has equaled the world record in Women’s Recurve event at the qualifying stage of Archery World Cup held in Shanghai, China.

 

She equaled the record set by South Korea’s Ki Boe Bae at the World University Games in Gwangju in 2015.

Deepika has already qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics scheduled to be held in August 2016 with her performance at the Copenhagen World Championships in 2015.

 

Awards & Recognition:

 

1. PEN America on 31 March 2016 announced that it will confer the PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award upon imprisoned Egyptian novelist and journalist Ahmed Naji.

 The award will be presented to Naji at Pen America’s annual Literary Gala on 16 May 2016 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

 Naji is the author of three books and a journalist at the state-funded Akhbar al-Adab literary magazine.

 

2. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was conferred Saudi Arabia’s highest civilian honour- the King Abdulaziz Sash. The prestigious award was bestowed upon Indian Prime Minister by incumbent Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz at the Royal Court.

 

It has been named after Abdulaziz Al Saud, the founder of the modern Saudi state.

It is bestowed upon citizens of Saudi Arabia and foreigners for meritorious service to the Saudi Kingdom. King himself makes awards to foreigners.

 

3. Vishwanathan Anand, five-time world chess champion will be honoured with the Hridaynath Mangeshkar Award.

 

The award felicitates and recognises successful individuals across the country from various walks of life.

Maharashtra State Governor C Vidyasagar Rao will bestow award upon him at an event to be held in Mumbai on April 12, 2016.

He is an Indian chess grandmaster and a former world champion.

He became India’s first grandmaster in 1988.

 

4. Mother Teresa was posthumously conferred with the UK’s prestigious Founders Award 2016.

The award is given to recognize and reward exemplary achievements of people within the global Asian community.

Teresa’s only living relative, her 72-year old niece, Agi Bojazhiu received the award on 8 April 2016.

Teresa, who will be made a saint on 4 September 2016, founded the Missionaries of Charity and spent 45 years serving needy people. She passed away at the age of 87 in Kolkata in 1997.

 

5. The IIT (Indian Institute of Technology)-Kharagpur has won the National Intellectual Property (IP) Award in the academic institutes category.

 

These awards are bestowed every year on outstanding innovators, organizations and companies in the fields of patents, designs, trademarks, and geographical indications on the occasion of World IP Day.

The institute will be awarded the prize Top Academic Institute for Patents 2016 by the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry on the occasion of World IP Day (26 April 2016).

IIT- Kharagpur’s ‘100 patents drive’ initiative had played pivotal role for winning this award.

 

6. Investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova of Azerbaijan has been chosen for the prestigious 2016 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize.

 

The award honours a person, organization or institution for their outstanding contribution to the defence and promotion of freedom of press anywhere in the world, especially achieved in the face of danger.

She will be bestowed with this award during the celebration of World Press Freedom Day i.e. on 3 May 2016 in recognition of her outstanding contribution to press freedom in difficult circumstances.

 

7. Former Indian Army Chief General (retd) JJ Singh was conferred with the prestigious Officer of the Legion of Honour, the highest French civilian distinction.

 

He was conferred the honour by French Ambassador to India, Francois Richier in New Delhi.

Mr. Singh was chosen for the honour in recognition of his stellar role in modernising the Indian Army.

 

8. Dogri Poetess and novelist Padma Sachdev has been chosen for the prestigious Saraswati Samman for the year 2015.

 

Saraswati Samman is an annual award bestowed upon Indian citizen for his outstanding literary work written in any Indian language mentioned in Schedule VIII of Constitution and published during last 10 years.

She has been chosen for her autobiography ‘Chitt-Chete’ written in Dogri language and published in 2007.

In her 662-page autobiography, Ms. Sachdev has included some historic photographs with dignitaries from her state, nation and the world.

 

9. World No 1 tennis player Novak Djokovic from Serbia has won the 2016 Laureus Sportsman of the Year Award.

 

He has won it for second time after winning it in 2012.

US tennis legend Serene Williams has won the 2016 Laureus Sportswoman of the Year Award.

It was her fourth Laureus Awards after she won it in 2003, 2007 and 2010.

 

10. The Sympathizer, a debut novel of Vietnamese American professor Viet Thanh Nguyen has won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

 

The Associated Press has won two prestigious Pulitzer Prize in Public Service for coverage for an investigation of severe labour abuses tied to the supply of seafood to American supermarkets and restaurants.

 

11. Indian automobile giant Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. has become the first Indian company to sign up for “EP100”, a global energy productivity campaign.

 

By joining this campaign, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd has committed to double their energy productivity by 2030, which is a core requirement for any business signing on to the campaign.

The campaign is a brainchild of the “Climate Group”, an international non-profit organization.

It helps businesses, state, regional, finance and civil society leaders from all over the world to increase their energy productivity and thereby lessen their carbon footprints.

 

12. Riyad Mahrez (Algerian origin) became the first African footballer to win the Professional Footballers Association’s (PFA) Player of the Year award.

 

He was presented the award for the 2015–16 season at the Professional Footballers’ Association awards ceremony organised in London.

With this, Mahrez also became the second non-European, after Luis Suarez (Uruguayan striker) to win this prestigious award in the sport of Football.

 

13. K Ashok Kumar, a research food engineer scholar from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur has won the prestigious 2016 International Plant Nutrition Scholar Award (IPNSA).

 

He was bestowed with this award for his research on nutrition management of rice-chickpea production system in laterite soil.

The award is given by the US-based International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI). The award carries a cash prize of US 2,000 dollars and a recognition certificate.

 

14. Pakistani women’s rights activist from Swat valley, Tabassum Adnan has won prestigious 2016 Nelson Mandela Graça Machel Innovation Award.

 

She won the award for the individual activist category on the concluding day of the International Civil Society Week (ICSW) held from April 25-28, 2016 in Bogota, Colombia.

These Awards provide seed funding for innovative ideas emerging from organizations or groups of organizations participating in the CIVICUS World Assembly.

 

15. Former bureaucrat and parliamentarian, Nand Kishore Singh has been selected for prestigious ‘Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver’, Japan’s highest civilian award.

 

He was chosen for this prestigious award for promoting economic, educational and cultural ties between India and Japan.

He is among 91 foreign recipients to be honoured during the 2016 Spring Imperial Decoration of Japan by Emperor Akihito during the investiture ceremony in May 2016.

 

 

Mergers & Acquisitions:

 

1. The Union Government has merged Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan (RGKA) with the Khelo India Programme for development of sports.

 

The RGKA was a centrally sponsored scheme launched by then Congress-led UPA government in 2014.

Union Government also has merged two other sport projects launched by then UPA regime viz. Urban Sports Infrastructure Scheme (USIS) and National Sports Talent Search Scheme (NSTSS) under Khelo India.

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan (RGKA) was launched in place of erstwhile Panchayat Yuva Krida aur Khel Abhiyan (PYKKA).

RGKA aimed at constructing sports complexes in each block and exclusively both for indoor and outdoor in different sports discipline for 5 years.

 

2. India will sell an 11.36 percent stake in state-controlled hydropower producer NHPC Ltd.

 

The decision is taken to raise 28 billion rupees ($420 million).

This will kick off the government’s privatization program for this year.

Appointments & Resignations:

 

1. Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan has been elected as first female house speaker by Vietnam’s National Assembly (NA).

She was sworn in as speaker after getting elected for the post with 472 (95.5%) yes votes in her favour out of 481 valid ballots at the ongoing 11th session of the 13th NA.

She was also elected as the Chairperson of the National Election Council of the Vietnam with 467 yes votes in her favour out of 477 valid ballots.

 

2. Tran Dai Quang has sworn in as the ninth President of Vietnam after he was elected by country’s National Assembly.

 

He succeeds Truong Tan Sang and shall have term of five years.

He also served as Minister of Public Security of the country from 2011 to 2016.

 

3. Mehbooba Mufti Sayeed took oath as the first woman Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, bringing to an end the three-month Governor’s Rule in the state.

 

She was administered oath to the office by Governor NN Vohra at Raj Bhawan in the winter capital city of Jammu.

She succeeds her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in the role who had died in January 2016.

She is also second Muslim woman to become the Chief Minister of a state in India after Syeda Anwara Taimur who had served as the first Muslim woman CM of Assam from 1980 to 1981.

 

4. Iceland ruling coalition Government has named Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson as the new Prime Minister after igmundur Gunnlaugsson had stepped down.

 

Prior to this, he was Agriculture and Fisheries Minister (since 2013) and deputy leader of the Progressive Party of the Ireland.

Earlier from May 2013 to December 2014 he also had served as Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources.

 

5. Hashim Thaci has sworn in as the President of Kosovo after he was elected by the parliament in March 2016.

 

He succeeds Atifete Jahjaga.

He becomes fourth President of Kosovo after the European country had unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008.

He also served as Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister in the Government led by Isa Mustafa.

 

6. The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) has appointed CP Gurnani as its Chairman for 2016-17 and Raman Roy as vice chairman for the period.

 

Currently, Gurnani is Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Tech Mahindra.

He is a chemical engineer from the National Institute of Technology, Rourkela.

 

7. Justice (retd) Permod Kohli appointed as the Chairman of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT).

 

Kohli succeeded Justice Syed Rafat Alam and will be in the office for a period of 5 years or till attaining the age of 68 years, whichever is earlier.

He became Advocate General of Jammu & Kashmir in December 1990.

He is an expert in Constitutional, Civil and Taxation cases.

 

8. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk announced his resignation in the wake of a months-long political crisis.

 

His resignation was approved by the President Petro Poroshenko and has selected Parliament speaker Volodymyr Groysman to assume the Prime Minister post.

Mr. Yatsenyuk had entered in office since former pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted in February 2014 during the Crimean crisis.

 

9. The Constitutional Council of Nepal has selected Justice Sushila Karki for the post of Chief Justice (CJ) of the Supreme Court of the country.

 

With this selection she will become 26th chief justice of the apex court and the first female CJ in Nepal’s history.

Her nomination is expected to be confirmed by a Parliamentary Hearings Committee which endorses the recommendation.

 

10. US President Barack Obama has nominated MasterCard’s Indian-American CEO Ajay Banga as a member of the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity.

 

Mr. Banga is one of the 10 members of the Commission which also includes General Keith Alexander former Director of the top US spying body National Security Agency (NSA).

The commission was established in February 2016 to make detailed recommendations to strengthen cybersecurity in both the public and private sectors while protecting privacy, ensuring public safety and economic and national security.

 

11. The Union Government has appointed Susmita Pande as the new chairperson of the National Monument Authority (NMA).

 

She will succeed Himanshu Prabha Ray succeed Himanshu Prabha Ray and shall fill the post which was lying vacant for five months after demission of Ray from office.

She is professor a professor at Ujjain’s Vikram University. At the time of her appointment, she was the head of the School of Studies in Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology in Vikram University of Madhya Pradesh.

 

12. Senior IPS officer Deepak Mishra has been appointed as Additional Director General in the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

 

His appointment was cleared by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

He will have tenure till November 2018 with effect from the date of assumption of charge of the post.

Deepak Mishra is IPS officer of the 1984 batch of the Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre.

 

13. Indian-American Geeta Pasi has been nimated as the country’s next envoy to central African nation Chad, by United States (US) President Barack Obama.

 

Ms. Pasi is a career member of the US Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counsellor.

She had served as the United States Ambassador to Djibouti from 2011 to 2014.

At present, she is the Director of the Office of Career Development and Assignments in the Bureau of Human Resources at the Department of State.

 

14. Rahul Johri has been appointed as the first Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

 

Mr. Johri will report to the BCCI secretary and shall be given freedom to work independently in BCCI’s set-up that was traditionally controlled by honorary office-bearers.

In his new role he will be responsible for the smooth functioning of operations, stakeholder management of BCCI and building robust strategies for further promoting the sport of cricket.

 

15. Chad’s incumbent President, Idriss Deby has won a fifth term in office in a lopsided first-round victory.

 

In the 2016 election, Idriss Deby of Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS) party secured the 61.56% of the vote in the first-round runoff.

Opposition leader Saleh Kebzabo finished at second position with 12.80% of the vote followed by Laokein Kourayo Mbaiherem with 10.60%.

 

16. Indian Information Service (IIS) officer Bhupendra Kainthola has been appointed as Director of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII).

 

Kainthola will replace Prashant Pathrabe and shall have tenure of three years. He is a 1989 batch IIS officer.

Prior to this appointment he was serving as Director (News Room) with DD News since January 2015.

He was responsible for ‘management of news operations and output’.

 

17. Congo’s President Denis Sassou Nguesso has appointed Mouamba Clement as the new Prime Minister of the central African country.

 

With this appointment, Clement will be responsible for forming a new government in accordance with the 2015 constitution in consultation with the President.

 

18. The Tibetan government-in-exile has re-elected Lobsang Sangey as the Prime Minister for a second consecutive term.

 

The election result was announced by the Tibetan election officials in the northern Indian town of Dharmsala which is the headquarters of the government-in-exile.

 

19. The former UN climate change panel (IPCC) chief, Dr. Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, has been removed from his post as head of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in Delhi.

 

The move came days after a court allowed Pachauri to return to his office while facing sexual harassment allegations.

TERI’s governing council announced that Pachauri was being replaced as its director general by Ajay Mathur, a former World Bank official and one of the members of the Prime Minister’s council on climate change.

 

20. IT major Mindtree co-founder, Subroto Bagchi has been appointed as head of the Odisha Skill Development Authority.

 

He would report directly to the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and has been given the rank of cabinet minister with a token monthly salary of Re 1.

Odisha Skill Development Authority aims to unify the initiatives on the ground and create momentum for unemployed youth to receive skill-based training to make them employable in the state.

 

Economics & Banking GK:

 

1. DCB Bank has launched an India’s first of its kind Aadhaar-based Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) usage facility.

 

At present, this ATM has been placed in pilot site at DCB Bank at Peninsula Business Park, Lower Parel (Mumbai).

Under this facility, DCB customers can transact using his biometric details instead of the PIN. Thus it is a card less and PIN less ATM.

 

2. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cut down repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.5 per cent from 6.75 per cent, with immediate effect.

 

Repo Rate is the rate at which RBI lends to the financial system. It was announced in the first bi-monthly monetary policy review of the RBI for the 2016-17 fiscal.

RBI has reduced the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) by 25 basis points from 6.75 per cent to 6.5 per cent.

The RBI also introduced number of measures to smoothen liquidity supply so that banks can lend to the productive sectors.

 

3. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has given its in-principle approval to Bharti Airtel’s payments bank venture – Airtel M Commerce Services Ltd (AMCS).

 

With this AMCS has become the first entity to receive final approval from the RBI to start a payments bank.

Airtel M Commerce is a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel, a telecom company.

 

4. The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has launched “Unified Payments Interface (UPI)” to revolutionise mobile payment system in the country.

 

It was launched by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan. 29 banks have agreed to join the platform.

UPI seeks to provide uniform mobile payment system by leveraging digital trends such as increasing smart phone adoption and deeper penetration of mobile data.

 

5. The Union Government has leased a commemorative coin of 200 rupees and a circulation coin of 10 rupees on freedom fighter Tatya Tope.

 

It was released by the Union Culture Minister Dr. Mahesh on the occasion of the Martyrdom Day of Tatya Tope in New Delhi.

The Union Ministry of Culture has been celebrating the 200th Birth Anniversary of Tatya Tope during 2015-16 in association with State Government of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.

 

6. The RBL Bank (formerly Ratnakar Bank) became the first private sector bank in India to open dedicated branch for startups.

 

The dedicated branch was inaugurated at Koramangala, Bengaluru by Nandan Nilekani, noted entrepreneur and former chairman of UIDAI.

The RBL Bank is a scheduled commercial bank headquartered in the Kolhapur, Maharashtra.

 

7. The US Trade Representative’s annual Special 301 report has placed India on the Priority Watch List.

 

The report identified many measures taken by the government as encouraging in terms of providing a better IP protection regime, but raised multiple concerns, particularly related to the potential erosion in IP standards due to its push for promoting domestic manufacturing.

The report comes amid lingering disagreements between the two countries on many trade issues, in the context of India’s efforts to promote local manufacture.

 

8. The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has entered into collaboration with German Government for a special programme on ‘Soil Protection and Rehabilitation for Food Security’.

 

The program is part of the German government’s recently introduced special initiative ‘One World, No Hunger’ initiative.

As part of the collaboration NABARD is anchoring two programmes viz. Soil conservation and rehabilitation of degraded land programin Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Innovation of watershed development and climate change adaptation programs in five states Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.

 

Bills – New & Amendments:

 

1. Bihar Government has banned the sale of country-made liquor and spiced liquor throughout the state in the first phase.

Person found indulging in manufacturing trade, transportation, sale and consumption of country-made and spiced liquor across the state will be punished under the stringent provisions of the Bihar Excise (Amendment) Act, 2016.

The Act has various stringent provisions including awarding ‘capital punishment’ for those who man.

 

2. The Haryana Legislative Assembly has passed two bills to make minimum educational qualification criteria mandatory for the urban local bodies’ election (ULBs).

 These bills are: (i) The Haryana Municipal (Amendment) Bill, 2016 & (ii) Haryana Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

 These bills seeks to amend the Section 13 A of the Haryana Municipal Act, 1973 and Section 8 of the Haryana Municipal Corporation Act, 1994 respectively.

 

3. French lawmakers on 6 April 2016 passed a bill that makes it illegal to pay for sex and imposes fines of up to 3750 Euro (4270 dollar) on sex workers’ clients.

The bill was passed by 64 votes to 12 but many French MPs chose to abstain from the vote.

 

Features of the bill

People who pay for sex can be fined 1500 Euro (1700 dollar) for a first offence, rising to 3750 Euro (4270 dollar) thereafter.

A second offence would also be put on a criminal record and offenders would need to attend classes highlighting the danger of prostitution.

It reverses the legislation passed by Nicolas Sarkozy’s administration in 2003 that placed the legal burden on sex workers, rather than those seeking to buy.

It also requires offenders to take a course to learn about the conditions faced by sex workers.

The bill also calls for measures to help sex workers find other jobs.

 

4. The Maharashtra legislature has unanimously passed the Maharashtra Prohibition of People from Social Boycott (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Bill, 2016.

 

This is to end the menace social boycott practiced by extra-judicial institutions like caste and community panchayats.

With this Maharashtra became first state in the country to adopt a comprehensive law to root out oppression carried out by parallel justice delivery system (kangaroo court) in the name of age old traditions, caste and religion.

 

5. The Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment on 14 April 2016 notified the Scheduled Castes (SC) and the Scheduled Tribes (ST) (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Rules, 2016.

 

The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 was amended by Parliament in 2016.

These rules will speed up the process of dispensation of justice to victims of atrocities.

 

6. The Lok Sabha passed the Regional Centre for Biotechnology Bill, 2016 to provide statutory status to the existing Regional Centre for Biotechnology in Faridabad, Haryana.

 

The Bill seeks to provide legislative backing to the Regional Centre and also confers upon it the status of an institution of national importance.

Objectives of the Bills are: -

Disseminate knowledge by providing teaching and research facilities in biotechnology and related fields.

 Create a hub of biotechnology expertise.

Facilitate transfer of technology and knowledge in the SAARC region and generally Asia.

Promote cooperation at the international level.

 

7. The Parliament has passed the Sikh Gurdwaras (Amendment) Bill, 2016 to remove given to Sahjdhari Sikhs to vote in the elections to members of the Board and the Committees.

 

The amendment bill first was passed in the Rajya Sabha in March 2016 and later in the Lok Sabha in April 2016.

Under the 1925 Act, every Sikh who is above 21 years of age and is registered as a voter is entitled to vote in the SGPC elections.

 

8. Parliament passed Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2016 to include certain communities in the list of Scheduled Castes (SC) from 4 states.

 

The bill seeks to amend Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 to include certain communities from Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Kerala and West Bengal in the list.

It also has provisions for exclusion of certain communities from Odisha and removal of area restriction in respect of certain communities.

 

9. The Parliament has passed the Industries (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015.

 

The Bill amends the Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951. It was first was passed in Lok Sabha in December 2015 and later in Rajya Sabha in April 2016.

Now it will go for Presidential assent as per Article 111 of the Indian Constitution.

The bill seeks to bring industries engaged in the manufacture of potable alcohol under the exclusive control of States in all respects.

 

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU):

 

1. A memorandum of understanding has been signed between India & United States for setting up Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) in India.

LIGO is a large-scale physics experiment and observatory to detect gravitational waves.

The MoU was signed in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington.

As part of the agreement, the scientists of DAE, DST and NSF will form a Joint Oversight Group (JOG) for better coordination of the project.

 

2. India and Saudi Arabia have singed five agreements to boost the bilateral cooperation between the two nations.

 

The agreements were signed during the two day official visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Saudi Arabia in Riyadh.

These five agreements are:

Agreement on Labour Co-operation

Technical Cooperation Program

Executive Program for Cooperation in the Field of Handicrafts

MoU in the Exchange of Intelligence related to Money Laundering, Terrorism Financing and Related Crimes

Framework for Investment Promotion Cooperation

 

3. The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval to Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Sweden on Technical Cooperation in the Railway Sector.

 

It was signed between both countries on 15th February, 2016.

These MoUs provide a platform for Indian Railways to interact and share the latest developments and knowledge in the railway sector.

 

4. Twenty-five Ministries and Departments of the Union Government on 31 March 2016 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on IMPacting Research INnovation and Technology (IMPRINT) initiative.

 

The MoU is aimed at avoiding duplication of efforts of various Ministries and Departments under the IMPRINT initiative.

It is multi-disciplinary, multi-partner and multi-goal oriented national programme aimed at technology development covering all engineering disciplines, steered by all IITs and IISc.

 

5. Sri Lankan Government has formally announced the resumption of work on the stalled Chinese Colombo Port City project.

 

The announcement was made in the Joint Statement by China and Sri Lanka at the conclusion of the official state visit of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to Beijing.

Both sides will use the Chinese initiative to develop a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road to advance infrastructure development in Sri Lanka.

 

6. India and Maldives have signed six agreements in different sectors to boost bilateral relations between both maritime neighbouring countries.

 

These agreements were inked after comprehensive talks between visiting Maldives President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.

The bilateral agreements were signed in the fields of avoidance of double taxation, conservation and restoration of ancient mosque, tourism and defence.

These agreements are:

Agreement for Avoidance of Double Taxation of income derived from International Air Transport.

Agreement for the Exchange of Information with respect to Taxes.

Agreement related to Orbit Frequency Coordination of South Asia Satellite (SAS) proposed at 48oE.

MoU for Cooperation in the area of conservation and restoration of ancient mosques in Maldives.

Action Plan for Defence Cooperation.

 

7. India and United States have agreed to sign Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) to ramp up bilateral defence ties.

 

In this regard, an announcement was made by Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter after delegation-level talks between two sides.

By signing LEMOA, both countries will be able to have access to each other’s logistics support along with refuelling and berthing facilities.

 

8. The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and United Arab Emirates (UAE) on cooperation in preventing and combating of Human Trafficking.

 

The MoU will increase the bilateral cooperation on the issues of prevention, recovery, rescue and repatriation related to human trafficking especially of women and children expeditiously.

The main motive is to strengthen cooperation to prevent all forms of human trafficking, especially that of women and children.

 

9. The Union Cabinet has given its approval for extension of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Bangladesh on cooperation in the field of Fisheries.

 

The MoU was signed in September 2011 to enhance bilateral cooperation in the field of Fisheries and aquaculture and allied activities between two neighbouring countries.

The MoU will remain in force for a period of next five years i.e. 2021 unless either of the parties terminate it.

This MoU can be extended for further period as may be mutually agreed upon.

 

10. India and United States (US) have agreed to enhance collaboration on tackling offshore tax evasion and increase co-operation in sharing of cross-border tax information.

 

Decision in this regard was taken at the 6th US-India Economic and Financial Partnership meeting held in Washington on the sidelines of the annual Spring Meeting of the IMF and the World Bank.

It was co-chaired by the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and US Treasury Secretary Jacob and a joint statement was issued.

 

11. India and South Korea have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation and mutual assistance in development of ports.

 

It was signed by Union Road, Transport and Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari and South Korea Oceans and Fisheries Minister Kim Young Suk in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

The MoU will help both countries to boost maritime relationship as well as encourage and facilitate the development of ports, port related industry.

 

12. India, Afghanistan and Iran have finalized draft of the Chabahar Trilateral Agreement on Transport and Transit Corridors.

 

The text of the draft was finalized at the second technical meeting of experts from the three countries in New Delhi.

The agreement will be signed after completing necessary internal procedures in the three countries.

 

13. The Ceasefire between the Centre and the NSCN-IM (National Socialist Council of Nagaland- Isak Muivah) has been extended till April 2017.

 

The ceasefire agreement was signed between the Union Government and GPRN/NSCN, one of the strongest factions of Nagaland.

The motive behind the extension is to boost to the Naga peace process and bring long lasting peace in Nagaland.

 

14. India and Mauritius have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote cooperation in traditional medicine and homeopathy.

 

The MoU envisages supply of traditional medicinal substances, exchange of experts, joint R&D and recognition of the traditional systems of health and medicine in both countries.

It also aims at promotion and popularisation of the various Indian traditional systems which fall under AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa Rigpa & Homoeopathy).

 

15. The Union Cabinet has given its approval to Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Bhutan on Technical Cooperation in the field of benchmarking, capacity building and bilateral exchange in Infrastructure Engineering.

 

Decision in this regard was taken by the Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.

The MoU aims at taking forward India-Bhutan friendship treaty and provide an umbrella for scientific, educational and technical research and environment protection.

 

16. The Union Cabinet has given its approval for expansion of India-Chile Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between both countries.

 

Decision in this regard was taken by the Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.

Under the expanded PTA, India has offered concessions to Chile on 1031 tariff lines at 8-digit level with Margin of Preference (MoP) ranging from 10 to 100%.

 

17. China and Pakistan have signed an agreement for the launch of a special satellite to monitor the development of the multi-billion dollars China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects.

 

In this regard, both countries have decided for development and launch of the Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite (PRSS-1) System and launch a satellite in June 2018.

This agreement will also transfer space technology to Pakistan as the PRSS-1 is considered as yet another flagship project between China-Pakistan after CPEC.

It would also help Pakistan in its national security arena by strengthening surveillance apparatus and border security.

 

18. The Union Cabinet has given its approval to Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Papua New Guinea on cooperation in the field of Healthcare and Medical Science.

 

Decision in this regard was taken by Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.

The bilateral MoU will encourage cooperation between the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare of India and Ministry of Health and HIV/AIDS of the Papua New Guinea.

 

19. The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) and the Insurance Authority of United Arab Emirates.

 

Decision was taken by the Union Cabinet meeting chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.

The MoU provides for Enhanced cooperation between the two authorities in the field of insurance supervision.

 

20. India and Papua New Guinea have signed four Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) in various sectors to boost bilateral cooperation.

 

The MoUs were signed in the presence of the visiting President Pranab Mukherjee and the Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’ Neil in Port Moresby, capital of Papua New Guinea.

India will provide a Line of Credit of 100 million dollars for specific projects in Transport and infrastructure sectors.

 

Science & Technology:

 

1. The Union Government has launched the Startup India portal http://startupindia.gov.in and mobile application.

It was launched by the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) Ramesh Abhishek in New Delhi as an integral component of the Action Plan of the Startup India.

It will provide up-to- date information issued by various Government ministries/ departments.

 

2. Researchers from the Purdue University in Indiana in United States have achieved a breakthrough by revealing the first 3D map of the Zika virus structure.

It is considered as one of the major breakthrough in the battle against the mosquito-borne Zika virus. Study in this regard was published in the journal Science.

It will help to compare structure of the virus to its related viruses such as dengue and West Nile virus which it does have some similarities.

 

3. Union Government has released Indian Intellectual Property (IP) Panorama to increase awareness and build sensitivity towards IP in the SME sector, academia and researchers.

 The IP Panorama is a single window interface for information on IP and guidance on leveraging it for competitive advantage.

 It can be accessed at http://ict-ipr.in/index.php/ip-panorama

 

4. Indian scientists have developed an eco-friendly biopolymer using nanotechnology for water-softening and water purification applications.

 

It was developed by the team of scientists from Guwahati (Assam) based Institute of Advance Study in Science & Technology (IASST).

This eco-friendly biodegradable biopolymer can be used in civic water treatment plants for generating potable water.

It will help reducing dependency on conventional water-softening techniques that uses synthetic resins as they do not have very effective water-softening methods and produced very crude treated water.

 

5. Scientists have discovered a rare triple-star system named KELT-4Ab with a gas giant planet similar in size to Jupiter.

 

It was discovered by the researchers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics in the United States.

The research was published in The Astronomical Journal.

In KELT-4Ab triple-star system, the main star named KELT-A is brighter than the other stars that serve as suns for their planets.

 

6. Public Sector Power equipment manufacturer Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has commissioned a seasonwise tiltable canal top solar PV plant at Bhimavaram, Andhra Pradesh.

 

It is the first canal top project in Andhra Pradesh and also of its kind project to be executed by BHEL.

The project has been developed by New and Renewable Energy Development Corporation of Andhra Pradesh Ltd (NREDCAP).

 

7. Researchers have developed the world’s smallest nanoscale diode or molecular rectifier that could impact the development of molecular electronic devices in future.

 

The breakthrough was achieved by the researchers from the University of Georgia and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU).

It has size of single molecule and facilitates electronic current flow in one direction.

 

8. The astronomers at National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) discovered a supermassive Black Hole which weighs about 17 billion times the mass of Sun.

 

It was discovered in the center of a galaxy in a sparsely populated area of the universe and it may indicate that these monster objects may be more common than once thought.

The newly discovered supersized black hole resides in the center of a massive elliptical galaxy, NGC 1600, located in a cosmic backwater, a small grouping of 20 or so galaxies.

 

9. Private SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket contracted by NASA has successfully launched the first inflatable habitat room that will attach to the International Space Station (ISS).

Key facts

The inflatable room has been named as Bigelow Expandable Actitvity Module (BEAM) and has been built by Nevada Company Bigelow Aerospace.

It will be attached to the ISS for a two-year test and is the first such habitat to hold humans in orbit.

It is made up of aluminum and soft fabric. It expands in space and is light weight and also takes minimal space. It creates place for astronauts to live and work.

Its test is intended to pave the way towards the use of such rooms for long space trips, including to Mars and this technology could also help to create homes on Mars.

 

10. NASA’s Kepler spacecraft has gone into emergency mode (EM) some 75 million miles from Earth.

 

The lowest operational mode EM of the spacecraft was discovered during a scheduled contact for undertaking microlensing observing campaign.

Initial indications shows that Kepler had entered EM before mission operations began the manoeuvre to orient the spacecraft to point towards the centre of the Milky Way.

 

11. Chinese researchers have developed Graphene based all-weather solar cell that can generate electricity even during rains.

 

The new approach for making an all-weather solar cell by using the ‘wonder material’ graphene was developed by the team of researchers from the Ocean University of China and Yunnan Normal University.

The new all-weather solar cell is made up of highly efficient dye-sensitised solar cell coated with a very thin film of graphene.

 

12. Indigenously developed surface-to-air supersonic Akash missile System was successfully test fired from complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipuri in Odisha.

 

Akash is a mid-range surface-to-air missile (SAM). It is medium range nuclear capable supersonic missile.

Two rounds of Akash missiles were fired against Pilot less target aircraft (PTA) Lakshya, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Banshee and Para-barrel.

It successfully destroyed the targets coordinated by the user, demonstrating its ‘killing’ efficiency.

 

13. Nuclear capable submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLMB) code named K-4, was successfully test fired from an undisclosed location in the Bay of Bengal.

 

It was conducted by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) along with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) which provided all logistics.

The missile was fired from 20-meter deep from onboard silos of the Ship Submersible Ballistic, Nuclear (SSBN) submarine.

During the test it successfully hit with high accuracy after covering more than 700 km distance.

 

14. The search engine giant Google has extended free internet service through WiFi to 10 railway stations across the country to provide internet to over 1.5 million people.

 

The free internet service was extended as part of Google’s tie up with Railtel, the internet provider arm of Indian Railways.

These 10 Railway Stations are: Pune, Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Raipur, Ranchi, Vijayawada, Kacheguda (Hyderabad), Ernakulum Jn (Kochi) and Vishakhapatnam.

 

15. Supercomputer Param Kanchenjunga was unveiled at the National Institute of Technology (NIT) Sikkim.

 

It has been named after Kangchenjunga Mountain, the third highest mountain in the world which lies partly in Nepal and partly in Sikkim.

It was formally unveiled by Sikkim Governor Shrinvas Patil at the NIT Sikkim campus at Ravangla in South Sikkim District.

 

16. Scientists from Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) have indigenously developed world’s lightest synthetic material called ‘silica aerogel’ or ‘blue air’.

 

It was developed by the team of scientist from ISRO’s e Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram.

Silica Aerogel is the lightest synthetic material ever made by man.

 

17. The Union Commerce and Industry Ministry has launched a new service Twitter Seva to address issues and grievances of startups, exporters and importers, and other stakeholders.

 

An institutionalized mechanism with a special Twitter cell has been created in the Ministry which is manned by a set of dedicated officers of the Ministry.

Twitter Seva will address various queries of startups in a time-bound manner.

 

18. Japan successfully tested the maiden flight of its first domestically developed single-pilot stealth fighter jet X-2.

 

With this Japan becomes fourth country in the world to have indigenous full-size stealth combat aircraft.

Other three countries viz. United States, Russia and China have successfully developed and flown manned stealth jets.

 

19. Union Tourism Ministry has launched National Monuments Authority Web Portal called NOC Online Application and Processing System (NOAPS).

 

The web portal will provide single window clearance for applicants to get no-objection certificates (NoC) within six working days for construction-related works near the 3,686 protected monuments in the country.

Under the present rules, hundred meters area around the monument is a prohibited zone.

 

20. The Union Government has made mandatory for mobile manufacturers to add in-built panic button and global positioning system (GPS) in all phones from January 1, 2017 and 2018 respectively.

 

In this regard, Department of Telecommunications has notified the Panic Button and Global Positioning System in Mobile Phone Handsets Rules, 2016 under section 10 of the Indian Wireless Telegraph Act, 1933.

Initially from January 1, 2017 all phones will have the facility of panic button that lets users instantly alert the emergency services.

 

21. Russia successfully launched the first rocket from its new space facility after a last-minute delay the day before.

 

The Soyuz 2.1a booster blasted off from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Russian Far East in the early hours Moscow time.

The three satellites the rocket was carrying orbited several hours later.

 

22. ISRO’s PSLV-C33, carrying India’s seventh navigation satellite IRNSS-1G, blasted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota at 12.50 p.m.on Thursday.

 

The satellite was successfully placed in sub-Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit.

IRNSS (Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System) will be to the subcontinent what the GPS is to its users worldwide, but with far greater precision and in Indian control, according to the Indian Space Research Organization.

It is expected to provide position accuracy of better than 20 m over Indian region and also an area extending up to 1,500 sq. km around India.

 

23. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has successfully launched India’s 7th navigation satellite IRNSS 1G of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS).

 

The satellite was launched into a Sub-Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (Sub-GTO) on-board of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C-33 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

IRNSS 1G satellite is last space segment satellites of the IRNSS system.

India joins elite group of selected nations that have their own GPS (Global Positioning System) or navigation system.

 

24. Russia has successfully launched the first rocket from its newly built Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Amur Oblast, in Russian Far East region bordering China.

 

The unmanned Soyuz-2.1a rocket is carrying three satellites as payloads namely Mikhailo Lomonosov (scientific satellite), SamSat-218 (an experimental nanosatellite) and Aist-2D (a civilian distance viewing satellite).

Vostochny Cosmodrome is a Russian spaceport for civilian launches under construction after it was launched in 2012.

On completion in 2018, it will reduce Russia’s dependency on the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

 

25. The Election Commission of India (ECI) has launched an innovative mobile application titled e-voter with comprehensive details about the forthcoming 2016 Assembly polls in Kerala.

 

The app is envisaged for voters’ facilitation for search in electoral roll, information regarding candidates, location of polling station, affidavit filed by them, filing of complaint and so on.

The e-voter app was developed by the state IT Mission. It aims at ensuring great transparency and conduct of free and fair elections.

The app has ‘know your candidate’ option that would provide constituency wise details of candidates.

 

26. Indian Naval Ships (INS) Veer and Nipat were decommissioned at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

 

The decommissioning ceremony of these ships was held in the presence of Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Naval Command.

Both the ships belonged to the 1241 RE class missile vessels.

They had served under 22nd Killer Squadron and have completed 29 and 28 years of commissioned service respectively.

 

27. Chinese researchers have developed world’s first graphene electronic paper that will catapult the material to a new level.

 

It was developed by The Guangzhou OED Technologies in partnership with a company in Chongqing Province of China.

Graphene e-paper is more pliable and has more intensity as compared to traditional e-papers.

It has high-light transmittance means optical displays will be much brighter.

 

Important Dates:

 

1. The World Autism Awareness Day 2016 was celebrated across the world today.

 The 2016 theme for the day is “Autism and the 2030 Agenda: Inclusion and Neurodiversity”.

 World Autism Awareness Day is an internationally recognized day, encouraging Member States of the United Nations to take measures to raise awareness about children with autism throughout the world.

 

2. Every year World Health Day (WHD) is being observed on 7 April to disseminate knowledge and awareness about human health.

 

The day focuses on increasing life expectancy by adding good health to the lives of people and promoting healthier living habits across the globe.

2016 theme for the day is “Beat Diabetes”.

 

3. Every year World Health Day (WHD) is being observed on 7 April to disseminate knowledge and awareness about human health.

 

The day focuses on increasing life expectancy by adding good health to the lives of people and promoting healthier living habits across the globe.

2016 theme for the day is “Beat Diabetes”.

 

4. Every year 12th April is being observed as the International Day of Human Space Flight to commemorate the date of the first human space flight in the history of mankind.

 

On this day in 1961, Yuri Gagarin, a Soviet Union (USSR) cosmonaut undertook first successful first human space flight.

This historic event opened the way for space exploration for the benefit of all humanity.

In Russia and some other former USSR countries, this historic day is celebrated as Cosmonautics Day.

2016 is the 55th anniversary of First Human Space Flight.

 

5. Every year Earth Day is being observed on the 22nd April to build support for environmental protection around the world.

 

This year is 46th anniversary of Earth Day.

It recognizes that Earth and its ecosystems provide its inhabitants with life and sustenance.

It also aims to raise awareness that humans have a collective responsibility to promote harmony with nature and to balance the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations.

2016 Theme for the day was ‘Trees for the Earth!’

The theme signifies that trees are crucial for combating climate change as they absorb harmful levels of Carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere.

 

6. World Malaria Day (WMD) is being observed annually on 25th April across the world to recognize the global efforts to control preventable vector borne disease malaria.

 

2016 Theme: “End Malaria For Good”. It reflects the vision of a malaria-free world set out in the Global technical strategy for malaria 2016-2030.

The strategy was adopted by the World Health Assembly in May 2015.

It aims to dramatically lower the global malaria burden over the next 15 years and is aligned with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals of the strategy are-

 Reduce rate of new malaria cases by at least 90%

 Reduce malaria death rates by at least 90%

 Eliminate malaria in at least 35 countries

 Prevent a resurgence of malaria in all countries that are malaria-free.

 

7. Every year April 24 is being observed as National Panchayati Raj (PR) Diwas across India.

 

Significance of the day: It marks the passing of the Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 that came into force with effect from 24 April 1993.

Significance of Amendment Act: It had led a defining moment in the history of India which helped in decentralization of political power to the grassroots level.

 

8. The World Book and Copyright Day was celebrated on 23 April 2016 across the world.

 

The events on this day are organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), to promote reading, publishing and copyright.

The day was first celebrated on 23 April 1995.

 

9. Every year World Intellectual Property Day (WIPD) is being observed on 26 April to highlight importance of intellectual property rights (patents, trademarks, industrial designs, copyright) in encouraging innovation and creativity.

 

2016 Theme was “Digital Creativity: Culture Reimagined“.

The theme seeks to explore the future of culture in the digital age in order to answer questions how we create it, how we access it, how we finance it related to it.

 

10. 28th April is celebrated World Day for Safety and Health at Work.

 

This year, “Workplace Stress: a collective challenge” is the theme of the campaign of the World Day for Safety and Health at Work.

The report will draw attention to current global trends on work-related stress and its impact.

 

Death:

 

1. Zaha Hadid, renowned Iraqi-born British architect passed away due to heart attack. She was 65.

She was world’s most famous female architect and was known for her neofuturistic design which was her signature architectural style.

She was the first female winner of the top Pritzker Architecture Prize (2004), also known as the Nobel for architecture.

 

2. Veteran journalist and writer Babu Bharadwaj died of cardiac arrest on 30 April 2016 in Kozhikode. He was 68.

 Bharadwaj had been a part of prominent print and television media in Kerala. Kalapangalkkoru Grihapadam, a novel penned by him, won the Kerala Sahitya Akademi award in 2006.

 He had also produced a Malayalam movie named Iniyum Marichittillatha Nammal in 1980. It was directed by Chintha Ravi.

 

3. Cesare Maldini, former AC Milan FC defender and Italy coach passed away. He was 84.

 

He was known for commanding and respected defender with good technique and passing range.

He was also known for his leadership, consistency, and tactical versatility, as well as his discipline and class, both on and off the pitch.

 

4. Gato Barbieri, renowned Latin jazz saxophonist Leandro passed away in New York, US due to pneumonia. He was 83.

 

He had won a Grammy Award for best instrumental composition for his music for Last Tango In Paris in 1973.

He had also won a Latin Grammy lifetime achievement award for his career in 2015.

 

5. Myneni Hari Prasad Rao, former Project Director of Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS) passed away due to old age ailments. He was 88.

 

He was considered the Father or Architect of the MAPS and had served its first project director.

He also served as the Executive Director of the Nuclear Power Board of DAE, Mumbai and as a member of Western, Southern and Northern Indian Regional electricity boards for many years.

He was awarded with Padma Shri (1984), Sanjay Gandhi Award for contribution in Science and Technology (1983).

 

6. Veteran journalist and author Yogendra Bali passed away in New Delhi after a brief illness. He was 86.

 

7. Former Union Minister of state (MoS) Dr C Silvera passed away due stroke in Aizawl District, Mizoram. He was 80.

 

He had served as Union MoS for Ministry of Health and Family Welfare from 17 February 1994 to 15 September 1999.

He was the first and so far the only person from Mizoram to be in the Indian Union Council of Ministers as Minister.

 

8. The co-founder of Hero Cycles group Satyanand Munjal passed away in Ludhiana, Punjab. He was 99.

 

He was popularly known as ‘mahatma’ Satyanand Munjal for being devoted to several social causes related to the Arya Samaj.

He was known for his philanthropic acts such as Bahadur Chand Munjal (BCM) Arya schools, Hero DMC Heart Institute, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH).

 

9. Renowned Malian photographer Malick Sidibe passed away in Bamako, Mali due to diabetics. He was 80.

 

He was known for his black and white studio portraits that captured popular cultural lives of young Malians in the 1960s and 1970s

His photography work was published by the number of publications and was exhibited throughout Europe and in the United States.

 

10. Renowned Hollywood actress Doris Roberts passed away in Los Angeles in her sleep. She was 90.

 

She was best known for playing meddling mother Marie Barone in US sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond (1996–2005).

She had won five Emmy Awards during her acting career. Four of them were for her role in Raymond and the other was for her supporting role on the series St. Elsewhere.

 

11. Pop music superstar Prince Rogers Nelson popularly known as Prince passed away in suburban Minneapolis, United States. He was 57.

 

Prince was widely known for his flamboyant stage presence and wide vocal range.

He was the pioneer of famous song the Minneapolis sound and was renowned as an innovator for his eclectic work.

He had won seven Grammy Awards and earned 30 nominations. He also won an Oscar for the song score “Purple Rain”.

12. Renowned Kerala cartoonist V T Thomas passed away following a brief illness at in Kottayam, Kerala. He was 86.

 

He was popularly known as Toms and had created the legendary cartoon characters Boban and Molly (Bobanum Moliyum).

He found his characters Boban and Molly at the age of 30 from his neighbourhood.

Initially in 1950 the characters appeared in a cartoon column Sathyadeepam weekly.

 

Click here to download GK Monthly Eduwrap for April 2016 in PDF Format

 

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