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National – Across the India:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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).
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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).
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. 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.
16. 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.
International – Across the Globe:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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).
Awards & Recognition:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
Appointments & Resignations:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
Economics & Banking GK:
1. 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.
2. 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.
Bills – New & Amendments:
1. 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.
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU):
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
Science & Technology:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
1. 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.
1. 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.
2. 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).