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National – Across the India:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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).
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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).
9. 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.
10. 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.
International – Across the Globe:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
Awards & Recognition:
1. 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.
2. 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.
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.
Appointments & Resignations:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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%.
5. 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’.
Economics & Banking GK:
1. 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.
2. 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.
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU):
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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).
4. 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.
5. 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%.
6. 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.
Science & Technology:
1. 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.
2. 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.
1. 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.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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”.