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National – Across the India:
1. President Pranab Mukherjee has imposed Present’s Rule (State Emergency) in the state of Uttarakhand in the wake of constitutional breakdown under Article 356 of Constitution.
In relation to this, President has signed the proclamation state Emergency based on the recommendation of the Union Cabinet
Article 356 empowers the President to issue a proclamation of Present’s Rule (State Emergency), if he is satisfied that situation has arisen in which government of a state cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. Notably, he can act accordance with the report of the Governor or without it.
2. India’s biggest ever land, naval and homeland security exhibition Defence Expo 2016 began in Goa.
The four-day biennial event was inaugurated by the Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.
This for the first time, the Expo is being held outside the national capital New Delhi.
It is the 9th edition of the series of biennial land, naval and internal homeland security systems exhibitions.
The 2016 theme is “Rise of Futurism” and its vision is to make India prosperous by establishing world class science and technology base in defence sector.
3. The Environment Ministry notified Construction & Demolition Waste Management Rules, 2016 for the first time.
The rules were notified to effectively tackle the issues of pollution and waste management.
The basis of these rules is to recover, recycle and reuse the waste generated through construction and demolition.
4. Haryana became the first state in the country to implement the use of injectable contraceptives as a family planning measure.
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has launched ‘Project Salamati’ in assistance of Pathfinder International.
Under the Project Salamati, injectable contraceptives would be available free of cost at all primary health centres, community health centres, sub divisional and district hospitals.
5. India’s first indigenous composites sonar dome, a ship’s underwater eyes and ears, was flagged off by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.
The sonar dome was dedicated to the nation and will be delivered to Mazgaon Docks, Mumbai for use in the warships of Indian Navy.
The sonar dome is dsigned and produced by a Defence and Research Development Organisation’s (DRDO’s) Research and Development Establishment (Engineers) lab based in Pune.
6. 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.
7. 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.
International – Across the Globe:
1. Syrian Army and popular defence forces have regained control of the ancient city of Palmyra from Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group.
The liberation of the historic city of Palmyra from the ISIS terror group was undertaken by joint efforts of Syrian Army with support of national aviation and Russian Aerospace Forces.
The ancient city of Palmyra is a UNESCO designated World Heritage site and home to some of the world’s most magnificent ancient ruins.
ISIS had taken complete control of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra in May 2015. After the seizure of entire ancient city, they had destroyed many ancient ruins.
2. The Government of Russia approved a deal for ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) to acquire 15 percent stake in Vankor oilfield from Rosneft.
The deal is worth 1.3 billion US dollars. It was signed between the OVL and Rosneft in September 2015.
This deal is in addition to another deal that was signed between the OVL and three other oil companies in March 2016.
3. The 13th edition of India-European Union Summit was held on in Brussels, capital of Belgium.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi represented Indian side in the summit.
The European Union (EU) was represented by President of the European Council, Donald Tusk and President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker.
The 13th summit laid out concrete priority actions for the strategic bilateral partnership in areas like trade and investment, climate, energy, water and migration in the next five years.
4. 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.
1. Sergey Karjakin, Russian grandmaster has won the prestigious FIDE World Chess Candidates Tournament held in Moscow.
In the final Round 14, he defeated American grandmaster Fabiano Caruana scoring 8.5 points.
He will now play with the incumbent world champion, Norwegian Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen, in a match for the world chess crown in November 2016.
He holds the record for the world’s youngest Grandmaster ever after he had qualified for this title at the age of 12 years and 7 months.
2. 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.
Awards & Recognition:
1. Late Capt. Shankar Laxman was posthumously chosen for the 2016 Major Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award.
The award carrying purse of Rs. 30 lakh was accepted by his son Manohar Singh Shekhawat during the 2016 Hockey India Annual Awards held in Bengaluru.
He was one of legendary hockey player in India.
He was a goalkeeper and was part of the Olympic medal-winning teams of 1956 (Melbourne, Gold), 1960 (Rome, Silver), and 1964 (Tokyo, Gold).
2. The 63rd National Film Awards for year 2015 were announced on 28 March 2016.
The National Film Awards are most prominent most prominent film award ceremonies in India, established in the year 1954 and awarded annually.
Best Feature Film- Baahubali: The Beginning (Tamil, Telugu) directed by S. S. Rajamouli.
Best popular film providing wholesome entertainment- Bajrangi Bhaijaan (Hindi) directed by Kabir Khan.
Best Actor- Amitabh Bachchan (Piku).
Best Actress- Kangana Ranaut (Tanu Weds Manu Returns).
Best Direction- Sanjay Leela Bhansali (Bajirao Mastani).
3. P. Susheela Mohan, renowned playback singer entered the Guinness Book of Records for singing 17695 songs in 12 Indian languages in the last week of March 2016.
Asia Book of Records also officially recognized Susheela for singing most number of songs in Indian languages.
Guinness Book of Records officially credited her for singing 17695 songs (solo, duet and chorus backed songs) in twelve Indian languages, Asia Book of Records recognized her for singing 17330 songs.
P. Susheela Mohan is associated with the South Indian cinema for over six decades.
She was the first playback singer to receive the first National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer in 1969.
She was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in January 2008.
4. 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.
Appointments & Resignations:
1. Surya Deva, an India-born academician has been appointed as the United Nations (UN) Adviser on Human Rights and Businesses.
He was appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) as the Asia-Pacific representative of the UN Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises.
He is an associate professor at the School of Law of City University of Hong Kong.
His research interests lie in Business and Human Rights, India-China Constitutional Law, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainable Development.
2. Indian-American Nandita Bakshi has been appointed the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Bank of the West, a subsidiary unit of French banking giant BNP Paribas.
She will succeed Michael Shepherd who has been appointed as chairman of the BNP Paribas USA, a new holding company for all BNP Paribas subsidiaries in the United States.
She has also served on several executive positions at Washington Mutual in Seattle (Wash), FleetBoston (now Bank of America), First Data Corp, Home Savings of America and Banc One Corp.
Currently she also serves on the board of the Consumer Bankers Association.
She is recipient of a New England News ‘Woman of the Year’ award in 2002.
3. Htin Kyaw was sworn-in President of Myanmar at a joint session of parliament in the capital Nay Pyi Taw.
With this, Aung San Suu Kyi’s close aide Kyaw also became the first elected civilian leader to be the President of the country after 53 years of military rule.
Besides, the military also appointed its own nominees for three key ministries namely defence, home affairs and border affairs.
4. Faustin Archange Touadera took the oath of office as the new President of Central African Republic (CAR).
With this he becomes first elected leader of CAR since Muslim rebels had overthrown the government in early 2013.
His presidency puts an end to a two-year transitional government that came into force in early 2014.
Touadera is well respected former mathematics Professor.
He had served as Prime Minister as former Prime Minister of ex-president Francois Bozize from January 2008 to January 2013.
5. 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.
Bills – New & Amendments:
1. The Union Government has notified the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, benefits and services) Act, 2016.
The Act will provide statutory backing for transfer of subsidies and benefits to eligible people having Aadhaar (UID) number.
Aadhaar Act seeks to provide efficient, transparent and targeted delivery of subsidies, benefits and services to individuals residing in India by assigning them unique identity numbers (UID) or Aadhaar number.
2. The Haryana Legislative Assembly has unanimously passed the Haryana Backward Classes (Reservation in services and admission in educational institutions) Bill, 2016.
The bill seeks to provide reservation in services and admission in educational institutions to persons belonging to backward classes including Jats and five other castes.
It provides to give 10 percent reservation to these castes for class III and class IV posts and 6% in class 1 and class 2 posts.
3. Supreme Court has approved Union Government’s guidelines to protect Good Samaritans, who help road accident victims, from being unnecessarily harassed by police or any other authority.
These guidelines based on the recommendations of K S Radhakrishnan committee, were approved by the SC bench comprising justices V Gopala Gowda and Arun Mishra.
These guidelines will be binding on all states and Union Territories until the Union government enacts a law to this effect.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. Union Minister for Minority Affairs Najma Heptulla launched innovative entrepreneurship and skill development programme of Maulana Azad National Academy for Skills (MANAS) through leading national and international experts in different skill sets.
The innovative Scheme proposes to use leading celebrities who belong to Minority communities in various skill sets as the driving force behind the skill development projects in their respective fields.
It is for the benefit of marginalized sections of minority communities.
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU):
1. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has signed 11 unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs).
CBDT has so far entered into 59 bilateral or unilateral APAs. 50 of these agreements have been signed in the current financial year 2016-17.
The Advance Pricing Agreement (APA) programme was introduced in India by the Finance Act, 2012.
2. 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.
Science & Technology:
1. The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched India’s first indigenous rotavirus vaccine named Rotavac to combat infant mortality due to diarrhoea.
It was launched by Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda as part country’s ambitious Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP).
The Rotavirus vaccine has been developed indigenously under a public-private partnership between the Union Ministry of Science Technology, Union Health Ministry, institutions of the US Government and NGOs in India supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The vaccine is being introduced initially in four States Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh (first to launch it) and Odisha.
2. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is set to script history by launching a record number of 22 satellites in a single mission in May 2016.
These satellites (micro and nano) will be launched using ISRO’s workhorse Polar rocket PSLV C34.
It will be carrying India’s Cartosat 2C along with 21 other satellites from other countries, including US, Canada, Indonesia and Germany as co-passengers.
This launch would be made from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota. Earlier in 2008, ISRO had sent ten satellites into orbit in a single mission.
3. Public Sector Power equipment manufacturer Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has commissioned the second 40 MW hydropower generating unit at the Teesta low dam hydroelectric project (HEP) stage IV in West Bengal.
The hydropower generating unit was successfully installed at the Teesta low dam HEP, a run-of-the-river Greenfield project, located in Darjeeling district of the West Bengal.
Teesta low dam HEP is being set up by National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC).
It is expected to reduce green-house gas (GHGs) emissions and will help in achieving a low carbon development path for the state as well as the nation.
4. China on 30 March 2016 launched its 22nd satellite for its BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS).
The satellite was launched aboard a Long March-3A carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan.
The BeiDou system will be completed in 2020 and will comprise over 30 satellites.
It was the 225th launch of the Long March carrier rocket.
5. Telangana Government has launched M-Wallet, new mobile app to facilitate citizens to get digital copies of documents like driving licence and registration certificate.
It was launched by Telangana IT minister KT Rama Rao and Transport Minister P Mahender Reddy in Hyderabad.
It is first of its kind application to be launched in any state of India.
6. Researchers have discovered Sand-eating tadpole species named Micrixalus herrei in Western Ghats.
The tadpole belongs to the so-called Indian Dancing Frog family, Micrixalidae.
They were discovered from the deep recesses of streambeds in the Western Ghats.
7. Asia’s largest and first of its kind optical telescope Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) was unveiled at Devasthal in Nainital District, Uttrakahnd.
It was remotely activated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Belgian counterpart Charles Michel from Belgium.
It was joint collaborative technological effort between Indian and Belgian scientists.
It will help in the study and exploration of planets, starts, magnetic field and astronomical debris. It will also help research of star structures and magnetic field structures of stars.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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
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.
1. Patty Duke, acclaimed Actor and singer passed away due to Sepsis from a ruptured intestine. She was 69.
She had won Academy award (Oscar) in 1963 at the age of 16 for her portrayal of deaf blind political activist Helen Keller in The Miracle worker.
She had served as president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1985 to 1988.
2. 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.
3. 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.