GK Eduwrap – Weekly – 6th April 2015 to 11th April 2015

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National

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. 88th Akhil Bhartiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan (All India Marathi Sahitya Sammelan) began in Ghumaan village inGurdaspur district of Punjab. It was inaugurated by Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari along with the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

35. 20th Law Commission headed by Justice (retd) Ajit Prakash Shahsubmitted the Report No 256 titled Eliminating Discrimination against Persons Affected by Leprosy to the Union Ministry of Law and Justice.

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

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

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

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

40. Former Air Chief Marshal of IAF Hrushikesh Moolgavkar

41. Jnanapith awardee Tamil writer Jayakanthan died.

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. China plans to build rail link between Tibet-Nepalthrough Mount Everest.

Economics

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

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

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

4. EPFO suspended 1000 rupees minimum monthly pension scheme.

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

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

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

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

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

Sports

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

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

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

4. Miami Open 2015:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Appointment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. Founder Kunal Shahto become new CEO of FreeCharge.

Awards

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

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

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

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

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

6. 15-year-old Indian-origin student,Pratap Singh from United Kingdom (UK) has won prestigious award Institute of Physics (IOP) Prize. Singh, who is a student at The Perse School, Cambridge received the prize for his experiment to verify an effect of Albert Einstein’s special relativity theory.

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

Technology

Reliance Jio launches messaging, calling app Jio Chat.

Mergers & Acquisition

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. Snapdeal acquired mobile recharge service FreeCharge.

Important Days

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

 

 

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