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National – Across the India
1. The Union Ministry of Textiles has launched PowerTex India, a three-year comprehensive scheme for Power Loom Sector Development.
The scheme aims to boost common infrastructure and modernization of the power loom sector in the country.
It has an outlay of Rs. 487 crores for three years from 2017-18.
2. Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh has inaugurated International Centre for Foot and Mouth Disease (ICFMD) at Argul.
This program will work towards protecting livestock from foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV).
3. The 19th Commonwealth Forestry Conference will be held from 3rd April to 7th April 2017 at the Forest Research Institute (FRI), Dehradun.
It will help in developing effective strategies to counter climate change and other challenges in forests.
4. Himachal Pradesh Public Service Commission (HPPSC) is all set to launch e-Governance Project to start paperless functioning.
The pilot project would focus on providing online services to applicants, conducting online study material, use of cloud technology etc.
5. Karnataka Tourism will host its first-ever Surfing festival between 27th-29th May 2017 at the Sasihithlu Beach in Mangalore.
The state’s tourism ministry is also planning to introduce a set of recreational activities which will include skydiving and motorcycle tourism.
6. Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore has emerged at the top of the NIRF Ratings 2017 that rates Indian higher educational institutes based on their performance.
The second edition of the rankings, compiled by the ministry of human resource development, lists seven Indian Institutes of Technology among the top 10—Madras (2), Bombay (3), Kharagpur (4), Delhi (5), Kanpur (7), Guwahati (8) and Roorkee (9). Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, clinched the sixth and the 10th positions respectively in the ranking.
7. Jammu and Kashmir government imposed a blanket ban on the use of polyethene bags manufactured below fifty (50) microns.
New guidelines and regulations, would facilitate proper recycling of plastic waste, reducing its impact on the ecology.
8. Delhi’s Connaught Place is the world’s 9th most Expensive Office location with annual prime rent of USD 105.71 per sq ft.
With annual prime rent of USD 264.27 per sq ft, Hong Kong (Central) is the world’s most expensive office Market.
9. Thaawarchand Gehlot, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment has inaugurated a National Conference on Autism in New Delhi.
It is being organized by The National Trust for the welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
10. Private carrier Jet Airways passenger can now buy tickets online, using the industry’s latest payment mechanism, Unified Payments Interface (UPI).
With this, Jet Airways becomes the only Indian airline to provide guests with this convenient payment solution.
11. Union Road Minister Nitin Gadkari announced the first expressway project in the northeast region to be developed along the Brahmaputra river in Assam.
These 1,300 km-long express highways are likely to incur an investment of Rs 40,000 crore.
12. Kings XI Punjab players visited a government school in Indore and inaugurated toilets as part of the Swachh Bharat campaign.
South Africa’s David Miller, pacer Varun Aaron and mentor Virender Sehwag were part of the contingent that visited the school.
13. The 2017 National conference on Communicating India was held in New Delhi.
The three main themes of the conference were Telling India’s story to the world, Communicating via Journalism and Dialogue with Diaspora.
14. The Union government has approved setting up Rail Development Authority (RDA) to recommend passenger and freight fares and set service level benchmarks.
The Authority will have an initial corpus of Rs. 50 crore.
15. The Union Cabinet has approved closure of the Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Suraksha Yojana (MGPSY).
The aim of the scheme was to address the security-related issues of the Emigration Check Required (ECR)-category workers.
The scheme was closed because subscription under it was very low and no new subscription was received for more than a year.
16. PM Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of a multi-modal terminal on River Ganga at Sahibganj at the National Waterway-1 from Varanasi to Haldia.
It will have the handling capacity of 2.24 Million Tons Per Annum.
It will contribute to the creation of business and employment opportunities in Jharkhand.
17. The CCEA has approved the extension of the Crime and Criminals Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) project for another year beyond 31st March 2017.
The extension will help in achieving the remaining objectives of the project comprehensively.
18. Union Sports Minister has approved the appointment of two foreign coaches and two support staff for athletics.
They are Dave Smith, Galina P. Bukharina, Dmitry Kislev and Elmira Kisleva who have been made up to 2020 Olympics.
19. Assam government has hosted the Gunotsav program from 4th April to 7th April 2017.
The aim is to ensure quality education for students in government schools and to increase awareness for meaningful education.
20. The sex ratio in Haryana for the first time in the history has touched the 950 mark in March 2017 as announced by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.
The state has improved its skewed sex ratio after the launch of ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ programme by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Haryana.
21. Madhya Pradesh government-run Maharshi Patanjali Sanskrit Sansthan will launch one-year diploma course on Hindu priesthood ‘Purohityam’ from July 2017.
This course will be open for all irrespective of religion, caste, or gender.
The basic qualification needed for enrolling this course is class X.
22. The second National Children’s Film Festival took off on a colorful note in Visakhapatnam.
M Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the festival at VUDA Children’s Arena.
Opening film “Shanu – The Optimist” directed by KNT Sastry and produced by CFSI in 2016, was screened after the inaugural session.
23. Shri Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the first NIMCARE World Health Day Summit 2017, in New Delhi.
The slogan of the first NIMCARE World Health Day Summit is, ‘Unite for a Healthy Mind’.
International – Across the Globe
1. Myanmar became the 7th member of South Asia Sub-Regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) program of Asian Development Bank (ADB).
It was officially made member at the SASEC Finance Ministers’ meeting held in New Delhi.
2. India and six other South Asian countries of SASEC have pledged to improve intra-regional connectivity to boost trade and tourism.
The decision was taken at the Finance ministers of member countries meeting in New Delhi to reshape SASEC.
They also came out with the SASEC Vision for 2025 and adopted operational plan 2016-25.
3. India and the UK have decided to set up a 500-million-pound fund, with both investing 240 million pounds, to finance clean energy projects.
India and the UK will invest 120 million pounds each and the remaining 260 million pound has to come in from private investors.
4. India ranks 9th among 41 countries in Bribery and corrupt practices in businesses.
The list is issued as per the EY Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA) Fraud Survey 2017.
Sports & Athletics
1. India’s Women’s T20I team captain Harmanpreet Kaur has been named Player of the Year by Australia’s Women’s Big Bash League team Sydney Thunder.
Pat Cummins won the Michael Hussey Medal for the Best Men’s Player of the Year award for the Men’s Sydney Thunder franchise.
2. Leander Paes and Adil Shamasdin has won the Men’s Doubles trophy at the Leon Challenger Tour tennis tournament at Leon, Mexico.
They defeated Switzerland’s Luca Margaroli and Caro Zampieri of Brazil by 6-1 6-4 in the title clash.
3. Roger Federer defeated Rafael Nadal by 6-3, 6-4 to win the Miami Open.
Johanna Konta of Great Britain beats Caroline Wozniacki by 6-4, 6-3 in the final of the Miami Open.
4. P V Sindhu has won India Open Badminton Title 2017 by 21-19, 21-16 in New Delhi defeating Carolina Marin of Spain in the finals.
5. Former Guatemalan football chief Brayan Jimenez has been banned from the sport.
The reason for the ban is the offenses which included bribery and corruption
6. The 2017 Indian Premier League is scheduled to start on 5th April 2017 and finish on 21st May 2017.
The opening match and the final will be played at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad.
7. Adam King, a cricketer from New Zealand, has been banned for two years after being found guilty of using performance-enhancing drugs.
King’s two-year ban has been back-dated to start on 1st May 2016.
8. Brianna Lyston (Jamaican female athlete) has won the 200m race in the Caribbean nation.
She completed the race in 23.72 seconds, almost within two seconds of the senior world record set by Florence Griffith-Joyner at the 1988 Olympics.
9. India has been ranked third in a doping violation report published by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for 2015.
According to the report, 117 athletes from India being punished after testing positive for banned substances.
India followed the Russian Federation (176) and Italy (129) in the chart.
10. Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza announced his retirement from T20I cricket.
He led Bangladesh in 27 of his 52 Twenty20 internationals and won nine matches.
11. India’s PV Sindhu became the No.2 ranked woman badminton player in the world according to the latest Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings.
She grabbed the number two position with 75759 points.
12. The Indian football team achieved 101 FIFA ranking in over two decades in the latest list.
India jumped 31 places from its last rank of 132nd in the previous month.
13. The Pakistan Test captain, Misbah-ul-Haq announced his retirement from international cricket after the end of the Test series in West Indies.
However, he will continue to play cricket at the domestic level.
14. Indian boxer K Shyam Kumar has won a gold medal at the Thailand International Tournament in the 49- kilogram category held in Bangkok.
It was Kumar’s second gold medal at the event after he had the first gold medal in the 2015 edition.
15. US-based National Basketball Association (NBA) has launched its first basketball school in India in Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra.
The school was opened as part of a multi-year agreement with India On Track (IOT).
16. The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has granted affiliation to the Boxing Federation of India (BFI).
The BFI now becomes the fully recognized body for Indian boxing.
Awards & Recognition
1. Priyanka Chopra has become the second most beautiful woman in the world according to the poll done by social media network, BuzzNet.
Pop diva Beyonce topped the list.
Model and Victoria’s Secret angel Taylor Hill is at number three followed by Watson, Dakota Johnson and Hillary Clinton at fourth, fifth and sixth position respectively.
2. Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Prize laureate, will address Canada’s parliament on 12th April 2017.
She will also officially receive the honorary Canadian citizenship bestowed upon her in 2014.
3. Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited with inventing the World Wide Web, has been honored with the 2016 Turing Award.
The award is also known as the Nobel Prize for the computing industry.
The award will be presented to Berners-Lee at the ACM’s annual banquet in San Francisco on 24th June 2017.
4. Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli was honoured as the Wisden’s Leading Cricketer in the World for the year 2016.
Ellyse Perry from Australia was named for Wisden Leading Woman Cricketer in the World for 2016.
5. The 64th National Film Awards for the year 2016 were announced. Here are the names of few of the winners.
Best Feature Film: Kasaav (Marathi).
Best Non-Feature Film: Fireflies in the Abyss.
Best Actor: Akshay Kumar (Rustom).
Best Actress: Surabhi Lakshmi (Minnaminungu).
Special Mention: Kadvi Hawa (Hindi), Mukthi Bhavan (Hindi), Majirathi Keki (Assamese), Sonam Kapoor (Neerja).
Best Film on Social Issue: Pink.
6. Prem Bahadur Resmi Magar of Gorkha Rifles was posthumously conferred Kirti Chakra by the president.
President also presented 13 Shaurya Chakras (4 posthumous) and 45 Distinguished Service medals (15 Param Vishisht Seva Medals, 2 Uttam Yudh Seva Medals and 28 Ati Vishisht Seva Medals).
7. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has selected Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai as Messenger of Peace.
With this, she becomes UN’s youngest-ever Messenger of Peace, the highest honor bestowed by the UN on a global citizen.
Books & Authors
1. Goa-based author Luis de Assis Correia has recently released his book Portuguese India and Mughal Relations 1510-1735.
The book is already in controversies as the author has claimed that Jodhabai, Wife of Akbar was, in fact, a Portuguese woman, Dona Maria Mascarenhas.
2. The Entrepreneur’s Guidebook authored by Suresh Bharwani was launched by Union Minister of Power, Piyush Goyal.
It is a self-help book for establishing a credible business and making the profit.
3. Former Union minister and senior Congress Leader M Veerappa Moily presented the first copy of his book ‘The Flaming Tresses of Draupadi’ to President Pranab Mukherjee.
The book Chronicles the epic character of Mahabharata, Draupadi.
Mergers & Acquisitions
1. Canara Bank, a public-sector bank, has embarked upon an ambitious project of upgrading the bandwidth at all its branches to 2 MBPS in partnership with BSNL.
The project was officially inaugurated by Dina Bandhu Mohapatra, Executive Director, Canara Bank in presence of other top executives of the Bank and BSNL.\
Appointments & Resignations
1. An Indian Foreign Service officer, Vipul is expected to become the new Indian consul-general in Dubai.
He will succeed the current consul-general Anurag Bhushan.
Vipul is currently a joint secretary at the office of Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
2. B P Kanungo took over as the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for a period of three years.
Prior to that, he was holding the position of Executive Director of RBI.
Three other Deputy Governors of the Reserve Bank of India are S S Mundra, N S Vishwanathan, and Viral V Acharya.
3. Mahendra Singh Dhoni was named the Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Oil India for a day.
He has been a brand ambassador for the firm since 2011.
4. Prof. David R. Syiemlieh took the oath as Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
Prior to joining UPSC, he was Vice Chancellor, Rajiv Gandhi University, Itanagar.
5. Senior IPS Officer Geeta Johari was appointed as new Director General of Police (DGP) of Gujarat.
With this, she became first woman IPS officer to be appointed as DGP of the state.
She will replace P.P. Pandey, who is acting DGP of the state.
6. Raman Roy has been appointed as the chairman of the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM).
He will replace CP Gurnani (Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Tech Mahindra).
7. The Reserve Bank of India has appointed Malvika Sinha as Executive Director.
She will take over the post from B P Kanungo, who is now Deputy Governor of RBI.
8. Shiva Kirti Singh was appointed as the chairman of the Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) for three years.
He was the former judge of Supreme court.
He will replace Justice Aftab Alam.
9. US President Donald Trump has nominated prominent Indian-American law expert Neomi Rao as Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) (regulatory czar).
She will oversee the US President’s plan to eliminate 75% of federal regulations.
10. US President Donald Trump has nominated Indian-American Vishal Amin as Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator in the Executive Office of the President (IP czar).
He will coordinate US law-enforcement strategy around copyright, patents, and trademarks.
Economics & Banking GK
1. Following the merger of five associate banks and Bhartiya Mahila Bank with the State Bank of India, the bank has now got a new SBI Iogo.
With the merger, SBI will enter the league of Top 50 Global Banks with a balance sheet size of Rs. 41 trillion.
2. Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has set another record in the wind power capacity addition by adding over 5400 MW in 2016-17 against the target of 4000 MW.
The leading states in the wind power capacity addition are Andhra Pradesh 2190 MW, followed by Gujarat 1275 MW and Karnataka 882 MW.
3. Tax evasion of over Rs 5 crore under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime would be a non-bailable offence.
The new regime also empowers police to make an arrest without warrant.
4. State Bank of India has reduced benchmark lending rate by 0.15 per cent to 9.10 per cent.
Base rate or the minimum lending rate of the bank has been reduced from 9.25 per cent to 9.10 per cent effective 1st April 2017.
The bank has also reduced its base rate by 0.05 per cent to 9.25 per cent. Similarly, Benchmark Prime Lending Rate (BPLR) has also been reduced by similar percentage points to 13.85 per cent from 14 per cent.
5. ICICI Bank and Axis Bank sold Rs. 1,800 crore of loans to paper maker Ballarpur Industries to Edelweiss Asset Reconstruction Company.
Axis Bank sold loans of Rs. 1,200 crore and ICICI Bank sold loans of Rs.600 crore.
6. Amazon.in announced the launch of Amazon Classroom to impart online selling skills to new sellers on the marketplace.
It will focus on areas such as order processing, adding products and managing returns that are required to operate a successful online business.
7. The board of the Reserve Bank of India has cleared a proposal to introduce banknotes of Rs 200 denomination.
The process of printing the new Rs 200 notes is likely to begin after June.
8. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced that India’s growth rate will improve to 7.4 per cent during 2017-18.
It will rise further to 7.6 percent in the next fiscal.
9. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced the First monetary policy of the current fiscal year 2017-18.
Repo rate kept unchanged at 6.25%.
Reverse repo rate has been increased to 6%.
Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) and the bank rate have been fixed at 6.50%.
Inflation to average at 4.5 per cent in the first half of the year and 5 per cent in the second half.
10. Micro blogging site Twitter had rolled out Twitter Lite version in India.
It will use up to 70% less data than the standard version and load 30% faster on slow or unreliable networks and take up less space on devices.
11. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to cut the clearance time for National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT).
This move will enhance the efficiency of the NEFT system and add to customer convenience.
12. According to the 2017 Salary Trends Study released by Randstad, FMCG industry has emerged as the highest paying industry in India with annual CTC of Rs 11.3 lakh.
It is followed by Power and the IT sector, where employees earn average annual salaries at Rs. 9.8 lakh and Rs. 9.3 lakh, respectively.
13. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has clarified that the ban on cash transaction in excess of Rs. 2 lakhs will not be applicable to withdrawals from banks and post office savings accounts.
Central Government has banned cash transactions of over 2 lakhs through the Finance Act 2017.
Bills – New & Amendments
1. Iceland’s parliament has presented a bill to make equal payments for men and women.
The new law aims to close a seven percent wage gap between men and women in the island nation.
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
1. India and Malaysia has signed seven MoU during Malaysian Prime Minister Nazib Razak visit to India. Mou’s signed are:
|MoU’s||Objective of MoU signed|
|1.||Air Service Agreement between India and Malaysia|
|2.||Proposed development of a urea and ammonia manufacturing plant in Malaysia.|
|3.||Cooperation in the field of sports through exchange of sportspersons, etc.|
|4.||Signed between Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDII), Ahmedabad, and Malaysian Human Resource Fund.|
|5.||Signed between Association of Indian Universities (AIU) and Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) on mutual recognition of educational qualifications.|
|6.||Signed between the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) and Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT), India, on collaboration in technology development in the field of palm oil.|
|7.||Signed between MIGHT Technology Malaysia and Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board on implementation of a fourth-generation technology park in Andhra Pradesh|
2.Tripura Government has signed two agreements with the Union Ministry of Power to enhance power supply in distribution network.
The agreements will enable State to get the benefits under the Central government scheme.
As per the agreements, State has accepted the provision of UDAY and Transmission Service Agreement of Union Power Ministry to upgrade the existing transmission.
3. The Union Cabinet has approved few MoU’s between India and Bangladesh. They are:
|MoU||Objective to sign MoU|
|1.||Cooperation in the field of Mass Media|
|2.||Audio Visual Co-Production|
|3.||Fairway development on Ashuganj-Zakiganj stretch of Kushiyara river and Sirajganj-Daikhawa stretch of Jamuna river|
|4.||In the field of judicial sector cooperation|
|5.||Passenger cruise services on the coastal and protocol routes|
4. The Union Cabinet has approved the MoU between India and Australia on cooperation in the field of Health and Medicine.
The main areas of cooperation are: Communicable diseases such as Tuberculosis and Malaria. Non-Communicable Diseases and Mental Health etc.
5. The Union Cabinet has approved the signing of the Air Services Agreement (ASA) between India and Georgia.
Its objective is to improve the air connectivity between the two countries.
6. The Union Cabinet has approved MoU between India and France to implement Technical Cooperation Program in civil aviation sector.
Cabinet has also approved collaborative Agreement with French National Research Agency (ANR) for supporting the Belmont Forum Secretariat.
7. United States and China have agreed to pursue a ‘100-day plan’ aimed at reducing the US trade deficit with China.
The decision was taken by US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in their first summit held in Florida, US.
They also agreed to adopt the US-China Comprehensive Dialogue to cover 4 fields that include law enforcement, cyber security and economy.
8. The Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $175 million loan agreement to support construction of high voltage transmission systems.
The aim is to evacuate power generated from new mega solar parks to the interstate grid, and improve reliability of the national grid system.
Science & Technology
1. A team of scientists for the first time have seen indications of a massive planet orbiting a low mass X-Ray binary star system.
The system MXB 1658-298 is an X-Ray binary and a part of the constellation Ophiuchus (serpent bearer).
2. The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved the procurement of a fresh batch of Barak surface-to-surface missiles for naval warships.
This procurement will help to enhance India’s maritime capability.
DAC approved capital acquisition totaling over Rs 860 crore, including for the purchase of Barak missiles.
3. Android has overtaken Windows Microsoft to become internet’s most used Operating system.
Android users represented 37.93 percent of activity on StatCounter’s network versus 37.91 percent for the Microsoft Windows operating system.
Apple’s iOS remains the third most used operating system to access the internet.
4. North Korea has fired a ballistic missile from its east coast into the sea off the Peninsula from Sinpo.
The missile was launched at a high angle and reached an altitude of 189 km and flew about 60 kilometers.
5. Israel Aerospace Industries would supply medium-range surface-to-air missile systems and long-range air and missile defence systems to India.
Israel has signed a USD 2 billion contract with India to supply it with missile defence systems.
6. Scientists from Boston University School of Medicine, US have discovered a protein that could help make vaccinations more effective and provide protection from diseases such as cancer.
They had purified a protein found on the exterior of bacteria – neisseria meningitis and used it as an accessory to provide a better vaccination response.
1. International day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action is observed every year on 4th April.
The day is celebrated to raise awareness about landmines and work towards their eradication.
The theme for 2017 is Needs Driven, People Centred.
2. National Maritime Day of India is observed every year on 5th April.
On this day in 1919, S S Loyalty, the first ship of the Scindia Steam Navigation Company, journeyed to the United Kingdom.
3. International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) was observed across the world on 6th April 2017.
It commemorates the inauguration of the first Olympic games of the modern era, in Athens (Greece) in 1896.
The day recognizes the power of sport in promoting peace and erasing cultural barriers worldwide.
4. The World Health Day is a global health awareness day celebrated every year on 7th April, under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Theme for the year 2017 is Depression: Let’s talk.
Recent Notable Deaths
1. Noted author and filmmaker Ajay Jhankar passed away in a private hospital.
He was the writer of well-known Marathi novel Sarkarnama.
He later produced the Marathi movie with the same name in 1998, which had won many awards.
2. Renowned Hindustani classical vocalist Kishori Amonkar passed away after a brief illness.
She was recognized as one of the foremost singers in the Hindustani tradition and as an innovative exponent of the Jaipur gharana.
Important Abbreviations Used in this Article
|ICFMD||International Centre for Foot and Mouth Disease|
|FRI||Forest Research Institute|
|HPPSC||Himachal Pradesh Public Service Commission|
|MGPSY||Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Suraksha Yojana|
|CCTNS||Crime and Criminals Tracking Network and Systems|
|SASEC||South Asia Sub-Regional Economic Cooperation|
|UPSC||Union Public Service Commission|
|NASSCOM||National Association of Software and Services Companies|
|TDSAT||Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal|
|OIRA||Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs|
|NEFT||National Electronic Funds Transfer|
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