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Last Modified:30-04-2016

April 2016 – Current Affairs and Quiz

30 April 2016 Current Affairs

  • SC Approves Holding of MBBS, BDS Entrance Through NEET

    Supreme Court has approved holding a single common entrance test National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to MBBS and BDS courses for the academic year 2016-17. The SC bench comprising Justices A R Dave, Shiva Kirti Singh and A K Goel gave nod to the NEET proposal put before it by the Union Government, CBSE and the Medical Medical Council of India (MCI).The proposal had requested for treating All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT) fixed for May 1, 2016 as NEET-1. The SC order would imply that all government medical colleges, deemed universities and private medical colleges will be covered under the NEET. Those examinations which have already taken place or slated to be conducted separately stands scrapped. The apex court order also revives the Union Government’s Decemeber 21, 2010 notification for holding single common entrance test through NEET with a clarification that any challenge on the issue would directly come before it and no High Court can interfere in it.  

    BlackBerry Launches BBM Money Transfer Service In India

    BlackBerry is having a hard time staying up with the current trends in Android and iOS. Some large technology biggies like Facebook and WhatsApp have decided to end their support to the dying operating system and we could hear similar news in the coming months. BlackBerry has now launched BBM Money, a payment solution, in partnership with Digitsecure, a payments platforms to cater to the BBM users in India. HotRemit is a product of Digitsecure, which does the work of a mobile wallet, which has been used to create the BBM Money service. BBM Money application can be downloaded from BlackBerry world, and allows users to send money to one another through BBM app. The transfers are instant and secure, however restricted to BlackBerry Messenger only.Facebook is the only other service in India that allows transfer of money through a messenger application. This makes BBM Money very exclusive, although limited to just one service, which itself is not a dominant one, unlike Facebook.

    Reliance Defence Inks Strategic Partnership Pact With 3 Ukrainian State Firms

    Reliance Infra-led Reliance Defence Ltd has signed a strategic partnership agreement with 3 Ukrainian state firms to collaborate on a range of military products. These three Ukrainian state-owned firms are Ukroboronprom, Spetstechno Exports and Antonov. The strategic collaboration will be for range of military products including transport aircraft, armoured vehicles, maritime gas turbines and unmanned aerial vehicles.  Under the agreement with Antonov, both companies will jointly bid for the medium military transport aircraft programme of the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).  In addition they will also collaborate for assembly, manufacture and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of Antonov series of aircraft.  This collaboration will mainly address the requirements of the Indian market and also the agreed global markets.  Cooperation between Reliance Defence and Spetstechno Exports will focus on upgrade programs for the BMP 2 and Armoured Vehicles, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Marine Gas Turbines for the Indian Navy Frigate program in India Reliance Defence is a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Infrastructure led by Anil Ambani. Antonov is globally known as the manufacturer of the largest transport aircraft in the world. Currently, the Indian Air Force (IAF) operates more than 100 AN-32 aircraft, which forms the backbone of its transport fleet.  

    Mindtree Co-Founder Subroto Bagchi To Head Odisha Skill Development Authority

    IT major Mindtree co-founder Subroto Bagchi has been appointed as head of the Odisha Skill Development Authority. He would report directly to the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and has been given the rank of cabinet minister with a token monthly salary of Re 1. Bagchi was born in Patnagarh block of backward Bolangir district of Odisha. Aims  : Odisha Skill Development Authority Aims to unify the initiatives on the ground and create momentum for unemployed youth to receive skill-based training to make them employable in the state.  Functions : It will be overseeing skill development programmes in the state. It will also guide state government to implement and oversee all skill development programmes in the state.  Earlier in January 2016, Odisha Government had roped Sam Pitroda as its technology adviser for development of telecom, electronics, IT, ITES sectors.

    Endangered Asiatic Wild Dogs Spotted In China Nature Reserve

    Endangered asiatic wild dogs were in news in the last week of April 2016 as the nature reserve in northwest China's Gansu Province has declared it had spotted Nine dholes, or Asiatic wild dogs. These animals are rarely seen in the inland province. The movement of the animals were photographed with the infrared cameras in Yanchiwan National Nature Reserve on the north margin of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.Researchers also found various traces of the wild dog, such as footprints and droppings.The photographs and evidence found will prove to be important material for the research and protection of the species since not much is known about dholes that live across the plateau regions. Dholes are highly social animals that live in central, south and southeast Asia.The species lives mainly in south China's mountains and hills are under second-class state protection. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) also included the animal on the Red List of Threatened Species.

    NABARD Partners Germany For Food Security Initiative

    National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) in April 2016 entered into collaboration with German government for a special programme on 'Soil Protection and Rehabilitation for Food Security'. The programme is part of the German government's recently introduced special initiative 'One World, No Hunger' initiative. India is the only country in Asia chosen for this initiative. As part of the collaboration, NABARD is anchoring two major programmes — soil conservation and rehabilitation of degraded land programme in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. It is also conducting innovation of watershed development and climate change adaptation programmes in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan. Germany’s 'One World, No Hunger' addresses areas such as food and nutrition security, promotion of innovation, protection and sustainable use of natural resources in rural areas and promotion of responsible land use and access to land.

    President Mukherjee Embarks On Two-Nation Tour To Papua New Guinea And New Zealand

    President Pranab Mukherjee is embarking on a two-nation tour to Papua New Guinea and New Zealand .A high level delegation including Minister of State for Agriculture Sanjeev Balyan is accompanying the President on the five day visit, which is aimed at energising and upgrading bilateral relations.Briefing reporters in New Delhi, Joint Secretary, South, Jaideep Mazumdar informed that this is the first ever state visit of an Indian President to these two countries. During the visit to Papua New Guinea, Mukherjee will meet Prime Minister Peter O'Neill and other leaders. Purpose of Visit  : Part of India’s growing engagement with Pacific Island countries .In 2015, Prime Minister of the Papua New Guinea visited India following the visit of the speaker of the Papua New Guinea Parliament in 2013. MoU of Two countries : Cooperation in the field of area and medical science,signed four MoUs in myriad sectors to boost ties, India offers $100 million for infrastructure fund. Singed four MoUs in myriad sectors to boost ties in following Sectors Agriculture Health Information Technology Infrastructure India offers $100 million for infrastructure fund : India awarded $100 million line of credit for development of infrastructure and acceded to jointly develop new avenues of cooperation to explore and develop the Pacific nation’s vast oil and gas resources.

    Garima wins gold at Commonwealth Judo Championship

    Garima Chaudhary has won another gold medal at the 2016 Commonwealth Judo Championship finals at Port Elizabeth in South Africa. She has clinched the gold in 63kg junior category. In the year 2012, the 26-year-old Meerut based judoka was the only representative from India to contest for Judo Olympic medals at the London Olympic Games in 2012. The judoka has also participated in the previous edition of the competition held at Glasgow in 2014 but made an exit in quarter final.  

    Railway Ministry to set up two new Directorates

    The Railway Ministry has decided to set up two new Directorates tasked with increasing the speed of trains and boosting non-fare revenues. Advertising will also be its major job. The first Directorate will identify and prioritise train corridors for raising the speed of trains. It will also examine the condition of all important railway tracks and their speed potential. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said the second Directorate will raise revenues by advertising along the tracks and at stations by radio, video, internet, Wi-Fi, mobile apps and interactive services. Exploitation of vacant railway lands and renovation of stations will be its major responsibility.

    Centre approves Rs.9,005 Cr. investment for affordable housing in three states

    Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation has approved an investment of Rs.9,005 cr for construction of 73,205 more houses for Economically Weaker Sections in urban under Prime Minister’s Awas Yojana in the States of  Maharashtra Punjab  Jammu & Kashmir Maharashtra : Maharashtra has been sanctioned a total of 71,701 houses in 10 cities at a total project cost of Rs.8,932 cr with Central Assistance of Rs.1,064 cr. Houses sanctioned include -61,946 under Affordable Housing in Partnership (AHP), 7,399 for Beneficiary Led Construction (BLC) and 2,356 for In-situ Slum Redevelopment.  Houses sanctioned city-wise in Maharashtra are: Virar-61,946, Kalyan-30,378, Thane-8,184, Gothegar-3,822 and the rest in Mumbai Metropolitan Region areas of Wave, Palghar, Pen, Nilaje Pada, Raygad and Kelawali.  Punjab : For Punjab, construction of 1,280 houses for In-Situ Slum Redevelopment in Bhatinda was approved with a total investment of Rs.57 cr for which central assistance of Rs.12.80 cr was sanctioned.  Jammu & Kashmir : For Jammu & Kashmir, construction of 224 houses under Beneficiary Led Construction component of PMAY (Urban) has been approved with a total investment of Rs.16.07 cr with central assistance of Rs.3.36 cr. This includes construction of 141 houses in Udhampur and 83 in Baramullah.  Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana : The Government of India took a major step towards ensuring that people can get a house within their financial capability. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a nationwide scheme known as Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. Previously known as Housing for All scheme, this Yojana comes with a bold vision of providing affordable housing solutions for all Indian citizens.Launched on June 25, 2015, the primary aim for this Yojana is to ensure that 2 crore houses are built across nation’s length and breadth. The estimated completion year for the scheme is 2022, which means that these 2 crore homes will be constructed over a period of 7 years.

    International Jazz Day 2016 observed globally

    The International Jazz Day 2016 was observed across the world on 30 April 2016. This year, UNESCO celebrated the day at Washington, DC. The Day is intended to raise awareness in the international community of the virtues of jazz as an educational tool, and a force for peace, unity, dialogue and enhanced cooperation among people.Many governments, civil society organizations, educational institutions, and private citizens currently engaged in the promotion of jazz music celebrate the day to foster greater appreciation not only for the music but also for the contribution it can make to building more inclusive societies. International Jazz Day : Jazz breaks down barriers and creates opportunities for mutual understanding and tolerance.It is a vector of freedom of expression. It is a symbol of unity and peace.It reduces tensions between individuals, groups, and communities.It fosters gender equality. It reinforces the role youth play for social change.It encourages artistic innovation, improvisation, new forms of expression, and inclusion of traditional music forms into new ones.It stimulates intercultural dialogue and empowers young people from marginalized societies. In November 2011, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) officially designated April 30 as International Jazz Day in order to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe.The first annual International Jazz Day was kicked off in Paris by UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock.

    Abhinav Bindra becomes Rio olympics goodwill ambassador

    Beijing Olympics gold medalist and ace shooter Abhinav Bindra has accepted the offer of the Indian Olympic Association to become India's Goodwill Ambassador for the Rio Olympics. The IOA had stirred up a controversy last Sunday when they named Salman Khan as a Goodwill Ambassador. Many sports personalities had slammed the move and questioned the timing of the appointment. Salman's movie 'Sultan', based on wrestling is due for release soon. The IOA had meanwhile also approached batting legend Sachin Tendulkar to be Goodwill Ambassador but the former India cricketer has not responded yet. Abhinav Singh Bindra  : Abhinav Singh Bindra (born 28 September 1982, in Dehradun) is an Indian shooter and is a World and Olympic champion in the 10 m Air Rifle event. By winning the gold in the 10 m Air Rifle event at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, he became the first Indian to win an individual gold medal at the Olympic Games. It was also India's first gold medal since 1980, when the Men's Field Hockey Team won the gold.He is the first and only Indian to have held both the World and Olympic titles at the same time, a feat he accomplished by capturing the Gold Medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, after having won the gold at the 2006 ISSF World Shooting Championships. Abhinav won Gold Medal in 2014 Commonwealth Games at Glasgow. In 2014, Abhinav Bindra joined the GoSports Foundation, Bangalore as a member of their board of advisors. In collaboration with the GoSports Foundation, he will also provide support to India's up and coming talented shooters through the Abhinav Bindra Shooting Development Programme.  

    Former bureaucrat NK Singh selected for Japan’s highest civilian award

    Former bureaucrat and parliamentarian Nand Kishore Singh has been selected for prestigious ‘Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver’, Japan’s highest civilian award. He was chosen for this prestigious award for promoting economic, educational and cultural ties between India and Japan. He is among 91 foreign recipients to be honoured during the 2016 Spring Imperial Decoration of Japan by Emperor Akihito during the investiture ceremony in May 2016. Nand Kishore Singh  : N K Singh is a politician, economist and former Indian Administrative Service officer (IAS) from Bihar cadre. He had served as a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha (2008-2014) from Bihar. As a bureaucrat, he had served as Member Planning Commission and handled assignments of Union Expenditure and Revenue Secretary and Additional Secretary Economic Affairs. He was also Principal Secretary to Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee. He was also connected with International organisations like World Bank, IMF and UNDP. He also had served as the former Chairman, Board of Governors of Management Development Institute (MDI), Gurgaon. Order of the Rising Sun  : It is a Japanese Government highest civilian established in 1875 by Emperor Meiji. It is conferred in recognition of distinguished accomplishments of an individual. The modern version of the order is being given to non-Japanese recipients from 1981.

    Swat activist Tabassum Adnan wins 2016 Nelson Mandela Award

    Pakistani women’s rights activist from Swat valley Tabassum Adnan has won prestigious 2016 Nelson Mandela Graça Machel Innovation Award. She won the award for the individual activist category on the concluding day of the International Civil Society Week (ICSW) held from April 25-28, 2016 in Bogota, Colombia. With this Tabassum Adnan becomes the second woman from Pakistan’s Swat valley to win this international recognition after Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai. Tabassum Adnan  : Tabassum Adnan was a victim of child marriage and was married at the age of 13. The marriage was marked by frequent domestic abuse and ended after 20 years when she gathered the courage to divorce her abusive husband. Later she launched NGO Khwendo Jirga (Sister’s Council), a women-only Jirga where women meet weekly to discuss issues such as honour killings, swara and acid attacks the practice of giving women as compensation for crimes. In 2015, she was awarded 2015 Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award in recognition of her untiring efforts and services for women’s rights. Nelson Mandela Graça Machel Innovation Award  : Established in 2004 at the CIVICUS World Assembly in Gaborone, Botswana. Propose: These Awards provide seed funding for innovative ideas emerging from organisations or groups of organisations participating in the CIVICUS World Assembly. Each winner gets funding value of US 5,000 dollars each and also discuss their ideas with the World Assembly participants.

    Iraq Thomas made fastest ever century in cricket history

    Tobago batsman Iraq Thomas on 24 April 2016 created a record by scoring 21-ball century in the Tobago Cricket Association’s T20 tournament at Louis D'or. The 23-year-old Thomas represented Scraborough/Mason Hall and remained not out on 131 rums off just 31 balls. He helped his side to chase down Speyside's target of 152 runs in just eight overs.He slammed 15 sixes and five boundaries during his knock. During his innings he cleared the park thrice and the umpires were forced to bring new balls. West Indies’ destructive batsman Chris Gayle holds the record for the hitting the fastest T20 ton. Gayle achieved the feat of just 30 balls against Pune Warriors in the Indian Premier League.In one-day internationals, AB de Villiers of South Africa owns the record for the fastest ODI century that he scored of a mere 31 balls.  

29 April 2016 Current Affairs

  • Nagaland Capital Kohima declared 'smoke-free city'

    Nagaland’s capital Kohima is now on its way to a greener, healthier future. On April 29, the city was declared smoke-free by Deputy Commissioner Rovilatuo Mor. A campaign was organised by school children from 22 educational institutes, to promote awareness about the ill effects of smoking. They got help from the District Tobacco Control Cell (DTCC) and Department of Health and Family Welfare. According to the Joint Director of Health & Family Welfare Department of Nagaland, Dr. Hotokhu Chishi, Nagaland has the second highest smoker population in the country, at 57%. “28% of school children are tobacco chewers, 14% are smokers and 41% of children buy tobacco products for their parents, relatives and elders.A tobacco product contains 4000 chemicals which destroy any part of the body and causes death to one million people in India every year. Other States : Many states and cities in India have been trying to reduce the consumption of tobacco. In 2007, Chandigarh was declared the first smoke-free city of India. The movement was spearheaded by an NGO, Burning Brain Society, which put pressure on the Punjab and Haryana governments, asking for a status on the 2003 legislation that bans smoking in public places. After this, Kottayam in Kerala and Shimla followed suit. In 2010, Sikkim was declared the first smoke-free state in India, and in 2014 Himachal Pradesh became the second.. According to the WHO Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI), about 11% of the world’s population lives in smoke-free or tobacco-free nations. The 739 million people in these countries are protected by comprehensive anti-tobacco national laws. Another 210 million people (about 3%) are protected on a city-level.

    Railway Protection Force dealt with 20 lakh crime cases in 2015

    The Railway Protection Force (RPF) has undertaken dynamic safety measures to come up to the expectations of the passengers which includes a shortcut security code-aided helpline Number 182, Operation Smile to rescue missing children, a security app on mobile phones and a whistle alert scheme in ladies’ coach.  These measures can alert the RPF resulting in swift and prompt action. “From round-the-clock accessible helplines, fine-tuning of measures of response to emergencies to installation of technology-enabled modes of multi-screening, surveillance and security systems, the Railway is increasingly adopting all-out measures to contain and mitigate crimes on its premises,” said a senior railway official. Stepping up of security measures for the travelling public is one of the high-priority areas of the Indian Railways. During the year 2015, RPF has dealt with more than 20 lakh cases relating to anti-social elements. It also claimed to rescue more than 7,000 lost or abandoned children from trains and stations premises across the country in 2015. Currently, RPF escorts about 1,600 trains to control crime and ensure security of passengers, especially women, children and the elderly. According to RPF data, more than 20 lakh cases relating to anti-social elements were dealt by the force in 2015. Training in soft and behavioural skills, human rights and gender sensitisation to RPF staff for better RPF-Passenger- Public interface is also in the process. Meanwhile, senior IPS officer SK Bhagat has been appointed as Director General of RPF.

    Government plans to keep 1% of highways project cost for road safety

    The government plans to make it mandatory to set aside 1 per cent of total cost of any highway project for road safety, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari . If cost of construction is Rs 1,000 crore then one per cent comes to Rs 10 crore. We will use those Rs 10 crore for road safety issues that include fixing accidental spots, installing cameras and lights and on other such issues. The government is committed to reducing the number of road accidents and fatalities by 50 per cent in next two to three years. The new road safety bill could not be introduced in Parliament due to opposition from some states who said the proposed law encroached on their financial rights.  In order to address these concerns as also to bring in a stricter road safety regime, a meeting of state transport secretaries and stakeholders was held here on April 22 to provide inputs for the April 29 meeting. A final decision on the new safety bill will be taken in the meeting and based on that, consent from states will be sought as the issue falls under concurrent list.  As a signatory to Brasilia Declaration, India has expressed its commitment to reduce the number of road accidents and fatalities by 50 per cent by 2020.

    Charles Borromeo resigned from Tata Steel Sports Department

    Asian Games gold medalist Charles Borromeo on 28 April 2016 resigned from the post of head of the Tata Steel sports department. The resignation came after the vigilance department officials of the company questioned him in connection with alleged irregularities in tender process of 4.40 crore rupees worth synthetic track laying at the JRD Tata Sports complex. Charles Borromeo : Borromeo, won a gold medal of 800 m at the 1982 Asian Games held in Delhi and also a part of Indian Olympic contingent that took place at Los Angeles in 1984.He joined Tata Steel as sports assistant in 1979 and participated in a number of track and field meets.In 1982, he topped the six-nation Athletic Meet in Mumbai by winning the Inter-State Championship at Kozhikode and also won the gold at the Pakistan National Games at Peshawar.He won bronze medal at the Peking International Games in China and toured Germany representing the Indian athletic team.Tata honored him as the Best Sportsman in 1984. He also represented India at a number of track and field meets around the world, including Japan and China, where he again won gold medals.He was awarded the Arjuna Award in 1982 and the Padma Shri in 1984.  

    China developed world's first graphene electronic paper

    China developed a new electronic paper, which has been heralded as "the world's first graphene electronic paper. It was in news in the last of April 2016.It will be a huge breakthrough that will catapult the material to a new level. It was developed  by The Guangzhou OED Technologies in partnership with a company in Chongqing. Compared with traditional e-papers, graphene e-paper is more pliable and has more intensity and its high-light transmittance means optical displays will be much brighter.E-papers have been produced on a commercial scale since 2014. Compared with liquid crystal displays, e-papers are thinner, bendable and energy efficient, meaning products are more portable. Graphene : Graphene is the world's strongest and lightest known material; a single layer of graphene is only 0.335 nanometers thick, and it can conduct heat and electricity.The material can be used to create hard or flexible graphene displays, used in electronic products such as e-readers and wearable smart devices.In addition, graphene is derived from carbon, meaning production costs will be much lower than for traditional e-papers, which use the rare, expensive metal indium.

    Comcast to buy DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 billion

    Comcast, the parent company of Universal Pictures has announced that it is going to buy the DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 billion in cash. The deal will put Comcast in direct competition with Disney. The Dream Works Animation is best known for animated movies like Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar etc andafter take over the company would operate under Comcast’s NBC Universal. The Comcast Corporation is an American multinational mass media company, which is also the largest broadcasting as well as largest cable company in the world by revenue. The company also produce animation movies like Despicable Me and Minions etc. Comcast  : Comcast Corporation, formerly registered as Comcast Holdings, is an American multinational mass media company and is the largest broadcasting and largest cable company in the world by revenue. It is the second largest pay-TV company after the AT&T-DirecTV acquisition, largest cable TV company and largest home Internet service provider in the United States,and the nation's third largest home telephone service provider. Comcast services U.S. residential and commercial customers in 40 states and the District of Columbia. The company's headquarters are located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  

    Gujarat announces 10% quota For economically backward

    The Gujarat government has announced a 10% quota for the economically backward class from all non-reserved castes in the state in both jobs and education. A special Ordinance will be promulgated earmarking the 10% reservation on Gujarat Foundation Day, May 1.  As per the move, upper class families whose annual income is up to Rs 600,000 will have the benefits of this new move taken by the Gujarat government. The quota benefits will be available to the members of all the upper class communities, including Patidars, Brahmins, Kshtriyas and Lohana among others. The government intends to implement this 10% quota from the upcoming academic year. Recruitment to be covered post implementation. Gujarat government followed the footsteps of two other BJP-ruled states Rajasthan and Haryana, who had announced special quotas for Gujjars and Jats respectively.   

    Kane Williamson named New Zealand captain in all three formats

    New Zealand ace batsman Kane Williamson was confirmed as 29th test cricket captain of New Zealand cricket Team on 28 April 2016. He will succeed Brendon McCullum as captain in all three formats. McCullum retired from test cricket in February 2016.Prior to this confirmation, Williamson has already captained New Zealand in 36 limited over International Cricket matches. Under his captaincy, New Zealand reached Semi-finals in ICC T-20 World Cup 2016. He is respected by his peers and the wider cricket community for his professional approach both on and off the field, and has a superb cricket brain. Williamson became the third-youngest man to captain New Zealand in Test cricket, behind Stephen Fleming and John Parker.

    Senior IPS officer Surender Kumar Bhagat appointed as DG of Railways Protection Force

    Senior IPS officer Surender Kumar Bhagat was on 28 April 2016 appointed as the Director General (DG) of Railways Protection Force (RPF). His appointment was approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC). As a DG of Railways Protection Force , Bhagat is entrusted with responsibility of protecting railway property and passengers. He will serve the Railway Board till the date of his superannuation that is on 30 June 2017.  He is presently working as Special Director General in Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) at Western Sector, Jammu & Kashmir.He is a 1982 batch IPS officer of Uttarakhand cadre.  

    Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare 2016 observed

    29 April: Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare The Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare 2016 was observed on 29 April 2016 by the United Nations (UN).This commemoration will provide an opportunity to pay tribute to the victims of chemical warfare, as well as to reaffirm the commitment of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to the elimination of the threat of chemical weapons. The Third Review Conference of States Parties to the Chemical Convention held in April 2013 in the Hague, the Netherlands, adopted a political declaration that confirms the unequivocal commitment of the States Parties to the global chemical weapons ban. The United Nations' Conference of the States Parties at its Tenth Session on 11 November 2005 decided that a memorial Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare would be observed on 29 April, the day on which the Chemical Weapons Convention entered into force in 1997. Today, 188 States have joined the Chemical Weapons Convention to form the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and forever renounce chemical weapons.

    Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated 100 rural drinking water projects

    Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated 100 piped water supply projects for rural areas  on 28 April 2016. The CM also pledged to make piped water provision in all gram panchayats by 2017. The project was inaugurated on the occasion of Utkal Gaurab Madhusudan Das’ anniversary.  Das was the first graduate and advocate of Odisha.Earlier on 20 April 2016, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had dedicated 100 urban drinking water supply projects in the state. In early April 2016, the state government also announced that it will sink a tubewell in each of the 27711 areas spending around 195 crore rupees. In rural areas all gram panchayats have been asked to spend 30 per cent of the panchayat funds towards piped water supply. Highlights of 100 piped water supply projects : The 100 projects will benefit 172000 people residing in 107 villages across the state.The project is made at an estimated cost of 72 crore rupees. Water crisis in Odisha : In 2016, Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) township is experiencing a massive drinking water crisis. It is due to the drying up of the River Koel, which provides water to the city.Against a demand of 15.5 million gallons per day, RSP is able to supply less than half to its employees. In Keonjhar, two kids allegedly died after drinking contaminated water.Several tribal settlements around Byree area of Jajpur district are being provided with water tankers by private donors.In 2015, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) found that drinking water in adequate quantity was not supplied to people in 95 out of 106 urban areas of the state.  

    Union Government banned import of dogs for commercial breeding

    Union government on 27 April 2016 issued a notification banning the import of dogs for commercial breeding. The imports are allowed only for research or defence purposes.The ban came after many animal rights organisations raised concerns over foreign breed dogs suffering due to unsuitable climatic conditions.Humane Society International (HSI) and People for Animals along with other groups had urged the government to ban the import on dogs for breeding as it was resulting in the overpopulation of street dogs in the country. They were of the view that a large number of dogs that are not suitable for the country’s tropical climate such as St Bernards, Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes and others are being imported by breeders in India.Many imported breed dogs are being abandoned by the owners as they have poor understanding of the breed’s requirement.Animal rights groups also urged the government to enact the pet shop and breeder regulations as recommended by the Law Commission of India. In 2015, the commission published a report on titled Need to Regulate Pet Shops and Dog Breeding and Aquarium Fish Breeding which recommended the Union Government to take cognizance of the issue.

    Experian India launched fraud detection mechanism named Hunter Fraud Score

    Experian, the global information services company, in the last week of April 2016 launched a fraud detection mechanism named the Hunter Fraud Score.The new scoring mechanism measures the probability of fraud in a credit application across banking and insurance industries.Experian had launched the Hunter Fraud Management Services for the life insurance sector in India in March 2016. Highlights of Hunter Fraud Score : As per Experian, the new score will help retail finance providers and insurance companies in India significantly increase their efficiency in fraud detection. Businesses will be able to identify applications that should be screened for potential fraud, and prioritise those that have a high probability of being fraudulent.This will enable the businesses to potentially lower their fraud losses and focus on approving applications from genuine customers.Hunter prevents application fraud by matching credit application data against multiple data sources, including the shared fraud data. It comprises several rules that work towards identifying inconsistencies in credit applications.The suspicious applications are moved into the investigation tool for further analysis and action. Experian : Experian is a global information services group with operations in 40 countries.The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.Experian is a partner in the UK government's Verify ID system.

    Allan Donald appointed Australia’s bowling coach

    The former South Africa fast bowler, Allan Donald, will join Australia as their bowling coach for their tour of Sri Lanka, Cricket Australia has confirmed. The appointment was not permanent. Former bowling coach Craig McDermott stepped down after the World Twenty20 tournament in India.  West Australia bowling coach Adam Griffith is joining the Australian team for their triangular limited overs series in West Indies in June. The 49-year-old played 72 Tests for South Africa, taking 330 wickets and was considered one of the best fast bowlers of his generation. He has also spent time as bowling coach for New Zealand and then for his native South Africa from 2011-15. He is currently bowling coach for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League. Allan Anthony Donald  : Allan Anthony Donald (born 20 October 1966) is a former South African cricketer and one of their most successful pace bowlers. he was one of the best fast bowlers ever seen in Test cricket, reaching the top of the ICC Test rankings in 1998 and peaked with a top ICC ranking of 895 points the next year, the 25th best ranking ever. In ODIs, he reached 794 points in 1998, second place to his teammate Shaun Pollock, the 28th best ranking ever. In the early 1990s, he was arguably the only world-class bowler in the South African team, until the emergence of Pollock, with whom he made a healthy new-ball partnership from the 1996/1997 tour of India until his retirement in 2002.

    India extended 1-billion dollar Line of Credit to Mongolia

    India on 28 April 2016 extended a Line of Credit (LoC) of 1 billion US dollars to Mongolia. The LoC was extended after delegation-level bilateral talks between the Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh and Mongolian Foreign Minister Lundeg Purevsuren in New Delhi.Besides, the two countries also agreed to exchange sentenced persons. Lundeg Purevsuren was on a three-day state visit to India from 27 April to 29 April 2016. This visit was a part of the intensified bilateral exchanges following the upgrade of bilateral relations during Modi's visit. The extended LoC is the part of announcement made by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Mongolia in May 2015. He announced the LoC for economic expansion and infrastructure development. During that visit, the two nations also signed 13 agreements. This was the first prime ministerial visit from India to Mongolia.Earlier on 28 April 2016, Purevsuren conferred Mongolia's highest civilian award, the Order of North Star, on Lokesh Chandra, President of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), and Mansura Haider, former academic adviser of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA).India and Mongolia are marking 60 years of diplomatic relations in 2016 with a series of events.

    PM Narendra Modi to address US Congress on June 8

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been invited to address a joint meeting of the United States (US) Congress on June 8, 2016 during his visit to the US. He was invited by President Barack Obama for a bilateral visit during the fourth nuclear summit. It was announced by the Speaker of the US House of Representative Paul Ryan. PM Narendra Modi will be the fifth Indian Prime Minister to address a joint meeting of Congress, and the first since 2005. Earlier, Prime Ministers Rajiv Gandhi (July 13, 1985), P V Narasimha Rao (May 18, 1994), Atal Bihari Vajpayee (September 14, 2000) and Manmohan Singh (July 19, 2005) had addressed the joint meeting of the US Congress.  It should be noted that the tradition of foreign leaders and dignitaries addressing US Congress began with the Marquis de Lafayette, a French aristocrat and military officer. He had addressed the House Chamber on December 10, 1824.

    EC launches mobile app e-voter for Kerala assembly polls

    The Election Commission of India (ECI) has launched an innovative mobile application titled e-voter with comprehensive details about the forthcoming 2016 Assembly polls in Kerala. The app is envisaged for voters’ facilitation for search in electoral roll, information regarding candidates, location of polling station, affidavit filed by them, filing of complaint and so on. e-voter  App :  The e-voter app was developed by the state IT Mission. It aims at ensuring great transparency and conduct of free and fair elections. The app has ‘know your candidate’ option that would provide constituency wise details of candidates. It has ‘constituency list’ option that would give segment wise details of voters (total number of voters, number of male voters and female voters) and total polling stations. The app will also provide information about previous elections results and names of Chief Ministers. The e-voter app can be downloaded from the Google Play store and can be installed on any android phone

    Parliament passes Industries (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015

    The Parliament has passed the Industries (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015. The Bill amends the Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951. It was first was passed in Lok Sabha in December 2015 and later in Rajya Sabha in April 2016. Now it will go for Presidential assent as per Article 111 of the Indian Constitution. The bill seeks to bring industries engaged in the manufacture of potable alcohol under the exclusive control of States in all respects. It amends 1st schedule of the parent Act to bring required changes for regulating industries manufacturing potable alcohol. However, Union Government will continue to be responsible for formulating policy and regulating foreign collaboration for all products of fermentation industries, including industrial and potable alcohol. Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951 : It provides for development and regulation of certain industries including telecommunications, transportation, metallurgical, fermentation (which includes production of alcohol) among others. The 1st schedule of the Act includes all industries that are regulated under the Act In the Bihar Distillery versus Union of India case (1997), Supreme Court had demarcated the regulation of production of alcohol between centre and states. The apex court had ruled that Union Government should regulate the production of alcohol for industrial use and states should regulate the production of alcohol for potable purpose (domestic consumption). It also had held that where the removal or clearance is for industrial purposes, the levy of excise duty and all other control should be with the Union Government. The Bill conforms to the Supreme Court’s decision.

    Indian Naval Ships Veer and Nipat decommissioned

    Indian Naval Ships (INS) Veer and Nipat were decommissioned at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The decommissioning ceremony of these ships was held in the presence of Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Naval Command. Veer and Nipat : Both the ships belonged to the 1241 RE class missile vessels. They had served under 22nd Killer Squadron and have completed 29 and 28 years of commissioned service respectively. The ships had played a significant role as the guardian of International Maritime Borderline off west coast of India. These ships are also the first of Veer Class of ships to be decommissioned from the Indian Navy. In their service, they have participated in numerous operations and successfully completed many deployments. They were extensively deployed during the Operations Vijay (1961) and Parakram (2001–2002) of the Indian Navy.  

    Russia launches first rocket from new Vostochny Cosmodrome

    Russia has successfully launched the first rocket from its newly built Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Amur Oblast, in Russian Far East region bordering China. The unmanned Soyuz-2.1a rocket is carrying three satellites as payloads namely Mikhailo Lomonosov (scientific satellite), SamSat-218 (an experimental nanosatellite) and Aist-2D (a civilian distance viewing satellite). Vostochny Cosmodrome is a Russian spaceport for civilian launches under construction after it was launched in 2012. On completion in 2018, it will reduce Russia’s dependency on the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Presently, Russia has the large military launch facilities but it relies primarily on the Baikonur Cosmodrome for the civilian launches.

    India 3rd in worldwide dope violation in new WADA report

    Lightweights in the competitive arena but India continued to rule the roost as far as doping was concerned, placed once again in the top three in a WADA report based on the information supplied by various national bodies. India had the third highest Anti-Doping Rule Violations(ADRVs) in 2014, with 96 cases, behind  Russia (148)  Italy (123).  Belgium (91),  France (91),  Turkey (73),  Australia (49),  China (49),  Brazil (46)  South Korea (43)  followed India in the top 10, according to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report released. ADRV is a doping case in which a decision is rendered against an athlete following a full disciplinary process. The sanction is either a reprimand or a period of ineligibility.Out of the 96 ADRVs recorded by India, four are non analytical (2 each in athletics and wrestling) cases like failure to submit to appear for a test, possession, use or trafficking of a prohibited substance following an investigation.Out of these 96 dope violations, 79 (56 men and 23 women) failed in-competition tests while 13 (9 men and 4 women) were caught out-of-competition. India, whose medal count in the Olympics has been a mere 24 since 1920, has one of the highest number dope offenders in the last few years.Among the sports which contributed most dope cheats in the country, athletics continued to maintain the top spot with 29 cases, followed by powerlifitng (23) and weightlifting (22) as the trend of the last few years continued. Other sports whose athletes were caught for dope violations were basketball (3), judo (3), taekwondo (3), wrestling (3), wushu (3), boxing (2), canoe/kayak (1), shooting (1) and soft-tennis (1). There was a case of one dope violation each in para-athletics and para-judo as well. In worldwide dope violations in athletics, India -- with 29 such cases -- stood second behind Russia (39). Italy (15), France (14), China (13) and Kenya (12) are the other countries in top list of dope violations in athletics.Top Indian athletics officials have been saying that. A total of 217,762 samples were tested and analysed in 2014 worldwide by WADA-accredited laboratories. 2287 samples were reported as Adverse Analytical Findings (AAFs), out of which 1647 are ADRVs (1462 analytical and 185 non-analytical).

    Indian academician Radha Kumar appointed to United Nations' University Council

    Indian academician Radha Kumar was on 28 April 2016 appointed to the United Nations' University Council to formulate its principles and policies, consider and approve biennial budget and work programme. Kumar is among 12 people who are appointed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the council. These 12 appointees will take office with effect from May 2016 and will serve for terms of either three or six years.Some of the other members appointed to the UN University Council are Simon Chesterman, Lecturer at Harvard and MIT, Isabel Guerrero Pulgar of Chile, Bassma Kodmani of Syria and Lan Xue, Dean of School of Public Policy and Management at China's Tsinghua University. Radha Kumar : Radha Kumar is the Director General of New Delhi-based think tank Delhi Policy Group. She is a specialist in ethnic conflicts, peacemaking and peace-building. Formerly Director of the Mandela Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at Jamia Millia Islamia University, Kumar has also been a Senior Fellow in Peace and Conflict Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in the city.She had also served as one of the three-member Group of Interlocutors appointed by the Union Government for Jammu and Kashmir. United Nations' University Council : The main function of the UN University Council is to formulate the principles and policies of the University and govern its operations. It also considers and approves its biennial budget and work programme.Appointed members of the Council serve in their individual capacity and not as representatives of their country's government. The members are selected with the aim of achieving a geographic and gender balance, with due regard for major academic, scientific, educational and cultural trends.

    South Korean Olympians to wear mosquito repellent uniform at Rio Olympics

    South Korea on 27 April 2016 announced that its Olympic athletes will wear uniforms that have been infused with insect repellent to keep mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus at bay.The South Korean team's uniforms were unveiled in Seoul, marking 100 days until the opening ceremony in Brazil.These formal long-sleeved shirts and trousers containing mosquito repellent will be worn by the South Korean athletes during ceremonies and at the athletes' village at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.The uniforms are meant to ward off mosquito-borne transmission of the Zika virus.Athletes cannot wear the protective clothing while competing, but they will be allowed to use mosquito repellent. The decision to use mosquito repellent uniform during the Rio games was taken out of concern over the spread of the Zika virus. The virus is spread by daytime-active Aedes mosquitoes.Earlier in April 2016, representatives of the South Korean Olympic organisation and the government visited Rio to inspect venues, athletes' facilities and local hospitals. Brazil has reported about 1.5 million Zika infections out of a worldwide total of about 2 million. The disease has been declared a global emergency by the World Health Organisation. It can causes babies of infected mothers to be born with microcephaly and other severe brain problems. The Brazilian government has warned pregnant women to stay away from the Games.

    IIM Calcutta acquires EQUIS accreditation

    Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta (IIM-C) has been awarded the EFMD Quality Improvement System (EQUIS) Accreditation by EFMD, the globally recognized international organization for management development, with over 800 members from academia, business, public service and consultancy in 81 countries. The EQUIS Accreditation Board voted to confer EQUIS Accreditation on IIM Calcutta on April 12, 2016. IIM Calcutta has already been accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and the Association of MBA's (AMBA) in 2014. With EQUIS accreditation, IIM Calcutta has become the first Indian business school to achieve the 'Triple Crown' in accreditation, i.e. accredited by all the three major accreditation agencies in the world for management education. Only 5 other business schools in Asia and 73 business schools around the world are currently 'Triple Accredited. This is a significant achievement for us. Each of the three accrediting agencies insists that accredited schools meet stringent quality requirements in various parameters of management education. A 'Triple Crown' signifies that the Institute meets very high quality standards, be it in the area of institutional strategy, assurance of learning, research impact, or producing competent and ethical managers for the corporates as a few examples. This is where the strength of Triple Crown Accreditation lies The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business is based in Tampa, Florida in the United States; AMBA, The Association of MBAs, is based in London, United Kingdom; and EFMD which awards EQUIS Accreditation is based in Brussels, Belgium.

    Mongolia confers highest civilian honour on two Indians

    Mongolia has conferred its highest civilian award “North Star” on two noted Indian scholars – Lokesh Chandra and Mansura Haider for their contribution to Mongolian studies. Mongolian Foreign Minister Lundeg Purevsuren conferred the award on Lokesh Chandra, president of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), and Mansura Haider, former academic adviser at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), at ceremony at the Mongolian embassy here which was also attended by Union Minister Kiren Rijiju.This year being the 60th Anniversary of Indo-Mongolian diplomatic relations, the award has been presented to two Indian scholars for their outstanding “contributions to the development of friendly relations between India and Mongolia and promotion of Mongolian studies”. Mansura Haider, who was a professor and former dean of the faculty of arts in Aligarh Muslim University’s history department, said was the first to give the Mongols an identity was misrepresented in history. To reassess the contribution of Genghis Khan, ICCR is going to organize an International conference in Mongolia on “Genghis Khan, his legacy and Indian culture” concurrently with “International Mongolian Congress” in Ulaanbaatar in August.

    Parliament passes Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2016

    Parliament passed Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2016 to include certain communities in the list of Scheduled Castes (SC) from 4 states. The bill seeks to amend Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 to include certain communities from Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Kerala and West Bengal in the list. It also has provisions for exclusion of certain communities from Odisha and removal of area restriction in respect of certain communities. The bill was introduced in the Parliament by Union Social Justice Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot as per the provisions of Article 341 of the Constitution. Chhattisgarh: Inclusion of Sais, Sahis, Sarathi, Soot-Sarathi, Thanwar communities in the list.  Haryana : Inclusion of (i) Aheria, Aheri, Hari, Heri, Thori, Turi and (ii) Rai Sikh communities in the list.  Kerala : Inclusion of Peruvannan community in the list and Modification in the area of specification of Malayan community.  West Bengal : Removal of area restriction of Chain community.  Odisha : Exclusion of Bariki and Kummari communities in the list. Article 341 : It empowers Parliament to include or exclude castes from the list of Scheduled Castes in the notification. It also empowers the President to specify castes which will be deemed as Scheduled Castes through a notification.  

28 April 2016 Current Affairs

  • Jayasurya recalled as Sri Lanka's cricket chief selector

    Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on 27 April 2016 announced appointment of Sanath Jayasuriya as chief selector of the Sri Lankan Cricket team.Jayasuriya is back as the chief selector for the team, after a year when he stepped down from the role. Earlier, he served as the chief selector from January 2013 to March 2015.Jayasuriya-led committee will succeed the Aravinda de Silva led committee. The new four member selection panel will take office on 1 May 2016 and will serve for two years and will comprise of former wicketkeeper-batsman Romesh Kaluwitharana, former fast bowler Eric Upashantha and former off spinner Ranjith Madurasinghe. During Jayasuriya’s previous tenure, Sri Lanka won a World T20 and a Test series in England, both in 2014, before exiting the 2015 World Cup in the quarter-finals.It was Jayasuriya's committee that formalised Angelo Mathews' ascension to the Test and ODI captaincy. However, the period was also beset by public disagreements between Jayasuriya and senior players, who have now retired.  

    NITI Aayog launched urban management programme for capacity building of states and urban local bodies

    NITI Aayog  ( National Institution for Transforming India Aayog) chaired by Vice Chairman Dr Arvind Panagariya launched the Urban Management Programme on 27 April 2016 in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.The state participation was at the level of Secretaries of Urban Development, Municipal Commissioners and other senior officials of State Government and parastatal bodies. About 150 participants were present in the event. Urban Management Programme : The Programme is designed by NITI Aayog, Temasek Foundation and Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE) under the platform of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between NITI Aayog and the Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE).It was to tap the expertise of Singapore in urban sector to build capacities in State Governments and ULBs to design efficient solutions to urban problems.As a part of NITI Aayog’s mandate to promote cooperative federalism, NITI is reaching out to the States to resolve their issues pending with different Ministries. It is emphasized on improving governance particularly of the census towns whose number has significantly increased between census 2001 and 2011.The vision of urban transformation is achieved successfully only with the well built municipal cadre and provide stability of tenure to officials in municipalities.  

    Blood on my Hands: Confessions of Staged Encounters by Kishalay Bhattacharjee

    The book titled Blood on my Hands: Confessions of Staged Encounter authored by Kishlay Bhattacharjee was in news in the last week of April 2016. The book came into news as Biju Janata Dal leader Tathagata Satpathy on 26 April 2016 demanded revocation of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the north-eastern region. He stated that the book, which is on India’s north-eastern region, serves as an eye-opener. The book contains the author’s conversations with an anonymous army officer. It  narrates the staged encounters in India's northeast and explains how awards and citations are linked to a body count.The book mentions that the officers need a definite number of points to get a citation and earn their ranks and awards. Under this pressure, the army units bid to purchase a person to be killed from the mafia.Blood on my Hands also contains an essay by Bhattacharjee and a postscript that analyses the hidden policy of extra-judicial killings and how it threatens India's democracy.  

    National Food Security Act Implemented in Manipur

    Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh has declared that the National Food Security Act has been implemented the state. The CM also appealed the people to extend cooperation to the state government regarding successful implementation of the National Food Security Act in Manipur. The Act would lay stress on those possessing Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) cards. As per the Act, 11,796 metric tonnes of rice for April was released and one kg of rice would be made available at Rs three per kg to the beneficiaries.AAY card holders can avail 35 kg of rice per a month. The scheme would cover 87 per cent of the population. The National Food Security Act, 2013 (also Right to Food Act) is an Act of the Parliament of India which aims to provide subsidized food grains to approximately two-thirds of India's 1.2 billion people. It was signed into law on 12 September 2013, retroactive to 5 July 2013.  

    DBS Bank launches 'mobile-only bank' in India

    The Singapore's largest bank, DBS has unveiled the 'mobile only bank’ in India. The ‘digibank’ uses technologies, such as bio metrics and artificial intelligence, to enable paperless, signature less and branch less bank. This is the India's 1st mobile only bank which targeting 5 million retail customers. The bank will leverage bio metrics-enabled ID and Aadhaar card to ensure that that there is no paperwork. It will provide customer service via a 24*7 artificial intelligence-driven virtual assistant, which understands natural language and has learning ability, so that it is able to respond in real-time.  Account-holders will have no minimum balance requirements and will also provide a physical debit card which can be used across all Visa-enabled online and point-of-sale transactions as well as in overseas.Higher than the five per cent it was offering till now, and free cash withdrawal across all ATMs. DBS Bank : DBS Bank Ltd is a Singaporean multinational banking and financial services company. The company was known as The Development Bank of Singapore Limited, before the present name was adopted in July 2003 to reflect its changing role as a regional bank.The bank was set up by the Government of Singapore in June 1968 to take over the industrial financing activities from the Economic Development Board. DBS Bank is the largest bank in South East Asia by assets and among the larger banks in Asia. It has market-dominant positions in consumer banking, treasury and markets, asset management, securities brokerage, equity and debt fund-raising in Singapore and Hong Kong. The bank's strong capital position, as well as "AA-" and "Aa1" credit ratings that are among the highest in the Asia-Pacific region, earned it Global Finance's "Safest Bank in Asia" accolade for six consecutive years, from 2009 to 2014.

    New Zealand's $5 bill named best banknote of the year

    New Zealand’s five-dollar note has been named the banknote of the year for 2015 by the International Bank Note Society. The note incorporates some of the world’s most advanced security features and beautifully showcasing  New Zealand’s history, culture, and heritage. The $5 note has won form the 40 eligible designs from a record 20 countries. New Zealand’s five-dollar note : The $5 note has featured mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary and on the other side, a rare yellow-eyed penguin and local flora. To be eligible, a banknote must have been issued for the first time during the year of the award and be in general circulation. It is assessed for its “artistic merit or innovative security features”, including use of color, contrast and balance. Almost 150 new banknotes were released last year, with “over three dozen” of sufficiently new design to be eligible for nomination. Other Winner : Scotland’s Clydesdale Bank five-pound note, Sweden’s 20 kronor note, Russia’s 100 rouble note, and Kazakhstan’s 20,000 tenge note were named as runners-up.

    Two-time Olympic champion Felix Sanchez retired

    Two-time Olympic 400-meter hurdles gold medalist champion Felix Sanchez announced his retirement on 26 April 2016. The announcement means that the 38-year-old will not defend his title at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.Sanchez made the announcement in a video press conference in the Dominican Republic. Sanchez who made his first Olympic team in 2000 won his first gold in the 400-meter hurdles at the 2004 Olympics in Athens and second at the 2012 Summer Games in London. He also owns two gold medals from the 2001 and 2003 world championships.His personal best of 47.25 puts him as the eighth best of all-time. Between 2001 and 2004, he won 43 consecutive races and has run 48 races under 48.50. The hurdler, known as Super Sanchez, made his final global championship appearance with a fifth place finish at the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow. His final race was a fifth place finish at the NACAC Championships in 2015.Sanchez born in the United States to the Dominican parents competes in Olympics for the Dominican Republic.

    ISRO launched seventh satellite of indigenous navigation system, IRNSS 1G

    Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on 28 April 2016 launched India’s seventh navigation satellite of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS 1G) into a Sub-Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (Sub-GTO) on-board PSLV-C33.The satellite was launched from the First Launch Pad (FLP) of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, which is situated 90 kms from Chennai. With this launch, India successfully joined the elite group of countries that have their own navigation system technology to cater to the mammoth navigational needs.As in the previous six launches of IRNSS satellites, PSLV-C33 used ‘XL’ version of PSLV equipped with six strap-ons, each carrying 12 tons of propellant. IRNSS-1G IRNSS-1G is the seventh navigation satellite of the seven satellites constituting the IRNSS space segment. Its predecessors, IRNSS-1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E and 1F were launched by PSLV-C22, PSLV-C24, PSLV-C26, PSLV-C27, PSLV-C31 and PSLV-C32 in July 2013, April 2014, October 2014, March 2015, January 2016 and March 2016 respectively. Like all other IRNSS satellites, IRNSS-1G also has a lift-off mass of 1425 kg. The configuration of IRNSS-1G too is the same as IRNSS-1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E and 1F. Payloads The satellite with a design life span of 12 years has two payloads for navigation and ranging. Navigation payload – It will transmit navigation service signals to the users. This payload will be operating in L5-band and S-band. A highly accurate Rubidium atomic clock is part of the navigation payload of the satellite. Ranging payload – It consists of a C-band transponder which facilitates accurate determination of the range of the satellite. Features of IRNSS It consists of seven satellites to provide real-time data on the position of objects to aid road, air and maritime traffic apart from providing mapping and tracking services. It is an independent regional navigation satellite system designed to provide position information in the Indian region and 1500 km around the Indian mainland. It would provide two types of services, namely, Standard Positioning Services (SPS), which will be provided to all users, and Restricted Services (RS) that will be provided to authorised users only. Out of the seven satellites of the system, three are geostationary and four are non-geostationary. By using the IRNSS as a platform, the Government of India is planning to launch its own Global Navigational Satellite Services, GINS (Global Indian Navigation Satellite) system. It is similar to the Global Positioning System (GPS) of the USA. While many countries in the world have more than 20 satellites in serving the navigational purpose Indian scientists can boast of by achieving the goal by launching the seventh satellite which in a way completes the constellation which was earlier planned. This constellation will help ISRO to take help from the civilian needs to security or defence needs.  

    Union Government allowed states to control stock limits on sugar to check price rise

    The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 27 April 2016 approved to bring sugar under the purview of imposing stock holding limits on dealers of sugar by the state governments. It was to check the price rise in sugar.The Government identified that despite having sufficient sugar stocks with the Sugar Mills, the wholesale and retail prices have shown a rise. Government felt an immediate need to bring sugar within the purview of stock limits in order to check the inflationary tendencies in sugar and to reduce hoarding by wholesalers and retailers.The Government has taken stock of the availability of sugar and different factors contributing to rise in market prices of sugar across the country and decided to allow states to put stock holding limits on sugar The decision empowered State and Central agencies to impose stock limits and regulate supply, distribution, storage and trade of sugar to bring down sugar prices at reasonable level by curbing unscrupulous trading.

April Current Affairs 2016 Fresherslive

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    Topics covered in the 2016 April month Current Affairs are
  • International News,
  • National News (ie. Indian Affairs),
  • important events associated with Science & Technology, Environment,
  • Bills & Acts Passed by Government,
  • Defence News,
  • About important Persons, Places,
  • Banking & Economical News,
  • Awards & Honours,
  • Sports News,
  • Revolutionary Updates on Arts & Culture,
  • Obituary,
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  • Important Committee,
  • Schemes,
  • Appointments,
  • Important Days & its Theme for Current as well as upcoming Year,
  • Books & Its Authors,
  • Agreements & MoUs,
  • Budget, Taxes,
  • Various Important Lists & Indexes,
  • Visits by World Presidents, Prime Ministers,
  • Political affairs and all Current News.

Date-wise 2016 April Current Affairs Quiz

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