Current Affairs 25th April 2016 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) has proposed to insure its nuclear assets, including the ‘nuclear island’ that holds core reactors.There also have been efforts by NPCIL to insure assets without the required survey for operational risks but insurance companies have not responded to this call, said an official.Analysts also say, due to the very high liability in case of an accident, that insurance companies do not want to insure nuclear assets without due diligence. Also, due to the high risk involved, nuclear insurance pools have evolved internationally that collectively reinsure the nuclear assets. The concept of insuring nuclear assets is prevalent among countries where dependence on nuclear energy is considerable. Highly specialised nuclear risk underwriters inspect the facilities to ascertain the risks. In America, there is a law enacted in 1957, known as the Price-Anderson Act. It was designed to ensure adequate funds would be available to satisfy the liability claims of members of the public for personal injury and property damage in the event of a nuclear accident. "The legislation helped encourage private investment in commercial nuclear power by putting a cap on the total amount of liability each holder of nuclear plant faced in the event of an accident. Today, the limit of liability for nuclear accident has increased the insurance pool to $12 billion. Though NPCIL is the only nuclear operator in the country, India has a target of 63,000 Mw of energy from nuclear sources by 2032, of which 4,000 Mw has been achieved. While only 2.5 per cent of the installed power capacity in the country is through nuclear sources, nuclear energy constitutes just one per cent of the country’s primary energy mix.  

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone for a power plant of Patratu Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Limited (PVUNL), a joint venture company of National Thermal Power Corporation and Jharkhand government, on April 24.The PM will be laying the foundation stone for a 4000MW unit, the first phase of the 8000MW project. Jharkhand government had in 2014 handed over assets of the Patratu Thermal Power Station to the joint venture company for setting up the 8000MW capacity plant, which was stated to be India’s biggest.Altogether, 1,200 acres of land has been transferred to the JV company for setting up the 4000MW power plant in phase-1 while 600 more acres would be transferred in the future.The state government owns 6,500 acres of land in Patratu.From the power generated by the the plant, Jharkhand will get 85 per cent and the rest would go to other states.

Three eminent Odisha artists of Odisha have been selected for the prestigious Kendra Sangeet Natak Akademi Samman.They are Prafulla Kar, Alok Kanungo and Sadasiv Pradhan.While Kar will receive the award in the Sugam Sangeet (light song)) category, Kanungo and Pradhan will receive the award for Odissi and Chhau dance respectively. Besides, two young Odia artists have been selected for the Bismillah Khan Yuva Samman. They are Sukumar Tudu from Rairangpur in Mayurbhanj district for acting and Dhyanananda Panda of Bhawanipatna in Kalahandi district for folk dance. This was informed by Dhirendranath Mallick, secretary, Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi, who attended a two-day meeting of the Akademy as a representative from Odisha in Agartala on April 24,2016.The meeting was presided over by the chairperson of the Akademi Sekhar Sen with the director, National School of Drama, New Delhi and director, Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) in attenadance.The Akademi announced the name of 36 artists selected for the award in the presence of the representatives from 30 states and 20 eminent artists.The selected artists will be awarded by the President of India in a special function in New Delhi.

The emerging strategic and security scenario and the operational preparedness of the Indian Army will be among the key issues to be discussed in the Army Commanders Conference beginning from April 25,2016. The six-day conference will also appraise current and emerging strategic security scenario, review of operational preparedness of the Indian Army and aspects pertaining to training, administration, military technology and force modernization. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar will inaugurate the conference at the Manekshaw Convention Centre in the national capital. The conference will be chaired by Chief of the Army Staff, General Dalbir Singh. All Army Commanders and other senior Army Officers will attend the conference.

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Dr. Jitendra Singh launched in Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya the first of its kind, weeklong Cancer Care campaign in Northeast under the supervision of North Eastern Council (NEC) - Pink Chain Cancer Conclave 2016. The campaign is being attended by Cancer specialists from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi and other parts of the country, and the weeklong programs will include public education camps, academic discussions by medical experts and visits to educational institutions. This initiative has been undertaken considering the fact that the North Eastern States are recording a much higher prevalence of Cancer compared to most other States of the country.  Minister also announced the similar campaigns will also be organized in the other seven States of North-Eastern Region and this initiative would also be to update the medical professionals of the region on the recent advances in Cancer treatment and control.  

Andhra Pradesh will have another Central Institute of Plastic Engineering and Technology (CIPET) to train 5,000 plastic engineers and technicians every year and it will be set up in Anantapur district. Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers Ananth Kumar made the announcement while laying a stone for the CIPET at Surampalli near Vijayawada, the first in the state. He also announced an Agri-Plastic Park for Vijayawada region with an investment of Rs 1,000 crore. It will provide employment for 1 lakh youth in and around Vijayawada. However, the State Government has to provide 200 to 250 acres of land for the park. He also announced that a plastic waste management center would be set up in Vijayawada and agreed to take up the issue of setting up the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) in Visakhapatnam.  

The Full Pink Moon was seen in the skies of North America on 22 April 2016. However, the moon appeared normally white and smaller than usual. The April’s full moon is usually referred as Pink Moon in North America. The moon appeared to be smaller than usual because it was at its furthest point from the Earth, or apogee. This full moon comes less than one day after reaching lunar apogee, the moon’s farthest point in its monthly orbit. It lies around 50 thousand km farther from Earth than 2016’s closest full moon. The Pink Moon is also called as mini-moon and micro-moon. The terms mini-moon and micro-moon originate from popular culture. TheNASA Astronomy Photo of the Day calls the year’s smallest full moon as a micro-moon. In many respects, the micro-moon is the antithesis of a Supermoon.In November 2016, the moon will be full when it is at its closest to the Earth and will be known as a Supermoon. Pink Moon  : The pink moon is the name for April’s full moon, which earns its nickname from a pink flower called wild ground flox (also known as herb moss pink), which is one of the earliest plants to flower in spring.It was created by the Algonquin tribes native to the New England and Lake Superior regions.Some coastal American Indian tribes have also referred to it as the Full Fish moon, since it marks a time when shad swim upstream to spawn.Full Moon names date back to Native Americans. The tribes kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full moon. It was their way of keeping a calendar as they did not follow the Julian or Gregorian system of tracking time. Their names were applied to the entire month in which each full moon occurred.When colonial Americans came into contact with these tribes, they would frequently adopt the full moon names that were already in use.  

World Immunization Week 2016 is being organised across the globe between 24 April and 30 April 2016. The week’s campaign is ‘Close the Immunization Gap’ and it seeks to achieve global vaccination targets by 2020.This will be the second year of the Close the Immunization Gap campaign. The 2016 campaign additionally stresses the need for immunization among adolescents and adults - throughout life.It also seeks to draw the world’s attention to the critical importance of reaching vulnerable people living in conflict situations or in the wake of emergencies.During World Immunization Week 2016, WHO will highlight the recent gains in immunization coverage, and outlines further steps needed to meet global vaccination targets by 2020 set in WHO’s Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP). The week is organised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in the last week of April with an aim to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease. Immunization saves millions of lives and is widely recognized as one of the worlds’ most successful and cost-effective health interventions. WHO Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) : The WHO Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) - endorsed by the 194 Member States of the World Health Assembly in May 2012 - has the ambitious goal of reaching universal coverage with vaccines worldwide by 2020. The GVAP aims to: Accelerate control of vaccine-preventable diseases with polio eradication as the first milestone and step up efforts to eliminate measles, rubella and maternal and neonatal tetanus and other diseasesStrengthen national routine immunization programmes to meet vaccination coverage targets Introduce new and improved vaccinesSpur research and development for the next generation of vaccines and technologies. Effect and recent progress of Immunization : In the recent past, the process of the Immunization has helped the world in dealing with seceral problems like Polio, Ebola and many more.It helped in developing vaccines in record time and control disease like Ebola.Africa has not had a case of wild poliovirus since August 2014 – an enormous achievement that brings the region closer than ever to being certified polio-free India has been declared free of maternal and neonatal tetanus, demonstrating disease elimination is possible even in challenging circumstances.The Americas became the first region to eliminate rubella and congenital rubella syndrome

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on 25 April 2016 formally inaugurated the state's interim government complex namedAP Government Transitional Headquarters at Velagapudi village in capital region Amaravati.The government is determined to begin operations from Amaravati region from 15 June 2016. The construction of the government complex has been going on at a brisk pace to meet the deadline. A 2000 square feet office space was hurriedly readied for use by the state government and Chief Minister occupied his office to mark the inauguration. He signed a file relating to waiver of loan for horticulture farmers on the occasion.He also announced that an additional 50 square yards of land would be given to farmers of the region who parted with their lands under the Land Pooling Scheme for the development of the capital.

The term India Pride Project (IPP) was in news in the fourth week of April 2016. It is an initiative by two NRIs who seek to bring back the lost artefacts to India. Through the initiative, they seek to answer that India was looted of more artefacts in the post-colonial era than under the British or Mughals.The India Pride Project is a small, but brave attempt to bring this loot back into the places where they belong in India. In simple terms India Pride Project’s mission is to restore the Nation’s pride through restoring its culture. Co-founders of IPP : Vijay Kumar: Co-founder of IPP, is an art enthusiast himself and is the general manager of a shipping company. Anurag Saxena: He is another co-founder, a chartered accountant and Asia-Pacific CEO for the World Education Foundation, UK. How is the IPP managed : The IPP is managed by an army of volunteers around the world, which identifies stolen art, traces its route and attempts to restore it back to its rightful place. IPP uses Twitter to spread the message. Recently, its handle #BringOurGodsHome was among the top five trending hash tags.  Success : Till Date, IPP have successfully identified popular loots such as Shiva Nataraja, Bronze (originally from Bragadeeshwara Temple, Tamil Nadu) on display in National Gallery of Australia. They also managed to locate the Shiva Ardhanari statue of Vriddhagireeswarar Temple, Vriddhachalam, Tamil Nadu, at the Art Gallery of South Wales.Cases of Bronze Ganesha from Bragadeeshwara Temple, Sripuranthan village, Tamil Nadu and Yakshi, Sand Stone of Satna, Nagod, MP have been handed over to ICE USA for further consideration. Ancient Indian sculptures, manuscripts, maps and artefacts are stolen and find their way into the international art-markets and are sold off for millions of dollars. The history of India is being illegally smuggled out to private-collectors and museums across the world.According to certain estimates, around 50000 heritage objects have gone missing from India since independence. So far, the artefacts that have returned to India have been mostly presented as gifts by other nations.  Among these, is the Sripuranthan Nataraja, returned to India by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

25 April : World Malaria Day : World Malaria Day (WMD) 2016 was observed globally on 25 April 2016. The theme for 2016 is End Malaria For Good.This year’s theme reflects the vision of a malaria-free world set out in the Global technical strategy for malaria 2016-2030. Adopted in May 2015 by the World Health Assembly, the strategy aims to dramatically lower the global malaria burden over the next 15 years. Its goals are : Reducing the rate of new malaria cases by at least 90% Reducing malaria death rates by at least 90%  Eliminating malaria in at least 35 countries Preventing a resurgence of malaria in all countries that are malaria-free The timeline of 2016-2030 is aligned with the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, the new global development framework endorsed by all UN Member States.On 20 April 2016, the WHO released the World Malaria Report 2015, which showed major decline in global malaria cases and deaths since 2000. Besides, in the report, it was announced that the European Region became the first in the world to have achieved interruption of indigenous malaria transmission. The World Malaria Day is an international observance commemorated every year on 25 April and recognizes global efforts to control malaria. WMD is one of eight official global public health campaigns currently marked by the World Health Organization (WHO). The WMD was established in May 2007 by the 60th session of the World Health Assembly, WHO's decision-making body. The day was established to provide education and understanding of malaria and spread information on year-long intensified implementation of national malaria-control strategies, including community-based activities for malaria prevention and treatment in endemic areas.  

Veteran actor Jeetendra, filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Bollywood star Ranveer Singh honoured with '74th Master Dinanath Mangeshkar Awards' on April 24,2016. Jeetendra, 74, got the Lifetime Achievement Award while Bhansali and Ranveer got special award for direction and acting for their magnum opus 'Bajirao Mastani.'The top honour was given by legendary singer Asha Bhosle. Other winners who bagged the honour include Pandit Ajay Chakravorty, Marathi actor Prashant Damle among others.  Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar Award : Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar award was instituted in 1999 in the memory of Dinanath Mangeshkar, father of Lata Mangeshkar. Since then it is awarded annually to persons for their outstanding contributions to music and movies.The award carries monetary award of 101001 rupees, a memento and a citation.

Jemima Sumgong recovered from a fall to win the women’s London Marathon as fellow Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge retained the men’s title in the second-fastest time in history. Sumgong, 31, banged her head when tripped by Ethiopian Aselefech Mergia as they approached a water station. She rejoined the leading group before taking her first London title in two hours 22 minutes 58 seconds. Kipchoge, 31, won in 2:03:04, only seven seconds outside the world record. His time has been bettered only by Kenyan Dennis Kimetto, who ran 2:02:57 in 2014 in Berlin, which is acknowledged as a quicker course. Marcel Hug of Switzerland won the men’s wheelchair race ahead of Britain’s Paralympic champion David Weir in third, while American Tatyana McFadden won the women’s race for a fourth consecutive year. The 36th London Marathon saw an estimated 39,698 runners line up for the 26.2-mile course. London Marathon : The London Marathon (presently known through sponsorship as the Virgin Money London Marathon) is a long-distance running event held in London, United Kingdom, part of the World Marathon Majors. The event was first run on 29 March 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since. The race was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and athlete John Disley.

Tata Trusts has signed a pact with the Odisha government to achieve elimination of Malaria from the state by 2030. As per the MoU, Tata Trusts will be taking mass screenings twice a year in 557 villages in five selected blocks including Bissamcuttack and Muniguda blocks of Rayagada district, Lanjigarh, Thuamulrampur blocks of Kalahandi district and Kotgarh block of Kandhamal district in southern Odisha. The Centre has committed to eliminate malaria from the country by 2030. If the partnership between Odisha government and Trusts can demonstrate reduction in mortality in Odisha, it will bring down overall prevalence of malaria and incidence in the country. The vision of the partnership is to reduce malaria deaths by 50 per cent in five years and incidence by 40 per cent. Tata Trusts  : The Tata Trusts are amongst India's oldest, non-sectarian philanthropic organisations. The Trusts own two-third of the stock holding of Tata Sons, the apex company of the Tata group of companies. The wealth that accrues from this asset supports an assortment of causes, institutions and individuals in a wide variety of areas. In this manner, the profits that the Tata companies earn go back many times over to the communities they operate in. These funds have been deployed towards a whole range of community development programmes across the country, for over a 100 years now.

The solar-powered aeroplane Solar Impulse has landed in Silicon Valley, California, after a three-day flight over the Pacific Ocean from Hawaii. High winds delayed the landing at Moffett Airfield, Mountain View, as pilot Bertrand Piccard flew in a holding pattern off the coast. Piccard and fellow Swiss pilot Andre Borschberg have been taking turns flying the plane on an around-the-world trip since taking off from Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, in March 2015. It made stops in Oman, Myanmar, China, Japan and Hawaii. The trans-Pacific leg was the riskiest part of the plane’s global travels because of the lack of emergency landing sites. The plane’s ideal flight speed is about 28 mph, though that can double during the day when the sun’s rays are strongest. The carbon-fiber aircraft weighs more than 5,000 pounds, or about as much as a midsize truck. The plane’s wings, which stretch wider than those of a Boeing 747, are equipped with 17,000 solar cells that power propellers and charge batteries. The plane runs on stored energy at night. Solar Impulse 2 will make three more stops in the United States before crossing the Atlantic Ocean to Europe or Northern Africa. The project, which began in 2002 and is estimated to cost more than $100 million, is meant to highlight the importance of renewable energy and the spirit of innovation.

Mouamba Clement, the former Congolese Finance Minister, was on 24 April 2016 appointed as the Prime Minister of Congo. He was appointed to the post by Congo's President Denis Sassou Nguesso.Clement will be responsible for forming a government in consultation with the president in accordance with the 25 October 2015 constitution.Also, his major task after being appointed as Prime Minister would be to help in creating jobs for the youth, a majority of whom are struggling with under unemployment. This task will be linked with diversifying the country’s economy to achieve the President Denis Sassou Nguesso’s ambition of making Congo an emerging country by 2025, the program on the basis of which he was elected known as Path towards development.Further, the appointment comes a month after Sassou Nguesso was elected to a five-year term that extends his long rule over the oil producing country. Sassou Nguesso led Congo between 1979 and 1992 and returned to power after a civil war in 1997.The central African country has been gripped by political violence since the election. Mouamba Clement :  Earlier between 1992 and 1993, Clement has served as finance minister under the country's first elected president Pascal Lissouba, who was ousted from power by Sassou Nguesso in 1997.He has also served the country as one-time opposition leader into the government.The economist and former officer of the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) led several financial institutions in the country in the 1980s. He was a senior member of the opposition Pan-African Union for Social Democracy before being expelled in 2015 for taking part in the talks that paved the way for a constitutional referendum allowing Sassou Nguesso to extend his rule.The referendum scrapped a two-term limit on presidential mandates, allowing Sassou Nguesso to bid to stay in office in March elections, which he won with more than 60 percent of the vote.

The Interim Administrative Cell of International Solar Alliance (ISA Cell) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)  declared their intention to promote solar energy globally on 22 April 2016.The declaration was made on the occasion of the side event on International Solar Alliance at the UN Headquarters in New York. Major areas identified for working jointly are Development of synergies with ongoing UNDP programmes and projects on solar energy in and across ISA member countries. Creation of complementary linkages with ongoing global and regional efforts in the field of solar energy. Strategic cooperation in programmatic and technical expertise, and facilitating the participation of the wider UN system towards the creation of innovation hubs in and technology transfers between ISA member countries. Support for the establishment of knowledge management systems as well as electronic networks and/or e-portals for the sharing, creation and management of knowledge on solar energy. Strengthening the development of ISA’s institutional structure, and enhance its capacity development efforts through the support of training programmes. Upendra Tripathy, Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and Chairperson, ISA cell exchanged the declaration with UN representative.Earlier on 25 January 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with the President of France François Hollande had laid the foundation stone of the International Solar Alliance headquarters in National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) in Gwalpahari, Gurgaon. International Solar Alliance (ISA) : It was jointly launched in Paris by India and France on 30 November 2015 during the United Nations climate change conference (COP21).It is the India’s first international and inter-governmental organization of 121 Countries to have headquarters in India with United Nations as Strategic Partner. It creates a collaborative platform for increased deployment of solar energy technologies to enhance energy security and sustainable development. It improves access to energy and opportunities for better livelihoods in rural and remote areas and to increase the standard of living.  

French pair of Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic on 24 April 2016 won women’s doubles final of the Stuttgart Grand Prix tournament.In the final held at Stuttgart in Germany, the French duo defeated the Indo-Swiss pair of top seeded pair of Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis 6-2, 1-6, 6-10.On the other hand, the women’s singles title was won by Angelique Kerber of Germany. In the final clash, the reigning Australian Open champion Kerber defeated her countrywoman Laura Siegemund 6-4, 6-0. Stuttgart Grand Prix tournament : Stuttgart Grand Prix tournament is a women's tennis tournament played on indoor clay courts. First played in 1978, it is Europe's oldest indoor women's event and is the lone indoor clay tournament on the calendar.The winner of the event at the Porsche Arena receives a Porsche 911 Carrera sports car in addition to a prize sum. Martina Navratilova is the tournament record holder with six singles titles and eight doubles titles. Other Stuttgart titlists include former World No.1s Tracy Austin, Kim Clijsters, Lindsay Davenport, Justine Henin, Martina Hingis, Jelena Jankovic and Maria Sharapova, who won the title for the third straight time in 2014 - the first time in her career she became an event's three-time champion. Previous Winners List :  2016  - singles :  Angelique Kerber  ,Doubles :   Caroline Garcia / Kristina Mladenovic 2015 - singles :  Angelique Kerber , Doubles :   Roberta Vinci / Sara Errani 2014  - singles :  Maria Sharapova , Doubles :   Caroline Garcia / Kristina Mladenovic 2013  - singles : Maria Sharapova , Doubles :   Sabine Lisicki / Mona Barthel 2012  - singles :  Angelique Kerber , Doubles :   Iveta Melzer / Barbora Strycova 2011  - singles :  Julia Goerges , Doubles :   Samantha Stosur / Sabine Lisicki

Russian pair Anastasia Bryzgalova and Alexander Krushelnitskiy on 23 April 2016 claimed the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship title with a 7-5 victory over China at Karlstad, Sweden.China's Wang Rui and Ba Dexin took the silver. The United States, with a 9-7 win over Scotland, secured the bronze medal.The combined results of the 2016 and 2017 world mixed doubles events will decide the seven teams who will join host South Korea at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea World Mixed Doubles Curling Championships : The World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship began in 2008.Switzerland's mixed doubles team of Irene Schori and Toni Müller dominated the 2008 and 2009 championships and appeared in the first three worlds.At the 2010 Worlds, Russia won its first ever world curling title by defeating New Zealand, also first-time curling medallists. In 2013, Hungary won their first world curling title after defeating Sweden in the final.Hungary was the winner of the 2015 World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship. Curling : Curling is a sport in which players slide stones on a sheet of ice towards a target area which is segmented into four concentric circles. It is related to bowls, boules and shuffleboard.Two teams, each with four players, take turns sliding heavy, polished granite stones, also called rocks, across the ice curling sheet towards the house, a circular target marked on the ice. Each team has eight stones.The purpose is to accumulate the highest score for a game. Points are scored for the stones resting closest to the centre of the house at the conclusion of each end, which is completed when both teams have thrown all of their stones.

Veteran Actor Manoj Bajpayee will be awarded with the Dadasaheb Phalke award in the Best Actor Category (Critics’ Choice) for his contribution in Hansal Mehta’s Biographical drama, “Aligarh”. The Award will be presented on 1st May 2016. Dadasaheb Phalke Award : The Dadasaheb Phalke Award is India's highest award in cinema. It is presented annually at the National Film Awards ceremony by the Directorate of Film Festivals, an organisation set up by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The recipient is honoured for their "outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian cinema and is selected by a committee consisting of eminent personalities from the Indian film industry.First presented in 1969, the award was introduced by the Government of India to commemorate Dadasaheb Phalke's contribution to Indian cinema. Phalke (1870–1944), who is popularly known as and often regarded as "the father of Indian cinema", was an Indian film-maker who directed India's first full-length feature film, Raja Harishchandra(1913 Manoj Bajpayee : Manoj Bajpayee (born 23 April 1969), also credited as Manoj Bajpai, is an Indian film actor who predominantly works in Hindi cinema and has also done some Telugu and Tamil language films. He is the recipient of two National Film Awards and two Filmfare Awards.Bajpayee received the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor and Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor for the film.  

India's Mairaj Ahmad Khan has won the country’s 1st skeet medal at a World Cup, winning the silver medal in the Men’s Skeet event on the final day of the ISSF Shooting World Cup in Rio De Janerio on April 23 ,2016.The 40-year-old shooter finished with an overall tally of 14 in the Gold medal match and lost out to Marcus Svensson of Sweden in the Gold medal match in a shoot off after the latter was also tied at 14. This is India’s 1st medal at the World Cup, which has come in the final event on the final day of this 12-day event, which is also a test event for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Mairaj qualified for his maiden Olympics in September last year at the ISSF Shotgun World Cup that was held in Lonato in Italy, finishing in 6th seal a berth into Rio 2016,thereby becoming the first Indian to qualify in the skeet event at the Olympics.

Britain’s annual rich list unveiled distinctly Indian flavour with two India-born brothers Reuben and the Hinduja  grabbing the top two slots as some of the UK’s super-rich suffered the worst hammering of their fortunes following the steel industry crisis.Mumbai-born tycoons David and Simon Reuben have topped The Sunday Times Rich List 2016 with a fortune of £13.1 billion, followed by the Hinduja brothers at £13 billion. The Reubens were born in India to a wealthy Iraqi-Jewish family before moving to Britain in the 1950’s. This year, they have increased their fortune by £3.4 billion to jump to the top slot from last year’s fifth position.Their mouth-watering collection of London property includes Millbank Tower, the John Lewis Partnership HQ in Victoria and shops in Sloane Street. The list goes on. They own London Oxford Airport and London Heliport and were a leading investor in Metro Bank, which floated last month at £1.6 billion Srichand and Gopichand Hinduja, who head the Hinduja Group, hold on to their second rank from last year with an unchanged fortune. The old War Office in London’s Whitehall was bought for £300 million by the Hinduja family in March on a 250-year lease. They plan to turn it into a hotel worth £1 billion Reuben  Brothers : David Reuben (born 1941) and Simon Reuben (born 1944) are British businessmen and philanthropists.In the Forbes magazine List of billionaires 2013, ranking of the wealthiest people in the UK, the brothers were placed second.In 2016 they were named as Britain's richest people by the Sunday Times, with a fortune of £13.1 billion.

India's Sandeep Tomar qualified for the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero by securing a bronze in the freestyle 57 kg category at the World Qualifying Tournament in Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia on April 24,2016 . Tomar defeated his opponent Alexandru Chirtoaca 10-0 in the face-off to decide the bronze medal winner. Tomar (25) is from Sonepat in Haryana and has previously won gold medals at the 2016 Asian Wrestling Championships and the 2013 Commonwealth Wrestling Championship. He is the third Indian freestyle wrestler to qualify for the Olympics after Yogeshwar Dutt in the 65 kg category and Narsingh Pancham Yadav in the 74 kg category.  

Bollywood actor Salman Khan was named as the goodwill ambassador of the Indian contingent for the upcoming Olympics to be held in August 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This is the first time when a Bollywood superstar has been chosen as a goodwill ambassador for the Indian contingent at the Olympics. He was chosen by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) from a list of two to three candidates which also included Shah Rukh Khan and veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan. IOA has chosen Salman Khan as he is considered to be more connected with the youth and sportspersons and also is considered as a youth icon for bodybuilding fans across the country.

Every year April 24 is being observed as National Panchayati Raj (PR) Diwas across India Significant : It marks the passing of the Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 that came into force with effect from 24 April 1993. Significance of Amendment Act : It had led a defining moment in the history of India which helped in decentralization of political power to the grassroots level. In turn it had led to institutionalization of Panchayati Raj (PR) through the village, Intermediate and District level Panchayats. Every year on this day Union Ministry of Panchayati Raj organises National Conference to commemorate the National Panchayati Raj Diwas. Best performing Gram Panchayats are conferred with Rashtriya Gaurav Gram Sabha Purskar by the Union Ministry of Panchayati Raj.  

Bob and Mike Bryan won the Barcelona Open doubles tennis title on 24 April 2016. The brothers claimed the title after defeating Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas and the Spaniard Marcel Granollers 7-5, 7-5 in one hour and 25 minutes.The title is the Bryan brothers' second title in 2016, after they won the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships in Houston, Texas earlier in 2016. The victory is their third in Barcelona, as they won the tournament before in 2003 and 2008. Bob and Mike Bryan :  Bob and Mike Bryan are American male professional tennis players.Bob has won twenty-three Grand Slam titles: 16 in men's doubles and 7 in mixed doubles. He turned professional in 1998.Bob and Mike are World No. 1 doubles players. They first achieved the top ranking in September 2003.The brothers were named ATP Team of the Decade for 2000–2009.The brothers became the second men's doubles team to complete the career golden slam at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Barcelona Open : The Barcelona Open is an annual tennis tournament for male professional players.The event has been held in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain every year since 1953, and is played on clay courts at the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona. It was an event of the Grand Prix tennis circuit between 1970 and 1989, except in 1971 when it was part of the World Championship Tennis (WCT) circuit, although it was also open to non-WCT players.The tournament is part of the 500 series on the ATP World Tour. Rafael Nadal has won the singles title a record nine times. It is Spain's second most important tournament on the ATP tour after the Madrid Open.  

Rafel Nadal on 24 April 2016 defeated two-time defending champion Kei Nishikori of Japan to win the Barcelona Open of tennis 6-4, 7-5.This was Nadal's 9th Barcelona Open title, and he has now won his opening 10 matches of the European clay-court season.With this win, world number five and top seed Spaniard also equaled Guillermo Vilas' decades old record of 49 clay-court titles. Argentine Guillermo Vilas had bagged 49 clay-court titles in 1970s and early 1980s. Nadal may break that record as he will play in Madrid and Rome in May 2016 before the French Open, the second Grand Slam of the season, which ends the clay-court season. Nine of Nadal's 14 Grand Slams have been at Roland Garros.

The Union Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry has notified new rules to give effect amended Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. The new rules seek to tighten provisions to ensure speedy justice to members of the SC/ST community. Other Things : The new rules aims at speeding up the process of dispensation of justice, liberalise and expedite access to relief for victims of atrocities, ensuring special sensitivity in cases of offences against women. It has been made mandatory for cops to file chargesheet within 60 days after a complaint is lodged. For the first time, there is provision of relief for offences of rape and gang rape. Requirement of medical examination for getting relief amount for non-invasive kind of offences against women has been delinked. Relief in cash or in kind or both must be provided within seven days to the victims of atrocity, their family members and dependents. The new rules also call for regular reviews of the scheme for the rights and entitlements of victims and witnesses in accessing justice.

The Union Government has launched India’s first online interactive heritage portal named Sahapedia was in New Delhi. The web portal is a collaborative knowledge resource on the arts, culture and heritage of India. Sahapedia  : Sahapedia is a not-for-profit society headed by former TCS chairman S. Ramadorai, who currently helms the National Skill Development Agency. The purpose of this portal is to inform, educate and act on subjects such as knowledge traditions, visual and material arts, performing arts, literature and languages. It also seeks to educated and spread knowledge about practices and rituals, histories, institutions, people, built spaces and natural environment. It will be accessible across user groups such as scholars, practitioners, students, teachers, travellers and enthusiasts. It will also play important role in integrating activities and services including research, documentation, digitization and conservation.

India and France have launched a programme with $1 trillion Potential Solar Programme under the International Solar Alliance (ISA). It is a solar finance programme that aims at helping developing countries to fully harness their solar resources for a clean energy future. It was announced by Minister of State for Power Piyush Goyal and French Environment Minister Segolene Royal at the ministerial side event on ISA at the United Nations. The solar finance programme aims at lowering the cost of finance and facilitates the flow of more than 1 trillion dollars investment to members of the ISA. Both countries also launched a second programme at the ISA meeting which aims to make available solar technology for farmers. The meeting was attended by representatives of over 25 countries including the US, Bangladesh, Brazil and Nigeria. International Solar Alliance (ISA)  : The ISA was launched at the 2015 Paris Climate Change Summit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande. It seeks to empower solar-rich countries located between the tropic of Cancer and the tropic of Capricorn to make collaborative efforts to harness solar energy to generate the electricity. Under this alliance, 121 countries that fall within the tropics have been invited. Most of these countries fall within Asia, Africa and South America. Three Objectives: (i) To force down prices by driving demand, (ii) To bring standardization in solar technologies and thirdly and (iii) To foster research and development.

Japan on 22 April 2016 successfully tested the first stealth fighter jet.  With this, the country joins a select group of world military powers wielding the radar-dodging technology.The domestically developed single-pilot prototype X-2 jet took off from Nagoya airport in central Japan on its maiden test flight. It safely landed at Gifu air base, north of Nagoya airport, after a 25-minute flight with no particular problems.Even though the use of military force have a strict constitutional constraints after World War II, Japan still has one of the world's most advanced defence forces and the development of the stealth fighter comes as it faces new security challenges in the form of China's expanding force posture.At present, only the USA, Russia and China have been internationally recognised as having successfully developed and flown manned stealth jets. X-2 jet :  It was developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and 200 other firms, measures 14.2 metres (47 feet) long and 9.1 metres wide and was built as a successor to F-2 fighter jets developed jointly with the United States of America (USA). Its delivery to the defence ministry is expected as early as May 2016 and the acquisition agency will continue analysing data and check its stealth technology capability.Japan began the project in 2009 and has reportedly spent about 39.4 billion yen (332 million US dollars) to develop the aircraft.The country was barred from developing aircraft for a number of years after its defeat in World War II but eventually produced the YS-11, a propeller passenger plane that began flying in the early 1960s.In another aviation milestone in November 2015, Japan's first domestically produced passenger jet, also developed by Mitsubishi Heavy, made its maiden test flight.

Union government on 22 April 2016 constituted the inter-ministerial panel to prepare a blueprint for doubling farmers' income by 2022.The government's decision to set up the panel follows the budget announcement that set a target of doubling farm incomes by 2022.The panel will be headed by Ashok Dalwai, Additional Secretary at the Union Agriculture Ministry. The other members will be officials from Agriculture and Food Ministries as well as experts from the Delhi-based National Council of Applied Economic Research and National Institute of Agricultural Economics and Policy Research. Features of the inter-ministerial panel : The panel will prepare a plan to shift farm policies from being production-oriented to income based ones.The eight-member panel will determine the potential areas of agriculture to investment and also suggests different ways to reduce the risk of farming by diversifying to horticulture and allied activities like livestock and fisheries to boost income. The panel is expected to submit the report in two months. It will also look at reducing the cost of cultivation and addressing unpredictability of weather and price fluctuations in farm sector.The government is focusing not only on increasing crop yields but also on reducing the cost of cultivation to increase the net income of farmers.The schemes on soil health card, neem-coated urea and per drop more crop, are aimed to bring down the cost of cultivation.Besides, the government is trying to address the unpredictability in agriculture due to market fluctuations, and due to weather by setting up an electronic National Agriculture Market and implementing a new crop insurance scheme.

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