Current Affairs 4th April 2016 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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Saudi Oil giant Aramco, the world's largest oil firm with crude reserves of about 265 billion barrels, plans to make major investment in India's petroleum sector as it considers India the most preferred destination to invest at a time when the global economy is in a crisis. Head of Aramco Khalid A Al Falih called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi during which he conveyed that the state-owned company was eyeing India as the most preferred investment destination.Minister Al Falih to PM: Aramco looks to India as its No 1 target for investment, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted. Aramco is Saudi Arabia's national oil company with crude reserves of about 265 billion barrels which is over 15 per cent of all global oil deposits. The Saudi government plans to sell shares in Aramco and transform the oil giant into an industrial conglomerate. Energy-powerhouse Saudi Arabia is India's largest crude oil supplier, accounting for about one-fifth of total imports and both sides were of the view that cooperation in the sector should expand. India is specifically looking at Saudi investment in "high temperature deep sea off shore exploration" and has opened up the sector for FDI.India's ties with Saudi Arabia, one of the world's leading oil producers, have been on an upswing over the last two decades based on burgeoning energy ties. The two countries are keen to move beyond buyer-seller relationship in the sector and go for joint ventures and investment in refineries and oil fields. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 4 April 2016 returned to New Delhi after concluding his official visit to Belgium, United States and Saudi Arabia.During the five day tour from 30 March to 3 April 2016 Modi met several leaders and also participated in two different summits, namely India-EU summit in Brussels and 4th Nuclear Security Summit in Washington DC.Belgium : In the first leg of his visit to Belgium, Modi was given a ceremonial welcome at Egmont Palace in Brussels. Brussels is the headquarters of European Union and NATO.He attended 13th India-EU summit and held meeting with Belgium Prime Minister Charles MichelFrom Belgium, he also activated Asia's largest 'general purpose' optical telescope installed in 'Devsthal', 60 km from Nainital, through 'Remote Technical Activation'During the visit, the two nations released a joint statement and an agenda that will serve as a roadmap for EU-India cooperation in what is referred to as Action 2020.The Joint Declaration on the India-EU Water Partnership was adopted to enhance cooperation on environment issues, including on the ‘Clean India' and ‘Clean Ganga’ flagship programmes.The EU-India strategic partnership was launched in 2004. The last summit was held in Delhi in 2012.United States :  In the second leg of his tour to three nations, Modi visited the United States where he attended the 4th Nuclear Security Summit in Washington DC. The summit focused on a gamut of issues pertaining to nuclear security.The two-day summit highlighted achievements and commitments of several countries towards safeguarding nuclear devices and technologies and reducing the threat of nuclear terrorism. He also announced a contribution of 1 million US dollars to Nuclear Security Fund of International Atomic Energy Agency.India, US signed MoU for setting up Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) observatory in India.Saudi Arabia :  Prime Minister inspected the guard of honour at the Ceremonial Welcome in Riyadh. India and Saudi Arabia signed five agreements and MoUs.During the visit, Modi met with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud a gold-plated replica of the Cheraman Juma Masjid of Kerala. Situated in Thrissur district, the mosque is believed to be the first mosque built in India by Arab traders around 629 AD.He also met with other ministers of the nation and invited Saudi Arabia's top business tycoons to invest in India's key sectors like defence, insurance, railway and oil.He interacted with the business leaders at Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Riyadh during his visit to Saudi Arabia.He visited TCS All Women IT Centre and Masmak Fortress in Riyadh.

India’s first cash giving app has just Launched and this is named as CASHe. This new application is very helpful and provides users a personalized experience to borrow cash anytime, anywhere within minutes for their needs. This is all new mobile-only lending platform.CASHe is introduced by Tslc Pte Ltd., a fin-tech company which promoted by serial entrepreneur and private equity investor V. Raman Kumar. This is one of the best  tech venture that redefines credit in a smart, social world. .CASHe application  launched in Mumbai with the presence of Bollywood’s rising star Arjun Kapoor. This is best for short term finances of consumers. You can enjoy simplified borrowing experience with CASHe. The loan is disbursed by One Capitall Ltd. An RBI – registered NBFC only.  This application offers immediate cash loans based on users social profile, merit and earning potential with the support of various algorithms and machine learning. You will get convenient 15-day loan for a one-time processing fee. There is no other hidden costs, no painful paper work and no human interaction. The app best for young professionals between 20-35 years old. With this app you can avail of a loan of up to 40 percent of their monthly income instantaneously.

Vietnam's National Assembly on 2 April 2016 swore in Tran Dai Quang, Minister of Public Security, as the 9th President of the nation.Among the 481 valid votes, 452 out of the total 494 members of the unicameral house, elected Quang, as the president.A resolution approving Quang's presidency was also backed 93.12 per cent of the NA deputies at the plenary session.Truong Tan Sang was the 8th President of Vietnam.Tran Dai Quang being elected as the President of Vietnam, Quang served as Minister of Public Security from 2011 to 2016.He is a member of the 12th Politburo of the Communist Party of Vietnam, in which he is ranked second, after General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng.He attended the People's Police School in 1972. From 1972 to 1975, he studied at the School of Foreign Languages Department of Cultural Affairs (now the Ministry of Public Security).

Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani has released the ‘India Rankings 2016’ on April 4,2016 at Vigyan Bhawan. This first-of-its-kind indigenous ranking framework for higher education institutions has come out with a list of top 100 universities and institutes in Engineering, Management and Pharmacy .As per the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), IIT Madras has bagged the top engineering college slot followed by IIT Mumbai and IIT Kharagpur. Top management institution is IIM Bangalore while Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore is the best university in India.The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is ranked as country’s third best university followed by Hyderabad Central University which stands at rank 4. Both Hyderabad Central University and JNU were in the news over the death of Rohith Vemula and sedition row.Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Manipal reserves the top pharmacy institute in the country.All 122 centrally-funded institutions — including all central universities, IITs and IIMs — participated in the first round of ranking. The framework is primarily divided into two categories: Category A covered institutions with academic autonomy and a greater focus on research and category B comprised colleges and centres affiliated to a university and more focused on teaching. An institution can volunteer to be ranked in both categories. Top 10 Universities in the country 1. Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 2. Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai 3. Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi 4. University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad 5. Tezpur University, Tezpur, Assam 6. University of Delhi, Delhi 7. Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi 8. Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology, Thiruvanathapuram 9. Birla Institute of Technology and Science –Pilani 10. Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh.Top 10 Engineering institutes in India 1. Indian Institute of Technology, Madras 2. Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay 3. Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur 4. Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi 5. Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur 6. Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee 7. Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad 8. Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar 9. Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar-Rupnagar 10. Indian Institute of Technology, Patna .Top 10 Management institutes in the country 1. Indian Institute of Management, Bangaluru 2. Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad 3. Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta 4. Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow 5. Indian Institute of Management, Udaipur 6. Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode 7. International Management Institute, New Delhi 8. Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal 9. Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur 10. Indian Institute of Management, Indore Top 10 Pharmaceutical institutes 1. Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Manipal 2. University institute of pharmaceutical sciences –Chandigarh 3. Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi 4. Poona College of Pharmacy, Erandwane, Pune 5. Institute of Pharmacy, Nirma University, Ahmedabad 6. Bombay College of Pharmacy, Mumbai 7. Birla Institute of technology, Ranchi 8. Amrita School of Pharmacy, Kochi 9. JSS college of Pharmacy, Ootacamund 10. JSS college of Pharmacy, Mysuru .

The Shri Trimbakeshwar Devasthan Trust (STDT) passed a resolution on 3 April 2016 that bars all persons, men and women from entering the sanctum till the next decision.Only the traditional and hereditary priests will be allowed to enter the sanctum of the Trimbakeshwar temple in Nashik district of Maharashtra.A trustee said that owing to the geographical positioning of the temple, steps leading to the sanctum sanctorum are not be in the best of condition and therefore from now on both men and women devotees will not be allowed inside.Earlier on 30 March 2016, the Bombay High Court bench of Chief Justice DH Waghela and Justice MS Sonak ruled that women should be treated equally at places of worship and it was the responsibility of the state government to protect the fundamental rights of women.The judgement was passed on public interest litigation (PIL) filed by senior advocate Nilima Vartak and activist Vidya Bal, challenging the prohibition of entry of women in the Shani Shingnapur temple in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra.The PIL was based on the protests at Trimbakeshwar Temple carried out by Trupti Desai of Rangragini Bhumata Brigade demanding entry of women into the sanctum sanctorum.The court in its verdict said that under the Maharashtra Hindu Place of Worship (Entry Authorisation) Act, 1956, if any temple or person prohibits any person from entering a temple then he or she faces a six-month imprisonment.

Union Environment Ministry on 3 April 2016 released the Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016. The new rule for management of hazardous wastes was released by Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar.This is the first time that the rules distinguish difference between hazardous and other wastes. The other wastes include waste tyre, paper waste, metal scrap, used electronic items, etc. and are recognized as a resource for recycling and reuse. These resources supplement the industrial processes and reduce the load on the virgin resource of the country.The ambit of the Rules has been expanded by including ‘Other Waste’.Waste Management hierarchy in the sequence of priority of prevention, minimization, reuse, recycling, recovery, co-processing; and safe disposal has been incorporated.All the forms under the rules for permission, import/export, filing of annual returns, transportation, etc. have been revised significantly, indicating the stringent approach for management of such hazardous and other wastes with simultaneous simplification of procedure.The basic necessity of infrastructure to safeguard the health and environment from waste processing industry has been prescribed as Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs), specific to waste type, which has to be complied by the stakeholders and ensured by SPCB/PCC while granting such authorisation.Procedure has been simplified to merge all the approvals as a single window clearance for setting up of hazardous waste disposal facility and import of other wastes.Co-processing as preferential mechanism over disposal for use of waste as supplementary resource, or for recovery of energy has been provided.The approval process for co-processing of hazardous waste to recover energy has been streamlined and put on emission norms basis rather than on trial basis.The process of import/export of waste under the Rules has been streamlined by simplifying the document-based procedure and by revising the list of waste regulated for import/export.The import of metal scrap, paper waste and various categories of electrical and electronic equipments for re-use purposehas been exempted from the need of obtaining Ministry’s permission.The basic necessity of infrastructure to safeguard the health and environment from waste processing industry has been prescribed as Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs) specific to waste type.Hazardous Waste prohibited for Import : List of Waste Constituents with Concentration Limits has been revised as per international standard and drinking water standard. The following items have been prohibited for import: Waste edible fats and oil of animals, or vegetable origin,Household waste,Critical Care Medical equipment,Tyres for direct re-use purpose,Solid Plastic wastes including Pet bottles,Waste electrical and electronic assemblies scrap,Other chemical wastes especially in solvent form Hazardous Waste : Hazardous waste means any waste, which by reason of characteristics, such as physical, chemical, biological, reactive, toxic, flammable, explosive or corrosive, causes danger to health, or environment. It comprises the waste generated during the manufacturing processes of the commercial products such as industries involved in petroleum refining, production of pharmaceuticals, petroleum, paint, aluminium, electronic products etc.As per the information furnished by CPCB in the year 2015, the total hazardous waste generation in the country is 7.46 million metric tonnes per annum from about 44000 industries.

Mehbooba Mufti was on 4 April 2016 sworn in as the Chief Minister (CM) of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) at Raj Bhawan in Jammu. The swearing-in ceremony was presided over by J&K Governor NN Vohra.With this, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti became the first woman CM of J&K.Bharathiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Nirmal Singh took oath as Deputy Chief Minister.Mufti, the daughter of PDP founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed is the second Muslim woman to become the Chief Minister of a state in India. Syeda Anwara Taimur was the first Muslim woman CM in Assam in 1980 and continued to hold the chair till 30 June 1981.The state government of J&K was lapsed on 7 January 2016 as the then CM Mufti Mohammad Sayeed died due to ill health. Since, then the state is under President’s rule. The PDP-BJP coalition along with Sajad Gani Lone led Peoples' Conference have 56 MLAs in the 87-member Assembly. The PDP have 27 members while BJP have 25. Peoples' Conference has two MLAs while two other independents are supporting the coalition.The revival of the PDP-BJP coalition government in the state became possible after three months of stalemate after several rounds of hectic negotiations between the two parties and apparent intervention by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Suzlon Group on April 2,2016 has announced it has appointed leading power sector professional J P Chalasani as Group CEO.Chalasani started his career with NTPC and rose through the ranks over the years. After taking up the lead role in Reliance Power, he transformed the company to become the largest market cap entity in the private sector. Chalasani also led a project to transition BSES from being a power distribution company to a leading infrastructure business company.Chalasani is known to focus on improving operations, enhancing and simplifying processes, and leveraging both HR and Finance to position companies for strong and sustainable growth to create value for stakeholders," Suzlon Group chairman Tulsi Tanti .The Suzlon Group is a renewable energy solutions provider with an international presence across 19 countries in Asia, Australia, Europe, Africa and North and South America. The group has a cumulative installation of approximately 15GW of wind energy capacity, a workforce of over 8,000, a low-cost manufacturing base and strong in-house R&D set-up in Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and India. Approximately 9GW of the Group's installation is in India. The company has recently forayed into the solar space.

Blackstone India, the Indian arm of global private equity fund Blackstone Group L.P., on April 4,2016. it will buy 60.5% stake in Bengaluru-based information technology services provider Mphasis Ltd.Blackstone will buy the shares from Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) at Rs.430 per share. This will be followed by a mandatory open offer for 26% more shares of Mphasis. Depending on the open offer subscription, Blackstone will spend between Rs.5,466 crore and Rs.7,071 crore (approximately $825 million-$1.1 billion) for the acquisition.On 8 March, Mint had reported Blackstone’s plans to acquire a controlling stake in Mphasis Ltd by backing the existing management headed by chief executive Ganesh Ayyar.HPE and Blackstone have agreed on the terms of a master services agreement (MSA) and the duration of the MSA is five years with three automatic renewals of two years each. Under this MSA, HPE has proposed to commit a minimum revenue amount escalating year-on-year and totaling $990 million over the next five years. Also, Mphasis will be included in HPE’s Preferred Provider Program opening up significant additional revenue opportunities, said the Blackstone statement.For Mphasis, orders from parent Hewlett Packard have been steadily declining over the past few years. The contribution from Hewlett Packard decreased to 34% of the total revenue in the year ended 31 March 2015 from 71% in 2010.PE deals in IT and software services in India rose 40% in 2015 to $2 billion, from $1.4 billion in 2014, according to data from VCCedge, the financial research platform of VCCircle. Business processing outsourcing (BPO) services have seen deals worth $410 million in 2015.In September, Blackstone Group had repurchased the India-based BPO operations of the UK’s Serco Group Plc. for £250 million, four years after selling the unit.Besides its investment in Serco, Blackstone acquired a minority stake in Thiruvananthapuram-based technology firm IBS Software from private equity firm General Atlantic and other shareholders for $170 million in December.In May, Blackstone had sold its controlling stake in cash management company CMS Info Systems Ltd to Baring Private Equity Asia in a deal worth $440 million.Blackstone, which established its office in India in August 2005, has since then committed $3.5 billion in the country.

Taylor Swift paid a gushing tribute to boyfriend Calvin Harris at the iHeart Radio Music Awards in Los Angeles on April 3,2016.The 26-year-old singer singled out DJ Calvin - whose real name is Adam Wiles - as she was presented with the gong for Best Tour by Justin Timberlake at the Forum in Inglewood.Taylor said: "For the first time I had the most amazing person to come home to when the spotlight went out and when the crowds were all gone. So I want to thank my boyfriend Adam for that and I love you guys so much."The 'Bad Blood' hitmaker also picked up the award for Best Album, which was presented by her close pal and Triple Threat winner Selena Gomez, who introduced her as "My Girl T-Swizzy Taylor Swift".Accepting the award, Taylor paid tribute to her family, saying: "I know my mom, dad and brother are watching and my most vivid memory of growing up is my mom and dad telling me that I was different and unique and special and I could do whatever I wanted in my life.Taylor was also overjoyed when Calvin was awarded the prize for Dance Artist of the Year and gave him a huge hug in front of the crowd.Other winners included Justin Bieber with three awards and Drake and Twenty One Pilots, who each were awarded two prizes.And Zayn Malik took to the stage to perform .

Cyprian Kotut won the Paris marathon on Sunday as Kenyan runners pulled off a podium sweep in perfect weather conditions.The 24-year-old Kotut, who also won the Paris half-marathon last month, completed the 42.195-kilometer (26-mile) race in 2 hours, 7 minutes and 11 seconds to improve on his personal best set last year when finishing runner-up in Milano on his debut over the distance (2:08.55).Kotut, the younger brother of three-time London Marathon winner Martin Lel, came in ahead of Laban Korir, who clocked 2:07.29. Stephen Chemlany finished third in 2:07.37.In bright sunshine and mild temperatures, the race started on a high pace and remained open until the final kilometers. Kotut made his move with four kilometers left and won alone on the Avenue Foch.Men Category  : 1 Cyprian Kotut (Kenya) 2:07:11 2 Laban Korir (Kenya) 2:07:29 3 Stephen Chemlany (Kenya) 2:07:37 4 Micah Kogo (Kenya) 2:08:03 5 Gebretsadik Abraha (Ethopia) 2:08:18 Women’s Category : 1 Visiline Jepkesho (Kenya) 2:25:53 2 Gulume Tollesa (Ethopia) 2:26:14 3 Dinknesh Mekasha (Ethopia) 2:28:12 4 Rebecca Chesire (Kenya) 2:31:29 5 Yebrgual Melese (Ethopia) 2:32:05

Indian scientists have developed an eco-friendly biopolymer using nanotechnology for water-softening and water purification applications. It was developed by the team of scientists from Guwahati (Assam) based Institute of Advance Study in Science & Technology (IASST).The eco-friendly biopolymer has been created using a naturally occurring substance, called chitosan. The chitosan has been obtained naturally from the hard outer skeleton of shellfish including crab, lobster, and shrimp as a backbone for the carbon nanoparticles to sit on. In this biopolymer, nanoparticles are the functional parts of the technology as they remove calcium and magnesium components of water through ion exchange. Thus, it shows the same process that is used by common water purifiers. Significance: This natural material is the first of its kind with potential to act as a biodegradable and green material for water-softening applications. Potential Applications: This eco-friendly biodegradable biopolymer can be used in civic water treatment plants for generating potable water. It will reduce dependency on conventional water-softening techniques that uses synthetic resins as they do not have very effective water-softening methods and produced very crude treated water.

Scientists fear that ballast water carried by ships is providing a vehicle to bring in exotic invasive species across the Indian Coast. In this regard, a survey was conducted by the Department of Aquatic Biology and Fisheries, University of Kerala. In the survey the presence of as many as 10 invasive species was found in the biodiversity-rich intertidal habitats of the Kerala coast. Some of invasive species include one species each of seaweed, bryozoan, mollusc and seven species of ascidian. The distribution of invasive species from the Kerala coast is likely assisted by shipping.Ballast : Ballast is a compartment in a ship that provides it stability as it holds water which moves in and out of it to balance the ship. The compartment usually remains below the water level in order to counteract the weight above the water level. Fears Ballast is one of the biggest transporter of non-native (exotic/invasive) marine species. Over 10,000 non-native marine species are transported across the world in the ballast water. The colossal loads of ballast water carried by ships mainly transports fish, viruses, algae, , zooplankton, bacteria and benthonic invertebrates to harbours at a faster pace. Expansion of ports and minor ports could pave for the introduction of alien species in Indian marine and coastal areas.

India and Saudi Arabia on 3 April 2016 inked five agreements to boost the bilateral cooperation between the two nations. The agreements were signed in Riyadh during the two day visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Saudi Arabia from 2 April to 3 April 2016.The visit to Saudi Arabia was part of Modi’s three-nation visit to Belgium, the United States and Saudi Arabia from 30 March to 3 April 2016.Agreement on Labour Co-operation between the Ministry of Labour, Saudi Arabia and Ministry of External Affairs, India for recruitment of general category workers.Technical Cooperation Program between the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and the Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO).Executive Program for Cooperation in the Field of Handicrafts between the Export Promotion Council for Handicraft (EPCH), India and Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage.MoU between Financial Intelligence Unit of India and Saudi Arabia concerning Cooperation in the Exchange of Intelligence related to Money Laundering, Terrorism Financing and Related Crimes. Framework for Investment Promotion Cooperation between Invest India and the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA).Besides, during his visit Modi gifted a gold-plated replica of the Cheraman Juma Masjid of Kerala to Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. Situated in Thrissur district, the mosque is believed to be the first mosque built in India by Arab traders around 629 AD.Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also conferred with the King Abdulaziz Sash honour by Saudi Arabia, the highest civilian honour of the country.

The 2016 Nuclear Security Summit concluded on 1 April 2016 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C., United States.The fourth edition of the conference, which commenced on 31 March 2016, succeeded the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit. The summit was organised by the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI).The summit was attended by over 50 World leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi. At the summit, the world leaders pledged to reduce nuclear stocks and protect the active inventories from falling into the hands of terrorists, which could prove to be catastrophic. However, leaders or representatives of Russia, North Korea, Iran and Belarus remained absent from the summit.Key announcements made at the NSS 2016 : Many countries, including Kazakhstan and Poland, agreed to to reduce their highly-enriched uranium stockpiles.Japan undertook to ship additional separated plutonium to the U.S.Canada pledged 42 million US dollars to bolster nuclear security.The U.S. disclosed that its own inventory of highly enriched uranium has dropped from 741 metric tons in the 1990s to 586 metric tons as of 2013.According to the U.S., since the last summit in 2014, 10 nations have removed or disposed of about 450 kilograms of highly enriched uranium.Argentina, Switzerland and Uzbekistan are now free of highly enriched uranium, as is all of Latin America and the Caribbean. About Nuclear Security Summit : The Nuclear Security Summit is a world summit, aimed at preventing nuclear terrorism around the globe.The genesis of the NSS lies in the speech given by the US president Barrack Obama in Prague, Czech Republic in 2009. In this speech, President Obama called for establishment of nuclear security architecture to prevent the threat of nuclear terrorism.The first summit was held in Washington, D.C., United States from 12 April to 13 April 2010.The second summit was held in Seoul, South Korea, in 2012.The third summit was held in The Hague, Netherlands, from 24 March to 25 March 2014.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was conferred Saudi Arabia’s highest civilian honour- the King Abdulaziz Sash. The prestigious award was bestowed upon Indian Prime Minister by incumbent Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz at the Royal Court.The award has been named after Abdulaziz Al Saud, the founder of the modern Saudi state. The award is bestowed upon citizens of Saudi Arabia and foreigners for meritorious service to the Saudi Kingdom. King himself makes awards to foreigners. World leaders who have received the honour include US President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

April 4: International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action was observed on 4 April 2016 across the world. The theme of the year 2016 is Mine Action is Humanitarian Action.The theme of the day draws people across the world to work together to advance the goal of a world free of the threat of mines and explosive remnants of war. It is because mine action saves lives.Mine action ensures that landmines and explosive hazards in war-torn areas are found and destroyed, making possible the delivery of humanitarian assistance so that people and supplies reach those most in need. UNMAS coordinates teams to clear roads and runways of explosives, to block off weapons contaminated areas, and to train local people to demine and dispose of explosives.United Nations Mine Action Strategy (UNMAS) 2006-2010 :  United Nations mine action activities are guided by four strategic objectives identified in the United Nations Mine Action Strategy (UNMAS) for 2006-2010. They are: For reduction of death and injury by at least 50 per cent; To mitigate the risk to community livelihoods and expand freedom of movement for at least 80 per cent of the most seriously affected communities; For integration of mine action needs into national development and reconstruction plans and budgets in at least 15 countries;To assist the development of national institutions to manage the landmine/explosive remnants of war threat, and at the same time prepare for residual response capacity in at least 15 countries.The UN General Assembly on 8 December 2005 declared that 4 April every year shall be observed as the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.It was to foster the establishment and development of national mine-action capacities in countries where mines and explosive remnants of war constitute a serious threat to the safety, health and lives of the civilian population, or an impediment to social and economic development at the national and local levels.

West Indies Women’s on 3 April 2016 won their maiden Women's Cricket World T-20 title. In the final clash at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, West Indies defeated reigning champions Australia by 8 wickets.Batting first Australia was bowled out at a score of 148 for 5 wickets and in reply West Indies scored 149 at the loss of 2 wickets in 19.3 over.Player of the match - Hayley Matthews (West Indies Women.Player of the series - Stafanie Taylor (West Indies Women) Captains of the two teams :  West Indies - Stafanie Taylor,Australia - Meg Lanning

Union Minister for Environment and Forests Prakash Javdekar on 3 April 2016 inaugurated a White Tiger Safari at Mukundpur in Satna district of Madhya Pradesh.The Safari is situated adjacent to the Mukundpur Zoo which is spread over 75 hectares.The first of its kind safari has cost 50 crore rupees and is spread over an area of 25 hectares.With its inauguration, the safari houses three white tigers, including one male named Raghu and two females named Vindhya and Radha.The white tiger is a pigmentation variant of the Bengal tiger, which is reported in the wild from time to time in the Indian states of Assam, Bengal, Bihar, Sunderbans and especially in the former State of Rewa.The first white tiger was spotted in Madhya Pradesh’s Vindhya region in 1915. However, the rare breed of the big cat died in 1920.In 1951, a white tiger cub, named Mohan, was captured by Rewa Maharaja Martand Singh of Rewa City in Madhya Pradesh, India. The cub later became the progenitor of all known white tigers in the world after the Maharaja arranged for its breeding. It is believed that all the white tigers in the world at present have lineage to Mohan.

Victoria Azarenka of Belarusia and World No 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia won women’s and men's singles titles of the 2016 Miami Open at the Crandon Tennis Center in Miami on 2 and 3 April 2016 respectively.  Novak Djokovic defeated Kei Nishikori of Japan 6-3, 6-3 in the men's final while Victoria Azarenka defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia 6-4, 6-4.Djokovic won his sixth title in Miami and became the first player to win three straight Miami titles since Agassi from 2001-2004.This championship title made him the new career ATP Masters 1000 title leader. Behind him comes Rafael Nadal with 27 titles, Roger Federer with 24, and Andre Agassi with 17.On the other hand, Victoria Azarenka achieved a rare Indian Wells- Miami double win. She is the third woman in the WTA’s history to win both tournaments in the same year after Kim Clijsters in 2005 and Steffi Graf in 1994 and 1996.Besides these, American Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Czech Lucie Safarova who are also known as Bucie won the women’s doubles title against Timea Babos and Yaroslava Shvedova, 6-3, 6-4  and French Duo Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut clinched the men’s doubles 2016 Miami Open title against Rajeev Ram and Raven Klaasen 5-7, 6-1, 10-7.

Former AC Milan defender and Italian international, Cesare Maldini, has passed away at the age of 84. The legendary sweeper played more than 400 matches for the Milanese club between 1954 and 1966 winning 4 Serie A titles and the European Cup in 1963. Cesare Maldini even guided AC Milan to victory in the European Cup Winners' Cup and the Coppa Italia in 1973. Maldini is also famous for his work in building the national team taking them to the World Cup in 1998. More importantly, Cesare Maldini worked extensively on the growth and the development of the Italian youth coaching the likes of his own son, Paolo Maldini and Francesco Totti, Gianluigi Buffon as well as Fabio Cannavaro. His influence on the youth was unparalleled winning the European Under-21 in 1992, 1994 and 1996 with a squad consisting of future superstars like the aforementioned ones. Cesare Maldini also represented his national team more than 25 times even travelling to Chile in 1962. At the end of the same calendar year, he was included in the FIFA World Cup All-Star team outlining his abilities and prowess as a centre-back / sweeper. Maldini's influence on the game extended way after his retirement with the son, Paolo Maldini, who is an Italian and AC Milan legend in his own right carrying the name of the family and the club through some of its most historic and glorious years. 

Nico Rosberg made it two F1 wins out of a possible two in 2016 as he stormed to victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix.The Mercedes driver took the opening race of the season in Melbourne last month and was fastest man in the pack again Sunday -- but he was given a helping hand when misfortune befell likely title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.Ferrari's Vettel was forced to withdraw on the pre-race formation lap with smoke billowing from his engine.Rosberg's Mercedes teammate Hamilton, meanwhile, stuttered from pole position on the grid before colliding with Valtteri Bottas of Williams at turn one.Hamilton's nightmare start saw his car suffer bodywork damage as he dropped back to seventh position.Naturally, Rosberg needed little encouragement to take the lead, a position the German driver would not relinquish.Vettel's Ferrari teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, finished second 10.2 seconds behind Rosberg while Hamilton would battle back to finish third.The Briton later described the result as "damage limitation" given his troubles at the start to the race.Vettel, meanwhile, revealed his frustration at the "very sudden" nature of the incident that ended his race in comments carried by the AFP news agency. But remained confident it was not indicative of wider problems.Lewis Hamilton walks through the paddock in Arabic dress ahead of the 2016 Bahrain F1 Grand Prix.Hamilton is now second in the driver's title race, 17 points behind Rosberg who has a maximum 50 points.Three-time world champion, Hamilton, remains nine points clear of Daniel Ricciardo who lies third in the overall standings. Red Bull's Ricciardo finished fourth in Bahrain Sunday, one place ahead of Romain Grosjean of the American Haas team.Max Verstappen of Torro Rosso claimed sixth spot ahead of the second Red Bull driven by Daniil Kvyat. Felipe Massa of Williams, Bottas in the second Williams and Belgian debutant Stoffel Vandoorne took the final points positions, finishing eighth, ninth and tenth respectively.Vandoorne will be especially delighted with his showing given the fact he was filling in for former F1 champion Fernando Alonso who has yet to fully shake off the effects of a horror crash in Melbourne in March.

American space firm Blue Origin successfully completed the third launch and vertical landing of its reusable New Shepard rocket today, company founder and Internet entrepreneur Jeff Bezos said. Flawless BE-3 restart and perfect booster landing," tweeted Bezos, referring to the BE-3 engine used to land the rocket back at the company's testing site in Texas. The unmanned crew capsule also landed safely, using parachutes, said the executive, who founded online giant Amazon and also owns The Washington Post newspaper. The breakthroughs by Blue Origin and parallel efforts by rival Internet mogul Elon Musk's SpaceX open up the potential for cutting costs for space travel and making rockets as reusable as airplanes. In November, Bezos called the accomplishment a "game-changer" which opens the door to lower costs in space travel and his vision of people living and working in space. Bezos said in a tweet yesterday that the rocket's engines would be restarting just 3,600 feet (1.1 kilometers) from the ground during the vertical landing attempt today, with the rocket hitting the ground in six seconds if they failed to work properly. The New Shepard can reach an altitude of 333,000 feet, considered the boundary between Earth's atmosphere and space. Previous test flights for the New Shepard were in January and November.

In a first for any domestic bank, small-sized lender DCB Bank has started an Aadhaar-based ATM usage facility wherein a customer can transact using his biometric details instead of the PIN.The user can key-in the 12-digit Aadhaar number or swipe the card at an automated teller machine (ATM) to start a transaction, but at the stage of confirming the identity, it requires biometric details rather than the PIN.We have started the first ATM in the country which operates using the Aadhaar data. One can do a transaction without the card as well," the bank's managing director and chief executive Murali Natrajan told PTI.Seeding the bank account with the Aadhaar number will be essential before a customer can use the facility, he said, adding that initially, only DCB Bank customers will be able to make use of the service.The solution has been developed in-house and involves connecting up with the Aadhaar server to authenticate the identity of the customer every time a transaction is initiated, he said.Natrajan said it is a comparatively inexpensive solution and the bank, which currently has 400 ATMs, is targeting to cover its entire network under the system within a year.The first of the Aadhaar-based ATMs has been installed at its corporate office in the megapolis' Lower Parel area and Natrajan said it will be waiting for a month more for the technology to stabilise before a mass rollout.He added that it has great potential at the POS (point-of-sale) terminals at the merchants' end to make transactions easier and also for business correspondents.Enrolments under Aadhaar are set to cross the 100 crore mark soon. The data is being used for a slew of purposes like opening bank accounts and the government's direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme.

Union Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy Minister of State (Independent Charge) Piyush Goyal on 31 March 2016 launched Vidyut PRAVAH- Electricity, Price Availability and Highlights mobile application in New Delhi. The mobile application provides highlights of the power availability in India on real time basis.The app will empower common people to demand 24X7 power from the states and will take transparency to the next level and make state governments more accountable.Vidyut PRAVAH mobile app : The main features include dashboard for All India summary, link for each states from All India Map and state specific pages on single click..It provides a wealth of information pertaining to the current demand met, shortages if any, surplus power available and the prices in the Power Exchange.The real time data and comparison with previous day or year data is also available.It is a user friendly interface which facilitates all the consumers or stakeholders in visualization of the power availability and prices at the overall country level and at States and UTs level based on the Geographical map of India.The information disseminated through the Application will empower the consumer, thereby leading all the stakeholders to be more responsive and efficient, bringing more economy to the country.The Web application can be accessed through mobile version is available for download from the Playstore for both Android and iPhones for free.The Vidyut PRAVAH mobile application will provide date pertaining to market price of power from power exchange, value of current all India demand in GW and all India and State shortage including peak hour and total energy shortage.An all India Power map will showcase surplus power available at power exchange in current block, average market clearing price, current and previous day demand met at national level and previous day Peak hour Demand Shortage and Energy shortage etc. The State specific page will show the similar information of selected state.

Reliance Industries is extending the Jio brand name to new businesses, the latest being a fashion ecommerce site dubbed, said people aware of the development. The company has named its telecom unit Reliance Jio and its upcoming digital wallet Jio Money. has been tested among some employees since December, said the people cited above. It will be opened to all employees later this week through an official communication.Reliance plans to adopt a dual ecommerce model similar to Flipkart's, which operates a general merchandise marketplace and fashion portal Myntra, which it acquired in May last year for about $300 million. This strategy stems from high margins in the fashion business, while the marketplace ventures are low margin but encompass a vast range of products. In a presentation to analysts in October last year, Reliance said the ecommerce platform for electronic products was ready for deployment, while it plans to roll out an online grocery marketplace in the fourth quarter of the fiscal. In the presentation, Reliance said it plans to enroll 1,50,000 small and medium vendors for its ecommerce marketplace by the end of the current fiscal year. has lined up brands from the US, Russia, Turkey, Singapore, and Australia besides other countries. The brands may include Holster of Australia, Gizia of Turkey and mds from Singapore, said the people cited above. It aims to distinguish its portfolio through a mix of curated, exclusive global and local brands besides handpicked artisanal products, they said. ET had reported last July that Reliance had appointed Sanjay Mehra, a veteran of US firm Wolverine World Wide that owns Caterpillar shoes and Merrell apparel, as chief executive of its fashion and lifestyle ecommerce business. Reliance is expected to make a high-profile entry into the general merchandising marketplace where it will compete with Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal.The AJIO labels will be different from those sold by Reliance Trends and Reliance Brands. AJIO plans to leverage Reliance Jio's digital platform as well as the 3,000-strong Reliance Retail network for deliveries and returns. 

With its ranking going up by three places, India has now been ranked sixth among the world's 10 largest manufacturing countries, a UNIDO report has said. The country previously held the 9th rank.The Yearbook, published by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), finds that in India, the Manufacturing Value Added (MVA) grew by 7.6 per cent in 2015 compared to the previous year.It also said that the quarterly index of industrial production ( IIP) shows 1 per cent growth of manufacturing output in the fourth quarter of 2015 compared to the same period of previous year. India is now the sixth largest manufacturer in the world," the report said .The report also said that the global growth rate of manufacturing production has slowed to 2.8 per cent in 2015. This slowdown could be due to reduced manufacturing growth rates recorded by major developing and emerging economies .China tops the list of 10-top industrial producers followed by the US, Japan, Germany and Korea. Indonesia was at the bottom of the list. 

Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh, who started his career with romantic comedy Band Baaja Baaraat in 2010 has been conferred with Maharashtrian Of The Year award. On the other hand, the lifetime achievement award was bestowed upon 82 year old legendary singer Asha Bhosle.The award was presented by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at a ceremony held at Mumbai.Superstar Aamir Khan was guest of honour at the event.Ranveer has been chosen for the award to recognize his epic performance in last year’s movie Bajirao Mastani by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. He put forth the vison, aura and grandeur of Maharashra’s pride “Peshwa Bajirao”.Earlier, the legends, Amitabh Bachchan and Dilip Kumar have been bestowed with this award.Maharashtrian of The Year Award:The Lokmat Maharashtrian of The Year” award recognizes and honors the individuals who have positively influenced the state of Maharashtra and put it at the top of the ladder globally.Ranveer Singh:1985 born Ranveer Singh Bhavnani completed his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University, Bloomington. After returning to India he made his debut in 2010 with a leading role in romantic comedy Band Baaja Baaraat.He was starred in Lootera (2013), Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela (2013), Gunday (2014), Dil Dhadakne Do (2015) and Bajirao Mastani (2015). For his first movie he was conferred with Filmfare Award in the Best Male Debut category.For Bajirao Mastani he was bestowed with Filmfare Award for Best Actor.

Goa Tourism's coastal circuit project under the 'Swadesh Darshan Scheme' has been approved by the Centre and soon funds will be allocated under various components for development projects to be undertaken in the first phase along the coastal belt of the state, according to Tourism minister Dilip Parulekar. The Rs 99.99 crore Central Financial Assistance (CFA) is a record highest allocation received by Goa Tourism since 2010 when it had received an amount of Rs 40 crore .The Rs 99.99 crore Central Financial Assistance (CFA) is a record highest allocation received by Goa Tourism since 2010 when it had received an amount of Rs 40 crore .The coastal circuit projects in talukas of Bardez and Pernem, in addition to coastal areas across the state will be covered under the first phase of funding .Coastal and Spiritual Tourism ar "Another major component includes development of Aguada Fort and Jail as a major touristic destination. It will include upgradation and improvement of the Aguada helipad, parking, ticketing and bus facilities at the Fort, illumination, seating arrangements, cafe and a lot more," the minister said. Coastal and Spiritual Tourism are the most pre-dominant sectors needing more attention in terms of basic infrastructure and creation of a clear circuit. The Swadesh Darshan Scheme is envisaged under the Central Financial Assistance (CFA) of the Ministry of Tourism with the aim to fund projects that fall under the gamut of touristic potential due to its history, heritage, cultural importance as well as innovation," said Nilesh Cabral, Chairman, Goa Tourism Development Corporation. The third phase of the report will be finalised and submitted in the coming months. This is exciting and we are looking forward to experience the results of all the innovative conceptualisation and ideation," he added. PTI CORR DKe the most pre-dominant sectors needing more attention in terms of basic infrastructure and creation of a clear circuit. Darashaw & Company Pvt. Ltd, lead consultant for the projects Aalap Bansal said this development proposal, submission and approval has been achieved in record time. The Ministry approved it speedily, as the proposal creates infrastructure provisions in the state, and aligns with the Swadesh Darshan scheme's vision, objective and mission. The second phase of the Detailed Project Report has been submitted and is under review by the Ministry. The third phase of the report will be finalised and submitted in the coming months. This is exciting and we are looking forward to experience the results of all the innovative conceptualisation and ideation .

Australian medium-pacer Clint McKay has announced his retirement from international and Australis’a first-class cricket.The 33-year-oldVictoria Pacer will carry on playing in the English country circuit for Leicestershire and also play in the Big Bash League for the Sydney Thunder.Victoria speedster became key findings in one-day side from 2009 where he picked up the wickets of Indians Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni on international debut in Hyderabad to his last match for Australia in early 2014, taking 97 wickets at 24.37, including a hat-trick against England.McKay had debutedin November 2006 and last played in February 2016,He played only one Test and six T20 Is but his resume was stronger in ODIs – 59 matches, 97 wickets at an average of 24.37 and economy rate of 78.McKay played 42 first-class matches for Victoria and took 130 wickets, with a best of 6 for 40 in 2011.McKay was named Australia’s ODI cricketer of the year in 2013.He was part of a BBL-winning Thunder team in 2015-16, taking 18 wickets, the most by any bowler in the tournament.

West Indies on 3 April 2016 won the ICC Cricket World T-20 Men’s Cup 2016. In the final clash at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, West Indies defeated England by 4 wickets.England batting first was bowled out at a score of 155 for 9 wickets and in reply to the target West Indies scored 161 at the loss of 4 wickets in 19.4 over. Player of the match – Marlon Samuels (West Indies) . Player of the series – Virat Kohli (India).Captains of the two teams West Indies – Darren Sammy, England – Eoin Morgan.With this win, West Indies became the only team so far to win the ICC World Twenty20 title twice, having secured it last in 2012.Earlier, West Indies won their maiden Women's World T-20 title by defeating reigning champions Australia by 8 wickets at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

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