Current Affairs 8th April 2017 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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The trial run of passenger train service between Bangladesh's Khulna city and West Bengal capital Kolkata began with the arrival of a train at Petrapole along the India-Bangladesh border. Named Maitree Express-2, it is the second passenger train between India and Bangladesh. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee jointly flagged off the train service through video link from New Delhi. Regular service between the Kolkata station and Khulna will commence in July, Railway officials said. Indo-Bangla rail corridor through Petrapole was reopened in January 2001 for goods trains.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has launched the first NBA Basketball School in Mumbai. The school is part of NBA's initiative of a network of tuition-based basketball development programmes, open to international male and female players aged between 6 to 18. Additional NBA Basketball Schools will be launched in India and around the world in the coming months.

U.S President Trump’s nominee, Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, was confirmed for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, filling a 14-month vacancy after a dramatic Senate showdown that risked long-lasting repercussions to both institutions. The Senate confirmed Gorsuch, 54-45, for the seat that had been open since the 2016 death of Justice Antonin Scalia. The Republican-led Senate had refused last year to consider President Obama’s nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, fueling partisan rancor and Democratic opposition to Gorsuch.

Seeking to provide irrigation facilities to over one lakh hectare of farm land in Daltonganj and Palamu region of Jharkhand and neighbouring districts of Bihar, the Centre has decided to revive its 45-year-old North Koel river irrigation project at an estimated cost of Rs 1,622 crore and begin the construction of remaining works soon. The ministry has, meanwhile, also been focused on completing its ongoing irrigation projects in different parts of the country under the 'Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana' (PMKSY) on time. Bharti said 33 other projects will be completed by 2017-18. Union water resources minister : Uma Bharti

Kirti Chakra, the second highest peacetime gallantry award, was posthumously conferred on Lance Havildar Prem Bahadur Resmi Magar of Gorkha Rifles by President Pranab Mukherjee at the defence investiture ceremony. The late Lance Havildar eliminated four terrorists during an operation in Jammu and Kashmir on June 16 last year. Mr. Mukherjee also presented 13 Shaurya Chakras.

Iceland's parliament has presented a bill that would require public and private businesses to prove they offer equal pay to employees, in what would be the first such requirement in the world. Iceland ranks first on the World Economic Forum's 2015 Global Gender Gap Index, followed by fellow Nordic nations Norway, Finland and Sweden. But the new law aims to close a seven percent wage gap between men and women in the island nation of more than 323,000 people. About Iceland:-  a Nordic island nation Capital: Reykjavik Currency: Icelandic krona Population: 3,23,002

Uruguay will become the first country in the world to legally sell marijuana over the counter in pharmacies. The South American country had already legalized cultivation, distribution and consumption of marijuana in 2013 but authorization for pharmacies has not been secured until now. “Marijuana will be dispensed in pharmacies starting in the month of July,” President of the National Drug Board Juan Andres Roballo told. Marijuana:- means "cannabis", especially as smoked in cigarettes.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to connect the 100th anniversary of Champaran Satyagraha with Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. This initiative attempts to re-envision the theme of the Champaran Satyagraha. Satyagraha, in this context, will therefore be re-interpreted as Swachhagraha – where an individual shall pool his efforts towards building a clean India. The event will be kick started by PM Modi who will launch a special digital exhibition at National Archives in New Delhi on April 10. The digital exhibition titled, “Bapu Ko Karyanjali” will be an attempt to leverage this historic occasion to re-emphasise the spirit of cleanliness – or Swachhta – which was close to Mahatma Gandhi’s heart, and was also a key element of the Champaran movement.

Ramping up the social network's efforts in artificial intelligence, Facebook launched its digital assistant named "M" for US users of its Messenger application. For users of the messaging platform, M will pop up and suggest "helpful actions" in the chat window. Facebook, which has its own artificial intelligence research lab, announced M in 2015 as an experiment, and the expansion to Messenger is another step in the social network's broader AI goals. Facebook founder : Mark Zuckerberg

The deadline for getting the permanent account number or form 60 (if PAN is not available) by banks ended on 28 February, and has been now extended till 30 June. Form 60 is a declaration form filed by an individual without PAN. About Permanent account number (PAN):- Permanent Account Number (PAN) is a code that acts as an identification for Indian nationals, especially those who pay Income Tax. It is a unique, 10-character alpha-numeric identifier, issued to all judicial entities identifiable under the Indian Income Tax Act, 1961.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has selected Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai to be a UN messenger of peace, the highest honor bestowed by the UN chief on a global citizen. UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric announced that she will focus on promoting girls’ education worldwide. About Malala Yousafzai:-  Yousafzai, 19, became a global symbol of the fight for girls education after being shot in the head in October 2012 for opposing Taliban restrictions on female education. The Pakistani education activist survived the attack and became an advocate for millions of girls denied formal education around the world. In 2013, Yousafzai and her father Ziauddin Yousafzai co-founded the Malala Fund to bring awareness to the social and economic impact of girls education, and to empower girls to demand change. She became the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate in December 2014, sharing the honour with Indian childrens rights and education advocate Kailash Satyarthi. Yousafzai is the first Messenger of Peace designated by Guterres. Other messengers of peace:- This include actors Michael Douglas and Leonardo DiCaprio, primatologist Jane Goodall and musicians Daniel Barenboim and Yo-Yo Ma. About United Nations:- Headquarters: New York City, New York, United States Founded: 24 October 1945, Lake Success, New York, United States Founders: Syria, United States of America, India, Turkey, Brazil, more Subsidiaries: United Nations Security Council, UNESCO, more

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