Current Affairs April 2019: General Awareness Section can be the easiest and qualifying section in most competitive exams with the right focus. To bag a good score in these sections one must follow the current affairs for at least a few minutes on a daily basis. Current affairs are vastly diversified with topics from politics, finance, sports, etc and getting lost in this vastness might be confusing sometimes. It is essential for the candidates who are preparing for competitive exams to know what topics to focus on instead of wandering. GK can be divided into static and dynamic. Static GK will involve topics from Indian History, Geography, Indian Polity, Indian Economy, etc and these topics can be grasped by various general knowledge based books. Dynamic GK, on the other hand, will be based on daily happenings around the world and following them regularly will aid in cracking the competitive exams. For dynamic GK, start by reading news from quality outlets. You can start right away by bookmarking this article.
Current Affairs April 2019 is specifically designed to provide you with the information on top happenings around the world to make sure your limited and precious time is well spent. Whether you are preparing for a written test or an interview of any competitive exam, you have come to the right place to enhance your GK knowledge.
Current Affairs April 2019
Current Affairs April 2019 | 30th April
Indonesia to relocate its capital from Jakarta
- Indonesia recently announced its plans to move its capital away from Jakarta.
- President Joko Widodo’s government plans to establish a new Capital out of the crowded Java Island to ensure more equitable development of the country amid environmental concerns and overcrowding issues.
- The new location is yet unknown. President Widodo-led government looks forward to form the Capital similar to Washington D.C. and letting Jakarta sustain as the business, trade and financial hub, similar to New York in the United States.
Green Car Loan launched by SBI
- State Bank of India (SBI) has recently launched India’s first ‘Green Car Loan’ to encourage customers to buy electric vehicles. Green Car Loan is part of its environment-friendly commitment towards building a cleaner and greener environment. With this initiative, SBI has become India’s first bank to offer a loan specifically for electric cars.
- With this initiative, the SBI believes that Green Car Loan scheme would act as a change agent in auto loan segment and encourage customers to switch to electric vehicles which can improve overall air quality and lower carbon emissions.
- The bank also became the first major Indian organisation, along with Wipro, to join the Climate Group’s EV100 initiative for accelerating the roll-out of electric vehicles worldwide.
International Dance Day
- This day, dance is celebrated globally and it was created by the Dance Committee of the International Theatre Institute (ITI), the main partner for the performing arts of UNESCO. The date 29 April was chosen because it is the birthday of famed French dance artist Jean-Georges Noverre, who was born in 1727, a French dancer, ballet master and a great reformer of dance.
- The creators and organisers of the events are ITI by UNESCO. The International Dance Day was created in 1982, and since then an outstanding personality is selected to write a message for International Dance Day.
- Even ITI, in the selected host city, create a flagship event where several dance performances, educational workshops, speeches by dignitaries, dance artists, humanitarian projects etc.
Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria to take over as IAF Vice Chief
- Air Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria will take over as the Vice Chief of Indian Air Force on May 1 succeeding Air Marshal Anil Khosla who is superannuating tomorrow. Bhadauria is at present heading IAF’s Bengaluru-based Training Command and in his earlier avatar as the Deputy Chief, he was the chairman of the Indian negotiating team for the 36 Rafale combat aircraft deal with France.
- Bhadauria was commissioned into the fighter stream of the Air Force on June 15, 1980, with the Sword of Honour. He went on to hold several important positions such as Commandant of the National Defence Academy, Senior Air Staff Officer at the Central Air Command and Deputy Chief of the Air Staff from January 2016 to February 28, 2017.
- Bhadauria served as the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C), Southern Air Command from March 1, 2017. He took over as the chief of the Bengaluru-based Training Command on August 1, 2018.
IIT Madras researcher develops easy OCR system for Bharati Script
- IIT Madras the last decade, developed a unified script for nine Indian languages, named the Bharati script. The team has now gone a step further since developing the script: it has developed a method for reading documents in Bharati script using a multi-lingual optical character recognition (OCR) scheme.
- The team has also created a finger-spelling method that can be used to generate a sign language for hearing-impaired persons.
- In collaboration with TCS Mumbai, the researchers have found a way for persons with hearing disability to generate signatures using this finger-spelling technique.
Current Affairs April 2019 | 29th April
Cyclone Fani expected to intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm
- Cyclone Fani is expected to intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm and will continue to move North West and change its path to North East. According to the MeT department, Cyclone Fani’s landfall over Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh are ruled out. However, the possibility of landfall in Odisha is under continuous watch.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi directed officials to take preventive measures to deal with Cyclone Fani.
- The National Disaster Response Force and Indian Coast Guard have been put on high and placed at the disposal of State Government Authorities.
NCLT approved the merger of IndusInd Bank and BFIL
- The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) approved the merger of IndusInd Bank with Bharat Financial Inclusion (BFIL).
- The merger will be completed within 2-4 weeks. Post-merger, the BFIL will become a subsidiary of the IndusInd Bank.
- Bharat Financial Inclusion Limited is a Non-Banking Finance Company, licensed by the Reserve Bank of India.
3,000-kg garbage collected from Mt. Everest
- A total of 3,000 kg of solid waste has been collected from Mt. Everest since the launch of an ambitious clean-up campaign in Nepal on April 14, 2019. The campaign is aimed at bringing back tonnes of trash from the world’s highest peak Mt. Everest.
- The ‘Everest Cleaning Campaign’, led by Solukhumbu district’s Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality, aims to collect nearly 10000 kgs of garbage from Mt. Everest.
- Of the 3,000 kg garbage collected, 2000 kg was sent to Okhaldhunga while the remaining 1000 kg was brought to Kathmandu using Nepali Army helicopters for disposal.
BCCI nominates four cricketers for Arjuna Award
- The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has recommended India pacers Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and women’s team spinner Poonam Yadav for the prestigious Arjuna award.
- The decision was taken during the Supreme Court-appointed CoA meeting in New Delhi. The Arjuna Awards are given to honour excellence in sports by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
- On the other hand, All India Football Federation (AIFF) recommended the names of goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and forward Jeje for the prestigious sporting honour.
World’s first floating nuclear power plant to begin operations
- Akademik Lomonosov, the world’s only floating nuclear power unit is ready to start commercial operations in Russia. The plant was launched by Russia on May 19, 2018, at the St Petersburg shipyard.
- The power plant is to be the first of a fleet of floating nuclear power stations to be stationed in the Russian Arctic. It is capable of producing enough electricity to power a town of 200,000 residents, far more than the 5,000 living in Pevek.
- It is expected to operate for 40 years, with the possibility of the operating life being extended to 50 years and the two reactors will be refuelled once every three years.
Current Affairs April 2019 | 27 & 28 April
ICMR launches ‘MERA India’ alliance to eliminate malaria from India by 2030
- The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) launched the ‘Malaria Elimination Research Alliance (MERA) India’, a gathering of partners working together to plan and scale up research to eliminate Malaria from India by 2030.
- MERA India alliance holds utmost importance to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for the operational research. The World Health Organisation (WHO) had earlier appreciated India’s research in malaria and hence, the country now aims to ensure its elimination by 2030.
- The alliance was launched on the occasion of World Malaria Day 2019.
RBI to soon issue Rs 20 banknote of Greenish Yellow colour
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will shortly issue Rs 20 denomination banknotes in the Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series, bearing the signature of Shaktikanta Das, Governor of the Reserve Bank of India.
- The new Rs 20 banknote has a motif of Ellora Caves on the reverse, depicting the country’s cultural heritage. The base colour of the note is Greenish Yellow.
- All the banknotes in the denomination of Rs 20 issued earlier by the Reserve Bank of India will continue to be legal tender.
RBI extends the coverage of NBFC Ombudsman Scheme to Non-Deposit Taking NBFCs
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) extended the coverage of Ombudsman Scheme for Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs), 2018 to eligible Non-Deposit Taking Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFC-NDs).
- The coverage will be extended to Non-Deposit Taking Non-Banking Financial Companies having an asset size of Rs 100 crore or above with customer interface.
- However, Non-Banking Financial Company-Infrastructure Finance Company (NBFC-IFC), Core Investment Company (CIC), Infrastructure Debt Fund-Non-banking Financial Company (IDF-NBFC) and NBFCs under liquidation are excluded from the ambit of the Scheme.
World Day for Safety and Health at Work observed
- The World Day for Safety and Health at Work was observed across the globe on April 28, 2019. The day is observed annually to promote safe, healthy and decent work.
- This year, the world day attempts to take stock of a 100 years of work in improving occupational safety and health and looks to the future for continuing these efforts through major changes such as technology, demographics, sustainable development including climate change and changes in work organisation.
- The World Day celebration on April 28 will be only the beginning of worldwide events and activities to continue throughout the rest of the year.
US places India on ‘Priority Watch List’
- The United States yet again placed India on its ‘Priority Watch List’, alleging lack of sufficient measurable improvements to its Intellectual Property (IP) framework on long-standing and new challenges, which has negatively affected American right holders over the past year.
- The office of the US Trade Representative identified 11 countries, including India, in its ‘Priority Watch List’. The list topped by China also includes Indonesia, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Besides this, the US Trade body has placed 25 countries, including Pakistan, Turkey and the UAE, on the watchlist.
- In its report, the US said that these countries will be the subject of increased bilateral engagement with the USTR to address Intellectual Property (IP) concerns.
Gagandeep Kang, the first Indian woman Fellow of the Royal Society
- Gagandeep Kang, 56, is Director of the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI) in Faridabad.
- She acclaimed for her key role in the development of Rotavac, India’s first indigenously developed vaccine for rotavirus infections, Kang was recently awarded Fellowship of the Royal Society (FRS), United Kingdom — the first Indian woman scientist to be thus feted.
- In an interview, she spoke about the challenges of being a woman scientist in India and why the country would do well with a 40% job reservation for women.
FSS Launches ‘FSS Voice Commerce’: A Real-Time Voice Banking Platform
- FSS has launched FSS Voice Commerce, a real-time voice banking platform that offers customers, meaningful, contextual and personalized banking interactions. Enabling banks to deepen customer engagement via conversation-led banking and deliver interactive service experiences to its customers, FSS Voice Commerce is set to take frictionless banking to the next level.
- FSS Voice Commerce supports an extensive set of 200 transactions, enabling seamless 24/7 secure access to a broad range of financial banking services such as fund transfers, bill payments, card controls and non-financial transactions such as service requests, like ordering for a cheque book, new credit/debit card and loan request.
- All financial transactions initiated are completely secure. FSS Voice Commerce supports out-of-band multi-factor authentication including one-time passcodes and biometrics, to maintain the integrity of the transaction ecosystem and prevent fraud.
Current Affairs April 2019 | 26th April
Rana Dasgupta bags 2019 Tagore Literary Prize
- The second edition of Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize was awarded to author Rana Dasgupta for his 2010 novel “Solo”, a tale of estrangement and the ultimate failure of material existence.
- An amount of $10,000, a Tagore statue and a certificate for contribution to literature were given to Dasgupta.
- The Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize for social achievement was awarded to Yohei Sasakawa, the World Health Organization Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination, for “his incredible efforts to uproot leprosy and great contribution to world peace”. The Prize was also awarded to Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen as “a beacon of democracy”.
IEPF Authority recovers Rs 1,514 crore of depositors’ money from Peerless General Finance
- The Investor Education and Protection Fund (IEPF) Authority have successfully forced the Peerless General Finance and Investment Company Limited to transfer deposits worth about Rs 1,514 crore to IEPF, a statutory body under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
- “Depositors’ money was pending with the company for the last 15 years. The matter came to the notice of the Authority recently and within a short time due to the proactive action of the Authority, the said sum has now been transferred to IEPF.
- The data submitted by the company reveals that 50.77 per cent of the total amount was taken in the form of deposit certificates of the value of Rs. 2000 or less. Number wise such certificates form 85.32 per cent of a total number of certificates issued. The majority of these investors are common citizens belonging to lower and middle-income group.
NASA Insight Mars lander detects likely ‘marsquake’ on Red Planet
- There are earthquakes and moonquakes, and now a NASA spacecraft has detected what’s believed to be a “marsquake” on the Red Planet.
- NASA’s InSight lander, which touched down on Mars in November after a seven-month journey, sensed the seismic signal on April 6.
- Mission scientists are still working to confirm the source of the faint trembling, though it appears to have come not from the wind or movement of the lander’s robotic arm but from below the Martian surface. If confirmed, it would be the first seismic activity ever detected on Mars. The detection of the marsquake shows that the lander’s Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS) seismometer is working, though the tremor was too small to reveal anything about the Martian interior. But mission scientists expect the lander to detect more — and bigger — quakes.
UNSC reform most important process: India
- India has called for action towards early reform of the UN Security Council that rightfully accords a central and leading role to Africa to ensure the body reflects the world of today and not of 1945.
- Director General of the UN Division Government of India, Sanjay Rana said this while addressing a high-level plenary meeting to commemorate the International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace. India said the reform of the Security Council has perhaps been the most important and yet stagnating processes of the General Assembly.
- Mr Rana emphasised that multilateralism is in crisis today, at a time when the world needs it the most. He pointed out that the upcoming 75th anniversary of the UN, which was created in 1945, presents an opportunity for everyone to recommit themselves to the work needed to achieve this goal.
World Intellectual Property Day
- The World Intellectual Property Day was observed across the world today to spread awareness about the role that intellectual property rights like patents, trademarks, industrial designs and copyright play in encouraging innovation and creativity.
- On this day, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) works together with various government agencies, non-government organizations, community groups and individuals to hold different events and activities to promote the day. The theme of World Intellectual Property Day 2019 was “Reach for Gold: IP and Sports”.This year’s theme dives into the world of sports. It explores how innovation, creativity and IP rights support the development of sport and its enjoyment around the world.
- In October 1999, the General Assembly of the WIPO approved the idea of declaring a particular day as a World Intellectual Property Day. April 26 was specifically chosen as the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization, first entered into force in 1970 on this date.
Ex-Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag named Indian envoy to Seychelles
- Former Indian Army Chief General (Retired) Dalbir Singh Suhag was appointed as India’s High Commissioner to the island nation Seychelles.
- Dalbir Singh was the Army Chief from August 1, 2014, to December 31, 2016. He was also part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka in 1987. He is expected to take up the assignment shortly.
- There has been a high-level exchange of visits between both nations. PM Modi’s visit in March 2015 was the first Prime Ministerial level visit from India to Seychelles in 34 years. The recent visit of Seychelles President Danny Faure to India in 2018 further strengthened the bilateral relations.
Current Affairs April 2019 | 25th April
Madras High Court lifts the ban on ‘Tik Tok’ App
- The Madras high court lifted the ban on Chinese short-video app ‘TikTok’, three weeks after it had asked the Government to prohibit further downloads of the popular application on Google and Apple app stores.
- However, the high court asked the owners of the app to ensure that the platform does not allow pornography.
- Hence, the users can now once again download the app from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store after the app is made available on these platforms.
RBI sells entire stake in Nabard, NHB
- The Reserve Bank of India has sold its entire stake in the National Housing Bank (NHB) and the National Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development (Nabard) to the Union Government for Rs 1,450 crore and Rs 20 crore, respectively.
- The move would now make these organisations fully government-owned.
- The move is a part of ending the cross-holding in regulatory institutions. It follows the recommendation of the second Narasimham committee report of October 2001 and the RBI’s own discussion paper on the same entitled ‘Harmonizing the role and operations of development financial institutions and banks.’
Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2019 released
- he Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) 2019 was released recently by INSEAD, Adecco Group and Tata Communications. In this sixth edition of the index, Switzerland continues to lead the 2019 Global Talent Competitiveness index, while Singapore and the United States come in second and third respectively. India was ranked at the 80th position.
- The report measures levels of Global Talent Competitiveness by looking at 68 variables. The 2019 index covers 125 national economies and 114 cities (respectively 119 and 90 in 2018) across all groups of income and levels of development.
- This year’s report has a special focus on entrepreneurial talent – how it is being encouraged, nurtured and developed throughout the world and how this affects the relative competitiveness of different economies.
Nobel Prize 2019 announcements to take place in October
- The Nobel Prize 2019 announcements will take place in October 2019.
- They are issued every year in the fields of Physiology or Medicine, Physics, Chemistry, Literature, and Peace.
- The winner of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel will also be announced.
Issue of Rs 200, Rs 500 banknotes bearing the signature of Governor Shaktikanta Das
- The Reserve Bank of India will shortly issue Rs 200 and Rs 500 denomination Banknotes in Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series bearing the signature of Shaktikanta Das, RBI Governor.
- The design of these notes will be similar in all respects to the banknotes in Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series.
- All banknotes in the denomination of Rs 200 and Rs 500 issued by the Reserve Bank in the past will continue to be legal tender.
World Immunization Week 2019
- The Immunisation Awareness week is being celebrated this year between April 24 and April 30. To promote the importance of vaccination and immunization, the world celebrates World Immunisation week, initiated by the efforts of the World Health Organisation.
- While the world moves towards achieving absolute immunization, diseases like measles, meningitis A, mumps, polio, hepatitis B, and Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib) still require complete vaccines and dosages at regular intervals.
- There are certain loopholes and gaps that are mentioned by WHO in achieving complete immunization. According to the data released by the World Health Organization (WHO), the following are the existing gaps in immunization awareness.
Current Affairs April 2019 | 24th April
Special kits to states, UTs to help probe sexual assault cases
- The Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kits (SAECK) or ‘rape investigation kits’ are designed to carry out immediate medico-legal investigation and aid in furnishing evidence in sexual assault and rape cases.
- The Ministry of Home Affairs has procured 3,120 SAECK and distributed to the states and UTs.Each of these kits comprises essential items that will aid in furnishing evidence such as blood and semen samples in sexual assault and rape cases, thus helping the prosecution to gather evidence against the accused.
- Police and medical officers are being given training on how to use the kits in the event of any such case happening in their area of jurisdiction. The SAECKs or ‘rape investigation kits’ were procured with financial support under the central government’s ‘Nirbhaya Fund’, which was named after the 2012 Delhi gang-rape victim.
Government extends ban on import of milk products from China
- The Union Government has extended the ban on import of milk and its products, including chocolates, from China till laboratories at ports for testing the presence of toxic chemical melamine are upgraded.
- The Directorate General of Foreign Trade said in a notification that the prohibition on import of milk, milk products including chocolates, chocolate products, candies, confectionary and food preparations with milk or milk solids as an ingredient from China is extended until the capacity of all laboratories at ports of entry have been suitably upgraded for testing melamine.
- The ban was imposed after apprehensions arose on the presence of melamine in some of the milk consignments from China. Melamine is a toxic chemical used for making plastics and fertilisers.
Indonesia releases special stamp on Ramayana theme
- Indonesia has released a special commemorative stamp on the theme of Ramayana to mark the 70th anniversary of the establishment of its diplomatic ties with India. A specially signed version of the stamp will be on display at the Philately Museum in Jakarta.
- The stamp, designed by renowned Indonesian sculptor Padmashri Bapak Nyoman Nuarta, featured a scene from Ramayana in which Jatayu valiantly fought to save Sita, said a statement issued by the Embassy of India.
- The event showcased a special photo exhibit chronicling some of the landmark moments in India-Indonesia ties from 1949 to 2019.
Swachhta Pakhwada Awards-2019
- All India Radio and the Publication Division and Children’s Film Society of India were awarded the Swachhta Pakhwada Awards-2019.
- Director General of All India Radio, F. Sheheryar and Director General (News), Ira Joshi received the Award for All India Radio.
- Press Council of India, Press Information Bureau and BECIL were also mentioned during the award ceremony for their efforts during the Swacchta Pakhwada.
International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace 2019
- The first ever official ‘International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace’ was observed by the United Nations (UN) today.
- The UN General Assembly convened a one-day high-level plenary meeting to commemorate and promote the day.
- The International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace was officially proclaimed to be observed every year on 24 April by the UN General Assembly on December 12, 2018, through resolution A/RES/73/127.
Current Affairs April 2019 | 23rd April
London School of Economics names a professorship after economist Amartya Sen
- The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) has announced the creation of the Amartya Sen Chair in Inequality Studies, named in honour of the India-born economist, philosopher and Nobel laureate, who was Professor of Economics at LSE from 1971-82. The public announcement of the chair was made during LSE’s biannual Amartya Sen Lecture.
- The lecture, ‘Foundations of State Effectiveness’, was delivered by Professor Sir Tim Besley with Professor Sen serving as discussant and LSE Director Minouche Shafik chairing. The inauguration of the Amartya Sen Chair marks a further milestone for the International Inequalities Institute (III), following the 2016 launch of the Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity programme, backed by a historic 64 million pounds, 20-year gift by The Atlantic Philanthropies, the School’s largest to date.
- The holder of the Amartya Sen Chair in Inequality Studies will also serve as Director of the International Inequalities Institute (III), LSE’s flagship initiative focused on studying and challenging one of the most pressing issues of our time. Amartya Sen is Thomas W. Lamont University Professor, and Professor of Economics and Philosophy, at Harvard University and was until 2004 the Master of Trinity College, Cambridge.
23 April: World Book and Copyright Day
- The World Book and Copyright Day was observed across the world on April 23, 2019, to highlight the power of books and to promote UNESCO’s vision of knowledge societies that are inclusive, pluralistic, equitable, open and participatory for all citizens.
- The 24th edition of World Book Day will celebrate literature and reading while laying emphasis on the importance of enhancing and protecting Indigenous languages.
- The Day pays tribute to books and authors by encouraging everyone to discover the pleasure of reading. Every year, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) along with the international organisations representing publishers, booksellers and libraries, select the World Book Capital for the period of one year with effect from 23 April each year. This year, UNESCO designated Sharjah as the World Book Capital for 2019. With the slogan “Read – you are in Sharjah”, the programme focuses on six themes: Inclusivity, Reading, Heritage, Outreach, Publishing and Children.
AYUSH Ministry & CSIR sign MoU for research in areas of traditional systems of medicine
- The Union Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation in research and education in areas of traditional systems of medicine and its integration with modern science.
- The MoU enables collaboration in pursuit of Data mining and analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to facilitate concepts such as “Traditional knowledge inspired drug discovery and development” and “Food as Medicine”.
- Both the organisations will jointly pursue R&D covering fundamental research; AYUSH specific diagnostic tools; linking microbiome, gene expression and Prakriti; multi-ingredient herbal formulations, including their standardisation; exploring modern scientific methods for integration with traditional Indian Systems of Medicine (ISM); linking disease signatures; preserving and protecting traditional knowledge related to the Indian systems of healthcare through the existing TKDL platform; and, Development of international standardised terminologies (disease-morbidity codes) in Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani (ASU), Database on Medicinal plants, Foods, etc.
5 Asian tea producers form ATA to boost trade
- Indian Tea Association, China Tea Marketing Association, Indonesian Tea Marketing Association, Sri Lanka Tea Board and Japan Tea Association- the five bodies from five tea growing and consuming countries in Asia- have now come forward to form what is called The Asian Tea Alliance (ATA).
- The whole idea is to boost tea trade from these countries. ATA, which was floated in Guizhou in China, will now work towards enhancing tea trade, cultural exchanges, technology exchanges, promoting tea globally, enhancing global consumption of tea, while creating a sustainability agenda for the future of Asian tea.
- Earlier, the Indian Tea Association and China Tea Marketing Association teamed up to promote green and black tea consumption in major tea markets of Europe, the US, Russia and West Asia, besides India and China.
Nasim Zaidi quits Jet Airways’ Board
- Nasim Zaidi, Non-executive and Non-independent Director of Jet Airways, resigned from the board, citing personal reasons and time constraints.
- Zaidi, the former Chief Election Commissioner and ex-civil aviation secretary, joined the Jet Airways board in August 2018.
- Zaidi’s resignation comes after cash-strapped Jet Airways recently suspended all its domestic and international flights indefinitely with immediate effect after the lenders refused to release emergency funds for the carrier.
Current Affairs April 2019 | 22nd April
Global Earth Day observed on 22nd April 2019
- Several events and campaigns held worldwide on the occasion of Earth Day 2019 to support and protect the environment of the earth. This year’s theme is – Protect Our Species. This theme emphasis to protect the planet and preserve its environment.
- As per the Earth Day Network (EDN), nature’s gifts to our planet are the millions of species that we know and love, and many more that remain to be discovered. Unfortunately, human beings have irrevocably upset the balance of nature and, as a result, the world is facing the greatest rate of extinction since we lost the dinosaurs more than 60 million years ago.
- Earth Day was first celebrated in the US in the 1970s, and went global by the 1990s — it is now celebrated in at least 192 countries.
NASA airborne telescope spots universe’s 1st molecule
- NASA’s airborne observatory has detected the first type of molecule ever formed in the universe. This is the first time helium hydride has been found in the modern universe. Scientists discovered the molecule in our own galaxy using NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), as the aircraft flew high above the Earth’s surface and pointed its sensitive instruments out into the cosmos.
- SOFIA is a Boeing 747SP jetliner modified to carry a 106-inch diameter telescope. It found modern helium hydride in a planetary nebula, a remnant of what was once a Sun-like star.
- Scientists believe that around 100,000 years after the big bang, helium and hydrogen combined to make a molecule called helium hydride. Helium hydride should be present in some parts of the modern universe, but it has never been detected in space.
IN Ships to participate in International Fleet Review at Qingdao, China
- IN Ships Kolkata and Shakti have arrived Qingdao, China to participate in the International Fleet Review as part of 70TH Anniversary celebrations of PLA (Navy). International Fleet Review (IFR) is a parade of naval ships, aircraft and submarines, and is organised by nations to promote goodwill, strengthen cooperation and showcase their organisational capabilities.
- IFR also serves as an ideal platform for the world’s navies to showcase their prowess and indigenous ship designing and shipbuilding capabilities in a global/ international arena. The second IFR conducted by India off Visakhapatnam in Feb 2016 saw an overwhelming participation of 50 navies with nearly 100 warships.
- The Indian Navy would be represented in the IFR at Qingdao by indigenously built stealth guided missile destroyer INS Kolkata and fleet support ship INS Shakti. INS Kolkata is equipped with state-of-the-art weapons and sensors to address threats in all dimensions of naval warfare. INS Shakti, a replenishment ship, is one of the largest tankers displacing over 27,000 tonnes and capable of carrying 15,000 tonnes of liquid cargo and over 500 tonnes of solid cargo including victuals and ammunition.
US to end sanctions waivers for all importers of Iranian oil, India to be hit
- The United States is expected to announce that all importers of Iranian oil will have to end their imports shortly or be subject to US sanctions. As per reports, the administration will terminate the sanction waivers that it had granted to some importers of Iranian oil late last year.
- US President Donald Trump made it clear to his national security team over the last few weeks that he wants the waivers to end and national security adviser John Bolton has been working the issue within the administration.
- While re-imposing sanctions on exports of Iranian oil, the United States had granted waivers to eight economies that had reduced their purchases of the oil including China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy and Greece. Since then, three of the eight nations-Italy, Greece and Taiwan- stopped importing oil from Iran. The other five, however, lobbied for their waivers to be extended.
UAE Cabinet adopts National Artificial Intelligence Strategy 2031
- The UAE Cabinet has adopted the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy 2031. The move was undertaken during a cabinet meeting at the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi on April 21, 2019, which was chaired by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.
- The decision is aimed at positioning the UAE as a global leader in artificial intelligence by 2031 and to develop an integrated system that employs artificial intelligence in vital areas in the country.
- The strategy will focus on the following fields of priorities during the first phase of implementation: resources and energy, logistics and transportation, tourism and hospitality, healthcare and cybersecurity.Applying AI technologies in governance is expected to positively impact a number of vital sectors, such as the national economy. The AI applications are also expected to contribute to the national GDP in the coming years, which would create new economic opportunities.
Current Affairs April 2019 | 20th & 21st April
CBSE to allow visual aids for disabled kids from 2020
- The Central Board of Secondary Education has decided to allow students to use magnifying glasses and portable video magnifiers during the Class X final examination, from 2020.
- The CBSE, while notifying the exemption stated that alternative-type questions will be provided in lieu of questions having visual inputs for visually impaired candidates in social science.
- The CBSE affiliated schools have also been directed to ensure that premises are disabled friendly by 2020 with all the educational institutions, including hostels, libraries, and laboratories to have barrier-free access. The schools have also been directed not to deny admission to children with special needs in mainstream education.
Indian Navy launches Guided-missile destroyer ‘Imphal’
- The Indian Navy on April 20, 2019, launched guided missile destroyer ‘Imphal’ at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders in Mumbai. The Indian Navy has achieved enhanced stealth features in the new destroyer through the shaping of the hull and use of radar transparent deck fittings, which make the ships difficult to detect. Imphal is the third ship to be launched under Project 15B.
- The ship, comprising state-of-the-art equipments, is expected to contribute to achieving the Indian Navy’s dream of transforming from a “buyers” to a “builders” Navy. The warships built under the project are propelled by four gas turbines to achieve speed in excess of 30 knots.
- They have a length of 163 metres and 17.4 metres at the beam and a displacement of 7.300 tonnes. The ships are built to carry and operate two multiple role helicopters. The first ship of Project 15B, a guided missile destroyer christened ‘Visakhapatnam’, was launched on April 20, 2015.
Nepal’s first ever satellite launched into space
- Nepal’s first satellite has been launched into space, which will soon start rotating around the Earth’s orbit to collect information about the country’s topography and Earth’s magnetic field.
- The NepaliSat-1 was launched from the Virginia-based station of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in the US, according to authorities at the Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST). The satellite, developed by two Nepalis — Abhas Maskey and Hariram Shrestha — at Japan’s Kyushu Institute of Technology, bears the Nepal flag and the NAST logo. Similar satellites from Japan and Sri Lanka were also launched alongside NepaliSat-1.
- According to the NAST, the satellite is equipped with a 5MP camera to capture Nepal’s topography and a magnetometer to collect data related to the Earth’s magnetic field.
Multiple blasts hit Sri Lanka churches, hotels
- Black day for Sri Lanka as there was a series of blasts on the day of Easter. The death toll in a string of blasts targeting hotels and churches has risen to 207, including 35 foreigners. At least 450 injured people have been admitted to hospital.
- There was no immediate claim of responsibility but the government said eight people had been arrested. The government also imposed a nationwide curfew and curbed social media access to restrict “wrong information” spreading in the country of 21 million people.
- The attacks were mostly targeted at high-end hotels in the capital and churches where worshippers were attending Easter services.
Current Affairs April 2019 | 19th April
India and France to hold largest ever ‘Varuna’ naval exercise off Goa coast
- With the objective of expanding their strategic partnership in the Indian Ocean region (IOR), India and France will conduct their largest ever naval exercise ‘Varuna’.
- India will deploy its aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya with its MiG-29K fighters. Similarly, the French Navy will send its aircraft carrier FNS Charles de Gaulle with its Rafale-M naval jets, and other warships for the “Varuna” exercise.
- It will be a top-level naval exercise, with intensive dual carrier task group operations and anti-submarine warfare manoeuvres. India and France are also working to implement their action-oriented joint strategic vision for cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), which was finalised in March 2018.
Gagandeep Kang becomes 1st Indian woman scientist in Fellow of Royal Society in 358 years
- Gagandeep Kang has become first Indian woman scientists selected for Fellow of Royal Society (FRS), London. She is the first Indian woman scientist getting selected as FRS in 358 years of history of this prestigious scientific academy.
- She is known for her interdisciplinary research, development and prevention of enteric infections in children in India. In her achievements, Kang has built national rotavirus and typhoid surveillance networks, established laboratories to support vaccine trials and conducted phase 1-3 clinical trials of vaccines.
- Among the 2019 announcements apart from Dr Gagandeep Kang, Mumbai-born Padma Bhushan awardee Dr Yusuf Hamied has also been elected as Honorary Fellow.
Christina Koch to set a record for the longest spaceflight by a woman
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced that astronaut Christina Koch is going to have her mission on the International Space Station (ISS) extended to 328 days. She would set a record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman.
- Michigan resident and forty years old Christina Koch is already on ISS; she reached there on March 14, 2019. She will remain in space until February 2020 that will complete her 328 days stay in ISS.
- As per the records, If Koch completes her 328 days on ISS; she will break the record for the single longest spaceflight by a woman of 288 days set by retired astronaut Peggy Whitson in 2016-17.
Saudi Aramco to buy 25% stake in Reliance’s refining & petrochemical business
- Saudi Aramco, a Saudi Arabian national petroleum and natural gas company, is in talks to acquire a 25 per cent stake in Reliance Industries’ refining and petrochemicals businesses.
- This stake sale of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) would fetch around USD 10-15 billion, valuing Reliance’s refining and petrochemicals businesses at around USD 55-60 billion.
- Reliance Industries is India’s biggest refining and petrochemicals company, controlled by Mukesh Ambani. Reliance runs 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd) refining complex at Jamnagar in western India. It plans to expand capacity to 2 million bpd by 2030.
India suspends LoC trade with PoK
- The Home Ministry on Thursday issued orders to suspend the Line of Control (LoC) trade between Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Jammu and Kashmir.
- The government has taken this step after receiving reports of cross LoC trade routes being misused by Pakistan-based elements.
- During ongoing probe of certain cases by NIA, it has been brought out that a significant number of trading concerns engaged in LoC trade are operated by persons closely associated with banned terror organisations involved in fueling terrorism/separatism.
India’s rank slips to 140 in World Press Freedom Index 2019
- The Reporters Without Borders (RSF) released the World Press Freedom Index 2019, reflecting growing animosity towards journalists. India’s rank in the World Press Freedom Index 2019 dropped down to 140th from 138th in 2018, two points below the previous year.
- As per the Index, one of the most striking features of the current state of press freedom in India is violence against journalists including police violence, attacks by Maoist fighters, criminal groups and corrupt politicians. At least six Indian journalists were killed on duty in 2018.
- The media coverage in sensitive regions like Kashmir continues to be very difficult. Even the entry of foreign reporters is prohibited in Kashmir and the Internet is often disconnected there.
Current Affairs April 2019 | 18th April
India, Vietnam hold naval exercise
- Navies of India and Vietnam held a four-day maritime exercise off Cam Ranh Bay in Vietnam from April 13 with an aim to boost operational cooperation.
- Indian Navy’s warships Kolkata and Shakti participated in the annual exercise, comprising a harbour and a sea phase.
- India and Vietnam share robust defence cooperation, especially in the area of maritime security. In 2016, during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Vietnam, the relations between the two countries were elevated to the level of Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
New way to create fast-charging lithium-ion batteries discovered
- Scientists, including one of Indian origin, have developed a way to make lithium-ion battery that can charge within minutes but still operate at a high capacity, an advance that may improve performance for smartphones and electric vehicles.
- A lithium-ion battery charges and discharges as lithium ions move between two electrodes, called an anode and a cathode. In a traditional lithium-ion battery, the anode is made of graphite, while the cathode is composed of lithium cobalt oxide.
- These materials perform well together, which is why lithium-ion batteries have become increasingly popular, but researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the US believe the function can be enhanced further.
Jet Airways suspends operations
- Cash-strapped Jet Airways has suspended all its domestic and international flights indefinitely with immediate effect after the lenders refused to release emergency funds for the carrier.
- Once India’s top airlines, Jet Airways flew its last flight on Amritsar-Mumbai-Delhi route at 10:30 pm on April 17 after flying for 25 years.
- The grounding of Jet’s operations has put the future of over 20,000 employees at stake who were left with no work at hand. Besides facing heavy losses in the stock market, Jet also faces the challenge of passenger refunds of thousands of crores, dues to vendors and over Rs 8,500 crore bank debt.
TIME’s 100 Most Influential People list released
- The TIME’s 100 Most Influential People-2019 list was released naming the world’s most influential pioneers, artists, leaders, titans and icons of the year.
- Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, public-interest litigators Arundhati Katju and Menaka Guruswamy, who spearheaded a historic legal battle for LGBTQ rights in India, are among the Indians who have been included by TIME in its 100 most influential people in the world list.
- The list includes Indian-American comedian and TV host Hasan Minhaj, US President Donald Trump, Pope Francis, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, iconic golfer Tiger Woods and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
18 April: World Heritage Day
- World Heritage Day, also known as the ‘International Day for Monuments and Sites’, was observed across the world today with an aim to create awareness among the people to conserve and protect the valuable assets and cultural heritage across the world.
- The day marks the necessity of protecting the historical monuments and sites located in every part of the world by making collective efforts at the international level. The theme of World Heritage Day 2019 is ‘Rural Landscapes’.
- On 18 April 1982, the International Council for Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) organised a symposium in Tunisia. It was on that day the Council suggested a special day to be celebrated all through the world in the name of “International Day for Monuments and Sites” on 18 April every year.
Wrestler Bajrang regains world no. 1 spot
- India’s Bajrang Punia has regained the world number one spot in the men’s 65kg freestyle category, as per the latest rankings issued by United World Wrestling.
- The 25-year-old, who had won gold in the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games and a silver in the World Championships in 2018, secured 58 ranking points ahead of Akhmed Chakaev of Russia, who has 21 points.
- Punia, who is currently preparing for the Asian Wrestling Championship to be held in China from April 23, had first reached the world number one spot in November 2018. He had won a gold at the Dan Kolov-Nikola Petrov tournament in Bulgaria in March.
Current Affairs April 2019 | 17th April
Scientists print the world’s first 3D heart using human tissues
- Researchers from Tel Aviv University, Israel have made the world’s first 3D printed vascularised engineered heart using a patient’s own tissues and biological materials. Researchers managed to produce an entire heart, complete with cells, blood vessels, ventricles, and chambers.
- This first 3D heart is the size of a rabbit’s heart. Professor Tal Dvir, who led the research now hope to stimulate the printed heart into functioning like a real one. The cells are currently able to contract, but not yet have the all-important ability to pump. The process of creating the heart started with a biopsy of fatty tissue taken from patients. The cellular material from the tissues was used as the “ink” for the print job. That allowed researchers to create complex tissue models including cardiac patches and eventually an entire heart.
- First 3D heart is not the actual size of the human heart but a complete prototype. But the technology that made it possible could eventually lead to the production of a human-sized organ. Currently, the hearts can only contract but researchers plan on culturing the 3D printed hearts and teaching them how to operate like the real deal. Once that process is complete, they will attempt to transplant them into animal models.
Astronomers Discover Third Planet in the Kepler-47 System
- A team of scientists led by San Diego State University has discovered a third planet in a two-star system named Kepler-47, which is seven times the size of the Earth and the largest in its system.
- To study of this system, the team used NASA’s Kepler space telescope to find the Neptune-to-Saturn-size planet orbiting between two previously known planets.
- The planets in the Kepler-47 system were detected via the “transit method.” It means if the orbital plane of the planet is aligned edge-on as seen from Earth, the planet can pass in front of the host stars, leading to a measurable decrease in the observed brightness. The new planet, dubbed Kepler-47d, was not detected earlier due to weak transit signals.
RBI issues Rs 50 banknotes signed by new Governor
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today issued Rs 50 denomination banknotes signed by the Governor Shaktikanta Das.
- The design of these notes is similar in all respects to Rs 50 banknotes in Mahatma Gandhi new series.
- All banknotes in the denomination of Rs 50 issued by the Reserve Bank in the past will continue to be legal tender.
Google & Apple block TikTok App after Madras HC refused to lift the ban
- Google and Apple blocked the access to highly popular Chinese video app ‘Tik Tok’ on their app stores following the refusal of the Madras High Court to lift the ban imposed on the app on April 3, 2019.
- The app is now not available for download on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.The Madras High Court on April 16, 2019, did not accept the request of the Bytedance Technology Pvt Ltd, the marketer of Tik Tok app in India, to suspend the ban.
- However, the court-appointed Senior Advocate Arvind P Datar as amicus curiae to assist the Court in upcoming proceedings, a move that was welcomed by the company.
Indo-Pacific Wing Set up in the Foreign Office
- The Ministry of External Affairs has set up an Indo-Pacific Wing in the foreign office. The Indo-Pacific division is intended to give a coherent architecture to the Indo-Pacific policy articulated by PM Narendra Modi at the Shangri-La Dialogue in 2018.
- Setting up of this special wing or division makes a strong strategic statement. The Indo-Pacific Wing is currently headed by joint secretary Vikram Doraiswami. The Indo-Pacific Wing is a big step by the Government and it is expected to give thrust to the Indo-Pacific centered policymaking.
- The Indo-Pacific Wing integrates the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), ASEAN region and the Quad. The Indo-Pacific diplomacy of India has repeatedly placed ASEAN at the center of its policy. Even the US has recently renamed its Pacific Command to the Indo-Pacific Command as it seeks to give teeth to its Indo-Pacific policy.
Current Affairs April 2019 | 16th April
‘NIRBHAY’ Cruise Missile successfully test fired
- The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on April 15, 2019, successfully test fired indigenously designed Long Range Subsonic Cruise Missile “Nirbhay” from the Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur, Odisha.
- The missile successfully demonstrated its sea-skimming capability to cruise at very low altitudes. The entire flight was fully tracked by a chain of Electro-Optical Tracking Systems, Radars and Ground Telemetry Systems deployed all along the sea coast. All the mission objectives were met.
- It was the sixth development flight trial of the missile with an objective to prove the repeatability of boost phase, and cruise phase by using waypoint navigation at very low altitudes. It can strike the targets more than 700 km away carrying nuclear warheads giving India the capability to strike deep into enemy territory.
India turns net importer of steel in the fiscal year 2018-19
- India became a net importer of steel in the fiscal year that ended on 31 March for the first time in three years, as the 25pc import duty on steel products imposed by the US diverted additional supplies to India.
- India’s steel imports rose by 4.7pc to 7.84 million tonnes in 2018-19 from 7.48million tonnes a year earlier, while exports fell by 34pc to 6.36million tonnes from 9.62million tonnes over the same period, government data show. The country was last a net steel importer in 2015-16.
- India’s domestic consumption of finished steel rose at a robust 7.5pc in 2018-19 to 97.51mn t. Steel demand growth is likely to remain at 7-8pc in 2019-20, driven by spending on infrastructure projects. Slower real estate and private industrial investment growth over the past few years has capped growth in steel use.
Himachal Pradesh celebrates 72nd state day
- The 72nd Himachal Day was celebrated with gaiety and fervour in the state on 15th April.
- Governor Acharya Devvrat unfurled the national flag at an event on the historic Ridge Maidan in Shimla to mark the day. He inspected an impressive parade led by Parade Commander Deputy Superintendent of Police Shakti Singh.
- Contingents of state police, home guards, NCC cadets, Bharat Scouts and Guides participated in the parade. Various other functions were also held at district and sub-divisional headquarters.
- The governor said it was a matter of great pride that the tiny hill-state developed rapidly after coming into existence on April 15, 1948, following the merger of 30 princely states.
Three Indian teams win awards at NASA annual Rover Challenge
- NASA has awarded three teams from India as part of the US space agency’s annual Human Exploration Rover Challenge which invites high school and college students to build and test roving vehicles for future missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond.
- The team from KIET Group of Institutions in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, won the “AIAA Neil Armstrong Best Design Award”, which recognises systems best designed to meet the Rover Challenge performance requirements. The Mukesh Patel School of Technology Management and Engineering from Mumbai, Maharashtra, won the “Frank Joe Sexton Memorial Pit Crew Award” for ingenuity and persistence in overcoming problems during the race as well as the “System Safety Challenge Award”. A team from Lovely Professional University in Phagwara, Punjab, won the “STEM Engagement Award”, presented to the team that best-informed others about rocketry and other space-related topics.
- Nearly 100 teams took part in the competition, hailing from a record number of countries, including the US, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, Germany, Mexico, Morocco and Peru.
Cabinet approves the continuation of GSLV Programme-Phase 4
- The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the ongoing Phase 4 of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) programme.
- Under the GSLV Continuation Programme, five GSLV flights have been planned during the period 2021-2024.
- The GSLV Programme – Phase 4 will enable the launch of 2 tonne class of satellites for Geo-imaging, Navigation, Data Relay Communication and Space Sciences into the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).
Current Affairs April 2019 | 15th April
UAE to host the world’s leading Artificial Intelligence Summit
- United Arab Emirates (UAE) will host the world’s leading Artificial Intelligence (AI) Summit -AIE from April 30 to May 1, 2019. Its aim is to empower global dialogue on the future of government, business and society. The inaugural ‘AI Everything’, AIE will take place at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
- This two-day AI summit will bring together world leaders to define the underlying pillars of governance, business and society – augmenting the world’s happiness. AIE will unravel real-world use cases across industries, and forge collaborations and partnerships, hosting over 130 influential speakers.
- The show will convene more than 100 global revolutionary AI tech companies and start-ups from more than 30 countries. Alibaba Cloud, Alteryx, BrainCo, Dataiku, DEWA, Dubai Health Authority, Google, Hikvision, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Huawei, Injazat, Microsoft, PwC, Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and SenseTime will be amongst other participating companies that will feature the most transformative AI solutions.
Airtel, FICCI Ladies Organisation launch women’s safety app, My Circle
- Telecom operator Bharti Airtel and the FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) launched a safety app – My Circle – aimed at aiding women in event of distress or an emergency situation, by sending an SOS alert. The carrier-agnostic app can be installed by both Airtel and non-Airtel customers.
- “My Circle app enables women to send SOS alerts to any five of their family or friends in 13 languages including English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Marathi, Punjabi, Bangla, Urdu, Assamese, Oriya, and Gujarati”. My Circle app has been developed by Airtel X labs and was conceptualized by an all-women cross-functional team.
- The SOS alert can be launched by pressing the SOS prompt on the app. It can also be activated through voice command through Siri on iOS. The voice activation via Google Assistant will soon be available on Android devices also.The free-to-download app is now available on the Google Play store (Android) and will be available on the App Store (iOS) shortly. After downloading app, registration and verification, users can add details of five contacts who they are most likely to reach out for help in case of a distress situation.
World’s largest airplane completes first flight
- Built for hauling rockets aloft to launch satellites, the world’s biggest airplane landed Saturday after a widely-anticipated test flight over California’s Mojave Desert, six months after the death of billionaire benefactor Paul Allen clouded the future of the project.
- The dual-fuselage, six-engine aircraft took off from the Mojave Air and Space Port shortly at 6:58 a.m. PDT (9:58 a.m. EDT; 1358 GMT) and flew for about two-and-a-half hours, reaching an altitude of around 17,000 feet (5,200 meters) and a top speed of 189 mph (304 kilometres per hour).
- The Stratolaunch aircraft, nicknamed “Roc,” is designed to carry rockets high into the atmosphere, providing a head start in altitude and velocity for satellites going into orbit around Earth. Stratolaunch airplane has a wingspan of 385 feet, or 117 meters, breaking the record for the widest wingspan on an aircraft set by the Hughes’ propeller-driven H-4 Hercules, or “Spruce Goose,” flying boat, which made a single brief test flight in 1947.
Money Laundering Law Prevails over Bankruptcy Act, Insolvency Code: Delhi HC
- The Delhi High Court has held that the money laundering law, PMLA, prevails over the Bankruptcy Act and insolvency code when it comes to the attachment of properties obtained as “proceeds of crime”.
- The court said the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), Recovery of Debt and Bankruptcy Act (RDBA), Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Securities Interest Act (SARFAESI Act) and Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) must co-exist and be enforced in harmony with the PMLA.
- The court passed the verdict on a batch of appeals by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) against the orders of PMLA appellate tribunal on the pleas of various banks.
SC directs all political parties to furnish receipts of electoral bonds in a sealed cover to EC
- The Supreme Court Friday directed all political parties to furnish receipts of electoral bonds and details of the identity of donors in a sealed cover to the Election Commission. In an interim order, the apex court also directed all political parties to provide details of the amount and bank account of donors by May 30 to the poll panel.
- The order was pronounced by a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna.
- The petition seeking a stay on the electoral bonds was filed by ADR through lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan, who also informed the court that the government made amendments in different statutes to smoothen the implementation of the scheme.
Current Affairs April 2019 | 13th &14th April
PM Modi to be conferred Russia’s highest civilian award
- Russia on April 12, 2019, announced that it had honored Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the Order of St Andrew the Apostle, the highest order of the Russian Federation, for promoting partnership and friendly relations between the two countries.
- PM Modi has been decorated with the order for exceptional services in promoting a special and privileged strategic partnership between Russia and India and friendly relations between the Russian and Indian people.
- The information was shared by the Russian Embassy in India.
SpaceX launches its first commercial flight with Falcon Heavy
- US space flight company SpaceX carried out its first commercial launch with its Falcon Heavy rocket by placing a Saudi satellite in orbit.
- The 13,000-pound Saudi Arabian telecommunication satellite is operated by Arabsat and is expected to provide television, internet and mobile phone service to the Middle East, Africa and Europe.
- The bright white Falcon Heavy rocket was launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The launch was initially scheduled on April 10 but was postponed due to fierce winds in the upper atmosphere.
100 years of Jallianwala Bagh Massacre
- The Year 2019 marks 100 years of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, also known as the Amritsar Massacre that occurred on April 13, 1919. The Jallianwala Bagh massacre is remembered as a “shameful scar” on India-British relations.
- On the fateful afternoon of April 13, 1919, the troops of the British Indian Army under the command of Colonel Reginald Dyer fired ruthlessly into a crowd of Indian civilians gathered at Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar, Punjab. The massacre is remembered as one of the deadliest attacks in Indian history.
- The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre was the result of the Anarchical and Revolutionary Crimes Act of 1919, famously known as the Rowlatt Act. As per the records of the British Government, the massacre killed 379 and caused 1200 injuries. However, as per the Indian National Congress, around 1000 died and 1500 got injured.
India to be Guest of Honour at ADIBF 2019
- India will be the Guest of Honour country at the 2019 Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) to be held during April 24-30, 2019. The fair aims to highlight the UAE’s rich heritage and showcase its authenticity, cultural and literary output. This will be the 29th edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.
- Through India’s participation in the fair, the UAE expects to witness a significant increase in the number of visitors in various events and activities that will be held throughout the entire duration of ADIBF. A number of activities in the fields of literature, culture, and art are expected to engage the audience.
The Indian Pavilion will host writers, authors and literary scholars who will serve as ambassadors for the literature and art of their country. The book fair will celebrate India, with its authentic culture, arts, heritage and knowledge-based traditions. India’s participation will provide a chance for investors to explore and capitalise on opportunities offered by Indian groups and publishers present in the Gulf region.
Navy gets virtual reality center for designing warships
- A new, state-of-the-art Virtual Reality Centre (VRC) was inaugurated by Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba that would provide a “major boost” to indigenous warship design capabilities of the Navy.
- The VRC at the Directorate of Naval Design (Surface Ship Group), seeks to also provide impetus to “self-reliance and greater fillip” to warship construction under the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Indian government
- The project will facilitate collaborative design reviews for continuous interaction between designers and end-users to improve design and ergonomics onboard warships. The multi-disciplinary team has successfully developed 19 warship designs on which more than 90 platforms have been constructed till date.
Rajouri Day celebrated
- Rajouri Day is celebrated on April 13 every year to commemorate the bravery and valour of the gallant soldiers and brave-hearts of Rajouri district who laid down their lives for the liberation of Rajouri from rebels and Pakistan army personnel who had infiltrated from across the border.
- White Knight Corps celebrated the historic spectacle with characteristic gaiety and fervour. The celebrations were kick-started by GOC, Ace of Spades division on April 11, 2019 by felicitating the next of kin of the martyred soldiers as a part of the noble initiative to dedicate this year’s Rajouri Day as the ‘Year of Next of Kin’ to honor the supreme sacrifice made by their loved ones for Rajouri’s liberation.
- The event saw a patriotic fervour which commenced with paying homage to the martyrs and the brave citizens of Rajouri who had laid down their lives for the liberation of Rajouri from Pakistani raiders in the year 1948 through a wreath-laying ceremony at the Gujjar Mandi Chowk Memorial.
E-Cigarettes May Get Banned In India
- The commerce ministry has asked the health ministry to frame a law banning the manufacture and sale of e-cigarettes in the country, according to people aware of the development.
- The commerce ministry has also been asked to issue a notification banning the import of electronic nicotine delivery systems, including e-cigarettes and flavoured hookah. Over 1,000 doctors from 24 states and three union territories in April urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to enforce a ban on electronic nicotine delivery systems before it becomes an “epidemic in India”, especially among the youth.
- Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes are devices that do not burn or use tobacco leaves but vaporise a solution, which a user then inhales. The main constituents of the solution, in addition to nicotine, are propylene glycol (with or without glycerol and flavouring agents).
CMFRI, ISRO ink MoU to protect smaller wetlands
- In a bid to build resilience against the impact of climate change, premier fisheries research institute CMFRI and the ISRO have joined hands to map, validate and protect smaller wetlands by restoring them through coastal livelihood programmes.
- They would develop a mobile app and a centralised web portal with a complete database of wetlands that are smaller than 2.25 hectares in the country.
- A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the CMFRI and the Space Applications Centre of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
Display information on 7 common antibiotics says Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation
- Alerted by the Union Health Ministry’s pharmaceutical watchdog, the National Co-ordination Centre of the Pharmacovigilance Programme of India (PvPI), on adverse reactions that were being reported from some commonly-used antibiotics, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has now asked manufacturers to ensure that this information be made available to the general public.
- CDSCO has written to drug manufacturers, to mention in leaflets inserted into drug packets or on promotional literature, information about the adverse reactions of these medicines.
- All of the seven formulations — antibiotics Cefotaxime, Ofloxacin and Cefixime; Tranexamic Acid, used to control bleeding; antipsychotic drug Quetiapine; anti-rheumatoid drug Sulfasalazine and the anti-epileptic medicine Sodium Valproate — have been instructed to warn patients of the “new” side effects.
Current Affairs April 2019 | 12th April
International Day of Human Space Flight
- The International Day of Human Space Flight was observed across the world on April 12, 2019. The day celebrates the anniversary of the first ever human space flight undertaken by Yuri Gagarin, a Soviet Union citizen then.
- Gagarin carried out Vostok 1 space flight on April 12, 1961, making one orbit around the Earth in over 108 minutes in the Vostok 3KA spacecraft. The spacecraft was launched by Vostok-K launch vehicle. This space flight opened the way for space exploration for the benefit of all humanity.
- The day is also observed as ‘Cosmonautics Day’ in Russia and some other countries. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) through its resolution on April 7, 2011, proclaimed that International Day of Human Space Flight will be observed annually on 12 April.
Paralympics medallist Deepa Malik bags New Zealand PM’s Sir Edmund Hillary Fellowship
- Rio Paralympics silver medallist Deepa Malik was named the recipient of the New Zealand Prime Minister’s Sir Edmund Hillary Fellowship for 2019 in recognition of her “inspiring achievements”.
- She will work to promote sporting, cultural as well as people-to-people relationship between India and New Zealand.
- Deepa will travel to New Zealand and meet Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, undertake a series of visits to Paralympic sporting organisations and engage with Kiwi athletes, students and media as well as the significant Indian community there.
GIC India CMD Alice G. Vaidyan wins ETPrime ‘Woman CEO of the Year’ award
- Alice G. Vaidyan, Chairman and Managing Director, General Insurance Corporation of India received ‘CEO of the Year’ award at the inaugural edition of ETPrime Women Leadership Awards (ETPWLA).
- Hailing the virtues of leadership and success, ETPWLA is here to set a benchmark of success for women in business and inspire a million others to come forward and wield the baton of excellence.
- The awards recognise women leaders who have helped create a new and lasting template for leadership. Freedom of the City is an honour bestowed by a City of London Corporation upon a valued member of the community, or upon a visiting celebrity or dignitary.
2 West Bengal govt schemes win UN awards
- Two schemes of the West Bengal government for skill development and distribution of bicycles to students have won the prestigious World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) awards of the United Nations.
- The schemes are “Utkarsh Bangla” and “Sabooj Sathi”.
- The “Utkarsh Bangla” project aims at creating a pool of skilled candidates who are industry ready, while under the “Sabooj Sathi” scheme, bicycles are distributed to students between class IX and XII studying in government-run and government-aided schools and madrasas of the state.
Najma Akhtar becomes Jamia Millia Islamia’s first woman VC
- Jamia Millia Islamia got its first woman vice-chancellor as President Ram Nath Kovind has approved the name of Najma Akhtar, for a period of five years.
- An internationally renowned educational administrator, Najma Akhtar has four decades of academic scholarship in educational leadership.
- She is known for spearheading international educational administrators’ course for senior officials from 130 countries for more than 15 years at NIEPA.
India’s population grew at an average annual rate of 1.2 percent between 2010 and 2019
- India’s population grew at an average annual rate of 1.2 per cent between 2010 and 2019 to 1.36 billion, more than double the annual growth rate of China, according to a report by the United Nations Population Fund.
- In comparison, China’s population stood at 1.42 billion in 2019, growing from 1.23 billion in 1994 and 803.6 million in 1969. China’s population grew at an average annual rate of 0.5 per cent between 2010 and 2019.
- India also recorded an improvement in life expectancy at birth. Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) in the country dropped from 488 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1994 to 174 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2015.
Current Affairs April 2019 | 11th April
PCI urges media to do objective reporting on polls
- The Press Council of India (PCI) asked the media to give objective reports about the election and cautioned it against the phenomenon of paid news. Issuing guidelines for the media, PCI said, newspapers are not expected to indulge in unhealthy election campaigns, exaggerated reports about any candidate or party during the elections.
- The print media watchdog also cautioned the press to eschew reports which tend to promote feelings, enmity or hatred between people on the grounds of a region, religion, race, caste, community or language.
- The press should refrain from publishing false or critical statements in regard to the personal character and conduct of any candidate or in relation to the candidature or withdrawal of any candidate or candidature, to prejudice the prospects of that candidate in the elections. The PCI also cautioned against publishing unverified allegations against any candidate or party.
Namami Gange gets global recognition at the world summit
- The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) was awarded the distinction of “Public Water Agency of the Year” by Global Water Intelligence at the Global Water Summit in London on April 9.
- The Global Water Awards are presented at the Global Water Summit, the major business conference for the water industry worldwide. The awards recognize excellence across the international water industry and reward those initiatives in the water, wastewater, and desalination sectors, which bring remarkable improvements in the lives of people, according to NMCG, which is under the Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
- An integrated mission for Ganga rejuvenation, the Namami Gange programme has a comprehensive multi-sector intervention with multi-stakeholder involvement and adopts a basin-based approach.
India and Singapore Kick Off Joint Military Exercise In Jhansi
- Armed forces of India and Singapore kicked off a joint military exercise, ‘Bold Kurukshetra–2019’, in Jhansi Babina Cantonment. The three-day exercise is aimed at bolstering cooperation against terrorism, developing defense technology and improving maritime security.
- India and Singapore had entered into an official agreement in November 2017 to strengthen defense ties between their respective armed forces. As per the understanding, personnel from the Singapore Armed Forces will receive training and undertake firing exercises along with the Indian Armed Forces.
- The inaugural ceremony for the joint exercise was conducted with the Indian contingent being headed by Colonel S P Singh and the Singaporean personnel being led by Lieutenant Colonel Tong Chong Kiat.
India seeks to push reforms, development agenda at WTO
- The Ministry of Commerce and Industries is arranging a mini-ministerial meeting of developing countries on May 13-14 to discuss the future of the multilateral body, World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the development agenda.
- India is expected to invite close to two dozen countries for discussions on May 13-14. It is second such initiative undertaken by India since talks collapsed in Buenos Aires in December 2017.
- India and other countries are demanding that there was a need to ensure that S&D treatment remains as they are still home to a large number of poor and vulnerable sections.
Government clears procurement of 464 T-90
- The government has cleared the procurement of 464 T-90 tanks from Russia in a deal worth over Rs 13,500 crore.
- Under the new deal, the tanks would be provided to the Armoured Corps of the force which will use them for deployment along the border with Pakistan.
- The new deal would increase the number of T-90s in the Army to close to 2,000 along with the remaining T-72 and T-55s.
RailTel turns 1600 railway stations into RailWire Wi-Fi zone
- RailWire Wi-Fi by RailTel is now live at 1600 railway stations across the country, with Santacruz railway station in Mumbai becoming the 1600th station to become a RailWire Wi-Fi zone.
- RailWire is a retail Broadband initiative of the RailTel, which envisages extending broadband and application services to the public.
- WR’s Santacruz station became the 1600th railway station of the Indian Railway which has now been equipped with RailWire Wi-Fi connectivity.
Government retains interest rate for General Provident Fund at 8%
- The Government retained the interest rate for General Provident Fund (GPF), Contributory Provident Fund and other related schemes at 8 percent for the first quarter of 2019-20.
- The interest rate on these funds was at 8 percent in the January-March quarter of 2018-19 and government kept it unchanged for April to June for 2019-20.
- The interest rate will be applicable on provident funds of central government employees, railways and defense forces. Earlier, the Government had retained interest rates on small savings, including National Savings Certificate and PPF for the first quarter of current fiscal.
Current Affairs April 2019 | 10th April
Global Growth to slow to 2.5% in 2019
- Each month Oxford Economics’ team of 250 economists updates its baseline global economic outlook using the Global Economic Model, the only fully integrated economic forecasting framework of its kind.
- The forecast shows sharply lower global trade growth and signs weakness is spreading mean we see 2019 global GDP growth of 2.5%, versus 2018’s 3%. A recent services pick-up gives some comfort. But key economies’ retail sales have been weak and we have cut consumer spending forecasts.
- H2 growth is seen accelerating, however, due to policy changes and as temporary negatives unwind. Looser Chinese policy and dovish central banks will buoy activity so global growth should rise to 2.7% in 2020, but with downside risks.
India retains top spot in remittances with $79 billion in 2018: World Bank
- India retained its position as the world’s top recipient of remittances with its diaspora sending a whopping USD 79 billion back home in 2018, the World Bank said in a report Monday.
- India was followed by China (USD 67 billion), Mexico (USD 36 billion), the Philippines (USD 34 billion), and Egypt (USD 29 billion). With this, India has retained its top spot on remittances, according to the latest edition of the World Bank’s Migration and Development Brief.
- Over the last three years, India has registered a significant flow of remittances from USD 62.7 billion in 2016 to USD 65.3 billion in 2017.
President Ram Nath Kovind pays homage to CRPF martyrs on 54th Valour Day
- President Ram Nath Kovind today paid homage to the martyrs at National Police Memorial in New Delhi on the occasion of 54th Valour Day of Central Reserve Police Force, CRPF. The President appreciated the role of CRPF in combating terrorism and separatism in Jammu and Kashmir.
- He said more than 34 thousand police personnel have laid down their lives in the line of duty for the nation after the Independence. On this day, 9th of April in 1965 a small contingent of 2nd Battalion of CRPF, successfully fought and repulsed an attack by a Pakistani Brigade at Sardar Post in the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat. They eliminated 34 Pakistani soldiers and captured four soldiers alive.
- The President also launched the Veer Parivar App for assistance to the next of kin of the CRPF martyrs.
India becomes YouTube’s largest market
- YouTube’s CEO Susan Wojcicki confirms in annual flagship event Brandcast that India has become YouTube’s largest and fastest growing market. This annual event of Youtube was held at Mumbai on April 9, 2019.
- Also, ComScore data suggests that YouTube has more than 265 million monthly active users in India. In the last year, YouTube’s consumption on mobile has increased to 85%, with 60% of the watch time coming from outside the six largest metros in India.
- The country has become YouTube’s largest and fastest growing market with 265 million Indians watching the video-sharing website every month.
The government retains interest rate for General Provident Fund at 8%
- The Union government has retained the interest rate for General Provident Fund (GPF), Contributory Provident Fund and other related schemes at 8 percent for the first quarter of the current financial year. The interest rate on these funds was at 8 percent in the January-March quarter of 2018-19 and government kept it unchanged for April to June for 2019-20.
- The Department of Economic Affairs, in a notification, said the interest rate will be applicable on provident funds of central government employees, railways and defense forces.
- Last month, the government had retained interest rates on small savings, including National Savings Certificate and PPF for the first quarter of current fiscal.
Current Affairs April 2019 | 9th April
Graham Reid appointed new men’s hockey coach
- Hockey India on April 8, 2019, named Australia’s Graham Reid as the new chief coach of the Indian men’s hockey team. The 54-year-old will join the team in Bengaluru shortly for the ongoing National Camp at Sports Authority of India.
- India had been without a head coach ever since Harendra Singh was sacked after the men’s team exited the Hockey World Cup at home in the quarter-final following a 2-1 loss to the Netherlands.
- Reid will be in charge of the team during their next international assignment, which is the tour to Australia in May 2019.
President Kovind releases NIRF and ARIIA-2019
- The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, released National Institutional Ranking Framework -2019 (NIRF) and presented the India Rankings awards to the top eight institutions in different categories at a function held in New Delhi on April 8, 2019.
- He also released the Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA) and presented the ARIIA awards to the top two institutions.
- IIT Madras ranked on top in overall category in NIRF-2019 while Miranda House College of Delhi University ranked number one in ARIIA.
Jagran’s Mahendra Mohan Gupta conferred AIMA award for lifetime contribution to media
- The All India Management Association (AIMA) Managing India Awards 2019 held on April 08, 2019 at Hotel Taj Palace, New Delhi.
- A neutral jury, chaired by Sanjiv Goenka, Chairman, RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group has decided the eminent personalities who were awarded under different categories in 2019.
- Mahendra Mohan Gupta, Chairman & Managing Director, Jagran Prakashan Ltd and Editorial Director, Dainik Jagran, was awarded under Lifetime Contribution to Media category. Also, Azim H Premji, Chairman, Wipro Limited was awarded the Lifetime Contribution Award.
RBI issues norms for banks to set up currency chests
- The Reserve Bank of India Monday came out with guidelines for banks to set up new currency chests, which include a minimum area of 1,500 square feet for the strong room. “Area of the strong room/ vault of at least 1,500 sq ft. For those situated in hilly/ inaccessible places, the strong room/ vault area of at least 600 sq ft will be necessary.
- Earlier, RBI appointed committee had recommended that the apex bank should encourage banks to open large currency chests with modern facilities and Chest Balance Limit (CBL) of at least Rs 1,000 crore.
- Currency chest is the place where the currency is stored. These chests act as the distributives of RBI cash and enable RBI to take back soiled notes and mutilated notes from the public
ITBP Soldiers Cast First Vote For Lok Sabha 2019 In Arunachal Pradesh Using Secret Postal Ballots
- The soldiers of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) cast their votes for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in Arunachal Pradesh. The first vote of the country was cast by DIG Sudhakar Natarajan, head of ATS ITBP.
- This year, the Election Commission expects roughly 30 lakh participants including the defence and paramilitary forces, some of whom also have their families living with them at the bases. This would probably be the first time that such a large number of service voters count is expected.
- Ballot papers have been dispatched to Uttrakhand, Gujarat, Bengaluru, Bihar, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and many other places for the service personnel to vote.
Current Affairs April 2019 | 8th April
American David Malpass named World Bank president
- The Executive Directors of the World Bank today unanimously selected David R. Malpass as President of the World Bank Group for a five-year term beginning on Tuesday, April 9, 2019.
- The Executive Directors followed the selection process agreed in 2011. The process included an open, transparent nomination where any national of the Bank’s membership could be proposed by any Executive Director or Governor through an Executive Director.
- David Malpass had also held senior roles in the US Treasury during the Reagan and George HW Bush administrations. He has also served as chief economist at Bear Stearns bank. Later he founded research group Encima Global and held a number of directorships at finance.
75th anniversary of Battle of Kanglatongbi commemorated
- The Platinum Jubilee of the Battle of Kanglatongbi, also known as Battle of Imphal, was commemorated on April 7, 2019, by the Army Ordnance Corps at Kanglatongbi War Memorial near Imphal, Manipur.
- The 75th-anniversary celebrations honoured the martyrs of Ordnance Personnel of 221 Advance Ordnance Depot who made their supreme sacrifice during the World War-II on the night of April 6/7, 1944.
- The Battle of Imphal or Kanglatongbi is referred to as one of the bloodiest battles of World War-II.
Indiabulls Housing eyes a banking licence via a merger with Lakshmi Vilas Bank
- The Board of private sector lender, Lakshmi Vilas Bank Ltd (LVB) on April 5, 2019, approved its merger with the mortgage financier, Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd in an all-stock deal.
- As per the ‘Scheme of Amalgamation’ approved by the LVB board, for every 100 shares of Laxmi Vilas Bank held, shareholders will receive 14 shares of Indiabulls Housing Finance.
- The merger now awaits the approval of the Reserve Bank of India.
SC directs ECI to increase checking of VVPAT slips
- The Supreme Court has directed the Election Commission of India (ECI) to increase the random checking of VVPAT slips from 1 EVM to 5 EVMs in each assembly of a parliamentary constituency in Lok Sabha Elections 2019.
- The bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna.
- The objective behind the move is to ensure a higher degree of accuracy and conduct free and fair elections.
Justice Pradeep Nandrajog takes oath as new Chief Justice of Bombay High Court
- Justice Pradeep Nandrajog on April 7, 2019, took oath as the new Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court.
- He was administered the oath by Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao at the Raj Bhavan.
- Justice Nandrajog was serving as the Chief Justice of the Rajasthan High Court since March 2017, following his transfer from the Delhi High Court.
India evacuates peacekeeping CRPF contingent from Libya
- India evacuates peacekeeping CRPF contingent as the situation worsens in Libya.
- The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) contingent was deployed as a peacekeeping force in Tripoli.
- The Indian Ambassador in Tunisia has the concurrent charge of Libya.
Current Affairs April 2019 | 6th & 7th April
World Health Day 2019
- The World Health Day is a global health awareness day celebrated every year on 7 April, under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization, as well as other related organizations. In 1948, the WHO held the First World Health Assembly.
- The theme of World Health Day 2019 was ‘Universal Health Coverage: Everyone, Everywhere’.This theme reminds world leaders that everyone should be able to access the health care they need, when and where they need it.
- World Health Organisation (WHO) notes that even though progress is being made in countries in all regions of the world millions of people still have no access at all to health care and are forced to choose between health care and other daily expenses such as food, clothing and even a home.
RBI adjusts LCR norms to boost liquidity
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently adjusted the Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) norms to provide an additional 2 per cent window to banks. The move will harmonise the liquidity requirements of banks and release additional money for lending.
- The Liquidity Coverage Ratio is an indicator of the proportion of highly liquid assets held by banks to ensure their ability to meet short-term obligations.
- The RBI also announced to set up a task force to study the relevant aspects, including best international practices for developing a thriving secondary market for corporate loans in India.
President’s Certificate of Honour and Maharshi Badrayan Vyas Samman Awards Conferred
- Vice President Venkaiah Naidu conferred President’s Certificate of Honour and Maharshi Badrayan Vyas Samman Awards at New Delhi.
- The award of the Certificate of Honour was introduced in the year 1958 to honour the scholars of Sanskrit, Arabic and Persian Languages. The award was introduced in the year 2002. The award is given to selected young scholars in the age group of 30 to 45 years.
- The Presidential award carries a certificate of honour, a memento and a one-time cash prize of Rs.1 lakh. Both the awards are conferred by the Ministry of Human Resources and Development, Government of India.
Nagaland observes the 75th anniversary of Battle of Kohima
- The 75th anniversary of the Battle of Kohima was observed by the Nagaland government on Thursday with representatives from the UK and Japan speaking on the theme of ‘Remembrance, Reconciliation and Rebirth’.
- The dignitaries from the UK and Japan assembled at the programme to seek “reconciliation and forgiveness” for the “sufferings and pain” caused against each other at the Battle of Kohima, that was fought in three stages during the Second World War in 1944.
- The battle is often referred to as the “Stalingrad of the East”. Kohima was the theatre of the War in 1944 and the Nagas were drawn into it on both sides some with the British and some with the Japanese.
First-ever global coalition for clean cooling launched
- The first-ever global coalition on clean and efficient cooling was launched at the First Global Conference on Synergies between the 2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement, which concluded on April 3, 2019, in Copenhagen, Denmark.
- As the world gets warmer, the demand for air conditioners is projected to grow and the greenhouse gas it emits will endanger the planet. Clean, efficient cooling appliances and equipment can save up to $2.9 trillion in energy use by 2050, and help avoid 0.4° Celsius warming of the planet, said the United Nations-backed ‘Cool Coalition’ comprising 23 members.
- In the next 20 years, India’s cooling requirement will increase by eight times, with air conditioners alone consuming more than half of the total energy required for cooling in the country by 2037-38. The Global Cool Coalition is a unified front that links action across the Kigali Amendment, Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals. It is expected to inspire ambition, identify solutions and mobilise action to accelerate progress towards clean and efficient cooling.
National Maritime Day
- National Maritime Day is celebrated on April 5 every year. The saga of India shipping first started on April 5, 1919, when the SS Loyalty, the first ship of The Scindia Steam Navigation Company Ltd travelled from Mumbai to the United Kingdom (London).
- This main propose to celebrate the day to illustrate the awareness in supporting intercontinental commerce and the global economy as the most well-organized, safe and sound, environmentally responsive approach of transporting goods from one corner to another corner of the world.The theme of the National Maritime Day 2019 celebrations is “Indian Ocean-An Ocean of opportunity”.
- According to the Directorate General of Shipping– ‘India now has 43 shipping companies owning 1,401 ships with a combined 12.69 million gross tonnage’ as of December 2018. the Central Committee of the National Maritime instituted the highest award to recognize and persons for their sustained and outstanding contribution. The award is called ‘Varuna Award’.The award shall be given on the occasion of National Maritime Day Celebrations of the relevant year.
Current Affairs April 2019 | 5th April
12 NCR Districts, Agra Switch to Euro-VI Fuel
- Supply of ultra-clean Euro-VI grade petrol and diesel has begun in cities adjoining the national capital. While Delhi in April 2018 became the first city in the country to leapfrog from Euro-IV grade petrol and diesel to Euro-VI fuels, cities in the national capital region like Noida and Ghaziabad switched over to the cleaner fuel from Monday. Rest of the country will follow suit from April 2020.
- In keeping with the implementation plan for BS-VI grade fuels in the national capital region (NCR), the oil industry Monday switched over to supply of BS-VI grade transportation fuels in 12 contiguous districts of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh as well as the city of Agra.
- Originally Gurugram and Faridabad too were to get Euro-VI grade fuel from April 1 but supplies there have been postponed. BS-VI fuels would be supplied through 1,630 fuel stations of the three OMCs (IOC, BPCL and HPCL) in Delhi and NCR region.
BIS, IIT Delhi to Collaborate on Standardisation and Conformity Assessment
- The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate in the field of standardisation and conformity assessment.
- Both institutes have also agreed to set up a Centre of Excellence in the field of standardization, testing and conformity assessment at IIT-Delhi campus.
- As per the agreement, IIT Delhi will provide infrastructure support for research and development projects of relevance to standardisation and BIS will provide financial support to IIT Delhi for projects.
Leh, Ladakh get longest suspension Maitri bridge over Indus river
- Indian Army builds the longest suspension bridge over Indus river in Leh, Ladakh! In a major boost to connectivity in remote areas in Ladakh, the Indian Army has built a 260-feet long bridge. The cable suspension bridge was opened for the public. It has been renamed as ‘Maitri Bridge’.
- Indian Army undertook the operation to construct a bridge after the Civil Administration the forces to build the infrastructure. The bridge was constructed to help residents Choglamsar, Stok and Chuchot villages which are the largest ones in Ladakh region.
- The bridge over the Indus river was constructed by Combat Engineers of ‘Sahas aur Yogyata’ Regiment of ‘Fire & Fury Corps’ in just 40 days which is a record. In this short span, around 500 tons of bridge equipment and construction material was ferried.
International Mine Awareness Day
- On 8 December 2005, the General Assembly declared that 4 April of each year shall be observed as the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.
- It called for continued efforts by States, with the assistance of the United Nations and relevant organizations, 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.
- Еach year, UNMAS organizes a multimedia exhibition at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to raise awareness on threats caused by mines, explosive remnants of war, and improvised explosive devices.
South Korea launched the world’s first nationwide 5G mobile network
- South Korea launched the world’s first nationwide 5G mobile networks two days early, its top mobile carriers said Thursday, in a late-night scramble to be the first providers of the super-fast wireless technology.
- Three top telecom providers – SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus – began their 5G services. Hyper-wired South Korea has long had a reputation for technical prowess, and Seoul had made the 5G rollout a priority as it seeks to stimulate stuttering economic growth.
- Experts say 5G will bring smartphones near-instantaneous connectivity – 20 times faster than 4G – allowing users to download entire movies in less than a second.The technology is crucial for the future development of devices such as self-driving vehicles and is expected to bring about $565 billion in global economic benefits by 2034.
Current Affairs April 2019 | 4th April
UAE honors PM Narendra Modi with Zayed Medal
- The United Arab Emirates (UAE) honoured PM Narendra Modi with its highest decoration, Zayed Medal in recognition of his “pivotal role” in strengthening ties between the two nations. The Zayed Medal is the highest decoration of the UAE awarded to kings, presidents and heads of states.
- The honour has previously been conferred on the leaders of several countries including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and Queen of the United Kingdom Elizabeth II.
- India and UAE are one of the largest trade partners for each other and have made robust investments bilaterally with bilateral trade amounting to almost USD 50 billion in 2017. Indians also make up the largest ethnic group in the UAE making up roughly 27 per cent of the total UAE`s residents.
RBI cuts repo rate by 25 bps to 6%
- The Reserve Bank of India’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) on Thursday reduced its benchmark lending rate by 25 basis points to 6 per cent in its first bi-monthly meeting for the current financial year.
- This is the second consecutive rate cut under new RBI chief Shaktikanta Das after a surprise cut in repo rate in February. While it was decided to cut repo rate or the rate at which RBI lends to banks to 6 per cent amid rising concerns over economic growth, the stance has been kept neutral.
- The RBI also expects the GDP growth rate for 2019-20 to remain at 7.2 per cent in comparison to 7 per cent in FY19.
Manufacturing growth slips to a six-month low in March
- A couple of days ahead of the monetary policy statement, a widely-tracked Nikkei’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) showed that manufacturing activities slowed down to a six-month low in March as new orders and production decline.
- This prompted a commentator on PMI to say that that RBI should cut the rate and the government should announce stimulus to spur manufacturing.PMI declined to 52.6 in March from a 14-month high of 54.3 in February. A reading above 50 indicates expansion while a print below that level points to contraction.
- The index is based on data compiled from monthly replies to questionnaires sent to purchasing executives in more than 400 industrial companies.
Asian Development Bank lowers India’s growth projection to 7.2% for FY20
- Asian Development Bank (ADB) has lowered India’s growth forecast for 2019-20 to 7.2 per cent from 7.6 per cent estimated earlier due to moderation in global demand and likely shortfall in revenue on the domestic front.
- ADB has cut the growth estimate to 7 per cent from 7.3 per cent projected in December last year. This growth will reverse two years of declining trend as reforms to improve the business and investment climate take effect.
- The growth forecast for India has some downside risks such as moderation in global demand as financial conditions tighten, uncertainty arising out of global trade tensions, and the weak economic outlook in industrial countries. India, however, will continue to be one of the fastest-growing major economies in 2019-20.
NuGen Mobility Summit 2019 to be held in November
- The NuGen Mobility Summit 2019 will be held during November 27 – 29, 2019 at Manesar, National Capital Region. The Summit will be organised by the International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT).
- The objective behind the Summit is to share new ideas, global experiences, innovations and future technology trends for faster adoption, and development of advanced automotive technologies for a smarter and greener future.
- Experts working with leading international scientific organisations and testing laboratories from various countries like USA, Europe, Japan and other Asian countries will also participate in the event and share their experiences.
State of Global Air-2019 report
- Two US-based institutes Health Effects Institute (HEI) and Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) recently released a detailed report on the quality of the global air with the title, “State of Global Air-2019”. The report indicates that India and China are collectively accounted for more than fifty per cent of global 5 million deaths due to air pollution.
- State of Global Air 2019 report also said that in 2017, exposure to PM 2.5 pollution was found to be the third leading risk factor globally for Type 2 diabetes.
- An estimated 846 million people in India (60% of the population) and 452 million people in China (32% of the population) were exposed to household air pollution in 2017.
Current Affairs April 2019 | 3rd April
WhatsApp launches new fact-checking service to fight fake news ahead of elections
- WhatsApp has launched a fact-checking service in India to help curb the spread of misinformation ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. The project’s aim is to study the misinformation phenomenon at scale – natively in WhatsApp.
- The internet-based instant messaging has tied up with Indian startup Proto and two other organisations, Dig Deeper Media and Meedan, for the service called Checkpoint Tipline.
- The service will enable users to send messages, including images, video and text in English, Hindi, Telugu, Bengali and Malayalam. The tip line will classify the messages as true, false, misleading or disputing. The number is 919643000888.
US approves a sale of 24 MH 60 helicopters to India
- The United States has approved the sale of 24 multi-role MH-60 ‘Romeo’ Seahawk helicopters to India at an estimated cost of 2.4 billion US dollars. The announcement was made by the US State Department on April 2, 2019.
- The MH-60 Romeo Seahawk helicopter is considered to be the world’s most advanced maritime helicopter. Built by Lockheed Martin, the helicopters are designed to hunt down submarines, as well as knockout ships and conduct search-and-rescue operations at sea.
- They will provide the Indian defence forces with the capability to perform anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare missions along with the ability to perform secondary missions including vertical replenishment, search and rescue and communications relay.
Bilateral Maritime Exercise ‘AUSINDEX-19’ begins
- The third edition of ‘AUSINDEX-19’ (Australia India Exercise), bilateral maritime exercise between Indian Navy and Royal Australian Navy, began on April 2, 2019, with the arrival of Royal Australian Navy’s fleet at Visakhapatnam.
- The exercise seeks to ‘strengthen and enhance mutual cooperation and interoperability between the Indian Navy and Royal Australian Navy, providing opportunities for interaction and exchange of professional views between the personnel of the two navies’.
- The third edition would involve exercises in all three dimensions with a focus on Anti-Submarine Warfare Systems (ASW).
UN, EU Report on global hunger
- The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Food Programme (WFP) and EU “Global Report on Food Crises 2019”, shows that more than 100 million people worldwide are facing acute hunger and number is rising.
- The report finds that around 113 million people in 53 countries experienced acute food insecurity in 2018, compared to 124 million in 2017.
- According to the report, from 2014 to 2020, the EU will have provided nearly 9 billion Euros for initiatives on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture in over 60 countries. Nearly two-thirds of those facing acute hunger are in just 8 countries: Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. In 17 countries, acute hunger either remained the same or increased.
RBI sets WMA Limit for Government at Rs 75000 crore for H1 of 2019-20
- The Reserve Bank of India, in consultation with the Government of India, has decided that the limits for Ways and Means Advances (WMA) for the first half of the financial year 2019-20 (April 2019 to September 2019) will be Rs 75000 crore.
- The Reserve Bank may trigger fresh floatation of market loans when the Government of India utilises 75% of the WMA limit. The interest rate on WMA will be Repo Rate and overdraft will be 2% above the Repo Rate.
- The Reserve Bank retains the flexibility to revise the limit at any time, in consultation with the Government of India, taking into consideration the prevailing circumstances.
Current Affairs April 2019 | 2nd April
‘Kandhamal Haldi’ gets GI tag
- ‘Kandhamal Haldi’, a variety of turmeric indigenous to southern Odisha, got the Geographical indication (GI) tag from Intellectual Property India, an organisation functioning under the Union ministry of Commerce & Industry.
- Kandhamal in southern Odisha is famed for its turmeric, a spice that enjoys its pride of place in an array of cuisines. The agricultural product also stands out for its healing properties and arresting aroma.
- The recognition coincided with Odisha’s Foundation Day (Utkal Divas). Odisha, on April 1, 1936, was declared as a separate state in the then British India.
RBI to inject USD 5 billion more liquidity into the banking system
- The Reserve Bank of India will inject long-term liquidity worth USD 5 billion into the banking system through a dollar-rupee buy-sell swap for a tenure of three years on April 23, 2019.
- The move is aimed at meeting the durable liquidity needs of the system. The swap will be in the nature of a simple buy-sell foreign exchange swap from the Reserve Bankside.
- Under the swap, a bank would sell US dollars to the RBI and simultaneously agree to buy the same amount of US dollars at the end of the swap period. The auction would be a multiple-price based auction in which successful bids will get accepted at their respective quoted premium.
India’s external debt eases to US$ 521.2 billion end December 2018
- India’s external debt witnessed a decline of 1.6% to US$ 521.2 billion at end-December 2018 over its level at end-March 2018, on account of the decrease in commercial borrowings and trade credit. However, with respect to figures at end-September 2018, it has increased by 2.1% as at end-December 2018.
- Commercial borrowings continued to be the largest component of external debt with a share of 37.4%, followed by NRI deposits (24.1%) and short term trade credit (19.9%).
- The ratio of short-term debt (original maturity) to foreign exchange reserves increased to 26.4% at end-December 2018 (as against 24.1% at end-March 2018). The outstanding debt of both government and non-government sectors had decreased at end-December 2018, in comparison to end-March 2018, however, increased in comparison to end-September 2018.
IMD confirms weak El Nino conditions
- The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has finally declared that weak El Nino conditions are prevalent in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. The IMD said, “these conditions are likely to persist in the early part of the summer season and likely to weaken thereafter.”
- El Nino, which is the unusual warming of the equatorial Pacific Ocean, disrupts global wind patterns affecting climatic conditions in tropical areas like Africa, sub-tropical areas like India as well as the extra-tropical areas like North America.
- In India, there is a relationship between El Nino events and hotter than usual summers along with a decrease in rainfall during the monsoon. Most of the time, these events have also led to drought conditions. The weak El Nino might have an effect on the onset and intensity of monsoon this year, an update on which is expected soon from the government of India.
India gains access to Bolivian lithium reserves
- India has leveraged its way into the Bolivian lithium reserves after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Bolivia for development and industrial use of lithium, a prime component used to power electric vehicles and cell phones.
- This move will make Bolivia, which is known to have one-fourth of the world’s lithium reserves, one of the major provider of metal for India’s e-mobility and e-storage needs.
- The two countries have also agreed to facilitate mechanisms for the commercialization of Lithium Carbonate and Potassium Chloride produced in Bolivia by Yacimientos de Litio Bolivianos Corporación (YLB – Corporación). In a total, India and Bolivia have signed eight MoUs in various fields of mining, space, traditional medicine during President’s Kovid three-day visit to the country.
Govt proposes bureaucrats-led committees to probe complaints against info commissioners
- The Centre has proposed to form committees under cabinet secretary to look into complaints against Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners, a move seen as an attack on the independence of the transparency panel.
- The proposed change would be in contravention to the current Right To Information (RTI) law and therefore is being seen by the CIC as “an attempt to erode its independence and undermine its role” .
- Under the new proposed rules, two committees will be set up to probe complaints. One to hear and rule on complaints against CICs and another against the ICs.
Core industries show 2.1% growth in February 2019
- The combined index of eight core industries stood at 125.8 in February 2019, which indicates a marginal increase of 2.1 per cent during the month. The eight core industries, including coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity, are responsible for almost 41 per cent of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).
- The dismal show in February was on account of fall in output registered in the crude oil and refinery products. During February 2019, production of crude oil and refinery products fell by 6.1 per cent, and 0.8 per cent, respectively.
- The highest output growth during February 2019 was registered in coal and cement sectors at 7.3 per cent and 8 per cent, respectively.
PSLV-C 45 successfully launches EMISAT
- India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C45) today successfully launched EMISAT and 28 international customer satellites from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR in Sriharikota. This flight marked the first mission of PSLV-QL, a new variant of PSLV with four strap-on motors.
- After separation, the two solar arrays of EMISAT were deployed automatically and the ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network at Bengaluru assumed control of the satellite. In the coming days, the satellite will be brought to its final operational configuration.
- EMISAT is a satellite built around ISRO’s Mini Satellite-2 bus weighing about 436 kg. The satellite is intended for electromagnetic spectrum measurement. The 28 international customer satellites, together weighing about 220 kg, are from four countries, namely, Lithuania (2), Spain (1), Switzerland (1) and USA (24). These foreign satellites were launched as part of commercial arrangements.
GRSE becomes ‘first’ Indian shipyard to deliver 100 warships
- Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE) became the “first Indian shipyard” to build and deliver 100 warships.
- GRSE Chairman and Managing Director, Rear Admiral (Retd) V K Saxena, formally handed over the 100th warship — ‘IN LCU L-56’ — to the Indian Navy.
- In the last 59 years, the company has built around 780 platforms, including 100 warships to the Indian Navy, the Coast Guard, and the Mauritius Coast Guard. It is one of India’s leading shipyards located in Kolkata, West Bengal.
Current Affairs April 2019 | 1st April
Vijaya, Dena to become Bank of Baroda
- In a first three-way amalgamation, Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank will merge with Bank of Baroda (BoB) from April 1 to create the third-largest lender of the country. As a result, branches of Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank will function as BoB outlets.
- Customers including depositors of Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank will be treated as customers of Bank of Baroda with effect from April 1, 2019. To make the merger a smooth affair, the government last week decided to infuse Rs 5,042 crore in BoB to enhance its capital base to meet the additional expense.
- According to the Scheme of Amalgamation, shareholders of Vijaya Bank will get 402 equity shares of BoB for every 1,000 shares held. In the case of Dena Bank, its shareholders will get 110 shares of BoB for every 1,000 shares.
Earth Hour 2019
- Earth Hour 2019 was witnessed on March 30 by turning off lights at 8:30 pm local time for an hour as a call for global action on climate change. The theme of Earth Hour 2019 was #Connect2Earth.
- The theme signifies humanities connection to Earth and nature is undeniable: our planet’s gain is everyone’s gain. Nature not only provides us with things we need to live – from the air we breathe to the water we drink, and from the shelter we need to the economy we rely on – but also makes our lives better.
- As Earth Hour rolled around the globe, thousands of landmarks switched off their lights in solidarity for our planet. Through the global appeal of the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment, #EarthHour, #Connect2Earth and related hashtags trended in 26 countries as people across the globe generated over 2 billion impressions to show their concern for nature.
State of the Climate in 2018 shows accelerating climate change impacts
- The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) unveiled the State of the Global Climate in 2018 Report. According to the report, the physical signs and socio-economic impacts of climate change are accelerating as record greenhouse gas concentrations drive global temperatures towards increasingly dangerous levels.
- 2018 witnessed a record sea level rise and high land and ocean temperatures. 2018 was the fourth warmest year on record and the four warmest years on record all took place between 2015 and 2018. The average global temperature is now around one degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
- WMO has warned that the world would witness temperatures increase 3-5C by the end of the century. Unveiling the report the UN Chief called on countries to come with concrete plans at an upcoming climate summit.
India needs a watchdog for fiscal discipline
- The Chairman of the Fifteenth Finance Commission Chairman N K Singh has rightly pitched for a fiscal council to enforce fiscal rules and better manage public debt. The rules of the game should be the same for both (states and Centre). For state government liabilities, Article 293 (3) provides a constitutional check over borrowings. But there is no such restriction on the Centre.
- The idea has also found resonance with eminent economists including the former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan who reckons that an independent fiscal council will make the budget-making process more ‘honest’.
- India’s debt-to-GDP ratio of the states and the Centre combined is also way too high at 70%. An independent Fiscal Council will streamline the fiscal discipline.
Terror Monitoring group to help end terror in J&K
- Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik said the multi-disciplinary terror monitoring group (MDTMG) set up will help end terrorism in the state. Terror funding and militant sympathisers are everywhere. Unless they are dealt with firmly, militancy cannot be wiped out.
- The MDTMG will have representatives from the J&K Police, the state intelligence, the Intelligence Bureau (IB), the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Income Tax department.
- The MDTMG, set up by the central government, would monitor terror activities and fund on a weekly basis.
UN Security Council Resolution Targets Terrorism Financing
- The UN Security Council has adopted a resolution calling on member states to beef up efforts to identify, prosecute and penalise those directly or indirectly financing terrorism. The UN Security Council on Thursday (28 March) unanimously adopted a resolution aimed at strengthening global efforts to combat terrorism financing.
- The resolution orders all countries to ensure domestic laws are sufficient to prosecute and penalise those responsible for directly or indirectly financing terrorist organisations and individual terrorists.
- The resolution also calls upon member states to enhance the traceability and transparency of financial transactions, including through the use of new and emerging financial and regulatory technologies that can contribute to the effective implementation of AML/CFT measures.
Punjab & Haryana HC bars stating of caste in proceedings
- The Punjab and Haryana High Court has instructed Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh not to mention the caste of the accused, victims or witnesses in proceedings before the court.
- A Bench of Justices Rajiv Sharma and Kuldip Singh, while passing a ruling in a murder case where the Haryana police had mentioned the caste of the accused, witnesses and the victim during the proceedings, noted that the caste system was profoundly illogical and was also against the basic tenets of the Constitution.
- The court has directed the Secretaries (Home) of the governments to issue instructions to all investigating officers not to mention the caste of the accused, victims or witnesses in recovery memos, FIRs, seizure memos, inquest papers and other forms prescribed under CrPC and Punjab Police Rules.
‘MIND THE GAP – State of Employment in India 2019
- According to Oxfam India’s latest report, ‘Mind The Gap – State of Employment in India’, Lack of quality jobs and increasing wage disparity are key markers of inequality in the Indian labour market. Key findings of the report are Regressive social norms along with lack of investment in social security and infrastructure continue to hamper women’s participation in the workforce. On average, women are paid 34% less than similarly qualified male workers for performing the same tasks.
- The largest number of jobs were generated in the unorganised sector. Job generation was adversely impacted after demonetisation and hit the women workforce most. Post-demonetisation also saw a drop-in household with two or more persons employed. Even within the public education system, there are inequalities in educational investment. Government sponsored Kendriya Vidyalayas (KV) spend Rs 27,000 per student whereas non KV government schools spend a mere Rs 3000 per student.
- In rural India, traditional occupations continue to be determined by castes. Women belonging to the Mahadalit community, for example, assist with childbirth, while richer Baniyas own shops.
Current Affairs April 2019: Few Important Tips
Here are a few tips that can help you crack the General Awareness section of any competitive exam:
- a. Prepare a consistent plan where you can cover the major current affairs for that particular day.
- b. Identify the type of exam you are going to attempt. (For example, a few bank exams will not ask questions based on static gk.)
- c. Participate in Online Quizzes to analyze your knowledge.
- d. Download previous month wise current affairs and have a glance all at once.
- e. Never miss out on any specific topic of current affairs, cover all concepts equally.
- f. Make notes for important dates and events.
- g. Most importantly, “DO NOT MUG UP”.
Current Affairs April will assist you in your preparation to crack any competitive exams when given an appropriate amount of your time. The above-mentioned information is skimmed several times to present you with only the top and the best news for that day. So make sure you follow this article every day and keep an eye on the updates since we only include the best current affairs around the world. If you are preparing for any banking exam, in particular, you can take Bank Mock Test on Embibe for free. These bank mock tests will help you analyze your performance in all sections. Mostly all the banking exams follow more or less the same paper structure, practicing for the general awareness section here will give you an idea on the questions flow and exam pattern.
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