Current Affairs Update – 18-19 April, 2017
Financial and Banking News –
SBI becomes India’s most-valued Public Sector Company
The State Bank of India (SBI) on 18 April 2017 became India’s most valued Public Sector Company in terms of market valuation. The market cap of SBI stood at Rs 235307.51 crore as on 18 April 2017.
It surpassed state-run energy major Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) as its market cap was about Rs 2961.79 crore more than that of ONGC’s Rs 232345.72 crore. ONGC once used to be the country’s most-valued Public Sector Company in terms of market valuation.
Among the top-10 most valued companies list, SBI is at the fifth position while ONGC is seventh on the list. So far in Financial Year 2017-18, shares of SBI have surged almost 16 per cent while ONGC’s shares have fallen by over 4 per cent.
On the other hand, in Private Sector, IT major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) became the most-valued Indian company with a market cap of Rs 454902.85 crore, followed by Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) with Rs 445578.92 crore market cap.
TCS had replaced RIL as the most valued firm more than four years ago itself. However, RIL witnessed a sharp growth in recent past on success of telecom venture Jio.
Cabinet allows State entities to borrow directly from ODA partners
The Cabinet has given its approval to the policy guidelines to allow financially sound State government entities to borrow directly from bilateral Official Development Assistance (ODA) partners for implementation of vital infrastructure projects.
A decision on allowing the Election Commission to purchase 16,15,000 Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) units at a tentative unit cost of ₹19,650, and at a total estimated cost of ₹ 3173.47 crore during the years 2017-18 and 2018-19 was also taken by the Cabinet, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said at a press conference after the meeting on Wednesday.
Taking its decision on State enterprises forward, the Cabinet allowed the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, a State entity, to borrow directly from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for implementation of Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) project. The estimated project cost is ₹ 17,854 crore while the JICA loan portion is expected to be ₹ 15,109 crore.
“The guidelines will allow the State Government entities to directly borrow from the external bilateral funding agencies subject to fulfilment of certain conditions and it would not be limited by the State’s FRBM target,” Jaitley told reporters.
The Cabinet also gave its approval for extending the validity of the existing order given on October 27,2016, in respect of sugar for a further period of six months from April 29, 2017 to October 28, 2017.
The main objective of the decision is to enable the States to issue control order with the prior concurrence of the Centre for fixing stock limits/ licensing requirements in respect of sugar, whenever need is felt by them, an official release said.
First Made in India industrial robot BRABO unveiled
TAL Manufacturing Solutions in April 2017 unveiled India’s first conceptualized, designed and manufactured articulated industrial robot called BRABO.
BRABO stands for “Bravo Robot”. It has been developed indigenously for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) in India.
TAL Manufacturing Solutions is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Motors.
The robot was designed and manufactured at the TAL’s Pune factory.
It is mainly developed to complement the human workforce.
It also developed to repeatedly perform high volume, dangerous and time-consuming tasks ranging from handling of raw materials to packaging of finished products.
Other than the motors and drives for the Robo-arm, which are sourced from Italy, all the other parts of the robot were indigenously manufactured in India.
The robot has four patents registered in its name. TAL has also applied for an intellectual property certification for the robot.
The robot is easy to install, use, program and maintain. It needs only one-time calibration. It does not require any many calibration in case of maintenance.
It comes with low-cost power transmission system.
It will be able to work on single phase power supply suitable for MSMEs in the country.
West Bengal’s new social security Yojana combines 5 old beneficiary schemes
The State government of West Bengal has introduced the Social Security Yojana by combining five separate beneficiary schemes for workers in the unorganised sectors and for self-employed people.
The decision was taken during a Cabinet meeting held on 17 April 2017. The meeting was led by the
state’s Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
The Yojana is expected to benefit around 5 Cr people, with around 1 Cr getting direct benefits.
The five earlier schemes include:
– State Assistance Scheme for Provident Fund for Unorganised Sector
– West Bengal Unorganised Sector Workers’ Health Security Scheme
– Social Security scheme for Construction Workers
– West Bengal Transport Workers Social Security Scheme
– West Bengal Bidi Workers Welfare Scheme
The Trinamool Congress-led state government has spent around Rs 880 Cr between 2011 and 2016 to bring more than 85 lakh people under the schemes.
According to the state’s Finance Minister, Amit Mitra, workers from over 46 unorganised sectors including bidi workers, book-binding workers, motor mechanics, boatmen and ICDS workers, as well as self-employed people from 15 sectors including the jewellery manufacturing sector, will stand to benefit from the all-encompassing new scheme.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launches projects related to SAUNI Yojana at Botad
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 17 April 2017 dedicated Phase 1 (Link 2) of the Saurashtra Narmada Avtaran Irrigation (SAUNI) Yojana to the nation.
PM Modi also laid the Foundation Stone of Phase 2 (Link 2) of the SAUNI Yojana.
The design of Phase 2 is to pump Narmada water in 17 dams spread across Botad, Bhavnagar and Amreli districts of Gujarat. This is considered as a second milestone of the Rs 12000 crore projects to pump Narmada water to the arid Saurashtra region.
SAUNI Yojana’s Link 1 canal will take water to 30 dams in Jamnagar and Devbhoomi Dwarka districts. In August 2016, PM Modi had dedicated Phase-I of the Link-I canal to the nation.
The Saurashtra-Narmada Avataran Irrigation Yojana has been launched to divert one one million acre feet (MAFT) excess over flowing flood water of Narmada allocated to Saurashtra Region.
The excess over flowing flood water of Narmada will be distributed to 115 reservoirs of eleven districts of Saurashtra through total 1126 km long four link pipelines benefitting 10.22 lakh acres of land.
The project aims to utilize the floodwater, which otherwise overflows the Narmada dam during monsoon and drains into the sea.
News related to India and states –
UP Government renames Gorakhpur and Agra Airports
In the third meeting of the Uttar Pradesh cabinet, the state government renamed the Gorakhpur and Agra Airports as well as the name of the Department of Welfare of the Differently-abled.
The Gorakhpur Airforce Station was renamed after the name of Mahayogi Gorakhnath, the founder of Nath monastic movement. Interestingly, the newly-appointed Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is the Head Priest of the Gorakhnath Mutt, which is a leading centre of the Nath monastic order.
Likewise, the Agra Airport was renamed after RSS ideologue Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay airport. On the other hand, the Department of Disabled Welfare will now be known as Divyang Jan Vikas Empowerment. Divyang is a term used for the differently-abled.
During the meeting, the cabinet also approved the decision to open 20 new agricultural centres.
Indian Navy dedicates its Largest Missile destroyer to Chennai
INS Chennai, a ‘P15A Guided Missile Destroyer’, was dedicated to the city of Chennai on 17 April 2017 in the presence of Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami.
The dedication ceremony included a series of events and drills. Also present at the event was Vice- Admiral HCS Bisht, the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Indian Navy’s Eastern Naval Command.
On the occasion, Palaniswami also unveiled a plaque at the Chennai Port Trust.The indigenously designed guided missile destroyer was commissioned into the Indian navy’s combat fleet on 21 November 2016 by the then Defence minister Manohar Parrikar in Mumbai. It is commanded by Captain C. R. Praveen Nair and has 45 officers. It is the largest-ever destroyer to be built in India.
It is also the third and last Kolkata-class guided-missile destroyers built under Project 15A. It has state of the art weapons and sensors and stealth features.
Palladium Cinema site to be developed as heritage museum in Srinagar
The Palladium Cinema site at Lal Chowk of Srinagar will be developed as a heritage museum soon. The cinema was once a popular hangout for movie buffs but fell victim to militancy.
Palladium Cinema, which is located at the historic Lal Chowk, was closed down in 1989 after the eruption of militancy in the state. Later in 1990, the cinema was gutted in a fire and it has also seen two fidayeen attacks. At present, the cinema is occupied by security forces.
The decision was taken on 18 April 2017 at a meeting chaired by Divisional Commissioner (Kashmir) Baseer Ahmad Khan. The meeting was held to review the progress of various developmental activities being carried out by the Srinagar Development Authority (SDA).
Kerala Government allocates sum for former circus artistes
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) led coalition in Kerala, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) has decided to provide pension to former circus artists in the state.
The decision was taken up after a group of circus artists met Kerala’s Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan while he was visiting the state’s Kannur district and conveyed their plight to him.
The government has allocated a sum of Rs 1.13 Cr for the same. Thalassery in Kannur district is considered to be the cradle of Indian circus.
Vastu Shastra to be introduced in IIT Kharagpur
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur is all set to introduce Vastu Shastra classes for its architecture students from August 2017.
The basics of Vastu Shastra will be introduced to the first and second-year undergraduate architecture students. However, detailed grounding on the subject will be imparted to the post graduate and research scholars in infrastructure.
The undergraduate students will be taught graded modules related to basic design and history of architecture will be taught. At the postgraduate level, modules imparting solar principles, sacred diagrams, 9 circuit placements or the nabagraha mandal, sacred altars and design semiotics and semantics will be taught.
Prakash Javadekar launches Portal and Mobile App of RUSA
The Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), under the aegis of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, on 17 April 2017 launched its own portal and mobile app. The portal and app were officially launched by Union Minister of Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar in New Delhi.
The portal is a one-stop location for States’ Higher Education Plans, the decision of the States’ Higher Education Councils and details of the resources. Also, the gallery is a rich repository of the projects initiated under RUSA. On the other hand, the mobile application will ensure that all projects under RUSA are tracked 24×7.
Besides, the minister also inaugurated 17 facilities created under Rashtriya Ucchatat Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) in one go in 14 states. They include
A cluster university in Jammu and Kashmir
Micro ATM facility at the RUSA centre for intelligent systems in Pune University
New Colleges (Professional): Rajiv Gandhi Government Engineering College, Kangra (Himachal Pradesh) Equity Initiatives: Digital Language Laboratory in Ghatsila College, Ghatsila, Kolhan University (Jharkhand) Infrastructure Grants to Universities: Solar Panelling System in Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady, Ernakulam (Kerala) Infrastructure Grants to University: Academic Block, Government Rani Durgawati College, Mandla (Madhya Pradesh) Research, Innovation and Quality Improvement in Shivaji University, Kolhapur & Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune (Maharashtra)
Nation-wide training programme launched for Elected Women Representatives of Panchayats
The Union Ministry of Women and Child Development in collaboration with the Union Ministry of Panchayati Raj on 17 April 2017 launched a comprehensive module for capacity building of Elected Women Representatives (EWRs) of Panchayats.
In addition, a training program for trainers of women panchayat leaders across the country was also launched. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, Union Minister of Women & Child Development, launched the program at Ranchi, Jharkhand through a video conference.
The National Commission for Women of the WCD Ministry in collaboration with TISS developed the module.
The module includes training guidelines, timeline, implementation guidelines, training schedules and monitoring and evaluation.
The training will include group discussions, brainstorming lectures, demonstrations, field visits, case studies, games, exercise, role play, small workshops and individual assignments.
The module also discusses various topics like ‘What is an ideal Panchayat’, composition of the Gram Panchayat, development schemes and programmes, resources of panchayats and their utilization, laws for protection of the vulnerable sections among others.
The training program aims to empower EWRs of panchayats by upgrading their capacity, capability and skill in governance and administration of villages.
The training program will be closely monitored to ensure proper learning by the sarpanches and EWRs. In the first phase of the programme, 40 master trainers of Jharkhand will be trained at the State
Institute of Rural Development in Ranchi.
World News –
UN to celebrate International Yoga Day with special commemorative stamps
The United Nations will be issuing special commemorative stamps to celebrate the International Yoga Day this year. The day is celebrated across the world on 21 June.
The same was confirmed by India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin through a tweet on his social media account.
The UN postal agency, UN Postal Administration (UNPA) will issue the new special event sheet to commemorate Yoga Day that has been marked annually since 2015.
The special sheet comprises stamps with images of the sacred Indian sound “Om” and various yogic asanas.
Devendra Kumar Sharma appointed as Chairman of BBMB
Devendra Kumar Sharma was on 18 April 2017 appointed as the Chairman of Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) for a period of three years. His appointment was approved by the Appointment Committee Of Cabinet.
BBMB manages the release of water in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan as it controls Bhakra, Pong and other dams.
The post of Chairman of BBMB had been lying vacant since September 2015. Its temporary charge was given to SK Sharma, Member of Irrigation under BBMB.
Punjab had been demanding a regular appointment on the post of BBMB Chairman for its smooth functioning.
B N Mohapatra takes over as Financial Commissioner of Railways
B N Mohapatra on 17 April 2017 took over as the new Financial Commissioner (FC) (Railways) and ex- officio Secretary to the Government of India.
The Financial Commissioner of Railways plays an important role in allocation of funds and for all expenses and revenues of the Railways.
He also worked as Executive Director (Establishment), Executive Director (Expenditure), and Advisor (Accounts) at Railway Board, New Delhi.
From December 2015 to November 2016, he served as the additional General Manager of East Coast Railway.
The World Hemophilia Day observed across the world on 17 April
The World Hemophilia Day was celebrated across the world on 17 April 2017 with the theme “Hear Their Voices”. The main aim of this campaign is to unite the community and show support for the millions of women and young girls affected by bleeding disorders.
The campaign urges women to join the conversation by sharing their story about how the bleeding disorder affected their lives so that others can learn about the condition.
World Heritage Day observed with theme Cultural Heritage & Sustainable Tourism
The 2017 World Heritage Day was observed across the world on 18 April 2017. The theme for the year is Cultural Heritage & Sustainable Tourism.
The theme for the 2017 World Heritage Day was chosen in relation to the United Nations International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development and in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.
The day is aims at raising awareness of the importance of protecting and preserving various sites around the world that have achieved world heritage status.
Sports News –
Sagar Baheti becomes India’s first visually impaired runner to complete Boston Marathon
India’s Sagar Baheti on 17 April 2017 became the first visually impaired Indian runner to complete the historic Boston Marathon.
Supported by the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI), Baheti completed a distance of 42.16 kilometres in just over four hours.
The 31-year old runner finished the 121st Boston Marathon as one of 30000 runners.
Baheti is a businessman by profession. In 2013, he was diagnosed with Stargardt’s disease, a type of macular degeneration that eventually leads to blindness.
ICC names Ganguly and Ponting as commentators for upcoming Champions Trophy
The International Cricket Council has named former Indian International cricket captain Saurav Ganguly as one of the commentators in their stellar line up for the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy.
Other International cricketers named in the commentary panel include Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne, Michael Slater, Nasser Hussain, Michael Atherton, Shaun Pollock, Sanjay Manjrekar, Ian Bishop, Ramiz Raja, Simon Doull and Athar Ali Khan.
The event would also see the ICC TV debut of former International captains including Ricky Ponting of Australia, Graeme Smith of South Africa, Brendon McCullum of New Zealand and Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka.
Besides this, the International cricketing body revealed their detailed broadcast production plans of the tournament. For the first-time ever, ICC has introduced player tracking for Champions trophy, which will be held from 1 June to 18 June in England and Wales.
Awards & Honors –
Historian A V Narasimha Murthy honoured with Gururaja Bhat Award
Eminent historian Professor A V Narasimha Murthy on 17 April 2017 was presented with Dr. Paduru Gururaja Bhat Award 2017.
The award was presented to Murthy by D V Sadananda Gowda, Union Minister for Statistics and Programme Implementation.
Murthy was chosen for the prestigious award in consideration of his contribution to Indian Archaeology, Ancient History and Numismatics.
Murthy is the Chairman of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (BVB), Mysuru. He also served as the Head of the Department of Ancient History and Archaeology, University of Mysore.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Governor Girish Chandra Saxena passes away
Girish Chandra Saxena passed away on 14 April 2017 at the age of 90. He was the former Governor of Jammu and Kashmir.
Born in Agra in 1928, he joined the Indian Police Service (IPS) and held many positions.
He retired as the Director of India’s external intelligence agency – the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) in the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
He served in the RAW for 16 years and headed it between 1983 and 1986.
He was chief of the agency during the Kanishka Bombing and Operation Blue Star.
Current Affairs Update – 20 April, 2017
Financial and Banking News –
RBI, Bank of Guyana sign MoU for supervisory exchange of information
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday announced signing of an MoU with the Bank of Guyana on Supervisory Cooperation and Exchange of Supervisory Information.
The apex bank signed the MoU, Letter for Supervisory Co-operation and Statement of Co-operation with supervisors of a few countries to promote greater co-operation and share supervisory information.
It was signed by Dr Gobind N. Ganga, Governor on behalf of Bank of Guyana and Dr Urjit R. Patel, Governor on behalf of Reserve Bank of India.
Earlier, RBI had signed 40 such MoUs, one Letter for Supervisory Co-operation and one Statement of Co-operation.
Bank of Baroda ties up with EM3 Agri for loans to boost farm incomes
Public sector Bank of Baroda has inked a pact with EM3 Agri Services to give loan to farmers and rural entrepreneurs for purchase of farm equipment and related machinery. BoB said the pact has been signed keeping in mind the government focus on doubling farmers’ incomes by 2022.
The loan service will help create an ecosystem to provide end to end solutions to farmers, BoB said in a statement.
Besides farmers, joint-liability groups, self-help groups, farmer producer organisations (FPOs) and small rural entrepreneurs will also be able to take loans to buy farm machinery and farm equipment.
EM3 offers farm mechanisation services like land preparation, transplantation/sowing to crop harvesting and post-harvest management for small hold farmers on a pay-per- use basis.
Supreme Court approves e-auction of Taj Mansingh Hotel in Delhi
The Supreme Court (SC) on 20 April 2017 approved the e-auction of Taj Mansingh Hotel in Delhi. A bench of Justices P C Ghose and R F Nariman allowed New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) to e- auction the property.
The bench rejected the claim of Tata group-owned Indian Hotels Co. Ltd (IHCL) over the property. The auctioning the Taj Mansingh Hotel property was stiffly opposed by Tata group-run Indian Hotels Company Ltd which manages the hotel.
In an earlier hearing, the Supreme Court asked NDMC to reconsider its decision for the e-auction as the IHCL had approached SC against a Delhi High Court’s ruling that allowed for the auction of Taj Mansingh Hotel.
However, on 27 October 2016 hearing, a division bench denied IHCL’s claim to right of first refusal on the auction and called for the bidding. It allowed IHCL to participate in the bid and also match the highest offer.
News related to India and States –
India contributes USD 250000 to United Nations election assistance programme
India in April 2017 contributed USD 250000 to the United Nations programme for helping countries to hold elections and develop their electoral systems.
Eenam Gambhir, the first Secretary in India’s Mission to the Unite Nations, presented the cheque to Kyoko Shiotani, Chief of the Office of the Under-Secretary-General at the UN Department of Political Affairs, on 18 April 2017.
It is India’s second contribution of USD 250000 to the programmes for electoral assistance and capacity building. The first contribution was made in the year 2012.
NGT directs shutdown of all industries near Bellandur Lake
The National Green Tribunal on 19 April 2017 ordered an immediate closure of all the industries located near Bengaluru’s Bellandur Lake.
The directive was delivered by a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter who banned dumping of any kind of solid municipal waste around the lake. He has also announced an environment compensation fine of Rs 5 lakh on anyone found dumping waste in or around the lake.
The green panel has ordered the State Pollution Control Board to seal all the industries found violating the directions.
The ban would cover all the industries located in the vicinity of the lake and that are discharging effluent into it.
Amazon launches Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote in India
Global e-commerce major Amazon on 19 April 2017 launched the Amazon Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote in India.
Fire TV Stick is the powerful streaming media device that plugs into an HD Television and lets customers access thousands of movies, TV shows, apps and games.
The device will be available on Amazon India and selected retailers like Reliance Digital and Croma. It will compete with devices like Google Chromecast, Amkette’s EvoTV and Apple TV.
Awards & Honors –
Tripura, Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu chosen for Krishi Karman Awards 2015-16
The Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare in April 2017 selected Tripura, Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu for the Krishi Karman Awards 2015-16.
On the other hand, Meghalaya was chosen for commendation prize for total food grain production. The state would also be given a cash award of Rs 1 crore.
Tripura is selected for the Krishi Karman Award 2015-16 in small category (less than 1 million tonnes). It is honoured for a commendable increase in food grain production in small category states. The north-eastern state produced 825000 tonnes of food grain in the year 2016. The state would also be given a cash award of Rs 5 crore. Tripura is being honoured with the award for the second time.
Himachal Pradesh is chosen for the award in medium category (1 to 10 million tonnes). During the last five years, the state’s total food grains production has increased from 14.94 lakh tone to 16.34 lakh tone. Himachal Pradesh was also conferred the Krishi Karman Award for 2011-12 for increase in wheat production and in 2014-15 for increasing food grains production.
Tamil Nadu has been chosen for the prestigious award in large category (production more than 10 million tonnes). The state produced 130 lakh tonnes of food grains in 2015-16, which is the highest in the last five years. In terms of yield in food grains, the state managed to get a yield of 3.38 tonnes per hectare as against the all-India average of 2.028 tonnes per hectare, which is 67% more than the national average. Tamil Nadu will also be given a sum of Rs 5 crore. The state had already bagged the award thrice in 2011-12 for highest food grains production, in 2013-14 for highest pulses production and in 2014-15 for highest coarse cereals production.
Italian mayor Giuseppina Nicolini wins UNESCO Peace Prize
The UNESCO on 19 April 2017 awarded the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize to Giuseppina Nicolini, the mayor of the Italian island of Lampedusa and to the nongovernmental organization SOS Méditerranée (France).
Nicolini has been bestowed for the award for her commitment to saving the lives of migrants and refugees.
Joaquim Chissano, the acting President of the Jury of the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize declared, “After examining conditions around the world, the Jury of the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize determined that refugees and migrants constitute one of the crucial issues of our day, notably in the Mediterranean where nearly 13,000 men, women and children have perished in shipwrecks since 2013.”
Since becoming mayor in 2012, Nicolini has been recognized for her boundless humanity and unwavering commitment to refugee crisis management and integration in response to the arrival of thousands of refugees on the shores of Lampedusa and elsewhere in Italy.
Saira Banu, Jackie Shroff gets Raj Kapoor awards
Veteran actress Saira Banu and actor Jackie Shroff were named for the prestigious Raj Kapoor awards of the Maharashtra Government. The names of the duo were announced on 19 April 2017 by the State Cultural Affairs Minister Vinod Tawde in Mumbai.
Saira Banu (72) will be awarded with the prestigious Raj Kapoor Lifetime achievement award, while Jackie Shroff (60) was selected for the Raj Kapoor Special contribution award. They will be awarded for their cinematic journey and contributions to the Indian cinema respectively.
Prominent films of Saira Banu includes “Junglee” (1961), “Purab aur Paschim” (1970), “Victoria No. 203” (1972), “JwarBhata”, “Padosan” and “Bairag” (1976).
Prominent films of Shroff include “Hero” (1983), “Teri Meherbaniyan” (1984), “Sazish”. He had won the Filmfare best actor award for his role in the film “Parinda” (1990).
Vasudevan’s One Part woman wins Sahitya Akademi Award for translation of Mathorubhagan
One Part Woman, a translation work of Perumal Murugan’s controversial Tamil novel Maadhorubaagan, by Aniruddhan Vasudevan on 19 April 2017 was chosen for 2016 Sahitya Akademi’s award for translation in English.
The translation work by Aniruddhan Vasudevan and published by Penguin and has already won the Canada Ilakkiya Thotta Virudhu award.
As per reports, the award that includes a casket containing an engraved copper plaque and a cash component of Rs 50000 would be presented to Vasudevan at a ceremony in June 2017. Vasudevan will be felicitated with the award along with the winners of the Sahitya Akademi award in 23 languages.
Victoria Beckham appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire
Victoria Beckham on 19 April 2017 was appointed the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to the fashion industry.
Prince William presented the honour to the pop singer turned fashion designer at the Buckingham Palace in London.
She is also an internationally recognised style icon and fashion designer. The Victoria Beckham label was named designer brand of the year in the UK in 2011. She is married to soccer icon David Beckham.
United Nations Chinese Day 2017 observed
The United Nations Chinese Day 2017 was observed globally on 20 April 2017. The Day is observed every year to promote the use of Chinese language in the United Nations.
The first United Nations Chinese Day was held on 12 November 2010 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The Chinese language is one of the oldest languages in the world.
In the history of the United Nations, it was for the first time that the use of Chinese as the official language of the United Nations was promoted through this day so that people get to understand China’s long civilization and splendid culture.
Rajnath Singh inaugurates Civil Services Day function
The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) along with the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions is organising a two-day Civil Services Day programme from20 April to 21 April 2017.
The function was inaugurated by Rajnath Singh, the Union Home Minister and will be presided over by Jitendra Singh, who holds the portfolio of the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) among many others.
The event would commemorate Civil Services Day, which is on 21 April 2017.
Current Affairs Update – 21 April, 2017
Financial and Banking News –
GIC Re becomes first re-insurer to set up base in GIFT City
General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC Re) has become the first re-insurer to open its IFSC Insurance Office (IIO) at India’s first International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) at Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) here today.
Alice G Vaidyan, Chairman and Managing Director, GIC Re, said the company has decided to be a part of the country’s effort in building an offshore financial centre at GIFT City. GIC Re’s experience of working in other global IFSCs could be shared with GIFT IFSC, she added.
With a net worth of about Rs. 40,000 crore and total assets of Rs.85,000 crore, as on December 31, 216, GIC Re ranks 14th among the reinsurers the world over, on the basis of the gross premium volumes (2016).
India, South Korea sign pact for defence shipbuilding
The governments of India and South Korea signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 21 April 2017 to strengthen their bilateral cooperation in defence shipbuilding.
The agreement was signed between Ashok Kumar Gupta, Secretary (Defence Production) and Chang Myong Jin, Korea’s Minister of Defence Acquisition and Programme Administration in New Delhi.
According to the MoU, the two countries under the broader term of a special strategic partnership will be nominating one shipyard each for the project.
Commenting on the development, Ashok Kumar Gupta stated that India has already chosen Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) for the purpose while South Korea is still to announce its nomination.
News related to India and states –
Cubbon Park, Lalbagh to take up leaf composting to clear dry leaves
To solve the problem of getting rid off fallen leaves, the Horticulture Department in Bengaluru has set up eight leaf composting machines in Cubbon Park.
Another park, Lalbagh is also planning to compost leaf waste, as it is almost impossible to clear dry leaves spread across over 200-300 acres of area.
The leaf composting machines promise quality compost within just four months.
The traditional methods undertaken by the park authorities up until now took at least one and half years to complete the same job.
The Horticulture Department has installed eight leaf composters in both Cubbon Park and Lalbagh, each having a capacity of 2,000 litres.
To begin, the department would be using smaller leaf composters, which would be able to presently clear only 5 per cent of the leaf waste.
INS Darshak conducting joint hydrographic survey of Sri Lankan bay
The Indian Navy’s hydrographic survey ship, INS Darshak, jointly with Sri Lankan Navy, is undertaking a hydrographic survey of Weligama Bay.
The announcement was made by the Indian Navy on 20 April 2017 on a social media platform. INS Darshak, which is on a two-month deployment in the Sri Lankan waters, jointly with the Sri Lankan Navy is surveying the bay, which was last studied in the year 1901.
The Eastern Naval Command’s (ENC) vessel had left for Sri Lanka on 3 March 2017. The vessel is also carrying an integral Chetak helicopter which would be extensively deployed during the course of the survey.
India develops National Action Plan to combat Antimicrobial Resistance
J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, on 19 April 2017 announced the finalization of India’s comprehensive and multi-sectoral National Action Plan.
The announcement was made at the Inter-Ministerial Consultation on AMR containment held in New Delhi.
The National Action Plan aims to enhance awareness, strengthen surveillance, improve rational use of antibiotics, reduce infections and promote research. The plan highlights the need for tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR) across multiple sectors such as human health, animal husbandry, agriculture and environment in consideration of the “One-Health Approach”.
Ram Vila Paswan, Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Anil Madhav Dave, Minister of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, and Anupriya Patel, MoS (Health & Family Welfare) also signed a ‘Delhi Declaration’ for collectively strategizing to contain AMR.
TIME releases list of 100 Most Influential People of 2017
Time Magazine on 20 April 2017 released the annual list of 100 most influential people of 2017.
This year’s list includes the names of Presidents and Prime Ministers, CEOs and celebrities for the power of their inventions, the scale of their ambitions, the genius of their solutions to problems that could not be solved before.
This year, only two Indians to feature on the list- Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma.
Oscar winner Viola Davis, Grammy winner John Legend, actor Riz Ahmed, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and philanthropist Melinda Gates graced the five different covers of this year’s list of 100 most influential people.
US President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin and British Prime Minister Theresa May featured on the new list of 100 most influential people by the magazine.
The list includes active opponents not only US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un but also the Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte and his nemesis Senator Leila de Lima.
There are several people on the list whose influence is the subject of heated debate, from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to FBI Director James Comey to White House adviser Stephen Bannon.
PM Narendra Modi featured on the list as a political leader. He is described as a maestro of the art of political seduction, playing on the existential fears and cultural insecurities of people facing downward or blocked mobility.
Another Indian Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Paytm founder, also featured on the list. His venture Paytm witnessed a huge growth by the end of 2016 with 177 million users, compared with 122 million at the beginning of the year.
Awards & Honors –
First female MBBS doctor from Indore presented with Padma Shri
The 91-year-old gynaecologist, Dr. Bhakti Yadav was presented with the Padma Shri award at her residence on 20 April 2017.
The award was presented to her by district collector P Narahari in the presence of the state’s Finance Minister Jayant Malaiya and Mayor Malini Gaud, as she was unable to attend the function organised in New Delhi on 13 April where the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee had given away the prestigious civilian awards to the recipients.
The award aims to recognize her selfless service towards her patients, especially the ones from a poor background.The nonagenarian doctor has been treating her patients for free since 1948.
Sulkhan Singh Appointed Uttar Pradesh’s New Director General Of Police
Sulkhan Singh has been appointed Uttar Pradesh’s new Director General of Police (DGP) by the Yogi Adityanath government. Mr Singh, the 1980 batch IPS officer, will replace Javeed Ahmad, who has been made the chief of Provincial Armed Constabulary or PAC.
Several top bureaucrats have been transferred in UP, of which 12 are IPS officers and seven IAS. Earlier today, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath directed the state police to change its work style in order to make the common people feel secure. He expressed unhappiness over the working of the anti-corruption wing of the state police and ordered its reorganisation.
On completing one month in office on Wednesday, Mr Adityanath, in a major rejig, moved 41 senior officers and brought in new faces to head four development authorities. It was the 44-year-old leader’s second reshuffle since he resumed office.
Golfers Aditi Ashok, SSP Chawrasia and Ali Sher win Golf Industry Association Awards 2017
Golfers Aditi Ashok, S.S.P Chawrasia and Ali Sher on 20 April 2017 won the second edition of the Golf Industry Association (GIA) Awards 2017.
Aditi Ashok bagged the award for Outstanding Achievement. Aditi finished second in the Ladies European Tour (LET) order of merit in 2016.
SSP Chawrasia bagged the award for the Men’s Player of the Year (2016). He successfully defended his Indian Open title and had two victories on Golf Tour when he also won his first overseas title at the Resorts World Manila Masters.
While, Golfer Ali Sher was awarded for his outstanding playing career. His victory in the Indian Open back in 1991, was not only the first by an Indian professional golfer, but it completely changed the game in the country, with many Indian golfers tasting international success after him. He won an Arjuna Award in 1991 and then went on to win the Indian Open again in 1993.
Esports to be a medal event at 2022 Asian Games
The Olympic Council of Asia in April 2017 announced a partnership with Alisports to introduce esports as a demonstration sport at 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia, with full-fledged inclusion in the official sporting programme at the Hangzhou Games in 2022.
Alisports is the sports arm of Chinese online retail giant Alibaba.
The decision signifies that esports are one step closer to being featured in the Olympic Games.
The Asian Games in 2022 will be the first time that esports competitors can receive medals at an officially recognized Olympic event.
Esports will also be as a demonstration sport at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in September 2017. The Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games will feature Fifa 2017, MOBA games and real-time action games like StarCraft or Civilization.