Current Affairs : 28 Apr 2016 to 18 Apr 2016 - Summary

Current Affairs 28 Apr 2016 Apr 2016

  • Lobsang Sangey re-elected as PM of Tibetan Government-in-exile

    Lobsang Sangey re-elected as PM of Tibetan Government-in-exileLobsang Sangay (48) has been re-elected  as the prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile for a second consecutive term. 

    Tibetan election officials announced the result in the northern Indian town of Dharmsala, the headquarters of the government-in-exile.

    Sangay,  defeated his only rival, Penpa Tsering, Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament,  receiving about 58 percent of the 58,740 votes cast.

    Background : The 2016 general election was the second election since the Dalai Lama stepped down as head of the government-in-exile in 2011 to focus on his role as the Tibetans’ spiritual leader.  Tibetans living in exile cast their votes in 40 countries.

    Lobsang Sangey : He was born  in a refugee community in 1968 in Darjeeling. He graduated from the Tibetan school in Darjeeling and later received his B.A. (Hons) and LL.B. degrees from the University of Delhi.  In 1995, he won a Fulbright Scholarship to Harvard Law School.

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  • Naval detachment set up at Lakshadweep’s Androth Island

    Naval detachment set up at Lakshadweep’s Androth IslandA naval detachment aimed at enhancing the Navy's reach and surveillance of Arabian Sea waters was inagurated by Southern Command of the Indian Navy at Androth Island of the Lakshadweep archipelago.

    Significance of the naval detachment

    It will extend Indian naval presence at Androth Island, provide communication network connectivity with mainland, enable Sea Lanes of Communication (SLOC) monitoring and function as an Observance and reporting organisation, besides radar surveillance.

    Lakshadweep and Mnicoy Islands occupy a strategic location in the Arabian Sea. A number of shipping lanes pass close to these islands.

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  • Only 7 per cent B-school graduates are employable

    Only 7 per cent B-school graduates are employableIndia has at least 5,500 B-schools operational at present but unfortunately most of the business schools in the country are producing sub-par graduates who are largely unemployable, and therefore earning less than Rs 10,000 a month.

    The study says that only 7 per cent of MBA graduates from Indian business schools, excluding those from the top 20 schools, get a job straight after completing their course.

    The lack of quality control and infrastructure, low-paying jobs through campus placement, and poor faculty are the major reasons behind the disaster. 

    Around 220 B-schools have shut down in the last two years in Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Hyderabad, and Dehradun, and 120 more are expected to wind up in 2016.

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  • Deepika Kumari equals world record at Archery World Cup

    Deepika Kumari equals world record at Archery World CupOn Wednesday – exactly 100 days before the Rio Olympics - Ace Indian archer Deepika Kumari has equalled a world record at the Archery World Cup in Shanghai in the qualifying stage of the women's recurve event.

    Padma Shri recipient Deepika recorded a score of 686 out of 720 to finish 1st in qualifiers and equal the world record set by South Korea's Ki Boe Bae at the World University Games in Gwangju, South Korea in 2015.

    In the previous editions of the World Cup, Deepika had won silver medals 2011, 2012 and 2013 in the individual events.

    She has already qualified for the Rio Olympics with her performance at the Copenhagen World Championships in 2015.

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  • Govt. to set up sex offenders registry

    Govt. to set up sex offenders registryIn view of rising sexual crimes in the country, the Union government is planning to set up a sex offenders registry in the country, on the lines of those maintained in western countries including the U.S. and the U.K.

    Details of sexual offenders even below 18 years of age would be included in the database, which will be put up on the website of National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).

    The government will publicise their photographs, addresses, PAN card details, Aadhaar card number, fingerprints and DNA samples through this registry. The United States has a similar website called the National Sex Offender Public Website.

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  • Indian Naval Ships Veer, Nipat to be decommissioned today  

    Indian Naval Ships Veer, Nipat to be decommissioned todayIndian Naval Ships Veer and Nipat, serving under the 22nd Killer Missile Vessel Squadron will be decommissioned in Mumbai today. These ships are the first of Veer Class of ships to be decommissioned from the Indian Navy.

    Both the ships, are 1241 RE class missile vessels, and have completed 29 and 28 years of commissioned service respectively. During their service, the ships have participated in numerous operations and successfully completed many deployments.

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  • Gurdwara reopens in Peshawar after 73 years

    Gurdwara reopens in Peshawar after 73 yearsA 300-year-old gurdwara in Peshawar’s crowded Old City opened its doors to worshippers for the first time in 73 years.

    The reopening was celebrated by Pakistan's tiny Sikh minority but security is a constant concern.

    Background: On 22nd April Sardar Suran Singh a Sikh leader and provincial lawmaker was shot and killed outside his home in a remote area in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province, some 140 kilometers from Peshawar. 

    The murder of Sardar Sooran Singh devastated the Sikh community and heightened their fears of militant attacks.

    The event has also added to human rights activists over rising violence against religious minorities in Pakistan.

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  • Renowned Kerala cartoonist V T Thomas passes away

    Renowned Kerala cartoonist V T Thomas passes awayV T Thomas - Renowned cartoonist from Kerala passed away following a brief illness at in Kottayam, Kerala. He was 86.

    He also known as Toms and was the creator of the legendary cartoon characters  cartoon characters Boban and Molly (Bobanum Moliyum).

    About V T Thomas

    Born on June 6, 1929 in Kuttanad in Alappuzha district, he joined the British Army during the second World War, and served for a brief period.  Later he turned to the world of cartoons, following footsteps of his elder brother Peter Thomas. 

    He had immense interest in drawing and  found his characters Boban and Molly at the age of 30 from his neighbourhood. The whole story of Boban and Molly characters described the issues faced by the middle class and the day to day socio-political developments through his cartoon column.

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  • Union Cabinet approves MoU between India and Papua New Guinea in health area and medical science

    Union Cabinet approves MoU between India and Papua New Guinea in health area and medical scienceThe Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Papua New Guinea on cooperation in the field of Healthcare and Medical Science. 

    The bilateral MoU will encourage cooperation between the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare of India and the Ministry of Health and HIV/AIDS of the Papua New Guinea through joint initiatives in the health sector. It will strengthen bilateral ties between India and Papua New Guinea.

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  • Union Cabinet gives nod to MoU between IRDAI and Insurance Authority of UAE

    Union Cabinet gives nod to MoU between IRDAI and Insurance Authority of UAEThe Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) and the Insurance Authority of United Arab Emirates. The MoU was signed in February, 2016.

    The MoU provides for enhanced cooperation between the two authorities in the field of insurance supervision by providing a framework for co-operation such as channels of communication.

    The MoU will also result in increasing mutual understanding through the exchange of regulatory and relevant supervisory information including confidential information to enforce or ensure compliance with their respective laws and regulations.  

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2nd Aug

Exam Date : 02-08-2016

Exam Time : 07:15:00

Ques/Time : 6/5 min


Sports

Exam Date : 01-08-2016

Exam Time : 06:00:00

Ques/Time : 8/5 min


Todays test

Exam Date : 22-07-2016

Exam Time : 05:10:00

Ques/Time : 3/5 min


Current Affairs 27 Apr 2016 Apr 2016

  • Shyam Benegal Committee Recommendations on the functioning of Censor Board

    Shyam Benegal Committee Recommendations on the functioning of Censor BoardThe Shyam Benegal Committee, set up by the Centre to look into the functioning of the Censor Board, has submitted its report to Union Information and Broadcasting (I&B) minister Arun Jaitley. 

    Background :

    (1) The panel was set up on January 2016, to take a relook at the functioning of the Censor Board  headed by Pahlaj Nihalani.

    (2) The panel also includes actor-filmmaker Kamal Hassan, filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, adman Piyush Pandey and film journalist Bhawana Somayaa, among others.

    (3) It was also asked to take note of the best practices in other parts of the world especially where the film industry is given sufficient and adequate space for creative and aesthetic expression.

    Recommendations of Shyam Benegal Committee :

    • Censor Board of Film Certification’s (CBFC) role should be restricted to categorising the suitability of films to various audience groups based on age and maturity.
    • Certification guidelines should allow the audience to make informed viewing decisions and ensure artistic expression and creative freedom are not unduly curbed.
    • The CBFC should refuse certification when a film contains anything that contravenes with the Cinematograph Act, or if the content of the film crosses the ceiling laid down in the highest category of certification.
    • In addition to different classifications that we have currently, we should have two categories of U/A, one plus 12 years of age and one plus 15 years of age and two categories of adult, one is normal adult and another adult with caution.
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  • Tourism Ministry launches NMAs Online Web Portal NOAPS 

    Union Tourism Ministry has launched National Monuments Authority Web Portal called NOC Online Application and Processing System (NOAPS) that will provide single window clearance within six working days to applicants seeking no-objection certificates (NoC) for construction-related works near 3686 ASI  protected monuments in the country.

    Current scenario: As per current guidelines 100 metres of area around the monument is a prohibited zone while the area between 100 to 300 metres is regulated zone for which no-objection certificate is needed before starting  construction-related works.The time limit for availing NoC was 90 days as prescribed in Ancient Monuments and Archeological Sites and Remains (AMASR) Act. 

    Key Facts:

    • The Portal has used the technology and expertise of ISRO which is in the process of mapping of 3686 ASI protected monuments and sites. Government also has developed user friendly Mobile App which can be downloaded free of cost by an applicant. 
    • The web portal has  been integrated with the online portal of local bodies of Delhi and Mumbai viz. NDMC, Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) to facilitate single window clearance for construction on a common application form.
    • However, large projects involving construction of building beyond 2000 square metres have been kept out of the purview of this single window clearance system, keeping in view their possible impact on the Monument or the site.
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  • Riyad Mahrez becomes first African footballer to win PFA Player of the Year 

    Riyad Mahrez becomes first African footballer to win PFA Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez a professional footballer who plays for English club Leicester City and the Algerian national team as a winger has became the first African footballer to win the Professional Footballers Association’s (PFA) Player of the Year award. 

    He also became the second non-European, after Uruguayan striker - Luis Suarez- to win this prestigious award in the sport of Football. 

    Former Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs,  won the PFA Merit Award while Dele Alli FC midfielder Tottenham Hotspur was named as the Young Player of the Year for the 2015–16 season.

    They were presented the award for the 2015–16 season at the Professional Footballers’ Association awards ceremony organised in London. 

    PFA Player of the Year award

    It is an annual award given to the player who is adjudged to have been the best of the year in English football. The award has been presented since the 1973–74 season and the winner is chosen by a vote amongst the members of the players' trade union, the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA). The first winner of the award was Leeds United defender Norman Hunter.

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  • Indian Railways to create Rs 1 lakh crore Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh 

    Indian Railways to create Rs 1 lakh crore Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh Lok Sabha has passed by voice vote the demand of  Union Railway Ministry to create a 1 lakh crore rupees safety fund named Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh to strengthen safety measures on the rail network in a comprehensive way.

    The fund of 1 lakh crore would be used for track renewal and upgradation, bridge rehabilitation, elimination of level-crossings, construction of road over bridges/road under bridges, replacement and improvement of signalling system, improvement and upgradation of rolling stock, replacement of electrical assets and human resource development.

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  • IIT scholar K Ashok Kumar wins International Plant Nutrition Scholar Award

    IIT scholar K Ashok Kumar wins International Plant Nutrition Scholar AwardK Ashok Kumar, a food engineering research scholar from IIT Kharagpur has won the prestigious International Plant Nutrition Scholar Award. The award carries a cash prize of USD 2,000 and a recognition certificate.

    Research Work :

    Kumar has been pursuing his PhD at the department on nutrition management of rice-chickpea production system in laterite soil. His research will help application of organic fertiliser such as vermicompost in right amount and timing, to rice crop so that the yield of rice-chickpea cropping system is increased by 10 per cent as compared to use of conventional synthetic fertilisers.

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  • IT dept to pay interest on TDS refund

    IT dept to pay interest on TDS refundThe Income Tax (I-T) department will now add interest amount to a delayed refund made on excess tax deducted at source (TDS) cut  and will also not litigate with the deductor on this issue in the future.

    Central Board of Direct Taxes yesterday issued a directive in this regard to the assessing officers of the IT department.

    The decision is based on a 2014 Supreme Court order where the apex court had made it clear that the taxman is bound to pay interest on refund made under the TDS category.TDS is primarily deducted by the employer from the salary paid to an employee.

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  • FinMin approves 8.7% interest on EPF for 2015-16

    FinMin approves 8.7% interest on EPF for 2015-16The Finance Ministry has approved 8.7% interest on PF deposits, lower than 8.8% decided by the Central Board of Trustees (CBT).

    This is for the first time that Finance Ministry has overruled the decision of retirement fund body EPFO's apex decision making Central Board of Trustees (CBT) headed by the Labour Minister.

    EPFO had provided 8.75% rate of interest in 2013-14 and 2014-15, which was higher than 8.5% in 2012-13 and 8.25% in 2011-12.

    The estimates of EPFO had projected that the body can easily pay 8.95% rate of interest as it would leave a surplus of Rs 100 crore.

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  • TVS Racing Appoints Shreya Iyer as Team's First Woman Racer

    TVS Racing Appoints Shreya Iyer as Team's First Woman RacerTVS Racing has signed Shreya Sunder Iyer as it's first woman rider  for the upcoming two-wheeler Indian National Rally championship. Shreya will begin her career with K1000, which is the first round. There will be five more rounds after this. 

    KP Aravind, R Natraj and AW Tanveer will be Shreya's teammates and these three were the national champions in 2015. Shreya will break the stereotype as motorsport has always been considered a male-dominated sport.

    Shreya, 24, began riding at the age of 17 and rode extensively across India including the isolated Suru valley in the Himalayas and also completed a rigorous Southern India biking expedition of 2,000 kilometers in just 6 days.

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  • South Sudan rebel chief Riek Machar sworn in as vice-president

    South Sudan rebel chief Riek Machar sworn in as vice-presidentSouth Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar has been sworn in as vice-president. His appointment is seen as a step towards ending a conflict that has killed tens of thousands. He was welcomed by President Salva Kiir ahead of forming a unity government. 

    About 2.3 million South Sudanese have been driven from their homes since war erupted in December 2013, plunging the country into a humanitarian crisis.

    Now the unity government will have to prepare roadmap for repairing it's economy that is near the point of collapse.

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Current Affairs 26 Apr 2016 Apr 2016

  • Indian rower Dattu Bhokanal qualifies for Rio Olympics

    Indian rower Dattu Bhokanal qualifies for Rio OlympicsIndian rower Dattu Baban Bhokanal has qualified for the Rio Olympics after winning a silver in the finals of men’s single sculls at the 2016 FISA Asian and Oceania Olympic Qualification Regatta at Chung-ju in South Korea. Bhokanal will be the ninth rower to represent India in the Olympics.

    Nashik-born Bhokanal, who trains at the Army Rowing Node (ARN) in Pune clocked 7 minutes, 7.63 seconds in the 2 km course to finish second while Korean Dongyong Kim bagged gold medal by completing  in  (07 mins 05.13 secs).

    Bhokanal has earlier won two gold medals in the 2014 National Rowing Championships, representing the Services and represented India at the 2014 Asian Games in China. He has also won silver in men's single sculls in the 16th Asian Rowing Championships in China last year. 

    Note : India's first ever Asian Games gold medal was won by Bajrang Lal Takhar in 2010 but we have never won an Olympic medal in Rowing.  The Rowing Federation of India administers the sport in the country. 

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  • All new mobiles to have panic button from 2017

    All phones sold in the country from the year 2017 will have a  dedicated ‘panic button’ that can be used to send out a signal in case of distress.

    There will also be mandatory provision for installation of a GPS navigation system from January 1, 2018, to track the location of the person in crisis with accuracy.

    Feature phones without the facility of panic button can invoke emergency call by pressing 'Numeric key - 5' or 'Numeric key - 9'.  

    This button, on being pressed for a long time should invoke an emergency call, or through existing power button, when short pressed thrice in quick succession. When panic button will be pressed a signal/call will be made to the nearest security agency.

    The move has been ordered by the government through an official notification which says that no handset shall be sold in India from January 1, 2017, without a panic button and all handsets must also have GPS from January 1, 2018.

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  • Mairaj Ahmed Khan wins silver medal at ISSF World Cup of shooting

    Mairaj Ahmed Khan wins silver medal at ISSF World Cup of shootingIndian shooter Mairaj Ahmed Khan has given India its first ever skeet medal by clinching silver in the men’s skeet event at ISSF World Cup held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    In the final, Mairaj lost gold medal to Sweden’s Marcus Svensson and the bronze medal was won by Tamarro Casandro of Italy.

    Earlier in the year, he became India's first ever skeet shooter to win an Olympic quota place after finishing at sixth place in last year's ISSF Shotgun World Cup in Italy.

    In the 2010, Commonwealth Shooting Championship he had won a team gold medal which was his best international performance earlier.

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  • India to host 2018 Commonwealth Judo Championships

    India to host 2018 Commonwealth Judo ChampionshipsIndia will be hosting the 2018 Commonwealth Judo Championships in Jaipur. The Commonwealth Judo Championships was allotted to India, by the Commonwealth Judo Congress held on April 23rd at Port Elizabeth, South Africa. This will be the first time that Commonwealth Judo Championships will be held in India. 

    India will also host  10th Asian Cadet Judo Championships & 17th Asian Juniors Judo Championships from September 6th to 12th at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium, Kadvanthaa, Kerala.

    Commonwealth Judo Championships : The Commonwealth Judo Championships is the official event of the Commonwealth Judo Associations and being organised in every 2 years for Cadets, Junior, Seniors, Masters and visually impaired Judo Players.

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  • Heart of Asia conference begins today in New Delhi

    Heart of Asia conference begins today in New DelhiThe Heart of Asia (HoA) conference begins today in New Delhi. The conference will be attended by officials of a number of  asian countries including Pakistan Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry

    Objective of the conference : The main  objective of the conference is bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan and speeding up its reconstruction and boosting the economy of  Afghanistan by bringing up Energy, infrastructure and investment deals.

    The Heart of Asia - Istanbul Process was established in November 2011 to provide a platform to discuss regional issues, particularly encouraging security, political, and economic cooperation among Afghanistan and its neighbors.

    Heart of Asia conferences
    1st Heart of Asia conference :  Istanbul, Turkey
    2nd Heart of Asia conference : Kabul
    3rd Heart of Asia conference :  Almaty
    4th Heart of Asia conference :  Beijing, China
    5th Heart of Asia conference : Islamabad, Pakistan

    The 14 participating countries in HoA process are : Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and UAE. The supporting countries include Australia, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Iraq, Japan, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, U.K., U.S. and the E.U.

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  • Bangladesh  brings law to impeach Supreme Court Judges

    Bangladesh  brings law to impeach Supreme Court JudgesBangladesh’s parliament has approved a much-debated " Supreme Court Judge (Investigation Act) 2016 " which gives authority to it's parliament to impeach Supreme Court judges. The amendment passed unanimously in a voice vote of 327-0.

    Process of impeachment

    The draft law says any citizen with evidence will be able to submit allegations against a Supreme Court judge to the speaker of Parliament. A 10- member parliamentary body will investigate the allegations. 

    The speaker will then form a high-powered committee with a former Supreme Court Judge, a former Attorney-General and noted jurists to review the primary report. The committee's finding will be placed before parliament which will forward recommendations to the president for necessary action.

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  • Jeje Lalpekhlua clinches FPAI Indian player of the year award

    Jeje Lalpekhlua clinches FPAI Indian player of the year awardMohun Bagan and India striker Jeje Lalpekhlua were declared winner of the 'Indian Player of the Year' award by the Football Players Association of India (FPAI) at its annual awards function held at the Cooperage Ground Mumbai.

    Jeje, was also the winner of the FPAI's Junior Indian Footballer of the Year award in 2011, AIFF Emerging Player of the Year award in 2013 and the 2015 Indian Super League Emerging Player of the League award while representing franchise outfit Chennayin FC.

    Manipur-born Udanta Singh of I-League champions Bengaluru FC and the triumphant team's coach Ashley Westwood won the 'Young Player of the Year' and 'Coach of the Year' awards, respectively.

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  • Indo- Mongolia Joint Military Exercise, Nomadic Elephant- 2016 Commences at Mongolia 

    Indo- Mongolia Joint Military Exercise, Nomadic Elephant- 2016 Commences at Mongolia The eleventh edition of India-Mongolia joint military training Exercise ‘Nomadic Elephant – 2016’  to promote military associations between India and Mongolia has commenced at Mongolia. The exercise will culminate on 08 May 2016. 

    The aim of this exercise is to develop synergy and inter operability between the two armies to fight in Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorism environment under the United Nation mandate. 

    In this edition, a platoon of the Kumaon Regiment of the Indian Army along with a team of two observers is taking part in the event.

    The Indian contingent will share their practical experiences of Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorism through a series of classroom lectures and outdoor demonstrations.

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  • World Malaria Day : 25 April

    World Malaria Day World Malaria Day (WMD) is observed annually on 25 April across the world to recognise the global efforts to control malaria.

    Globally, 3.3 billion people in 106 countries are at risk of malaria. WMD is one of eight official global public health campaigns currently marked by the World Health Organization (WHO).

    Theme for the year 2016 : “End Malaria For Good”.  The theme reflects  the vision of a malaria-free world set out in the Global technical strategy for malaria 2016-2030 which was adopted by the World Health Assembly in May 2015. 

    World Malaria Day was established in May 2007 by the 60th session of the World Health Assembly, to provide understanding and education of malaria and also spread information on year-long intensified implementation of national malaria-control strategies.

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  • Parliament passes Sikh Gurdwaras (Amendment) Bill, 2016

    Parliament passes Sikh Gurdwaras (Amendment) Bill, 2016The Parliament has passed the Sikh Gurdwaras (Amendment) Bill, 2016 to exclude Sehajdharis from voting in the elections to Sikh religious bodies. The amendment bill first was passed in the Rajya Sabha in March 2016 and later in the Lok Sabha in April 2016.

    Background : Sikh Gurdwaras Act, 1925 allows every Sikh who is above 21 years of age and is registered as a voter  to vote in the SGPC elections. However this Act had created an exception for Sehjdhari Sikhs who trim or shave their beard or hair, and allowed them to vote. Since 1949, Sehajdhari Sikhs are continuously exercising their voting rights in the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) elections.

    The Bill proposes to remove the exception given to Sehajdharis in 1944 to vote in elections to select members of the Board and the Committees constituted under the Act.The new amendment bill will come into force retrospectively from 8th October, 2003.

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  • Centre sets up panel to lay out plan for doubling farm incomes by 2022

    The central government has set up a panel to prepare a blueprint for doubling farmers’ income by 2022,  as promised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

    The panel will be headed by Ashok Dalwai, additional secretary at the agriculture ministry  and is expected to submit the report in two months.

    The panel will have officials from the marketing, crops and horticulture divisions of the ministry as members.

    The panel will prepare  a blueprint to transition farm policies from being production oriented to based on incomes or value addition. Identify potential areas of agriculture where more investment should happen. 

    The committee will suggest ways to diversify risks in farming and allied activities like livestock and fisheries to boost income. It would suggest  measures for reducing costs of cultivation through judicious use of fertilizers and increasing access to irrigation.

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Current Affairs 25 Apr 2016 Apr 2016

  • Rafael Nadal wins Barcelona Open for ninth time

    Rafael Nadal wins Barcelona Open for ninth timeSpanish professional tennis player Rafael Nadal, currently ranked world No. 5  has won the 2016 Barcelona Open title of Tennis by defeating Kei Nishikori of Japan in the final match played at in Barcelona, Spain.

    It was Nadal’s overall 9th Barcelona Open title and 69th win from 101 finals on the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) World Tour. With this victory, Nadal has equalled Guillermo Vilas’ decade’s old record of 49 clay-court titles. 

    Most Clay-Court Titles (Open Era)
    S.No. Player  Titles
    1 Guillermo Vilas 49
    2 Rafael Nadal 49
    3 Thomas Muster  40
    4 Bjorn Borg  30
    5 Manuel Orantes 30

    Rafael Nadal : He is widely regarded as the greatest clay-court player in history due to his dominance and success on the surface, he has been titled "The King of Clay". So far, he has won 14 Grand Slam singles titles, 28 titles in ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events and 16 ATP World Tour 500 tournaments. He also had won 2008 Olympic gold medal in singles.

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  • 24 April: National Panchayati Raj Diwas

    24 April: National Panchayati Raj DiwasEvery year April 24 is observed as National Panchayati Raj Diwas to mark the passing of the Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 that came into force with effect from 24th April, 1993 which institutionalized Panchayati Raj through the Village, Intermediate and District levels Panchayats.

    Significance of the day : This date marks a defining moment in the history of decentralization of political power to the grassroots level. The impact of the 73rd Amendment in rural India is very visible as it has changed power equations irreversibly.

    Every year on this day best performing Gram Panchayats are conferred with Rashtriya Gaurav Gram Sabha Purskar by the Union Ministry of Panchayati Raj and the day long National Conference on the occasion is also organised in various parts of the country.

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  • Sahapedia, India's first encyclopaedia for cultural heritage

    Sahapedia, India's first encyclopaedia for cultural heritage‘Sahapedia’ an online encyclopaedia encompassing Indian history, art and culture has gone live with about 5,000 pages on every imaginable aspect of India's cultural landscape.

    Sahapedia is a not-for-profit society headed by former TCS chairman S. Ramadorai, who currently helms the National Skill Development Agency.

    It's has everything, from heritage monuments, dance forms, poetry and philosophy to film and theatre directors, religious festivals, wildlife parks and even cuisines. Sahapedia is brainchild of Sudha Gopalakrishnan, who earlier headed India's National Mission for Manuscripts.

    Sahapedia will be accessible across user groups such as scholars, practitioners, students, teachers, travellers and enthusiasts. It will also play important role in integrating activities and services including research, documentation, digitization and conservation.

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  • Salman Khan named as Indian contingent’s Goodwill Ambassador for 2016 Rio Olympics

    Salman Khan named as Indian contingent’s Goodwill Ambassador for 2016 Rio OlympicsBollywood actor Salman Khan was named as the goodwill ambassador of the Indian contingent for the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    He was chosen by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) from a list of two to three candidates which also included Shah Rukh Khan and veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan.

    This is the first time when a Bollywood superstar has been chosen as a goodwill ambassador for the Indian contingent at the Olympics so it kicked up a storm with star wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt and sprint legend Milkha Singh questioning the move of IOA.

    The announcement was made in the presence of  star woman boxer M C Mary Kom, hockey captain Sardar Singh, and shooter Apurvi Chandela among others.

    Since Salman Khan as he is considered to be more connected with the youth and sportspersons so his association will not only attract sports lovers but also help motivate the players to do well in the Olympics.

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  • Army Commanders Conference begins today

    Army Commanders Conference begins todayThe Army Commanders Conference is beginning today in New Delhi. It will be a six days Conference that will appraise current and emerging strategic security scenario, review of operational preparedness of the Indian Army and aspects pertaining to training, administration, military technology and force modernization.

    Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar will inaugurate the conference today. The Conference will be chaired by Chief of the Army Staff, Gen Dalbir Singh. All Army Commanders and other senior Army Officers will attend the conference.

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  • Armenian Genocide : The first genocide of the 20th century 

    Armenian Genocide : The first genocide of the 20th century During World War I, there were  two  million Armenians living in the Ottoman empire but by 1922,  there were fewer than 400,000 Armenians .

    The other 1.5  million were killed in what historians consider the first genocide of the 20th century "Armenian Genocide".

    Those 1.5 million people were not killed at once but were driven through mountains and deserts without food, drink or shelter  and subjected to periodic robbery, rape, and massacre.

    The man who invented the word “genocide”— Raphael Lemkin  a lawyer of Polish-Jewish origin - was explicitly moved by the Armenian annihilation to coin the word genocide in 1943 and define systematic and premeditated exterminations within legal parameters.

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  • Solar-powered plane completes journey across Pacific Ocean

    Solar-powered plane completes journey across Pacific OceanSolar-powered airplane -- Solar Impulse 2-- landed in California, completing a risky, three-day flight across the Pacific Ocean as part of its journey around the world.

    Piccard and fellow Swiss pilot Andre Borschberg started the global journey of Solar Impulse 2 from Abu Dhabi in March 2015.  It made stops in Oman, Myanmar, China, Japan and Hawaii.

    The most dangerous part of  their journey was the flight over the Pacific Ocean's vast expanses, where there are few places to make an emergency landing. They made 62 hour, nonstop solo flight over the pacific ocean without fuel.

    Pilot Bertrand Piccard completed a risky, three-day flight across a great expanse of the Pacific Ocean while sleeping only 20 minutes at a time inside the plane's tiny cockpit with no heat or air conditioning and at the same time maintaining constant contact with the Europe-based control center.

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  • Centre modifies SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act

    Centre modifies SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) ActThe Government of India has notified new rules on Babasaheb Ambedkar’s birth anniversary to revamp Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act  to ensure speedy justice to members of the SC/ST community.

    Key facts 

    The new rule includes the provision of completing an investigation and filing a chargesheet in the court within 60 days of the filing of complaint by a member of SC/ST community. There is also provision of relief for offences of rape and gang rape, introduced for the first time.

    Another important provision is delinking the requirement of medical examination for getting relief amount for non-invasive offences kind of offences against women like sexual harassment, gestures or acts intended to insult the modesty of women. 

     It has Provisions of admissible relief amount to the SC/ST women for offences of grievous nature, on conclusion of trial, even though not ending in conviction.

    The new  provisions have increased the existing quantum of relief amount from between Rs. 75,000 and Rs. 7, 50,000 to between Rs. 85,000 and Rs. 8, 25,000, depending on the nature of the offence.

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Current Affairs 23 Apr 2016 Apr 2016

  • SC stays Uttarakhand HC’s order revoking President’s rule in Uttarakhand

    SC stays Uttarakhand HC’s order revoking President’s rule in UttarakhandThe Supreme Court has stayed the judgement of the Uttarakhand High Court and restored President’s Rule in Uttarakhand till April 27, i.e till the next date of hearing of SC when it would also take a call on whether a floor test should be held on April 29 in accordance with the High Court order.

    Moreover, HC has been directed to provide the copy of judgement passed on April 21 to the parties by April 26 which shall also be placed before the apex court. 

    Background : On 21 April 2016, Uttarakhand High Court has  quashed the imposition of President’ Rule in the state and by stated that the imposition of President Rule in the state was unconstitutional thus it had revived the term of Congress Government headed by Harish Rawat and had asked him to prove his majority on 29 April 2016. The decision of Uttarakhand High Court was than challenged by the central government.

    Political Crisis: Uttarakhand has plunged into a political crisis after nine legislators from ruling Congress party  including former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna had revolted against the Chief Minister Harish Rawat. Since than President Rule has been imposed in the state.

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  • Bhupendra Kainthola appointed FTII Director

    Bhupendra Kainthola appointed FTII DirectorIndian Information Service (IIS) officer Bhupendra Kainthola has been appointed as Director of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII). He will replace Prashant Pathrabe and will have a tenure of  three years.

    Kainthola, who holds a Masters in International Relations from the University of Mumbai, is a 1989 batch IIS officer. He is presently serving as Director (News Room) with DD News since January 2015 and has been responsible for ‘management of news operations and output’.

    Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) :

    • FTII, which has been in news due to controversy over the appointment of television actor Gajendra Chauhan as its chairman, is an autonomous body under Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.  
    • It  provides training for acting, film making, video editing, direction and production. Its alumni have become technicians, actors and directors in the film and television industry.
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  • Union Cabinet approves signing the Paris Agreement adopted at 21st CoP

    Union Cabinet approves signing the Paris Agreement adopted at 21st CoPThe Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today gave its approval for signing the Paris Agreement adopted at the 21st Conference of Parties of UNFCCC held in Paris in December 2015.

    The Paris Agreement on climate change is a milestone in global climate cooperation. It is meant to enhance the implementation of the Convention and recognizes the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities in the light of different national circumstances. 

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  • R.K. Pachauri quits Teri to get engaged in other interests

    R.K. Pachauri quits Teri to get engaged in other interestsEnvironmentalist R.K. Pachauri who was accused of sexual harassment by his former women colleagues in the recent past, has stepped down as a member of the governing council of TERI  “to get engaged in other interests” even though his employment contract with TERI expires in 2017.

    Rajendra Kumar Pachauri  was the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He held the post from 2002 until his resignation in 2015, during which time the organisation was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

    He resigned from IPCC amid allegations of sexual abuse of a junior colleague at the New Delhi branch of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).

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  • China unveils 1st security robot

    China unveils 1st security robotChina’s first  security robot “AnBot” made its debut, at the ongoing China Chongqing Hi-Tech Fair . It an electrical anti-riot device that can be activated through remote control in case of a threat.

    It is 1.49-metre-tall, having a  maximum speed of 18 km per hour. It can patrol at a speed of 1 km per hour and has battery capacity of 8 hours.

    The robot is capable of autonomous patrol, intelligent monitoring, emergency calls, auto recharging and has optional modules for environmental monitoring, biochemical detection and clearing explosives. 

    An electrical anti-riot device can be activated through remote control if a threat is detected. Shouting for help in the patrol area or pushing the robot’s emergency button will alert the police immediately.

    The robot is jointly developed by the National University of Defence Technology and a robotics company in central China’s Hunan Province. The university began researching robotics theory and technology in the 1980s.

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  • 23rd March : World Book Day

    23rd March : World Book DayWorld Book Day also known as International Day of the Book  is commemorated every year on 23 April by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) to promote reading, publishing and copyright. World Book Day was celebrated for the first time on 23 April 1995.

    In 1995 UNESCO decided that the World Book and Copyright Day would be celebrated on 23 April, as the date is also the anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, as well as that of the birth or death of several other prominent authors.

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Current Affairs 22 Apr 2016 Apr 2016

  • Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan merged with  Khelo India

    Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan merged with  Khelo IndiaThe government has merged Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan (RGKA) with Khelo India programme for development of sports.

    Two other sport projects launched under the Congress-led UPA regime namely Urban Sports Infrastructure Scheme (USIS) and National Sports Talent Search Scheme (NSTSS) have been merged  Khelo India.

    The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan, a centrally sponsored scheme was launched in place of erstwhile Panchayat Yuva Krida aur Khel Abhiyan (PYKKA) in February 2014 with an aim to construct sports complexes in each block of the country by 2020.

    Khelo India scheme is based on Gujarat's model of Khel Mahakumbh under which the schools and colleges from different parts of the country participate in about 27 disciplines. The government in centre has allocated Rs 140 crore for the financial year 2016-17 for Khelo India.

    Panchayat Yuva Krida aur Khel Abhiyan (PYKKA) was a rural sports initiative introduced by the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to promote youth and social development through sports.

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  • Music legend Prince passes away

    Music legend Prince passes awayPop music superstar Prince Rogers Nelson, popularly known as Prince, has died aged 57, in suburban Minneapolis, United States. He was the pioneer of famous song, "the Minneapolis sound" and was renowned as an innovator and was widely known for his flamboyant stage presence and wide vocal range. His music integrates a wide variety of styles, including funk, rock, R&B, soul, hip hop, disco, psychedelia, jazz, and pop.

    About Prince Rogers Nelson :

    He was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, US on June 7, 1958. Prince's father was a pianist and songwriter and his mother was a jazz singer.

    He had developed an interest in music at an early age and had written his first song at age seven. His album Purple Rain (1984) is often described as one of the greatests of all time. 

    Best-known songs : When Doves Cry, Cream and Kiss . 

    Awards and Honours: He won seven Grammy Awards and earned 30 nominations. He also won an Oscar for the song score "Purple Rain".

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  • Chadian President Idriss Deby wins fifth term

    Chadian President Idriss Deby wins fifth termChad's veteran leader Idriss Deby has won a fifth term in office in a lopsided first-round victory after taking more than 60 per cent of the vote in the first round of presidential polls. 

    Deby of Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS) party secured the 61.56% of the vote in the first-round runoff while opposition leader Saleh Kebzabo finished at second position with 12.80% of the vote followed by Laokein Kourayo Mbaiherem with 10.60%.

    Earlier he had won elections in 1996 and 2001, and after term limits of President were eliminated he won again in 2006 and 2011.

    Currently he is also Chairperson of the African Union (AU) and was elected by the Assembly of Heads of State of AU in January 2016 for one year term.

    Republic of Chad :

    It is a landlocked country in northern Central Africa. It is the fifth largest country in Africa in terms of area. It is former French Colony and became independent in 1960 under the leadership of François Tombalbaye.

    Chad is one of the poorest and most corrupt countries in the world; most inhabitants live in poverty as subsistence herders and farmers. Since 2003, crude oil has become the country's primary source of export earnings, superseding the traditional cotton industry.

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  • Union Commerce Ministry launches Twitter Seva for Start-Ups

    Union Commerce Ministry launches Twitter Seva for Start-UpsAs part of its steps to support budding entrepreneurs, the commerce and industry ministry has launched a new service Twitter Seva to address issues and grievances of startups, exporters and importers, and other stakeholders.

    Through this Twitter Seva, queries on matters relating to Department of Commerce (DoC) and Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) will be answered. 

    In this regard an institutionalized mechanism with a special Twitter cell has been created in the ministry manned by officers, who will monitor and direct all the tweets to the concerned officers.

    Anyone desirous of assistance from the ministry can use the hashtag #mociseva on micro blogging site twitter. The Union Commerce and Industry Ministry would try to respond to the queries within 48 to 72 working hours.

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  • Simhastha Kumbh mela 2016 begins in Ujjain

    Simhastha Kumbh mela 2016 begins in UjjainThe month-long Simhastha Kumbh Mela, largest congregation of Hindus, begans in Ujjain from Today. Large number of people have converged in the holy city for the mela, held after a gap of every 12 years at Ujjain, which is also the abode of Lord Mahakaleshwar, one of the 12 Jyotirlings in the country.

    Over 5 crore pilgrims are expected to visit Ujjain and other holy places during the fair, for which huge security and logistical arrangements have been made.At present, 22,000 security personnel, including the State policemen, personnel from central forces and other departments have been deployed.

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  • 22 April: Earth Day

    Earth DayEarth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, to build support for environmental protection around the world.

    Today on the eve of Earth day leaders from 160 countries will officially sign the Paris Climate Agreement on Earth Day 2016.

    The Paris Agreement, which was negotiated at the COP21 U.N. climate change summit in the wake of the Paris terror attacks brings whole world together to make effeorts for making Earth a happy and safe palnet.

    The Paris Agreement sets the bold goal of  (i) Ridding the world of fossil fuel pollution (ii) Limiting warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius.

    Background

    The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970 by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson,  as an environmental teach-in.  Nelson was later awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom award in recognition of his work.

    Since than Earth Day  is observed every year to promote ecology and respect for life on the planet as well as to encourage awareness of the growing problems of air, water and soil pollution.

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  • ISRO Scientists develop world’s lightest material Silica Aerogel

    ISRO Scientists develop world’s lightest material Silica AerogelScientists at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, have indigenously developed world’s lightest synthetic material called ‘silica aerogel’ or ‘blue air’ which is the lightest synthetic material ever made by man. It is so light weight that it can be delicately placed on a flower head.

    This material, has excellent thermal resistance and if used as a filler in soldiers' uniforms it can possibly help save many lives at the Siachen glacier.

    It has applications for thermal jacket, foot insoles, as well as for window glazing. It is extremely useful for people working in very cold environments, in a very strategic way.

    Frozen smoke can be used to make light weight clothing, if painted on windows it can keep buildings cool or warm. The matrix of aerogel is made up of 99 per cent air. The material is likely to be used on India's moon rover in Chandryaan-2 mission.  

    If turned into fabric, this aerogel could have possibly saved Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad and his fellow soldiers' lives when they were buried under an ice wall at the Siachen Glacier in February.

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Current Affairs 21 Apr 2016 Apr 2016

  • India, China agree for peaceful negotiations to settle border issue

    India, China agree for peaceful negotiations to settle border issueIndia and China have agreed to adhere to peaceful negotiations to settle the border issue and reach a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution.

    The decision in this regard was taken during the annual 19th round of boundary talks between National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi at Beijing.

    Both the sides discussed the vexed border dispute amid negativity over Beijing blocking India's bid to get Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Masood Azhar banned by the UN.

    They also had an extensive, deep discussion on the 3,488 km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC) which remains undemarcated resulting in tensions between the two sides.

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  • Europe becomes world’s first region to end malaria: WHO

    Europe becomes world’s first region to end malariaEurope has become the world's first region to wipe out malaria, with zero cases reported last year. It was revealed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in its World Malaria Report 2015. 

    The number of indigenous malaria cases dropped to zero in 2015 from 90,712 in 1995, and the last cases were reported in Tajikistan in 2014.

    The region was able to wipe out the deadly disease through strong political commitment, improved detection and surveillance of malaria cases, mosquito control, cross-border collaboration. 

    Until World War II malaria was endemic throughout much of southern Europe. The Balkans, Italy, Greece and Portugal were particularly affected.

    Europe was declared malaria free in 1975, but the disease later re-emerged in the Caucasus, Central Asian republics, the Russian Federation and Turkey.

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  • BCCI appoints Rahul Johri as its first CEO

     


    BCCI appoints Rahul Johri as its first CEOBCCI has appointed Rahul Johri, as its new chief executive officer, in line with the recommendations of the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha Committee.

    In his new role Johri will be responsible for the smooth functioning of operations, stakeholder management and building robust strategies for further promoting the sport.

    He will  report to the secretary of BCCI  but will have freedom to work independently in BCCI’s set-up that was traditionally controlled by honorary office-bearers. 

    Prior to this appointment, Johri was executive vice-president and general manager for South Asia at Discovery Network. 

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  • Goa Government appoints Justice PK Mishra as Lokayukta 

    Goa Government appoints Justice PK Mishra as Lokayukta The Goa government has decided to appoint Justice P.K. Mishra, former Chief Justice of Patna High Court who had recently retired as chairman of Goa State Human Rights commission, as Lokayukta of the State.

    Announcement in this regard was made by Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar after  state government obtained the concurrence of the Chief Justice of Bombay High Court and the Leader of Opposition as provided under section 3 of the Goa Lokayukta Act. Now the state Cabinet will be recommend name of Justice Mishra to the Governor of Goa for appointment. 

    Justice (Retd) Sudarshan Reddy, Goa’s first Lokayukta, had resigned within seven months of his appointment on October 17, 2013 and since then the post was vacant for more than two years.

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  • President's decision is subject to judicial review: Uttarakhand HC 

    President's decision is subject to judicial review: Uttarakhand HC The Uttarakhand High Court has observed that the legitimacy of President’s decision to suspend the state assembly under President’s rule is subject to judicial reviewas even he can go wrong.

    The bench comprising of Chief Justice K M Joseph and Justice V K Bist was hearing arguments on the petition filed by the ousted Chief Minister Harish Rawat and related pleas challenging imposition of President's rule in Uttarakhand. 

    The central government argued that President took the decision to impose Article 356 of the Constitution in his "political wisdom".

    It also ruled that legitimacy of inference drawn by President from the material placed before him is open to judicial review.

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  • RBL becomes first private sector bank to open dedicated branch for startups

    RBL becomes first private sector bank to open dedicated branch for startupsRBL Bank Limited (formerly known as The Ratnakar Bank limited) became the first private sector bank to open a dedicated branch for start-ups.

    The dedicated branch was inaugurated at Koramangala, Bengaluru by Nandan Nilekani, noted entrepreneur and former chairman of UIDAI.

    The branch will assist entrepreneurs in setting up new companies/enterprises and offer a host of banking products, including foreign exchange services, remittances, cash management and a range of value-added services through its affiliates and partners.

    RBL is a scheduled commercial bank headquartered in the Kolhapur region of Maharashtra. Founded in August 1943, RBL is one of the oldest private sector banks in India. The Bank currently services approximately 1 million customers and has a total business size of over Rs. 20,000 Cr.

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  • Government nod to MoU on technical cooperation between India, Bhutan 

    Government nod to MoU on technical cooperation between India, Bhutan The government  has approved signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Bhutan on technical cooperation in the field of capacity building, benchmarking and bilateral exchange in infrastructure engineering. Decision in this regard was taken by the Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.

    This MoU will help Central Public Works Department (CPWD), a construction major under the Urban Development Ministry, to gain experience in construction of roads on hills which will be helpful in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and various States of North-East Region.

    The MoU will take forward India-Bhutan friendship treaty and provide an umbrella for scientific, educational and technical research and environment protection.

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Current Affairs 20 Apr 2016 Apr 2016

  • Beti Bachao Beti Padho Scheme extended to 61 more districts with low child sex ratio

    Beti Bachao Beti Padhao SchemeGovernment has extended the ambitious 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padho' scheme in additional 61 districts across 11 States and Union Territories with low Child Sex Ratio.

    It was announced by the Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi while addressing the function in New Delhi.

    The Union Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD), is the nodal agency for the implementation of the scheme.

    Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Scheme

    • The Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Scheme was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 22nd of January 2015, in 100 districts of the country to address the issue of declining Child Sex Ratio. It has completed one year of implementation.
    • It is a tri-ministerial initiative of Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of Human Resource Development.
    • The scheme is designed to address the issue of declining child sex ratio and related issues of disempowerment of women through a life cycle continuum.
    • The key elements of the scheme include awareness and advocacy campaign, multi-sectoral action and effective enforcement of Pre-Conception & Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC&PNDT) Act.
  •  
  • Renowned Hollywood actress Doris Roberts passes away

    Renowned Hollywood actress Doris Roberts passes awayVeteran Hollywood actress Doris Roberts passed away in Los Angeles in her sleep. She was 90. She was best known for her role as Raymond Barone's mother, Marie Barone, on the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond (1996–2005).

    Facts about Doris Roberts

    Doris was born as Doris May Green on November 4, 1925 at Missouri, US and raised by her mother, Ann Meltzer, in The Bronx, New York. 

    Her acting career began in 1952 with a role on the TV series Studio One. She appeared in episodes of The Naked City (1958–63), Way Out (1961), Ben Casey (1963), and The Defenders (1962–63).

    She made her film debut in Something Wild (1961) and later acted in various  Hollywood films  which include Madea’s Witness Protection, The Rose, and The Taking of Pelham 123.

    Awards and Honours: She had bagged five Emmy Awards during her acting career. Four of them were for her role in Raymond and the other was for her supporting role on the series St. Elsewhere

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  • India’s Durga Thakur Promoted as International Hockey Umpire

    India’s Durga Thakur Promoted as International Hockey UmpireInternational Hockey Federation (FIH) has promoted Durga Thakur from India as International Outdoor Umpire following her good performance at the recently-held Hawkes Bay Cup in Hastings, New Zealand.

    About Durga Thakur

    Durga Thakur is a 2011 graduate of Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports, Patiala.

    She started her career as an umpire from the third Hockey India (HI) Sub-Junior Men & Women National Championship (Finals) held in Bhopal in 2013.

    Her first international assignment was in 2015 at the double six-Nation Cup in Breda, Netherlands. 

    • A physical education teacher at Modern School, New Delhi, Thakur has represented her state Himachal Pradesh in the National Championships in three sporting disciplines handball, basketball and hockey.
    • Ms. Thakur is an addition other young Indian umpires currently officiating at the international level. There are 14 Indians in the elite league of international umpires (10 men, 5 women).
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  • Indian-American Geeta Pasi nominated as US envoy to Chad

    Indian-American Geeta Pasi nominated as US envoy to ChadUS President Barack Obama has nominated Indian-American Geeta Pasi as the country’s next envoy to central African nation Chad.

    Ms. Pasi, who served as the United States Ambassador to Djibouti from 2011 to 2014, is a career member of the Foreign Service. 

    She is at present the Director of the Office of Career Development and Assignments in the Bureau of Human Resources at the Department of State.

    She had joined the US Foreign Service in 1988. Since then she has served at various posts in Cameroon, Ghana, India and Romania.

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  • India, Mauritius ink MoU to promote traditional medicine

    India, Mauritius ink MoU to promote traditional medicineIndia and Mauritius have inked an MoU to promote cooperation in traditional medicine and homeopathy.

    The MoU envisages exchange of experts, supply of traditional medicinal substances, joint research and development and recognition of the traditional systems of health and medicine in both countries.

    It also aims at promotion and popularisation of the various Indian traditional systems which fall under AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa Rigpa & Homoeopathy).

    The Union AYUSH ministry also has recently signed similar MoUs with Malaysia, China, Trinidad and Tobago, Bangladesh, Hungary and Nepal.

    The financial resources necessary to conduct research, training courses, meetings and deputations of experts will be met from the existing allocated budget and existing plan schemes of AYUSH.

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Current Affairs 19 Apr 2016 Apr 2016

  • Maharashtra Government to use hologram technique to check spurious liquor

    Maharashtra Government to use hologram technique to check spurious liquorIn order to check sale of spurious liquor, the Maharashtra Government has decided to make it mandatory to have a hologram on every alcohol bottle manufactured and sold in the State.

    Henceforth, no liquor bottle will be allowed to be sold in the state without the hologram. Twenty-one states in the country are already using the hologram technology.

    The decision was taken keeping in mind the last years tragedy at Malwani where about 100 people died after consuming spurious liquor.

    A recent Excise Department survey found that while the liquor production in the state was two lakh bottles, the sale figure stood at 6 lakh bottles which indicates that there are fake liquor manufacturer in the state.

    How it will work? 

    (1) It will be mandatory to paste "polyester base track and trace" hologram on every alcohol bottle. It will be supported by a mobile app, which will help consumers find out whether the liquor is fake or genuine.

    (2) Besides checking sale of spurious liquor, the technique will also help prevent loss of revenue due to cheap liquor being imported into Maharashtra from neighbouring States.

    (3) The State earned excise duty worth about Rs 18,000 crore, inclusive of VAT, from liquor sales last fiscal. There are 159 liquor manufacturers in the State.

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  • Maharashtra Government bans digging of bore wells beyond 200 feet

    Maharashtra Government bans digging of bore wells beyond 200 feetIn order to check the steep decline in ground water level across Maharashtra, the state government has decided to restrict digging of borewells beyond 200 feet. Announcement in this regard was made by state Water Supply and Sanitation Minister Babanrao Lonikar.

    This decision was taken in the wake for severe drought and decreasing ground water level across various regions in the state.

    The ban will be implemented under the Maharashtra Groundwater Development and Management Act in order to control the excess water pumping through borewell. 

    Henceforth, digging of borewell that violates prescribed rules will punishable offence and the violators of the rule would now face fine or even imprisonment.

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  • Deepak Mishra appointed as ADG of CRPF

    Deepak Mishra appointed as ADG of CRPFSenior IPS officer Deepak Mishra has been appointed as Additional Director General in the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). His appointment was cleared by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

    He will have tenure till November 2018 with effect from the date of assumption of charge of the post.

    Deepak Mishra is IPS officer of the 1984 batch of the Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre.

    Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)

    CRPF is the largest of India's Central Armed Police Forces. It functions under the aegis of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).  

    Its primary role is to assist States/Union Territories (UTs) in police operations to maintain law and order and contain insurgency.

    It came into existence as the Crown Representative's Police on 27 July 1939. After Indian Independence, it became the Central Reserve Police Force on enactment of the CRPF Act on 28 December 1949. Currently CRPF is the world’s largest paramilitary force with 228 battalions and over three lakh personnel.

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  • Rafael Nadal Wins Ninth Monte-Carlo Title

    Rafael Nadal Wins Ninth Monte-Carlo TitleSpanish tennis player Rafael Nadal  (World No 5) clinched the ninth Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters title of Tennis by defeating Gael Monfils of France with a score of (7-5, 5-7, 6-0) in the final match.

    It was his overall 9th Monte Carlo Masters title and his 68th win from 100 finals on the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) World Tour. 

    ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Title Leaders

    (1) Rafael Nadal  -    28  Titles
    (2) Novak Djokovic -  28  Titles
    (3) Roger Federer -   24  Titles
    (4) Andre Agassi  -   17 Titles

    Achievements of Rafael Nadal

    • He has won 14 Grand Slam singles titles, 28 titles in ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events and 16 ATP World Tour 500 tournaments. He is also the winner of 2008 Olympic gold medal in singles category.
    • He is the only male player in tennis history to win one Grand Slam and Masters 1000 title for ten consecutive years from 2005 to 2014. He is famously known as the King of Clay. 
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Current Affairs 18 Apr 2016 Apr 2016

  • India, Afghanistan and Iran finalise Chabahar Agreement 

    India, Afghanistan and Iran finalise Chabahar Agreement Afghanistan and Iran have finalised the parameters of a trilateral agreement known as the Chabahar Agreement, which will allow India access to Afghanistan via the strategically located Iranian port of Chabahar, located in the Gulf of Oman.

    The text of the Chabahar Agreement was finalized at the second technical meeting of experts from the three countries in New Delhi. The agreement will be signed after completing necessary internal procedures in the three countries.

    The three countries have also agreed to establish a sub-committee within the framework of the agreement in order to provide protocols for transit, ports, customs issues and well as consular affairs.

    Objective : The draft agreement envisions trilateral cooperation for providing alternative access to seas to Afghanistan, inter alia for Afghanistan's trade with India.

    Significance of Chabahar Agreement :

    (1) Chabahar Agreement  will significantly enhance utilisation of Chabahar Port, contribute to economic growth of Afghanistan and facilitate better regional connectivity, including between India and connections to Afghanistan and central Asia.

    (2) The agreement will be a strategic bulwark for greater flow of people and goods among the three countries, as well as in the region.

    (3) The increase in connectivity afforded by the port could allow Afghan exports cheaper access to markets in India. Currently, an overwhelming amount of Afghan manufactured goods travel through Karachi, Pakistan. 

    India's Contribution

    (1) India will also supply USD 400 million of steel rails. A team from Ircon International Ltd will visit Iran for discussions on the Chabahar-Zahedan Railway link. 

    (2) Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan had announced $20 billion investment for the Chabahar port complex during his visit to Tehran last week. 

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  • Indian Army Conducts Battle Exercise 'Shatrujeet' In Rajasthan

    Indian Army Conducts Battle Exercise 'Shatrujeet' In RajasthanMathura-based Strike 1 corps is conducting a major exercise ‘Shatrujeet’ in the deserts of Rajasthan to evaluate the capability of the Army to strike deep into enemy territory in an integrated air-land battle environment.

    The gruelling exercise,  involves around 30,000 troops deployed in the blistering Thar honing their war fighting skills and practicing modern military tactics.

    The operation-oriented exercise is focusing on “validating integrated battle theatre fighting concept” incorporating new-age technologies, weapon platforms and systems as well as long range precision targeting vectors".

    The Army undertakes such exercises at regular intervals at different levels to ensure forces are provided war-like situations and kept in high-state of battle readiness.

    It was post preparatory training exercise manoeuvres at subordinate units and formation levels by conducting integrated operational manoeuvres. It mainly validated India Army’s operational plans in simulated high tempo battlefield environment and terrain.

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  • Australia beat India 4-0 to win Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2016

    Australia beat India 4-0 to win Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2016Australia has won the 25th edition of Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Tournament  for the record ninth time. In the final match that was played at  Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia the Australian hockey team defeated India  by 4-0 goals. 

    Earlier, Australia had won the Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Tournament in 1983, 1996, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2011, 2013 and 2014. Australia holds record of most titles win of this tournament.

    Top Ranking countries : Australia (1st rank), India (2nd rank), New Zealand (3rd rank), Malaysia (4th rank), Pakistan (5th rank), Canada (6th rank) and Japan (7th rank).

    Azlan Shah Hockey Tournament

    The Sultan Azlan Shah Cup is an annual international men's field hockey tournament held in Malaysia. Named after 9th king of Malaysia and ‘Father of Malaysian Hockey’ Sultan Azlan Shah, it began in 1983 as a biennial contest. It was converted into an annual event after 1998, following its growth and popularity.

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  • BRICS New Development Bank approves first set of loans 

    BRICS New Development Bank approves first set of loans The BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) has approved its first package of loans worth some $811 million for renewable energy projects in four of its member countries namely Brazil, China, South Africa and India.

    The decision to approve the first loans, which are to be handed out in tranches, was approved by the NDB at the board of governors on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank spring meetings in Washington DC, US.

    The NDB in its first loan tranche will provide $300 million to Brazil, $81 million to China, $250 million to India and $180 million to South Africa.  

    These funds will be used in area of green and renewable energy projects with a combined capacity of 2.37MW together, which can help reduce the amount of harmful emissions by 4 million tons annually.

    New Development Bank

    The New Development Bank (NDB), formerly referred to as the BRICS Development Bank, is a multilateral development bank established by the BRICS states (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa)  to "mobilize resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging economies and developing countries. It had started its operations in July 2015 with initial authorized capital of $100 billion. It is headquartered in Shanghai, China. 

    In the NDB, each participant country has been assigned one vote, and none of the countries have veto power. Renowned Indian banker Kundapur Vaman Kamath is the first President of NDB.

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  • US court slaps $940 million fine on two Tata firms

    US court slaps $940 million fine on two Tata firmsA US grand jury has slapped a $940 million fine on  two Tata companies Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Tata America International Corp  in a trade secret lawsuit filed against them by the US based electronics medical records vendor Epic Systems. 

    The jury has asked the Tata firms to pay $240 million to Epic Systems for ripping off its software and also asked to pay $700 million in punitive damages.

    Epic Systems had accused the two companies of brazenly stealing its trade secrets, confidential information, documents and data.

    Background : Epic Systems in its lawsuit has alleged that TCS employee have been fraudulently accessing Epic’s software beyond what the consulting contract required and using Epic’s software to improve their own competing product. One TCS employee’s account, which was used in India and several US locations, downloaded 6,477 documents, according to Epic. 

    Comment : TCS which has over 344,000 consultants in 46 countries generated consolidated revenues of $15.5 billion for the last financial year that ended March 2015. 

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  • EU Parliament approves joint system for sharing air passenger data to fight terror

    EU Parliament approves joint system for sharing air passenger data to fight terrorThe European Parliament gave final approval for the creation of a European passenger name records (PNR) system that will enable security agencies to systematically store the data of airline passengers travelling to, from and within the EU. The measure was passed by 461 votes to 179 against.

    PNR is a joint system for security agencies to access airline passenger data on all flights to and from the EU with an aim to combat terrorism .

    It will enable police and justice officials to systematically store the data of airline passengers data on all flights to and from the EU. 

    PNR system will include name, travel dates, ticket details, itinerary, contact details, travel agent and seat number, means of payment and baggage information of the passengers.

    Background : Islamist militant attacks in Paris last year and in Brussels last month showed that Europe needs to scale up its common response to terrorism and take concrete actions to fight it. The European PNR system law was first approved in 2011 but has taken five years to be passed due to privacy laws but the lawmakers argued that sharing data will help them trace suspicious itineraries which may further help in preventing terrorist attacks.

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  • Sri Lanka spinner Rangana Herath retires from ODIs, T20Is

    Sri Lanka spinner Rangana Herath retires from ODIs, T20IsSri Lankan veteran left-arm spinner Rangana Herath (38) has announced his retirement from the two shortest forms of cricket - T20 and One Day International Cricket (ODI) in order to focus on his Test career and make room for fresh talent to be groomed with the 2019 World Cup in view.

    Rangana Herath

    He was born as Herath Mudiyanselage Rangana Keerthi Bandara Herath on 19 March 1978 in Kurunegala, Sri Lanka. He made his Test debut at Galle International Stadium, Sri Lanka against Australia in 1999. 

    His One Day International debut came five years later in 2004, against Zimbabwe at Harare Sports Club. Herath is currently ranked as the number three Test match bowler in the world.

    ODI Career: He made his ODI debut against Zimbabwe in Harare in 2004. He has played 71 one-day internationals, claiming 74 wickets and conceding 2,362 runs. His best performance 4 for 20 was against India in 2013. 

    T20 Career: He played his first T20 international against Australia at Sri Lanka's Pallekele in 2011. He had taken 18 wickets at an average of 17.52. His best performance was 5 for 3 inT20s against New Zealand at the WT20 in 2014.

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  • Nico Rosberg wins 2016 Chinese Grand Prix

    Nico Rosberg wins 2016 Chinese Grand PrixGerman Formula One driver for Mercedes Formula One team - Nico Rosberg has won the 2016 Chinese Grand Prix held at the Shanghai International Circuit.

    It was Rosberg’s overall seventeenth championship title of F1 in his career and the third consecutive win in the 2016 season.

    Top 3 teams of Chinese Grand Prix, 2016 are: Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull.

    Chinese Grand Prix, 2016 :

    First Position: Nico Rosberg (Germany) of Mercedes team. 
    Second Position: Sebastian Vettel (Germany) of Ferrari team. 
    Third Position: Daniil Kvyat (Russia) of Red Bull Team. 
    Fourth Position: Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) of Red Bull team. 
    Fifth Position: Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) of Ferrari Team. 
    Eleventh Position: Sergio Perez (Mexico) of Force India team. 
    Fifteenth Position: Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) of Force India team.

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  • Hero group co-founder Satyanand Munjal passes away

     

    Hero group co-founder Satyanand Munjal passes awaySatyanand Munjal, co-founder of Hero Cycles group, passed away in Ludhiana, Punjab. He was 99. Munjal was popularly known as ‘mahatma’ Satyanand Munjal for being devoted to several social causes related to the Arya Samaj.

    About Satyanand Munjal 

    He was the eldest of the Munjal brothers and had played important role in success of Hero Cycles group starting from bicycle spare parts business and later emerging as  one of the largest business conglomerates in India. 

    Apart from building a business empire, his philanthropic acts such as Bahadur Chand Munjal (BCM) Arya schools, Hero DMC Heart Institute, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) remain his most notable works. He had undertaken several new initiatives by keeping a regular track of the functioning of these institutions.

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  • Delhi ranked 44th among world’s 50 Future-ready Cities

    Delhi ranked 44th among world’s 50 Future-ready CitiesThe national capital has been ranked 44th among the world’s 50  future-ready cities around the world that are embracing technology to adapt and thrive in an ever-changing and globalised future.  It was revealed by the recently released report ‘Future-Ready Economies Model’ by the Information Technology major Dell.

    The list is topped by San Jose, followed by San Francisco, Singapore, London and Washington DC. The cities positioned in the list were evaluated along three dimensions (i) human capital (ii) infrastructure (iii) commerce.

    The 'Future-Ready Economies Model' scores large, high-growth global metropolitan areas based on attributes that enable people and organisations to access new tools and ideas that deliver better connectivity, better economic performance and a greater ability to attract talent. 

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  • Delhi Government bans sale of all forms of Chewable Tobacco for 1 year

    Delhi Government bans sale of all forms of Chewable Tobacco for 1 yearThe Delhi Government has banned the sale, purchase and storage of all forms of chewable tobacco, including "guktha, pan masala, khaini and zarda"  for one year in the interest of public health. The Department of Food Safety has issued a notification in this regard. 

    Background 

    A notification was issued by the government in September 2012, in pursuance of a series of directions from the Supreme Court for a ban on "gutkha" in the national Capital but the tobacco retailers  defied the notification by selling components of "gutkha" (betel nut and raw tobacco) in separate pouches as the the notification prohibited tobacco products had specified "gutkha" but missed out on raw components. 

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  • Mary Kom named as AIBA ambassador for Women’s World Boxing Championship

    Mary Kom named as AIBA ambassador for Women’s World Boxing ChampionshipIconic Indian woman boxer M C Mary Kom has been named as the  International Boxing Association (AIBA) ambassador for Women’s World Championship.

    She is one of the eight ambassadors for the upcoming World Championships by the International Boxing Association (AIBA ) scheduled from May 19 to 27, 2016 in Astana, Kazakhstan.

    The AIBA-appointed ambassadors for the World Championship also include Nicola Adams (Great Britain), Marlen Esparza (US), Adriana Arauja (Kazakhstan), Stanimira Petrova (Bulgaria) and Khadija Mardi (Morocco). The female officials chosen as ambassadors are Kheira Siki Yakoub (Algerian) and Jennifer Huggins (Canada).

    About MC Mary Kom

    Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom born on 1st March 1983 is a boxer from the Sino-Tibetan speaking Kom tribe in Manipur, representing India. She is a five-time World Amateur Boxing champion, and the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the six world championships.

    She had won a bronze medal in 2012 London Olympics in the flyweight (51 kg) category and was only Indian woman boxer to qualify for this category. She is also first Indian woman boxer to get a Gold Medal in the 2014 Asian Games held at Incheon, South Korea. 

    Autobiography: Unbreakable 
    Awards and Honours: Padma Bhushan (2013), Padma Shree (2010) and Arjuna Award for Boxing (2003).

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