Latest Current Affairs – April 01 2018
1. Sachin donates his entire Rajya Sabha pay to PM’s Relief Fund
Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar, whose term as Rajya Sabha MP ended recently, has donated his entire salary and allowances to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund. In his past six years as Rajya Sabha MP, Mr. Tendulkar has drawn nearly Rs. 90 lakh in salaries and other monthly allowances.
The former cricketer has attended only 7.3% sessions since he was made a Rajya Sabha member since 2012. As per records, Mr. Tendulkar has attended just 29 of the nearly 400 Parliament sessions. He asked just 22 questions and introduced 0 bills.
Tendulkar also adopted two villages under the Sansad Gram Adarsh Gram Yojana Scheme, including Puttam Raju Kandriga in Andhra Pradesh and Donja in Maharashtra.
2. Anthony Joshua becomes WBO, WBA, IBF, IBO world champion
Britain’s Anthony Joshua beat New Zealand’s Joseph Parker on points to add the WBO heavyweight world championship title to his tally of WBA, IBO, and IBF world heavyweight championship titles which he currently holds. Notably, this was the first fight in the undefeated 28-year-old’s career wherein he did not win by a knockout but on the basis of points.
3. E-way bill must for inter-state movement of goods from April 1
With the beginning of the financial year 2018-19, the e-way Bill System for Inter-State movement of goods comes into force; An E-way Bill will be required for moving goods worth over 50,000 rupees from one state to another.
The electronic way Bill system has come into effect across the country. Under this system businesses and transporters have to produce before a GST inspector e-way bill for moving goods worth over Rs 50,000 from one state to another.
The Bill is touted as an anti-evasion measure that would help boost tax collections by clamping down on a trade that currently happens on a cash basis.
4. ISRO loses contact with satellite 2 days after launch
Two days after India’s latest communication satellite with military applications GSAT-6A was launched, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said it had lost contact with it and was making efforts to establish the link.
The space agency lost communication with the satellite when it attempted to ignite the engine in a third and final move to its desired location after its March 29 textbook launch from the spaceport of Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
5. North Korea will take part in next two Olympics: IOC
The International Olympic Committee president, Thomas Bach, says Kim Jong-un is committed to having North Korea participate in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics and the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Bach traveled to Pyongyang in a visit that comes after North Korea’s participation in the Pyeongchang Winter Games helped ease tensions over the Korean peninsula.
6. BCCI appoints ex-DGP as anti-corruption head ahead of IPL
The BCCI has appointed Ajit Singh, a former DGP of Rajasthan, as the head of its Anti-Corruption Unit ahead of the 2018 IPL season. Neeraj Kumar, the former police commissioner of Delhi, has been retained as Advisor for the unit till May 31, 2018. He has worked in various anti-corruption operations apart from investigative work and field policing. Singh also headed Rajasthan’s anti-corruption bureau for four years.
7. India becomes World’s second largest mobile phone producer
India has replaced Vietnam to become the second-largest producer of mobile phones in the world, only after China. The data was shared by the Indian Cellular Association (ICA) with Union Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. The top three mobile producing countries are China, India, and Vietnam.
With the rise in mobile phone production, imports of the devices in the country also reduced to less than half in 2017-18.
8. West Bengal Launches Rupashree scheme for a marriage of poor girls
The state government of West Bengal has introduced a new scheme called ‘Rupashree’ in order to provide marriage assistance to girls coming from economically weaker families with a budgetary allocation of Rs 1500 crore. The scheme proposes to extend one-time financial assistance worth Rs 25,000 to the family of the girl whose annual income is up to Rs 1.5 lakh. The scheme is expected to benefit around six lakh families annually.
9. Government launches Swachh Bharat Summer Internship
Aimed at engaging college students in the government’s cleanliness drive, the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has introduced a Swachh Bharat Summer Internship (SBSI), for them to conduct sanitation drives in villages during summer vacation.
Under the terms of the internship, candidates would be required to undertake 100 hours of activities including creation of sanitation infrastructure, system building and behavior change campaigns in and around nearby villages.
10. Scientists discover promising off-switch for inflammation
Scientists have discovered a new metabolic process in the body that can switch off inflammation. They found that ‘itaconate’ – a molecule derived from glucose – acts as a powerful off-switch for macrophages, which are the cells in the immune system that lies at the heart of many inflammatory diseases.
The discovery, published in the journal Nature, is very much on the frontier of inflammation research and the researchers are now exploring its relevance to the onset and development of inflammatory and infectious diseases.
11. Malaysia passes fake news bill, sets jail of up to 6 years
Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government secured a simple majority in parliament to pass the Anti-Fake News 2018 bill, which sets out fines of up to 500,000 ringgit ($123,000) and a maximum six years in jail. The first draft of the bill had proposed jail for up to 10 years. The law defines fake news as “news, information, data, and reports which is or are wholly or partly false” and includes features, visuals and audio recordings.
Malaysia is among the first few countries to introduce a law against it. Germany approved a plan last year to fine social media networks if they fail to remove hateful postings.
12. NASA completes test launch of Mars landing parachute
A supersonic parachute that will help NASA missions to land on Mars, was successfully launched into the sky during a key test designed to mimic the conditions of entering the red planet.
The Advanced Supersonic Parachute Inflation Research Experiment (ASPIRE) was launched aboard a sounding rocket on March 31 from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in the US. The successful launch came after several days of delays due to rough seas at the parachute’s recovery zone in the Atlantic Ocean.
13. Nadal dethrones Federer to become world no. 1 again
Spain’s 16-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal displaced Swiss rival Roger Federer at the top of the ATP men’s singles rankings. Nadal, who held the number one spot up until February 18, is now beginning his fifth stint and 168th week at the top of the men’s singles rankings. The 31-year-old has been inside the top 10 since April 2005.
14. Mangaluru airport named India’s cleanest airport
The Mangaluru International Airport in Karnataka was named the cleanest airport in India at Airports Authority of India’s 23rd annual day celebrations in New Delhi. This was as per a survey conducted across 53 airports in the country. The award was received by Mangaluru International Airport Director VV Rao.
15. India ranks 37th in global startup ecosystem in 2017: Report
India ranked 37th in the global startup ecosystem in 2017, according to a report released by global startup ecosystem map Startupblink. The list, measuring startup ecosystem strength and activity, was topped by the United States followed by the United Kingdom. Interestingly, India ranked below Latin American countries Mexico and Chile which stood at 30 and 33 respectively.
16. Chinese space lab falls back to Earth, burns up over Pacific
China’s “out-of-control” space laboratory Tiangong-1 re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere, ‘mostly’ burning up as it headed towards the central region of the South Pacific. The 10.4-metre-long 8.5-tonne station, also known as the Heavenly Palace, was placed in orbit in September 2011 for docking and orbit experiments, but it ceased functioning in March 2016.
17. Delhi becomes 1st city to switch to cleaner petrol, diesel
Delhi has become the first Indian city to upgrade to “ultra-clean” Euro-VI grade petrol and diesel from Euro-IV grade fuels. The newer fuel, which went on retail sale on Sunday, is expected to combat air pollution by reducing sulphur emissions by around 80%. The price of the new fuel would reportedly be 50 paise/litre more than the present rate.
18. Kerala lifts their sixth Santosh Trophy
Kerala has lifted their sixth Santosh Trophy Football title. In a thrilling final at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata, Kerala held their nerves to beat defending champions and 32-time winners Bengal via penalty shootout. Locked 2-2 after extra time, Kerala goalkeeper V Mithun put up a stellar show in the tie-breaker to help his side win 4-2.
17. China imposes tariff on 128 items of U.S. imports
China suspended tariff concessions on 128 items of U.S. products including pork and fruits. The Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council has decided to impose a tariff of 15 percent on 120 items of products imported from the United States including fruits and related products, and a tariff of 25 percent on eight items of imports including pork and related products from the country.
It was a countermeasure in response to a previous U.S. move to slap tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.
18. MoS VK Singh arrives with mortal remains of 38 Indians
The mortal remains of 38 Indians, who were abducted and killed by Islamic State terrorists in Mosul in Iraq have been brought to Amritsar. Mortal remains of one Indian will be sent later as the process of identification is still underway.
Of the 39 people killed, 27 were from Punjab, four from Himachal, two from West Bengal and the remaining from Bihar.
19. 114th Permanent Indus Commission meeting held in Delhi
The 114th meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) between India and Pakistan was held in New Delhi. Representatives from both sides discussed Indus Water Treaty (IWT) dispute and resolution of outstanding issues.
The Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) was signed in 1960. It covers the water distribution and sharing rights of six rivers of Indus river system viz, Beas, Ravi, Sutlej, Indus, Chenab, and Jhelum.
20. Steven Bochco, creator of ‘Hill Street Blues’, dies
Steven Bochco, a writer, and producer are known for creating the groundbreaking police drama Hill Street Blues have passed away at the age of 74 due to cancer. Premiering in January 1981, Hill Street Blues challenged, even confounded the meager audience that sampled it. During its seven-season run, it won 26 Emmys and launched Bochco on a course that led to dozens of series and earned him four Peabody awards, in addition to the 10 Emmys.
21. Accessible Tourism: Nepal launches its first accessible trekking trail
Nepal has launched its first “accessible” trekking trail in Pokhara city for the differently-abled and the elderly.
The trail was inaugurated as a part of a three-day international conference on Accessible Tourism’ held for the first time in the Himalayan nation from March 29 to March 31 in Pokhara.
’Accessible tourism’ is an emerging concept to ensure that tourist destinations, products, and services are accessible to all people, irrespective of their physical limitations, disabilities or age.
22. BABUR III: Pakistan tests nuclear-capable, submarine-launched missile
Pakistan announced the second successful flight test of its Babur-3 nuclear-capable submarine-launched cruise missile (SLCM). The missile was tested from a submerged platform off Pakistan’s coast in the Arabian Sea and flew to strike a target at an undisclosed location. The SLCM has a range of 450 kilometers, according to ISPR. It was first tested in January 2017. The Babur-3 is capable of “delivering various types of payloads” and uses “underwater controlled propulsion.”
23. Government appoints Vineet Joshi as first DG of National Testing Agency
The former chairman of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Vineet Joshi, has been the first director-general of the National Testing Agency (NTA), an independent body dedicated to conducting entrance tests for higher education in India.
NTA, which was approved by the Union cabinet last October, will conduct entrance tests entrusted to it by any department or ministry. For starters, in 2019, it will take over all entrance examinations currently being organized by the CBSE, including UGC’s National Eligibility Test (NET), Central Teacher Eligibility Test (CTET) and National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET).
24. Chandra Bhushan Kumar appointed as Deputy Election Commissioner
Senior bureaucrat Chandra Bhushan Kumar has been appointed as Deputy Election Commissioner.
Bhushan, a 1995 batch IAS officer of union territories cadre, has been appointed to the post for five years.
Chief Election Commissioner – Om Prakash Rawat
Election Commissioners – Sunil Arora and Ashok Lavasa
25. World Autism Awareness Day – April 2
World Autism Awareness Day is an internationally recognized day on 2 April every year, encouraging the Member States of the United Nations to take measures to raise awareness about people with autism throughout the world.
World Autism Day is one of only four official health-specific UN Days.
2018 World Autism Awareness Day Theme – “Empowering Women and Girls with Autism”