Latest Current Affairs – April 07 2018
1. Japan activates 1st marine unit since WW2 to boost defence
Japan has activated its first marine unit since World War II to counter invaders occupying the country’s islands along the East China Sea. This comes after China, which also claims the group of islands, announced $175 billion for defence in its budget for 2018.
2. UK opens 1st permanent military base in Middle East in 50yrs
The UK has opened a naval base in Bahrain, its first permanent military base in the Middle East in nearly 50 years. The base will host around 300 British troops and support personnel. As part of the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State in Syria, the base is aimed at helping the UK tackle security threats in the Gulf region.
3. Weightlifter Ragala Venkat Rahul wins gold at CWG
Weightlifter Ragala Venkat Rahul lifted 338kg in the men’s 85kg event to give India their second gold medal of the day at the Commonwealth Games 2018. The 21-year-old lifter, making his debut at the Games, lifted 151kg and 187kg in snatch and clean and jerk categories respectively. Sathish Sivalingam won gold in the men’s 77kg event.
4. Vegetables harvested in Antarctica without daylight and soil
Scientists have harvested 3.6 kilograms of lab-grown salad greens, 18 cucumbers, and 70 radishes in Antarctica, without dirt, daylight, or pesticides, in two months, as per the team. They employed a water and nutrient system while optimising LED lighting and monitoring carbon dioxide in the room. They hope to harvest 4-5 kilograms of fruits and vegetables a week by May.
5. India, Nepal to boost agricultural cooperation
India and Nepal have agreed to give momentum to bilateral cooperation in agricultural sector for the benefit of farmers of both the nations. The Nepalese Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli is in India on a three-day visit. The focus will also be strengthening supply and value chain, climate resilience, research in seed technology, soil health; strengthening infrastructure of plant protection laboratories and research in indigenous genetic resources.
6. April 07 – World Health Day
World Health Day is observed on April 07. The day aims at spreading awareness about health and well being of the people; Prime Minister Narendra Modi wishes best health and new heights of growth to the countrymen.
The World Health Organisation has designated this year’s theme as ‘Universal health coverage: everyone, everywhere‘, an indication that nations around the world are aspiring to provide higher accessibility of healthcare to their citizens.
The World Health Organisation has designated this year’s theme as ‘Universal health coverage: everyone, everywhere’, an indication that nations around the world are aspiring to provide higher accessibility of healthcare to their citizens.As this year is WHO’s 70th Anniversary year too, the organization has appealed the world leaders to live up to the pledges they made and agreed to in the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 and for taking concrete actions to progress towards Health For All.
7. Indian Air Force all set to hold war exercise Gagan Shakti
An all-encompassing coordinated and composite exercise named Gaganshakti is being conducted by the Indian Air Force from 8th to 22nd of this month. The aim of this exercise is real-time coordination, deployment and employment of Air Power in a short & intense battle scenario. During Gaganshakti, Indian Air Force will exercise the entire machinery to validate its concept of operations and war-waging capability.
8. US imposes fresh sanctions on Russian entities
The US has imposed new sanctions on Russian oligarchs, including President Vladimir Putin’s son-in-law, and several entities accused of supporting and profiting from the Russian government’s efforts to undermine western democracies. The measures announced by the Treasury Department were also aimed at 17 senior Russian government officials.
The state-owned Russian weapons trading company, Rosoboronexport, which has long-standing ties to Syria and its subsidiary, Russian Financial Corporation Bank were also targeted under new sanctions. The fresh sanctions are the latest step by the US against Russia following the poisoning of a former Russian spy in England, interference in the US 2016 election and a cyber-attack.
9. Government to launch Gobardhan Yojana nationally from Haryana
Gobardhan Yojna, a central government scheme for managing and converting cattle dung and solid waste into manure and biogas, will be launched nationally from Haryana’s Karnal. Gobar is an acronym for Galvanising Organic Bio Agro Resources. Through the scheme, the government aims to ensure cleanliness in villages and generate energy by converting cattle dung and solid agricultural waste into compost and biogas. The government aims to cover nearly 700 districts under the scheme in this financial year.
10. Government inks agreement with World Bank for Maharashtra Project for Climate Resilient Agriculture
The Government of India, Government of Maharashtra and the World Bank signed a US$ 420 million project to help Small and Marginal farmers in the Marathwada and Vidarbha regions of Maharashtra. The project will help in increasing climate resilient practices in agriculture and ensuring that farming continues to remain a financially viable activity for them.
The project is expected to benefit over 7 million people spread over an area of 3.0 million ha and cover 5,142 villages across 15 most climate vulnerable districts of the region. The $420 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a 6-year grace period, and a maturity of 24 years.
11. ICICI Bank becomes first Indian bank to go live on SWIFT’s GPI service
Global financial messaging cooperative Swift said ICICI Bank has become its first Indian client to go live with an improved cross-border payments service.
The announcement of the service, which Swift claimed as being more transparent, comes weeks after the discovery of one of the largest banking frauds to be detected in Indian history, the Rs 130 billion Nirav Modi scam at the Punjab National Bank (PNB).
The service enables real-time payments tracking across correspondent banks and has a facility to track the payments instructions across the correspondent banks globally.
12. Government bans imports of hormone oxytocin
The Union government has banned imports of the hormone oxytocin to stop its misuse in the livestock industry, where activists say it causes hormonal imbalances and shortens the lives of milch animals. Often called the ‘love hormone’, oxytocin is released naturally in human bonding activities such as sex, childbirth and breastfeeding.
The government also asked customs officials to step up vigilance against those likely to try and smuggle oxytocin into India. The government has decided to rely on domestic production to satisfy requirements of the hormone.
13. Sahyog-Hyeoblyeog 2018: India, South Korea joint anti-piracy, search and rescue exercise
The Indo-Korean joint anti-piracy exercise ‘SAHYOG- HYEOBLYEOG 2018’ was conducted on April 5, 2018 off the Chennai coast. The exercise was reviewed by the Director General of Indian Coast Guard Rajendra Singh and Commissioner of Korean Coast Guard General Park Kyung.
This joint exercise is a part of a proposed establishment of a MoU between the Coast Guards of India and Korea to improve maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region.
Indian Coast Guard deployed a Dornier aircraft to carry out sea-air coordinated search along with the five ships including Shaurya, Rani Abbakka and Abheek and one Chetak helicopter.
The Korean Coast Guard ship ‘BADARO’ took part in this search and rescue exercise.