Latest Current Affairs – April 11 2018
1. Historic Saudi city to be opened to tourists for first time
Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ula, a historical region rich in archaeological remnants, will open to tourists as the kingdom prepares to issue tourist visas for the first time. The area, roughly the size of Belgium, is filled with archaeological treasures created by ancient civilizations. Saudi Arabia has signed a deal with France to develop the Al-Ula region into a cultural tourism destination.
2. India to host Asia Cup in the UAE over Indo-Pak relations
India will host the Asia Cup 2018 in the United Arab Emirates after a unanimous decision was taken by the Asian Cricket Council to move the tournament from India. Political relations between India and Pakistan has been cited as the reason behind the change. The BCCI further confirmed that the tournament would revert to the one-day format.
3. China files trade complaint against US at WTO
China has filed a trade complaint against the US with the World Trade Organisation over tariffs imposed on imports of steel and aluminium products. China claimed the 25% duty on steel imports and 10% duty on imports of aluminium products violate WTO’s fundamental principles. It stated that the US failed to administer its regulations in a uniform and impartial manner.
4. Shooter Shreyasi wins India’s 12th gold medal at CWG 2018
Indian shooter Shreyasi Singh won the women’s double trap gold in a shoot-off after scoring 96 points to take India’s gold medal tally at Commonwealth Games 2018 to 12. This was her second CWG medal after having claimed a silver at the 2014 Glasgow Games. Another Indian shooter Varsha Varman finished fourth in the event, scoring 86 points.
5. India Signs MoU With World EXPO 2020 Dubai
India and World Expo 2020 signed participants contract for India’s pavilion in the prestigious World Expo 2020 held once in 5 years. The contract provides for the setting up of India pavilion at Expo 2020 on an extra large plot (about one acre) in the ‘Opportunity’ segment.
6. 11th World Hindi Conference to be held in Mauritius
The 11th World Hindi Conference or Vishwa Hindi Sammellan will be held at Mauritius’ Port Louis. The dates of the conference are 18-20 August and will be held at Swami Vivekananda International Conference Center. The event, held once in three years, is dedicated to Hindi language. It sees participation from Hindi scholars, writers and laureates from different parts of the world who contribute to the language. The previous conference was held in Bhopal in 2015.
The first World Hindi Conference was held in 1975 in Nagpur, India and was inaugurated by then Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi. Since then, ten such conferences have been held in different parts of the world.
7. Balram Bhargava appointed DG of ICMR
AIIMS professor Balram Bhargava was today appointed the Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Secretary of the Department of Health Research. He has been appointed to the post for a period of three years or until attainment of age of 60 years. The Delhi-based ICMR is one of the oldest medical research bodies in the world.
8. April 11: National Safe Motherhood Day
The National Safe Motherhood is celebrated on April 11th every year to create awareness on proper healthcare and maternity celebrities to pregnant and lactating women. It also seeks to create awareness about the institutional delivery, reducing anemia among women and better pre and postal natal health care and necessary for mothers.
The theme of 2018 NSMD was “Respectful Maternity Care”.
9. Cabinet gives boost to Ease of Doing Business in Petroleum & Natural Gas Sector
In line with the Government initiative of ease of doing business, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval for delegating the powers to Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Finance Minister to award the Blocks/Contract Areas to successful bidders under Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP) after International Competitive Bidding (ICB) based on the recommendations of Empowered Committee of Secretaries (ECS). Under HELP, Blocks are to be awarded twice in a year. Therefore, this delegation of powers will expedite the decision making process on awarding blocks and give a boost to the initiative of ease of doing business.
10. Cabinet approves Headquarters (Host country) Agreement between India and the International Solar Alliance
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval for entering into Headquarters (Host country) Agreement between India and the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and authorizing the Ministry of External Affairs for signing the Headquarter Agreement. The Agreement was signed on 26th March, 2018. The Headquarters Agreement will institutionalize the functional arrangements between India and ISA. It will help in smooth transition of ISA as international inter-governmental organization. Creation of ISA will lead to accelerated solar technology development and deployment in ISA member countries including India.
11. Cabinet approves revision of pay and allowances of Lieutenant Governors of Union Territories
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval for revision of pay and allowances of Lieutenant Governors of Union Territories. It will bring the pay and allowances of LGs at par with that of the Secretary to the Government of India.
The Cabinet has approved the proposal for increasing the pay and allowances of Lieutenant Governors of Union Territories with effect from 1st January, 2016 from Rs.80,000/- per month plus dearness allowance, sumptuary allowance at the rate of Rs.4,000/- per month and local allowances to Rs. 2,25,000/- plus dearness allowance, sumptuary allowance at the rate of Rs.4,000/- per month and local allowances at the same rate as applicable to the officers of the rank of Secretary to the Govt. of India It will be subject to the condition that the total emoluments (excluding sumptuary allowance and local allowances) shall not exceed the total emoluments drawn by the Governor of a State.
12. Cabinet approves MoU between India and the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland on the return of Illegal Migrants
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to the MoU between India and the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland on the return of Illegal Migrants. The MoU will facilitate that the Visa Free Agreement for holders of Diplomatic passports as well as liberalization of UK Visa Regime for those who are travelling to the UK legally, after conclusion of the MoU. It will ensure the return of persons who have no lawful basis to be in the territory of the other Party after verification of nationality to its satisfaction. It will help in streamlining the procedure of return of nationals who are caught to be staying illegally, belonging to the other party in a specified time-frame.
13. State Bank of India Launches UK Subsidiary With 225 Millions Pounds Capital
The State Bank of India SBI announced the launch of its UK subsidiary, SBI (UK) Limited, with an initial capital commitment of 225 million pounds from its parent entity. India’s largest state-owned bank, which celebrated the new subsidiary with a special event in London, becomes the first foreign bank in the UK to ringfence its retail division from its wholesale business.
14. Transgenders to be recognised as independent gender category in PAN Form
The government amended Income Tax rules that will now allow transgenders to be recognized as an independent category of applicants for obtaining a Permanent Account Number (PAN) for their tax-related transactions. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), which frames the policy for the department, issued a notification that provides a new tick box for the transgenders to apply for the PAN. The notification, issued under sections 139A and 295 of the Income Tax Act, specifies the new application process for obtaining a PIN number by an individual.