Latest Current Affairs – April 19 & 20 2018
1. Planning death penalty for those who rape kids below 12: Govt
The Centre has told the Supreme Court it is planning to amend the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act to give death penalty to those raping children under 12 years. Presently, life imprisonment is the maximum punishment for sexually assaulting a minor. The bench was hearing a PIL seeking death penalty in reference to rape of an eight-month-old girl.
2. Arsene Wenger to quit Arsenal after 22 years
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has announced that he will leave the club at the end of the current season, ending an almost 22-year reign at the club. The longest-serving Premier League manager, who took over Arsenal in 1996, won the league thrice (1997-98, 2001-02 and 2003-04) during his tenure. The 68-year-old Frenchman’s contract was due to expire in 2019.
3. Swaziland king renames country ‘Kingdom of eSwatini’
Swaziland’s King Mswati III has changed the name of the country to the ‘Kingdom of eSwatini’. The monarch made the announcement at the dual celebration to mark his 50th birthday and the African nation’s 50 years of independence. The Kingdom of eSwatini, which was a British protectorate for more than 60 years, is Africa’s last absolute monarchy.
4. India has world’s 2nd largest unbanked population: World Bank
India has 19 crore adults without a bank account, making it the world’s second-largest unbanked population after China, a World Bank report has said. Almost half of Indian account owners had an inactive account in past year, it added. The report added that the share of Indian adults with an account has more than doubled since 2011 to 80%.
5. China mulls economic corridor via Himalayas to reach India
China has proposed to build an economic corridor with India and Nepal through the Himalayas in a bid to enhance connectivity. China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said trilateral cooperation will lead to the development and prosperity of all the three nations. China and Nepal have agreed to a multi-dimensional connectivity network through the Himalayas, under China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
6. Village in Pakistan’s Rawalpindi named after Malala
A village in Pakistan’s Rawalpindi has been named after Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai. The youngest ever Nobel Prize laureate, who recently visited Pakistan, had said during her visit that she plans to permanently return to the country after completing her studies. Malala shifted to London after she was shot by Taliban militants in 2012.
7. Cuba gets its first non-Castro President in 60 years
Cuba’s National Assembly has appointed First Vice President Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez as the country’s President, replacing Raúl Castro who retired recently. The 57-year-old is the first leader outside the Castro dynasty to lead the country since the 1959 revolution. Raúl became Cuba’s President in 2008 after taking over from his brother Fidel Castro.
8. Kartik Aaryan to receive Dadasaheb Phalke Excellence Award
Actor Kartik Aaryan will be conferred with the Dadasaheb Phalke Excellence Award for his performance in the film ‘Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety’. He will get the Best Entertainer of The Year award for the film. Apart from Kartik, Anushka Sharma and Ranveer Singh will also receive the Dadasaheb Phalke Excellence Award.
9. Govt launches ‘Study in India’ to attract foreign students
The Union government has launched the ‘Study in India’ programme to attract foreign students to India. The programme projects 160 premier universities and institutes, including IITs and IIMs, as the ideal destination for higher education. The government plans to attract 2 lakh international students and has sanctioned a budget of ₹150 crore for two years for the programme.
10. India is world’s sixth largest economy at $2.6 trillion: IMF
India is now the world’s sixth largest economy, displacing France, with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $2.6 trillion in 2017, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The top five economies are the US, China, Japan, Germany and the UK. Further, the IMF has said that India is expected to grow at 7.4% in 2018 and 7.8% in 2019.
11. Microsoft launches its first product based on Linux
Microsoft is launching a product based on former rival technology Linux kernel for the first time, announcing a new operating system Azure Sphere. The product will help improve the security of internet-connected devices. Notably, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer had called Linux a “cancer” in 2001 but said he “loved” a Microsoft release in 2016 which was compatible with Linux.
12. SpaceX launches NASA’s planet-finding satellite on Falcon 9
Elon Musk-led SpaceX on Wednesday launched NASA’s space telescope TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) to search for other planets orbiting distant stars, aboard Falcon 9 rocket. SpaceX also landed the rocket’s first stage on the ‘Of Course I Still Love You’ droneship. The Satellite is expected to catalog hundreds of planets that are less than twice the size of Earth.
13. Johar 1st Indian filmmaker to get statue at Madame Tussauds
Karan Johar has become the first filmmaker from India who will get his wax statue at Madame Tussauds Museum. “Thank you to the entire team in London who worked tirelessly…will have further details about when and where soon!!!” Johar tweeted. The procedure to create the wax statue is underway and the figure is expected to be ready in six months.
14. Vice-President inaugurates 2-day Civil Services Day event in New Delhi
Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has inaugurated the two-day Civil Services Day (April 21) event in New Delhi. Vice President also inaugurated an exhibition put up by Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances on identified priority programmes and innovations.
The Vice President also released a book Emulating Excellence- Takeaways for Replication’. The day is celebrated for the civil servants to rededicate themselves to the cause of citizen and renew their commitments to public service and excellence in work.
15. 16th Federation Cup Jr National athletics ch’ship begins
Over 800 athletes from 32 states across the country will take part in the 16th Federation Cup Junior National athletics championship, beginning at Coimbatore on April 20 2018. The three-day event will see 440 boys and 352 girls in the age group of 16 to 20 years take part in 44 events.
16. Health Minister JP Nadda gives away Kayakalp awards
Health and Family Welfare Minister JP Nadda gave away the Kayakalp awards in New Delhi. The award is given by the Ministry to those best performing public health facilities which demonstrate high level of cleanliness, hygiene and infection control.
On the basis of numbers of patients and bed occupancy, the awards have been listed in two categories.
In the first category, AIIMS, New Delhi received the first prize worth Rs. 2.50 crore, while PGI Chandigarh won the second prize worth Rs. 1.50 crore.
In the second category, North Eastern Indira Gandhi regional Institute of Health and Medical Science, Shillong was adjudged the winner with a prize money worth Rs. 1.50 crore. The second prize went to AIIMS, Bhubhaneswar with a prize money worth 1 crore.
17. World Liver Day – April 19
World Liver day is observed on the 19 April every year to spread awareness about the second largest organ in the body. Liver diseases can be caused by hepatitis A, B, C, alcohol and drugs. Viral Hepatitis occurs due to consumption of contaminated food and water, unsafe sexual practices and drug abuse.
If it is not treated on time, these can lead to Liver Cirrhosis and Liver Cancer. According to WHO, liver diseases are the 10th most common cause of death in India.
18. Awards of Print Biennale India 2018 distributed
The awards of Print Biennale India 2018 organised by Lalit Kala Akademi here were given. The winners of the biennale were Arup Kumar Kuity (Andhra Pradesh), Satya Narayana Gavara (Andhra Pradesh), Preya Bhagat (Uttar Pradesh), Purvi Parmar (Gujrat) and Sonal Varshneya (Uttar Pradesh).
19. SBI is India’s most trusted bank and ICICI tops in private sector: Report
The TRA Brand Trust Report 2018, launched on April 18, 2018, stated that the State Bank of India is the most trusted bank in the country and ICICI Bank topped the chart among the private ones. State Bank of India topped the chart of Banking and Financial Services Institutions (BFSI) super-category, despite witnessing a drop in its overall brand trust index rankings from 13th in 2017 to 21st this year.
The leader among the private banks is ICICI Bank with an overall 38th rank in 2018. Punjab National Bank, which in February witnessed a multi-crore fraud, ranked 6th among the public sector banks (PSB) and is 297th in the overall ranking.
20. IFAD, Ant Financial sign agreement to develop rural economies
The United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and leading technology company Ant Financial Services Group have signed an agreement to propel rural economic development and reduce poverty in China and elsewhere.
Areas of proposed collaboration include improving market access for rural producers through e-commerce platforms and value-chain financing for promising rural agribusinesses. The IFAD is a specialised agency of the UN, dedicated to eradicate rural poverty in developing countries.
21. FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 unveils official mascot
The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 on April 18, 2018 unveiled ‘Son of Dreams’ as the official Mascot of World Cup.
Born in China on August 8, 2015, Son of Dreams’ magical horns give him the power to see in the future, envisioning plays and moves before they actually happen. The mascot finalists were a Chinese dragon (‘Son of Dream’), a Siberian tiger (‘Speed Tiger’) and a lion (‘Qiu Qiu’).
22. GoM recommends uniform road tax structure for vehicles across country
Transferring vehicles from one state to another could become hassle free soon, if a recommendation by a group of state transport ministers is accepted by the government.
The group of ministers (GoM) constituted by the Union road transport and highways ministry, which met on Friday in Guwahati, has recommended a uniform structure of road tax for vehicles across states, a senior government official said. The GoM is headed by Rajasthan transport minister Yoonus Khan.
The recommendation, if accepted will allow the transfer of vehicles from one state to another without levying road tax. The GoM has also recommended national passenger vehicles permit for passenger cars.
23. Malaria Summit held in London
India was conspicuous by its absence from the Malaria Summit in London alongside the 25th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) despite having the third largest malaria cases in the world after Congo and Nigeria. There was no India representative to participate in the summit because there is no India commitment.
The Malaria Summit saw 14 heads of state and government, scientists and private sector and international organisations making significant commitments to catalyse progress towards beating malaria at a time when efforts to end the preventable disease have stalled.