1. Britain achieves its first ever coal-free day
The National Grid has announced Britain’s first full day without coal power “since the Industrial Revolution”. The Government has pledged to phase out coal – the most polluting fossil fuel – from the system by 2025 as part of efforts to cut carbon emissions in the UK.
Use of the fossil fuel has significantly declined in recent years, accounting for just 9 per cent of electricity generation last year, down from 23 per cent in 2015, with the closure or conversion of coal plants.
A combination of low demand for electricity and an abundance of wind meant the grid completed 24 hours relying on just gas, nuclear and renewables.
2. World Bank to give $37.5 cr for National Waterway-1 on Ganga
The World Bank has approved $37.5 crore loan for capacity augmentation of National Waterway-1 (NW-1) on the river Ganga under the Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP). The project will enable commercial navigation of vessels with a capacity of 1,500-2,000 dead weight tonnes along a 1,390-km stretch. The NW-1 passes through Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
3. Call centre for public grievance redressal opened in Andhra
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has inaugurated ‘Pariskara Vedika‘, a call centre meant for public grievance redressal. People will be able to directly contact call centre executives to give feedback and get information on government welfare schemes, by giving their Aadhaar number. Notably, this is the biggest call centre run by a state government in India.
4. Andhra Pradesh sets up welfare board for transgenders
Andhra Pradesh has established a welfare board for transgender persons at the Sri Venkateswara University in Tirupati. The welfare board will be run by the community, with voting rights for the minorities.
5. Air India lowers elderly travel concession age limit to 60
National carrier Air India has lowered the age limit for availing travel concession under its scheme for senior citizens to 60. As per the scheme, an Indian citizen who has attained the age of 60 on the date of commencement of journey is entitled to a 50% discount on the basic fare of an economy class seat. Earlier, the age limit for this offer was 63 years. This offer, however, is only valid for domestic travel.
6. India successfully test fires land-attack version of BrahMos
The Indian Navy has successfully test fired a land attack version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from its frigate in the Bay of Bengal. This enables the Navy to precisely “neutralise selected targets deep inland” from the sea. The Navy has more than 10 vessels equipped with BrahMos missiles anti-ship capabilities.
7. Trump sacks Obama-appointed Indian-American surgeon-general Vivek Murthy
Indian-American Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, appointed by the previous Obama regime, has been asked to step down by the Trump administration to put its own leadership in place. He was replaced temporarily by Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams, one of the first nurses to serve as Surgeon General. She has a doctoral degree in philosophy and a master of science in nursing and health policy.
Murthy will continue to serve as a member of the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service. He was confirmed as Surgeon General in December of 2014.
8. NC leader Ali Mohammad Naik passes away
Senior National Conference (NC) leader and former speaker of Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly, Ali Mohammad Naik, passed away at the age of 87. Naik, a resident of Tral in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, was suffering from chest disease.
He had served as general secretary of Plebiscite Front under NC founder and former chief minister Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah. The Plebiscite Front advocated holding of a referendum in the state for deciding its future.
9. April 22 – International Mother Earth Day
International Mother Earth Day is celebrated to remind each of us that the Earth and its ecosystems provide us with life and sustenance. It also recognizes a collective responsibility, as called for in the 1992 Rio Declaration, to promote harmony with nature and the Earth to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations of humanity.
International Mother Earth Day provides an opportunity to raise public awareness around the world to the challenges regarding the well-being of the planet and all the life it supports.
The theme for 2017 is “Environmental & Climate Literacy“.
10. India, South Korea sign pact for defence shipbuilding
India and South Korea signed an agreement to firm up bilateral cooperation in defence shipbuilding. Under the MoU, conceived under the umbrella of the special strategic partnership, the two sides will nominate one shipyard each for this purpose. India has already picked Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) while Korea will make the nomination soon, Secretary (Defence Production).
11. TIME releases list of 100 Most Influential People of 2017
Time magazine released its annual list of ‘100 most influential people in the world’ of 2017 and two Indians made it to the list, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma.
This list honours people from around the world for “the power of their inventions, the scale of their ambitions, the genius of their solutions to problems that no one before them could solve”, divided in 5 categories: pioneers, artists, titans, leaders and icons.
The list also included English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, US President Donald Trump, actor Riz Ahmed, Snapchat Co-founder Evan Spiegel and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
From the political world, President Trump has been included for the second time, while China leader Xi Jinping makes his eighth appearance — more than anybody else on the list.
12. Golfers Aditi Ashok, SSP Chawrasia and Ali Sher win Golf Industry Association Awards 2017
The Golf Industry Association (GIA) today announced the winners of the second edition of the Golf Industry Association (GIA) Awards 2017, with Aditi Ashok, who finished second in the Ladies European Tour (LET) order of merit last year with the help of two victories, expectedly bagging the Award for Outstanding Achievement as a Player.
S.S.P Chawrasia, who successfully defended his Indian Open title earlier this year and had two victories of on tour last year when he also won his first overseas title at the Resorts World Manila Masters, bagged the Award for the Men’s Player of the Year (2016).
13. China announces names for six places in Arunachal Pradesh
Responding to Dalai Lama’s recent Tawang visit, China sent a strong message this week that Arunachal Pradesh was non-negotiable as the Chinese government released “standardized” Chinese names of six towns in the north-eastern state. The official names of the six places using the Roman alphabet are Wo’gyainling, Mila Ri, Qoidengarbo Ri, Mainquka, Bumo La and Namkapub Ri.
14. Pakistan Leases Gwadar port to a State-run Chinese firm for 40 years
A state-run Chinese company will handle the operations of Pakistan’s strategic Gwadar port for a period of 40 years. Minister for ports and shipping Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo said that the China Overseas Port Holding Company (COPHC) would carry out all the development work on the port on the Arabian Sea.
Gwadar forms the southern Pakistan hub of the $57 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) infrastructure and energy projects Beijing announced in 2014.
15. Cuba and Morocco re-establish diplomatic ties after 37 years
Cuba and Morocco has signed an agreement to reestablish diplomatic ties after a gap of 37 years. Morocco cut ties with Havana in 1980 after Cuba recognised Western Sahara as the independent Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. Morocco claims the territory as its own.
Morocco’s King Mohamed VI has already ordered the opening of an embassy in Havana, one of the few Latin American capitals where Rabat was not represented to date. King Mohamed VI travelled to Cuba earlier in April for a private family visit, but it was widely believed that he maintained diplomatic contacts with the Cuban government during his stay there.
16. Video gaming to be featured as a full sport at the 2022 Asian Games
Video gaming will be featured as a full sport at the 2022 Asian Games, with competitors in electronic sports set to receive medals for their digital prowess. The Olympic Council of Asia says it will introduce esports to the official program of the Asian Games at Hangzhou, China. It will also be a demonstration sport at the 2018 Asian Games in Palembang, Indonesia.