CURRENT AFFAIRS – APRIL 23 & 24′ 2017
1. ISRO to increase frequency of launches to 12 per year
The Indian Space Research Organisation is trying to increase its capacity to deliver by scaling up the frequency of launches to 12 per year from the seven at present by building more satellites and lowering the cost of access to space. The space agency is in the process of constructing a second vehicle assembly building to improve the turnaround time and throughput for the PSLV so that with the same launch pad ISRO can do more launches.
2. India-South Korea sign MoU on shipbuilding
India and South Korea has signed an MoU for defence industry cooperation in shipbuilding. The MoU, signed by India’s Defence Production Secretary Ashok Kumar Gupta and South Korean Defence Acquisition and Programme Administration Minister Chang Myoung-Jin, focuses on developing and strengthening defence industry co-operation between the two countries, which will recommend the organisations for collaborating in the implementation of specific projects. The organisations recommended for co-operative projects may conclude separate agreements (contracts) between them to implement the specific projects, the statement said, adding the MoU will also help the Indian government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.
3. Government approves Guidelines on service charge
The government has approved new guidelines giving consumers the right to decide service charge they wish to voluntarily pay on a hotel or restaurant bill. The guidelines, which have made service charge “totally voluntary and not mandatory”, will be sent to states for necessary action, Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said.
While the new norms provide relief to those dining out, the hotel industry is not likely to take it lying down as they feel being singled out.
4. India becomes World No.2 LPG importer
India has replaced Japan as world’s number two importer of liquefied petroleum gas or LPG, thus giving a push to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for a ‘safer kitchen’, according to a report in Bloomberg. In India, substantial number of households that particularly in rural parts of the country use fuels that increase level of air pollution and also expose people to life threatening diseases.
According to data from Oil Ministry’s Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell, country imported 23 per cent more LPG in financial year 2016-17, a figure that stands at 11 million tonnes.
The report added that Japan recorded a drop of 3.2 per cent in LPG imports during the period under review to 10.6 million tonnes. China continues to occupy numero uno position as world’s largest LPG importer.
5. Newton wins Best Film at Hong Kong Film Festival
Actor Rajkummar Rao-starrer “Newton” has won the best film honour at the Hong Kong International Film Festival. Amit Masurkar-directed “Newton”, which also stars Anjali Patil, is a political satire. It had its world premiere at the 67th Berlin Film Festival where it won the International Federation of Art Cinemas (CICAE) award in its Forum segment.
6. Rohan Bopanna and Pablo Cuevas won Monte-Carlo Masters Men’s Doubles Title
India’s Rohan Bopanna and his Uruguayan partner Pablo Cuevas lifted the men’s doubles crown at the Monte Carlo Masters after registering a hard- fought three-set win over Spain’s Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez. The crown is the the first of the season for Bopanna and Cuevas and the third overall for the Indian.
7. Rafael Nadal wins Monte Carlo Masters Men’s Singles title
Rafael Nadal has won this year’s Monte Carlo Masters by beating Albert Ramos-Vinolas, 6-1, 6-3 to win the tournament for a 10th time. It was Nadal’s 50th tournament title on clay and 70th career trophy overall.
8. April 23 – World Book and Copyright Day
23 April is a symbolic date for world literature. It is on this date in 1616 that Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died. It is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors, such as Maurice Druon, Haldor K.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo.
It was a natural choice for UNESCO’s General Conference, held in Paris in 1995, to pay a world-wide tribute to books and authors on this date, encouraging everyone, and in particular young people, to discover the pleasure of reading and gain a renewed respect for the irreplaceable contributions of those, who have furthered the social and cultural progress of humanity. With this in mind, UNESCO created the World Book and Copyright Day.
World Book Capital for 2017: Conakry, Guinea
9. Veteran actor K. Viswanath wins Dadasaheb Phalke award for 2016
Veteran filmmaker and actor Kasinadhuni Viswanath is the winner of the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke award for 2016. The award consists of a Swarn Kamal (Golden Lotus), a cash prize of Rs. 10 lakhs and a shawl. The award shall be conferred by the President of India at a function on May 3, 2017 at Vigyan Bhawan. He has also been awarded 5 National Awards, 20 Nandi Awards (awarded by the State Government of Andhra Pradesh), 10 Filmfare Awards including Lifetime Achievement Award.
10. Reliance Industries surpasses TCS to become most valuable company
Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries (RIL) has surpassed Tata group’s Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to become most valuable company in terms of market capitalisation (m-cap) after a gap of more than four years. RIL has market value of Rs 4.60 lakh crore and Tata Group has a market value of Rs 4.59 lakh crore. For about four years RIL had lagged behind TCS in terms of market value.
11. India is world’s fifth largest military spender, US tops list
India’s military expenditure grew around 8.5 per cent in 2016, making it the world’s fifth largest spender at $55.9 billion, figures released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri). As per the figures, the US remains the world’s largest military spender registering a growth of 1.7 per cent between 2015 and 2016 to $611 billion. Four others in the top 15 spenders include China, Japan, South Korea, Australia. China is second on the list spending $215 billion, an increase of 5.4 per cent.
Russia increased its spending by 5.9 per cent to $69.2 billion, making it the third largest spender.
12. April 24 – National Panchayati Raj Day
National Panchayati Raj Day (National Local Self-Government day) is the national day of India celebrated by Ministry of Panchayati Raj on 24 April annually. Then Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh inaugurated the first National Panchayati Raj Day in 2010.
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has saluted all the hardworking individuals serving people through Panchayati Raj institutions across India.
13. AIIMS – India’s first public hospital for eye tumours
The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) is India’s first public hospital to start plaque brachytherapy facility for the treatment of eye tumours. The facility is a form of local radiation delivered to the eye through a radioactive device which is attached to the eye for a temporary period of time. The facility at the Rajendra Prasad Centre for Opthalmic Sciences will treat children suffering from a type of cancer called Retinoblastoma and adults who suffer from melanoma.
14. India to export mangoes to Australia for the first time
Indian mangoes will be imported to Australia for the first time after protocols were revised to allow the Asian-grown fruit into the local economy. The fruit would be allowed into Australia as long as they were treated with irradiation before leaving India.
15. Bihar Legislative Assembly approves GST
The Bihar Legislative Assembly has unanimously adopted the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill along with the Bihar taxation (Amendment) Bill. Bihar Legislative Assembly as well as Legislative Council adopted the Bills related to GST with one voice. Bihar became the second state after Telangana to ratify GST which needs nod of the states after its clearance in Parliament.