Latest Current Affairs – April 25 2018
1. BCCI recommends Dhawan, Mandhana for Arjuna Award
The BCCI has nominated Indian men’s cricket team opener Shikhar Dhawan and Indian women’s team opener Smriti Mandhana for the Arjuna Award. Dhawan, who was given a 1300% salary hike by the BCCI recently, was India’s third highest ODI run-scorer last year. Meanwhile, Smriti Mandhana is the only Indian woman cricketer to slam ODI tons in three away nations.
2. Govt hikes raw jute support price by Rs 200 to Rs 3,700/quintal
The government has increased Minimum Support Price (MSP) of raw jute by Rs 200 to Rs 3,700 per quintal for 2018-19 season. The decision would benefit jute farmers mainly in West Bengal, Assam and Bihar which account for 95% of the country’s jute production. The government in Budget 2018 had announced fixing MSPs at 1.5 times the production cost for various crops.
3. Armenian Prime Minister resigns 7 days after being sworn-in
Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan resigned from the post, just 7 seven days after he was sworn-in. This follows protests against Sargsyan who decided to take on the post after serving for over a decade as Armenia’s President.
4. ED to confiscate Rs 15,000 cr assets under new ordinance
The Enforcement Directorate is moving to confiscate assets worth over Rs 15,000 crore belonging to economic offenders who fled India. The new Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance provides for confiscation of properties of fugitive economic offenders without conviction. The ED has reportedly decided to approach a special court for Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi to be declared ‘fugitives’.
5. Bharti Infratel, Indus Towers to merge creating $14.6bn firm
Bharti Airtel’s subsidiary Bharti Infratel has agreed to merge with Indus Towers, which has Vodafone and Idea as shareholders, creating a $14.6-billion company. The merged entity will be world’s second largest tower company with 1.63 lakh towers operating across India’s 22 telecom circles. The combined company, to be called Indus Towers, will be jointly controlled by Airtel and Vodafone.
6. Bus to ply between Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal launched
A trial service of transnational buses plying between Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal was launched on Tuesday. The buses launched under the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement signed in June 2015, started the journey from Dhaka with 49 delegates, including 12 Indian officials. However, Bhutan is yet to give its formal consent to the agreement.
7. World’s only tropical-born polar bear euthanised
Battling health difficulties for the past five years, Singapore-born Inuka, the only polar bear ever born in the tropics, has been euthanised by zoo authorities. Twenty-seven-year-old Inuka had been suffering from arthritis, dental issues, and ear infections with weakening limbs hindering its mobility. “The greater kindness would be to relieve him from prolonged suffering,” said a Zoo official.
8. 5,000 Gujarat farmers seek ‘right to die’ over forced evacuation
Over 5,000 farmers in Gujarat’s Bhavnagar have sought the “right to die” as the state government and the Gujarat Power Corporation Limited are trying to forcibly acquire their land, a farmers’ body member said. In their letters to PM Narendra Modi, the farmers have asked the Army to kill them as the “forced acquisition” was making them “feel like terrorists”.
9. Govt starts merger process of 3 state-owned general insurers
The government has reportedly held preliminary meetings on proposed merger process of three state-owned general insurers namely Oriental Insurance Company, National Insurance Company, and United India Insurance Company. The three insurers together collected a premium of about ?44,000 crore in FY17 and their combined market share was nearly 35% in the general insurance market.
10. World Malaria Day – April 25
World Malaria Day is celebrated every year on 25 April to recognize global efforts to control malaria, and spread awareness to bring down the cases of Malaria, that manages to get millions around the world in its grip each year.The theme of World Malaria Day 2018 is, “Ready To Beat Malaria”.
Malaria is caused by plasmodium parasite and is transmitted in humans through the bite of Anopheles mosquito. After an infected mosquito bites a human, the parasites begin to multiply in the person’s liver. It then goes on to take direct toll on the red blood cells of your body by destroying a good chunk of it.
11. Sagar Kavach: Coastal security exercise held in Kerala
A two-day coastal security exercise ‘Sagar Kavach’ has began to strengthen and assess the loopholes in the coastal security mechanism along Kerala shores. Apart from the Coast Guard, the Navy, Coastal Police and Marine Enforcement wing and various other security stakeholders were also participating in the exercise.
12. India, Mongolia to enhance bilateral trade, investments
India and Mongolia has discussed economic cooperation in areas such as infrastructure development, energy, services and IT and agreed to explore possibility of launching direct air connectivity between New Delhi and the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar. Swaraj, the first Indian foreign minister to visit the resource-rich country in 42 years, said India sees Mongolia as a factor of stability in East Asia and believes that Mongolia’s social and economic development is important for peace and prosperity in the region.
13. PM Modi releases commemorative postage stamp on Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna
Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a commemorative postage stamp on former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Late Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna. Prime Minister Modi described Bahuguna as a leader committed to democratic values. He said that Bahuguna was inspired by many different leaders including Mahatma Gandhi, Acharya Vinoba Bhave, Acharya Narendra Dev, Ram Manohar Lohia, and Chandrashekhar Azad.
14. Jeremy win silver & bronze at Asian Youth and Junior Weightlifting C’ship
India’s Jeremy Lalrinnunga (56 kg) registered his best total of 250 kg to win the silver in Youth section and bronze medal in Junior section at the Asian Youth and Junior Weightlifting Championship at Urgench, Uzbekistan. The 15-year-old Lalrinnunga also created two new national record in Youth boys and junior men during his lift of 250 kg.
15. Cabinet approves MoU between India, African nation in medicinal plants sector
The government gave an ex-post facto approval for an agreement signed between India and an African island nation, Sao Tome and Principe, to increase cooperation in the field of medicinal Plants. The MoU assumes significance as there is global increase in traditional and alternative health care systems. It is resulting in world herbal trade which stands at USD 120 billion and is expected to reach USD 7 trillion by 2050.
16. ‘The French Connection’ producer Philip D’Antoni dies at 89
Philip D’Antoni, who won an Oscar for his work on “The French Connection”, has died. He was 89. D’Antoni was best known for the 1971 “The French Connection,” which won three Golden Globes and five Oscars, including best picture. Born on February 19, 1929, in the Bronx, D’Antoni attended Fordham University and served in the US Army during the occupation of Japan in World War II.
17. Government signs loan agreement with World Bank for Innovate in India for Inclusiveness Project
The World Bank has announced signing of a loan agreement with India for IBRD credit of USD 125 (equivalent) for the “Innovate in India for Inclusiveness Project”. The agreement will support consortia of public, private, and the academic institutions to overcome the key market failures currently holding back the development of an innovative biopharmaceutical and medical devices industry in India.
18. Cabinet approves restructured National Bamboo Mission
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National Bamboo Mission (NBM) under National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) during remaining period of Fourteenth Finance Commission (2018-19 & 2019-20). The Mission would ensure holistic development of the bamboo sector by addressing complete value chain and establishing effective linkage of producers (farmers) with industry. The scheme will benefit directly and indirectly the farmers as well as local artisans and associated personnels engaged in bamboo sector including associated industries. It is expected that about one lakh farmers would be directly benefitted in terms of plantation.
19. Cabinet approves declaration of Scheduled Areas in respect of Rajasthan under Fifth Schedule to the Constitution of India
The Union Cabinet has given approval to the declaration of Scheduled Areas in respect of Rajasthan under Fifth Schedule to the Constitution of India by rescinding the Constitution Order (C.O.)114 dated 12th February 1981 and promulgation of a new Constitution Order. The promulgation of new C.O. will ensure that the Scheduled Tribes of Rajasthan will get benefits of protective measures available under the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution of India. The Rajasthan Government has requested for extension of Scheduled Areas in the State of Rajasthan under Fifth Schedule to the Constitution of India.
The Scheduled Tribes residing in Banswara, Dungarpur, Pratapgarh, and partial areas of Udaipur, Rajsamand, Chittorgarh, Pali and Sirohi districts of Rajasthan will get benefits of protective measures available under the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution of India.
20. Cabinet approves Long Term Agreements for supply of iron ore to Japan and South Korea through MMTC Limited
The Union Cabinet Chaired has approved the renewal of Long Term Agreements (LTAs) for supply of iron ore (lumps and fines) of grade +64% Fe content to Japanese Steel Mills (JSMs) and POSCO, South Korea for another five years (i.e. 1.4.2018 upto 31.3.2023) through MMTC Limited. Export of iron ore under the LTAs would help to strengthen India’s bilateral ties with long-standing partner countries, Japan and South Korea secure an export market and result in inflow of foreign exchange. The agreement will enable India to secure international market for its ores and ensure stable economic ecosystem which provides direct and indirect employment in mining, logistics and related sectors.
21. Cabinet approves MoU on cooperation in the field of regulation of medical products for human use amongst the medicine regulatory agencies of the BRICS countries
The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the field of regulation of medical products for human use amongst the medicine regulatory agencies of the BRICS countries. The MoU would facilitate better understanding about the regulatory aspects between the parties and could help in increasing India’s export of medical products to BRICS countries.
22. Cabinet apprised of the Memorandum of Agreement between India and World Health Organisation represented by its Regional Office for South-East Asia acting through its Country Office in India
The Union Cabinet has been apprised of the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between India and World Health Organisation represented by its Regional Office for South-East Asia acting through its Country Office in India. The MoU was signed on 13th March, 2018 at New Delhi. The bilateral MoA shall encourage cooperation between India and WHO. This will facilitate in improving the public health status of the people in India.
23. The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders 2018: Mukesh Ambani Ranks 24th
Richest Indian Mukesh Ambani (24th Rank) and human rights lawyer Indira Jaising (20th Rank) has been named by Fortune magazine as the World’s Greatest Leaders of 2018. The Fortune’s 2018 ranking of the 50 Greatest Leaders has architect Balkrishna Doshi.
This year’s list is topped by ‘The Students’ of Marjory Stoneman Douglas and other schools of US that witnessed gun violence. This year’s list has the #MeToo Movement, which described the pervasiveness of sexual abuse, at No.3 behind Bill and Melinda Gates (2nd Rank). The list also includes Apple CEO Tim Cook, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and football coach Nick Saban.