Current Affairs Daily Digest – April 29′ 2017

AWARDS & HONOURS

1. Hero MotoCorp named ‘Indian MNC of the Year’ 

Pawan Munjal-led Hero MotoCorp was conferred the ‘Indian MNC of the Year’ award by the All India Management Association (AIMA). The award comes as the two-wheeler maker is set to enter the potentially lucrative markets of Brazil, Latin America’s largest two-wheeler market with annual sales in excess of two million units, and Mexico, which has a market size of more than half a million units per year.

APPOINTMENTS

2. Syrian who saved refugee boat appointed UNHCR ambassador 

Yusra Mardini, a Syrian woman who helped save a boat carrying fellow refugees, has been appointed by the UN agency for refugees as its new Goodwill Ambassador. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said Mardini’s actions saved the lives of 20 refugees who were fleeing the Syrian capital, Damascus.

Mardini, 19, was also one of the 10 athletes who made up the historic Olympic Refugee Team and participated at the Rio Olympic Games last year.

BANKING & FINANCE

3. Banks can’t say no to new notes with colour and writing: RBI

The RBI has directed banks to accept notes, including new ₹500 and ₹2,000 notes, with colour and writings on them. RBI said these should be kept in the category of soiled notes and banks shouldn’t refuse them. The bank issued the circular after it received complaints that branches were refusing notes with anything written on them or with external colour.

4. GST to push Indian growth to over 8%: IMF

The ambitious Goods and Services Tax to be implemented from July 1 would help raise India’s medium-term growth to above eight per cent, the International Monetary Fund has said adding that the reforms being done is expected to pay off in terms of higher growth in the future. The IMF believes that India is going to continue to grow at a fast pace, with a projected 6.8 per cent rate for Financial Year 2016-17 and 7.2 per cent in 2017-18.

5. India’s Forex reserves increase by $1.25 billion

India’s foreign exchange (Forex) reserves rose by $1.25 billion as on April 21, 2017. According to the Reserve Bank of India’s weekly statistical supplement, the overall Forex reserves increased to $371.13 billion from $369.88 billion reported for the week ended April 14.

India’s Forex reserves comprise of foreign currency assets (FCAs), gold, special drawing rights (SDRs) and the RBI’s position with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

INDIAN AFFAIRS

6. India’s first village of books to come up in Maharashtra 

In a first, a village of books in Maharashtra, called ‘Pustakanche Gaon’ in Marathi, is set to open on May 2017. This village of books, located in Bhilar, is stretches over 2 kilometres. The village, surrounded by beautiful valleys, is already attracting tourists under MTDC’s ‘Nyahari and Nivas’ programme. It will have exclusive Marathi books to promote Marathi reading and literature.

7. Tamil Nadu to be first state to have policy on hospital linen washing 

The Tamil Nadu government has initiated a process to enact a policy on the laundry of ‘infectious’ hospital linen. With the policy, Tamil Nadu will become the first state in the country to have separate guidelines on the issue. The interests of traditional washermen would be taken into consideration and protected, said an official.

8. Health Ministry launches ‘Test and Treat Policy for HIV’ 

Union Health Minister JP Nadda has launched the Test and Treat policy for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) patients. As per this new policy, anyone who is tested and found positive will get the necessary treatment free of cost. Anyone found positive will be provided with ART (Anti- Retroviral Therapy) irrespective of his CD count. The scheme will be a centrally sponsored scheme. All men, women, adolescents and children who have been diagnosed positively can benefit under this new policy.

9. PM Modi inaugurates International Basava Convention 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the holy Vachanas of Basavanna, translated into 23 languages, and addressed an event to mark the inauguration of Basava Jayanthi 2017, and Golden Jubilee Celebration of Basava Samithi, at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi.

Paying homage to Lord Basaveshwara, he said Basaveshwara had envisioned a democratic arrangement, several centuries ago.

10. Country’s first digitalised Panchayat ward in Kerala

A ward in the district became India’s first digitalised panchayat ward. Union minister of state for social justice and empowerment Krishan Pal Gurjar inaugurated the website of the first digitalised panchayat ward number 15 of Aymanam grama panchayat.

This small panchayat ward in Kerala has become the first one to go digital in the country, taking a very important step in fulfilling Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of transforming India into a digitally empowered society.

11. Kerala hosts country’s first ever transgender athletic meet

At least 132 people participated in the first-ever athletics meet for transgender persons organised by the Kerala government at Thiruvananthapuram’s Central Stadium. The first-of-its-kind tournament saw them taking part in popular track and field events such as sprint, relay race, shot put and long jump.

Kerala was the first state to formulate a transgender policy, aimed at ending the discriminatory treatment and bringing transgenders to the mainstream.

The state set up a transgender justice board to deal with their complaints, and a separate column, called intersex, was introduced in the birth and death registration form.

12. All-woman India Reserve Battalion (IRB) to be raised in Jammu and Kashmir

In a bid to counter the women who throw stones at security forces in Jammu and Kashmir, the Union government plans to raise an all-woman India Reserve Battalion (IRB) in the State. The all-women contingent will be among the five IRBs sanctioned by the Centre for the State last year.

The IRBs are being raised to provide jobs to the local youths, with 60% of the vacancies to be filled with candidates from the border districts.

13. ‘Digi Yatra’ initiative to make flying simpler

The Ministry of Civil Aviation under the proposed “Digi Yatra” initiative is looking forward to make boarding pass and security check-ins digital at airports using Aadhaar and mobile phones. Under this initiative, a digital mode for airport entry and verification of passengers would be used. The move is aimed to ease the security and boarding procedure.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

14. First UK-China freight train completes 12,000 km in 20 days 

The first freight train to link China directly to the UK reached in the eastern Chinese city of Yiwu. The freight train covered 12,000 km which makes the journey the second-longest route in the world.  The train was loaded with pharmaceuticals, machinery, baby milk and whiskey. The first train which links China to the UK over the period of 20 days, passed through France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan.

15. 2017 to be one of the hottest years: study 

2017 will be among the hottest years on record, say scientists who have developed a new method for predicting global mean temperature. Researchers at Yale University in the US found that weak El Nino activity from 1998 until 2013, rather than a pause in long-term global warming, was the root cause for slower rates of increased surface temperature. They also found that volcanic activity played only a minor role.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

16. ISRO to improve India’s communication system by launching 5 satellites

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch five communication satellites by the year-end. The satellites, proposed to be launched, are aimed at improving the communication system within the country. All the satellites would be put in space by the end of this year.

ISRO and the government has made GPS-aided Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) mandatory for all aircraft by 2019 to ensure safety and precision landing. India has 4,000 heritage sites for which ISRO plans to make an inventory and site management plan.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

17. India signs 4 bilateral agreements with Cyprus 

India and Cyprus signed four agreements, including on air services and merchant shipping, following delegation-level talks headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades in New Delhi.

The two sides signed an executive programme on culture, education and scientific cooperation for the years 2017 to 2020. Both sides signed a work plan under a programme of cooperation in agriculture for the period 2017-2018. Another agreement was signed on cooperation in the area of merchant shipping. A fourth agreement was signed to boost air services between the two countries.

OBSERVED DAY

18. April 29 – Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare

The Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare is an annual event held on April 29 as a “tribute to the victims of chemical warfare. The day is observed also to reaffirm the commitment of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to the elimination of the threat of chemical weapons.

Although the majority of the world has either given up or destroyed their stockpiles of chemical weapons as of 2013, several nations have yet to do so. Five of these, Angola, Burma, Egypt, Israel, and North Korea, have not ratified the Convention and are suspected to possess chemical weapons.

SPORTS

19. India’s Sudarsan wins World Sand Sculptures Championship 

Internationally renowned sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik from Odisha won the jury prize gold medal at the 10th Moscow Sand art Championship. The theme for the competition was “The world around us“. Pattnaik was the Indian representative in the competition, where twenty five sculptors from different countries participated.

Last year, Sudarsan had won the gold medal in Moscow for his sand sculpture of Mahatma Gandhi on world peace. Recently, he created the world’s tallest sand castle on Puri beach in Odisha which got a place in the Guinness World Records.

20. Pankaj Advani wins silver at Asian Snooker Championship 

India’s top cueist Pankaj Advani lost to China’s Lv Haotian in the summit clash of Asian Snooker Championship. Advani lost 3-6 in the final to his Chinese opponent. Having won all the major events — Nationals, Asian and World Championships in both Billiards and Snooker and in both the long and short formats, this is the one title (15-red Asian Snooker) that has eluded Advani.

A victory will make Advani only player in history to win all Majors in two sports at all levels and across all formats.


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