Weekly Current Affairs April 2018 3rd Week

1. India ranks 10th on new Commonwealth innovation index

India has ranked 10th on a new Commonwealth Innovation Index, topped by the UK, Singapore and Canada.

  • The index was launched as part of a new Commonwealth Innovation Hub on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London.
  • It has been created in partnership with the United Nations World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and its annual Global Innovation Index (GII).

2. Indian PM Modi in Sweden for first India-Nordic summit

Indian Prime Minister Modi is in Sweden, where he will meet with the five Nordic prime ministers for the first India-Nordic Summit.

  • The Nordic countries are generally considered to refer to Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven have held talks that focused on trade, growth, global security and climate.

3. List of MOUs signed on the occasion of the visit of Prime Minister to Stockholm

MOUs/Agreements between India and Sweden

  •  Joint Declaration on India-Sweden Innovation Partnership for a Sustainable Future

MOUs/Agreements between India and Denmark

  • MOU on Cooperation in the field of Sustainable and Smart Urban Development
  • MOU on Cooperation in the fields of Animal Husbandry and Dairying
  • MOU on Food Safety Cooperation
  • MOU on Cooperation in Agricultural Research and Education

MOUs/Agreements between India and Iceland

  • MOU on the Establishment of the ICCR Chair for Hindi Language

4. World heritage day: 18 April

Every year, 18th April is celebrated Worldwide as World Heritage Day to create awareness about Heritage among communities.

  • This year the theme is “Heritage for Generations” emphasizing on inter-generational transfer of knowledge.
  • UNESCO established 18 April as the International Day for Monuments and Sites in 1983.

5. Bisket Jatra being celebrated in Nepal

In Nepal the famous Bisket Jatra is being celebrated in Bhaktapur and other parts of Kathmandu valley.

  • The nine day annual festival marks beginning of Nepali new year.
  • The Jatra begins four days before the start of new year. It is believed that the festival started during Malla dynasty.

6. Saudi Arabia opens 1st movie theater in 35 years

The opening of the first movie theater in Saudi Arabia has been highly anticipated across the country, after over 35 years of prohibition for religious reasons.

  • The first film screening is to be in the capital Riyadh, where a mixed Saudi and foreign audience watched the Marvel superhero film “Black Panther”.

7. BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Washington D.C

The first meeting of the BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors was held in the sidelines of the IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings on 19th April, 2018 in Washington D.C.

  • Ministry of Finance, Government of India was represented in the meeting by Shri Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (EA).
  • The main issues that the meeting discussed were related to enhancing the project pipelines of New Development Bank (NDB) evenly across member countries, expansion of NDB’s membership, the proposal of the South African Presidency for setting up a working group on illicit financial flows and a BRICS Task Force on Public Private Partnership.
  • Issues related to BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) as well as BRICS Bond Fund were also discussed.

8. Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018 held in London

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018, also known as CHOGM 2018, was the 25th meeting of the heads of government of the Commonwealth of Nations.

  • It was held in the United Kingdom. Prime Minister attended the meeting for India.
  • The meeting had been planned to have been held by Vanuatu at the end of 2017, but was moved to the United Kingdom after the impact of Cyclone Pam on the infrastructure of Vanuatu.
  • The meeting was then postponed to April 2018 due to other international commitments.
  • Rwanda has been selected as host of the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), to be held in 2020.

9. Malaria Summit 2018 held in London

Malaria Summit 2018 was held recently in London.

  • Leaders from 15 Commonwealth counties, along with The Prince of Wales and Bill Gates, gathered in London to re-focus and reignite global efforts to beat malaria for good.
  • While significant progress has been made in recent years, a child under five still dies from malaria every two m

10. World Earth Day: 22 April

Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22.

  • Worldwide, various events are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection.
  • First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day events in more than 193 countries are now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network.
  • On Earth Day 2016, the landmark Paris Agreement was signed by the United States, China, and some 120 other countries.
  • The theme for World Earth Day 2018 is ‘End Plastic Pollution’.

11. Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) – 2018

The 6th edition of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) and Conclave of Chiefs is being hosted by Iran at Tehran from 23 to 25 April 2018.

  • The Chief of the Naval Staff is leading a four member Indian delegation for the event.
  • The IONS was conceived by the Indian Navy in 2008.
  • The forum seeks to enhance maritime cooperation among navies of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region by providing an open and inclusive forum for discussion on regionally relevant maritime issues that would lead to common understanding on the way ahead.
  • The inaugural edition of IONS was held in February 2008 at New Delhi, with Indian Navy as the Chair for two years.
  • This was followed by UAE from 2010 – 2012, South Africa from 2012 – 2014, Australia from   2014 – 2016 and Bangladesh from 2016 – 2018.

12. Petroleum ministry to observe Ujjwala Diwas on April 20

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG) has decided to celebrate April 20, 2018 as the Ujjwala Diwas, as a part of the as a part of the ‘Gram Swaraj Abhiyan’.

  • Around 15000 LPG Panchayats will be organized across the country to promote learning through peer group interaction – ‘Kuch seekhein, Kuch Sikhayein’.

13. Home Expo India 2018 to be inaugurated on Apr 16

The seventh edition of Home Expo India 2018, organised by Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH), will be inaugurated on 16th April at India Expo Centre & Mart, Greater Noida.

  • Union Minister of Textiles Smriti Irani will inaugurate the fair, while Ajay Tamta, Minister of State for Textiles, will be the guest of honour.
  • Home Expo India 2018 is expected to generate business deals for direct import.
  • EPCH is the nodal export promotion body for handicrafts in India.

14. Maharashtra govt launches centre for tribal development

The Maharashtra government has set up an institution to evaluate and quantify special development budget allocations and their impact on tribal development.

  • Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis launched the institution — QUEST — in Mumbai.
  • Known as Quality Evaluation for Sustainable Transformation centre, the state has taken the first initiative in the country to ensure development in lives of tribal people through the projects undertaken is also quantified.

15. Army Commanders’ Conference: April 18

The biannual Army Commanders’ Conference shall commence on 16 April 2018.

  • The opening address will be given by Hon’ble Minister of State for Defence, Shri Subhash Ramrao Bhamre.
  • During the conference, chaired by General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Army Staff, the senior commanders will deliberate on specific issues to Army formations and Army as a whole.

16. First regional conference of eastern states on Water Resources

The first regional conference of eastern states on Water Resources was held in Kolkata on April 16 to address the outstanding water issues of these states.

  • The conference deliberated on finding a solution to mitigate intra and intra-basin issues relating to water resources in Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal.
  • The issue of interlinking of rivers also come-up for discussion at the conference.

17. East Godavari, first district with complete LED street lighting

East Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh is all set to become the country’s first ‘LED street light district’.

  • The rural LED street lighting programme in the district entailing the installation of around 3.1 lakh LED street lights has been completed.
  • The exercise is expected to save around 34 Million Units (MU) annually.
  • AP is already ranked the best State in implementation of energy efficiency and conservation programmes by the World Bank.

18. Sushma Swaraj and Shri Prakash Javadekar to launch ‘Study in India’ portal of HRD Ministry

In another ground-breaking initiative, the ‘Study in India’ portal (www.studyinindia.gov.in) of HRD Ministry will be launched at the India Habitat Centre on 18th April 2018 by the Minister of External Affairs, Smt. Sushma Swaraj in the presence of Minister of Human Resource Development, Shri Prakash Javadekar.

  • The portal will enable students from 30 countries across South Asia, Africa, CIS and Middle East to select and apply for different courses from 150 select Indian institutions which are high on NAAC and NIRF ranking.
  • The Study in India is aimed at making India a preferred destination for the foreign students to pursue their education.

19. First Meeting of National Council under POSHAN Abhiyaan

First meeting of National Council on India’s Nutrition Challenges under POSHAN Abhiyaan to be held on April 18, 2018 at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi.

  • It will see the participation of Shri Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman NITI Aayog,  Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog apart from representatives of various ministries of the Central and State Governments.
  • The POSHAN Abhiyaan targets reduction in the level of under-nutrition and other related problems by ensuring convergence of various nutrition related schemes.

20. Suresh Prabhu launches digital platform for MSME Exporters

The Minister of Commerce & Industry Shri Suresh Prabhu launched the FIEO Global Linker- a digital platform for MSME exporters to digitise their businesses and join a global community of growing businesses in New Delhi.

  • FIEO GlobalLinker is setup with a view to make the business growth of SMEs simpler, more profitable and enjoyable.
  • It is a growing global network currently comprising over 140,000 SME firms, who are seeking business collaboration and growth opportunities through the use of their electronic business card and digital profiles created on the platform.
  • FIEO is available free of cost and it offers exporters a range of features and benefits.

21. DARPAN-PLI App launched by Shri Manoj Sinha

Hon’ble Minister of Communications Shri Manoj Sinha launched here the DARPAN-PLI App, which will help in collection of premium for PLI and RPLI policies at Branch Post Offices anywhere in India, with online updation of the policies.

  • Further, with launch of this App, indexing of maturity claims in respect of PLI and RPLI polices can be done at Branch Post Office itself.
  • Shri Sinha said, with a view to achieve total digitisation of postal operations in the country, under the IT Modernisation Plan, Department of Posts has launched DIGITAL ADVANCEMENT OF RURAL POST OFFICE FOR A NEW INDIA (DARPAN) Project, which aims at connecting all 1.29 lakh Rural Branch Post Offices in the country to enable them to do online Postal and Financial Transactions.

22. Vice President Launches Atal Amrit Abhiyan

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that there is a need to create health coverage schemes that provide widest coverage to the young, aged and infirm and those suffering from both critical acute and chronic ailments.

  • He was addressing the gathering after launching the Atal Amrit Abhiyan by Assam Government, which seeks to provide access to quality medical care to 3.2 crore people, in Guwahati, Assam.
  • The Governor of Assam, Prof. Jagadish Mukhi and the Chief Minister of Assam, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal were present on the occasion.

23. GITC 2018’ to be held in New Delhi

“Global IT Challenge for Youth with Disabilities (GITC), 2018” will be held in New Delhi during 8th to 11th November, 2018.

  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in this regard was signed between Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and Rehabilitation International Korea.
  • As per MoU, both the parties have agreed to cooperate in making all arrangements for the successful events in providing all necessary financial, logistics, manpower and other facilities.
  • This event will have around 300 participants including 120 Youth with disabilities from 24 Asia Pacific countries.
  • GITC is being held every year in Asia- Pacific region and such events were held in the past in countries like Korea, China, Thailand, Vietnam etc.

24. Bihar has highest rate of crime against SC/STs

According to latest data released by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), Bihar has the highest rate of crimes against Schedule Caste/Schedule Tribe population.

  • As per NCRB data, crime against SC/ST is lowest in West Bengal.
  • Madhya Pradesh reported the highest rate of crime (43.4%) against SCs specifically, while West Bengal had the lowest at 6%.
  • Rajasthan reported the highest rate of crime (12.9%) against STs specifically, while West Bengal had the lowest at 1.6%.

25. Govt plan a Rs 637-crore Clean Air Programme

The Modi government has finalised a Rs 637-crore National Clean Air Programme to improve the air quality in India.

  • The 20-point programme shifts the onus of fighting air pollution to the state governments.
  • The programme, India’s first attempt at working out a coordinated system to curb air pollution, requires all the states to frame their own Clean Air Programmes.

26. Parcel Directorate inaugurated by Shri Manoj Sinha

Minister of State for Communications (Independent Charge) and Minister of State for Railways Shri Manoj Sinha has Inaugurated the newly created Parcel Directorate in the Department of Posts.

  • The global decline in letter mail, and India being no exception to this trend, has been offset by an increase in packets and parcels.
  • This is primarily on account of the e-commerce boom in India, with e-tailers requiring integrated collection, aggregation, sorting, transmission and delivery systems.
  • The parcel market (logistics and distribution but excluding fulfilment and merchandise value) in the country is growing at a rate of 15% per annum and is expected to reach Rs. 60,000 Crore by 2026 from the existing Rs. 18,000 Crore.

27. First Ever International SME Convention-2018 in New Delhi

One hundred and fifty participants from 31 countries and 400 entrepreneurs from India will participate in the four day International SME convention being held in New Delhi from 22ndto 24th April.

  • The Ministry of MSME has engaged with over 35 International Trade Development organisations to attract and invite able and willing entrepreneurs.
  • The convention has specific focus on inclusion of MSMEs in the Make in India program & empowering women entrepreneurs.

28. Chhattisgarh to Distribute Free Smartphones to Over 50 Lakh People

The BJP government in Chhattisgarh will start distributing smartphones to over 50 lakh people for free from May under the Sanchar Kranti Yojana (SKY), months ahead of assembly polls in the state.

  • Women heads of households will be the priority recipients of the smartphones.
  • The Chhattisgarh Infotech Promotion Society (CHiPS) has started the preparation for the distribution of phones, as per the announcement made by the chief minister last year to reduce the digital divides.

29. Regional Conference on “Urban Development: Technological Solutions and Governance Challenges”

 

Two day Regional Conference on “Urban Development: Technological Solutions and Governance Challenges” concluded in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

  • The Conference was organized by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India in collaboration with the Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), Gujarat Council along with Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), an autonomous research organization under the Ministry of External Affairs.
  • The Conference was the third lead-up event to the 3rd Annual Meeting of AIIB scheduled to be held on 25th and 26th June, 2018 in Mumbai.
  • Before this Conference, two Regional Conferences have already been held at Kolkata and Vishakhapatnam.
  • In total, eight such Regional Conferences will be held at different places in the country.

30. Vice President inaugurates 2-day event of 12th Civil Services Day

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that translating “legislative intent” into “programmatic content” and demonstrating to the common citizens what “Surajya” actually looks like in day to day administration, the civil services have an enormous opportunity today.

  • He was delivering the inaugural address at the 2-day event of the 12th Civil Services Day in New Delhi.
  • The Vice President said that a clean, competent, people-friendly, proactive administrative leadership is the need of the hour.

31. Civil Service Day: 21 April

The Civil Service Day is celebrated on 21 April every year.

  • The purpose for this day is to rededicate and recommit themselves to the cause of the people.
  • It is observed by all Civil Services. This day gives civil servants the opportunity for introspection and thinking about future strategies.

32. Dhvani se Sabd aur Chinh Exhibition inaugurated at NGMA, Mumbai

An exhibition titled “Dhvani se Sabd aur Chinh” was inaugurated at National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai.

  • Curated by Adwaita Gadanayak and his team, the exhibition speaks to us about southern sensibilities and singular identities that were forged through scholarly adaptations, multiple skills and experiments that were seeking to juxtapose the notions of the modern with the traditional.
  • It identifies artists who practiced in Southern states as well as artists who were born there or had family trees and moved up North to become the greatest practitioners and pedagogues.

33. Cabinet approves the restructured Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi gave its approval for restructured Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA).

  • The Scheme will be implemented during the period from 01.04.2018 to 31.03.2022 at the total cost of Rs. 7255.50 crore with the Central Share of Rs. 4500 crore and that of State Share of Rs. 2755.50 crore.
  • This scheme will extend to all States and UTs of the Country and will also include institutions of rural local government in non-Part IX areas, where Panchayats do not exist,
  • The scheme will have both    Central Component – National Level activities including “National Plan of Technical Assistance”, “Mission Mode project on e-Panchayat”, “Incentivization of Panchayats” and State component – Capacity Building of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs).

34. Two-day festival will be organized on 23-24 April on National Panchayati Raj Divas

The Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar said in New Delhi that a two-day event has been organized this year on National Panchayati Raj Din.

  • On April 23, an interactive group discussion cum workshop will be organized in Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh called “Panchayat Ki Choupal Mein Charcha”.
  • The main topics of this discussion are: GPDP – Economic Development and Planning in Panchayat, Social Development and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), Yuva Panchayat – New India, New Thinking, Rural Transformation through Digital Panchayats, Clean India Campaign.
  • It is important that this year is also the 25th anniversary of the 73rd Constitution Amendment.

35. Union Cabinet clears ordinance on death penalty to child rapists

In the wake of outrage over the brutal rape and murder of a minor in Kathua, Jammu & Kashmir, the Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved an ordinance to allow courts to pronounce the death penalty to those convicted of raping children up to 12 years of age.

  • Ordinance approved by the Cabinet also prescribes the minimum punishment in case of rape of women to increase from rigorous imprisonment of 7 years to 10 years, extendable to life imprisonment.
  • In case of rape of a girl under 16 years, minimum punishment has been increased from 10 years to 20 years, extendable to imprisonment for rest of life, which means imprisonment till that person’s natural life.

36. NPCIL, NSDC partner to spur Centre’s Skill India mission

Aiming to contribute towards economic and sustainable development of communities, the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) to provide skill training to 500 youth and women at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu.

  • The skill development project will be executed by NSDC through its approved training partners near Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP),
  • It is the single largest nuclear power station in India, situated in the Tirunelveli district of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

37. India Signs Loan agreement with World Bank for usd 48 million for Meghalaya

A Loan Agreement for IBRD loan of USD 48 million for the “Meghalaya Community – Led Landscapes Management Project (MCLLMP)” was signed with the World Bank.

  • The Objective of the Project is to strengthen community-led landscapes management in selected landscapes in the State of Meghalaya.
  • The Project consists of three components: Strengthening Knowledge and Capacity for Natural Resource Management; Community-led landscape planning and implementation and Project Management and Governance.

38. World Bank forecasts 7.3 pc growth for India this year

The World Bank has forecasted a growth rate of 7.3 per cent for India this year and 7.5 per cent for 2019 and 2020.

  • It has also noted that the country’s economy has recovered from the effects of demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax.

39. Kotak Mahindra becomes second-most-valued bank

Uday Kotak-led Kotak Mahindra Bank has pipped SBI to become India’s second-most-valued lender after HDFC Bank in terms of market capitalisation.

  • Kotak Mahindra Bank is now also among the top 10 most-valued companies on the BSE.
  • Kotak Mahindra Bank now has a market capitalisation of 2,22,970.4 crore rupees.
  • HDFC Bank remained the country’s most-valuable bank with a market capitalisation of 5.04 lakh crore rupees.

40. IMF forecasts India growth at 7.4 per cent for FY19

India’s economic growth will accelerate in the current and next fiscal years, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in its latest forecast.

  • India’s economy is forecast to grow 7.4% in the current fiscal from 6.7% in FY18 and accelerate further in FY20 to 7.8%, shows the IMF’s latest forecast.

41.  Nabard approves Rs 14,690 cr funding to Rajasthan

National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has extended total credit support of Rs 14,690 crore to Rajasthan for 2017-18.

  • Rajasthan has been one of the biggest beneficiaries under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) of NABARD, under which NABARD disbursed concessional loan of Rs 1,851.29 crore to the state government during 2017-18.
  • Among major infrastructure projects, bank sanctioned 10 irrigation projects, construction of 1614 roads and two rural drinking water supply projects.

42. SBI India’s most trusted bank

The TRA Brand Trust Report 2018 said the State Bank of India was the most trusted bank (both public and private sector) in the country.

  • ICICI Bank topped the chart among the private ones.
  • 51 brands from the Banking and Financial Services Institutions sector got listed among the 1,000 most trusted brands in the country this year.

43. World Bank: 19-crore Indian adults don’t have bank account

India has 19 crore adults without a bank account despite the success of the ambitious Jan Dhan Yojana, making it the world’s second largest unbanked population after that of China, the World Bank said.

  • Besides, almost half of the bank accounts remained inactive in the past year, the multilateral financial institution said in a report, even as it lauded the Government’s financial inclusion scheme, the Jan Dhan Yojana, for bringing in additional 31 crore Indians into formal banking system by March 2018.
  • It also said the country’s adult population with a bank account has more than doubled to 80 per cent since 2011.
  • The Jan Dhan Yojana was launched by the Modi government in 2014.

44. India is world’s sixth largest economy

India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) clocked in at $2.6 trillion for 2017, according to the database of the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook (WEO) for April 2018.

  • India is now the world’s sixth largest economy, displacing France.
  • The five economies ahead are the United States, China, Japan, Germany and United Kingdom.

45. Standard Chartered ties up with Zoho

Standard Chartered Bank has announced an alliance with Zoho, a software products company, to offer solutions to enhance corporate banking experience.

  • The bank’s business account holders can now pay their suppliers and automate reconciliation right from Zoho Books, Zoho’s cloud accounting software.

46. SJVN signs MoU with Ministry of Power

SJVN Limited, the operator of one of the largest Hydro Power Plants in the country i.e. 1500 MW Nathpa Jhakri Hydro Power Station, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ministry of Power, Govt. of India for the year 2018-19.

  • As per the targets set in the MOU, SJVN shall strive to achieve 9200 Million Units generation during the year under ‘Excellent’ category.
  • Further, SJVN will have Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) target of Rs. 900 crore and Turnover target of Rs. 2175 crore under Excellent category along with other targets related to operational efficiency and Project monitoring.

47. TCS first Indian company with $100 billion market cap


Tata Consultancy Services has touched $100 billion mark in market capitalisation as its share price surged nearly 7%.

  • The IT major is the first listed Indian company to achieve this milestone.
  • TCS is the leading the chart as the most valued firm followed by Reliance Industries Ltd, HDFC Bank, ITC and HUL in the top-five list.

48. IOB inks information utility pact with NeSL

Indian Overseas Bank (IOB), one of the leading public sector banks, entered into an agreement for information utility services with the National E-Governance Services Limited (NeSL).

  • The NeSL became India’s first information utility (IU) for bankruptcy cases under the ‘Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) 2016’ in October 2017.
  • With this agreement, the IOB branches will be able to provide high-quality, authenticated information about debts and defaults.

49. In hunt for MD and CEO, Axis Bank appoints global leadership advisory firm Egon Zehnder

Private sector lender Axis Bank said it has appointed global leadership advisory firm Egon Zehnder to appoint a new Managing Director and CEO for the bank.

  • The move follows Shikha Sharma, the current Managing Director and CEO of the bank, deciding to step down from the post after December 31 this year.
  • Axis Bank had on April 9 announced that Sharma had decided to cut short her fourth term and leave at the end of the year.

50. YES Bank gets RBI nod to open 2 global representative offices

Private sector lender YES Bank has got approval from the Reserve Bank of India to open two international representative offices.

  • The new offices will come up in London and Singapore as part of the bank’s international expansion to provide services to the NRI (non resident Indian) population, the bank said in a statement.
  • As part of its international expansion, YES Bank had opened its first overseas office in Abu Dhabi in 2015 followed by the debut of IFSC Banking Unit (IBU) at GIFT City, Gandhinagar in the same year.

51. Arun Jaitley takes oath as Rajya Sabha member for new term

Making a public appearance in weeks, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley took oath as a Rajya Sabha member for a new six-year term.

  • Mr. Jaitley was administered the oath of office in the Rajya Sabha Chairperson M. Venkaiah Naidu’s chambers.
  • He was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh last month.

52. Lt Gen PP Malhotra takes over as DG NCC

Lieutenant General PP Malhotra assumed charge as Director General of National Cadet Corps (NCC), the largest uniformed youth organization in the world.

  • Lt Gen Malhotra’s distinguished professional career includes various regimental, staff and command appointments.
  • Prior to assuming his present appointment, he was the Chief Engineer of the Army’s premier Northern Command.

53. Miguel Diaz-Canel named Cuba’s new president

Miguel Díaz-Canel was officially named as the new leader of Cuba, one day after a secret vote in the country’s National Assembly.

  • It’s the first time in nearly six decades that Cuba is being led by a man not named Castro.
  • Díaz-Canel, 57, was selected by a vote of 603-1 as the unopposed candidate to replace Raul Castro, 86.

Points to Remember

  • Cuba is a country located in the northern Caribbean where the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Atlantic Ocean meet.
  • Havana is the capital of Cuba.
  • Peso is the currency of Cuba.

54. Prince Charles to be next head of Commonwealth

Commonwealth leaders have formally announced that Prince Charles will become the next head of the organisation after the Queen.

  • The role is not hereditary, but the Queen used the Commonwealth heads of government gathering in London to say it was her “sincere wish” to be succeeded by her son.

Points to Remember

  • The Commonwealth is an intergovernmental organisation of 53 member states that are mostly former territories of the British Empire.
  • Patricia Scotland is the Secretary General of the Commonwealth.

55. Dharmendra to receive Raj Kapoor Lifetime Achievement award

Veteran actor Dharmendra and filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani will be conferred with the prestigious Raj Kapoor Lifetime Achievement and Raj Kapoor Special Contribution awards, respectively, Maharashtra culture minister Vinod Tawde announced.

  • Veteran Marathi actor Vijay Chavhan will receive the V Shantaram Lifetime Achievement award.
  • Actor-director Mrinal Kulkarni has been named for V Shantaram Special Contribution awards.

56. Bhuj Mercantile Coop Bank bags Banco Award

Kutch-based Bhuj Mercantile Cooperative Bank has bagged the prestigious Banco Award for best performing cooperative bank.

  • The bank was adjudged best among the 1500 cooperative banks from across the country.
  • Banco Award given anually to the top performing cooperative banks recognise and encourage best practices in the cooperative banking sector.

57. 2018 Pulitzer Prize winners for journalism

  • Pulitzer prize for public service: jointly awarded to The New York Times, and The New Yorker.
  • Pulitzer prize for breaking news reporting: staff of The Press Democrat.
  • Pulitzer prize for investigative reporting: staff of The Washington Post
  • Pulitzer prize for explanatory reporting: jointly awarded to the staffs of The Arizona Republic and USA Today network
  • Pulitzer prize for local reporting: staff of The Cincinnati Enquirer
  • Pulitzer prize for national reporting: jointly awarded to the staffs of The New York Times and The Washington Post
  • Pulitzer prize for international reporting: Clare Baldwin, Andrew R.C. Marshall, and Manuel Mogato of Reuters
  • Pulitzer prize for feature writing: Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, freelancing for GQ
  • Pulitzer prize for commentary: John Archibald, of the Alabama Media Group
  • Pulitzer prize for criticism: Jerry Saltz of New York magazine
  • Pulitzer prize for editorial writing: Andie Dominick of The Des Moines Register
  • Pulitzer prize for editorial cartooning: Jake Helpern and Michael Sloan, freelancing for The New York Times
  • Pulitzer prize for breaking news photography: Ryan Kelly of The Daily Progress
  • Pulitzer prize for feature photography: photography staff of Reuters

58. Aditi Rao Hydari to receive Dadasaheb Phalke Excellence Award

Aditi Rao Hydari added another trophy to her achievements as she will receive Dadasaheb Phalke Excellence Award 2018 for the Best Leading Lady (Critics Award) for her memorable performance in Bhoomi.

  • The award ceremony is scheduled on April 21, 2018, at St. Andrews Auditorium in Mumbai.
  • The film also starred Sanjay Dutt

59. Madhya Pradesh conferred Most Film Friendly Award

The Most Film Friendly State Award was announced by the Chairman of the Jury, Shri Ramesh Sippy.

  • State of Madhya Pradesh was conferred the award for the Most Film Friendly State for its efforts towards easing filming in the State by creating a well-structured web site, film friendly infrastructure, offering incentives, maintaining databases, undertaking marketing and promotional initiatives, unanimously by the Jury from among the 16 States that participated.
  • State of Uttarakhand is given a Special Mention Certificate to recognize the efforts made by the State of Uttarakhand towards creating a film friendly environment.

60. Rakesh Roshan to get lifetime achievement honour

Veteran filmmaker Rakesh Roshan will be felicitated with a Lifetime Achievement honour at the Dadasaheb Phalke Film Foundation Awards for his contribution as a producer, director, screenwriter, editor and actor in Hindi films.

  • The awards ceremony will take place on April 29 at Chitrakoot Ground.
  • Rakesh Roshan has produced and directed movies like Kaho Na Pyar hai, Koi Mil Gaya, Krish and Kaabil.

61. PM Modi awarded Manipur’s Karang – India’s first cashless island

Prime Minister Narendra Modi honoured bureaucrats for making Manipur’s Karang the first cashless island of the country, and implementing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and other priority initiatives of the Centre.

  • Modi awarded civil servants for smooth implementation of four priority programmes — Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban and Rural), Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana, and for promoting digital payments.
  • Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra and Madhya Pradesh’s Neemuch were awarded for the implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Gramin).
  • Puducherry and the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, Telangana, got the PM’s award for implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban).
  • West Tripura and Maharashtra’s Beed were awarded for the implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana.

62. Bengal’s Digambarpur is India’s best Gram Panchayat

West Bengal’s Digambarpur Gram Panchayat has bagged the Centre’s award for the best Gram Panchayat in the country.

  • A survey was conducted to find out the best Gram Panchayat in the country and in a letter to the state government the Ministry of Panchayati Raj has stated that Digambarpur has come up as the best out of 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats in the country.

63. Concluding ceremony of Commonwealth Games held at Gold Coast

The concluding ceremony of the Commonwealth Games held in Gold Coast Australia, on 15 April 2018.

  • More than 4500 athletes from 71 nations competed for 275 Commonwealth gold medals over the course of the Games.
  • Australia remained on the top of Medal table with 198 medals followed by England with 136 and India got third position with 66 medals.
  • Australia won 80 Golds, 59 Silver and 59 Bronze medals.
  • England achieved 45 Golds, 45 Silver and 46 Bronze medals.
  • India secured 26 Golds, 20 Silver and 20 Bronze medals.

64. Saina first Indian shuttler to win two singles gold in Commonwealth Games

Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal defeated compatriot PV Sindhu 21-18, 23-21 in women’s singles final to clinch a gold medal in women’s badminton singles final at the 21st Commonwealth Games.

  • Saina, who already had a singles gold medal in Commonwealth Games to her name, thus also became the first Indian shuttler to have won two singles gold medals in badminton in Commonwealth Games.
  • Saina had previously won a gold medal in 2010 Commonwealth Games which were hosted by India.

65. Rafael Nadal beats Kei Nishikori to win Monte Carlo Masters

Rafael Nadal won a record 31st Masters title after beating Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-2 in the Monte Carlo Masters final.

  • Nadal also became the first man in the Open era to win the Monte Carlo title 11 times and moved one ahead of rival Novak Djokovic for career Masters titles.
  • It gave him a 76th title overall and ensured the Spaniard keeps his top ranking ahead of Roger Federer.

66. Veteran journalist S Nihal Singh no more

Veteran journalist S Nihal Singh breathed his last at the National Heart Institute following illness. He was 88.

  • He was the founding editor of The Indian Post in 1987.
  • He was awarded the prestigious International Editor of the Year Award in New York for opposing the Emergency imposed by former prime minister Indira Gandhi.

67. Bhimsain Khurana Passes Away

Indian animation pioneer and multiple National Award winner Bhimsain Khurana is dead. He was 82.

  • Considered as India’s animation pioneer and avant-garde filmmaker, Bhimsain is one of the pioneers of parallel cinema movement in India of the 70s.
  • He was known path-breaking feature films “Gharaonda” (1977) & “Dooriyaan” (1979) and many TV series.

68. Former Delhi High Court Chief Justice Rajinder Sachar passes away

Human rights activist and former Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court Justice Rajinder Sachar (94) passed away at a New Delhi hospital.

  • Justice (retd.) Sachar was the Chief Justice from August 6, 1985, to December 22, 1985.
  • After his retirement, he was associated with rights group People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL).

69. World’s oldest person Nabi Tajima passes away at 117

The world’s oldest person, a 117-year-old Japanese woman, has died. Nabi Tajima died of old age in a hospital in southern Japan.

  • Tajima, born on 4 August, 1900, was the last known person born in the 19th century.
  • She became the world’s oldest person seven months ago after the death of Violet Brown in Jamaica, also at the age of 117.

70. VP Releases a Book titled ‘Bhavdiye’

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has advised the youth to protect preserve and celebrate Indian culture and traditions and youth that are both present and future of this country can achieve their life’s goals with hard work and dedication.

  • He was addressing the gathering after releasing a Book titled ‘Bhavdiye’ based on Compilation of Letters written by Shri Kedar Nath Sahani.
  • The Vice President said that Shri Kedar Nath Sahani was a writer, freedom fighter, social reformer and an icon who inspired others all over his life.

71. The second session of NAI’s Book reading series -“Archives Reads”

The Second Book reading session of ‘Archives Reads’ was organised by NAI with Author & Prof Deepak Kumar, former Professor, JNU reading from his latest publication “Trishanku Nation – Memory, Self and Society in Contemporary India”.

  • Speaking on the occasion, Director General, National Archives of India (NAI), Shri Pritam Singh, said that the rich archives available with NAI is a treat for students, researchers, historians and authors.
  • He said this book reading series would help inculcate archival awareness among the masses, to bring prominent historians closer to the young readers.

72. President receives the first copy of book “Adi Shankaracharya: Hinduism’s greatest thinker”

The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, received the first copy of the book “Adi Shankaracharya: Hinduism’s Greatest Thinker”, from the author Shri Pavan Varma, at Rashtrapati Bhavan,

  • Among the dignitaries present were Dr Murli Manohar Joshi and Shri D P Tripathi.
  • President said the imprint of Adi Shankaracharya, who was born over 1,200 years ago in Kerala, is still apparent in contemporary India and in fact in all parts of our country.

73. Nitish Kumar Launches 3 Books On Mahatma Gandhi’s Champaran Movement

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar released three books based on Mahatma Gandhi’s Champaran movement of 1917.

  • Nitish Kumar released the books titled- ‘Mister M K Gandhi Ki Champaran Diary’ written by Arvind Mohan, ‘Champaran Andolan 1917’ edited by Ashutosh Partheshwar and ‘Pir Muhammad Munis: Kalam Ka Satyagrahi’ collected and edited by Srikant.
  • The Champaran movement is acknowledged as the first Satyagraha movement inspired by Mahatma Gandhi.
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