1. From April 1, the petrol pumps in New Delhi started supplying ultra-clean Bharat Stage (BS) VI grade fuel (both petrol and diesel) with an aim to combat the rising levels of air pollution in Delhi-NCR region. With this move, New Delhi has become the India's first city to switch from BS-IV grade fuels to BS-VI (equivalent to fuel meeting Euro-VI emission norms). The major difference in standards between the existing BS-IV and the new BS-VI auto fuel norms is the presence of sulphur. The newly introduced fuel is estimated to reduce the amount of sulphur released by 80%, from 50 parts per million to 10 ppm. As per the analysts, the emission of Nox (nitrogen oxides) from diesel cars is also expected to reduce by nearly 70% and 25% from cars with petrol engines. Other cities like Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurugram and Faridabad along with 13 major cities, including Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune, will also switch over to cleaner BS-VI grade fuel from January 2019. However, BS- VI fuel will be rolled out in rest of the country by April 2020.
2. Sreekumaran Thampi, the renowned Lyricist and director, has been chosen for the prestigious J.C. Daniel Award for 2017 in recognition of his sterling contributions to the Malayalam film industry. The J.C. Daniel Award, which is Kerala's highest award in Malayalam cinema, will be presented to Thampi at the upcoming Kerala State Film Awards distribution function in Kollam. The J.C. Daniel Award, conferred by the state government annually in recognition to an individual's contributions to Malayalam cinema, carries a purse of Rs 5 lakh, a plaque, and a citation.
3. John Isner, an American professional tennis player, has won the 2018 men's singles Miami Open tennis tournament. In the title clash, the 14th seeded American defeated fourth-placed German Alexander Zverev, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4 to win his first ever Masters 1,000 title. With this win, Isner returned to his career-high ranking of world No. 9.
4. The 7th Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS – 2018) will be held in Moscow, Russia from April 4. The 2-day conference will be focused on the defeat of terrorists in Syria. The Indian delegation will be led by Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. This will be her first visit to Russia in her capacity as the Defence Minister. During her 3-day tour, she will meet her Russian counterpart Army General Sergei Shoigu and other senior leaders. The visit will provide an opportunity to reinforce the traditional warm and friendly relations that exist between the two countries with particular reference to military technical cooperation.
5. M.L. Srivastava, Joint Secretary (Akademies) of Ministry of Culture, has been appointed the protem Chairman of the Lalit Kala Akademi. On the recommendation of the Minister of Culture, the President has appointed him with immediate effect. He will continue to hold the office till a regular Chairman is appointed. He succeeded CS Krishna Setty. The new chairman is likely to be appointed within 15 days.
6. India is now the second-largest mobile phone producer in the world after China, as per information shared by Indian Cellular Association (ICA) with the Government of India (GoI). ICA referred to data available from market research firm IHS, China's National Bureau of Statistics and Vietnam General Statistics Office. According to the data shared by ICA, annual production of mobile phones in India increased from 3 million units in 2014 to 11 million units in 2017. With this, India replaced Vietnam to become the second largest producer of mobile phones in 2017. With the rise in mobile phone production, imports of the devices in the country also reduced to less than half in 2017-18. The Fast Track Task Force (FTTF), a body under the ministry of electronics and IT, has set a target to achieve around 500 million mobile phone production in India by 2019, with value estimated to be around $46 billion.
7. Mithali Raj, Indian women's cricket team captain, has been adjudged 'Sportsperson of the Year' at the Telangana Sports Journalists Association annual awards for 2017 in Hyderabad on March 31, 2018. Beside her, Ace shuttlers Kidambi Srikanth and P V Sindhu bagged the best senior male and female athletes. Former Indian cricketer V V S Laxman presented 'best coach of the year' award to Gopichand, who received this award for the second time in a row. Triple Olympian and former national Hockey player N Mukesh Kumar was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement award at the event.
8. The Kerala football team has won the 72nd edition of Santosh Trophy Football tournament 2018 by defeating West Bengal in the final by 4-2 via penalties at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on April 1. It is their sixth Santosh Trophy Football title. The Kerala team is led by Rahul Raj in the 2018-19 season. Kerala have not won the trophy since 2005 and lost on penalties to Services in the final five years ago at home in Kochi.
9. C V Rajendran (81), the renowned Tamil film director and producer, has passed away in Chennai, Tamil Nadu on April 1, 2018. Some of his few memorable films are Kalatta Kalyanam, Sumathi En Sundari and Raja starring Sivaji Ganesan and Jayalalithaa and Ponoonjal.
10. Sloane Stephens, a US professional tennis player, has won the 2018 women's singles Miami Open tennis tournament by defeating Latvian Jelena Ostapenko in the final by 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 on April 1, 2018. It is her first Miami Open tennis title.
11. The Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry has set up a high-powered committee to examine the process by which the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) conducts examinations. The panel, headed by former HRD Secretary VS Oberoi, will suggest measures to make the process secure and foolproof through use of technology. The committee will submit a report by May 31 to the Ministry. The move comes following the alleged leak of the Class 10 Mathematics and Class 12 Economics papers. The Ministry recently announced re-examination of the Class 12 Economics paper on April 25. It, however, decided against conducting the Class 10 Maths re-test.
12. The West Bengal government has rolled out a new scheme 'Rupashree' from April 1, 2018 in order to provide marriage assistance to girls coming from economically weaker families with a budgetary allocation of Rs 1500 crore. The scheme proposes to extend one-time financial assistance worth Rs 25,000 to the family of the girl whose annual income is up to Rs 1.5 lakh. Under the scheme, the woman will have to submit the application before marriage to the Local Bodies or Block Development Officer (BDO) office. The State Government will deposit Rs 25,000 to the beneficiary of the said scheme before his marriage to his bank account.
13. Asia' s largest startup ecosystem congregation "Huddle Kerala" will be held at Kovalam near the Kerala capital 'Thiruvananthapuram' from April 6 and 7, 2018 to provide a platform for start-ups to pitch their products and interact with a wide array of technology and industry leaders from around the world. The main focus of Huddle Kerala will be on the emerging sectors like blockchain, cryptocurrency, internet of things (IoT), gaming and e-sports, cyber security, digital entertainment, augmented reality, virtual reality, e-governance and mobile governance among other latest technologies. The initiative, organised by the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) in association with the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IAMAI Startup Foundation, is to have participation from 2,000 delegates, including start-up entrepreneurs, investors, industry leaders and academicians, with 40 speakers in 30 sessions.
14. The World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD) is observed every year on April 2 to recognize and support all children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The day is to highlight the need to help improve the quality of life of those with autism so they can lead full and meaningful lives as an integral part of society. The 2018 theme is "Empowering women and girls with autism".
15. S. Madhavan (85), the veteran Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader, has passed away at Singampunari village in Sivagangai district of Tamil Nadu on April 3, 2018. He had served in the cabinets headed by late C.N. Annadurai and M. Karunanidhi.
16. Debjani Ghosh, former managing director of Intel South Asia, has been appointed the new President of National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM). She succeeded R Chandrashekhar. A big propagator of gender diversity and equal representation in corporate India, Ms. Ghosh was the first woman to lead Intel India and Manufacturers' Association for Information Technology (MAIT). She now gets the rein of Nasscom.
17. Prakash Javadekar, the Union Minister of Human Resource Development (HRD), has recently released INDIA RANKINGS 2018 for Higher Educational Institutions and presented awards to the institutions under the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF-2018). In it, the Indian Institute of Science (IISC) in Bengaluru has been adjudged the overall best institution in the country. Apart from this, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-M) – has been adjudged the best engineering college and the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM – A) the best management institution. Delhi University's Miranda House was the best college and National Law School of India University, Bengaluru (NLSIU – B) the best law school in the country. In the medical college category, AIIMS New Delhi stood first, followed by PGIMER Chandigarh and CMC Vellore. The idea behind these rankings is to promote quality in education. The aim is also encourage competition to perform better and set up new benchmarks of performance in higher education space.
18. Rosemary DiCarlo, the US diplomat, has been appointed as the head of UN political affairs, one of the most high-profile positions at the United Nations (UN). With this, DiCarlo has become the first woman to head this position. She succeeded Jeffrey Feltman. DiCarlo also served as deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs and director for United Nations affairs at the national security council in Washington.
19. The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Mid-Term Ministerial Conference 2018 will be held in Baku, Azerbaijan on April 5-6 under the theme "Promoting International Peace and Security for Sustainable Development". NAM participating states, representatives of observer states and international organizations, countries and institutions, invited as special guests, will take part in the Mid-Term Ministerial Conference. The Indian delegation will be led by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. The Non-Aligned Movement includes 120 states. Seventeen states and 10 international organizations hold observer status of NAM. In 2019, the Republic of Azerbaijan will host the 18th Summit of the NAM and will chair NAM in 2019-2022.
20. India has been ranked 37th out of 125 countries in global startup ecosystem in 2017, according to latest report released by global startup ecosystem map Startupblink. The Startupblink is a global startup ecosystem map with tens of thousands of registered startups, coworking spaces, and accelerators. The list was topped by the United States, followed by the United Kingdom. The rankings, in association with ANSYS Startup Program, are based on many thousands of data points gathered over the last four years on StartupBlink's global startup map, including data collected by its local representatives in more than 70 chapters around the world. The study targets three primary audiences: entrepreneurs, municipal development offices, and national governments. Entrepreneurs can utilise the rankings to determine if a particular city has the resources needed to support their goals.
21. Star weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu from Manipur has clinched the first gold for India at the 21st Commonwealth Games (CWG-2018) with a power-packed performance in the women's 48 kg weightlifting category in Gold Coast, Australia on April 5. In a remarkable performance, Chanu smashed the Commonwealth Games record in snatch, pulling off clean lifts in all her three attempts (80kg, 84kg and 86kg). Chanu lifted a total of 196 kg (86 kg in Snatch + 110 kg in Clean and Jerk) to win the gold for country.
22. Himanta Biswa Sarma, a cabinet ranked minister and convener of the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), has been elected as the new president of Badminton Association of India (BAI) unopposed during the federation's annual general body meeting and election in Goa on April 3, 2018. He will serve as the president for a term of four years. Sarma took over as the interim president of BAI last year after the demise of former president Akhilesh Das Gupta.
23. The Boao Forum for Asia (BFA), often called Summer Davos, will be held at Boao, a coastal town in the southern island province of Hainan from April 8 to 11 with theme 'Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity'. It is modeled after the World Economic Forum (WEF) held annually in Davos, Switzerland. It has its fixed address in Bo'ao, Hainan province, China, although the Secretariat is based in Beijing. The BFA is a non-profit organisation that hosts high-level forums for leaders from government, business, and academia in Asia and other continents to share their vision on the most pressing issues in this dynamic region and the world at large.
24. As per latest survey conducted by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) across 53 airports, the Mangaluru International Airport (MIA) has been declared as the cleanest and best-maintained airport in the country under the 1.5 million to 5 million passenger handling airport category. Airport director VV Rao received the award during the 23rd annual day celebrations of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) in New Delhi on April 1, 2018.
25. India's longest elevated road, which is also known as "Hindon Elevated Road", has been inaugurated by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in Ghaziabad. The expressway is a 10.3 km long elevated road that connects Raj Nagar Extension in Ghaziabad to the border of Delhi at UP Gate near Vaishali. It reduces an hour-long journey to just 18 minutes. The total cost of the six-lane elevated road project is estimated to be Rs. 1,147 crore. The entire stretch of the Hindon Elevated Road is built on 228 single-pier pillars. The vehicles using the elevated road will be allowed to drive at an average speed limit of 80 km/hour.
26. Kollam Ajith (56), known for his villain roles in Malayalam movies, passed away at Kochi , Kerala on April 5, 2018. He made his silver screen debut with Padmarajan's 1983 film 'Parannu Parannu Parannu'. While the actor was mostly seen in villainous and supporting roles, he played the lead role in 1989 film 'Agnipravesham'. Some of his best-known films are Yuvajanotsavam, Nadodikkattu, No.20 Madras Mail, Nirnayam, Aaraam Thampuran, Olympiyan Anthony Adam and Valliettan among others. Besides his stint in the Malayalam film industry, the actor also starred in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi films. He also helmed Malayalam films Calling Bell and Pakal Pole.
27. Steven Bochco (74), the noted television producer and writer, has passed away in Los Angeles, California on April 1, 2018. He was known for creating the groundbreaking police drama 'Hill Street Blues'.
28. The 9th India-Japan-US trilateral meeting was held in New Delhi on 4 April 2018 at the Joint Secretary/Director General/Assistant Secretary level. The dialogue was aimed at exploring practical steps to enhance cooperation in the areas of connectivity and infrastructure development, counter-proliferation, counter-terrorism, maritime security, maritime domain awareness and Humanitarian Assistance And Disaster Relief (HADR). The trilateral talks were held in accordance with the directions received from the foreign ministers of the three countries, who had met in New York on 18 September 2017 on the margins of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
29. India is emerged as the 3rd most vulnerable country in terms of risk of cyber threats, such as malware, spam and ransomware, in 2017, as per latest report by security solutions provider 'Symantec'. The list is topped by U.S., followed by China. The global threat ranking is based on 8 metrics: malware, spam, phishing, bots, network attacks, web attacks, ransomware and cryptominers. According to Internet Security Threat Report, India continues to be 2nd most impacted by spam and bots, 3rd most impacted by network attacks, and 4th most impacted by ransomware. The report also pointed out that with the threat landscape becoming more diverse, attackers are working harder to discover new avenues of attack and cover their tracks while doing so.
30. P Gururaja, who hails from Udupi in Karnataka, has clinched India's first medal at the 21st Commonwealth Games 2018 at Gold Coast in Brisbane, Australia on April 5. He won the silver medal in the men's 56 kg final with a total lift of 249 kg (111 kg in snatch + 138 kg in clean and jerk). Gururaja, who is the son of a truck driver, is employed with the Indian Air Force (IAF). He recently received the Eklavya award from the Karnataka state government.
31. Teenager Deepak Lather from Haryana has become the youngest Indian weightlifter to claim a Commonwealth Games medal by clinching a bronze in the men's 69kg weightlifting category at the 21st Commonwealth Games (CWG-2018) in Gold Coast, Australia on April 6. He lifted a total of 295kg (136kg+159kg). The youngster, competing in his first Commonwealth Games, holds the distinction of being the youngest to hold the national record as well. He held the 62kg category national record at 15. Lather trained at the Army Sports Institute as a diver before being pushed into weightlifting by the coaches there. Earlier, Mirabai Chanu (48kg) and Sanjita Chanu (53kg) won gold medals in the women's competition and P Gururaja claimed a silver in the men's 56kg category. The Indian weightlifters have so far claimed four medals in the event.
32. Julius Maada Bio has recently taken oath as the new President of Sierra Leone in the capital Freetown on April 4, 2017. Mr Bio is a former soldier who briefly ruled Sierra Leone in 1996. He defeated ruling party candidate Samura Kamara, an economist by training. President Ernest Bai Koroma has stepped down after serving two five-year terms. Sierra Leone is a country in West Africa, on the Atlantic Ocean. It's known for the white-sand beaches lining the Freetown Peninsula.
33. Indo-Korean joint anti-piracy, search and rescue exercise 'Sahyog-Hyeoblyeog 2018' was conducted off the Chennai coast, in Tamil Nadu on April 6. The Korean Coast Guard ship 'BADARO' took part in the exercise. Indian Coast Guard deployed a Dornier aircraft to carry out sea-air coordinated search along with ICG Shaurya, Rani Abbakka, C-423, C-431 in the exercise. Director General of Indian Coast Guard Rajendra Singh and Commissioner of Korean Coast Guard General Park Kyung reviewed the exercise. The mission of the joint exercise is to develop working level co-operation and enhance inter-operability in the fields of maritime search and rescue, anti-piracy operations.
34. The Global Logistics Summit (GLS-2018) was held in New Delhi on April 5-6 to improve logistics and connectivity which are vital for increasing intra-state and international trade flows. It was organised by the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, along with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) and the World Bank Group. The Summit acts as a platform to hold discussions for global experts, academics, government officials and private sector and industry representatives. According to the Union Minister for Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, 56 new airports will be ready for operation in the next few years.
35. The joint Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) exercise 'Chakravath 2018' is organised by the Indian Navy in coordination with the Kerala government at Kochi Airport. The exercise is conducted by the Southern Naval Command from April 5 to 8. The highlight of the 4-day disaster management exercise is Skill Demo, which was conducted in the Mattancherry Channel off the BTP Jetty. The skill demo showcased the capabilities and prowess of the Armed Forces, as well as all state agencies, in tackling an emergency using all available resource.
36. The Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry has constituted the 10-member committee to frame rules to regulate the functioning of news portals and media websites, including platforms like YouTube. The committee will be headed by Narendra Kumar Sinha, the I&B Secretary. The committee has been mandated to frame and suggest a regulatory framework for online media, news portals, digital broadcasting and entertainment and infotainment (information and entertainment) sites and for media aggregators. Apart from I&B Secretary, the panel will have secretaries of Ministry of Electronics and IT and Home Ministry, and CEO of government's citizen engagement platform MyGov. It will also have representatives of the Press Council of India, News Broadcasters Association and Indian Broadcasters Federation, and the head of government outreach portal MyGov.
37. Subrata Bhattacharjee, an IFS officer of 1989 batch, has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Serbia. Currently, he is Joint Secretary in Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). He is expected to take up his assignment shortly.
38. The National Maritime Day (NMD) is celebrated every year in India on 5th April since 1964 to commemorate the maiden voyage of the first Indian –owned ship "SS Loyalty" sailed from Bombay to London on 5th April 1919. This was a crucial step for Indian shipping history when sea routes were controlled by the British. The theme of the 55th edition of the NMD 2018 is 'Indian Shipping – An Ocean of opportunity'. The United Nations' World Maritime Day (WMD) is observed every year on September 29 to highlight the importance of shipping safety, maritime security and the marine environment.
39. Piyush Goyal, the Union Minister for Railways and Coal, has launched UTTAM App for Coal Quality Monitoring. UTTAM stands for – Unlocking Transparency by Third Party Assessment of Mined Coal (uttam.coalindia.in). The app is developed by the Ministry of Coal and Coal India Limited (CIL). The purpose of the app is to provide an app for all citizens and coal consumers to monitor the process of Third Party Sampling of coal across CIL subsidiaries. UTTAM App ensures accountability, transparency, effectiveness and efficiency in coal ecosystem. It provides a platform for monitoring of sampling and coal dispatches. The App is designed with an aim to make the citizens a stakeholder in the coal ecosystem. UTTAM is an example of leveraging technology to facilitate a bidirectional channel between Coal India Limited and a common citizen. It ensures transparency and efficiency in the coal quality monitoring process and brings coal governance closer to people.
40. Weightlifter Sanjita Chanu from Manipur has clinched the India's second gold at the 21st Commonwealth Games (CWG-2018) in the women's 53 kg weightlifting category in Gold Coast, Australia on April 6. She lifted a total of 192kg (84 kg in Snatch + 108 kg in Clean and Jerk).Beside her, Deepak Lather became the youngest Indian weightlifter to claim a Commonwealth Games medal by clinching a bronze in the men's 69 kg category. With this, India has won 2 Gold, a silver and a gold. India is placed at third place in the Medal's tally now. Earlier, on April 5, P Gururaja bagged India's first (silver) medal in the men's 56 kg weightlifting category and Saikhom Mirabai Chanu clinched the first gold for India in the women's 48 kg weightlifting category.
41. The Centre, Maharashtra Government and the World Bank have signed a $420 million project to help small and marginals farmers in the Marathwada and Vidarbha region of the state. The project will help in increasing climate resilient practices in agriculture and ensuring that farming continues to remain a financially viable activity for them. The project will benefit over 70 lakh farmers cultivating 30 lakh hectares of land in 15 districts. The Maharashtra Project for Climate Resilient Agriculture will be implemented in rural areas largely dependent upon rain-fed agriculture. The project will take up a series of activities at the farm and watershed level and implement micro irrigation systems, expand surface water storage and facilitate aquifer recharge. This would help to a more efficient use of scarce water resources. By adopting climate-resilient seed varieties with short maturity and drought resistance, the project will help the farmers in reducing risks of climate-related crop failure and increase their income.
42. The Indian Air Force (IAF) will carry out one of its biggest combat exercises named 'Gaganshakti 2018' from 8th April to check its operational preparedness with a focus on dealing with any possible security challenges from China and Pakistan. The two-week long exercise will involve almost the entire assets of the IAF including its fighter squadrons and the main objective of the day and night drill will be to check war waging capability of the force. The first phase of the exercise will focus on northern borders and second phase will be carried out to check preparedness in case of a war-like situation along the western borders. It will also focus on flexible use of airspace, joint maritime air operations with the Indian Navy, joint operations with the Indian Army, simulated combat search and rescue for effective extraction of downed aircrew behind enemy lines, mass casualty evacuation from highway among others.
43. Munin Barua (72), the National award winning Assamese film-maker, has passed away in Guwahati, Assam on April 7, 2018. He is popularly known as Bhaimon da. Recipient of National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Assamese in 2005 for his film 'Dinabandhoo', Barua's popular films include 'Pratima', 'Pita Putro', 'Pahari Kanya', 'Prabhati Pokhir Gaan', 'Hiya Diya Niya', 'Daag', 'Nayak', 'Kanyadaan', 'Bidhata', 'Barood', 'Rong', 'Raamdhenu' and 'Priyar Priyo'. He was also awarded the state award for best director for his film 'Nayak' for the year 2001-02 and had received the Lifetime Achievement Award 2017 from Prag Cine Awards for his immense contributions to Assamese film industry.
44. The Uttar Pradesh Government has launched the Ganga Hariteema Yojana (also known as Ganga Greenery scheme) on 7th April 2018 in 27 districts of the state located on the bank of river Ganga. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has launched the scheme at Allahabad in a function organised on the bank of Sangam the confluence of rivers of Ganga, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati. The purpose of the scheme includes enhancing green cover in the catchment areas of the river Ganga and to control the land erosion. Plantation will be carried out in 1 Km areas from the banks of river under the scheme. General people will also be encouraged for plantation on their private lands under 'One Person One Tree' slogan. A high power committee under chairmanship of Chief Minister has been set up to monitor the implementation of the scheme. The scheme will be carried out by September 16 Ozone Day of this year. Department of Forest has been nominated as nodal department for the scheme.
45. The World Health Day (WHD) is observed every year on 7 April to mark the anniversary of the founding of World Health Organization (WHO) and to spread awareness about health and well being. As this year (2018) is WHO's 70th Anniversary year too, the organization has appealed the world leaders to live up to the pledges they made and agreed to in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in 2015 and for taking concrete actions to progress towards Health For All. The 2018 theme "Universal health coverage: everyone, everywhere" is an indication that nations around the world are aspiring to provide higher accessibility of healthcare to their citizens.
46. Niranjan Thomas Alva (78), a Supreme Court lawyer and husband of Congress leader Margaret Alva, passed away in Bengaluru on April 7, 2018. Son of Joachim and Violet Alva, freedom fighters and the first couple in the Indian Parliament, Alva was also a former Director of the State Bank of India. He had played a key role in expanding the footprints of the All India Catholic University Federation as its president across the country in late 1950s. As a Supreme Court lawyer, one of the landmark litigations he led resulted in air hostesses in Air India getting the same rights and privileges as their male counterparts, including full retirement benefits and the right to bear children.
47. Weightlifter Venkat Rahul Ragala claimed India's fourth Gold medal in 85-kg category at 21st Commonwealth Games with a total lift of 338 Kg in Gold Coast on April 7, 2018. Earlier, Weightlifter Sathish Sivalingam won India's third gold medal. Apart from this, Mirabai Chanu (48kg) and Sanjita Chanu (53kg) won gold medals in the women's competition and P Gururaja claimed a silver in the men's 56kg category. Teenager Deepak Lather became the youngest Indian weightlifter to claim a Commonwealth Games medal by clinching a bronze in the men's 69kg weightlifting category. India have so far won 4 Gold, One Silver and one bronze, and all the medals have come from the weightlifting arena.
48. Santosh Kumar Mohanty has been appointed a whole-time member of market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for a period of three years. At present Executive Director in SEBI. Prior to this assignment, he was serving as Director in the erstwhile commodity market regulator Forward Markets Commission. An officer from the Indian Revenue Service (IRS), Mohanty has earlier served in the Income Tax Department in various capacities in Kolkata, Nagpur and Mumbai.
49. The Kamuthi Solar Power Project is a solar park spread over an area of 2,500 acres in Kamuthi, Tamil Nadu. The project was commissioned by Adani Power. With a generating capacity of 648 MW at a single location, it is the world's sixth largest (as of 2018) solar park.
50. Actor Raj Kishore (85), Yesteryear Bollywood actor , passed away in Gurgaon on April 6, 2018. He played the role of one of the prisoners in Ramesh Sippy-directed "Sholay". Some of Raj Kishore's notable performances were in the films "Padosan", "Deewar", "Ram Aur Shyam", "Hare Rama Hare Krishna", "Karishma Kudrat Kaa", "Aasmaan", "Bombay To Goa" and "Karan Arjun".
51. Kerala has become the first Indian state to adopt a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for brain death certification in government and private hospitals. The Kerala government has brought out SOP as per the high court directive and to mitigate public fear about the process involved in declaring a person as brain dead. According to the SOP, a medical board comprising four doctors — at least one should be from the government service — will be authorised to declare a patient brain dead. As per the Transplantation of Human Organ Act, two experts are required for brain death certification. The SOP also stated that the main condition for declaring a patient brain dead would be that he/she is 100% out of reversible cause of coma. To check any misuse, the SOP defines brain dead and state of coma in detail.
52. Chhattisgarh has bagged the 'State of the Year' Award under the 'business leader' category as part of the India Business Leadership for the remarkable increase in business and services activities in various sectors. Union Information Technology and Electronics Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad gave the award at India Business Leader Awards (IBLA) event. organised by a leading business channel. The award was received by The award was received by Chhattisgarh Revenue, Higher Education, Skill Development and Technical Education Minister Prem Prakash Pandey.
53. The 8th Regional 3R Forum in Asia and the Pacific has started at Brilliant Convention Centre in Indore, Madhya Pradesh on April 9, 2018. It is co-organized by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India, Japan's Ministry of the Environment and the United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD). The 4-day forum will provide an attractive Exhibition Program to public, private and startups to showcase their technology, best practices in the area of minimize material use; optimizing resource conservation, wastes minimization and recovery. The tag line of the Forum is "Mission Zero Waste" which is in line the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) of Government of India. The theme of 2018 forum is "Achieving Clean Water, Clean Land and Clean Air through 3R and Resource Efficiency- A 21st Century Vision for Asia-Pacific Communities". The event was inaugurated by Sumitra Mahajan, Speaker of the Lok Sabha and Hardeep S. Puri, Minister of State (I/C), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs on 10th April 2018.
54. E N Rammohan (77), a celebrated IPS officer and former director general of the Border Security Force (BSF), has passed away in New Delhi on April 8, 2018. He was known for his handlebar moustache, discipline, leadership skills, and a no-nonsense attitude that took him far in the police establishment. He was a 1965-batch IPS officer of the Assam-Meghalaya cadre and headed the BSF between December 1997 and November 2000. Rammohan was appointed head of a fact-finding probe panel by the home ministry to look into the lapses that took place during the 2010 Naxal ambush in Chhattisgarh, in which 76 security were killed. He was a strong proponent of the 5th Schedule for tribal rights, and believed that the denial of land rights was what was fueling insurgency.
55. The joint military exercise "Desert Tiger 5" was recently held between United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Malaysia in Dubai, UAE. The purpose of the exercise was to raise the level of performance and combat efficiency and working together between both countries based on the strategy to improve the overall ability and combat readiness of ground forces. The military exercise was implemented within the framework of the UAE leadership's continued desire to support and create unique partnerships between both countries in all areas.
56. Bollywood actor Anushka Sharma will be honoured with the 2018 Dadasaheb Phalke Excellence Award for her successful movies as a producer. The award will be given by an organisation called Dadasaheb Phalke Foundation, a Mumbai-based organisation. Beside her, Ranveer Singh will also get the 2018 Dadasaheb Phalke Excellence Award as Best Actor for his movie 'Padmaavat'. He has not only received incredible acclaim for his portrayal of the merciless Alauddin Khilji but he has also delivered outstanding box office collections as he recorded his first ever 300 crore blockbuster.
57. In a bid to use technology for farmers' benefit, the Tamil Nadu government has launched mobile application named 'Uzhavan' (farmer) app that will allow ryots to have access to 9 types of services including details about their crop insurance. It was launched by Chief Minister K Palaniswami. The app can be used by farmers to get information on farm subsidies, book farm equipment and related infrastructure and get details on their crop insurance, besides receiving weather forecast for the next four days. Palaniswami also launched the 'Amma Bio-Fertiliser' scheme, named after late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. The initiative was aimed at better management of nature farming, and help boost and maintain soil fertility.
58. The first meeting of NITI Forum for North East- a unit of NITI Aayog took place in Agartala, Tripura on April 09, 2018. The emphasis in meeting was given on Infrastructure and Connectivity. The meeting was inaugurated by Minister of Development of North East Region (DoNER) Dr Jitendra Singh and Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog Dr Rajiv Kumar. There will be main five missions on which NITI Forum will focus. These include Agriculture, Tourism, Bamboo use and 'Made in North East'. The NITI Forum was formed to explore and formulate the framework for sustainable growth of the Northeast. It was constituted in February 2018. The secretariat for the Forum has been established in the DoNER Ministry. The Forum includes representation from all NE States, their Chief Secretaries and Secretaries of relevant Central Ministries or Departments, Directors of reputed institutions like IIT and IIM, experts and journalists have been included as members.
59. The Maharashtra government has tied up with Tata Trusts to finance the state's first poultry company to be run and owned by tribal women. As part of the project, 300 women have been given poultry sheds and each of them would be given 400 chicks every day. After rearing them for 40 days, the poultry will be sold and the project envisages an income between Rs 6,000 to Rs 8,000 for each woman over a 40-day period. The state government has contributed Rs 12 crore while Tata Trusts has given Rs 3 crore to finance the project and an agreement had been signed with an NGO, Pradhan, to operate the project. This initiative would be implemented in other tribal talukas under the state's Human Development Programme.
60. India's mixed badminton team has created history by clinching its first-ever gold after defeating defending champions Malaysia 3-1 in the final event at 21st Commonwealth Games at Gold Cost, Australia on April 9, 2018 . Kidambi Srikanth, Saina Nehwal and the mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa all won a match each to guide India power past Lee Chong Wei-spearheaded Malaysia which was winning gold since the 2006 CWG.
61. India's first high-speed electric locomotive has been flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the Madhepura Electric Locomotive Factory in Bihar on April 10, 2018. It has a 12000 horsepower (HP) engine with a maximum speed of 110 km per hour. The first big Make-in-India project is developed & completed in collaboration with French firm Alstome. As per Indian Railways & Alstome pact, 800 such trains will be manufactured in the country over a period of 11 years. The Rs 20,000-crore project includes the Rs 1,300 crore cost for setting up the factory at Madhepura and two loco maintenance depots at Saharanpur (Uttar Pradesh) and Nagpur (Maharashtra), beside building 800 locos. The average cost of each locomotive is estimated to be Rs 25 crore. With this induction, India will join an elite list of countries, including Russia, China, Germany and Sweden, that have 12,000 HP and above capacity electric locomotives.
62. The International Conference on Human Rights in South Asia has started in Kathmandu, Nepal on April 9, 2018. The 3-day conference is organized by the National Human Rights Commission of Nepal with theme "Identifying Challenges, Assessing Progress, Moving Forward: Addressing Impunity and Realizing Human Rights in South Asia". The representatives of Human Rights Commissions and institutions, human rights activists from 20 countries including India are participating in the event. The delegates will discuss various issues including different types of discrimination in South Asia including rights of marginalized groups, collective rights, violence against women, rule of law, due process and combating impunity.
63. Ban Ki-moon, the former United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, has been elected as the new Chairman of Boao Forum for Asia (BFA). He succeeded Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda. The BFA is a non-profit organisation i.e. committed to promote regional economic integration and bringing Asian countries closer to their development goals. The 2018 BFA conference, often called Summer Davos, was held at Boao, a coastal town in the southern island province of Hainan from April 8 to 11 with theme 'Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity'.
64. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has launched a unique initiative 'Project Dhoop' to encourage schools to shift their morning assembly to around noon-time, mainly between 11 am to 1 pm, to ensure maximum absorption of Vitamin D in students through natural sunlight. The move comes in the backdrop of rising incidence of Vitamin D deficiency (VDD), particularly amongst the young people, in the country as the studies have found that over 90% of boys and girls in various Indian cities are deficient in Vitamin D despite most part of India receiving abundant sunshine all the year through. The 'Project Dhoop' has been launched by FSSAI in association with National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and North MCD Schools at National Bal Bhavan.
65. The World Homoeopathy Day (WHD) is observed every year on April 10 to commemorate the birth anniversary of Homoeopathy founder Dr Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has inaugurated a scientific convention on the World Homoeopathy Day (WHD 2018) in New Delhi on April 10. The theme of the 2-day convention is "Innovate: Evolve, Progress: Exploring Science since 40 years". On this occasion, Ministry of AYUSH awards relating to Homoeopathy for Life Time Achievement, Best Teacher, Young Scientist and Best Research paper will be conferred. Council is signing MoUs with PG Homoeopathic Colleges on this Day to support the development of research infrastructure in an effort to link education with research. The convention will pay tributes to Dr Hahnemann, on his 263rd birth anniversary. Homoeopathic researchers, practitioners, students, industrialists as well as representatives of various homoeopathic associations are participating in the event.
66. The first international conference on 'Water, Environment and Climate Change: Knowledge Sharing and Partnership' has started in Kathmandu, Nepal on April 10, 2018. The 3-day conference is organised by the Department of Water Supply and Sewerage, Govt of Nepal in association with the Society of Public Health Engineers Nepal and Nepal Engineers Association. The basic objective of the conference is to bring together professionals, academicians, researchers, entrepreneurs, government and non-government institutions to discuss and deliberate on challenges, opportunities and strategies related to water and environmental issues. More than 100 international participants from 20 countries, including India, are participating in the conference. An exhibition showcasing various products and technologies related to water security and environment conservation is also organised.
67. Pistol shooter Heena Sidhu from India bagged gold in the women's 25-metre pistol event at the 21st Commonwealth Games in Gold Cost, Australia on April 10, 2018. This was Sidhu's second medal at the ongoing Games after having claimed a silver in the 10-metre air pistol event behind 16-year-old compatriot Manu Bhaker. The other medal of the day was a Bronze which was won by para-powerlifter Sachin Chaudhary in the men's heavyweight final. In a 10-man final, Chaudhary finished with a combined effort of 181 kg at the Carrara Sports Arena. It was India's first medal in Para-sports at the Commonwealth Games.
68. Indian women's Table Tennis team has created history by clinching their first-ever Gold medal at the 21st Commonwealth Games 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia. Indian paddlers Manika Batra, Madhurika Patkar and Mouma Das won the final tie 3-1 against Singapore's Tianwei Feng, Yihan Zhou and Mengyu Yu. Manika Batra led Table tennis team's victory was historic as Singapore had never lost since 2002. Apart from this, Indian men's table tennis team led by Sharath Kamal defeated Nigeria 3-0 in the final event to clinch gold at the Commonwealth Games for the first time since 2006. With this, India joined England to bag second-most table tennis gold medals (5) at CWG. This is the first time that India have won both men's and women's TT team events at a single CWG edition.
69. Rajesh Ranjan, a 1984 batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of Bihar cadre, has been appointed as Director General of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). He has been appointed as the chief of the CISF till November 30, 2020, i.e. the date of his superannuation. At present, he is Special Director General of Border Security Force (BSF). The post was lying vacant after incumbent O P Singh took over as Director General of the Uttar Pradesh Police in January 2018. The CISF is tasked with providing security to various government installations including the country's airports.
70. M Sathiyavathy, an IAS officer of the 1982 batch of Union Territories cadre, has been appointed as the new member of Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). Currntly, she is secretary in Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, and has been given additional charge of the post of secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment. She has held several important positions in the central government, including first woman chief of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). She had been the joint director general in the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Controller, ISRO Satellite Centre, Department of Space, member secretary, Central Silk Board, Ministry of Textiles, and additional secretary and financial adviser, Ministry of Civil Aviation.
71. The conference of Lieutenant Governors and Administrators of Union Territories was held at Megapode Resort, Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar Islands on April 11, 2018. The Governor of Punjab and Administrator of Chandigarh, VP Singh, Lt. Governor of Puducherry, Dr Kiran Bedi, Lt. Governor, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Admiral (Retd.) DK Joshi and representatives from Delhi, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu are attending the conference.
72. In its latest Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2018, the Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) has stated that India's economic growth is set to rise to 7.3% in 2018-19 and grow at 7.6% further in FY20 on the back of structural reforms such as GST and clean banking. In its report, ADB has credited the Modi-government's GST saying that growth will pick up as the new tax regime improves productivity. The report also stated that Indian economy grew 6.6 % in FY18 as it battled the lingering effects of demonetisation in 2016, businesses adjusting to GST in 2017, and a subdued agriculture. The country's economic growth was 7.1% in 2016-17.
73. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has recently approved setting up a 5000 MW capacity solar park at the Dholera Special Investment Region (SIR), which would be the largest such entity in the world after its completion. As per official release, the proposed solar power generation project would be set up in 11,000 hectares of land with an investment of Rs 25,000 crore. The project will contribute significantly in achieving Prime Minister Narendra Modi's target of producing 175 gigawatt of electricity through renewable energy sources by 2022.
74. Anupama Bhatnagar, the senior Indian Information Service (IIS) officer, has assumed charge as the new secretary of the Press Council of India (PCI) on April 2. She succeeded Vibha Bhargava. Prior to her new assignment, Bhatnagar was posted as the additional director general (news) in All India Radio (AIR).
75. The 16th International Energy Forum Ministerial Meeting – IEF16 has started in New Delhi, India from April 10, 2018. It was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The aim of the 3-day IEF16 is to focus on how global shifts, transition policies and new technologies influence market stability and future investment in the energy sector. The IEF16 is the largest gathering of energy ministers from across the globe, industry leaders and heads of key international organisations who will debate the future of global energy. Its 72 member countries are signatories to the IEF Charter, which outlines the framework of the global energy dialogue through this inter-governmental arrangement. Apart from them, 20 countries are also participating in this meeting as special invitees.
76. Indian shooter Shreyasi Singh gave India its 12th Gold medal at the 21st Commonwealth Games at Gold Cost, Australia on April 11, 2018. She bagged the coveted yellow metal in the Women's Double Trap event, after beating Aussie Emma Cox in the shootout. In the Men's Double Trap, Ankur Mittal bagged a Bronze after finishing third.
77. Rishad Premji, the chief strategy officer and board member of Wipro Ltd, has been appointed as the new Chairman of the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) for 2018-19. He succeeded Raman Roy. Rishad is the son of Wipro Chairman Azim Premji. He has been a member of NASSCOM's Executive Council and was the Vice Chairman for 2017. NASSCOM also appointed Keshav Murugesh as the Vice Chairman for 2018-19.
78. Hemchand Yadav, the former Chhattisgarh minister and senior BJP leader, has passed away in Delhi on April 11, 2018. He was first elected as an MLA from Durg in 1998 (when it was part of the undivided Madhya Pradesh) and again in 2003 and 2008. Yadav was part of the Raman Singh cabinet for ten years from 2003 to 2013, and served as the minister of labour, water resources, panchayat and rural development and higher education.
79. Inspector General KR Nautiyal, on promotion to the rank of Additional Director General, has been appointed as the new Coast Guard Commander (Eastern Seaboard). He will succeed Inspector General KS Sheoran on April 12, 2018. Nautiyal has commanded all type of Coast Guard ships and was Deputy Director-General (operations and CS) at CGHQ, New Delhi, Commander CGRHQ (NE) in Kolkata and Commander CGRHQ (W) in Mumbai.
80. The National Safe Motherhood (NSMD) is celebrated every year on April 11 to create awareness on proper healthcare and maternity celebrities to pregnant and lactating women. It also seeks to create awareness about the institutional delivery, reducing anemia among women and better pre and postal natal health care and necessary for mothers. The theme of 2018 NSMD is "Respectful Maternity Care".
81. India has inked a pact with Morocco under which focus would be laid on evaluation of potential mineral resources and promoting exploration and mining through participation of both public and private sector. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed in New Delhi on April 12, 2018 after the bilateral discussions between Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and his counterpart Aziz Rabbah of Morocco. the focus of the MoU is on the development of the geological infrastructure for Geoscience Maps and geochemical maps, strengthening geological research and evaluation of the potential of mineral resources.
82. India with an economic freedom score of 54.5 points has been ranked 130th in the latest annual Index of Economic Freedom released by a top American think-tank the Heritage Foundation. As per 2018 Index, India is developing into an open-market economy, but traces of its past autarkic policies remain. The Index covers 12 freedoms – from property rights to financial freedom – in 186 countries. It is a helpful tool for a variety of audiences, including academics, policymakers, journalists, students, teachers, and those in business and finance. The index is topped by Hong Kong, followed by Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland and Australia.
83. Balram Bhargava has been appointed the new Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Secretary of the Department of Health Research. He, at present Professor/Senior Consultant Cardiologist at AIIMS, has been appointed to the post for a period of three years or until attainment of age of 60 years. He will succeed Soumya Swaminathan, who has been appointed as WHO Deputy Director General for Programmes.
84. Dr. Renu Swaroop, the renowned scientist, has been appointed the Secretary of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT). Swaroop, currently senior adviser in the same department, has been appointed to the post for a period of two years or until she attains 60 years of age. She succeeded Prof K Vijay Raghavan. After his retirement as DBT Secretary, Prof Raghavan has been appointed as the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India (GoI).
85. The 10th edition of a biennial exhibition of weapons and military hardware "DefExpo India- 2018" has started at Tiruvidanthal, Kancheepuram in Tamil Nadu on April 11, 2018. The 4-day long defence expo was formally inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The theme of the expo is "India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub", which will showcase the strengths of India's defence public sector and uncover the country's growing private industry. According to the Defence Ministry, over 670 defence firms including 154 foreign manufacturers are participating in the exhibition of weapons and military hardware. It is being attended by official delegations from over 47 countries including the US, the UK, Russia, Afghanistan and Sweden, Finland, Italy, Madagascar, Myanmar, Nepal, Portugal, Seychelles and Vietnam.
86. The book "India's Heritage of Gharana Music: Pandits of Gwalior" has been authored by classical vocalist Meeta Pandit. It was recently launched by politicians Jyotiraditya Scindia and Karan Singh. The book is an outcome of an emotional journey that author undertook after her elder brother Tushar Pandit died in a road accident in 1994. According to the book, Akbar's fondness for Tansen troubled the other musicians, who looked for ways to humiliate the musician. The book also documents how the Pandit family assimilated the great music tradition from the Khans — Ustad Haddu Khan, Ustad Natthu Khan, and Ustad Nissar Hussain Khan — and sheds light on the gharana style.
87. In the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, Indian wrestlers bagged 2 Gold, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze medal on the opening day of their competitions on April 12, 2018. Rahul Aware has won India's first wrestling gold medal by defeating Canada's Steven Takahashi in the men's freestyle 57 kg wrestling final by 15-7. This was the first CWG medal of his career after he was forced to miss the Glasgow games due to injury. Beside him, veteran Olympian Sushil Kumar clinched gold in the 74 kg category after winning his match by technical superiority against South Africa's Botha Johannes. In the Women's 53 kg category, Babita Kumari Phogat claimed the Silver after she lost to Canada's Diana Weicker, 2-5 in the final. Kiran clinched the Bronze in the 76 kg division following a stunning 10-0 win over Katouskia Pariadhaven of Mauritius.
88. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully launched the navigation satellite IRNSS-1I into the orbit with the help of PSLV-C41 launch vehicle from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on April 12, 2018. IRNSS-1I is the 8th such satellite to be a part of the NavIC navigation satellite constellation. It is expected to replace IRNSS-1A, the first of the seven navigation satellites, which was rendered ineffective after its three rubidium atomic clocks failed. The IRNSS 1I mission is critical for the space agency as it is ISRO's second attempt to replace the IRNSS 1A satellite, after the failure of the IRNSS 1H mission in August 2017. The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) is a constellation of seven satellites that provides indigenously developed regional GPS services called NavIC.
89. Veena Sahajwalla, an Indian-origin scientist in Australia, has launched the world's first microfactory that can transform the components from electronic waste items such as smartphones and laptops into valuable materials for re-use. The modular microfactories can operate on a site as small as 50 square metres and can be located wherever waste may be stockpiled. A microfactory is one or a series of small machines and devices that uses patented technology to perform one or more functions in the reforming of waste products into new and usable resources. The e-waste microfactory that reforms discarded computers, mobile phones and printers has a number of small modules for this process and fits into a small site. The discarded devices are first placed into a module to break them down. The next module may involve a special robot for the identification of useful parts, she said. Another module then involves using a small furnace which transforms these parts into valuable materials by using a precisely controlled temperature process developed via extensive research. These transformed materials include metal alloys and a range of micro-materials.
90. The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi has installed the Massive Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) technology lab at the Bharti School of Telecommunication Technology and Management campus, which is likely to reduce effects of exposure and radiation compared to the 3G/4G systems. This will be the first-of-its-kind 5G radio laboratory in India that will be inaugurated on April 13, 2018. This 5G base station prototype will be used for developing a complete 5G base station, which can possibly lead to the manufacturing of 5G base stations in India with support/collaboration from the industry. It will also be instrumental in generating skilled manpower.
91. Vinod Khanna, the veteran Hindi film actor, has been conferred the 2017 Dadasaheb Phalke Award posthumously for his immense contribution to Indian cinema. Khanna is the 49th recipient of the Award, which is Indian cinema's highest honour. It was a collective decision of the 65th National Film Awards jury, chaired by filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, to confer the award on Vinod Khanna, who starred in some of the biggest Bollywood hits like Mere Apne', 'Insaaf', 'Parvarish', 'Muqaddar Ka Sikandar', 'Qurbani', 'Dayavaan', 'Mera Gaon Mera Desh', 'Chandni', 'The Burning Train' and 'Amar, Akbar, Anthony'. The actor was the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member of the Lok Sabha from Punjab's Gurdaspur constituency.
92. The 65th National Film Awards for 2017 were announced at PIB Conference Room, Shastri Bhawan in New Delhi on April 13, 2018. In it, Assamese Film 'Village Rockstar' bagged the best film award, while 'Newton' has been selected as the Best Hindi Film. The National award for Best Actress is given to Sri Devi posthumously for her role in the film 'Mom' and the Best Actor (Male) award goes to Riddhi Sen for his role in Bengali film 'Nagarkirtan'. 'Water Baby' directed by Pia Shah, won the Best Debut Film of a Director in the Non Feature Film category. The award ceremony for the 65th National Film Awards will be held on May 3, 2018. The National Film Awards will be presented by President Ram Nath Kovind.
93. Indian shooter Anish Bhanwala from Haryana has created history by becoming the country's youngest ever gold medal winner in the Commonwealth Games (CWG) at the age of just 15. He achieved the feat after winning gold medal with a Games record in the men's 25m rapid fire pistol event at the Belmont Shooting Centre. He created a Games record with a score of 30 to finish at the top of the podium in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games on April 13, 2018. Beside him, Tejaswini Sawant also made a Games record to claim the Women's 50-metre Rifle-3 Positions Gold. Anjum Moudgil won the Silver in the event. It was Tejaswini's second medal as she had clinched a Silver in the 50-metre Rifle Prone event earlier.
94. The Union Government has decided to constitute a task force under the chairmanship of Minister of State Civil Avaition Jayant Sinha for fast-tracking the roll-out of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle technology. The task force will develop a roadmap with implementable recommendations for Centre as well as State Governments, Industry and Research Institutions. It will consist of representatives from the government, Public Sector Undertakings, industry and sectoral experts. The task force will submit its report within 6 months of its constitution. The Task Force will focus on research and development, acquisition and commercialisation, application and adoption in specific sectors, regulatory framework and preference for Make in India. It will also study global practices and interact with relevant stakeholders for preparation of their report.
95. Marathi movie 'Dhappa' bagged the Nargis Dutt Award for Best Film on National Integration, while ' Ladhakh' was declared the Best Regional Film at the 65th National Film Awards. Apart from this, Malayalam Movie 'Aaalorukkam', directed by V.C.Abhilash, was awarded the Best Film on Social Issues. Jayaraj was awarded the Best Direction in the Feature Film category for the movie 'Bhayanakam' and Nagraj Manjule won the award for the Best Direction in the Non Feature Film Category.
96. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has decided to scrap the quota system in government services after thousands of students marched across the country in protest against a controversial policy of setting aside jobs for special groups. The students began the protests against discriminatory quotas for government jobs, leaving scores of people injured at the Dhaka University. According to the Bangladesh government's existing quota system, 56% of jobs in the public sector are reserved for children of freedom fighters, women, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities and citizens of some backward districts.
97. In Wrestling, Bajrang Punia brought laurels to the country as he grabbed Gold in men's freestyle 65 kg wrestling category with a 10-0 win over Kane Charig of Wales at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018 on April 13, 2018. He won it inside 150 seconds. It is his first Commonwealth gold. Beside him, Mausam Khatri won the Silver in 97 kg category after he loses to Martin Erasmus of South Africa in final. Pooja Dhanda had to settle for Silver after she lost in the final in 57 kgs. Divya Kakran, who lost in the 68 kg semi-finals, won the Bronze in the Repechage round.
98. At the 65th National Film Awards for 2017, the Indira Gandhi Award For Best Debut Film Of A Director was given to the Jasari language movie 'Sinjar' directed by Pampally. The Best Film Critic award was given to Giridhar Jha for his writings covering vast horizon of Hindi cinema with authenticity and originality. The best Children's film was given to the Marathi Movie Mhorkya, directed by Amar Bharat Deokar. A.R Rahman was awarded the Best Music Direction award for the movie 'Kaatru Veliyidai'.
99. In the 65th National Film Awards for 2017, the Best Book on Cinema award was given to 'Matmagi Manipur-The first Manipuri Feature Film' authored by Bobby Wahengbam. The book provides a vivid account of the socio-political scenario in which Manipur regional cinema was born. The book denotes a compassionate account of the dreams, challenges, preparation, execution and success of the team involved. The critical analysis of the film makes it more praiseworthy and insightful.
100. On 13th April 2018, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has tightened reporting norms for the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) under which an individual can transfer upto $ 2,50,000 US Dollars abroad in a year. The central bank has made it mandatory for banks to file a daily report of all such transactions. In a notification, RBI stated that these daily reports will be accessible to all other banks and make the verification easier. The purpose of this move is to improve monitoring and also to ensure compliance with the LRS limits. Currently, the LRS transactions are permitted by authorised dealer (AD) banks based on the declaration made by the remitter as there is no way to verify the claim independently. Now, as per new norms, banks will be required to upload daily transaction-wise information undertaken by them under LRS. Under the LRS, Indians are currently allowed to invest overseas $250,000 a year per person.
101. The 2018 India Mobile Congress will be held at Aerocity in New Delhi from October 25th to 27th. It is one of the biggest marquee Mobile, Internet and Technology events in Asia, organized by Department of Telecommunications and Cellular Operators Association of India. The event will be an excellent platform for policymakers, industry and regulators to engage in meaningful deliberations to drive the future direction of this important sector. More than one thousand 300 exhibitor's companies will participate in the exhibition at the event.
102. Manika Batra has created history by becoming the first Indian woman table tennis player to win a singles gold at the Commonwealth Games. She defeated Yu Mengyu of Singapore 4-0 in the final at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018 on April 14, 2018. Apart from her, Sharath Kamal and G Sathiyan settled for Silver in men's doubles. Besides guiding India to team gold, Batra had paired up with veteran Mouma Das to win the country's maiden women's doubles silver. Batra also claimed mixed doubles bronze in table tennis with Sathiyan.
103. In Athletics, 20-year old Neeraj Chopra has become the first Indian javelin thrower to claim a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, pulling off a season's best effort of 86.47 metres in the final, at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018 on April 14, 2018.
104. Ram Kumar (94), the noted Indian painter, has passed away on April 14, 2018. He was known for his abstract landscapes. A modernist, he was associated with the Progressive Artists' Group comprising M.F.Husain, F.N.Souza, H.A.Gade, S.H.Raza and others. The seminal group gave a new direction to Indian art by introducing a fresh idiom. Kumar was honored with Padma Shri by in 1972 and Kalidas Samman by the Madhya Pradesh government in 1986.
105. In Boxing events at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018, five-time world champion and Olympic Bronze-medallist M C Mary Kom won a gold medal by defeating Northern Ireland's Kristina O'Hara 5-0 in the 48-kg final on April 14, 2018. With this, Mary Kom has become the first Indian woman boxer to win a Commonwealth Gold. Gaurav Solanki joined the top-finishers' group in the first set of finals, when he picked up the Gold in 52 kg. Amit Panghal (49kg) and Manish Kaushik (60kg) settled for Silver medals after losing closely-contested bouts. Boxer Vikas Krishan won gold in 75 kg category. In shooting, Sanjeev Rajput won the gold medal in the men's 50 metre rifle 3 positions event with a games record at the Belmont Shooting Centre.
106. Vishnu Sadashiv Kokje, the former Himachal Pradesh governor and Madhya Pradesh High Court judge, has been elected as the new international president of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) in Gurugram on April 14, 2018 for which voting was held for the first time in over five decades. Kokje got 131 votes and defeated incumbent G Raghava Reddy who could muster 60 votes. The election was necessitated after the organisation's members failed to reach a consensus on a new international president. Prior to his election to the international president, Kokje was the international vice president of the VHP. He also worked as the president of the India Development Council of RSS.
107. India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) has recently bagged Rs 550-crore contract for developing a Mega Tourism Destination project at Bhairav Lanka in East Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh. This is the first of its kind project for the state- owned ITDC. ITDC will be the Consulting Agency as well as Implementing Agency for the DPR and the execution which will be taken up in three stages preparing the DPR, Implementation of project and implementation of second phase of the project. To execute this project, ITDC has signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Suraas Impex Pvt. The ITDC is an hospitality, retail and Education company owned by Government of India, under Ministry of Tourism. Its headquarters is located in New Delhi.
108. The 7th edition of Home Expo India 2018 will be inaugurated by Smriti Zubin Irani, the Union Minister of Textiles and Information and Broadcasting, at India Expo Centre and Mart in Greater Noida on April 16, 2018. The 3-day expo, organized by the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH), is on three segmented categories shows comprising Housewares, Textiles and Furniture. This will be one of leading business-to-business shows where more than 650 Indian exporters will be displaying a wide range of tableware, home textiles, kitchenware, houseware and bathroom accessories. International buyers, leading manufacturers and exporters will share the same platform and will exchange various ideas related to this industry. This event will showcase the finest artistic elements and craftsmanship in harmony with innovative designs and latest products.
109. Veteran Boxer M C Mary Kom, who claimed a Gold on debut at the Commonwealth Games (CWG), is the India's flag-bearer at the closing ceremony of 21st Gold Coast CWG on April 15, 2018. In the overall analysis, the Indian contingent will return with 66 medals, just two medals more than the total of 64 they won in the last Games held in 2014 at Glasgow. But the Gold medal tally of 26 this time is significantly higher than the figure of 15 won in the last edition.
110. The Krishna Wildlife Sanctuary (KWS) is one of the rarest eco-regions of the world because it harbors vast tracts of pristine mangrove forests. The sanctuary is a part of the mangrove wetland in Andhra Pradesh and are located in the coastal plain of Krishna delta. It is in news because the four kingfisher species sighted in the sanctuary are 'wetland dependents'. The species have been identified as White-throated kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis), Pied kingfisher (Ceryle rudis), Black-capped kingfisher (Halcyon pileate) and the Common kingfisher. The birds are thriving as the sanctuary is an ideal habitation for prey.
111. The 29th Arab League Summit 2018 has started in Dahran, Saudi Arabia on April 15 to promote Arab joint action to address challenges facing the nation. In the annual gathering of Arab leaders, Saudi Arabia hopes to push for a unified stand against Iran. The fate of Jerusalem, as US plans to move its Embassy after declaring it the capital of Israel is also expected to dominate the Summit. Although in a long diplomatic stand off for the past nearly 10 months, both Saudi Arabia and Qatar have voiced support for the US led air strike on Syria. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Vice President and Ruler of Dubai is leading the UAE's delegation to the 29th Arab League Summit.
112. The Union home ministry has recently launched the e-FRRO (e-Foreigners Regional Registration Office) scheme to expedite visa services for foreigners visiting India. The aim of the scheme is to build a centralized, transparent online platform for foreigners to avail visa related services and to provide faceless, cashless and paperless services to the foreigners with a user-friendly experience. Using the e-FRRO application, foreigners can apply online and obtain the services through email or post without appearing in person at the FRO/FRRO office.
113. The Haryana government has decided to introduce Choice-Based Credit System (CBCS) and revise the syllabus and workload in 11 subjects at the under-graduation level in state universities keeping with global scenario. The subjects are economics, political science, psychology, mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer science, botany, zoology, commerce and geography. Committees comprising five to six members of the teaching faculties in each subject have been constituted. Members of these committees would meet at Kurukshetra and Rohtak on April 14 and 15. They would review the existing syllabi in the universities of Haryana, the neighbouring states as well as the model curriculum of UGC to make an assessment of the workload and evolve choice-based credit system.
114. Yuki Bhambri from India has won the 2018 Santaizi ATP Challenger tennis tournament by defeating his compatriot Ramkumar Ramanathan in the final of the event by 6-3 6-4 in Taipei, Taiwan on April 15, 2018. It is his first singles Challenger title of the 2018 season. Yuki earned 125 ranking points and a prize purse of $21,600 while Ramkumar got 75 points and $12,720 for his effort. With this, Yuki has now beaten Ramkumar four times in five meetings. This victory enabled him re-entered top 100 rankings.
115. In Nepal, the famous Bisket Jatra is being celebrated in Bhaktapur and other parts of Kathmandu valley. The 9- 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. There are many legends associated with the Jatra. According to a myth, whosoever marries local princess dies on the very first night of the marriage. Later a brave young man married the princess. In the night, two snakes attacked him and young man killed them. The main attraction of Bisket Jatra is chariot procession of Lord Bhairavanath. The three story chariot is taken out in the streets of Bhakatapur and there is a tug of war between people from upper and lower city to pull the chariot on their side. Thousands of visitors from various parts of Nepal and a large number of foreign tourists gather at Bhaktapur to see this thrilling event.
116. Veteran Marathi actor Vijay Chavhan will be conferred with the prestigious V Shantaram Lifetime Achievement award and actor-director Mrinal Kulkarni with V Shantaram Special Contribution awards. Chavhan, who is a well-known Marathi stage actor, has appeared in many Marathi films as well as on television. He is best known for his role of Mavshi in the famous Marathi stage drama "Moruchi Mavshi". He has also worked in Hindi films. Kulkarni has worked, both in films and TV, and is best known for featuring in the television show "Son Pari". She also directed "Prem Mhanje Prem Asta" and the Marathi historical drama "Rama Madhav". The lifetime achievement award carry a citation and cash reward of Rs five lakh while the special contribution award carry a citation and Rs 3 lakh cash prize. The state government-instituted awards will be given away at the 55th Maharashtra State Marathi Film Festival.
117. Veteran Bollywood actor Dharmendra will be conferred with the prestigious Raj Kapoor Lifetime Achievement and filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani with Raj Kapoor Special Contribution awards of the Maharashtra Government. Dharmendra has acted in more than 250 films in over six decades and has over 100 box office hits including Bandini, Mamta, Anupama, Satyakam, Seeta Aur Geeta, Sholay, Chupke Chupke, Yaadon Ki Baarat, etc. His roles in action films earned him nicknames such as "Action King" and "He-Man". Beside him, Mr Hirani is regarded as one of the most celebrated filmmakers of Hindi cinema, having made critically-acclaimed and commercially-successful films such as "Munna Bhai MBBS", "3 Idiots" and "PK". The lifetime achievement award carry a citation and cash reward of Rs 5 lakh while the special contribution award carry a citation and Rs 3 lakh cash prize. The state government-instituted awards will be given away at the 55th Maharashtra State Marathi Film Festival.
118. The biannual Army Commanders' Conference, Chaired by Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, has started in New Delhi on April 16, 2018. In it, the senior commanders will deliberate on specific issues to Army formations and Army as a whole at the conference. Important issues that are likely to be discussed are management of the extant security dynamics, mitigation of future security threats and enhancement of combat edge over potential adversaries. Other issues like infrastructure development for capacity enhancement along the Northern borders, review of strategic railway lines, issues related to Border Road Organization projects, etc., will be discussed in detail for planning and execution. Army Commanders' Conference is held biannually for formulating important policy decisions through collegiate deliberations. It is an important event for planning and execution process of the Indian Army.
119. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued its first official forecast for 2018 southwest monsoon rains in New Delhi on April 16, 2018. The second stage forecast will be issued in June 2018. These forecasts are prepared using state-of-the-art Statistical Ensemble Forecasting system that is critically reviewed and improved regularly through in-house research activities. It accounts for about 70% of the country's annual precipitation. This is an annual event that sets the tone not only for agricultural production but also the manner in which the economy, stock markets, inflation and interest rates would move in the year. Monsoon rains is the lifeblood for India's farm-dependent 2 trillion dollar economy. The June-to-September rains are vital for farming. IMD is headquartered in Delhi and operates hundreds of observation stations across India and Antarctica.
120. The Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project is located in Sasan village in Singrauli district in the state of Madhya Pradesh. The power plant is operated by Sasan Power Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Power. Sasan UMPP along with the coal mine is the largest integrated coal-cum-power plant in the World. It is India's first domestic coal-based UMPP.
121. The World Haemophilia Day (WHD) is observed every year on April 17 to increase awareness of haemophilia and other inherited bleeding disorders. It is an opportunity to help people with bleeding disorders live healthier, longer and more productive lives by educating and empowering them through knowledge sharing, information exchanges, education, and training. The 2018 theme is "Sharing Knowledge Makes Us Stronger".
122. The New York Times and The New Yorker have jointly won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service on April 16 for explosive reporting that brought down Harvey Weinstein and spawned a cultural watershed on the issue of sexual harassment. The prestigious prize was awarded to the Times team led by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey and New Yorker contributor Ronan Farrow, for reports that ruined the career of the Hollywood mogul and sparked movements such as #MeToo and Time's Up. Apart from this, The Washington Post won the investigative reporting prize for revealing decades-old allegations of sexual misconduct against Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama. The New York Times also shared a second prize with The Washington Post for coverage of Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election. Each winner will receive a certificate and a $15,000 cash award.
123. The India-Wiesbaden Conference 2018 was held in New Delhi on April 16-17. The title of the Conference is 'Securing Global Supply Chains through Government-Industry Partnerships towards Effective Implementation of UNSC Resolution 1540'. The Conference provided an opportunity to participants to share experiences on their export control systems and to identify legal & technical assistance, action plans & challenges in national implementation of UNSC 1540. It is hosted by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in cooperation with Germany and the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA). Representatives from the Government and Industry of 39 countries, as well as experts from the UNSC 1540 Committee and UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) participated in the conference.
124. On April 16, the Government of India (GoI) has signed a $48 million loan agreement with the World Bank to support selected communities in Meghalaya to manage their natural resources using a community-led landscape approach. The project is expected to benefit 1,00,000 people in rural Meghalaya besides building the capacity of some 30,000 youth through access to technology. The Meghalaya Community – Led Landscapes Management Project (MCLLMP) is designed to support the State's three tribal communities – Khasi, Garo, and Jaintia – in managing its forests and natural resources through customary laws. The closing date of the Project is 30th June, 2023.
125. The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM 2018) has started in London, United Kingdom with theme 'Towards a Common Future' from April 16. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take part in the event on 19th and 20th of April. The biennial event has brought together delegates from 53 Commonwealth nations. The focus will be on ensuring that the Commonwealth is responsive to global challenges and delivers a more prosperous, secure, sustainable and fair future for all its citizens, particularly its young people.
126. India has won an election to a crucial non-governmental organisation committee in the United Nations. It topped the election held by the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations in the Asia Pacific States category followed by Pakistan, Bahrain and China to serve a four-year term beginning on January 1, 2019. India got the highest number of votes at 46, followed by Pakistan 43, Bahrain 40 and China 39. The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations is a standing committee of Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Its main tasks include consideration of applications for consultative status and requests for reclassification submitted by NGOs and consideration of quadrennial reports submitted by NGOs in General and Special categories.
127. Surendra Nihal Singh (89), the veteran journalist, has passed away in New Delhi on April 16, 2018. He had worked with several leading newspapers including 'The Indian Express' as its editor-in-chief, 'The Statesman' as chief editor and 'Khaleej Times' as editor. 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. He worked as foreign correspondent in Moscow, London, the United States and Indonesia. Singh was the first correspondent allowed to represent an Indian newspaper in Pakistan after the 1965 war, the veteran editor recalled in an interview in 2013. His books include "The Rocky Road to Indian Democracy: Nehru to Narasimha Rao", "The Yogi and the Bear: Story of Indo-Soviet Relations" and "The Gang and 900 million: A China Diary".
128. Kendrick Lamar, an American rapper and songwriter, has created history by becoming the first non-classical or jazz artist to win Pulitzer Prize for his album 'D.A.M.N.' in the music category. The Pulitzer board stated that the album is a virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life. Lamar is known to have had a deep impact on a racially fraught America and has emerged as the bona fide King of Rap. Apart from this, Andrew Sean Greer took home the Pulitzer in Fiction for his comic queer novel "Less". In Letters and Drama category, Caroline Fraser's Prairie Fires won the prestigious award for Biography and Martyna Majok's acclaimed off-Broadway play 'Cost of Living' won the Pulitzer for Drama. Each winner will receive a certificate and a $15,000 cash award.
129. The World Bank has projected India's growth rate at 7.3% for 2019 and 7.5% for 2020. The bank also noted that Indian economy has recovered from the effects of demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST). The World Bank in its twice-a-year South Asia Economic Focus report in Washington stated that growth is expected to accelerate from 6.7% in 2017 to 7.3% in 2018 and to subsequently stabilise supported by a sustained recovery in private investment and private consumption. In the India section of the report, it said India should strive to accelerate investments and exports to take advantage of the recovery in global growth. World Bank acknowledged that disruptions from demonetisation and events surrounding the implementation of the GST led to a setback in economic activity and a potentially larger negative effect on the poor and vulnerable.
130. Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu has launched FIEO Globallinker in New Delhi on April 17, which is a digital platform for MSME exporters to digitise their businesses and join a global community of growing businesses. FIEO stands for Federation of Indian Export Organisations.
131. The International Monetary Fund in the latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) has projected India to grow at growth rate at 7.4% in 2018 and 7.8% in 2019, up from 6.7% in 2017. The report stated that India in 2018 and 2019 would re-emerge as one of the fastest growing major economies. The IMF explained this is due to the strong private consumption as well as fading transitory effects of the currency exchange initiative and implementation of the national goods and services tax. IMF said that the two major economic reforms, demonetisation and GST, resulted in a slightly lower growth rate of 6.7% in 2017. According to the IMF, India has made progress on structural reforms in the recent past, which will help reduce internal barriers to trade, increase efficiency, and improve tax compliance. The report, however, said, while the medium-term growth outlook for India is strong, an important challenge is to enhance inclusiveness.
132. The 'Group of Ministers (GoM) meeting – 2018' under the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has started in Guwahati, Assam on April 18, 2018. The team is led by the Chairman and Transport Minister of Rajasthan, Yunus Khan, and transport ministers of various states are its members. In total 24 states are participating in the two-day programme. The meeting will mainly focus on the following agenda: frame a National Road Safety Code with the objective to reduce fatalities and road accidents by 50% by 2020; improving road accident victims' assistance infrastructure; strategies for road safety advocacy programmes; harmonization of motor vehicles taxes across different states; strategies for improving the inter-state passenger and goods transport, harmonization of permit conditions and permit fees across the states, etc.
133. The World Heritage Day (WHD), also known as the International Day for Monuments and Sites, has been celebrated every year on April 18 ever since 1982. The purpose of the day is to spread awareness of the importance of protecting and preserving various sites around the world that have achieved world heritage status. As of 2018, India has 36 World Heritage Sites including Western Ghats, Sundarbans National Park, Historic City of Ahmadabad, Taj Mahal in Agra, Nalanda University, Mahabodhi Temple in Bihar and Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh. The 2018 theme "Heritage for Generations" emphasis on inter-generational transfer of knowledge.
134. The first meeting of National Council on India's Nutrition Challenges under POSHAN Abhiyaan has started in New Delhi on April 18, 2018. The mandate of the National Council on India's Nutritional Challenges is to provide policy directions to address countries nutritional challenges through coordinated inter-sectoral action. The council is also mandated to coordinate and review convergence between Ministries and review programmes for nutrition on a quarterly basis. It will submit its report to the Prime Minister every 6 months. NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Dr Rajiv Kumar, CEO Amitabh Kant and representatives of various ministries of the Central and State Governments are participating in the meeting. The POSHAN Abhiyaan was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan last month. It aims to ensure holistic development and adequate nutrition for pregnant women, mothers and children. The programme also targets to reduce the level of stunting, under-nutrition, anaemia and low birth rate.
135. The Islands Tourism Festival has inaugurated by Chief Secretary of A & N Administration Anindo Mazumdar at Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar on April 18, 2018. During this five days festival, cultural programmes, adventure sports, flea market and traditional games will be organised. Artist from different parts of the country will also present cultural programme.
136. The United Kingdom has formally joined the India-led International Solar Alliance (ISA) on April 17, 2018. The announcement was made an event held at the London Stock Exchange as part of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018 (CHOGM). With this, UK became the 62nd signatory member of the ISA. The UK's partnership will involve providing expertise and advice to the alliance, but no monetary contributions. ISA is an inter-governmental treaty-based organisation that aims to mobilise $1 trillion in funds for future solar generation, storage and technology across the world by 2030.
137. Lieutenant General PP Malhotra has taken charge as new Director General of National Cadet Corps (NCC), the largest uniformed youth organization in the world. Prior to assuming his present appointment, he was the Chief Engineer of the Army's premier Northern Command. The NCC is the Indian military cadet corps with its headquarters at New Delhi.
138. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has launched the digital platform 'Pocket Cop Project' in order to ensure that the police force of the state is equipped with modern day technology. Under the project, every officer in charge of the police station, Investigating Officer, PCR van and officials handling the passport verification process shall be equipped with a smartphone enabled with internet connectivity. The government has made a provision of 4900 such phones. These phones will have the information of as many as 69 lakh criminals and their crimes at fingertips. In Gandhinagar, the CM also handed over these smartphones to each and every police officer of various districts during the event.
139. Bhimsain (81), the veteran filmmaker and animation pioneer, has passed away in Mumbai on April 17, 2018. Born in 1936 in Multan (modern-day Pakistan), Bhimsain obtained his diploma in Fine Arts and Classical Music from Lucknow University. In 1970, he made his directorial debut with his first animation short "The Climb", which earned him the Silver Hugo Award in the Chicago Film Festival. 'Ek chidiya, anek chidiyaan' is one of the most popular songs from animation film 'Ek Anek Ekta', which he made with Vijaya Mulay in 1974. A versatile artiste who enriched the medium of both television and films with his contribution, Bhimsain was primarily known for his work in the world of animation during the golden period of Doordarshan. He also directed and produced several animation and ad films such as 'Na', 'Ek-Do', 'Fire', 'Munni', 'Freedom is a Thin Lie', 'Mehman', 'Kahani Har Zamane Ki' and 'Business is People'. He is best known for his film "Gharaonda" and animation short films like "Ek Anek Ekta".
140. The Tilaiya Dam is a concrete gravity dam build across the Barakar River at Tilaiya in Koderma district of Jharkhand. It has a maximum height of 30.2 metres above the river bed. The dam has a catchment area of 984 square kilometres comprising mainly forests, pastures, cultivated lands and waste lands. The annual rainfall in the area is 127 cm. It was inaugurated on 21 February 1953. It has a power generation capacity of 2 x 2 MW.
141. The World Liver Day (WLD) is observed every year on April 19 to build awareness and understanding how important the liver is for our body and how liver ailments can be treated. Liver is a unique organ in human body and has a special capacity of regeneration. It has been seen that even 75% of liver can be safely removed without any untoward consequences because of this capacity of regeneration. The liver is the second largest organ and is a key player in our body's digestive system. Everything we consume passes through the liver. It fights infections, removes toxins, controls cholesterol, regulates blood sugar, make proteins and releases bile to help digestion. As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), the liver diseases are the 10th most common cause of death in India. Hence, to take care of the liver, one needs to adopt a healthy lifestyle and have a balanced diet of grains, proteins, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, and fats. The 2018 theme is 'Riding New Waves in Liver Diagnosis, Staging & Treatment'.
142. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has launched its newest planet-hunting spacecraft, Transit Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) from Cape Canaveral in Florida on a mission to find thousands of new worlds beyond our Solar System. The mission will survey a great swathe of stars, hoping to catch the dips in brightness that occur when orbiting planets traverse their faces. TESS's goal is to compile a catalogue that other telescopes can then focus in on for more detailed analysis. The mission's Principal investigator from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, George Ricker said, TESS is equipped with four very sensitive cameras that will enable it to monitor nearly the entire sky.
143. Among the 16 states that participated, Madhya Pradesh has been conferred the Most Film Friendly State Award 2017 for its efforts towards easing filming in the state by creating a well-structured website, film-friendly infrastructure, offering incentives, maintaining databases, undertaking marketing and promotional initiatives. The award will be presented by President Ram Nath Kovind during the presentation of the 65th National Film Awards on May 3, 2018. The state also received positive feedback from established filmmakers who have shot there. The efforts taken by the state to present their case for the Awards were also appreciated. Uttarakhand has been chosen for the Special Mention Certificate to recognize the efforts made by it towards creating a film-friendly environment. The jury for selecting the Most Film Friendly State Award 2017 was chaired by acclaimed filmmaker Ramesh Sippy.
144. Aditi Rao Hydari has been conferred with the 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. It will be attended by producers, directors, distributors and exhibitors among others from the film fraternity.
145. India will host the 2018 Global IT Challenge for Youth with Disabilities (GITC), which will be held in New Delhi from November 8 to 11. For this, on April 18, the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry's disability division has signed an MoU with Korea's Rehabilitation International to host the GITC. Both the parties, as per the MoU, have agreed to cooperate in making all arrangements such as financial, logistics and manpower for the success of the event. India is hosting the event along with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Korea, and its organising partners are Rehabilitation International, Korea, and the LG Group. The event is expected to be attended by around 300 people, including 120 youths with disabilities from 24 Asia-Pacific countries.
146. Senior journalist T K Rajalakshmi has been elected the new president of the Indian Women's Press Corps (IWPC), while Jyoti Malhotra and Shobhna Jain were declared vice-presidents of the media body. The IWPC, which was launched in 1994, is a reputed association of women journalists. It was set up to support women journalist in their professional work, in enhancing their knowledge and skills and to provide a forum for networking. The purpose of the organisation is to create a robust media network by making women's voices and bylines more visible.
147. On April 18, the Government of India (GoI) has launched its flagship 'Study in India' programme to attract international students to study in India. It was jointly launched by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Minister of State for Human Resources Development Satya Pal Singh in New Delhi. The website of 'Study in India' can be accessed at www.studyinindia.gov.in. The portal will enable students from 30 countries across South Asia, Africa and West Asia to select and apply for different courses from 150 select Indian institutions which are high on NAAC and National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) ranking. The aim of Study in India is to make India a preferred destination for the foreign students to pursue their education. Currently, India is home to about 45,000 international students, which accounts for just 1% of the global student mobility. With 'Study in India', the government hopes the country will start attracting 1.5 lakh to 2 lakh international students by the year 2022.
148. The regional conference on "Urban Development: Technological Solutions and Governance Challenges" has started in Ahmedabad, Gujarat on April 19, 2018. The conference is a lead-up event to the 3rd Annual Meeting of AIIB scheduled to be held on 25th and 26th June, 2018 in Mumbai. The 2-day conference is organized by the Ministry of Finance 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 (MEA). The focus will be on capacity building, informed decisions, proper planning, recycling and reuse of resources among others.
149. The much-awaited river bridge 'Ib Setu', which is built over the Ib river in Sambalpur district , has been opened to the public by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. The 2.5-km-long bridge, which is the State's second longest bridge, has been built in 3 years at a cost of Rs. 117.50 crore. The bridge has helped establish direct road connectivity between Sambalpur and Brajarajnagar and the distance has now been reduced by 50 km.
150. Dharam Pal Choudhary (64), the sitting BJP MLA from Mundawar Vidhan Sabha constituency of Rajasthan, has passed away in Gurugram on April 18, 2018. He was a three-time MLA from Alwar district–in 2003, 2008 and 2013.
151. The Facebook (FB) page of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has been ranked as the top ranked Facebook pages of Government bodies, ministries and political parties in India. Facebook released the data regarding the popularity of Chief Minister's Facebook pages and it is based on interactions on the platform which includes total reactions, shares and comments. In this category Yogi Adityanath's Facebook page is at first position while Chief Minister of Rajasthan Vasundhara Raje's Facebook Page is on second position and Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani's Page is on third rank. It shows the popularity of UP CM as he is the most sought after person on social media platform.
152. The 2018 Global Malaria Summit was held alongside the 25th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London, United Kingdom on April 18 to make game-changing commitments towards beating malaria at a time when efforts to end the preventable disease had stalled. The summit expected the world leaders to renew their financial and political commitments to continue the fight against malaria, which is showing signs of fighting back. Malaria cases rose to 216 million globally in 2016, five million more than a year ago. The summit featured collective commitments worth over $4.1 billion dollars from governments, private sector, philanthropists and international organisations. There was no India representative to participate in the summit because there is no India commitment.
153. As per the database of IMF's World Economic Outlook (WEO) for April 2018, India is the world's 6th largest economy with record Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $2.6 trillion for 2017. The five economies ahead are the United States, China, Japan, Germany and United Kingdom. This is the first time India crossed the $2.5 trillion yardstick used to distinguish between the big economies and the rest if the world. Further, the IMF has said that India is expected to grow at 7.4% in 2018 and 7.8% in 2019, up from 6.7% in 2017. Apart from this, the World Bank has also forecasted India's GDP growth from 6.7% in 2017 to 7.3% in 2018 and to subsequently stabilise at 7.5% in 2019 and 2020.
154. India has been ranked 10th in the latest Commonwealth Innovation Index (CII- 2018). The index was launched as part of a new Commonwealth Innovation Hub on the sidelines of the 25th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM 2018). It has been created in partnership with the United Nations World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and its annual Global Innovation Index (GII). The purpose of index is to provide a tool that allows member states, organisations and citizens to benchmark themselves against 53 countries of the Commonwealth, with the new innovation hub offering a dedicated online space for Commonwealth countries to showcase what they have to offer and share with other members. The list is topped by UK, Singapore and Canada.
155. Rajinder Sachar (94), the former Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court, has passed away in New Delhi on April 20, 2018. Son of veteran freedom fighter and former Chief Minister of Punjab Bhim Sen Sachar, he served as the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court from August to December, 1985. After retirement, Mr Sachar was associated with rights group, the People's Union for Civil Liberties. He was also the chairperson of a committee, set up during the UPA government to look into the social, economic and educational condition of Muslims in India.
156. In a bid to ease the cash crunch, the State Bank of India (SBI) has decided to allow depositors to withdraw cash from its Point of Sale (PoS) devices available with merchants. This "Cash@POS" facility will be available for customers of all banks and can be used in about 80% of SBI's PoS devices across the country. According to guidelines issued by the Reserve Bank of India, Customer can use SBI & any other bank debit card to withdraw cash up to Rs 1,000 in Tier 3 to 6 & up to Rs 1,000 in Tier 1 & 2 cities per card per day. Presently, the bank will not be charging any fees for these withdrawals.
157. The Union Government has constituted a Defence Planning Committee (DPC) to facilitate comprehensive planning for the defence forces besides focusing on military doctrines to deal with emerging security challenges. It will be chaired by National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval. Apart from the NSA, the committee will comprise, the foreign secretary, chairman of chiefs of staff committee, the Army, Navy and Air Force chiefs and secretary (expenditure) in the Finance Ministry. The chairman of the DPC can co-opt experts into it depending on requirement. The committee would prepare drafts of national security strategy and doctrines, international defence engagement strategy and roadmap to build defence manufacturing ecosystem. It will also work on strategy to boost defence exports, and prioritised capability development plans for the armed forces. The committee will also focus its energy on development of Indian defence industry and technology advancements. The DPC would submit its draft reports to the Defence Minister according to "given timelines" following which further approvals will be obtained as required.
158. On April 19, Lt Governor Anil Baijal has approved the Kejriwal government's proposal mandating an hourly compensation of Rs 100 to consumers in case of unscheduled power cuts. As per the proposed policy, power discoms will have to pay their consumers for unscheduled power cuts, after first hour, at an hourly rate of Rs 100. With the LG's approval, Delhi will become the first city in the country to have a policy to compensate consumers for unscheduled outages. There are three private power discoms including the BSES companies BYPL and BRPL, and the Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL) that supply power to the city, barring areas under the New Delhi Municipal Council and the Delhi Cantonment. The compensation earned by the consumers will be adjusted against their monthly power bill. In case, the compensation is not paid by the discoms, the consumers can lodge a complaint with the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Authority (DERC). The amount of compensation in such cases will be Rs 5,000 or five times of the compensation payable, whichever is higher.
159. The first meeting of the BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors was held on the sidelines of the IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington D.C on 19th April, 2018. The Government of India (GoI) was represented in the meeting by Subhash Chandra Garg , Secretary of Department of Economic Affairs (EA). The main issues discussed were related to increasing of 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.
160. The first-ever International SME Convention-2018 will be 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 and encourage people to people contact with select Indian Entrepreneurs from key sectors of the International counterparts. The convention has specific focus on inclusion of MSMEs in the Make in India program & empowering women entrepreneurs. In it, 150 participants from 31 countries and 400 entrepreneurs from India will participate.
161. The meeting of the Council of foreign ministers of the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) will be held in Beijing, China on April 24, 2018. The Indian delegation will be represented by Union External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj. Ms Swaraj is on 6-day visit to China and Mongolia. These are the first SCO meetings after India and Pakistan were admitted into the 8-member group in which China and Russia play an influential role. The foreign ministers meeting is part of the preparations of the SCO summit scheduled in June 2018 that will also be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Qingdao.
162. Tim Bergling (28), who is one of the world's biggest dance music stars, has passed away in Muscat, Oman on April 21, 2018. He is popularly known as DJ Avicii. He was a Swedish musician, DJ, remixer and record producer. His club anthems include Wake Me Up, Levels, and recently, Lonely Together with Rita Ora.
163. The World Earth Day (WED) is celebrated every year on April 22 worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection. The day was proposed at the UNESCO conference in 1969 and the first Earth Day celebrations took place in 1970. The person credited for organising the event 48 years ago is US Senator Gaylord Nelson. The 2018 campaign theme 'End Plastic Pollution' will provide the information and inspiration needed to fundamentally change human attitude and behavior about plastics. . The idea is to encourage people to cut down on their plastic consumption by paying a closer attention to the number of plastic items each person consumes annually and make a conscious effort to reduce the amount. According to a paper published in scientific journal Chemistry & Biology in 2009, plastic is non-biodegradable and disposed plastic can remain in the environment for up to 2,000 years.
164. Nabi Tajima (117), the world's oldest Japanese supercentenarian, has passed away in Kikai, Japan on April 21, 2018. She was born on August 4, 1900, and reportedly had more than 160 descendants, including great-great-great grandchildren. She was the last living person certified to have been born in the nineteenth century. Tajima became the world's oldest person 7 months ago after the death of Violet Brown in Jamaica, also at the age of 117.
165. Bengaluru FC has won the first edition of Indian Super Cup Football tournament on April 20, 2018. In the final at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, they defeated Kolkata football giants East Bengal by a convincing margin of 4-1. The competition is sponsored by Hero MotoCorp and is officially known as the Hero Super Cup.
166. Karan Johar has become the first-ever Bollywood filmmaker to get a place at the famous Madame Tussauds. The process has begun in London and it will take about six months for the wax figurine to be ready. Some of his noted works include 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai', 'My Name Is Khan', 'Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani', 'Agneepath', 'Wake Up Sid', and 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil'. Apart from Johar, other Indian dignitaries who have been graced with the honour are Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Salman Khan, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Anil Kapoor, Sachin Tendulkar, Katrina Kaif, PM Narendra Modi, Hrithik Roshan, Madhuri Dixit, Prabhas and Varun Dhawan.
167. TVR Shenoy, the veteran journalist and columnist, has passed away in Karnataka on April 17, 2018. He will be remembered for his deeper analysis and narrative style writing in his illustrious career as a newsman that spanned around five decades. In his lifetime, Shenoy contributed to numerous national and international newspapers, magazines on a wide range of issues through his writing. Shenoy was a regular contributor to The Indian Express among various newspapers which included Mathrabhumi, Gulf News among others. He was also the editor of The Week and was an executive member of Prasar Bharati. He has been doing freelance journalism for over two decades. Shenoy was awarded the prestigious Padma Bhushan award in 2003.
168. The Chinese dragon 'Son of Dreams' has been declared the official mascot of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 in China. This is no ordinary Chinese dragon, but one that is magic, full of wisdom, persistence and strength. Son of Dream, who is holding a basketball, is fit, energetic and wears high tops to pay homage to China's greatest ever player, Yao Ming. Son of Dream has horns that symbolize the hope that the eyes of the world will be on China when the FIBA Basketball World Cup is staged. The tournament will take place in 8 Chinese cities from August 31 until September 15.
169. Daniel Ricciardo, an Australian racing driver who is currently competing in Formula One for Red Bull Racing, has won the 2018 Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix tournament at the Shanghai International Circuit in Shanghai, China. The race was the third round of the 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship and marked the fifteenth time that the Chinese Grand Prix has been run as a round of the Formula One World Championship.
170. Indu Jain, chairman of Bennett, Coleman & Co, has been conferred with the All India Management Association's (AIMA's) annual award for lifetime contribution to media oon April 18, 2018. AIMA honours achievers who created a fundamental difference to society through its annual Managing India Awards. It has honoured Indu Jain for managing the Times Group and for establishing the Times Foundation. Indu Jain also received the Padma Bhushan in 2016. She launched the Times Foundation in 2000 to carry out community services, research foundation, and relief funds.
171. On 23rd April 2018, Manipur is observing Khongjom Day to pay tributes to the great warriors of Anglo-Manipur battle of 1891 at Khongjom in Thoubal district. The warriors laid down their lives safeguarding the freedom of the state. In the main function at Khebaching, the State Governor Dr. Najma Heptulla and Chief Minister N. Biren Singh led the people to pay floral tribute at the Khongjom War memorial site. Floral tributes were also paid at the statue of Major Paona Brajabasi, who led the Manipuri warriors against the British forces. Religious offering will also be paid at the Khongjom River near the battlefield.
172. Balantrapu Rajanikantha Rao (98), the noted Telugu poet-composer, musicologist and artist, has passed away in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh on April 23, 2018. Born at Nidadavole on January 20, 1920, Mr. Rao started his career as a programme executive in All India Radio (AIR) at Madras in 1941. He wrote and composed the first ever Telugu song (Mroyimpu Jayabheri) to be broadcast in Independent India post midnight of August 14, 1947, following the famous speech of first Prime Minister the country, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Apart from music, he carved a niche for himself in the field of writing too. Some of his popular published works are Andhra Vaggeyakata Charitram, Viswaveena, Satapatra Sundari, Ksheytrayya, Ramadasu, Jeji Mamayya Paatalu, etc.
173. The 16th Federation Cup Junior National junior (under-20) athletics championship was held in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu on April 20, 2018. Over 800 athletes from 32 states, including 72 athletes from Tamil Nadu, participated in the championship. It is jointly organised by the State Athletic Association, Coimbatore District Athletic Association and Sri Krishna Educational Institutions. The three-day meet, which features athletes aged between 16 and 20, will serve as selection trial for three championships viz. 3rd South Asian junior championship in Colombo (May 5-7), 18th Asian junior championship in Gifu, Japan (June 7-10) and the IAAF World under-20 championship in Tampere, Finland (July 10-15).
174. The United Nations (UN) has officially declared April 21 as the World Creativity and Innovation Day (WCID) to encourage people to use creativity in problem-solving. The first official WCID was celebrated on April 21, 2018. The day is marked as well positioned to encourage creative multidisciplinary thinking to help us achieve the sustainable future we want.
175. The Government of India (GoI) celebrates April 21 every year as 'Civil Services day' as an occasion for the civil servants to rededicate themselves to the cause of citizen and renew their commitments to public service and excellence in work. This date is chosen to commemorate the day when first Home Minister of Independent India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel addressed the probationers of Administrative Services Officers in 1947 at Metcalf House, Delhi, he referred to civil servants as the 'steel frame of India'. This year, in 2018, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the two-day Civil Services Day event in New Delhi. He also released a book 'Emulating Excellence- Takeaways for Replication'.
176. Two 12-year-old football enthusiasts — Surya Varikuti and Rudresh Gaudnour — have been selected as India's representatives at the global Football For Friendship (F4F) social programme in Russia. The F4F programme, supported by Gazprom and FIFA aims at developing youth football and a healthy lifestyle, as well as promoting tolerance, open-mindedness and respect for different cultures and nationalities between children from across the globe. This year, the F4F programme has expanded to 211 countries and regions. This is the second time that Surya will join young footballers from around the world in Moscow in June. The children will be part of the 32 International Teams of Friendship and play against each other in the Gazprom F4F International Championship. Rudresh will act as the young journalist and report on all the local and global activities of the F4F programme as part of the International Children's Press Center. Surya and Rudresh will also participate in the Football for Friendship International Children's Forum in Russia, where the youngsters will get a chance to meet their peers from other countries and share their experiences.
177. MS Ravi (68), the Chief Editor of leading Malayalam daily "Kerala Kaumadi", has passed away in Thiruvananthapuram on April 20, 2018. He was the fourth son of Kerala Kaumudi founder editor K. Sukumaran and Madhavi Sukumaran. Mr. Ravi was an energetic presence in the State's social and cultural circuit & was also a recipient of several awards.
178. King Mswati III of Swaziland, who is the Africa's last absolute monarchy, has officially changed the name of his country to the 'Kingdom of eSwatini' to mark 50 years since independence from British rule. Meaning "Land of the Swazis", eSwatini is the Swazi language name for the tiny state landlocked between South Africa and Mozambique. Unlike some countries, Swaziland did not change its name when it gained independence in 1968 after being a British protectorate for more than 60 years. The change was unexpected, but King Mswati has been referring to Swaziland for years as eSwatini. It was the name the king used when he addressed the UN general assembly in 2017 and at the state opening of the country's parliament in 2014.
179. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has created history by becoming the first listed Indian IT company to hit the $100 billion market capitalisation (m-cap) mark. On April 23, 2018, the market value of the company stood at Rs 6.53 lakh crore. TCS breached the Rs 3,500 ($52.87) per share mark for the first time, reaching $100 billion in market capitalisation. By definition, market capitalisation is the value of a company that is traded on the stock market, calculated by multiplying the total number of shares by the present share price.
180. The Basava Sagar Dam is a dam constructed across the Krishna River at Siddapur Village in Bijapur District of Karnataka. It is previously known as Narayanpur Dam. It has a total storage capacity of 37.965 tmcft with 30.5 tmcft live storage. The full reservoir level is 492.25 m MSL and the minimum draw down level is 481.6 m MSL. The dam is 29 meters high and over 10 kilometres long and has 30 gates for water release.
181. The 2018 Secure India Conclave has started in New Delhi on April 24, 2018, which is being organised by Global Counter Terrorism keeping in view Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of New India : Secure India 2018. Several sessions on Left Wing Extremism, internal security situation on Jammu and Kashmir, cyber security and other areas will be chaired by eminent personnel during the 2-day summit. The event will present a unique encapsulation of prevalent issues in India's internal security and would serve as a current and exhaustive update for those attending the conclave.
182. The National Panchayati Raj Day (NPRD) is celebrated every year in India on April 24 by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj. On this day, in 1993, the Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 came into force that has institutionalized Panchayati Raj through the village, Intermediate and District level Panchayats.
183. The World Book and Copyright Day is observed every year on April 23 to raise public awareness of books and reading and pay tribute to authors in the book industry, professionals or volunteers. The day is being organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to promote reading, publishing and copyright. It is a symbolic date for world literature. In 1616, on this date, Miguel de Cervantes, William Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega died. The day is also known as International Day of the Book or World Book Days. Athens, the capital of Greece, has been designated as the UNESCO World Book Capital 2018 for the quality of its activities, supported by the entire book industry. Athens is the 18th city to become World Book Capital.
184. Out of 2.5 lakhs gram panchayats, the Central Government has declared Digambarpur gram panchayat of West Bengal in South 24 Parganas district as the best panchayat in the country. The survey was conducted by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj. On the basis of 7 factors of work include the system of planning, quality of planning, different activities and level of coordination, implementation of the plan and its proper monitoring, use of Information Technology and documentation the ranking of the Gram Panchayats have been selected. Gram Panchayats in districts including Purulia, Birbhum and Burdwan have also been awarded special prizes for certain achievements.
185. The Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) has signed Information Utility (IU) pact with National E-Governance Services Limited (NeSL) to share financial and security information under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IU) regulation 2017.. With this agreement, the IOB branches will be able to provide high-quality, authenticated information about debts and defaults; which will have more transparency in maintaining the list of borrowers, debtors, creditors and loan defaulters. The NeSL is the India's first IU registered by the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) for bankruptcy cases under the 'Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) 2016' in October 2017. IU stores financial information that helps to establish defaults as well as verify claims expeditiously and thereby facilitates completion of transactions under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 in a time bound manner.
186. Rafael Nadal, a Spanish professional tennis player, has won the 2018 Monte-Carlo Masters tennis tournament by defeating Kei Nishikori in the final by 6–3, 6–2 in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France. With this, he became the first man to win a single tournament 11 times in the Open era with his 76th ATP Tour title. By winning the title, Nadal also retained the ATP no. 1 singles ranking. Apart from this, Nadal also overtook Serbia's Novak Djokovic to clinch most Masters 1000 titles (31).
187. Mohamed Salah of Liverpool has become the first Egyptian player to be crowned the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) player of the year at the 45th PFA awards at Grosvenor House in central London on April 22, 2018. He is the first Liverpool player since Ian Rush to score 40 goals in a season, and has also matched Luis Suarez's record of 31 Premier League goals in a campaign. He may yet break Rush's goal record of 47 in a season. He currently has 41 goals in just 46 appearance in all competitions.
188. On April 24, the Government of India (GoI), the Government of Madhya Pradesh and the World Bank have signed a $210 million loan agreement for the Madhya Pradesh Rural Connectivity Project. The project is expected to improve the durability, resilience and safety of the gravel surfaced rural roads and enhance the capacity of the state to manage its rural roads network. The project will cover 10,510 km stretch of rural roads in Madhya Pradesh that fall under the Chief Minister's Gram Sadak Yojana (CMGSY) program. Of this 10,000 km will be upgraded from existing gravel to bituminous surface roads, while 510 km of new roads will be built to the same bituminous surface standard.
189. Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, chaired the first meeting of the think tank on the Framework for National Policy on E-commerce in New Delhi on April 24th, 2018. The think tank on the Framework for National Policy on E-commerce has been established recently by the Department of Commerce. It will provide a credible forum for an inclusive and fact-based dialogue leading to recommendations for informed policy making, so that the country is adequately prepared to take advantage of the opportunities, and meet the challenges, that would arise from the next wave of advancements in digital economy. Approx representatives of 50 organizations participated in the meeting. The think tank will explore options for providing a fillip to entrepreneurship in digital economy. It will identify specific policy interventions for nurturing domestic firms and create jobs in e-commerce.
190. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan at Ram Nagar in Mandla district of Madhya Pradesh on the occasion of 2018 National Panchayati Raj Day. The purpose of the scheme is to strengthen the country's Panchayati Raj system and address critical gaps that hinder its success. The scheme focuses on training, building infrastructure and stepping up initiatives for e-governance under the e-Panchayat Mission Mode Project. Mr Modi also unveiled a plaque to mark the laying of foundation stone of an LPG bottling plant of Indian Oil Corporation at Maneri. He also inaugurated Aadi Mahotsava, a 3-day program on the conservation of ancient Tribal culture and heritage. The Prime Minister also unveiled a roadmap for the development of tribal areas in the state.
191. Indo-Pak 1971 war veteran Brigadier Francis Regis Campos, VSM, AVSM, passed away at Secunderabad on April 23, 2018. During the 1971 Indo-Pak War, his meticulous planning and foresight as Adjutant Quarter Master General (AQMG) of 54 Infantry Division, led to effective logistic support during a critical phase of the Battle of Basantar in the Shakargarh Sector. For his distinguished service in an operational area, he was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM). In October 1977, consequent on a major rail accident near Allahabad, he once again displayed unusual initiative in rendering aid to civil authorities. He planned and executed quick medical aid and evacuation of casualties to various hospitals, which saved many lives. For this distinguished service of exceptional order, he was awarded the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM).
192. As per World Bank (WB)'s latest report "Migration and Development Brief", India is the highest recipient of remittances globally in 2017 with $69 billion, followed by China ($64 billion), the Philippines ($33 billion), Mexico ($31 billion), Nigeria ($22 billion), and Egypt ($20 billion). In its report, the World Bank estimated that officially recorded remittances to low-and middle-income countries reached USD 466 billion in 2017. This was an increase of 8.5% over USD 429 billion in 2016. Remittances are expected to continue to increase in 2018, by 4.1% to reach $485 billion. Global remittances are expected to grow 4.6% to $642 billion in 2018. As per report, the longer-term risks to growth of remittances include stricter immigration policies in many remittance-source countries. Also, de-risking by banks and increased regulation of money transfer operators, both aimed at reducing financial crime, continue to constrain the growth of formal remittances.
193. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has given in principle nod to aid Rs 1,700 crore to Uttarakhand for infrastructure development and creation of sewerage treatment facilities in urban areas. With the sanctioned amount, the transport system will be upgraded and 24 hours water supply will be ensured to the citizens. This was conveyed to Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat by the country director of ADB's India Regiment Mission Kenichi Yokoyama at a meeting in Dehradun on April 23, 2018. Plans for beautification of 1000 km state highway and Tehri lake were also proposed.
194. Diu Smart City has become the first city in India that runs on 100% renewable energy during daytime setting a new benchmark for other cities to become clean and green. Diu had been importing 73% of its power from Gujarat until last year. It has now adopted a two-pronged approach whereby a 9 MW solar park spread over 50 hectares rocky barren land has been developed besides installing solar panels on the roof tops on 79 government buildings thereby generating 1.3 MW annually. To further enhance its solar capacity, Diu also offers its residents a subsidy of Rs 10, 000-50,000 for installing 1-5 -KW rooftop solar panels. The city is saving about 13,000 tonnes of carbon emissions every year and due to low-cost solar energy, power tariffs have been cut in residential category by 10% last year and 15% this year.
195. The coastal security exercise 'Sagar Kavach' was held along Kerala shores on April 24, 2018 to strengthen and assess the loopholes in the coastal security mechanism. Apart from the Indian Coast Guard, the Indian Navy, Coastal Police and Marine Enforcement wing and various other security stakeholders were also participating in the 2-day exercise. Three ships of the navy, 10 of Coastguard, four fishing boats, besides 20 coastal police stations from Vizhinjam to Kasaragod are among those took part in the drill held twice a year.
196. The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) is tying up with the United States and Finland to develop a pollution-forecast system that will help anticipate particulate matter (PM) levels at least two days in advance and at a greater resolution than what is possible now. Currently, the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), run out of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, serves as the apex forecaster of pollution trends in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Ahmedabad. It generates a likely air quality profile, a day in advance, for these cities. IITM is an organisation under the MoES. The new system, to be jointly developed with expertise from the Finnish Meteorological Institute and the U.S.' National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will use a different modelling approach as well as computational techniques from that employed in the SAFAR model.
197. The World Malaria Day (WMD) is observed every year on April 25 to recognize global efforts to control malaria, which affects and claims millions of lives annually. Malaria is caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. According to the World Malaria Report 2017 released by World Health Organisation (WHO), there were an estimated 216 million cases of malaria in 91 countries in 2016, an increase of 5 million cases over 2015. Also, deaths caused by the vector-borne disease were estimated around 445 000 in 2016, a similar number (446 000) to 2015. The 2018 theme "Ready to beat malaria" mark the importance of collective responsibility and commitment of global community in bringing together people on working towards making world free of malaria.
198. The Ministry of Finance has signed a loan agreement for IBRD credit of $125 million (equivalent) with the World Bank for the 'Innovate in India for Inclusiveness Project in New Delhi on April 24, 2018. The purpose of the project are to nurture indigenous innovation, foster local product development and accelerate the commercialisation process by bridging critical skill and infrastructure gaps to promote affordable and innovative healthcare products generation for inclusive development and increasing competitiveness in India. The closing date ofproject is June 30, 2023.
199. Egyptian photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid, known as Shawkan, has won the 2018 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano Press Freedom Prize. Shawkan has been in jail since 14 August 2013 when he was arrested while covering a demonstration at Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square in Cairo. In early 2017, the prosecutor in his case reportedly called for the death penalty. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions has qualified his arrest and detention as arbitrary and contrary to the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The Prize will be awarded on 2 May on the occasion of 2018 World Press Freedom Day.
200. World record holder Shahzar Rizvi claimed India's first medal at the 2018 World Cup organised by the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) at Changwon, South Korea. He won the silver in the 10 meter air pistol event. Rizvi missed the gold by 0.2 points to Russia's Artem Chernousov. Samuil Donkov of Bulgaria won the Bronze. With Rizvi's silver, India gets eight more finals left to play over the next five competition days.
201. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the increase in the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Raw Jute for 2018-19 season. The MSP for Fair Average Quality of Raw Jute has been increased to Rs 3700 per quintal for 2018-19 season from Rs 3500 per quintal in 2017-18 season. The MSP of Raw Jute is expected to ensure appropriate minimum prices to the farmers and step up investment in Jute cultivation and thereby production and productivity in the country. The increased MSP is based on recommendations of Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP). It takes into account the cost of production, overall demand-supply, domestic and international prices, terms of trade across sectors and the likely impact of MSP on rest of the economy.
202. The bilateral joint training exercise "Harimau Shakti 2018" will be conducted between India and Malaysia in the dense forests of Sengai Perdik in Hulu Langat district of Malaysia from April 30 to May 13, 2018. The Indian Army will be represented by 4 Grenadiers, one of the oldest infantry battalions which have rich operational experience in conventional as well as counter- insurgency warfare. The aim of the exercise is to bolster cooperation and coordination between armed forces of both the nations and to share the expertise of both the contingents in conduct of counter insurgency operations in jungle terrain.
203. The Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has launched the 2nd edition of the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan under which students from 750 higher educational institutions from across the country will adopt villages and visit them to get acquainted with lifestyle of people there and the problems faced by them. The ministr advised the students to involve local village people at every stage of problem identification and solvinyg issues relating to health, cleanliness, waste management, plantation, financial inclusion, women and child development. Under the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan, the institutions have been selected on a Challenge Mode and the scheme has been extended to 750 reputed Higher Educational Institutes, both public and private of the country.
204. On April 26, Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with Google India has launched a 360° Virtual Reality (VR) experience video on Incredible India https://t.co/H1VdcNXBUR. As part of the partnership, Google Arts and Culture will provide users with an immersive 360-degree view of India's heritage festivity spirituality and adventure. The video will showcase users a 360-degree view of some of the most iconic destinations in India including Qutub Minar Amritsar' s Golden Temple Vitthala Temples at Hampi and Goa's easygoing vibe. The video has been created using the best of 360-degree video capture technology including Google s Yi Halo camera and the music is inspired by the rhythms and melodies of the regions depicted in the video.
205. The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given approval for the inclusion of tribal-dominated Scheduled Areas 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. With this, the Scheduled Tribes (ST) 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 5th Schedule to the Constitution of India. No additional funds are required as to be expended on account of declaration of scheduled areas. This will be part of Tribal sub-plan ( renamed as Tribal Sub-Scheme) within existing schemes of central and the state government for more focused attention in scheduled areas for effecting speedy development.
206. The National Kharif Conference 2018 was held at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi on April 25, 2018. Radha Mohan Singh, the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare, has said that the schemes such as National Food Security Mission, Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH), National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm, Rashtriya Gokul Mission, National Livestock Mission, Blue Revolution etc. are being run to ensure better productivity. Similarly, to reduce the cost of farming, Soil Health Card, use of neem-coated urea and more crop per drop etc are being implemented successfully. Or a profitable income source, e-NAM, cold storage, storage facility at concessional rate of interest, post-harvest credit facility, increase in base MSP etc are being emphasized. Apart from this, Agriculture officers and scientists discussed ways to increase income through new technology in the ongoing Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan where every block will organize Kisan Kalyan Karyashala on May 2, 2018.
207. Tony Daniel (66), the technical committee chairman of the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) and the executive vice-president of Kerala State Athletics Association (KSAA), has passed away in Kochi on April 25, 2018. He was one of the IAAF International Technical Officials (ITO) in the country who has officiated in many international and national championships. He was the Kerala sprint champion in 1970 and held the record for many years.
208. Nadiya Shafi, a video reporter from Srinagar, has won the 2018 Martha Farrell Award for Excellence in women's empowerment. The award is in recognition of Nadiya's commitment towards gender equality and leading gender discussions clubs in her hometown defying patriarchal norms. Beside this, the 'best organisation for gender equality' award went to Maharashtra-based Resource and Support Centre for Development (RSCD) for sustained efforts towards promoting inclusion of women in political processes across 30 districts of Maharashtra. The award is instituted in the memory of Dr. Martha Farrell, who was killed in Kabul in a terrorist attack in 2015 while leading a gender training workshop for the Aga Khan Foundation. It carries a cash prize of Rs 1.50 lakh and is co-sponsored by Rizwan Adatia Foundation (RAF) and Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA), and supported by Martha Farrell Foundation (MFF).
209. The world's first-ever female foreign ministers' meeting will be hosted by Canada and the European Union (EU) in September 2018. The announcement was made by the Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland on April 22, 2018 in Toronto. The meeting will be held on 20-21 September in Canada. The female foreign ministers from about 30 countries will be invited to the gathering, which is aimed at deepening global discussion on women's empowerment.
210. The Jalaput Dam is a hydroelectric dam built on the Machkund River, a tributary of the Godavari River, and stands as a boundary between the states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. The dam is situated near Ondra Gadda in the district of Visakhapatnam and is placed along the Mudugal hills. It has a steep fall along it known as the Duduma Falls. It impounds 34.273 Tmcft of water for the needs of down stream 120 MW Machkund Hydro-Electric Scheme (MHES), which is in operation since 1955.
211. India's first-ever nationwide conference on the archaeology, anthropology and sociology of food will be held in Mumbai, Maharashtra from on May 5 and 6, 2018. The conference titled "ArchaeoBroma" is being touted as India's first-ever national meet on "food as culture". It will be organised by the India Study Centre Trust (INSTUCEN Trust) and the Centre for Extra-Mural Studies (CEMS) of the University of Mumbai. Topics like concepts in food studies will focus on creating an academic framework for examining food from point of views of history, archaeology and sociology.
212. As per Indian Standard (IS) 646:1986, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has granted the first license to M/s Gujarat Alkalies and Chemicals Ltd for Liquid Chlorine on All India basis. The licence has been made operative with effect from 12th April, 2018 for a period of one year. The product 'Liquid Chlorine' is in liquid form and stored in metal containers. It is usually used as a gas obtained by evaporating the liquid from the metal container. It is used mainly in paper, pulp, textile bleaching, water sterilization and manufacture of chemicals. The IS 646:1986 for Liquid Chlorine (Technical) prescribes the requirements and the methods of sampling and test for liquid chlorine, technical. The move will facilitate industry to get a quality Liquid Chlorine with Standard Mark under BIS Certification Marks scheme. The headquarters of BIS is located in New Delhi.
213. India has been ranked 138th out of 180 countries in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index (WPFI), which is compiled by Reporters Without Borders. As per index, India fared poorly on indicators such as hate speeches, attacks on journalists on social media, trolling them and targeting their reputation. The report also mentions that at least 4 journalists have been gunned down in India in the previous year. As per the annual report of Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the index reflects increasing hostility towards journalists in democratic countries. The index that evaluates press freedom in 180 countries, showed that "media phobia" has become more pronounced. Norway topped the list of having the world's freest press for the second year in a row, followed by Sweden and The Netherlands. On the other hand, North Korea remained the most repressive country followed by Eritrea, Turkmenistan, Syria and then China.
214. Mario Abdo Benitez, who belongs to the ruling Colorado Party, has won the 2018 presidential election in Paraguay by defeating Efraín Alegre with 46.46% of the votes to 42.73%. The new President and Vice-President will take office on 15 August 2018 and will leave the office in August 2023.
215. Vistara, the joint venture carrier between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, has become the 3rd Indian carrier to be a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), a global body of 280 airlines. Air India and Jet Airways are the two other airlines in India that are IATA members. The IATA membership will enable Vistara to collaborate with other international member airlines for codeshare and interline agreements, and provide a seamless travel experience through an extended global network to travellers to and from India. IATA represents airlines from over 120 countries. It advocates for the interests of airlines across the globe, establishes standards to simplify process and increase passenger convenience, and helps airlines to operate safely, efficiently and economically. Currently, Vistara operates over 730 flights a week to 22 destinations with a fleet of 20 Airbus A320 aircraft.
216. The World Intellectual Property Day (WIPD) is observed every year on April 26 to highlight the role of intellectual property rights, such as patents, trademarks, industrial designs, and copyright, in spurring innovation and creativity. The 2018 theme is "Powering Change: Women in Innovation and Creativity".
217. The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has been awarded the 2018 National Intellectual Property (IP) Award 2018 in the category 'Top R&D Institution/Organisation for Patents and Commercialisation'. The award was handed over by Union Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu to mark the 2018 World Intellectual Property Day (WIPD). The CSIR has been ranked 9th amongst 1,207 government institutions, with an overall global ranking of 75 covering 5,250 institutions. The CSIR was established in 1942. It runs 38 laboratories and 39 field stations throughout the nation, with a collective staff of over 12,000 scientists and scientific and technical personnel. Although, it is mainly funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology, it operates as an autonomous body through the Societies Registration Act, 1860.
218. On April 26, the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) of the NITI Aayog has launched the Atal New India Challenge, which aims to support innovators to create products/solutions based on advanced technologies in areas of national importance and social relevance through a grant-based mechanism. Under the challenge, grants of up to Rs 1 crore and mentorship will be given to the winning ideas. AIM will invite prospective innovators, MSMEs and start-ups to design market-ready products, using cutting-edge technologies or prototypes. The focus areas include climate-smart agriculture, smart mobility, predictive maintenance of rolling stock, and waste management. Applicants showing capability, intent and potential to productize technologies will be awarded grants up to Rs 1 crore. This grant will be further supplemented by mentoring, handholding, incubating and other support as needed at various stages of commercialisation, while generating wider deployment for the product.
219. Indu Malhotra, a renowned arbitration expert, has become the first woman lawyer to be directly promoted as a judge of the Supreme Court (SC). She took oath of office and secrecy as Supreme Court judge in New Delhi on April 27, 2018. With Malhotra joining the bench, the strength of the Supreme Court is now 25, against the sanctioned strength of 31, including the Chief Justice of India (CJI). In 2007, Ms Malhotra, was only the second women to be appointed a senior advocate by the apex court, three decades after Leila Seth made the history. In 1989, Justice M Fathima Beevi became the first woman to be appointed as a judge of the apex court. Thereafter, Justice Sujata V Manohar, Justice Ruma Pal, Justice Gyan Sudha Misra and Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai made it to the top court as judges.
220. The Dudhsagar Waterfalls is amongst India's tallest waterfalls with a height of 310 m and an average width of 30 metres. It is a four-tiered waterfall located on the Mandovi River in Goa. It is 60 km from Panaji by road and is located in the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park among the Western Ghats. The waterfall forms the border between Karnataka and Goa states. The area is surrounded by a deciduous forests with a rich biodiversity.
221. Siddhant Banthia from Pune has won the Indian leg of the junior French Open wild card tournament in New Delhi on April 27, 2018. He beat reigning Under-16 national champion Mann Maulik Shah 6-4, 2-6, 7-6. The girls event was won by Rashmikaa S Bhamidipaty, who defeated Tanisha Kashyap 6-4, 6-4. Banthia will now compete with winners from China and Brazil in the final Qualifier to get an entry into the main draw of the junior French Open.
222. The Dalmia Bharat Limited has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Union Tourism Ministry to take up Red Fort (Delhi) and Gandikota Fort (Andhra Pradesh) under the 'Adopt a Heritage' project. By signing the contract, Dalmia Bharat has become the first corporate to be part of the initiative. It will look after the operations and the maintenance of these heritage sites for the next five years. The 'Adopt a Heritage' project is a unique endeavour by the Ministry of Tourism, which envisions in developing monuments, heritage and tourist sites across India to enhance their tourism potential and cultural importance. The adoption will allow the corporate to construct, landscape, illuminate and maintain activities related to provision and development of tourist amenities. It will also include various basic and advanced amenities such as public conveniences, clean drinking water, and cleanliness of the monument among others. The group will also introduce other key amenities for the visitors like App based Multi lingual Audio-Guide, easy accessibility to the differently-abled visitors.
223. The 2nd edition of Shirui Lily Festival 2018 has recently concluded at Ukhrul district in Manipur on April 28, 2018. The festival is sponsored by the Department of Tourism, Government of Manipur to spread awareness about conservation of the endangered Shirui Lily and promote the district of Ukhrul as a tourist destination in Manipur. The festival is also being supported by NEC and aims to promote afforestation and sustainable tourism efforts in the state.
224. The Haryana government has appointed international shooter Gauri Sheoran as brand ambassador for its Measles and Rubella (MR) vaccination campaign. The decision was announced by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar at the launch of MR vaccination campaign. Under the campaign, around 80 lakh children — in the age group of nine months to 15 years — would be vaccinated. The chief minister also flagged off 11 medical mobile units for the campaign. Through this campaign, the government proposes to eliminate measles and control rubella in the country by year 2020.
225. The Government of India (GoI) has entered into a legal agreement with the World Bank for a flexible financing arrangement to accelerate research towards early development for biopharmaceuticals. A Statement issued by the government said the mission has been approved at a cost of 250 million dollars for five years with 50 per cent funding through the World Bank Loan. The aim is to make India a hub for design and development of novel, affordable and effective biopharmaceutical products. The agreement was executed between the project implementing agency, Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council, a PSU of Department of Biotechnology, Department of Economic Affairs Ministry of Finance and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) on behalf of World Bank.
226. On April 29, Pawan Chamling has created history by becoming the longest serving chief minister in India. He surpassed the record of former communist ruler of West Bengal, Late Jyoti Basu. Chamling became the chief minister of Sikkim on 12th December 1994 and has ruled the tiny Himalayan state ever since. He is also the president of Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF). Chamling, who also writes poetry, joined politics in 1973 and was elected to the Sikkim assembly for the first time in 1985. The assembly elections will be held in Sikkim in 2019.
227. The Asia-Pacific Regional Workshop of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) was held in New Delhi on April 24, 2018 to build the capacity of the Asia-Pacific Region to monitor and report on land degradation. The workshop was jointly hosted by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and UNCCD Secretariat. The 4-day workshop trained the participants in the use of an innovative land degradation monitoring tool by Conservation International, for the reporting process of UNCCD. The participants included delegates from about 40 Asia Pacific countries, as well as representatives from 12 Indian states affected by land degradation, scientists and researchers from scientific institutions of national importance and line-Ministries. The UNCCD is the only legally binding international agreement on land issues. The convention promotes good land stewardship.
228. Sitanshu Yashaschandra, the Gujarati poet, playwright and academic, has been selected for the 2017 Saraswati Samman for his collection of verses titled 'Vakhar'. The award is presented by the KK Birla Foundation, a literary and cultural organisation that also gives the Vyas Samman for Hindi and Bihari Puraskar for Hindi and Rajasthani writers of Rajasthan. It is the highest recognition in the field of Indian literature in the country and carries a citation, a plaque and award money of Rs 15 lakh.
229. The NDMA has conducted its first-ever mock exercise on Bio-Disasters at the Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Airport in Patna, Bihar. The full-scale Biological Management Emergency exercise was based on a suspected Ebola outbreak scenario. The aim of the 5-day training programme is to enhance the preparedness of Airport Emergency Handlers (AEHs) to respond to CBRN emergencies at the airports. The CBRN emergencies pertain to threats emanating due to Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear material. It was conducted in collaboration with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Allied Sciences (INMAS).
230. The Sipat Super Thermal Power Station is located at Sipat in Bilaspur district, Chhattisgarh. The power plant, which is also known as Rajiv Gandhi Super Thermal Power Station, is one of the coal based power plants of NTPC. The coal for the power plant is sourced from Dipika Mines of South Eastern Coalfields Limited. The project has an installed capacity of 2980 MW consisting of two stages, stage one which got commissioned late was of 3 units of 660 MW each involving super-critical boilers technology and stage two consisted of 2 units of 500 MW each.
231. Indian fencer C A Bhavani Devi from Tamil Nadu has won a silver medal in the sabre event of the Tournoi World Cup Satellite Fencing Championship in Reykjavik, Iceland on April 29,2018. In the final, she went down 10-15 to USA's Alexis Browne. Bhavani beat Parede Torres 15-9 in the quarterfinal and followed it up by getting past Guila Arpino of Italy 15-10 in the semifinal. Bhavani Devi had won a gold at the 2017 Reykjavik tournament to become the first Indian win to do so in an international fencing event.
232. As part of Gram Swaraj Abhiyan, Ayushman Bharat Diwas has celebrated across the country on April 29, 2018. During the event, information regarding Ayushman Bharat Scheme is being provided to people during health camps organised in rural areas. The Ayushman Bharat programme seeks to provide easily available and affordable medical facilities in the remote parts of the country. The Scheme has the benefits cover of 5 lakh rupees per family per year. Through the scheme, the families belonging to poor and vulnerable population based on Socio-Economic Caste Census database will be benefited. A beneficiary will be allowed to take cashless benefits from any public and private empanelled hospitals across the country. The Ayushman Bharat has twin missions. The first is to create a network of Health and Wellness Centres to deliver comprehensive primary health care close to the community. Secondly, it aims to provide insurance coverage to 40% of India's population for secondary and tertiary care, including hospitalization costs.
233. Prajnesh Gunneswaran from Chennai has clinched his first ever singles tennis title on the ATP Challenger circuit on April 29, 2018. In the final of the Kunming Open at Anning, China, he defeated Egypt's Mohammed Safwat in three sets 5-7, 6-3, 6-1. He pocketed $21,600 and earned 125 points, which will push him inside top-200. The new ranking chart will be issued on April 30. India will now have three players inside top-200 as Prajnesh is expected to be around 175. Yuki Bhambri leads the chart for the country at number 83 and is followed by Ramkumar Ramanathan at the 115 position. It may be recalled that Prajnesh had won the decisive fifth rubber of the recent Asia/Oceania Group I second round Davis Cup Tie against China at Tianjin.
234. Rafael Nadal, a Spanish professional tennis player, has lifted his 11th Barcelona Open tennis title on April 29, 2018 and extended his record of 46 consecutive sets won on clay. In the final, he defeated Greek teenager Stefanos Tsitsipas by 6-2 6-1. With this, Nadal also achieved a number of records, having achieved 400 career wins on clay. He became the only player with 400 or more career wins on both clay and hard.
235. The Maharashtra government has signed a MoU with the British Council to strengthen educational and cultural cooperation. With this MoU, the British Council hopes to expand its existing work in the state, where in recent times, it has trained more than 100,000 teachers benefitting around five million learners. The areas of potential collaboration include developing further initiatives to improve English teaching and enhance employability skills in schools and training institutes, building capacity in higher education and research and further co-operation on inspiring hundreds of thousands of people in the state through arts and culture.
236. Singing legend Asha Bhosle has been honoured with the Lifetime 26th P C Chandra Puraskaar 2018at the Science City auditorium.in Mumbai, Maharashtra on April 29, 2018. The award is a tribute to the founding father of the P. C. Chandra Group, the late Shri Purna Chandra Chandra. It carries an honorarium of Rs 10 lakh which is tax exempted.
237. The International Dance Day (IDD) is observed every year on April 29 to recognise the value of the art form across the world. It marks the birth anniversary of French dancer Jean-Georges Noverre, the creator of modern ballet. The day was created by the Dance Committee of the International Theatre Institute (ITI), the main partner for the performing arts of UNESCO. This day is a celebration day for those who can see the value and importance of the art form "dance", and acts as a wake-up-call for governments, politicians and institutions which have not yet recognised its value to the people and to the individual and have not yet realised its potential for economic growth.
238. The book "My Journey from Marxism-Leninism to Nehruvian Socialism" has been authored by C H Hanumantha Rao, who is former Planning Commission and Finance Commission member. Mr Rao is presently one of the most creative thinkers, social activist, and distinguished economist in India. The book has been launched by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. A period, on which Professor Rao does not comment on much, that is the period of 1975 Emergency, which was imposed by late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. But it is quite clear from this book that he was not very happy with Emergency and the suspension of human rights and civil rights in the country.
239. On April 29, the 2018 International Buddhist Conference was held in Lumbini, the birth place of Gautama Buddha. It was organised as part of 2562nd Buddha Jayanti celebrations. The basic purpose of the conference was to disseminate teachings of Gautam Buddha and spread the messages of nonviolence, brotherhood, co-existence, love and peace to the international community. Representatives from more than 20 nations, including India, reputed archaeologists, historians, Buddhist gurus and scholars, participated in the conference. The 2-day conference, organised with the theme 'Lumbini Nepal: The birthplace of Lord Buddha and the fountain of Buddhism and world peace', concluded with a 10-point Lumbini Declaration 2018, which includes issues such as interfaith dialogue, infrastructure development, connecting Buddhist attractions in Nepal and India, and implementing the Greater Lumbini Area Master Plan.
240. The multi-nation counter-terrorism exercise "Peace Mission" will be held at the Ural mountains of Russia in September 2018, which will take place under the framework of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). The purpose of the exercise will be to enhance counter-terror cooperation among the 8 SCO member countries. It will be for the first time since Independence that India and Pakistan will both be part of a military exercise, though the armies of the two nations have worked together in UN peace keeping missions. The drill will also see the resumption of bilateral military exercise between India and China, which was suspended in 2017 following the 73-day Doklam standoff. The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the Presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan became full members of the bloc last year. With expansion of the grouping, SCO now represents over 40% of humanity and nearly 20% of the global GDP.