Current Affairs April 15 2019

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Cabinet Approvals On April 15, 2019

  • Cabinet approves creation of a single post of Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General in the office of Comptroller and Auditor General of India
  • Cabinet approves the Continuation of Phase 4 of (GSLV) Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved extension of duration of New Urea Policy-2015 (from 1st of April, 2019) for existing gas-based urea unit………………………………….Click here to Read more

Cabinet Approval With Foreign Countries On April 15,2019

  • Cabinet approves pact between India and Denmark in the field of Renewable energy
  • Cabinet approves MoU between India and Republic of Korea to issue jointly Postage Stamp
  • Cabinet apprised about MoU between India and Brazilin the area of Biotechnology
  • Cabinet approves MoU between India and Bolivia in the field of Geology and Mineral Resources
  • Cabinet approves MoU between India and Cambodia in the field of Communications
  • Cabinet approves MoU between India and Bolivia in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy…………………………………Click here to Read more

The 4th Resilient Cities Asia-Pacific Congress 2019 started in New Delhi
On 15th April 2019, The 4th Resilient Cities Asia-Pacific Congress 2019 organised by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) and co-hosted by South Delhi Municipal Corporation started in New Delhi. It was addressed by Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu. It will conclude on 17th April 2019.

i. It offers a lot of innovative solutions that build resilience to climate change at the sub-national level.
ii. Local governments in the Asia Pacific region is the main target of the event.
iii.The RCAP 2019 is a platform for discussing the opportunities and mechanisms of executing the  Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
iv. Representatives from UNEP, UNDP, UN-HABITAT, UNESCAP, UNISDR, UNIDO  being joined in the event.
v. The themes of RCAP 2019 are:

  • Integrated climate resilience planning to manage risks and vulnerabilities
  • Good governance and resilience
  • Nature based solutions to adaptation
  • Climate knowledge brokering
  • Opportunities for regional networking and collaboration
  • Sustainable infrastructure development and green growth
  • Urban nexus
  • Financing mechanisms for Asian cities

About Resilient Cities Asia-Pacific:
♦ It was launched in 2010.
♦ The first three editions conducted in  Bangkok, Thailand in February 2015,  Malaysia in March 2016 and in Vietnam in December 2017.

India’s First Foreign Interactive Bird Park launched by EsselWorld in Mumbai
On 11th April 2019, India’s first exotic Bird Park ‘EsselWorld Bird Park’ was launched by EsselWorld Leisure Pvt. Ltd., the family entertainment arm of the $6-billion Essel Group in Mumbai.

Key Points:
i.The Park is spread over 1.4 acres of land and surrounded by flora and fauna.
ii. It is home to over 500 exotic birds from more than 60 species of flying, terrestrial and aquatic birds and has 200 species of special plants and trees for the birds.
iii. The star attractions at the Bird Park are the African Grey Parrot, Blue Gold Macaw, Cockatiel, Rainbow Lorikeet, Toucan, Black Lory, Violet Turaco and many other varieties of bird.
iv. EsselWorld is the largest amusement park in the country and  Water Kingdom is one of the largest Theme Water Parks in Asia.

India join hands with Japan and UAE to set up two projects in Africa
On 15th April 2019, India joined hands with Japan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to implement two projects in Africa as it seeks to extend its footprint on the continent as a counter to China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Key Points:
i. India will build a cancer hospital in Kenya in collaboration with Japan and will to set up an information and communications technology (ICT) center in Ethiopia in partnership with the UAE.
ii. Through this partnership, India has undertaken many projects like the ambitious Pan African e-network project on tele-education and tele-medicine which provides “integrated” satellite, fiber optics and wireless network between educational and medical institutes in Africa and India.
About Japan
♦ Capital: Tokyo
♦ Currency: Japanese yen
♦ Prime Minister: Shinzo Abe
About United Arab Emirates (UAE)
♦ Capital: Abu Dhabi
♦ Currency: United Arab Emirates dirham
♦ President: Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
♦ Prime Minister: Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum


A unique proposition to pay electricity bill on EMIs launched by Bajaj Finserv
On 15th April 2019, a unique proposition to pay electricity bill on EMIs has been launched by Bajaj Finserv through its lending arm Bajaj Finance Ltd. through the campaign of #BijliOnEMI.
Key Points:
i. Customers can avail an Insta Credit loan in their Bajaj Finserv Wallet to pay their electricity bills on EMI.
ii. In the year 2018, Bajaj Finance Ltd. financed the purchase of over 12 lakh air conditioners in the country. Observing the purchase trend, Bajaj Finance Ltd launched this campaign.
iii. Customers buying air conditioners of Rs 20,000 and above will be eligible for Rs 5000 Insta Credit loan and for the air conditioners above Rs 40,000 will receive Rs 7000 Insta Credit loan to their Wallet.
iv. The Wallet facilitates the customer to access the EMI network card digitally, like tracking loan-related details online, transacting securely with EMIs on purchases, etc. Also, customer can pay bills, book tickets and transfer funds easily and seamlessly.
About Bajaj Finserv Ltd.
♦ Headquarters: Pune
♦ Founder: Jamnalal Bajaj


Chennai Central missed the chance of having the title of world’s longest railway station name by an alphabet
On 15th April 2019, Chennai Central Railway station in Tamil Nadu, officially known as Puratchi Thalaivar Dr. M.G. Ramachandran Central Railway Station with its 57-character count missed the chance of having the title of world’s longest railway station name by an alphabet.
Key Points:
i. The title was won by Llanfairpwll railway station in Wales, also known for its 58 letters long name ‘Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch’.
ii. Although, the erstwhile Chennai Central railway station which was renamed after the legendary actor-turned-politician Dr. M.G. Ramachandran is still the longest railway station name in India.
iii. The other railway stations in India with long names are Karnataka’s Krantivira Sangolli Rayanna Bengaluru City station, Venkatanarasimharajuvaripeta in Andhra Pradesh and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus in Maharashtra.
iv. Karnataka’s Krantivira Sangolli Rayanna Bengaluru City station was renamed in 2015 in honour of a princely State soldier who fought against the British, and The Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus which is in Mumbai also called as VT station was renamed in 2017 when the word Maharaj was added to it.

Jailed Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo to receive 2019 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano Press Freedom Prize 2019
Reuters journalists, Kyaw Soe Oo and Wa Lone have been selected for UNESCO/Guillermo Cano Press Freedom Prize 2019 for recognizing their commitment, courage and resistance to freedom of expression.

i. Currently, they are serving seven-year prison sentence in Myanmar since 12 December 2017 under the Official Secrets Act for illegally collecting, classified military records that revealed extrajudicial assassinations of Rohingya Muslims by the army in Rakhine State, while working for the Reuters.
ii. The UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize will be given on May 2 as part of the observance of World Press Freedom Day (3 May) in Ethiopia.
About UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize :
i. The award is a tribute to Colombian journalist Guillermo Cano Isaza. On 17 December 1986, he was killed in front of the offices of his newspaper El Espectador in Bogota, Colombia.
ii. The prize honours an institution or person who has made a notable contribution to the defence and promotion of press freedom.
iii. The Prize was founded on the initiative of UNESCO’s Executive Board and is awarded by the DG of the Organization, on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, on 3 May.
About  Reuters :
♦ Parent organization:  Thomson Reuters Corporation
♦ CEO:  James C. Smith
♦ Headquarters:  Canary Wharf, London, United Kingdom
♦ Founder:  Paul Reuter
♦ Founded:  October 1851


“Nirbhay”, India’s first long range Sub Sonic Cruise Missile successfully test fired off Odisha coast
‘Nirbhay’long range sub sonic cruise missile indigenously designed and developed by Bengaluru – based Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), a lab under Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) was test fired from launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur, Odisha. This all-weather missile can be launched from multiple platforms. It is India’s first indigenously designed and developed long-range cruise missile
Specifications of Missile:
i. The missile is nuclear capable, can be equipped with 300kg warhead.
ii. It can strike land targets at a distance up to 1000 km at an altitude as low as 100 metre so that missile can avoid detection by enemy radar.
iii. It has an ability to reach speed of 0.6-0.7 Mach and can be deployed from multiple platforms.The missile weighs 1,500 kg, width of 0.52 meters and has a wingspan of 2.7 metre.
iv. It has an engine powered by rocket booster and turbofan.The missile has Inertial Navigation System which guides the missile and Radio Altimeter to determine its height.
v. The missile is equipped with a Ring Laser Gyroscope (RLG) based guidance, control and navigation system. It is also armed with a MEMS- based Inertial Navigation System (INS) and the GPS system.The Nirbhay missile also has capability of striking a multiple targets at a time.
About Odisha
♦ Capital: Bhubaneswar
♦ Governor: Ganeshi Lal
♦ Chief Minister: Naveen Patnaik
♦ Important National Parks/Wildlife Sanctuaries: Similipal National Park, Bhitarkanika National Park, Karlapat Wild Life Sanctuary.
About Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO):
♦ Headquarter: New Delhi
♦ Chairman : Dr. G. Satheesh Reddy

China develops world’s first armed amphibious drone boat ‘Marine Lizard’
The world’s first armed amphibious drone boat named “Marine Lizard”, which is guided by China’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System has been successfully tested by China. With a capability of forming a combat triad with aerial drones and other drone ships, it could be used in land and sea assault operations.

Key Points:
i. The drone ship has been built by Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group under China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC).
ii. It has a maximum operation range of 1,200 kms and can be remotely controlled with the help of satellites.
iii. Marine Lizard, 12-metres-long, is shaped in the form of a ship. It is a trimaran and is driven by a diesel-powered hydrojet that can reach a maximum speed of 50 knots while maintaining its furtiveness.
iv. While approaching land, it can release 4 continuous track units (hidden under its belly).
v. It can travel at 20 km per hour on land and the maximum land speed limit can be increased with the installation of larger track units.
vi. For building this and the other machineries, the 2 million strong Chinese military (the largest in the world) has been equipped with about USD 178 billion defence budget.
vii.The drone can autonomously sail, avoid obstacles, plan routes and its payloads include an electro-optical system and a radar system. It is also equipped with 2 machine guns and a vertical launching system for anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles.
viii. For coastal defence, Marine Lizard can remain dormant on an uninhabited island for 8 months, after which, on receiving orders, it would engage in combat.


Last known female of Yangtze giant softshell turtle dies in China zoo
On 13th April 2019, the last known female member of Yangtze giant softshell turtle, 90 years old, died in Suzhou Zoo, China. Now, there are only three left in the world. The Wildlife Conservations Society (WCS) declares the Yangtze giant softshell turtle the world’s most critically endangered turtle species.

i. Before the death, she had undergone a fifth attempt at artificial insemination but there were no complications. Now, experts will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
ii. The species has killed off due to overfishing , hunting and the destruction of its habitat.
iii. One male Yangtze giant softshell turtle lives in Suzhou Zoo and the other two in Vietnam.

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Golfer Tiger Woods clinched his fifth green jacket and 15th major title
On 14th April 2019, Golfer Tiger Woods clinched his fifth US Masters and 15th major title at Augusta National Golf Club, Georgia. It was the, 43 year old American golfer’s first major title victory in 11 years and his first Master’s win since 2005.
i. All-time leader, Jack Nicklaus is just three major titles ahead of the former world No.1.
ii. Woods, 43, won 14 majors before 33 years of age. And gained the Masters in 1997, 2001, 2002 and 2005.
About Tiger Woods:
♦ Full Name:  Eldrick Tont Tiger Woods
♦ Born:  30 December 1975 (age 43 years), Cypress, California, United States
♦ U.S. Open  ( won) :  2000, 2002, 2008
♦ The Open Championship( won):  2000, 2005, 2006
♦ PGA Championship(won) :  1999, 2000, 2006, 2007

Mumbai Shuttler Dani clinches Dutch International badminton title 2019
On 14th April 2019,India’s Harsheel Dani, a former junior national champion, defeated Mads Christophersen of Denmark, world no 149, to clinch the 20th Victor Dutch International Badminton title at Wateringen, The Netherlands with a 15-21, 21-12, 21-13 victory in a 47 minute clash.

i. It was the second win for Dani opposite Christophersen. In the Czech Open in 2017, Dani had beaten him.
ii.The 22 year old won the Ghana international crown in 2018 and second Karvy All India junior-ranking badminton tournament in 2012.
iii. Dani, ranked 111 in the world,  represented Mumbai Masters in 2016 Premier Badminton League.
About  Victor Dutch International:
i.The Victor Dutch International is the Netherlands’ second biggest badminton event Prize money of $ 10.000.
ii.It is a part of the Badminton Europe Elite Circuit.

Japan’s Kento Momota clinched Singapore Open Badminton title 2019
On 14th April, 2019, Kento Momota of Japan defeated Indonesia’s Anthony Ginting to win the Men’s Singles title in Singapore Open Badminton title by 10-21, 21-19, 21-13 victory at Singapore Indoor stadium in Singapore. The tournament was held from 9th to 14th April, 2019 and had a total purse of $355,000. It was organized by Singapore Badminton Association with sanction from the Badminton World Federation (BWF).
i. Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan claimed her second title victory at Singapore Open. India’s P.V. Sindhu was  defeated in semi final by Nozomi Okuhara.
ii. Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda of Japan have clinched their first World Tour title in nine months in Men’s doubles.
iii. Mayu Matsumoto & Wakana Nagahara of Japan clinched women’s doubles title, it is their first title since the French Open last year.
iv. Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand has clinched the Mens doubles title in just 33 minutes.This is their biggest title of their career.

Event Winners Runners
Men’s Singles Kento Momota(Japan) Anthony Sinisuka Ginting(Indonesia)
Women’s Singles Tai Tzu-ying(Taiwan) Nozomi Okuhara(Japan)
Men’s Doubles Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda(Japan) Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan(Indonesia)
Women’s Doubles Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara(Japan) Kim Hye Jeong and Kong Hee Yong(South Korea)
Mixed Doubles Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai(Thailand) Tan Kian Meng and Lai Pei Jing(Malaysia)

Garin becomes first Chilean ATP champion title in 10 years
On 15th April 2019, Chilean professional tennis player Christian Garin (22) won his first ATP title in 10 years in the final of the US Men’s Clay Court Championships in Houston. He beat Norway’s Casper Ruud.

Key Points:
i. He became the first Chilean to win an ATP Tour title since Fernando Gonzalez in 2009.
ii. He reached the final by defeating American Sam Querrey.
iii. This Championship is an annual ATP Tour tennis tournament which was started in 1910 and is the last remaining ATP World Tour-level tournament in the United States to be played on clay courts.
About Chile
♦ Capital: Santiago
♦ Currency: Chilean peso


Renowned Space scientist SK Shivakumar passed away
Former Director of Indian Space Research Organisation Satellite Centre (ISAC), SK Shivakumar died at the age of 66 in Bengaluru. He hailed from Mysuru, Karnataka.

i. He was part of the team which had developed telemetry system for India’s first moon mission Chandrayan – I.
ii. He served as the project director for India’s first indigenous Deep Space Network Antenna at Byalalu. He also led the team of 2,500 engineers which contributed to ISRO’s Mangalyaan Mission.
iii. He contributed in several missions like Bhaskara, INSAT, IRS-1B and IRS-1C. He also served as the director of ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC).
iv. He was Padma shree awardee and also honoured with Karnataka Rajyotsava award (2008).
About Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO):
♦ Headquarter : Bengaluru, Karnataka
♦ Chairman : Dr. K. Sivan


Rongali Bihu festival celebrated in Assam
On 14th April 2019, Assam’s most awaited festival – the Rongali Bihu, also known as ‘Bohaag Bihu’ which marks the beginning of the new Assamese calendar year started.
Key Points:
i. Assam celebrates major agricultural events as the festival of Bihu. In Assam, three Bihu festivals are celebrated in a year called as Rongali Bihu or Bohag Bihu, Bhugali (Magh Bihu) and Kangali (Kati Bihu) for marking the distinctive phase in the farming calendar.
ii. People celebrate this festival by performing traditional Bihu dance in the form of husori which is one of the kinds of Bihu dance form in which a group of Bihu dancers visited households to perform the dance to seek blessings from the elder.
iii. This festival is observed at almost the same time as Baisakhi in Punjab, Poila Baisakh in Bengal, Puthandu in Tamil Nadu and Vishu in Kerala this year.
About Assam
♦ Capital: Dispur
♦ Chief Minister:Sarbananda Sonowal
♦ National Park: Kaziranga National Park, Manas National Park, Orang NationalPark, Dibru-Saikhowa National Park

To ensure good menstrual health, Project Kannamma initiated by Rotary Club of Madras North
Project Kannamma is an initiative by Rotary Club of Madras North to provide biodegradable sanitary napkins under the brand name, “Aavaram” to the girl students in government schools of Tamil Nadu.
Other Highlights of the Project:
i. This initiative was first started in August 2018, by giving free sanitary napkin to 82 students of a government school in Uthandi of Tamil Nadu.
ii. The Irula Tribal Women’s Welfare Society (ITWWS) provided sanitary napkins to the students.
iii. ITWWS community women produce 1000 pads per day. They use Arunachalam Muruganantham machines.
iv. The Sanitary napkins are prepared with natural raw materials like cotton and wood pulp. It cost only Rs 22 which contains six packs.
v. Till present, 300 students from across government schools in and around Chennai have got free sanitary napkins.
vi. This project is also providing a livelihood to the Irula Tribal Women. It can provide livelihood to 12 tribal families if they are selling 15,000 pads per month.
About Tamil Nadu
♦ Capital – Chennai
♦ Governor – Banwarilal Purohit
♦ Chief Minister – Edappadi K. Palaniswami
♦ Important National Parks/Wildlife Sanctuaries – Anamalai Tiger reserve, Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary, Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park.

Actor and former MP of Ramanathapuram: JK Ritheesh passed away due to cardiac arrest
On 13th April, 2019, 46 years old JK Ritheesh, actor and former Member of Parliament (MP) of Ramanathapuram passed away due to cardiac arrest.
i. Until before his demise, JK Ritheesh was with AIADMK (All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) party, which he joined in 2014 after quitting DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) party.
ii. While in DMK, JK Ritheesh became an MP from Ramanathapuram during Lok Sabha Elections of 2009.
iii. As an actor, JK Ritheesh was last seen playing a role in RJ Balaji’s political satire named ‘LKG‘.
iv. He was born in Kandy, Sri Lanka, after which in 1976, Ritheesh migrated to Rameswaram.
v. His first film was Kaanal Neer (directed by Chinni Jayanth).

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