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Current Affairs April 25 2019

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

WHO issued Guidelines on Use of Screen for kids under 5
On 24th April 2019, With an aim to develop healthy youths, the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued recommendations on the use of sedentary screen  which includes watching television or videos and playing computer games for children under 5-year-old. This is the first such guidelines which are released by the United Nations Agency.
WHO Guidelines:
i. The recommendations suggest that infants less than one-year-old should not be exposed to electronic screens at all and  Children under 5 year should not be allowed more than one hour of “sedentary screen time” per day.
ii. The guideline underlines the significance of Healthy physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep habits in early life that moulds them into an active adult.
iii. Parents must be assured that under 5 years old should be physically active get adequate sleep to help develop good lifelong habits and prevent obesity and other diseases in later life.
iv.The guidelines are designed to reduce inactive behaviour and thereby overcome obesity, overweight, diabetes, hypertension and some forms of cancer.
v. Kids between the age of 1 and 3 should spend 3 hours a day doing physical activity.
About World Health Organization:
♦ Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
♦ Head: Tedros Adhanom
♦ Founded: 7 April 1948

UAE based Etihad Airways becomes first major airline to operate plastic-free flight
Recently, Etihad Airways, UAE based flag carrier, has become the first major airline in the gulf region to operate a flight without any single-use plastics on board. The objective is to raise awareness about pollution on Earth Day. The flight named EY484, first flight without use of plastics landed in Brisbane, Australia on April 22, Earth Day.

Etihad-airwaysi.Etihad Airways has pledged to reduce single-use plastic usage by 80 percent across the entire organization by the end of 2022 and this EY484 flight is a part of this pledge.
About UAE
♦ Capital: Abu Dhabi
♦ Currency: UAE dirham
About Australia
♦ Capital: Canberra
♦ Currency: Australian Dollar

BANKING & FINANCE

RBI divests entire stake in NHB and NABARD to the central government
Recently, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has divested its entire stake in National Housing Bank (NHB) and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) to the central government for Rs 1,450 crore and Rs 20 crore respectively. Now the central government holds a 100 percent stake in both these financial institutions. This step has taken based on the recommendations of the second Narasimham Committee report and the discussion paper prepared by RBI titled “Harmonizing the Role and Operations of Development Financial Institutions and Banks.”

RBIKey Highlights
i. Earlier RBI had 100 percent stake in NHB, which was recently divested for Rs 1,450 crores on March 19 this year.
ii. RBI has divested its stake in NABARD in two phases. Originally RBI held only 72.5 percent stake in NABARD amounting to Rs 1,450 crore and remaining 27.5 percent stake held by central government. In October 2010, RBI had divested 71.5 percent stake worth Rs 1,430 crore and remaining 1 percent stake was divested on February 26 this year for Rs 20 crore.
About RBI
♦ Headquarter: Mumbai
♦ Governor: Shaktikanta Das
About NABARD
♦ Headquarter: Mumbai
♦ Chairman: Dr. Harsh Kumar Bhanwala
About NHB
♦ Headquarter: New Delhi
♦ MD & CEO: Dakshita Das

Wirecard joined hands with RBL Bank to drive financial inclusion
On 25th April 2019, Germany-based global provider of digital payments and commerce solutions Wirecard entered into a partnership with RBL Bank to promote financial inclusion in India.
Key Points:
i. The move will make digital payment and banking transactions easily accessible to all Indian citizens.
ii. With this partnership with RBL, Wirecard’s customer service representatives will be able to access basic payment and banking services which include cash withdrawals and deposits as well as balance inquiries. They also can offer an even broader range of digital financial services.
iii. Also, SoftBank invested EUR 900 million in Wirecard. Under this agreement, Wirecard will issue convertible bonds to SoftBank with terms of five years and it is convertible for about 5.6 percent of Wirecard stock at EUR 130 per Wirecard share.

Aegon Life Insurance has collaborated with MobiKwik to launch a smart digital insurance product to enhance financial inclusion
Mobikwik, digital financial services company collaborated with pioneer of digital insurance in India, Aegon Life Insurance to launch a Rs 20 smart digital insurance product in order to protect its wallet users from death and accident related disability cover for up to Rs 2 lakh.

Aegon Life Insurance has collaborated with MobiKwiki. The main objective for this initiative is to improve the insurance penetration in India (this is currently at 3.7%) , that is to drive financial inclusion for the masses.
ii. The company has created 3 variants of the amount assured between Rs. 1 lakh, Rs.1.5 lakh and Rs. 2 lakh at no extra cost and the policy can be availed at a premium of Rs 20, Rs 30 and Rs 40 respectively depending on the protection amount and this is issued instantly.
iii. The insurance product launched is termed as the Aegon Life Group Term Plus Plan. It is available on MobiKwik App.

State Bank of India (SBI) launched India’s first ‘Green Car Loan’ (Electric Vehicle) to encourage customers to buy electric vehicles
On World Earth Day- April 22, 2019 the State Bank of India (SBI) has launched India’s first ‘Green Car Loan’ (Electric Vehicle) to encourage customers to buy electric vehicles. The new scheme ‘Green Car Loan’ will offer loan at 20 basis points lower than the interest rate on the existing car loan schemes.

India’s first ‘Green Car Loan’i. The scheme comes with the longest repayment period of up to 8 years. It is thus a strategic inclusion to SBI’s auto loan segment that is offered with zero processing fee for the first 6 months of the launch.
ii. SBI has already notified 100% migration to EVs (Electric Vehicles) by 2030 in order to decrease carbon footprints, thus being in line with the government’s pledge of ensuring 30% EVs on road by 2030.
iii. SBI along with Wipro joined the Climate Group’s EV100 initiative for enhancing the launch of electric vehicles worldwide.

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

DPIIT proposes Startup India Vision 2024 tax sops for new ventures by planning to set up 50,000 new start-ups in India by 2024 and create 20 lakh job opportunities
The Commerce and Industry Ministry has proposed measures such as tax incentives to promote entrepreneurs as part of the ‘Startup India Vision 2024’. The aim of the vision document is to facilitate setting up of 50,000 new start-ups in the country by 2024 and creating 20 lakh direct and indirect employment opportunities.
i. The vision document has been prepared by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) which is under the Commerce and Industry Ministry.
ii. The DPITT has notified:

  • setting up of 500 new incubators and accelerators by 2024
  • 100 innovation zonesin urban local bodies
  • deployment of entire amount of Rs 10,000 crore Fund of Funds (FOF)
  • expanding CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) funding to incubators
  • setting up of Rs 1,000 crore ‘India startup fund’ to support high technology start-ups
  • providing Rs 1,000 crore of seed funding
  • by 2024, bringing the 7 research parks into operation
  • reduce compliance burden and set up regulatory sandbox for testing of financial products
  • tax incentives for investments in start-ups; reduce Goods and Services Tax (GST) rates; exempt tax for ESOPs (Employee stock ownership plan); and exempt angel tax on all investments by Alternate Investment Funds.

About Startup India:
i. Startup India launched in January 2016, is the flagship initiative of the Indian government
ii. It aims to build a strong ecosystem for the growth of start-up businesses and to drive sustainable economic growth by generating employment opportunities.
iii. The Startup India action plan provides tax and other incentives. Till date, around 17,984 start-ups have been recognised by the department.

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Dawn Journalist Cyril Almeida named IPI’s 71st World Press Freedom Hero in 2019
Dawn editor and Columnist Cyril Almeida from Pakistan has won the IPI’s (International Press Institute) World Press Freedom Hero award in 2019 for his “critical” and “tenacious coverage” of the civil-military relations in Pakistan. And also MadaMasr, an Egyptian news site, has won Free Media Pioneer Award 2019 of the IPI and International Media Support (IMS). Both awards will be presented in IPI’s annual World Congress and General Assembly function to be held in Geneva, Switzerland on 5th June, World Intellectual Property Day 2019.

Dawn Journalist Cyril Almeidai. In 2016, after publishing an exclusive story regarding a top-level meeting of civil-military leaders in Dawn, Pakistan Government had imposed a travel ban on Almeida.
ii. In 2018, he was again temporarily placed on the Exit Control List (ECL) after publishing an interview with former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
About International Press Institute World Press Freedom Heroes:
i. International Press Institute World Press Freedom Heroes are the journalists who have been recognized by the Vienna-based International Press Institute for the significant contributions to the promotion of press freedom, particularly in the face of great personal risk.
ii. Rafael Marques from Angola is the 70th recipient.
About International Press Institute :
♦ Industry: Journalism, human rights, social justice
♦ Founded:  October 1950; 68 years ago
♦ Headquarters:   Vienna, Austria
♦ Chair of the IPI Executive Board:  MARKUS SPILLMANN

Bhandarkar, Helen get Deenanath Mangeshkar Award 2019
On 24th April 2019, The prestigious Master Deenanath Mangeshkar Award 2019 was awarded to National Award-winning filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar, popular scriptwriter Salim Khan and dancing diva Helen. The Award which is organized by Master Deenanath Mangeshkar Smruti Pratishthan charitable trust, Pune, aims to encourage legends from the fields of music, drama, art and social work. The awards were given away by Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat while Directorate General of CRPF Vijay Kumar presided over the function.

Deenanath Mangeshkar Award 2019i. The Deenanath Mangeshkar Pratishthan handed over a token of appreciation to honour the victims of the February 14 Pulwama terror attack.
Other Awardees:
Award for music and art – Classical dancer Sucheta Bhide-Chapekar
Lifetime Award – Salim Khan (the father of superstar Salman  Khan)
Special Award for the contribution to Indian cinema – Madhur Bhandarkar
Special Award – Helen
Vagvilasini Award – VasantAbaji Dahake
Mohan Wagh Award (Best Drama of the Year 2019) – Bhadrakali Productions’ “Soyare Sakal”
AnandmayeePuraskar-   Pandit Suresh Talwalkar of Taalyogi Ashram

Dr. Benny Antony, conferred with the National (IP) Intellectual Property Award, 2019 in the category of Top Individual for Patents and Commercialization.
Dr. Benny AntonyDr. Benny Antony, Joint Managing Director and co-founder of the Kochi-based Arjuna Natural Ltd, has been honoured with the National Intellectual Property Award, 2019 in the category of Top Individual for Patents and Commercialization.
i. Dr. Antony is the inventor of BCM-95, the world’s leading patented turmeric extract formulation. Dr. Antony has over 80 international patents to his credit.
ii. Along with the National IP Award, the Intellectual Property Office India and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) have jointly honoured Antony with the ‘WIPO Medal for Inventors’.
National Intellectual Property (IP) awards:
On the occasion of World IP Day every year, the Indian Intellectual Property Office honours National Intellectual Property (IP) awards to outstanding innovators, organisations and companies in the field of patents, designs, trademarks and geographical indications.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Former army chief Gen. (Retd.) Dalbir Suhag appointed as high commissioner of India in Seychelles
General (Retd.) Dalbir Singh Suhag has appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Seychelles. He will succeed Ausaf Sayeed.
i. General Suhag was the 26th Army Chief of the Indian Army from July 2014 to December 2016.
ii. The General participated in the Indian Peace Keeping Force operation named Operation Pawan in Sri Lanka in 1987 and served as a Company commander in it.
 iii. He was the  Eastern Army Commander in the year 2016 when Indian soldiers were subjected to a surgical strike against Pakistan at terrorist launch pads inside Pakistan Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoK).
About Seychelles:
♦ Capital: Victoria
♦ Currency: Seychellois rupee

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Russia successfully tests World’s First Floating Nuclear Power Plant named ‘Akademik Lomonosov’
The 70 MW ‘Akademik Lomonosov’, world’s first floating nuclear power plant successfully tested by Rosenergoatom, operator subsidiary of Rosatom, state owned atomic energy cooperation of Russia. The ship was named after famous academician Mikhail Lomonosov. It will replace the four-unit Bilibino plant, with an aggregate 48 MW capacity.

Akademik LomonosovKey specifications of Nuclear Plant
i. The nuclear power plant powered by its twin KLT-40S reactor system. This nuclear reactor was developed by OKBM Afrikantov and assembled by Nizhniy Novgorod Research and Development Institute Atomenergoproekt.
ii. The floating nuclear power plant is 144 metres in length, 30 metres wide and has a displacement capability of 21,000 tonnes.
About Russia
♦ Capital: Moscow
♦ Currency: Russian ruble

Japan creates world’s 1st artificial crater on asteroid
On 25th April 2019, Japanese scientists have successfully created the first-ever artificial crater on an asteroid, which gave some clue on how the solar system evolved.
Japan creates world's 1st artificial crater on asteroidKey Points:
i. Yuichi Tsuda, who is the project manager of Hayabusa2 confirmed the crater from images captured by the probe located 1,700 meters (5,500 feet) from the asteroid’s surface.
ii. Hayabusa2 space probe shot a projectile at the Ryugu asteroid around 340 million kilometers from Earth, as part of the probe’s mission to explore the origin of life and the evolution of the solar system.
iii. The mission was launched in December 2014 and is scheduled to return to Earth with its samples in 2020 with a total cost of around 30 billion yen ($270 million).

First ‘marsquake’ detected by NASA lander InSight
Mars InSight lander of NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) has recorded first “marsquake,” quake on the mars due to volcanic eruptions or land tides. The first faint signal, equal to a 2.5 magnitude earthquake came on April 6, the lander’s 128th Martian day, or sol. It has been detected by lander’s Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS) instrument.
i. The scientists believe that the tremble comes from the Martian interior, rather than from surface forces.It has been observed that Mars is still seismically active.
About Mars:
♦ Radius: 3,389.5 km
♦ Distance from Sun: 227.9 million km
♦ Moons: Phobos, Deimos
About NASA:
♦ Headquarters: Washington, D.C., United States
♦ Founder: Dwight D. Eisenhower
♦ Founded: 29 July 1958, United States

ENVIRONMENT

Two new bird species found on Indonesian islands
On 24th April 2019, Zoologists at Trinity College Dublin have discovered two new bird species named as the Wakatobi white-eye and the Wangi-Wangi white-eye in the Wakatobi Archipelago of Sulawesi, Indonesia.
Key Points:
i. Details of their discovery were published in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. The discovery revealed the fact of how these species developed.
ii. In the same journal, Alfred Wallace and Charles Darwin published their game-changing original ideas about speciation in 1858.
iii. They also discovered that the White-eyes species are growing faster than any other bird. A team led by Professor Nicola Marples has been studying birds on Sulawesi Island since 1999.
iv. The Wakatobi white-eye also called as Zosterops Chloris flavissimus.

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SPORTS

Asian Athletics Championship 2019
The 23rd edition of Asian Athletics Championship is held from 21 to 24 April 2019 at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar. India won 17 medals which include 3 gold, 7 silver and 7 bronze, finished forth in the tournament……………….Click here to Read more
Top 5 Countries:

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  Bahrain (BHR) 11 7 4 22
2  China (CHN) 9 13 7 29
3  Japan (JPN) 5 4 9 18
4  India (IND) 3 7 7 17
5  Uzbekistan (UZB) 3 0 2 5


Medal’s Won by Indian Athelete’s

GOLD
S. No Event Athelete Name
1. Men’s shot put Tejinder Pal Singh Toor
2. Women’s 800metres Gomathi Marimuthu- PB (2:02.70s)
3. Women’s 1500m race PU Chitra

Stephanie Frappart first woman to referee Ligue 1 match
Stephanie FrappartStephanie Frappart, a French football referee, will become the first female referee, who will take charge of a Ligue 1 Conforama match in French football history. On 28th April 2019, she will be taking charge of the match between Amiens and Strasbourg.
i. However, this is not the first time when a woman will be officiating in the French top flight. Nelly Viennot was an assistant referee for over a decade.
ii. Frappart, 35 years old, is also the first woman to referee a Ligue 2 match in 2014.

USA secure ODI status for the first time
On 24th April 2019, United States Cricket Team won their first one-day international status with a third straight victory at the World Cricket League Division Two event in Namibia. The Americans defeated Hong Kong by 84 runs.
i. Xavier Marshall, former West Indies batsman scored a century as the Americans made 280-8 while Hong Kong scored 196-7 respectively.
ii. Oman has also secured their ODI status.
About United States national cricket team:
♦ Captain: Saurabh Netravalkar
♦ Location: United States
♦ Coach: Pubudu Dassanayake
About USA:
♦ Capital: Washington, D.C.
♦ President: Donald Trump

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Malaria Day observed on 25th April
On 25th April 2019, World Malaria Day was celebrated all over the world to create more awareness for the treatment and prevention of the disease. This year, it was observed with a theme “Zero malaria starts with me”.

World Malaria DayKey Points:
i. Malaria is caused by the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito which is caused by Plasmodium Parasites. Recently, the world’s first malaria vaccine RTS, S also known as Mosquirix has launched in Malawi, that can significantly reduce malaria in children up to two years of age.
ii. According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) World Malaria report, the estimated number of death due to malaria was around 4,35,000  in 2017 and a child dies every 2 minutes from this treatable disease.
iii. World Malaria Day was first observed in 2008, which was originated from Africa Malaria Day, held on 25th April in 2001.

The World Immunization Week 2019 observed from 24-30th April carrying the theme  “Protected Together: Vaccines Work”
The World Immunisation Week 2019 celebrates ‘Vaccine Heroes’ worldwide ranging from parents and community members to health workers and innovators who help to ensure that we are protected via the power of vaccines. The theme for 2019 is ‘Protected Together: Vaccines Work’.
i. The last week of April (24th-30th) every year is observed as World Immunisation Week in order to promote the use of vaccines for the protection of people of all age-groups against disease.

World Immunization Week 2019Objectives of this initiative
i. It demonstrates the value of vaccines for the health of children and communities worldwide.
ii. The WHO (World Health Organization) notified that there are still 20 million unvaccinated and under-vaccinated children worldwide; so this initiative brings to limelight the necessity to bring on immunization progress through increased investment.
Immunization Week was observed for the very first time in 2012 when more than 180 countries and territories worldwide participated in it.
About vaccination
Vaccines stimulate our bodies to make antibodies against antigens of disease-causing germs or pathogens. Vaccination helps our immune system recognize new diseases, thus helping the body build an adaptive immune system to fight off the actual infection in the future.
The parts of every vaccine:
Every vaccine usually consists of 2 parts which are usually given by injection.
i. The 1st part is the antigen: this contains the piece of disease one’s body must learn to recognize.
ii. The second part is the adjuvant: this sends a danger signal to the body and helps the immune system respond strongly against the antigen, thus helping in developing immunity against diseases.

April 25 observed as an International Girls in ICT Day
Every year, the fourth Thursday of April is observed as an ‘International Girls in ICT (Information and Communications Technology) Day’ by the United Nations and in 2019, it is celebrated on 25th April. A specialized agency of UN i.e. International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the global technology community and 171 countries celebrate this day worldwide. The aim is to bridge the gender digital divide.
Key Highlights
i. In 2019, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) celebrated the International Girls in ICT Day at the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
ii. This year the special focus is on Africa due to low internet penetration and African region has the widest digital gender gap in the world with only 18.6 percent of women using the Internet as compared with 24.9 percent of men.
About ITU
♦ Headquarter: Geneva, Switzerland
♦ Secretary-General: Houlin Zhao
About Ethiopia
♦ Capital: Addis Ababa
♦ Currency: Ethiopian Birr

National Panchayati Raj Day (NPRD) is observed on 24th April
National Panchayati Raj Diwas (NPRD) is observed annually on 24th April in India which is anchored by Ministry of Panchayati Raj to mark a defining moment in the history of decentralization of political power to the grassroots level.
Key Points:
i. The first National Panchayati Raj Day was celebrated on 24th April 2010 and it was declared by the former Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh.
ii. The Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 that came into force on 24th April 1993 has vested constitutional status on Panchayati Raj institutions.
About Ministry of Panchayati Raj:
♦ Founded: 27 May 2004
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Jurisdiction: India
♦ Officeholders: Parshottam Rupala (Minister of State), Narendra Singh Tomar (Minister)

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