Current Affairs April 26 2019

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Union Ministry of Home Affairs distributed special kits ‘ SAECKs ‘ to states and union territories to collect evidence on sexual assault cases 
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has distributed around 3,120 special kits among states and union territories. The kits are termed ‘SAECKs‘ (The Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kits) and are also called ‘rape investigation kits’ that help to collect blood and semen samples for carrying out immediate effective medico-legal investigations on sexual assault cases.
Key Points:
i. The kits consist of a set of test tubes and bottles, which indicates contents and specifications of the collected evidence.
ii. The kits also contain directives on a collection of evidence from the crime scene, after which the kits would be sent to the closest laboratory and the results would be declared within two months.
iii. The SAECK kits are obtained only with the financial support under the Central government’s ‘Nirbhaya Fund‘, termed after the 2012 Delhi gang-rape victim.
iv. The Directorate of Forensic Sciences (DFSS) under the home ministry has issued 2 guidelines for sexual assault cases:

  • for investigators and prosecutors for collecting, storing and transporting forensic evidence
  • for medical officers in dealing with the cases.

v. Currently, medical officers from states and union territories are being trained in dealing with sexual assault cases by carrying out medico-legal procedures, evidence collection and handling of forensic material at Lok Narayan Jai Prakash National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Sciences (LNJP NIC&FS) in Delhi.

Indian Army inks MoU with NHPC to build tunnels on China, Pakistan borders
Recently, Indian Army signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) Limited, to build four underground tunnels along China and Pakistan borders for storage of ammunition and other war-related equipment.
i. Three tunnels will be built along Chinese border and one tunnel will be build along the Pakistan border.
ii. The tunnel can store 175-200 metric tonnes of ammunition and the cost of this pilot project is around Rs 15 crore.
About China
♦ Capital: Beijing
♦ Currency: Renminbi
About Pakistan
♦ Capital: Islamabad
♦ Currency: Pakistani Rupee

CPWD constitutes 8-member committee to chart out design policy for buildings and infrastructure development
The largest construction agency of the central government, Central Public Works Department (CPWD) has set up an expert 8-member committee under M K Sharma, CPWD’s Additional Director General, Chairman for developing a design scheme to construct buildings and develop infrastructure. The report has to be submitted to Director General Prabhakar Singh within 30 days.
i. The prime objective of this policy is to revive all levels of building construction and infrastructure development in CPWD, under the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry.
ii. CPWD builds a maximum of the government’s buildings, erects fences on India’s international borders and carries out projects in foreign countries with collaborations with India.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) launched Malaria Elimination Research Alliance (MERA)
On 26th April 2019, The Indian Council of Medical Research has launched the ‘Malaria Elimination Research Alliance (MERA) India which is a conglomeration of partners working on malaria control in order to eliminate the disease from India by 2030.
Key Points:
i. India has made impressive progress in malaria control over the past two decades. The disease has declined by over 80 percent, 2.03 million cases in 2000 to 0.39 million in 2018, and malaria deaths by over 90 percent, 932 deaths in 2000 to 85 in 2018.
ii. The National Vector Borne Diseases Control Program (NVBDCP) of India has developed a comprehensive framework to achieve the target of “Malaria free India by 2030” and for this reason the Malaria Elimination Research Alliance (MERA) India established.
iii. This alliance is important to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. It will facilitate trans-institutional coordination around a shared research agenda which response to programmatic challenges and addresses gaps in available tools as well as proactively contributes to targeted research.


India ranked as the 2nd-most targeted nation by hackers in 2018 with 120 Crore Attacks according to Akamai Technologies Report
The report by Akamai Technologies notifies that with more than 120 crore account takeover attacks in 2018, India ranked second for hacking attempts in the world after the US.
i. According to a new edition of the “State of the internet/security” report, Akamai Technologies, each of the attacks represented an attempt by a person or a computer to log in to an account with a stolen or generated username and password. Canada ranks third for attacks.
ii. By the report, the US registered 1,252 crore hacking attempts in 2018 while Canada registered 102 crore.
iii. The hackers attacks targeted large media brands, retail, gaming and various other sectors.
iv. The research study stated that in the video media sector, in 2018, 3 of the largest credential stuffing attacks skyrocketed from 133 million to 200 million.

ABU Media Summit on Climate Action and Disaster Preparedness begun in Kathmandu, Nepal
5th Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) Media Summit on Climate Action and Disaster Preparedness was held in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal with a theme of “Media Solutions for Sustainable Future: Saving Lives, Building Resilient Communities”. The aim of this two day summit was to address the key issue of utilizing media’s full potential of accelerating climate action and disaster preparedness and connect different stakeholders to media professionals for collaboration and joint practical projects.

Key Highlights
i. A two-day event marked the fourth anniversary of the Gorkha earthquake in which over 9,000 people were lost their life, around 22,000 people were injured and hundreds of thousands of people became homeless and one-third of the Nepalese economy wiped out.
ii. This summit was hosted by the Nepal government and organized by Radio Nepal, Nepal TV and ABU, led by Nepal’s Communication and Information Technology ministry.
iii. Over 200 participants have attended the event which includes political leaders, representatives of UN agencies and NGOs, climate change and disaster management experts, scientists and media persons.
About Nepal
♦ Capital: Kathmandu
♦ Currency: Nepalese Rupee

IIM-Bangalore became only Indian institute to feature in QS EMBA Rankings 2019
On 23rd April 2019, The Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore’s (IIM-B) post-graduate programme in Enterprise Management (PGPEM) has secured the 12th rank in APAC (Asia Pacific) listing and came 61st globally in the QS Executive MBA Rankings 2019.
Key Points:
i. With this, it became the only Indian B-school to secure a place among the top 100 B-Schools across the world.
ii. This Ranking uses parameters such as leadership, executive profile, diversity, career outcomes, etc to mark the world’s best universities.
iii. IIM-B also ranked first under the Management category in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) Rankings 2019.

UN adopted resolution on Sexual-Violence condemning rape as a weapon of war
The German-sponsored resolution 2467 (2019), on sexual violence, was adopted by United Nations Security Council (UNSC) condemning rape as a weapon of war after 13 out of 15 members have voted in favour of the resolution while Russia and China abstain from voting.
i. The resolution was adopted only after language on a woman’s right to “reproductive health” was removed from the draft to avert a veto by the anti-abortion US administration.
About UNSC
♦ Headquarter: New York, USA
♦ Founded: 24 October, 1945

Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un hold first-ever talks in Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un hold first-ever talks at the Eastern Federal University Campus on Russky Island in the far eastern Russian Pacific port city of Vladivostok.  The aim of this meeting is to break the deadlock over North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme.

i. The meet was a part of Six-party talks on North Korean de-nuclearization, that started back in 2003 involving China, Japan, Russia, the US along with North Korea and South Korea. The last round of such talks took place in 2007.

About Russia
♦ Capital: Moscow
♦ Currency: Russian Ruble
About North Korea
♦ Capital: Pyongyang
♦ Currency: North Korean Won


RBI (Reserve Bank of India) gives approval for e-mandates to facilitate Internet Banking, Debit Cards to NPCI
The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has received approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to implement e-mandates (electronic mandates) for internet banking and debit cards, which will allow the users to automatically deal with their recurring payments.
i. By June 30th, NPCI has to inform all the member banks to take immediate measure and implement both the variants.
ii. The limit for each mandate is set at Rs 1 Lakh, and depending on the usage, the organisation will review the limit from time to time.
iii. The circular notified that the NACH (National Automated Clearing House) mandates can be used for business to business (B2B) collections, investments, insurance products, utility payments, government payments, trades receivables, loan repayments, asset rentals and collection of education/society charges.
iv. Both e-NACH and e-mandates are 2 different services. The e-NACH services are controlled by NPCI and is available at over 40 banks, while the e-mandates are provided by individual banks.
v. Presently, private sector banks, namely, Yes Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Axis Bank and IndusInd Bank have launched their e-Mandates. The public sector banks that offer the services are Central Bank of India, Bank of Baroda and Punjab National Bank.


Microsoft becomes world’s third company to be worth $1 trillion
Seattle-based tech giant Microsoft has reached a valuation of $1 trillion for the first time after a jump in stock valuation that followed a qualitative-laden third fiscal quarter and has again taken over Apple as the world’s most valuable company.
i. Microsoft has become the third company to cross that once-unimaginable line following Apple,earned in August 2018 and Amazon,earned in september 2018.
ii. According to Q3 fiscal earnings,Office, LinkedIn, and Dynamics gained $10.2 billion USD,Azure Cloud, server products, and enterprise services gained $9.7 billion USD and Windows, Xbox, and Surface earned $10.7 billion USD.

IEPF Authority recovers Rs 1514 Cr of Depositors Money from Kolkata-based Peerless General Finance and Investment Company
The Investor Education and Protection Fund (IEPF) Authority has recovered deposits worth Rs 1,514 crore that was pending with the company for the last 15 years, from Kolkata-based Peerless General Finance and Investment Company.
About the Investor Education and Protection Fund (IEPF) Authority:
i. Investor Education and Protection Fund (IEPF) is a statutory body under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and was established by the central government under Section 125 of Companies Act 2013.
ii. The objective of the authority is to administer the Investor Education and Protection Fund by promoting Investor’s Education, Awareness and Protection.
iii. The authority can undertake initiatives to fulfil its prime objectives through Investor Awareness Programmes and mediums, namely, ‘Print, Electronic, Social Media and Community Radio’.

HCL Technologies sets up cybersecurity centre in Texas to enhance business growth
IT services HCL Technologies has set up a CyberSecurity Fusion Centre (CSFC) in Frisco, Texas, US.
i. The main objective of the setting up of the CSFC by HCL Technologies’ is to boost business growth by providing customers with a single point of contact for the business security lifecycle – from detection to repairment.
ii. HCL would also enhance university-to-industry collaboration under which the firm will conduct on-campus hackathons. The top participants in the hackathons from the winning teams from each individual school will be offered full-time jobs and advanced training at HCL Technologies.


Rana Dasgupta bags Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize 2019
British Indian novelist Rana Dasgupta has been awarded the second edition of Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize 2019 for his 2010 novel “Solo”, deals with a tale of estrangement and the ultimate failure of material existence. The Award included a Tagore statue, a certificate for contribution to literature and a cash prize of $10,000.

Key points:
i. World Health Organization Goodwill Ambassador Yohei Sasakawa has been awarded the Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize for social achievement 2019 for his incredible efforts to uproot leprosy and great contribution to world peace.
ii. Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen was awarded Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize for Social Achievement as “a beacon of democracy”.
iii. Rana was awarded Ryszard Kapuscinski Award in 2016 for the novel “Capital: The Eruption of Delhi”. Besides, he also received Commonwealth Writers’ prize in 2010 for “Solo”.
About Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize:
♦ The Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize is awarded  in the honor of Indian author Rabindranath Tagore.
♦ It is established in 2018.
♦ Tagore is the first non-European winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.


Siddhartha Mohanty designated as COO of LIC Housing Finance
On 25th April 2019, former executive director of LIC of India, Siddhartha Mohanty has been appointed as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of LIC Housing Finance.
Key Points:
i. He started his career with LIC of India in 1985.
ii. He also served as Chief of Investments (Monitoring), Regional Head of marketing channel in Western Zone spanning the States of Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Goa and was the Senior Divisional Manager in-charge of Raipur and Cuttack divisions of LIC.


Quikr acquired secondhand Goods Marketplace Zefo
On 25th April 2019, Quikr has acquired Bengaluru-based secondhand goods marketplace Zefo, for INR 200 Crore to strengthen the sales of its pre-owned goods business.

Key Points:
i. With this pre-owned product’s market in India will reach USD 12-15 billion in the year 2020. Normally a pre-owned product’s price can be as low as 30-60 percent of a new one.
ii. Zefo is an online marketplace for selling refurbished TVs, mobile phones and furniture.
iii. Quikr had launched its Quikr assured products, and franchised stores in Karnataka and Telangana to offer a touch-and-feel experience to consumers.

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Saurabh Chaudhary, Manu Bhaker win India’s 2nd gold at ISSF Beijing World Cup 2019
On 25th April 2019, the pair of Indian shooters Saurabh Chaudhary, 16-year-old, and Manu Bhaker, 17-year-old, clinched the 10m Air Pistol Mixed gold by beating Jiang Ranxin and Pang Wei of China 16-6 in the final at the International Shooting Sport Federation(ISSF) World Cup 2019 in Beijing, China.

i. Prior to this, Saurabh Chaudhary and Manu Bhaker had already won a gold in the same category in the New Delhi edition of the shooting World Cup in February 2019.
ii. The two teammates scored 482 points at the fifth spot.
iii. Anjum Moudgil and Divyansh Singh Panwar bagged a gold medal in the 10m Air Rifle Mixed Team event by defeating China in the same tournament.
About ISSF World Cup:
♦ Introduced in : 1986
There are four competitions per year in each event.2019 venues are:
Venue 1 : New Delhi, India
Venue 2 : Beijing, China
Venue 3 : Munich, Germany
Venue 4 : Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

FIFA bans eight players for Life over Match-Fixing
On 24th April 2019, Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) imposed eight-lifetime bans on current and former players and an agent for indulging in match manipulation of international games.
i. Kenyan footballer George Owino Audi got a 10-year ban and a fine of 15,000 Swiss francs (13,165 euros).
ii. World football’s governing body imposed a ban on Zimbabwean agent Kudzanai Shaba and former players from Afghanistan, Benin, and Cuba, as well as Zimbabwean agent Kudzanai Shaba.
iii. Ibrahim Kargbo, former Sierra Leone captain and ex-Trinidad and Tobago player Keyeno Thomas were suspended from all football-related activities over attempts to rig matches at international level.
About FIFA:
♦ Founded   – 21 May 1904; 114 years ago
♦ Headquarters – Zurich, Switzerland
♦ President  –  Gianni Infantino

Pankaj Advani, India’s cueist defeated Ehsan Heydari Nezhad of Iran to clinch Asian Snooker Tour title
India’s Pankaj Advani, the 21-time world snooker and billiards champion has defeated Ehsan Heydari Nezhad of Iran by 6-4 to clinch the inaugural Asian Snooker Tour title, in Bengaluru.

i. Pankaj Advani beat Nezhad by 52-40, 66(58)-0, 1-63(62), 78-4, 35-47, 0-51, 47-35, 38-39, 53(49)-35, 51(50)-20 in the final and had previously defeated Aung Phyo of Myanmar by (5-2) 50-27, 92(92)-0, 86(86)-15, 12-62, 54-30, 24-70, 79-5 in the semifinal.
ii. He had previously bagged the 2nd leg of the Tour in China and was leading the ranking before the final leg of the Tour in Bengaluru.

Ajinkya Rahane becomes 1st Indian cricketer to join Hampshire
Indian cricketer, Ajinkya Madhukar Rahane became the first overseas player from India to represent Hampshire and he will replace Aiden Kyle Markram, who will join South Africa’s World Cup Team.
i. 30-year-old Indian will feature in eight Specsavers County Championship fixtures throughout May, June and start of July, subject to visa clearance.
ii. It is expected that he will make his debut against Warwickshire at Edgbaston from 14 May.
iii. In Indian Premier League, he plays for Rajasthan Royals.

ICF (Integrated Coach Factory) Chennai wins Arjan Singh Memorial International hockey tournament by beating South Central Railway, Hyderabad 
Integrated Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai beat South Central Railway, Hyderabad by penalty shootout of 7-5, in the final to bag the second Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh Memorial International hockey tournament at the Astro Turf Hockey Ground at Air Force in Chandigarh.
i. All total 31 matches were played, 202 goals were scored and a total of 16 teams participated in the Arjan Singh Memorial International hockey tournament including the Air Force teams from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
ii. Former hockey players, namely, Colonel GS Gill, Harpal Singh and Colonel Balbir Singh (Retd) who represented India in the 1966 Asian Games and 1968 Olympics were also felicitated.
iii. The Chief Guest of the opening ceremony of the event was Air Marshal RKS Shera, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Maintenance Command. While the Chief Guest for the Closing Ceremony was Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa.


Terry Rawlings, BAFTA-Nominated Film Editor of ‘Alien’ and ‘Blade Runner’, dies at 85
Terry Rawlings, a British film editor, who earned BAFTA nominations for his work on ‘Alien’ in 1980 and ‘Blade Runner’ in 1983 as well as Oscar nomination for ‘Chariots of Fire’ in 1982, died at his home in Hertfordshire, England at the age of 85.
i. He was a founding member of the Guild of British Film and Television Editors and elected as a member in the American Cinema Editors. He was honoured with American Cinema Editors’ Career Achievement Award in 2006.
About United Kingdom
♦ Capital: London
♦ Currency: Pound Sterling


April 26 observed as a World Intellectual Property Day
April 26, 2019, was observed as a World Intellectual Property Day across the globe with a theme of “Reach for Gold: IP and Sports”. The objective was to increase awareness about the role intellectual rights play in encouraging creativity and innovation. In 2000, the General assembly of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) pronounced April 26 as a World Intellectual Property Day.

i. WIPO, a specialized agency of the United Nations, worked together with the different non-governmental organization, and international agencies to promote this day.
SCTIMST, an Institute in Kerala gets Intellectual Property Award 2019
Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST) in Trivandrum, Kerala has awarded Intellectual Property Award 2019 on the occasion of World Intellectual Property Day. The award was given under the category of “Top Indian R&D Institution and Organisation for Patents & Commercialisation”. The award carries a citation, a memento and a cash award of Rs 1 lakh.
Key Highlights
i. The SCTIMST has transferred 54 technologies to different companies for the purpose of commercialisation. It has 97 Indian patent and another 127 patent applications are waiting for approval. It is also the applicant or co-applicant in 21 foreign patent applications.
ii. The institute also has 25 design registrations and one trademark as the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). The institute promotes research and technology development of medical technologies and also provides high quality care to patients in cardiac and neuroscience.
About WIPO
♦ Headquarter: Geneva, Switzerland
♦ CEO: Francis Gurry
About Kerala
♦ Capital: Thiruvananthapuram
♦ Governor: Palanisamy Sathasivam
♦ Chief Minister: Pinarayi Vijayan
♦ Dance Forms: Kathakali, Koodiyatam, Theyyam, Kolkali, Velakali etc.

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