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4th Session of India-Ukraine working group on Trade and Economic Cooperation held in New Delhi
On 2nd April, 2019, India and Ukraine have discussed bilateral trade featuring the importance of exports and imports between the 2 countries. The deliberation was part of the 4th Meeting of India-Ukraine Working Group on Trade and Economic Cooperation (IU-WGTEC) held in New Delhi.
i. Both the countries should share the mandatory requirement to be fulfilled at the time of exporting or importing of any product to promote trade.
ii. Both the countries have agreed to cooperate in the fields of small and medium entrepreneurship, Leather, Tobacco, Gems and Jewellery, Tea Sector, Industry, Public-Private Partnership (PPP) and Investment.
iii. The 5th meeting of the Working Group on Trade, Economic and Cooperation (IU-WGTEC) will be held in Kyiv, Ukraine.
♦ Capital- Kiev
♦ Currency- Ukrainian Hryvnia
♦ PM- Volodymyr Groysman
Indian Army Constructs The Longest Suspension Bridge ‘Maitri’ Over River Indus In Leh-Ladakh in just 40 days
The Indian Army has achieved a record-breaking feat by constructing ‘Maitri’, the 260-feet longest suspension bridge over the Indus river in the Leh-Ladakh region in just 40 days.
i. The combat engineers belonging to ‘Sahas aur Yogyata’ regiment of ‘Fire and Fury Corps’ of the Indian Army undertook the construction of ‘Maitri’.
ii. 500 tonnes of bridge equipment and construction material was ferried to build this bridge.
iii. The bridge “Maitri” was inaugurated on 1st April, ’19 by Naik Phunchok Angdus (Retd.), an 89-year-old war veteran along with war veterans of 1947-1948, 1962, 1971 and 1999 in the presence of Lt. Gen Yogesh Kumar Joshi and General Officer Commanding ‘Fire and Fury Corps’.
iv. Since the term ‘Maitri’ symbolises friendship, the bridge has been named ‘Maitri bridge’ so as to symbolise the excellent civil-military relations between the military personnel and the locals of the Leh-Ladakh region.
v. The bridge will provide connectivity to the remote areas of Ladakh and help residents of the largest villages in Ladakh, namely, Choglamsar, Stok and Chuchot.
vi. This project is a part of the 25,000 crore projects allocated for the state of Jammu and Kashmir by the centre. The other projects include the work for the ‘Zoji la tunnel’ and the all-weather road constructed in 2018 from Manali to Ladakh via Zanskar in Kargil.
vii. Based on its geographic positioning, Leh-Ladakh is an already vital area. This is the reason why, in June 2018, the Border Roads Organisation(BRO) had built a 35-metre long ‘Chamesahn’ bridge leading to the base of the world’s highest battlefield, the Siachen Glacier(under ‘Project Himank’) which in turn had eliminated a major issue of vehicular movement in this region.
Ram Nath Kovind’s 3-Day Visit To Bolivia
President Ram Nath Kovind was on a visit of Bolivia from 28th to 30th March, 2019. He reached Santa Cruz, Bolivia on the second leg of his three nation visit to Croatia, Bolivia and Chile. This is the first visit by an Indian President to Bolivia.
- Ram Nath Kovind adressed the Bolivia-India Business Forum
- India offered US $100 Million to Bolivia for Financial development
- India and Bolivia sign 8 MoUs in Various Fields
- India leverages its way to Bolivian Lithium Reserves
- Bolivia joins International Solar Alliance
- India, Bolivia call for Finalisation of CCIT
- President Ram Nath Kovind conferred with Highest State Honour of Bolivia
- President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the plaque of Mahatma Gandhi Hall………………………………Click here to Read more
For setting up India-Africa Institute of Agriculture and Rural Development (IAIARD) in Malawi, India signed an agreement with a development bank
On 3rd April 2019, India has signed an agreement with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development Consultancy Service (NABCONS) for setting up India-Africa Institute of Agriculture and Rural Development (IAIARD) in Malawi to enhance capacity in the areas of agro-financing and entrepreneurship development for African countries.
i. In this Institute, the trainees from Malawi and other African countries will be trained in the areas of micro-financing and agro-financing.
ii. This agreement will strengthen the bilateral relations between India and Malawi with the African Union.
Over 1.2 M early deaths in India due to air pollution: a report released by State of Global Air-2019
On 3rd April 2019, as per the State of Global Air 2019 report, over 1.2 million people died in India due to air pollution in 2017.
i. Nearly 5 million deaths from stroke, diabetes, heart attack, lung cancer, and chronic lung disease in 2017 happened due to the overall long-term exposure to outdoor and indoor air pollution.
ii. Out of these 5 million deaths, 3 million deaths are directly attributed to PM2.5, half of which is from India and China together.
iii. Air pollution is the third highest cause of death among all health risks in India, and the life of a South Asian child born today will be shortened by two years and six months growing up in current high levels of air pollution, while the global life expectancy loss is 20 months.
iv. US-based organization Health Effects Institute (HEI) released this report.
v. Some schemes like the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, Household LPG program, accelerated Bharat Stage 6/VI clean vehicle standards, and the new National Clean Air Programme were initiated by the Indian government to minimize the air pollution.
BANKING & FINANCE
Kotak Mahindra Bank Becomes The First Lender To Impose Charges On UPI Transactions, Namely, Paytm, Google Pay, PhonePe
- Starting from 1st May, 2019, India’s private sector bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank would become the first lender to levy charges on peer-to-peer (P2P) UPI transactions available across all platforms, namely, Paytm, Google Pay, PhonePe, Trucaller Pay among others.
- For Kotak Mahindra Bank’s account holders, the first 30 peer-to-peer UPI fund transfer would be free of cost.
- Once a person exceeds 30 UPI transactions, he will be charged Rs. 2.50 per transaction for of Rs. 1000 or less. For transfers exceeding Rs. 1000, the bank will charge Rs. 5 plus 18% GST…………………………………………Click here to Read more
One97 Communications-owned Paytm Money Gets SEBI Approval for Stock Broking
On 2nd April 2019, One97 Communications-owned Paytm Money, the wealth management arm of Paytm, has got approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to start offering a stock broking service such as the ability to trade in equities and cash segments, derivatives, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) among other exchange-traded products.
i. Apart from this approval from SEBI, Paytm Money also got approval for its membership from Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) & National Stock Exchange (NSE) to buy share through the Paytm Money app.
ii. The aim of this app, to be a full stack wealth management platform, is going to fulfill with this approval.
iii. Bengaluru-based Paytm Money was launched in 2018, as a mutual funds platform.
♦ Founded – 2010
♦ Headquarters – Noida, Uttar Pradesh
♦ Founder – Vijay Shekhar Sharma
♦ Products – Paytm Mall, Paytm Payments Bank, Paytm Money, Paytm Gamepind
♦ Parent – One97 Communications Ltd
Government infused Rs 205 crore into Bank of Maharashtra
On 30th March 2019, Government infused a capital of Rs. 205 crore into the state owned Bank of Maharashtra in lieu of preferential allotment of shares.
After the Capital infusion, the shareholding of government in Bank of Maharashtra has increased to 87.74 % from 87.01%.
i.In this regard, the bank has issued and allotted its 15,47,16,981 equity shares at an issue price of Rs 13.25 per share to the govt.
Bank of Maharashtra
♦ Headquarters: Pune, Maharashtra
♦ MD & CEO: A.S. Rajeev
♦ Tagline: One Family One Bank
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
ADB cuts India’s growth rate from 7.6% 7.2% in 2019-20, as global risks to Brexit surge
As global risks from trade tensions to Brexit surge, the ADB (Asia Development Bank) in its publication Asian Development Outlook 2019 has demoted growth forecasts for India and Southeast Asia for 2019. For India, it has been downgraded by 40 basis points to 7.2% for fiscal year 2019-20 while Southeast Asia’s growth estimate was lowered to 4.9% by 0.2 percentage point.
i.Given strong corporate fundamentals, India will maintain its position as one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
ii. UK’s exit from the European Union, financial market volatility and the constantly worsening trade conflict between China and the US could hamper the investment scenario.
iii. The growth rate in fiscal year 2020-21 would approximately be 7.3%.
iv. As the price of food commodities increase, the consumer price inflation is expected to go up to 4.3% in FY 2019 and 4.6% in 2020.
Tata Power joined hands with Indraprastha Gas ink pact for rooftop solar projects
On 2nd April 2019, Tata Power has signed an agreement with Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) for green energy solutions including rooftop solar projects, setting up of commercial-scale EV charging/battery swapping stations.
i.The agreement was signed between India’s largest CNG distribution company with Indraprastha Gas Limited’s (IGL) Managing Director E S Ranganathan and India’s largest integrated power utility firm Tata Power’s CEO & Managing Director Praveer Sinha, in the presence of B C Tripathi, who is the Chairman & Managing Director, GAIL.
About Tata Power
♦ CEO: Praveer Sinha
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
About Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL)
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ CEO: Narendra Kumar
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Hero Chairman Pawan Munjal honoured with the Asian Tour with a ‘Special Achievement Award’
Hero MotoCorp Chairman, Dr. Pawan Munjal has been honoured by the Asian Tour with a “Special Achievement Award” for his contributions to Asian Golf, at the concluding ceremony of Hero Indian Open Golf tournament, held at Gurugram, Haryana.
i. Dr. Pawan Munjal is a fine golfer himself. He has been supporting the Hero Indian Open for 14 years, along with the Hero Women’s Indian Open, the Hero Challenge series on the European Tour and the Hero World Challenge on the PGA Tour and also hosts multiple golf tournaments in India, including the marquee Hero Indian Open for both men and women.
ii. At the ceremony, leading Indian golfer Shiv Kapur presented a special salver to Dr Munjal.
iii. In 2001 under Dr Munjal’s leadership, Hero MotoCorp achieved the title of World’s No. 1 two-wheeler.
Vikram Patel to be honoured with the prestigious John Dirks Canada Gairdner Global Health Award
On 3rd April 2019, Vikram patel, a psychiatrist and professor of global health at Harvard Medical school, has been honoured with prestigious John drinks Canada Gairdner Global Health award with prize money of $100,000 by The Gairdner Foundation.
i. This award was given for his world-leading research in mental health, providing knowledge on the burden and determinants of mental health problems in low-and-middle-income countries and for the treatment of mental health.
ii. The former recipient of this award were Alan Lopez, Christopher J.L. Murray , Cesar Victora, and Anthony Fauci.
The John Dirks Canada Gairdner Global Health Award recognizes the world’s top scientists who have made outstanding achievements in Global Health Research.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Air Marshal D Choudhury AVSM VM VSM to be designated as Senior Air Staff Officer, Western Air Command
On 3rd April 2019, Air Marshal D Choudhury AVSM VM VSM has been appointed as Senior Air Staff Officer, Western Air Command.
i. He was commissioned on 22nd December 1983.
ii. He has experience as a Commanding officer in 15 Sqn, Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment (TACDE) and two frontline bases as the AOC.
iii. Also, he was honoured with the CAS commendation in Aug 1992, Vish isht Seva Medal in Jan 2007, Vayu Sena Medal in Jan 2011 and Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in Jan 2018.
Algeria’s president Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigns after 20 years in power
The 82-year-old Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika who was in power for the last 20 years (since 1999) has resigned after prolonged weeks of mass protest.
i. Under Article 102 of the Algerian Constitution, the Parliament could be asked to declare a president unfit to rule the country if he is unable to function properly due to ill-health.
ii. Until elections, Abdelkader Bansalah, the chairman of the upper house of the Parliament is expected to become the caretaker president for three months.
The Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika reinforced his grip after a gut-wrenching civil war against Islamic rebels which left 1,50,000 people dead.
i. Country- Algeria (also called the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, a country in North Africa)
ii. Capital- Algiers
iii. Currency- Algerian Dinar
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
New exoplanet named TOI-197.0 has been discovered by NASA’s TESS
Astronomers have discovered a new exoplanet using NASA’s exoplanet-hunting space telescope, Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite(TESS). The exoplanet is said to be 60 times bigger than our planet and is five-billion-year-old planet.
i.The exoplanet is dubbed TESS Object of Interest (TOI)-197.0 or “hot Saturn” because of its size and hot temperature.
ii.Scientists are gaining valuable insights into other solar systems by studying the data sent by TESS.
iii.The discovery will be published in The Astronomical Journal.It completes its orbit in 14 days, because the planet is very close to its host star.
Two new birds spotted in North Kerala’s Aralam sanctuary during a recent bird survey
On 27th March 2019, The Woolly-necked Stork and White-bellied Drongo, both dry-land species of birds have been spotted in North Kerala’s Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary during The 19th bird survey.
i. Besides the new species, a total of 152 species were spotted in that survey.
ii. The survey was conducted jointly by the forest and wildlife department and the Malabar Natural History Society (MNHS).
Chief Minister:Pinarayi Vijayan
National Park: Eravikulam National Park, Silent Valley National Park, Mathikettan Shola National Park, Anamudi Shola National Park
Dance forms: Kathakali’ and ‘Mohiniyattam’
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Indian Squash player Saurav Ghosal became the first Indian to move in top 10 Squash world ranking
On 1st April 2019, Saurav Ghosal moved up two places to become the first Indian male squash player to break into the top 10 of the latest PSA (Professional Squash Association) world ranking. He is ranked at 10th Place which is his career best ranking.
i. Saurav Ghosal performed brilliantly in the 2018-2019 PSA World Championship which was held in Chicago, USA and reached up to the quarter finals.
ii. Two Indian Women Squash player named Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal had entered into top 10 of PSA World ranking earlier.
iii. At Present, Joshna Chinappa is India’s best female squash player (Ranked 15th) and Saurav Ghosal is India’s best Male Squash Player (Ranked 10th).
Professional Squash Association (PSA)
Headquarters: Leeds, England
Chairman: Ziad Al-Turki
President: Ali Farag (Men) and Jenny Duncalf (Women)
Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI)
President: Debendranath Sarangi
Coach: Cyrus Poncha
Prevention of Blindness Week observed from 1st to 7th April 2019
The Government of India organizes “Prevention of Blindness Week” annually from 1st to 7th April to raise awareness regarding the precautions to be taken to prevent blindness. The target of the day is on detection, cure and treatment of eye diseases.
i. In this regard, campaign has been organized all over the country to provide knowledge about the risk factors that lead to the eye injuries which can cause visual impairment.
Initiated in 1960, Prevention of Blindness Week was launched by Jawaharlal Nehru and Raj Kumari Amrit Kaur, under Societies Registration Act of 1860.
Indian Government has also launched another campaign ‘Vision 2020: The Right to Sight’ in collaboration with WHO to prevent blindness.
Telangana secured top spot in eLearning Training for Field Staff
Telangana has secured the first rank for the second year in a row in the e-Learning training programme of Department of Personal and Training (DoPT), Government of India. The training is being imparted to achieve the goal of “training for all”.
i. Over 20, 000 field staff in different districts of Telangana was imparted training on 12 soft skills modules and 3 domain-specific modules on RTI, Office Procedures, and Finance & Accounts, by Dr MCR HRD Institute.
ii. The institute is also mentoring other states to spread the Comprehensive Online Modified Modules on Induction Training (COMMIT) Programme as a national mission.
Static GK Telangana:
Chief Minister – K. Chandrashekar Rao
Folk Dance – Perini Sivatandavam or Perini Thandavam, Oggu Katha and Lambadi
National Parks – Kasu Brahmananda Reddy National Park, Mahaveer Harina Vanasthali National Park and Mrugavani National Park