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Parliament passes HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill 2017
On April 11, 2017, Parliament passed Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2017 to ensure equality for HIV positive persons in spheres of education, employment and treatment.This Bill was already passed by Rajya Sabha on March 21, 2017.
i. The bill prohibits discrimination towards HIV positive persons in areas of education, jobs, healthcare treatment, availing insurance, holding public/private office and residing or renting a property.
ii. Affected person’s informed consent has to be sought before disclosing his/her HIV status.
Uttar Pradesh govt scraps Samajwadi Pension Scheme
The Uttar Pradesh State Govt., headed by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has stalled the Samajwadi Pension Scheme of the previous Samajwadi Party Govt. under Akhilesh Yadav. He has ordered the officials to conduct a detailed review of this scheme to ascertain whether the beneficiaries are deserving candidates fulfilling the eligibility criterion.
i. Samajwadi Pension Scheme was launched in year 2014 with an aim to provide financial assistance to 40 lakh below poverty line (BPL) category families in Uttar Pradesh. This yojana replaced the erstwhile Rani Laxmibai Pension Yojana.
ii. Under this scheme, BPL families were entitled to monthly pension of Rs. 500 per month for one year.
Haldia Port tops the list in the first ever ranking of ports on Sanitation parameteres
The Haldia Port of West Bengal has emerged as the cleanest ports among Indian ports on sanitation parameters.
i. The ranking of all the 13 Indian ports was conducted by the Quality Council of India. Haldia and Vizag ports receive the first and the second rank.
ii. The ranking was based on the efforts made by these ports to address waste generating sources with respect to port operation, office area, and township area.
Kerala makes Malayalam mandatory in school
The Kerala government has announced to make Malayalam language mandatory in all schools in the state.
i. The new law will be applicable to schools. Those schools that violated the law will have to pay huge fines.
ii. The usage of Malayalam as official language has been made compulsory in all government offices from May 1.
iii. It would be applicable in government institutions, public sector undertakings, self-governing institution in the cooperative sector.
iv. This announcement was made by Pinarayi Vijayan.Malayalam would not be mandatory for foreign students.
v. The new rule will be applicable up to Class X in all the government including those affiliated to CBSE and ICSE streams.
vi. If any school imposes restriction than the law also allow government to impose penalty of Rs.5000.
vii. To know Malayalam is a mandatory requirement in order to get government job in Kerala.
After MP CM Shivraj , Chhattisgarh’s Raman Singh announces phased liquor ban
Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh impose liquor ban in Chhattisgarh after his meeting with Bihar Chief minister Nitishkumar.
i. Chhattisgarh CM announced and imposes a ban on liquor. He made the announcement in Munger.
ii. He will first impose a ban on villages which has a population of more than 3000.
iii. Chhattisgarh has now become the second state to declare a ban on alcohol.
iv. The CM mentioned in his speech that first phase has already done with the government closing down all the liquor shops located within a radius of 5 km.
v. In the next phase the liquor shops will not be allowed to open residential areas, near educational institutes and religious places.
vi. Currently Bihar and Gujarat are the only states that have a total ban on alcohol.
♦ Chhattisgarh is the 10th largest state in India.
♦ Capital: Raipur
♦ Governor: Balram Das Tandon
♦ Official Language: Hindi
G20 Ministers issue declaration on ‘Shaping Digitalisation for an Interconnected World’
A ministerial conference of G20 ministers in charge of digitalisation was held on 6th and 7th April, 2017 in Dusseldorf, Germany. This was the first such meeting of G20 ministers responsible for digitalisation.
i. They have issued a declaration on ‘Shaping Digitalisation for an Interconnected World’, which lays out priorities and course of action.
ii. The declaration acknowledged that digital economies have the potential to contribute to achieving the goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
100 Years of Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram Celebrated in London
The Hundredth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram was celebrated in London to retell Gandhi’s story with some interesting visual elements to the Internet generation.
i. Sabarmati Ashram: The Home of Gandhi’s Experiments with Truth was screened at the Nehru centre.
ii. It is written and produced by senior NRI journalist Vijay Rana.
iii. The film was about how Gandhi set up this ashram in 1917 on the banks of Sabarmati River.
iv. Many revolutionary ideas were evolved in this ashram like economic liberation through spinning wheel and the home spun khadi fight social evils like untouchability, a boycott of foreign goods, non-cooperation, and Salt law.
v. The film throws light on Gandhi’s life in the Ashram.It appropriately reflected the values such as non-violence , peace, love and harmony.
♦ London the capital of England and UK.
♦ Standing on the River Thames in the south east of the island of Great Britain.
♦ London became the first city to have hosted the modern summer Olympics games three times.
Iran, Saudi Arabia, China top world execution list 2016
Amnesty International published the review stated that China executed the most people in 2016, followed by Iran and Saudi Arabia.
i. The china alone killed thousands of people when 23 countries together executed 1032, the MENA region has executed the majority of 852 numbers.
ii. Amnesty ‘s East Asia Director Nicholas Bequelin stated that china has refused to release the number of execution but is believed to execute many thousands of people every year.
iii. According to the report, the total number of executions happened worldwide had dropped by 37 percent compared to 2015. For the first time in a decade, the United States was not included in the top five countries on the list.
iv. Executions were dropped 28 percent from the previous year in the Middle East. Iran alone executed at least 567 people, while Saudi Arabia carried out at least 154 executions.
v. In 2015, the oil-rich Gulf state executed 158 people, reaching its highest figure since 1995.Egypt is doubling its number of executions from 22 in 2015 to 44 in 2016.Political activists by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Egypt ranked sixth on the report.
BANKING & FINANCE
Manappuram Finance launched co-branded prepaid cards with Yes bank
To promote financial transactions the Kerala based NBFC Manappuram Finance with launch its own prepaid cards. It tied-up with Yes bank.
i. In Manappuram YES bank prepaid money cards having the maximum amount is Rs 50000 and it can also be used for online transcations with Pos terminals.
ii. The company will issue the prepaid cards for 20 lakh customers.It also links their existing gold loan accounts to the card.
iii. This will enable them to withdraw money from all ATMs across India.
iv. Customers can withdraw money from any of the 3300 branches of Manappuram finance.
v. It can also be purchased by non-customers by filling their mobile number and KYC document as prescribed by the RBI.
vi. The card will be launch by VP Nandakumar, MD & CEO of Manappuram.
vii. Company has received a prepaid payment instrument license by RBI.
♦ Manappuram finance is a NBFC situated in Thrissur Kerala.
♦ Founded- 1949
♦ Products- Gold loans, money transfer insurance, security loan, foreign exchange
Postal Dept, SBI join hands to promote cashless transactions
The Department of Posts has joined hands with the State Bank of India to promote cashless transactions like ‘SBI buddy e-wallet’ and POS machines.
i. Swain said the installation of SBI Buddy e-wallet and POS Machines will make the transactions easy through digital payments and cashless transactions in post offices.
ii. PK Swain, Chief Postmaster General, Punjab Circle and Anil Kishora, Chief General Manager, SBI, Chandigarh dedicated SBI buddy e-wallet and SBI POS machines at Chandigarh General Post Office for the general public.
BHEL and Indian Railways tie-up for rooftop SPV systems
The agreement of 2 MWp Roof Top SPV Systems to be installed at Diesel loco Modernization Works (DMW), Patiala was signed between Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited BHEL & IROAF (Indian Railways Organisation for Alternate Fuels) in the presence of Mr. Amitabh Mathur, Director (IS &P), BHEL and Mr. Ravinder Gupta CAO (IROAF).
i. The contract predicted the Design, supply, installation, testing & commissioning of grid connected roof top solar photo voltaic power plant with all the electrical and associated equipment including civil works and also includes 5 years’ operation & maintenance.
ii. The 2 MWp SPV RTS is to be installed within 9 months. It has enhanced BHEL’s Roof Top SPV project portfolio to 10 MWp.
Nokia inks Mous with Airtel and BSNL to bring 5G network in India
Nokia has signed a Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with Indian telecom Airtel and BSNL.
i. Nokia would expand their collaborative technology partnership to work on 5G technology
standard and management of connected devices.
ii. 5G connectivity is expected to take place during 2019-2020.
iii. The MoU will help BSNL to draw a framework from the current network to futuristic 5G network.
iv. Nokia is also setting up an experience centre in Bengaluru.
v. To better understand the stakeholder requirements for 5G in India.India to start trials by 2018.
vi. Nokia is working with BSNL to set up the foundation for the 5G trials.5G services with 20GPS speed to India by 2019.
♦ Nokia is a multinational communications and information technology company founded in 1865.
♦ HQ- Espoo Finland
♦ MD & CEO-Rajeev Suri
India, Georgia exploring options for free trade agreements
India and Georgia signed a joint statement on the launch of Joint feasibility study on the bilateral free trade agreement.
i. The agreement was signed between the ministry of Economy and sustainable development of Georgia Giorgi Gakharia and the Union minister of Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi.
ii. The joint statement was signed to promote economic, trade and investment relations between the two countries.
iii. Its objective to create a favourable condition for bilateral economic cooperation.
iv. Purpose is to provide more opportunity in Free Trade agreement.
v. After the completion of Joint Feasibility study India and Georgia proceed with negotiations on Free Trade agreement.
India-Georgia Trade Relations:
1.India is having positive trade balance with Georgia.
2.India’s export to Georgia stood at about USD 83 million compared to USD 73 milion in April 2015.
♦ Georgia Capital:Tbilisi
♦ Georgia Currency: Georgian Iari
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
President of India presents National Geoscience Awards 2016
On April 12, 2017, President Pranab Mukherjee conferred National Geoscience Awards 2016 on 27 bright Geo-scientists of India. The awards were conferred at a ceremony held in Rashtrapati Bhawan.
i. The National Geoscience Awards 2016 comprises one Young Scientist Award and 16 individual/team awards in 11 fields of geosciences.
ii. Young Scientist Award – 2016: Dr. Abhishek Saha, NIO, Goa
President Pranab Mukherjee presents SCOPE Awards
On the occasion of 8th President Pranab Mukherjee presented Scope excellence awards to honor the outstanding Central Public Sector enterprises.
i. Scope awards are given for the excellence and outstanding contribution to the Public sector management.
ii. It was started in the year 1996-1997 and is given to the Institution and individual.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Actress Kristin Davis appointed UNHCR goodwill ambassador
UNHCR announced the appointment of Kristin Davis who is an admirable actress and Philanthropist as its goodwill Ambassador.
i. American actress Kristin Davis one of the stars of the television series was appointed Goodwill Ambassador of the high commissioner of UN on refugees.
ii. Davis has partnered with the UN for 3 years.
iii. UNHCR Goodwill Ambassadors are celebrity representatives of the office of the UN High Commissioner for refugees who use their talent and fame for supporting refugees.
UNHCR, the UN refugee Agency is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, displaced communities and stateless people.
♦ Formation- 14 Dec 1950
♦ Head – Filippo Grandi
♦ Parent Organization- United Nation
♦ UNHCR HQ- Geneva, Switzerland
Govt. appoints 2 more MDs at LIC- B Venugopal, Sunita Sharma
i. B Venugopal and Sunita Sharma appointed by the Government as Managing Directors to the nation’s largest financial powerhouse LIC for a period of nearly two years.
ii. Venugopal is currently heading the Western zone of LIC in Mumbai, Sharma is the managing director of its subsidiary, LIC HOUSING FINANCE. Venugopal took over as the head of the Mumbai zone last year, where as Sharma has been heading LICHFL since November 2013.
iii. Now LIC has four MDs including of Usha Sangwan and Hemant Bhargava, who was appointed in mid-February.
iv. Three major portfolio of investments, personnel and marketing will be reassigned among the four. Three divisions of investment such as operations, risk management & research and monitoring will be redistributed among four.
Harbhajan Singh Among Eight Ambassadors for ICC Champions Trophy
Eight cricketers including Harbhajan Singh and former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi have been appointed as an ambassadors for the ICC Champions Trophy which is scheduled to be held from June 1, 2017 in UK
i. The ambassadors will be involved in the ICC Champions Trophy Tour and will participate in the Cricket for Good coaching clinics, a programme aimed at providing school children with an opportunity to meet and play with legends.They will also be part of the ICC editorial team.
ii. Eight Ambassadors are
1.Harbhajan Singh of India
2.Shahid Afridi of Pakistan
3.Habibul Bashar of Bangladesh
4.Ian Bell of England
5.Shane Bond of New Zealand
6.Mike Hussey of Australia
7.Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka and
8.Graeme Smith of South Africa.
iv. ICC Chief Executive David Richardson has also announced that Intel as ICC’s Innovation Partner for ICC Champions Trophy 2017. With this, it will become the first ‘smart cricket tournament’.
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
Vedanta-Cairn India merger becomes effective
i. Natural resources major Vedanta Ltd. merger with subsidiary energy firm Cairn India has become effective.
ii. Under the merger scheme, a Cairn India shareholder will get one Vedanta equity share and 7.5% preference shares for every Cairn India with face value of 10 each.
iii. The list of the shareholders of Cairn India to whom the equity and preference shares of Vedanta will be allotted as per terms of the agreement will be 27 April, 2017
iv. Sudhir Mathur, acting CEO of Cairn India ,stated that the merger with Vedanta Ltd will de-risk Cairn India by providing access to a portfolio of diversified tier-I, low cost, long-life assets, to deliver significant near term growth, while retaining the substantial upside from our oil and gas business.
v. The eligible Cairn India shareholders ,who will become shareholders of Vedanta now, would also receive an interim dividend of `17.70 per equity share as approved by the board of Vedanta on March 30 2017.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Haryana launches e-sewa app to provide information about welfare schemes
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal has launched an mobile application named ‘e-Sewa’ to provide information about more than 250 schemes and programmes of 30 different departments
♦ The Deputy Commissioner of Ambala, Prabhjot Singh‘s team was the developer of ‘e-Sewa’ app.
Features of e-Sewa :
i. People can get the information about various welfare schemes and programmes on their mobile phones
ii. They can also check the status of their complaint on CM Window and also give their suggestions on the app
iii. Other information like documents required, requisite fee and process of application has also available.
iv. Important contact numbers including all Deputy Commissioners, Additional Deputy Commissioners, Sub Divisional Magistrates, General Manager, Roadways have been made available on the mobile app.
Piyush Goyal launches ‘Urja Mitra’ mobile app
Power Minister Piyush Goyal has launched the ‘Urja Mitra’ mobile application and Rural Feeder Monitoring Scheme on April 11, 2017 in New Delhi.
i. Urja Mitra provides a central platform in the form of web portal as well as mobile app for state power distribution utilities to disseminate information on outages to urban and rural consumers through SMSes, emails or push notifications
ii. While Urban Jyoti Abhiyaan (Urja) app which was launched in June 2016 to monitor service delivery to consumers in towns.
iii. According to Urja app data Kerala, Maharashtra and Rajasthan top the list in supplying uninterrupted power supply
iv. The Rural Feeder Monitoring Scheme will help to track quality of power supplied in rural areas
Karnataka unveils mobile app “Suraksha “and Pink petrol for women’s safety
Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah launched a Mobile App ‘Suraksha’ for the safety of women in the city.
i. The app, that can be downloaded free on smartphones, help women in distress to alert police for help.
ii. It is linked with the Police control room and Patrolling vehicles in the city.
iii. In Suraksha app one can list at least 2 contacts in case of emergency, along with the police when the power button on the app is pressed 5 times.
iv. The police have identified various places like colleges, offices, temples, shopping malls, and theatres where Pink Hoysalas will be placed.
v. Police will conduct review meetings at regular intervals to measure crime rate against women and restructure the sanctioned areas on the city crime graph.
vi. The vehicles are equipped with GPS (Global Positioning System) and camera for the staff at the police control room to monitor the video.
♦ Karnataka Capital – Bangalore
♦ Karnataka CM- Siddaramiah
♦ Karnataka Governor- VajubhaiVala
♦ Official language- Kannada
US,Canada and Mexico to launch joint World Cup 2026 bid
The US, Mexico and Canada finally announced the details for a joint bid for the 2026 World Cup.
i. It would be the first World cup hosted by three nations and the first jointly hosted World Cup.
ii. The tournament would be played in the US and the proposal would be for the USA to host 60 matches, with 10 games each in Canada and Mexico.
iii. The decision will be made in 2020 that who will host the tournament.
iv. The US, Mexico and Canada have define their exceptional abilities to host world class events.
v. The new look tournament will begin with an initial round of 16 three team groups with 32 qualifiers will go to the knockout stage.
vi. The 2026 tournament will be the first to be decided under the new system.
India school team beat Malaysia to lift Asian School Hockey Championship
The Indian School team beat Malaysia 5-1 to lift the title at the Fifth Asian School Hockey Championship in Bhopal at the Aishbagh Stadium.
i. Indian Alishan Mohammad scored 2 goals and converted a penalty corner and a penalty stoke in the goal.
ii. India’s lead to an impressive 3-0 and Alishan Mohammad played a very well in championship.
iii. He gave India an early lead with a stunning field goal in the 12th
iv. Ashan scored his second goal of the match in the 59th minute and finish the championship at fifth position.
v. Thailand ended their campaign in Bhopal with a 6th place finish.
♦ Malaysia Capital- Kuala Lumpur
♦ Malaysia Currency- Malaysian Ringgit
♦ Official Language- Malaysian (Malay), English
♦ Malaysia PM- Najib Razak
Ex-Union minister and Badminton Association of India chief Akhilesh Das Gupta dies at 56
i. Former Union minister and Congress leader Akhilesh Das Gupta, 56 died due to cardiac arrest in Lucknow.
ii. Fifty-six-year-old Gupta, the son of former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Banarasi Das Gupta, was a former national level badminton player.
iii. He was a three-time Rajya Sabha member and the minister of steel in the Manmohan Singh government between 2004 and 2009.
iv. Gupta was Mayor of Lucknow from May 1993 to November 1995.He was arrested for corruption connected to the 2010 Commonwealth Games and he became the President of the Badminton Association of India (BAI) in 2012
BOOKS & AUTHORS
Vice President receives first copy of the book titled ‘Hope in a challenged democracy: An Indian narrative’ authored by Shri Ashwini Kumar
i. Eminent writer Dr Ashwani Kumar has launched his second book ‘Hope in a Challenged Democracy – An Indian Narrative ‘ in New Delhi on April 10, 2017
ii. Hamid Ansari, Vice President of India has received the first copy of the book from the former Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh in the presence of former Chief Justice of India, Justice M.N. Venkatachaliah.
iii. The book analyses issues of fundamental importance in the framework of the dignitarian goals of the republic, the role of a ‘living Constitution’, the necessity of equilibrium between executive, legislature and judiciary, the role of media, importance of equitable growth, a responsive justice system and a rising India’s engagement with the world.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a book ‘Matoshree’ authored by Sumitra Mahajan
Prime Minister Narendra Modi release a book title ‘Matoshree’ authored by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on April 11, 2017
i. The book release function will be followed by a 105-minute play based on the book.
ii. The book ‘Matoshree’ covers the life and times of legendary Devi Ahilyabai Holker who ruled the Holkar Empire spread over the Malwa region from 1767 to 1795.
International Day of Human Space Flight – April 12 2017
Every year 12th April is celebrated as International Day of Human Space Flight to mark the day when the first human space flight, carried out by Yuri Gagarin on 12 April, 1961.
i. On April 7, 2011, the day was proclaimed by the UN at the 65th session of the United Nations General .
ii. Aim: To promote aspirations to explore and maintain outer space for peaceful purposes.
iii. This day is observed as Cosmonautics Day in Russia and some other former USSR