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Current Affairs Today – April 14 2016

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INDIAN AFFAIRS

125th Birth Anniversary of Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar

The 125th birth anniversary Dr. Ambedkar was commemorated on 13 th April 2016 at the UN headquarters in New York. This is the first time, United Nations observed the birth anniversary of B.R. Ambedkar.

  • Hyderabad will feature a 125-foot tall statue of B R Ambedkar, the architect of Indian Constitution, just beside the city’s famous landmarks such as Hussian Sagar Lake and the state secretariat, in a year from now.
  • PM Narendra Modi launches National Agriculture Market portal that will have 21 mandis from 8 States to connect e-mandis in several states at a function in the national capital on the 125th birth anniversary of Ambedkar.

Maharashtra Gov become first to bring law against Social boycott & launched Mission Drinking Water

The Maharashtra Assembly lead by Devendra Fadnavis passed the Prohibition of Social Boycott Bill 2016 to becoming the first State to enact such a law.He also launched the ‘Mission Drinking Water’ to conquer water crisis.

A first: transgenders to man a poll booth in Kolkata

Transgenders to man a polling booth in Kolkata. The Statesman Over 50 transgender voters in North Dinajpur.

  • They have been deployed at a polling booth in Kolkata for the April 30 assembly polls, One booth in south Kolkata will be managed by a few members of the third gender,
  • West Bengal has 758 members of the third gender enlisted as voters and two transgender candidates Out of the 6.5 crore voters in West Bengal.
  •  In the third gender there are two transgender candidates contesting from high-profile seats in Kolkata Bhawanipore and Jadavpur. Both have been fielded by LokJanshakti Party.

Government reconstitutes IGNCA board; Ram Bahadur Rai appointed as Chairman

Government reconstitutes IGNCA board; Ram Bahadur Rai appointed as Chairman

Government has reconstituted Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA) board. Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma appoints a new 20-member team including classical dancer Sonal Mansingh, lyricist Prasoon Joshi, artist Vasudeo Kamath and Union Culture Ministry Secretary.

  • Ram Bahadur Rai, Senior Journalist has been appointed as Chairman of the Board.
  • The Ministry has also appointed Dr Sushmita Pandey, head of School of Studies in Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology in Ujjain’s Vikram University, as chairman of National Monument Authority.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Investing in treatment for depression and anxiety leads to four-fold return – UN report

United Nations released that depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy $1 trillion each year, and every one dollar invested. The study was published in The Lancet Psychiatry.

  • Between 1990 and 2013, the number of people suffering from depression and/or anxiety increased by nearly 50%, from 416 million to 615 million. Close to 10% of the world’s population is affected, and mental disorders account for 30% of the global non-fatal disease
  • Scaling up mental health services will contribute to achievement of 1 of the targets of the SGD Goals, endorsed at the UN Nations General Assembly in 2015, by 2030, to reduce by one third premature mortality.

South Korea’s opposition party wins general election

South Korea’s main opposition party won a surprise victory in general election, ending the 16-year parliamentary majority.

  • The main opposition Minjoo Party won 123 in the 300-member National Assembly and Park’s Saenuri Party yesterday won 122 seats in the 300-member National Assembly.
  • The splinter opposition People’s Party bagged 38 spots, and another six seats went to the Justice Party.

South Korea:

South Korea’s government is a republic with a single legislative body which is comprised of the National Assembly or Kukhoe

  • Capital: Seoul
  • Currency: Won

BANKING & FINANCE

Jaypee offers 2,200-acre land to banks for loan settlement

Jaypee group offers 2200 acre land to banks in order to settle most of its loans.

  • Banks have shown their interest to take over the land to avoid putting a non-performing asset (NPA) tag on the two Jaypee group companies namely Jaiprakash Associates Limited (JAL) and Jaypee Infra.
  • An NPA tag will force banks to set aside funds for potential losses, known as provisioning, and impact their finances. For the company, it will make virtually impossible to raise fresh loans.

Aadhaar, net banking-based I-T e-filing appeal system activated

Income Tax department has started the Aadhaar and net banking-based e-filing verification system for taxpayers to file the first appeal before a tax officer, on similar lines of online ITR filing.

  • The facility of filing the appeal form, like filing Income Tax Returns (ITRs), can also be done using a digital signature on the official web portal of the tax department.
  • The EVC works by way of generating a personalized OTP by using the Aadhaar database or the net banking identity of a filer or entity.
  • This initiative is to reduce the interface between taxman and the taxpayer, the department has recently operationalized the maiden facility on its official e-filing portal.

India world’s largest remittance recipient in 2015: World Bank

According to the World Bank India named as the world’s largest remittance recipient in 2015 despite experiencing a $ 1 billion drop from the previous year, the first decline in its remittances since 2009.

Remittance trends of India:

  • India reserved its top spot in 2015, attracting about $69 billion in remittances, down from $70 billion in 2014, the World Bank in its annual report ‘Migration and Development Brief’.

Unified Payments Interface Launched by NPCI

RBI and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) launched the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) with the objective of proactively encouraging electronic payment systems for ushering in a cashless society in India.

  • RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan and NPCI adviser Nandan Nilekani signed for this initiative that aims to provide a safe, efficient, accessible, inclusive, interoperable and authorised payment and settlement system for the country.rag
  • It will enable anyone with a bank account to complete a transfer or make a payment without having to share bank account or credit/debit card details.

Transactions Done Under UPI:

  • The UPI will sit on top of existing payment system by integrating into their code.
  • The NPCI to maintain a database of customer’s Aadhaar number, Mobile number and Bank accounts.

World Bank and AIIB Sign First Co-Financing Framework Agreement

The World Bank  President Jim Yong Kim and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) President Jin Liqun signed the first co-financing framework agreement .

  • The AIIB expects to approve about USD 1.2 billion in financing, with World Bank joint projects anticipated to account for a sizable share in this year.
  • Under the agreement, the World Bank will prepare and supervise the co-financed projects in accordance with its policies and procedures in areas like procurement, environment and social safeguards.

Keys:

  • World Bank HQ: Washington D.C, USA
  • AIIB HQ: Beijing, China

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Barack Obama appoints MasterCard CEO Banga to key administration post

The White House appointed MasterCard CEO Ajay Singh Bangato key administration post as a member of the Commission on Enhancing National Cyber security.

  • Banga is one of the nine members of the Commission on Enhancing National Cyber security appointed by the US President Barak Obama.

Soumen Mitra takes over as new Kolkata Police Commissioner

Soumen Mitra, a 1988-batch IPS officer took over as the new Police Commissioner of Kolkata after Rajeev Kumar was removed by the Election Commission.

  • Rajeev Kumar, an IPS officer of the 1989 batch, rushed to his new office to take over as the ADG, Anti-Corruption Branch in the State police.
  • With this change, Ram Phal Pawar, a 1988 batch IPS officer, who was holding the post of ADG, Anti-Corruption Branch in West Bengal, would now take over as ADG, CID in the State police.

Flipkart Chief Product Officer Punit Soni Quits

The Chief product officer (CPO) of Flipkart, Punit Soni has quit his post at the startup a year after joining the company.

  • Punit Soni, a former Google executive with expertise in mobile technology, was the most high-profile recruitment made by the Bengaluru-based company.
  • He helped build products such as Ping, a chat application on the mobile app, and relaunch its mobile website, Flipkart Lite.

Ajay Devgn, Kajol to be brand ambassadors of Andhra Pradesh tourism

Bollywood actors Ajay Devgn and Kajol are all set to become the brand ambassadors of Andhra Pradesh Tourism.

  • About 8 million tourists visited Andhra Pradesh in 2015, a 30% increase over the kajprevious year, according to the state government. Of these, 237,000 were foreign tourists mainly from Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and West Asia.
  • The celebrity couple were prepared to take up the role of brand ambassadors for the tourism of Amravati and the rest of the state.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma appointed chairman of IAMAI payments banks group

Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma has appointed as the chairman and Vodafone India business head Suresh Sethi as Vice chaiman of the newly formed payments banks group Industry body Internet and Mobile Association of India(IAMAI).

About IAMAI

  • IAMAI Payments Banks is an innovative model of bringing unbanked population into the formal banking fold
  • It includes global companies such as Google, Facebook and LinkedIn as members, also counts six out of the ten payments banks’ primary licensees as members.

IAMAI President: Dr. Subho Ray

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

BSNL to launch data sharing service facility for users across India

BSNL to launch data sharing facility for pre-paid customers across the country. It will allow bsnlfour users to share data among themselves. No charges will be levied for availing this facility.

  • Currently, the company has introduced a special tariff voucher (STV) for this service in south zone. The STV allows sharing of data among a group of people.

Nuclear-capable K-4 undersea ballistic missile successfully test fired from INS Arihant

India has conducted a secret test of the nuclear-capable undersea ballistic missile K-4 SLBMin the Bay of Bengal .

  • The submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) was test-fired from INS Arihant from the Vishakhapatnam coast in Andhra Pradesh.

Features of the K-4 SLBM:

  • Range: 3,500 km.
  • Length & Width:12 m & 1.3m
  • Weighs: 17 tonnes and Payload: 2,000 kilograms.

SPORTS

Kane Williamson, Ben Stokes make through Wisden’s top five cricketers of 2015

Kane Williamson, Ben Stokes make through Wisden’s top five cricketers of 2015

In the 153rd and latest edition of Wisden has included New Zealand captain Kane Williamson and predecessor Brendon McCullum are among Wisden’s five cricketers of the year.

  • Australia captain Steve Smith, and England’s Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow were the others announced.

Bombay HC orders IPL matches to be shifted out of Maharashtra from April 30

Bombay High Court ordered all IPL matches after April 30to be shifted from drought affected Maharashtra Bombay. The state was earlier scheduled to host 20 matches

  • The Verdict came after a PIL questioned the hosting of matches in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur due to a severe drought in Maharashtra.
  • The ruling affects 13 matches, including the final which was to be held in Mumbai on May 29.
  • BCCI had supplied 40 lakh litres of water to stadiums per day for IPL tournaments so far, the judges asked whether it was ready to supply the same quantity to water-starved villages in and around Pune.

Drought Hit Maharashtra:

  • The government has declared a drought-like condition in 14,708 of the state’s 43,000 villages in October last year.
  • This means the drought covers 34% of the state.