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Current Affairs Today – April 15 2016

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Current Affairs Today-15


Delhi Government bans all forms of Chewable Tobacco

Delhi government has banned the production, storage, distribution and sale of pan masala, gutkha, and all forms of chewable tobacco in the national capital, for one year.

  • The Department of Food Safety releases a notification stated that unpackaged products of chewable tobacco, too, are covered under the ambit of ban.

Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences inks MoU with Centre’s PSU


  • Bhubaneswar based Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) and Educational Consultants India Limited, a central PSU, jointly signed a MoU to work in areas of education and human resource development.
  • The MoU signed by PrashantRoutray, CEO, on behalf of KISS and Diptiman Das, CMD& director of EdCIL.
  • Both the sides will engage for academic collaborations and exchanges. EdCIL will provide financial support for organizing research projects and conferences.
  • EDCIL offered books worth over Rs 5 lakhs to around 9000 tribal students from class I to class V of KISS on the occasion.

Kerala celebrates Harvest Festival

Keralities are celebrating the Harvest Festival, Vishu. Believers across the state are visiting temples, performing special pujas and exchanging gifts to mark the occasion.

Hindu Malayalee’s New Year:

  • Vishu is the start of the Hindu Malayalee’s New Year. The day is celebrated in the second vishuweek of April. It generally falls on April 14 or 15 every year.
  • Vishukkani, the ceremonial sighting of auspicious articles including rice, fruits, gold and flowers tastefully arranged in brass vessels, symbolising hope and promise were arranged in almost all the houses and Temples.
  • Sumptuous feast, new clothes and prayers are a part of the core celebrations in Kerala.

India, US to collaborate on tackling offshore tax evasion

India and the US have agreed to enhance collaboration on tackling offshore tax evasion and increase cooperation in sharing of cross-border tax information.

  • Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitleyand US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew told in a Joint Statement that we are committed to continued collaboration and sharing of experience in tackling offshore tax evasion and avoidance, including joint tax audits and tax examination abroad.
  • The statement was issued after Mr Jaitley and Mr.Jacob Lew co-chaired the 6th US-India Economic and Financial Partnership (EFP) in Washington on the sidelines of the annual Spring Meeting of the IMF and the World Bank.

Google extends free internet service through WiFi to 10 railway stations

Search Engine Google’s free WiFi service now extended to 10 railway stations as a part of its tie up with Railtel. The formal launch will be started in Bhubaneswar.

10 Railway Stations:

Pune, Bhubaneshwar, Bhopal, Ranchi, Raipur, Vijayawada, Kacheguda (Hyderabad), Ernakulum Jn (Kochi) and Vishakhapatnam.

Points to Remember:

  • Free WiFi service was launched first at Mumbai Central in January 2016
  • Google plans to provide free and high-speed Wi-Fi access to railway commuters at over 400 stations in India.

Google CEO : Sundar Pichai


Fairness for Children report released by UNICEF

The new Innocenti Report Card Fairness for Children looks at differences between children at the bottom of the inequality ladder, and their peers in the middle, across 41 advanced economies.

  • This Report Card presents an overview of inequalities in child well-being of the European Union (EU) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Pakistan, China kick off joint air exercise

Pakistan and China began their 5th  joint air exercise, Shaheen-V in Pakistan.Three different types of frontline fighter aircraft belonging to various PAF squadrons for the first time in the Shaheen-V

  • This exercise will enhance the bilateral relationship between Pakistan and China.
  • The strategic partnership has been further strengthened through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, infrastructure development and routine joint military exercises.


  • Shaheen-IV was conducted in Beijing in October 2015.
  • Pakistan: Islamabad(Capital), Rupee(Currency) Nawaz Sharif(PM)
  • China: Beijing(Capital), Renminbi(Currency), Xi Jinping(President)


NDB sanctions $ 250 million for India’s renewable energy scheme

India gets a loan from the BRICS’s China based New Development Bank (NDB) which gave a $250 million funding to Canara Bank for a renewable energy project.

  • The Development Bank has approved four green renewable energy projects from India, China, Brazil and South Africa entailing Bank financing of $811 million.

RBI cuts maturity of masala bonds to three years

RBI has reduced the minimum tenure of Masala bonds to make it more attractive. The term ”Masala Bond” is used to refer to rupee-denominated borrowings by Indian entities in overseas markets.

  • The minimum maturity period for the rupee-denominated bonds issued overseas reduced to three years from the previously stated five years.

About Masala Bonds:

  • The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the investment arm of the World Bank issued a 1,000 crore bond to fund infrastructure projects in India that were listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
  • IFC then named them as Masala bonds to give a local flavor by calling to mind Indian culture and cuisine.
  • They are issued to foreign investors and settled in US dollars. Hence the currency risk lies with the investor and not the issuer.


Union Government imposes anti-dumping duty on N-Butyl Alcohol

The government has imposed an anti-dumping duty of up to USD 149 on imports of N-Butyl Alcohol from European Union, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa and the US for five years

  • Because Normal Butanol exported from the EU, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa and the U.S. was found to be below its normal value .It was noticed by Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC)


  • N-Butyl Alcohol is a chemical used in fermentation of sugar
  • Chemical formula: C₄H₉OH


Indian government ranks Ministers on their Twitter performance

Union government has ranked its ministers on the basis of how quickly and efficiently they respond to people’s requests on Twitter. The Foreign Minister of India Sushma Swaraj has topped these rankings.

  • The Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu placed on 2nd position on this list. He has been very actively troubleshooting any problems the passengers tweet to him. He responds promptly to any emergencies reported to him through Twitter.

Bernie Sanders wins Time reader poll of 100 most influential people

American Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders won the TIME 100 reader poll with 3 percent of the vote, ahead of Hilary Clinton who was 25th with 1 per cent of the vote.TIME’s editors ultimately choose the TIME 100, which will be announced on April 21.

  • Bernie had finished with 3.3% of the total votes on the poll, edging out the South Korean boy band Big Bang’s 2.9%, Burmese leader Aung San SuuKyi’s 2.2%, and President Obama’s 2%.


Ukraine appoints Groysman new Prime Minister

Ukraine’s parliament has appointed Volodymyr Groysman as the country’s new prime pmminister. He was voted in by MPs 257 to 50 as the 16th Prime Minister of Ukraine.

  • MPs voted to approve Mr. Groysman’s appointment and accept the resignation of his predecessor, ArseniyYatsenyuk.
  • Groysman will succeed Yatsenyuk, after serving as his deputy during the latter’s first government, in the aftermath of the toppling of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014.

Government appoints Susmita Pande as National Monument Authority (NMA) Chairperson

Susmita Pande, a professor at Ujjain’s Vikram University, has been appointed as the new chairperson of the National Monument Authority (NMA) for a three-year term.

  • She would succeed Himanshu Prabha Ray, the professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University.
  • NMA, under the Union Culture & Tourism Ministry, is responsible for the protection and preservation of centrally protected monuments and sites.


Chennai’s Freshdesk acquires Social Engagement Tool Airwoot

Chennai-based customer support platform Freshdesk has acquired New Delhi-based Memetic Labs Technologies, the creators the Airwoot SaaS-based helpdesk product to manage customers over social media, for an undisclosed sum.

  • This is the fifth acquisition of Freshdesk. The other previous acquisitions include 1CLICK, a live video chat platform, Frilp, a social recommendation app, Konotor, a mobile first user engagement platform, and Framebench, a platform for creative collaboration.


El Salvador declares drought emergency for first time ever

The Central American country of El Salvador has declared a water shortage emergency 

  • It was the first drought emergency in its history.
  • Residents near by the capital city of San Salvador have protested because of water shortages in recent weeks
  • River and water reserve levels have reached a critical state.

El Salvador

  • Capital: San Salvador
  • Currency: US Dollar
  • President: Salvador Sánchez Cerén


Paddlers Soumyajit Ghosh, ManikaBatra book Rio 2016 Olympic

Indian Paddlers Soumyajit Ghosh and ManikaBatra booked their Olympic tickets by winning their respective groups in the Asian Qualifiers in Hong Kong.

  • Besides no other country from the region participating in the South Asian Zone qualification event, the competition was restricted to the Indian paddlers
  • Soumyajit having won against Sharath Kamal, Anthony Amalraj and Harmeet Desai, topped the group to go through while Batra and K Shamini had two wins each. Manika edged out Shamini, having beaten her in the group match.

Rio 2016 Olympics:

  • Golf, sevens rugby and kitesurfing are the new games were taking centre stage in 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
  • The 2016 Olympics will be the first held in South America. From this year, Africa is now the only continent never to host the Games.

AIBA names Mary Kom as ambassador for World Championship


  • Manipuri boxer MC Mary Kom has been named as one of the brand ambassadors of the forthcoming World Championships by the International Boxing Association (AIBA).
  • Kazakhstan capital of Astana will host more than 300 of the world’s top female boxers for another thrilling edition of the AIBA Women’s World Championships.
  • Mary Kom who missed out on an Olympic berth in last month’s is aiming to secure her second successive Olympic appearance through the world event which is scheduled from May 19 to 27 in Astana, Kazakhstan.

AIBA totally appointed eight ambassadors,

  1. Nicola Adams of Great Britain,
  2. Marlen Esparza of USA
  3. Mary Kom of India
  4. Adriana Arauja of Brazil
  5. StanimiraPetrova of Bulgaria
  6. Khadija Mardi of Morocco
  7. KheiraSiki Yakoub of Algeria
  8. Jennifer Huggins of Canada


British playwright Arnold Wesker died

  • British playwright Arnold Wesker, has died at the age of 83. He had Parkinson’s disease.
  • London born prolific political writer who produced more than 40 plays, as well as books of essays, poetry and short stories, his work also included children’s fiction and a first novel, Honey, which was published in 2005.
  • His plays have been translated into up to 20 different languages and performed worldwide first gained prominence with a trilogy about the lives of Jewish socialist intellectuals includes Chicken Soup with Barley (1958), Roots (1959) and I’m Talking about Jerusalem (1960).

Punjab lokpal Justice J.S. Sekhon passes away

Punjab lokpal and former Punjab and Haryana High Court Judge, Justice Jai Singh Sekhon passed away.

  • Sekhon, elder brother of Punjab cabinet minister Janmeja Singh Sekhon, had been fighting cancer for more than a year.
  • He started his career as a lawyer at the Ferozepur district and sessions court and before being elevated as high court judge, he worked as district and sessions judge in several courts of the state.

Hero group co-founder Satyanand Munjal dies at 99

Co-founder of Hero Cycles group Satyanand Munjal, died at the age of 99 in Model Town, Ludhiana.

  • Munjal was popularly known as ‘mahatma’ Satyanand Munjal for being devoted to several social causes related to the Arya Samaj.

Hero group:

Hero Honda started in 1984 as a joint venture between Hero Cycles of India and Honda of Japan by Dr. Brijmohan Lall Munjal

HQ: New Delhi