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PM launches GNFC’s cashless/less cash township model across 12 States
On April 14, 2017, during his Nagpur visit, PM Narendra Modi launched a less – cash township model, developed by Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GNFC), across 81 townships in 12 States.
i. The less-cash model across the States has been facilitated by GNFC under the auspices of NITI Aayog. It is to be noted that GNFC’s township at Bharuch in Gujarat became India’s first 100 per cent cashless township.
ii. 56 out of 81 selected townships are in Gujarat, whereas 25 townships are located in other 11 states including Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, and Bihar.
Himachal Pradesh celebrating 70th Himachal Day
On April 15, 2017, Himachal Pradesh celebrated its 70th Foundation Day. It came into existence in year 1948 post merger of 30 odd princely states.
i. On the occasion of the 70th foundation day of Himachal Pradesh, Chief Minister
Virbhadra Singh launched an ‘Unemployment Allowance Scheme’ at a state level function in Chamba.
ii. Under this scheme Himachal Pradesh State Government will provide unemployment allowance of Rs 1,000 per month to youth having intermediate or above qualification whereas the unemployed youth with disability would be provided allowance of Rs 1,500 per month.
AP CM lays foundation stone for Rs 100-cr Ambedkar memorial park in Amaravati
On April 14, 2017, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu laid the foundation-stone for Dr B R Ambedkar Smriti Vanam (memorial park) in state’s de facto capital Amaravati.
i. Dr. B R Ambedkar Memorial will have following amenities:
1.A Memorial Park with aesthetic and landscaped gardens
2.A multi-purpose convention Hall with a seating capacity of 3,000 persons
3.A Buddhist Dhyana Kendram (Meditation Hall)
4.An Open Air Theatre with a seating capacity of 2,000 people with facilities for conducting multi-media shows
5.Dr B R Ambedkar Memorial Library with his collected works and thoughts
ii. Mr. Naidu also laid the foundation-stone for a 126-ft statue of Dr. Ambedkar that will come up in the park.
iii. Andhra Pradesh Govt. has allocated nearly Rs. 100 crore for this project (including the 126 ft. Statue). The construction will be completed within 24 months
UP govt, center sign MOU for Power for All scheme
MOU has been signed between Uttar Pradesh government and Centre for the “Power for All” scheme in the state.
i. The main purpose of this scheme is to provide 24-hour quality power supply in the state by October 2018.
ii. To provide electric connection to every house and agriculture field by 2019.
iii. The cost of the project will be 40 thousand crore and 20 thousand crore will be spent till 2018.
iv. Government has also introduced UJALA scheme in which LED bulbs of energy saving, tubelights and fans were provided at economical rate.
v. The decision was taken on the occasion of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar’s 126th birth anniversary.
vi. UP government has also announced 1912 helpline for the power related complains.Smart meter will also be installed to stop electricity theft.
♦ UP Governor-Shri Ram Naik
♦ UP CM-Yogi Adityanath
♦ Power and Energy Minister- PiyushGoyal
♦ State Power and Energy Minister- Shrikant Sharma
Supreme court asks Center to include Urdu in NEET from 2018-2019
Urdu to be included in NEET exam the common test for admission into medical college announced by the Supreme Court.
i. Urdu will be a language of medium for NEET possibly from this year or from next year directed by the member committee.
ii. The committee headed by Dipak Mishra, AM Khanwilkar and MM Shantanagoudar.
iii. At present NEET is being conducted in 10 languages.Hindi, English, Gujarati, Marathi, Oriya, Bengali, Assamese, Telegu, Tamil and Kannada.
♦ Those students who wish to study any graduate medical course like MBBS,BDS or postgraduate like MD/MS are apply for NEET National Eligibility and Entrance Test
Madhya Pradesh bans plastic/polythene bag from May 1
The Madhya Pradesh government has planned to ban Plastic and Polythene bag from 1st of May. It has been done because of the numbers of cow death across the state.
Points to be noted:
i. The CM of MP Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced a ban on Polythene and Plastic carry bags across the state.
ii. These polythene and plastic bags are very harmful for the cows and due to this cows death rate has been increased so far.
iii. These plastic bags are also harmful for environment. They pollute the environment in a severe manner.
iv. Banning of Polythene bags will save and protect the lives of cows.
v. A big no of polythene and plastic bag and it is to be implemented from 1st of May in MP.
Madhya Pradesh is the largest state in central India.
♦ Capital- Bhopal
♦ CM- Shivraj Singh Chouhan
♦ Governor- Om Prakash Kohli
Bihar sets up court for prohibition cases
A Bihar government has set up a special court for speedy trial for those cases which are registered against violation of the law.
i. The judge of the Special court has been appointed to Justice Trilokinath Tiwari.
ii. This court will hear Prohibition cases only of Patna district.A first special court has been set up in Patna civil court.
iii. Those who violate the law the Law Enforcement agencies have been directed tough against them.
iv. About 45000 people have been arrested for violating the liquor ban which was imposed by Bihar CM Nitish Kumar.
v. According to the report atleast 45,033 people were arrested and 44000 were sent to jail.
Bihar is a state in East India, bordering Nepal. Bihar is famous for Maha Bodhi Temple Bodhgaya. It is also included in UNESCO certified World Heritage Site.
♦ Governor-Ram Nath Kovind
♦ CM- Nitish Kumar
♦ Capital- Patna
2-billion people drinking contaminated water says WHO GLASS report
The World Health Organization has published the Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS) 2017 report that nearly 2 billion people worldwide using Contaminated Water.
i. The WHO revealed that drinking and using contaminated water thousands of people die within a year.
ii. In developing and under developed countries 38% of health care facilities lack improved water source. 19% do not have proper sanitation and 35% lack water and shop for hand washing.
iii. By 2025, half of the world’s population will be living in water stressed areas.
India and Nepal agree to resolve border disputes along UP district
India and Nepal have agreed to solve their border disputes by a Joint Survey of Boundaries.
i. The survey of the entire border between Kheri in UP and Kanchanpur in Nepal has been done to resolve the border disputes.
ii. An agreement was signed between the two countries.
iii. The survey is related to the missing and damaged border pillars and carried out by the odd even formula.
iv. Odd numbers pillars would be maintained and construct by the Nepal Administration while even numbers pillars would be maintained by the Kheri administration.
v. In this survey both the countries will ensure safety and security in each other’s territory.
vi. UP shares a 599.3 Km open border with Nepal that touches seven districts.
♦ Nepal is a landlocked central Himalayan country in South Asia.
♦ Capital- Kathmandu
♦ President- Bidhya Devi Bhandari
BANKING & FINANCE
RBI tightens screws on banks to ease bad debt
On April 14, 2017, the RBI has come out with a revised Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework for banks which will be effective from April 1, 2017. This framework is based on certain risk thresholds, the breach of which could result into serious consequences such as merger with another bank or even closure of the bank.
i. Financial reports of banks as on March 31, 2017 will be considered as reference to evaluate banks’ condition vis-a-vis the thresholds.
ii. This new framework will be reviewed after three years.
IRDAI unveils portal for insurers to sell policies online
All the Insurance companies, Brokers and Corporate agents now can sell insurance policies through online platform.
i. IRDAI has now launched an online portal for insurance companies and allow them to register and sell policies through online mode.
ii. The portal name is isnp.irda.gov.in
iii. Now, Insurers and intermediaries can create a login credentials for registration and submit Insurance Self Networking Platform (ISNP) application online or on the portal.
iv. It helps insurance companies to increase the business of insurance across the country.
v. ISNP portal will offer several services online like change of policy details, name and address collection of renewal premiums, fund switching, death, maturity claims and many more.
IRDA is an Insurance Regulatory and Insurance Authority.
♦ It promotes the insurance and re-insurance industries in India.
♦ HQ- Hyderabad Telangana
♦ Chairman- S. Vijayan
Bank Boards Bureau evolves GRAF for PSB’s
The Bank Board Bureau (BBB) has developed a Governance Reward and Accountability (GRAF)framework for the public sector banks.
i. GRAF is framed so that PSB’s can compete efficiently with Private sector banks, small finance banks and foreign banks and NBFC.
ii. It is based on the advanced global benchmark on governance practices.
iii. It is provided by BASEL Committee on banking supervision guidelines.
iv. Under this bureau it is mentioned that few directors on PSU bank boards should be permitted to serve more than one bank’s board.
v. This has been done to help the PSU’s bank board from the current problem of the bad loans.
♦ It is an independent body of Union government to improve the governance of Public Sector banks
Grasim gets RBI approval to hike FII limit
The RBI has allowed Aditya Birla Group firm Grasim Industries to raise the foreign shareholding to 49% from 30%.
i. RBI has now mentioned that Foreign Institutional Investors can now invest 49% of the Paid up capital of Grasim Industries under the portfolio investment scheme.
ii. FII, NRIs, PIOs can invest in Primary and secondary capital markets in India through Portfolio Investment Scheme.
iii. RBI will monitor investments of FII, NRIs, and PIOs on daily basis.
iv. RBI has fixed the cut off points 2% points lower than the actual ceiling.
v. It has been done to increase the liquidity in the company’s equity shares.
Tata Motors arm launches made in India robot TAL Brabo
A Wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Motors, The TAL Manufacturing Solutions has launched a Made-In-India Robot.
i. TAL Brabo is the first robot which is deliberately designed in India.It is designed for manufacturing units across the world.
ii. It can be used by Small Scale Industries as well as Large scale Industries.
iii. It has been tested across 50 sectors like automotive light engineering, software testing, education and aerospace and many more.
iv. The robot has an efficiency of increasing productivity to 15-30% within 15-18 months.
v. The robot can work 24*7 and can also perform complex task, operations within effective cost.
vi. The cost of spare parts and maintenance will be very economical.
vii. TAL has tied up with Italy based RTA motion control systems.
viii. TAL is also preparing for the IP certification for the robot that indicates its water and dust resistance capabilities.Tata Motors is also planning to export the Robot to European countries.
Cabinet approves listing 11 PSUs on stock exchanges
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the PM Narendra Modi has given its approval for listing of the following 11 Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) on stock exchanges:
1.Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL)
2.Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC) Ltd.
3.IRCON International Limited
4.Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) Ltd.
6.Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL)
7.Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) Ltd.
8.Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDSL)
9.North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) Ltd.
11.Mishra Dhatu Nigam Ltd. (MIDHANI)
i. In the above mentioned companies, Govt. of India will disinvest up to 25% of its stake through public offer of shares and offering fresh shares to raise resources from the market. This decision is in line with announcements made in Budget 2017-18.
ii. Govt. believes that listing these companies on stock exchanges will foster public accountability and unlock the true value of these companies.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
India-born engineer Dr. Arvind Sinha gets American Helicopter Society award
American Helicopter Society (AHS) International has awarded ‘World’s Outstanding Aerospace Engineer Leadership Award’ to Dr. Arvind Sinha – an India-born aeronautics engineer, currently based in Australia.
i. This award is a prestigious honour for leadership excellence in the field of vertical flight technology.
ii. Sinha has expertise in Tactical Aerospace Systems for unmanned aircrafts and helicopters.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Sheela Patel named by the UN chief to panel on Urban development
Sheela Patel is a director of SPARC and a global expert of Urban Poverty Alleviation for Slum dwellers has been named by the UN chief to panel on urban development.
i. Sheela is a Padamshree Awardee.She founded the SPARC in 1984 a Mumbai based NGO.
ii. She will address a high level independent panel on Urban Poverty alleviation for Slum DwellersIt focuses on housing and infrastructure rights for the urban poor.
iii. She also played a vital role in development of Mahila Mission those women who lived in Slums across India.
iv. She is also a head of Slum/Shack Dwellers international.
v. It is an international network of poor people’s organization and also supports NGO’s in Asia’s and Africa.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
AP CM Launches Mobile App CM Connect To Receive Feedback
On April 14, 2017, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu launched a new mobile app CM Connect, at Secretariat at Velagapudi near Vijaywada. This mobile app runs on Microsoft’s Kaizala platform and will be useful in receiving feedback from the public directly on any given issue.
Features and Utilities of CM Connect:
i. People can share the confidential information with the Chief Minister directly. The identity of the responder would be kept secret.
ii. The app would help in effective planning, improving and implementation of the schemes and programmes.
iii. As mentioned by Microsoft Corporate Vice President Rajiv Kumar, this is the first instance in which a head of State is using app and technology to reach out to the people.
CSIR-NIO develops robotic platform to track Oceanic processes
Researchers of CSIR National Institute of Oceanography have developed a platform of Robotic that can be located at any depth from 0 to 200 meters.
i. It can be made to track the oceanic processes.It is designed to check the upwelling that occurs regularly during June to September along the west coast of India.
ii. The sensors which are fitted on the Robotic platform can detect conditions such as low temperature, low oxygen, high nutrients and changes in the density patterns.
iii. The Robot will be able to sit on seabed for 100 days.
iv. It is mainly targeted for monsoons, global climate and unwilling.
v. The Robot is programmed in such a way that it recorded the water column information at every 10 to 25 cm.
vi. It stores a data 4 times a day and same communicates to the user at the institute.
Manipur CM launches web applications to check corruption – DARPAN
On April 14, 2017, Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren Singh launched two web applications to check corruption and keep track of government activities. These web applications would monitor all government funded projects and ensure transparency and accountability.
i. Digital Application for Review by Public And Nation (DARPAN): This web application would upload details of projects right from the initial stage till sanction of fund and photos of work-in-progress from sites. As per CM Biren Singh, it will stop the corrupt culture of non-completion of developmental projects after release of funds.
ii. Anti-Corruption Cell: The Chief Minister said that recently launched Anti-Corruption Cell has received a series of complaints of corruption. This web application would augment in the government’s efforts to end corruption in the state. Cases have been registered based on genuine complaints received through a dedicated telephone number.
Pankaj Advani beats Sourav Kothari to win Asian Billiards Championship title
Pankaj Advani has won his 7th Title by defeating Sourav Kothari in the Asian Billiads Championship.
i. PankajA dvani is the 16th time world champion.
ii. Advani defeated Sourav Kothari by 6-3 in the finals.
iii. It was held in Chandigarh from 8th April to 14th
iv. The total prize money of the championship is 11 lakhs.
v. He is now going to Doha to compete in the Asian Snooker Championship that begins on 22nd of April
About Pankaj Advani:
♦ Born on 24 July 1985 in Pune.
♦ He is a professional player of English Billiards
Pioneering Canadian HIV/AIDS researcher Mark Wainberg passes away
Mark Wainberg a Canadian HIV/AIDS researcher has passed away.
i. He helped the worlds to understand of HIV/AIDS at a scientific, medical and political level.He was also a director of McGills University AIDS centre.
ii. He was a former President of AIDS Society.He identified 3TC (Lamivudine) through which effective treatments could be done for HIV people.
iii. He was named as Canadian Medicine hall of fame for his contributions to medicine.
iv. He graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Science in 1966.He also completed his Ph.D. from Columbia University.
Former J&K Governor Girish ‘Gary’ Saxena Dies
Former Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Girish Chandra Saxena, lovingly called Gary, passed away on April 14, 2017 after a brief illness. Garry was 90. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.
Brief Biography of Girish Saxena:
i. Born in Agra in year 1928.An IPS officer of the 1950-batch of theUttar Pradesh cadre
ii. He was the Director of Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) between 1983-86
iii. After his retirement from the RAW in 1986, Saxena served as an advisor to the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi till January 1988
iv. He took charge as the Jammu and Kashmir Governor for the first time on May 26, 1990 and continued in the post till March 13, 1993. He was re-appointed in 1998.
v. Saxena had the most successful tenure as Governor of J&K and was credited with the revival of state polices’ intelligence mechanis