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 INDIAN AFFAIRS

Chhattisgarh Govt to distribute free smartphones to over 50 lakh people
In a bid to reduce the digital divide, from May 2018, Chhattisgarh State Government will start distributing free smartphones to over 50 lakh people across the state under the Sanchar Kranti Yojana (SKY).

Chhattisgarh Govt to distribute free smartphones to over 50 lakh peopleDistribution of free smartphones in Chhattisgarh:
i. Distribution of smartphones will start during the ‘Vikas Yatra’ campaign of Chief Minister Raman Singh. The Yatra has been organised to create awareness about developmental activities undertaken by the incumbent BJP Government under Mr. Raman Singh.
ii. Distribution of smartphones would be taken up in two phases – 30 lakh in first phase and remaining in the second phase.
iii. Women heads of households will be the priority recipients of the smartphones as out of 50 lakh smartphones, 40 lakh will be given to women heads of households in villages having population of more than 1000, 5 lakh phones will be given to women heads belonging to poor families living in urban areas and 5 lakh phones will be given to college students.
iv. On account of this scheme, 13900 villages of Chhattisgarh will get better phone connectivity.
v. Proving smartphones will facilitate reach of citizen-centric services to the people in remote area through 11000 common service centres (CSCs) of  Chhattisgarh Infotech Promotion Society (CHiPS), will apprise people of government’s welfare schemes and will also help in cashless payments through digital transactions.
Quick Facts about Chhattisgarh:
♦ Capital – Naya Raipur
♦ Current Governor – Balram Das Tandon
♦ Current Chief Minister – Raman Singh
♦ Important National Park – Guru Ghasidas National Park

UP Govt orders Govt hospitals and orphanages to establish SHISHU SWAGAT KENDRA- PALNA
On April 18, 2018, Uttar Pradesh State Government ordered all government hospitals and orphanages to establish SHISHU SWAGAT KENDRA – PALNA and put up cradles in front of their buildings so that any person, lady or couple can leave their unwanted child without disclosing their identity.
About SHISHU SWAGAT KENDRA- PALNA:
i. Objective of this setup is to tackle the problem of abandoning the infants at the roadside or other places which may pose a risk of life for the baby.
ii. As per the order, the cradles will be set up at medical colleges, district, satellite and sub-district hospitals.
iii. All these centres will have arrangements for taking proper care of such infants.
iv. The cradles will be fitted with a bell by which the staff can be alerted to the arrival of the child. Thereafter the child will be taken to the local child welfare committee and screened further to evaluate if it is fit for adoption.
v. This setup is expected to bridge the gap between the number of children available for adoption and the increasing list of adoptive parents.
Quick Facts about Uttar Pradesh:
♦ Capital – Lucknow
♦ Current Governor – Ram Naik
♦ Current Chief Minister – Yogi Adityanath
♦ Important National Park – Dudhwa National Park

MSME Ministry Sets UP four Technology Centres for North East: Giriraj Singh
Minister of State of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), Giriraj Singh has stated that four technology centres are being established in North Eastern India for supporting Micro industries in the region.
More information about Technology Centres for North East:
i. Mr. Singh shared this information on April 18, 2018 at UdyamSamvad Workshop organised by Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in New Delhi.
ii. The workshop had eleven session with different entities like Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), financial organisations and industry bodies.
iii. Discussions at this workshop focused on various issues faced by entrepreneurs and Startups in North East States of India.
iv. Mr. Singh stated that technology centres are being established in Imphal (Manipur), Dimapur (Nagaland), Tinsukia (Assam) and Agartala (Tripura).

IIIDEM organizes Consultative Workshop for the Delegation from CEC of Kazakhstan
On 16th and 17th April, 2018, India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management (IIIDEM) organized a Consultative Workshop in New Delhi for the Delegation from the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Kazakhstan.
IIIDEM organizes Consultative Workshop for the Delegation from CEC of KazakhstanConsultative Workshop for the Delegation from CEC of Kazakhstan:
i. The delegation comprised six members including Vice-Chairman of CEC, Kazakhstan and other Senior Officials.
ii. Interactive discussions on the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) & Role of Information Technology (IT) and a Training Programme were conducted during the course of this workshop.
iii. India’s Chief Election Commissioner O. P. Rawat stated that EVMs are being used in Indian elections for the past 20 years.
iv. IIDEM was established by Election Commission of India (ECI) in June 2011 to advance its professional competence in election management.

KJo to be first Indian filmmaker in Madame Tussauds collection
Karan Johar (referred to as KJo), will soon become first Indian filmmaker to get a wax statue at Madame Tussauds, London.
KJo to be first Indian filmmaker in Madame Tussauds collectionAbout Karan Johar:
i. Karan Johar’s directorial debut was hit film Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) which had Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol in lead roles.
ii. Other popular films directed by KJO are Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, Kal Ho Naa Ho, My Name Is Khan and Student of the Year.
iii. He owns Dharma Productions Pvt. Ltd., a production and distribution company.
iv. Karan Johar is not just engaged in film making, but is also a costume designer, and television personality.
v. Amitabh Bachchan, Sachin Tendulkar and PM Narendra Modi are some of the other Indian dignitaries who have got a wax statue at Madame Tussauds, London.

Target year of completing PMGSY-1 advanced to 2019 from 2022
On 16th April 2018, the Union Rural Development Ministry said that, the government has advanced the target year for completion of phase one of rural road scheme PMGSY (Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana) to 2019 from 2022.
Target year of completing PMGSY-1 advanced to 2019 from 2022:
i. The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) was launched in 2000. It has provided connectivity to 1.52 lakh habitations (85.37 % out of the total 1.78 lakh eligible habitations).
ii. The Union Rural Development Ministry said that due to the need and urgency of rural roads for national development the target date for completion of PMGSY-I has been preponed from 2022 to 2019.
iii. To meet this target, the government has sanctioned the order for construction of roads to connect 1.66 lakh habitations (which is 93 % out of the target of 1.78 lakh eligible habitations).
iv. Less than 1 % of the eligible habitations remain to be sanctioned for new connectivity. Through this programme, over 5.50 lakh km of roads have been constructed.
Taglines of some banks:
♦ Dena Bank – Trusted Family Bank
♦ ECGC Bank – You focus on exports. We cover the risks
♦ IDBI Bank – Banking For All, Aao Sochein Bada

Gujarat CM launches Pocket Cop project; cops to get smartphones to curb crime
On 16th April 2018, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani launched ‘Pocket Cop’ project to improve crime detection rate in the state, in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
Gujarat CM launches Pocket Cop project; cops to get smartphones to curb crimePocket Cop:
i. Under the Pocket Cop project, smartphones having data of people with a criminal background will be given to 4,900 police personnel. The personnel include investigating officers, in-charges of police stations, those placed in PCR (Police Control Room) vans and working in passport verification.
ii. Some police personnel were handed the smartphones at the event held in Gandhinagar.
iii. The smartphone will contain four different applications for passport verification, tracing criminals, finding missing persons and for stolen vehicles.
iv. A trial was launched in Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad districts earlier. After its success it has been launched for the whole state now.
v.Vijay Rupani said that, all districts of Gujarat will be soon brought under CCTV surveillance for better crime detection.
Some National Parks in Gujarat:
♦ Blackbuck National Park
♦ Gir Forest National Park
♦ Marine National Park, Gulf of Kutch

Venkaiah Naidu launches Assam government’s cashless health scheme
On 18th April 2018, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu launched ‘Atal Amrit Abhiyan’, a health scheme of Assam government that provides free medical care of up to Rs 2 lakh for every person from Below Poverty Line (BPL) and Above Poverty Line (APL) families.
Venkaiah Naidu launches Assam government’s cashless health schemeAtal Amrit Abhiyan:
i. Atal Amrit Abhiyan will cover 92 % of the Assam’s population with annual income below Rs 5 lakh.
ii. Assam state government has allocated Rs 400 crore for the scheme in the financial year 2018-19.
iii. The scheme has been named after former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
iv. Venkaiah Naidu said that, the National Family Health Survey-IV has poor infrastructure due to shortage of manpower, especially doctors.
Some wildlife sanctuaries in Assam:
♦ Bherjan-Borajan-Padumoni Wildlife Sanctuary
♦ Borail Wildlife Sanctuary
♦ Bornadi Wildlife Sanctuary

UIDAI introduces new QR code for offline Aadhaar verification
On April 18, 2018 Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has taken an another effort to increase the privacy level of aadhar details without disclosing the 12-digit Aadhar card number.
i. It introduced an updated digitally signed ‘QR code’ on e-Aadhaar that will now contain the photograph of the Aadhaar user with other non-sensitive details like name, address and birth date.
ii. A QR code is a form of barcode label which contains machine-readable information.Aadhaar holders can download and print their biometric ID with the QR code from the website of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) or its mobile app.
iii. Aadhaar users can manually darken the Aadhaar number and use the printout with the new QR code for establishing their identity, offline also.
Overview of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)
i. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is a statutory authority established on 12 July 2016 by the Government of India under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, following the provisions of the Aadhaar Act 2016.
ii. The UIDAI is mandated to assign a 12-digit unique identification (UID) number (termed “Aadhaar”) to all the residents of India. The UIDAI data centre is located at Industrial Model Township (IMT), Manesar,[28] which was inaugurated by the then Chief Minister of Haryana Mr. Bhupendra Singh Hooda on 7 January 2013.

Kochi to host India Skills Kerala 2018
From April 28 to 30 , Kerala will host the India Skills Kerala 2018 in Kochi, as part of the World Skills India 2018. It will help youngsters in the State to show their vocational skills. It aims to generating interest and creating awareness among the general public.
Kochi to host India Skills Kerala 2018i. The activities for the above event had organized by Kerala Academy for Skills Excellence (KASE), the State Skill Development Mission (SSDM) and Industrial Training Department under the Department of Labour and Skills.
ii. It might help training students to get medals at the World Skills Competition Kazan 2019.
View facts about Kochi
♦ Kochi ,also known as Cochin ,is a major port city on the south-west coast of India bordering the Laccadive Sea. It is part of the district of Ernakulam in the state of Kerala and is often referred to as Ernakulam.
♦ Kochi was an important spice trading centre on the west coast of India.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

India claims top spot for 2018 growth among major economies: Reuters Poll
According to a Reuters poll of economists, India will reach the top position among the world’s fastest-growing major economies in 2018, but increasing trade tensions between the United States and China might hinder that growth.

India claims top spot for 2018 growth among major economies: Reuters PollIndia claims top spot for 2018 growth among major economies:
i. The recent tit-for-tat import tariffs introduced by the US and China have created concerns about  a global trade war. Otherwise a strong world economy could be developed.
ii. The recent poll was taken on 11th to 18th April 2018. It has predicted that India’s economy will expand 7.4 % in the fiscal year that began in April 2018.
iii. This is in line with the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) projection. For the next fiscal year, growth is expected to average 7.5 %, which is lower than the IMF’s forecast of 7.8 %.
iv. The slowdown has been attributed to demonetization introduced in November 2016 and introduction of goods and services tax (GST) in July 2017. But the impact of these have reduced now.
iv. Increased government spending prior to national elections next year is expected to be inflationary.
v. Inflation is forecast to average 4.7 % in the fiscal year ending in March 2019, and 4.9 % the following year, according to the poll.
vi. The Reserve Bank of India has been forecast to keep rates on hold until the second half of next year, according to the poll.
vii. But economists expect a repo rate increase to the quarter ending September next year from a move in the first three months of 2019.
Some important stadiums in India:
♦ Trivandrum International Stadium – Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
♦ Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium – Kochi, Kerala
♦ Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium – Kollam, Kerala

India ranks 10th on new Commonwealth innovation index
India was ranked 10th on a new Commonwealth Innovation Index. First three rankers are UK, Singapore and Canada.
i. The index was launched as part of a new Commonwealth Innovation Hub on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in partnership with the United Nations World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and its annual Global Innovation Index (GII).
ii. The sixty percent of Commonwealth 2018 participants were under 30 with a lot of talent and innovation and with this new digital platform.
iii. The Global Innovation Fund (GIF) will work as the delivery partner to host a new Commonwealth Innovation Fund (CIF). The GIF will manage the fund and its investments, which will be targeted at innovative projects across Commonwealth countries that “save and improve lives”.
iv. The target size of the new fund, with financial commitments from member-countries, is expected to be 25 million pounds of initial funds to prove the new model.

India-UK free trade agreement to boost economic ties: UKIBC
As per UK India Business Council (UKIBC’s) report ‘The UK and India: The Bilateral Trade Relationship’, a free trade agreement (FTA) between India and the UK will help boost two-way commerce and investments between both the countries.
India-UK free trade agreement to boost economic ties: UKIBCi. Under FTA, the partner countries reduce or eliminate duties on most of the goods traded between them.
ii. The report has also recommended  a tighter alignment of the bilateral economic architecture, including the UK-India CEO Forum and Joint Economic and Trade Committee and a focused outreach campaigns in both the countries, informing trade associations about the opportunities in each other markets.
iii. It also suggested that Indian government should consider starting a programme on lines of UK’s Department for International Trade’s Export Opportunities programme, which identifies opportunities in India for UK exporters.
Quick facts about UKIBC:
♦ Founded in – 1993 (as Indo-British Partnership), 2007 (as UK India Business Council)
♦ Headquarters – London, United Kingdom

BANKING & FINANCE

SBI India’s most trusted bank, ICICI tops in private sector: Report
As per Trust Research Advisory’s Brand Trust Report 2018, State Bank of India (SBI) is the most-trusted bank (among both public and private sector banks) in India.
Rana Kapoor Felicitated With Outstanding Brand Builder Award By AAAIBrand perception of Major Indian Banks:
i. Among private sector banks, the list was topped by ICICI Bank. However, Brand Trust Report 2018 is based on a survey that was carried out during November 2017 – January 2018 period and did not take into account the recent reports of irregularities involving the ICICI Bank.
ii. Although SBI has topped the Banking and Financial Services Institutions (BFSI) super-category , its overall brand trust index ranking has dropped from 13th in 2017 to 21st  this year.
iii. Interestingly, out of the 1000 most trusted brands of India that have featured in Brand Trust Report 2018, 51 brands are from the BFSI as compared to 23 brands in 2017.
Quick Facts about State Bank of India (SBI):
♦ Renamed in – 1955
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
♦ Current Chairman – Rajnish Kumar

RBI directs Mumbai-based bank to restrict withdrawals
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has placed Mumbai-based City Co-operative Bank under directions, owing to which, its customers will not be allowed to withdraw more than Rs. 1000 per deposit account.
Restrictions on City Co-operative Bank:
i. In addition to withdrawal restrictions, City Co-operative Bank would not be able to accept fresh deposits, disburse loans, make any investment, or borrow funds without RBI approval.
ii. In context of this news, it is important to note that City Co-operative Bank’s net non-performing assets stood at 8.84 per cent of advances.
iii. However, RBI has clarified that issue of the directions should not be construed as cancellation of banking licence of City Co-operative Bank and it will continue to undertake banking business with restrictions till its financial position improves.

AU Bank bets on ‘Kamao’ app to ramp up biz
AU Small Finance Bank has decided to improve its business through crowd-sourcing, involving not only employees but also customers and non-customers using the mobile app named ‘Kamao’ (earn).
Kamao (earn):
i. AU Small Finance Bank has planned to encourage stakeholders to refer prospective customers, who want to open deposit accounts or get loans, on the app and win rewards.
ii. The app is currently undergoing beta (field) testing. If an employee, customer or non-customer give leads (prospective customer’s name, contact details, and banking requirements) they will be rewarded.
iii. The sales team will work on the lead, and if it converts into business, the person who referred the prospective customer, will get a reward. The status of the lead given will be updated in the app.
iv. In case of employees, the bonus is linked to generation of leads. The the app will be launched in six months.
About AU Small Finance Bank:
♦ Headquarters – Jaipur, Rajasthan
♦ MD & CEO – Sanjay Agarwal

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Airtel tops 4G download speed, Jio in coverage area: OpenSignal
As per a report of OpenSignal (a London-based company that specialises in wireless coverage mapping), Bharti Airtel has the highest 4G download speed among all Indian telecom operators.

Airtel tops 4G download speed, Jio in coverage area: OpenSignalData on 4G Speed and Coverage:
i. Based on the tests conducted by OpenSignal between December 2017 to February 2018, Bharti Airtel has topped the chart of 4G service providers with 9.31 mbps download speed.
ii. Airtel is followed by Idea Cellular (7.27 mbps), Vodafone (6.98 mbps) and Jio (5.13mbps).
iii. Even in overall speed test (download speed across 4G, 3G and 2G network of individual operators), Airtel topped with 6 mbps download followed by Jio at 5.1 mbps download speed.
iv. However, Jio topped the list in terms of 4G network coverage. OpenSignals’s 4G network coverage refers to how often users can access a 4G network during the test period.
v. For test period from December 2017 to February 2018, testers were able to access Jio 4G network signal 96.4 per cent of the time.
vi. In terms of 4G coverage, Jio was followed by Vodafone.

Defence Planning Committee to formulate military, security strategy, supervise foreign deals
On 18th April 2018, the government formed Defence Planning Committee (DCP) to reform the process of higher defence planning and national security strategy.
Defence Planning Committee (DCP):
i. Chairman of the Defence Planning Committee (DCP) is National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval.
ii. High-powered members of the DCP will be:

  • principal secretary to Prime Minister
  • three chiefs of armed forces
  • foreign and defence secretaries
  • Secretary (expenditure) in the Finance Ministry
  • chief of the integrated defence staff (IDS)
  • Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC)

iii. The Defence Planning Committee will develop national security strategy and defence strategy. It will also supervise foreign deals in the defence sector.
iv. It will carry out the comprehensive and integrated planning of higher defence matters.
v. The committee will operate through 4 sub-committees on:

  • Policy and Strategy
  • Plans and Capability Development
  • Defence Diplomacy
  • Defence Manufacturing Ecosystem

vi. The government has involved both Foreign Secretary and Expenditure Secretary in the formal planning process of Defence Ministry in an attempt to overcome coordination issues between various ministries on national security.
vii. The committee will be a permanent body. It has been formed to make defence planning and strategy a more integrated and forward-looking process.
Some important lakes in India:
♦ Khajjiar Lake – Himachal Pradesh
♦ Macchial Lake – Himachal Pradesh
♦ Manimahesh Lake – Himachal Pradesh

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Madhya Pradesh conferred Most Film Friendly Award
Madhya Pradesh will be conferred Most Film Friendly State Award 2017 by Central Government.

Madhya Pradesh conferred Most Film Friendly AwardMost Film Friendly State Award 2017:
i. Announcement in this regard was made on April 19, 2018 by Ramesh Sippy, Chairman of the jury for selecting the Most Film Friendly State Award 2017. The jury comprised renowned filmmakers – Nagraj Manjule, Raja Krishna Menon, Vivek Agnihotri and Uday Singh.
ii. Madhya Pradesh has been selected for the award on account of ease of filming in the state, excellent ground support, filmic infrastructure, informative website and incentives for filmmaking.
iii. The award will be presented by President Ram Nath Kovind on May 3, 2018 during the presentation of the 65th National Film Awards.
iv. Madhya Pradesh beat 15 other states that participated in the Most Film Friendly State Award 2017.
v. Uttarakhand will be given a Special Mention certificate in recognition for the efforts made by State Govt. towards creating a film friendly environment.
Quick Facts about Madhya Pradesh:
♦ Capital – Bhopal
♦ Current Governor – Anandiben Patel
♦ Current Chief Minister – Shivraj Singh Chouhan
♦ Important National Park – Bandhavgarh National Park

Rana Kapoor Felicitated With Outstanding Brand Builder Award By AAAI
Mr. Rana Kapoor, MD & CEO of Yes Bank, was recognized as an Outstanding Contributor to the Media and Communication Industry and Indian Brand Builder by Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) at the 13th edition of Goafest 2018.

Rana Kapoor Felicitated With Outstanding Brand Builder Award By AAAIRana Kapoor Felicitated With Outstanding Brand Builder Award By AAAI:
i. Mr. Rana Kapoor was honoured by AAAI for initiating banking and financing solutions in the Media and Communications Industry.
ii. Under his leadership, Yes Bank’s Media and Entertainment banking knowledge vertical has helped to further corporatize the Indian Film, Media, Entertainment and Communications industry.
iii. Goafest was hosted by AAAI and the Advertising Club for the advertising industry on April 5th to 7th 2018.
About Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI):
♦ President – Nakul Chopra
♦ Location – Mumbai

Bhuj Mercantile Coop Bank bags Banco Award for best performing cooperative bank
Bhuj Mercantile Cooperative Bank has won the Banco Award for best performing cooperative bank.
Bhuj Mercantile Cooperative Bank – Banco Award for best performing cooperative bank:
i. Bhuj Mercantile Cooperative Bank received the Banco Award from Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao at an award ceremony held recently in Hyderabad.
ii. Bhuj Mercantile Cooperative Bank was selected as the best performing cooperative bank from 1500 cooperative banks in India.
iii. Also, Bhuj Mercantile Cooperative Bank ranked in the top in Gujarat for hi-tech technology upgradation. It ranks third in the category at National level.
iv. Banco Award is presented every year to the top performing cooperative banks to recognise and encourage best practices in the cooperative banking sector.
v. The banks for Banco Award were selected based on the bank’s audited accounts for past 3 years, deposit growth, non-performing assets (NPA), net profit, customer service standards, ratings provided by RBI, staff training, Core Banking Solution (CBS), use of latest technology, e-com and ATM facilities.
About Bhuj Mercantile Cooperative Bank:
♦ Chairman – Nilaben S Choksi
♦ Established – 1994

BCCL chairman Indu Jain gets lifetime contribution to media award
On 18th April 2018, Indu Jain, chairman of Bennett, Coleman & Co received the All India Management Association’s (AIMA’s) annual award for lifetime contribution to media.

BCCL chairman Indu Jain gets lifetime contribution to media awardIndu Jain – All India Management Association’s (AIMA’s) annual award for lifetime contribution to media:
i. AIMA honours achievers who created a fundamental difference to society through its annual Managing India Awards.
ii. It has honoured Indu Jain for managing the Times Group and for establishing the Times Foundation.
iii. Indu Jain also received the Padma Bhushan in 2016. She launched the Times Foundation in 2000 to carry out community services, research foundation, and relief funds.
iv. Bennett, Coleman & Co publishes newspapers and magazines like The Times of India.
About All India Management Association (AIMA):
♦ President – Mr T V Mohandas Pai
♦ Location – New Delhi

J P Nadda gives away Kayakalp awards, 2017-18
National felicitation ceremony of Kayakalp awardees (2017-18) was held in New Delhi on April 19, 2018.
Kayakalp Awardees, 2017-18:
i. Launched in 2015, Kayakalp scheme awards public health facilities for their work in maintaining high standards of sanitation and hygiene.
ii. On April 19, 2018, Union Health Minister, J P Nadda gave away Kayakal Awards to the winners under various categories.
iii. All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi got the first prize of Rs. 2.5 crore under the Central Government Hospitals A category.
iv. NEIGRIHMS, Shillong was adjudged the winner in Group B category and was awarded Rs. 1.5 crore.
v. Mr. Nadda also felicitated the District Hospitals, Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and Community Health Centres (CHCs) for winning the awards in their respective states and union territory.
vi. Mr. Nadda and Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Ms. Anupriya Patel released the Kayakalp Coffe Table book along with the Patient Safety Framework and Kayakalp Implementation Guidebook during the ceremony.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

TK Rajalakshmi elected IWPC president
On April 18, 2018, senior journalist T K Rajalakshmi was elected the new president of the Indian Women’s Press Corps (IWPC).
i. Every year IWPC members elect a 21-member Managing Committee and six office bearers – President, two Vice – Presidents, General Secretary, Joint Secretary and Treasurer.
ii. Along with T K Rajalakshmi’s election as President, Jyoti Malhotra and Shobhna Jain were declared vice-presidents of IWPC.
iii. Besides, Shalini Bhardwaj was elected joint secretary and Preeti Mehra as treasurer.
iv. Fresh elections will be held to fill the post of the General secretary, as there was a tie between the two contestants in the election held on April 14, 2018.
Quick Facts about IWPC:
♦ Launched in – 1994
♦ Located in – Delhi
♦ Objective – to support women journalist in their professional work, in enhancing their knowledge and skills and to provide a forum for networking

Lt Gen PP Malhotra takes over as DG NCC 
On April 17,2018 Chief engineer of the Indian Army’s Northern Command Lieutenant General P P Malhotra has assumed charge as the new Director General of the National Cadet Corps (NCC), the largest uniformed youth organization in the world on 11 Apr 2018.

Lt Gen PP Malhotra takes over as DG NCC i. Lt Gen Malhotra’s distinguished professional career includes various regimental, staff and command appointments.
ii. His educational qualifications include a B.Tech from the College of Military Engineering, Pune; M.Tech from IIT-Bombay; M. Phil from DAVV, Indore; and an M.Phil from the Madras University.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Chandrayaan-2 launch postponed to October-November 2018
On 18th April 2018, ‘Chandrayaan-2’, India’s second moon mission, which was planned to be launched in April 2018 has been postponed to October-November 2018.

Lt Gen PP Malhotra takes over as DG NCC Chandrayaan-2 launch postponed to October-November 2018:
i. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman K. Sivan said that the total cost of this mission is Rs 8 billion. Rs 2 billion for launching and Rs 6 billion for the satellite.
ii. Chandrayaan-2 will comprise a lander and rover probe which will descend on the surface of the moon. It will observe the lunar surface and send back data for analysis of the lunar soil.
iii. Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, said that,  Chandrayaan-2 mission is cost-effective, totally indigenous in its expertise, manufacturing and material.
Some important bird sanctuaries in India:
♦ Mayani Bird Sanctuary – Maharashtra
♦ Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary – Maharashtra

SpaceX blasts off NASA’s new planet-hunter, TESS
On 18th April 2018, NASA’s latest planet-hunting spacecraft TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) on board a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket took off from Cape Canaveral, in Florida, United States.
Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS):
i. Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is a $337 million satellite. It aims to scan 85 % of the skies for cosmic bodies where life might exist.
ii. The spacecraft is of the size of a washing machine. It is built to search outside the solar system, scanning the nearest, brightest stars for signs of periodic dimming.
iii. These transits will indicate that the planets are in orbit around them. TESS is expected to find 20,000 planets beyond our solar system.
iv. This number includes more than 50 Earth-sized planets and up to 500 planets less than twice the size of the Earth.
v. TESS has four cameras that are only four inches (10 centimeters) across the lenses.
vi. TESS will focus on nearby exoplanets in the range of 30 to 300 light-years away.
vii. Within 10 minutes of the launch, the rocket’s first stage returned and landed on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.
viii. NASA has confirmed that the spacecraft’s twin solar arrays have been successfully deployed.
ix. TESS will spend two months moving into the correct orbit. Its first scientific data will be sent in July 2018.
About SpaceX:
♦ CEO – Elon Musk
♦ Headquarters – California, U.S.

SPORTS

BWF Rankings: Kidambi Srikanth drops four places, HS Prannoy back in top 10
Indian Badminton player Kidambi Srikanth has lost his World No. 1 rank and has dropped four places to fifth in latest men’s singles rankings released by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) on April 19, 2018.
BWF Rankings: Kidambi Srikanth drops four places, HS Prannoy back in top 10Latest Badminton World Federation (BWF) Ranking:
i. BWF system considers the 10 best results in the past 52 weeks. Drop in Srikanth’s rank was due to Singapore Open Superseries (April 2017) points being removed from his total in accordance with the 52 week rule. Srikanth reached the finals of Singapore Open Superseries and had got a whopping 7800 points for the same.
ii. India’s B Sai Praneeth, the winner of Singapore Open Superseries too dropped down by four spots to 19th due to the same reason.
iii.India’s HS Prannoy, who did not participate at the Singapore Open in 2017, rose to 10th in the current world rankings. Sameer Verma (31st) and Parupalli Kashyap (37th) are the other Indians who featured in top 50 of men’s singles ranking.
iv. Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen has reclaimed the No. 1 spot in men’s singles ranking.
v. In women’s singles ranking, India’s PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal retained their positions at third and the 12th rank respectively.
vi. Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi has dethroned Taiwan’s Tai Tzu Ying to become the new World No. 1 in women’s singles ranking.
Quick Facts about BWF:
♦ Formed in – 1934
♦ Headquarters – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo wins 2018 Chinese Grand Prix
i. Red Bull`s Daniel Ricciardo celebrated his 6th career win after he won 2018 Chinese Grand Prix.
Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo wins 2018 Chinese Grand Prixii. Defending world champion Lewis Hamilton crossed the line fifth behind Verstappen but was promoted to fourth after the Dutchman`s penalty was applied. Top three in 2018 Chinese Grand Prix are

1 Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull
2 Valtteri Bottas –  Mercedes
3 Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari

OBITUARY

Veteran journalist T V R Shenoy passes away
Veteran journalist and columnist TVR Shenoy passed away on April 17,2018 in Karnataka.He was awarded the prestigious Padma Bhushan award in 2003.
Veteran journalist T V R Shenoy passes awayi. Shenoy contributed to numerous national and international newspapers, magazines regarding all ranges of issues through his writing.
ii. Shenoy was a regular contributor to The Indian Express.She also contribute among various newspapers which included Mathrabhumi, Gulf News. He was also the editor of The Week and was an executive member of Prasar Bharati.

Former principal information officer (PIO) Shakuntala Mahawal passes away
On 16th April 2018, former principal information officer (PIO) Shakuntala Mahawal, passed away after a short term illness, in Brussels, Belgium.
Death of Shakuntala Mahawal:
i. Shakuntala Mahawal was 72 years old. She was an IIS (Indian Information Service) officer of the 1969 batch.
ii. She was the principal information officer (PIO) from March 2004 to July 2005. She also served as special correspondent at the All India Radio’s office in Brussels.
iii. She also worked as spokesperson for the Finance Ministry and the Head of News in Doordarshan.
Nick names of some Indian cities:
♦ Amritsar (Punjab) – Golden City
♦ 10 Patiala (Punjab) – Royal City
♦ Muzzaffarpur (Bihar) – Lychee City