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Current Affairs Today – April 21 2016

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Current Affairs Today-21


The three day Curtain Raiser International Yoga Fest inaugurated by Shri Shripad Yesso Naik 

The three day International Yoga Fest: A Curtain Raiser for International Day of Yoga-2016 was inaugurated by the Minister of State for AYUSH (Independent Charge) and Health & Family Welfare, Shri Shripad Yesso Naik in New Delhi. Govt decides Chandigarh to host International Yoga day on June 21.

Cabinet nod for amendments in Compensatory Afforestation Bill

The Union cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave nod to amend the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill-2015, that will enable the distribution of around 42,000 crore among all states to encourage them to plant forests.

Compensatory Afforestation Fund:

  • The bill envisages the formation of a national Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF) and state CAFs to credit amounts collected by state governments and Union territory administrations to compensate for the loss of forest land to non-forest projects.
  • These collected amounts will facilitate timely implementation of proper measures to mitigate impact of diversion of forest land, for which these amounts have been realized.
  • This will pave the for huge employment opportunities in rural areas, especially backward tribal areas.
  • The bill was then tabled in LokSabha in May 2015.

Twitter Seva’: Modi government launches service to address issues of startups, exporters & importers

The Commerce and Industry Ministry has launched a new service, ‘Twitter Seva’, to twitter sevaaddress issues and grievances of startups, exporters and importers, and other stakeholders.

  • A special Twitter cell has been created in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry with a set of dedicated officers.
  • The ministry would try to respond to the queries within 48 to 72 working hours.
  •  The queries on matters relating to Department of Commerce and Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) will be answered through this service.

Minister of State for Commerce and Industry –  Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman.

Government gives nod to run IISER at Tripati

Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) to function from a temporary campus in Tiruapati until its permanent campus is ready.

  • The operationalization of the Insitute at Tirupati from the Academic Year of 2015-16 from IIEa temporary campus at an estimated cost of Rs. 137.30 crore for the initial three years.
  • Union Government had decided to establish the IISER in the residual state of Andhra Pradesh after the telengana is carved out from the state.
  • Andhra Pradesh government has earmarked 244 acres of land at Srinivasapuram, Pangur and Chindepalli villages of Yerpedu Mandal for construction of the permanent campus.
  • The Site Selection Committee had recommended that the campus at Sree Rama Engineering College, Tirupati be used as a temporary campus as the construction will take some time.

7 women officers of SSC granted permanent commission by Navy

To provide equal opportunities to women officers Indian Navy decided to grant permanent commission to seven women officers belonging to the Short Service Commission (SSC) batch of 2008-09.

  • Though women officers are selected only as support staff at present they will soon be sailing on select warships. Thus, a total of eight branches/cadres will be opened for women officers in the Navy includes education, law, air traffic control.
  • Indian Navy is the last of the three wings of the defence forces to agree to permanent commission for women. Earlier the Navy had limited women officers only to the Short Service Commission of 14 years.
  • From 2017women officers can choose to join as pilots of Maritime Reconnaissance planes viz. Boeing P8I, Dornieras also in the Naval Armament Inspectorate cadre.

Indian Navy:

The Indian Navy is the naval branch of the Indian Armed Forces head quartered in New Delhi. The Chief of Naval Staff Robin K. Dhowan.

Department of Disinvestment is now ‘DIPAM’

  • The Department of Disinvestment which runs under Finance Ministry has been renamed as Department of Investment and Public Asset Management or ‘Dipam’,
  • Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced renaming of the body in his budget speech for 2016-17.


  • The new department has been mandated to advise the government in the matters of financial restructuring of central public sector enterprises and for attracting investment through capital markets.
  • The body will deal with all matters concerning to management of union government investments in equity including disinvestment of equity in central public sector undertakings.

Uttarakhand HC quashes President’s Rule

The Uttarakhand High Court quashed the order of the Union government that had put the State under President’s Rule on March 27,the Bench took the decisions on quashing Presidential Proclamation on April 21, 2016 itself.

  • With HC verdict the Congress shall return to power, the Court also ordered that a floor test must be held in the Uttarakhand Assembly on April 29 where former CM Harish Rawat’s claim of having majority support shall be put to test.
  • Earlier a bench of Chief Justice K M Joseph and Justice V K Bistsaid that People can go wrong, be it the President or the judges as they ordered judicial review on imposition of President Rule.

Article 356 of the Constitution:

This Article 356 empowers the President to dismiss a State Government or dissolve a State Assembly or keep it under suspended animation in the event of a failure of the constitutional machinery in that State

Union government allots Rs. 800 crore to clean up polluted lakes in garden city

  • Union government has pledged to provide Rs. 800 crore under AMRUT scheme to rejuvenate lakes especially the Bellandur Lake the largest and most polluted water body in
  • Bengaluru which was once known for its interconnected lake systems which provided a reliable source of water has seen major issues with the lakes in past few years.
  • Out of the total sum 500 crore is for laying down a 74 kms trunk sewage pipeline. Of the total money about Rs 162 crore have been provided to construct 4 Sewage Treatment Plant (STPs) in Bellandur Lake.
  • The garden city has around 262 lakes and tanks in the urban and rural areas of Bengaluru, as of 2009.


It is one of the first cities in India to have hydro-electric power by the hydroelectric plant situated in Shivanasamudra in 1906.


Cabinet clears expansion of India-Chile trade agreement

Union Government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has successfully accorded its approval for expansion of the India – Chile Preferential Trade Agreement. The advantages of agreement are mentioned below.

  • Import and Export of Products
  • Double taxation treaty particularly for Mining Sector
  • Help to increase our trade concentration
  • Several Opportunities to explore various sectors
  • Chile has offered concessions to India on 1,798 tariff lines and India has offered concessions to Chile on 1,031 tariff lines

Europe becomes world’s first region to end malaria: WHO

Europe has become the world’s first region to eliminate malaria the zone recorded with zero cases reported last year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

  • The number of cases reported dropped to zero in 2015 from 90,712 in 1995, and the last cases were reported in Tajikistan in 2014.

Zero Malaria Zone:

The region has zero locally acquired malaria cases for at least three successive years, it is eligible for official certification of malaria elimination by the WHO.


  • Malaria is a life menacing disease caused by parasites that are spread to people through the bites of infected female mosquitoes.
  • World leaders dedicated to ending the epidemic by 2030 when they adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015.

India, China agree for peaceful negotiations to settle border issue


Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval visited china for the 19th round of boundary talks was supposed to be held in earlier this year, but it was postponed following the Pathankot terrorist attack.

  • India and China agreed to go with peaceful negotiations to settle the hostile border issue and reach a fair and mutually acceptable solution by the sides.
  • These negotiations were decided during the annual 19th round of boundary talks here between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi to discuss the way forward to decide the dispute between the two nations.
  • Both the sides had a deep and open discussion on the 3,488 km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC), which remains undemarcated resulting in tensions in the border.
  • The both nations set to properly manage differences and safeguard peace and tranquility in border areas.
  • Doval and his counterpart have discussed a range of issues including India’s concern over USD 46 billion trade deficit with China in about USD 70 billion bilateral trade.


IMF, WB, UN and OECD form new group to stop tax erosion

United States based Financial Institutions International Monetary Fund and World Bank set to join with other International organizations to jointly work on tax related issues and develop new policies and standards to stop tax base erosion and evasion


Indian diplomat Amitav Banerji honoured by Cyprus

Indian Diplomat in the United Kingdom Mr. Amitav Banerji has been honoured with highest awards of Cyprus – Commander of the Order of Merit for the contribution of work towards major roles in Commonwealth Secretariat for 20 years.

Mahatma’s granddaughter Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee gets French honour

Mahatma Gandhi’s granddaughter Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee has been awarded with one of France’s highest honour. The Order of Arts and Letters for her contribution in promoting peace, solidarity, culture, education, and development.

Bhattacharjee was conferred the Officier de l’Ordre des Arts etLettres (Order of Arts and Letters) honour by French Ambassador Francois Richier.

Google India awarded ‘most attractive employer’ in India, in Randstad Award 2016

  • In the 6th edition of Randstad Award 2016, Google India emerged as the most GOOGattractive employer for a second consecutive yearfollowed by Mercedes-Benz in the second place.
  • The sectoral specific special recognition awards this year was awarded.

Randstad Survey:

The company said it is also a proven fact that companies that are capable of attracting the right talent for the right job simply perform better.

  • Randstad Award, introduced globally by Randstad, is hosted each year to encourage best practices for talent attraction and to identify the best ‘Employer Brand’ in the India based on perceived attractiveness of a company.
  • The survey captured the views of around 7,500 respondents, who chose the nation’s most attractive employer brand for 2016. In the meantime, Randstad Award survey, that covered over 2, 00,000 respondents across 25 countries.


Suresh Babu appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Mongolia

Current Ambassador of India to Armenia T. Suresh Babu has elected as the country’s next Ambassador to Mongolia.

  • He is expected to take up his assignment shortly.

Mongolia:  Capital: Ulaanbaatar; Currency: Mongolian tögrög

Goa appoints Justice PK Mishra as Lokayukta
Goa Government appointed former Chief Justice of Patna High Court Justice, P.K.Mishra as Lokayukta of the state.
  • He had recently retired as chairman of Goa State Human Rights commission.
  • He will succeed Justice (Retd) Sudarshan Reddy, Goa’s first Lokayukta.

Saurabh Agarwal of StanChart joins Aditya Birla Group

Aditya Birla Group has appointed Saurabh Agarwal as head of corporate strategy. He was regional head of corporate finance, South Asia, Standard Chartered Bank

  • Bhattacharya, the current group executive president-corporate strategy and business development will now head solar, online fashion and new initiatives.

Aditya Birla Group:

The Aditya Birla Group is an Indian multinational conglomerate named after Aditya Vikram Birla,headquartered in the Aditya Birla Centre in Worli, Mumbai, India.

  • It operates in 40 countries with more than 120,000 employees worldwide
  • It was founded by Ghanshyam Das Birla


Intel India inaugurates ‘UnnatiKendras’ in 10 Telangana towns

Intel India has inaugurated ‘UnnatiKendras’ across 10 towns in Telangana to create a blueprint for the digitization of non-urban India.The company to set up the first Unnati Kendra at Nadimpalli village.

EkKadamUnnati Ki Aurprogramme:

  • On behalf of the EkKadamUnnati Ki Aurprogramme, Intel will collaborate with 10 Common Service Centres (CSCs) in the districts of Warangal, Nalgonda, Medak, Karimnagar, Mahbubnagar, Adilabad, and Ranga Reddy.
  • Each centre will be equipped with Intel-powered devices, local language content, and relevant training modules for non-urban citizens, creating opportunities for skill development and digital empowerment.
  • Centres will have a trained personnel will conduct in-depth sessions on digital literacy, computer skills and internet facilities every week.
  • Intel India is team up with Acer, Asus, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Lenovo, and with leading content providers including Dailyhunt, Dgflick and Skilltrain for this initiative.


Vishnu Vardhan is first ATT champion

Vishnu Vardhan first ATT Champion

Former national champion Vishnu Vardhan put his name into the record books by becoming the first champion of the Asian Tennis Tour (ATT) after he beat Sidharth Rawat by 7-6(7), 6-3 in the final of the $5,000 event at the DLTA Complex in New Delhi.

  • It was a battle of wits even though only in the first set as top seed Vishnu keep back two set-points in the tie-break.

Vishnu Vardhan:

  • Vishnu Vardhan is a professional tennis player from Andra Pradesh.
  • He was a member of the bronze medalist Indian men’s team for 2010 Asian games in Guangzhou China. He paired-up with and SaniaMirza for mixed doubles and won silver medal.
  • Vishnu who also had played doubles at the London Olympics with Leander Paes.

ICC and Emirates Airline renewed deal for additional seven years

Dubai headed International Cricket Council (ICC) has extended its contract with Emirates Airline for another seven years,which perceives the Dubai-based Emirates to become a global partner for all events between 2016 and 2023.

  • Earlier Emirates became the ICC’s official partner for the 2007-2015 events cycle and the sponsor of the ICC’s elite panel of umpires and match referees.
  • This new deal is an extension and expansion of that partnership as Emirates will continue its sponsorship of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires and Match Referees.
  • The Fly Emirates logo is displayed on the umpires’ clothing when they are officiating at all international cricket events.


Chyna, Former WWE women’s champ, passes away

Former WWE Women’s Champion, as well as former WWE Intercontinental Champion, Chyna (Real name: Joan Laurer) passed away.

  • She was well-known for her reality shows like “The Surreal Life” and “Celebrity Rehab with Dr Drew”.
  • Chyna became the first woman in WWE history to participate in the Royal Rumble match, when she entered as the 30th entrant during the 1999 Royal Rumble match.


PM Modi inaugurates 10th Civil Services Day

Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi Inaugurated 10th Civil Services Day and expressed his thoughts on civil servants that they are not only doing a JOB but also a service to the Nation and he added that at energy level, to be an agent of change.

  • Prime Minister accorded awards to Civil Servants for Excel in Implementation of Programmes and Schemes made by Government
  • No. of Districts were awarded: 10