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Current Affairs Today – April 23 2016

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Current Affairs Today - 23.


New Rules notified by Government to revamp Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act

Union government has notified the new rules on the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Act, 1989 was amended by Parliament in Dec 2015.

  • The notified rules will ensure speedy justice to their members, it also mandates police to file charge sheet within 60 days after a complaint is lodged.
  • These rules are notified by the Centre on Babasaheb Ambedkar’s birth anniversary towards achieving his vision of a more equal and just society.

Rs 1K Crore Agri-Plastic Park in Vijayawada Soon

Andhra Pradesh government to have another Central Institute of Plastic Engineering and Technology to train 5,000 plastic engineers and technicians every year and it will be set up in Anantapur.

  • Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Ananth Kumar made the announcement while laying a stone for the CIPET at Surampalli this will be first of its kind in the state.
  • The Minister pronounced an Agri-Plastic Park for Vijayawada region with an investment of Rs 1,000 crore and plastic waste management centre in the same city. Andhra Pradesh announced 200 to 250 acres of land for the park.
  • The minister pledged to set up a bulk drug park in Andhra Pradesh, which is one of the three bulk drug parks that the Central government
  • He also announced that setting up the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) in Visakhapatnam.

FinMin sets up sub-panel on excise duty on jewellery

The finance ministry has formed a sub-committee to be headed by former Chief Economic Adviser Ashok Lahiri panel to interact with the trade and industry on the imposition of central Excise duty on jewellery.

  • Trade Representatives will be appointed to the sub-committee soon. The committee has to submit report within 60 days.
  • The Sub-committee will look into the issues associatedwith compliance procedure for excise duty, records to be maintained, operating procedures and all other pertinent issues.
  • Jewellers demanded to one per cent excise duty which is imposed in the Budget for 2016-17 had earlier led to a strike by jewellers.

Central Excise Duty:

  • The excise duty comes under the Excise Duty Act, 1944. The State Government charges them on certain goods such as narcotics, alcohol or alcoholic products, the duty charges on other goods are collected by the Central Government so it is called Central Excise Duty.

Centre sets up panel to prepare roadmap to double farm income

Union government has set up a panel to make a blueprint for doubling farmer’s income by 2022.

  • The government’s decision to set up the committee follows the budget announcement asdouble promised by the PM Modi.
  • The eight-member panel will be headed by Agriculture Ministry Additional Secretary Ashok Dalwai, will identify potential areas of agriculture where more investment should happen and suggest ways to diminish the risk of farming by diversifying to horticulture and allied activities like livestock and fisheries to boost income.
  • The committee is likely to submit the report in two months,it will also look at reducing the cost of cultivation and addressing unpredictability of weather and price fluctuations in farm sector.

Agriculture Economy:

  • India derives about 17% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from agriculture and employed about 49% of the total workforce.

Dr Jitendra Singh launches Cancer Care campaign in Northeast

A week long Cancer Care campaign launchedin Northeast by the Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh in Shillong under the auspices of North Eastern Council (NEC) Pink Chain Cancer Conclave

  • The campaign has Programmeswhich include public education camps, academic discussions by medical experts and visits to educational institutions.
  • This initiative has been undertaken considering the fact that North Eastern States are recording a much higher prevalence of Cancer compared to most other States of the country.
  • The minister pledged similar campaigns will also be organized in the other seven States of North-Eastern Region.
  • This initiative would also be to update the medical professionals of the region on the recent advances in Cancer treatment and control.


India signed World Trade Organization’s Trade facilitation agreement

India officially signed the World trade organization’s trade facilitation agreement

Aim:Make easier at customs procedures to boost commerce

  • Union Government Commerce and Industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman expressed her views that move would supplement India’s ongoing reforms to bring in simplification and transparency in cross-border trade in goods.

India and French jointly launches programmes under International Solar Alliance

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power, Coal & New and Renewable Energy Shri Piyush Goal Jointly launches programmes under International Solar Allicance along with Ms. Segolene Royal, French Minister of Environment & President of COP21

Venue: Headquarters of the United Nations in New York

  • Joint declaration was exchanged between Shri Piyush Goyal and Ministerial representatives from 25 ISA countries.

Google most influential brand in India, Flipkart at seventh slot

India’s maiden Most Influential Brand Study puts Search giant Google ranks on the top of the new list of ten most influential brands in the country, the study carried out by research firm Paris based Ipsos.

  • The list is followed by Facebook, Gmail, Microsoft and Samsung in the top five, all of which are foreign brands.
  • On the India’s top 10 most influential brands, Bansal founded E- commerce major Flipkart is ranked at seventh spot.
  • The other two Indian brands on the list Country’s largest lender SBI and Airtel- are ninth and tenth spots respectively.

Recreation of destroyed Palmyra arch unveiled


A model of the Palmyra Arch  a two thousand year old Syrian architectural landmark believed to have been destroyed by Islamic militant group ISIS

  • The replica has been erected in London’s Trafalgar Square for three days. It will then go on show in public spaces around the world including Dubai and New York, before it is expected to take up a permanent spot in Palmyra near to the location of the original arch.
  • It measures 15-feet-high (4.6-metre-high) was officially unveiled by Mayor Boris Johnson. Palmyra site including the necropolis outside the walls was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1980


RBI issues master direction on merger of private sector banks

Reserve Bank of India(RBI) issued the master direction for merger of private sector banksRBI and also between NBFCs and banks.

Scope:  An amalgamation of two banking companies and amalgamation of an NBFC with a banking company.

Key Facts :

  • The decision of amalgamation should be approved by respective boards by two-thirds majority
  • The draft scheme of amalgamation should have approval of shareholders of each banking company by a resolution passed by amajority representing two-thirds of the shareholders.
  • NBFC merging with a private sector bank, all accounts should be KYC compliant as they would eventually become accounts of the banks after amalgamation.

About Master Direction :

  • The Reserve Bank of India has started issuing Master Directions on all regulatory matters beginning January 2016
  • The Master Directions consolidate instructions on rules and regulations framed by the Reserve Bank under various Acts including banking issues and foreign exchange transactions.


Centre provides subsidy of Rs 25 crores to contain prices of pulses

Union government has decided to provide subsidy of Rs 24.4 crore for 10,000 Million Tons of pulses such that 8000 Million Tons of Tur Dal and 2000 MT of Urad being allocated to the States at retail price of not more than Rs.120 per kg.

  • The government fixed an unmilled Tur dal is at Rs.66 per kg and unmilled Urad dal at Rs.82 per kg to the States providing a subsidy of Rs 27 per Kg and Rs 14 per kg for Tur Dal and Urad dal respectively.
  • The center has already empowered the States to impose stock limits on the pulses to ensure easy availability.

Vistara & TCS in Strategic Partnership

Gurgaon based airline Service provider Vistara has announced a long term strategic partnership with TCS for a broad range of information technology services including application maintenance services and airport infrastructure support.

  • IT major TCS would manage the operational aspects of the airline’s IT including application maintenance services, network maintenance, and end-user computing and airport infrastructure support.
  • Both the sides would develop state-of-the art digital solutions which can be taken to other airlines.

Tata Consultancy Services:

  • Mumbai based IT company TCS is present in 46 countries and has 230 offices throughout.
  • The company ranked 64th overall in the Forbes World’s Most Innovative Companies ranking, making it both the highest-ranked IT services company and the first Indian company.

Department Of Telecom Approves Spectrum Sharing Deal of RJio and RCom

Telecom Department has given green signal to the spectrum sharing deal between Anil Ambani-led RCom and Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd.

  • DoT has taken this decision on record 800Mhz Spectrum Sharing in 7 circles of the company and 2 circles of Reliance Telecom Limited.
  • This approval covers major mobile services market in Mumbai, Uttar Pradesh East, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Assam and North East.
  • The spectrum sharing deal will permit between RCom and RJio to offer 4G services on 10 MHz block in 800 MHz band.
  • This move will pave the way for similar arrangements in the remaining 13 circles as well.At present, there are 22 Telecom Circles in India


Bollywood Actress RadhikaApte Wins Best Actress award at Tribeca Film Fest

The 30 year old actress has won the best actress award in an International narrative feature honour at Tribeca Film Festival for her contribution in the Film Madly.The Actress starred in ‘Clean Shaven; which is a part of the film.

  • Radhika Apte is an Indian Film actress and acted in various languages films such as Bengali, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and English. She made her feature film debut in the year 2005 Bollywood film Vaah, Life Ho Toh Ais.
Indian documentary ‘Undercover Asia: Girls for Sale’ wins bronze medal New York Festivals 2016 
Indian Documentary film, “Undercover Asia: Girls for Sale” has won a bronze world medal at the New York Festivals 2016 in the Social Issues category.
  • This documentary film explores anti-trafficking activist Rishi Kant’s search for two minor girls, who have been abducted.
  • “Undercover Asia: Girls for Sale”  Director – Radhika Chandrasekhar; Producer – Pria Somiah.

Jennifer Aniston named as World’s Most Beautiful Woman by People magazine

world-mostJennifer Aniston(47) was named as the World’s Most Beautiful Woman for 2016 by
People magazine, for the second time.

  • She has received this honour in 2004.
  • Last year winner was Sandra Bullock.

Other Honours:

  • Aniston won an Emmy Award in 2002 and a Golden Globe Award in 2003.


National Democratic Alliance nominates members of Rajya Sabha

On 23rd April 2016, Our President has nominated the six personalities from different fields

  • President Pranab Mukherjee having powers to nominate the members of Rajya Sabha from various fields such Literature, Science, Sports, Art and Social Service on there commendation of the government.

The Six personalities are

  1. BJP leader Subramanian Swamy
  2. BJP leader Navjot Singh Sidhu
  3. BJP Leader Narendra Jadhav
  4. Malayalam actor Suresh Gopi
  5. Journalist Swapan Dasgupta
  6. Boxer Mary Kom

Bhupendra Kainthola is new FTII director

Bhupendra Kainthola, an Indian Information Service (IIS) officer of 1989 batch, has been appointed as the new Director of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII).He is presently working as Director of  Doordarshan. Kainthola will replace Prashant Pathrabe.
About FTII
  • FTII, country’s premier institute that provides training for acting, film making, video editing, direction and production.
  • It is an autonomous body under Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
  • FTII Chairman – Gajendra Chouhan; Headquarters: Pune, Maharashtra

Bishwadip Dey  to serve in Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

Shri Bishwadip Dey was appointed as the High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

  • He is currently working as the Deputy Chief of Mission in Embassy of India, Thimphu

Trinidad and Tobago:

  • Capital: Port of Spain
  • Currency: Trinidad and Tobago dollar

Nagaland Chief Secy Pankaj Kumar becomes first Ambassador for Girl Child

Nagaland Chief Secretary Pankaj Kumar has become the first Ambassador for Girl Child (AFGC) under Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) Project

  • Every AFGC will provide one under privileged girl child the chance to live a better life besides contributing towards quality education of such girls.

About BBBP :

  • The project “Beti bachao beti Padhao” (BBBP) Yojana (save daughter, educate daughter) launched by Prime Minister Shri Narender Modi to save and empower the girl child is making waves all over the nation.
  • The scheme will have focussed intervention and multi-section action in almost 100 districts with low Child Sex Ratio (CSR)


Nasa Tests 3D-Printed Rocket Engine for Mars, Deep Space Missions
NASA engineers have tested a 3D printed rocket engine turbo pump with liquid methane for NASA’s journey to Mars and other deep-space missions.
  • 3D printed engine is one of the most complex rocket parts NASA has ever tested with liquid methane 
  • This engine can generate maximum power of 600 hp. NASA tests two turbo pumps with identical designs that worked well with both liquid methane and liquid hydrogen propellant.
  • Liquid methane is cooled to -159 degree Celsius whereas liquid hydrogen is cooled to -240 degree Celsius. Due to the higher temperature of liquid methane it boils off more slowly and thus is easier to store for longer periods – an important benefit for MARS mission.


India to play its first D/N Test against NZ this year

India cricket team will play its Day-Night Test debut against the Kiwis later this year. Aussie maker Kookaburra developed the pink ball will be used in the Indian ground for the first time.

  • Indian Cricket regulating body BCCI has taken the decision to host New Zealand for the maiden D/N Test as the falling interest in Test cricket and the number of empty seats in stadiums during the matches.
  • The behaviour of the pink kookaburra in Indian conditions will be tested during the Duleep Trophy this year before being implemented.
  • Neighbour country Pakistan is also expected to make their D/N Test debut against Australia at Brisbane end of this year.
  • Australia’s Adelaide Oval is the venue for cricket’s first day-night Test match where the clash was between Australia and New Zealand.

BCCI forgives West Indies for abandoning 2014 tour, waives off USD 42 million penalty

Indian Cricket administrator BCCI the board has decided to waive off the financial penalty of USD 97 million that was levied on the West Indies Cricket Board for withdrawal of their 2014 series against India in the halfway.

  • The BCCI president Shashank Manohar has stated that the unfinished part of that series will be played in 2017. The schedule will be finalized by the end of May.
  • In October 2014, when West Indies team players boycotted the team returned home after the fourth ODI against India in Dharamsala.

BCCI to set up commentators’ academy

  • The BCCI is also planning to expand its broadcasting domain with a new commentators’ academy.
  • The board will soon launch a facility where they can become a commentators in various regional languages.


World Book and Copyright Day – April 23

World Book and Copyright Day (also known as International Day of the Book or World Book Day) is observed on April 23 of every year by UNESCO in order to promote to pay a world-wide tribute to books and authors on this date, encouraging everyone, and in particular young people.
  • It is on this date in 1616 that Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died.
  • It is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors, such as Maurice Druon, Haldor K.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo.World book and copyright day
  • World Book Capital 2016: Wroclaw, Poland
  • World Book Capital 2017: Conakry, Republic of Guinea.


  • Poland – Capital : Warsaw & Currency:Polish złoty
  • Republic of Guinea – Capital: Conakry & Currency: Guinean franc