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Current Affairs Today April 23 2018

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 INDIAN AFFAIRS

Cabinet approves the restructured Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan
On April 21, 2018, Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its approval for restructured Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA).
Cabinet approves the restructured Rashtriya Gram Swaraj AbhiyanMore information about Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA):
i. Launch of new restructured scheme of Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA) was first announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley while presenting Union Budget 2016-17. Thereafter, a Committee under the Chairmanship of the Vice Chairman-NITI Aayog was constituted to restructure the existing scheme of Union Ministry of Panchayati Raj as Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan.
ii. The restructured Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA) will help more than 2.55 lakh Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) to develop governance capabilities to deliver on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through inclusive local governance with focus on optimum utilisation of available resources.
iii. The restructured RGSA will be implemented from April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2022 at the total cost of Rs. 7255.50 crore.
iv. Out of 7255.5 crore, Central Government will provide Rs. 4500 crore and the remaining will be raised by State Governments.

Sunderban Reserve Forest to get Ramsar site status
Sunderban Reserve Forest is likely to be declared a Ramsar Site as West Bengal State Government has given approval to its State Forest Department to apply for recognition under the Ramsar Convention.
About Sunderban:
i. According to 2017 Forest Survey of India report, Indian Sunderbans, with 2114 sq. km. of mangrove forests, comprise almost 43% of the mangrove cover in India.
ii. Besides, it is also home to about 100 Royal Bengal tigers.
iii. Currently 26 sites in India are recognised as Ramsar wetland sites of international importance.

Diu Smart City becomes first to run on 100% Renewable Energy during Daytime
Diu Smart City has become the first city in India to function on 100% renewable energy during daytime.

Diu Smart City becomes first to run on 100% Renewable Energy during DaytimeDiu Smart City – first to run on 100% Renewable Energy during Daytime:
i. Diu was importing 73% of its power from Gujarat until 2017.
ii.Diu has now adopted a two-pronged approach. According to that, a 9 MW solar park has been se t up in 50 hectares and solar panels have been installed on the roof tops on 79 government buildings accounting to 1.3 MW power generation annually.
iii. In a move to further increase the solar capacity, Diu provides a subsidy of Rs 10,000-50,000 for its residents to install 1-5KW roof top solar panels.
iv. Diu is saving nearly13,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually. Due to low-cost solar energy, power tariffs have been reduced in residential category by 10% in 2017 and 15% in 2018.

India to join countries having Sex Offender database
On April 21, 2018, Union Cabinet stated that India will now maintain a database of sexual offenders to monitor and track those individuals convicted of such crimes.
Sex Offender Database:
i. In India, the sexual offender database will be maintained by National Crime Records Bureau.
ii. Across the world, only eight countries viz. US, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago and the United Kingdom have sexual offender database.
iii. Only in US, the registry of convicted sex offenders is public, while in other seven countries it is maintained purely for the consumption of the law enforcement authorities.
iv. However, it has not been clarified whether, Indian database will be made public or not.

Indian airports get their first woman firefighter
Taniya Sanyal from Kolkata has become the first woman firefighter appointed by Airports Authority of India (AAI).
Indian airports get their first woman firefighterAbout Taniya Sanyal:
i. Taniya Sanyal, who has done masters in Botany, has been appointed for AAI’s eastern region airports.
ii. Post completion of training at Kolkata firefighting centre, she may be posted at any of the eastern region airports that include Kolkata, Patna, Bhubaneswar, Raipur, Gaya and Ranchi. 
iii. As having fire service is a mandatory condition for planes to land anywhere, AAI currently has 3310 fire fighters posted at different airports across India.
iv. Physical standards for selection of male firefighters is minimum height of about 1.6 metres and minimum weight of 50 kg.
v. In order to recruit women,  AAI relaxed these physical standards norm. However, the work description for male as well as female firefighters remains the same.
Quick Facts about Airports Authority of India (AAI):
♦ Founded in – 1995
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
♦ Current Chairman – Dr. Guruprasad Mohapatra

Government approved death penalty for rapists
On 21st April 2018, the central government approved an ordinance to amend the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act to provide death penalty for the rape of children below the age of 12 years.
Death Penalty For Rapists:
i. This move has been made after the recent Kathua rape-and-murder case where the victim was only 8 years old and few other rape cases that followed, where the victims were minors.
ii. Rape of women: Minimum punishment has been increased from imprisonment of 7 years to 10 years, extendable to life imprisonment.
iii. Rape of a girl under 16 years of age: minimum punishment has been increased from 10 years to 20 years, extendable to imprisonment for rest of life.
iii. Gang rape of a girl under 16 years of age: imprisonment for rest of life of the convict.
iv. Rape of a girl under 12 years: minimum 20 years of imprisonment or imprisonment for rest of life or with death.
v. Gang rape of a girl below 12 years: punishment will be imprisonment for rest of life or death sentence.
vi. It has been declared that investigation of a rape case has to be mandatorily completed within 2 months.
vi. Trial of a rape case has to be completed in 2 months. Time limit of 6 months has been mentioned for disposal of appeals in rape cases.
vii. It has been declared that there will be no provision for anticipatory bail for a person accused of rape or gang rape of a girl under 16 years.
viii. Also, court has to give notice of 15 days to Public Prosecutor and the representative of the victim before deciding bail applications in case of rape of a girl under 16 years of age.
Some important lakes in India:
♦ Nako Lake – Himachal Pradesh
♦ Pandoh Lake – Himachal Pradesh
♦ Prashar Lake – Himachal Pradesh

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

India, Finland settle Nokia tax dispute under MAP
India and Finland have reached an agreement on the dispute between Indian Income Tax Department and Finnish Telecom firm Nokia, under the Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP).
Nokia Tax Dispute Resolved:
i. In March 2013, Indian Income Tax Department issued a tax demand of around Rs 2500 crore on Nokia India for making royalty payments made to its parent company in Finland since 2006.
ii. The tax liability arose as Nokia India had imported software from its head office in Finland. Nokia India showed it as purchase while Indian Income Tax department contested it as Royalty payment. Under India-Finland Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) Royalties attract 10 per cent tax.
iii. At Nokia India’s request, Finland initiated the MAP process under the DTAA in 2013. The process resulted in rectified tax liability of 1600 crore, which Nokia India paid in March 2018, thus bringing an end to the dispute.
iv. Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP) is an alternate dispute settlement mechanism aimed at resolving outstanding disputes between multi-national companies and local tax authorities arising out of differential pricing treatment.
Quick Facts about Finland:
♦ Capital – Helsinki
♦ Currency – Euro
♦ Current Prime Minister – Juha Sipila
♦ Neighbouring countries – Norway, Sweden, Russia

Iran bans banks from using cryptocurrencies
On April 23, 2018, Iran banned the use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies by its banks and financial institutions.
Iran bans banks from using cryptocurrenciesi. Ban has been imposed citing concerns that cryptocurrencies can be used for money-laundering and financing terrorism.
ii. Central Bank of Iran states that, this decision was taken by government’s money-laundering committee in December 2017, but is now being put into effect.

Canada to host the world’s female foreign ministers
On 22nd April 2018, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland announced that, Canada will host the world’s female foreign ministers for talks ahead of this year’s UN General Assembly.
Canada to host the world’s female foreign ministers:
i. Chrystia Freeland opened a meeting in Toronto of G7 foreign ministers with a session, co-hosted by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini.
ii. Along with male chief diplomats from most of the G7 major industrialized powers, female ministers from Ghana, Ecuador, Panama, Jamaica, Guatemala and Colombia participated.
iii. Chrystia Freeland said that, she and Federica Mogherini had decided to host talks on 21st and 22nd September 2018 ahead of UN General Assembly just for female foreign ministers.
About G7 (Group of Seven):
♦ Members – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States
♦ The European Union is also represented at the G7 summit

BANKING & FINANCE

Deposits in Jan Dhan account cross Rs 80000 crore
According to Union Finance Ministry data, total deposits in Jan Dhan accounts crossed Rs. 80000 crore mark as on April 11, 2018.
i. Deposits in Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) accounts shot up during the demonetisation period starting from November 8, 2016.
ii. The impact was so phenomenal that deposits in PMJDY accounts touched Rs. 74000 crore mark in the later part of November 2016 from Rs 45300 in the beginning of November 2016……………………………………Click here to Read More

Paytm Payments Bank registers 100M KYC wallets
On April 23, 2018, Paytm Payments Bank announced that it now has over 100 million KYC wallets.
Paytm’s KYC Campaign:
i. Paytm stated that it was able to accomplish this feat on account of a constant campaigning highlighting about the benefits of the Know Your Customer (KYC) system.
ii.Besides, it also introduced Paytm KYC centers and ‘Paytm-Ka-ATM’ outlets to offer localised support.
iii.All customers who complete full KYC, get a choice to open a zero-balance account with Paytm Payments Bank.
Quick Facts about Paytm:
♦  Founded in – 2010
♦  Headquarters – Noida, Uttar Pradesh

BoI inks pact with NeSL to share data under insolvency rules
On April 23, 2018, Bank of India (BoI) entered into an agreement with National e-Governance Services Limited (NeSL) for utilizing its Information Utility Services envisaged under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.
BoI inks pact with NeSL to share data under insolvency rulesMore Details about BoI-NeSL tie-up:
i. State-owned NeSL is the first Information Utility entity registered with the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) under the aegis of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.
ii. Information utility is an information network which procures and stores financial data like borrowings, default and security interests of various entities. It enables lenders in making decisions on credit transactions.
iii. BoI will now avail NeSL service to expedite corporate insolvency resolution process.

World Bank group approves massive USD 13 billion increase in paid-in capital
On 21st April 2018, the World Bank Group approved USD 13 billion increase in paid-in capital, as part of a series of internal reforms.
World Bank group approves massive USD 13 billion increase in paid-in capital:
i. The package approved by the Development Committee of the Board of Governors consists of USD 7.5 billion paid-in capital for International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and USD 5.5 billion paid-in capital for International Finance Commission (IFC), through both general and selective capital increases.
ii. It also includes a USD 52.6 billion callable capital increase for the IBRD. The boost in capital will be supported by various internal measures like operational changes and effectiveness reforms, loan pricing measures, and other policy steps.
iii. Following this decision, the combined financing arms of the World Bank Group are expected to reach an average annual capacity of nearly USD 100 billion between fiscal 2019 and fiscal 2030.
About World Bank:
♦  President – Jim Yong Kim
♦  Headquarters – Washington, D.C.‎, U.S

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Mahindra Electric ties up with Meru for e-vehicle project
On 22nd April 2018, Mahindra Electric and cab service Meru announced a joint electric vehicle (EV) pilot project in Hyderabad, which will be introduced soon in other cities also.
Mahindra Electric ties up with Meru for e-vehicle projectMahindra Electric ties up with Meru for e-vehicle project:
i. A joint statement by Mahindra Electric and Meru said that under the pilot project, Meru will deploy Mahindra’s eVeritos all-electric sedans.
ii. Mahindra eVerito will be available for booking in Hyderabad through Meru’s mobile apps. Also, it can be boarded from the Meru Zone at Hyderabad airport.
iii. The services will be offered at the same price as provided by the Telangana government’s radio taxi fares for sedans.

India receives $69 billion remittances in 2017; retains top slot
On 23rd April 2018, the World Bank said that, India has retained its position as the top remittances receiving country with its people who have immigrated to various countries sending nearly USD 69 billion back home in 2017.
India receives $69 billion remittances in 2017:
i. Remittances to India increased sharply by 9.9 per cent to USD 69 billion in 2017. It reversed the previous year’s decrease, but was still short of USD 70.4 billion received in 2014.
ii. In 2015, India received remittance of USD 68.91 billion. It reduced to USD 62.74 billion in 2016.
iii. The World Bank has said in a report that, payments from immigrants back to their home countries reached a new record in 2017 but the costs of transferring funds also have increased.
iv. The report stated that, the recovery in remittances was driven by growth in Europe, Russia, and the United States.
v. The increase in remittances was also helped by higher oil prices and a strengthening of the euro and ruble.
vi. India is followed by China (USD 64 billion), the Philippines (USD 33 billion), Mexico (USD 31 billion), Nigeria (USD 22 billion), and Egypt (USD 20 billion) in the remittance inflow.
vii. World Bank estimated that officially recorded remittances to low- and middle-income countries reached USD 466 billion in 2017, an increase of 8.5 per cent over USD 429 billion in 2016.
viii. Global remittances, which include flows to high-income countries, grew 7 per cent to USD 613 billion in 2017, from USD 573 billion in 2016.
ix. World Bank has said that, remittances are expected to continue to increase in 2018, by 4.1 per cent to reach USD 485 billion. Global remittances are expected to grow 4.6 per cent to USD 642 billion in 2018.
x. The global average cost of sending USD 200 was 7.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2018, more than twice as high as the Sustainable Development Goal target of 3 per cent.
xi. Sub-Saharan Africa remains the most expensive place to send money to, with average cost 9.4 per cent.
xii. Major barriers to reducing remittance costs are de-risking by banks and exclusive partnerships between national post office systems and money transfer operators.
xiii. These factors restrict the introduction of more efficient technologies like internet and smartphone apps and the use of crypto currency and blockchain in remittance services.
xiv. By region, Europe and Central Asia saw the biggest growth last year, jumping 21 per cent, while Sub-Saharan Africa rose 11 per cent.
xv. East Asia and the Pacific saw the biggest inflows of USD 130 billion, as South Asia received USD 117 billion, followed by Latin America with USD 80 billion.
Tag lines of some of the banks:
♦ Syndicate Bank – Faithful and Friendly
♦ UCO Bank – Honours Your Trust
♦ Union Bank of India – Good People to Bank with

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Winners of Dadasaheb Phalke Excellence Awards 2018
Dadahaheb Phalke Excellence Awards 2018, honouring individuals from the entertainment industry for their outstanding contribution towards the growth and development of cinema and/or television were presented on April 21, 2018…………………………………….Click here to Read More.

Winners of Dadahaheb Phalke Excellence Awards 2018:

Category Winner
Best actor (male) Shahid Kapoor
Best actor people’s choice award Ranveer Singh
Entertainer of the year Kartik Aryan
Best actress (critics) Aditi Rao Hydari
Lifetime achievement award Simi Garewal
Pride of Indian cinema Sanjay Dutt
Path breaking producer of the year  Anushka Sharma and Karnesh Sharma
Best director Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari
Outstanding performance male Raj Kumar Rao, Rana Daggubati
Outstanding performance female Tamannahh Bhatia, Kriti Sanon
Promising face of the year Aahana Kumra
Best actor (male) Marathi Vaibhav Tatwawaadi
Best actor (female) Marathi Pooja Sawant
Best fashion designer of the year Sanjukta Dutta
Socially conscious performance of the year Rani Mukherjee
Best comic role Tusshar Kapoor
Entertaining performance in reality show Bigg Boss Hina Khan
Best actress drama award Jennifer Winget
Best actor (male) Television Karan Patel
Best reality show judge Shilpa Shetty
Best talk show host Karan Johar
Best lyricist Manoj Muntashir
Best performance in a short film Divya Khosla Kumar
Iconic contribution towards music Hans Raj Hans
Comic performer of the year Sumona Chakraborty
Versatile singer Rani Hazarika
Social and business entrepreneur of the year Jaya Misra
Best Couple of the Year Prince Narula and Yuvika Chaudhary
Break Through Artist Of The Year Vikas Gupta
People’s Choice Award Rohan Mehra, Lopamudra Raut
Style Influencer of the Year Karan Singh Grover

Mukesh Ambani named by Fortune magazine as the World’s Greatest Leaders of 2018
Richest Indian, Mukesh Ambani and human rights lawyer Indira Jaising have featured in Fortune magazine’s 2018 ranking of the 50 Greatest Leaders.
Mukesh Ambani named by Fortune magazine as the World's Greatest Leaders of 2018World’s 50 Greatest Leaders, 2018:
i. Mukesh Ambani has ranked 24th on the list. Launch of Reliance Jio ushered in a new era of affordable mobile data for the Indian masses. This phenomenon, referred to as ‘Jio-fication’ radically altered the telecom industry landscape, as older operators were compelled to reduce prices.
ii. Indira Jaising, the lawyer who has dedicated her life to battling injustice ranked at 20th. Ms Jaising has fought on behalf of victims of 1984 Bhopal Gas disaster and has played instrumental role in drafting India’s first domestic violence law.
iii. Architect Balkrishna Doshi (43rd rank) is another Indian who has made it to the list along with Mukesh Ambani and Indira Jaising.
Quick Facts about Fortune Magazine:
♦ Founded in – 1929
♦ Founded by – Henry Luce
♦ Published and Owned by – Time Inc.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Suresh Kumar assumes additional charge as Coal India CMD
On 23rd April 2018, Suresh Kumar took the additional charge as chairman and managing director of Coal India Ltd.
Suresh Kumar – additional charge as Coal India CMD:
i. Suresh Kumar is an additional secretary with the Coal Ministry. He has replaced Gopal Singh as chairman and managing director of Coal India Ltd.
ii. Gopal Singh had succeeded Sutirtha Bhattacharya who retired from the post of Coal India CMD on 31st August 2017.
About Coal India Limited:
♦ Headquarters – Kolkata
♦ Founded – 1975

Tata Sons appoints ex-foreign secretary Jaishankar as global corporate affairs head
On 23rd April 2018, former Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar was appointed as the new president of Tata Sons’ global corporate affairs.
Tata Sons appoints ex-foreign secretary Jaishankar as global corporate affairs headJaishankar – new president of Tata Sons’ global corporate affairs:
i. As president of Tata Sons’ global corporate affairs S. Jaishankar will be responsible for the group’s global corporate affairs, international strategy development, and functioning of the company’s international offices.
ii. He will report to Tata Sons Chairman N. Chandrasekaran. He had joined the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) in 1977.
iii. He has served as High Commissioner to Singapore, Ambassador to China and the United States.  He was India’s foreign secretary from January 2015 to January 2018.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Researchers develop potent molecule to treat chikungunya
Researchers from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee have discovered a small molecule named “Pep-I” that exhibits good antiviral activity against chikungunya virus.
Pep-I:
i. The antiviral activity of Pep-I  molecule was very high.  Nearly 99% reduction in chikungunya virus was seen when 5 microMolar of Pep-I was used.
ii. At present, there are no drugs to treat chikungunya and no vaccine to prevent it.
iii. Earlier through structure-based studies of chikungunya virus-specific nsP2 protease, researchers had identified two small molecules: Pep-I and Pep-II, which showed inhibitory activity.
iv .Already, Protease inhibitors have been used successfully against HIV and hepatitis C virus.
v. In the recent study, researchers have found that one of the two molecules — Pep-I, has superior antiviral activity against chikungunya virus.
vi. It was found to bind to the protein of the virus (nsP2 protease) and prevent the virus from replicating. The study has been published in the journal Biochimie

Scientists identify four bacterial strains to remove sulphur from fossil fuels.
Scientists have successfully removed sulphur from fossil fuels such as petroleum and coal using novel bacterial strains.
Bacterial strains to remove sulphur from fossil fuels:
i. Sulphur is one of the major pollutants released during the combustion of fossil fuels. The research was carried out by scientists from CSIR-Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology (CSIR-IMMT) in Bhubaneswar.
ii. They used four bacterial strains: Rhodococcus rhodochrous, Arthrobacter sulfureou, Gordonia rubropertinita and Rhodococcus erythropolis.
iii. These bacterial strains use dibenzothiophene (an organic sulphur compound which is a major contaminant of fossil fuel) as an energy source. This eliminates the sulphur content.
iv. The bacteria were grown in a medium provided with dibenzothiophene and other nutrients necessary for growth.
v. It was observed that the four bacteria were able to use almost 99% of the sulphur compound in just 10 days.
vi. A paper regarding this was published in the journal PLOS ONE. This process is eco-friendly and economical.

SPORTS

Indian women make a clean sweep at 8th South Asian Judo Championship in Nepal
Indian women have made great start at 8th South Asian Judo Championship in Lalitpur, Nepal.

Indian women make a clean sweep at 8th South Asian Judo Championship in Nepal8th South Asian Judo Championship:
i. On 21st April 2018, (first day of championship) Indian women made a clean sweep and won all 4 gold medals.
ii. India’s L. Sushila Devi won the first gold medal for India in minus 48 kg category. She defeated Humaira Ashiq of Pakistan in the final.
iii. India’s Kalpana Devi Thoudam also won gold in minus 52 kg. She beat Maryam of Pakistan.
iv. In minus 57 kg category India’s A. Anita Chanu won gold medal by defeating Lila Adhikari of Nepal.
v. India’s H. Sunibala Devi defeated Phupu Lhamu Khatri of Nepal in minus 63 kg category and won gold medal.
vi. In men’s section Pakistan won two gold and Nepal secured one gold medal. India won two bronze medals.
About 8th South Asian Judo Championship:
♦ Dates – 21st – 23rd April 2018
♦ Host – Nepal
♦ Participants – Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka

Barcelona won fourth Copa del Rey in a row
On 21st April 2018, Barcelona defeated Sevilla 5-0 to and won its fourth straight and 30th overall Copa del Rey title at the Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid.
Barcelona won fourth Copa del Rey in a row:
i. Two goals were scored by Luis Suarez and a goal each by Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Philippe Coutinho.
ii. Barcelona has headed to win the La Liga title, as they are only one win away with five games remaining.

Rafael Nadal wins 31st Monte Carlo Masters Title
On 22nd April 2018, Rafael Nadal won his 31st Masters title by defeating Japan’s Kei Nishikori in the Monte Carlo Masters final in Monaco.
Rafael Nadal wins 31st Monte Carlo Masters TitleRafael Nadal wins 31st Monte Carlo Masters Title:
i. Rafael Nadal defeated Japan’s Kei Nishikori by 6-3, 6-2 in the Monte Carlo Masters final. This Nadal’s 11th Monte Carlo Masters title in 14 years.
ii. This will also help Rafael Nadal to retain his world number one spot. Kei Nishikori is ranked World No. 36. He was playing for his first ever Masters title.

Telangana announces 2% quota for Sports persons in government jobs
On 21st April 2018, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao announced two per cent reservation in Telangana state government jobs for sportspersons.
Telangana announces 2% quota for Sports persons in government jobs:
i. K Chandrasekhar Rao made this announcement after he met with 18 members, who participated in the recent Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast.
ii. A senior official said that, currently two per cent seats in educational institutions were reserved for sportspersons.
iii. Once Chief Minister clears the file on 2% quota for Sports persons in government jobs, a Government order will be issued.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Book and Copyright Day, World English Language Day
On 23rd April 2018, World Book and Copyright Day and World English Language Day were celebrated all over the world.
World Book and Copyright Day, World English Language DayWorld Book and Copyright Day:
i. Every year 23 April is celebrated as World Book and Copyright Day. On 23 April 1616 Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died.
ii. It is also the date of birth or death of other eminent authors like Maurice Druon, Haldor K.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo.
iii. At the UNESCO’s General Conference held in Paris in 1995, 23 April was declared as World Book and Copyright Day.
iv. This day is observed to pay tribute to books and authors and encourage everyone to read.
v. Every year, UNESCO and the international organizations representing the three major sectors of book industry: publishers, booksellers and libraries, select the World Book Capital for a one-year period effective 23 April each year.
vi. World Book Capital for 2018: Athens, GreeceThe 2018 edition of World Book and Copyright Day is entitled: “READING, it’s my right!”
World English Language Day:
i. English Language Day is celebrated on 23 April every year. It is observed as both the birthday and date of death of William Shakespeare.
ii. In 2010 an initiative was taken by the UN Department of Public Information to declare language days for each of UN’s six official languages.
iii. UN’s language days aim to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity and to promote equal use of all six official languages.

Nitin Gadkari inaugurates 29th Road Safety Week in New Delhi
On 23rd April 2018, Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari inaugurated the 29th Road Safety Week at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi.

Nitin Gadkari inaugurates 29th Road Safety Week in New Delhii. He administered Road Safety oath. He released a short story collection on road safety theme named “Have a safe journey”
ii. The Transport Ministry organizes the Road Safety Week every year to create awareness on road safety and improve road safety.
iii. Road Safety Week is organized from 23rd to 29th of April 2018. This year’s focus is on schools and commercial drivers.
iv. Nitin Gadkari presented awards to fifteen school children who won the national level essay competition on road safety. The top three winners were given cash prizes of Rs 15,000, Rs 10,000 and Rs 5,000 and certificates.
v. He released a paper on road safety by Indian Road Safety Campaign (IRSC).IRSC organizes an annual road safety championship called Safer India Challenge in collaboration with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
vi. The Safer India Challenge’18 was also launched at the event.
India Exploring Signing of MoU with South Korea for Road Information System:
i. Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Shipping, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari said that India is exploring an agreement with South Korea for introduction of Highways Information System in India.
ii. This will be developed on lines of the system run by the Express Highways Information Corporation of South Korea, with integrated monitoring of a highway at a centralized control room.
About NHAI (National Highways Authority of India):
♦  Chairman – Deepak Kumar
♦  Formed – 1988