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Current Affairs Today – April 25 2017

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Current Affairs April 252017

INDIAN AFFAIRS

Venkaiah Naidu inaugurates 47th Foundation Day of HUDCO
M Venkaiah Naidu has inaugurated the function to commemorate HUDCO’s 47th Foundation Day in New Delhi on April 25, 2017. He is the Minister of Urban Development, Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation& Parliamentary Affairs.
i. HUDCO has completed 47 years of existence in providing housing and basic infrastructure across the country.
ii. The Centre and States have to effectively engage the private sector to achieve the mission of affordable housing for all by 2022.

India’s first sea ropeway to link Mumbai and Elephanta Island
On April 24, 2017, Mumbai Port Trust announced plans to construct India’s first and longest sea ropeway to connect Mumbai mainland with famous Elephanta Island in Arabain Sea.India’s first sea ropeway to link Mumbai and Elephanta Island
i. The 8-km long ropeway connecting Elephanta Island with Mumbai will begin from Sewri (Eastern Edge of South Mumbai).
ii. As of now, Elephanta Island is accessible only by ferries which take around 60 minutes to cover the distance of 10 km starting from Gateway of India. One-way ride through ropeway will take about 40 minutes.

Centre moots Aadhaar-like UID number for cows
On April 24, 2017, Central Govt. has submitted an expert panel report in the Supreme Court which suggests tagging of cows with Aadhar-like unique identification (UID) number in order to ensure better protection for them and check smuggling.
i. The proposed UID number for cattle will record important information such as age, breed, sex, lactation, height, body, colour, horn type, tail switch and special marks details of the animal.
ii. The report was submitted before a bench comprising Chief Justice of India JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud. It was prepared by a committee headed by the joint secretary of the home ministry.
iii. As per the report, Central Govt. is also considering to provide shelter homes and discourage the auctioning of cattle.

Thaawarchand Gehlot inaugurates Photo exhibition “The Paths We Walk”
A Documentary Photo exhibition “The Paths We Walk” was inaugurated by Union Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment, Mr. Thaawarchand Gehlot on April 24, 2017 in New Delhi.
More Information about Documentary Photo exhibition “The Paths We Walk”:
Thaawarchand Gehlot inaugurates Photo exhibition “The Paths We Walk”i. It was organised by The National Trust under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in collaboration with Society for Child Development, New Delhi.
ii. It is intended to tackle negative myths of disability and employment of persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Intellectual Disability and Multiple Disabilities.
iii. Minister of State for Social Justice and Employment, Mr. Ramdas Athawale was the Guest of Honour.

Central university for Divyangs to be set up in Uttar Pradesh
Government will set up a Central university for Divyangs in Uttar Pradesh.
Key Notes:
i. It was stated by HRD Minister PrakashJavadekar while addressing the convocation function of Shakuntala Mishra national rehabilitation university, Lucknow.
ii. The Minister mentioned the University Grants Commission has been instructed to make arrangement for special training of instructors providing education to Divyangs.
About UP
♦ Capital: Lucknow
♦ CM: Yogi Adityanath
♦ Governor: Shri Ram Naik

Maharastra govt. sign MoU with Railways to expand Green cover & Railways to set up Rs 200 Crore Solar Power Plant
The Indian Railways is looking to set up a solar power plant in Bhilai (Chhattisgarh) where it has spare land, through Railway Energy Management Company Limited (REMCL)
Key Highlights:
i. The project cost of the 50 MW plant is estimated at Rs 200 crore.
ii. Of the total cost 20 per cent will be borne by the Railways, while the remaining 80 per cent will be raised through debt.
iii. Maharashtra govt signs MoU with Railways to expand green cover.
iv. Under which trees will be planted on the land adjacent to the railway tracks in the state.
About Maharashtra:
♦ Maharashtra is a state in the western region of India.
♦ CM of Maharashtra- Devendra Fadnavis
♦ Governor of Maharashtra- Chennamaneni Vidyasagar Rao
♦It is a third largest state by area.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Freight train connects Russia with China
A freight train has introduced which connects Russia with China. It arrived in Ganzhou an inland city in Jiangxi province that will carry goods from Moscow.
Key Points:
i. The aim of freight train is to bring resources from Europe and boost local development.
ii. In order to boost its export revenues, China is already operating train services to several cities in Europe.Freight train connects Russia with China
iii. The journey started from Kansk, where buses first transported 38 containers more than 260 km to Bazaiha.
iv. The freight train travelled more than 7,000 km, before reaching Ganzhou in eastern China.
v. Rail freight is cheap and costs only half that of air freight and half the time of sea freight.
vi. In January 2017, it inaugurated a new train service to London traversing over 12,000 kilometres across 18 days.
vii. Ganzhou is an inland area with a complex landscape and many people to live in poverty so Chinese government tried to push development in this area.

Joint Indian-French naval exercise ‘Varuna’ begins
The Indian Navy began a joint maritime exercise Varuna with the French Navy at the Mediterranean Sea.
Key Highlights:
i. The exercise was begun on 24th April 2017 and will be ended on 30th April 2017.
ii. It aims at deepening combat coordination between the two navies.
iii. The ships are part of the Indian Navy’s overseas deployment to the Mediterranean Seaand West Coast of Africa.
iv. Guided missile destroyer INS Mumbai, stealth frigate INS Trishul and fleet tanker INS Aditya are taking part in the Varuna exercise.
v.  The Indian Navy and the French Navy have been conducting naval exercises since 1983.
vi. There has been significant progress in all areas of bilateral cooperation and exchanges including naval exercises between India and France.

Iran Signs First Agreement on Reconstruction of Arak Reactor With China
China and Iran have signed the first agreement on the reconfiguration of Iran’s Arak reactor.
Key Points:
i. The deal was concluded between the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) and a Chinese company at the official ceremony in the Austrian capital Vienna.
ii. The reconstruction of the Arak heavy-water reactor is a part of the Joint Comprehensive Iran Signs First Agreement on Reconstruction of Arak Reactor With ChinaPlan of Action (JCPOA) deals which Tehran.
Keys :
♦ President of China – Xi Jinping
♦ Currency of Cjina is Renminbi.
♦ President of Iran is Hussan Rouhani
♦ Currency is Iranian Rial

24th Arabian Travel Market begins in Dubai
The 24th Arabian Travel Market begins in Dubai.
Key Point:
i. This year the event will focus on the latest industry trend of experiential travel.
ii. It focuses on encompasses travelling for adventure, culture, heritage, wellness, and theme parks
iii. Arabian Travel Market will welcome over 2,600 confirmed exhibitors with 100 exhibiting for the first time.
Keys :
♦ Dubai capital: Abu Dhabi
♦ Dubai currency: Dirham

BANKING & FINANCE

GIC Re becomes first re-insurer to set up base in GIFT City
GIC Re has become the first re-insurer company to open an office at India’s first International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) at Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City).
Key Facts:
i. GIC Re is a wholly-owned by the government and its main focus on the growth of general insurance business in the country.
ii. GIC Re becomes the first insurance company to sets up base in GIFT City, Gujarat.
iii. Chairman-cum-Managing Director of GIC Re is Mrs. Alice G Vaidyan.
iv. It provides reinsurance support to life and non-life insurers in India and abroad.
v. It had given recognition of the national reinsurer in 2001.
vi. GIC Re headquartered is in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

BUSINESS

TERI, French firm sign MoU for ‘Clean India’
To strengthen India’s waste management capabilities a Delhi-based green body, a French waste company and a Geneva-based innovation foundation have joined hands with one another.
Key Points:
i. The MoU has been signed among the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), the Innovative Finance Foundation (IFF) and 3WAYSTE Company for municipal solid waste management.
ii. It has been addressed in the MoU that to bring sustainable development in the country.To reduce human impact on environment.
iii. The MoU was signed in the presence of the Ambassador of France to India, Alexander Ziegler.
iv. Waste segregation is a major challenge since the passage of municipal solid waste management rules in 2000 and again in 2016.
v. Needs to cut on carbon emission level and combating sold waste is one of the ways.
vi. The technology which brings for treating household waste includes unsegregated waste.
vii. It will convert more than 90 per cent into residue fuel to produce clean energy, pure compost for agriculture and valuable raw materials.The process introduced by 3WAYSTE and TERI.
viii. It proposes to work mixed waste while recovering 90 per cent of resources from it, including for clean energy and quality compost
About TERI
The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) is a research institute based in New Delhi.It conducts research work in the fields of energy, environment and sustainable development.
♦ It was renamed The Energy and Resources Institute in 2003.
Director General of TERI is Ajay Mathur
♦ Founded in 1974
♦ Founder Darbari S Seth
♦ HQ- New Delhi

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Legendary filmmaker and actor Kasinathuni Viswanath conferred prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke award
Renowned film director and actor Kasinathuni Viswanath will be conferred the Dadasaheb Phalke Award – India’s highest award in cinema.
i. The Dadasaheb Phalke Award committee had recommended Kasinathuni Viswanath’s name, which was approved by M. Venkaiah Naidu – Union Information and Broadcasting Minister.
ii. The award will be conferred by President Pranab Mukherjee on May 3, 2017 in New Delhi.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Northeast India’s largest IT hub opens in Tripura
Northeast India’s largest Information Technology (IT) hub has been inaugurated in Tripura’s capital city Agartala on April 24, 2017. It is the sixth IT hub in the Northeast region.
i. The IT hub was inaugurated by Manik Sarkar – Chief Minister of Tripura, Tapan Chakraborty  – IT and Education Minister of Tripura and Omkar Rai – Director General  of Software Technology Parks of India (STPI).
ii. This IT hub has been set up at a cost of Rs. 50 crore and with the help of technical knowledge shared by STPI, under the union Ministry of Electronic and Information Technology.

IAF Inducts Su-30 MKI into Frontline 221 Squadron
Indian Air Force introduced its frontline Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft into the 221 Squadron, ‘Valiants’, at its base in Punjab to enhancing the IAF’s capabilities.
Key Notes:
i. The induction of Sukhoi fighter jets at a frontline base close to the India-Pakistan border IAF Inducts Su-30 MKI into Frontline 221 Squadronwill act as a force-multiplier for the defence forces.
ii. Su-30 MKI is a state-of-the-art all-weather multi-role fighter jet.
iii. Su-30 MKI capable of undertaking varied air combat and ground attack missions.
iv. It is built under licence by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.It is developed by Russia’s Sukhoi.
v. During the induction ceremony Air Marshal C. Hari Kumar handed over documents pertaining to the first Su-30 MKI aircraft to Squadron’s Commanding Officer, Wing Commander H.S. Luthra.
About Indian Air Force
Indian Air Force is the air arm of the Indian armed forces.It is the world’s fourth largest air force in terms of both personnel and aircraft.
♦ Its primary responsibility is to secure Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare during a conflict
♦ Chief of Air Staff (CAS)Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa Vice Chief of Air Staff (VCAS)Air Marshal Shirish Baban Deo
♦ Indian Air Force Day- 8th October
♦ HQ- New Delhi

NASA’s Super Pressure Balloon Takes Flight From NZ
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA) has successfully launched a super pressure balloon to conduct near space scientific investigations.
 Key facts:
i. It is the the fifth attempt and it was launched from South Island Wanaka Airport, New Zealand.
ii. The balloon is 532,000 cubic metres.It aims to remain airborne for more than 100 days.
iii. Balloon’s operational float altitude is 33.5 kms and it will be visible from the ground.
iv. It particularly floats at sunrise and sunset in the southern hemisphere’s mid-latitudes.
v. It is expected to circumnavigate the globe in the mid-latitudes of southern hemisphere once every one to three weeks, depending on wind speeds in the stratosphere.
vi. Its flight operations throughout the mission will be controlled by NASA’s balloon experts at Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility and NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia.

SPORTS

101-year-old wins sprinting gold medal at the World Masters Games in Auckland
101-year-old Man Kaur has won Gold Medal for 100 metres sprint at the World Masters Games in Auckland on April 24, 2017. Including this, she has won 17 Gold Medals so far.
About Man Kaur:
i. Man Kaur took up athletics eight years ago, at the age of 93.
ii. She had no prior sporting experience. Her son Gurdev Singh suggested that she should 101-year-old wins sprinting gold medal at the World Masters Games in Aucklandjoin him in competing on the international masters games circuit. After a medical check-up, she was declared fit for the athletics.
iii. Since then, she and her son have participated in several masters athletics meets across the globe.
iv. Man Kaur completed the 100 metres sprint in 74 seconds. She was the only participant in the 100 years and over category for this event.

MCC offers honorary life membership to ‘Sandhya Agarwal’
Sandhya Agarwal, former captain of the Indian women’s Test Cricket team has been offered honourary life membership of ‘Marylebone Cricket Club’ (MCC) in recognition of her distinguished service to the game.
Accomplishments of Sandhya Agarwal:
i. Sandhya Agarwal is from Indore, Madhya Pradesh. She has played 13 Tests and 21 ODIs from 1984 to 1995.
ii. After her retirement, she has been associated with cricket as a selector and a coach, besides being a member of the BCCI’s women’s committee.
iii. She is the current chairperson of girl’s U-19 and senior women’s team of Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA).
About Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC):
♦ Founded in 1787, MCC has been recognised as the sole authority on the laws of cricket since its foundation.
♦ It is the world’s most active cricket club, the owner of Lord’s Ground and the guardian of the laws of the game.
♦ MCC has awarded honourary life membership to many finest cricketers.

Shot putter Manpreet wins gold at Asian Grand Prix, qualifies for World Championships
Indian shot putter Manpreet Kaur has clinched gold in the Asian Grand Prix Athletics Meet. It was held in Jinhua, China.
Key Highlights:
i. Manpreet came up with the best throw of 18.86 meter. She had broken her earlier record of 2015 which is record of 17.96 meters.
ii. Manpreet also qualified for the IAAF World Championships to be held in August 2017 in London.
iii. India ended the one-day event with seven medals – 1Gold, 4 Silver and 2 Bronze.
iv. Neeraj Chopra (men’s javelin), Tintu Luka (women’s 800m), NeenaVarakil (women’s long jump) and Jinson Johnson (men’s 800m) won a silver each while Dutee Chand (women’s 100m) and Om Prakash Karhana (men’s shot put) bagged a bronze each.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Malaria Day – March 25, 2017
World Malaria Day (WMD) 2017 was observed globally on 25 April 2017 with the theme “End Malaria for good”. First malaria vaccine to be tested in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi in 2018 announced by WHO.
Key points:
i. As per the World Malaria Report 2016, the rate of new malaria falls by 21 per cent globally between 2010 and 2015.
ii. Ninety-one countries reported ongoing malaria transmission in 2015.
iii. In sub-Saharan Africa, case incidence and death rates fell by 21 per cent and 31 per cent respectively.
iv. In 2015, the global tally of malaria reached 429000 malaria deaths and 212 million new cases.
v. In recent years, 7 countries were declaredl as Malaria-free countries.
vi. These are- United Arab Emirates (2007), Morocco (2010), Turkmenistan (2010), Armenia (2011), Maldives (2015), Sri Lanka (2016) and Kyrgyzstan (2016).
vii. This certification is given only when countries achieve at least 3 consecutive years of zero locally-acquired cases of malaria as per WHO.
viii. The WHO European Regionwas declared a malaria-free in 2016.
About Malaria Day:
The World Malaria Day is observed every year on 25 April and recognizes global efforts to control malaria.
♦ The day was established in May 2007 by the 60th session of the World Health Assembly.
♦ To provide education and understanding of malaria and spread information on year-long intensified implementation of national malaria-control strategies.
♦ It is one of eight official global public health campaigns currently marked by the World Health Organization (WHO).