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 INDIAN AFFAIRS

Human Resource Development Ministry Launches Unnat Bharat Abhiyan 2.0
On April 25, 2018, Union Human Resource Development Ministry launched Unnat Bharat Abhiyan 2.0 in New Delhi.
Salient features of Unnat Bharat Abhiyan 2.0:
i. Unnat Bharat Abhiyan is a flagship programme of the Ministry of Human Resources Development, which seeks to bring in transformational change in rural developmental process by leveraging knowledge base and resources of the Premier Institutions of India.
ii. Indian Institute of Technology – IIT Delhi has been designated as the National Coordinating Institute for this programme. Besides, selected institutes would also have to coordinate with the district administration and elected public representatives of panchayat/villages…………………………………………………………………………………………..Click here to Read More

Radha Mohan Singh’s addresses the National Kharif Conference 2018 in New Delhi
Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Radha Mohan Singh addressed the National Kharif Conference 2018 in New Delhi on April 25, 2018.
Radha Mohan Singh’s addresses the National Kharif Conference 2018 in New DelhiHighlights of National Kharif Conference 2018:
i. While addressing the conference, Mr. Singh outlined that the Central Government is working towards making agriculture policy and programs ‘income-oriented’ rather than ‘production-oriented’.
ii. PM Modi’s multi-dimensional Seven-point Strategy: In order to achieve this objective, government is encouraging the adoption of ‘multi-dimensional seven-point’ strategy suggested Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which includes enhancing irrigation coverage focusing on ‘More crop per drop’, provision of quality seeds, large investments in warehouses and cold chains, promotion of value addition through food processing, Implementation of National Agricultural Markets and e-platforms (e-NAM), introduction of crop insurance and promotion of allied activities such as Dairy-Animal husbandry, Poultry, Horticulture, and Fisheries.
iii. Mr. Singh added that farmers should be encouraged to participate in the ongoing Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan, in which every block will organize Kisan Kalyan Karyashala on May 2, 2018 wherein Agriculture officers and scientists will discuss ways to increase income through new technology and progressive farmers will also narrate their success stories.

Health Minister chairs high level review meeting on control of vector borne diseases
On 25th April 2018, J P Nadda, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, conducted a high level meeting to review the preparedness of the Ministry for prevention and control of vector borne diseases like kalaazar, dengue, malaria and chickungunya in India.
Meeting to review the preparedness of the Ministry for prevention and control of vector borne diseases:
i. J P Nadda ordered the officials for launching aggressive IEC (Information Education and Communication) campaigns to create awareness on prevention and control of vectors before the season starts.
ii. He asked Secretary (Health) to speak to the State Health Secretaries to involve in the prevention and control activities of vector borne diseases.
iii. He directed the officials and Nodal officers to visit kalaazar endemic States of Jharkhand and Bihar immediately and report to him by 2ndMay 2018.
iv. He asked the officials to organise and complete the Training of Trainers (ToT) for ventilator management for 125 doctors for management of H1NI cases.
Some important temples in India:
♦ Omkareshwar Mandhata temple – Madhya Pradesh
♦ Shirdi Sai Baba temple – Maharashtra
♦ Konark Sun Temple – Odisha

Adopt Heritage project: Government awards LoI to 9 agencies for 22 monuments
On April 24, 2018, Union Tourism Minister K J Alphons awarded Letters of Intent (LoI) to 9 agencies for 22 monuments under ‘Adopt a Heritage: Apni Dharohar, Apni Pehchaan’ project.
Adopt Heritage project: Government awards LoI to 9 agencies for 22 monumentsGovernment awards LoI under ‘Adopt a Heritage Project’:
i. The third award ceremony of ‘Adopt a Heritage Project’ was conducted in New Delhi by Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with Ministry of Culture and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and State/UTs Governments.
ii. ‘Adopt a Heritage Scheme’ was launched on World Tourism Day i.e. September, 27 2017 by President Ram Nath Kovind. This scheme has been initiated by Ministry of Tourism in close collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
iii. Under this scheme, Ministry of Tourism invited private and public sector entities to adopt as many as 116 ASI-protected monuments/sites and to take up the responsibility for its maintenance, conservation and development.
iv. The project received encouraging response and so far 31 entities have been shortlisted by the Oversight and Vision Committee.

First edition of Cancer Screening Mela organized in Mizoram
A Cancer Screening Mela was organized in Mizoram by the Health Department of Mizoram jointly with Public Foundation of India and National Health Mission under the initiative of Swasth Uttar Purv.
Cancer Screening Mela in Mizoram:
i. The Cancer Screening Mela was funded by the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) at Kolasib District, Diakkawn YMA Hall in Mizoram.
ii. The event saw participation from a wide range of people belonging to various fields. Theme of the mela was: ‘Come on Mizoram, together let’s beat Cancer’.
iii. Over 1000 participants participated in the screening. The mela was conducted to create awareness on cancer prevention and early diagnosis, early detection and management.
Some National Parks in Mizoram:
♦ Murlen National Park
♦ Phawngpui National Park

PM releases commemorative postage stamp on Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna
On April 25, 2018, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, released a commemorative postage stamp on former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Late Shri Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna
PM releases commemorative postage stamp on Hemvati Nandan BahugunaCommemorative postage stamp on Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna:
i. While releasing the commemorative postage stamp, PM Modi mentioned about Mr. Bahuguna’s contributions in the education sector and development in the hilly areas of India.
ii. Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna was the 9th Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. He held office from November 8, 1973 to November 29, 1975.

Kerala CM launched Pravasi Pension Scheme
On 21st April 2018, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan launched Pravasi pension scheme.
Pravasi Pension Scheme:
i. The Pravasi Pension Scheme offers people hailing from Kerala but living outside the state or country, a pension of Rs 2,000 a month.
ii. People aged over 60 years are eligible for this scheme. To avail this scheme a person has to pay Rs 100 per month.
iii. They should register in the scheme launched by Kerala Pravasi Pension Board. The contribution will be for five years. The scheme is not applicable for state and central government employees.
Some important wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala:
♦ Kurinjimala Sanctuary
♦ Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
♦ Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary

CSIR and DoT sign MoU for nationwide Time Stamping & Time Synchronization network
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research -National Physical Laboratory (CSIR-NPL) and Department of Telecommunications (DoT) under Union Ministry of Communications have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on technical knowledge sharing for establishing a nationwide Time Stamping & Time Synchronization network.
CSIR and DoT sign MoU for nationwide Time Stamping & Time Synchronization networkSetting up Time Stamping & Time Synchronization network of India:
i. Recording date and time of an event is referred to as time stamping.
ii. As per the terms of the MoU, DoT will be setting up Nationwide, Time Stamping & Time Synchronization network consisting of 22 Time Synchronization Centers (TSC’s) with technical assistance from CSIR-NPL.
iii. This network will provide synchronizing pulse in Indian Standard Time(IST) to all Telecom & Internet Service providers across India.
iv. Synchronizing the telecom network with IST time stamp will enable the security agencies to overcome the difficulty in analyzing and correlating the cyber events and will also improve the telecom network efficiency by reducing the Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) call drop.
 v. In context of this news, it is important to note that CSIR-NPL is responsible for generating, maintaining and disseminating Indian Standard Time (IST).

Commissioning of Third Ship of Landing Craft Utility Mk-IV ‘IN LCU L53’ (GRSE Yard 2094) at port Blair- 25 Apr 18
On 25th April 2018, the third ship of the Landing Craft Utility (LCU) Mk-IV project was inducted into the Indian Navy at Port Blair.
Commissioning of Third Ship of Landing Craft Utility Mk-IV ‘IN LCU L53’ (GRSE Yard 2094):
i. The ship was commissioned as INLCU L53 by Vice Admiral Bimal Verma, AVSM, ADC, Commander-in-Chief A&N Command.
ii. It was designed and built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata.
iii. The ship shows the potential of India’s indigenous ship building capability. It is in line with the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
iv. LCU MK-IV is an amphibious ship. It has a displacement of 830 Tons. It is capable of transporting combat equipment like Main Battle Tanks Arjun, T72 and other Armoured Vehicles.
v. The ship has advanced equipment and advanced systems like Integrated Bridge System (IBS) and the Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS).
vi. Indigenous CRN 91 Gun with Stabilised Optronic Pedestal offers offensive capability for undertaking patrolling.
vii. The ship is commanded by Lt Cdr Vikas Anand. It has five officers and 45 sailors.
viii. It can carry 160 troops in addition. The ships will be based in the Andaman and Nicobar Command.
ix. Remaining five ships of the project are in an advanced stage of construction. They will be inducted into Indian Navy in the next year and half.
About Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE):
♦ Chairman – VK Saxena
♦ Headquarters – Kolkata

NDMA conducts mock exercise in North East on earthquake
On April 26, 2018, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) conducted a mock exercise on earthquake preparedness in three North Eastern States – Tripura, Nagaland and Mizoram.
NDMA conducts mock exercise in North East on earthquakeDetails about mock exercise:
i. Conducting such mock exercise was required as these three states fall under seismic vulnerability zone V.
ii. The mock exercise helped in filling gaps, ensuring better communication and improving coordination among various stakeholders and agencies that are a part of response mechanism.
iii. It also generated awareness among the local people about the Do’s and Don’ts to be followed before, during and after an earthquake.
iv.With an objective to improve preparedness and response for various disaster situations, NDMA has so far conducted more than 600 mock exercises for various disaster situations across India.
Quick Facts about NDMA:
♦ Founded in – 2005
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
♦ Parent Entity – Union Ministry of Home Affairs

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

2018 World Press Freedom Index released: India falls to 138th rank
i. India has ranked 138th out of 180 countries in the 2018 ‘World Press Freedom Index’ released by Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF), also known as Reporters Without Borders.
ii. Norway topped the index for second consecutive year, while North Korea at 180th spot remained the most repressive country………………………………………………….. Click here to Read More
2018 ‘World Press Freedom Index’ – Top 10 Countries:

Rank Country
1st Norway
2nd Sweden
3rd Netherlands
4th Finland
5th Switzerland
6th Jamaica
7th Belgium
8th New Zealand
9th Denmark
10th Costa Rica

Exercise HARIMAU SHAKTI will be conducted in Malaysia from 30 April 18 to 13 May 18
“Harimau Shakti”, a joint training exercise between India and Malaysia will be conducted in the forests of Sengai Perdik, Hulu Langat, Malaysia from 30 April 2018 to 13 May 2018.
Exercise HARIMAU SHAKTI will be conducted in Malaysia from 30 April 18 to 13 May 18HARIMAU SHAKTI:
i. Harimau Shakti is aimed to enhance cooperation & coordination between armed forces of India and Malaysia and to share the expertise of both the contingents.
ii.  Counter insurgency operations will be conducted in jungle terrain. Indian contingent will be represented by 4 GRENADIERS, one of the oldest infantry battalions.
iii. The Malaysian contingent will be represented by soldiers from 1 Royal Ranjer Regiment and the Royal Malay Regiment.
iv. This is the first time a joint training exercise of this magnitude comprising Indian and Malaysian soldiers is conducted in Malaysia.
v. Main focus of the exercise will be on tactical operations in jungle warfare. A cross training phase and a field training phase of seven days in the jungles of Hulu Langat will be carried out.
About Indian Army:
♦ Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) – General Bipin Rawat
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi

BANKING & FINANCE

Govt. of India and World Bank sign legal agreement on National Biopharma Mission
On April 24, 2018, Government of India signed a Legal Agreement with World Bank for flexible financing arrangements for National Biopharma Mission (NBM).
Govt. of India and World Bank sign legal agreement on National Biopharma MissionAbout NBM and Legal Agreement with World Bank:
i. National Biopharmaceutical Mission is the first ever Industry-Academia mission to accelerate biopharmaceutical development in India. This programme has been named Innovate in India (i3).
ii. It is a $250 million dollar initiative that includes a $125 million loan from the World Bank.
iii. Objective of this programme is to make India a hub for design and development of novel, affordable and effective biopharmaceutical products.
iv. The thrust areas for the mission are vaccine development, biotherapeutics, diagnostics and development of medical devices.
v. The mission will be implemented by Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), a Public Sector Undertaking of Department of Biotechnology, Union Ministry of Science & Technology.
vi. On April 24, 2018, a Legal Agreement for flexible financing arrangements for this NBM was signed between BIRAC, Department of Economic Affairs under Union Ministry of Finance and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (a member institution of World Bank Group).
Quick Facts about World Bank:
♦ Formed in – 1945
♦ Headquarters – Washington D.C., US
♦ Current President – Jim Yong Kim

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

India’s global trade rises 16% to $767.9 billion in 2017-18
As per data released by Commerce Ministry, India’s global trade in 2017-18 stood at $767.9 billion.
India’s global trade, 2017-18:
i. India’s global trade at $767.9 billion in 2017-18 marks an increase by 16.32 per cent as compared to $660.2 billion in 2016-17.
ii. Bilateral trade with Latin American Countries (LAC) including Bolivia, Peru, Chile and Brazil has recorded healthy growth of 19.63 per cent in 2017-18.
iii. Out of all the above stated LACs, India-Bolivia bilateral trade grew phenomenally at 205 per cent from $253 million in 2016-17 to $772.44 million in 2017-18.
Quick Facts about Bolivia:
♦ Capitals – La Paz, Sucre
♦ Currency – Boliviano
♦ Current President – Evo Morales

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Indu Malhotra first woman lawyer to become SC judge
On 26th April 2018, sources in the Law Ministry said that, the government has cleared the appointment of senior advocate Indu Malhotra as a judge of the Supreme Court, making her the first woman lawyer to become Supreme Court judge.
Indu Malhotra first woman lawyer to become SC judgeIndu Malhotra first woman lawyer to become SC judge:
i. Indu Malhotra will be the first woman judge to be appointed as Supreme Court judge directly from the bar.
ii. She is 61 years old. She will be the seventh woman to become a Supreme Court judge.
iii. Previously, Justices M. Fathima Beevi, Sujata Manohar, Ruma Pal, Ranjana Desai, Gyan Sudha Misra and R. Banumathi, held the post of Supreme Court judge.
Some of the Chief Justices of High Court in India:
♦ Jammu and Kashmir High Court – Badar Durrez Ahmed
♦ Manipur High Court – Abhilash Kumari
♦ Gujarat High Court – R. Subhash Reddy

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Sh. Hardeep Puri, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs (I/C) launched a Mobile App
On 24th April 2018, Hardeep Puri, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs (I/C) launched a Mobile App (m-Awas) for allotment of Government accommodations in General Pool Residential Accommodation (GPRA) in Delhi under the control of the Directorate of Estates.
Sh. Hardeep Puri, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs (I/C) launched a Mobile AppMobile App (m-Awas):
i. m-Awas was developed by NIC (National Informatics Centre). e-Awas, the application of online allotment will support this App.
ii. 61,317 residential accommodations of various types are available in Delhi which are allotted to the eligible Central Government employees through Automated System of Allotment (ASA), by using login Id and password.
iii. This app will enable applicants of the Central Government accommodation in Delhi and people in waiting list, to apply for allotment.
iv. Users can also view waiting list and allotment lists. The app is user friendly. It can be downloaded and used in an android mobile phone. It can be downloaded for free from the website of GPRA: https://gpra.nic.in
v. This will be extended to applicants of 8 other cities where ASA is in operation for the purpose of registration and filling of DE-II form.
About National Informatics Centre (NIC):
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
♦ Director General – Neeta Verma

ENVIRONMENT

Giant Mosquito Found In China
Chinese entomologists have discovered a giant mosquito belonging to Holorusia Mikado species, with a wing size of 11.15 cm in Sichuan province of China.
Giant Mosquito Found In China:
i. The giant mosquito belongs to the world’s largest mosquito species Holorusia Mikado. It was found in August 2017 during a field trip to Mount Qingcheng in Chengdu.
ii. It was first found in Japan and was named by British entomologist John Obadiah Westwood in 1876. The Holorusia mikado species generally has a wing size of nearly 8 cm.
iii. These mosquitoes do not feed on blood. They feed mainly on nectar. The adults have a life span of a few days.
iv. Holorusia mikado also known as the crane fly are mainly found in the Chengdu plain of the western parts of Sichuan.
Nick names of some Indian cities:
♦ Auroville (Pondicherry) – City of Dawn
♦ Jamshedpur (Jharkhand) – Steel city, Pittsburg of India
♦ Dhanbad (Jharkhand) – Coal Capital of India

OBITUARY

Former Indian athlete Tony Daniel passes away
On 25th April 2018, Tony Daniel, the technical committee chairman of the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) and the executive vice-president of Kerala State Athletics Association (KSAA), passed away in Kochi, Kerala.
Former Indian athlete Tony Daniel passes awayDeath of Tony Daniel:
i. Tony Daniel was 66 years old. He was born in Ernakulam, Kerala. He represented Kerala State and University at the national championships in junior and senior categories between 1968 and 1972.
ii. He was the State Sprint Champion in 1970. He was the Secretary of Kerala Athletics Association for eight years.
iii. He was the Deputy Competition Manager during the Commonwealth Games, Delhi 2010 and Competition Director (Athletics) in South Asian Games, Guwahati 2016.
Some dams in Kerala:
♦ Malampuzha Dam – Bharathapuzha River

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Intellectual Property Day
On 26th April 2018, World Intellectual Property Day was observed all over the world.
World Intellectual Property DayWorld Intellectual Property Day:
i. Every year April 26 is celebrated as World Intellectual Property Day to create awareness on the role that intellectual property rights (patents, trademarks, industrial designs, copyright) play in encouraging innovation and creativity.
ii. This day was declared by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 2000. 26 April marks the date on which the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization came to force in 1970.
iii. The theme for World Intellectual Property Day 2018 is – Powering change: Women in innovation and creativity.
About World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO):
♦ Director General – Francis Gurry
♦ Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland