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NITI Aayog’s vision – Houses, vehicles, ACs for all by 2032
On April 23, 2017, Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog, Mr. Arvind Panagariya presented a glimpse of ‘India 2031-32: Vision, Strategy and Action Agenda’ to Governing Council of NITI Aayog, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
i. NITI Aayog has envisaged houses, vehicles, Air Conditioners for all Indian Citizens by year 2032
ii. It was mentioned that work on Fifteen Year Vision and Seven Year Strategy document spanning 2017-18 to 2031-32 is in progress. Moreover, the Three Year Action Agenda covering 2017-18 to 2019-20 which has been provided to the Governing Council Members would be finalised shortly.
PM Modi inaugurates maiden Shimla-New Delhi flight under UDAN scheme
On April 26, 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged-off first UDAN flight from Shimla to Delhi under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS).
i. PM Modi also flagged off UDAN flights from Kadapa (Andhra Pradesh) to Hyderabad and Nanded (Maharashtra) to Hyderabad through video conferencing link.
ii. While flagging-off the Shimla-Delhi flight from Shimla Airport, PM Modi mentioned that UDAN flights will start operating from 70 airports across India in next one year.
Rajasthan Assembly & Jharkhand Legislative Assembly Passes State GST Bill
On April 26, 2017, Rajasthan assembly passed the Rajasthan Goods and Services Tax Bill 2017 and thereby became the third state assembly after Telangana and Bihar to adopt this comprehensive indirect tax reform. The bill was passed by voice vote.
i. Three-day special session was convened to take up the GST Bill. 14 opposition MLAs who were trying to disrupt the proceedings were suspended by Speaker Kailash Meghwal.
ii. On April 27, 2017, Jharkhand assembly passed the Jharkhand Goods and Services Tax Bill 2017. A one-day special session of the assembly was convened to take up the GST bill.
iii. Jharkhand Urban Development Minister C P Singh placed the bill in the assembly which was unanimously passed by voice vote.
Belgium opens honorary consulate in GIFT City
Belgium has become the first country to open an honorary consulate office in Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City).
i. The consulate was inaugurated by Belgian Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, Pieter De Crem.
ii. Belgium has expanded its diplomatic representation in India with this new office in Gandhinagar.
iii. Hari Sankaran was selected as Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of Belgium to the state of Gujarat.
iv. Besides the Belgian Embassy in New Delhi, two Consulates-General was also selected for Mumbai and Chennai, and an honorary consulate in Kolkata.
v. Ajay Pandey is the Managing Director and Group CEO of GIFT City.
♦ PM of Belgium is Charles Michel.
♦ Capital of Belgium is Brussels.
♦ Currency of Belgium Euro
International Conference on Dara Shikoh begins
The international conference on “Dara Shiko” held on April 27 and 28. The theme of this conference is Reclaiming Spiritual Legacy of India.
i. The conference will be organized by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR).
ii. The objective of the conference is to highlight Dara Shikoh’s contributions.
iii. The conference will includes the participation of eminent scholars from the US, Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and India.
iv. To bring about spiritual alliance of Hinduism and Islam.
v. To build a cohesive social and cultural structure in India
About Dara Sikoh
Dara Sikoh was an intellectual, wise and a model of balanced coexistence of various religions.
♦ Dara translated 50 Upanishads from Sanskrit to Persian for the Muslim Scholars.
♦ He was invited to lay the foundation of the Golden Temple of Amritsar
♦ He loved Muslims, Hindus, Sufis and Sikhs. All are equal for them.
♦ He wrote that a great deal of Quranic wisdom existed in Upanishads.
♦ He dedicated himself to create a bridge of Hindu-Muslim Unity
♦ He upholded 7thGuru of Sikhs Guru Har Rai.
♦ He also documented the Quranic terms and their Sanskrit equivalents from Upanishads
Haryana CM to interact with People on Twitter and Facebook
Haryana will become the first Indian state to invite all Twitter and Facebook users to interact with the Chief Minister Manohar Lal.
i. The state government will launch an integrated Social Media Grievances Tracker – Twitter and Facebook.
ii. It aims for faster and real-time redressal of grievances pertaining to different departments.
iii. It will be launched on 15th May 2017.
iv. It is being set up to identify process and resolve all relevant short-term complaints that are sent by citizens to the Chief Minister Office (CMO) or the Government through social media.
♦ Haryana Capital: Chandigarh
♦ Haryana Governor : Kaptan Singh Solanki
♦ Haryana CM : Manohar Lal Khattar
♦ Haryana shares its borders with several states of India like Rajasthan, Delhi, UP Punjab and Himachal Pradesh
India ranks 136 on World Press Freedom Index, slips three places since 2016
India ranks 136th among 180 countries in the 2017 ‘World Press Freedom Index’ released by Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF) also known as Reporters Without Borders. In 2016 India ranked 133rd on this index.
2017 ‘World Press Freedom Index’ – Top 5 Countries:
BANKING & FINANCE
RBI to issue new Rs 5 and Rs 10 coins
The central bank of India the Reserve Bank is set to issue new Rs 10 and Rs 5 coins.These coins are legal tender as provided in The Coinage Act 2011.
i. Rs 10 Coin has been minted to celebrate 125th year of National Archives of India.
ii. Rs 5 coins to celebrate 150th anniversary of Allahabad High Court.
RBI issues new draft rules for M&As
In accordance with the rules notified by Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs through Companies (Compromises, Arrangements and Amalgamation) Amendment Rules, 2017 the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 26 April 2017 issued draft guidelines on cross border Merger and Acquisitions transactions.
i. The draft regulations will be known as ‘Foreign Exchange Management (Cross Border Merger) Regulations’.
ii. RBI proposed these Regulations under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA).
iii. The regulation makes reporting of any cross-border activity mandatory within 180 days from the date of sanction.
iv. These guidelines address the issues that arise when an Indian company and a foreign company enter into scheme of merger, demerger, amalgamation, or rearrangement.
v. These Regulations specify conditions that should be followed by the companies involved in the Scheme.
vi. According to the Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs on 13 April 2017 issued Companies (Compromises, Arrangements and Amalgamation) Amendment Rules, 2017 to operationalize this section of the act.
vii. Section 234 of the Companies Act, 2013 provides for mergers and amalgamations between Indian companies and foreign companies.
MFIN launches financial literacy app for microfinance clients
Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN), a self-regulatory organization and industry association of the microfinance industry in India launched the financial literacy mobile app for microfinance clients on April 25, 2017.
About MFIN’s Financial Literacy Mobile App:
i. The financial literacy app has been released on Android platform and will be available in Hindi, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil and English.
ii. It will help microfinance clients in understanding dynamics involved in microfinance including credit history, interest rates, repayment cycles and their rights as a borrower
About Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN):
♦ Established in: October 2009
♦ MFIN Secretariat: Gurugram, Haryana
♦ Current CEO: Ratna Vishwanathan
IOC to build new oil terminal at Motihari to supply fuel to Nepal
The Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has planned to build a new oil terminal at Motihari in Bihar.
i. It aims to supply fuel to Nepal from the planned pipeline up to Amlekganj in Nepal.
ii. The decision for shifting the terminal from Raxaul to Motihari has been done for safety measures.
iii. The 69-km Motihari-Amlekganj pipeline will be built at a cost of Rs.325 crore.
iv. The old terminal at Raxaul in Bihar will be shut down as it not up to the current OISD (Oil
Industry Safety Directorate) guidelines.It functions under the ministry of Petroleum and Natural gas.
v. IOC expects to operationalise the Motihari-Amlekganj pipeline after 30 months of receiving statutory clearances.
vi. At the beginning, it was decided that the pipeline would be laid from Raxaul to Amlekganj, but later it was decided to extend it till Motihari.
vii. Nepal is giving at most importance to the project by giving it a national priority.
viii. As per the agreement, a new 200 km pipeline would be laid between Patna and Motihari.The fuel supply agreements between India and Nepal have been extended to five years.Nepal receives around 2 lakh kilolitres of fuel from IOC every month.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Srishti Kaur wins Miss Teen Universe Pageant
Srishti Kaur of India has been crowned Miss Teen Universe 2017 at Managua.
i. Srishti won after beating 25 contestants from across the world.She also bagged an award for the best national costume.
ii. She succeeds Nieveles Gonzalez of Puerto Rico as the Miss Teen Universe.
iii. Srishti Kaur costume featured a peacocklike dress the Indian national bird.
iv. Kaur had also won the title of Miss Teen Tiara International at the beginning of this year beating 29 contestants.
* Capital of Nicaragua is Managua.
About Miss Teen Universe pageant
♦ Miss Teen Universe pageant Miss Teen Universe pageant was started six years ago.
♦ The pageant is organized by the Miss Universe organisation for teens aged 15 to 19.
♦ The event takes place once in a year.
♦ The winner is decided based on the physical beauty, incorporating qualities such as personality, talent, and intelligence.
Vani Jairam gets Ghantasala national award
Vani Jairam a versatile playback singer was received the Ghantasala national award.
i. It was instituted by the Ghantasala National Art Academy.
ii. She received award from Andhra Pradesh High Court Judge A. RamalingeswaraRao.
iii. She is known in the North as Meerabai for her songs sung by the medieval poet in praise of Lord Krishna.
iv. The award has been given in the memory of the legendary singer Ghantasala Venkateswara Rao.
vi. Venkateswara Rao ruled the roost for over three decades the Telugu tinsel world.
Youngest Indian chancellor bags Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar International Foundation award
Dileep K Nair, the youngest ever chancellor of any university in India has received Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar International Foundation Kerala State award for the year 2016-17 for excellent performance in the field of education.
♦ Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien gave away this award to Nair in Trivendrum, Kerala.
Brief Biography of Dileep K Nair:
i. 38-year-old Dileep K Nair is the current Chancellor of the North East Frontier Technical University (NEFTU) in Arunachal Pradesh.
ii. He was born in Tirur, Kerala and started his career at the age of 24.
iii. Nair is also the founder of The Automobile Society (India) and The Engineer’s Outlook Magazine.
iv. He is a literary master having knowledge of 6 languages including Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, English, Hindi and Marathi.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Nita Ambani made member of IOC’s important commissions
Nita Ambani in April 2017 has made a member of two important commissions of the
International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) governing body.
i. Nita Ambani was made as a member of the prestigious Olympic Channel and Olympic Education Commission.
ii. She replaced International Paralympic Committee President Philip Craven.
iii. She will serve the position till she turns 70.
iv. International Olympic Committee also announced the composition of 26 commissions for the year 2017.
v. She was elected as an individual member of International Olympic Committee in the year 2016.
About Olympic Channel
♦ The Olympic Channel is a digital channel.
♦ It was launched in 2016 during Rio Games.
♦ The channel is based in Madrid, Spain.
♦ It is estimated to cost about USD 600 million over the first seven years.
♦ It aims to promote Olympic sports and values all around the year.
Shri Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar appointed as DG, CRPF; Shri RK Pachnanda to be next DG, ITBP
Mr. Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar, IPS officer 1983 batch – Uttar Pradesh Cadre, who is currently serving as Director General of Narcotics Control Bureau has been appointed to the post of Director General, Central Reserve Police Force. He will serve up to December 31, 2019.
i. Mr. R. K. Pachnanda, IPS officer 1983 batch – West Bengal Cadre, who is currently serving as Director General of National Disaster Response Force has been appointed to the post of Director General, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).
ii. He will take over from Current Director General of ITBP Mr. Krishna Choudhary, who is due to retire on superannuation on June 30, 2017.
iii. Mr. Pachanda will serve as Director General of ITBP up to October 31, 2018.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
ISRO develops “Solar Calculator” android app
ISRO has launched a solar calculator app that can calculate the benefits of installing solar panels in different regions of the country.
i. This app has been created by the Space Application Center (SAC).
ii. At present this app can be downloaded from ‘New and Renewable Energy’ section at sac.gov.in.
iii. It primarily focuses on the design of space-borne instruments for ISRO missions.
iv. An app can get the location details through GPS.The App determines solar energy potential (in kWh/m2) at any given location.
v. It is helpful in setting up of photovoltaic thermal power plants.The app provides monthly and yearly solar potential by processing data obtained from Indian Geostationary Satellites (Kalpana-1, INSAT-3D and INSAT-3DR).
vi. The app provides information about the azimuth and elevation angles, and duration of day over different time periods in a year.
vii. This app also suggests the optimum tilt angle for the installation of solar PV.The complete report provided by the app can be saved by the user in the form of PDF.
viii. It also develops applications of space technology covering the fields of communication, broadcasting, navigation, disaster monitoring, meteorology, oceanography, environment monitoring and natural resources survey for societal benefits.
♦ SAC Space Applications Centre (SAC) is one of the major centres of ISRO.
♦ It was established in the year 1972.
♦ It is headquartered in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
India successfully test-fires Agni-III ballistic missile
India has successfully test-fired 3000 kilometre range Agni-III ballistic missile on 27
April 2017. It has launched from Abdul Kalam Island off Odisha coast.
i. The test was carried by the Strategic Forces Command with logistics support from Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO).
ii. The test was aimed at re-establishing the operational effectiveness of the weapon system.
iii. Agni-III’s first user successful trial was carried out on 21 September 2012.
iv. The two-stage solid-propelled missile has a length of 17 metres, 2 metres diameter and its launch weight is around 50 tonnes.
v. This Surface-to-Surface nuclear capable intermediate-range ballistic missile can hit targets in the range of around 3000 km.
vi. It can carry a warhead of 1.5 tonne which is protected by carbon all composite heat shield.
vii. It was developed by the DRDO under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme(IGMDP).
viii. It is equipped with the hybrid navigation, guidance and control systems along with advanced on-board computer.
Venkaiah Naidu launches MyMSME mobile app
Union Minister for Urban Development, Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation M Venkaiah Naidu launched MyMSME Mobile App on 27 April 2017
i. MyMSME was launched as a part of Digital India Initiative.Through this app MSMEs can lodge grievances pertaining to Ministry of MSME.
ii. This mobile app has enabled the MSME Sector to accompany in the era of M-Governance (Mobile Governance) from e-Governance.
iii. MyMSME mobile app provides information on all schemes implemented by the Ministry of MSME at one place.
iv. Under this app, Ministry of MSME will provide one single window to MSMEs.
v. Its aim is to access information on all schemes implemented by the Ministry and as well as apply for any of them.
Vinod Khanna passes away at 70
Vinod Khanna a Bollywood actor and politician was expired at the age of 70.
i. In 1999, he received the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award.
ii. He was born on 6 October 1946, Khanna has featured 146 films.
iii. His famous films are Mere Apne, Insaaf and Amar, Akbar, Anthony. He was last seen in 2015 in Shah Rukh Khan’s Dilwale.
iv. He served as the Union minister for culture and tourism in 2002.
v. He also became a minister of state in the Ministry of External Affair.
vi. He won Filmfare award for best supporting actor and the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999