Dear Readers, We cover some important news in Current Affairs April 28 2017, which are not covered in Daily Detailed News, More Current Affairs coverage will help you to Score Good Marks in Competitive Exams.
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Uma Bharti launches Centre’s extensive water conservation programme for drought prone areas of country
Ganga Rejuvenation Minister launched Centre’s extensive water conservation programme for drought prone areas of country.
i. The programme was launched at Bandri in Sagar district of Madhya Pradesh in presence of Narottam Mishra – Irrigation Minister of Madhya Pradesh and Dharmpal Sing – Irrigation Minister of Uttar Pradesh.
ii. This programme aims to increase irrigation area and replenish/protect water resources in Bundelkhand region (spread across Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh), Marathawada region (in Maharashtra) and Kalahandi, Bolangir and Koraput in Odisha.
Kazakhstan opens consulate in Chennai
Central Asian country, Kazakhstan has opened its consulate in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. This consulate will cover Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
i. It will be headed by Mr. Suraj Shantakumar, the Chairman of diamond jewellery retailer Kirtilals.
ii. India and Kazakhstan are having diplomatic relation since past 25 years. The consulate in Chennai will promote India – Kazakhstan cooperation in areas of IT, engineering, agricultural production, transport infrastructure and tourism.
Quick Facts about Kazakhstan:
♦ Capital: Astana
♦ Currency: Kazakhstani Tenge
♦ Current President: Nursultan Nazarbayev
♦ Kazakhstan’s Ambassador to India: Bulat Sarsenbayev
Over Rs 1 lakh-cr investment approved for housing of urban poor
Under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation has sanctioned 1, 00,537 houses for urban poor.
i. The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) Programme launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (MoHUPA).
ii. Its mission is to make Housing for All by 2022 when the Nation completes 75 years of its Independence.
iii. The Ministry has approved construction of 18, 75,389 houses for Economically Weaker Sections under PMAY (Urban) in 2,151 cities and towns in 34 States/UTs.
iv. Subsidy for beneficiary-led individual house construction /enhancement.
v. Promotion of Affordable Housing for weaker section through credit linked subsidy.
vi. The total investment approved includes central assistance of Rs.29, 409 cr, assistance from State Governments and beneficiary contribution.
vii. The government is providing an interest subsidy of 6.5% on housing loans which can be availed by beneficiaries for 15 years from start of loan date.The government will grant Rs 1 lakh to all the beneficiaries of the scheme.
Puducherry government to give free power supply to farmers
The government of Pondicherry announced that the farmers in the Union Territory will be getting free power supply for pump sets used for irrigation purpose.
i. During the previous fiscal year’s budget session (2016- 2017) free power supply given by the Agriculture Minister.
ii. The council of Ministers had approved the proposal for the free supply of electricity to small and other classes of farmers in the Union Territory.
iii. The scheme is expected to benefit around 7000 farmers.
iv. The cost incurred by the government on the implementation of the scheme is estimated to be around Rs 1.95 Cr in the current fiscal year.
v. 960 farmers fall in the small farmer category that would benefit from the scheme.The move is to bring some of the woes of Puducherry’s farmers.
♦ Puducherry Capital : Puducherry
♦ Puducherry CM: V. Narayanasamy
♦ Puducherry Governor: Lt. Governor Kiran Bedi
E-taxi trial run to begin in Nagpur from May
The country’s first electric taxi trial in the country would be launched in Nagpur from May 24.
i. The first project of this kind will be undertaken by Nagpur Municipal Corporation.
ii. Electric car taxi is one of the projects and forms as a part of its UNDP millennium goals to tackle pollution.
iii. After completion of the project the road will become India’s first 135 km green road to be lit entirely by solar panels with advanced traffic system.
iv. Initially Mahindra and Mahindra is set to provide 200 taxis.
v. It is aimed to tackle increasing pollution in the country by various schemes.
vi. The government is also set to present Rs 5,763-crore Eastern Peripheral Expressway project to Delhi.
vii. The expressway will pass through Sonipat, Baghpat, Ghaziabad, Gautam Budh Nagar, Faridabad and Palwal in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
All-woman battalion to take on Kashmir women pelters of stones
The decision to raise all-women battalion comes after it was observed that girl students were throwing stones at security forces in Srinagar.
i. The battalion would also be assigned other law and order duties but it will be primarily locate for tackling protesters.
ii. The all-women contingent will be among the five IRBs sanctioned by the Centre for the State last year.
iii. The IRBs are being raised to provide jobs to the local youths, with 60% of the vacancies to be filled with candidates from the border districts.
iv. The Centre asked the State government to build as many football fields and sports facilities as possible in rural Kashmir to engage the youth.
v. The Centre has also given directions to the State government to not use Special Police Officers as “chowkidaars (guards)” at the houses of politicians and government officials
Shah Rukh Khan becomes first Indian actor to speak at TED Talks in Canada
Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan became the first Indian actor to deliver TED speech in Vancouver, Canada.
i. Shah Rukh Khan partnered with TED to host the Hindi version of the famous talk show.
ii. He spoke out on various issues beginning from his stardom to the changes world.
iii. Shah Rukh has also delivered some motivational and inspirational speeches earlier when he was conferred with honorary doctorate from the University Edinberg and Hyderabad Maulana Azad National Urdu University.
TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design.It was founded in 1984.
♦ Its slogan is ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’
♦ It is a media organization dedicated to posting online talk shows.
♦ The annual TED conference takes place in Vancouver, Canada.
♦ Some of the past Ted speakers include Bill Gates, Serena Williams, Pope Francis, Bill Clinton, David Cameron and others.
El Salvador becomes the first country to ban mining of metals for environmental protection
El Salvador became the first country in the world to ban metal mining. The law was favoured by nearly 80 percent of the El Salvadorian population.
i. The El Salvador legislature passed the ban with support from a broad union.
ii. The law entered into force after being signed by President Salvador Sanchez Ceren.
iii. The law bans “prospection, exploration, exploitation, extraction or processing of metallic minerals in El Salvador.”
iv. By 2000s, more than 90% of the country’s ground water was chemically contaminated and no amount of boiling, filtering or chlorination would make it potable.
v. After that anti-mining movement began in the country.In May 2007, the El Salvadorian Catholic Church joined the country’s anti-mining movement.
vi. In March 2008, NRA President Antonio Saca implemented a nationwide ban on metal mining permits.
El Salvador :
♦ Capital: San Salvador
♦ Currency: United States Dollar
BANKING & FINANCE
SEBI makes P-Note norms stricter to curb black money in markets
Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has barred resident as well as non-resident Indians (NRIs) from making investments through participatory notes (P-Notes).
i. This restriction has been imposed through a new provision in the Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPI) regulations.
ii. The objective behind this decision is to prevent the misuse of P-Notes for routing domestic black money. Under current regulation, this restriction was in the form of ‘FAQ’. On insistence of Finance Ministry, SEBI inserted this new provision to clearly reflect the norm.
Paytm Launches Digital Gold, Makes Gold Investment Digital
Paytm launched ‘Digital Gold’ on its platform to allow customers to buy and sell gold through electronic platform.
i. It is the first wealth management product that was launched in partnership with gold refiner MMTC-PAMP.
ii. It offers a real-time international pricing mechanism for the customers.
iii. To avail the benefit of the gold scheme Consumers need to provide KYC details who are
transacting over Rs 20000 through Paytm.
iv. Customers can buy and sell gold either by money (starting Re 1) or by weight (starting 0.1 gram).
v. Using Paytm mobile wallets, consumers can purchase 24K 999.9 purity gold online.
vi. Customer can also store it in MMTC—PAMP’s secured vaults free of charge.
vii. Customers can even request for their gold to be delivered at their homes in the form of minted coins.
viii. If the consumer wants to sell the gold, MMTC-PAMP will buy the gold back from them and the money will be transferred to the user’s bank account.
TN govt signs agreement with BBNL to implement BharatNet
The Tamil Nadu government signed an agreement with Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL).
i. It is aimed to implement the Centre’s rural internet connectivity programme”Bharatnet”.
ii. The cost of total project is Rs 50 lakh.
iii. By implementing BharatNet in Tamil Nadu more than 12,524 village panchayats has been benefitted and provide various government services through internet.
iv. It is implanted to bring Centre’s rural internet connectivity program.
About Tamil Naidu
♦ Capital of TN: Chennai
♦ CM of TN: K. Palaniswami
♦ Governor of TN: Vidyasagar Rao
Infosys launches Artificial Intelligence platform Nia for businesses
Infosys a global leader in consulting, technology and outsourcing has launched the next-generation services called Infosys Nia.
i. Infosys Nia is the next-generation Artificial Intelligence Platform. It will help clients to solve a wide variety of business problems.
ii. It can improve order-to-cash process by creating a real-time risk profile to customize the collection strategy.
iii. It tackles break-through business problems such as forecasting revenues, forecasting what products need to be built, understanding customer behavior,understanding fraud.
iv. Infosys’ first-generation AI platform was about IT, simplification, efficiency and cost.
v. Infosys Nia enables a wide set of industry and function-specific solutions and allows customers to build custom experiences to suit their business needs.
vi. It can predict variability in manufacturing and material cost, while also reducing product development cycle times.
vii. It can create knowledge models of multiple, complex labor contracts with an on-demand, self-service conversational interface to operationalize the knowledge.It will help in improving customer satisfaction
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Bhubaneswar becomes first Indian city to win Pierre L enfant Awards
Bhubaneswar the capital city of Odisha has been selected for the 2017 Pierre L’Enfant International Planning Excellence Award by American Planning Association (APA). Bhubaneswar has become the first Indian city to win this award.
i. Bhubaneswar has been selected for this award for ‘Bhubaneswar Smart City Plan’ which is based on a citizen engagement approach and envisages use of technology for improving the overall quality of life.
ii. Four other US-based planning firms and agencies have been selected for 2017 National Planning Awards in other categories. All recipients will be honoured on May 8, 2017 at the Awards Luncheon at APA’s National Planning Conference in New York.
Indian businessman Yusuff Ali wins Queen’s Enterprise Award
Kerala-born, UAE-based entrepreneur Yusaffali MA’ food processing plant ‘Y International (UK) Ltd’ in Britain has won the prestigious Queen’s Enterprise Award 2017 for its exceptional contribution to the UK’s trade, industry and economy. ‘Y International (UK) Ltd’has been chosen for this award in ‘International Trade’ category.
About ‘Y International (UK) Ltd.’:
Y International (UK) Ltd. food processing plant, which employs 300 local staff, was established in Birmingham in 2013 to source and process food products from UK to support the demand for high-quality British products for sale in Lulu Group’s hypermarkets across the Middle East, India and Far East. It is listed in the Gazette as an international distributor of grocery products, perishables products and non-foods products.
About Queen’s Awards for Enterprise:
i. First Awarded in year 1966, The Queen’s Award for Enterprise is conferred annually by Queen Elizabeth II on her birthday, April 21.
ii. The award is given in four categories viz. Innovation, International trade, Sustainable Development and Promoting opportunity through social mobility.
iii. Awards are open to nominations and selected based on the recommendation of UK Govt.
iv. All entries are subject to auditing and scrutiny by over 30 UK Govt. agencies before being included in the roll of honour.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft successfully travels between Saturn and its rings
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft completed its final close of Saturn’s moon Titan and has now started its final set of 22 orbits before jumping into Saturn on September 15, 2017 and completed its 20-year long journey.
i. Cassini has dived successfully through the space between Saturn and its rings.
ii. It will perform another 21 dives through the same gap and will send more detailed information about Saturn and its rings.
Scientists create ‘Artificial Womb’
By using an “artificial womb” the extremely premature babies could be kept alive in future.
i. After a successful study involving unborn lambs scientists plan to test in humans.
ii. A plastic bag filled with artificial amniotic fluid – the nutrient-rich liquid that sustains a foetus in the womb will allowed foetal lambs to develop at an age equivalent to 23 weeks in humans.
iii. According to pregnancy research charity Tommy’s Human infants born at 23 weeks have just a 15 per cent chance of survival.
iv. This rises to 55 per cent at 24 weeks, while babies born at 25 weeks have an 80 per cent chance of survival.
v. Inside the device, the infant’s own heart circulates blood through the umbilical cord into an external gas-exchange machine.
vi. It takes the place of the mother’s placenta, while synthetic amniotic fluid enriched with nutrients flows in and out of the temperature-controlled, near-sterile “biobag”.
Iceball ‘Planet Discovered Through Microlensing
NASA scientists have discovered a new planet- OGLE-2016-BLG-1195lb- that has the same mass as Earth and orbits its star from the same distance as Earth orbits the sun.
i. The newly discovered planet is nearly 13,000 light-years away and orbits a small star.
ii. According to scientists the planet is likely to be too cold to sustain life, as its star is so faint.
iii. The planet, called as ‘iceball’ due to its probable cold state, is the lowest-mass planet ever found through microlensing.
iv. It would help scientists figure out the distribution of planets in Milky Way.
v. This discovery was made through the Korea Microlensing Telescope Network (KMTNet), which is operated by both the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute and Spitzer.
vi. The KMTNet consists of three wide-field telescopes, one in Chile, one in Australia and one in South Africa.
♦ It is a technique that helps in the discovery of distant objects by using background stars as flashlights.
♦ It can also help detect low-mass planets that are considerably farther from their stars than Earth is from the sun.
♦ When a star crosses from the front of a bright star, the gravity of the star in the front focuses the light of the background star, making it appear brighter.
♦ A planet orbiting the foreground star may cause a glitch in its brightness.
♦ The technique has helped in the discovery of the most distant known exoplanets from Earth.
Oscar -winning director Jonathan Demme dies at 73
The Oscar-winning director of The Silence of the Lambs, Jonathan Demme passed away on 26 April 2017. He was 73.
i. Jonathan was born on 22 February 1944; He was an American film director, producer, and screenwriter.
ii. In 1977, he directed the comedy film Handle with Care for Paramount Pictures. The film was well received by critics.
iii. He started his career into feature film working with film producer Roger Corman, co-writing and producing Angels Hard as They Come and The Hot Box.
iv. He then moved on to directing three films for Corman’s studio New World Pictures.
v. He is best known for directing the movie The Silence of the Lambs.He won the Academy Award for Best Director for his film The Silence of the Lambs
Tamil actor Vinu Chakravarthy passes away at 71
Vinu Chakravarthy, a renowned actor-director of Tamil Films, passed away on April 27, 2017. 71-year old Vinu was ill for past three years.
Overview of Vinu Chakravarthy’s Film Career:
i. Vinu debuted with Gopurangal Saivathillai in 1982.
ii. He is known for his villainous roles in the 80s and 90s, followed by character roles later.
iii. ‘Muni’ starring Raghava Lawrence, Kovai Sarala among others marked this actor’s 1000th film.
iv. He has starred with superstarRajinikanth in about 25 movies. Thambikku Entha Ooru, Guru Sishyan, Annamalai and Arunachalam are few of the films in which they shared the screen space.
World Day for Safety and Health at Work – April 28 2017
World Day for Safety and Health at Work is annually observed on 28 April. It has been observed by the International Labour Organization (ILO) since 2003.
i. Purpose: To create awareness and seek international attention on the magnitude of safety and health problems at work and also to highlight the benefit of creating a safety and health culture to reduce the number of work-related deaths and injuries.
ii. Background Information: Every day, 6,300 people die as a result of occupational accidents or work-related diseases. 317 million accidents occur on the job annually; many of these resulting in extended absences from work. The human cost of this daily adversity is vast and the economic burden of poor occupational safety and health practices is estimated at 4% of global Gross Domestic Product each year.
iii. 2017 Theme for World Day for Safety and Health at Work: Optimize the collection and use of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) data.