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Current Affairs Today – April 7 2017

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Current Affairs April 8 2017

INDIAN AFFAIRS

Deendayal Rasoi Yojana launched in 49 districts of MP
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has launched subsidized meal scheme at Rs.5 in Gwalior. This scheme helps people to get economical nutritious and good Deendayal Rasoi Yojana launched in 49 districts of MPquality food under the Deendayal Rasoi Yojana at cheaper rates. It is launched in 49 districts across the state.
i. The scheme includes 49 districts in first phase. Under this scheme the poor people will get four chapattis, one vegetable curry and dal everyday between 11 am to 3 pm.
ii. Breakfast will be served at Rs 5 and lunch will be served at Rs.8. All these arrangements will be done by Level Coordination And Monitoring Commiittee in which they will monitor all aspects of scheme and at least 2000 people will serve every day.
iii. The budget of this scheme is Rs 10 crore and it will be funded by Corporate Sector Under Corporate Social Responsibility.

Section 139AA – Aadhaar to be mandatory for IT returns, getting PAN from July 1
The government is making Aadhaar mandatory for filing income tax returns as well as to getting PAN card through amendments to the finance bill 2017.
i. The Finance Act, 2017 introduced Section 139AA of the Income-tax Act, 1961 which states that mandatory quoting of Aadhaar /Enrolment ID of Aadhaar application form, for filing IT returns and application for allotment of Permanent Account Number(PAN) with effect from July 1.
ii. Income-Tax also added that a person who stayed for 182 days or more for current financial year / a person who stayed for 60 days or more in previous financial year are considered as Resident Indians.
iii. The People who fall short of the above criteria are considered as NRIs (non-resident Indians). As per section 139AA and Aadhaar Act, 2016 the Income-tax Act shall not apply to an individual who is not a resident of India.
Key Points
♦ The quoting of Aadhaar or Enrolment ID shall apply only to a person who is eligible to obtain Aadhaar number.

MP govt. to launch Hindu priesthood diploma course Purohityam – religion no bar
The Madhya Pradesh Government-run Maharshi Patanjali Sanskrit Sansthan  plans to launch one year diploma course from July 2017 known as “Diploma in Purohityam “ for teaching priesthood.
i. Purohityam  course make a gateway of all to irrespective of caste, gender or religion. Director of Bhopal-based Maharshi Patanjali Sanskrit Sansthan P R Tiwari informed the basic qualification of Class X must be finished.
ii. Along with the Diploma in Purohityam course other two courses are also coming up with diplomas in Vastu and Jyotish Shastra (astrology).
iii. Pragatisheel Brahmin Manch General Secretary Chandrashekhar Tiwari plans to do a protest because this is against the interests of Brahmins.

Russia hands over responsibility of Kudankulam 1 to India
The agreement was signed between representatives of Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) and the ASE Group of Companies, a subsidiary of ROSATOM State Atomic Energy Corporation of Russia on the final settlement of Kudankulam 1.
i. Andrey Lebedev, vice-president for projects in South Asia for the ASE Group, stated that warranty period of operation demonstrated the reliable and safe operation of the unit.
ii. The India confirmed to ASE group of companies , Russia about ASE has finished and fulfilled their task perfectly hence the further operation of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) unit 1 is the full responsibility of the Indian side.
iii. Kudankulam 1 operation had started in December 2014, while unit 2 reached 100% and began its operation on March 31 .
iv. The first two units are the largest nuclear power generation units in the country. Two further VVER-1000 units – Kudankulam 3 and 4 – are to be built.
Short view of KKNPP & ASE group of companies
♦ KKNPP – Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant is situated in Koodankulam in the Tirunelveli district of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
♦ KKNPP is scheduled to have six VVER-1000 reactors with an installed capacity of 6,000 MW of electricity.
♦ ASE Group, Russia – ASE Group was formed by the merger of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom’s engineering subsidiaries, including Atomstroyexport, Atomenergoproekt and Atomproekt.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

India ranked 40th in WEF’s global travel and tourism ranking
India has ranked 40th out of 136 countries on Global Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017 published by World Economic Forum (WEF). This marks a commendable jump of 12 spots as compared to previous year’s rank.
Top 5 of Global Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017:

Rank Country
Spain 1st
France 2nd
Germany 3rd
Japan 4th
United Kingdom 5th

India ranks 9th among 41 countries in corruption in businesses
India has ranked 9th out of 41 countries in bribery and corrupt practices in businesses as per the EY (Ernst & Young) Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA) Fraud Survey 2017. The ranking has improved marginally since 2015 in which India ranked 6th.
i. Improvement in India’s rank has been attributed to emphasis on transparency in governance and better regulatory scrutiny.
ii. Countries which rank higher than India in this survey are: Ukraine, Cyprus, Greece, Slovenia, Croatia, Kenya, South Africa and Hungary.

BANKING & FINANCE

India and ADB Sign $175 Million Loan Agreement to help improve Solar Transmission System
The Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed a $175 million loan agreement to support construction of high voltage transmission systems.
i. The project will improve the capacity and efficiency of interstate transmission networks, ADB clears $ 300 million loan for upgradation of UP Roads 400 kmparticularly in transmitting the electricity generated from the new solar parks to the national grid.
ii. The loan will be given to the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID).
iii. Apart from the mass departure of 2,500 megawatts(MW) of power from solar parks in Bhadla, Rajasthan, and 700 MW from Banaskantha, Gujarat, POWERGRID is also including two additional subprojects that will increase solar power generation by 4.2 gigawatt and lessen carbon emissions by over 7 million tons every year.
iv. The project will enable transmission of surplus solar energy from States with surplus power to power deficit States.
Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID)
♦ Power Grid Corporation of India Limited was incorporated on October 23, 1989.
♦ Its original name was the ‘National Power Transmission Corporatin Limited’. Their name was subsequently changed to Power Grid Corporation of India Limited on October 23, 1992.
♦ Chairman – Shri IS Jha
♦ Headquarters – Gurgaon, Haryana, India

India’s growth accelerate to 7.4% in 2017-2018
India recorded a growth rate of 7.4% in this fiscal year and it expects to be 7.6% in the next financial year.
i. Despite the effect demonization India’s growth grew from 1% to 7.4%. India is the fastest growing economy ahead of China mentioned by the ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK (ADB).
ii. With the ban of 500 and 1000 currencies it was supposed that India’s growth rate would reduce at a high margin but all speculations went wrong and our economy recorded the fastest growing economy.
iii. Over the last few years India has taken a very crucial initiative like GOODS AND SERVICE TAX (GST) and FDI regime to improve our business growth in an economy.
iv. ADB also expects India’s Consumer Price Inflation to 5.2% in FY18 and to 5.4% in FY19

BUSINESS

Israel Aerospace Industries sign $2 billion/ INR 200 billion arms deal with India
Israel Aerospace Industries signs $2 billion with India. This is the largest arms deal in the history of Israel’s defense industries.
i. The deal made a $1.6 billion contract to deliver a medium-range surface-to-air missile defense system(MRSAM), and a $400 million contract for a long-range surface-to-air missile defense system(LRSAM). Both these system has related to Barak 8 missile defense system.
ii. These are designed to defend against the airborne threats, including ,nuclear missile, aircraft, helicopters, anti-ship missiles and drones.
iii. The deal includes an advanced phased-array radar, command and control, mobile launchers, communications systems and missiles.
iv. Israel’s willingness is to share technology and form joint ventures with Indian companies to develop and manufacture military equipment supporting the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

64th National Awards – Complete list of winners
64th National Film Awards honouring best films and film related performances for the year 2016 were announced on 7th April 2017.
i. The National Film Awards would be presented by Honourable President of India at a ceremony which is scheduled to be held on 3rd May 2017.
ii. From this edition, a new category ‘The Most Film Friendly State Award’ has been included. This inaugural award will be presented to State of Uttar Pradesh. State of Jharkhand also got ‘Special Mention’ for State Govt.’s overall efforts in fostering the growth of film industry.

Prem Bahadur Resmi Magar posthumously conferred Kirti Chakra 
Lance Havildar Prem Bahadur Resmi Magar of Gorkha Rifles has been conferred with Prem Bahadur Resmi Magar posthumously conferred Kirti ChakraKirti Chakra by President Pranab Mukherjee at the defence investiture ceremony in New Delhi
♦ The second highest peacetime gallantry award presented to the late Lance Havildar for his action in Jammu and Kashmir operation on June 16, 2016
Other Awards presented by President :
i. 13 Shaurya Chakras (4 posthumous)
ii. 45 Distinguished Service medals include 15 Param Vishisht Seva Medals, 2 Uttam Yudh Seva Medals and 28 Ati Vishisht Seva Medals.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Vijay Goel Approves Appointment of Foreign Coaches in Athletics
Vijay Goel Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports has approved the appointment of foreign coaches and support staff for India’s athletics disciplines on April 6,2017
i. The foreign coach selection committee lead by sports secretary recommended the name of the foreign coaches.
ii. They will work with Indian team until 2020 Olympics which will be hosted by Japan and they will be subject to performance review annually.
Recent Appointment :

Name Sports
Dave Smith (Australia)  Race walking
Galina P Bukharina (USA)  400m and 400m relay
Dmitry Kislev (Russia)  Masseur
Elmira Kisleva (Russia)  Masseur.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Centre kicks off programme on Cyber Physical Systems
The Department of Science and Technology (DST) under Union Ministry of Science and Technology has initiated a Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) programme.
i. This programme has a financial outlay of Rs. 3000 crore, out of which Rs. 100 crore have been earmarked in the current financial year itself.
ii. K.R. Murli Mohan is the head of the CPS programme at DST. The initial action in this programme will take place at some of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).

ISRO And Indian Agriculture Ministry Team Up To Geo-Tag Agricultural Assets
The Government is going to geo-tag all the agricultural assets in the country for better land and crop management.
i. Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh is going to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA), ISRO, for geo-tagging ISROthe agriculture land created under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna (RKVA) in the country.
ii. Geo-tagging used to provide us a real time status of agricultural assets, which helps to monitoring, utilizing and also useful in formulating schemes for development in the agricultural sector.
iii. The implementation of space technology would help farmers get access to pesticide testing labs, storage infrastructure, and market-related
Key points
National Remote Sensing Centre(formerly the National Remote Sensing Agency)-  A central organization of the government of India responsible for managing data from imaging satellites

Atmosphere found around Earth-like planet GJ 1132b at First Time
Astronomers have detected an atmosphere around the super-Earth GJ 1132b marks the first time that an atmosphere has been detected around an Earth-like planet.
i. The exoplanet GJ 1132b, which orbits the dwarf star GJ 1132, is located about 39 light-years away from Earth. It has a radius about 1.4 times that of Earth and is 1.6 times Earth’s mass.
ii. Scientists from Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany , studied the planet known as GJ 1132b, which is 1.4 times the size of our planet.
iii. A team of researchers escorted by John Southworth of Keele University in the U.K. used the ESO/MPG telescope in Chile to capture images of the planet’s host star, GJ 1132.
What is light –year ?
♦ A light-year is a unit of distance. It is the distance that light can travel in one year. Light moves at a velocity of about 300,000 kilometers (km) each second.
♦ So in one year, it can travel about 10 trillion km. Then one light-year is equal to 9,500,000,000,000 kilometers.

ENVIRONMENT

North India to gets India’s first wildlife DNA bank
India’s first DNA bank for wild animals will be setup by the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) at Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh.It was informed by R K Sharma,director of IVRI.North India to gets India's first wildlife DNA bank
i. IVRI scientists are collecting DNA samples and serum of all wild animals for DNA bank.
ii. Now it has nearly 140 samples of 25 wild animals. Once the bank has start it’s functioning then it will be able to tell the name and schedule of the species from a part of the meat, hair, blood, skin or bone of any animal.
Keys :
♦ Indian Veterinary Research Institute – Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh
♦ Laboratory for the Conservation of Endangered Species (LaCONES) – Hyderabad

SPORTS

PV Sindhu reaches career-best World No.2 ranking
The 21-year-old from Hyderabad became the second Indian woman after Saina Nehwal to smash into the top-five of the world rankings by earning 75759 points.
i. Rio Olympics silver medallist P V Sindhu achieves a career-best world number two ranking in the latest Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings list.
ii. Badminton World Federation rankings as Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying stayed at first position   while Sindhu moved up three places to become second.
iii. Sindhu had bagged the India Open title after defeating Carolina Marin of Spain in the summit clash, but lost in the opening round of the ongoing Malaysia Open Super Series in Kuching.
iv. None of the male Indian shuttle had figured in the top-10 list.
Badminton World Federation (BWF)
BWF is the international governing bodyfor the sport of badminton recognized by the International Olympic Committee IOC.
♦ Its headquarters situated in Kuala Lumpur. Its current president is Poul-Erik Høyer Larsen.
♦ Founded in 1934 as the International Badminton Federation with nine member nations (Canada, Denmark, England, France, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Scotlandand Wales).

NBA Launches India’s first Basketball School In Mumbai
US based National Basketball Association (NBA) has launched its first basketball school in Mumbai, India on April 7, 2017.More schools will be opened in India and around the world in this year.
i. The school was opened as part of a multi-year agreement with India On Track (IOT).
ii. It is a network of tuition-based basketball development programmes to train the NBA Launches India's first Basketball School In Mumbaiinternational male and female players ages 6-18.
iii. The school’s syllabus has been framed by the NBA’s Elite Basketball Development team with current and former NBA coaches, former NBA players, and player development experts
NBA :
♦ Commissioner: Adam Silver
♦ Headquarters: New York City,  United States

OBITUARY

Comedian Don Rickles dead at 90
Legendary comedian Don Rickles has passed away in USA on April 6, 2017. He was 90.
i. Rickles earned the nickname “Mr. Warmth”  because of his insult comedy
ii. He landed a small part in Robert Wise’s submarine drama “Run Silent, Run Deep” (1958), starring Clark Gable. In 1960, he was cast in “The Rat Race” with Tony Curtis and Debbie Reynolds.
iii. He also appeared in films such as “Kelly’s Heroes” (1970), “Pajama Party” (1964), “Beach Blanket Bingo” (1965) and Martin Scorsese’s “Casino” (1995).
iv. He had two series titled “The Don Rickles Show”.

Roland founder and music pioneer Ikutaro Kakehashi dies aged 87
The founder of the iconic electronic musical instrument manufacturer Roland, Ikutaro Kakehashi died in Japan. He was 87.
i. Kakehashi is also the godfather of Musical Instrument Digital Interface(MIDI) which was developed by Kakehashi with Dave Smith.
ii. He received the Technical Grammy Award with Smith for MIDI in 2013
iii. His iconic TR-808 was launched in 1980,he also launched TR-909.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Health Day observed with theme ‘Depression: Let’s Talk’
Every year World Health day is observed on 7th April since 1950 to celebrate the founding day of World Health Organization in 1948
♦ 2017 campaign is based on depression. This year theme of World Health Day World Health Day observed with theme 'Depression: Let's Talk'is Depression: Let’s Talk’.
WHO Report
i. Depression is one of the cause of ill health and disability.Nearly 86 million people are affected by depression in South-East Asian countries. In this India has the highest suicide rate.
ii. One in four children in the age group of 13-15 years in India suffer from depression. In the age group of 15-29 years, the suicide rate is 35.5 per 1 lakh people
iii. It was informed by Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO’s South-East Asia regional director.
Pranab Mukherjee inaugurates first NIMCARE World Health Day Summit 2017 
i. President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the first NIMCARE World Health Day Summit 2017 in New Delhi on April 7, 2017.
ii. ‘Unite for a Healthy Mind’ was chosen as the slogan of the summit
iii. He also launched eCAP & SOL’s Telepsychiatry application for the rural and urban population in need of mental health consultation.
iv. Telemedicine Society of India get its recognition from  International Society for Telemedicine and e-Health, USA.
v. 5.2% of the Indian adult population affected by depression says National Mental Health Survey 2015-16 which was conducted by NIMHANS