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Current Affairs Today – April 9 2016

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CAT April 09 2016


Centre releases Rs 12,230 crore for MGNREGA

Ministry of Rural Development has released a central share of Rs. 12,230 Crore to the States in connection with the implementation of its flagship programme Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. This is the biggest amount for the scheme released in one go by the ministry.

  • The Minister also underlined that this fund release will take care of the pending wage liability of the States for the previous Financial Year (2015-16) and help the States to run the Programme during the new Financial Year (2016-17).
  • The Ministry has also planned to maintain 60:40 wage-material ratio at the District level now to ensure creation of good quality assets in the rural areas.

Gurgaon to get India’s first Metrino Pod Taxi project

The Central Government gave its stamp of approval to the nation’s first Metrino Pod projectA Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) network in Gurgaon, Haryana.

  • The announcement in this regard has been made by Haryana Public Works (Building and Roads) Minister Rao Narbir Singh.

Union Government constitutes B BTandon Committee to monitor Government Advertisements

Information and Broadcasting Ministry has formed a three-member Committee to oversee the guidelines set for government advertisements by the Supreme Court are followed.

  • The committee to be headed by the former Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) B BTandon.
  • The Chairman will be assisted by two members namely TV journalist Rajat Sharma and ad-man Piyush Pandey will be the other two members of the committee.Union Government constitutes B BTandon Committee to monitor Government Advertisements
  • The committee was constituted by I&B Ministry based on the recommendation of the three-member selection committee comprising Press Council Chairman Justice C K Prasad.

The Supreme Court Verdict:

  • The Supreme Court had reserved its verdict on the review pleas in which it was submitted that besides Prime Minister, pictures of central ministers, chief ministers and others state ministers be allowed to be carried in public advertisements.

SajibuCheiraoba festival celebrated in Manipur

Cheiraoba also called Sajibu Cheiraoba is an annual and religious festival which is held in April.

  • The Meitei tribes are particular about celebrating this festival. They worship the deity called
  • Manipur people believe this festival is auspicious because this is held at the joining of two years. So, it is their duty to pay respect to the deity for good fortune.

The Celebrations:

  • On the day of the auspicious festival, the elderly member in each house reform a ritual for prosperity and long life at the gate. They worship deity Lainingthou Sanamahi in the early morning.

No weightage to Class 12th marks in JEE ranking from 2017: HRD ministry

The HRD Ministry made changes in the pattern of JEE for 2017 after examining the Ashok Mishra Committee’s report and considering the public feedback.

Ashok Mishra Committee’s Recommdations:

  • Class XII marks will not be a factor for determining rankings in the JEE for admissions to engineering undergraduate courses from next year
  • The present system gives 40 per cent weightage for the Class 12th marks in calculating the ranks in JEE Main.
  • To qualify in the JEE, the students will have to secure at least 75 per cent marks in 12th. For SC and ST students, this condition will be relaxed to 65 per cent marks.
  • However all the other JEE Examination systems will remain unchanged

Government signs up Sachin Tendulkar to endorse Skill India campaign

Government appointed The Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar to endorse the I Support Skill India campaign, in an attempt to reach out to the youth and build awareness on the importance of skill development.

  • Sachin is one of the greatest Indian stories of our times and someone who resonates the best with skills.
  • He is a true global icon and brand that disrupted the game of cricket through his skill sets and inspired generations.Sachin Tendulkar
  • The campaign is to galvanize stakeholders across states, organisations and industries to bring value and respect to skills and standardise the ecosystem to meet human resource requirements nationally and globally.

Skill India Campaign:

  • Skill India is an initiative of the Government of India. It was launched by PM Narendra Modi in July 2015.
  • Under skill development the ministry’s target is to skill 2 crore youth by 2022.


Maharaja Ranjit Singh Statue to be ensconced in France.

The statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh will be installed in France’s Saint-Tropez town, the birth place of Army General Jean-Francois Allard.

  • Henri Prevosat-Allard, Deputy Mayor and in-charge of tourism of Saint-Tropez met Punjab Tourism Minister Sohan Singh Thandal today to invite him for the ceremony which will be held in the month of September.
  • Army General Jean-Francois Allard and his wife Bannou Pan Dei statues also will be installed.
  • The Indian embassy in France will hold also an exhibition on the life of the king.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt agree to build bridge over Red Sea

Saudi Arabia, Egypt agree to build bridge over Red Sea

Saudi Arabia’s has announced a pact with Egypt to build a bridge over the Red Sea linking the two countries. The deals agreed with would amount to about $1.7bn.

  • This historic step to connect the two continents,Africaand Asia, is a qualitative transformation that will increase trade between the two continents to unprecedented levels.
  • Egypt and Saudi Arabia signed 17 agreements includes establishing King Salman Ibn Abdel Aziz University in Sinai, building residential buildings in Sinai and other agreements in different sectors.

Saudi Arabia:

  • Capital: Riyadh
  • Currency: Saudi Riyal.


Snapdeal instigated Donation Program “Sunshine”

E-commerce giant Snapdeal has initiated Snapdeal Sunshine, a program that allows users to donate to the associated NGOs, who are in need of the products.

  • After the donations get acknowledged, the donors can track their donations which will be originating from Snapdeal’s stock.
  • One can purchase items through Snapdeal and give those items for a cause. Donators get an opportunity to become a part of on-going projects at NGOs by providing the essentials for bringing a change in the society.

$200 mn agreement was signed to study TAPI Project

In order to transport natural gas to energy starved countries like India, shareholders of theTurkmenistan- Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) Pipeline Company Limited inked an accord to invest $200 million in studies and engineering for the $10 billion project.

  • It will help Pakistan’s energy security, bring economic benefits to the general population through job opportunities and upgrade the associated infrastructure.
  • The agreement was signed in the presence of petroleum ministers and senior government officials of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Asian Development Bank officials in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.


UK’s Founders Award bestowed posthumously on Mother Teresa

“The saint of the gutters”, Mother Teresa has been posthumously conferred with the United Kingdom’s prestigious Founders Award 2016.

  • The award was received by the only living relative of Mother Teresa, 72 year old niece,Agi Bojazhiu.
  • Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity and spent 45 years serving the poor, the sick, the orphaned. She died at the age of 87 in Kolkata in 1997.


Lamborghini appoints Sharad Agarwal as head of India Operations

Itali based supercar manufacturer, Lamborghini appointed former Audi India head of field forces, Mr. Sharad Agarwal, as its new Head of India operations. He will replace Pavan Shetty.

  • Agarwal will be responsible for sales, marketing, after sales and network development.
  • Lamborghini currently has two models on sale in India. The entry level Huracan and the Aventador. It has recently launched the RWD Huracan LP 580-2 in the country.

Twitter names PepsiCo CFO to its board of directors

Twitter Names Pepsico Ceo to Its Board

Twitter is appointing PepsiCo’s chief financial officer Hugh Johnston to its board and co-founder and managing director of website Martha Lane Fox will serve as a director.

About Hugh Johnston

  • The 54-year-old executive Hugh Johnston has served as PepsiCo Inc.’s CFO since 2010
  • He also serves as vice chairman of the food and beverage company.

Board members Peter Currie and Peter Chernin terms expire at Twitter’s 2016 annual shareholders meeting.

About Twitter :

  • Twitter is an online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages.
  • It was founded by Evan Williams, Noah Glass, Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone in 2006.
  • CEO: Jack Dorsey

Tausif Monif joins Lambda as President – Global Operations

Lambda Therapeutic Research announced that Tausif Monif joined as President of Global Operations.

  • He has a rich experience of more than 24 years in the Clinical Research Industry.
  • His joining Lambda will support the company’s vision of expanding their Global footprints.

Key facts about Lambda :

  • Lambda has offices in Mumbai (India), Poland (Europe), London (UK), USA andCanada (North America)
  • Lambda is accreditated by ANVISA-Brazil, EMA, UK-MHRA, POLISH, ANSM (France), TGA-Australia, AGES (Austria), OGYI (Hungary), Turkey MOH,TPS-Canada, USFDA and WHO.


Bharti Airtel buys spectrum from Aircel for Rs. 3,500 crore

Bharti Airtel has announced the acquisition of 20 MHz spectrum in eight circles from Aircel for Rs 3,500 crore.

Bharti will acquire spectrum or radio waves in 2,300 MHz band in eight circles namely, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, North East, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.

About Bharti Airtel

Bharti Airtel Limited is an Indian global telecommunications Services Company headquartered in New Delhi, India. It operates in 20 countries across South Asia, Africa, and the Channel Islands.

  • CEO: Gopal Vittal
  • Founder: Sunil Bharti Mittal


Union HRD Minister Smriti Zubin Irani Launches ISBN Portal

HRD Minister Smriti Zubin Irani launched a portal for registration and allotment of International Standard Book Number (ISBN) at a function held in New Delhi

  • Theportal was launched by Education Minister which will simplify the process and shorten the time period for procuring ISBN, which normally takes a few months.
  • The proposed portal seeks to completely automate the process of seeking application, their examination and allotment of ISBNs.

SpaceX Falcon 9 roacket successfully launches inflatable room to ISS

US based aerospace company SpaceX has successfully landed a reusable rocket on an ocean mode,the Falcon 9 rocket successfully lofted the Dragon spacecraft into orbit.

  • The spacecraft is an inflatable habitat called the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, or BEAM for short.This is the fourth time SpaceX had tried to land its Falcon 9 on a drone ship.

DIPP launches web-based dashboard for monitoring commitments of ministries under Make in India

Union government disclosed two dashboards to dynamically monitor progress made in its Make in India initiative as well as rank States on a real-time basis based on Ease of Doing Business.

  • Around 21 Ministries covering 22 Sectors identified to boost manufacturing and services as part of the Make in India will view and update the progress of each of their action plans on the dashboard.

Make In India Dash Board:

The Dashboard will enable ministries to update on the progress made by them in short and medium-term targets, facilitate timely delivery of identified action points and allow for monitoring and identification of delays in implementation.

Ease of Doing Business Dashboard:

The board will allow States to report their progress on the reforms they need to undertake under the State Level Business Reforms Action Plan as well as in validation of responses received from the States/UTs by the DIPP.


India beat Canada to earn first win at Hawke’s Bay Cup

The Indian women’s hockey team ended a close 1-0 victory over Canada in a classification game of the Hawke’s Bay Cup in Hastings, New Zealand

  • This comes after the hockey team could never recover from three early setbacks and ended up losing the Hawke’s Bay Cup quarterfinal 1-3 to Japan.
  • India had come into the match searching for their first victory against the Canadian team and the first half was played out evenly between both teams.

FIFA World Rankings 2016

Argentina Placed in the pole position from Belgium while World Champions Germany slipped to the 5th position. Copa America champions jumped two places to sit 3rd on the list.

  • Australia jumped a massive 17 places to be 50th in the latest rankings.
  • The United States is up one at 29. No teams from Africa or Asia make the top 32.Algeria leads African teams at No. 33 and Asia’s best is No. 42 Iran.

IPL: Astral Poly Technik ties up with Gujarat Lions

Astral Poly Technik Ltd has tied up with Gujarat Lions owned by Intex Technologies (India) as the associate sponsor for the team, the Indian Premiere League (IPL) 2016’s latest entrant, Gujarat Lions.

  • This association, the company looks to give fillip to its image and reach out to the cricket lovers of Gujarat.
  • This partnership comes with Gujarat Lions for the 9th edition in the Vivo Indian Premier League (IPL).Gujarat Lions

Gujarat Lions:

  • Owner – Keshav Bansal of Intex Technologies
  • Captain – Suresh Raina
  • Head Coach  Brad Hodge
  • Gujarat Lions Principal Sponsor – TVS Tyres


NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly will write a book about his year in space

NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly will write a book titled “Endurance: My Year in Space and Our Journey to Mars”. Mr. Scott Kelly returned to the Earth in March 2016 after spending almost a year aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

  • The book will be published by Alfred A. Knopf.
  • He holds the record for the most total time spent in space, with more than 520 days logged on spacecraft, including the 340 consecutive days he worked on the space station.