Weekly Current Affairs Update (18 April – 24 April) – 2016

///Weekly Current Affairs Update (18 April – 24 April) – 2016

National News Weekly Current Affairs Update (18 April  to 24th April 2016)

The important weekly current affairs update have been listed below along with the other relevant and significant information regarding them. This compilation is not a substitute to regular newspaper reading. Rather, this will help in revision of all relevant current event happenings of the week starting from 18 April to 24th April 2016.

  • President Pranab Mukherjee was the chief guest when Manipur observed Khongjom Day, remembering the war heroes of Anglo-Manipur War, 1891 who had sacrificed their lives fighting against the British to protect the freedom of Manipur.
  • The Centre has amended the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act to expedite the process of dispensation of justice to victims of atrocities. There is provision of admissible relief amount to SC/ST women for offences of grievous nature, on conclusion of the trial. The new provisions also include completion of investigation and filing of chargesheet within 60 days. 
  • Thazhathangady Juma Mosque, a mosque of Kerala has decided to allow the entry of Muslim women for the first time in its history. It is believed to be over a thousand years old, and considered one of the oldest mosques in India.
  • The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) is going to build Exclusive Holiday homes for its jawans. This is the first such initiative by any paramilitary force. The first one will be in Mussoorie.  ITBP jawans reportedly can stay at the holiday homes with their families for ₹200 a night.
  • Government has set-up a Sub Committee to interact with the trade and industry over the issue of imposition of Central Excise Duty on Jewellery. The Committee will be headed by : Ashok Lahiri (former Chief Economic Advisor). 
  • The government has set up a Panel to prepare a blueprint for doubling farmers’ income by 2022. The 8 member panel headed by : Ashok Dalwai (Additional Secretary at the Agriculture Ministry) aims to identify potential areas where more investment is required.  It would also focus on reducing cost of cultivation and address the unpredictability in agriculture due to weather and other market reasons.
  • Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan, announced that  one crore consumers have joined the ‘GiveItUp’ movement, which was started on the call given by the Prime Minister in March 2015. Note that: Through the GiveItUp initiative the Government urged the well-off LPG consumers to voluntarily surrender their subsidy and through the subsidy saved the Government promised to give connection to such poor families having no LPG connection.
  • Uttarakhand has come under President’s rule again after Supreme Court puts a stay over Nainital High Court order quashing imposition of Central rule.
  • India’s 1stSecondGeneration (2G) Ethanol plant has been inaugurated at Kashipur in Uttarakhand by the Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh VardhanThe plant has a capacity to consume 10 tons of biomass per day, works by converting lingo-cellulosic biomass to Ethanol. It is a novel technology capable of converting all types of agricultural residues like Bagasse, Rice Straw, Wheat Straw, Bamboo, Cotton Stalk, Corn Stover, Wood chips etc. to ethanol in less than 24 hours, with optimum product yields. Note that: Government of India has set a mandate of 5% blending of renewable biofuel in both petrol and diesel.
  • Month long Simhastha Kumbh mela has begun at Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh from 22nd April.
  • Union Government has renamed the Department of Disinvestment as Department of Investment and Public Asset Management or DIPAM. This  decision aims at proper management of Central government’s investments in equity and also its disinvestment proceeds in central public sector undertakings (PSUs).
  • Actress Radhika Apte has won the Best Actress Award in an International Narrative Feature at the Tribeca 2016 Awards for ‘Madly‘. With this, she became the first Indian actress to win the award.
  • The TIME Magazine has released the list of 100 most influential people which featured 6  Indians including RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan and actress Priyanka Chopra. Tennis ace Sania Mirza, environmentalist Sunita Narain along with Flipkart Co-founders Sachin and Binny Bansal were other Indians on the list. The list has also featured Indian-origin Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
  • President Pranab Mukherjee has approved the nomination of 6 people to the Rajya Sabha, recommended by the central government which included:
    1. Boxer and Olympic medallist Mary Kom
    2. BJP leader Subramanian Swamy.
    3. Journalist Swapan Das Gupta,
    4. Former BJP MP and cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu,
    5. Malayalam actor Suresh Gopi
    6. Economist Narendra Jadhav.
  • The 8th International Seminar on Wheat and Wheat Products is scheduled to be held in Panaji, Goa, on July 17-18. The theme for 2016’s seminar is :New Ideas and Innovation for Growth‘.
  • Mahatma Gandhi’s granddaughter Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee has been conferred with the Order of Arts and Letters, one of France’s top honours. This honour has come in recognition of Bhattacharjee’s remarkable work for promoting peace, solidarity, culture, education, and development.
  • The Commerce and Industry Ministry has launched its ‘Twitter Seva’ service to address issues and grievances of startups, exporters and importers and other stakeholders. People can now tweet with #mociseva to raise a query, that will reportedly be responded within 48 to 72 working hours. Issues related to Make in India, Startup India, FDI and intellectual property rights will be addressed here.
  • A Nanosatellite named PISAT, developed by 250 students of PES University in Bengaluru will soon be launched by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). The satellite will take high resolution pictures of Earth from space. It will revolve around Earth at a distance of 680-720 km. PES students and professors will control it from a commanding station established in the university campus.
  • According to the Oil Ministry officials, Over one crore LPG consumers have given up their cooking gas subsidies since Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ‘Give-it-Up’ campaign in March 2015. The campaign urged those who can afford the market price to give up the subsidy, so that the scheme could target the needy.
  • Wax figures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi have been installed at the Madame Tussauds museums in London, Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok.
  • Amitav Banerji, an Indian diplomat in the UK, has been conferred with Commander of the Order of Merit, one of the highest awards of Cyprus for his work in a number of senior roles within the Commonwealth Secretariat for over two decades.
  • Shloka Beti Garden’ in Udaipur, an initiative by Devendra Agrawal, founder of the NGO ‘Maa Bhagwati Vikas Sansthan‘, will allow parents and relatives to mark the birth of a girl child by planting a sapling. Note : The garden has been touted as India’s first park for the girl child.
  • 2nd International ‎Yoga Day‬ is set to be organized in Chandigarh on 21st June. The Minister of Ayush, Shripad Yesso Naik inaugurated a 3 day International Yoga Fest‬ in Talkatora Indoor Stadium, New Delhi.
  • Government has extended Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme to 61 more districts with low Child Sex Ratio across the states.
  • Victoria carriages, the horse-drawn vehicles, popular in Mumbai’s Gateway of India will be phased out in June following the Bombay High Court’s ruling in 2015 to ban horse carriages. The state government will provide rehabilitation for riders, horses and owners to compensate for their loss of livelihood. Apart from cruelty against animals, the ban aims to ease traffic.
  • President Pranab Mukherjee has honoured the Chinese professor Ge Fuping with the George Grierson prize for his remarkable works done for the propagation of Hindi abroad. Besides him, Alka Dunputh (from Mauritius) and Shichiro Soma (from Japan) were also given the George Grierson award by the President. About George Grierson Awards : These awards were instituted by Central Hindi Institute, Agra in 1989 to promote Hindi language globally.
  • The Union government has merged the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan (RGKA) with the Khelo India scheme which is based on Gujarat’s Khel Mahakumbh. RGKA, aimed at building sports complexes across India, had been started in 2014 by the UPA government. “
  • The Indian Navy has announced that women officers completing seven years with the Navy will be eligible for permanent commission in the law, education and naval constructors branches. The Navy has been the only wing of the armed forces which has hitherto denied women permanent commission, that is a career in the armed forces until one retires.
  • The Union government has allotted Rs. 800 crore to clean up Bengaluru’s polluted lakes.
  • Cabinet has given its approval for signing the Paris Agreement adopted at the 21st Conference of Parties (CoP) held in Paris in December 2015. Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar is set to sign the agreement on behalf of India this Friday at a ceremony convened by Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon.
  • Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai has said that the odd-even vehicle rationing scheme may soon become a permanent feature in the national capital. The government is also considering covering two-wheelers under the rule.
  • Maharashtra government has decided to ban setting up new sugar mills in all eight districts in the drought-hit Marathwada region for five years. Maharashtra state government also plans to make drip-irrigation compulsory for sugarcane farms in the state.
  • PM Narendra Modi has inaugurated a superspeciality hospital in Jammu and Kashmir’s Katra district. It is named Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, the medical centre has 230 beds and over 20 different streams of medicine and surgery.
  • The Centre has decided to release 55% of its annual MGNREGA allocation of ₹38,500 crore for 2016-17 by June this year. This decision has been taken as severe drought conditions in many parts of the country are expected to increase the demand for work by distressed rural workers.
  • India’s first satellite, Aryabhata, built by the Indian Space Research Organisation, has been launched on this day (April 19, 1975), by the Soviet Union. Weighing 360 kg and built to conduct experiments in X-ray astronomy, aeronomics, and solar physics, Aryabhata had re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere in 1992.
  • The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has urged all its doctors not to put advertisements guaranteeing treatment to patients. According to Drugs and Magic Remedies Act, advertisements by doctors are prohibited in any media.
  • Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi has inaugurated a conference on child adoption in Shillong which has been aimed at familiarising the stakeholders with the adoption programme in north-east states.
  • Centre for Ganga River Basin Management and Studies (CGRBMS) has been formally launched in New Delhi. It has been launched by Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation with help of Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IITK). The centre will work as a Think-tank to coordinate all activities within the Ganga river basin, including science, technology, research, innovation, social and investment related aspects.
  • The Union Government has leased a commemorative coin of 200 rupees and a circulation coin of 10 rupees on freedom fighter Tatya Tope, on the occasion of the Martyrdom Day of Tatya Tope (18th April) in New Delhi. Note that: The Union Ministry of Culture has been celebrating the 200th Birth Anniversary of Tatya Tope in association with State Government of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
  • The Maharashtra Government has banned digging of borewells beyond 200 feet in order to check the steep decline in ground water level across the state. This decision has been taken in the wake for severe drought and decreasing ground water level across various regions in the state.
  • The Lahaul-Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh has decided to implement the ‘odd and even’ vehicle system on the Manali-Leh highway. This comes after regular reports of traffic jams on the Manali-Koksar road after the Rohtang Pass was opened. From now, on odd dates – vehicles would be allowed from Manali towards Lahaul-Spiti, while it will be the reverse on even dates.
  • The Ceasefire between the Centre and the NSCN-IM (National Socialist Council of Nagaland- Isak Muivah) has been extended by another year i.e. till April 2017. In this regard, the ceasefire agreement was signed between the Union Government and GPRN/NSCN, one of the strongest factions of Nagaland.
  • The Maharashtra government has made it mandatory to have a barcode and hologram on liquor bottles to eliminate the problem of spurious liquor. This ‘track and trace’ mechanism will reveal the authenticity of the liquor to the customer and officials. The polyester-based hologram sticker will have to be fixed on bottles by manufacturers of both Indian Made Foreign Liquor and country spirits. The hologram cannot be replicated or reused and will also reveal if the liquor is duty-evaded or smuggled.
  • Following the Railway Budget, Indian Railways will shortly be launching Phone Ticket Cancellation Service, wherein passengers will be able to cancel their reserved tickets booked through counters by dialing 139. At the beginning, the service can only be availed by passengers whose train departs between 11 pm and 6 am.
  • The world’s largest wooden Charkha (spinning wheel) is going to be installed at Terminal 3 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi.  The four-tonne Charkha made from high-quality teak wood, which is estimated to last for over 50 years.
  • The Mumbai Press Club has selected T N Ninan, Chairman and Editorial Director of Business Standard, for the 2016 ‘RedInk Award for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism‘.
  • The Haryana government has announced an increase in the medical and dearness allowances granted to state government employees. This move would put an additional cost of ₹315.34 crore annually on the state exchequer. Note that: The medical allowance granted to employees would be increased by 10%, and the dearness allowance by 6%.
  • Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has launched free Wi-Fi service at Bhubaneswar railway station. The station became the second station to be covered under the free Wi-Fi project, after Mumbai Central in January this year. Note that: Under the Digital India initiative, Google and RailTel have collaborated to make Wi-Fi network available across 100 stations to deliver high-speed Internet to 10 million Indians a day by the end of this year.
  • The Indian Army has conducted major battle exercise named as ‘Shatrujeet’ in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan near to the border with Pakistan. The sole purpose of this exercise was to evaluate the capability of the Indian Army and fine tune its proactive war strategy to respond swiftly to any threat to nation’s security.

International News Weekly Current Affairs Update – (18th April  to 24 April 2016)

By reading the following Weekly Current Affairs 2016, you can know the highlights of the week starting from 18 April to 24th April in brief. All the major world news updates have been covered here which occurred over this week. International Relations (IR) Current Affairs form an important part of General Awareness and GS. We hope the following effort to give the weekly summary of Current events 2016 will prove helpful to our readers.

  • (23rd April) is celebrated as the UN English Language Day. It was established by the UNESCO in 2010, to commemorate the birth  anniversary of greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist William Shakespeare.
  • Cuba has changed its decade-old policy that prevented Cubans from entering or leaving the country by a cruise ship or commercial vessel.  This reversal has come after an outrage in the US over the policy which threatened to delay Carnival Cruise Line’s inaugural voyage to Cuba, which is a first in last 50 years.
  • Nepal’s first woman President Bidhya Devi Bhandari’s official visit to India is scheduled next month. This will be her first overseas trip as President.
  • The 46th International Earth Day has been observed on 22nd April to increase public awareness about environmental problems. The aim of the day is to bring attention to environmental issues to spark changes that will result in a healthy, sustainable environment. The Theme of 2016 : Trees for the Earth
  • As many as 175 countries, including India, China and the US, have signed the Paris Agreement on climate change in New York on Friday, to coincide with ‘International Mother Earth Day’. The Paris deal is the most ambitious climate change agreement in history.
    • Note that: At least 55 countries, that account for an estimated 55 per cent of the total global greenhouse gas emissions will have to ratify the agreement before the agreement enters into force.
    • This is a long term, durable global framework to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions for keeping global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius.
  • The Merriam-Webster dictionary has added over 1,400 new terms and phrases to its unabridged version, providing official recognition to a host of technology and internet culture terminology. The new words and acronyms include Bitcoin, Nomophobia (the fear of being without a working mobile phone), FOMO (fear of missing out), TMI (too much information) and ICYMI (in case you missed it).
  • India and China have agreed to establish a hot-line between their armed forces.
  • The Malaysian government has introduced the Electronic Travel Authorization Visa (e-visa) for Indian tourists on a short visit to the country. This facility is available only to Indians who live in India and is valid for a single journey and a maximum of 30 days. The e-visa can be obtained within 24-48 hours and will be valid for three months.
  • According to reports, United States President Barack Obama is going to become the first sitting US President to visit Hiroshima, over 70 years after USA’s atom bomb destroyed the city. This visit is scheduled after the Group of Seven (G7) Summit in Japan.
  • China and Pakistan have signed an agreement for the launch of a special satellite to monitor the development of the multi-billion dollars China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects. In this regard, both countries have decided for development and launch of the Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite (PRSS-1) System and launched a satellite in June 2018.
  • NASA has successfully tested a 3D-printed rocket engine turbopump, with liquid methane as fuel, for its future Mars mission. The 3D-printed fuel pump had 45% fewer parts than pumps made via traditional manufacturing. NASA claims that liquid methane is an ideal propellant to power engines for deep-space missions.
  • Russia will sign a joint manufacturing contract with India for 200 Ka-226T light utility multirole helicopters before the end of 2016. An intergovernmental agreement for the same had been signed during PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Russia in December last year.
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping has taken on a new military title, in his latest move to exert greater control over the armed forces. Xi is now Commander in Chief of the military’s Joint Operations Command Centre. Note that : Xi Jinping is already General Secretary of the Communist Party, and chair of the Central Military Commission, which manages the People’s Liberation Army.
  • China’s mainland population has reached 1.373 billion at the beginning of November, up 33.77 million since the last census has been held in 2010. China’s population will peak at about 1.45 billion by 2050 where every  third one will be more than 60, with a shrinking proportion of working adults to support them.
  • The United States’ Treasury Secretary has announced that anti-slavery activist of the 1800s, Harriet Tubman, will appear on a US banknote, in a historic first time for a womanTubman was born a slave, who helped numerous slaves escape. Harriet Tubman will appear on the front of the new $20 dollar bill, while former US President Andrew Jackson will appear on the back.
  • The US Air Force has set a new world speed record for a vehicle aided by Magnetic Levitation (maglev). This vehicle has been powered along a 2,100-foot long track, with an acceleration close to 928 feet per second. They broke the milestone twice – first clocking around 826 kmph and then topping 1018 kmph a few days later.
  • The People magazine has named Hollywood actress Jennifer Aniston as ‘World’s Most Beautiful Woman’ for 2016.
  • In a sign of suddenly accelerated contact between India and China, President Pranab Mukherjee is set to visit Beijing. The President will also travel to Singapore on the same visit is expected to be in China in May last week, and will travel to Beijing and the South Eastern Chinese business hub of Guangzhou, also known for its Buddhist connection to India.
  • Britain has celebrated the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II with lighting, fireworks, and gun salutes.
  • Environmentalist RK Pachauri, accused of sexual harassment by his former women colleagues, has stepped down as a member of the Governing Council of TERI.
  • Europe has become the world’s first region to wipe out Malaria, a mosquito-borne vetor disease with zero cases reported in the year 2015. This  has been revealed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in its World Malaria Report 2015. Note that: A Particular region or country is declared Malaria free by WHO after it has zero locally acquired malaria cases for at least three consecutive years.
  • India has jumped three places to rank 133 out of 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Index 2016, released by ‘Reporters Without Borders’. While Finland has ranked first for the 6th consecutive year, followed by Netherlands and Norway.
  • Pakistan’s Minister of State for Education Muhammad Baligh ur Rahman has announced that the government is working to make teaching of Quran compulsory in public schools. The Minister said primary school students will be taught reading the Quran while secondary students will be taught the translation of Quran.
  • A Trilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed in Science and Technology among Sri Lanka, Japan and India.
  • India and Mauritius have inked an MoU to promote cooperation in traditional medicine and homeopathy. The MoU has been inked recently when AYUSH Minister Sripad Yesso Naik has been visiting Mauritius.
  • International Defence Expo opened in Malaysia. Over 1,000 defence industries players, including big names like Airbus and BAE Systems, are participating in this Expo. A total of 29 countries participate in the exhibition in the form of group pavilion, including Australian, China, Britain and the US.
  • US-based Binghamton University scientists have developed a new system that can identify people by their brain waves with a 100% accuracy. This system might help in security systems for authentication purposes, researchers said.
  • YouTube has rolled out support for live streaming of 360° videos on its platform. Through this, users can experience concerts, faraway locations and sports events in real-time.
  • Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela has announced that the country will adopt international tax reporting standards by 2018. This comes after the controvertial Panama Papers implicating several highflying firms and individuals globally.
  • During the 2016 Rio Olympics, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to promote the ‘Make in India initiative’. The Indian Embassy in Rio will host several cultural exhibitions to highlight the country’s progress in self-sustenance. A kabaddi match, involving India’s best players, will also be showcased, in an attempt to push the sport towards Olympic legitimacy.
  • The 14th meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Russian Federation, the Republic of India and the People’s Republic of China has been held in Moscow, Russian Federation. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Union Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of India Sushma Swaraj, and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China Wang Yi took part in the meeting.
  • (18th April) has been celebrated as the International Day for Monuments and Sites. This day is popularly  known as World Heritage Day. It was established by UNESCO in the year 1983. The Theme for 2016 : The Heritage of Sport.
  • A ban has been imposed with immediate effect on the use of animals in tests for manufacturing soaps and detergents.
  • NASA has successfully installed the first ever expandable structure, Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, on the International Space Station (ISS). In May, it would be expanded to 10.5 feet in diameter and 13 feet in length, nearly five times its compressed size. With the project, NASA aims at studying concepts for habitats that can keep astronauts healthy in space.
  • (17th April) is World Hemophilia Day. This day aims at raising awareness about haemophilia and other inherited bleeding disorders. Theme of 2016 : Treatment for all is the vision of all.
    • Haemophilia  – a rare blood disease in which blood continues to flow after a cut or other injury because one of the substances which causes it to clot does not work correctly.
  • French President Francois Hollande has announced a €100 million in aid for Lebanon over the next three years as it currently hosts over a million Syrian refugees.
  • On the first leg of her Two Nation – Three Day visit, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has reached Iran. She and her Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif held delegation level talks to review bilateral relations. The focus of the talk was to increase Indian investment in energy, ports, and connectivity in Iran.
  • India has decided to allow People belonging to minority communities of Pakistan, staying in India on a Long Term Visa,  to buy property, open bank accounts and get PAN and Aadhaar cards.
  • Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar is on his first official visit to China. During this visit, Mr Parrikar is set to hold talks with the country’s top political and defence leaders.

Economics News Weekly Current Affairs Update – (18th April  to 24 April 2016)

Important news and events in the economic world that happened over the whole week including the Sunday news has been listed here for quick revision.

  • The World Bank has announced that it will lend South American nation, Ecuador $150 million to speed up the aid to victims of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that has devastated the country’s northern coast. It has also offered to restructure Ecuador’s other loans to free up resources to deal with the emergency.
  • Scoot‘, a low-budget carrier owned by Singapore Airlines, will be launched in India in May. This service will operate flights to Amritsar and Jaipur while in Chennai it will take over Tigerair’s Singapore-Chennai operations.
  • Twitter India has collaborated with data journalism website IndiaSpend to provide users with real-time air pollution updates in metro cities Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai. For availaing the service: Users can tweet #Breathe followed by their location to instantly receive data about the air quality index of their respective areas and its possible health impacts.
  • India is expected to overtake the US as the second largest smartphone market by 2017, according to a report by financial services firm Morgan Stanley.
  • Mumbai based Mahindra & Mahindra has become the first Indian company to join EP100, a global energy campaign headed by The Climate Group, an international non-profit group that will work with the world’s most influential businesses in setting commitments to double their energy productivity.

 

  • India has overtaken China as the world’s top destination for Foreign Direct Investment by attracting greenfield capital investment worth $63 billion in 2015. A year of high-value project announcements specifically across the coal, oil and natural gas and renewable energy sectors has lead to India being highest ranked country by capital investment in 2015.
  • The Department of Telecom has allowed Reliance Communications to share spectrum with Reliance Jio in nine circles. This will allow both the companies to offer 4G internet services on a 10 MHz block in a 800 MHz band, which can provide speeds up to 80 Mbps.
  • India saw 25.08 lakh Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) between January and March 2016, up 10% from the same period last year, according to data shared by the Ministry of Tourism.During March 2016, the country received 8.17 lakh arrivals as against FTAs of 7.29 lakh in March 2015. Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) this year in the period was Rs.13,115 crore.
  • Google India has emerged as the most attractive employer in the country for the second consecutive year, followed by Mercedes-Benz, according to a survey by human resource consulting firm Randstad.
  • Facebook Messenger has globally launched its free group calling feature on both Android and iOS. Users can tap on the ‘phone’ icon in group conversations to initiate a group call, and then manage individual participants on the next screen. The maximum participant limit is 50.
  • In an attempt to show the minimal environmental impact of coal mining operations, Western Coalfields, a unit of Coal India, has created a 15-acre eco-park between the Saoner and Gondegaon mines in Maharashtra. Tourists can now visit the insides of the Saoner coal mine and see the operations at the Gondegaon opencast mine from a distance.
  • Satellite communication provider TechnoSatComm has announced that it has secured a 10-year contract by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation to provide free Wi-Fi to Delhi Metro commuters.
  • Argentina has returned to international markets after 15 years with a $16.5 billion dollar bond sale, after it had defaulted on $100 billion worth US dollar debt in 2001.
  • State-owned Punjab National Bank (PNB) has become the largest mobiliser under the government’s Gold Monetisation Scheme (GMS) launched in November last year. Note : The bank has gained substantial gold deposits after the Tirupati temple deposited 1,311 kg of gold with it. The GMS allows banks to collect gold as deposits and offer interest on it.
  • The Tirupati Balaji temple management has deposited 1,311 kg of gold with the Punjab National Bank under the three-year short term Gold Monetisation Scheme (GMS).
  • The US investment bank has downgraded private sector ICICI Bank and public sector Bank of Baroda (BoB) to so-called equal weight because of expectations that these banks will have to provide more money to cover for non-performing assets (NPAs) in the current and next fiscal year.
  • The RBI has tweaked its norms allowing banks to provision fraud cases within four quarters from the quarter in which it has been detected. Currently, banks should immediately provision for the entire amount due to it or for which it is liable after fraud identification. Further, 861 bank fraud cases involving ₹4,920 crore were reported in the first half of 2015-16.
  • Indian Railways Finance Corporation (IRFC), the public sector enterprise that raises funds for the Indian Railways, has appointed lead managers to issue offshore bonds or rupee-denominated bonds (Masala bonds). The lead managers are JP Morgan, Deutsche, BNP Paribas, HSBC, Standard chart and SBI Caps. 
  • The BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) has approved its first package of loans worth 811 million dollars for 4 renewable energy projects in Brazil, China, South Africa and India.
  • The Haryana government has launched five online services for registration of firms and 18 incentive schemes. These measures are aimed at bringing more transparency and further improve the efficiency in the process of registration of partnership firms.
  • According to data by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into India has increased by 37% to $39.32 billion during 2015. Note : Computer hardware and software sector has attracted the highest FDI, followed by services, trading business, automobile industry and chemicals. Notably, Singapore has emerged as the biggest FDI source, followed by Mauritius, US, Netherlands and Japan.

Sports News Weekly Current Affairs Update – (18th April  to 24th April 2016)

Important happenings in the field of sports have been given below. Since candidates don’t focus on sports news over the week, below you will find all the exam worthy details. We hope this weekly sports update is sufficient for your perusal.

  • The Indian Olympic Association(IOA) has named Bollywood actor Salman Khan as India’s Goodwill Ambassador who will be representing the Indian contingent at the 2016 Rio Olympics between 5th August to 21st August 2016. This is first time a Bollywood actor was chosen as India’s Goodwill Ambassador.
  • Tajamul Islam, a 7-year-old girl from Kashmir’s Bandipora district, will become the first Indian to participate in the World Kickboxing Championship, after she qualified for the event.
  • Ibrahim Al-Hussein, a 27-year-old athlete from Syria, who lost his leg during the Syrian War will be carrying the Olympic torch in Athens on April 26, as part of the torch relay for the 2016 Rio Games.
  • Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis pair has entered into semifinals of Porsche Tennis Grand Prix being held  in Stuttgart, Germany.
  • Former national tennis champion Vishnu Vardhan has made it to record books by becoming the first champion of the Asian Tennis Tour (ATT) after he beat Sidharth Rawat in the final of this $5,000 event held at the DLTA Complex in New Delhi.
  • The Olympic torch for the upcoming Rio Olympic Games has been lit at an ancient Greek site. The torch will be taken by various runners on an international relay which will be culminated at the opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro on August 5.
  • Spanish football club Barcelona has unveiled plans for the new version of its Camp Nou stadium, which will be named the Nou Camp Nou.
  • BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur has confirmed that, India will play their first day-night Test against New Zealand later this year.
  • India’s Durga Thakur has been promoted to international outdoor Umpire by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) following her good performance at the recently-held Hawke’s Bay Cup held in Hastings, New Zealand.
  • England’s snooker great Steve Davis has announced his retirement from the game after 38-year career. Starting his snooker career in 1978, he went on to win six world titles in 1980s and has been world number one from 1983 to 1990.
  • Brazil-born former Costa Rican midfielder Alexandre Guimaraes will coach Mumbai City FC in next season’s Indian Super League.
  • The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced Rahul Johri as its first-ever Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Note that: A CEO appointment has been among the key recommendations of the three-member Justice RM Lodha Committee, appointed by the Supreme Court to suggest administrative reforms in Indian cricket.
  • Laureus World Sports Awards 2016 has named the Sportsman of the year – Novak Djokovic; and Sportswoman of the year – Serena Williams. This has been the third Laureus trophy for both players.
  • Hawk-Eye technology will be used to decide whether the ball has crossed the goal-line at this year’s European Championship. The British company’s camera-based system, used in tennis and cricket and at the 2014 World Cup final, will be installed in all 10 stadiums hosting the tournament in France.
  • Australia has won the 25th edition of Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Tournament 2016 for record 9th time. Australia beat India 4-0 in final in Ipoh.
  • Former Pakistan cricket team captain, Inzamam-ul-Haq has been appointed as the Chairman of the senior selection committee of the Pakistan Cricket Board.
  • Ace tennis player Rafael Nadal (Spain) has won the 2016 Monte Carlo Rolex Masters title of by beating Gael Monfils (France).
  • Mercedes AMG Petronas driver Nico Rosberg has won the Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit.
  • Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has resigned as the head coach of the Afghanistan national cricket team. He is set to become the Chief Selector of the Pakistan cricket team.
  • Rafael Nadal has clinched his 9th Monte Carlo Masters title after defeating 29-year-old Frenchman Gaël Monfils. This was Nadal’s 100th ATP World Tour final match.
  • Indian artistic gymnast Dipa Karmakar has created history by becoming the first Indian woman gymnast to qualify for Olympics. She achieved this feat after her strong performance at the final qualifying which helped her to book 2016 Rio Olympics Games berth to be held in August 2016.

Obituaries

  • American singer-songwriter-instrumentalist Prince Rogers Nelson, popularly known as Prince, has passed away at age of 57 years. His most popular works include the album ‘Purple Rain’ (1984), which won him an Oscar and two Grammys.
  • Former WWF wrestler and American entertainer Joan Marie Laurer, popularly known as Chyna, passed away at age of 45 years. Chyna, who has been billed as the “Ninth Wonder of the World”, is the, Only female player to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship, as well as the Only female wrestler to participate in the King of the Ring and Royal Rumble events.
  • English director Guy Hamilton, best known for directing four ‘James Bond’ movies, has passed away at age of 93 years. The ‘James Bond’ films directed by him include, ‘Live and Let Die’ (1973) and ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’ (1974).
  • Chile’s former President Patricio Aylwin has passed away at the age of 97 years.
  • Bill Campbell, a legendary mentor to some of Silicon Valley’s most important entrepreneurs and executives including Steve Jobs and Larry Page, has died at age 75. Campbell served as president, chief executive and chairman of financial software maker Intuit Inc., but became far better known for advising tech leaders, which earned him the nickname, “The Coach.”
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2016-10-29T16:19:10+00:00