National News Weekly Current Affairs Update (28 March to 3rd 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 28 March to 3rd April 2016.
- Toorputallu and Pedhamyanavanilanka, two villages in Andhra Pradesh, will run completely on solar power from this year onwards, becoming the first two villages in the country to be run 100% on solar power. These villiages were adopted by the union minister Nirmala Sitharaman under Sansad Aadarsh Gram Yojna.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Belgian counterpart Charles Michel have remotely launched Asia’s biggest telescope, the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), built with Belgian assistance. It is located at Devasthal near Nainital in Uttarakhand, it has a 3.6-metre-wide primary mirror. The telescope will be used to study structures and magnetic field of stars.
- Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has flagged off India’s first indigenously developed SONAR dome during the 9th Edition of Defexpo 2016 at Goa.
- Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is going to launch 22 satellites in a single mission, its highest so far, this May. The launch vehicle PSLV C34 will carry India’s remote sensing satellite Cartosat 2C along with 21 other satellites, including four micro-satellites and 17 nano-satellites.
- India is going to host Asia-Pacific Remote Sensing Symposium from April 4 to 7 to discuss applications of remote sensing technologies for disaster mitigation and bettering global climate change monitoring. The symposium will be organised by the Indian Society of Remote Sensing (ISRS), a professional society of more than 4000 scientists and researchers.
- World’s first White Tiger Safari has been inaugurated in Madhya Pradesh’s Satna district by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. Spread over an area of 25-hectare, the safari is located in the state’s Vindhya region where the tiger has been first identified 100 years ago.
- The Home Ministry has proposed that ATMs should not be refilled with cash after 8 pm in cities amid incidents of attacks on cash carrying vans. Further, the deadline in rural areas and Naxal-affected districts has been proposed at 5 pm and 3 pm respectively. Also, the vans must not carry over ₹5 crore per trip.
- Varanasi’s Municipal Corporation has tied up with the Airports Authority of India to introduce an automated waste collection system in the city. In the first phase, the automated waste collection drive will be launched in 14 wards of the city for three years. The daily waste generated in the overpopulated holy city is around 650 metric tonnes.
- The Delhi Government has extended till May 31 its Power Amnesty Scheme, wherein consumers from ‘jhuggi jhopri’ clusters are charged ₹250 monthly for the period they have not paid their dues. About 68,000 cases have reportedly been settled under the ‘Bijli Bill Vivad Samadhan Scheme’, which addresses grievances pertaining to electricity theft.
- Haryana Assembly has passed two Bills mandating minimum educational qualification for contesting urban local bodies polls in the state. The minimum educational qualification for a general male candidate will be Class X, while that for women and those belonging to SC category would be Class VIII. Note : Haryana had earlier fixed similar qualification for gram panchayat elections as well, which came under much public scrutiny.
- Under the new rules of Lokpal Act, all central government employees have been asked to declare details of assets and liabilities including those of their spouses and children by April 15. The employees also have to furnish details of deposits made in foreign banks.
- Rajasthan is celebrating its 67th foundation day on 30th March. The state came into being on this day (30th March) in 1949 after unification of 22 princely states.
- Bihar assembly has unanimously passed the Bihar Excise Amendment Bill 2016 paving the way for liquor ban in the state from April 1 this year.
- Kachhabali village in Rajasthan’s Rajsamand district has became the first liquor-free village in the state after its residents voted in support of shutting down the only liquor shop in their panchayat. Over 94% of the 2,049 voters, out of a total of 2,886 residents, voted in favour of alcohol prohibition. This comes after anti-liquor campaigning by the village’s women.
- The Central Government, in collaboration with States and Panchayats, will organize a ‘Gram Uday Se Bharat Uday Abhiyan’ (Village Self Governance Campaign). The campaign aims to generate nation-wide efforts to increase social harmony across villages, strengthen Panchayati Raj, promote rural development, and foster farmers’ progress. Note : Prime Minister will inaugurate the Gram Uday se Bharat Uday Campaign of 14th April 2016 at MHOW in Madhya Pradesh.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that the scores obtained by candidates in government and PSU recruitment exams will be shared with the private sector to help them hire matching talent. This will reduce search cost in the labour market for both employers and employees, he added.
- The Haryana Assembly has passed the Jat Quota bill unanimously after it has been tabled for discussion on the same day. Jat protesters had been demanding that the community be classified under the OBC category and sought reservation in government services and educational institutions. They had threatened to resume violent agitation if their demands were not met.
- Uttar Pradesh government has made it mandatory for primary school students to sing the national anthem, ‘Jana Gana Mana‘, every day. The directive also states that primary schools must run 200 days a year, while higher secondary schools must run 220 days a year. Furthermore, schools must observe ‘swachhata diwas’ (Cleanliness Day) every Wednesday.
- India’s fastest train, the Gatimaan Express, is scheduled to begin operations on April 5. The train will run between Delhi and Agra at a maximum speed of 160 km/hour.
- Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has announced that , Two more regiments of the short-range supersonic missile BrahMos will be inducted into the Army within 15 days. The missiles have been developed by India’s DRDO and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyenia under the BrahMos Aerospace. They can fly as low as 10 metres above the ground and hit the surface targets.
- President Pranab Mukherjee has given the final clearance to the Aadhaar Bill, which will now allow the government to make the 12-digit unique identity number compulsory to access government services and benefits.
- The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s recommendation to make 112 the number for all emergency services such as Police, Ambulances, and the Fire Brigade in India has been accepted by the Telecom Commission. An SMS facility will also be available on this number. The new number will reportedly be rolled out within months.
- All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has announced that private educational institutes operating under it would have to lower their fees to comply with the National Fee Committee’s recommendations. The committee headed by Justice BN Srikrishna had submitted its report in August.
- The Haryana government has launched Project Salamati, making it the first state to implement the use of injectable contraceptives towards family planning. The facility will be available at all primary health centres, community health centres, sub-divisional and district hospitals, free of cost.
International News Weekly Current Affairs Update – (28th March to 3 April 2016)
By reading the following Weekly Current Affairs 2016, you can know the highlights of the week starting from 28 March to 3rd April in brief.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been conferred with the highest civilian honour of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the King Abdulaziz Order of Merit. Other international leaders honoured with the award include US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
- Spaceflight company Blue Origin has been successfully launched and landed its reusable Shepard rocket for the third time, after it has been successfully launched and landed once in November and then in January. This has been the company’s first test flight which has been publicly announced prior to launch. Co-founder Jeff Bezos said that the launch footage will soon be released.
- National League for Democracy’s Htin Kyaw has been sworn in as President of Myanmar. With this, he became the first elected civilian President of Myanmar in over 50 years.
- Singapore Navy (RSN) has successfully test-fired a Barak missile from its Victory-class missile corvette RSS Vigour during Fleet Exercise conducted in the South China Sea. The RSN’s Missile Corvette Squadron, on the conduct of the exercise and the capabilities of the missile corvette.
- The world’s first cyborg Olympics will be held in October this year in Switzerland. Named Cybathlon, it aims to bring together technology developers and people with disabilities and make available robotic tools to a broad public.
- Greece passed an Asylum amendment bill that is needed for the implementation of the European Union-Turkey migrant deal that will take effect soon. Under this deal, the asylum seekers who arrive in Greece will be returned to Turkey. Note that: The deal has been criticised by UN agencies and rights groups who claim it violates the rights of asylum seekers.
- The World Health Organisation has confirmed a new case of Ebola in Liberia, three months after the country has been declared free from transmissions. Note that: Liberia was first declared Ebola-free in May, but new cases have emerged on two occasions.
- Saudi Arabia and the United States have imposed joint sanctions targeting the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba. This announcement marks the second time that the United States and Saudi officials have coordinated their actions to disrupt the finances of Islamist militant groups in Southeast Asia.
- As per a study published in The Lancet medical journal, over 640 million people in the world are obese. The number of people whose body mass index (BMI) is over 30 (obese) has increased to 641 million in 2014 from 105 million in 1975. Over one in ten men and one in seven women are obese.
- Myanmar Parliament’s Upper House has passed a bill that seeks to give National League for Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi similar powers to that of a Prime Minister. The bill, that still needs to be cleared by the Lower House, makes a specific reference to the 70-year-old Nobel laureate.
- North Korea has officially announced that it is blocking Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and some other South Korean and “sex and adult” websites. Facebook and Twitter have been informally blocked in the nation for months, and North Koreans can access the government-sanctioned intranet.
- The 4th Nuclear Security Summit -2016 will begin in Washington DC, the United States (March 31st). A total of 53 countries and five international organizations including the UNO,International Atomic Energy Ageny -IAEA will take part in the two-day summit that has been initiated by President Barack Obama in 2009.
- Thailand is facing its worst drought in over 20 years, with water levels in the nation’s largest dams below 10%. Of the 76 provinces in the nation, 22 have been affected by the drought, and numerous reservoirs are below 50% of their water capacity. Meanwhile, the nation has begun pumping water from the Mekong River into its waterways.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) had announced that Ebola is no longer an international health emergency and the risk of virus spreading is now low. Note : Worldwide, there have been 28,639 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) and 11,316 deaths as of 13 March, 2016.
- Myanmar’s President Thein Sein has lifted a state of emergency and curfew in Rakhine state, where communal clashes left over 200 people dead in June 2012. The decision means the military will not provide day-to-day security in the area. The nighttime curfew, lasting nearly four years, has been imposed after clashes between the minority Rohingya Muslims and majority Buddhists displaced over 100,000 people.
- Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has cancelled his official trip to the United Kingdom after a suicide bomb attack at a park in Lahore.
Economics News Weekly Current Affairs Update – (28th March to 3 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 Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has signed a currency swapping agreement with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, under which RBI’s Sri Lankan counterpart can withdraw up to $700 million for a maximum of three months. Sri Lanka is also seeking a loan of $1.5 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to boost its foreign exchange reserves.
- India has been ranked 6th among the World’s largest manufacturing countries, up from its previously held 9th rank, according to a report by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization. China tops the list followed by the US, Japan and Germany.
- The limit on the investment by Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) in government securities, including those of the states, has been increased by ₹14,000 crore to ₹2 lakh crore, with effect from April 4. This follows decisions by RBI and SEBI to increase foreign fund inflows into government securities. The limit has been earlier hiked in 2015 and in January 2016.
- The Income Tax department has launched a computer-based tax calculator on its official website that will allow users to obtain their annual tax liability. The facility can be used by any individual, corporate or any other entity for computing tax liability.
- Indian conglomerate Adani Group has been granted approval from Australia’s Queensland state government for three mining leases, with a proposed investment of $7.7 billion, under the company’s Carmichael project. The project, which has been supported by the Australian government, has been earlier challenged in local courts for potential environmental damage, leading to its delay.
- Saudi Arabia has laid out a plan to create the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund of $2 trillion to help reduce the kingdom’s dependence on oil. As part of the strategy, the country will sell a stake in Aramco, Saudi’s national oil company, and transform it into an industrial conglomerate.
- The Lucknow Metro will get a loan of €450 million (around ₹3,500 crore) from the European Investment Bank for its Phase-1A project. An agreement in this regard has been signed in Brussels on March 30 in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- Air India has announced the launch of non-stop flights to Vienna from New Delhi. A 256-seater Boeing 787-800 with 18 business class seats will now operate on the Delhi-Vienna-Delhi route thrice a week on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.
- Chief Secretary of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Anand Prakash, has recently launched a semi-submarine ocean safari. Called the ‘Coral Safari‘, the semi-submarine will take 100 passengers into the sea in a fully air-conditioned cabin. The safari will let tourists explore the underwater corals and rare species of fishes around the islands.
- According to research firm IHS, India has become the world’s fourth-largest spender on defence, following a 13.1% increase in its 2016-17 defence budget.
- The Department of Industrial Promotion and Policy has launched a ‘Startup India’ web portal and mobile app. The platform will act as a single window for startups to register themselves within 24 hours, avail government incentives and receive information about incubation facilities and tax benefits.
- According to a Finance Ministry report, India’s total external debt stood at $480.2 billion at December-end. While the government (sovereign) external debt stood at $90.7 billion, non-government debt amounted to $389.5 billion. Note : US dollar denominated debt accounted for 57.6% of the total external debt, followed by Indian rupee (28.7%), Japanese Yen (4.1%) and Euro (2.3%).
- According to data released by the Controller General of Accounts, India’s fiscal deficit in April-February stood at ₹5.73 lakh crore, 107.1% of the full-year target. In comparison, the figure has been 117.5% in the previous fiscal.
- Japan committed loans worth about ₹14,269 crore (242.2 billion yen)for five infrastructure development projects in India. The projects include the Dedicated Freight Corridor Project, Odisha Integrated Sanitation Improvement Project and Transmission System Strengthening Project in Madhya Pradesh.
- Three public sector lenders, Central Bank of India, Bank of India and Allahabad Bank, have received approval from the government for capital infusion into the banks totalling to up to ₹2,375 crore. This is part of the government’s revamp plan for state-owned banks, as part of which ₹25,000 crore capital will be infused into the banks in 2015-16 and 2016-17.
- The RBI has relaxed the External Commercial Borrowing (ECB) norms to help firms raise overseas funds for infrastructure projects in India. Under the new guidelines, companies in the infrastructure sector will also be eligible to raise ECB, with a minimum average maturity period of five years. The companies can borrow a maximum of $750 million under the automatic route.
- The industrial body ASSOCHAM in one of its recent study revealed that Gujarat and Maharashtra contribute nearly 46% of the Indian exports occupying the topmost place. The report mentions that the first five states contribute to 69% of the total export of India. These states are – Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
- India tops in Asian Development Bank’s Growth outlook for Asia in 2016.
- The RBI has announced that fixed-rate loans of up to three years tenor offered by lenders will have to be set based on the marginal cost of funding, effective from April 1. RBI had earlier said that all fixed-rate loans will be exempt from the consideration of factors like the repo rate, deposit rates, and other borrowing rates.
- Insurance major Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India has increased its stake in public sector lenders Dena Bank and Andhra Bank through a preferential issue of shares. Post these sale, the stake of LIC in Dena Bank has increased to 14.5% from 11.63% while it now holds 14.39% stake in Andhra Bank against the earlier 10.15%.
- The government has approved 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inMarketplace model of e-commerce under the automatic route. However, FDI is still not permitted under the inventory model. Note : Under the automatic route, FDI is allowed without the prior permission from government or RBI.
- According to Symantec, India ranks third among countries with the most number of financial Trojan infections, after the US and Germany. Financial Trojans are used to defraud customers of online banking. Note : India has consistently moved up the rankings for countries with the most number of financial Trojan infections, from the seventh position in 2013 to the third position in 2015.
- New Delhi has topped the list of top 25 destinations in India by travel website TripAdvisor as part of its ‘Travellers’ Choice Awards’ for 2016.
- Jaipur has ranked second and Goa third on the list, while Pondicherry rounds up the list as the 25th destination.
- State-owned lender IDBI Bank has announced that the insurance major LIC of India has increased its stake in the bank to 14.37% from 7.21%, after a preferential issue of shares last week. With this transaction, IDBI is now the second largest equity holding in a bank for LIC, after a 21.22% stake in Corporation Bank.
- The government is planning to enable users to make landline calls from WhatsApp, Skype and Viber. The move has already been cleared by the inter-ministerial telecom commission and groundwork to get it going will start soon.
- State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has approved an investment of $5 billion (around ₹34,000 crore) in two fields in the Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin over the next three years.
- India has sent its first direct container vessel to Bangladesh from Andhra Pradesh’s Krishnapatnam port , as a part of a coastal shipping agreement signed in November between both the countries. Earlier the ships from Indian ports to Bangladesh were routed through Colombo or Singapore.
Sports News Weekly Current Affairs Update – (28th March to 3rd 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.
- West Indies won their second World T20 title after defeating England by four wickets. With this, West Indies have won three ICC World titles in 2016.
- The West Indies’ women defeated Australia to lift the Women’s World T20
- Australian medium-pacer Clint McKay has announced his retirement from international and Australis’a first-class cricket.
- Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg won the Bahrain Grand Prix, ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and polesitter Lewis Hamilton, who finished second and third respectively.
- Evgenia Medvedeva, a 16-year-old figure skater from Russia, has won the World Figure Skating Championship in Boston, US. She became the first woman to win the world junior and senior women’s titles in successive years.
- Pakistan player Shahid Afridi stepped down as the team’s T20I captain, after facing criticism for his captaincy and individual performance in the World T20 tournament. Afridi, led Pakistan in 43 T20Is, while managed to win 19 games.
- The Delhi Daredevils have appointed former Indian pacer Zaheer Khan as theircaptain for the 2016 season of the Indian Premier League.
- Former AC Milan defender and Italian international, Cesare Maldini (84) has passed away. The sweeper played 412 matches for the Milanese club between 1954 and 1966 winning four Series A titles and the European Cup in 1963.
- Indian television actress Pratyusha Banerjee (24) has passed away. She has been best known for her portrayal of Anandi in ‘Balika Vadhu‘.
- Veteran journalist and writer Babu Bharadwaj (68) has passed away. He had been a part of prominent print and television media in Kerala. Kalapangalkkoru Grihapadam, a novel penned by him, won the Kerala Sahitya Akademi award in 2006.
- Iraqi-British Architect Zaha Hadid (65) has passed away. The Time magazine named her as one of the 100 most influential thinkers in 2010. Hadid, who had a neo-futuristic architectural style, has been the first woman recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, which is widely regarded as the Nobel Prize for architecture.
- Jim Harrison, the prolific author, poet and outdoorsman has passed away. His famous novella of the American frontier, “Legends of the Fall,” became a hit movie starring Brad Pitt and Anthony Hopkins, has died. He has been 78
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