Current Affairs: 25 April 2017

Important Days

25 April: World Malaria Day 2017

  • World Malaria Day is all about celebrating the successes there have been in the drive to eradicate malaria from the world as well as raising awareness of the disease and its prevention.
  • This year the World Health Organisation (WHO) has made ‘ending malaria for good’ its theme for World Malaria Day 2017.
  • For its theme WHO is demonstration prevention methods including using nets and spraying insecticide indoors.
  • A tropical disease which is spread by infected female anopheles mosquitoes. It only takes one bite from the insects to get the bug.
  • Around 400,000 die from the disease every year. Worldwide there are around 212 million cases.

24 April 2017: National Panchayati Raj Day

  • National Panchayati Raj Day (National Local Self-Government day) is the national day of India celebrated by Ministry of Panchayati Raj on 24 April annually.
  • Then Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh inaugurated the first National Panchayati Raj Day in 2010.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 24 April 2015 called for an end to the practice of “husbands of women sarpanches” or “sarpanch pati” exercising undue influence on the work of their wives elected to power
  • Under the 14th Finance Commission, Centre will be releasing more than 2 lakh crore rupees to Gram Panchayats for 5 years to undertake physical and social infrastructure projects in the villages. 
  • On National Panchayati Raj Day the national awards viz., Deendayal Upadhyay Panchayat Sashaktikaran Puraskar, Nanaji Deshmukh Rashtriya Gaurav Gram Sabha Puraskar were conferred upon Panchayati Raj Institutions and e-Panchayat Puraskars to State Governments

National Events

India becomes world's fifth-largest military spender 

  • India's military expenditure grew around 8.5 per cent in 2016, making it the world's fifth largest spender at $55.9 billion, figures released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) 
  • As per the figures, the US remains the world's largest military spender registering a growth of 1.7 per cent between 2015 and 2016 to $611 billion. 
  • China is second on the list spending $215 billion, an increase of 5.4 per cent. 
  • Russia increased its spending by 5.9 per cent to $69.2 billion, making it the third largest spender. 
  • Saudi Arabia, the third largest spender in 2015, dropped to the fourth position in 2016 with its spending dropping by 30 per cent in 2016 to $63.7 billion, despite its continued involvement in regional wars. 

In a first, Uttarakhand monitors forest fires with drones

  • In a first, the Uttarakhand Forest Department has launched a drone for real-time monitoring of the forest fire and to take preventive measures,
  • The drone was launched by the state's Forest and Wildlife Minister Harak Singh Rawat from a remote location in Nainital district that falls under the western circle -- a big part of the vast Terai region of the state located outside the tiger and forest reserves.
  • The Forest Department has dedicated three drones for monitoring the forest fire
  • Using drones for real-time monitoring of the forest fires is the first time in India
  • Uttarakhand faces maximum incidents of forest fires in the country.

India's First Sea Ropeway to Link Mumbai, Elephanta Island

  • India's first and longest ropeway to connect Mumbai with the famous Elephanta Island in the Arabian Sea is planned to be constructed by the Mumbai Port Trust
  • The 8-km ropeway will begin from Sewri in Mumbai's east coast and end at Raigad district's Elephanta Island, globally renowned for Elephanta Caves, a Unesco World Heritage site.
  • The approximately 40-minute ride by a 20-seater cable car, with a transit station midway will prove to be a major boost to tourism
  • Accessible only by ferries from the mainland or motor launches from the Gateway of India, it takes around an hour for the 10-km cruise from Mumbai and vice versa.
  • For nearly three decades, the island hosts the famed two-day Elephanta Cultural Festival in winters, organised by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation, attracting the best of performers

International Events

India to export mangoes to Australia for the first time 

  • India may export mangoes that meet biosecurity standards to Australia for the first time following revision of protocols to allow them in the Australian economy. 
  • Robert Gray from Australian Mango Industry Association, said the Indian mangoes would be for sale outside of the Australian mango season. 
  • However, the fruit has to meet biosecurity standards including irradiation before they are exported 
  • Mexico, the Philippines and Pakistan have previously exported mangoes to Australia over the years. 
  • All shipments to Australia would be sent by air, and the company would initially focus on exporting the Alphonso and Kesar varieties of mango. 
  • Alphonso is slightly tricky but handled well it is one of the best varieties in India 
  • Kesar is the best commercial variety because it has a good price, good flavour, and it handles very well 

Sports

Nadal wins historic 10th Monte Carlo title

  • Rafael Nadal won the Monte Carlo Masters for a record-breaking 10th time with a dominant 6-1, 6-3 defeat of Spanish compatriot Albert Ramos-Vinolas
  • It was Nadal's first title in almost a year and further cemented his place in history as he became the first man in the Open era to win the same event 10 times.
  • He won eight Monte Carlo titles in a row from 2005 to 2012 but then lost to Novak Djokovic in the 2013 final. He won the title again last year 
  • Nadal's 50 clay titles breaks the record he shared with Guillermo Vilas since April last year when he lifted his ninth trophy in Barcelona.

Haryana emerges champion at National Youth Athletics Meet

  • Haryana beat arch rivals Kerala after six years to win the team championship at the National Youth Athletics Meet
  • Haryana emerged champions with 166.5 points. Kerala, which stood at the top place in the last five years, could manage only 134.75 points to finish runners-up.
  • However, they retained the team crown for girls (100 points) while Haryana boys tops with 108.5 points at the end of the three-dayKerala pole vaulter Nivya Antony equaled her national youth record by scaling to 3.32 m at Hyderabad, a height she first recorded at Coimbatore last November during the junior nationals. meet.

Awards & Honours

Kailash Satyarthi given P.C. Chandra award

  • Nobel laureate and social activist Kailash Satyarthi was on Sunday presented the P.C. Chandra Purashkar (award) for his global crusade against child slavery and exploitative child labour.
  • The 63-year-old Satyarthi was handed over a citation, a trophy and a cheque of Rs 10 lakh at an awards ceremony 
  • Satyarthi, who shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 with Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan, urged everyone to work towards making India a "child-friendly country".

Goldman Prize for Prafulla Samantra, the activist who blocked Vedanta's Niyamgiri mine

  • Social activist Prafulla Samantra was announced one of six winners of the Goldman Environmental Prize, in San Francisco
  • The prize citation was for his historic 12-year legal battle that affirmed the indigenous Dongria Kondh’s land rights and protected the Niyamgiri Hills from a massive, open-pit aluminium ore mine."
  • Mr. Samantra was one of the key leaders responsible for rallying tribes, indigenous to Odisha's Niyamgiri region, and using legal provisions to thwart mining-to-metals conglomerate, Vedanta. The company has been forced to suspend plans to mine bauxite.
  • Other winners this year include Mark Lopez, United States; Uroš Macerl, Slovenia; Rodrigo Tot, Guatemala; Rodrigue Katembo, Democratic Republic of Congo; and Wendy Bowman, Australia.
  • Since 1990 when the awards were first instituted, five Indians — Medha Patkar, M.C. Mehta, Rasheeda Bi, Champaran Shukla and Ramesh Agrawal — have won the prize. Mr. Samantra will be the sixth.

Rajkummar Rao's Newton Wins Jury Prize For Best Film at Hong Kong International Film Festival

  • After starting off on the right note at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival, actor Rajkummar Rao's film Newton has won the Jury Prize for Best Film at the Hong Kong International Film Festival.
  • Newton" is Amit Masurkar's second film after "Sulemani Keeda" in 2014.
  • The film had its world premiere at Berlinale, and won the Art Cinema award for the Forum section there. The film also went to 16th Annual Tribeca Film Festival.
  • Also starring Anjali Patel, Newton, a political black comedy, revolves around a clerk placed on election duty in a conflict-ridden area of Chhattisgarh.
  • The film is produced by Manish Mundra of Drishyam Films, company best known for bankrolling critically-acclaimed projects such as Masaan, Ankhon Dekhi and Umrika.

Veteran actor K. Viswanath wins Dadasaheb Phalke award for 2016

  • Renowned filmmaker and actor Kasinadhuni Viswanath, best known for his award-winning movies in Telugu, Tamil and Hindi, has won the Dadasaheb Phalke award for the year 2016 for his outstanding contribution to the film industry.
  • He will be the 48 recipient of the award, the highest recognition in Indian cinema, which consists of a golden lotus, a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh and a shawl. 
  • Swati Mutyam, a National Award-winning film, was India’s official entry to the 59 Academy Awards in the best foreign film category. 
  • He won the Padma Shri in 1992 and the Andhra Pradesh goverment has honoured him with 20 Nandi awards.

Appointments

Himanta Biswa Sarma becomes interim BAI president

  • BJP leader and Assam Badminton Association President Himanta Biswa Sarma was on Sunday appointed Badminton Association of India's interim head during its executive council meeting.
  • Himanta Biswa Sarma has been unanimously given the charge to become the acting president till the next elections in 2018. It was a consensual decision. 
  • The post of president was left vacant after the sudden demise of former president Akhilesh Das Gupta and within a few days, Sarma emerged as the front-runner to become the interim head after he got support from the senior members of the association.
  • An executive council meeting was called and Sarma was appointed as the interim president.
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