Current Affairs: 27 April 2017

Important Days

April 26: World Intellectual Property Day


  • World Intellectual Property Day is observed annually on 26 April.
  • The event was established by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 2000 to "raise awareness of how patents, copyright, trademarks and designs impact on daily life" and "to celebrate creativity, and the contribution made by creators and innovators to the development of societies across the globe.
  • 26 April was chosen as the date for World Intellectual Property Day because it coincides with the date on which the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization entered into force in 1970.WIPO aims to look at how the IP system supports innovation by attracting investment, rewarding creators and encouraging them to develop their ideas
  • The theme for this year’s event is to “explore how innovation is making our lives healthier, safer, and more comfortable, turning problems into progress”.
Month-Wise List of Important Days

National Events

Agriculture Ministry comes up with model APMC Act to integrate agri markets

  • The Agriculture Ministry has come up with a new model Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act proposing single-point levy of market fee across a State and a united single trading licence for cost-effectiveness of transactions.
  • It has also suggested abolition of fragmentation of market with the State/Union Territory by removing the concept of notified market area insofar as enforcement of regulation by the Agricultural Produce and Livestock Market Committee (APLMC) is concerned.
  • To meet the marketing sector challenges, the Agriculture Ministry has formulated APMC Act 2017 and it is being shared with the States for implementation,
  • The Centre has already asked States to modify their APMC Acts in order to have a single licence and single point of levy of market fee at the State level and then gradually move towards a single licence and single point of levy of market fee at the national level.
  • The idea is to remove disincentives for farmers and traders to trade across the country as they will not have to shell out more money.
  • Other proposals in the model APMC Act include promotion of national market for agriculture produce through provisioning of inter-State trading licence, grading and standardisation and quality certification, rationalisation of market fee and commission charges, provision for special commodity market yard and promotion of e-trading to increase transparency.
  • The model Act also calls for full democratisation of market committee and State/UT Marketing Board.

Somnath Temple, Charminar among new places chosen for Swachh iconic places initiative

  • The government has announced the names of ten new Iconic places under the Phase II of Swachh Iconic Places initiative.
  • Swachh Iconic Places (SIP) is an initiative of Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation under Swachh Bharat Mission.
  • The ten new iconic places that will be undertaken in Phase II of Swachh Iconic Places initiative are: Gangotri, Yamunotri.
  • Mahakaleshwar Temple (Ujjain), Char Minar (Hyderabad), Church and Convent of St. Francis of Assissi (Goa), Adi Shankaracharya’s abode Kaladi in Ernakulam, Gomateshwar in Shravanbelgola, Baijnath Dham (Devghar), Gaya Tirth (Bihar) and Somnath temple in Gujarat.

India to host 18th World Road Meeting

  • India is set to host the 18th World Road Meeting (WRM 2017) on November 14
  • The WRM, the biggest global platform for road engineers, safety and transport experts and companies engaged in road safety products, will be attended by over 4,000 delegates from across the world
  • The theme of this year's edition is 'Safe Roads and Smart Mobility: The Engines of Economic Growth'.
  • The WRM, which is held every four years, gives a platform to come together, meet and discuss issues relevant to road infrastructure and mobility and to exhibit and showcase their products,
  • The WRM includes a conference, an exhibition, a young professional lab and an innovation cafe and will also provide an outlet for sharing cutting-edge research, best practices and experiences, from across the world.

e-SOT, e-PRAN cards launched for Atal Pension Yojana users

To benefit and digitally empower over 45 lacs Atal Pension Yojana (APY) subscribers, the facility of online viewing of the statement of transaction (e-SOT) and e-PRAN cards were launched
To improve the quality of service for the Atal Pension Yojana (APY) subscribers, the APY/PRAN acct details and savings bank account number details, can now be viewed on one's APY Account Statement.
Even for the APY subscriber who does not have his APY PRAN number readily available can also avail these facilities by providing one's Date of Birth and Savings Bank Account number details.
This online tool enables the subscribers to view his complete details of APY account like transaction details, pension amount, pension commencement date, nominee name, associated bank name etc.
The Atal Pension Yojana (APY) Scheme is being implemented through 235 APY-Service Providers all over the country consisting of 27 Public Sector Banks (PSBs), 19 private banks, one foreign bank, 56 Regional Rural Banks (RRBs), 109 District Cooperative Banks (DCBs), 16 State Cooperative Banks (SCBs), six Urban Cooperative Banks (UCBs) and the Department of Posts.
List of Government Schemes in India 2016-17

AIIMS Becomes India's First Public Hospital For Eye Tumours

  • The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) is India's first public hospital to start plaque brachytherapy facility for the treatment of eye tumours
  • The facility is a form of local radiation delivered to the eye through a radioactive device which is attached to the eye for a temporary period of time.
  • The facility at the Rajendra Prasad Centre for Opthalmic Sciences will treat children suffering from a type of cancer called Retinoblastoma and adults who suffer from melanoma.
  • Plaque brachytherapy is a form of local radiation delivered to the eye via a radioactive device that is stitched onto the eye. The move is expected to benefit children suffering from retinoblastoma, which is a form of eye cancer, and adults suffering from ocular melanoma.

Haryana's Ballabhgarh renamed as Balramgarh

  • Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced that Ballabhgarh would now be known as Balramgarh. He also announced a number of projects for the development of Ballabhgarh and NIT Faridabad Assembly constituencies.
  • The government had earlier renamed Gurgaon as Gurugram and Mewat as Nuh. It had accepted requests from villagers to rename several villages.
List of Renamed Cities, Airports & Railway Stations

Belgium opens honorary consulate in GIFT City

  • Belgium has become the first country to open an honorary consulate office in Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City).
  • Besides the Belgian Embassy in New Delhi, two Consulates-General in Mumbai and Chennai, and an honorary consulate in Kolkata, Belgium has expanded its diplomatic representation in India with this new office in Gandhinagar, according to a press release here on Wednesday.
  • The consulate was inaugurated by Belgian Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, Pieter De Crem, at an event where Ajay Pandey, Managing Director and Group CEO, GIFT City, and members of a high-level delegation from Belgium were also present.
  • Hari Sankaran was nominated as Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of Belgium to the state of Gujarat.

International Events

China launches aircraft carrier, boosting military presence

  • China has launched a new aircraft carrier in the latest sign of its growing military strength.
  • It is the country's second aircraft carrier, after the Liaoning, and the first to be made domestically.
  • The as-yet-unnamed ship was transferred into the water in the north-eastern port of Dalian, state media said. It will reportedly be operational by 2020.
  • It comes amid heated rhetoric between the US and North Korea and ongoing tensions in the South China Sea.
  • China has had only one operational aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, which it bought from Ukraine and refitted.
  • The US has deployed warships and a submarine to the Korean peninsula, prompting an angry reaction from North Korea. China has urged calm.

Sports

India wins 16 medals at US Open Karate Championship

  • India finished with a rich haul of three gold, two silver and 11 bronze medals at the US Open Karate Championship held in Las Vegas.
  • Shaifali Agarwal, Abhishek Sengupta won a gold medal, a silver in two different individual events. India also won a gold medal in the team event.
  • The Indian team was led by Sensei Yashpal Singh Kalsi and Members of the Indian contingent — Abhishek Sengupta, Rantej Singh, Harcharan Singh Chowhan and Shaifali Agarwal were trained under Sensei Kalsi.

Awards & Achievements

YES BANK awarded Golden Peacock Award 2017 for innovative mobile technology product SIMsePAY

  • Adding another feather to its cap, India’s fifth largest private sector Bank, the YES BANK has won the prestigious ‘Golden Peacock Innovative Product/Service Award 2017’ for its innovative mobile technology product, SIMsePAY at the Dubai Global Convention 2017 for the 27th World Congress on Leadership for Business Excellence & Innovation and Presentation of Golden Peacock Awards.
  • The Golden Peacock Awards, instituted by the Institute of Directors, India in 1991, are regarded as a benchmark of Corporate Excellence worldwide. 
  • The Golden Peacock Awards Secretariat receives over 1,000 entries per year for various National and Global awards, from India and over 25 countries worldwide.

GMR Hyderabad International Airport Wins the Prestigious ‘Golden Peacock Business Excellence Award 2017’

  • GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd. (GHIAL), which operates Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA), Hyderabad has announced that it has won the coveted Golden Peacock Business Excellence Award (GPBEA) 2017 in the large scale industry-
  • Golden Peacock Business Excellence Award seeks to characterize validated best management practices, as a basis for accelerating the rate of organizational improvement. 
  • s.The Golden Peacock Business Excellence Award Scheme seeks to encourage Business Excellence improvements in both manufacturing as well as service organizations in India

Srishti Kaur wins Miss Teen Universe pageant

  • Srishti Kaur from India has been crowned Miss Teen Universe 2017, beating out 25 other contestants from around the world in the annual beauty pageant.
  • Samantha Pierre from Canada and Ary Trava from Mexico were the runners-up in the event held at the Ruben Dario National Theater in Nicaragua's capital Managua yesterday.
  • Kaur also won the prize for best national costume.
  • Xirelle Agustin from the Philippines won in the Teen Popularity category, while Nicole Obando from Costa Rica won the award for Teen Charm.
  • The six-year-old beauty pageant for teens aged 15 to 19 is held by the Miss Universe Organisation.

Appointments

Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar appointed new Director General of CRPF

  • Senior IPS officer Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar was appointed as the new Director General of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on Wednesday. His appointment comes two days after the CRPF lost 25 jawans in the deadly Sukma attack.
  • Bhatnagar will be replacing acting DG Sudeep Lakhtakia.
  • Currently, Bhatnagar serves as DG of the Narcotics Control Bureau - an ADG rank post which has temporarily been upgraded to a Special DG rank.
  • Bhatnagar belongs to the 1983 batch of the Indian Police Service (IPS).
  • In another key appointment, R K Pachnanda was appointed as DG of the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP). He'll be taking over from Krishna Chaudhary, who is set to retire in June this year.
  • Pachnanda is serving as DG of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), India's specialized force for responding to natural disasters and CBRN emergencies.

Nita Ambani Made Member of IOC's Olympic Channel Commission

  • India's first woman International Olympic Committee member Nita Ambani has made it to two important commissions of the global sports governing body, including the prestigious Olympic channel.
  • Besides the Olympic Channel, the 53-year-old Ambani has also been made a member of Olympic education Commission as IOC announced the composition of 26 commissions for 2017.
  • She is one of the 16 members of the Olympic Channel Commission headed by United States Olympic Committee Chairman Lawrence Francis Probst.
  • Ambani is also named in the 24-member Olympic Education Commission, which is headed by New Zealander Barry JohnMaister, an IOC member and a 1976 Olympic hockey gold medallist.

Banking & Finance

MFIN launches financial literacy app for microfinance clients

  • Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN), a self-regulatory organisation and an industry association of microfinance, has launched a financial literacy mobile app ‘MFIN Connect for microfinance clients.
  • MFIN Connect’ is the first financial literacy app in India for microfinance education. MFIN is a self-regulatory organisation and industry association of the microfinance industry.
  • The financial literacy app has been released on Android platform and will be available in six languages, including Hindi, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil and English.
  • It is aimed to help microfinance clients in understanding the dynamics involved in microfinance, including credit history, interest rates, repayment cycles and their rights as a borrower.
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