Current Affairs - 13 April 2017

India beat Malaysia to lift Asian School Hockey Championship

  • Alishan Mohammad and Pratap Lakra scored a brace each as India emerged champion at the 5th Asian School Hockey Championship with a convincing 5-1 win over Malaysia in the final 
  • In the match for third and fourth place, Singapore beat China 3-1 in a nail-biting shootout after the two teams ended the regulation time in a 1-1 stalemate.

First UK-China freight rail leaves London; to travel 12k km via 7 nations

  • The first China-bound freight train carrying British products left London on a 12,000-km journey adding another terminal to the rail freight between China and Europe.
  • The DB Cargo train, loaded with 30 containers carrying products, including whisky, soft drinks, vitamins and baby products, started from east London's DP World Gateway to Yiwu city in central Zhejiang province, east China.
  • After going through the Channel Tunnel, the train will pass through seven countries — France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan — before arriving in eastern China on April 27
  • The service is part of China's One Belt, One Road programme of reviving the ancient Silk Road trading routes with the West, initially created more than 2,000 years ago.
  • London is the 15th European city on an expanding map of China's rail freight

Three Indians selected for Gates scholarship at Cambridge University

  • Three Indians are among 90 Gates Cambridge scholars selected from nearly 6,000 applicants from around the world for postgraduate study at the University of Cambridge from the academic year beginning later this year.
  • The three Indians in the Gates Cambridge Class of 2017 are Yaikhomba Mutum, Saloni Atal and Akhila Denduluri, 
  • Atal will study PhD in Psychology, exploring innovative and culturally appropriate solutions to tackle the problem of gaps in access to mental healthcare in India
  • Denduluri’s PhD research in Chemistry will focus on developing biophysical tools to better understand and elucidate the protein chemistry and associated toxicity in neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Mutum will pursue a PhD Biological Science at the MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit, looking at the mechanism of active proton transport in Complex I, an enzyme involved in making energy rich ATP molecules.
  • The scholarship aims to identify and select applicants who are academically outstanding and are likely to be transformative leaders across all fields.

Manappuram Finance to launch co-branded prepaid card with YES Bank

  • In its efforts to promote digital financial transactions, the Kerala-based NBFC Manappuram Finance will launch its own co-branded prepaid card in tie-up with YES Bank.
  • The 'Manappuram YES Bank Prepaid Money Card' can be pre-loaded up to a maximum amount of Rs.50,000 and then be used to withdraw money from all ATMs. 
  • As the card works on the popular MasterCard and RuPay networks, it can also be used for online transactions and at merchant establishments with PoS terminals.
  • The company will issue the prepaid cards to its entire base of 20 lakh customers and link their existing gold loan accounts to the card. 
  • This will enable them to withdraw money from ATMs across India. Moreover, customers can also withdraw money from any of the 3,300 branches of Manappuram Finance, a feature unique to this card.
  • The card can be reloaded directly at all Manappuram branches and can also be purchased by non-customers by furnishing their mobile number and KYC document as prescribed by the RBI.

PM releases Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan's book Matoshree

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday released a book 'Matoshree', based on life of Maratha Queen Ahilyabai Holkar, authored by the Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. 
  • After the release, a play based on the book was staged at Balayogi Auditorium in the Parliament Library Building with the Prime Minister, several Union ministers and MPs in attendance. 
  • Mahajan said she had written the play more than 35 years ago as a volunteer of the Rashtriya Sevika Samiti, women's wing of the RSS.
  • She wanted to show "an Indian way of good administration". Ahilyabai, the daughter-in-law of Maratha chieftain Malhar Rao Holkar, was the Queen of Indore from 1767 to 1795.


China heads world executions list

  • China executed more people than all other nations put together last year, according to Amnesty International.
  • The charity says in its annual report on the death penalty that while it is known that China puts large numbers of people to death, the exact number is not clear.
  • But Amnesty says it has managed to calculate that the figure is more than the 1,032 people killed by the state in other countries in 2016.
  • In 2015, the total was 1,634 - the highest recorded since 1989.
  • A drop in executions in the US has meant that America has now fallen out of the top five countries for judicial killings.
  • The other countries in the top five are: 2nd, Iran; 3rd, Saudi Arabia; 4th, Iraq and 5th, Pakistan.

Manipal doctors discover new genetic disease

  • Department of medical genetics, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal has discovered a new genetic disease called "Multiple mitochondrial dysfunction syndrome" in four children from two unrelated families in the region. 
  • The children with the neurodevelopmental disorder were found to be affected with early onset of neurological deterioration, seizures, extensive white matter abnormalities, cortical migrational abnormalities, lactic acidosis and early demise.

President to conferred National Geoscience Awards

  • President Pranab Mukherjee conferred the National Geoscience Awards 2016 at the Rashtrapati Bhavan
  • The National Geoscience Awards includes one Award for Excellence, one Young Scientist Award and nineteen individual and/or team awards in 16 fields of geosciences.
  • The National Geoscience Awards, previously known as the National Mineral Awards, were instituted by the Ministry of Mines in 1966, to honour individuals and teams of scientists for their extraordinary achievements and outstanding contributions in fundamental, applied geosciences, mining and allied fields.

Government appoints two more MDs at LIC- B Venugopal, Sunita Sharma

  • The government today appointed two more managing directors to the nation’s largest financial powerhouse LIC — B Venugopal and Sunita Sharma, for a period of nearly two years. 
  • While Venugopal is currently heading the Western zone of LIC in Mumbai, Sharma is the managing director of its subsidiary, LIC Housing Finance. V
  • enugopal took over as the head of the Mumbai zone last year, where as Sharma has been heading LICHFL since November 2013.
  • LIC consists of the chairman and four managing directors. 
  • The post of an MD fell vacant after VK Sharma was elevated as the chairman last December, and the other post was lying vacant since the superannuation of SB Mainak in February last year.
  • With these appointments, LIC has four MDs, with the other two being Usha Sangwan and Hemant Bhargava, who was appointed in mid-February.

Asha Parekh’s autobiography ‘The Hit Girl’ launched by Salman Khan

  • In a star-studded event in Mumbai Salman Khan of Bollywood launched actress Asha Parekh’s autobiography ‘The Hit Girl’, for which he’s written the Foreword as well. 
  • Authored by celebrated film critic and author Khalid Mohamed,the book covers the life and times of an actress who ruled the hearts of many in the 1960s and 1970s.
  • The book has been published by Om Books International.

ICC Champions Trophy 2017 Ambassadors 

  • With 50 days to go for the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, the International Cricket Council announced eight stalwarts of the game as Champion Ambassadors for the tournament in England and Wales.
  • Shahid Afridi of Pakistan, 
  • Bangladesh’s Habibul Bashar, 
  • Ian Bell of England, 
  • Shane Bond of New Zealand,
  • Australia’s Mike Hussey, 
  • India’s Harbhajan Singh, 
  • Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka and 
  • Graeme Smith of South Africa

ECIL bagged SCOPE award 2016

  • The Electronics Corporation of India (ECIL) has bagged the SCOPE Award for Excellence and Outstanding Contribution to the Public Sector Management – Institutional Category III (Other Profit Making PSEs) for the year 2014-15.
  • President Pranab Mukherjee presented the award to ECIL Chairman and Managing Director Debashis Das
  • The award was based on an evaluation done by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Pvt. Ltd.
  • A technology driven company since its inception in 1967, ECIL has over the 50 years brought many innovative products like Solid State Television, Digital Computers, and Cockpit Voice Recorders popularly known as Black Box, Electronic Voting Machines, Programmable Logic Controllers, Earth Station and Deep Space Network Antennas.

Haldia Port Tops the List in The First Ever Ranking of Ports on Sanitation Parameters

  • For the first time ever, the twelve major ports under the Ministry of Shipping have been ranked on sanitation parameters, based on the efforts undertaken by them to counter waste generating sources with respect to port operation, office area, township area and the response to incoming ships. The assessment methodology included official interview, direct observation by the designated team from Quality Council of India and stakeholder’s interaction. 
  • The exercise was undertaken during the ‘Swachhta Pakhwada’ observed from the 16th to 31st of March 2017. Quality Council of India (QCI) was tasked to assess the Swachhata activities undertaken by all the Ports. 
  • While Haldia and Vizag ports bagged the first and second ranks respectively, almost all ports have achieved the benchmark for cleanliness or are well above it.
  • The ‘Swachhta Pakhwada’ was a major sanitation and cleanliness campaign launched by the Hon’ble Minister of Shipping, Sh. Nitin Gadakari on the 16th of March 2017 at the Shipping House in Mumbai, and observed by all the twelve major ports, five PSEs and seven attached offices/organizations of the Ministry of Shipping. 
  • This was a culmination of one year of activities undertaken to promote the vision ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ launched by Hon’ble Prime Minister Sh. Narendra Modi on 2nd October 2014.

Pink patrol, security app for women in Bengaluru

  • A fleet of pink patrol vehicles to attend to the distress calls from women and an exclusive police mobile phone distress application have been introduced in Bengaluru as part of an effort to improve the safety and security of women in the city.
  • The pink patrol cars called the Pink Hoysalas and the Suraksha mobile phone app were unveiled by Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah
  • As part of this initiative, 51 pink patrol vehicles are being introduced and the Suraksha app has been launched
  • The patrol cars will be headed by women police officers and will supplement the existing 221 such vehicles in the city.
  • The vehicles will be positioned near schools, colleges, offices, temples, shopping malls, theatres and sensitive areas.
  • The app has been developed by the Bengaluru city police IT team and can be downloaded on Android and iOS phones. 
  • It aims at providing police services to women in distress in the least possible time in coordination with the pink patrol vehicles and the police control room. 
  • The Suraksha app registers the numbers of two persons the user wants to inform in emergencies.


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