Weekly Current Affairs (Apr 23 to Apr 29)



Important days

  • Every year April 24 is being observed as National Panchayati Raj Diwas across India. This day marks the passing of the Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 that came into force with effect from 24 April 1993. 
  • World Book and Copyright Day (WBCD) is being observed on 23rd April 2017. The day seeks to raise awareness about the importance of reading and promote publishing and the protection of copyright around the globe. 
  • 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. 
  • Every April 26, World Intellectual Property Day is celebrated to learn about the role that intellectual property rights (patents, trademarks, industrial designs, copyright) play in encouraging innovation and creativity. 
  • The annual World Day for Safety and Health at Work on 28 April promotes the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases globally. 
  • International Dance Day was introduced in 1982 by the International Dance Council (CID, Conseil International de la Danse), a UNESCO partner NGO, and is celebrated yearly, on April 29. 

National Events

  • Andhra Pradesh has now followed in Tamil Nadu and Kerala’s footsteps to establish a welfare board for transgender persons in the state. 
  • The World Bank has approved a loan of $375 million for capacity augmentation of National Waterway-1 (NW-1) on the river Ganga under the Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP). 
  • India has replaced Japan as world's number two importer of liquefied petroleum gas or LPG, thus giving a push to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for a 'safer kitchen', according to a report in Bloomberg. 
  • Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman and Minister of State for Communications Manoj Sinha on Sunday released coffee scented postage stamps at the General Post Office, Bengaluru. 
  • The National Health Mission (NHM) in Haryana launched a mobile-based application named 'Kilkari' to create awareness among pregnant women, parents and health workers on the importance of ante and post natal care. 
  • In a bid to expand the green cover, the Maharashtra government recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Railways, under which trees will be planted on the land adjacent to the railway tracks in the state. 
  • 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) 
  • In a first, the Uttarakhand Forest Department has launched a drone for real-time monitoring of the forest fire and to take preventive measures. 
  • 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 
  • 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. 
  • India and France carry out joint naval exercise ‘Varuna’. 
  • India’s first sea ropeway to link Mumbai and Elephanta Island. 
  • Idia replaces Japan as No.2 LPG importer. 
  • India becomes world’s fifth largest military spender. 
  • Northeast India's sixth and largest Information Technology (IT) hub was inaugurated here on Monday to boost employment and e-governance besides to export software technology. 
  • The international conference on "Dara Shikoh: Reclaiming Spiritual Legacy of India", organised by the Indian Council Of Cultural Relations (ICCR), will be held on April 27 and 28 at ICCR''s Azad Bhavan 
  • Union Minister for Urban Development & Urban Poverty Alleviation M Venkaiah Naidu, inaugurated the function and addressed the august gathering to commemorate the 47th Foundation Day of HUDCO. 
  • General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC Re) has become the first re-insurer to open an office at India’s first International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) at Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City). 
  • Northeast India's largest Information Technology (IT) hub was inaugurated at Agartala to boost employment and e-governance besides to export software technology. 
  • 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. 
  • The government has announced the names of ten new Iconic places under the Phase II of Swachh Iconic Places initiative. 
  • India is set to host the 18th World Road Meeting (WRM 2017) on November 14. 
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • Belgium has become the first country to open an honorary consulate office in Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City). 
  • Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation under Swachh Bharat Mission, was held recently at Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine, in Jammu & Kashmir. 
  • Government think tank Niti Aayog has envisaged a new India in which all citizens in 15 years will have houses with toilets, two-wheelers or cars, power, air conditioners and digital connectivity. 
  • The West Bengal government has decided to drop the tag "Pradhan Mantri" from "Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna" and rename it as "Bangla Fasal Bima Yojna". 
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the first flight under the Regional Connectivity Scheme Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (Udan) by flagging off the Alliance Airlines flight on Shimla-Delhi sector from Jubbar Hatti airport near Shimla. 
  • The first electric taxi trial in the country is going to be launched in Nagpur from May 24 
  • In a bid to counter the women who throw stones at security forces in Jammu and Kashmir, the Union government plans to raise an all-woman India Reserve Battalion (IRB) in the State. 
  • At least 132 people participated in the first-ever athletics meet for transgender persons organised by the Kerala government at Trivandrum’s Central Stadium. 
  • This week the Government of Kazakhstan opened its consulate in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The consular district will include the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala and will be headed by well-known businessman and Chairman of Kirtilals Mr. Suraj Shantakumar. 
  • India’s first book village to come up in Maharashtra. 
  • Govt. launches Test & Treat policy for HIV patients. 

International Events

  • India has won elections to two subsidiary bodies of a UN organ focussed on social and economic issues. 
  • China and Iran have signed the first agreement on the reconfiguration of Iran's Arak reactor. 
  • A state-run Chinese company will handle the operations of Pakistan's strategic Gwadar port for a period of 40 years. 
  • Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Shri Piyush Goyal and H.E. Mr. Ignasius Jonan, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Republic of Indonesia met on 20th April, 2017 for the 1st India Indonesia Energy Forum, held in Jakarta, Indonesia. 
  • Fourteenth (14th) edition of Indo-French naval exercise (VARUNA) started with the arrival of four French naval ships at Goa. 
  • A freight train connecting Russia with China has arrived in an inland city bringing goods from Moscow to the former revolutionary heartland of the Communist Party 
  • A Delhi-based green body, a French waste company and a Geneva-based innovation foundation have joined hands to further strengthen India’s waste management capabilities. 
  • The White House has named a retired Marine major general Randolph Ailes as the new Director of the Secret Service. Ailes was in the Marine Corps for 35 years. 
  • China has launched a new aircraft carrier in the latest sign of its growing military strength. 
  • India slipped three places in the 2017 world press freedom rankings to 136th among 180 countries 
  • The Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) plans to build a new oil terminal at Motihari in Bihar to supply fuel to neighbour Nepal through the planned pipeline up to Amlekganj in Nepal. The old terminal at Raxaul, also in the same Indian state, will be closed 
  • Rahul V. Chittella's short film "Azaad", starring Atul Kulkarni and Sakshi Tanwar, will be screened by Unesco as part of a World Press Freedom Day event on May 3 in Jakarta, Indonesia. 
  • India and Cyprus signed four agreements, including on air services and merchant shipping, following delegation-level talks headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades 
  • El Salvador became the first country in the world to ban the mining of metals in what campaigners called a landmark move for environmental protection. 
  • Expressing its disappointment with India for not making adequate changes in its IP laws and regulations despite announcing its National IPR policy last year, the US Trade Representative’s (USTR) office has once again placed the country in the ‘priority watch’ list in this year’s edition of the Special 301 report. 
  • Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan addressed the audience in a conference at TED Talks (Technology, Entertainment and Design talks) in Canada. 
  • Poland assured India of its support to New Delhi's bid for membership in the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and a permanent seat in the expanded UN Security Council. 

Sports

  • One of the sports to miss out from the programme list of the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang is cricket. Apart from cricket, skateboarding, sambo and surfing are among the other sports which have been removed from the programme in order to reduce the burden on Indonesian organisers. 
  • Aged 17 years and 199 days, Rising Pune Supergiant spinner Washington Sundar has become the third youngest cricketer to play in IPL. 
  • India’s Rohan Bopanna and his Uruguayan partner Pablo Cuevas lifted the men’s doubles crown at the Monte Carlo Masters after registering a hard- fought three-set win over Spain’s Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez in Monaco. 
  • One of the sports to miss out from the programme list of the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang is cricket. 
  • 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 
  • Haryana beat arch rivals Kerala after six years to win the team championship at the National Youth Athletics Meet 
  • Indian shot putter Manpreet Kaur bags Gold at Asian Grand Prix in China. 
  • The most popular medal at the World Masters Games has gone to the oldest competitor - 101-year-old Indian sprinter Man Kaur. 
  • The ‘Marylebone Cricket Club’ has offered honourary life membership to Sandhya Agarwal, former captain of the Indian women’s Test team. 
  • 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. 

Awards and Honours

  • Chitra Productions in association with Dadasaheb Phalke Excellence Awards 2017 celebrated the 148th birth anniversary of the father of Indian Cinema, the respected Dadasaheb Phalke. 
  • Travel planning and booking website TripAdvisor has bestowed on Bali an award as the “best destination,” after the island was named the global winner of the 2017 Travelers' Choice Awards in March. 
  • SSP Chawrasia and Aditi Ashok were among the winners at the second Golf Industry Association (GIA) Awards. 
  • Nonagenarian gynaecologist Dr Bhakti Yadav was handed over the Padma Shri award by district collector P Narahari at her house. 
  • Veteran actress Moushumi Chatterjee has received the lifetime achievement award, at the 80th Bengal Film Journalists' Association (BFJA) awards. 
  • Bollywood film "Newton" has won the best film honor at the Hong Kong International Film Festival. The lead actor of the film is Raj Kumar Rao. 
  • 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. 
  • Social activist Prafulla Samantra was announced one of six winners of the Goldman Environmental Prize, in San Francisco 
  • 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. 
  • State-owned Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilisers and Chemicals Ltd (GNFC) has won the prestigious Golden Globe Tigers Award for Excellence and Leadership in CSR in the category of ‘E-Payment Leadership’ for the implementation of digital transactions in its township at Bharuch, Gujarat. 
  • The youngest chancellor of any university in the nation, Dileep K Nair has bagged Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Foundation award for excellent performance in the field of education in Trivendurum, Kerala. 
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • The Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) Department has bagged e-Puraskar Award for the best performance in empowering panchayats by using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools, for 2016-17. 
  • A prominent Indian businessman's food processing plant in Britain has won the prestigious Queen's Enterprise Award 2017 for its exceptional contribution to the UK's trade, industry and economy. 
  • Odisha’s capital city, Bhubaneswar, the first Indian city has won Pierre L’enfant Planning Excellence and Achievement Awards-2017 instituted by the American Planning Association. 
  • Versatile playback singer Vani Jairam was presented the Ghantasala national award instituted by the Ghantasala National Art Academy. 
  • The youngest ever chancellor of any university in the nation, Dileep K Nair, has added another feather to his cap of achievement after bagging the award for excellent performance in the field of education in Trivendurum, Kerala. 
  • In yet another move in India against black money, markets regulator Sebi on Wednesday barred resident as well as non-resident Indians (NRIs) from making investments through participatory notes (P-Notes). 
  • India won six medals in the second leg of the Asian Grand Prix Athletics Meet in Jiaxing, China. This included the gold medal bagged by Neena Varakil in women’s long jump. 
  • The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee presented CII Presidents Award for Lifetime Achievement to Mr. Rahul Bajaj and CII foundation Woman Exemplar Award 
  • Indian sand artist Sudarshan Patnaik wins gold in Moscow Competition. 

Science and Technology

  • Indian Naval ship for the first time fired a land-attack BrahMos supersonic cruise missile. 
  • Haryana has launched a new mobile based application namely ‘Kilkari’ to create awareness among pregnant women, parents, and field workers about the importance of antenatal care, institutional delivery, postnatal care and immunisation 
  • NASA successfully launched its football-stadium-sized, heavy-lift super pressure balloon (SPB) from Wanaka 
  • Scientists have found that a caterpillar commercially bred for fishing bait has the ability to biodegrade polyethylene: one of the toughest and most used plastics, frequently found clogging up landfill sites in the form of plastic shopping bags. 
  • India successfully carried out a fresh user trial of 3,000-kilometer range Agni-III ballistic missile from Abdul Kalam Island off Odisha coast. 
  • Indian Space Research Organisation's Ahmedabad-based Space Applications Centre (SAC) has developed an Android app, named Solar Calculator, for computing the solar energy potential of any location. 
  • Extremely premature babies could be kept alive in future using an “artificial womb” that scientists plan to test in humans after a successful study involving unborn lambs. 
  • IT major Infosys has launched its new artificial intelligence platform ‘Nia’, which can help businesses forecast revenues, understand customer behaviour as well as deep dive into content of contracts and deal with compliance and fraud. 

Appointments

  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • Beverage major Coca-Cola Company announced key leadership changes for its India & South West Asia business and Hindustan Coca-Cola Bottling (HCCB) operations. 
  • T Krishnakumar has been appointed as the president of India and South West Asia Business Unit. He has replaced Venkatesh Kini. 

Banking and Finance

  • 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. 
  • Private sector lender Yes Bank announced the alliance with Paisabazaar.com under which the bank will offer conditionally approved loans to the latter’s existing customers. 
  • Mobile payment and commerce platform Paytm announced that it has collaborated with MMTC-PAMP to launch digital gold, which will enable its customers to buy gold online and store it in MMTC-PAMPs secure vaults free of charge. 

Deaths

  • Veteran actor Vinod Khanna passed away in Mumbai. He was an active politician, and Member of Parliament from Gurdaspur, Punjab. 
  • American Director Jonathan Demme, the Oscar-winning director behind classics like The Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia, died in New York.
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