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Former bureaucrat NK Singh selected for Japan’s highest civilian award

Former bureaucrat and MP Nand Kishore Singh have been awarded with ‘Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver’ which is a Japan’s highest civilian award. 

•    He was chosen for this prestigious award for promoting economic, educational and cultural ties between India and Japan. 
•    He is among 91 foreign recipients to be honoured during the 2016 Spring Imperial Decoration of Japan by Emperor Akihito during the investiture ceremony in May 2016. 
•    N K Singh is a politician, economist and former Indian Administrative Service officer (IAS) from Bihar cadre. 
•    He had served as a MP in the Rajya Sabha (2008-2014) from Bihar. 
•    He was also Principal Secretary to Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee. He was also connected with International organisations like World Bank, IMF and UNDP. 
•    He also had served as Chairman, Board of Governors of Management Development Institute (MDI), Gurgaon. 
•    Order of the Rising Sun  is a Japanese Government highest civilian established in 1875 by Emperor Meiji. 
•    It is conferred in recognition of distinguished accomplishments of an individual. 
•    The modern version of the order is being given to non-Japanese recipients from 1981.

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Swat activist Tabassum Adnan won 2016 Nelson Mandela Award

On 28 April 2016 Tabassum Adnan, from Swat valley of Pakistan, won the Mandela - Graça Machel Innovation Award 2016 in Bogota, Colombia.
•    She won the award on the concluding day of the International Civil Society Week held from 25 April to 28 April 2016.
•    She has been a victim of child marriage, & was married at the age of 13. 
•    The marriage went through domestic abuse, ended after 20 years .
•    She is the founder of Khwendo Jirga (Sister's Council), which is the first women-only jirga in Pakistan. 
•    The council meets weekly & speaks of women's right, including honour killings, and acid attacks.
•    The jirga campaigns for women in Swat Valley, including issues related to women's security and their voting rights.
•    In March 2015, Adnan, was awarded the International Women of Courage award in the US.

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China developed world's first graphene electronic paper

China has developed a new electronic paper, which has been heralded as "the world's first graphene electronic paper.Compared with traditional e-papers, graphene e-paper is more pliable and has more intensity and its high-light transmittance means optical displays will be much brighter.E-papers have been produced on a commercial scale since 2014. 
Compared with liquid crystal displays, e-papers are thinner, bendable and energy efficient, meaning products are more portable.
• Graphene is the world's strongest and lightest known material.it can conduct heat and electricity.
• The material can be used to create hard or flexible graphene displays, used in electronic products such as e-readers and wearable smart devices.
• Graphene is derived from carbon, meaning production costs will be much lower than for traditional e-papers, which use the rare, expensive metal indium.

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International Labour Day- 1 May

1st May is International Labour Day, known as May Day. 
•    The theme of International Labour Day of 2016 is "Celebrating the international labour movement".
•    The whole world celebrates 1st May every year as International Labour Day to highlight the significance of hard work and the result we get through it. 
•    This is also known as International Worker's Day and May Day.
•    80 countries across the world have declared national holiday on this day.
•    The first demand for an eight hour working day and better working conditions gained momentum in early 19th century.
•    On the first of May in 1886, four striking workers of a harvesting plant at Haymarket in Chicago were killed in police firing.
•    It was protested all over and ever since, first of May is observed as workers day. 
•    Labour is one of the four key factors of production along with Land, Capital and organisation.

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South Korea Unveils Zika-Proof Olympic Uniforms

South Korea's Olympic committee on 27th April 2016 unveiled Zika-proof uniforms complete with mosquito repellent
•    Mosquito-repellent chemicals were added to the outfits, which all include long pants, long-sleeved shirts and jackets. 
•    The decision to use mosquito repellent uniform during the Rio games was taken because of the spread of the Zika virus. 
•    The virus is spread by daytime-active Aedes mosquitoes.
•    Earlier in April 2016, representatives of the South Korean Olympic organisation and the government visited Rio to inspect venues, athletes' facilities and local hospitals. Brazil has reported about 1.5 million Zika infections out of a worldwide total of about 2 million.
•    The disease has been declared a global emergency by the World Health Organisation. 
•    It causes severe headache which might lead to death.
•    Fever, Body pain etc. are common traits.

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Russia launches first rocket from new Vostochny Cosmodrome

Russia has launched the first rocket from its newly built Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Amur Oblast, in Russian Far East region bordering China. 
•    The rocket is carrying three satellites with it namely Mikhailo Lomonosov , SamSat-218 and Aist-2D. 
•    Vostochny Cosmodrome is a Russian spaceport for civilian launches which is still under construction. 
•    Presently, Russia has the large military launch facilities.
•    But for launch but it has to depend on the Baikonur Cosmodrome for the civilian launches.
•    The new cosmodrome is going  to enable Russia to launch most missions from its own land.
•    Currently, Baikonur is the only launch site operated by Russia with the capability to launch crewed missions to ISS or elsewhere.
•    Seven launch pads are planned to be built at Vostochny, over a period of years.
•    Construction of the cosmodrome began in January 2011 and, as of 2011, was expected to be completed in 2018.

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France honours Mikkelesen with top civilian Award

France on 27th April 2016 honoured Bond villain Mads Mikkelsen with a top civilian award, paying tribute to him as a "fascinating" actor whose "face tells it all".
•    The 50-year-old Danish actor, best known for playing baddie Le Chiffre in the 2006 Bond film "Casino Royale" received the honour at a ceremony in Copenhagen alongside Danish film director Thomas Vinterberg.
•    France's ambassador to Denmark François Zimeray described Mikkelsen as "an all-round actor, whose face tells it all: the hardships and joys of life".
•    The former professional dancer won the best actor prize at Cannes in 2012 for his role in Vinterberg's psychological thriller "The Hunt".
•    described him as a film-maker who "exposes the dark sides of human nature with audacity".

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World Intellectual Property Day 2016 observed globally

The World Intellectual Property Day 2016 was on 26 April 2016 observed across the world with the theme Digital Creativity: Culture Reimagined. 
•    On this day, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) works together with various government agencies, non-government organizations, community groups and individuals to hold different events and activities to promote World Intellectual Property Day.
•    The day is celebrated to spread awareness about the role that intellectual property rights (patents, trademarks, industrial designs, copyright) play in encouraging innovation and creativity.
•    This year theme explores the future of culture in the digital age: how we create it, how we access it, how we finance it. A balanced and flexible intellectual property system helps ensure that those working in the creative sector and artists themselves are properly paid for their work, so they can keep creating.
•    In October 1999, the General Assembly of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) approved the idea of declaring a particular day as a World Intellectual Property Day.
•    In 2000, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) designated 26 April as an annual World Intellectual Property (IP) Day to address the perceived gap between Intellectual Property as a business/legal concept and its relevance to people’s lives. 
•    April 26 was specifically chosen as the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization, first entered into force in 1970 on this date.

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Thailand former Prime Minister Banharn Silpa-archa died

The former prime minister of Thailand, BanharnSilpa-archa was died on 23 April 2016 in Bangkok. He was 83.
His scandal-ridden tenure a Prime Minister preceded the Thailand’s economic collapse in the 1990s.
• He was born on 19 August 1932 in Suphanburi, Siam to a Chinese merchant family. His Chinese name was Ma Dexiang.
• He was elected 11 times to Parliament and gained the nickname Banharnburi for his home province with Thai Nation Party.
• He was regional power broker and a master of money politics in his home province, Suphanburi.
• His tenure as 21st Prime Minister of Thailand was lasted from 13 July 1995 to 24 November 1996 for about 16 months with Thai Nation Party.
• His government was marked by allegations of corruption and economic mismanagement which led to Economic Collapse in the country, touching off the Asian financial crisis.
• He was a familiar presence in national politics, serving as a minister in various governments over the years, and became known as Mr ATM for his methods of winning support and securing allies.
• He was also known as the eel for his ability to wriggle his party into coalitions, including the tenuous grouping of small parties that briefly kept him in power as prime minister.

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Japan successfully tested its first stealth fighter X-2 jet

Japan on 22 April 2016 successfully tested the first stealth fighter jet.  With this, the country joins a select group of world military powers wielding the radar-dodging technology.
The domestically developed single-pilot prototype X-2 jet took off from Nagoya airport in central Japan on its maiden test flight. It safely landed at Gifu air base, north of Nagoya airport, after a 25-minute flight with no particular problems.
Even though the use of military force have a strict constitutional constraints after World War II, Japan still has one of the world's most advanced defence forces and the development of the stealth fighter comes as it faces new security challenges in the form of China's expanding force posture.
At present, only the USA, Russia and China have been internationally recognised as having successfully developed and flown manned stealth jets.
• It was developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and 200 other firms, measures 14.2 metres (47 feet) long and 9.1 metres wide and was built as a successor to F-2 fighter jets developed jointly with the United States of America (USA).
• Its delivery to the defence ministry is expected as early as May 2016 and the acquisition agency will continue analysing data and check its stealth technology capability.
• Japan began the project in 2009 and has reportedly spent about 39.4 billion yen (332 million US dollars) to develop the aircraft.
• The country was barred from developing aircraft for a number of years after its defeat in World War II but eventually produced the YS-11, a propeller passenger plane that began flying in the early 1960s.
• In another aviation milestone in November 2015, Japan's first domestically produced passenger jet, also developed by Mitsubishi Heavy, made its maiden test flight.

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