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Important Current Affairs of 13th May

National 

Short film 'Kamali' on 9-yr-old TN skateboarder qualifies for Oscars.

• 'Kamali', a short film on Tamil Nadu's nine-year-old skateboarder girl Kamali Moorthy, has qualified for the 2020 Academy Awards shortlist.

• The 24-minute film directed by filmmaker Sasha Rainbow from New Zealand won the Best Documentary Short at Atlanta Film Festival in April.

•  Born in a fishermen colony, Kamali has toured across India with professional skateboarding teams to promote the sport.

Reliance Industries moves registered offices of five subsidiaries to Gujarat.

• Reliance Industries (RIL) has moved registered offices of five of its subsidiaries — four telecom and one investment arm — to Ahmedabad, Gujarat, over the last one year.

• The telecom subsidiaries include — Reliance Jio Messaging Services Ltd, Reliance Jio Infratel Private Ltd, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, and Reliance Jio Digital Services Ltd. The registered office of the investment arm Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings Ltd (RIIHL), which serves as a vehicle to invest in various business ventures of RIL, has also been moved to Gujarat. Prior to the shift, all these companies had their registered offices in Mumbai.

China may route its commercial presence in India through Bay of Bengal.

• India’s outreach to the East and an escalating trade war between China and the United States is helping to turn the Bay of Bengal coastline into a new and attractive growth engine.

• In the backdrop of Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen — coastal cities which propelled China’s rise as the workshop-of-the world — India too appears to be stepping up its game of coast based manufacturing, focusing intensely on its eastern shores.

INTERNATIONAL:

Chinese navy launches two new guided missile destroyers.

•  China, which is developing its navy at a feverish pace, has commissioned two more guided missile destroyers taking the total of such warships to 20 with more in the pipeline, state-media reported on Monday.

• Two Type 052D guided missile destroyers were launched last Friday in Dalian, a coastal city, state-run Global Times reported.

• Their commissioning marked the 19th and 20th of launches of their kind, the report said and quoted Chinese analysts as saying that plans are afoot to build more guided missile destroyers.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Sanjiv Puri becomes CMD of ITC.

• ITC Managing Director Sanjiv Puri has been appointed as the chairman by the Board of Directors. His new designation will now be chairman and managing director, the company said in a stock exchange filing.

• Company chairman Yogesh Chander Deveshwar passed away on May 11.

• Mr. Puri (56) has been the Managing Director since 2018. He was appointed on the board in December 2015 and as the CEO in February 2017.

SPORTS:

Mane, Salah, Aubameyang share PL Golden Boot award.

• Liverpool's Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang shared the Premier League Golden Boot award after they all ended up with 22 goals.

• The 22-goal winning mark was the lowest since the 2010-11 season when Manchester United's Dimitar Berbatov and Manchester City's Carlos Tevez shared the Golden Boot with 20 goals apiece.

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Important Current Affairs 12th May 2019

INTERNATIONAL:

Hinduja brothers named UK's wealthiest people for third time.

• The Hinduja brothers have been named the UK's wealthiest people for the third time, according to Sunday Times Rich List. Sri and Gopi Hinduja saw their wealth increase by £1.35 billion from last year to £22 billion (around ₹2 lakh crore). The Hinduja Group was founded in Mumbai in 1914 and operates in fields including oil, banking, IT and property.

Elon Musk's brain tech startup Neuralink raises $39 million.

• Neuralink, an American neurotechnology startup co-founded by Elon Musk, has raised $39 million of a planned $51 million funding round, Bloomberg said quoting a filing with the SEC. As per its LinkedIn, Neuralink is developing ultra-high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect humans and computers. Notably, billionaire Elon Musk is the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX.

AGREEMENTS AND MOUS:

India to sign pact with Mongolia to built its first petrochemical refinery.

• India and Mongolia are expected to sign an agreement this week for the construction of Mongolia’s first petrochemical refinery that is expected to cut some of its dependence on Russian fuel. When signed, the project will be the largest being undertaken by the government of India under its Lines of Credit programme, two people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

• The petrochemical refinery -- near Sainshand in southern Dornogovi province -- is to be built at an approximate cost of $1.25 billion utilising the $1 billion line of credit announced during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Ulan Bator in 2015. It is expected to be completed by 2022.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

RBI proposes app to help visually challenged identify notes.

• The RBI has proposed to introduce a mobile application to help visually challenged citizens identify Indian currency notes, and has invited bids from technology firms for the same. The application should be searchable via voice option in all app stores, it said. Currently, intaglio printing-based identification marks on banknotes of ₹100 and above help the visually challenged recognise currency.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Emirates Chief Commercial Officer resigns after profit falls.

• Emirates Chief Commercial Officer Thierry Antinori has resigned, a company spokesperson said on Sunday, days after the Gulf airline announced its weakest profit in a decade. Emirates posted a 69% fall in 2018-19 profit amid rising fuel costs and slow passenger growth. Antinori, who joined Emirates in 2011, was responsible for commercial operations, the frequent flyer program and cargo division.

DAYS:

International Nurses Day is celebrated on 12 May.

• International Nurses Day (IND) is an international day observed around the world on 12 May of each year, to mark the contributions that nurses make to society. It was first observed in 1965.

• ICN commemorates this important day each year with the production and distribution of the International Nurses' Day (IND) resources and evidence. The theme for the year 2019 is "Nurses: A voice to lead - Health for All".

SPORTS:

Man City win their 4th PL title as title race goes till last day.

• Manchester City clinched their fourth Premier League title after winning the 2018/2019 season on the last day of the league that started on August 11, 2018. Manchester City registered a 4-1 victory against Brighton to accumulate 98 points in 38 matches with 32 victories, while Liverpool, who were also in the title race till today, finished second with 97 points.

Lewis Hamilton wins Spanish Grand Prix, Bottas finishes second.

• Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton clinched the title at the Spanish Grand Prix, also winning the extra point for the fastest lap at the race on Sunday. The race saw Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas finish second in the race, with Red Bull's Max Verstappen finishing in the third spot. This was the fifth straight 1-2 finish for Mercedes.

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Important Current Affairs of 9th May

NATIONAL:

IIT Bombay researchers developed first indigenous microprocessor AJIT.

• Engineers from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay) have developed a microprocessor called AJIT which could reduce the country’s dependence on imports. It is the first to be conceptualised, designed, developed and manufactured in India.

• The project was funded by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and IIT Bombay. Powai Labs, a Mumbai-based company, has invested in the venture. It will own, market and support the product.

India’s electronics market is expected to reach $400 billion by 2020. Most of the electronic devices that are used are imported and only a quarter of the devices are produced in the country.

Noida-based edtech startup Classplus raises 11 crore.

• Noida-based edtech startup Classplus has raised around Rs.11 crore in pre-Series A funding led by Times Internet and GREE Ventures.

• Japanese VC firm Spiral Ventures and existing investor, Netherlands-based Rising Stars Fund also participated in the funding round.

• Classplus, launched as XPrep in 2015, was founded by Mukul Rustagi, Bhaswat Agarwal, Bikash Dash and Vatsal Rustagi.

AGREEMENTS AND MOU’s:

India takes part in naval drill in S China Sea claimed by China.

• India, Japan, the US and the Philippines held naval drills in the South China Sea, nearly 90% of which is claimed by China.

• India deployed a destroyer, the INS Kolkata, and a tanker, the INS Shakti, in the nearly week-long multilateral drill, the US Navy said. Southeast Asian nations including Vietnam and Malaysia also lay claims over the sea.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

Reliance Industries loses 96,000 crore market value in four days.

• Shares of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries have fallen nearly 11% in the last four sessions, erasing about 96,000 crore in market value.

• With this fall in Reliance shares, Tata Consultancy Services has overtaken the company to become India's most valued firm with a market capitalisation of 8.14 lakh crore. Reliance's market cap stood at Rs.7.96 lakh crore.

ED probes Etihad investment in Jet Privilege.

• The ED is reportedly probing Etihad Airways' investment in Jet Airways' frequent-flyer programme, Jet Privilege.

• The agency is investigating whether Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) norms were violated when the Abu Dhabi-based carrier took a stake in the programme, reports said.

• Queries raised by the erstwhile FIPB to both the airlines immediately after the deal had gone unanswered, reports added.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Rakesh Sharma, Bajaj Auto Executive Director elected as IMMA Vice-President.

• Rakesh Sharma, Bajaj Auto Executive Director and also a representative of SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers) elected as VP (Vice President) of IMMA, International Motorcycle Manufacturers Association (based in Geneva) during the annual general meeting of (IMMA) at Yogyakarta in Indonesia.

• Rakesh Sharma has a wide range of experience in 2 and 3-wheeler industry and he is expected to efficiently direct IMMA towards being the trusted motorcycle manufacturers worldwide.

• IMMA’s president is Johannes Loman.

Indias Jagjit Pavadia re-elected to the International Narcotics Control Board(INCB).

• Jagjit Pavadia, an Indian re-elected by the UN Economic and Social Council to a five year term on International Narcotics Control Board with the highest number of votes of 44 in the 54 member council.

• She will begin her term on March 2, next year.

• She was elected to the INCB for her first five year term in 2014. She has also served as the First Vice-President of the Board in 2016 and Chair of the Standing Committee on Estimates in 2015 and 2017.

DAYS:

World Thalassaemia Day was observed on 8th May.

• 8th May is observed as World Thalassaemia Day globally every year. The theme for 2019 was Universal access to quality thalassaemia healthcare services: Building bridges with and for the patient.

The day is observed to raise awareness about thalassaemia, its prevention, and measures to avoid its transmission among people throughout the world. It is observed in honour of all patients suffering and fighting from thalassaemia and also all scientists working hard to provide improved quality of life to people suffering with it.

• Thalassemia:

Thalassemias are inherited blood disorders characterized by abnormal hemoglobin production.

Since it is an inheritable disease so cannot be prevented completely however, it can be lessened through the prenatal tests which helps in the early detection and cure before the childbirth.

There are two main types:

1.         Alpha thalassemia

2.         Beta thalassemia

Symptoms depend on the type and can vary from none to severe.

• Often there is mild to severe anemia (low red blood cells).

• There may also be bone problems, an enlarged spleen, yellowish skin, and dark urine.

• Slow growth may occur in children.

Treatments include blood transfusions, iron chelation, and folic acid.

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Important Current Affairs of 7th May

NATIONAL:

INS Vishal: India, UK in talks to replicate Naval Supercarrier.

• Art aircraft carrier along the lines of Britain's HMS Queen Elizabeth as part of the ongoing 'Make in India' negotations, according to a media report.

• The talks are under way for the Indian Navy to buy detailed plans for the 65,000-ton British warship to build a so-called "copycat supercarrier" to be named INS Vishal in 2022.

• "An Indian delegation has already visited Rosyth dockyard in Scotland where HMS Queen Elizabeth was assembled and where a second supercarrier, HMS Prince  .

NEET chance: HRD Ministry to decide on Karnataka’s request

• HRD Ministry on Monday assured the Karnataka Government it would soon decide on their request to allow over 500 students from the State, who missed the NEET exam on Sunday due to a train delay.

• HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar announced that the National Testing Agency will conduct NEET exam again for those students of Karnataka who missed their exam as their train was delayed which has come as a major relief to the candidates.NEET for these students will be conducted on May 20.

• Nearly 365 students from north Karnataka had missed appearing for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) on May 5, as the train in which they were travelling reached Bengaluru over seven hours late.

Bombs hurled, booths ‘looted’ in West Bengal

• A helpless Election Commission of India watched Bengal’s poll percentage drop by notches even as sporadic violence, bombing and booth-capturing marred the fifth phase of elections too with both the Opposition BJP and Left Front and the ruling Trinamool Congress accusing each other of “rampant rigging.

• Reports of violence and booth jamming came in from Barrackpore where the turncoat TMC strongman and former MLA Arjun Singh was fighting against former Union Minister Dinesh Trivedi.

• While a suave and composed Trivedi was seen playing cricket with children amid overseeing polling, Singh ran from booth to booth alleging massive rigging by TMC workers. He reportedly exchanged fisticuffs with police officials before complaining that “the police were helping the TMC rig elections. He fell down and injured himself while chasing away ‘outsiders’.

• Bombs were hurled at Himli Saolapara in Gaighata Assembly segment of Bongaon parliamentary constituency where one TMC supporter received head injuries. Later the CAPF resorted to massive lathi-charge.

INTERNATIONAL:

US wants India to eliminate trade barriers for American companies: Ross

• The US wants India to eliminate trade barriers for American companies and remove restrictions with regard to data localisation to cut the cost of doing business, visiting US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Tuesday.

• "Our goal is to eliminate barriers to the US companies operating here including data localisation restrictions that actually weaken data security and increase the cost of doing business," he said here.Ross was speaking at the Trade Winds Forum and Trade Mission. He is accompanying a delegation of over 100 American businesses.He also alleged that India imposes very high import duties on goods like automobiles, motorcycles, agri products and alcoholic beverages."

•  Currently US businesses face significant market access barriers in India. These include both tariff and non-tariff barriers as well as multiple practices and regulations to the disadvantage of foreign companies."India's average applied tariffs rate is 13.8 per cent and that remains the highest of any major world economy, the very highest.

• It has for example a 60 per cent tariff on auto, while the US has 2.5 per cent. It has 50 per cent tariff on motorcycles and 150 per cent on alcoholic beverages. Just a few extreme examples," he added.

US deploys carrier strike group to send ‘clear message’ to Iran

• The US is deploying an aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber task force in the Middle East to send a “clear and unmistakable” message to Iran that any attack on American interests or its allies will be met with “unrelenting force”, National Security Advisor John Bolton has warned.

• Bolton said on Sunday the decision to deploy the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the US Central Command region in the Middle East was in response to a number of “troubling and escalatory indications and warnings” from Iran.

• The deployment of the strike group and bomber task force comes after US President Donald Trump last month refused to give waivers to countries like India from buying oil from Iran, in an attempt to reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero.

• After coming to power, Trump withdrew from the Iranian nuclear deal last year and has imposed stringent sanctions against what he describes as the “authoritarian” Iranian regime

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

Yes Bank shares fall over 5%;  m-cap drops by Rs 2,135 cr

• Shares of Yes Bank on Monday dropped by over 5 per cent, wiping out Rs 2,135.29 crore from its market valuation, after ratings downgrade.The scrip tumbled 5.30 per cent to close at Rs 166.30 on the BSE.

• During the day, it tanked 5.75 per cent to Rs 165.50. It was the worst hit among the 30-front-line shares.On the NSE, shares dropped 5 per cent to close at Rs 167.In terms of volume, 43.12 lakh shares of the company were traded on the BSE during the day, while over 4 crore units changed hands on the NSE.The company’s market valuation fell by Rs 2,135.29 crore to Rs 38,515.71 crore on the BSE.

• The private sector lender had a double whammy Saturday after domestic rating agency ICRA downgraded its long-term ratings along with a negative outlook, citing a spike in its lower-rated advances and falling core capital buffers.The agency downgraded ratings on instruments totalling borrowings over Rs 33,000 crore by the lender, ICRA said.The bank had also reported its maiden loss of over Rs 1,506 crore in the March quarter, driven by a near ten-fold spike in provisions.

Hughes, Airtel to combine India VSAT biz

• Telecom operator Bharti Airtel and Hughes Communications India Ltd (HCIL) Tuesday announced they will combine their VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) satellite operations in the country.

• HCIL is a subsidiary of broadband satellite networks and services provider Hughes Network Systems.Hughes will have majority ownership in the combined entity while Airtel will have a significant shareholding, according to a statement.

• The statement did not spell out the financial details of the transaction, which is subject to requisite approvals."The combined entity will benefit from enhanced scale, improved operational efficiencies and wider market reach.

• The combined entity will be well positioned to leverage the demand for secure connectivity in a rapidly growing digital economy," it said.VSAT is used to provide satellite based telecom and internet access to individuals and enterprise users.HCIL is a broadband satellite service operator in India, and offers a range of broadband networking technologies, solutions, and services for businesses and governments.

Ratan Tata invests in Ola Electric Mobility

• Ride hailing major Ola Monday said Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons, has invested in its EV business — Ola Electric Mobility (OEM).This investment, which is part of OEM’s series A round of funding, is in Tata’s personal capacity, Ola said in a statement.

• Details of the funding were not disclosed.“His investment in Ola Electric will bring his deep experience and mentorship to the company’s ambitions to make electric mobility viable at scale,” it added.

• Tata is also an early investor in ANI Technologies, Ola’s parent company. He had invested in ANI Technologies in July 2015.In March this year, OEM had announced raising Rs 400 crore in a funding round led by Tiger Global and Matrix India.    

SPORTS:

Federer makes retirement claim ahead of Madrid return

• The topic of when Federer will finally hang up his racket has followed the Swiss for several years.But the 37-year-old has been able to put off 'Father Time' by continuing to win major trophies and remain in the top 10 in the world.And in a further show that he's not ready to quit, Federer has decided to play during the clay court season for the first time since 2016.

• Speaking in an interview with Spanish publication Marca ahead of the tournament, Federer was asked if he was surprised that he's still able to compete at such a highlevel at 37.

• And the 20-time Grand Slam revealed the major factor in his decision to carry on playing."A little, yes," Federer admitted."If you told me ten years ago that this would be happening, I wouldn't have believed it. I could have hoped for a top ten or top 20 place, but not this."If I'd been asked in 2009 if I would be playing in 2019 I'd have said only if I was still competitive."I have made my career and I do not need to play to lose in the second round in any tournament. My goal is to win, as I did at the beginning of the season."If I feel like I can't be the best, it's better for me to stop."I still enjoy the victories in Masters 1000 events or being world No 1, as I did last year in Rotterdam."In a wide-ranging interview, Federer was also asked about the clay court form of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

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Important Current Affairs 2nd May 2019

INTERNATIONAL:

Japan got its new emperor Naruhito.

• The new emperor, Naruhito (59-year-old),  on 1st May received the sacred imperial regalia that represents his rightful succession to the world’s oldest monarchy, Tokyo, Japan. Emperor Akihito of Japan formally stepped down on 30th April 2019 as his son Naruhito prepared to take the Chrysanthemum Throne and usher in a new imperial era.

Pakistan named its retaliatory action against India on February 27 as Operation Swift Retort.

• Pakistan Air Force announced that they will observe its retaliatory action against India against the Balakot strike of Indian Air Force as ‘Operation Swift Retort’.

The Indian air strikes at Balakot terror camp on February 26 was response of Pakistan based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) attack by a suicide bomber in Pulwama that killed 40 CRPF jawans.

In response to Indian attack, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) retaliated and captured IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman who was released by Pakistan on March 1.

AGREEMENT AND  MOU's:

Varuna 19.1, Indo French joint naval exercise, began in Goa.

• Varuna 19.1 is the first part of the Indo-French joint naval exercise. It is being held off the Goa coast from 1st to 10th May 2019.

The exercise will see the participation of the French Navy's aircraft carrier FNS Charles de Gaulle, two destroyers, FNS Forbin and FNS Provence, the frigate FNS Latouche-Treville, the tanker FNS Marne and a nuclear submarine. From the Indian side, the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, destroyer INS Mumbai, the Teg-class frigate, INS Tarkash, the Shishumar- class submarine, INS Shankul, and the Deepak- class fleet tanker, INS Deepak, are taking part in the exercise.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

Bandhan Bank to cut promoter holding to 40% through offer-for-sale route.

• Bandhan Bank will reduce its promoter holding to the mandated level of 40% through the offer-for-sale (OFS) route and is not looking at any more acquisitions at the moment, said managing director and CEO Chandra Shekhar Ghosh.

• Speaking to reporters after announcing the bank’s Q4 FY19 results, Ghosh said, “We cannot go for any further acquisition and the option is to have an offer for sale."

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Viacom18 appoints Gourav Rakshit as Viacom18 Digital Ventures COO.

•  Film, television and digital content conglomerate Viacom18 Media Pvt Ltd on Wednesday announced the appointment of Gourav Rakshit as chief operating officer for its digital arm, Viacom18 Digital Ventures. Rakshit will join the organisation in May and report to Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO and managing director, Viacom18.

• An alumnus of the University of Rochester and IIM Ahmadabad, Rakshit is currently serving as president and chief executive officer of People Group that owns and operates online wedding service Shaadi.com.

DAYS:

WORLD PASSWORD DAY – FIRST THURSDAY IN MAY.

• The Registrar of National Day Calendar has designated the first Thursday of May of each year as World Password Day.

• World Password Day is a celebration to promote better password habits. Passwords are critical gatekeepers to our digital identities, allowing us to access online shopping, dating, banking, social media, private work and life communications.

SPORTS:

Kumar Sangakkara named as first non-British President of MCC.

• Former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara appointed as the first non-British president of the Marylebone Cricket Club.

• Sangakkara will be the first overseas MCC president in the organization's 233-year history.

• The wicketkeeper-batsman, whose nomination was announced by current president Anthony Wreford will begin his one-year tenure in October.

He is an honorary life member of MCC

• He owns Lord's and acts as the guardian of the laws of the game, was founded in 1787 and lists 168 president.

Apurvi Chandela attains world number one spot in women's 10 m air rifle event.

• Indian shooting ace Apurvi Chandela attained the world number one position in the women's 10 metres air rifle event.

• Anjum Moudgil attained number two after consistent performances in recent years.

The rifle ace from Jaipur is among the five Indian shooters to have already secured 2020 Olympics quotas for the country.

• Moudgil attained the world number two rank in 10 metres Air Rifle after her mixed team gold at the ISSF World Cup in Beijing.

• Manu Bhaker is the world number 10 in 25 metres pistol women category.

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Important Current Affairs of 29th April

National :

Cyclone Fani expected to intensify into very severe cyclonic storm

•  Cyclone Fani is expected to intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm and will continue to move North West and change its path to North East.

•  According to the MeT department, Cyclone Fani’s landfall over Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh is ruled out.

•  However, the possibility of landfall in Odisha is under continuous watch.

•  Prime Minister Narendra Modi directed officials to take preventive measures to deal with Cyclone Fani.

•  The National Disaster Response Force and Indian Coast Guard have been put on high and placed at the disposal of State Government Authorities.

Air India flights delayed due to software shutdown

•  Around 135 flights of Air India were delayed on April 28, 2019 due to the ripple effect of the shutdown of its software.

•  These flights were delayed by an average of 197 minutes.

•  The services of Air India flights normalised by April 29, 2019.

•  Thousands of passengers had a harrowing time at airports across the world.

3,000-kg garbage collected from Mt. Everest

•  A total of 3,000 kg of solid waste has been collected from Mt. Everest since the launch of an ambitious clean-up campaign in Nepal on April 14, 2019.

•  The campaign is aimed at bringing back tonnes of trash from the world’s highest peak Mt. Everest.

•  The ‘Everest Cleaning Campaign’, led by Solukhumbu district’s Khumbu Pasanglhamu Rural Municipality, aims to collect nearly 10000 kgs of garbage from Mt. Everest.

•  Of the 3,000 kg garbage collected, 2000 kg was sent to Okhaldhunga while the remaining 1000 kg were brought to Kathmandu using Nepali Army helicopters for disposal.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS:

2019 Global Food Policy report: Rural revitalisation key to eco growth

On 27th April 2019, according to the 2019 Global Food Policy Report (GFPR), rural areas continue to be in a state of crisis and threatening to slow the progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals, global climate targets, and improved food and nutrition security due to hunger, malnutrition, poverty, environmental degradation.

Key points:

i. The report was prepared by the Washington DC-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

ii. Rural transformation and revitalization have been pre-eminent goal of India’s development efforts since independence, according to the report.

iii. It also point out about the changing consumption patterns due to urbanization, increasing income, growing integration of food supply chains and food systems in India which offer new opportunities for entrepreneurship and employment in rural areas.

BANKING & FINANCE:

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has proposed strict rules on opening and running of current accounts of corporate borrowers in order to tackle fund diversion.

According to a report by The Economic Times, India’s Central Bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) would tighten rules on opening and operating current accounts of corporate borrowers to prevent the diversion of funds.

RBI had notified that the banks with collection accounts will have to transfer funds to the current account and  the current accounts could be opened only with the lead bank of a lending association.

Key points:

i. The rules would be applicable to corporates who have borrowed and used credit facilities of more than Rs 50 crore from the banking system.

ii. Customers using credit facility of Rs 5 to Rs 50 crore can also open current accounts with any bank, even if it is not the consortium’s leading bank (which is not a consortium leader). But only collection accounts can be run with non-lending banks.

iii. The debits into accounts will be restricted to transfers to the current account with the lead bank.

iv. The Reserve Bank of India notified that the existing current accounts with banks not leading a consortium must be converted into collection accounts. In case they are not converted, the accounts are closed within a 3-month notice period.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION:

Bajrang Punia became First Indian Wrestler to fight at New York’s Iconic Madison Square Garden

On 27th April 2019, 25 years old Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia became the first Indian wrestler to fight at New York’s iconic Madison Square Garden.

Bajrang PuniaKey Points:

i. He won the gold medal at the 65kg men’s freestyle wrestling at the recent Asian Championships.

ii. He is the first Indian wrestler to be invited by the American governing body and will take part in the “Grapple at the Garden — Beat the Streets” fight night, which will be held on 6th May 2019.

iii. He also won eight gold medals from his previous nine international tournaments including last year’s Commonwealth and Asian Games and presently holds World No.1 title in the 65-kg weight category.

GIA confers Gaganjeet Bhullar for ‘Outstanding Achievement as a player 2019’

On 26th April 2019, Indian Professional Golfer, Gaganjeet Bhullar has been awarded outstanding achievement as a player award at the 4th Edition of the annual India Golf Industry Association (GIA) award for the year 2019 at the Delhi Golf Club.The GIA awards were held along with 8th edition of South Asia’s largest trade show, India Golf & Turf Expo (IGTE).31 year old Bhullar was awarded Arjuna Award in 2013.

Gaganjeet BhullarKey Points:

i. Bhullar became the youngest golfer on the Asian Tour to achieve nine career victories on tour.He had won Fiji international in 2018.

ii. VijayDivech and former Arjuna Awardee NonitaLalQureshi  received for their contribution to Golf coaching.

iii. Naya Raipur Development Authority received ‘First 18 Holes International Standard Golf Course Development by a Smart City in India’ .

iv. Best New Nine-Hole Golf course’ awards, was given to Eco Park, Kolkata.

v. The Royal Calcutta Golf Club won ‘Best Member Engagement Programme’ award for its successful Royal Premier Golf League.

vi. Boulder Hills,Hyderabad won Best Restoration of a golf course award.

About India Golf & turf Expo (IGE):

This platform brings together experts from around the world and India’s golfing fraternity of India to share knowledge, experiences and chart the course for the future of golf in the country.

About Indian Golf Industry Association:

♦ President  :  Ms. Deepali Shah Gandhi

♦ Registered under : Society Act of India

Merger and Acquisition:

NCLT approved merger of IndusInd Bank and BFIL

•  The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) approved the merger of IndusInd Bank with Bharat Financial Inclusion (BFIL).

•  The merger will be completed within 2-4 weeks.

•  Post-merger, the BFIL will become a subsidiary of the IndusInd Bank.

•  Bharat Financial Inclusion Limited is a Non-Banking Finance Company, licensed by the Reserve Bank of India.

SPORTS:

Former India footballer Kannan passes away

•  Former India footballer P. Kannan passed away at a city hospital following prolonged illness. He was 80 and is survived by his wife and two daughters.

•  Kannan, who was a forward and made 14 appearances for India, suffered a stroke earlier in the month.

•  Born in Vandavasi in Tamil Nadu, Kannan played in Bengaluru, Kolkata and Chennai.

•  He represented Universal RC for four years in the Chennai Football Association (CFA) senior division league.

Asian Wrestling Championship 2019

The Asian Wrestling Championship 2019 was held in Xi’an, China from April 23 to April 28, 2019. India won 16 medals which include 1 gold, 3 silver and 4 bronze by men’s freestyle wrestlers, 3 silver and 1 bronze by men’s Greco-Roman wrestlers and 4 bronze won by women’s freestyle wrestlers. India ranked 8th place in the tournament and the first three countries ranked in the tournament were Iran followed by China and Japan.

Top 5 Countries in Medal Tally

Rank   Nation                 Gold       Silver       Bronze            Total

1          Iran                        11            0                6                    17

2          China                      5             5                6                    16

3          Japan                      4             7                6                    17

4          Uzbekistan             2             3                 5                   10

5          Kazakhstan            2             2                12                  16

India’s Nitendra Singh Rawat finishes 27th in Virgin Money London Marathon 2019

Nitendra-Singh-RawatOn 28th April 2019, Indian marathon runner, Nitendra Singh Rawat finished 27th in 2 hours 15 minutes and 59 seconds in the men’s Elite race of prestigious Virgin Money London Marathon 2019 at London,UK which was won by  EliudKipchoge of Kenya for record fourth time.

i. This was the fourth fastest in his career and his second fastest time in this season.

ii. The 32-year-old Rawat has qualified for the World Championships to be held in Doha in September-October.

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Important Current Affairs of 24th April

NATIONAL:

Money Loji launches App that offers loans for salaried professionals.

• A modern money lending platform named Money Loji launched an application which offers loan to salaried professionals within 5 minutes with flexible repayment options starting from 7 days to a maximum of 90 days.

• It follows a three-step process which are an application, approval, and disbursement and the app requires the users to upload an identity proof, an address proof, last 3 months bank statement alongside the salary slips.

• The eligibility criteria to avail this benefit are the minimum in-hand salary of Rs 20,000 per month and a minimum age of 23 years.

• It not only ensures security but also reduces the chances of data misuse backed by world-class security protocols to encrypt all the data.

INTERNATIONAL:

Arab League pledged USD 100 million per month to Palestinian Authority.

• The Arab League has pledged $100 million per month to the Palestinian Authority (PA) to make up for funds withheld by Israel because of payments made to the families of Palestinian attackers and prisoners.

• Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addressed the Arab League in Cairo, as part of a diplomatic effort to rebuff the Trump administration’s Middle East peace plan.

Israel collects taxes on behalf of the PA but withheld $138m in transfers in February over Palestinian payments to political prisoners jailed for attacks against Israelis.

In 1967, Israel illegally occupied the eastern half of Jerusalem, as well as the West Bank and the Gaza Strip - and in 1980, passed a law declaring Jerusalem as the eternal and undivided capital of Israel. The Palestinians seek those territories for a future state.

New community in Golan heights to be named after President Trump.

• Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced that he would name a new community in theGolan Heights after US President Donald Trump. President Trump has officially recognised the disputed area as Israeli territory.

Israel has also stated that in appreciation of the U.S. president, it intends to name a proposed train station near Jerusalem’s Western Wall after him. Israel captured the Golan from Syria in a 1967 war and annexed it, in a move not recognized internationally.

AGREEMENTS AND MOUS:

FIEO joins hands with Welingkar Institute of Management to support startups in exports.

• Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) inked an agreement with Mumbai-based Prin. L N Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research in order to support startups engaged in the export sector.

Under the memorandum of understanding (MoU), FIEO launched a post graduate programme in foreign trade management (PGP-FTM) at Mumbai.

• The main aim of this industry-academia partnership is to attract new entrepreneurs in exports to bridge the gap of availability of qualified skilled manpower in Exim trade.

The programme consist of general management principles, export-import procedures, and international marketing concepts and the duration of the programme will be 11 months.

• The programme will be offered in 2 batches.

Ministry of AYUSH signs MoU with CSIR for research and modern science.

• The Ministry of AYUSH signed MoU with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for cooperation in research and education in areas of traditional systems of medicine and its integration with modern science. The aim is to bring both Ministry of Ayush and CSIR together to pursue focused R&D efforts in the domain. Under the MoU, both organizations shall jointly endeavor to pursue:

• R&D covering Fundamental research

• AYUSH specific diagnostic tools, linking microbiome, gene expression and Prakriti, multi- ingredient herbal formulations, including their standardization

• Exploring modern scientific methods for integration with traditional Indian Systems of Medicine (ISM)

• Linking disease signatures

• Furthering the collaboration in preserving and protecting traditional knowledge related to the Indian systems of healthcare, through the existing TKDL platform

• Development of international standardized terminologies (disease-morbidity codes) in Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani (ASU), Database on Medicinal plants, Foods, etc.

• Enhancing the collaboration through joint R&D efforts ranging from fundamental science to validation and thereafter product development, will significantly help in the growth of the Indian contributions to the traditional medicines sector, not only nationally but internationally as well. The MOU also includes the pursuit of Data mining & analytics and Artificial Intelligence to enable and facilitate concepts such as Traditional knowledge inspired drug discovery and development and Food as Medicine.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

BofAML in report notifies that RBI has Rs.3 lakh crore (43$ million) in excess reserves.

• Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML), the excess reserves that RBI holds could be up to Rs.3 lakh crore ($43 billion) or 1.5% of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product).

This also includes the excess capital in contingency reserves and revaluation reserves.

• The Bimal Jalan committee on the appropriate capital reserves for RBI was likely to identify this excess buffer. The committee was set up in December-end with a 6-member panel headed by former RBI governor Jalan.

Indranil Sen Gupta, chief India economist at BofAML notified that RBI maintains higher contingency reserves as a percentage of its total book compared to its peers in Brazil, Russia and South Africa, thus a lower cap will bring in more funds.

The BofAML report stated that capping overall reserves at 20% from 25.5% will release Rs. 1.96 lakh crore and there is no specific hindrance which would deter RBI from transferring the money to government.

• As of September 2018, the excess capital with RBI was Rs.9.6 lakh crore. If the cap is halved to 3.25% from the present 6.5%, it will release Rs. 1.282( around Rs. 1.3 lakh crore) lakh crore.

• Along with revaluation gains ranging from Rs. 300 crore to Rs. 1.8 lakh crore, RBI would be able to transfer the excess reserves to the government which can be used to recapitalize the country’s struggling state-run banks.

Deposits in Jan Dhan accounts are set to cross Rs 1 lakh crore mark.

• The total balance in the Jan Dhan accounts, which has been steadily rising, was at Rs 97,665.66 crore as on April 3, as per the latest government data.

The total number of Jan Dhan accounts have crossed 35.39 crore.

The deposits stood at Rs 96,107.35 crore on March 27 and Rs 95,382.14 crore in the week before.

• More than 27.89 crore account holders have been issued the Rupay debit cards.

Govt. increased the authorised capital of Allahabad Bank.

• The government has increased the authorized capital for the State-owned Allahabad Bank stated by Rs 5,000 crore to Rs 8,000 crore. The central government after consultation with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) increased the authorized capital of the bank.

• The increase in authorized capital will help enable the bank to raise further fund up to a maximum ceiling of Rs 8,000 crore.

• What is an Authorized Capital?

• It is the maximum amount of share that a company is authorized to have by its constitutional documents to issue to the shareholders. It is not necessary to issue the whole amount of the authorized capital, part of it can remain unissued. The amount of share that is issued to the shareholder is called the issued share capital of the company. To put in other words, authorized capital is the one which is the maximum amount of value of securities that a company can legally issue to the shareholders. The Authorized capital needs to be specified in the Memorandum of Association(MOA).

• Authorized capital is broadly divided into the:

• Issued capital

• Paid up capital

• Uncalled capital

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Michelin-star chef Vikas Khanna named brand ambassador of Indo-American Arts Council (IAAC).

• Vikas Khanna, Michelin-star chef named as brand ambassador of Indo-American Arts Council (IAAC), a leading cultural organisation which will organise the annual New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF) that would showcase the chef’s film ‘The Last Color‘ and Nawazuddin Siddiqui-starrer ‘Photograph’.

• The New York Indian Film Festival is North America’s longest-running and most prestigious Indian film festival that would be organised from May 7 to 12, 2019.

The festival will showcase 30 feature-length films, including 3 documentaries, 30 shorts and 19 regional films.

Uday Kumar Varma resigns from Assocham Secretary General post.

• Uday Kumar Varma, a former bureaucrat retired from the post of Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, resigned from the post of The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham) Secretary-General. Currently, Assocham’s Deputy Secretary-General Saurabh Sanyal is discharging the duties of secretary general.

Twitter appoints Manish Maheshwari as new India MD.

• Manish Maheshwari, who previously served as the CEO of Network18 Digital, takes over the new role from April 29.

Prior to Network18, Maheshwari has worked with Flipkart, txtWeb, Intuit, McKinsey and P&G.

• Manish will be responsible for driving an integrated business strategy to accelerate Twitter’s audience and revenue growth in the country, overseeing Twitter India’s teams in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.

• He will be based in Delhi.

• Manish will report to Maya Hari, Twitter’s vice president and managing director of Asia Pacific.

• The appointment comes amid growing concerns over spread of misinformation on social media platforms across the world, including India.

India is among one of the biggest markets for internet companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter, given the large base of young population.

Twitter, which has over 30 million users in India (according to statista.com), had

• appointed Krish as an interim country head.

DAYS:

India observes National Panchayati Raj Day on 24th April.

• The National Panchayati Raj Day is celebrated every year in India on 24th April. The Constitution of India recognizes Panchayats as 'Institutions of self-government'. This day marks the passing of Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 that came into force with effect from 24 April 1993. The Amendment Act permits states to take steps to organize village panchayats and provide them with necessary powers and authority necessary to facilitate them to function as units of self-government.

• National Panchayati Raj Day:

The first National Panchayati Raj Day was celebrated in 2010. The enactment of the 73rd Amendment Act had led a defining moment in the history of India which helped in the decentralization of political power to the grassroots level. In turn, it had led to the institutionalization of Panchayati Raj (PR) through the village, Intermediate and District level Panchayats.

• Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992:

The Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 came into force with effect from 24th April, 1993. It has vested constitutional status on Panchayati Raj institutions. It marks a defining moment in the history of decentralization of political power to the grassroots level. The 73rd Amendment 1992 added a new Part IX to the constitution titled The Panchayats covering provisions from Article 243 to 243(O). A new Eleventh Schedule covering 29 subjects within the functions of the Panchayats. It implemented article 40 of DPSP which says that State shall take steps to organize village panchayats and endow them with such powers and authority as may be necessary to enable them to function as units of self-government.

AWARDS:

Swacchta Pakhwada Awards 2019 awarded to All India Radio.

• All India Radio, Publication Division and Children’s Film Society of India were given Swacchta Pakhwada Awards-2019 in New Delhi.

Secretary in the Information and Broadcasting Ministry Amit Khare gave away the awards.

• Director General of All India Radio F. Sheheryar and Director General (News) Ms. Ira Joshi received the Award for All India Radio.

Press Council of India, Press Information Bureau and BECIL were also mentioned during the award ceremony for their efforts during the Swacchta Pakhwada.

Benny Antony won National Intellectual Property Award.

• Benny Antony, Joint Managing Director, the Kochi-based Arjuna Natural Ltd, has been conferred with the National Intellectual Property Award for 2019 in the category of Top Individual for Patents and Commercialization.

He is the inventor of BCM-95, the world’s leading patented turmeric extract formulation, with over 80 international patents to his credit.

Antony was also conferred with the ‘WIPO Medal for Inventors’ jointly by Intellectual Property Office India and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

SPORTS:

Bajrang Punia won gold at the Asian Wrestling Championships 2019.

• World No.1 Bajrang Punia won India’s first gold medal in the 65 kg category at the Asian Wrestling Championships 2019 in Xi’an, China.

Bajrang defeated Sayatbek Okassov of Kazakhstan 12-7 in the final to bag the medal.

• Meanwhile, Praveen Rana settled for silver and Satyavrat Kadian won bronze in 97 kg category.

• Apart from these two, in the women’s event, India’s top wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, Pooja Dhanda and Divya Kakran are also in contention.

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Important Current Affairs of 23th April

NATIONAL:

India Ranks 17th In Global Startup Ecosystem.

• According to data released by StartupBlink, India moved up to 17th position in 2018 from 37th spot last year in the Startup Ecosystem Ranking for 2019.

The top three spots remained unchanged with the United States, United Kingdom and Canada

• The cities with the most vibrant startup ecosystems in India are Bangalore, New Delhi and Mumbai.

• India ranks 17 globally among 100 countries, based on the strength of its startup ecosystem, according to StartupBlink, which tracks startup ecosystems on a number of parameters.

• It used data from startups, accelerators and co-working spaces registered on its platforms as well as data received from global partners such as Crunchbase and SimilarWeb.

India ranks 19th in Index of Cancer Preparedness.

• The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has released the 2019 Index of Cancer Preparedness (ICP) in which India's overall rank is 19th out of 28 countries, with a score of 64.9.

• Index of Cancer Preparedness (ICP) 2019:

Australia tops the ICP, followed by the Netherlands and Germany.

Saudi Arabia, Romania, and Egypt are at the bottom in Index.

The ICP explores the issue of cancer preparedness through three broad domains:

• policy and planning;

• care delivery;

• health systems and governance.

• India and ICP:

India ranks 17th in cancer policy and planning, but it has a relatively high score of 80.8.

India ranked first for research and third for tobacco control in ICP.

In its delivery of cancer care, India ranks 20th with a score of 61.3.

With a score of 40.3, India’s healthcare system ranks 25th in the index, above only Saudi Arabia, Kenya, Egypt.

• Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally and is estimated to account for 9.6 million death in 2018.

World Cancer Day is observed on 4th February every year.

FAME II scheme has made compulsory for electric vehicles to feature 50% localisation for receiving subsidies.

• he government notified the second phase of the FAME India scheme with a Rs 10,000-crore outlay to encourage adoption of electric and hybrid vehicles.

• Under the second phase of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India (FAME-II) scheme, 10 lakh registered electric two-wheelers with a maximum ex-factory price will be eligible to avail incentive of Rs 20,000 each.

It will also support 5 lakh e-rickshaws having ex-factory price of up to Rs 5 lakh with an incentive of Rs 50,000 each.

• FAME-II will offer an incentive of Rs 1.5 lakh each to 35,000 electric four-wheelers with an ex-factory price of up to Rs 15 lakh, and incentive of Rs 13,000 each to 20,000 strong hybrid four-wheelers with ex-factory price of up to Rs 15 lakh.

It will support 7,090 e-buses with an incentive of up to Rs 50 lakh each having an ex-factory price of up to Rs 2 crore.

INTERNATIONAL:

Iranian President Rouhani declared joint border reaction force with Pakistan.

• Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani announced that Iran and Pakistan to create a joint ‘reaction force’ on the border between the two countries, for combatting terrorism.

The announcement came during a two-day visit to Iran by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, the first of his tenure.

• Iran and Pakistan share a 959 km land border.

• Balochistan, which borders Afghanistan and Iran, is Pakistan's largest and poorest province, rife with ethnic, sectarian and separatist insurgencies.

Tehran (in Iran) has been complaining for years about recurring attacks by Pakistani militants on Iranian security forces.

• Pakistan is a close ally of the United States and Saudi Arabia, both of which have ratcheted up pressure on Iran over its alleged meddling in regional affairs.

Pakistan and Iran are also members of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) and Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Amartya Sen Chairs at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) for research on inequality.

• The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) announced the creation of the Amartya Sen Chair in Inequality Studies, named in honour of the India-born economist, philosopher and Nobel laureate, who was Professor of Economics at LSE from 1971-82.

• The public announcement of the chair was made during LSE’s biannual Amartya Sen Lecture.

• The lecture, 'Foundations of State Effectiveness', was delivered by Professor Sir Tim Besley with Professor Sen serving as discussant and LSE Director Minouche Shafik chairing.

• The inauguration of the Amartya Sen Chair marks a further milestone for the International Inequalities Institute (III), following the 2016 launch of the Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity programme, backed by a historic 64 million pounds, 20-year gift by The Atlantic Philanthropies, the School’s largest to date.

AGREEMENTS AND MOUS:

Ministry of Ayush inked MoU with CSIR to cooperate in the field of research and education.

• Ayush Ministry signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi for cooperation in the field of research and education of traditional medicines how to integrate traditional medicines with modern science.

• CSIR and Ayush Ministry jointly developed the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) which prevents bio-piracy and misappropriation of traditional knowledge.

TCS signed a deal with India Post to transform country's mail delivery system.

• India's largest IT services company, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), has partnered with the Department of Posts in a bid to transform it into a multi-service digital hub, modernise the delivery of mail and packages, enhance customer experience, and launch innovative services that will drive new revenues.

In 2013, TCS had announced receiving an over Rs 1,100 crore multi-year contract from the Department of Posts (DoP) for an end-to-end IT modernisation programme.

• Core System Integration (CSI) program designed and implemented by TCS, involved deploying an integrated ERP (enterprise resource planning) solution that caters to mail operations, finance and accounting, and HR functions, and connects its vast network of more than 150,000 post offices, making this the largest distributed ePostal network in the world.

TCS is the same company that, along with the Ministry of External Affairs, revamped India’s passport services through the Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) initiative and ‘Student Connect’.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

SBI General Insurance launched cyber defence insurance.

• SBI General Insurance launched its new product – cyber defence insurance to protect businesses from financial and reputational losses due to cyber attacks.

The main focus on SMEs and mid-market businesses to larger businesses.

This offers protection against the growing threat of cyber breaches like hacking attacks, identity theft, disclosure of sensitive information and business interruption. It provides IT forensic investigations, legal advice, reputational and PR management.

Bajaj Allianz General Insurance in a partnership with Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance launched their 1st product: Total Health Secure Goal.

• Bajaj Allianz General Insurance collaborated with Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance to launch their 1st product titled ‘Total Health Secure Goal’.

• The product is a combination of 2 existing plans, namely, Health Guard policy by Bajaj Allianz General Insurance and iSecure policy by Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance.

This combined plan offers customers 5% extra discount on the total premium and also provides flexibility of availing service or communication on the product.

The product provides an overall  insurance solution and ensures that health and security needs of the customer are taken care of without compromising on their savings.

• Under Health Guard policy, a customer can choose the option between a Silver or a Gold Plan with an insured sum ranging from Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 50 Lakh.

This sum is inclusive of the hospitalisation expenses incurred by the customer.

DAYS:

World Book Day 2019: Theme, what is the purpose and who started it.

• World Book Day is celebrated by UNESCO and other related organisations every year on the 23rd of April. Also called the World Book and Copyright Day, it is an occasion to promote the joy of books and the art of reading. 23rd April was selected by UNESCO to pay tribute to great literary figures including William Shakespeare, Miguel Cervantes and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega who died on this day. This date was finalised in the year 1995 in the UNESCO General Conference, held in Paris, to honour authors and books worldwide.

AWARDS:

KAU IPR Cell Won The National IP Award 2019.

• Intellectual Property Rights Cell (IPR Cell) of Kerala Agricultural University (KAU)

The award comprises of INR 1 lakh, citation and memento.

SPORTS:

Services lifted Santosh Trophy Football; beat Punjab in final.

• Services won their sixth Santosh Trophy title with a 1-0 victory over Punjab, at Ludhiana.

• In the semi-finals earlier, eight-time champions Punjab had defeated five-time winners Goa 2-1 to enter their 15th final.

• Services beat Karnataka 4-3 in the semis via a penalty shootout to book a place in the title clash for the 11th time.

• The 2018–19 Santosh Trophy was the 73rd edition.

India won 5 medals on opening day of Asian Athletics Championships 2019.

• Javelin thrower Annu Rani and 3000-meter steeple chaser Avinash Sable won the silver medals.

• Quartermiler M P Poovamma, 5000-meter runner Parul Choudhary and 10000-meter runner Gavit Murali Kumar bagged a bronze each.

• With five medals to their name, India were fifth in the medals tally. Bahrain lead the table (7 medals), China second (5 medals), Iran third (2 medals) and Philippines fourth (1 medal).

Fabio Fognini became the first Italian to win an ATP Masters 1000 title.

• He achieved this feat at the Monte Carlo Masters by defeating Dusan Lajovic 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 38 minutes.

• Fognini will rise to a career-high ranking of 12.

• Fognini had beaten Rafael Nadal in the semi-final.

• Fognini earns 1000 ATP Rankings points and receives €958,055 in prize money. Lajovic gains 600 points and €484,950 for his run to the championship match.

Last time an Italian player Nicola Pietrangeli won the trophy in 1968. This event held every year at Monte Carlo Country Club.

• Fognini is the eighth player to win his first Masters 1000 title over the past 17 events at the elite level. In the 92 ATP Masters 1000 events prior to 2017 Rome, only eight players won their first Masters 1000 crown.

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Important Current Affairs of 18th April

NATIONAL:

Indian Navy-Vietnam People's Navy Bilateral Exercise Concludes.

• The Indian Navy undertook the second edition of the bilateral maritime exercise between the Indian Navy and Vietnam Peoples’ Navy, (IN – VPN BILAT EX) at/ off Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam.

• The exercise was undertaken as a part of the ongoing Overseas Deployment of Eastern Fleet ships to South East Asian countries. About Indian Navy Founded: 1612 Country: India Type: Navy Colours: Navy blue, white.

Jet Airways sought Rs.400 crore infusion to avert shutdown.

• The Jet Airways board authorised its management, headed by chief executive officer Vinay Dube, to engage with lenders to secure at least a few hundred crore rupeesof interim funding to continue operations till a new owner comes on board. The board also authorised the CEO to take the final call on the airline’s operations.

• Armed with this, the CEO approached the lenders to releaseRs.400 crore for the sake of the employees and to prevent a shutdown. Jet requires at least Rs.1,000 crore to meet its immediate needs.

• In view of the critical liquidity position of the company, its operations have been severely impacted. It is awaiting emergency liquidity support from the consortium of domestic lenders led by the State Bank of India.

INTERNATIONAL:

SpaceX to fly its DART planetary defence mission.

• NASA announced that SpaceX will fly its Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) planetary-defencemission. The total launch cost for NASA is estimated to be about $69 million.

• DART - Double Asteroid Redirection Test 

• It is a planned space probe that will demonstrate the kinetic effects of crashing an impactor spacecraft into an asteroid moon for planetary defense purposes. The mission is intended to test whether a spacecraft impact could successfully deflect an asteroid on a collision course with Earth.

First Earth-Size planet: HD 21749b discovered by NASAs TESS Exoplanet Mission.

• The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) discovered an Earth-sized planet, HD 21749b and a “sub-Neptune” world, revolving around the star, HD 21749. The star lies 53 light-years from Earth.

• The research study has been published on 15th April, 2019 in ‘The Astrophysical Journal Letters’.

• TESS was launched to Earth orbit in April 2018 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

• One tool termed as ‘Planet Finder Spectrograph’ (PFS) on the ‘Magellan II telescope’ in Chile helped to confirm the planetary nature of the TESS signal and measure the mass of HD 21749b.

• HD 21749b is about 23 times heavier and 2.7 times wider than Earth. It is gaseous, has a substantial atmosphere but not as puffy as Uranus and Neptune. HD 21749b has an orbital period of 36 Earth days.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

IDRBT set up 5G Lab for Banking, Financial Sector.

• Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT) launched the 5G Use Cases Lab for banking and financial sector along with blockchain technology.

• IDRBT is an arm of Reserve Bank of India.

It also released a white paper on 5G applications for banking and financial sector in India.

• The use of 5G will change a range of technologies and applications, including point of sale (PoS) machines in the banking sector, which are currently using 2G and are in the process of being phased out.

Since India is now the biggest user of mobile data in the world and the rates of devices and services have been dropping aggressively, 5G holds immense potential for the country.

IDBI Bank launched paperless account opening facility for NRIs.

• IDBI Bank has launched the ‘NRI-Insta-Online’ account-opening process for NRIs residing in Financial Action Task Force (FATF) member countries.

• The person will not be required to furnish physical documents and KYC proofs for opening an account with the IDBI bank.

• FATF- Financial Action Task Force

FATF is an inter-governmental body which devices policy and sets standards to promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.

The body has 38 member countries, including the US, UK, India, Japan, China and France, among others.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

PwC India names Padmaja Alaganandan as chief people officer, Jagjit Singh steps down.

• PwC India announced the appointment of Padmaja Alaganandan as the firm’s new Chief People Officer (CPO).

• She takes over the role from Jagjit Singh.

Padmaja associated with PwC for the last eight years.

• She was the Technology sector lead for PwC’s Advisory Line of Service.

The leader of the firm’s People and Organisation Consulting practice.

• Before joining PwC in 2011, Padmaja worked in leadership roles in different organisations such as Mercer Consulting and AF Ferguson.

• She is a member of CII’s National HR Committee and the Committee on Skill Development.

RedBus appoints Mahendra Singh Dhoni as brand ambassador.

• Bus ticketing platform redBus has appointed cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni as its brand ambassador.

• The cricketer will appear in a hockey player avatar in his first cameo for the brand, slated to be launched soon.

• Dhoni’s brand endorsement deals can be in the range of Rs. 3-10 crore.

At present, Dhoni is the brand ambassador of sports firm Dream11, Colgate, MasterCard, Orient Fans, BharatMatrimony, Indigo Paints, SRMB Steel, and health supplement brand Revital H.

• Recently, Fantasy sports platform HalaPlay Technologies has appointed cricketers Krunal and Hardik Pandya as its brand ambassadors.

Mithali Raj named goodwill ambassador of Team India at the Street Child Cricket World Cup.

• Indian women's cricket team captain Mithali Raj has been named the goodwill ambassador of Team India at the Street Child Cricket World Cup (SCCWC).

• She, alongside Saurav Ganguly and Rajasthan Royals, joins in supporting the team as they gear up for the final match at Lords, just ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup in May this year.

• India has over 20 lakh street connected children.

Ajay Kumar Dixit appointed as CEO of Cairn Oil.

• Cairn Oil & Gas, a division of Vedanta Ltd, has announced the appointment of Ajay Kumar Dixit as its Chief Executive Officer. Dixit succeeds Sudhir Mathur, who after seven successful years with the company, moves on to pursue personal endeavors.

• Dixit had joined Vedanta in 2015 from Siemens where he was CEO-Energy for South Asia. He is an alumni of Delhi College of Engineering and had served as the acting CEO of Vedanta’s Aluminium and Power business before being elevated to this new role.

• The company expects that his leadership will support Cairn’s vision to realize the full potential of Barmer block, grow the offshore business and appraisal of new blocks under OALP I and discovered small fields (DSF-II).

DAYS:

World Heritage Day observed on 18th April.

• World Heritage Day also known as International Day for Monuments and Sites is an annual event celebrated on 18 April every year.

In 2019, the theme is Rural Landscapes.

SPORTS:

FIFA ban former Brazilian football president Jose Maria Marin for life.

• Former Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) president Jose Maria Marin has been banned for life from all football activities by FIFA.

• In August 2018, Marin who led Brazil’s organising committee for the 2014 World Cup, was sentenced to four years in prison for racketeering, money laundering and wire fraud.

• He became the first person to be imprisoned as the result of the US investigation into corruption at world football’s governing body.

Earlier Marin was arrested at a luxury Zurich hotel in May 2015. During US investigation, he was found to have taken bribes in exchange for the media and marketing rights to various tournaments which also include the Copa America.

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Important Current Affairs of 12th April

NATIONAL:

India's population grew at 1.2 percent between 2010-19: UN report.

• According to United Nations Population Fund’s (UNFP) State of World Population 2019 report, India’s population grew at an average annual rate of 1.2% between 2010 and 2019 to 1.36 billion, more than double the annual growth rate of China.

• India’s population in 2019 stood at 1.36 billion, growing from 942.2 million in 1994 and 541.5 million in 1969. China’s population grew at an average annual rate of 0.5% between 2010 and 2019.

• In comparison, China’s population stood at 1.42 billion in 2019, growing from 1.23 billion in 1994 and 803.6 million in 1969. In India, total fertility rate per woman was 5.6 in 1969, dropping to 2.3 in 2019. India also recorded an improvement in life expectancy at birth.

INTERNATIONAL:

Google unveiled new Cloud Platform, Anthos to manage apps from anywhere.

• Google has introduced a new open platform called Anthos to run and manage apps from anywhere.

• Based on the Cloud Services Platform that Google announced in 2018, Anthos lets users run applications on existing on-premise hardware investments or in the Public Cloud. Anthos will also let users manage workloads running on third-party clouds like Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure.

• Anthos is a Kubernetes-powered technology to build and manage hybrid applications, for on-premises or cloud deployments. Google also announced Anthos Migrate in beta, which auto-migrates virtual machines (VMs) from on-premises, or other clouds, directly into containers in Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) with minimal effort.

Pakistan country issues 2,200 visas for Sikh pilgrims.

• India-Pakistan Protocol visit to religious shrines of 1974.  In this perspective, Pakistan granted 2,200 visas to Sikh pilgrims from India to participate in Baisakhi celebrations from April 12 to 21.

• The Sikh pilgrims would be visiting shrines like Panja Sahib, Nankana Sahib, and Kartarpur Sahib. 

• The protocol between India and Pakistan enables a large number of pilgrims to visit the other country to observe various religious festivals or occasions every year. 

AGREEMENTS:

India, Sweden inked pact to collaborate on solutions for smart cities, clean tech.

• The India-Sweden Collaborative Industrial Research and Development Programme will work towards addressing a range of challenges around smart cities and clean technologies among others. The programme was co-funded by Indian Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Swedish agency Vinnova. Vinnova will provide funding to Swedish participants up to 2,500,000 Swedish Krona (around Rs 1.87 crore) as grant.

• On the Indian side, conditional grant of up to 50 per cent (with a limit of Rs 1.5 crore) per project will be provided to the Indian partners. This Programme is technically and administratively managed by the Global Innovation & Technology Alliance (GITA) on behalf of DST in India and Vinnova in Sweden.

• Government, Academia, and Industry or the ‘triple helix’ - is key to the Sweden-India partnership. About Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India: It was established in May 1971, with the objective of promoting new areas of science & technology (S&T) and to play the role of a nodal department for organising, coordinating and promoting S&T activities in the country.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

India and Netherlands vow to strengthen bilateral political & economic ties.

• India and the Netherlands have discussed ways to strengthen bilateral political and economic ties including boosting cooperation at the United Nations and other international fora. The two countries held Foreign Office Consultations in New Delhi, with the Indian side led by A Gitesh Sarma, Secretary, West, Ministry of External Affairs, and Johanna Brandt, Secretary General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, leading the Dutch delegation. Both countries used this opportunity to review the entire gamut of bilateral relations, including political, economic, commercial, scientific and cultural cooperation.

PAISALO Digital Limited signed the first co-origination loan agreement SBI

• PAISALO Digital Limited signed the first co-origination loan agreement with State Bank of India (SBI). This is the first agreement of its kind in the country that State Bank of India has signed. The agreement was signed with a vision of empowering the AGRI, MSME segment and small businesses.  The loan ticket is designed at Rs.10,000 to 2 lakh. The company expects to disburse 200,000 loan applications in FY20.  PAISALO Digital Limited is a leading systemically important non-deposit taking NBFC. It is registered with the Reserve Bank of India, in operations since 1992.

• Co-origination loan agreement:

♦ This new framework seeks to bring the strengths of two sectors, that is, banks and micro-finance institutions (MFIs)/non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) together

♦ Under this framework, both a bank and an MFI/NBFC will join at each underwriting and loan level and share the loan amount at an agreed percentage with all other structures put in place

♦ It is expected that such a blending would not only increase the flow of credit to MSMEs but also bring down the cost of credit for the sector substantially.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Shiv Das Meena to be designated as the Chairman cum Managing Director (CMD) of National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC).

• He is appointed as the Chairman cum Managing Director (CMD) of National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC). He assumed office as Chairman-cum-Managing Director, NBCC.

Cairn India’s CEO and CFO resign.

• Cairn India CEO Sudhir Mathur and CFO Pankaj Kalra have resigned from the firm. Ajay Dixit, who was CEO of the Aluminum and Power divisions of Vedanta, will take over from Mr.Mathur in the interim, after his exit. Mr.Mathur is the fourth CEO to quit the firm after it was acquired by Vedanta in 2011.

AWARDS:

Varanasi ranked third on the WHOs list of 15 most polluted cities.

• According to the 'Political Leaders Position and Action on Air Quality in India 2014-2019' report, released by Climate Trends, the air quality in Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 2014 Lok Sabha constituency, is ranked third on the WHO's (World Health Organisation) list of 15 most polluted cities in the world.

• Fourteen of the 15 most polluted cities in the world, listed by World Health Organisation (WHO) are in India, of which four are in Uttar Pradesh. Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh is the most polluted city in the world and is ranked one on the list. Faridabad in Haryana has been ranked second.

•  Delhi is ranked sixth on the list. Gaya and Patna in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow, Cities of Agra, Muzaffarpur, Srinagar, Gurugram, Jaipur, Patiala and Jodhpur are also on the WHO list of most polluted cities. The air quality index (AQI) in Varanasi reached an alarming 490 in 2017 and 384 (very poor category)  in December 2018.

•  Air Quality Index (AQI) in India: As per pollution control authorities, An AQI between

♦ 0 and 50 is considered "good",

♦ 51 and 100 "satisfactory",

♦ 101 and 200 "moderate",

♦ 201 and 300 "poor",

♦ 301 and 400 "very poor", and

♦ 401 and 500 "severe".

Namami Gange got Public Water Agency of the Year award at Global Water Summit

• India's flagship programme, National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) or Namami Gange  was felicitated with ‘Public Water Agency of the Year’ award by Global Water Intelligence at the Global Water Summit in London. Namami Gange Mission:

♦ The Namami Gange programme is an integrated mission for Ganga rejuvenation, and approved by the Union Government in June 2014 with budget outlay of Rs.20,000 Crore.

SPORTS:

Eni Nuraeni named as Best athletic coach in Asia 2019 by AAA.

• Indonesian Eni Nuraeni was named by Asian Athletic Association (AAA) as the best athletic coach in Asia for the short-haul run category in 2019. It was announced by the Indonesian athletic sports association (PB PASI). Eni coaches young sprinter Lalu Muhammad Zohri to win the 100m gold medal in 10.20 seconds in the 2019 Grand Prix Malaysia Open athletics championships. Earlier, Zohri won the 100m in 10.18 in the IAAF World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland in 2018.

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