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April 19, 2015

19th April 2015 - Important Current Affairs updates

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National Affairs
  • The Maharashtra government has decided to link all ration shops in Mumbai and suburban Thane district with a biometric system by November with a view to check irregularities in the public distribution system (PDS).
  • The Maharashtra government has set up a 12 member task force on agriculture development and poverty alleviation to address the issues.
    • This task force will be headed by the additional chief secretary (Agriculture).  

People in News
  • Egypt's ex-president Mohammed Morsi could be sentenced to death on Tuesday on charges of inciting the killing of protesters, in the first verdict against him nearly two years after his fall from power.
    • Mr Morsi, who was Egypt's first freely elected president, also faces the death penalty in two other trials — including one in which he is accused of spying for foreign powers and escaping from prison during the 2011 anti-Mubarak revolt.
New Appointments
  • Dr Nasim Zaidi assumed charge as India's new Chief Election Commissioner.
    • He is an IAS officer from Uttar Pradesh cadre of the 1976 batch.
    • He is 20th chief election commissioner (CEC) of India.
    • He will succeed Hari Shankar Brahma, who retired yesterday.
    • He will be the CEC till July, 2017, when he turns 65.
    • Important Point to Note : An election commissioner can remain in office for six years or till he attains the age of 65 years. 
  • Rajya Sabha member Sitaram Yechury today was elected as the next general secretary of Communist Party of India (Marxist).
    • Mr. Yechury is the fifth general secretary of the 50-year-old party.

Awards & Honors
  • Noted Goa-based psychiatrist and professor of international mental health, Dr. Vikram Patel, has made it to the Time magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
    • Dr. Patel, co-founder of the Goa-based mental health research NGO, Sangath, and the Centre for Global Mental Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine where he is professor, featured in the Time’s category of ‘Pioneers’.
    • Headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whom President Barack Obama calls "India's reformer-in-chief", four people of Indian origin figure in the Time magazine's list.
    • The remaining two were,
      • Chanda Kochhar, managing director and CEO of ICICI Bank, 
      • Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO .
Science & Technology
  • India's first satellite, Aryabhata‬ was launched on this day (19 April 1975), 40 years ago.
    • It was named after the great Indian astronomer of the same name.
    • It was built by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and was launched by the Soviet Union from Kapustin Yar using a Kosmos-3M launch vehicle.
    • The objective of this project was to gain experience in building and operating a satellite in space.

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