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April 29, 2015

29th April 2015 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Indonesia has executed eight convicted drug traffickers (seven of them foreigners) by firing squad despite international calls for clemency.
    • Australia recalled its ambassador in protest of the execution of two Australians.
    • Indonesian President : Joko Widodo
National Affairs
  • The Union Cabinet gave a seal of approval to a minimum pension of 1000 rupees per month in perpetuity to pensioners under Employees' Pension Scheme, EPS, 1995
    • Nearly 20 lakh people will be benefitted under the scheme after this decision. 
  • The Cabinet also approved Amendment to Prevention of Corruption Bill, 2013 to lay down
    more stringent measures to tackle corruption. 
    • This bill brings  corruption into the heinous crime category
    • This includes seven years of maximum imprisonment in graft-related cases.
    • Earlier, the Act proposed only six months of minimum punishment, whereas the new bill has increased it to at least 3 years.
    • The bill mentions that all the corruption trials should be completed in two years and both bribe taker and giver will be held guilty.
  • Union Cabinet gave its nod to NDA government's flagship 100 smart cities project and the new urban renewal mission with a total outlay of about Rs 1 lakh crore.
  • The cabinet also cleared the old housing projects initiated by the previous government.
  • With Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the head, the Nehru Memorial Museum Library Society (NMMLS), considered a Congress legacy, has been reconstituted to include 34 members, and eight new members to the Executive Council.
    • Note : The 34 members of the society will have a tenure of five years.
People in News
  • Congress leader and industrialist Naveen Jindal, ex—Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao, former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda and 12 others were today chargesheeted by CBI in connection with Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block allocation scam case.
  • The special CBI court in Mumbai discharges Gujarat police officer Abhay Chudasama‬ from ‪‎Sohrabuddin Sheikh‬ and ‎Tulsiram Prajapati‬ alleged fake encounter killing cases. 
    • Special CBI judge MB Gosavi, while discharging Chudasama, observed that there was no sufficient evidence against him.
Business & Economy
  • Rajya Sabha passes Regional Rural Banks Amendment Bill.
    • The Regional Rural Banks (Amendment) Bill, 2014, which got the assent of the Rajya Sabha by voice vote today, seeks to help Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) raise their authorised capital and will enable them to mop up funds from capital market to help strengthen them.
    • Lok Sabha had earlier passed the Bill in December last.
    • Note : This bill raises authorised capital from five crore to 2,000 crore rupees.
  • Flipkart, India’s largest online marketplace, has acquired New Delhi-based mobile engagement and marketing automation company Appiterate, to strengthen its mobile technology presence.
  • To help cash-starved sugar mills clear dues worth Rs 21,000 crore to farmers, the government today hiked import duty on sugar to 40 percent and scrapped the excise duty on ethanol made from molasses.
    • Note
      • The customs duty has been hiked from 25 percent to 40 percent.
      • While India imports very small quantity of sugar, the scrapping of excise duty will give the millers Rs 5 per litre extra on ethanol they produce from sugarcane.
Awards & Honors
  • Srinagar-born novelist Siddhartha Gigoo has won the 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Asia region for his short story "Umbrella Man", a tale of surreal meditation on mental health and the environment.
Science & Technology
  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) today successfully tested an indigenous cryogenic engine at Mahendragiri in Tamil Nadu.
    • This will allow launch vehicles to carry satellites of up to four tonnes.
    • With the successful testing this cryogenic engine, India has attained the capability of putting heavy satellites in orbit and the first one is expected to be launched by December 2016.
    • Minister of State for Space : Jitendra Singh
  • Women's World Team Chess Championship :
    • D Harika won Silver medal.
    • Koneru Humpy won Bronze medal.
  • Indian Railway Hockey Team (Men) had won Gold Medal in 5th Hockey India Senior Men National Hockey Championship by defeating Uttar Pradesh. 
    • Note : Indian Railway Hockey Team (Men) had won Gold Medal on last occasion in the year 1997 by beating Tamilnadu.

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