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April 14, 2016

14th April 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • The United Nations for the first time observed the 125th birth anniversary of Dr BR Ambedkar at its headquarters in New York. 
  • South Pacific island nation Nauru has become the 189th member of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
    • Note : Nauru applied for membership in the Washington-based IMF and World Bank in April 2014, after joining the United Nations in 1996 as the world’s smallest independent republic.
National Affairs
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated the Maritime India Summit 2016, a maiden initiative of the Ministry of Shipping, in Mumbai. 
    • The three-day event will provide a platform for participants to explore investment opportunities in the Indian Maritime sector along with showcasing latest technological developments in the sector. 
    • Note : South Korea is the partner country for the event.
  • In a first in the country, Maharashtra Assembly has passed the Prohibition of Social Boycott Bill, penalising social boycott by extra-judicial bodies like caste panchayats and communities. 
    • It prescribes a maximum punishment of three years and up to ₹1 lakh fine. 
  • Tthe Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal, launched an online portal called DEEP for the acquisition of short-term power by DISCOMs.
    • The “DEEP” web portal will ensure the continuous flow of power from seller to the buyer.
    • It will be a very strong weapon to bring the illegal transactions into the light, and confine all these illegal transactions. Deep will also help in price reduction through competition.
    • DEEP - Discovery of Efficient Electricity Price 
Science & Technology
  • India’s indigenously developed surface-to-air Akash missile was test fired for second consecutive day from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur near Balasore in Odisha.
  • Nuclear capable undersea ballistic missile, code named K-4, was successfully test fired from an undisclosed location in the Bay of Bengal.
    • The test was conducted nearly 45 nautical miles away from Vishakhapatnam coast in Andhra Pradesh.
    • The trial was carried out with the support of the personnel of Strategic Forces Command (SFC) while the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) provided all logistics. 
  • The World Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) have signed their first co-financing framework agreement
    • Under the agreement, the World Bank will prepare and supervise the co-financed projects in accordance with its policies and procedures. 
    • Note : The China-backed AIIB, in which India is the second largest shareholder, was inaugurated in January this year.
  • Union Cabinet was approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Bangladesh in September, 2011, on bilateral cooperation in the field of Fisheries and aquaculture and allied activities. 
  • India and South Korea signed a MoU for cooperation and mutual assistance in development of ports. 
Business & Economy
  • India retained its position as the world's largest remittance recipient in 2015, receiving about $69 billion, the World Bank announced today. 
    • However, with a fall from $70 billion in 2014, this is the first decline in India's annual remittances since 2009. 
    • Note : China, with $64 billion in remittances, was second on the list, followed by Philippines ($28 billion).
  • The RBI has reduced the minimum tenure of the masala bonds issued by companies to three years from the previously stated five years. 
    • Improtant Note : Masala bonds are rupee-denominated bonds issued by Indian companies in foreign capital markets that can be settled in US dollars. 
    • Further, a single issuer can raise a maximum of ₹5,000 crore through such bonds, RBI said.
  • The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has launched “Unified Payments Interface (UPI)” to revolutionise mobile payment system in the country. 
    • It was launched by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan. 
    • 29 banks have agreed to join the platform.
  • Major Amit Deswal of the Indian Army's 21 Para was today martyred in an encounter with the Zeliangrong United Front (ZUF) militants in Manipur's Tamenglong district. 
  • Satyanand Munjal (99), co-founder of Hero Cycles Corp, passed away today. 
    • Hero Cycles was set up in 1956 in Ludhiana by the four Munjal brothers of which Satyanand was the eldest. 
    • Munjal was also known for his philanthropic acts including setting up of Hero DMC Heart Institute and Dayanand Medical College and Hospital. 
Awards & Honors
  • The Prime Minister's Office has ranked External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj first in a Twitter performance survey, according to The Telegraph. 
    • Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has been ranked second. 
    • He is followed by MoS for Power Piyush Goyal and Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma. 
    • Note : The ministers have been ranked based on how efficiently and quickly they respond to requests on Twitter.
New Appointments
  • Indian Olympic medal-winning boxer Mary Kom wa named as one of the eight ambassadors for the upcoming World Championships by the International Boxing Association (AIBA)
  • Deepak Kashyap, a 1985 batch officer of Indian Railway Service has been appointed as Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) of BSNL.
    • The CVO acts as distant arm of Central Vigilance Commission to check corruption.
  • IAS officer Manoj Kumar has been appointed as the CVO of Delhi Development Authority (DDA)
  • Revenue service officer Sushma Singh has been appointed as the CVO of National Institute of Fashion Technology.
  • (NIFT)
  • IPS officer Deepak Kumar has been appointed as the CVO of Heavy Engineering Corporation Ltd Ranchi.
  • US President Barack Obama appointed Indian American MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga to a key administration post as a member of the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity.
    • Note : Banga is one of the nine members of the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity appointed by Obama.
  • The Constitutional Council of Nepal has selected Justice Sushila Karki (63) for the post of Chief Justice (CJ) of the Supreme Court of the country. 
    • Important Note : With this selection she will become 26th chief justice of the apex court and the first female Chiev Justice in Nepal’s history.
  • Indian table tennis players Manika Batra and Soumyajit Ghosh have qualified for 2016 Rio Olympics after winning their respective groups in the South Asian division of the Asian Olympic Qualification event in Hong Kong. 
    • Note : Manika, who has bagged two silver and two bronze medals at the Commonwealth, will be appearing in her first Olympics.
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