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April 21, 2016

21st April 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • China’s mainland population reached 1.373 billion at the beginning of November, up 33.77 million since the last census was held in 2010.
    • Note : China’s population is set to peak at about 1.45 billion by 2050 when one in every three is expected to be more than 60, with a shrinking proportion of working adults to support them.
  • In a sign of suddenly accelerated contact between India and China, President Pranab Mukherjee is going to visit Beijing by this month en
    • The President, who will also travel to Singapore on the same visit is expected to be in China in May last week, and will travel to Beijing and the South Eastern Chinese business hub of Guangzhou, also known for its Buddhist connection to India. 
  • Europe has become the world’s first region to wipe out Malaria, a mosquito-borne vetor disease with zero cases reported in the year 2015. 
    • It was revealed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in its World Malaria Report 2015. Particular region or country is declared Malaria free by WHO after it has zero locally acquired malaria cases for at least three consecutive years.
National Affairs
  • The 8th International Seminar on Wheat and Wheat Products is scheduled to be held in Panaji, Goa, on July 17-18. 
    • The theme for this year's seminar is : 'New Ideas and Innovation for Growth'.
    • The seminar, which will have updates on new developments in the area, will be attended by 250 delegates.
  • The Commerce and Industry Ministry today launched its ‘Twitter Seva’ service to address issues and grievances of startups, exporters and importers and other stakeholders
    • People can tweet with #mociseva to raise a query, that will reportedly be responded within 48 to 72 working hours. 
    • Issues related to Make in India, Startup India, FDI and intellectual property rights will be addressed.
  • According to the Oil Ministry officials, Over one crore LPG consumers have given up their cooking gas subsidies since Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the 'Give-it-Up' campaign in March 2015. 
    • The campaign urged those who could afford the market price to give up the subsidy, so the scheme could target the needy.
  • 'Shloka Beti Garden' in Udaipur, an initiative by Devendra Agrawal, founder of the NGO 'Maa Bhagwati Vikas Sansthan', will allow parents and relatives to mark the birth of a girl child by planting a sapling. 
    • Note : The garden has been touted as India's first park for the girl child
    • It aims to address society's prejudices over preference for sons over daughters.

People in News
  • Britain celebrated the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II today with lighting, fireworks, and gun salutes. 
  • Environmentalist RK Pachauri, accused of sexual harassment by his former women colleagues, has stepped down as a member of the Governing Council of TERI.
Awards & Honors
  • Mahatma Gandhi's granddaughter Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee was today conferred with the Order of Arts and Letters, one of France's top honours
    • This honour comes in recognition of Bhattacharjee’s remarkable work for promoting peace, solidarity, culture, education, and development. 
    • Other past Indian recipients include Shahrukh Khan and Pt Hariprasad Chaurasia.
  • The United States' Treasury Secretary has today announced that anti-slavery activist of the 1800s, Harriet Tubman, will appear on a US banknote, in a historic first for a woman
    • Tubman, born a slave, helped numerous slaves escape.
    • Important Note : She will appear on the front of the new $20 dollar bill, while former US President Andrew Jackson will appear on the back. 
  • The People magazine has named Hollywood actress Jennifer Aniston as 'World's Most Beautiful Woman' for 2016
    • The 47-year-old actress also appears on the cover of the magazine's 27th annual 'World’s Most Beautiful' double issue. 
  • Wax figures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi today took up residence at the Madame Tussauds museums in London, Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok.
  • Amitav Banerji, an Indian diplomat in the UK, was conferred with Commander of the Order of Merit, one of the highest awards of Cyprus for his work in a number of senior roles within the Commonwealth Secretariat for over two decades.
Business & Economy
  • Google India has emerged as the most attractive employer in the country for the second consecutive year, followed by Mercedes-Benz, according to a survey by human resource consulting firm Randstad. 
  • Facebook Messenger has globally launched its free group calling feature on both Android and iOS. 
    • Users can tap on the 'phone' icon in group conversations to initiate a group call, and then manage individual participants on the next screen. 
    • Participants can also join an on-going call by tapping on the same icon. Notably, the maximum participant limit is 50.
  • In an attempt to show the minimal environmental impact of coal mining operations, Western Coalfields, a unit of Coal India, has created a 15-acre eco-park between the Saoner and Gondegaon mines in Maharashtra
    • Tourists can now visit the insides of the Saoner coal mine and see the operations at the Gondegaon opencast mine from a distance.
  • Satellite communication provider TechnoSatComm today announced that it has been awarded a 10-year contract by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation to provide free Wi-Fi to Delhi Metro commuters.  
Science & Technology
  • The US Air Force has set a new world speed record for a vehicle aided by Magnetic Levitation (maglev). 
    • The 846th Test Squadron broke the milestone twice – first clocking around 826 kmph and then topping 1018 kmph a few days later. 
    • The vehicle was powered along a 2,100-foot long track, with an acceleration close to 928 feet per second.
  • A Nanosatellite named PISAT, developed by 250 students of PES University in Bengaluru will soon be launched by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). 
    • The satellite will take high resolution pictures of Earth from space. 
    • It will revolve around Earth at a distance of 680-720 km. 
    • PES students and professors will control it from a commanding station established in the university campus.
  • Former WWF wrestler and American entertainer Joan Marie Laurer (45), popularly known as Chyna, passed away. 
  • Chyna, who was billed as the "Ninth Wonder of the World", is the,
    • Only female player to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship
    • Only female wrestler to participate in the King of the Ring and Royal Rumble events.
  • English director Guy Hamilton (93), best known for directing four 'James Bond' movies, passed away. 
    • Hamilton directed 22 films between the 1950s and the 1980s. 
    • The 'James Bond' films directed by him include, 'Live and Let Die' (1973) and 'The Man with the Golden Gun' (1974).

  • The Olympic torch for the upcoming Rio Olympic Games was lit at an ancient Greek site today. 
    • The torch will be taken by various runners on an international relay which will be culminated at the opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro on August 5
    • This ritual was established 80 years ago, based on a ceremony in the ancient Olympia.
  • Spanish football club Barcelona has unveiled plans for the new version of its Camp Nou stadium, which will be named the Nou Camp Nou
    • The £500 million project will oversee a redevelopment of the stadium, raising its capacity from 99,354 to 1,05,000 seats. 
    • Barcelona also announced that the project is scheduled to begin during the 2017-18 season.
  • BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur today confirmed that, India will play their first day-night Test against New Zealand later this year.
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