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April 22, 2016

22nd April 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • 46th International Earth Day is being observed today.
    • The world's first ever Earth Day was celebrated on 22nd April 22 1970, in the United States of America to increase public awareness about environmental problems. 
    • It was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson.  
    • The aim of the day is to bring attention to environmental issues to spark changes that will result in a healthy, sustainable environment. 
    • Theme of 2016 : Trees for the Earth
  • According to reports, United States President Barack Obama is going to become the first sitting US President to visit Hiroshima, over 70 years after USA's atom bomb destroyed the city. 
    • The visit is reportedly scheduled for late May, after the Group of Seven (G7) Summit in Japan. 
    • This comes after US Secretary of State John Kerry recently visited the Hiroshima memorial.
  • The Merriam-Webster dictionary has added over 1,400 new terms and phrases to its unabridged version, providing official recognition to a host of technology and internet culture terminology. 
    • The new words and acronyms include Bitcoin, Nomophobia (the fear of being without a working mobile phone), FOMO (fear of missing out), TMI (too much information) and ICYMI (in case you missed it).
  • India and China agree to establish hot-line between their armed forces.
  • The Malaysian government has introduced the Electronic Travel Authorization Visa (e-visa) for Indian tourists on a short visit to the country. 
    • Note : This facility is available only to Indians who live in India and is valid for a single journey and a maximum of 30 days. 
    • The e-visa can be obtained within 24-48 hours and will be valid for three months.

National Affairs
  • The government has set up a Panel to prepare a blueprint for doubling farmers’ income by 2022
    • The 8 member panel aims to identify potential areas where more investment should happen and suggest ways to reduce the risk of farming. 
    • It would also focus on reducing cost of cultivation and address the unpredictability in agriculture due to weather and other market reasons.
    • The panel will be headed by : Ashok Dalwai (Additional Secretary at the Agriculture Ministry). 
  • Uttarakhand comes under President's rule again after Supreme Court stays Nainital High Court order quashing imposition of Central rule.
  • Month long Simhastha Kumbh mela begins in Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh.
  • Union Government has renamed the Department of Disinvestment as Department of Investment and Public Asset Management or DIPAM
    • The renaming decision aims at proper management of Central government’s investments in equity and also its disinvestment proceeds in central public sector undertakings (PSUs). 

  • China and Pakistan have signed an agreement for the launch of a special satellite to monitor the development of the multi-billion dollars China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects
    • In this regard, both countries have decided for development and launch of the Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite (PRSS-1) System and launch a satellite in June 2018.
  • Russia will sign a joint manufacturing contract with India for 200 Ka-226T light utility multirole helicopters before the end of 2016. 
    • An intergovernmental agreement for the same had been signed during PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Russia in December 2015.

Science & Technology
  • NASA has successfully tested a 3D-printed rocket engine turbopump, with liquid methane as fuel, for its future Mars mission. 
    • Note : The 3D-printed fuel pump had 45% fewer parts than pumps made via traditional manufacturing. 
    • NASA claims that liquid methane is an ideal propellant to power engines for deep-space missions.
New Appointments
  • President Pranab Mukherjee today approved the nomination of 6 people to the Rajya Sabha, recommended by the central government which included boxer and Olympic medallist Mary Kom and BJP leader Subramanian Swamy
    • Journalist Swapan Das Gupta, former BJP MP and cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu, Malayalam actor Suresh Gopi and economist Narendra Jadhav were the others to be nominated.
  • Aditya Birla Group has appointed Saurabh Agarwal as Had of corporate strategy.
  • China’s President Xi Jinping has taken on a new military title, in his latest move to exert greater control over the armed forces.
    • Mr Xi is now Commander in Chief of the military’s Joint Operations Command Centre.
    • Note : Mr Xi is already General Secretary of the Communist Party, and chair of the Central Military Commission, which manages the People’s Liberation Army.
  • Current Ambassador of India to Armenia T. Suresh Babu has elected as the country’s next Ambassador to Mongolia.
Awards & Honors
  • Actress Radhika Apte has won the Best Actress Award in an International Narrative Feature at the Tribeca 2016 Awards for 'Madly'.
    • With this, she became the first Indian actress to win the award
  • The TIME Magazine has released the list of 100 most influential people which featured 6  Indians including RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan and actress Priyanka Chopra.
    • Tennis ace Sania Mirza, environmentalist Sunita Narain along with Flipkart Co-founders Sachin and Binny Bansal were other Indians on the list.
    • The list also featured Indian-origin Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

  • American singer-songwriter-instrumentalist Prince Rogers Nelson (57), popularly known as Prince, passed away. 
    • His most popular works include the album 'Purple Rain' (1984), which won him an Oscar and two Grammys.

Business & Economy
  • India has overtaken China as the world's top destination for Foreign Direct Investment by attracting greenfield capital investment worth $63 billion in 2015.
  • The Department of Telecom has allowed Reliance Communications to share spectrum with Reliance Jio in nine circles. 
    • This will reportedly allow both the companies to offer 4G internet services on a 10 MHz block in a 800 MHz band, which, according to the International Telecommunications Union standards, can provide speeds up to 80 Mbps.
  • India saw 25.08 lakh Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) between January and March 2016, up 10% from the same period last year, according to data from the Ministry of Tourism. 
    • During March 2016, the country received 8.17 lakh arrivals as against FTAs of 7.29 lakh in March 2015. Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) this year in the period was Rs.13,115 crore.

  • Ibrahim Al-Hussein, a 27-year-old athlete from Syria, will be carrying the Olympic torch in Athens on April 26, as part of the torch relay for the 2016 Rio Games. 
    • He lost his leg during the Syrian War and fled the next year to Turkey. 
  • Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis pair enter into semifinals of Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany.
  • Former national champion Vishnu Vardhan put his name into the record books by becoming the first champion of the Asian Tennis Tour (ATT) after he beat Sidharth Rawat in the final of the $5,000 event at the DLTA Complex in New Delhi.
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