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April 23, 2016

23rd April 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • World Book Day or World Book and Copyright Day is being observed today.
    • This day is organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), to promote reading, publishing and copyright.
    • The first World Book Day was celebrated on 23 April 1995.
    • Important Points to Note :
      • Wroclaw, the largest city in Poland chosen as the World Book Capital 2016
      • Incheon was the World Book Capital 2015
  • Today (23rd April) is UN English Language Day.
    • The event was established by the UNESCO in 2010.
    • April 23 was chosen as the date for the English language because it is the birth  anniversary of greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist William Shakespeare.
  • Cuba has lifted a decade-old policy that prevented Cubans from entering or leaving the country by a cruise ship or commercial vessel
    • The reversal followed an outrage over the policy in the US which threatened to delay Carnival Cruise Line's inaugural voyage to Cuba. 
    • Note : The Adonia vessel is the first American cruise ship to Cuba in 50 years.
  • Nepal's first woman President Bidhya Devi Bhandari will pay an official visit to India next month.
    • This will be her first overseas trip after assuming charge.
MOUs & Agreements
  • At least 171 nations, including India, have signed the Paris climate agreement at the UN headquarters. 
    • The pact, negotiated last year, is aimed at reducing carbon emissions to combat global warming
    • Important Points Note
      • The signing ceremony set the record for the most countries to sign an international treaty on one day.
      • Previously set in 1982, when 119 countries signed an agreement.

National Affairs
  • Manipur observes Khongjom Day today.
    • The Day is observed every year remembering the war heroes of Anglo-Manipur War, 1891 who had sacrificed their lives fighting against the British to protect freedom of Manipur.
    • President Pranab Mukherjee was the chief guest at the main function, which was held at Khebaching of Khongjom in Thoubal District.
  • The Centre has amended the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act to expedite the process of dispensation of justice to victims of atrocities. 
    • The provisions include completion of investigation and filing of chargesheet within 60 days. 
    • There is also a provision of admissible relief amount to SC/ST women for offences of grievous nature, on conclusion of trial.
  • Thazhathangady Juma Mosque, a mosque of Kerala has decided to allow the entry of Muslim women for the first time in its history. 
    • Note : Believed to be over a thousand years old, it is one of the oldest mosques in India.
  • The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) is going to build Exclusive Holiday homes for its jawans
    • ITBP Director General Krishna Chaudhary has laid the foundation stone for the first holiday home in Mussoorie. 
    • ITBP jawans reportedly can stay at the holiday homes with their families for ₹200 a night. 
    • Important Note : This is the first such initiative by any paramilitary force.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch an ambitious Rs 8,000 crore Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana scheme to provide 5 crore free LPG connections to BPL families using the money saved from 1.13 crore cooking gas users voluntarily giving up their subsidies.
    • Modi will launch this scheme at Ballia in Uttar Pradesh on May 1 and do a repeat function at Dahod in Gujarat on May 15.
  • Government has set-up a Sub Committee to interact with the trade and industry on the imposition of Central Excise Duty on jewellery.
    • This committee will consider all issues related to compliance procedure for excise duty, operating procedures and all other relevant issues.
    • The Committee will be headed by : Ashok Lahiri (former Chief Economic Advisor)

Awards & Honors
  • TIME magazine in a first has released a list of 100 Most Influential Animals of 2016.
    • 'Cecil', the lion killed by an American dentist, topped the list. 
    • The list was curated by top animal experts including PETA president Ingrid Newkirk. 
    • The list in its top ten featured the bear from the film 'The Revenant', Zika mosquitoes and 'Angry Birds'.
  • Actor Manoj Bajpayee is set to be honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Film Foundation Award in the Best Actor category (Critics’ Choice) for his performance as a homosexual professor in the biographical drama, 'Aligarh'.

Business & Economy
  • The World Bank has announced that it will lend Ecuador $150 million to speed up the aid to victims of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the country's northern coast. 
    • It also offered to restructure Ecuador's other loans to free up resources to deal with the emergency.
  • 'Scoot', a low-budget carrier owned by Singapore Airlines, will launch in India in May. 
    • The airline will operate flights to Amritsar and Jaipur while in Chennai it will take over Tigerair's Singapore-Chennai operations. 
  • India is expected to overtake the US as the second largest smartphone market by 2017, according to a report by financial services firm Morgan Stanley. 
  • Mumbai based Mahindra & Mahindra has become the first Indian company to join EP100, a global energy campaign headed by The Climate Group, an international non-profit group that will work with the world’s most influential businesses in setting commitments to double their energy productivity.

Science & Technology
  • Japan has  tested its own stealth plane.
    • With this move, the country has became the 4th nation in the world to test stealth jets
  • Twitter India has collaborated with data journalism website IndiaSpend to provide users with real-time air pollution updates in Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai
    • Users can tweet #Breathe followed by their location to instantly receive data about the air quality index of their respective areas and its possible health impacts.
New Appointments
  • The Indian Olympic Association has named Bollywood actor Salman Khan as India's Goodwill Ambassador representing the Indian contingent at the 2016 Rio Olympics
    • This reportedly is the first time a Bollywood actor was chosen as India's Goodwill Ambassador
    • Note : The Olympics are scheduled to take place in Rio, Brazil between 5th August to 21st August 2016.
  • Centrum group, one of the largest domestic financial services company appointed Jaspal Bindra, ex-Asia Pacific CEO Standard Chartered Bank, as its new Executive Chairman.
    • He is going to replace Chandir Gidwani.
  • Tajamul Islam, a 7-year-old girl from Kashmir's Bandipora district, is set to become the first Indian to participate in the World Kickboxing Championship.
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