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April 19, 2017

19th April 2017 Important Daily Current Affairs

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Dear Great Ambitionists, here are today's (19th April 2017) Important Current Affairs updates. Happy Reading :)

Daily Current Affairs of 19th April 2017

International Current Affairs
  • Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi to be the Chief Guest for UN Vesak Day 2017 celebrations to be held in Sri Lanka from 12th to 14th of next month.
    • UN VesakDay is an officially recognized United Nations (UN) holiday that celebrates the birth of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism.
  • US President Donald Trump today signed an executive order directing federal agencies to propose changes to the H-1B visa process to prevent its misuse. 
    • The order also seeks changes in government procurement practices to increase the purchase of American products in federal contracts.
  • US state of Maryland's Governor Larry Hogan today signed the 'no means no' bill into law, eliminating the requirement for the victims of sexual crimes to prove that they tried to physically resist their assailants. 
    • Previously, the victims had to prove that their resistance was overcome by "force, or the threat of force", according to Maryland Criminal Law.
  • United Nations is going to issue special stamps commemorating International Yoga Day on June 21 this year.
National Current Affairs
  • The Cabinet today decided to ban the use of Red Beacons on the vehicles of government officials, starting 1st May 2017. 
    • The order allows red beacons on vehicles belonging to the fire service, police, army and ambulances, to ensure easier passage through traffic. 
    • Note : UP and Punjab governments had also passed similar orders recently.
  • The Union Cabinet today cleared the Election Commission's proposal to procure new Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) equipped EVMs. 
    • The EC reportedly requires ₹3,174 crore to buy 16 lakh VVPAT machines to conduct the 2019 polls. 
    • Note : The Centre had earlier sanctioned two tranches of ₹1,009 crore and ₹9,200 crore for the poll panel to procure new EVMs.
  • President Pranab Mukherjee has given his approval to a Parliamentary panel's recommendation to make Hindi compulsory till Class 10 in CBSE-affiliated schools and Kendriya Vidyalayas.
  • The UP government today renamed the Agra and Gorakhpur airports in the Cabinet meet. 
    • While Gorakhpur airport is renamed as Mahayogi Gorakhnath Airport after the founder of the Nath monastic movement, Agra airport is named after RSS ideologue Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay.
    • Furthermore, the Department of Disabled Welfare will now be called Divyang Jan Vikas Empowerment.
  • The Haryana government has decided to provide accidental death and disability insurance of up to ₹2 lakh for all the state's residents aged between 18 and 70.
    • The insurance would be provided under the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana scheme for which the premium would be reimbursed by the Haryana government.
  • The Punjab government has decided to set up 'Book Banks' in schools to provide old books to needy students free of charge and also to prevent wastage of paper. 
Banking, Business & Economic Affairs
  • State-run lender State Bank of India (SBI) today surpassed energy firm ONGC to become the country’s most valuable public sector unit (PSU), in terms of market valuation.
    • The market cap of SBI stood at ₹2.35 lakh crore, against ONGC’s ₹2.32 lakh crore. 
    • Note : Among the top 10 most valued Indian companies, SBI is at the fifth position.
  • The International Monetary Fund today trimmed India's annual growth forecast by 0.4 percentage points to 7.2% for 2017, citing the impact of demonetisation.
  • Following PM Narendra Modi's call to conserve oil, fuel outlets in 7 states and union territory Puducherry will be shut every Sunday starting May 14.
    • This would affect 20,000 outlets in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Puducherry, Maharashtra, and Haryana. 
Science & Technology
  • India's first satellite 'Aryabhata' was launched on this day (19th April) in the year 1975, by a Russian rocket. 
    • The 360-kg indigenous satellite cost around ₹3 crore to make and spent 17 years in Earth's orbit.
    • Named after the 5th-century Indian astronomer and mathematician Aryabhata, the satellite was built by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to conduct experiments in X-ray astronomy and solar physics.
  • Malaysia Airlines has become the world's first airline which will track its fights with the help of satellites by 2018. 
    • This will enable the airline to track its flights minute-by-minute, anywhere in the world including over the polar regions and the most remote oceans.
Sports Current Affairs
  • India won a total of 11 medals, including three gold, two silver, and six bronze, at the recently-concluded US Open Karate Championship in Las Vegas. 
    • Sensei Yashpal Singh Kalsi, Abhishek Sengupta, Rantej Singh, Harcharan Singh Chowhan and Shaifali Agarwal were part of the five-member Indian team. 
    • The prestigious annual Karate event saw the participation of 2,374 players from 42 countries.
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