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April 20, 2017

20th April 2017 Important Daily Current Affairs

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Dear Great Ambitionists, here are today's (20th April 2017) Important Current Affairs updates. Happy Reading :)

Daily Current Affairs of 20th April 2017

International Current Affairs
  • The United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA) will issue a set of stamps showing 10 yoga asanas (poses) to commemorate the International Day of Yoga on June 21 in New York. 
    • The stamps, to be issued only in $1.15 denomination each, depict a different yoga poses next to a large 'Om' in Devanagari script.
  • India has contributed USD 2,50,000 to the UN Election Assistance Division to help other countries to hold elections and develop their electoral systems. 
    • This is the second time that India has contributed USD 2,50,000 towards electoral assistance and capacity building. 
    • Note : The first assistance was made in 2012. 
  • Pakistan's National Assembly has passed a bill endorsing compulsory Quran education for all Muslim students studying in government schools from class 1 to 12.
  • The British Parliament today voted 552-13 in favour of a motion presented by PM Theresa May calling for a snap general election on June 8. 
    • May had said that a fresh mandate would strengthen her hand in Brexit talks and provide certainty for the future. 
National Current Affairs
  • The Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the 2-day 11th Civil Services Day programme today.
    • The Civil Services Day function is being organised by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG), Ministry of  Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions. 
    • This event would commemorate Civil Services Day, which is on 21st April 2017.
  • The Supreme Court today announced that states can relax rules framed by the Centre under the special law meant to protect Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
    • The apex court made the ruling while upholding a notification issued by the Bihar government, authorising all the senior police officers to investigate cases under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
  • According to the new definition of blindness adopted by India, a person unable to count fingers from three metres would be considered 'blind' as against the earlier stipulation of six metres, used since 1976. 
    • The step, in line with WHO blindness criteria, is expected to decrease the number of people considered 'blind' from 1.20 crore (2007 survey) to 80 lakh.
  • Captain Amarinder Singh-led Punjab government today doubled the quota for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in educational institutes from 5% to 10%. 
    • However, this will not impact the quota for the Scheduled Castes, and the Scheduled Tribes.
  • The union government has extended the ceasefire with the two Naga armed factions, namely, National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Reformation (NSCN-R) and National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Neakpao-Kithovi (GPRN/NSCN) till April 27, 2018. 
    • The decision over extension of ceasefire was taken at a meeting held between the officials of Home Ministry and the Ceasefire Supervisory Board of Naga armed factions. 
    • Note : A ceasefire is already in operation between the government and the Naga armed factions of NSCN-R and NSCN-NK.
Science & Technology
  • Mongolia launched its first satellite called Mongol Sat-1 today. 
    • The 1,227-MHz satellite will help the landlocked country expand its telecoms and broadband services.
    • The satellite would also be used to help with space research, map making and preparation for natural disasters, said a parliament speaker.
Awards & Honors
  • UNESCO has named Giuseppina Nicolini, Mayor of Lampedusa (Italy) and the non-governmental organisation SOS Méditerranée (France) as the winners of Felix Houphouet-Boigny Peace Prize 2017.
    • They are being honored for their work to save the lives of refugees and migrants and welcome them with dignity.
  • The Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has selected 3 States for Krishi Karman Awards 2015-16. They are, 
    • Tamil Nadu : In large category (production more than 10 million tonnes)
    • Himachal Pradesh : In Medium category (1 to 10 million tonnes)
    • Tripura : In small category (less than 1 million tonnes).
      • Note : Apart from these states, Meghalaya would get commendation prize for total food grain production and would be given a cash award of Rs 1 crore.
Banking, Business & Economic Affairs
  • The Cabinet today approved policy guidelines to allow 'financially sound' state government entities to borrow directly from international agencies for vital infrastructure projects. 
    • At present, all foreign assistance is received by the Centre, including that meant for the states. 
    • While the state would furnish guarantees for such loans, the Centre would provide the counter-guarantees.
Sports Current Affairs
  • Sri Lankan spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan will become 1st Sri Lankan cricketer to be inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame, with his formal induction set to be held during June's ICC Champions Trophy 2017.
    • Muralitharan, whose career spanned around 19 years, is the highest wicket-taker in international cricket with 1,347 scalps in 495 matches.
  • The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) will feature Video gaming as a full sport at the 2022 Asian Games.
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