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April 14, 2015

14th April 2015 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Australia today assured India that it would extend full technological support for the ambitious project to cleanse the Ganga, saying measures like controlling effluent discharge could be used to clean the river.
    • Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs : Julie Bishop
    • Union Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation : Uma Bharati  
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi today met German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Allianz SE, Oliver Baete. 
    • In the final leg of his three-nation trip, he left Germany for Canada and met his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper in Ottawa.
    • This will be the first bilateral visit by an Indian Prime Minister in 42 years.
National Affairs
  • Nation paid homage to the Father of Indian Constitution Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar on his 124th birth anniversary.
  • The government constitutes a Task Force on interlinking of Rivers to look into the issues relating to Interlinking of Rivers in the country.
    • This Task Force will take up all issues for expediting the work on interlinking of rivers in the Country.
    • The Task Force will be chaired by B N Navalawala, Ex-Secretary of Ministry of Water Resources. 
  • Rebel Aam Aadmi Party leaders, Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav have formed a new non-political group 'Swaraj Abhiyan'.
    • The two leaders announced that the Swaraj Abhiyan will be a fight for the rights of farmers, women and common man across the country through protests and rallies.
  • A three-month action plan has been formulated to combat pollution for the National Capital Region.
    • This plan covers 4 states. Those are,
      • Delhi
      • Haryana
      • Uttar Pradesh and 
      • Rajasthan.
    • Under this plan, civic agencies in Delhi and three neighboring states will enforce the ban on burning of waste, act against polluting vehicles, set up automatic identification of overloaded vehicles at borders, phase out coal-based units and adhere to upcoming norms on handling of construction waste.
    • Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Independent Charge : Prakash Javadekar
  • The “Tourist Visa on Arrival-Electronic Travel Authorization (TvoA-ETA)” scheme, which was launched last year to facilitate short duration visits by travellers from as many as 44 countries, has now been renamed as e-Tourist Visa” to clarify that it is not an on-arrival scheme.
    • “The name of the scheme [TVoA-ETA] is creating confusion among tourists, who are under the impression that the visa is being granted on arrival. However, in the present system, the pre-authorisation of visa has to be taken before travel,” so to avoid confusion, the MHA has changed the name. .
    • The government has issued 1.10 lakh visas under this new scheme
    • This scheme was launched on 27th November 2014.
    • This scheme will be extended to more countries and airports in a phased manner.
Business & Economy
  • The World Bank has predicted 8% GDP growth rate of India by 2017 and said that a strong expansion in the country, coupled with favorable oil prices, would accelerate the economic growth in South Asia.
  • ICICI Bank today slashed home loan rate for both existing as well as new borrowers by 0.25 per cent.
    • Women borrowers and financially weaker sections will now get home loans at 9.85 per cent, while for other borrowers it will be 9.90 per cent.
Business & Economy
  • Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL)  has announced that it has commissioned another 600 MW unit of a thermal power project in Chhattisgarh
    • This is the second unit of the power project, commissioned by BHEL
New Appointments
  • US President Barack Obama has nominated prominent Indian-American businesswoman Shamina Singh as the member of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service for a term expiring in October 2019.

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