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April 16, 2015

16th April 2015 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • US President Barack Obama writes article on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Time Magazine.
    • Obama called Modi as India's Reformer-In-Chief.
    • In his Article, the US president said that Mr Modi, laid out an ambitious vision to reduce extreme poverty, improve education, empower women and girls and unleash India's true economic potential while confronting climate change.
    • Important Note : Narendra Modi featurec on Time magazine's list of 100 most influential people.
    • Other Indians who feature in the list are, ICICI Bank chief Chanda Kochchar and Vikram Patel, co-founder of the NGO Sangath and the Centre for Global Mental Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
  • India and Canada today agreed to take 'concrete measures' to expand bilateral cooperation in key areas, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi commending his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper for maintaining the relationship between the North American country and India via his visits to New Delhi.
    • In the joint statement the two leaders stated that they have agreed to take concrete measures to expand bilateral cooperation in key areas including the economy, trade and investment, civil nuclear cooperation, energy, education and skills development, agriculture, defence and security, science, technology, innovation and space, culture, people-to-people ties, and regional and global issues.
  • Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar is on a visit to South Korea to boost defence ties.
    • This is his first official visit to South Korea
    • He will co-chair the India-RoK (Republic of Korea) Defence Ministerial meeting with his Korean counterpart Gen. Han Min-Koo tomorrow.
National Affairs
  • India Post today released special commemorative stamps to mark 50 years of Indo-French co-operation in space research.
    • Prime Minister of France : Manuel Valls
    • President of France : Fran├žois Hollande 
Science & Technology
  • India today successfully test-fired nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni-III off Odisha coast.
    • The 3,000 km range indigenously developed surface-to-surface missile, protected by a carbon all-composite heat shield, blasted off at 9.55 this morning from a mobile launcher at Integrated Test Range in Wheeler Island of Dhamra.
    • The launch operation was carried out by strategic forces command of the Indian army with logistic support from Defence Research and Development Organisation.
    • Agni-III has a length of 17 metres and launch weight of around 48 tonnes.
    • Important Note :  Agni-II has already been inducted in the armed forces since June 2011.
People in News
  • The UN peace envoy to Yemen, Jamal Benomar, has resigned.
    • The Moroccan diplomat had been UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s special envoy for Yemen since 2012.
    • Benomar’s departure came after the UN Security Council adopted a resolution calling for the swift resumption of peace talks and an end to violence in Yemen.
    • Mauritanian diplomat Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, who currently heads the UN Ebola mission in Accra may take his place.
New Appointments
  • Dr. Mohan Kumar, presently Ambassador of India to Bahrain, has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to France.
Business & Economy
  • State-owned power equipment maker BHEL has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a Russian company INTMA, to set up a gas-based power project in Kazakhstan.
    • INTMA is one of the leading general Engineering Procurement and Construction contractors (EPC) in Russia and Kazakhstan.
    • The MoU will further help BHEL in consolidating its presence in the CIS countries.
    • BHEL is currently executing 23 major projects in 16 countries and has a presence in more than 75 countries.
  • Former Nepal Prime Minister Surya Bahadur Thapa passed away.
    • Eighty-seven-year-old Mr. Thapa served as Prime Minister of Nepal for five terms, under three different Kings, in a politcal career spanning more than 50 years.
Awards & Honors
  • Professor Susanta Lahiri has received the prestegious Hevesy Medal Award 2015.
    • He received this award for his outstanding contributions to heavy ion induced radioisotope production, tracer packet technique, converter targets, and green chemistry.
  • Indian cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar was inducted as one of the five new members into the prestigious Laureus Sports Academy.
    • Besides Tendulkar, retired Chinese professional basketball player Yao Ming, Kenyan long-distance runner Tegla Loroupe, Chinese gymnast Li Xiaopeng and former Chinese short track speed skater Yang Yang were the other athletes to be inducted into the Laureus academy.
  • Asia Cup 2016 is set to undergo a radical change and will be a Twenty20 competition instead of the 50-over game, outgoing Asian Cricket Council (ACC) chief executive Syed Ashraful Haq revealed today.
  • Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal today regained the number one position in international rankings after China’s Li Xuerui dropped a couple of rungs to third in the latest list issued today.
    • Saina, the first Indian woman shuttler to be world number one after her India Open Grand Prix Gold triumph earlier this month, had dropped to the second place following her semifinal finish in the Malaysia Open Super Series.
    • In the men’s rankings, K. Srikanth retained the fourth spot.

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