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April 18, 2015

18th April 2015 - Important Current Affairs updates

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National Affairs
  • Patna High Court is celebrating 100 years of its establishment.
    • The court came into existance in the year 1916.
    • President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the centenary celebration.
  • The word 'Godse' is no longer unparliamentary except in reference to 'Nathuram Godse', Lok Sabha has ruled.
    • Parliament had banned the use of the word in 1956.
    • Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse on January 30, 1948 in New Delhi.
    • The order lifting the ban was passed yesterday and has brought much relief to Shiv Sena MP from Nashik Hemant Tukaram Godse who had pitched for removal of the word "Godse" from the list of "unparliamentary words".
    • Lok Sabha Speaker : Sumitra Mahajan
  • Cult Bollywood classic “Sholay”, starring Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra, hit theatres in Pakistan for the first time yesterday, 40 years after its India release.
International Affairs
  • Today (18th April 2015) is World Heritage Day.
    • This day offers an opportunity to raise the public's awareness about the diversity of cultural heritage and the efforts that are required to protect and conserve it, as well as draw attention to its vulnerability.
    • On 18 April 1982 on the occasion of a symposium organised by ICOMOS in Tunisia, the holding of the "International Day for Monuments and Sites" to be celebrated simultaneously throughout the world was suggested.
      • ICOMOS : International Council on Monuments and Sites
Science & Technology
  • Google has designed a new app to test your on-screen penmanship
    • Named as Google Handwriting Input, the app allows users to ‘write’ on a smartphone or tablet screen. It automatically interprets letters from 82 languages and transforms them into standard digital text.
    • Developed by the company’s research team, Handwriting Input can identify both cursive and print handwriting, and accepts emojis.
Awards & Honors
  • US President Barack Obama plans to honour Microsoft's Indian-origin CEO Satya Nadella with the 'Champions of Change' award for bringing about change within his company to support working families.
    • 'Champions of Change' award is given to those who support working families and have helped to bring about change within their companies, communities or organisations by advocating for commonsense paid sick and paid leave policies, equal pay and an end to pregnancy discrimination to support families, businesses, and economy.
New Appointments
  • Senior diplomat Vikas Swarup today assumed charge as Spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry.
    • A 1986-batch IFS officer, Swarup succeeded Syed Akbaruddin, who has been promoted as Additional Secretary in the External Affairs Ministry and will also be the Chief Coordinator for the India-Africa Summit in October.
    • Important Note : Vikas Swarup is the author of internationally acclaimed novel "Q&A" which was made into "Slumdog Millionaire", which won eight Academy Awards in 2009, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay.
Business & Economy
  • Widening its net to check generation of black money, the Income Tax department has introduced significant changes in the income tax return form starting assessment year 2015-16.
    • Taxpayers will now have to disclose  instances of foreign travel, details of their bank accounts in the country along with usage of balance in capital gain account schemes.
  • Rail Vikas Nigam Limited signs MoU with Dighi Port Limited on Roha-Dighi Port Rail Connectivity Project
    • Union Railway Minister : Suresh Prabhu
  • World Bank Chief Jim Yong Kim praises 'Jan Dhan Yojana' Scheme.
    • He said that the "strong visionary leadership" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has resulted in "extraordinary effort" by India on financial inclusion of its people.
    • The World Bank in a report released this week said by January 2015, 125 million bank accounts had been opened under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojnaj, which was launched in August 2014 for comprehensive financial inclusion with the goal of opening a bank account for every household in India.
    • Note : 2013 survey had found that fewer than 400 million people in the country had an account..
  • India's Y Pranjala clinched the Asian Junior Tennis championship title.
  • Haryana’s Ashish Jakhar has set a national youth record in boys’ hammer throw on the second day of the 12th National Youth Athletics Championships.
    • Ashish hurled the 5kg ball-and-chain to a new distance of 71.92m on his opening throw and went on to improve it further to 72.04m to stamp his class with fine rotations on the circle to set the first national record of the meet.
    • The previous national record had stood in the name of Haryana’s Sukhdev Singh (70.35m) since 2009.
    • Only Chinese thrower Xu Wenjie has a better mark than Ashish in the Asian rankings, with a 72.35m throw, so far this season.

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