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April 13, 2016

12th April 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Today (12th April) is the International Day of Human Space Flight.
    • This day is observed to commemorate the date of the first human space flight in the history of mankind. 
    • On this day in 1961, Yuri Gagarin, a Soviet Union (USSR) cosmonaut undertook first successful first human space flight
    • This historic event opened the way for space exploration for the benefit of all humanity. 
    • In Russia and some other former USSR countries, this historic day is celebrated as Cosmonautics Day. 
    • Note : 2016 is the 55th anniversary of First Human Space Flight.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated the three-day 3rd Asia Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation in New Delhi. 
    • He also acknowledged the efforts made by Russian President Vladimir Putin in convening the Tiger Summit in 2010.
    • India is host of this edition of conference in which more than 700 tiger experts, scientists, managers, donors and other stakeholders are participating.
    • Note : The Indian government has allotted 380 crore rupees to Project Tiger in the current fiscal year, which is an all-time high.
  • Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar and United States Secretary of Defense Ash Carter in a joint statement said that the two countries have agreed "in principle" to share military logistics
    • This includes using each others land, naval, and air bases for rest, resupply, and repair. 
    • This comes as India and US reportedly seek to counter China's growing maritime assertiveness.
  • China’s air force is going to launch Shaheen-5, a joint training exercises with Pakistan.
    • The fifth such edition between the two countries will take place from April 9 to 30 this year.
    • These exercises and exchanges between Chinese and Pakistani air forces in recent years had effectively deepened cooperation between both the sides.
  • The two-day G7 Foreign Ministers' Meeting ended in Hiroshima, with the Foreign Ministers of the seven industrialized countries issuing a joint communique, reaching consensus on a variety of global and regional issues including terrorism, refugees, and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea,DPRK nuclear problem.
    • The communique condemned recent terrorist attacks in Turkey, Belgium and other regions and said a concrete G7 action plan on countering terrorism would be adopted at the G7 Ise-Shima Summit in May.
National Affairs
  • Haryana government has decided to rename its largest city Gurgaon to 'Gurugram'.
  • The Kerala HC has ordered a total ban on sound-making fireworks display at all religious places between sunset and sunrise, following the recent Kollam temple tragedy which killed 109 people.
  • Jammu & Kashmir's government has announced a new scheme to provide 5 kg rice ration per head, on top of the 5 kg under the National Food Security Act (NFSA)
    • However, the total ration provided will be capped at 35 kg per family. 
    • This comes after protests over the implementation of NFSA which had reduced their staple rice ration.
  • Gram Uday Se Bharat Uday Abhiyan, a ten day Village Self Governance Campaign, will be held from Thursday.
    • The aim of the campaign is to strengthen Panchayati Raj and improve rural livelihoods.
Business & Economy
  • Italian officials and financial institutions have formally agreed to set up a €5 billion fund, named Atlante, to help stressed banks unload bad loans and raise capital. 
    • The move aims at avoiding a crisis in the eurozone’s fourth-biggest banking sector, which is groaning under the weight of €360 billion in bad loans, around 33% of the eurozone total.
  • The IMF slashed its global growth forecast to 3.2% for 2016, its fourth cut in the past year, citing China's slowdown, persistently low oil prices and chronic weakness in advanced economies. 
    • The Fund also warned of widespread stagnation risk and said weaker growth could leave the global economy more vulnerable to shocks such as currency depreciations or worsening geopolitical conflicts.

Science & Technology
  • Japan-based conglomerate Seibu Railway is working to develop world's first virtually invisible train by 2018. 
    • It is being designed by architect Kazuyo Sejima, who recently won the Pritzker Prize. 
    • The train will blend into its surroundings by reflecting them off its mirrored surface. It will cover over 178 km throughout Japan.

New Appointments
  • Indus Towers, India's largest telecom tower firm, appointed Hemant Kumar Ruia as its Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
  • Former Chief Justice of the Chhattisgarh High Court NK Aggarwal will be Haryana’s next Lokayukta
    • He is going to replace Justice Pritam Pal .
  • Veenu Paliwal (44), one of the top woman bikers of India, passed away in a road accident in Madhya Pradesh's Vidisha.
Awards & Honors
  • Actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was honoured with the ‘Global Indian of the Year’ award at the 2016 NRI of the Year award function held in Mumbai. 
    • Meanwhile, Indian tennis player Sania Mirza received the 'NRI of the Year' award. 
    • The award function recognises outstanding achievements of the Indian diaspora globally.
  • President Pranab Mukherjee today conferred Padma awards upon 56 eminent personalities including actor Rajinikanth, actress Priyanka Chopra, and tennis player Sania Mirza in a ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. 
    • While Rajinikanth received a Padma Vibhushan, Sania got a Padma Bhushan and Priyanka, a Padma Shri. 
    • Note : This comes after several others were given the awards at another ceremony in March.
  • Soni Chaurasiya, a Kathak dancer from Varanasi has broken the world record of longest dance performance by continuously dancing for 123 hours and 30 minutes.
    • With her performance, she broke the previous record of HemlataKundalu of Trichur, Kerala, who performed Mohiniattam continuously for 123 hours and 20 mins.
  • Former Indian Army Chief General (retd) JJ Singh was conferred with the prestigious Officer of the Legion of Honour, the highest French civilian distinction. 
    • He was conferred the honour by French Ambassador to India, Francois Richier in New Delhi. 
    • Mr. Singh was chosen for the honour in recognition of his stellar role in modernising the Indian Army.
  • England and Nottinghamshire batsman James Taylor has been forced to retire from cricket after it was discovered that he is suffering from a rare and serious heart disease called ARVC (Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy).
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