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April 18, 2016

17th April 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Today (17th April) is World Hemophilia Day.
    • This day aims at raising awareness about haemophilia and other inherited bleeding disorders.  
    • Haemophilia  - a ​rare ​blood ​disease in which ​blood ​continues to ​flow after a ​cut or other ​injury because one of the ​substances which ​causes it to ​clot does not ​work ​correctly.
    • Theme of 2016 : Treatment for all is the vision of all
  • French President Francois Hollande has announced €100 million in aid for Lebanon over the next three years as it currently hosts over a million Syrian refugees. 
  • On the first leg of her Two Nation - Three Day visit, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj reached Iran.
    • She and her Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif held delegation level talks to review bilateral relations. 
    • The focus of the talk was to increase Indian investment in energy, ports, and connectivity in Iran. 
    • Note : India has already lined up a $20 billion investment in Iran's oil and gas and petrochemical and fertiliser sectors.
  • India has decided to allow People belonging to minority communities of Pakistan, staying in India on a Long Term Visa,  to buy property, open bank accounts and get PAN and Aadhaar cards.
  • Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar is on his first official visit to China
    • During the visit, Mr Parrikar will hold talks with the country's top political and defence leaders.
National Affairs

  • The Haryana government has announced an increase in the medical and dearness allowances granted to state government employees.
    • This move would put an additional cost of ₹315.34 crore annually on the state exchequer. 
    • Note : The medical allowance granted to employees would be increased by 10%, and the dearness allowance by 6%.
  • Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has launched free Wi-Fi service at Bhubaneswar railway station.
    • The station became the second station to be covered under the free Wi-Fi project, after Mumbai Central in January this year.
    • Note : Under the Digital India initiative, Google and RailTel have collaborated to make Wi-Fi network available across 100 stations to deliver high-speed Internet to 10 million Indians a day by the end of this year.
  • The Indian Army conducted major battle exercise named as ‘Shatrujeet’ in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan near to the border with Pakistan. 
    • The sole purpose of the exercise was to evaluate the capability of the Indian Army and fine tune its proactive war strategy to respond swiftly to any threat to nation’s security. 

Business & Economy
  • According to data by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into India increased by 37% to $39.32 billion during 2015. 
    • Note : Computer hardware and software sector attracted the highest FDI, followed by services, trading business, automobile industry and chemicals. 
    • Singapore emerged as the biggest FDI source, followed by Mauritius, US, Netherlands and Japan.

Awards & Honors
  • The Mumbai Press Club has selected T N Ninan, Chairman and Editorial Director of Business Standard, for this year's 'RedInk Award for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism'.

Science & Technology
  • Researchers at the University of Science and Technology of China have unveiled 'Jia Jia', a new humanoid robot that can speak, show micro-expressions and move eyes and body
  • Programmed to recognise both human and machine interactions, the robot has autonomous navigation and offers services based on cloud technology. 
  • NASA today successfully installed the first ever expandable structure, Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, on the International Space Station (ISS). 
    • In May, it would be expanded to 10.5 feet in diameter and 13 feet in length, nearly five times its compressed size. 
    • With the project, NASA aims at studying concepts for habitats that can keep astronauts healthy in space.

New Appointments
  • Gujarat government has appointed senior IPS officer Geeta Johri as the Director General of Police (DGP) of the state.  
    • With this she became the first female DGP of Gujarat. 

  • Mercedes AMG Petronas driver Nico Rosberg won the Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit today.
  • Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq resigned as the head coach of the Afghanistan national cricket team.
    • He is set to become Chief Selector of the Pakistan cricket team. 
  • Sri Lanka's veteran left-arm spinner Rangana Herath has decided to retire from limited-overs cricket. 
    • In a career that spanned 12 years, Herath played 88 limited-over international matches and picked up 92 wickets. 
  • Rafael Nadal clinched his 9th Monte Carlo Masters title after defeating 29-year-old Frenchman GaĆ«l Monfils in what was Nadal's 100th ATP World Tour final. 
  • Indian artistic gymnast Dipa Karmakar has created history by becoming the first Indian woman gymnast to qualify for Olympics
    • She achieved this feat after her strong performance at the final qualifying which helped her to book 2016 Rio Olympics Games berth to be held in August 2016. 
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