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April 21, 2016

20th April 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • India has jumped three places to rank 133 out of 180 countries in the 2016 World Press Freedom Index released by Reporters Without Borders. 
    • Finland has ranked first for the sixth consecutive year, and is followed by Netherlands and Norway. 
    • Among India's neighbours, Bangladesh has ranked 144, Pakistan has ranked 147 and China has ranked 176.
  • Pakistan's Minister of State for Education Muhammad Baligh ur Rahman has announced that the government is working to make teaching Quran compulsory in public schools.
    • The Minister said primary school students will be taught reading the Quran while secondary students will be taught the translation of Quran.
  • International Defence Expo opens in Malaysia.
    • Over 1,000 defence industries players, including big names like Airbus and BAE Systems, are participating in the Expo.
  • A total of 29 countries participate in the exhibition in the form of group pavilion, including Australian, China, Britain and the US.
National Affairs
  • 2nd International ‎Yoga Day‬ will be organized in Chandigarh on 21st June.
    • Minister of Ayush, Shripad Yesso Naik inaugurated a 3 day International Yoga Fest‬ in Talkatora Indoor Stadium, New Delhi.
  • Government extends Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme to 61 more districts with low Child Sex Ratio.
  • Victoria carriages, the horse-drawn vehicles, popular in Mumbai's Gateway of India will be phased out in June following Bombay HC's ruling in 2015 to ban horse carriages. 
    • The state government will provide rehabilitation for riders, horses and owners to compensate for their loss of livelihood. 
    • Apart from cruelty against animals, the ban aims to ease traffic in the area.
  • The Union government has merged the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan (RGKA) with the Khelo India scheme which is based on Gujarat's Khel Mahakumbh. 
    • Note : RGKA, aimed at building sports complexes across India, was started in 2014 by the Congress-led UPA government. "
  • The Indian Navy today announced that women officers completing seven years with the Navy will be eligible for permanent commission in the law, education and naval constructors branches. 
    • Note : The Navy was the only wing of the armed forces which denied women permanent commission, which means a career in the armed forces until one retires.
  • The Union government has allotted Rs. 800 crore to clean up Bengaluru’s polluted lakes.
  • A Trilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed in Science and Technology among Sri Lanka, Japan and India.
    • On behalf of the MoU Sri Lanka’s University of Sri Jayewardenepura will sign the MoU with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science (AIST) and Biomedical Research Institute (BMRI) of Japan and Department of Biotechnology (DBT) of Ministry of Science and Technology, India.
  • Cabinet has given its approval for signing the Paris Agreement adopted at the 21st Conference of Parties held in Paris in December last year.
    • Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar will sign the agreement on behalf of India this Friday at a ceremony convened by Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon.
  • India and Mauritius inked an MoU to promote cooperation in traditional medicine and homeopathy.
    • The MoU was inked recently when AYUSH Minister Sripad Yesso Naik was visiting Mauritius.
    • Note : The AYUSH ministry has also recently signed MoUs with China, Malaysia, Trinidad and Tobago, Hungary, Bangladesh and Nepal.

Awards & Honors
  • President Pranab Mukherjee honoured the Chinese professor Ge Fuping with the George Grierson prize for his remarkable works done for the propagation of Hindi abroad.
    • Ge has made commendable efforts for the promotion of Hindi language abroad. 
    • Note : Besides him, Alka Dunputh (from Mauritius) and Shichiro Soma (from Japan) were also given the George Grierson award by the President.
    • About George Grierson Awards :
      • These awards were instituted by Central Hindi Institute, Agra in 1989. 
      • 14 scholars receive this award in seven different categories every year for their contribution in the field of Hindi language and literature.
Business & Economy
  • Argentina today returned to international markets after 15 years with a $16.5 billion dollar bond sale, after it defaulted on $100 billion worth US dollar debt in 2001. 
  • State-owned Punjab National Bank (PNB) today announced it has become the largest mobiliser under the government's Gold Monetisation Scheme (GMS) launched in November last year. 
    • Note : The bank gained substantial gold deposits after the Tirupati temple deposited 1,311 kg of gold with it. 
    • GMS allows banks to collect gold as deposits and offer interest on it.

New Appointments
  • The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) today announced Rahul Johri as its first-ever Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
    • Note : A CEO appointment was among the key recommendations of the three-member Justice RM Lodha Committee, appointed by the Supreme Court to suggest administrative reforms in Indian cricket. 
  • Senior IAS officer A Ajith Kumar appointed as Kerala-based Rubber Board’s Chairman.
  • Tata Steel had appointed Bimlendra Jha, executive committee member of Tata Steel’s Europe operations, as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Tata Steel UK.
  • The Goa government today decided to appoint Justice P.K.Mishra, former Chief Justice of Patna High Court as Lokayukta.
  • German luxury carmaker BMW has appointed Frank Schloeder as acting President of its Indian operations with effect from May 1.
  • US President Barack Obama has nominated Indian-American Geeta Pasi as the US’s next envoy to Chad.
  • India’s Durga Thakur has been promoted to international outdoor Umpire by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) following her good performance at the recently-held Hawke’s Bay Cup in Hastings, New Zealand.
  • Brazil-born former Costa Rican midfielder Alexandre Guimaraes will coach Mumbai City FC in next season’s Indian Super League.
  • Deepak Mishra, an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the 1984 batch (AGMU cadre), has been appointed as Additional Director General in the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

  • Chile's former President Patricio Aylwin (97) passed away .
  • Bill Campbell, a legendary mentor to some of Silicon Valley’s most important entrepreneurs and executives including Steve Jobs and Larry Page, has died at age 75.
    • Mr. Campbell, who served as president, chief executive and chairman of financial software maker Intuit Inc., became far better known for advising tech leaders, which earned him the nickname, “The Coach.”
  • England’s snooker great Steve Davis (58) announced his retirement from the game after 38-year career.
    • Starting his snooker career in 1978, he went on to win six world titles in 1980s and was world number one from 1983 to 1990
    • Note : He was World number one for seven consecutive seasons.
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