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April 25, 2016

25th April 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Today (25th April) is World Malaria Day.
    • This day recognizes global efforts to control malaria.
    • Globally, 3.3 billion people in 106 countries are at risk of malaria.
    • Important Note :
      • Wolrd Malaria Day is one of eight official global public health campaigns currently marked by the World Health Organization (WHO).
      • Remaining days are,
        • World Health Day,
        • World Blood Donor Day,
        • World Immunization Week,
        • World Tuberculosis Day,
        • World No Tobacco Day,
        • World Hepatitis Day and
        • World AIDS Day.
    • Theme for World Malaria Day 2016 : End Malaria For Good
  • Today is World Penguin Day.
  • United States President Barack Obama today announced that 250 US Special Forces soldiers will be deployed in Syria to help Syrian militia and keep up the "momentum" of the fight against the Islamic State. 
    • Note : This increases US forces in Syria six-fold, to around 300. 
    • According to reports, this can give Syrian fighters more access to US close air support.
  • Serbian voters today chose incumbent Aleksandar Vučić as the country's Prime Minister in a reported endorsement of his pro-European Union policies. 
  • The 11th edition of India-Mongolia joint military training Exercise ‘Nomadic Elephant – 2016’ has commenced at Mongolia. 
    • It seeks to promote military associations between India and Mongolia.
National Affairs
  • The Government has increased minimum wage for contract workers to ₹10,000 per month, "taking into consideration the Consumer Price Index and Dearness Allowance.
  • The Lok Sabha passed the Regional Centre for Biotechnology Bill, 2016 to provide statutory status to the existing Regional Centre for Biotechnology in Faridabad, Haryana. 
    • The Bill seeks to provide legislative backing to the Regional Centre and also confers upon it the status of an institution of national importance.
  • Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu today formally inaugurated the state's new Secretariat at the Velagapudi village in the new capital Amaravati
    • The government plans to start operations from Amaravati starting June 15. 
  • The district administration of Kerala's Kozhikode has launched 'Operation Sulaimani', wherein eateries serve meals to people in exchange for free coupons given by the authorities. 
    • The operation fed 9,000 people last year.

Business & Economy
  • The government is planning to completely ban FDI in the tobacco sector
    • Currently, FDI is allowed in technology collaboration, like licensing for trademark and brand name, while being prohibited in the manufacture of cigarettes and tobacco substitutes. 
    • This follows the government's decision to make it mandatory for tobacco products to have 85% pictorial health warnings on the package.
  • Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in 2015-16 (April-February period) has reached its highest ever level at $51 billion. I
    • Note : In 2014-15, the FDI inflows were recorded at $44.29 billion. 
  • Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman informed the Lok Sabha that India has banned the import of milk and milk products from China after finding them substandard. 
    • Further, some mobile phones, which do not carry the IMEI number, and certain steel products from China were also banned. 
    • Note : India's trade deficit with China for 2015-16 (April-February) stood at $48.68 billion.
  • The government has approved an interest rate of 8.7% on the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) for 2015-16 from 8.75% in 2014-15. 
    • Earlier, the interest rate on Public Provident Fund was reduced to 8.1% from 8.7% while that on the National Savings Certificate was lowered to 8.1% from 8.5%, both starting April 1, 2016.
Science & Technology
  • The Department of Health and Family Welfare today introduced a new polio vaccine, Inactivated Poliovirus Vaccine (IPV), in Chandigarh. 
    • It will replace the existing trivalent Oral Polio Vaccine (tOPV) which is being used for over three decades. 
    • This vaccine will be given to the children along with pentavalent vaccine and oral polio drops to reduce incidences of vaccine-derived polio.
  • Scientists at NASA have proposed to deploy a robotic system, called Icy-moon Cryovolcano Explorer (ICE), to explore Saturn’s Europa and Enceladus moons for alien life. 
    • According to the scientists, the surface-to-subsurface robotic system will land on an icy moon, traverse to an ice volcano, descend into its opening and deploy underwater vehicles to explore a sub-surface ocean for alien life.
  • NASA, in collaboration with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the US, has successfully flown 22 drones simultaneously in several locations over the span of three hours to test a drone traffic management system. T
    • he space agency called this the most complex test yet of a drone traffic management system and the first and the largest demonstration of its kind.
New Appointments
  • Congo’s President Denis Sassou Nguesso has appointed Mouamba Clement as the new Prime Minister of the central African country.  
  • Senior legislator Gopal Roy was today appointed as Lader of Congress Legislative Party in the Tripura assembly.

Awards & Honors
  • 74th Master Dinanath Mangeshkar Awards  :
    • Veteran actor Jeetendra - Lifetime Achievement Award
    • Filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali - special award for Direction (Bajirao Mastani)
    • Actor Ranveer Singh - special award for Actor (Bajirao Mastani)
    • Note : Pandit Ajay Chakravorty and Marathi actor Prashant Damle were among the other awardees.
  • Self-proclaimed godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insan, who turned to acting and filmmaking with his films 'MSG: The Messenger' and 'MSG 2', was honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Film Foundation’s Award
    • He received the award for the most popular actor, director and writer
    • The foundation had also honoured actors Manoj Bajpayee and Priyanka Chopra this year.
  • Mumbai-born property magnates David and Simon Reuben have topped the annual Britain rich list, 'The Sunday Times Rich List 2016', with a fortune of £13.1 billion (approximately $18.9 billion).
    • The Hinduja brothers, at £13 billion, occupy the second spot. 
    • Note : Lakshmi Mittal, whose wealth dropped from £27.7 billion in 2008 to £7.12 billion this year, is 11th on the list.

  • Mairaj Ahmad Khan has won the Silver medal in the skeet event at the ISSF Shooting World Cup in Rio de Janeiro. 
    • With this win, he has became the first Indian to bag a medal in the event at a World Cup
    • Important Points to Note
      • Sweden's Marcus Svennson won the gold medal. 
      • Last year, Mairaj also became the first Indian to qualify for the Olympics skeet event.
  • Leicester City's Riyad Mahrez has been named as the PFA Player of the Year for the 2015/16 season.
  • The Tokyo 2020 Olympics Organising Committee unveiled the new official logos of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games today, after the design of the older logo was accused of plagiarism.
    • The new Harmonized Chequered Emblem, designed by Asao Tokolo, uses traditional Japanese colours and patterns to represent the intercultural themes of the Olympic Games.
    • Palagiarism meaning : taking someone else's work or ideas and passing them off as one's own).
  • Indian rower, Dattu Bhokanal has qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics in the Men's Single Sculls at the 2016 FISA Asian and Oceania Olympic Qualification Regatta at Chung-Ju in South Korea today.
  • Rafael Nadal has won his 9th Barcelona Open title by beating Kei Nishikori. 
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