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April 28, 2016

28th April 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Today (28th April) is Workers' Memorial Day / World Day for Safety and Health at Work.
    • This is an international day of remembrance and action for workers killed, disabled, injured or made unwell by their work.
    • Theme of 2016 : Workplace Stress: a collective challenge
  • The United States has announced more than $86 million in additional aid to South Sudan
    • The new funding is to provide safe drinking water, emergency healthcare, food, shelter and training to the most vulnerable families and communities. 
    • Note : The US also warned that South Sudan's failure to implement a peace deal could result in sanctions or an arms embargo.
  • Pakistan and China have launched production of a new variant of the JF-17B multi-role combat jet
    • The jets, which are to be inducted into the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) by April 2017, will enhance training value and operational capability. 
    • Note : The latest models reportedly have an enhanced electronic warfare capability.
  • Eight satellite-monitored 'laser walls' have been activated along the India-Pakistan International Border in Punjab, to guard areas where barbed wire fencing cannot be installed. 
    • The BSF took the decision to install the infra-red and laser beam intrusion detection system two years ago. 
National Affairs

  • The Gujarat government today announced to provide a pack of six sanitary napkins at the token rate of ₹1 to all girls between the ages of 10 and 19, under the 'Taruni Suvidha Programme'.
    • This programme is likely to benefit around 40 lakh girls from Gujarat. 
    • Note : Gujarat had, in its budget for 2016-17, granted 100% tax exemption to sanitary napkins.
  • The government has banned the import of dogs for breeding or any other commercial activity, as per a recent notification by the Director General of Foreign Trade. 
    • The notification, however, clarifies that import of dogs is allowed for defence and police forces, research by R&D organisations, and people getting pet dogs with relevant documents in the importer’s name.
  • The Parliament today passed two bills to repeal 1,053 obsolete laws
    • The Appropriation Acts (Repeal) Bill 2015 that seeks to repeal 758 old appropriation acts and The Repealing and Amending (Third) Bill 2015 to repeal 295 enactments and amend certain others, were passed by the Rajya Sabha. 
    • Note : The bills had been passed by the Lok Sabha in May 2015.
  • The Maharashtra government decided to increase the punishment for chain snatching up to 5 years of rigorous imprisonment along with a fine of 25000 rupees.
  • Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik dedicated 100 rural drinking water supply projects at a function at the state secretariat in Bhubaneswar today.
    • The projects being implemented at the cost of Rs 72 crore will benefit 1 lakh 72 thousand people residing in 107 villages across the state.
    • Note : The Odisha government so far has completed 347 out of 954 rural drinking water supply projects.
New Appointments
  • Justice (Retd) Prafulla Kumar Mishra was today sworn-in as the new Lokayukta for Goa, after the post remained vacant for three years.
Awards & Honors
  • Mongolia today conferred its highest civilian honour "North Star" on two Indian scholars, Lokesh Chandra and Mansura Haider, for contribution to Mongolian studies. 
    • Lokesh Chandra is the President of Indian Council for Cultural Relations.
    • Mansura Haider is a former Dean at Aligarh Muslim University's history department.
  • Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen, best known for portraying the role of the villain Le Chiffre in the 2006 Bond film 'Casino Royale', today received France's top civilian award
    • France’s ambassador to Denmark Fran├žois Zimeray conferred the 'Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters' honour on him.
  • Renowned Indian sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik  has won a Gold medal in International sand art championship in Russia
    • He made "Mahatma Gandhi sculpture for non-violence and peace" in the contest. 
    • Note : The Padma Shri awardee was among the top 20 sculptors from across the world who displayed their sculptures at the week-long competition which started on April 21.
  • The wax statue of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was opened to the public at Madame Tussauds wax museum in London today. 
    • His statue was displayed among the 'World Leaders' section, which features statues of Mahatma Gandhi and US President Barack Obama. 
    • Note : Last week, Modi's wax statue was installed at the Madame Tussauds wax museum in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Bangkok.
  • Uttar Pradesh-based brave journalist Jagendra Singh, who was killed allegedly for his exposes on illegal sand mining and other misdemeanours, was today honoured posthumously with "RedInk Veer Patrakar Puraskar" .      
    • Other Awardees :  
    • T N Ninan, Chairman and Editorial Director of Business Standard – Lifetime Achievement award
    • Ravish Kumar, NDTV India’s senior Executive Editor – ‘Journalist of the year’ award.

  • Kerala cartoonist V T Thomas (86), popularly known as Toms, passed away.
    • He was famous for his legendary cartoon characters Boban and Molly (Bobanum Moliyum).
  • Tubby (13), dubbed as the world's 'greenest dog' after entering into the Guinness Book of Records for sniffing out 26,000 plastic bottles for recycling, died in the UK today. 
  • Chinese human rights campaigner Harry Wu (79) passed away.

Business & Economy
  • The Union Cabinet today approved state-owned Bharat Petroleum's (BPCL) plan to invest ₹3,000 crore in its joint venture Bharat Oman Refineries (BORL) for capacity expansion in BORL's refinery in Bina, Madhya Pradesh
    • The capital infusion will help overcome the losses that BORL is making on account of low oil prices, an official statement said.
  • BlackBerry, in partnership with digital payments platform Digitsecure, has launched its money transfer service, called BBM Money, in India. 
    • BlackBerry users can download the BBM Money app and transfer funds to one another through BlackBerry Messenger.
  • The US Federal Reserve today left their key interest rate unchanged at 0.25-0.50%
    • The central bank's policy-setting committee said the labor market had improved further despite a recent economic slowdown and that it was keeping a close eye on inflation. 
    • Following the announcement, brent crude hit a new 2016 high of $47.19 per barrel.
  • The Bank of Japan has kept the interest rates on the current accounts held by financial institutions at the central bank unchanged at (-)0.1%
    • The bank reportedly opted for more time to assess the impact of negative interest rates. 
    • Further, the bank also postponed the time frame for reaching a 2% inflation target to the next fiscal.
Science & Technology
  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) today launched navigation satellite IRNSS-1G successfully from Andhra Pradesh's Sriharikota spaceport. 
    • The satellite has a 12-year life span and is seventh and last in the series of Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS)
    • With this launch, India is now among the only five nations that have their own GPS or navigation system.
    • Check complete details of IRNSS-1G from here.
  • Russia has launched the first rocket from its newly built Vostochny Cosmodrome earlier today following a 24-hour delay.
    • The Vostochny cosmodrome was built to reduce dependency on the Baikonur launch site in Kazakhstan.
    • The unmanned rocket is carrying three satellites. 
  • Garima Chaudhary has won the gold medal at the 2016 Commonwealth Judo Championship finals in the 63 kg weight category at Port Elizabeth in South Africa today. 
    • Note : The 26-year-old Meerut-based judoka was the only representative from India to contest for Judo Olympic medals at the London Olympic Games in 2012.
  • The Olympic flame, which will burn in Rio de Janeiro in August for the 2016 Games in Brazil, was handed over to the country today in Greece's marble stadium that hosted the first modern Olympic Games in 1896
    • Note : Brazil will host South America's first ever Summer Olympic Games.
  • Shreya Iyer became the first Indian woman to compete in the two wheeler National Rally Championship
    • The 24-year-old bike-racer from Bengaluru, who has been signed by TVS Racing, will ride an Apache RTR 200 in the Group B category of the rally. 
  • The former South Africa fast bowler, Allan Donald, will join Australia as their bowling coach for their tour of Sri Lanka.
  • New Zealand Cricket has confirmed that top-order batsman Kane Williamson will take over the Captaincy in all three formats of the game following the retirement of Brendon McCullum. 
    • Note : Williamson, who has already led the Kiwis in 36 matches across ODI and T20s including the World T20, will become the country's 29th Test captain when they tour Zimbabwe later this year.
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