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April 10, 2016

8th April 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has ranked India 6th in its biggest military spenders list for 2015
    • SIPRI's study found that India's military expenditure was $51.3 billion last year. 
    • The United States topped the list with military expenditure of $596 billion.
  • United States Secretary of State John Kerry has visited Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Baghdad. 
    • Kerry will underscore US' support for Iraq as it addresses political, economic and security challenges. 

National Affairs
  • The Himachal Pradesh Assembly has passed a bill increasing the salaries and allowances of MLAs, CM, the state’s ministers, and the Speaker among others. 
    • With the hike, the MLAs salary and allowances rose to ₹2.10 lakh per month from ₹1.32 lakh. 
    • Note : The increase in salaries and allowances would cost the state exchequer around ₹16.45 crore annually.
  • Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel officially launched the state-wide implementation of National Food Security Act, which has been renamed as ‘Maa Annapurna Yojna (Scheme)’.
    • Under this Maa Annapurna Yojna, 3.82 crore people of Gujarat will be benefited
    • Each of them will get rice at Rs 3 per Kg and wheat at Rs 2 per Kg.
  • The Delhi Police has made the licensing process for business establishments and arms possession online. 
  • The Karnataka government has prohibited taxi-hailing apps like Ola and Uber to apply peak-hour charges
    • Customers now do not have to pay anything extra to these companies above their fixed base fares.
    • Note : During peak hours, taxi aggregators levy extra charges, two to three times the base fares, to compensate for the low number of available drivers.
  • After 91 years in service, Mumbai's DC (direct current) local train will make its last ride this weekend.
    • It will travel from Kurla to CST on Harbour line on the intervening night of April 9-10.
    • The ride will feature live bands and art shows, and cost ₹10,000. 
    • The funds from the ride will be used for drought relief in Maharashtra.
  • The first-ever North East-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Business Summit kicked off in Imphal, Manipur with the focus on road connectivity, trade and tourism.
    • The two day summit has been organized by Manipur Commerce and Industries Department (MCID) in collaboration with the Union Ministries of External Affairs and Development of North-Eastern Region(DoNER), Indian Chamber of Commerce(ICC) and Indian Chamber of Service Industries(ICSI).

Awards & Honors
  • Bethesda Game Studios' 'Fallout 4', a post-apocalyptic role-playing game, was adjudged the Best Game of the Year at 2016 British Academy Games Awards
    • Psyonix Studios' 'Rocket League' took the Best Sports Game of the Year award, ahead of the three-time winner 'FIFA-16'. 
    • Meanwhile Rocksteady Studios' 'Batman: Arkham Knight' was awarded the Best British Game of the Year.
  • Mother Teresa has been posthumously conferred with the United Kingdom’s prestigious Founders Award 2016
    • Note : Teresa’s only living relative Agi Bojazhiu (niece) collected the award on her behalf.

New Appointments
  • Retired Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court Justice Permod Kohli was sworn in as the Chairman of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT).
  • Logistics firm GoJavas has appointed Amitabh Coomar as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
  • Hashim Thaci has sworn in as the President of Kosovo after he was elected by the parliament in March 2016. 
    • With this, he becomes 4th President of Kosovo after the European country had unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008.

Business & Economy
  • State Bank of India (SBI) has lowered its lending rate for home loans by 0.10 percentage points to 9.45% and 9.4% for women. 
    • The new rate is applicable from April 1. This comes after the RBI reduced the repo rate – the rate at which RBI lends money to other banks – by 25 basis points to 6.5%.
  • India’s exports of goods fell 17.2% in dollar terms to $267 billion in 2015, according to figures released by the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Thursday. The country’s imports also dropped 15.3% to $392 billion, largely due to a nearly 60% fall in oil prices. Further, India’s commercial services’ exports grew by 1.2% while imports fell by 1.1% last year.
  • Companies from Xinjiang, China signed deals with Pakistan worth approximately $2 billion this week. Pakistan agreed infrastructure and energy projects worth $46 billion with China last year. In return, China would get a free trade zone in the Gwadar port, Pakistan, and access to the Arabian Sea. The deals were signed when Xinjiang's Communist Party chief Zhang Chunxian visited Pakistan.

  • The International eGames Committee (IEGC) has announced that Brazil's Rio de Janeiro will host the first “E-Olympics”, an eGames tournament coinciding with the upcoming Rio Summer Olympics in August 2016. Games at the tournament will include FIFA, Call of Duty, DotA and Counter Strike among others. Notably, national qualification rounds will decide participants in the tournament.
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