Current Affairs Today – April 20 2017
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Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh inaugurates India Steel 2017 in Mumbai
“India Steel 2017”, the 3rd edition of International Conference and Exhibition on Steel Industry was held at Mumbai Exhibition Center in Mumbai from 19th-21st April, 2017. It was inaugurated by Union Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh.
i. This exhibition-cum-conference has been organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) along with Union Ministry of Steel.
ii. Steel sector is one of the core industries in India.It contributes 2% to India’s GDP and employs nearly 6 lakh people.Currently India is the third largest producer of crude steel in the world
Haryana extends Accidental insurance cover to all residents
One of the most prominent schemes of Modi government Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) has been implemented by the Haryana government.
i. The scheme is applicable for 1 year and renew after it. It offers accidental death and disability cover.
ii. To cover to all Haryana residents in the age group of 18-70 years.
iii. All residents of Haryana must have Aadhaar-enabled saving bank accounts that are entitled for this scheme.
iv. In case of Accidental death sum insured would be Rs 2 lakh each and Rs 1 lakh in case of total and irrecoverable loss of sight of one eye and loss of use of one hand or foot due to accident.
v. The scheme would be offered through banks and administered through public sector general insurance companies and other general insurance companies.
vi. Aadhaar would be the primary KYC for the bank account and insurance coverage.
vii. The Premium of Rs 12 per annum will be deducted from the account holder’s savings bank account through ‘auto-debit’ facility in one instalment on or before June 1 of each annual coverage period under the scheme.
PM Modi to inaugurate ‘Textiles India 2017 on June 30
PM Narendra Modi will inaugurate a mega event Textiles India showcase the country as a global sourcing hub in Gandhinagar on June 30, 2017
i. Its main objective is to provide a platform to connect and collaborate with global manufacturers, investors and buyers in the textiles sector.
ii. Its theme is India as a global sourcing hub and an investment destination; exploring growth potential of technical textiles; and carving a niche market globally for handcrafted goods.
iii. It will be a mega event which is going to be held on June 30.
iv. It is a three-day conference will be attended by several Union Ministers including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Textiles Minister Smriti Irani.
v. Around 2,500 international buyers and over 1,000 international and domestic exhibitors are expected to take part in the event.
Centre extends ceasefire with NSCN-R till 2018
Indian Govt. has extended the ceasefire with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Reformation (NSCN-R) for one year till April 27, 2018.
i. This decision was taken during a meeting between Ceasefire Supervisory Board of the NSCN-R and Union Home Ministry officials held in New Delhi.
ii. The Union Home Ministry team was headed by Satyendra Garg – Joint Secretary (North East), while the NSCN-R was led by Imlongnuski Chang – Supervisor of the Ceasefire Supervisory Board.
iii. NSCN-R is among several other armed groups of Nagaland such as NSCN-Isak Muivah, NSCN-Khaplang, NSCN-Unification and Naga National Council. It was formed on April 6, 2015 by Y. Wangtin Naga and P. Tikhak after they were expelled from NSCN-Khaplang.
China renames six places in Arunachal Pradesh on its official map
China has announced its official names for six places in Arunachal Pradesh and has strong protests with India over the Dalai Lama’s visit to the frontier state.
i. It was aimed at declare China’s claim over Arunachal Pradesh.The official names of the six places using the Roman alphabet are Wo’gyainling, Mila Ri, Qoidengarbo Ri, Mainquka, Bumo La and Namkapub Ri.
ii. China is now doing a second census of names of localities and an important part of it is to standardise names in ethnic language.
iii. The two sides have done 19 rounds of Special Representatives talks to resolve the boundary dispute.
iv. The India-China border dispute covers the 3,488 km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC).
v. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as South Tibet, India declare that the dispute covers Aksai Chin area which was occupied by China during the 1962 war.
vi. China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs announced on April 14 that it had standardized in Chinese characters, Tibetan and Roman alphabet the names of six places in ‘South Tibet’, which India calls ‘Arunachal Pradesh’.
vii. China had warned India that it will take necessary measures to defend its territorial sovereignty and interests
Sri Lanka to host the 14th Edition of United Nations International Day of Vesak 2017
The 14th edition of United Nations International Day of Vesak will be hosted by Sri Lanka from May 12-14, 2017.The PM Narendra Modi will be the chief guest for UN Vesak Day.
i. The theme of this edition is Buddhist Teachings for Social Justice and Sustainable World Peace.
ii. The significance of Vesak lies with the Buddhas teaching of cessation of suffering and universal peace to all humankind.
iii. The events include an International Buddhist Symposium the participation of over 400 delegates from 100 countries
iv. Vesak is associated with three important locations of Buddhist history Lumbini in Nepal, the birth place of Prince Siddharta, Bodh Gaya (Buddha Gaya) Bihar State in India.
v. The Buddha attained the most promient Enlightenment under a Bodhi Tree and Kushinagar (Kusinara) in Uttar Pradesh, India where The Buddha attained Mahaparinibbna.
vi. It is a message to urge followers to do that which is good and to turn away from evil.It is a message of peace and perfect harmony between human beings and nature.
Gandhi stamps sold at 500,000 pounds at auction in UK
A set of four rare stamps, featuring the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi has fetched 5 lakh pounds at an auction which is so far, the highest price ever paid for Indian stamps. The auction was held in United Kingdom, the purchaser is a private Australian collector.
i. As per authoritative issue records, only 13 of these 1948 Gandhi 10-rupee Purple Brown and Lake ‘Service’ stamps are in circulation.
ii. Besides, the set of four which has been auctioned for 5 lakh pounds, other set of four is in the Royal Philatelic Collection, owned by Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen’s collection is considered to be the most extensive and most precious private stamp collection.
iii. The record price for a stamp sold at an auction is 7.4 million pounds.
UN to issue commemorative stamps for International yoga day
The United Nations will be going to issue special stamps commemorating the International Yoga Day on June 21, 2017 said by India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin
i. The first International Yoga Day was commemorated at the UN in 2015.
ii. Special Event sheet @unstamps to commemorate on International Day of Yoga.
iii. United Nations stamps are issued at UN offices in New York, Geneva and Vienna.
iv. The special sheet consists of stamps with images of the sacred Indian sound “Om” and various yogic asanas.
v. Usually six new commemorative issues are released each year and remain on sale for 12 months only.
vi. The UN General Assembly had adopted a resolution with a record number of 177 co-sponsoring member states to commemorate the International Day of Yoga every year on June 21.
BANKING & FINANCE
India contributes USD 250000 to election assistance division of UN
India contributes USD 250000 to the United Nations programme for helping countries to hold elections and develop their electoral systems.
i. India has done a second contribution of USD 250000 to the programmes for electoral assistance and capacity building.
ii. The first contribution has been done in the year 2012.
iii. EenamGambhir, the first Secretary in India’s Mission to the Unite Nations presented the cheque to Kyoko Shiotani Chief of the Office of the Under-Secretary-General at the UN Department of Political Affairs.
About Election Assistance Division
The Election Assistance Division was set up in 1991.
♦ The division principally provides technical assistance for organizing and conducting elections.
♦ Through this division the United Nations has helped over 100 countries with their elections.
♦ The foundation of UN Electoral Assistance is Article 21 (3) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Saira Banu, Jackie honoured with Raj Kapoor Awards
Veteran Bollywood actress Saira Banu and actor Jackie Shroff have been named by Maharashtra State Govt. for Raj Kapoor Lifetime Achievement Award and Raj Kapoor Special Contribution award respectively. The announcement was made by Maharashtra Cultural Affairs Minister Vinod Tawde.
i. Renowned Marathi actors, Vikram Gokhale and Arun Nalawade have been named for this year’s V. Shantaram Lifetime Achievement Award and V.Shantaram Special Contribution Award.
ii. The Awards will be presented at the upcoming 54th Maharashtra State Marathi Film Festival.
UNESCO Peace Prize goes to Italy’s Mayor Glusi Nicolini
The Giuseppina (Giusi) Nicolini has awarded the peace prize by UNESCO.She is the mayor of the Italian island of Lampedusa.
i. Giusi has been awarded for her commitment to saving the lives of migrants and refugees.
ii. The UNESCO on 19 April 2017 also awarded the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Peace Prize to Giuseppina Nicolini as well as to the nongovernmental organization SOS Mediterranee (France).
Victoria Beckham gets royal recognition
British Pop singer turned fashion designer, Victoria Beckham has been made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.
i. This award was presented to Victoria by Prince William at Buckingham Palace in United Kingdom on April 19, 2017.
ii. Victoria’s husband, former football star David Beckham and her parents accompanied her for the investiture ceremony.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Vinay Shah is new MD & CEO of LIC Housing Finance
The Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) Housing Finance has appointed Vinay Shah as the new Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Director.
i. Shah was Executive Director–Marketing/Product Development with LIC of India before taking charge of LIC Housing finance.
ii. He replaced Sunita Sharma Government had elevated her to Managing Director of LIC.
iii. Vijay Kumar Sharma is the Chairman of Mumbai headquartered LIC.
iv. Vinay Shah has been with LIC since 1983.
v. The housing finance company had grown profit by 19.2% during the third quarter. It has strong asset quality.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Mongolia launches its first satellite Mongol Sat-1
Mongolia has launched its first satellite Sat-1 Mongol on 19th April 2017.It is 1227 megahertz satellite
i. Main aim is to make use of new technology to diversify its resource-dependent economy.
ii. The satellite was launched in partnership with Asia Broadcast Satellite (ABS).
iii. Proud moment for Mongolia that its first satellite is off into space.
iv. It will help landlocked Mongolia expand its television telecoms and broadband services.
v. The project had begun over 10 years ago and now it is fully completed and ready to implement.
vi. This satellite helps with space research, map making and with preparing for natural disasters.
vii. Mongolia has been adopting new technologies to help connect its most remote and inaccessible regions
♦ Capital: Ulaanbaatar
♦ Currency: Mongolian tögrög
Wildlife trafficking threatens 30% world natural Heritage Sites: WWF
As per a report titled `Not For Sale`, published by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), nearly 30% of World Heritage Sites are plagued by poaching, illegal logging and fishing. Owing to these activities, endangered species within these sites have been pushed to the brink of extinction and the livelihood of local people has been threatened.
i. Species such as Snow Leopards, Elephants, Rhinos and Jaguars are on the hit list of poachers.
ii. The report has listed seven sites in India where illegal activities are carried out and have been targeted towards rarest of rare species like snow leopards and pangolins. These seven sites are: Great Himalayan National Park, Nanda Devi National Park, Keoladeo National Park, Manas Wildlife Sanctuary, Kaziranga National Park, Western Ghats and the recently added Khangchendzonga National Park.
Newly discovered exoplanet LHS 1140b could host alien life
A temperate rocky ‘Super-Earth’ planet has been discovered.Temperate planet known as LHS 1140b is 39 light years from Earth.
i. The planet is around 1.4 times the size of Earth but is more than seven times heavier.
ii. It is probably made of rock with a dense iron core.Its temperature and chances of surface water make it a prime candidate for life.
iii. The newly discovered super-Earth LHS 1140b orbits in the habitable zone around a faint red dwarf star, named LHS 1140, in the constellation of Cetus.
iv. The exoplanet passes in front of its parent star as it orbits, making it one of the most exciting future targets for atmospheric studies.
v. The exoplanetis an important target for future characterization of planets in habitable zone than Proximab or TRAPPIST-1.
Five Indian shuttlers upgraded in latest BWF rankings
Five Indian Badminton players have been upgraded in the latest BWF rankings released on April 20, 2017.
i. PV Sindhu: Moved to number 3 position. Last week she was at number 5 position.
ii. Saina Nehwal: Ranked at number 8 position. Last week she was at number 9 position.
iii. Ajay Jayaram: Moved to 13th position. He is the highest ranked Indian in men’s singles category.
iv. Kidambi Srikanth: Moved to 21st position. Earlier he was at 29th position.
v. Sai Praneeth: Moved to 22nd position. Earlier he was at 30th position.
♦ Headquarters: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
♦ Formation: 1934
♦ President: Poul-Erik Høyer Larsen
2022 Asian games to have video gaming as full sport
Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has launched a new feature called Video gaming as a full sport at the 2022 Asian Games which is scheduled to be held in Hangzhou, China from September 10 to September 25, 2022.
i. OCA has entered into collaboration with Alisports, a unit of China’s Alibaba Group.
ii. Main aim of launching this video is to bring the rapid development and popularity of this new form of sports participation among the youth.
iii. E-sports has been introduced as a medal sport to the official program of the Asian Games at Hangzhou, China
iv. It will be included as a demonstration sport at the 2018 Asian Games in Palembang, Indonesia.
About Asian games:
♦ The Asian Games features a wide range of traditional Olympic.It is considered as the second-biggest sporting competition in the world after the Olympics
♦ The Asian Games are recognised by the International Olympic Committee.
♦ The first Asian Games was held in 1951 in New Delhi, India.
♦ The last Asian Games was held in Incheon, South Korea in 2014.
♦ The 2018 Asian Games will be held in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia.