1. North Korea has fired a ballistic missile from its east coast into the sea off the Peninsula from Sinpo, a port city and submarine base. The missile was launched at a high angle and reached an altitude of 189 km and flew about 60 kilometres. Its launch comes ahead of a summit between US and Chinese leaders who are set to discuss North Korea’s arms program. Earlier in March 2017, North Korea had fired four missiles towards Japan, some of which came as close as 300 km to the Japanese coast.
2. Germany became the first North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member country to launch a self-contained cyber command unit dubbed as Cyber and Information Space Command (Kdo CIR). It has been designed to shield IT and weapons systems from growing attacks. The Kdo CIR will be the youngest branch of Germany’s military “Bundeswehr”. It will operate and protect German military’s own IT infrastructure and computer-assisted weapons systems, and tackle online threats. It will also focus on war-game offensive skills and capabilities.
3. Ram Bilas Sharma was nominated as the chairman of the Amateur Circle Kabaddi federation of India for the next four years.
4. Japan has officially recognized bitcoin and digital currencies as legal money along the lines of other fiat currencies with effect from April 1, 2017. The recognition comes after implementation of a new law amending Banking Act in Japan for legalizing these currencies. It will help in integration of digital currency into legal banking system through regulatory scrutiny. Bitcoin is a form of digital currency or virtual currency created and held electronically. No one controls it that is not regulated by any central bank or government. They aren’t printed, like dollars or euros – they’re produced by people, and increasingly businesses, running computers all around the world, using software that solves mathematical problems. It is also called a “cryptocurrency” since it is decentralized and uses cryptography to prevent double-spending, a significant challenge inherent to digital currencies.
5. Ecuadorean leftist Lenin Moreno has won 2017 Presidential election after a tight contest with his right-wing opponent. Moreno won 51.16% of valid votes versus 48.84% for conservative challenger Guillermo Lasso, with 99.65% of votes counted.
6. Jammu & Kashmir Government has banned the usage of polythene bags below 50 microns in the state. It also made mandatory to have name, registration number of the manufacturer and thickness of the material printed on bag in English. Violator will be liable for punishment up to one month in jail or fine of Rs 5000 or both. The new guidelines and regulations will facilitate proper recycling of plastic waste, reducing its impact on ecology.
7. The Uttar Pradesh government has constituted six-member committee to implement its decision of waving off farmers’ agricultural loan. It will be headed by Chief Secretary Rahul Bhatnagar. The committee has been asked to coordinate with Nationalized Banks, Government, Cooperative, and Rural Banks from where farmers have taken agro loans till March 2016 and formulate the strategy to implement the government’s decision. It also has been asked to prepare a working plan to arrange financial support to the banks. Earlier in its first cabinet meeting, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath cabinet had decided to wave off farmer’s agricultural loan up to Rs. 1 lakh. It will benefit about 86 lakhs small and marginalized farmers of the state.
8. “Avyakta” the short film made by 26 year old Omkar Modgi has made it to the much acclaimed Cannes film festival 2017
9. Haryana Government has decided to provide one-time grant of Rs 21,000 to all those families whose third girl child was born on or after August 24, 2015 under the ‘Aapki Beti, Hamari Beti’ scheme. Under the scheme, the eligible families will receive the amount irrespective of their caste, creed, religion, income and number of sons. Its purpose is to combat the problem of declining child sex ratio and promote girls’ education in the state.
10. The US have ruled that being a simple computer programmer would no longer qualify as a specialist profession which is a must for the issue of H-1B work visa
11. Madhya Pradesh government has launched ‘MP e-nagarpalika’ mobile application to provide various municipal services online. The app will offer 378 services like online payment of property tax, birth/ marriage/death certificates, building permission etc. It will also register complaints related to water, garbage, streetlights etc. It also has online payment gateway. The mobile app was launched as part of Rs 225-crore ‘e-nagarpalika’ project, under which all municipal services will be made available online on a unified web platform.
12. Rajiv Kumar Chander was appointed as India’s new Ambassador and permanent representative of India to the United Nations (UN) Offices in Geneva. He will succeed Ajit Kumar. At present, Chander is the consul general of India in Vancouver. He is 1983 batch Indian Foreign Services (IFS) officer.
13. K Prithika Yashini became India’s first-ever transgender person to become a police official, after she took charge as sub-inspector in Dharmapuri district in Tamil Nadu. Her appointment was made as per the Madras High Court order delivered in November 2015. The court had directed Tamil Nadu Uniformed Services Recruitment Board (TNUSRB) to appoint K Prithika Yashini as a sub-inspector of police as she is entitled to get the job. The country also further had directed the TNUSRB to include transgender people as a “third category”, apart from the usual category of “male” and “female”.
14. The International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action is observed every year on April 4 to highlight the deadly threat that mines pose to civilians’ lives and nations’ development. The theme of this year was “Needs driven. People Centred”. The day was constituted by United Nation General Assembly (UNGA) by passing resolution in December 2005.
15. India was ranked third for the third year in a row in a doping violation report published by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for 2015. In 2015, 117 Indian athletes were punished after testing positive for banned substances. India followed the Russian Federation (176) and Italy (129), the same position as in the reports of 2013 and 2014.
16. The Child rights campaign launched by Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi in Dhaka recently is 100 Million for 100 Million
17. Namami Brahmaputra the river festival is being organized by Assam Government in 21 districts of Assam
18. Malala yousofzai will become the youngest person to address Canadian Parliament
19.The board of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cleared a proposal to introduce banknotes of Rs200 denomination. The decision was taken at the RBI board meeting held in Mumbai in March 2017. The process of printing the new Rs 200 notes is likely to begin after June 2017 once the government officially approves the new denomination. Earlier in November 2016, RBI had announced the withdrawal of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes, amounting to around 86% of currency in circulation of Rs 17.9 trillion. Since then, it has replaced these denominations with the new Rs 2,000 and redesigned Rs 500 bank notes.