1. April 13, 2018 was the 99th anniversary Jallianwallah Bagh Massacre (also known as the Amritsar massacre). On April 13, 1919, nearly 15000-20000 people gathered at Jallianwala Bagh, a public garden in Amritsar, Punjab. The gathering took place to celebrate the Punjabi harvest festival of Baisakhi and to protest against the repressive Rowlatt Act that imposed control of the press, arrests without warrant and indefinite detention without trial. Around 50 troops of the British Indian Army, under the command of Colonel Reginald Dyer arrived at the spot and fired at the crowd indiscriminately for 10 minutes. According to British Government assessment, 379 individuals died and 1200 were wounded in Jallianwalah Bagh massacre. However, as per Indian National Congress’ estimates, more than 1500 were injured and 1000 died.
1. The 10th edition of Defence Expo (DefExpo 2018) in Chennai at Tiruvidanthal, in Kancheepuram district, Tamil Nadu organised by Ministry of Defence was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The theme of the expo was “India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub”. Over 670 defence firms, including 154 foreign manufacturers participated in the exhibition of weapons and military hardware. Over 47 countries, including US, UK, Russia, Sweden, Finland, Italy, Afghanistan, Madagascar, Myanmar, Nepal, Portugal, Seychelles and Vietnam participated in the four-day event. Under this, for the first time project India’s Defence manufacturing capabilities were showcased to the world.
1. An agreement for up gradation of Yagyi – Kalewa section of highway in Myanmar to two lane with earthen shoulder was signed by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). This project is part of India-Myanmar-Thailand (IMT) Trilateral Highway and will be NHAI’s first international project. The project aims to provide seamless vehicular movement for enhancing trade, business, health, education and tourism between Indian, Myanmar and Thailand.
2. A 13-member task force has been constituted by the union government to prepare road map and fast-track implementation of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology or drones in the country. It will be headed by Minister of State (MoS) for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha and will have representatives from government, PSUs, industry and sectoral experts.
3. According to Amnesty International’s global report ‘Death Sentences and Executions’, the Indian courts gave away 109 death sentences in 2017 but no executions were carried out. The report was released on April 12, 2018.The report stated that the number of death sentences imposed by the Indian courts in 2017 had come down by 27, as in 2016 the courts had pronounced 136 death sentences.
4. Indian Dalit organisations on April 12, 2018 announced to observe 14 April, the birth anniversary of BR Ambedkar, as the Protect Constitution Day. These groups have also demanded that the Union government should immediately bring an ordinance to restore the original Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. They also urged for the inclusion of the Act in the Ninth Schedule of the Indian Constitution to ensure that there can’t be any more revisions in the Act.
5. Haryana State Government has approved the slum-in-situ rehabilitation policy in line with Housing for All-2018, under which, urban slum dwellers on Government land will be provided housing facility without relocating them to other areas. Rs 1.67 lakh per dwelling unit will be provided to developer for construction of houses for these urban slum dwellers as per the policy approved by Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.
6. Ministry of State (I/C) for Housing & Urban Affairs launched Smart Imprest Cards & e-Measurement Book (e-MB) on PFMS portal for CPWD (Central Public Works Department). This is the first integrated web based module in Civil Ministries to monitor and track both the financial progress – utilization of funds and related physical progress captured through e-MB of various works in CPWD projects.
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1. President Ram Nath Kovind and his Zambian counterpart Edgar Chagwa Lungu on April 12, 2018 laid the foundation stone of Lusaka traffic Decongestion Project in Zambia. The cost of this 93 km road is USD 289 million, of which, India will be contributing USD 250 million.This project is aimed at redesigning the major road network for Lusaka city with a view to reducing traffic jam, travel distance and saving fuel. The project will be completed in three years.
Science and Technology/Defence:
1. Boeing India subsidiary of US aerospace manufacturer Boeing, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and Mahindra Defence Systems entered into agreement to manufacture fighter aircraft F/A-18 Super Hornet in India. The partnership comes in backdrop of stiff competition between global aerospace companies looking to secure $15 billion (Rs. 97,950 crore) deal to sell 110 fighter jets to India. Three companies exchanged Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) for Make in India fighter at on-going ‘DefExpo’ in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
2. Global networking giant Cisco on April 12, 2018 launched the ‘Blueprint for Digital Education’ to skill students in technologies like Big Data analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Cyber Security during the Cisco ‘Digital Education Summit’ at the Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad. The blueprint will allow colleges and universities to facilitate students to learn anywhere with Cisco Connected Classroom solutions It will help colleges and universities to create an integrated digital environment that meets the high expectations of the industry.
3. China has introduced China Science and Technology Cloud (CSTC) to provide scientists with accessible, accurate and secure data services to promote research and innovation. China Science and Technology Cloud (CSTC) has been developed by the Computer Network Information Centre of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. CSTC obtains data from the academy’s research institutes and major scientific installations, and many Chinese top universities and private innovation centres.
1. The reporting norms for the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) have been tightened by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The purpose of tightening of norms is to improve monitoring and also to ensure compliance with LRS limit under which individual can transfer up to US $2,50,000 abroad in a year.
2. The factory output measured in terms of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) had grown 7.1% in February 2017 according to data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO). The IIP is composite indicator that measures short-term changes in volume of production of basket of industrial products during given period with respect to chosen base period. The CSO had revised the base year of the IIP from 2004-05 to 2011-12 in May 2017 to capture structural changes in economy and improves quality and representativeness of indices.
3. $140 million loan for project aimed at improving rural roads (connectivity) in Madhya Pradesh was approved by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). The Project will be co-financed with World Bank. It aims to improve rural road connectivity and management for residents of about 5,640 villages who use the rural roads for daily activities. It was approved at meeting of Board of Directors of AIIB recently held in Beijing, China. It was approved at meeting of Board of Directors of AIIB recently held in Beijing, China.
4. National E-Repository Limited (NERL), a group company of National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX), has empanelled ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank as repository participants. As per the agreement, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank will offer pledge finance against electronic negotiable warehousing receipts (eNWR) created on NERL’s repository platform for commodities stored in warehouses registered with Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA).These empanelment will boost the repository ecosystem and will also be beneficial for stakeholders in reducing the turn-around time in processing the loans and marking the pledge on the eNWR.
1. Bhanu Pratap Sharma was appointed as the chairman of Banks Board Bureau (BBB). He replaces earlier BBB headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai as its two-year term ended in March 2018. The reconstituted BBB will have two-year tenure, same as its predecessor.
1. The 65th National Film Awards were announced on April 13, 2017 by the jury headed by renowned filmmaker Shekhar Kapur. The award ceremony will be held on May 3, 2018 and the awards will be presented by President Ram Nath Kovind. Late actor Vinod Khanna was honoured with Dadasaheb Phalke Award posthumously. Late actress Sridevi has been honoured with the best actress award.
1. Indian shooters added two gold and one silver to India’s total medal tally at the 9th day of Common Wealth Games. Anish Bhanwala (15 yrs) became India's youngest gold medalist in the 25m Rapid Fire final, in the women’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions final, Indian shooters Tejaswini Sawant and Anjum Moudgil came out at the top by winning gold and silver medals respectively. India’s winning streak was taken forward by the wrestling contingent with Bajrang Punia winning gold in the men's freestyle 65 kg category and Mausam Khatri claiming the silver in men's 97 kg freestyle after being defeated by South Africa's Martin Erasmus in the finals.
2. The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking of April 2018 ranked current world champions, Germany at the top, Brazil, which is ranked at the second position .While Belgium moved up two places to the third rank, Portugal and Argentina each dropped a place to be ranked fourth and fifth respectively.