1. Hyderabad became first ‘Giga-enabled’ city in India after The Atria Convergence Technologies (ACT) Fibrenet launched 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) wired broadband internet service in the city. The ACT Fibrenet uses fiber optic technology and its 1 Gbps offers 400 times faster internet speed than the average speed of 2.5 megabits per second (mbps) in India. Hyderabad, city of pearls has highest internet penetration in India.
2. Justice Pradeep Nandrajog was sworn in as Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court. He was administered oath of Office today by Governor Kalyan Singh at Raj Bhawan in Jaipur. Prior to this appointment, Justice Nandrajog was the Delhi High Court judge.
3. Mizoram became 27th state to join Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) scheme meant for revival of debt-stressed discoms. In this regard, Union Government and Mizoram Government signed a MOU for improving operational efficiency of the Power Distribution department of the State. The scheme would also allow speedy availability of cheaper power to more than 22 thousand households in the state that are still without electricity. The availability of 24X7 power to households will boost the economy, provide more employment opportunities and improve the standard of living of the people of Mizoram.
4. Vanaja N. Sarna was appointed the new chairman of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC). She succeeded Najib Shah. She is 1980 batch officer of Indian Revenue Service (IRS). CBEC is the nodal government agency on Indirect Taxes responsible for administering Customs, Central Excise, Service Tax and Narcotics in India. Currently it operates and functions under the aegis of the Department of Revenue of Union Ministry of Finance.
5. Sunaina Singh was appointed the new vice chancellor of Nalanda University (NU). Currently, she is vice chancellor of the English and Foreign Language University (EFLU), Hyderabad. Nalanda University revived version of ancient Nalanda University located at Rajgir in Nalanda District in Bihar. It is a non-state, non-profit, secular and self-governing international institution functioning under Ministry of External Affairs. Its idea was mooted by former President APJ Abdul Kalam in 2006. It was established through Nalanda University Act, 2010. Dr.Vijay Bhatka, father of India’s first supercomputer and acclaimed scientist, is the Chancellor of the university.
6. Rio Olympics silver medallist P V Sindhu won the India Open Super Series title in women’s single category. In the final match, she defeated Rio Olympic champion Carolina Marin of Spain by 21-19, 21-16 score. Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen had won men’s singles title of the tournament after defeating Chinese Taipei’s Tien Chen Chou by 21-13, 21-10 score.
7. James Rosenquist, a leading pioneer of Pop Art passed away in New York. He was 83. He was known for appropriating industrial painting methods to cultivate his bold, graphic style. He had transitioned from a commercial sign-painter to a fine artist. Pop art is an art movement that emerged in 1950s in the United States and Britain. In it, material is visually removed from its known context, isolated, and combined with unrelated material. It had presented a challenge to traditions of fine art by including imagery from popular culture such as advertising and news.
8. American singer and song writer Bob Dylan has finally accepted 2016 Nobel Prize for literature since December 2016 awards ceremony. He is the first song writer to win this prestigious award. He was awarded for creating new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition. He is first American to win the prize since novelist Toni Morrison in 1993.
9. Gilbert Baker, creator of the rainbow flag as a symbol for the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community passed away in Kansas, US. He was 65. He had created the eight-colour flag in 1978 for New York’s gay freedom day, which is now the modern pride parade. Since then his flag has been associated with LGBT rights causes across the world. The eights colours in the flag are Pink (represented sexuality), red (symbolised life, orange symbolised healing), yellow (signified sunlight), green (represented nature), turquoise (symbolised art), indigo (represented harmony) and violent (represented human spirit).
10. The World autism Awareness Day is observed every year on 2 April across the world to raise awareness about autism and problems faced by people suffering from it. The theme for year 2017 is ‘Toward Autonomy and Self-Determination’. In India, the National Trust, a statutory body under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, had organised a National Conference on Autism in New Delhi. The day was designated by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) by passing resolution “62/139 in 2007. It is also one of only four official health-specific UN Days.
11. Government has formally launched Bharat Stage-IV (BS-IV) grade transportation fuel across the country to keep carbon emission in check. The launch came days after the Supreme Court banned sale and registration of BS-III vehicles from 1 April, 2017. It sets target of ushering in BS-VI fuel by April 2020 by skipping BS-V fuel. All state-run oil marketing companies will provide BS-IV-compliant fuel at their 53,500 retail fuel stations across the country.
12. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Chenani-Nashri Tunnel, country’s longest road tunnel that links Kashmir Valley with Jammu by an all-weather route. The 9-km-long tunnel passes through the lower Himalayan mountain range on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway 44. It cuts the distance between Jammu and Srinagar to around 250 km from the current 350 km. The 9-km long ‘Chenani-Nashri Tunnel has been built at an altitude of 1,200 meters. It is also Asia’s longest bi-directional highway tunnel. It has been built at the cost of Rs. 2,500 crore.
13. Myanmar became the 7th member of South Asia Sub-regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) program of Asian Development Bank (ADB). It was officially made member at the SASEC Finance Ministers’ meeting held in New Delhi and chaired by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
14. The Union Ministry of Textiles has launched PowerTex India, a three-year comprehensive scheme for Powerloom Sector Development. The PowerTex India scheme aims to boost common infrastructure and modernisation of the powerloom sector in the country. The two new schemes are Pradhan Mantri Credit Scheme (PMCS) for powerloom weavers and solar energy scheme (SEC) for powerlooms. PMCS for powerlooms: Under it, financial assistance, including margin money subsidy and interest reimbursement, will be given as against the credit facility under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana to the decentralised power loom units. SEC for powerlooms: Under it, financial subsidy for the installation of the Solar Photo Voltaic Plants will be provided to alleviate the problems of power cuts. Government will provide subsidy of 50% to power loom units having maximum eight looms for adopting solar energy for captive use either in grid or off grid system. Other components of the scheme: In-situ Upgradation of Plain Powerlooms; Group Workshed Scheme (GWS); Yarn Bank Scheme; Common Facility Centre (CFC); Facilitation, IT, Awareness, Market Development and Publicity for Powerloom Schemes, Tex Venture Capital Fund and Grant-in-Aid and Modernisation & Upgradation of Powerloom Service Centres (PSCs).
15. Five associates and the Bharatiya Mahila Bank have officially merged with country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI). With this merger, SBI joins the league of top 50 banks globally in terms of assets. The five associate banks are: State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala and State Bank of Travancore.
16. A team of scientists from Raman Research Institute, Bengaluru and University of Delhi for the first time have seen indications of a massive planet orbiting a low mass X-ray binary star system. The system MXB 1658-298 is an X-ray binary and a part of the constellation Ophiuchus (serpent bearer). It is nearly 30,000 light years away and the planet is expected to be nearly 8,000 times as massive as the earth.
17. The Union Cabinet approved signing of an agreement between the Union Ministry of Rural Development and Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) for establishment of CIRDAP Centre at National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRD&PR), Hyderabad. CIRDAP Centre will give NIRD&PR advantage to have first-hand knowledge of networking with organizations specialized in rural development programmes and to build a repository of institutional knowledge for NIRD&PR. This Centre will also help NIRD&PR to enhance its status in the region through linkages with other ministries and institutes in the CIRDAP Member Countries (CMCs). It will also work on the implementation of integrated rural development, particularly poverty alleviation programmes within CMC member countries.
18. Dawit Isaak, an imprisoned Eritrean-Swedish journalist was awarded the 2017 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize. He will be bestowed with this prestigious award in recognition of his courage, resistance and commitment to freedom of expression. He will be awarded on World Press Freedom Day (3 May 2017).