1. April 10 - World Homoeopathy Day (WHD) is observed every year to pay tribute to Dr. Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann, founder and father of Homeopathy system of medicine. On this occasion, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated scientific convention on WHD 2018 in New Delhi organised by Ministry of AYUSH. The theme of two-day convention wass “Innovate: Evolve, Progress: Exploring Science since 40 years”.
Tamil Nadu :
1. Mahindra Defence Systems signed an agreement with ShinMaywa Industries, Japan, to manufacture and assemble amphibious aircraft ShinMaywa US-2 in India at the 10th edition of DefExpo in Chennai, Tamil Nadu . As per the MoU, both the companies will develop a strategic partnership. ShinMayway US-2 is a unique aircraft. It is the only ‘in-service’ open sea-capable amphibian aircraft with advanced equipment suitable for rough sea operations.
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1. A MoU between India and United Kingdom and Northern Ireland on the return of Illegal Migrants was approved by the cabinet. This MoU will streamline the procedure of return of nationals (to their Home country) who are caught to be staying illegally, in the other country (either in India or United Kingdom) in a specified time-frame. Besides, it will also facilitate the Visa Free Agreement for holders of diplomatic passports as well as liberalization of United Kingdom (UK) Visa Regime for Indians travelling to the UK legally.
2. Union Cabinet has given its approval for delegating the powers to Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Finance Minister to award the Blocks/Contract Areas to successful bidders under Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP) after International Competitive Bidding (ICB).
3. The revision of pay and allowances of Lieutenant Governors of Union Territories was approved by the union cabinet. The revision will bring the pay and allowances of Lieutenant Governors of Union Territories at par with that of the Secretary to the Government of India. Pay and allowances of Lieutenant Governors of Union Territories was last revised with effect from January 1, 2006 from Rs. 26,000/- (fixed) per month to Rs.80000/- (fixed) per month plus dearness allowance, sumptuary allowance at the rate of Rs. 4,000/- per month and local allowances. After that, with effect from January 1, 2016, pay of officers of the rank of Secretary to the Government of India was revised from Rs. 80,000/- to Rs. 2,25,000/- per month as per Central Civil Services (Revised) Pay Rules, 2016. Thus, with this approval, pay and allowances of Lieutenant Governors of Union Territories too has been revised from Rs. 80,000/- to Rs. 2,25,000/- per month with effect from January 1, 2016.
4. ‘Project Dhoop’ to address rising incidence of Vitamin D deficiencies (VDD), particularly amongst the young people was launched by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) along with National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) as well as North MCD Schools. The project aims to encourage schools to shift their morning assembly to around noon-time, mainly between 11 am to 1 pm to ensure maximum absorption of Vitamin D in students through natural sunlight.
5. According to recently published study, over quarter of nitrogen on Earth (26% of nitrogen in natural ecosystems) comes from weathering of planet’s bedrock. For centuries, prevailing science indicated that all of nitrogen on Earth available to plants comes from atmosphere. This study could greatly improve climate change projections.
6. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has brought in secured digitally-signed QR Code on e-Aadhaar will contain photo of Aadhaar holder in addition to existing facility of demographic details. It will allow various user agencies like banks to verify the genuineness of the Aadhaar card. It will also have UIDAI digital signature to make this information more secured and tamper-proof.
7. The Union Government has modified the rules notified last year on sale of livestock by removing the word ‘slaughter’. The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017, had kicked up a political storm after it banned sale of cattle for slaughter in animal markets. The 2017 rules notified on May 23, 2017, have been replaced with draft rules called Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Animal Markets Rules, 2018. It has also watered down clauses on preventing cruelty and rules for markets in border areas.
8. Jharkhand government will be providing employment to one lakh youths through skill development this year focusing on the six most backward districts of the state. The chief minister of the state also asked the officers to ensure placements of students from ITIs, polytechnics and engineering colleges. The state government aims to bring qualitative changes in the lifestyle of the youth by training them and giving them employment. Besides this, skill development centres will be opened in tribal-dominated areas of the backward districts.
9. The state government of Haryana has launched water ATM policy to provide clean drinking water at public places to the people of the state. The information was shared by the state’s Urban Local Bodies Minister Kavita Jain on April 9, 2018. The Minister said that with the development, the residents of the cities in Haryana can now look forward to having a water ATM every 400 metres. A proposal to this effect was approved by the state’s Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.
10. Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport entered the club of the top 20 airports across the world, as per the Airport Council International’s preliminary report on airport traffic for 2017, published on April 9, 2018. Indira Gandhi International Airport climbed up from the 22nd to the 16th position as the busiest airport in the world this year. The airport was ranked as India's busiest airport for passenger traffic, which grew by 14.1 percent year over year. While, New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport was pushed out of the top 20 club, with the entry of the IGI Airport.
11. The National Convention of Swachhagrahis (cleanliness ambassadors) at Motihari, in East Champaran district of Bihar was addressed by PM Modi to celebrate the centenary of Champaran Satyagraha led by Mahatma Gandhiji with the theme “Satyagraha se Swachhagrah”. While addressing the convention, PM Modi outlined that sanitation coverage in India has expanded from about 40 percent in 2014, to about 80 percent today.During the event, PM Modi also distributed awards to Champion Swachhagrahis.
12. Indian Consortium consisting of IOCL, BPCL and HPCL signed a MoU with Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil company of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the 16th International Energy Forum Ministerial Meeting in New Delhi to jointly develop and build Ratnagiri Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd. (RRPCL), an integrated refinery and petrochemicals complex, in the State of Maharashtra. RRPCL entails investment of Rs. 3 lakh crore and will be world’s largest refining & petrochemicals project. On completion, it will be capable of processing 1.2 million barrels of crude oil per day and will also produce a range of refined petroleum products, including petrol and diesel meeting BS-VI fuel efficiency norms.
13. Gujarat is to set up India’s largest 5,000MW solar park in Dholera Special Investment Region (DSIR). It will be established on 11,000 hectares of land along the Gulf of Khambhat in the Dholera Special Investment Region (DSIR). The construction of this solar park will attract an investment of Rs 25,000 crore and provide employment for more than 20,000 people. Gujarat state government has also planned to set up a 200MW wind park in DSIR. It would attract additional investment of Rs 1,400 crore.
14. Animal Husbandry Secretary Tarun Shridhar launched a website of Pashu Chikitsak Mahasangh, the topmost body for state veterinary associations. Tarun Shridhar inaugurated the website ‘www.pashuchikitsakmahasangh.in‘. He dedicated it to veterinarians.
15. Uttar Pradesh cabinet approved construction of an integrated sugar complex in Pilibhit and setting up a Tiger Conservation Foundation in Dudhwa. 40.308 hectare land of the sugar mill will be offered on 30 years lease. The ownership of the land will be with the sugar mill company. The cabinet also approved setting up of Dudhwa Tiger Conservation Foundation, as said by central government in 2007.A committee has been set up to monitor the foundation. It is headed by the forest minister and has 12 members.A four member committee has been formed to monitor the day to day works. It is led by the regional director of Dudhwa.
1. Ban Ki-moon ( Former UN Secretary General ) was elected as Chairman of Boao Forum for Asia replacing Japan’s Yasuo Fukuda. Zhou Xiaochuan (Former governor of People’s Bank of China ) was appointed vice-chairman. Both the appointments took place during second session of annual Boao Forum, known as “Asian Davos” underway in China’s Hainan province. Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) is a non-profit organisation that hosts high-level forums for leaders from government, business and academia in Asia and other continents to share their vision on most pressing issues in this dynamic region and world. It is modelled on annual World Economic Forum (WEF) held annually in Davos, Switzerland. It was established in 2001. Its first meeting was held in April 2002 and since then it is held annually. It takes its name from town of Boao in China’s southern Hainan province, which has been permanent venue for its annual conference since 2002.
2. A MoU was signed between Singapore and China to promote greater collaboration between companies from both countries in third-party markets along China’s ambitious Belt and Road routes. The MoU will see the formation of a working group between Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), China’s National Development and Reform Commission and Enterprise. The working group will identify sectors and markets of mutual interest, organise business-matching activities and forums to facilitate third-party market cooperation between Singapore and Chinese companies under Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
3. The world’s first microfactory that can transform components from electronic waste items into valuable materials for re-use was launched by the IIT-trained Australian scientist of Indian origin Veena Sahajwalla. The e-waste microfactory uses green manufacturing technologies to turn many types of consumer waste such as glass, plastic and timber into commercial materials and products.
4. Kate Brown (The Governor of Oregon state) has signed the Net Neutrality bill on April 9, 2018 which bans Internet operators from offering paid prioritisation services to customers, into law. The new law makes it illegal for the state's public agencies to work with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that take part in discriminatory activities such as paid prioritisation and blocking legal content online.
5. Around 1200 year-old Buddhist cliff carvings have been found in Tibet that may offer a glimpse into Buddhist art and local history. Experts believe that the carvings were created in the 9th century, based on their style. According to the regional cultural relics protection research institute, the discoveries dating back to the Tibetan Tubo Kingdom were found in Acur township of Qamdo city.
6. India and Bangladesh signed an agreement to set up a 129.5 km oil pipeline aimed at pumping oil from India to Bangladesh with a capacity of 1 million metric tons per annum on April 9, 2018. This 129.5-km long oil pipeline will be built from the Siliguri Marketing Terminal of the Numaligarah Refinery Ltd (NRL) in India to the Parbaripur depot of the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC).
7. India and Zambia signed four agreements as a part of Indian President Ram Nath Kovind’s visit to three African countries. This is the first visit to Zambia by an Indian president since 1989. Ram Nath Kovind also addressed the Zambia-India Business Forum. India and Zambia signed four agreements on double taxation avoidance,judicial cooperation, mutual visa waivers for officials and diplomats and the Entrepreneurship Development Institute that India will build in Zambia
Science and Technology/ Defence:
1. The first group of China's Yaogan-31 remote sensing satellites was launched into space on April 10, 2018. The satellites were carried by a Long March-4C rocket, the 271st mission for the Long March rocket family. The mission also sent a micro nanotechnology experiment satellite into orbit. The satellites will be used for electromagnetic environment surveys and other related technology tests. China launched the first ‘Yaogan; series satellite, Yaogan-1, in 2006.
2. Gagan-shakti (An all-encompassing war exercise) was launched by the Indian Air Force on April 8, 2018. The two-week long exercise would conclude on April 22. During the exercise, Indian Air Force will put into force its entire machinery to validate its concept of operations and war waging capability. This exercise aimed at coordinating operations, maintenance and administrative responses to achieve the stated objectives of the Indian Air Force, in case of any contingency. The main aim of the exercise is real time coordination, deployment and employment of air power in a short and intense battle scenario.
3. Scientists have successfully completed the first test drive of a DNA ‘unicycle’ – a tiny machine made of genetic material powered by chemical energy that could perform directed movements. The tiny vehicle is only 30 nanometers in size. Fuel is given by the protein “T7 RNA polymerase”, as per study published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. Researchers from the University of Bonn in Germany and the University of Michigan in the US used structures made of DNA nano rings to make the vehicle. The two rings are linked like a chain. This enzyme is coupled to the ring that serves as an engine. It synthesizes an RNA strand based on the DNA sequence. It uses the chemical energy released during this process for the rotational movement of the DNA ring. This ever-expanding RNA thread, which comes from the engine as a waste product, is used to keep the tiny vehicle on its path by using markings on a DNA-nanotube track.
1. Online cab aggregator platform Uber announced the launch of its new partner (driver) app in India. The new app is more simple as compared to previous version, provides a personalised experience, and has been designed to support Uber drivers on every moment of their journey. Inputs collected by interacting with drivers via groups sessions, ride alongs and in person meetings have been incorporated in the new Driver app.
2. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) stated that the Indian economy would expand by 7.3 % in fiscal year (FY) 2018 and 7.6 % in the next fiscal year on 11th April 2018. In ADB’s Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2018 report, it stated that the reduction in growth to 6.6 % in FY2017 was partially due to demonetization. Also, issues related to Goods and Services Tax (GST) disturbed operations of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and exporters.
1. Balram Bhargava, professor of AIIMS was appointed as the Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Secretary of the Department of Health Research. He will have tenure of three years or until attainment of age of 60 years. ICMR is India’s apex scientific body for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research. It was established in 1911.
2. Senior IPS officer Rajesh Ranjan was appointed as the Director General of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). He will have tenure till November 30, 2020.
3. Labour Secretary M Sathiyavathy( IAS officer of 1982 batch) took charge as member of Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). She was administered oath of office and secrecy as member by Vinay Mittal, Chairman, UPSC.
4. Inspector General KR Nautiyal has been appointed as the new Coast Guard Commander (Eastern Seaboard).
1. Indian ace shooter Heena clinching the gold medal in women’s 25m pistol event at the 21st Commonwealth Games (CWG) in Australia on April 10, 2018 at the Day 6 of Commonwealth Games 2018.