1. April 18 - World Heritage Day is observed every year across the world with the theme of the day 2018 is “Heritage for Generations”, emphasizing on inter-generational transfer of knowledge. Its aims to spread awareness and the importance of protecting and preserving various sites around world that have achieved world heritage status and having outstanding universal values.
1. POSHAN Abhiyaan - the first meeting of National Council on India’s Nutrition Challenges was held in New Delhi. POSHAN Abhiyaan was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan in March 2018. POSHAN stands for Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition. It aims to ensure holistic development and adequate nutrition for pregnant women, mothers and children.
2. A draft of National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) proposing multiple strategies to reduce air pollution was released by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC). The goal of NCAP is to meet prescribed annual average ambient air quality standards at all locations in country in a stipulated time frame. It aims to tackle increasing air pollution problem across country in comprehensive manner.
3. The Supreme Court of India on April 16, 2018 struck down the order of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that had declared the Amarnath cave shrine as a ‘silence zone’ and prohibited religious offerings such as chanting of hymns and ringing bells beyond the entry point. The Amarnath Shrine Board had challenged the NGT order in the apex court, arguing that the green tribunal cannot pass orders on the Amarnath shrine while hearing a plea related to stopping the use of horses and ponies in Vaishno Devi shrine premises in Jammu.A two-judge bench comprising Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta stayed the NGT order while hearing a plea filed by the Amarnath Shrine Board against the order on the ground that a decision in a case could not be based on grounds outside the pleading of the parties. The judges’ bench stated that the National Green Tribunal had exceeded its jurisdiction in giving the order.
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1. India has won six elections to United Nations (UN) Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) bodies, five of them unanimously. In these polls, India won places on executive boards of four UN bodies, three commissions and committee. India won elections to Executive Boards of UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS). India will serve three-year terms from January 2019 on those executive boards. Executive Board of UN-Women India was also elected separately on this executive board for three-year term starting January 2019. UN-Women work for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. India was elected on UN Commission on Population and Development. UN Commission for Social Development and UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice
2. The Supreme Court of the United States on April 17, 2018 restricted deportation of immigrant felons by ruling that the US Immigration and Nationality Act requiring the deportation of immigrants convicted of certain crimes of violence is unconstitutionally vague. The court invalidated the provision in a 5-4 ruling. The ruling came on a plea filed by convicted California burglar James Garcia Dimaya, a legal immigrant from the Philippines.
3. Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid an official visit to Sweden on April 16-17, 2018 at the invitation of Stefan Lofven, Sweden’s Prime Minister. This was the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Sweden after almost three decades. However, both the sides have met earlier when PM Stefan Lofven visited India in February 2016 with a strong business delegation to attend the ‘Make in India’ week in Mumbai. PM Lofven also participated in ‘Make in India: Sweden 2017’ event which was organised in Stockholm in October 2017. During his visit, PM Modi invited top Swedish firms to invest in India and participate in flagship initiatives of the country. PM Modi also emphasised that there are excellent investment opportunities for Swedish firms in India in fields like smart cities, clean technology, universal housing, renewable energy, start-ups and many others. In turn, Swedish companies showed their commitment to invest USD 1.1 billion in India over the next two years. The major investors would be the likes of Ikea, AstraZeneca and Volvo trucks.
Science and Technology/ Defence :
1. World’s top 34 technology and securities firms, led by Microsoft and Facebook, have signed a "Cyber-security Tech Accord", a watershed agreement among the largest-ever group of companies agreeing to defend people from malicious attacks by cybercriminals and nation-states. The Cyber-security Tech Accord agreement will prevent them help governments launch cyber attacks against innocent citizens and enterprises. It will also protect against tampering or exploitation of their products and services through every stage of technology development, design and distribution.
1. India is expected to grow at 7.4% in 2018 and 7.8% in 2019 respectively according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its latest World Economic Outlook (WEO). It also held that India will again emerge as world’s fastest-growing major economy at least for the next two years (2019 and 2020).
2. DARPAN-PLI application for seamless collection of premium for Postal Life Insurance (PLI) and Rural Postal Life Insurance (RPLI) policies was launched under DARPAN ((Digital Advancement of Rural Post Office for a New India) project by the Union Ministry of Communications. With launch of this app, indexing of maturity claims of PLI and RPLI polices can be done at Branch Post Office itself, upon which insurant will immediately be provided with request number for further references. This will help in providing better after-sales service to customers of PLI and RPLI, particularly those living in rural areas of country.