1. The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) celebrated its foundation day this year on April 2, 2018. The day was celebrated as day of Sampark (connect), Sanwad (interaction), Suraksha (security) and Sampreshan (disseminate). Several initiatives were launched on this occasion. They are MSME contact programme; Samridhhi, a virtual assistant; revamped SIDBI website (www.sidbi.in) and Bankability Kit.
1. As per the MoU entered between Konkan Railway & Container Corporation of India Ltd (CONCOR), the Multi Modal Logistics Park at Balli Station near Madgaon in Goa was recently inaugurated which is located on Konkan Railway route. It will benefit trade and industry from economic transport solutions and state of art facilities.
2. Ministry of Tourism in close collaboration with Ministry of Culture and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) had launched Adopt a Heritage Project. Under it, selected public sector companies, private sector companies and individuals will develop tourist amenities at heritage sites. They will be called as ‘Monument Mitra’ and adopt the sites essentially under their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activity.
3. Mangalore International Airport has been named the cleanest airport in India. Mangalore Airport director V V Rao received the award at the 23rd annual day function of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) in New Delhi on 1st April 2018. AAI conducted a survey in 53 Indian airports. Mangaluru airport was selected as the cleanest airport in India.AAI officials had inspected the airport terminal, parking area, toilets, commercial stalls, road leading to the airport and customer lounge Cleanliness management at the Mangaluru airport is handled by Durga Facility Management Services Private Limited.
1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 10 lakh each to the next of the kin of 39 Indians who were killed in Iraq on April 3, 2018. 39 of the 40 Indian labourers were killed by Islamic State terrorists in Iraq, while one of them managed to escape.Mortal remains of 38 of these 39 Indians were brought back to India on April 2, 2018 in a special aircraft and handed over to their relatives. 27 hailed from Punjab, 6 from Bihar, 4 from Himachal Pradesh and 2 from West Bengal.
2. Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharama is on an official visit to Russia from 3rd – 5th April, 2018. This will be Nirmala Sitharaman’s first visit to Russia in her capacity as India’s Defence Minister.Main purpose of this visit is to attend the seventh Moscow Conference on International Security. This visit will reinforce India-Russia bilateral relation with particular reference to military technical cooperation.
Science and Technology/Defence:
1. A new grass-like plant species named Fimbristylis agasthyamalaensis in Ponmudi hills within the Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve in the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot was discovered by the researchers. The new species of plant belongs to the Cyperaceae family. Its flowering and fruiting were observed from October to March. In India, Cyperaceae genus is represented by 122 species, of which 87 are reported from the Western Ghats. Many of the known Cyperaceae species are medicinal plants or used as fodder.
2. Rare dinosaur footprints that are 170 million years old have been discovered in the north-east coast of Isle of Skye in Scotland. Researchers from the University of Edinburgh were involved in this discovery. The study has been published in the Scottish Journal of Geology.Majority of the footprints were made by sauropods and theropods. The sauropods were long-necked and two metres tall. The theropods were also of the same size.
1. The subscriber base of Atal Pension Yojana (APY) stood at 97.05 lakh at end of 2017-18 fiscal. It was lower than target of 1 crore set by pension regulator PFRDA according to Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA). APY was launched in June 2015 with aim to provide affordable universal access to essential social security protection to unorganized work force of country, which makes major chunk of labour force (88%). It had replaced earlier government-backed pension Swavalamban scheme targeted at the unorganised sector.
2. India was ranked 37th out of 125 countries in global startup ecosystem in 2017 according to report released by global startup ecosystem map Startupblink. Top 5 Countries in Global startup ecosystem in 2017 are United States (1st), United Kingdom (2nd), Canada (3rd), Israel (4th) and Germany (5th).
3. A 10% duty on imports of key smartphone components such as populated printed circuit boards (PCBs), camera modules and connectors has been imposed by the Central Bureau of Excise and Customs (CBEC) under Finance Ministry. At present there is zero import duty imposed on the three components. This move will make imports of components expensive while giving stimulus to local manufacturing under Make in India program.
1. Subrata Bhattacharjee was appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Serbia.
2. Debjani Ghosh took charge as the President of NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Services Companies).
3. Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced that Aashish Kapoor has replaced Venkatesh Prasad in the three-member All-India Junior Selection Committee. Aashish Kapoor is a former off-spinner in the Indian cricket team.Other two members of the All-India Junior Selection Committee are Gyanendra Pandey and Rakesh Parikh.
1. Mahendra Singh Dhoni was honoured with the Padma Bhushan Award by President Ram Nath Kovind at an event in Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi on 2nd April 2018. Former Indian Cricket captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni holds the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel of Indian Army. He received the Padma Bhushan Award in his army uniform.Billiards player Pankaj Advani also received the Padma Bhushan award for his extra ordinary achievements.
1. 2018 Miami Open, also known as 2018 Miami Masters, a professional men and women’s tennis tournament, took place in Miami, Florida, United States, from March 19, 2018 to April 1, 2018. 2018 Miami Open was presented by Itaú (a Brazilian Bank). It was the 34th edition of the Miami Open and was played on outdoor hard courts.
2. Indian Table Tennis player Sathiyan Gnansekaran has reached his career-best ranking of 46 in the latest International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) rankings. Gnansekaran performance has been on an upward trajectory since past six months as he won gold in the ITTF Challenge – Spanish Open in November 2017 and reached the pre-quarterfinals of the Qatar Open in March 2018. Veteran Table Tennis player Achanta Sharath Kamal has registered a phenomenal jump of 22 places to be at 48 in the latest ITTF Ranking.Soumyajit Ghosh (70), Harmeet Desai(74), Anthony Amalraj (83) and Sanil Shetty (84) are the other Indian Table Tennis players in top 100. Among Indian Woman Table Tennis Players, Manika Batra continues to rank highest at 58, followed by Mouma Das at 88.