1. April 5- National Maritime Day (NMD) is observed every year to commemorate the maiden voyage of the first Indian owned ship “SS Loyalty” (the first ship of the Scindia Steam Navigation Company Ltd) sailed from Bombay to London on 5th April 1919. This year is 55th edition of NMD and theme is “Indian Ocean-An Ocean of opportunity”. It should be noted that World Maritime Day (WMD) is observed on September 29 to highlight the importance of shipping safety, maritime security and the marine environment.
2. April 6 - International Day of Sport for Development and Peace was celebrated all over the world to highlight the contribution of sports and physical activity to education, human development, healthy lifestyle and a peaceful world.
1. Tamil Nadu government launched Amma Free Wi-Fi zones in 5 cities of Tamil Nadu on 5th April 2018. This scheme was announced by former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in September 2016. It was said that Wi-Fi zones will be set up in 50 spots, mainly in larger bus terminals, parks and commercial complexes. Amma Free Wi-Fi zones have been introduced at the following five locations namely Labour Statue at Marina, Chennai, Central Bus stand at Salem,Central Bus stand at Tiruchirappalli, Gandhipuram Bus Stand in Coimbatore and Mattu Thavani Bus Stand in Madurai.Users of Amma Free Wi-Fi zones will be offered 20 minutes of free internet service per day. After that the users will be charged Rs 10 per hour.This scheme will be implemented in 50 spots by Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation (TACTV). Cost of this project is Rs 8.50 crore.
1. Jammu’s first tulip garden has been set up at Sanasar health resort in Ramban district of Jammu region. This is the first tulip garden in Jammu region. A tulip garden is present in Srinagar region of Jammu and Kashmir. The tulip garden was developed by the Floriculture Department. There are no time restrictions for visiting the garden. Also, no fee is charged from visitors. This garden has been set up on half an acre of land near the Sanasar lake. Red, yellow and white tulips have been grown in the garden this year.
2. The Union Ministry of Tribal affairs has approved establishment of the first multipurpose “Van Dhan Vikas Kendra” in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh for value addition of Forest Produce. It is an important part of Central Government’s scheme of “Mechanism for marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support price (MSP) and development of Value chain for MFP”. It will provide skill upgradation and capacity building training and will have primary processing and value addition facility. Initially, this Kendra will have processing facility for Tamarind brick making, Mahua flower storage facility and chironjee cleaning and packaging.
3. The Revised Cost Estimates (RCE) of scheme of Updation of National Register of Citizens (NRC), 1951 in Assam has approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The revised cost estimates exercise will help in preparation of final NRC in Assam. The proposed date for publication final NRC is set to 31 December 2018. The NRC scheme is specific to Assam only and covers about 3.29 crore applicants.
4. The Union Cabinet has approved closure of Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) Burn Standard Company Ltd (BSCL) under Ministry of Railways. The closure of company will save public funds, which are currently being used for loss making BSCL and can be used for other developmental work. This decision was taken in view of continuous poor physical and financial performance of company for more than decade despite financial assistance and other support from government and low probability of its revival in future.
5. The Union Cabinet chaired gave its approval for rightsizing Competition Commission of India (CCI) from one Chairperson and six Members (totalling seven) to one Chairperson and three Members (totalling four). The downsizing proposal of CCI is expected to result in reduction of three Posts of members CCI in pursuance of Government’s objective of “Minimum Government – Maximum Governance”. It will be done by not filling existing two vacancies of members and one more additional vacancy, which is expected in September 2018 when one incumbent member complete his term.
6. A MoU signed between India and United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Technical Cooperation in Rail Sector was approved by the union cabinet. The MoU will provide platform to Indian Railways to interact and share latest developments and knowledge in railway sector. It will facilitate exchange of information, expert meetings, technical visits and implementation of jointly agreed cooperation projects between both countries. The MoU was signed in February 2018 with Federal Transport Authority – Land & Maritime of UAE.
7. The Union Cabinet on April 4, 2018 approved the Protection of Human Rights (Amendments) Bill, 2018, aimed at protection and promotion of human rights in India. It proposes to include the 'National Commission for Protection of Child Rights' as deemed Member of the National Human Rights Commission.The Bill aims to strengthen the human rights institutions of India for effective discharge of their mandates, roles and responsibilities.
8. Union Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu inaugurated first flight from Delhi to Pathankot (in Punjab), at a ceremony held at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi on 5th April 2018. It is the 21st airport in India, which has become operational for passengers.
9. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat launched a transformation campaign to improve the standard of education in the government schools of Uttarakhand. The main purpose of this campaign is to start smart classes in government schools and provide them with all basic facilities required by students like safe buildings, clean drinking water, furniture, fans, heaters, sports material and computers.
10. On 5th April 2018, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri launched the modernisation of the Government Press. The Government Press serves both the Houses of Parliament during session for printing services. It also prints important gazette notifications, ordinances and budget related materials.The Government Press will be modernised with advanced technology and machineries after it is re-developed by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD). It will be made ready by 2020. Amount sanctioned for the total project is Rs 338.56 crore. Out of this Rs 100 crore has been allotted for plant and machineries.
1. The 9th India-Japan-US trilateral meeting was held in New Delhi and was represented by senior diplomats by three countries. It held consultations on regional and global issues of mutual interest and focussed on connectivity, counter-terrorism and other regional and global issues of common concern.
2. Qatar has introduced national service for women for the first time as per a law issued by Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. According to the law, women above the age of 18 can volunteer for national service. Men between the ages of 18 and 35 are required to perform compulsory military service, and now the service period has been increased from three months to one year. The new law also states that men must apply for compulsory enlistment in the military service within 60 days of turning 18 years. Persons who are caught avoiding military service will be imprisoned up to three and a fine of up to 50,000 Qatari riyals will be imposed.
3. The Union External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj embarked on a three-day official visit to Azerbaijan’s capital city Baku to participate in Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Ministerial Conference on 4th April,2018. NAM Mid-Term Ministerial Conference was held in Baku on 5th and 6th April 2018.Theme of this conference was “Promoting international peace and security for sustainable development”.Before the conference, on April 4, 2018, Ms. Sushma Swaraj held bilateral consultations with her Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov and discussed bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest. Ms. Swaraj also called on Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev and First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva. This was the first-ever bilateral visit of an Indian External Affairs Minister to Azerbaijan.
4. A MoU signed between India and Canada to foster cross-border partnerships focused on research excellence and industry-academic collaboration has been appraised by the Union Cabinet. The MoU aims at fostering cross-border partnerships in research excellence and industry-academic collaboration between India and Canada to bring robust innovation gains to both countries.
5. Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on April 4, 2018 comfortably defeated the no-confidence motion moved by the joint opposition against him, securing the majority support in the 225-member Parliament.
Science & Technology/Defence:
1. 'SAHYOG- HYEOBLYEOG 2018'- the Indo-Korean joint anti-piracy exercise was conducted on April 5, 2018 off the Chennai coast. This joint exercise is a part of a proposed establishment of a MoU between the Coast Guards of India and Korea to improve maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region. As part of the exercise, ships of the Indian Coast Guard and the Korean vessel undertook strategic exercises and drills to counter piracy and carry out maritime law enforcement tasks. As a part of this exercise, ships of the Indian Coast Guard and Korean Coast Guard ship ‘BADARO’ jointly undertook tactical manoeuvres and drills to counter piracy and carry out maritime law enforcement tasks. Along with ICG Shaurya, C-423, C-431, Indian Coast Guard also deployed a Dornier aircraft to carry out sea-air coordinated search.
1. Indian Bank has introduced Public Financial Management System (PFMS) and has launched ‘Bharat QR’ facility. ‘Bharat QR’ is a mobile payment collection scheme to accept digital payments. Using this scheme, a merchant will receive Bharat QR sticker. This will enable customers to make payments through the QR facility. Merchants should place the stickers at the shop. Customers can scan that and pay through any digital transaction mode. The facility was being used for NREGA (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) transactions in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, at present.
2. MakeMyTrip Limited, and Flipkart announced that they have entered into a partnership regarding online bookings in the travel segment on 5th April,2018. Various brands of MakeMyTrip like MakeMyTrip, Goibibo, and redBus, will utilize the customer base of Flipkart to increase online travel bookings. Initially, domestic flight booking will be made available in Flipkart, which will be launched soon. Later hotel booking and bus ticket booking will also be made available on Flipkart.
3. India has become the ninth most affected country in the world and second most affected country in Asia-Pacific Japan region in cryptojacking activities, as per the ‘Internet Security Threat Report’ presented by Symantec, a security solutions provider. The secret use of a computing device to mine cryptocurrency with the use of malware is called Cryptojacking. Cryptojacking increased by 8,500% throughout the world in 2017.
4. India emerged as third most vulnerable country in terms of risk of cyber threats, such as malware, spam and ransomware in 2017 according to recently published Internet Security Threat Report. The global threat ranking of countries was based on 8 metrics viz. malware, spam, bots, phishing, network attacks, web attacks, ransomware and cryptominers. India has moved up by one place over previous year.
5. India has overtaken Japan to become world’s second largest producer of crude steel in February 2018 according to Steel Users Federation of India (SUFI). Earlier in 2015, India had overtaken US to become third largest producer of crude steel. China is the largest producer of crude steel in the world, accounting for more than 50% of the production.
1. Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar will hold additional portfolio of Information, Public Relations and Languages department. Earlier this portfolio was held by Haryana Women and Child Development Minister Kavita Jain.
2. Julius Maada Bio took oath as the President of Sierra Leone in the capital Freetown on April 5, 2018. Bio is a former soldier who briefly ruled Sierra Leone in 1996.
3. Myntra hires PepsiCo India’s Mithun Sundar as chief revenue officer.
1. South African fast bowler Morne Morkel bid adieu to international cricket at the conclusion of South Africa-Australia test series on April 3, 2018.
2. India skipper Virat Kohli remains static on his second position in the latest ICC Test Player Rankings . The test player rankings were topped again by Australia's Steve Smith. India’s test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara also held on to his seventh position. India Test spinner Ravichandran Ashwin slipped one place in the bowlers ranking to take the fifth position while Ravindra Jadeja held on to his second spot in the all-rounders ranking.In the ICC Test Team Rankings, New Zealand overtook Australia to grab the third place.
3.World champion weightlifter Mirabai Chanu on April 5, 2018 smashed the records by winning India's first Gold Medal on the opening day of the 21st Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.Mirabai won the coveted medal in the 48 kg category with a total lift of 196 kg (86 kg + 110 kg) with her power-packed performance.