1. April 7 - World Health Day (WHD) is observed every year to mark anniversary of founding of World Health Organization (WHO) on this day in 1948. The theme for year 2018 is “Universal Health Coverage: Health For All’.
1. The Indian Railways has inducted three 09-3x Dynamic Tamping Express machines for improved mechanised Track Maintenance. It is latest high output integrated tamping machine having multiple functions, so far being carried out by different machines. It can measure pre and post track geometry, correct track to required geometry tamp three sleepers simultaneously, stabilize and measure post tamping track parameters under load to ensure quality of work done. These machines have been manufactured in India under Make in Inida initiative with imported components. Indian Railways is planning to induct 42 more such machines in its maintenance fleet over next 3 years. This advanced technology simulator is presently only available in five countries including India.
2. Maharashtra Government have signed US $420 million loan agreement with World Bank for Project for Climate Resilient Agriculture to help small and marginal farmers in Marathwada and Vidarbha regions of Maharashtra. The project aims to help in increasing climate resilient practices in agriculture and ensuring that farming continues to remain a financially viable activity for them. It will be implemented in rural areas largely dependent upon rain fed agriculture. It will take up series of activities at farm and watershed level. The loan will be provided from World Bank’s International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). It will have maturity of 24 years and grace period of 6 years. This project is expected to benefit over 7 million people that are spread over area of 3.0 million hectares and cover 5142 villages across 15 most climate vulnerable districts of Maharashtra.
3. The imports of hormone oxytocin to stop its misuse in livestock industry, where it causes hormonal imbalances and shortens the lives of milch animals has banned by the union govt. It has asked customs officials to step up vigilance against those likely to try and smuggle oxytocin into India. Oxytocin, often called love hormone, is released naturally in human bonding activities such as sex, childbirth and breastfeeding. It is uterine stimulant hormone, prescribed for initiation of uterine contractions and induction of labour in women as well as stimulation of contractions during labour.
Science and Technology / Defence:
1. Gaganshakti 2018, biggest air combat exercise along Pakistan, China borders between April 10 to 23, 2018 is going to conduct by Indian Air Force (IAF). The exercise is aimed at coordinating operations, maintenance and administrative responses to achieve stated objectives of IAF, in case of any contingency. Though it is IAF centric exercise, it will also be executed keeping in mind “Joint Operational Doctrine” so that requirements of other services are also met.
2. IRSO’s Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) was successfully launched the RH-300 MKII sounding rocket from Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala under Sounding Rocket Experiment (SOUREX) programme for atmospheric studies. The objective of experiment is to measure neutral wind in dynamo region (80-120 km) of equatorial ionosphere using indigenously developed Electron Den sity and Neutral Wind Probe (ENWi). It will also perform cross-validation using an independent Tri Methyl Aluminium (TMA) release technique. It was overall 21st launch of RH300 sounding rocket.
3. The fourth of eight Mark IV LCU vessels – L54, built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE), Kolkata was formally handed over to Indian Navy at GRSE, Kolkata. L54 is 62.8 meters long and 11 meters wide and has 90% indigenous content. It is fitted with 2 MTU 16V 4000 M 53 marine Diesel Engines each fitted with one Fixed Pitch Propeller generating 2 X 1840 KW power. It is fitted with 2 X CRN-91 indigenous 30mm Guns, 4 X MMG and 2 X HMG to provide artillery fire support during attack missions. The first ship of Mark IV LCU vessels INS LCU 51 was commissioned into Indian Navy in 2016. Moreover, two more LCU ships L52 & L53 have been already delivered to Indian Navy. The Mark IV LCU vessels are a further improved version of the Mark III LCU vessels presently being used by the Indian Navy.
4. ‘Sahyog-Hyeoblyeog 2018’- India, South Korea joint anti-piracy, search and rescue exercise was conducted in Bay of Bengal off the Chennai coast in Tamil Nadu. The exercise was conducted between Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and Korean Coast Guard (KCG) as part of proposed establishment of MoU between them to improve maritime security in Indian Ocean Region (IOR). The exercise aimed at developing working level co-operation and enhanced inter-operability between coast guards of both countries in fields of maritime search and rescue.
5. As per a report by Open Signal( London based company), Patna has ranked No.1 among 20 largest cities in India in terms of 4G availability. It is placed ahead of cities like Delhi, Mumbai and even Bengaluru, which is considered a tech hub of India.
1. A nationwide GOBARdhan Yojna, a central government scheme will be launched by the union govt from Karnal district of Haryana by end of April 2018. GOBAR is acronym for Galvanising Organic Bio Agro Resources. The government aims to cover nearly 700 districts under the scheme in this financial year (2018-19). The scheme focuses on managing and converting cattle dung and solid waste from farms and fields to useful compost, biogas and bio-CNG. It will also help in keeping villages clean and generate energy while increasing income of farmers and cattle herders.
2. The Global Logistics Summit (GLS-2018) organised by Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Industry along with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) and World Bank Group to improve logistics and connectivity which are vital for increasing intra-state and international trade flows was held in New Delhi from April 5-6, 2018. The sector involves transportation, material handling, warehousing, packaging, shipping security, inventory management, and supply chain management, procurement, and customs service. India spends around 14.4% of its GDP on logistics and transportation sector. It provided platform to hold discussions for global experts, academics, government officials and private sector and industry representatives.
3. ICICI Bank (India’s largest private sector lender) became first Indian bank to go live on SWIFT’s (Society for World Interbank Financial Telecommunication System) Global Payment Innovation (GPI), an improved cross-border payments service. It improves customer experience by increasing speed, transparency and automatically provides status updates to all GPI banks involved in any GPI payment chain. It allows banks to confirm when payment has been completed. SWFIT GPI was launched in May 2017 to help banks to track their global transactions at all times, keeping full vigil on payments activity.
4. NITI Aayog is planning to build National Data & Analytics Platform (NDAP) to host and analyse huge amount of data which shall be helpful for citizens to understand spend patterns of the government, consumption trends and the success of various government policies. The Objective behind developing this platform is to increase transparency in government functioning by giving citizens access to this data. NDAP will use artificial intelligence (AI) for in-depth analysis. Cost of developing NDAP could between Rs 50 crore to Rs 100 crore and would entirely be funded by NITI Aayog. NDAP will be developed through public-private partnership on design, build, operate and transfer basis.
5. Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) has launched three ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT)-based customer service initiatives on a pilot basis at one of its branch in Chennai, Tamil Nadu as part of its ‘Customer First’ initiative. First initiative is a sound pressure level meter placed at the branch service counter with a configured average decibel level. Whenever the sound at this counter crosses the average threshold, the system sends an alert to the branch manager as well as the designated official at the regional office, on a real-time basis. Second initiative is to provided a tablet containing a web responsive application to customers visiting the branch. Visiting customers can submit their feedback through this application which also has ‘Happy’ and ‘Unhappy’ emoticons. The feedback will be monitored by a team of dedicated customer service representatives. Third initiative is a ‘Missed Call Feedback’ system wherein customers can give a missed call on the dedicated mobile numbers in case of grievances.
1. Rakesh Kumar Vats has been given the additional charge of chairman of NPPA (National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority) with immediate effect. He replaces Bhupendra Singh as Chairman of NPPA. Bhupendra Singh has been appointed as chairperson of National Authority for Chemical Weapons Convention under the Cabinet Secretariat.
Awards and Honours :
1. Chhattisgarh won the ‘State of the Year’ Award under the ‘business leader’ category at the India Business Leader Awards (IBLA) in New Delhi . The India Business Leader Awards (IBLA) was organised by CNBC-TV18 channel. Chhattisgarh was awarded for remarkable increase in business and services activities in various sectors.