1. On 15th April 2018, South Western Command celebrated its 14th Raising Day. Lt Gen Vijay Singh, chief of staff, South Western Command and other officers paid tributes to the martyrs of Indian Army at a ceremony at ‘Prerna Sthal’ in Jaipur, Rajasthan, on the 14th raising day of South Western Army Command. It was formed on 15th April 2004. It is named as the Sapta Shakti. Its motto is Forever Victorious.
2. April 15 – Foundation day of Himachal Pradesh. Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur hoisted the Indian national flag at the Ridge Maidan in Shimla to mark state’s 71st foundation day. The state of Himachal was founded on April 15, 1948. Mr. Thakur, presented awards to the best performers in the field of administration, sports, health and social work. Alpine skier Aanchal Thakur from Manali was awarded Himachal Gaurav Puruskar. Aanchal Thakur is the only Indian who has won a medal in skiing.
3. April 17-- World Haemophilia Day was observed all over the world to create awareness about haemophilia and other inherited bleeding disorders with the theme of 2018 is Sharing Knowledge Makes Us Stronger.
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1. “Gram Swaraj Abhiyan- Special Interventions”, an high-intensity outreach programme to deliver welfare schemes to select villages which need particular attention launched by the Union Government. The abhiyan was launched on the lines of rural development schemes like Antyodaya based on principle of convergence and saturation. The initiative aims for 100% coverage of seven schemes launched by Central Government for eligible beneficiaries in three-week window from April 14 to May 5, 2018. The objective of abhiyan is to promote social harmony, reach out to poor rural households, obtain feedback on ongoing programmes, enrol in new initiatiatives, focus on doubling farmers’ income, enhance livelihood opportunities and re-emphasise national priorities such as cleanliness and strengthen Panchayati Raj institutions.
2. The first regional conference of eastern states on Water Resources was held in Kolkata, West Bengal in bid to address outstanding water resources issues. The conference was aimed at addressing outstanding water resources issues, inter-state issues, intra and inter-basin issues among five eastern states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, and West Bengal.
3. The biannual Army Commanders’ Conference will began in New Delhi on April 16, 2018. Chaired by Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, the senior commanders will deliberate on specific issues to Army formations and Army as a whole at the conference. The Army Commanders’ Conference is held biannually for formulating important policy decisions through collegiate deliberations. It is an important event for planning and execution process of the Indian Army. The important issues that are likely to come up for discussion include management of the extant security dynamics, mitigation of future security threats and enhancement of combat edge over potential adversaries.
4. The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) was on April 16, 2018 inducted to the Ayush Ministry's empowered committee with an objective to control misleading advertisements and exaggerated claims of its drugs. The seven-member committee of the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) will be empowered to review and monitor the implementation of the provisions of The Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisement) Act, 1954.The committee will make recommendations for regulatory action against misleading advertisements and advise the Central government for issuing any specific directions.
5. A MoU was signed by India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) with Hyderabad based firm M/s Suraas Impex Pvt. Ltd. for developing a Mega Tourism Destination project in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh. The proposed Mega Tourism Destination project in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh will be implemented at an estimated cost of Rs. 550 crore.
6. Bengaluru has emerged as the highest paying city in India, with an average annual cost to company (CTC) for talents through all levels and functions at Rs 11 lakh, as per the report of Randstad Insights. Pune ranks second with an average annual CTC at Rs 10 lakh. NCR occupies the 3rd position with an average annual CTC figure of a little under Rs 10 lakh. Mumbai has come fourth with an average annual CTC of Rs 9 lakh. Chennai (Rs 8 lakh), Hyderabad (a little under Rs 8 lakh) and Kolkata (around Rs 7 lakh) are the other three cities in the list of Indian cities paying the highest average salaries for professionals.
7. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated a 2.5-km-long bridge built over the Ib river in Sambalpur district on 15th April 2018. This is Odisha’s second longest bridge and has been built at a cost of Rs. 117.50 crore. The bridge has enabled direct road connectivity between Sambalpur and Brajarajnagar in Jharsuguda district. By Commuting through this bridge, distance between these two places is reduced by 50 km.
8. Central government along with state government and private partners is working to promote Goa as a tourism destination and a cargo hub. Union Minister for Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu said that, Mopa airport will start operations by September 2020. Dabolim Airport will continue to operate along with Mopa Airport. At Dabolim airport, renovation work worth Rs 300 crore is being done. New multi-layer parking complex will start operation by July 2018. He said that, under the Skill Development and Startup India initiative, Civil Aviation Ministry is in discussion with World Bank and other major institutions to promote Goa as a market destination.
9. The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has notified the Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules 2018. The amended Rules state that, the phasing out of Multilayered Plastic (MLP) is now applicable to MLP that are non-recyclable, or non-energy recoverable, or with no alternate use. Rule 15 of the Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules 2018 on “explicit pricing of carry bags” has been omitted. The Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2018, was notified by the ministry on 27th March 2018. The amended Rules state that i) a central registration system for the registration of the producer/importer/brand owner is prescribed ii) any mechanism for the registration should be automated and should take into account ease of doing business for producers, recyclers and manufacturers iii) the centralised registration system will be developed by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for the registration of the producer/importer/brand owner iv) a national registry is prescribed for producers with presence in more than two states v) a state-level registration has been prescribed for smaller producers/brand owners operating within one or two states
1. India was added in the monitoring list of United State’smajor trading partners that merit close attention to their currency practices and macroeconomic policies. The US Treasury Department report is required by Congress to identify countries that are trying to artificially manage value of their currency to gain trade advantage, for example by keeping exchange rate low to promote cheaper exports.
2. The India-Wiesbaden Conference 2018 with the title ‘Securing Global Supply Chains through Government-Industry Partnerships towards Effective Implementation of UNSC Resolution 1540’ was held from April 16-17, 2018, in New Delhi. The Conference provided opportunity to participants to share experiences on their export control systems and identify legal and technical assistance, action plans & challenges in national implementation of UNSC 1540. The Wiesbaden Process was initiated by Government of Germany in 2012 to strengthen implementation of UNSC Resolution 1540 through Government-Industry partnerships.
3. British Prime Minister Theresa May on April 16, 2018 opened the Commonwealth Business Forum (CBF) in London, marking the start of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).India is among 52 other member-countries participating in the summit hosted by the UK in London around the theme of "Towards a Common Future".United Kingdom, which is the Chair-in-Office of the Commonwealth for two years, also unveiled a range of new initiatives and networks to mark the launch of CHOGM.
4. India on April 16, 2018 won the elections conducted by UN’s Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations in the Asia Pacific States category.India amassed the highest number of votes -46, followed by Pakistan 43, Bahrain 40 and China 39. India would now be required to serve a four-year term in the committee along with few other nations beginning on January 1, 2019.India was also elected by acclamation to other subsidiary UN bodies in five separate polls including United Nations Development Programme and United Nations Population Fund.
5. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations has designated 14 new sites as Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) since 2016. These systems highlight agricultural traditions that promote sustainability, protect biodiversity and the environment and support the social and economic development required for stable, decent livelihoods.
Science & Technology/ Defence:
1. Babur Weapon System-1 (B), an enhanced version of indigenously-built Babur cruise missile was test fired successfully by Pakistan. It is an unmanned self-propelled (till the time of impact) guided missile. The missile has been named after the first Mughal emperor Babur. It can deliver conventional and non-conventional weapons with range of 700 kilometres (brings many important Indian cities within its range.). It is low-flying, terrain-hugging missile, which carries certain stealth features, making it important force multiplier for Pakistan’s strategic deterrence.
2. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has unveiled beta version of portal (www.tariff.trai.gov.in) to enable consumers see tariffs of different TSPs (telecom service providers) and different Licensed Service Areas (LSAs) at single place. The portal’s beta version (now available only for Delhi circle) shows regular tariffs, special tariff vouchers, promotional tariffs and value-added service packs among others. The portal will not only benefit consumers but also help other stakeholders do a comparative analysis.
3. A new 3D conic device that can greatly increase the solar-thermal conversion efficiency named as ‘Artificial Transpiration’ have developed by a team of Chinese scientists led by Zhu Jia. This device is inspired by the transpiration process of trees. The device is fixed with a special 1D water path which can reduce the energy loss in conduction. As 10 to 50 percent of sunlight is diffusive, the cone structure of the device could collect more sunlight throughout the day, compared with a flat device.
4. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved use of ‘Acuvue Oasys Contact Lenses’ with Transitions Light Intelligent Technology, world’s first contact lens that automatically darkens when exposed to bright light. It is first of its kind contact lens that incorporates same technology that is used in eyeglasses that automatically darken in the sun.These contact lens are indicated for daily use to correct vision of people with non-diseased eyes who are nearsighted (myopic) or farsighted (hyperopic).
5. A group of researchers recently developed a plastic-eating enzyme, which can be used to fight one of the world’s biggest pollution problems. The discovery was made by the researchers from Britain's University of Portsmouth and the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) while examining the structure of a natural enzyme that was found in a waste recycling centre a few years ago in Japan.The enzyme - Ideonella sakaiensis 201-F6, is able to eat polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which was patented as plastic in the 1940s.
6. A team of scientists has recently discovered that Indian mosquito, when contaminated with the Zika Virus (ZIKV), can transmit the infection to suckling mice. The study demonstrated that how the Indian Aedes Aegypti mosquito, known for infecting people with dengue and chikungunya, is vulnerable to the Zika virus. As part of the study, mosquitoes were experimentally infected with Zika virus (African Strain MR-766) through the oral-feeding route.
7. China will launch Fengyun-II 09 satellite, a new meteorological satellite, in 2018 to enhance its weather forecasting capabilities. The satellite will be launched from Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in Sichuan Province of China. The Fengyun satellites are a series of remote-sensing meteorological satellites developed by China. Fengyun-I and Fengyun-III are polar orbiting weather satellites. Fengyun-II and Fengyun-IV function in geostationary orbit. The Fengyun-II 09 satellite is the last in the Fengyun-II series. It will collect meteorological, maritime, and hydrological data to help weather forecast in China and neighbouring regions.
1. The E-Way Bill system for all inter-State movement of goods valued over Rs 50,000 was rolled-out from 1st April 2018. At that time, Karnataka was only state which had rolled out e-way bill system for intra-state movement of goods. The E-Way Bill system for Intra-State movement of goods was rolled out in five more states‑Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh. The roll-out of e-Way Bill system in these States will facilitate trade and industry so far as the transport of goods is concerned. This will also help in paving way for nation-wide single e-Way Bill system.
2. India is coordinating with China and other Asian countries to raise voice against Asian premium charged by Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Asian Premium is extra charge being collected by OPEC countries from Asian countries when selling oil in comparison to western countries. India sources about 86% of crude oil, 75% of natural gas and 95% of LPG from OPEC member nations. It has been voicing its dissent against this discriminatory practice and has called for replacing Asian Premium with Asian Discount (dividend).\
3. A loan Agreement with World Bank for IBRD loan of US $48 million for Meghalaya Community – Led Landscapes Management Project (MCLLMP) has been signed by the Union Government (Finance Ministry). The project aims to strengthen community-led landscapes management in selected landscapes in Meghalaya by 2023. Meghalaya’s natural resource such as land, water sources and forests is source of livelihood for majority of state population. It will help manage these depleting resources, by strengthening communities and traditional institutions.
4. The first tranche of sovereign gold bonds (SGBs) for current fiscal (FY 2018-19) was launched by the Union Government (Finance Ministry) in consultation with Reserve Bank of India (RBI). It will be sold through banks, designated post offices and recognised stock exchanges namely NSE and BSE and Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited( SHCIL). SGB Scheme is aimed at providing alternative to buying physical gold. Under it, bonds are denominated in units of one gram of gold and multiples thereof. These gold denominated bonds are restricted for sale to resident Indian entities, including individuals, Hindu undivided families (HUF), trusts, universities.and charitable institutions. The minimum subscription for individual and HUF is 1 gram and maximum is 4 kg. For trusts and similar entities, maximum subscription is 20 kg per fiscal.
5. FIEO GlobalLinker, a digital platform for MSME exporters to digitise their businesses and join global community of growing businesses has been developed by Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO).It was launched by the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry. FIEO GlobalLinker aims to make the business growth of SMEs simpler, more profitable and enjoyable.
6. Suzlon, a renewable solution provider, said that it has commissioned 626 MW of wind power projects in 2017-18 (FY18), the highest installations by any firm in this fiscal year. Suzlon has stated that, with this, Suzlon has gained a market share of 35 % despite an extremely challenging year. Various obstacles were faced due to the shift from feed-in-tariff (FiT) to bidding regime.
1. The 2018 Pulitzer Prizes were awarded by Pulitzer Prize Board for work during 2017 calendar year. List of 2018 Pulitzer Prize Winners are : Journalism Public Service: New York Times. Breaking News Reporting: Staff of The Press Democrat, Santa Rosa, Cali Investigative Reporting: The Washington Post Explanatory Reporting: The Arizona Republic and USA Today Network. Local Reporting: The Cincinnati Enquirer Staff National Reporting: New York Times and Washington Post International Reporting: Clare Baldwin, Andrew R.C. Marshall and Manuel Mogato of Reuters Feature Writing: Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, freelance reporter, GQ Commentary: John Archibald of Alabama Media Group, Birmingham, Ala. Criticism: Jerry Saltz of New York magazine Editorial Writing: Andie Dominick of The Des Moines Register. Editorial Cartooning: Jake Halpern, freelance writer and Michael Sloan, freelance cartoonist, New York Times. Breaking News Photography: Ryan Kelly of The Daily Progress Feature Photography: Photography Staff of Reuters. Letters, Drama & Music Fiction: Less, by Andrew Sean Greer. Drama: Cost of Living, by Martyna Majok. History: The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea, by Jack E. Davis (Liveright/W.W. Norton) Biography or Autobiography: Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder, by Caroline Fraser. Poetry: Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016, by Frank Bidart. General Nonfiction: Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman Jr. Music: by Kendrick Lamar.
2. Veteran Bollywood actor Dharmendra will be conferred with the prestigious Raj Kapoor Lifetime Achievement award and filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani will be conferred with the Raj Kapoor Special Contribution award. The awards, instituted by the Maharashtra state government, will be given away at the 55th Maharashtra state Marathi Film Festival.
3. The production team of “Game of Thrones” drama will be awarded the BAFTA Special Award at this year’s British Academy Television Craft Awards. The BAFTA Craft Awards will be held on 22nd April 2018 in London. Hannah Murray and John Bradley will receive the award on behalf of the “Game of Thrones” production team. “Game of Thrones” is being honoured for revolutionising several aspects of production in shooting the drama.
1. The 21st Commonwealth Games concluded on April 15, 2018 at Gold Coast, Australia. Legendary boxer Mary Kom was the flagbearer for the Indian delegation at the closing ceremony.India with a final haul of 66 medals including 26 gold, 20 silver and 20 bronze finished at the third place. Australia stood first with 198 medals, followed by England with 136 medals. The final day of the event was action-packed for India, with two of India’s star shuttlers P V Sindhu and Saina Nehal battling it out in the women’s singles final and recently crowned world no.1 Kidambi Srikanth fighting for the top spot in the men’s singles.
2. Indian tennis star Yuki Bhambri on April 16, 2018 broke back into the top-100 of ATP men’s singles ranking for the first time since February 2016.As per the latest ranking, he jumped 22 places to his career-best rank of 83. This is also the best rank that any Indian has achieved in the ATP singles chart since Somdev Devvarman touched a career-high of 62 in July 2011.
Bhambri’s sudden jump in rankings follows his title win at the Santaizi ATP Challenger that was held recently in Taipei City,Taiwan.
3. Sampanna Ramesh Shelar, a 17-year-old swimmer from Pune has set a world record to double cross the Bangla Channel. Sampanna Ramesh Shelar accomplished this feat on April 13, 2018 by completing the journey of 32.2 kilometers in 9 hours and 10 minutes. Water stretch from Saint Martin’s Island Jetty to Teknaf in Bangladesh is known as the Bangla Channel.
1. Prince Harry was appointed as a youth ambassador for the Commonwealth by Queen Elizabeth.
1. Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu formally released the book on ‘Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar: Vyakti Nahin Sankalp’ at a function at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi. to mark Dr B.R. Ambedkar’s birth anniversary. President Ram Nath Kovind received the first copy of the book