1. April 19- World Liver Day (WLD) is observed every year to build awareness and understanding importance of liver in human body and how liver ailments can be treated. The 2018 theme for WLD is ‘Riding New Waves in Liver Diagnosis, Staging & Treatment’. As per World Health Organisation (WHO), liver diseases are 10th most common cause of death in India.
2. April 21 - National Civil Services Day is observed across India. This year observance of the day focussed on ‘Evolving Strategies for Transforming Aspirational Districts’. This day coincides with the date on which Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel had addressed the first batch of probationers at All India Administrative Service Training School at Metcalfe House, New Delhi in 1947. In this famous speech, Sardar Patel had referred to bureaucrats as “steel frame of India”. On this day, the ‘Prime Minister Award for Excellence in Public Administration’ is presented in three categories. These awards were instituted in 2006.
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1. In a bid to make education system in India more transparent, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has launched integration of e-SANAD portal and NAD – National Academic Depository. e-Sanad is project aimed at online submission and verification of documents with ultimate object to extend contact less, cashless, faceless and paperless document attestation service. NAD is 24X7 online store house of all academic awards viz. diplomas certificates,, degrees, mark-sheets etc. duly digitised and lodged by academic boards, institutions, eligibility assessment bodies.
2. A new draft rules to make mandatory for automobile manufacturers to provide high security registration plates (HSRP) to all new vehicles has published by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) from January 1, 2019. HSRPs will have in-built security features, such as self-destructive sticker with engine and chassis numbers. It will be fitted on front and rear of vehicles and windscreens will have number plate tag with hologram.
3. Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is recommended to be declared as a public body by the Law Commission of India (LCI). BCCI’s monopolistic activities, directly and indirectly, affect the fundamental rights of citizens, players, and other functionaries. Private citizen should be able to move highest court against BCCI for any violation of his fundamental rights.
4. Madhya Pradesh was selected for the Most Film Friendly State award 2017 for its efforts towards easing filming in state. The awards will be presented by President Ram Nath Kovind in May 2018 during presentation of the 65th National Film Awards in New Delhi. MP was acknowledge for easing filming in state by offering excellent on ground support and filmic infrastructure and creating well-structured web site. Uttarakhand was given Special Mention certificate in recognition of its efforts made towards creating film friendly environment.
5. One Nation One Tax policy for seamless movement of commercial vehicles across the country has been proposed by the Group of Ministers (GoM) constituted by Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. It will allow transfer of vehicles from one state to another without levying road tax. It will put check on people registering their vehicles in low tax states and running them in other states. It will also bring necessary relief to genuine cases requiring transfer of vehicles. The two day meeting of GoM held in Guwahati, Assam was attended by transport ministers from Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Goa, Kerala, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Meghalaya and Jharkhand. The GoM is headed by Rajasthan transport minister Yoonus Khan. Centre has the powers to decide principles on which motor vehicles tax can be levied. The uniform tax should be based on invoice price of vehicles in three slabs. 8% tax on vehicles below 10 lakhs, 10% for vehicles costing between 10 -20 lakh, and 12% for vehicles above 20 lakh. Diesel vehicles may have to pay 2% extra taxes, while electric vehicles will be given 2% discount.
6. 25th meeting of the Common wealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018 (CHOGM) was held in London, UK. The theme of CHOGM 2018 was “Towards a Common Future“.It was also first CHOGM held following United Kingdom’s decision to withdraw from European Union. This decision has resulted for Britain to strengthen its economic ties with and play greater role in Commonwealth. India was represented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
7. A MoU with Ministry of Power for generating 9200 million units for the year 2018-19 was signed by Hydro power major Sutlej Jal Vidut Nigam (SJVN) Limited in New Delhi. SJVN Limited is a Mini Ratna and Schedule ‘A’ Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU) under Ministry of Power.
8. The first International SME (Small, Medium Enterprises) convention organised by Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises will be held in New Delhi from 22ndto 24th April, 2018. The four day International SME convention will see participation of 150 participants from 31 countries and 400 entrepreneurs from India. It has specific focus on inclusion of MSMEs in Make in India program and empowering women entrepreneurs. It aims to provide platform to allow Entrepreneur to Entrepreneur (E2E) exchange of ideas, free and fair business discussions, mutual sizing of opportunities and ways to address them.
9. Under Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP) system, India and Finland have reached an agreement on the tax dispute with Nokia .This paves way for the sale of Nokia’s Chennai (Sriperumbudu) plant, which has been shuttered since November 2014. The resolution covers disputes pertaining to Nokia India as well as Nokia Corp. This involves payment of Rs 1,600 crore, a sum that was deposited with government by Nokia in March 2018.
10. ‘Integrated initiative for prevention & control of viral hepatitis’ under National Health Mission (NHM) for prevention and control of viral hepatitis has been decided to roll out by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Under this initiative, the ministry will scale up to 100 treatment and 665 testing centres over period of next three years in all states. The initiative will have budgetary support of more than Rs. 517 crore for three years. India is committed to eliminating the viral hepatitis by 2030.
11. A new office of Central Project Monitoring Unit for e-Vidhan project of Government was inaugurated by the Union Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs at Parliament House Annexe. e-Vidhan is mission mode project to digitize and make functioning of State Legislatures in India to make them paperless. It is a part of broader Digital India Programme of Central Government.
12. The restructured Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA) was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It will be implemented during period from April 2018 to March 2022 with total proposed cost of the scheme is Rs. 7255 crore. The restructured scheme will focus on training, building infrastructure, stepping up initiatives for e-governance under e-Panchayat Mission Mode Project (MMP). The fund sharing ratio for scheme for state components will be 60:40 barring Northeast and hilly states where it will be 90:10. For UTs, central share will be 100%.
13. The Union Cabinet has approved promulgation of Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance to provide death penalty for rapists of girls below 12 years. The ordinance amends Indian Penal Code (IPC), Criminal Procedure Code, Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and Indian Evidence Act. It provides for stringent punishment of jail term of minimum 20 years or life imprisonment or death for rape of girl less than 12 years. It increases minimum punishment from 10 years to 20 years for crime of rape of girl under 16 years, which can be extended to imprisonment for rest of 7 years to 10 years, which can be extended to life imprisonment.
1. The Malaria Summit was held in London organized by non-profit organisation Malaria No More in conjunction with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and supported by British Prime Minister Therasa May. The summit pledged investment of over $3.8 billion to pay for innovation in malaria research and treatment. Malaria is life-threatening mosquito-borne blood disease caused by Plasmodium parasite. It is transmitted to humans through bite of Anopheles mosquito.
2. India has pressed the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) nations to set up an independent credit rating agency of the five-member group. It was on sidelines of the first meeting of BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors held along with IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington, US. India sought the support of BRICS members in building consensus amongst BRICS membership on the BRICS Rating Agency proposal.
3. Commonwealth Cyber Declaration to take action on cyber security by 2020 was adopted by the Commonwealth countries at the end of Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London. The declaration is considered as world’s largest and most geographically diverse inter-governmental commitment on cyber security cooperation. It aims to tackle criminal groups and hostile state actors who pose a global threat to cyber security.
Science & Technology/ Defence:
1. Cyber security Tech Accord to work together on cybersecurity issues was signed by 34 leading global technology firms including Facebook, Microsoft, HP, ARM, Cisco, and Oracle. Under it,signatory companies have agreed to collaborate on stronger defence systems, no offensive cyberattacks, and protect against tampering of their products, capacity building and collective action. The participant companies view Tech Accord as Digital Geneva Convention.
2. Transiting Exo planet Survey Satellite (TESS), a new planet-hunting spacecraft onboard of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Carnival, Florida, US was launched by NASA. The TESS mission is led by Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research. It is designed to find potential planets orbiting stars close to Earth. The primary mission objective of TESS is to survey brightest stars near Earth for transiting exoplanets over two-year period. TESS has no instruments capable of detecting life. Its main job is to find and characterize planets that will become main targets of future telescopes.
1. India is now the world’s sixth largest economy at $2.6 trillion (interms of GDP), displacing France according to International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) World Economic Outlook (WEO) for April 2018. India is expected to grow at 7.4% in 2018 and 7.8% in 2019, making it fastest growing economy in the world. The five economies ahead are United States, China, Japan, Germany and United Kingdom.