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Daily Current Affairs for April 22-24,2018 ( English)

Important Days:
1.       April 22- Earth Day is being observed every year to build support for environmental protection around world. It aims to raise awareness that humans have a collective responsibility to promote harmony with nature and to balance the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations. The theme for 2018 Earth Day is ‘End Plastic Pollution’
2.     April 23- World Book and Copyright Day was observed across the world to highlight the power of books and to promote UNESCO’s vision of knowledge societies that are inclusive, pluralistic, equitable, open and participatory for all citizens. The World Book and Copyright Day pay tribute to books and authors by encouraging everyone to discover the pleasure of reading. This year, UNESCO designated Athens, Greece as the World Book Capital for 2018. The city of Athens was chosen for its efforts in making books available to the city’s entire population including migrants and refugees.
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Tamil Nadu:
1.       The Madras High Court became first court in south India and overall eighth in the country to introduce e-court fee payment facility. It will pave way for easier and secured way of paying stamp duty. It will also help to tackle sale of counterfeit judicial stamps. The e-stamps can be purchased online through web site of Stock Holding Corporation after simple registration process. Payments for it can be made through net banking or debit cards and so on. The new system will enable litigants who file cases in High Court to pay judicial stamp duty to government through e-stamps, which can be purchased both online and offline. It was jointly launched by Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and Chief Justice Indira Banerjee at the principal seat of the High Court in Chennai.
National:
1.     The State Forest Department of West Bengal through Central Government will apply to Ramsar Convention Secretariat to include Sunderbans in Ramsar list. West Bengal government has given its approval to State Forest Department to apply for coveted Ramsar Site recognition under Ramsar Convention. There are currently 26 sites in India recognised as Ramsar wetland sites of international importance, including East Kolkata Wetlands in West Bengal. Sunderban Reserve Forest is spread across 4,260 sq. km. with over 2,000 sq. km. of mangrove forests and creeks making it ideal site of wetland. Once it is conferred Ramsar site status, Sundarbans Reserve Forest will be largest protected wetland in the country. 
2.     Bengaluru Smart City is testing prototype of an intelligent traffic management solution in collaboration with the Electronics City Township Authority (ELCITA) to improve traffic management in the city. It involves capturing video streams from several cameras and processing them using artificial intelligence. This will help in automation of traffic management tasks such as vehicle detection, traffic density estimation and control of traffic lights for real-time performance.
3.     Diu Smart City has become first city in India to run on 100% renewable energy during daytime. Diu was importing 73% of its power from Gujarat until last year. But now it has adopted two-pronged approach to reduce dependence on Gujarat for power requirements through renewable energy. With this, it has set new benchmark for other cities to become clean and green.
4.     The Justice Rajesh Bindal committee has submitted on legal issues related to inter country removal & retention of children its report to Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD). The recommendations of Committee includes government should establish ‘Inter Country Parental Child Removal Disputes Resolution Authority (ICPCRDRA)’ and stressed upon need for mediation as first step. The authority will be chaired by retired High Court Judge and shall have members from Legal and Social sector background along with representatives from key Ministries. It will envisaged to provide one window solution in cases of inter country removal and retention of children.
5.     A six-decade-old protected area permit (PAP) regime to allow foreign tourists to access border areas of Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur has relaxed by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for five years with effect from April 1, 2018 with protected area permit (PAP). The protected areas currently include whole of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Sikkim, besides parts of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir. Some parts of Sikkim fall under protected area regime while others under restricted area regime.
6.     Chennai based Geographical Indication Registry has awarded Geographical Indication (GI) Tag to two more craft forms from Telangana viz. Adilabad dokra and Warangal Dhurries. Adilabad Dokra is an ancient bell metal craft and Warangal Dhurries is a popular traditional cotton rug. Adilabad Dokra is a form of ancient bell metal craft practiced by Woj community native to Adilabad district of Telangana. They use ancient casting technique called cire perdue (lost wax casting technique), a technique wherein duplicate metal sculpture is cast from an original sculpture. Warangal Dhurries is a popular traditional thick cotton rug in which weavers create beautiful patterns and dye them using vegetable colours, which are washed in flowing water after the printing process.
7.     The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) was completely removed from Meghalaya and some areas of Arunachal Pradesh with effect from April 1, 2018. Till September 2017, 40 percent of Meghalaya was under AFSPA including the 20 km stretch of the state’s 884.9 km border with Assam. However, AFSPA has been restricted to eight police stations of Arunachal Pradesh bordering Assam and three districts adjoining Myanmar namely Tirap, Longding and Changlang.
8.     The Supreme Court of India on April 23, 2018 sought a response from the Central Government on pleas challenging the Indian Penal Code’s Section 377, which criminalises homosexuality.
The response was sought by a 3-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice D Y Chandrachud on a plea by hotelier and LGBT activist Kesav Suri. The bench tagged Suri's plea with an earlier pending challenge to Section 377. Following this, senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi urged the court to ask the government to respond to the plea.
9.     A group of 50 alumni from the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) across the country have quit their jobs to form a political party to fight for the rights of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes. The group, which is waiting for an approval from the Election Commission, has named their outfit "Bahujan Azad Party". The party members, however, do not aim for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The group, which includes members mostly from the SC, ST and OBC communities, feels that the backward classes have not received their due in terms of education and employment. All set with a poster which has pictures of B R Ambedkar, Subhas Chandra Bose and A P J Abdul Kalam, among others, the party has already begun a social media campaign. 

International: 
1.     Canada and the European Union will together host the world's first female foreign ministers' meeting on September 21, 2018 in Canada. The meeting will be held for 2 days. The announcement was made by the Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland on April 22, 2018 in Toronto. The female foreign ministers from about 30 countries will be invited to the gathering, which is aimed at deepening global discussion on women's empowerment.
2.      Mario Abdo Benitez, who represents Paraguay's long-dominant Colorado conservatives, won the 2018 Presidential Elections on April 22, 2018. Abdo Benitez won 46.49 percent of the vote, against his centrist opponent Efrain Alegre who fetched 42.72 percent votes in a race that was far closer than expected. 
3.     The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), a South American bloc created to counter US influence in the region, temporarily lost half its members after six countries suspended their memberships. Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay and Peru decided to temporarily leave the bloc due to the differences over choosing the secretary general of the group.Bolivia, Ecuador, Guyana, Surinam, Uruguay and Venezuela remain in the bloc.
4.     The bilateral trade between India and Poland has crossed $ 3 billion in 2017 and the European country is exploring various sectors to improve the trade balance.Of the total trade, India's export to Poland was $2.3 billion while polish export to India stood at $800 million. However, both the countries had drawn up a blueprint for stepping up investments and identified a series of actions to raise trade from the 2014 level of $2.3 billion to $5 billion by 2018.
Science and Technology:
1.       Two small potent molecules Pep-I and Pep-II, for their inhibitory activity to treat Chikungunya disease have identified by the researchers from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee. Currently, there are no drugs to treat chikungunya or any vaccine to prevent it. The antiviral activity of these molecules was so high that their small amount was able to achieve almost 99% reduction in virus. Pep-I molecule was very efficient in killing the virus, 99% reduction in virus at 5 microMolar and Pep-II molecule showed reduced antiviral activity of only 50% even at a higher concentration of about 200 microMolar.
2.       In order to remove sulphur from fossil fuels such as petroleum and coal, the Scientists from CSIR-Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology (CSIR-IMMT) have found four bacterial strains. The four bacterial strains are Rhodococcus rhodochrous, Arthrobacter sulfureou, Gordonia rubropertinita and Rhodococcus erythropolis. It was found that four bacteria were able to use almost 99% of sulphur compound in just 10 days. Researchers were also able to identify process of bio-desulfurization of these bacterial strains through specific pathway (4-S pathway). Sulphur is one of the major pollutants emitted during the combustion of fossil fuels.
3.     Scientists have identified signs of the presence of life about 1300 feet below ground in a massive cave in Italy, a discovery that may help detect life on other planets like Mars. Researchers explored the microbiology and geochemistry of the Frasassi Caves in central Italy and found variations in the isotopic content of atoms in the mineral gypsum, which is a weathering product of the cave's formation. This isotopic variation, in combination with other data, indicates that life played an active role in producing the gypsum.
4.     For the past couple of years, NASA has been partnering with Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens in Miami, Florida, to encourage student interest in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM. Not only scientists with advanced degrees but students are also helping NASA decide what crops to grow in space to expand food options and increase plant diversity. NASA partners with The Fairchild Challenge, an annual standards-based environmental outreach programme which reaches more than 125,000 students annually, to help determine which edible plants might be suitable for growth in microgravity aboard the International Space Station (ISS) in the vegetable growth chamber. Using equipment that mimics the environmental conditions aboard the ISS, students test factors that may influence plant growth, flavour and nutrition. NASA will use students' data to determine which plants to begin growing in space.
Economy:
1.       India’s largest IT outsourcing company Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) created history by becoming the first Indian company to reach $100 billion market capitalisation (m-cap) milestone. With this, TCS joined the ranks of the world’s 100 most valued organizations and now ranks 97th. TCS has also overtaken outsourcing and consultancy giant Accenture which has market cap of $98.20 billion. TCS holds first position among most valuable international pure play technology services firms.
2.       India has retained top position as recipient of remittances with about $69 billion in 2017 according to recently released Migration and Development Brief by World Bank. India was followed by China ($64 billion), Philippines ($33 billion), Mexico ($31 billion), Nigeria ($22 billion) and Egypt ($20 billion). Global remittances grew 7% to US $613 billion in 2017, from US $573 billion in 2016. Global remittances are expected to grow 4.6% to $642 billion.
3.       The central government on April 23, 2018 stated that five more states including Arunachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim and Puducherry will roll out intra-state e-way bills from April 25. Earlier, encouraged by the success of its inter-state implementation, the e-Way bill system for intra-state movement of goods was implemented in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Kerala from April 15. In Karnataka, it was implemented along with nationwide inter-state implementation on April 1. According to a statement from the Ministry of Finance, with the latest addition, the total number of states implementing e-way bills for intra-state movement of goods will rise to 17.
Awards:
1.     United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) World Press Freedom Prize for year 2018 won by Jailed Egyptian photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid, popularly known as Shawkan,
Sports:
1. India won 10 gold medals at 8th South Asian Judo Championship in Lalitpur, Nepal. Indian women grabbed 7 gold while men won 3 out of total 7 gold medals in the individual category. Indian women such as Garima Chaudhary, C. Jina Devi and Tulika Maan showed their golden performance at the championship.Nepal and Pakistan bagged two gold medals each. 
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