Important Current affairs dated 13th April 2017 for Competitive Exams in India.
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Andhra to introduce ‘Ammaku Vandanam’ in Schools
- A unique programme“Ammaku Vandanam”will be launched by the Andhra Pradesh in the government schools to pay tribute to mothers.
- Under this programme the school children will take the blessings of their mothers and also do ‘paada pooja’ (washing her feet) called Mother Worship.
- The government also decided to implement the programme in 5,000 high schools across the state from academic year 2017-18.
- Under this programme the mothers would be invited to the schools on a specific day every year for the special function.
- Cost allocation of this programme will be Rs 2.50 crore.
- While the government would provide Rs 1.25 crore, the remaining amount will have to be collected by the headmasters and teachers from alumni or donors.
- It would be a voluntary programme, aimed at paying tributes to mothers and respect motherhood.
- It would bring respect for mothers in students and sensitize them towards women and gender equality.
- Programme would be organized 15 lakh students in government and Zilla Paris had high schools.
Girdhar Malviya committee submits its report to Uma Bharti
The committee constituted to prepare draft Ganga Act submitted its report to the Union Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation to Uma Bharti in New Delhi.
- The Chairman of this committee is Justice Shri Girdhar Malviya.
- The committee has recognized the various challenges that are being faced to maintain the (Nirmalta and Aviralta) of National River Ganga.
- Due to over stressed water demand from agricultural, domestic and industrial sectors, with no possible increase in availability of water in river comparison to the increasing demands. Decreasing flow owing to climate change affects.
- The committee has adopted certain strict provision to increase accountability and responsibility for use of resources made available by National River Ganga.
- The option and provision made in suggestive bills available with National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) were also considered and discussed by the committee.
Cabinet approves signing of Framework of Understanding between India and Bangladesh on Cooperation in the hydrocarbon Secto
- The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved signing of Framework of Understanding (FoU) on Cooperation in the Hydrocarbon Sector with Bangladesh.
- The objective of the proposed FoU is to establish a cooperative institutional framework mechanism to facilitate and enhance India-Bangladesh bilateral cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector on the basis of equality and mutual benefit.
- The FoU promotes bilateral cooperation at the sub-regional and regional levels. It will provide impetus to development and enable the two countries to realize their developmental aspirations, shared destiny and common vision of a peaceful and prosperous South Asia.
- The proposed FoU is non-binding in nature and will be valid for five years.
Cabinet approves MoU on cooperation in the field of justice between India and Tunisia
- The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the field of justice between India and Tunisia.
- During the recent years, social, cultural and commercial relations between India and Tunisia have developed in a positive direction.
- Signing of an agreement on cooperation in the field of justice will further enhance good relations between the two countries and add new dimensions in the field of judicial reforms.
Cabinet approves implementation of Supreme Court’s Judgment regarding Target Plus Scheme (TPS) under Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 2004-09
- The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the implementation of Supreme Court’s Judgment dated 27th October 2015 regarding Target Plus Scheme (TPS) 2004-09 in Civil Application No. 554 of 2006.
- The revenue implication under the TPS arising from the Hon’ble Supreme Curt’s Judgment is about Rs. 2700 crore.
- Benefit is being extended to all the applicant exporters eligible as per provisions of the initially notified TPS Scheme under FTP for the year 2005-06, and as per provisions of Foreign Trade Policy 2004-09 throughout the country.
- The Target Plus Scheme (TPS) 2005-06 was already implemented partially. However, the claims which were denied as a result of retrospective Notification will be now settled as per direction of the Supreme Court in the CA No. 554 of 2006. The scheme has been discontinued w.e.f. 01.04.2006.
- The guidelines and modalities for processing the claims will be worked out by the DGFT HQs in consultation with Deptt. of Revenue and is proposed to be completed in one year from the date of approval of the Cabinet.
- The corrective measure will bring an end to multiple litigations with the Government and the claims under the TPS will be issued as per original provisions under Foreign Trade Policy in compliance with the decision of the Hon’ble Supreme Court.
Cabinet approves setting up of Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy (IIPE) at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh
- IIPE will be built at a cost of over Rs. 655 crore. It will have a status of an ‘Institute of National Importance’ and will have a legal mandate to grant degrees just as any other Indian Institute of Technology (IIT).
- Building IIPE was one the commitments made to Andhra Pradesh, when Telangana was carved out as a separate state.
- IIPE will be constructed at Sabbavaram Mandal in Visakhapatnam district on 200 acres of land which has been allocated by Andhra Pradesh State Govt., free of cost.
- Through a separate act, IIPE will be designated as ‘Centre of Excellence’ in petroleum and energy studies.
Cabinet approves setting up of a Special Purpose Vehicle to be called Government e-Marketplace (GeMSPV)
- The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for Setting up of a Special Purpose Vehicle to be called Government e-Marketplace (GeM SPV) as the National Public Procurement Portal as Section 8 Company registered under the Companies Act, 2013, for providing procurement of goods & services required by Central & State Government organizations.
- GeM SPV shall provide an end-to-end online Marketplace for Central and State Government Ministries / Departments, Central & State Public Sector Undertakings (CPSUs & SPSUs), Autonomous institutions and Local bodies, for procurement of common use goods & services in a transparent and efficient manner.
Cabinet Approves MSP for Raw Jute for 2017-18 season
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for the increase in the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for raw Jute for 2017-18 season in order to protect the economic interests of the farmers.
- The CCEA has increased the MSP to a level of Rs. 3500/- per quintal for 2017-18 season which indicates an increase of Rs. 300/- (9.4%) over the previous year. During last three years (2015-16, 2016-17 & 2017-18), Government has increased the MSP for jute from Rs. 2700/- to Rs. 3500/- (29.6%) as compared to increase from Rs.2200/- to Rs. 2400/- (9.1%) in the preceding three years (2012-13, 2013-14 & 2014-15).
- Jute is mainly used as raw material for Packaging Industry. The increase in MSP would benefit the Jute industry which supports the livelihood of around 40 lakh farm families and provides direct employment to 3.7 lakh workers in organised mills and in diversified units including tertiary sector and allied activities.
- These farm families are mainly concentrated in the States of West Bengal, Bihar and Assam which account for over 95% of the area as well as jute production in the country.
Government to launch Rs 6000 crore ‘SAMPADA’ scheme for food processing
- The government will soon launch an umbrella programme ‘SAMPADA’ for food processing sector with Rs. 6,000 crore outlay to integrate current and new schemes aimed at reducing food wastage and doubling farmers’ income.
- Announcing this, Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said her ministry would soon approach the Cabinet for the approval of ‘Scheme for Agro-Marine Produce Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters (SAMPADA).’
- We will shortly launch an umbrella scheme SAMPADA for overall development of the food processing sector. It will include ongoing schemes like mega food parks and cold chain projects as well as three new schemes that we will launch,” Badal told reporters here.
- To create infrastructure for improving the entire food supply chain, three schemes— ‘Creation/ Expansion of Food Processing and Preservation Capacities’, ‘New Agro-Processing Clusters’ and ‘Backward and Forward Linkages’ are on anvil.
- The government is taking steps to boost food processing sector as part of its objective to bring down post harvest losses preferably to zero level, provide quality food to consumers at cheaper price and for doubling of farmers’ income.
- The Centre has so far sanctioned 42 mega food parks and 234 cold chain projects with 139 lakh tonnes of preserving and processing capacity of agro-produce worth Rs. 35,000 crore.
Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu relaunches Adarana
- The 191st birth anniversary of social reformer Mahatma Jyotirao Phule. It is being celebrated for the first time as a state function. Andhra Pradesh CM relaunches Adarana.
- Chandrababu Naidu announced the re-launch of ‘Adarana’, a scheme for improving traditional occupations.
- It includes modern tools, technology, marketing, and financial support that are for the artisans.
- It also provides employment in the rural areas those pursuing traditional occupations to raise their income levels.
- Modernizing was necessary for goldsmiths, carpenters, weavers, blacksmiths, and potters, among others.
- It is for the upliftment and all-round development of people belonging to the Backward Classes.
- Top priority was being given to employment and education.
- Financial assistance was being provided under the ‘NTR Unnata and Videsi Vidyadarana’
- Backward classes circles were imparting coaching for competitive examinations and the unemployed who could not afford coaching were being sent to the best institutions.
- An assistance of Rs. 2.5 lakh was given for those preparing for all-India services, Rs. 30,000 was given for Group II, and Rs. 20,000 and Rs. 19,000 respectively for bank POs and clerks.
- The Government had allocated Rs. 25,000 crore for the welfare of the Backward Classes (BCs) during the last three years and Rs. 10,000 crore during the year for BC welfare and development.
- He paid rich tributes to Jyotirao Phule for his struggle against untouchability and caste discrimination.
- Cheques for Rs. 409 crore and Rs. 195 crore for self-employment programmes under the BC Corporation Rs. 109 crore towards welfare schemes, and Rs. 6.75 crore for 465 houses at the village adopted by the Chief Minister Pedalabudu.
Australian PM Turnbull arrives in New Delhi on 4-day visit
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will arrive in New Delhi today on a four-day visit.
This is the first visit by an Australian Prime Minister to India since former PM Tony Abbott visited in September 2014.
A number of MoUs and agreements in areas of security, environment, sports, science and technology and health are expected to be signed during Aussie PM’s first official visit.
India and Australia have agreed to hold a bilateral maritime exercise named ‘AUSINDEX’ in the Bay of Bengal in 2018. Besides, holding joint exercise of Special Forces in later half of 2017 has also been agreed upon.
Turnbull has assured Indian Government that Australia is looking forward to exporting Uranium to India ‘as soon as possible’.
Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull and Indian PM Narendra Modi, jointly inaugurated TERI-Deakin Nanobiotechnology Centre (TDNBC) through a video conference.
Vijay Goel – Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull launched Sports Partnership in Mumbai with an aim to increase cooperation in sports among India and Australia.
PM Modi most followed world leader on Instagram
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emerged as the most followed world leader on photo-sharing app Instagram with a whopping 6.9 million followers, surpassing US President Donald Trump.
- Modi, who has put out 101 posts till date, is also the most “effective world leader” on the platform, a conclusion that was reached based on the comments and likes that his posts garner.
- The findings are part of a global study, “World Leaders on Instagram”, that analysed the activity of around 325 Instagram accounts of heads of state and government and foreign ministers over the last one year.
Banking and Finance
Amazon gets RBI nod for e-wallet in India
- Amazon India has received the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) approval to launch its own digital wallet in India, paving the way for the American online retail giant to gain a slice of India’s fast-growing digital payments business.
- Amazon had launched its Pay Balance service in order to boost cashless transactions.
- Amazon mentioned that their focus is providing customers a convenient and trusted cashless payments experience.
- It will allow us to help customers adopt digital payments at scale and contribute towards making India a less-cash economy.
- The company recently launched Amazon Pay in which customers can fund their pre-paid balance using internet banking and credit or debit card for smooth purchases and payments.
- Customers can go cashless and enjoy fast and easy checkouts, quicker refunds and with a secured shopping experience only on Amazon.in
- Focusing on improving customer experience and increasing digital payments.
Awards and Recognition
Abdulqadir Rashik wins top prize at UN challenge for open source tools
- An Indian software engineer Abdulqadir Rashik has won the top prize at a global challenge for an open-source tool.
- Abdulqadir Rashik, also an entrepreneur, won the ‘Unite Ideas UNGA Viz Textual Analysis and Visualisation Challenge’ for his ‘Global Policy’.
- Rashik’s prototype will be made public and shared with United Nations bodies and member states.
Himachal bags Krishi Karman Award 2015-2016
- The Union Ministry of Agriculture has selected Himachal Pradesh for the Krishi Karman Award 2015-16 for increase in food grains production.
- It had been achieved because of the dedicated efforts of the department in technological inputs and services to the farmers which resulted in increase in food grains production.
- The total food grains production has increased from 14.94 lakh tone to 16.34 lakh tone.
- The department has also done the work in promoting poly-house cultivation, crop diversification, micro irrigation, organic farming and soil health management.
- The award would carry a trophy, citation and cash prize.
- The state was also awarded the Krishi Karman Award for 2011-12 for increase in wheat production and in 2014-15 for increasing food grains production.
- The award was received by Agriculture Minister Sujan Singh Pathania.
Dilip Kumar honoured with Living Legend Lifetime Award by Punjab Association
- Veteran actor Dilip Kumar was honoured with the Living Legend Lifetime Award by the Punjab Association.
- The actor was also honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1994 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2015 for his contribution to the Indian cinema.
- He is known for films like Devdas, Mughal-e-Azam and Karma.
- The Pakistani government had also honoured him with its highest civilian honour – Nishan-e-Imtiaz, in 1998.
Appointments & Resigns
Mahabaleshwara MS appointed as new MD and CEO of Karnataka Bank
- The Chief General Manager of the bank, Mahabaleshwara MS, who is appointed as MD and CEO of the bank, will assume office on April 15.
- Mahabaleshwara mentioned that the bank would continue to be stronger and more efficient in terms of socially responsible and commercially viable vibrant entity.
- The shareholders being the owners of the Bank and number of shareholders have increased from 72,000 in 2009 to 1.42 lakh at present.
About Mahabaleshwara MS:
- M S Mahabaleshwara Bhat( 54)is a post graduate in agricultural sciences.
- He has over 29 years of banking experience both at operational and administrative levels.
- He started his career as researcher and teacher at University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore and joined the bank as agricultural field officer in 1984.
UN Chief Guterres names Achim Steiner as new administrator of UNDP
- Achim Steiner was become the new administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) by the UN chief Antonio Guterres.
- Achim Steiner was born on 17 May 1961.
- He has served the United Nations at the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) from 2006 to June 2016.
- He is also an expert in the environmental issues and politics.He also headed the UN office in Kenya.
- He had also served World Commission on Dams as Secretary General.
- He is director of the Oxford Martin School in September 2016.
- He was born in Brazil in 1961 and holds German as well as Brazilian citizenship.
Justice Gita Mittal set to take over as acting Chief Justice of Delhi HC
- Justice Gita Mittal, the senior-most judge of Delhi High Court has been appointed as the acting Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court.
- She will assume charge of the Delhi High Court with effect from April 14, 2017, a day after current Chief Justice Gorla Rohini retires.
Cisco Launches 5th Global Cyber Range Lab in Gurugram
- US-based tech giant Cisco today launched its fifth global cyber range lab here with an aim to train Indian firms and government agencies on real-world cyber attacks.
- During the Cisco India Summit 2017 Cisco India President India and SAARC Dinesh Malkani said that the Cisco cyber range lab aims to provide technical training workshops to help cybersecurity professionals build the skills to combat new-age threats.
- The facility was inaugurated by National Cyber Security Coordinator Gulshan Rai. Cisco has four other such labs in Australia.
Petrol and Diesel prices to change everyday from 1st May
- The Pilot Project has been launched by State-owned fuel retailers Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL), for daily price revision in five select cities from May 1 that owns nearly 58,000 petrol pumps in the country.
- Firstly Oil companies will implement pilot project in 5 cities Puducherry, Vizag in Andhra Pradesh, Udaipur in Rajasthan, Jamshedpur in Jharkhand and Chandigarh.
- If successful than it will be implemented in whole India.
- Currently, State fuel retailers revise rates on 1st and 16th of every month based on average international price of the fuel in the preceding fortnight and currency exchange rate.
- Now, Instead of using fortnightly average, pump rates will reflect daily movement in international oil prices and rupee-US dollar fluctuations.
Aim: To bring market linked rates on a daily basis at all pumps across the country.
- Daily price change will remove the big jump in rates that and it will be affected at the end of the fortnight and consumer will be more aligned to market dynamics.
Science and Technology
NASA releases new global maps of Earth at night
- NASA scientists released new global maps of Earth at night, providing the clearest yet composite view of the patterns of human settlement across our planet. Satellite images of Earth at night – often referred to as “night lights” – have been a source of curiosity for public and a tool for fundamental research for nearly 25 years.
- They have provided a broad, beautiful picture, showing how humans have shaped the planet and lit up the darkness. Produced every decade or so, such maps have spawned hundreds of pop-culture uses and dozens of economic, social science and environmental research projects.
- Now, a research team led by Earth scientist Miguel Roman of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre in the US plans to find out if night lights imagery could be updated yearly, monthly or even daily.
Global collaboration project Belle-II moves a step forward
- The High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK) completed the experiment of the Belle-II Tsukuba, Japan.
- This experiment is designed to study violations of the Standard Model of particle physics.
- It is a huge collaboration of 700 scientists from 23 countries.
- Belle-II has a significant Indian participation on experimental and theoretical sides.
- The fourth layer of the six-layer, highly sensitive particle detector, which is at the heart of Belle-II, has been built by Indian scientists,
- It is led by Tariq Aziz and Gagan Mohanty from Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai.
- Several Scientists are participating in this research.
Aadhaar Seeding Application launched by Shri Bandaru Dattatreya
- With the implementation of Aadhaar Seeding Application, now Provident Fund member or pensioner can walk in any of the field offices of EPFO or CSC outlets with UAN & Aadhaar and seed the Aadhaar with the UAN.
- The EPFO has developed this Aadhaar seeding application with support of the Common Service Centers (CSC) and CDAC.
- The CSCs are ICT enabled front end service delivery points at the village level for delivery of Government and private services.
- Employee Enrolment Campaign enrolls about 5 million workers in EPFO upto 31st March, 2017
- Minimum assured amount on death in service and loyalty cum life benefit to EDLI members on superannuation recommended to Government
- Dr. (Ms.) Mukulita Vijayawargiya takes charge as Whole Time Member, IBBI
- Dr. (Ms.) Mukulita Vijayawargiya took charge as Whole Time Member of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) in New Delhi.
- Dr. (Ms.) Vijayawargiya will look after Administrative Law Wing. She will also look after Information Technology, Limited Insolvency Examination, National Insolvency Examination, Finance and Accounts and Communication.
Veteran Malayalam actor Munshi Venu passes away
- Munshi Venu, who’s known for playing supporting roles in Malayalam films, passed away at a palliative care centre at Chalakudy, Thrissur. According to reports, the actor suffered kidney failure today. He was 63.
- Making his acting debut with Kamal’s comedy drama Pachakuthira, Munshi Venu will be more remembered for his comical characters.
- Venu has acted in over 75 Malayalam films. He’s known for films like Chotta Mumbai, Salt ‘n’ Pepper, Kanyaka Talkies, Immanuel and Daddy Cool.
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