Important Current affairs dated 4th April 2017 for Competitive Exams in India.
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Government withdraws subsidy to mild hybrids under FAME scheme
- The government has withdrawn incentives given to mild hybrid vehicles under FAME India scheme, impacting the country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India the most.
- The company’s popular models, multi-utility vehicle Ertiga and mid-sized sedan Ciaz with mild hybrid technology had benefited from the scheme that was launched in April 2015 to popularise the use of electric vehicles in the country.
- Mild hybrid technology will stand excluded from the benefits of the FAME India scheme with effect from April 1, 2017.
- Earlier, mild hybrid, strong hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure electric vehicles were given incentives under the scheme.
- A mild hybrid vehicle has an electric motor, which on its own cannot run a vehicle but assists normal engine by using recovered energy stored in a battery and helps save fuel.
- MSI’s Ertiga and Ciaz, equipped with Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki (SHVS) technology, had received incentives of Rs 13,000 each under the scheme.
- SVHS equipped Ertiga is priced between Rs 7.17 lakh and Rs 8.75 lakh while the same for Ciaz is between Rs 7.87 and Rs 9.57 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi)
Government sets up National Board for Electric Mobility
- In a bid to promote electric mobility and manufacturing of electric/hybrid vehicles and their components, Central Government constituted National Board for Electric Mobility (NBEM) on 3rd April 2017.
- Concept of National Board for Electric Mobility (NBEM) dates back to the tenure of previous United Progressive alliance (UPA) Govt., wherein the then Prime Minister Manhohan Singh had approved the proposal to launch National Mission for Electric Mobility and setting up of a National Council for Electric Mobility and National Board for Electric Mobility (NBEM).
Joint Ministerial Statement of the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Finance Ministers’ meeting in New Delhi
Union Finance Minister, Mr. Arun Jaitley chaired the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Finance Ministers’ Meeting on 3rd April 2017 at Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi. Along with Finance Ministers from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal and Sri Lanka, officials from Asian Development Bank (ADB) were also present. It is to be noted that ADB plays a role of a patron for SASEC and also serves as the Secretariat for the SASEC member countries.
From this meeting onwards, Myanmar has become the 7th nation to join SASEC as a member country.
SASEC Vision, announced during the meeting was centred on improving connectivity within the region to boost trade and tourism. The objective is to generate $70 billion incremental GDP and create 20 million jobs by year 2025.
SASEC Members have agreed to create synergies through following activities to achieve this goal:
- Increasing volume of trade in Oil and Gas
- Leveraging natural resources-based industries
- Promoting industry-to-industry linkages
- Improving people-to-people contact
- Establishing gateways and hubs for expanding trade and commerce to regional and global markets
Malaysian Prime Minister Mohd Najib Tun Razak’s five-day visit to India
- Malaysian Prime Minister Mohammad Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak will begin his five-day visit to India from Thursday during which he would hold dialogue with PM Narendra Modi apart from signing some agreements.
- Razak would spend first two days in Chennai where he would be received by state governor and the chief minister. He would be accorded ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhawan on Saturday. He will also hold separate meetings with the President Pranab mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj.
- Modi and Najib will hold substantive talks on April 1 which are expected to cover a range of issues, particularly focusing on enhancing business ties.
- Malaysian PM would also visit Jaipur, and participate in trade meeting in Delhi and the Global Science and Innovation Advisory Council meeting.
- The visiting dignitary had announced his visit through Twitter after which Modi welcomed him.
- Out of the 7 MoUs signed between India and Malaysia, the most significant was the one between Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board and MIGHT Technology Nurturing Sdn. Bhd (MTN) for implementation of 4th Generation Technology Park in Andhra Pradesh.
Polythene manufactured below 50 microns is banned by Jammu & Kashmir Government
- Jammu and Kashmir government has imposed a ban on the use of polythene bags manufactured below fifty microns.
- The Minister said new guidelines and regulations, would facilitate proper recycling of plastic waste, reducing its impact on the ecology.
- The manufacturer’s name and address will now be required to be printed on the bags, failing which, strict action, as per the law, will be taken against them.
- Minister for Forest, Environment and Ecology, Choudhary Lal Singh said that these measures are being taken to curb the still prevalent use of polythene bags that pose serious risk to environment and wildlife.
Berhampur Thakurani Yatra Festival Begins in Odisha
- The festival of Goddess Budhi Thakurani called Berhampur Thakurani Yatra begun in southern Odisha on April 3, 2017.
- The month long festival will be celebrated by the weaving community, known as Devangiris
- The festival has been celebrated in Berhampur from 1672.
- The festival was organized by P Durga Prasad Desibehera, whose family has been conducting the festival for generations.
- The Goddess Budhi Thakurani will be placed near her parental house in Desibehera Street and from there she will be taken to different streets.
- The festival will be conducted till May 1, 2017 which accounts to a total of 29 days.
- On behalf of this festival, devotees will be dressed up as mythological characters from Mahabharata and Ramayana besides Asura kings and will ride around the city.
India ranks 3rd in WADA doping charts for the Year 2015
- India has been ranked third for the third year in a row in a doping violation report published by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for 2015, with 117 athletes from the country being punished after testing positive for banned substances.
- India followed the Russian Federation (176) and Italy (129) in the chart, the same position as in the reports of 2013 and 2014.
- All the violations by the Indians came from urine samples.
- The violations were committed during 2015 and the chart was prepared after compiling information of analytical findings and sanctions rendered till January 31 this year by various accredited anti-doping bodies.
Indian Army Chief conferred with Nepal Army honorary title in Kathmandu
- General Bipin Rawat, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) has visited Nepal and Bangladesh from March 28, 2017 to April 2, 2017 on his first foreign visit.
- On his visit to Nepal, the Army Chief was presented with Honorary General of the Nepalese Army title by the President of Nepal on March 29, 2017.
- The historic tradition is continuing uninterrupted since its inception in 1969 which shows special relationship between the Indian and the Nepalese Army.
- When Chief of Army Staff of Nepalese Army, General Rajendra Chettri visited India, he was presented with Honorary General of the Indian Army on February 3, 2016.
- Bipin Rawat also met the Chief of Army Staff of Bangladesh Army, General Abu Belal Muhammad Shafiul Huq after his visit to Bangladesh on April 1, 2017.
- The main aim of this visit is to strengthen India’s defense cooperation.
Banking and Finance
ICICI Bank and Axis Bank sold Rs 1800 crore of loans of Ballarpur to Edelweiss Asset Re-Company
- Market leaders ICICI Bank and Axis Bank sold Rs 1800 crore worth loans of paper maker Ballarpur Industries to Edelweiss Asset Reconstruction Company.
- This is the first time, a potential bad loan being sold off to an Asset Reconstruction Company at book value.
- Axis Bank sold loans of Rs.1200 crore and ICICI Bank sold loans of Rs.600 crore.
- The loan sold is under 15:85 structure where 15 per cent is paid in cash and the balance 85% is paid in securities receipts.
- The bond is prepared as the amount will be repaid over five to seven years depending on the rate of recovery.
- In February, 2017, India’s credit rating agency downgraded Ballarpur Industries debt by assigning it a D-rating, which led to the selling of loan to Edelweiss.
New Rs 200 denominated notes proposal cleared by RBI
- India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cleared a proposal to introduce new currency notes of Rs 200 on April 3, 2017.
- The proposal was cleared during the RBI board meeting held in March, 2017. The information was passed by officials from RBI.
- The process of producing the Rs 200 notes will begin after June, if the central government officially approves the new denomination.
- The move was made to reduce the cash crunch after demonetization and Rs 200 will be the 2nd new denomination after Rs 2000.
- As per RBI governor Urjit Patel, 9.2 lakh crore worth new notes were introduced into the economy after demonetization.
Appointments & Resigns
Mahesh Kumar Jain named as IDBI bank MD and CEO
- IDBI bankBSE -0.78 % has appointed Mahesh Kumar Jain as the Managing Director & CEO with immediate effect. Before his role in IDBI, Jain was the Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of Indian Bank.
- Jain joined Indian Bank as an executive director in September 2013 where he handled several key portfolios. Prior to joining Indian Bank, Jain served as general manager with Syndicate BankBSE -1.04 %. He began his banking career with Punjab National BankBSE 0.03 %.
- He was also a member of the steering committee on Risk Management of IBA and a member of the IBA working group on risk management and implementation of Basel II and III. He was also the secretary & coordinator to Basant Seth Committee on review & revamp of internal & concurrent audit system in PSBs.
- At present, he is a member of the NIBM governing board, PGDM executive council of NIBM, CII national committee on Banking 2016-17 and CII national council on financial sector development 2016-17.
Indian Cricketer MS Dhoni named CEO of Gulf Oil for 1 day
- The former Indian cricket team skipper MS Dhoni became an acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Gulf Oil India just for a day on April 3, 2017.
- He took charge of Gulf Oil India at the Mumbai head office. He was named CEO of the day by the company.
- The news was announced by Arun Pandey, Dhoni’s close friend and commercial interest manager
- As a CEO of the company for the day, Dhoni has attended all the special meetings of the company.
- Mahendra Singh Dhoni was also named as the brand ambassador for Gulf Oil in the year 2011.
Brayan Jimenez banned for life-time by FIFA
- Brayan Jimenez, a former member of the FIFA Committee for Fair Play and Social Responsibility was banned for life-time by Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) from April 3, 2017.
- He has been banned for offences which include bribery and corruption. The information was shared by FIFA ethics committee.
- It has been stated that, Brayan Jimenez was involved in the biggest corruption scandal in the history of the global soccer body.
- Brayan was also a Former Guatemalan football club chief. He headed the Guatemala FA from 2009 to 2015.
- The Guatemala FA has been found to have violated six articles of FIFA own code of ethics.
- The total bribe collected by Jimenez was hundreds of thousands of dollars as per the statement given by U.S. district attorney.
DGP Geetha Johri – Gujarat’s first woman police chief
- Director General of Police (DGP) Geetha Johri was appointed as Police Chief (in-charge) of Gujarat on April 4, 2017. By this, Johari has become the 1st woman IPS officer to be appointed as the Police Chief in Gujarat.
- The minister of state for home Pradeepsinh Jadeja officially announced the appointment of Johri.
- Johri had replaced PP Pandey, who resigned as the DGP after his appointment was challenged by former Police Julio Riberio in the Supreme Court.
- Johri, a 1982 batch IPS officer, is slated to retire on November 30 this year, giving her a short tenure of less than eight months.
- She was posted as managing director, Gujarat Police Housing Corporation, Gandhinagar before this appointment.
- In 1990, Johri raided the den of slain underworld don Abdul Latif in the highly sensitive Dariyapur area of Ahmadabad and managed to arrest one his key aides.
New set of surface-to-air missiles for Navy- Central Government clears proposal
- Central government has approved the procurement of a fresh batch of Barak surface-to-air missiles for its naval warships on April 3, 2017.
- The proposal was approved during a meeting of the Defense Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Defense Minister of India Arun Jaitley, in New Delhi.
- The missiles will be procured under buy global category from Rafael Advance Defense Systems Limited of Israel at an approximate cost of 77 million USD.
- DAC has proposed to approve capital acquisition proposals of 133 million USD.
- All ships of the navy will be equipped with these missiles as said by Defense Minister.
- Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) is highest decision making body of defense ministry for capital acquisition.
Clean Environment with the help of Fungus that eats plastic
- Scientists have identified a soil fungus, which uses enzymes to rapidly break down plastic materials, an advance that could help deal with waste problem that threatens our environment.
- Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences have found an unexpected solution to the growing plastic problem in the form of a soil fungus.
- Attempts to deal with plastic waste through burying, recycling, incineration or other methods are variously unsustainable, costly and can result in toxic by-products, which are hazardous to human health.
- Researchers argue that we urgently need to find new, safer and more effective ways to degrade waste plastics. The team found the plastic-eating fungus living in a rubbish tip in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Science and Technology
BS-IV Grade Fuel launched by Central Government after BS-III ban
- Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum and Natural Gas officially launched the low emission Bharat stage (BS)-IV Grade fuel in Bhubaneswar.
- The launch was made on the special occasion of Utkal Diwas which is the foundation day of Odisha. Bharat stage (BS)-IV Grade fuel was introduced after BS-III compatible vehicles sales and registration were banned by Central government from April 1, 2017.
- The launch was made in 12 cities of India. They were Varanasi, Vijayawada, Durgapur, Gorakhpur, Imphal, Bhopal, Ranchi, Madurai, Nagpur, Patna, Guwahati and Shillong.
Kishori Amonkar a Hindustani classical vocalist passed away
- Classical singer Kishori Amonkar passed away at the age of 84 at her house in Mumbai on April 3, 2017.
- Amonkar body was kept at Ravindra Natya Mandir in Prabhadevi for people to pay their last respects.
- The funeral was held at the Shivaji Park crematorium on April 4, 2017 evening.
- Born on April 10, 1932, she learned music under Ustad Alladiya Khan Saheb and Kesarbai Kerkar.
- Beside a singer, Amonkar was also a popular speaker and traveled throughout India giving lectures, most notably on the theory of rasa in music.
- Amonkar received Padma Bhushan in 1987 and Padma Vibhushan in 2002.
- In 2010, she became a fellow of the Sangeet Natak Academy, the national academy of music, arts, and dance. She also received Sangeet Natak Academy award in that year
Gilbert Baker – The LGBT rainbow flag creator passed away
- Gilbert Baker, a gay rights activist and the creator of the iconic Rainbow Flag passed away on April 4, 2017.
- Baker was born on June 2, 1951 in Kansas, USA. He was a part of a gay rights community in San Francisco in 1970.He had also served for the U.S Army for two years.
- Baker was well-known for being the first openly gay man to hold public office in USA.
- The rainbow flag debuted at the Gay Freedom Day Parade on June 25, 1978 in San Francisco. It was designed for the movie named Milk.
- The flag was created with the help of 30 volunteers and a budget of USD 1000 which was measuring 30 feet by 60 feet.
- In 1994, Baker created a mile long version of the flag for the 25th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riot of 1969. It was carried by 5000 people and measuring 30 feet by 5280 feet.
- The flag took place in the book of records for its massive length.
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