13th April 2017 – Current Affairs Today


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National Current Affairs

Parliament passes HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill 2017

  • Parliament passed Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2017 to ensure equality for HIV positive persons in spheres of education, employment and treatment.
  • The bill prohibits discrimination towards HIV positive persons in areas of education, jobs, healthcare treatment, availing insurance, holding public/private office and residing or renting a property.
  • Affected person’s informed consent has to be sought before disclosing his/her HIV status.

Uttar Pradesh govt scraps Samajwadi Pension Scheme

  • Samajwadi Pension Scheme was launched in year 2014 with an aim to provide financial assistance to 40 lakh below poverty line (BPL) category families in Uttar Pradesh. This yojana replaced the erstwhile Rani Laxmibai Pension Yojana.
  • Under this scheme, BPL families were entitled to monthly pension of Rs. 500 per month for one year.

Haldia Port tops the list in the first ever ranking of ports on Sanitation parameters

  • Haldia Port of West Bengal has emerged as the cleanest ports among Indian ports on sanitation parameters.
  • The ranking of all the 13 Indian ports was conducted by the Quality Council of India. Haldia and Vizag ports receive the first and the second rank.
  • The ranking was based on the efforts made by these ports to address waste generating sources with respect to port operation, office area, and township area.

Kerala makes Malayalam mandatory in school

  • The Kerala government has announced to make Malayalam language mandatory in all schools in the state.
  • The new law will be applicable to schools. Those schools that violated the law will have to pay huge fines.
  • The usage of Malayalam as official language has been made compulsory in all government offices from May 1.
  • If any school imposes restriction than the law also allow government to impose penalty of 5000.

Chhattisgarh’s announces phased liquor ban

  • The ban will be first imposed on villages which has a population of more than 3000.
  • Chhattisgarh has now become the second state to declare a ban on alcohol.
  • In the next phase the liquor shops will not be allowed to open residential areas, near educational institutes and religious places.
  • Currently Bihar and Gujarat are the only states that have a total ban on alcohol.

International Current Affairs

G20 Ministers issue declaration on ‘Shaping Digitalisation for an Interconnected World’

  • A ministerial conference of G20 ministers in charge of digitalization held in Germany was the first such meeting of G20 ministers responsible for digitalisation.
  • They have issued a declaration on ‘Shaping Digitalisation for an Interconnected World’, which lays out priorities and course of action.
  • The declaration acknowledged that digital economies have the potential to contribute to achieving the goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Iran, Saudi Arabia, China top world execution list 2016

  • Amnesty International published the review stated that China executed the most people in 2016, followed by Iran and Saudi Arabia.
  • China alone killed thousands of people when 23 countries together executed 1032, the MENA region has executed the majority of 852 numbers.
  • According to the report, the total number of executions happened worldwide had dropped by 37 percent compared to 2015. For the first time in a decade, the United States was not included in the top five countries on the list.
  • Executions were dropped 28 percent from the previous year in the Middle East. Iran alone executed at least 567 people, while Saudi Arabia carried out at least 154 executions.

Business & Economy

Manappuram Finance launched co-branded prepaid cards with Yes bank

  • To promote financial transactions the Kerala based NBFC Manappuram Finance with launch its own prepaid cards. It tied-up with Yes bank.
  • The company will issue the prepaid cards for 20 lakh customers. It also links their existing gold loan accounts to the card.
  • Customers can withdraw money from any of the 3300 branches of Manappuram finance.
  • It can also be purchased by non-customers by filling their mobile number and KYC document as prescribed by the RBI.

Postal Dept, SBI join hands to promote cashless transactions

  • Department of Posts has joined hands with the State Bank of India to promote cashless transactions like ‘SBI buddy e-wallet’ and POS machines.
  • Installation of SBI Buddy e-wallet and POS Machines will make the transactions easy through digital payments and cashless transactions in post offices.

BHEL and Indian Railways tie-up for rooftop SPV systems

  • Agreement of 2 MWp Roof Top SPV Systems to be installed at Diesel loco Modernization  Works (DMW),  Patiala  was signed between Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited BHEL & IROAF (Indian Railways Organisation for Alternate Fuels)
  • The contract predicted the Design, supply, installation, testing & commissioning of grid connected roof top solar photo voltaic power plant with all the electrical and associated equipment including civil works and also includes 5  years’  operation &  maintenance.
  • The 2 MWp SPV RTS is to be installed within 9 months. It has enhanced BHEL’s Roof Top SPV project portfolio to 10 MWp.

Nokia inks Mous with Airtel and BSNL to bring 5G network in India

  • Nokia would expand their collaborative technology partnership to work on 5G technology standard and management of connected devices.
  • 5G connectivity is expected to take place during 2019-2020.
  • The MoU will help BSNL to draw a framework from the current network to futuristic 5G network.

India, Georgia exploring options for free trade agreements

  • India and Georgia signed a joint statement on the launch of Joint feasibility study on the bilateral free trade agreement.
  • The joint statement was signed to promote economic, trade and investment relations between the two countries.
  • Its objective to create a favorable condition for bilateral economic cooperation.
  • Purpose is to provide more opportunity in Free Trade agreement.
  • After the completion of Joint Feasibility study India and Georgia proceed with negotiations on Free Trade agreement.

Vedanta-Cairn India merger becomes effective

  • Under the merger scheme, a Cairn India shareholder will get one Vedanta equity share and 7.5% preference shares for every Cairn India with face value of 10 each.
  • The eligible Cairn India shareholders, who will become shareholders of Vedanta now, would also receive an interim dividend of `17.70 per equity share as approved by the board of Vedanta on March 30 2017.

People in News

Actress Kristin Davis appointed UNHCR goodwill ambassador

  • American actress Kristin Davis one of the stars of the television series was appointed Goodwill Ambassador of the high commissioner of UN on refugees.
  • Davis has partnered with the UN for 3 years.

UNHCR Goodwill Ambassadors are

  • celebrity representatives of the office of the UN High Commissioner for refugees who use their talent and fame for supporting refugees.

Govt. appoints 2 more MDs at LIC- B Venugopal, Sunita Sharma

  • B Venugopal and Sunita Sharma appointed by the Government as Managing Directors to the nation’s largest financial powerhouse LIC for a period of nearly two years.
  • Venugopal is currently heading the Western zone of LIC in Mumbai, Sharma is the managing director of its subsidiary, LIC HOUSING FINANCE.
  • Sharma has been heading LICHFL since November 2013.

Harbhajan Singh Among Eight Ambassadors for ICC Champions Trophy

  • The ambassadors will be involved in the ICC Champions Trophy Tour and will participate in the Cricket for Good coaching clinics, a program aimed at providing school children with an opportunity to meet and play with legends. They will also be part of the ICC editorial team.
  • The appointed ambassadors are:
  1. Harbhajan Singh
  2. Shahid Afridi of Pakistan
  3. Habibul Bashar of Bangladesh
  4. Ian Bell of England
  5. Shane Bond of New Zealand
  6. Mike Hussey of Australia
  7. Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka and
  8. Graeme Smith of South Africa.

Science & Technology

Haryana launches e-sewa app to provide information about welfare schemes

  • Haryana has launched an mobile application named ‘e-Sewa’ to provide information about more than 250 schemes and programs of 30 different departments
  • People can get the information about various welfare schemes and programs on their mobile phones
  • They can also check the status of their complaint on CM Window and also give their suggestions on the app
  • Important contact numbers including all Deputy Commissioners, Additional Deputy Commissioners, Sub Divisional Magistrates, General Manager, Roadways have been made available on the mobile app.

‘Urja Mitra’ mobile app

  • Urja Mitra will allows consumers to exchange real-time information with electricity distribution companies (discoms) on power supply.
  • According to Urja app data Kerala, Maharashtra and Rajasthan top the list in supplying uninterrupted power supply
  • The Rural Feeder Monitoring Schemewill help to track quality of power supplied in rural areas

Karnataka unveils mobile app “Suraksha “and Pink petrol for women’s safety

  • The app, that can be downloaded free on smartphones, help women in distress to alert police for help.
  • It is linked with the Police control room and Patrolling vehicles in the city.
  • In Suraksha app one can list at least 2 contacts in case of emergency, along with the police when the power button on the app is pressed 5 times.
  • The police have identified various places like colleges, offices, temples, shopping malls, and theatres where Pink Hoysalas will be placed.
  • The vehicles are equipped with GPS (Global Positioning System) and camera for the staff at the police control room to monitor the video.

Sports Current Affairs

 US,Canada and Mexico to launch joint World Cup 2026 bid

  • It would be the first World cup hosted by three nations and the first jointly hosted World Cup.
  • The tournament would be played in the US and the proposal would be for the USA to host 60 matches, with 10 games each in Canada and Mexico.
  • The decision will be made in 2020 that who will host the tournament.
  • The new look tournament will begin with an initial round of 16 three team groups with 32 qualifiers will go to the knockout stage.

India school team beat Malaysia to lift Asian School Hockey Championship

  • Indian Alishan Mohammad scored 2 goals and converted a penalty corner and a penalty stoke in the goal.
  • India’s lead to an impressive 3-0 and Alishan Mohammad played a very well in championship.
  • Thailand ended their campaign in Bhopal with a 6th place finish.