TNPSC Current Affairs April 2016 (English)
CURRENT AFFAIRS FOR THE MONTH OF APRIL 2016
New Environment Standards for Gensets
- The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEFCC) for the first time notified new Environment Standards for Gensets running on various kinds of Fuels including LPG, Petrol and Diesel in various Cities.
- The primary aim of the new standards for Gensets is to control air and noise pollution emanating from the operation of Gensets. These standards were recommended by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) after consultations with industries and other stakeholders.
- India and Papua New Guinea have signed four Memorandam of Understandings (MoUs) in various sectors to boost bilateral cooperation.
- The MoUs were signed in the presence of the visiting President Pranab Mukherjee and the Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’ Neil in Port Moresby, capital of Papua New Guinea.
Pakistani Woman Tabassum Adnan wins 2016 Nelson Mandela Award
- Pakistani women’s rights activist from Swat valley Tabassum Adnan has won prestigious 2016 Nelson Mandela Graça Machel Innovation Award.
- With this Tabassum Adnan becomes the second woman from Pakistan’s Swat valley to win this international recognition after Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai.
- Nelson Mandela Award Established in 2004 at the CIVICUS World Assembly in Gaborone, Botswana
- Parliament passed Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2016 to include certain communities in the list of Scheduled Castes (SC) from 4 states.
- The bill seeks to amend Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 to include certain communities from Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Kerala and West Bengal in the list. It also has provisions for exclusion of certain communities from Odisha and removal of area restriction in respect of certain communities.
- BRICS is the acronym for an Association of five major Emerging National Economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.India has assumed BRICS Chairmanship from the Russian Federation for the year 2016.
- On this occasion, Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj formally unveiled the BRICS Logo. India has assumed BRICS Chairmanship for second time and had hosted the BRICS Summit in 2012 for first time in New Delhi. The 7th BRICS Summit was held in the Russian city of Ufa in July 2015.
The NABARD with Germany for Food Security Initiative
- The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has entered into collaboration with German Government for a special programme on 'Soil Protection and Rehabilitation for Food Security'.
- The Programme is part of the German government’s recently introduced special initiative ‘One World, No Hunger’ initiative.
The World’s Smallest Nano-Thermometer
- The Scientists have developed world’s Smallest (Nano) Thermometer using DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) structures that can fold and unfold at specifically defined temperature functions.
- It was developed by the scientists at the University of Montreal and the study report in this regard was published in the journal Nano Letters. The world’s smallest thermometer is 20,000 times smaller than a human hair and is fully programmable.
10 % Reservation to Economically Backward of Higher Castes in Gujarat
- Gujarat Government has decided to provide 10 % reservation for economically backward classes (EBCs) in general category. This 10% reservation for EBCs in general category will be available to all non-reserved class, whose total family income is less than 6 lakh annually.
- The new reservation will not affect the present reservation available to Scheduled Castes (SC)/ Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Other Backward Classes (OBC). This decision will breaches Supreme Court’s reservation limit of 50 % as the State Government is already providing 50 % reservation to SC, ST and OBC.
The Sikh Gurdwaras (Amendment) Bill, 2016
- The Parliament has passed the Sikh Gurdwaras (Amendment) Bill, 2016 to remove given to Sehajdhari Sikhs to vote in the elections to members of the Board and the Committees.
- The amendment bill first was passed in the Rajya Sabha in March 2016 and later in the Lok Sabha in April 2016.
SC Approves Entrance Exam (NEET) for MBBS, BDS
- Supreme Court has approved holding a single common entrance test National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to MBBS and BDS courses for the academic year 2016-17.
- The SC bench comprising Justices A R Dave, Shiva Kirti Singh and A K Goel gave nod to the NEET proposal put before it by the Union Government, CBSE and the Medical Medical Council of India (MCI).
The Industries (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015
- The Parliament has passed the Industries (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015. The Bill amends the Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951.
- It was first was passed in Lok Sabha in December 2015 and later in Rajya Sabha in April 2016. Now it will go for Presidential assent as per Article 111 of the Indian Constitution.
Nand Kishore Singh selected for Japan’s Highest Civilian Award
- Former bureaucrat and parliamentarian Nand Kishore Singh has been selected for prestigious ‘Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver’, Japan’s highest civilian award.
- He was chosen for this prestigious award for promoting economic, educational and cultural ties between India and Japan. He is among 91 foreign recipients to be honored during the 2016 Spring Imperial Decoration of Japan by Emperor Akihito during the investiture ceremony in May 2016.
Salman Khan named as Indian Ambassador for 2016 Rio Olympics
- Bollywood actor Salman Khan was named as the goodwill ambassador of the Indian contingent for the upcoming Olympics to be held in August 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
- This is the first time when a Bollywood superstar has been chosen as a goodwill ambassador for the Indian contingent at the Olympics. He was chosen by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) from a list of two to three candidates which also included Shah Rukh Khan and veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan.
The Indian Academician appointed to UN University Council
- Indian academician Radha Kumar was appointed as United Nation’s University Council along with other 11 people by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
- They will serve for terms of either three or six years and shall formulate its principles and policies, consider and approve biennial budget and work programme.
ISRO successfully launches 7th Navigation Satellite IRNSS-1G
- The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has successfully launched India’s 7th Navigation satellite IRNSS 1G of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS).
- The satellite was launched into a Sub-Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (Sub-GTO) on-board of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C-33 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
- IRNSS 1G satellite is last space segment satellites of the IRNSS system. With this India joins elite group of selected nations that have their own GPS (Global Positioning System) or Navigation System.
The Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill, 2015
- The Lok Sabha passed the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill, 2015 for the establishment of funds under the public accounts of Centre and each State towards compensatory afforestation.
- It also provides for additional afforestation and penal compensatory afforestation to regulate collected funds.
The Union Government allows States to put Stock Holding Limits on Sugar
- The Union Government has decided to allow States to impose and enforce stock limits on Sugar in order to check the the price rise of sweetener in the market.
- The decision to bring sugar under the purview of stock holding limits on dealers of sugar was taken in Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
The Panic Button, GPS Compulsory in all Mobiles
- The Union Government has made mandatory for mobile manufacturers to add in-built Panic Button and global positioning system (GPS) in all phones from January 1, 2017 and 2018 respectively.
- In this regard, Department of Telecommunications has notified the Panic Button and Global Positioning System in Mobile Phone Handsets Rules, 2016 under section 10 of the Indian Wireless Telegraph Act, 1933.
The Naval detachment set up at Lakshadweep Androth Island
- The Southern Command of the Indian Navy has inaugurated a naval detachment at Androth Island of the Lakshadweep archipelago.
- The naval detachment seeks to strengthen maritime security in and around Arabian Sea and enhance surveillance of crucial shipping lanes.
The Union Government Constitutes Ashok Dalwai Committee for doubling farmers’ Income by 2022
- The Union Government has recently constituted 08-member inter-ministerial committee to prepare a blueprint for doubling farmers’ income by 2022.
- The committee will be headed by Ashok Dalwai, Additional secretary at the Union Agriculture Ministry and is expected to submit the report in two months.
- Its members will include officials from Agriculture and Food Ministries, experts from the Delhi-based National Council of Applied Economic Research and National Institute of Agricultural Economics and Policy Research.
The 13th India-EU Summit
- The 13th edition of India-European Union Summit was held in Brussels, capital of Belgium. Prime Minister Narendra Modi represented Indian side in the summit.
- While the European Union (EU) was represented by President of the European Council, Donald Tusk and President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker.
- The 13th summit laid out concrete priority actions for the strategic bilateral partnership in areas like trade and investment, climate, energy, water and migration in the next five years.
India’s First Indigenous Sonar Dome
- India’s first indigenous composites Sonar Dome, a ship’s underwater eyes and ears, was flagged off by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in Mumbai.
- Designed and produced by a Defence and Research Development Organisation (DRDO) lab in Pune, the sonar dome is a first of its kind in the country and has been manufactured by a composites manufacturing company.
- This is a huge contribution by Indian Industry to the ‘Make in India’ movement, Defence Ministry officials said. Only a couple of companies worldwide have the capability of releasing such structures.
- All Anti-Submarine warfare (ASW) ships have a sonar array fitted to the ship structure below the waterline. The sonar functions as the ship’s underwater eyes and ears.
Haryana Government Launches “Project Salamati”
- The ‘Project Salamati’ was launched by Chief Minister Manohar Lal and introducing another option among the family planning measures in the form of injectable contraceptive at Government health institutions, Haryana has achieved a major milestone at the national level.
- This facility would be available at all Primary Health Centres, Community Health Centres, Sub Divisional and District Hospitals free of cost.
- The ‘Project Salamati’ which is being implemented by the Haryana Health Department with the assistance of Pathfinder International, is initially being implemented in nine health blocks of four districts of the State.
India, Saudi Arabia Signed Five Agreements
- India and Saudi Arabia on 03 April 2016 inked five agreements to boost the bilateral cooperation between the two nations.
- Agreement on Labour Co-operation between the Ministry of Labour, Saudi Arabia and Ministry of External Affairs, India for recruitment of general category workers.
- Technical Cooperation Program between the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and the Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO).
- Executive Program for Cooperation in the Field of Handicrafts between the Export Promotion Council for Handicraft (EPCH), India and Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage.
- MoU between Financial Intelligence Unit of India and Saudi Arabia concerning Cooperation in the Exchange of Intelligence related to Money Laundering, Terrorism Financing and Related Crimes.
- Framework for Investment Promotion Cooperation between Invest India and the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA).
Government Gives Nod to National Hydrology Project
- The Central Government gave its nod to the multi- purpose National Hydrology Project (NHP) which has an outlay of over Rs 3,679 crore.
- The decision to approve the project which also intends to facilitate water resource management and ensure equitable use of water was taken during a Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- Termed as a programme that is expected to boost India's prestige in the field of scientific endeavour, the project with a total outlay of Rs 3,679.7 crore aims to cover the entire country as opposed to the earlier hydrology projects which covered only 13 states.
- The project will help in the development of real-time flood forecasting and reservoir operations in a manner that does not result in sudden opening of gates leading to the inundation of the areas below," said an official statement.
Bihar Bans Liquor
- Bihar has become the fourth state after Gujarat, Nagaland and Mizoram states to impose a blanket ban on liquor.
- Bihar state has declared a total ban on the sale of all forms of alcohol with immediate effect in a move seen as fulfillment of an election promise made by state Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
- "Liquor will not be sold in any bar, pub or hotel from now onwards," Nitish Kumar said at a press conference in the state capital, Patna, days after a partial ban was implemented in the state of 100 million.
The Gurgaon will now be called Gurugram
- The Haryana Government on Tuesday decided to rename Gurgaon as Gurugram and its neighbouing district Mewat as Nuh.
- The town derived its name from Guru Dronacharya; the village was given as “gurudakshina” to him by his students, the Pandavas, and hence it came to be known as Gurugram.
- Mewat, in fact is a geographical and cultural unit and not a town. It is spread beyond Haryana in the adjoining States of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. The headquarters of Mewat district is at Nuh town. The people of the area and the elected representatives had been demanding the name change of Mewat to Nuh.
No Poverty in 2032: $10 Trillion Economy
- India will become $10 trillion economy and achieve growth rate of 10% by 2032, Niti Aayog Chief Executive Officer Amitabh Kant said.The country's growth rate is 7.6% in 2015-16 and its economy is $1.7 trillion.
- In a presentation made during Civil Services Day function attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and large number of civil servants, he projected creation of 175 millions jobs and zero per cent of Below Poverty Line (BPL) population by 2032. "Growing at 10% will transform India. India will be a $10 trillion economy with no poverty in 2032," his presentation reads.
Shri J P Nadda launches New Initiatives to Combat TB 21-March-2016
- Shri J P Nadda, launched Bedaquiline New Anti-TB drug for Drug Resistant TB as part of the RNTCP. The drug is a new anti-TB drug for treatment of MDR-TB.
- This new class of drug is a diarylquinoline that specifically targets Mycobacterial ATP synthase, an enzyme essential for supply of energy to Mycobacterium tuberculosis and most other mycobacteria. This drug is indicated for use in the treatment of drug-resistant TB.
- Bedaquiline is being introduced at six identified tertiary care centres across India. These sites have advanced facilities for laboratory testing and intensive care for patients. Bedaquiline will be given to multi-drug resistant TB patients with resistance to either all fluoroquinolone and/or all second line injectables and extensive drug resistant TB.
India to Host 2018 Commonwealth Judo Championships
- India is going to host the 2018 Commonwealth Judo Championships in Jaipur, Rajasthan. It was announced by the Judo Federation of India (JFI).
- The announcement came after the Commonwealth Judo Congress allotted the Championships to India at its meeting held at Port Elizabeth in South Africa.
Indian Rower Dattu Bhokanal Qualifies for Olympics
- Indian Rower Dattu Baban Bhokanal qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics scheduled to be held in August 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
- He qualified Rio Olympics after winning a silver medal in the men’s single sculls event at the FISA Asian and Oceania Olympic Qualification Regatta held at Chung-ju in South Korea.
- Dattu Bhokanal trains at the Army Rowing Node (ARN) in Pune, Maharashtra. He will be the lone Indian rower taking part in Rio Games.
Australia Won 2016 Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Championship
- Australia has won the 25th edition of Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Tournament 2016 for record ninth time. In the final match played at Ipoh, Australia defeated India by 4-0 goals.
- With this India settled at the second position and was followed by New Zealand (defending champion) at the third position.
- This was the second time India had finished with the silver medal in seven final appearances. Earlier, Australia had won the Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Tournament in 1983, 1996, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2011, 2013 and 2014. They also holds record of most titles win of this tournament.
- Final Rankings of Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Tournament 2016: Australia (1), India (2), New Zealand (3), Malaysia (4), Pakistan (5), Canada (6) and Japan (7).
Mairaj Ahmed Khan wins silver medal at ISSF World Cup of shooting
- India’s Mairaj Ahmed Khan has won the silver medal in the Men’s Skeet event at ISSF World Cup held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In the final, Mairaj lost gold medal to Sweden’s Marcus Svensson and the bronze medal was won by Tamarro Casandro of Italy.
- With this victory, he becomes first Indian shooter to win skeet medal for India at a World Cup. Earlier in September 2016 he had qualified for his maiden Olympics after finishing in sixth place at the ISSF Shotgun World Cup. He is the first Indian to qualify in the Skeet event at the Olympics.
Dipa Karmakar, the first Indian Woman Gymnast to Qualify for Olympics
- Indian artistic gymnast Dipa Karmakar has created history by becoming the first Indian woman gymnast to qualify for Olympics. She achieved this feat after her strong performance at the final qualifying which helped her to book 2016 Rio Olympics Games berth to be held in August 2016.
- In the test event, she earned a total score of 52.698 points in the artistic gymnastics event. She has been listed as the 79th gymnast in the list of women’s artistic gymnasts who have qualified for the Rio Olympics.
India wins 2016 Asian Nations Cup Chess tournament
- Indian men have won the 2016 Asian Nations Cup Chess tournament by defeating Vietnam in the final round by 3-1 score played in Abu Dhabi. In the final round match, Indian Grandmasters S P Sethuraman and K Sasikiran won on the 2nd and 4th boards while, B Adhiban and Vidit Santosh Gujrathi drew their respective matches on top and 3rd boards.
- With this win India gained 17 points, two more than World and Olympiad champions China. India drew Mongolia and beat the rest of the teams in a 22-team tournament.
- It was overall third time, Indian men won the event earlier they had won at Esfahan, Iran in 2005 and Kolkata 2009. In the women’s section, top seed China won the title with 15 points followed by Uzbekistan (14 points) at second Kazakhstan (13 points) at third position respectively. Indian women finished fourth position with 12 points.
West Indies wins 2016 ICC T-20 Cricket World Cup
- West Indies has won the ICC Cricket World Men’s T20 Cup 2016 by defeating England by 4 wickets in the final match played at Eden Gardens, Kolkata. In the final match, England batting first had scored 155 runs for 9 wickets.
- West Indies successfully chased the target by scoring 161 runs in 19.4 over at the loss of 4 wickets. With this win, West Indies became the only team to win the ICC World Twenty20 title twice. Earlier it had won its first title in 2012 by defeating Sri Lanka.
West Indies Women won ICC Cricket World Women’s T20 Cup 2016
- West Indies has won their maiden Women’s World T20 title by defeating reigning champions Australia by 8 wickets at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
- Batting first Australia had score of 148 runs for 5 wickets. West Indies in reply scored 149 runs in 19.3 over at the loss of 2 wickets.