Current Affairs Update – 20th April, 2016

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Current Affairs at a Glance – 20th April, 2016

  1. IFMR
    Capital has facilitated the first ever capital market transaction for
    MUDRA (Micro Units Development & Refinance Agency)
    , which focuses
    on providing low cost loans to microfinance and non-banking financial
    institutions.
  2. The Union Cabinet, headed by
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday approved the expansion of the Preferential
    Trade Agreement (PTA) with Chile
    , a
    move that will help in doubling of exports to the Latin American nation in the
    future.
  3. PTC India Financial Services said on Wednesday that it has signed
    an agreement with US Energy Association to conduct training programmes for
    hydropower projects under United States Agency for International Development
    (USAID)’s South Asia Regional Programme for Energy Integration
    .
  4. JK Tyre and Industries Ltd on 18 April 2016 announced that it had completed
    the acquisition of tyre, tube and flap maker Cavendish Industries, a
    unit of Kesoram Industries Ltd, for 2195 crore rupees. Kesoram Industries is a
    B.K. Birla Group company.
  5. The government today approved signing
    of a Memorandum of Understanding with Bhutan
    on technical cooperation in the field of capacity building
    , benchmarking
    and bilateral exchange in infrastructure engineering.
  6. Panasonic India and AES India Private
    Limited
    on 18 April 2016 announced an agreement to construct a 10 MW
    energy storage array at Panasonic’s Technopark manufacturing facility in Jhajjar,
    Haryana
    .
  7. The Haryana Government on 1 April
    2016 notified its Affordable Plotted Housing Policy 2016 for low and medium potential towns also known as Deen Dayal Jan
    Awas Yojna
    .
  8. Union Government on 19 April 2016
    extended the Beti Bachao Beti Padho (BBBP) Scheme
    in additional 61 districts across 11 States and Union Territories. The scheme
    was extended in the districts with low Child Sex Ratio.
  9. Indian researcher and professor, Kadambot Siddique, was named Ambassador for the
    International Year of Pulses in the Asia-Pacific region
    at a ceremony
    in Marrakesh on Tuesday.
  10. Rahul Johri, who recently
    stepped down from his post as Discovery Networks Asia Pacific’s executive
    vice-president and general manager for South Asia has joined the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) as chief
    executive officer (CEO)
    . His stint will start from June 1 and he will
    report to BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur.
  11. US President Barack Obama on 19
    April 2016 nominated Indian-American Geeta Pasi as
    the country’s next envoy to Chad, a landlocked country in northern Central
    Africa.
  12. President Pranab Mukherjee on 19
    April 2016 honoured the Chinese professor Ge Fuping with
    the George Grierson prize
    for his remarkable works done for the
    propagation of Hindi abroad.

Finance/Industry/Economy –
IFMR Capital initiates first capital market transaction for MUDRA

  • IFMR Capital has facilitated the
    first ever capital market transaction for MUDRA (Micro Units Development &
    Refinance Agency), which focuses on providing low cost loans to microfinance
    and non-banking financial institutions.
  • IFMR Capital has exclusively structured
    and arranged a securitisation transaction Mjolnir IFMR Capital enabling Mudra
    to invest Rs 50 crore in the A (-) rated senior tranche of securitised MSME
    loan portfolio of Janalakshmi Financial Services, the Bangalore-based micro
    finance company.
  • This will be a short term
    transaction with tenure of 1.5 years. IFMR Capital also participated as
    investor through their investment in the subordinated j tranche. This marks the
    first of many such capital transactions for MUDRA, which in turn will gain exposure
    to over 100 high quality MFIs and NBFCs in the country that IFMR Capital
    currently works with.
  • Small enterprises across the
    country continue to lack access to institutional credit. This is despite nearly
    80% of the total estimated demand of Rs 32,50,000 crore originating from the
    informal sector, said IFMR.

India widens Preferential Trade Agreement with Chile

  • The Union Cabinet, headed by
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday approved the expansion of the
    Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with Chile, a move that will help in
    doubling of exports to the Latin American nation in the future.
  • As per the expanded PTA, Chile
    has offered concessions to India on 1,798 tariff lines with margin of
    preference (MoP) ranging from 30-100%. India has reciprocated on 1,031 tariff
    lines with MoP at 10-100%.
  • A PTA between India and Chile was
    signed in March 2006 and came into effect from August 2007. In 2006-07, Chile
    was ranked 51st export destination for India. With bilateral trade at $2.3
    billion.

PFS inks pact with US Energy Association
  • PTC India Financial Services said
    on Wednesday that it has signed an agreement with US Energy Association to
    conduct training programmes for hydropower projects under United States Agency
    for International Development (USAID)’s South Asia Regional Programme for
    Energy Integration.
  • As per the agreement, PFS and US
    Energy Association will jointly conduct capacity building training programmes
    for senior executives from the SAARC nations on techno-economic appraisal and financial
    analysis of hydropower projects.

JK Tyres acquired Cavendish Industries for 2200 crore rupees

  • JK Tyre and Industries Ltd on 18
    April 2016 announced that it had completed the acquisition of tyre, tube and
    flap maker Cavendish Industries, a unit of Kesoram Industries Ltd, for 2195
    crore rupees. Kesoram Industries is a B.K. Birla Group company.
  • JK Tyre will fund the deal
    through a mix of internal accruals and debt raised by JK Group associates, such
    as Bengal & Assam Co. Ltd (the holding company) and Valiant Pacific LLC, a
    trading firm.
  • JK Tyre will hold a 64 per cent
    stake in Cavendish, while the rest will be held by Bengal & Assam and
    Valiant.

India to sign Paris pact on climate change in New York

  • India will sign the Paris
    Agreement on climate change, adopted by more than 190 countries in December
    last, on Friday in New York.
  • The Union Cabinet Wednesday
    aopproved the signing of the agreement, adopted during the 21st Conference of
    Parties held in the French capital.
  • Environment Minister Prakash
    Javadekar will sign the agreement on behalf of India on April 22 at a
    high-level signature ceremony convened by the Secretary-General of the United
    Nations Ban Ki-moon.
  • India had advocated a strong and
    durable climate agreement based on the principles and provisions of the United
    Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the agreement addresses
    all the important “concerns and expectations” of India.

Government nod to MoU on technical cooperation between India, Bhutan
  • The government today approved
    signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Bhutan on technical cooperation
    in the field of capacity building, benchmarking and bilateral exchange in
    infrastructure engineering.
  • The MoU aims at taking forward
    India-Bhutan friendship treaty and provide an umbrella for educational,
    scientific and technical research and environment protection.
  • Through this Memorandum of
    Understanding (MoU), the Central Public Works Department (CPWD), a construction
    major under the Urban Development Ministry, will gain experience in
    construction of roads on hills which will be helpful in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal
    Pradesh, Uttarakhand and various States of North-East Region.
  • The CPWD also expects to garner
    some road construction projects in Bhutan, the release said.

Panasonic and US-based AES inked agreement to install energy storage
project in Haryana
  • Panasonic India and AES India
    Private Limited on 18 April 2016 announced an agreement to construct a 10 MW
    energy storage array at Panasonic’s Technopark manufacturing facility in
    Jhajjar, Haryana.
  • This joint project is the first
    large-scale battery-based energy storage project in India.

Key highlights of the project
  • The storage will provide daily
    reliability and back-up to the manufacturing facility, while demonstrating grid
    stability and renewable integration services in the region.
  • The project combines Panasonic’s
    capabilities as India’s leading lithium-ion battery supplier with AES Energy
    Storage’s Advancion® platform.
  • While AES operates 116 MW of
    energy storage projects around the globe, this project signifies AES’ entry
    into the commercial and industrial energy storage market.

Haryana Government notified Affordable Plotted Housing Policy 2016
  • The Haryana Government on 1 April
    2016 notified its Affordable Plotted Housing Policy 2016 for low and medium
    potential towns also known as Deen Dayal Jan Awas Yojna.
  • The policy is intended to
    encourage the development of high density plotted colonies in Low and Medium
    Potential towns of the State wherein small plots are made available through a
    liberal policy framework.

Salient Features of the Policy
  • This policy will enable the
    creation of additional affordable housing stock in the low and medium potential
    towns of the state.
  • All projects are being required
    to be completed within seven years from the date of granting the license.
  • Not more than 30 per cent of the
    net planned area under residential zone, inclusive of 20 per cent area limit
    for group housing projects, can be allowed for projects under this policy.

India –
Beti Bachao Beti Padho Scheme extended to 61 more districts with low
Child Sex Ratio

  • Union Government on 19 April 2016
    extended the Beti Bachao Beti Padho (BBBP) Scheme in additional 61 districts
    across 11 States and Union Territories. The scheme was extended in the
    districts with low Child Sex Ratio.
  • Women and Child Development
    Minister Maneka Gandhi who extended the scheme into 61 more districts informed
    that out of hundred, 49 districts are doing extremely well. She said, the child
    sex ratio of the other districts remain stable.
  • Apart from this, she said that
    for the monitoring of pregnancy, Sarpanch of the village should be made nodal
    person and district collector have been asked to show the data of number of
    boys and girls in every village through a board.
  • Superintendent of police in every
    district will nominate one woman Police Volunteer to monitor security situation
    of women.

Appointments –
Kadambot Siddique named ambassador for International Year of Pulses

  • Indian researcher and professor,
    Kadambot Siddique, was named Ambassador for the International Year of Pulses in
    the Asia-Pacific region at a ceremony in Marrakesh on Tuesday.
  • Siddique is a leading scientist
    in the field of legumes and currently serves as a professor of agriculture and
    chair and director of the Institute of Agriculture at the University of Western
    Australia.
  • As Ambassador for the
    International Year, Siddique will work to raise awareness on the important
    contribution of pulses to food security and their positive impact on health and
    the environment, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said in a
    statement.
  • Besides encouraging new
    connections throughout the food chain to better use pulse-based proteins in our
    food and address trade challenges, Siddique is also tasked with seeking out
    opportunities for dialogue on these nutritional legumes and efforts to ensure
    more people have access to information on pulses.

Discovery’s Rahul Johri joins BCCI as CEO

  • Rahul Johri, who recently stepped
    down from his post as Discovery Networks Asia Pacific’s executive
    vice-president and general manager for South Asia has joined the Board of
    Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) as chief executive officer (CEO). His stint
    will start from June 1 and he will report to BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur.
  • This marks a first for the BCCI,
    which until now did not have the post of a CEO.
  • Johri had been with Discovery for
    15 years before stepping down earlier this year. During his time, he oversaw
    the growth of the network in India to an eleven channel bouquet. For the past
    eight years, he led the South Asia operations of the network.

Indian-American Geeta Pasi nominated as US envoy to Chad by Obama

  • US President Barack Obama on 19
    April 2016 nominated Indian-American Geeta Pasi as the country’s next envoy to
    Chad, a landlocked country in northern Central Africa.
  • At present, Pasi is the Director
    of the Office of Career Development and Assignments in the Bureau of Human
    Resources at the Department of State.
  • Pasi, who served as the United
    States Ambassador to Djibouti from 2011 to 2014, is a career member of the
    Foreign Service. Earlier, she has been the Deputy Chief of Mission at the US
    Embassy in Dhaka, from 2006 to 2009, and Deputy Principal Officer at the US
    Consulate in Frankfurt, Germany from 2003 to 2006.

Awards & Honors –
President presented Hindi Sevi Samman Awards
  • The President of India, Pranab
    Mukherjee on 19 April 2016 presented the Hindi Sevi Samman Awards for the years
    2012, 2013 and 2014. The awards were presented at a function at Rashtrapati
    Bhavan.
  • The Hindi Sevi Samman Awards were
    instituted by Central Hindi Institute, Agra in 1989.  Fourteen scholars receive this award in seven
    different categories every year for their contribution in the field of Hindi
    language and literature.

The awardees in different categories include:
Ganga Sharan Singh Award
For work in the field of promotion
and training of Hindi
For 2014:
  • M. Venkateshwar
  • V.D. Hegde
  • Deven Chand Das ‘Sudama’
  • Beena Budki

Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Award
For work in the field of
journalism and creative literature
For 2014:
  • Devendra Kumar
  • Shatrughan Prasad

Atmaram Award
For work in the field of Science
and Technology  literature  and Machinery growth
For year 2014
  • Suresh Kumar Jindal
  • Suresh Tiwari

Padmabhushan Dr. Moturi Satyanarayan Award
Awarded to people of Indian
origin for promotion and training of Hindi outside India
For year 2013
  • Sneh Thakur

Chinese professor Ge Fuping honoured with George Grierson prize for
promoting Hindi

  • President Pranab Mukherjee on 19
    April 2016 honoured the Chinese professor Ge Fuping with the George Grierson
    prize for his remarkable works done for the propagation of Hindi abroad.
  • Ge has made commendable efforts
    for the promotion of Hindi language abroad. Besides him, Alka Dunputh (from
    Mauritius) and Shichiro Soma (from Japan) were also given the George Grierson
    award by the President.
  • These awards were instituted by
    Central Hindi Institute, Agra in 1989. 14 scholars receive this award in seven
    different categories every year for their contribution in the field of Hindi
    language and literature.

Sports –
India’s Durga Thakur promoted as International Umpire by International
Hockey Federation

  • India’s Durga Thakur was on 19
    April 2016 promoted as International Outdoor Umpire by the International Hockey
    Federation (FIH). The decision was taken after watching her performance at the
    Hawkes Bay Cup that was held in April 2016 in Hastings, New Zealand.
  • With this, Thakur became an
    addition to a crop of young Indian umpires currently officiating at the
    international level. FIH’s list currently has 14 Indians in the elite league of
    international umpires (10 men, 4 women).

English Snooker legend Steve Davis retired

  • England’s snooker great Steve
    Davis announced his retirement from the game on 17 April 2016 after 38-year
    career. He is 58.
  • His last match came on 10 April
    2016 where he lost against Fergal O’Brien and failed to qualify for 2016 World
    Championship.
  • Starting his snooker career in
    1978, he went on to win six world titles in 1980s and was world number one from
    1983 to 1990. In fact, he was World number one for seven consecutive seasons.

ICC and Emirates Airline renewed deal for additional seven years
  • The International Cricket Council
    (ICC) and Emirates Airline on 19 April 2016 renewed their deal for an
    additional seven years. With this, Emirates Airlines became the Global Partner
    for all ICC events from 2016-2023.
  • The ICC and the Emirates
    relationship date back to 2002, when the award-winning airline came on board as
    a sponsor of the ICC. The partnership was strengthened with Emirates becoming
    the ICC’s official partner for the 2007-2015 events cycle.

World –
Iran unveiled S-300 Missile System parts at Army Parade

  • Iran on 17 April 2016 unveiled
    S-300 missile system parts at army parade in Tehran. It was a long-awaited air
    defence system ordered from Russia.
  • The S-300 system was on order
    since 2007 but Russia postponed the sale three years later after the UN
    Security Council (UNSC) passed a resolution relating to Iran’s nuclear
    programme.
  • A deal between Iran and six world
    powers over its nuclear activities which led to lifting of sanctions in January
    2016 removed the barriers to delivery but the fully operational system is still
    awaited.

Books & Authors –
The Making of India: The Untold Story of British Enterprises authored
by Kartar Lalvani
  • The making of India: The untold
    story of British Enterprises authored by Kartar Lalvani was in news in the third
    week of April 2016. The book discusses the British rule and its role in
    creating a unified India.
  • The book supposedly brings out
    the many positive aspects of the colonial rule that remained hitherto untold.
  • The story of the book open in the
    17th century when a small seafaring island despatched sailing ships over 11000
    miles on a five-month trading journey in search of new opportunities.

Reports –
World Development Indicators 2016 released
  • The World Bank Group on 11 April
    2016 released the 2016 edition of the World Development Indicators (WDI). WDI
    is the most widely used dataset and provides high-quality cross-country
    comparable statistics about development and people’s lives around the globe.
  • WDI now includes 1400 indicators
    for over 200 economies.

Key features of WDI 2016

WDI has gone from the MDGs to the SDGs
  • The 2016 edition includes
    indicators to help measure the 169 targets of the 17 Sustainable Development
    Goals (SDGs). The SDGs build on the 8 goals and 18 targets of the Millennium
    Development Goals (MDGs) that were focused in the previous editions.

WDI 2016 includes 1.90 US dollars/day extreme poverty line
  • WDI 2016 now includes the
    estimates of global and national extreme poverty rates at the international
    poverty line of 1.90 US dollars/day per person. These show that 13 percent of
    the global population lived in extreme poverty in 2012, down from 37 percent in
    1990.

Regards

Team ExamPundit

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