Current Affairs Update – 4th April, 2015

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the current affairs update of 4th April, 2015.

Insurance/Finance
Bharti AXA General
Insurance launched Smart Traveller

  • Bharti AXA General Insurance Company Limited on 3 April 2015
    launched Smart Traveller that offers global coverage for students, individuals,
    families and frequent travellers.
  • The SmartTraveller Insurance policy offers a choice of two
    major plans catering to Individuals and Families and frequent travelers through
    a variant known as Annual Multi Trip International travel insurance plan.
  • Bharti AXA GI offers comprehensive and affordable
    international travel insurance solutions for different segments of travelers.
  • The Bharti AXA GI Advantage gives individual and family
    plans for several travel exigencies like medical emergencies, loss of travel
    documents (Passport, tickets etc.), loss of checked-in baggage, compassionate
    visit in case of medical emergency, financial emergency, daily allowance if
    hospitalization is needed, among others.

Union Minister of
Commerce & Industry unveiled Foreign Trade Policy 2015-2020
  • Union Minister of Commerce & Industry on 2 April 2015
    unveiled Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 2015-2020. The policy was unveiled by
    Minister of State for Ministry of Commerce & Industry Nirmala Sitharaman at
    Vigyan Bhawan, Delhi.
  • The new five year Foreign Trade Policy, 2015-20 provides a
    framework for increasing exports of goods and services as well as generation of
    employment and increasing value addition in the country, in keeping with the
    Make in India vision of Prime Minister.
  • The focus of the new policy is to support both the
    manufacturing and services sectors, with a special emphasis on improving the
    ease of doing business.
  • The release of Foreign Trade Policy was also accompanied by
    a FTP Statement explaining the vision, goals and objectives underpinning
    India’s Foreign Trade Policy, laying down a road map for India’s global trade
    engagement in the coming years.

Highlights of the
FTP 2015-20
  • In the new policy FTP2015-20, two new schemes Merchandise
    Exports From India Scheme (MEIS) and Services Exports From India Scheme (SEIS)
    were introduced.
  • MEIS is for export of specified goods to specified markets
    and SEIS is for increasing exports of notified services.  Duty credit scripts issued under MEIS and
    SEIS and the goods imported against these scrips are fully transferable. For
    grant of rewards under MEIS, the countries have been categorized into 3 Groups,
    whereas the rates of rewards under MEIS range from 2% to 5%. Under SEIS the
    selected Services would be rewarded at the rates of 3% and 5%.
  • Measures have been adopted to nudge procurement of capital
    goods from indigenous manufacturers under the EPCG scheme by reducing specific
    export obligation to 75% of the normal export obligation. This will promote the
    domestic capital goods manufacturing industry. 

India
Prime Minister
Narendra Modi launched Give it Up campaign
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 27 March 2015 launched Give
    it Up campaign. The campaign was launched at the annual energy-focussed summit
    Urja Sangam 2015.
  • The campaign seeks to extort the better off sections of
    society to forego their liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) subsidy, which would be
    utilised in providing subsidised LPG connections to the poor.
  • The Prime Minister asked companies and banks to encourage
    their employees to give up the subsidy on LPG. Gas cylinders surrendered by
    them would be transferred to the poor who use wood for cooking.
  • The Give it Up campaign should be taken up on the lines of
    Swacch Bharat and Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao initiatives.

Union Government extended
National Food Security Act deadline by 6 months
  • The Union Government on 3 April 2015 extended the deadline
    for implementation of the National Food Security Act (NFSA) deadline by six
    months in the states. 
  • The deadline has already been extended twice for
    implementing the food law, was ending on April 4. The deadline was extended for
    the third time so that the remaining states adopt and implement the law within
    six months.
  • Since passage by Parliament in September 2013, the NFSA has
    been implemented in 11 states and Union Territories (UTs). The rest 25
    states/UTs have not implemented it yet.
  • At present, the Union Government allocates foograins to 11
    states/UTs as per the new food law, while the rest are getting foodgrains quota
    as per earlier PDS norms.

Kochi arachnologists
discovered rare spiders in Western Ghats
  • Kochi arachnologists on 3 April 2015 discovered rare spiders
    in Western Ghats. Researchers at Division of Arachnology record the sighting of
    a huntsman and jumping spider in Western Ghats.
  • The spiders belong to the Sparassidae and Salticidae
    families. The research team included Dr. Mathew M.J., Fr. Jobi Malamel and
    Pradeep Kumar M.S. and were led by Dr. P.A. Sebastian, director of the Division
    of Arachnology.
  • The huntsman spider was sighted at Ponmudi, while the
    researchers found the jumping spider at the Malayattoor and Bhoothathankettu
    reserve forest.

Mariyam Asif
Siddiqui, Muslim girl won Bhagwad Gita contest

  • Mariyam Asif Siddiqui, a 12-year-old Muslim girl in March
    2015 won the first position at the Shrimad Bhagwad Gita Champion League. She
    won the prize for explaining the teachings of the Bhagwad Gita.
  • Siddiqui who studies in Class 6 of Cosmopolitan High School
    at Mira Road near Mumbai won the contest from among 4500 students of 195
    schools.
  • Mariyam said she learned from Bhagwad Gita that humanity is
    the biggest religion in this world.
  • Shrimad Bhagwad Gita Champion League was an inter-school
    competition. It was organised by the International Society for Krishna
    Consciousness (ISKCON) in March 2015.

World
Al-shabab attacked
Garissa University College in Kenya
  • Al-Shabaab on 2 April 2015 carried out a massacre killing
    147 people in the Garissa University College situated in Garissa County in
    northeastern Kenya.
  • In all, 151 people were killed including 142 students, three
    security officers, two university security personnel and four militants who
    were killed by the security forces. The attack left 104 people injured,
    including 19 who are in critical condition.
  • The college campus is situated 145 km away from the porous
    Somalia-Kenya border.
  • Al-Shabaab is a Somalia-based militant organization and an
    al Qaeda affiliate.
  • The group has vowed to retaliate against Kenya for sending
    troops to Somalia under Operation Linda Nchi in 2011 to fight the Al-Shabaab
    militants who had kidnapped foreigners and aid workers inside Kenya.

Minor planet named
after former Chess grandmaster Vishwanathan Anand

  • Michael Rudenko, a committee member of the Minor Planet
    Center on 1 April 2015 officially named a minor planet as 4538 Vishyanand, to
    honour India’s first chess grandmaster, Vishwanathan Anand.
  • The main-belt minor planet was discovered between the orbits
    of Mars and Jupiter by Kenzo Suzuki in Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, Japan, on 10
    October 1988. Since its discovery, the planet remained unnamed.
  • With this, Anand joined former world chess champions
    Alexander Alekhine and Anatoly Karpov who have had a similar honour bestowed on
    them. Other sports personalities on whom such honours have been bestowed
    include Donald Bradman, Jesse Owens, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

Iran Lifts Ban on
Women Attending Sports Matches

  • A senior Iranian sports official says the country’s
    authorities have partially lifted a ban on women attending men’s sports
    matches.
  • Deputy Sports Minister Abdolhamid Ahmadi is quoted by the official
    IRNA news agency today as saying that Iran’s State Security Council has
    approved a plan by his ministry to allow women and families to attend some
    sports events.
  • Ahmadi cautioned that not all matches or stadiums would
    allow women, but did not elaborate.
  • The announcement comes after FIFA President Sepp Blatter
    urged Iran earlier this year to end the ban on women watching football in
    stadiums.
  • Women have been banned from attending men’s sports matches
    since the 1979 revolution that brought hard-line Islamic clerics to power.
    However, Iran has allowed foreign women to attend matches of their national
    teams.

Sports
Michael Phelps
swimming programme to be launched in India

  • A grassroot level swimming programme named after the most
    successful swimmer at the Olympic Games, American superstar Michael Phelps, is
    set to be launched in Mumbai first on April 11 before it spreads its wings to
    other parts of the country.
  • Cathy Bennett, the childhood coach of Phelps who clinched a
    staggering 18 Olympic gold medals spread across three Games from 2004 to 2012
    and 26 world titles, is the moving force behind the ‘Michael Phelps Swimming
    Programme’ which has been brought to India by ‘Waveline Sports’.
  • Phelps is the owner, president and CEO of the programme –
    developed by Bennett – which is taught in over 30 states in the U.S. and in
    over 20 countries across six continents.
  • Among the partners for the programme in Mumbai are Ajmera
    Global School, Ryan International Schools, Body Rhythm Club, I Land Sports
    Academy, Matunga Gymkhana and Sports Gurukul.

Days
World Autism
Awareness Day celebrated on April 2nd
  • On April 2 every year, the global autism community
    celebrates World Autism Awareness Day, which was declared in perpetuity by the
    United Nations in 2007.
  • 2015 Theme: Employment: The Autism Advantage
  • It is estimated that more than 80% of adults with autism are
    unemployed.

Obituaries
Ace mountaineer Malli
Mastan Babu perishes in the Andes

  • Malli Mastan Babu, the 40-year-old missing Indian
    mountaineer, was found dead in the Andes mountain ranges in Chile in South
    America by the helicopter search teams, his family sources said here on
    Saturday.
  • He went missing in the mountains on March 24 when three
    other members of his expedition returned because of the weather suddenly
    turning hostile with heavy rains and gales.
  • He last called his family members on March 21 before
    starting the climb. The Indian Mission in Chile had intervened and intense
    search operations were launched after Babu did not return after several days.
  • Mastan Babu had earlier scaled several insurmountable
    mountain peaks and achieved records and accomplishments all over the world. He
    was the first person from Andhra Pradesh to scale Mt. Everest in the Himalayas.
  • The family members were saddened at the sudden twist of fate
    as they had been confident of Mastan Babu returning home safely, as in the
    past. He faced similar difficult situations earlier but had overcome them.
  • Mastan Babu had the distinction of setting a Guinness Book
    record by surmounting seven peaks in seven continents in 172 days in 2006.



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