Current Affairs Update – 8th April, 2015

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the important current affairs of 8th April, 2015.

Prime Minister
launched MUDRA Bank under PM Jan Dhan Yojana to fund small entrepreneurs

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 8 April 2015 launched the
    Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency Ltd. (MUDRA) Bank to fund the
    small entrepreneurs.
  • The Bank was launched under the ambitious Pradhan Mantri Jan
    Dhan Yojana (PMJDY). The bank will provide credit of up to 10 lakh rupees to
    small entrepreneurs and act as a regulator for Micro-Finance Institutions
  • It was set up through a statutory enactment. It would be
    responsible for developing and refinancing all Micro-finance Institutions
    (MFIs) which are in the business of lending to micro / small business entities
    engaged in manufacturing, trading and service activities.
  • The concept of MUDRA Bank goes beyond credit only approach
    and offers a credit plus solution for these enterprises spread across the

Detailed Mudra Bank PDF :  Download From Here 
Government raises
stake in state-owned IFCI to 51%

  • IFCIBSE 2.81 % Ltd has now become a state- owned firm with
    the government increasing its stake in the infrastructure financing firm to
    51.04 per cent.
  • Government has acquired IFCI’s 6,00,00,000 Preference shares
    of Rs 10 each from certain scheduled commercial banks and has consequently
    increased its holding from 47.93 per cent to 51.04 per cent of the paid-up
    share capital.
  • As a result of this increase in shareholding of the
    Government of India, IFCI has become a ‘Government Company’ as per the
    provisions of Section 2(45) of the Companies Act, 2013, with effect from April
    7, 2015.
  • The Industrial Finance Corporation of India was set up by
    government on July 1, 1948 as the first Development Financial Institution in
    the country.
  • IFCI was provided access to low-cost funds through the
    central bank’s Statutory Liquidity Ratio or SLR which in turn enabled it to
    provide loans and advances to corporate borrowers at concessional rates.

Union Ministry of
Commerce and Industry constituted Ajay Shankar committee to simplify clearances
  • The Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry on 8 April 2015
    formed an expert committee under the chairmanship of Ajay Shankar to suggest
    simplified compliance for establishing new industries. He is a former Secretary
    to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).
  • The Expert Committee has been constituted for examining the
    possibility of replacing multiple prior permissions with pre-existing
    regulatory mechanism and to prepare draft legislation for this purpose.
  • The committee is directed to submit its report within 30

Terms of Reference
of the committee
  • Study the requirement of various prior permissions with an
    exhaustive inventory of such permissions
  • Examine the possibility of replacing these prior permissions
    with a pre-existing (proposed) regulatory mechanism
  • Identify safeguards to be put in place while replacing the
    system of prior permission and integrating these safeguards in the proposed
    regulatory mechanism

CCEA approved two
FIIs proposals in pharmaceutical companies Aurobindo and Glenmark
  • Union Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on 7
    April 2015 approved two FIIs (Foreign Institutional Investors) proposals worth
    4187 crore rupees in the pharmaceutical majors Aurobindo Pharma Ltd. and
    Glenmark Pharmaceutical Ltd.
  • The CCEA’s approval for QIBs (Qualified Institutional
    Buyers) in Aurobindo Pharma Ltd. will increase the FIIs share in the company
    from 27.32 to 34.32 resulting in an inflow of about 2165 crore rupees. The
    funds will enable the company to expand its operations in the areas of anti
    infective, cardiovascular and central nervous system related ingredients.
  • The CCEA’s clearance for FIIs in Glenmark Pharmaceutical
    Ltd. will increase the FIIs share in the company from 35.07 percent to 49
    percent resulting in an inflow of about 2022 crore rupees.

Govt to Provide
Higher Compensation to Distressed Farmers: PM

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced the
    government’s decision to raise by 50 per cent the quantum of compensation to
    farmers affected by crop losses due to recent unseasonal rains.
  • Besides, the criterion of 50 per cent crop damage for
    providing compensation to farmers has been reduced to 33 per cent, which will
    help more people get better compensation for the crop loss.
  • Speaking at the launch of the Pradhan Mantri MUDRA (Micro
    Units Development Refinance Agency) Yojana here, he also instructed insurance
    companies to expeditiously settle the claims of the distressed farmers.
  • The decision to provide liberal assistance to farmers was
    taken by Modi after a review meeting with Cabinet Ministers who were asked to
    assess the damage to the crops following the unseasonal rains and hailstorms in
    northern and central parts of the country.

Snapdeal acquires
FreeCharge in a cash and stock deal

  • Online marketplace Snapdeal has acquired mobile transactions
    platform, FreeCharge, in a cash and stock deal that is speculated to be in the
    range of $400 million.
  • With this acquisition, Snapdeal becomes the largest mobile
    commerce firm in the country offering over 11 million products and services
    including financial services, mobile recharge and utility payments with a
    growing base of over 40 million users.
  • FreeCharge, a leading mobile commerce platform where users
    can pay their mobile, DTH and utility payments across most major operators will
    continue to function as an independent platform and all aspects of FreeCharge’s
    shopping experience will continue to remain intact.
  • Over the last 6 months, Snapdeal has acquired many
    companies. This February, the company acquired, an online
    retailer of premium luxury and fashion. Last year the company acquired fashion
    discovery start-up Doozton and gift recommendation technology platform,
    Wishpicker. More recently, Snapdeal picked up a majority stake in digital
    financial services platform,

Amazon Picks
Telangana for Largest Fulfilment Centre
  • e-Commerce major Amazon has chosen Telangana over the
    neighbouring state of Karnataka to set up its largest fulfilment centre (FC) in
    the country.
  • The US-based firm, which has been facing taxation issues in
    Karnataka, said it has put its proposed investments in the state on hold till
    the matters are resolved.
  • The e-commerce major last year had announced investment of
    USD 2 billion (about Rs 12,500 crore) in the country.
  • The new FC in India will come up near Kottur, on the
    outskirts of Hyderabad. Spread over 280,000 sq ft, the unit will become
    operational by May this year.
  • This will enable Amazon to ensure faster and quicker
    delivery of products to stay ahead as it competes head on with domestic rivals
    like Flipkart and Snapdeal.
  • No investment details were disclosed.

CCEA gave nod for
strengthening and widening of 455-km of National Highways
  • The Union Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on 7
    April 2015 approved the projects for strengthening and widening of 455
    kilometers of National Highways (NH) at a total capital cost of about 9500
    crore rupees.
  • The projects are aimed at improving road connectivity in
    Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and the expenditure to be incurred on these
    projects will be borne by the Union Government.

The NHs that form
the part of 455-km of NHs approved include:
  • Four laning of 138-km stretch of Sultanpur-Varanasi section
    of NH-56 at a cost of 3800 crore rupees
  • Four laning of 200-km stretch of Varanasi to Ghazipur,
    Gorakhpur and further to Nepal section of NH-29 at a cost of 4400 crore rupees
  • Four laning or two laning with paved shoulders of 115-km
    stretch of Madurai-Ramanathapuram section of NH-49 at a cost of about 1400
    crore rupees

US aviation regulator
upgrades India’s air safety rating

  • US aviation regulator Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
    has upgraded India’s safety ranking — after fourteen months of close watch —
    paving the way for Indian carriers to expand their services to the US and enter
    into agreements with American carriers through code-share to expand operations.
  • The move will benefit state-run Air India, besides Jet
    Airways, and Vistara (if and when policy changes allow it to fly
    international). Vistara, a joint venture between the Tatas and Singapore
    Airlines, has plans to fly to the US, either directly or with partners.
  • In January last year, FAA had downgraded India to
    Category-II, implying safety oversight in the country did not comply with the
    International Civil Aviation Organisation standards. As a result, no Indian
    carrier could expand capacity to the US.
  • The decision to restore India’s Category-I safety ranking,
    taken after a review of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation’s (DGCA’s)
    measures, was announced on Wednesday. These measures included appointment of 55
    pilots as full-time flight operation inspectors, for better safety oversight.

Indian Registers Record
Production of Nuclear Fuel
  • In a major milestone for the nuclear industry, India has
    registered a record production of over 1,252 MT of uranium bundles,
    manufacturing close to double the annual fuel requirement of atomic reactors in
    the country.
  • The production has also exceeded country’s annual fuel
    requirement of 650 MT for the Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs), which
    means the country has surplus nuclear fuel, for at least a few months.
  • The Hyderabad-based Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC), which
    produces fuel for nuclear reactors in the country, has produced over 30 per
    cent more fuel compared to its 961.023 MT production in 2013-14.
  • NFC, set-up with an initial production capacity of 100 MT
    per year, was augmented several times to enhance the capacity to 850 MT, to
    cater to the fuel requirement of all the 18 operating PHWRs and the 2 Boiling
    Water Reactors at Tarapur.
  • India produces around 5,780 MW of nuclear power. Of this,
    4,780 MW of electricity is generated by fuel processed at the NFC. Fuel for the
    Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) unit 1 is provided by Russia, as per the

Kansas becomes first
US state to ban abortion procedure
  • Kansas became the first state on Tuesday to ban a common
    second-trimester abortion procedure that critics describe as dismembering a
  • Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, a strong abortion opponent,
    signed a bill imposing the ban, and the new law takes effect July 1. He and the
    National Right to Life Committee, which drafted the measure, said they hope
    Kansas’ example spurs other states to enact such laws. Already, the measure
    also has been introduced in Missouri, Oklahoma and South Carolina.
  • Two abortion rights groups that operate Kansas clinics with
    abortion services, Trust Women and Planned Parenthood of Kansas and
    Mid-Missouri, said they’re considering challenging the new law in court.
  • A Delaware-based law professor said U.S. Supreme Court
    precedents over the past 15 years suggest the Kansas law wouldn’t survive a
    challenge but added that the justices may revise past stances.
  • Under the law, the procedure is banned except when necessary
    to save a woman’s life or prevent irreversible damage to her physical health.
    Doctors cannot use forceps, clamps, scissors or similar instruments on a fetus
    to remove it from the womb in pieces.

Amitabh Bachchan,
Prince Karim Aga Khan get Padma Vibhushan
  • Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan and Prince Karim Aga
    Khan were among the eminent personalities awarded the Padma Vibhushan,
    country’s second highest civilian honour, by President Pranab Mukherjee here
  • Besides them, senior Supreme Court advocate Kottayan K
    Venugopal and D Veerendra Heggade of the famous Dharmasthala Jain temple in
    Karnataka were also conferred the Padma Vibhushan.
  • Renowned Assamese Filmmaker Jahnu Barua and computer
    scientist Vijay Bhatkar were given the Padma Bhushan, third highest civilian
    honour, during the civil investiture ceremony held at the majestic Durbar Hall
    of Rashtrapati Bhavan.
  • Hockey player Saba Anjum, women cricketer Mithali Raj,
    economist Bibek Debroy, IT honcho T V Mohandas Pai and musician Ravindra Jain
    were given Padma Shri.
  • Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi,
    Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Delhi Chief
    Minister Arvind Kejriwal were among the prominent dignitaries present during
    the event.

IPL 8 kicks off

  • Bollywood-style opening ceremony kick started the eighth
    edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket after a one and a half hour
    delay at the decked-up Salt Lake stadium here on Tuesday.
  • The first match is between 2014 Champions Kolkata Knight
    Riders and Mumbai Indians in Eden Gardens.

Gujarat won Syed
Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy

  • Gujarat cricket team on 7 April 2015 won the 2014-15 Syed
    Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy played at the KIIT Cricket Stadium, Bhubaneshwar. In the
    final clash, Gujarat defeated Punjab by two wickets.
  • Wicketkeeper and opening batsman Smit Patel’s unbeaten 50
    helped Gujarat to win their second Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
  • Gujarat won the trophy in 2012-13 by defeating Punjab in the
    final by four wickets.


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