Daily Update on Current Affairs- April 19, 2017

current affairs

Here’s your daily summary of Current Affairs.

Disabled People Granted Exemption From Standing During National Anthem In Movie Halls

The Supreme Court has granted an exemption to six categories of disabled people from standing when the national anthem is played before the screening of a film in theaters. The six categories include people suffering from cerebral palsy, Parkinson disease, muscular dystrophy and other categories of disability. The order comes in the backdrop of reported incidents of people with disabilities facing the wrath of people trying to enforce patriotism during the national anthem. In addition, the Court has also issued a notice to the union government on the plea seeking Vande Mataram to be made mandatory in schools. The Central Government should file its reply in a four weeks time on the plea. The reply should also ascertain the feasibility of singing the national anthem and the national song in Parliament, assemblies, courts, schools, and colleges on working days.

Loan Defaulter Vijay Mallya Gets Bail After Being Arrested In London By Scotland Yard

Indian businessman Vijay Mallya, who has been declared a proclaimed offender, was today granted bail three hours after being arrested by Scotland Yard in London on India’s request for his extradition. He appeared before Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London which granted bail to him. A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said Mallya was arrested on an extradition warrant. The 61-year-old liquor businessman is wanted in India for defaulting on loans. Mallya, whose now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines owes more than 9,000 crore rupees to various banks, had fled India on March 2, 2016. In January, an Indian court ordered a consortium of lenders to start the process of recovering the loans. Responding to a query regarding Vijay Mallya, MEA Spokesperson Gopal Baglay said, Mallya’s arrest in London today was in connection with the request by India to UK authorities for his extradition. He said, the legal process in this regard is underway in the UK and both governments are in touch in this context. The Government today asserted that it will bring the fugitive businessman back to India and legal procedure will be followed. 

Hindi Made Compulsory In CBSE Schools And Kendriya Vidyalayas

President Pranab Mukherjee has given his nod to the recommendations of a Parliamentary panel about making Hindi compulsory in schools. With this, the students of schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Kendriya Vidyalayas may have to compulsorily study Hindi till class X. The Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has also been instructed to form a policy in consultation with the state governments to make the language compulsory.

SBI Overtakes ONGC As The Most Valued PSU Stock

State Bank of India (SBI) surpassed ONGC to become the most valuable Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) in terms of market valuation. SBI’s Market Capitalisation was Rs 239,808 Cr while ONGC’s Market Capitalisation was Rs 236,003 Cr.

PNB Launches New Products For Customers On Its Foundation Day

Punjab National Bank has launched three new products for its customers on its 123rd Foundation Day. The products were launched on 18th April 2017 by Ms. Usha Anantha Subramanian, the Bank’s MD and CEO. 
The three products are: 
1) Automated electronic toll collection to facilitate hassle free toll collection 
2) A Credit Card Mobile App
3) A scheme for financing Grid Connected Roof Solar Power Project

Australia Abolishes 457 Visa Programme Largely Used By Indians

Australia has abolished the 457 Visa Programme used by thousands of temporary foreign workers, a majority of them Indians to address growing unemployment in that country. Instead, Australia wants to adopt ‘Australians first’ approach to skilled migration. Since access to skills is important for the growth and investment of the country’s businesses, it intends to replace the 457 visa programme by another visa programme, with new restrictions. The new temporary visa will be designed in a way such that it will help in recruiting the best and brightest to fill critical skill gaps in the interest of the nation. The new visa will ensure that foreign workers are not brought into Australia just because it is easy for the employers to recruit a foreign worker than hire an Australian. There are about 95,757 workers in Australia on primary 457 visa programme. Worryingly, the majority of the visa holders are from India followed by the UK and China. This announcement has come days after Prime Minister Turnbull visited India where a range of issues, including national security, counter-terrorism, education, and energy, were discussed. Totally, six agreements were signed during his visit.

UK Prime Minister Calls For Early Elections In June 2017

UK Prime Minister Theresa May today called for an early general election on June 8, saying it is the only way to guarantee political stability for years ahead after Britain leaves the European Union. Explaining the decision, Ms. May indicated that the move will help unite the political corridors of the country.

US President Donald Trump Signs An Executive Order To Tighten H-1B Visa Programme For Highly Skilled Foreign Workers

US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to tighten the rules for technology companies seeking to bring highly skilled foreign workers to the United States. The order signed by Mr. Trump yesterday targets the H-1B visa programme. The White House said the programme undercuts American workers by bringing in large numbers of cheaper foreign workers, which drives down US wages. The order directs US agencies to propose rules to prevent immigration fraud and abuse in the programme. Agencies have also been asked to suggest changes so that the H-1B visas are granted to the most-skilled or highest-paid applicants. Mr. Trump said the order sends a powerful signal to the world that the United States will defend its workers, to protect their jobs and put America first.

BRABO: First ‘Made In India’ Industrial Robot

TAL Manufacturing Solutions, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Motors has unveiled India’s first ‘conceptualized, designed and manufactured articulated industrial robot’ called “BRABO”. BRABO stands for “Bravo Robot”. The robot has been developed indigenously for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) in India. The robot is primarily developed to complement the human workforce and repeatedly perform high volume, dangerous and time-consuming tasks ranging from the handling of raw materials to packaging of finished products. BRABO was designed and manufactured at the TAL’s Pune factory. Other than the motors and drives for the Robo-arm, all the other parts of the robot were indigenously manufactured in India. BRABO has four patents registered in its name and TAL has also applied for an intellectual property (IP) certification of the robot.

Sagar Baheti: India’s First Visually Impaired Athlete To Complete Boston Marathon

Sagar Baheti has become the first visually impaired Indian runner to complete the historic Boston Marathon. Bengaluru-based 31 years old Baheti completed a distance of 42.16 km distance in just over four hours. Supported by the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI), Baheti finished the 121st Boston Marathon as one of 30,000 runners. The 2017 Boston Marathon has been recorded as the second hottest marathon in a decade. Baheti, a businessman by profession was diagnosed with Stargardt’s disease, a type of macular degeneration that eventually leads to blindness, in 2013. With his participation in the marathon, Baheti expects to raise $10,000 for MABVI, an organization that supports visually impaired people by providing advanced low-vision devices. 
Boston Marathon: The historic Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest, most competitive and the hardest marathon to qualify for. It is an annual event hosted in several cities in greater Boston, United States. It is always held on the third Monday of April. It is one of the six Marathon Majors held throughout the world.

Gururaja Bhat Award Given To Prof. Narasimha Murthy

Dr. Paduru Gururaja Bhat Award 2017 has been conferred upon Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy, Chairman, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (BVB), Mysuru and former Head, Department of Ancient History and Archaeology, University of Mysore. Murthy was selected for the award in consideration of his contribution to Indian Archaeology, Ancient History, and Numismatics. The award was presented to Murthy by the Union Minister for Statistics and Programme Implementation D.V. Sadananda Gowda.

World Heritage Day Observed On 18th April With The Theme “Sustainable Tourism”

World Heritage Day is being observed today with the theme “Sustainable Tourism”. The day aims to spread awareness of the importance of protecting and preserving various sites around the world that have achieved world heritage status. Urban Development minister M Venkaiah Naidu‏ said that it’s our duty to protect and preserve India’s rich wealth of heritage. The World Heritage sites are officially recognised by the UN and the UNESCO. These sites are classified as a natural or man-made structure that has international importance and holds cultural and physical significance. There are a total of 1,052 heritage sites all over the world. 
In India, there are 35 World Heritage Sites including the very famous Taj Mahal in Agra, Nalanda University, Mahabodhi Temple in Bihar and Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh.

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