Current Affairs – April 07, 2018

World Health Day: 7th April

The World Health Day is a global health awareness day celebrated every year on 7 April, under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as other related organizations. In 1948, the WHO held the First World Health Assembly. The Assembly decided to celebrate 7 April of each year, with effect from 1950, as the World Health Day.
The World Health Day is held to mark WHO’s founding and is seen as an opportunity for the organization to draw worldwide attention to a subject of major importance to global health each year. So in this 70th anniversary year, WHO is calling on world leaders to live up to the pledges they made when they agreed with the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, and commit to concrete steps to advance the health of all people.
The theme of World Health Day 2018 is: Universal health coverage: everyone, everywhere.

Ministry of Coal launches UTTAM APP for Coal Quality Monitoring

The Union Minister for Railways and Coal Shri Piyush Goyal recently launched UTTAM App for Coal Quality Monitoring. UTTAM stands for – Unlocking Transparency by Third Party Assessment of Mined Coal (uttam.coalindia.in). The Ministry of Coal and Coal India Limited (CIL) developed UTTAM, aims to provide an App for all citizens and coal consumers to monitor the process of Third Party Sampling of coal across CIL subsidiaries.
UTTAM App ensures accountability, transparency, effectiveness, and efficiency in coal ecosystem. It provides a platform for monitoring of sampling and coal dispatches. The App is designed with an aim to make the citizens a stakeholder in the coal ecosystem. UTTAM is an example of leveraging technology to facilitate a bidirectional channel between Coal India Limited and a common citizen. It ensures transparency and efficiency in the coal quality monitoring process and brings coal governance closer to people.

India’s forex reserves rise to the lifetime high of $424 billion

The country’s foreign exchange reserves hit a lifetime high of $424.361 billion after rising by $1.828 billion in the week to March 30, helped by rising in foreign currency assets, the Reserve Bank said on 6th April. In the previous week, the reserves had increased by $1.197 billion to $422.532 billion. Previously, the reserves had touched a record high of $421.914 billion on February 9. It had crossed the $400-billion mark for the first time in the week to September 8, 2017, but has since been fluctuating.
In the reporting week, the foreign currency assets, a major component of the overall reserves, rose by $1.823 billion to $399.118 billion. Gold reserves remained unchanged at $21.614 billion, the central bank said. The special drawing rights with the International Monetary Fund rose by $2.1 million to $1.544 billion. The country’s reserve position with the IMF also increased by $2.8 million to $2.083 billion, the apex bank said.

ICICI Bank becomes first to enable SWIFT’s cross-border payment service

Global financial messaging cooperative Swift on 6t April said ICICI Bank has become its first Indian client to go live with an improved cross-border payments service. The announcement of the service, which Swift claimed as being more transparent, comes weeks after the discovery of one of the largest banking frauds to be detected in Indian history, the Rs 130 billion Nirav Modi scam at the Punjab National Bank (PNB). The Swift platform was allegedly used by erring officials of PNB to initiate messages based on which payments were made to Modi’s purported overseas suppliers.
The scam has led to a slew of changes, including a ban on the letters of undertaking (LoU), which can hurt importers. “International trade is the backbone of globalization and an imperative for India to grow,” Swift’s head for the Indian subcontinent, Kiran Shetty, said in a statement. The statement said the newly launched service will help all the corporates in the country.

RBI enhances FPI limits in gilts for FY19, FY20

Foreign investors are now free to enhance their total exposure to India’s government bonds by half a percentage point during the current fiscal (FY19) and by another half a percentage point during FY20. On Friday the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), however, said that FPIs will now be allowed to invest up to 5.5% of outstanding stock of government securities (G-secs) in 2018-19 and 6% of outstanding stock of securities in 2019-20.
RBI, however, said that ploughing-back of interest income from G-secs in the same instrument, that till now had no limits, will now be included within the overall G-sec limits for FY19 and FY20. The central bank also set a 9% limit for FPI investment in corporate bonds. It, however, did not enhance FPIs’ exposure to bonds issued by the states, called SDLs.

Indo-Korean joint exercise SAHYOG-HYEOBLYEOG 2018 held

The Indo-Korean joint anti-piracy exercise ‘SAHYOG- HYEOBLYEOG 2018‘ was conducted on April 5, 2018, off the Chennai coast. The exercise was reviewed by the Director General of Indian Coast Guard Rajendra Singh and Commissioner of Korean Coast Guard General Park Kyung. This joint exercise is a part of a proposed establishment of a MoU between the Coast Guards of India and Korea to improve maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region.

CWG 2018: Deepak Lather wins weightlifting bronze

India’s Deepak Lather won bronze in the men’s 69 kg category on the second day of the 2018 Commonwealth Games. He lifted a total of 295 kg (136 kg in snatch and 159 kg in clean and jerk) to take India’s medal tally to four at the Gold Coast. Lather’s third attempt in snatch – of a 138 kg lift – was unsuccessful, because of which he stood second in the points table behind Sri Lanka’s Indika C. Dissanayake Mudiyanselage.
In clean and jerk, Lather attempted a lift of 159 kg in his second attempt — four kilos more than his first — which was successful, and also gave him a new personal best. His previous best was 157 kg.

Rajasthan’s Mukundara forest gets a tiger after decades

Decades after all tigers had disappeared from this forest, Rajasthan’s Mukundara Hills National Park (MHNP) near Kota received a big cat on April 03 after it was relocated from Ranthambore. The male tiger, RT-91, was released in a 28-hectare enclosure in Darrah range of MHNP at 12.48pm by the state wildlife and forest department.
The tiger, popularly known as Mirza, was honey trapped and tranquilized in Ramgarh Sanctuary (Bundi), close to Ranthambore, by the wildlife department. It was taken safely to MHNP by road. With this, Rajasthan can boast of having tigers in all three of its tiger reserves.

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