Current Affairs – April 23, 2018

World Book and Copyright Day: 23rd April

23 April is a symbolic date for world literature. It is on this date in 1616 that Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died. It is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors, such as Maurice Druon, Haldor K.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejia Vallejo. It was a natural choice for UNESCO’s General Conference, held in Paris in 1995, to pay a world-wide tribute to books and authors on this date, encouraging everyone, and in particular young people, to discover the pleasure of reading and gain a renewed respect for the irreplaceable contributions of those, who have furthered the social and cultural progress of humanity. With this in mind, UNESCO created the World Book and Copyright Day.
World Book Capital for 2018: Athens, Greece

India’s economy could grow at 7.4% in 2018-19: Urjit Patel

India’s economy could grow at 7.4% in the fiscal year to March 2019 after a “resilient performance” in the second half of the previous year, central bank Governor Urjit Patel said. India’s economy likely grew at 6.6% in the 2017-18 fiscal year against 7.1% a year earlier, but higher investments led to a significant pick in the second half, Patel said in his address to the International Monetary and Financial Committee in Washington. Higher government spending, manufacturing, and services helped India regain its status as the world’s fastest growing major economy in the October-December quarter, surpassing China for the first time in a year. Asia’s third-largest economy grew 7.2% in the December quarter, its fastest in five quarters.

Deposits in Jan Dhan accounts cross Rs 80,000 crore

Total deposits in Jan Dhan accounts crossed Rs 80,000 crore mark with more people joining the flagship financial inclusion programme, according to official data. The deposits, which have been steadily rising since March 2017, were at Rs 80,545.70 crore on April 11, 2018, said a finance ministry data. Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) accounts had come into focus during the demonetization period when the deposits witnessed a meteoric rise. The latest report of the World Bank titled Global Findex Report, 2017 released last week cited the success of the Jan Dhan Yojana. India’s financial inclusion efforts have won recognition from the World Bank as their data indicate that 55% of new bank accounts opened are from India, Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar had said.
The slogan for the PMJDY is Mera Khata – Bhagya Vidhaata

Bengal’s Digambarpur is India’s best Gram Panchayat

West Bengal has once again topped in the country with Digambarpur Gram Panchayat (GP) bagging the Centre’s award for the best GP in the country. Besides this, some more Gram Panchayats in districts including Purulia, Birbhum, and Burdwan have also been awarded special prizes for certain achievements, the official sources here on 22nd April said. A survey was conducted to find out the best Gram Panchayat in the country and in a letter to the state government the Ministry of Panchayati Raj has stated that Digambarpur GP at Patharpratima block in South 24-Parganas has come up as the best out of 2. 5 lakh Gram Panchayats in the country. In this connection, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, “Bengal is first in implementing the scheme of 100 days work in rural employment creation.

PM honors bureaucrats for making Manipur’s Karang India’s first cashless island

Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently honored bureaucrats for making Manipur’s Karang the first cashless island in the country, and implementing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and other priority initiatives of the Centre. Modi awarded civil servants for smooth implementation of four priority programmes – Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban and Rural), Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana, and for promoting digital payments. Also, awards were given away for innovation in public service.
Karang island, a remote and backward region, was cut-off from the (Bishnupur) district due to insurgency for a long time. Incentives were provided for training towards digital payments and five POS machines were installed on the island, the award citation read. Self-help groups and youth clubs were roped in for community mobilization and parallel activities were conducted on the island for Aadhaar enrolment and opening of bank accounts, it read.

Taniya Sanyal becomes the first woman firefighter appointed by Airport Authority of India

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has appointed its first woman firefighter. Taniya Sanyal, who belongs from Kolkata, is undergoing training in the national capital. She will be joining the other firefighters in a month. Till now, the aviation authority did not have any woman in its firefighter team. As reported in TOI, the aviation authority currently has 3,310 firefighters at its airports. AAI chairman, Guruprasad Mohapatra, said that we will be hiring more women firefighters in future too. Before hiring woman firefighter we did some changes in the existing rules. And after setting standards for recruiting women, hiring was done. There is a shortage of firefighters at the airports. And with more airports coming up, more firefighters will be needed. Firefighters are mandatory for every airport.

National Pension System corpus increases 38% to Rs 2.47 lakh crore

The total assets under management (AUM) of the pension fund players — operating under the National Pension System (NPS) and regulated by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) — have increased 38 percent to Rs 2.40 lakh crore in 2017-18. PFRDA chairman Hemant Contractor said that the subscriber base of the industry has grown 37 percent to 21.8 million and the new players who want to join the industry have to wait further as the government is yet to decide how to structure the 49 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) that is allowed in the pension fund industry.

FPI outflow in April at Rs 8,000-cr on trade negotiations

Foreign investors have pulled out nearly Rs 8,000 crore from the Indian capital markets so far this month due to ‘considerable’ volatility in global markets on account of the ongoing trade negotiations and firming up of bond yields. This comes following an inflow of Rs 11,654 crore in equities last month and an outflow of over Rs 9,000 crore from the debt markets. Prior to that, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) had pulled out over Rs 11,674 crore from the country’s capital markets (equity and debt) in February. According to latest depository data, FPIs withdrew a net sum of Rs 4,181 crore from equities and another Rs 3,586 crore from the debt markets during April 2-10.

Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of the Naval Staff visits Tehran, Iran for Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) – 2018

The 6th edition of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) and Conclave of Chiefs is being hosted by Iran at Tehran from 23 to 25 April 2018. The Chief of the Naval Staff is leading a four-member Indian delegation for the event. The IONS was conceived by the Indian Navy in 2008. The forum seeks to enhance maritime cooperation among navies of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region by providing an open and inclusive forum for discussion on regionally relevant maritime issues that would lead to common understanding on the way ahead.

Learn Two a Day:
Valley of Flowers National park
: Uttarakhand
Barren Island: India’s only active volcano at Andaman and Nicobar Islands

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