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APRIL 2019 CURRENT AFFAIRS --70 PAGES


APRIL 2019 MONTHLY CURRENT AFFAIRS
April 1
National News:
·       Isro’s PSLV-C45 places Emisat, 28 foreign satellites in orbits: The Indian Space Research Organisation placed Defence Research Development Organisation-developed electronic intelligence satellite Emisat and 28 foreign satellites in orbits. Emisat, weighing 436kg, is meant for helping the military locate hostile radars. This comes days after India test-fired an anti-satellite (ASAT) missile in the Mission Shakti operation. PSLV-C45 carrying Emisat, 28 foreign satellites and three scientific instruments lifted off from the second launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. This will be the 71st launch vehicle mission for Sriharikota. The satellite that weighs 436 kg will monitor and provide locations for enemy radar sites deep in their territory.
·       Assam district develops app ‘Sankalp’ for first-time voters: A district in western Assam is going the digital way to attract the first-time voters towards the election process and ensure their participation. The district administration of Bongaigaon has developed a ‘Sankalp’ mobile phone application to especially reach out to the first-time voters. Voters will have to input a few details, like name and age, and the app will track their polling station and other details. They will also be able to sign a digital ‘sankalp patra’, promising to cast their votes on the day of polling.
International News:
·       Shanghai becomes world’s first district with 5G coverage: Shanghai claimed that it has become the world’s first district using both 5G coverage and broadband gigabit networkas China seeks to establish lead over the US and other countries in the race to develop next generation cellular mobile communications. 5G is the next generation of cellular technology with download speeds that are 10 to 100 times faster than 4G LTE networks. The 5G stations are being installed in different parts of China, including Tibet, as part of Huawei’s plans to lead the 5G trials despite the opposition.
·       China launches new data relay satellite: China sent a new data relay satellite into orbit from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in Sichuan Province. The Tianlian II-01 satellite was launched by a Long March-3B carrier rocket. The Tianlian II-01 will provide data relay, measurement and control, transmission services for manned spacecraft, satellites, carrier rockets and other non-spacecraft users. The satellite is developed by the China Academy of Space Technology under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.
Banking & Finance:
·       Vijaya-Dena-BoB merger gets effective from April 1: Bank of Baroda will acquire Vijaya and Dena Bank to create India’s second largest public sector bank behind State Bank of India (SBI) effective from April 1. This is the first threeway merger of banks in India. The combined bank will have a geographical reach of more than 9,500 branches, more than 13,400 ATMs with 85,000 employees serving 120 million customers. Both banks will have access to BoB’s international presence at 101 offices. Unique programmes of Vijaya Bank like SRTO funding, plantation financing will be available to customers of the other two banks. The government in September last year announced the first-ever three-way consolidation of banks in India, with a combined business of Rs 14.82 lakh crore, making it the third-largest bank after State Bank of India (SBI) and HDFC Bank.
Business & Economy:
·       GST revenue collections at new high, total Rs 1.06 lakh crore in March: Gross revenue on account of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in March totalled Rs 106,577 crore, marking 15.6 per cent growth over the revenue in same month of previous year. Of this, Central GST was Rs 20,353 crore, State GST Rs 27,520 crore, Integrated GST Rs 50,418 crore (including Rs 23,521 crore collected on imports) and cess Rs 8,286 crore (including Rs 891 crore collected on imports). The total revenue earned by Central Government and state governments after regular and provisional settlement in March 2019 was Rs 47,614 crore for Central GST and Rs 51,209 crore for State GST.
Sports:
·       Roger Federer lifts his 4th ATP Miami Open title: Roger Federer lifted his fourth ATP Miami Open title with an emphatic 6-1, 6-4 win over defending champion John Isner. In his 50th Masters final, the Swiss fourth seed produced some typically sublime ground strokes and wrapped up the match in an hour and three minutes. It is Swiss player’s 28th Masters title and the 101st overall for a player who has won 20 Grand Slam singles titles.
Appointments:
·       Vijay Chandok appointed as MD and CEO of ICICI Securities: Executive Director of ICICI Bank, Vijay Chandhok appointed as MD and CEO of ICICI Securities, a subsidiary of ICICI bank. He will succeed Shilpa Naval Kumar. He joined the ICICI Group in 1993. t present, he is on the boards of ICICI Bank UK PLC and ICICI Bank Canada and is the Chairman of ICICI Investment Management Company.
·       Filmmaker Rima Das becomes TIFF’s ‘Share Her Journey’ ambassador: Assamese Filmmaker Rima Das has joined as an official Ambassador of Toronto International Film Festival’s ‘Share Her Journey.’ The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) has launched the five years ‘Share Her Journey’ campaign in 2017 in order to increase participation, skills and opportunities for women behind and in front of the camera. She has also won several national and international awards for her film Village Rockstars that has rocked the film industry for depicting the natural scenery of the state of Assam and its uniqueness.
·       Manu Sawhney takes over as Chief Executive of ICC: Manu Sawhney took over as the International Cricket Council (ICC) Chief Executive. Sawhney has been working alongside the outgoing CEO David Richardson for the last six weeks to ensure a smooth transition within the organisation. Richardson will remain with the ICC until July as originally planned to oversee the delivery of the upcoming Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019. The 50-over World Cup will be hosted in England from May 30 to July 14.
·       India retain top-spot in ICC Test rankings: India have retained the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test Championship Mace as they secured the number one spot on the ICC Test Team Rankings while New Zealand have ensured second place. India secured 116 points. South Africa finished third with 105 points while Australia finished fourth with 104 points.
April 2
National News:
·       Telangana tops in eLearning training for field staff: For the second successive year, Telangana has been ranked first in e-learning training programme of Department of Personal and Training (DoPT) of the Government India. During the financial year 2018-19, Dr MCR HRD Instituteenrolled over 20,000 field staff in different districts of the State to impart training on 12 soft skill modules and three domain-specific modules on RTI, office procedures, finance and accounts, apart from sustainable development goals. On the request of the Government of India, Dr MCR HRD Institute is mentoring other States such as Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, J&K, Odisha, Uttarakhand, and Gujarat to train the trainers for e-Learning training programme and develop modules in regional languages in order to spread the Comprehensive Online Modified Modules on Induction Training (COMMIT) Programme as a national mission.
·       Facebook News Feed Will Show ‘Why Am I Seeing This Post’ to Users: Facebook has introduced a new feature titled “Why am I seeing this post?” to help users understand and control the kind of posts surfacing on their News Feed from friends, Pages and Groups. This means we’ll be able to tap on posts and ads in News Feed, get context on why they’re appearing and take action to further personalise what we see. Following scandals surrounding the social networking giant on misusing user-information for ad targeting, this feature comes as Facebook’s first step to explain to users exactly how the News Feed gets personalised on the platform.
International News:
·       Australia concluded 7-nation Indian Ocean military exercises from Sri Lanka: Australia concluded a seven-nation Indian Ocean military exercise in Sri Lanka where China has invested in strategic ports and loaned huge amounts to build other infrastructure. Some 1,000 Australian security personnel in four naval ships and a military aircraft participated in the biggest joint exercise yet with their Sri Lankan counterparts, Canberra’s top envoy in Colombo. The joint exercise came as concerns grew over Beijing’s influence on Sri Lanka’s economy and Chinese control over two key ports. 
Banking & Finance:
·       Kotak Mahindra Bank first lender to charge for UPI use: The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), which runs the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) network, has slashed usage fees for small transactions to expand the system’s adoption among banks and payment service providers (PSPs). For UPI transactions up to Rs. 1,000, the charge has been cut to 10 paise from 25 paise. The charge for transactions above Rs. 1,000 has been retained at 50 paise. Private sector Kotak Mahindra Bank recently became the first lender to inform its customers that UPI transactions ofmore than 30 in a month will incur charges. For transactions up to Rs. 1,000, the cost will be Rs. 2.5 per transaction and Rs. 5 for those above Rs. 1,000.
Business & Economy:
·       HCL completes acquisition of Strong-Bridge Envision: IT major HCL Technologies said that its acquisition of US-based Strong-Bridge Envision has been completed. HCL had recently agreed to acquire the Seattle-based company to enhance its digital transformation consulting capabilities. The deal was worth 45 million dollars. 
·       Reliance Mutual Fund launches Voice-Based Financial Transactions: Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management (RNAM) joined hands with Google to enable the customers of Reliance Mutual Fund to carry out voice-based financial transactions. RNAM becomes the first company in India, to provide a conversational interface that would help customers regarding funds transactions. RNAM is a joint venture between Anil Ambani-led Reliance Capital and Japan’s Nippon Life Insurance Co Ltd.
·       Google India Head Rajan Anandan resigns: Google’s India and South East Asia President Rajan Anandan has resigned after an eight-year stint at the American tech giant. Anandan, also an investor in multiple startups, is slated to join venture fund Sequoia Capital as a Managing Director. He will work with Google till the end of this month. Vikas Agnihotri will take on the interim responsibility. He is currently serving as Google’s Country Director for Sales.
Sports:
·       Lewis Hamilton grabs Bahrain Grand Prix 2019: Five times world champion Lewis Hamilton took a lucky Bahrain Grand Prix win for Mercedes after engine trouble in the dying stages denied Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc a first Formula One victory. Hamilton’s win was the 74th of his career but first this season. He is now 17 wins short of Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of 91.
Appointments:
·       Google’s Anandan joins Sequoia Capital India as MD: Rajan Anandan, Google’s Vice President for South East Asia and India, has quit the company and joined Sequoia Capital India as a Managing Director. Anandan will continue at Google till the end of April and Vikas Agnihotri, Country Director, Sales will take on the responsibility in the interim for Google India.
Obituaries:
·       Noted Tamil Director J. Mahendran passes away: Noted Tamil filmmaker Mahendran, who made his directorial debut with Rajinikanth’s Mullum Malarum in 1978 passed away at a private hospital in Chennai. Director Mahendran is known for churning out several iconic films such as Uthiripookkal, Nenjathai Killadhe, Johnny and Kaali as well.
Important Days:
·       Earth Hour 2019: Individuals, businesses and cities in 188 countries and territories worldwide joined Earth Hour 2019 to speak up for nature and inspire urgent action for the environment. As Earth Hour rolled around the globe, thousands of landmarks switched off their lights in solidarity for our planet. Individuals pledged their support for the planet, challenging world leaders to push the preservation of nature up the global agenda. The theme for Earth Hour 2019 is “Change the Way We Live”.
·       World Autism Awareness Day: World Autism Awareness Day is an internationally recognized day on 2 April every year, encouraging Member States of the United Nations to take measures to raise awareness about people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) throughout the world. The theme of this year is: “Assistive Technologies, Active Participation.”
April 3
National News:
First secure link between India, US navies set up: India and the US have set up the first ever secure communication link between the naval headquarters in New Delhi and the US Central as well as Pacific Naval Commands under the landmark Indo-US COMCASA pact reached last year. The US has also activated the Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module GPS system in some of C-130 and C-17 transport aircraft as a result of the implementation of the COMCASA (Communications, Compatibility & Security Agreement). In a major boost to India’s defence diplomacy, the two upgrades will allow both sides to share real-time operational intelligence.
India inks MoU to set up agriculture, rural development institute in Malawi: India has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development Consultancy Service (NABCONS) for setting up the India-Africa Institute of Agriculture and Rural Development (IAIARD) in Malawi, a landlocked country in southeastern Africa. Ministry of External Affairs signed with NABCONS for setting up IAIARD. IAIARD will be a pan-African institute wherein trainees not only from Malawi but also from other African countries, will receive training to develop their human resources and build their capacity.
Govt sets up tribunal to review ban imposed on Jamaat-e-Islami, JKLF: The Government of India (GoI) has set up a tribunal, headed by Justice Chander Shekhar of the Delhi High Court, to adjudicate if there exists sufficient cause to ban the Jama’at-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir (JeI) and the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front – Yasin Malik (JKLF-Y) faction. The decision has been taken by the Home Ministry exercising the powers conferred under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The JeI and the JKLF-Y were declared as unlawful associations on February 28 and March 22 respectively.
ISRO opens its 1st visitors gallery to watch rocket launches: In a first, The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) opened a visitors’ gallery with 5,000 capacity at Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota island. The gallery has a clear line of sight to two launch pads and large screens to explain launcher and satellite features. This comes as ISRO is launching defence satellite EMISAT along with 28 foreign satellites on April 1, 2019.
Odisha’s Kandhamal Haldi (turmeric) gets Geographical Indications (GI) tag: ‘Kandhamal Haldi’, a variety of turmeric indigenous to southern Odisha, has earned the Geographical indication (GI) tagfrom Intellectual Property India, an organisation functioning under the auspices of the Union ministry of commerce & industry. Kandhamal Haldi is so well known because of its potent medicinal properties.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Japan reveals name of new imperial era as ‘Reiwa’: Japan has unveiled the name of the new imperial era that will begin when Prince Naruhito becomes head of the world’s oldest hereditary monarchy next month. Reiwa, comprising of two Chinese characters that can be read “order” and “peace”, replaces Heisei (“achieving peace”), the title of the current era under Naruhito’s father, Emperor Akihito. Akihito (85), who is in failing health, will become the first Japanese emperor to abdicate in about 200 years at the end of this month, bringing down the curtain on his 30-year reign. The new era name will go into effect at the stroke of midnight on May 1st, when Crown Prince Naruhito officially becomes the nation’s 126th emperor.
Algerian President Bouteflika steps down:  Ailing Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika stepped down from his post before his mandate ends on April 28. Bouteflika’s resignation announcement also comes one week after the country’s army chief called for Bouteflika to resign. On April 1, Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaid Salah reiterated his call for the application of a provision in the Algerian Constitution.
 BOOKS & AUTHORS
Garuda Prakashan launches ‘Modi Again’ and ‘Saffron Swords’:                                                             One of India’s homegrown startup publishing houses Garuda Prakashan is all set to launch its next 2 books ‘#Modi Again’ and ‘Saffron Swords – Centuries of Indic Resistance to Invaders’ after the success of its recently launched books – ‘Urban Naxals’ by Vivek Agnihotri and ‘Thank you India’ by Maria Writh. Aabhas’ “#Modi Again: Why Modi is right for India, An Ex-Communist’s Manifesto” is the story of someone who was raised on communist ideology but grew to question the dogmas he was taught in the education system. Manoshi’s “Saffron Swords: Centuries of Indic Resistance to Invaders” is another book of timeless tales. It fills in the gap in the current education system which treats invasions of India as one long saga of defeat for Indian people. Saffron Swords’ is a book on 52 unsung warriors of India from the last 1300 years. It celebrates the glory of our ancestors who offered stiff resistance, won battles and fought till their last breath against Islamic invaders and British.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Indian economy to grow at 7.2 pc in FY 19 due to rising consumption: ADB: The growth is forecast to pick up modestly to 7.2 per cent in FY 2019 on revived rural consumption, continued growth in private investment in response to improved bank and corporate balance sheets, more competitive domestic firms and products under the Goods and Services Tax, and less drag from net exports. The Asian Development Outlook 2019 said growth slowed slightly in fiscal 2018 as expansion in agriculture and services slipped even though industry and investment strengthened. The current account deficit widened but remained modest while inflation continued to be benign. Growth is expected to inch up further to 7.3 per cent in FY 2020 on dividends reaped from recent reforms to improve the business climate, strengthen banks, and alleviate agricultural distress.
Talenmark to build India’s biggest cultural monument: India’s future forward real estate company, Talenmark announced that their ambitious and iconic structure deemed to be “The Biggest Cultural Center of India” is under construction in Calicut, Kerala. The unique building is more than 80 per cent finished and will be ready for launch in March 2020. The Cultural Monument that promises to be something that all Indians will be proud of was conceived as part of the 125 acres integrated township project ‘Markaz Knowledge City’.
SPORTS
India awarded ICC Test Championship Mace for third straight year: India retained the ICC Test Championship Mace and won the purse of USD one million for a third year running after a memorable season that saw them winning their maiden series in Australia. India finished at the top of the ICC Test team rankings recently while New Zealand have ensured second place. Nine Test nations will compete across 27 series and 71 Test matches to reach the World Test Championship Final in 2021 where the champions will be crowned.
Britannia, ICC tie up to restart World Cup contest: Britannia Industries Ltd. partnered with the International Cricket Council (ICC) to bring back their World Cup lucky draw contest whereby the winners can watch the showpiece cricket event live. The contest, which debuted in 1999, will have the mega prize going to 100 consumers who will each win an all-expenses paid trip to watch a cricket World Cup match live in England and Wales.
AWARDS
Vikram Patel awarded the prestigious John Dirks Canada Gairdner Global Health Award: The Gairdner Foundation announced the 2019 Canada Gairdner Award laureates, recognising Goa and Boston-based Vikram Patel for his research career raising the global profile of mental health problems. Prof Patel has been awarded 2019 John Dirks Canada Gairdner Global Health Award for his world-leading research in global mental health, generating knowledge on the burden and determinants of mental health problems in low-and-middle-income countries and pioneering approaches for the prevention and treatment of mental health in low-resource settings.
Max Bupa wins ‘The Economic Times Best Brands 2019’ award: Max Bupa, a leading standalone health insurance player, has been conferred with the prestigious ‘Economic Times Best Brands 2019’ award at a ceremony held in Mumbai. Max Bupa emerged as the only health insurance brand among the 50 most preferred brands of the Indian consumers to be felicitated with the honour. The Economic Times Best Brands, now in its third year, is a prestigious and credible forum that recognises brands across various sectors including FMCG, Lifestyle, BFSI, Healthcare, Education, Technology and Luxury.
April 4
WhatsApp Launches Tip Line To Curb Fake News: WhatsApp launched an India-focused fact-checking feature to combat fake news and rumours starting with the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections. The messaging platform said that its Indian users, numbering more than 200 million, can now report uncertain information or rumours they have received to a WhatsApp number (+91-9643-000-888) and check its authenticity. The response will indicate if information is classified as ‘true’, ‘false’, ‘misleading’, ‘disputed’ or ‘out of scope’, and include any other related information. WhatsApp will review pictures, video links or texts in Hindi, Telugu, Bengali, Malayalam and English. This tip line feature has been developed by WhatsApp in collaboration with India-based media skilling startup PROTO.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Chicago Creates History, Elects Lori Lightfoot As 1st Black-Woman Mayor: Chicago has created history by electing an African-American woman as its mayor for the first time. Lori Lightfoot, a 56-year-old former federal prosecutor and practicing lawyer who has never before held elected office, won the city’s mayoral race by a huge margin. She will also be Chicago’s first openly gay mayor. Lightfoot will take over office from Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who previously served as chief of staff under former President Barack Obama.
Nepal-India Franchise Investment Summit to be held in Kathmandu in May: Nepal is set to organise the Nepal-India Franchise Investment Summit, starting from May 15. The two days Franchise Investment Summit will be held in Kathmandu in association with the Embassy of India and Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry. The event primarily focuses on building the relations between India and Nepal through entrepreneurship development which entertains in depth regarding investment, brand concept and business operations.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
1st Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement Released: Repo Rate Reduced to 6%: The RBI cut key short-term lending (repo) rate by 25 bps to 6 percent at its First bi-monthly monetary policy review of the ongoing fiscal. The MPC decided to keep the monetary policy stance unchanged at neutral. Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF stands adjusted to 5.75 percent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate to 6.25 percent.
RBI Sets Limits For Ways and Means Advances: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in consultation with the government of India has set the limits for Ways and Means Advances (WMA) for the first half of the financial year 2019-20 (April 2019 to September 2019) at Rs.75000 crore. WMA is the temporary loan facility provided by the RBI to the Centre and State governments. The WMA scheme was introduced in 1997 to meet any temporary mismatches in the receipts and payments of the government. The WMA needs to be vacated after 90 days.  The limits for WMA are decided by the RBI and in consultation with the Government of India.
Fitch affirms India’s rating at BBB- with stable outlook: Fitch Ratings kept India’s sovereign rating unchanged at the lowest investment grade of BBB– with a stable outlook.Fitch expects growth of 6.8 per cent in the fiscal year ending March 2020 (FY 20) and 7.1 per cent in FY 21 supported by accommodative monetary policy, easing of bank regulations and government spending. According to recently revised official GDP data, growth averaged 7.5 per cent in the five years up to and including FY19, which is more than twice as fast as the historical ‘BBB’ peer median of 3.6 per cent.
APPOINTMENTS
Vipin Anand Takes Over As Managing Director of LIC: Vipin Anand has taken charge as Managing Director of LIC of India. Prior to this, he was in charge of LIC’s Western Zone, headquartered at Mumbai. During his service of more than 35 years with the organisation, Anand has handled several assignments in various capacities and departments, including information technology, marketing, personnel and international operations across different locations in India. He was instrumental in setting up LIC’s operations in Singapore and Bangladesh.
AWARDS
UAE Honours PM Modi With Highest Civilian Award Zayed Medal: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been conferred the prestigious Zayed medal by President of the UAE Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. UAE honoured Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the highest civilian award for giving “a big boost” to bilateral relations between both the countries. The ‘Order of Zayed’ is the highest civil decoration instituted by the UAE. It consists of a collar cantered by a medallion bearing the name ‘Zayed’ – the founding father of the United Arab Emirates.
Pawan Munjal Felicitated By Asian Tour For Contribution To Golf In Asia: Dr Pawan Munjal, Chairman, Hero MotoCorp – the world’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles and scooters – was felicitated by the Asian Tour with a Special Achievement Award for his contributions to Asian Golf. At a ceremony held at the recently concluded Hero Indian Open golf tournament, Dr Munjal was presented with a special salver by leading Indian golfer Shiv Kapur, representing the players on the Asian Tour.
Dr. Sohini Sastri honoured with D. Litt: Indian Astrologer Dr Sohini Sastri has been honoured with ‘D. Litt in Astrology’ by National American University, USA.Other prominent personalities who were also awarded Doctorates at the same event includes Bollywood singer Mohit Chauhan and choreographer Terence Lewis.  Dr Sohini Sastri is one of the most trusted names in Astrology and is known for her services over the years. Many ceremonial acts and sacrificial rites distinct her prominence.
IMPORTANT DAYS
International Mine Awareness Day: The United Nations’ International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action is observed on April 4 each year. This day aims to raise awareness about landmines and progress toward their eradication. The day was declared by the UNGA on 8 December 2005, to raise awareness about landmines and progress toward their eradication. The theme of this year is “United Nations Promotes SDGs – Safe Ground – Safe Home.”
April 5
National News:
BIS and IIT-Delhi Inks MoU On Standardisation and Conformity Assessment: Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi to collaborate in the field of standardisation and conformity assessment. This partnership is aimed at making the process of standardization more effective. IIT Delhi will provide infrastructure support for R&D projects of relevance to standardisation and BIS will provide financial support to IIT Delhi for projects.
Miss India runner up Sana Dua to be election dept’s brand ambassador in J-K: Femina Miss India 2017 runner up Sana Dua will be the brand ambassador of Jammu and Kashmir election departmentfor general polls. Dua, the first runner up of the beauty pageant, has voluntarily offered her services for educating, creating awareness and motivating the electorate of J-K for exercising their franchise to ensure greater participation in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. She is an advocate by profession and an enthusiastic social activist. Recipient of various beauty awards, she has actively been engaged in promoting girl child education and “Save Water” campaign in the state.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS:
NASA plans to land astronauts on Mars by 2033: After plans to land American astronauts on the Moon by 2024, four years ahead of its previous schedule, NASA now proposes to put humans on Mars by 2033. At a congressional hearing on NASA’s budget in fiscal year 2020, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine cited the goal of putting astronauts on Mars by 2033.
BANKING & FINANCE:
Bank of Maharashtra gets Rs 205 crore capital from govt: State-owned Bank of Maharashtra said the government has infused Rs 205 crore into the bank in lieu of preferential allotment of shares. Following the allotment of shares, the shareholding of the government has increased to 87.74 per cent in the bank from 87.01 per cent earlier. The paid-up capital of bank had increased from Rs 2,598.45 crore to Rs 2,753.17 crore.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY:
Government meets fiscal deficit of 3.4% in 2018-19: The Finance Ministry is believed to have met the revised fiscal deficit target of 3.4 per cent in the last fiscal 2018-19largely by cutting expenditure, withdrawals from small savings accounts to meet the food subsidy and higher GST collections. The direct taxe collections fell short by Rs 50,000 crore. The GST collections, however, touched Rs 1.06 lakh crore in March and the gross GST revenues overshot the target of Rs 11.47 lakh crore, which also partly helped adjust for the shortfall on the direct taxes front.
BSE, India INX become first Indian exchanges to sign MoU with Moscow Exchange: BSE and India International Exchange (India INX) have signed a memorandum of understanding with Moscow Exchange (MOEX) to connect investor community and companies in both countries besides allowing a capital formation platform. BSE and India INX are the first Indian exchanges to enter into the MoU with Moscow exchange. BSE, India INX and MOEX will use the India-Russia Initiative as an important portal for professional intermediaries in both markets to share their know-how and expand their client network in their home market and abroad.
SPORTS:
Saurav Ghosal becomes first Indian man to enter top-10 in Squash rankings: Saurav Ghosal became the first Indian male squash player to enter the top 10 in the latest PSA world rankings. Indian women squash players Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal had earlier reached top-10 in the world rankings. Riding on his recent performances, Ghosal has moved up two places to a career-high ranking of 10Egypt’s world champion Ali Farag, meanwhile, maintains his position at the top of the ladder.
India climbs 2 spots to 101 in latest FIFA rankings: The Indian football team moved up 2 places to 101 in the latest FIFA rankings released recently. India, who have not been in action since the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Asian Cup in January, had dropped six spots to 103 in the February edition after ending 2018 at 97. The team is at present without a head coach after Stephen Constantine stepped down from his position post their Asian Cup sojourn.
ICC to join hands with Interpol to fight corruption in sport: The International Cricket Council (ICC) said it has sought “closer working relations” with the Interpol, an organisation which facilitates worldwide police cooperation, to widen the scope of its fight against corruption in the sport. The cooperation was discussed during ICC Anti-Corruption Unit General Manger, Alex Marshall’s visit the Interpol headquarters in Lyon, France.
12th Asian Airgun Championships 2019 in Taiyuan, Taipei: India ended the 12th Asian Airgun Championships 2019 in Taiyuan, Taipei, with an overall tally of 25 medals including 16 gold, five silver and four bronze to completely dominate the championships.
APPOINTMENTS:
Former Bollywood actress Mayoori Kango is now Google India industry head: The 90s actress Mayoori Kango, who many might remember as the “Ghar Se Nikalte Hi, Kuch Door Chalte Hi” girl is now industry head in Google India. Before joining Google India, Mayoori has worked as a Managing Director in Performics which is part of Publicis Groupe. The former Bollywood actress has been instrumental in engaging and retaining accounts of firms like Uber, Airtel and Nestle.
AWARDS:
Shah Rukh Khan felicitated in London: After the honorary doctorates from The University of Bedfordshire and The University of Edinburgh, superstar Shah Rukh Khan has received an honorary doctorate in Philanthropy by The University of Law, London. The actor received the merit during a graduation ceremony for more than 350 students in London. Shah Rukh’s non-profit organisation Meer Foundation primarily works with acid attack victims and aims to initiate change at the ground level to build a world that empowers women.
Bajaj Finserv wins gold for ‘Digital Marketing Excellence’ at DIGIXX 2019:  Bajaj Finance Ltd., the lending arm of Bajaj Finserv, India’s fastest growing and most diversified Non-Banking Financial institution bagged the gold award for ‘Digital Marketing Excellence in Financial Service’– for its Fixed Deposit digital campaign at DIGIXX 2019 Awards by Adgully. The campaign designed along with Logicserve Digital aimed at creating informed awareness in the digital space about Bajaj Finance Ltd. offering Fixed Deposits with the highest interest of 9.10 % with flexible tenors ranging from 12- 60 months.
April 6:
National News:
3-day National Cardiology Conference starts in Lucknow: Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu is visiting Lucknow where he will be the chief guest at National Cardiology Conference 2019 being held at Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of medical sciences. He will inaugurate the 3-day conference organised by Dept of Cardiology in which leading national and international experts from Europe, USA, Japan, Singapore South Korea, Indonesia and Australia will deliberate on the latest topics of Interventional cardiology and cutting edge technology. The conference being held for the first time in Uttar Pradesh offers an opportunity to showcase newer innovations in Cardiology that can help deliver cost-effective cardiology care to patients
India’s first ‘Cold Spray’ SMART lab launched: The Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-M) announced its collaboration with American conglomerate General Electric (GE) to set up a lab that will develop advanced services technology for aircraft engine components. The ‘Cold Spray’ SMART (Surface Modification and Additive Research Technologies) Laboratory is the first-of-its-kind being installed in any academic institute in India. It is an emerging technology for advanced manufacturing and services and will be utilised to co-develop processes for aero-engine applications.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS:
S Korea launches world’s first national 5G networks: South Korea launches the world’s first fully-fledged 5G mobile networks. Hyper-wired South Korea has long had a reputation for technical prowess, and Seoul has made the 5G rollout a priority as it seeks to stimulate stuttering economic growth. The system will bring smartphones near-instantaneous connectivity 20 times faster than the existing 4G allowing users to download entire movies in less than a second.
BANKING & FINANCE:
Lakshmi Vilas Bank to merge with Indiabulls Housing Finance: The board of directors of Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) approved a scheme of amalgamation with Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd (IHFL). The amalgamation will be under Sections 230 to 232 and other applicable provisions of the Companies Act, 2013 dealing with Companies (compromises, arrangements and amalgamations) Rules 2016. The amalgamation will unlock value through synergies that exist exclusively. It will create a large and healthy diverse retail asset book, a high capital base for strong growth and a huge opportunity to foray into newer businesses that may increase the risk-fee income base of the amalgamated entity.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY:
CCI approves L&T’s bid to acquire stake in Mindtree: The Competition Commission of India (CCI) said that it has approved the acquisition of up to 66.15 per cent of the total equity shareholding of Mindtree by Larsen and Toubro Limited (L&T).  The Mumbai-based L&T had bought 20.4 per cent shares in Mindtree for Rs 3,300 crore at Rs 980 per share from Coffee Day Enterprise owner V.G. Siddhartha on March 18.
NTPC signs Rs 2,000 cr term loan with Canara Bank: The country’s largest power producer NTPC has signed a term loan agreement for Rs 2,000 crore with Canara Bank. The loan facility is extended at an interest rate linked to three months MCLR of the Bank. This loan has a door to door tenure of 15 years and will be utilised to part finance the capital expenditure of the NTPC.
Jalan panel norms to apply to current, future RBI reserves: The Bimal Jalan panel examining the RBI’s policy of distributing its reserves may suggest a guiding principle for surplus transfers as well as a specific timeframe for its application while keeping in mind the public policy mandate of the RBI. These surplus reserves account for about 28 per cent of the central bank’s total assets. The committee may also look at past unrealised gains, alongwith the contingency reserves, and consider the extent of reserves the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) should hold and transfer to the government.
RBI tweaks LCR norms to boost Liquidity: In a bid to further improve the cash position of banks, the RBI provided additional 2 per cent liquidity window to the lenders by tweaking liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) norms. The LCR indicates the proportion of highly liquid assets held by banks to ensure their ability to meet short-term obligations. The decision has been taken with a view to improve the ease of undertaking forex transactions by increasing the last-mile touch points of regulated entities to sell foreign exchange for non-trade current account transactions.
Karnataka Bank Signs Pact With Bharti AXA For Insurance Products: Karnataka Bank has entered into a memorandum of understanding with Bharti AXA Life Insurance Company to distribute the latter’s life insurance products. The bank will be able to provide a wide choice of life insurance products to its customers across 836 branches, supported by the products of Bharti AXA Life Insurance Company. This is the third such tie-up by the bank after PNB MetLife Life Insurance Company and LIC of India, both of which continue to provide insurance solutions to the customers of Karnataka Bank.
Paytm Money receives SEBI Approval to start Stock Broking Services: The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has given approval to Paytm Money the investment and wealth management platform of the mobile payments company to start offering broking services. It had applied for the licence in October last year. Paytm Money has also received membership of NSE and BSE. To handle the broking operations, Paytm Money is looking to set up a team to deal with settlements, trade, risks, treasury and other functions of a broking house.
RBI lowers GDP growth forecast to 7.2% for 2019-20: The RBI lowered the GDP growth forecast for the current fiscal to 7.2 per cent from the earlier estimate of 7.4 per cent amid probability of El Nino effects on monsoon rains and uncertain global economic outlook. The central bank had projected the GDP growth for 2019-20 at 7.4 per cent. The Monetary Policy Committee of India (MPC), headed by RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, noted that the output gap remains negative and the domestic economy is facing headwinds, especially on the global front.
Kohli second Indian to complete 8,000 T20 runs: Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohli became only the second Indian player after Suresh Raina to score 8,000 runs in T20 cricket during the Indian Premier League match against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. Kohli also became the highest run-getter in IPL history, bettering Raina here as well. Kohli now has 5,110 runs in his kitty to Raina’s 5,086. Kohli got to the landmark in his 257th match.
$1.7 trillion needed per year to build disaster-resilient infrastructure in Asia: ADB: Developing economies across Asia are among the most vulnerable to natural disasters and have suffered damages estimated at 644 billion dollars since 2000, according to Asian Development Bank (ADB). Of these, weather-related hazards caused the greatest share at 507 billion dollars (or 79 per cent) while geophysical hazards accounted for the remaining 137 billion dollars (or 21 per cent), as per a recent ADB report titled ‘Asian Development Outlook 2019: Strengthening Disaster Resilience.’ To build disaster-resilient infrastructure, investment needs in developing Asia are estimated at 26 trillion dollars from 2016 to 2030, or 1.7 trillion dollars per year, including necessary investments in climate-change mitigation and adaptation.
APPOINTMENTS:
Nasscom appoints WNS’s Keshav Murugesh its Chairman: The Indian IT industry’s apex body Nasscom said WNS global services’ Chief Executive Keshav Murugesh will be its new Chairman for fiscal 2019-20. Global software services’ Infosys’ Chief Operating Officer U.B. Pravin Rao will be the new Vice Chairman of Nasscom for FY20. Murugesh succeeded Wipro board member and chief strategy officer Rishad Premji, who was the apex body’s chairman for fiscal 2018-19.
CS Rajan appointed MD of IL&FS: Chandra Shekhar Rajan, who was the non-executive director of IL&FS for the last six months, was appointed the company’s managing director. So far, Vineet Nayyar was the executive vice chairman and managing director of the company. He would now continue to be the executive vice chairman.
David Malpass elected as World Bank President: Former Under Secretary of United States Treasury Department, David Malpass, was appointed as the 13th president of the World Bank Group. On February 6, US President Donald Trump had nominated Malpass for the candidature in the elections to appoint the next president of the World Bank. 
Praful Patel becomes the first Indian in FIFA Executive Council: Praful Patel, president of All India Football Federation (AIFF), has become the first Indian to be elected as a member of FIFA Executive Council. Patel, who serves as a Senior Vice President at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), was one of the eight candidates vying for the spot in the election, which was held during the 29th AFC Congress in Kuala Lampur in Malaysia. Patel’s presence in the FIFA Executive Council will give India a much stronger voice at the International stage. Also, it will improve India’s relation with the other top member nations of the world football body.
LV Subrahmanyam took charge as the chief secretary of Andhra Pradesh: The Election Commission of India appointed senior IAS officer Subrahmanyam as chief secretary. ECI has shifted Chief Secretary Anil Chandra Punetha to a non-election post. The ECI move comes just days after it summoned Punetha to seek an explanation for defying its orders transferring Intelligence DG AB Venkateswara Rao on March 26 following complaints that he was acting in a biased manner favouring the ruling TDP.
OBITUARIES:
Economist VG Patel passes away: Viharidas Gopaldas Patelnoted economist and ‘Father of Entrepreneurship Movement’ in India, passed away in Ahmedabad after a brief illness. He was 79. In 2017, the Government of India had decorated him with a Padma Shri for his contribution to the entrepreneurship movement. Patel’s work towards inclusion of entrepreneurship in the formal education system, sensitisation of support system, and entrepreneurship research has been widely recognised.
IMPORTANT DAYS:
National Maritime Day: The National Maritime Day (NMD) is observed every year on 5 April to commemorate the maiden voyage of the first Indian owned ship “SS Loyalty” sailed from Bombay to London on 5th April 1919. This year is it is 55th edition of NMD and theme is “Indian Ocean-An Ocean of opportunity”. The NMD is being observed annually since 1964.
Prevention of Blindness Week 2019: April 1 to 7 is observed as Prevention of Blindness Week every year in India. It is observed to alert and awaken the society towards various factors which causes blindness. It is organised by National Society for the Prevention of Blindness-India (NSPB-I) along with the support of state and local branches. Initiated in 1960, Prevention of Blindness Week was launched by Jawaharlal Nehru and Raj Kumari Amrit Kaur, under Societies Registration Act of 1860. Indian Government has also launched another campaign ‘Vision 2020: The Right to Sight’ in collaboration with WHO to prevent blindness.
April 7:
National News:
Manipur’s Phayeng Village gets India’s 1st Carbon-Positive tag: A small village, Phayeng, in the North Eastern state of Manipur, has been tagged as India’s first carbon-positive settlement. It is a first of its kind project in the South Asian country. The transformation was done using funds under National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change (NAFCC), a central scheme to support adaptation to climate change impact in various states. A village is given the tag of carbon-positive settlement if it cuts off more carbon than it emits to reduce formation of greenhouse gases and mitigate the effects of climate change.
Tamil Nadu renames Chennai rail station after MGR: The Tamil Nadu government has renamed the iconic Chennai Central Railway Station as Puratchi Thalaivar Dr MGR Central Railway Station. The station was renamed after the receipt of ‘no objection’ from the Union Home Ministry. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the Chennai Central Railway Station would be renamed after late Chief Minister and AIADMK founder M.G. Ramachandran.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS:
MENA World Economic Forum kicks off in Jordan: The World Economic Forum (WEF) on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) 2019 kicked off in Jordan with over 1,000 participants from more than 50 countries. The 17th WEF meeting in the region called for united efforts to address the most pressing challenges of the area. At the opening ceremony, King Abdullah II of Jordan said it takes a broad partnership to create a platform for economic growth.
BOOKS & AUTHORS:
Biography ‘Kundan: Saigal’s Life & Music’ authored by Sharad Dutt released: The genius of K L Saigal, his timeless compositions and the golden era of Indian cinema have been brought alive in a book on the legendary singer. Kundan: Saigal’s Life & Music, authored by documentary filmmaker and former DDG of Doordarshan Sharad Dutt, has been transcreated in English by Jyoti Sabharwal of Stellar Publishers. Dutt won the National Award (Swarna Kamal for best book on cinema) in 2005 for the original book in Hindi.
IMPORTANT DAYS:
International Day of Sport for Development and Peace: April 6 is the United Nations’ (UN) International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, which recognizes the power of sport in promoting peace and erasing cultural barriers worldwide. The International Day of Sport for Development and Peace promotes healthy lifestyles and emphasizes the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) focus on giving as many people as possible access to sport.
April 8:
National News:
Army Commanders’ Conference began in New Delhi: The biannual Army Commanders’ Conference began in New Delhi. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman delivered her opening address at the conference. The Conference, chaired by the Chief of the Army Staff is held biannually for formulating important policy decisions. It is an important event for the planning and execution process of the Indian Army.
India & SL to increase defence cooperation: India and Sri Lanka have agreed to increase cooperation in security and defence spheres in several areas, including regional security, curbing drug smuggling and human trafficking. The issues came up for discussion when Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra called on Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirsena in Colombo during his official visit. It was agreed that the Defence Secretary and his Sri Lankan counterpart will continue discussions on these issues to further strengthen security cooperation between the two countries.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
US – Morocco Joint Military Exercise “African Lion 2019” Concludes:  The 16th edition of the joint military exercise between Morocco and the United States named “African Lion 2019” was held from March 16 to April 7, 2019 in southern Morocco in the cities of Agadir, Tifnit, Tan-Tan, Tata, and Ben Guerir near Marrakech. African Lion is an annual exercise organised to improve interoperability and mutual understanding of each nation’s tactics, techniques and procedures.
US Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen Steps Down: Kirstjen Nielsen, the US secretary of homeland security, is stepping down, President Donald Trump announced. Her departure follows a spike in the number of arrests at the US-Mexico border that has coincided with a rise in migration northward from countries in Central America. Ms Nielsen, who also served in the George W Bush administration, became head of department in December 2017 and has been best-known for her role in the Trump administration’s separation of children from their parents on the US-Mexico border.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY:
New Seller-Funding Programme ” Amazon Wings ” Was Launched By Amazon India: Amazon India has joined hands with Mumbai-based crowdfunding company Ketto to help its sellers raise funding for business expansion, product development and even for medical assistance. Under this initiative, Amazon will solicit interest from sellers to apply to Ketto for participation in the program. As a part of the programme named Amazon Wings to empower the sellers in India, the company will allow its sellers to use Ketto’s platform and raise small ticket funds beginning from INR 50K at a subsidized fee for initiating fundraisers.
SPORTS
Malaysia Open: Lin Dan wins men’s singles title: Veteran Lin Dan won the all-Chinese final to take the men’s singles title at the Malaysia Open badminton tournament in Kuala Lumpur. Lin, two-time Olympic champion, rallied from one set down to beat compatriot Chen Long 9-21, 21-17 and 21-11 in the 78-minute final. The women’s singles saw Taiwanese top seed Tai Tzu-ying clinch her third consecutive Malaysia Open title after a dominant 21-16, 21-19 triumph over Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi.
APPOINTMENTS
Pradeep Nandrajog Appointed As The Chief Justice Of Bombay HC: Justice Pradeep Nandrajog took oath as the new Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court. He was administered the oath by Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao at the Raj Bhavan. He succeeds Chief Justice Naresh Patil, who retired recently. Justice Nandrajog had been serving as the Chief Justice of the Rajasthan High Court since March 2017, following a transfer from the Delhi High Court.
AWARDS:
Tata Steel wins ‘Global Slag Company of the Year’ award: Tata Steel has been named as the ‘Global Slag Company of the Year’ at the 14th Global Slag Conference and Exhibition 2019. The award was presented to Tata Steel for its innovative practices in development of new applications for Steel by-products (Slag). The conference, held recently in Aachen, Germany, was one of the largest global annual slag event, attended by major steelmakers, steel mill service providers & associated companies.
OBITUARIES:
Sydney Brenner, pioneer of molecular biology passes away: Sydney Brenner, the Nobel laureate whose studies on the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans led to seminal discoveries in genetics and developmental biology, passed away in Singapore. He was 92. Brenner discovered fundamental steps in how cells use DNA to make the proteins that enable life. He found that sequences of three DNA bases code for the amino acids that form proteins.
IMPORTANT DAYS:

World Health Day: Every year, the World Health Day is celebrated on April 7 as a global health awareness day under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization. The day celebrates the establishment of the WHO and this year it marks the end of the World Health Organization’s 70th-anniversary celebrations. The WHO’s theme for World Health Day 2019 is ‘Universal Coverage: Everyone, Everywhere’ to ensure that no human being will ever have to make a choice between the two.
April 9:
National News:
India-Singapore Joint Military Exercise ‘Bold Kurukshetra–2019’ starts: Military forces of India and Singapore got together to participate in a joint exercise in Babina Cantonment in Jhansi.The three-day exercise, ‘Bold Kurukshetra–2019’, is being conducted to develop military technology, boost maritime security and bolster the nations’ fight against terrorism. The Singapore military would undergo training and participate in firing exercise with their Indian counterpart. This will be the 12th in the series. 
India’s first indigenously built Dhanush howitzer inducted in Army: In a major boost to India’s firepower, country’s first indigenously designed and developed Dhanush artillery gun was inducted in the Indian Army. The Dhanush gun system is based on the designs of the Bofors howitzer which was inducted in the Army in the 1980s and would be the third type of artillery gun to be inducted into the force after the K-9 Vajra and the M-777 ultra-light howitzers. The weapon is the product of joint efforts by the Ordnance Factory Board and the Indian Army with contributions from DRDO, DGQA, DPSUs such as BEL, PSUs such as SAIL and several private enterprises.
IIT-Madras tops HRD’s national ranking of higher institutes: The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madrastopped the national ranking of higher institutes released by the ministry of Human Resources Development (HRD). The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, and IIT-Delhi were ranked second and third in the list respectively. Of the top 10 institutes, seven are IITs. The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) were ranked seventh and 10th respectively. The Delhi University’s Miranda House was ranked the best among colleges across the country, while the varsity’s St Stephen’s College was ranked fourth. The HRD ministry has been publishing the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) since 2016.
Guwahati Railway Station 1st To Get ISO Certification In India: The Guwahati Railway Station has become the first ever railway station in the Indian Railways to get an ISO certification from the National Green Tribunal (NGT) for “providing passenger amenities in a clean and green environment.” The station also has amenities such as High-class reserve (VIP) lounge, waiting rooms, AC and non-AC retiring rooms, food courts and sanitation facilities. ISO stands for “International Organisation for Standardisation” that is responsible for establishing the standard in different areas of activities. 
Around 5,000 Naga Konyak women dance set a Guinness World Record in Nagaland: In an attempt to set a new Guinness World Records in the category of ‘largest traditional Konyak dance display,’ around 5,000 Konyak community women, all decked up in colourful traditional attire, danced to the tune of a ceremonial song at Nagaland, coinciding with the Aoleang festival. The theme of this year’s Aoleang, also called Mini Hornbill festival, was ‘Empowering women for cultural heritage.’
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
London becomes first city to implement 24×7 pollution charge zone: London became the first city in the world to implement a special Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) that would charge an entry fee for older vehicles if they do not meet the emission standards. In an attempt to reduce air pollution and protect public health, the ULEZ will be operational for 24 hours and seven days a week.  As part of the efforts to combat air pollution, London’s famous red bus fleet is also being upgraded. By October 2020, all of 9,200 vehicles will meet or exceed ULEZ standards.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
India retained top spot in remittances in 2018: WB:  India has retained its spot as the world’s top remittance recipient with its diaspora sending $79 billion back home in 2018, the World Bank has said in a report. India was followed by China ($67 billion), Mexico ($36 billion), the Philippines ($34 billion) and Egypt ($29 billion), according to the latest edition of the World Bank’s Migration and Development Brief. In 2016, India received $62.7 billion in remittances and in 2017 it was $65.3 billion.
BSE ties up with HDFC Bank to give boost to startups platform: BSE (formerly Bombay Stock Exchange) announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with HDFC Bank to spread awareness about the benefits of listing on BSE Startups platform. BSE had launched the Startups platform on December 22 last year to encourage entrepreneurs to get listed and raise equity capital for their growth and expansion.
RBI issues norms for banks to set up currency chests: The Reserve Bank of India came out with guidelines for banks to set up new currency chests, which include minimum area of 1,500 square feet for strong room. For those situated in hilly/ inaccessible places, the strong room/ vault area of at least 600 sq ft. Besides, the new chests should have a processing capacity of 6.6 lakh pieces of banknotes per day.
Automobile industry marks a growth of 6.26 pc in 2018-19: The automobile industry produced a total 3.09 crore vehicles during April to March 2019 as against 2.9 crore in the corresponding period of previous year, marking a growth of 6.26 per cent, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) said.  The overall automobile exports out of India grew by 14.5 per cent. While passenger vehicles exports declined by 9.64 per cent, commercial vehicles, three wheelers and two wheelers registered a growth of 3.17 per cent, 49 per cent and 16.55 per cent.
India’s GDP expected to accelerate moderately to 7.5% in 2019-20: World Bank: India’s GDP growth is expected to accelerate moderately to 7.5 per cent in Fiscal Year 19-20, driven by continued investment strengthening, particularly private-improved export performance and resilient consumption, the World Bankhas said. The real GDP growth is estimated at 7.2 per cent in FY18/19, the World Bank said in its latest report on South Asia ahead of the spring meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
SPORTS
Isaak Hayik, 73, crowned world’s oldest soccer player: Isaak Hayik of Or Yehuda, Israel, has set a new world record as the oldest active player in a professional soccer match after tending the goal for Ironi Or Yehuda in game against Maccabi Ramat Gan. Hayik, who turns 74 this week, was officially recognized with a Guinness World Records certificate after the game presented by a Guinness representative from London.
APPOINTMENTS
Graham Reid appointed Indian men’s hockey coach: Hockey India has named Graham Reid as the new chief coach of the Indian men’s hockey team. The 54-year-old will join the team in Bengaluru shortly for the ongoing national camp at the Sports Authority of India. Reid has a decorated playing career as the defender/midfielder for the Australian national team and was part of the silver medal winning team at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
OBITUARIES:
Malaysian golfer Arie Irawan passes away: Malaysian professional golfer Arie Irawan has passed away at the age of 28 in China where he was competing in the Sanya Championship. Irawan had been competing in the PGA Tour Series-China’s Sanya Championship, where he missed the 36-hole cut but had remained on-site. Irawan, who attended the University of Tulsa on a golf scholarship, turned professional in 2013 and won two Asian Developmental Tour events in his seven-year career.
April 10:
National News
NGT forms committee to look into Yamuna floodplain erosion in Sonipat: The National Green Tribunal formed a committee to look into the alleged erosion of Yamuna floodplain due to movement of heavy vehicles in Haryana’s Sonipat district. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel constituted a committee comprising the principal secretary of the Haryana Irrigation and Water Resources Department, member secretary of the Haryana State Pollution Control Board and the director of the Mines and Geology Department.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
IMF cuts global growth forecast to 3.3% for 2019: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) lowered its global growth forecast for 2019 to 3.3 per cent from the previous level of 3.5 per cent in its latest World Economic Outlook (WEO). This is the third time in the last six months that the IMF has cut its global outlook forecast. It has also projected a decline in growth for 70 per cent of the world economy this year. After 2020, the IMF has predicted the global growth forecast will stabilise at around 3.5 per cent, mainly due to high growth in India and China.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Google launches its 1st drone delivery service in Australia: Google parent Alphabet has beat Amazon to launch one of the first commercial drone delivery businesses. Alphabet made its first delivery in Canberra after getting approval from the country’s civil aviation authority. Wing, the company’s drone delivery arm, was testing drone delivery in Australia since 2014 and delivered medicines, chocolate to 3,000 homes in the last 18 months.
Google unveils software-based open platform ‘Anthos’: Google has introduced a new open platform called “Anthos” to run and manage apps from anywhere. Based on the Cloud Services Platform that Google announced in 2018, “Anthos” lets users run applications on existing on-premise hardware investments or in the Public Cloud. “Anthos” will also let users manage workloads running on third-party clouds like Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure.
SPORTS
Spain’s Garbine Muguruza retains Monterrey Open title: Spain’s Garbine Muguruza successfully defended her Monterrey Open title when Victoria Azarenka retired injured from her first WTA singles final in three years. Second seed Muguruza was leading the match between the two former world number ones 6-1 3-1 when Azarenka decided she was unable to continue because of an injury to her right leg.
American Dave Bautista retires from wrestling: Describing his over two decade stint as a WWE wrestler as “a hell of a run”, Dave Bautista has officially announced his retirement from professional wrestling. This year, Bautista will be seen reprising his role as Drax the Destroyer in “Avengers: Endgame”, which he will follow up with “Stuber”. He was recently roped in to star in the Zack Snyder-directed zombie film, “Army of the Dead”. He will also star in the third “Guardians” film after Marvel rehired James Gunn as director.
APPOINTMENTS
SUN Group chairman Vikramjit Sahney is new president of ICC India: SUN Group Chairman Vikramjit Singh Sahney elected as the new president of International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) – India. He said the chamber would work with the government to promote India’s external trade. ICC will host a mega summit in Paris during May featuring leaders from business, government and international organisations to discuss pressing global challenges and role of business in 21st century.
Shiv Das Meena appointed as NBCC Chairman and Managing Director: Shiv Das Meena, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has been appointed as the Chairman cum Managing Director (CMD) of National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC). Meena, the 1989-Batch IAS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre has taken over the office from Dr Anoop Kumar Mittal, the outgoing CMD, who had served the organisation for 34 years.
AWARDS
Indian Oil bags AIMA Managing India Award for outstanding PSU: Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has bagged the prestigious ‘AIMA Managing India Award 2019 for outstanding PSU of the year.’ The award was presented by former President Pranab Mukherjee to Sanjiv Singh, Chairman, Indian Oil. The All India Management Association (AIMA), the apex body of management professionals in the country, is committed to enhancing business excellence through its multifaceted activities. Instituted in the year 2010AIMA Managing India Awards recognise excellence in management, entrepreneurship, and leadership and have become one of the most coveted leadership honours in the country.
OBITUARIES
Uri actor Navtej Hundal passes away: Actor Navtej Hundal, who most recently appeared in Aditya Dhar’s Uri: The Surgical Strike, passed away. Navtej, who played the Home Minister in Uri, passed away, said actor Sushant Singh, general secretary of the Cine And Television Artistes Association (CINTAA). He himself had appeared in movies like Khalnayak and Tere Mere Sapne, and used to take acting classes for students.
James Bond actress Nadja Regin passes away: Serbia-born actor Nadja Regin, best known for starring in Bond films From Russia With Love and Goldfinger, passed away at the age of 87. She was best known for her role as the mistress of Kerim Bey in From Russia with Love and had a smaller appearance as Bonita in the pre-credit sequence of Goldfinger, which featured Sean Connery as the iconic British spy. She also wrote a novel, titled The Victims and the Fools, which she published under her full name Nadja Poderegin.
IMPORTANT DAYS
World Homoeopathy Day: The World Homoeopathy Day is observed on 10th April, to commemorate the birth anniversary of the founder of Homoeopathy, Dr Christian Fredrich Samuel Hahnemann. A two-day Convention on World Homeopathy Day was inaugurated by Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH Dr Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha in New Delhi. During the inaugural session, “Souvenir of Convention”, a Dossier on ‘Homoeopathy – A Science of Gentle Healing’, a coffee table book, the ‘Standard Treatment Guidelines’ on 15 more diseases which have been developed by Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH) based on expert consensus were also released.
April 11:
National News
India, Sweden ink pact to collaborate on solutions for smart cities: India and Sweden launched a joint programme that will work towards addressing a range of challenges around smart cities and clean technologies among others. The programme was co-funded by Indian Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Swedish agency Vinnova
India’s population grew at 1.2 % average annual rate between 2010 and 2019: UN report: India’s population grew at an average annual rate of 1.2 per cent between 2010 and 2019 to 1.36 billion, more than double the annual growth rate of China, according to a report by the United Nations Population Fund. India’s population in 2019 stood at 1.36 billion, growing from 942.2 million in 1994 and 541.5 million in 1969. India’s population grew at average annual rate of 1.2 per cent between 2010 and 2019, the UN sexual and reproductive health agency said in the State of World Population 2019 report. In comparison, China’s population stood at 1.42 billion in 2019, growing from 1.23 billion in 1994 and 803.6 million in 1969.
National Green Tribunal imposes Rs 100-crore penalty on Andhra Pradesh govt over illegal sand mining: The National Green Tribunal has slapped an interim penalty of Rs 100 crore on the Andhra Pradesh government for inaction to prevent illegal sand mining in the state. A bench, headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, directed the chief secretary of Andhra Pradesh to forthwith prohibit all unregulated sand mining. The tribunal directed the state government to deposit Rs 100 crore ‘environment compensation’ with the Central Pollution Control Board within a month.
BANKING & FINANCE
HDFC AMC ranked 1st in terms of Assets: AMFI Report: India’s asset management companies (AMCs) own assets under management (AUM) worth Rs24.46 trillion according to data released by the Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI). HDFC Asset Management Co. Ltd claimed the top spot with an average AUM of Rs3.42 trillion, overtaking ICICI Prudential Asset Management Co. Ltd with an average AUM of at Rs3.20 trillion.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Govt retains general provident fund interest rate at 8% for Apr-Jun quarter: The government has retained the interest rate for General Provident Fund (GPF) and other related schemes at 8 per cent for the April-June quarter. The rate is in line with that of Public Provident Fund. The interest rate on GPF was at 8 per cent in the January-March quarter of 2018-19. The interest rate will be applicable on provident funds of central government employees, railways and defence forces.
SBI and PAISALO Digital Limited enable MSME segment with income generation loans: PAISALO Digital Limited signed the first co-origination loan agreement with State Bank of India, the first agreement of its kind in the country that State Bank of India has signed. Introducing a platform for the last mile customer, the loan ticket is designed at Rs 10,000 to 2 lakh. PAISALO Digital Limited is a leading systemically important non-deposit taking NBFC registered with the Reserve Bank of India, in operations since 1992. The agreement was signed with a vision of empowering the AGRI, MSME segment and small businesses.
Uber launches ‘Vouchers’ for businesses in India: Global ride-sharing major Uber launched “Uber Vouchers” for businesses globally including in India. Developed on the“Uber for Business (U4B)” platform, the “Vouchers” are now being made available in most countries where Uber operates.  The “Vouchers” can be sent over email, social media and mobile messaging. The feature was beta tested with over a 100 Uber partners globally before the final release.
SPORTS
Kohli is ‘leading cricketer in the world’ for third consecutive year: Indian skipper Virat Kohli has been named as the ‘leading cricketer of the year’ for the third year in a row by the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack for his performance in the 2018 English summer. Kohli was named not just the ‘leading cricketer in the world’ but he also featured in the ‘five cricketers of the year.’Other players who joined Kohli in the ‘five cricketers of the year’ list are Tammy Beaumont, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, and Sam Curran. Indian Women team batter Smriti Mandhana was named as the ‘leading women cricketer in the world’. Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan was named as the ‘leading T20 cricketer of the year’ for the second consecutive year.
Indonesian Nuraeni named best athletic coach in Asia: Indonesian Eni Nuraeni was named by Asian Athletic Association (AAA) as the best athletic coach in Asia for short-haul run category this year. Eni coaches young sprinter Lalu Muhammad Zohri to win the 100m gold medal in 10.20 seconds in the 2019 Grand Prix Malaysia Open athletics championships.
Shot putter Manpreet Kaur banned for 4 years after failing dope test: Asian champion shot putter Manpreet Kaur has been banned for four years by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) for flunking four dope tests in 2017. The period of suspension would begin from July 20, 2017, the date of her provisional suspension, according to an order of the anti-doping disciplinary panel (ADDP) of the NADA
APPOINTMENTS
Vikram Nath appointed as first Chief Justice of new Andhra Pradesh High Court: Justice Vikram Nath, the senior most judge of Allahabad High Court, was appointed as the first Chief Justice of the newly-constituted Andhra Pradesh High Court. The new Andhra Pradesh High court was established on January 1 this year following the division of a combined high court of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
Gargi Kaul appointed Defence Finance Secretary:  In a bureaucratic reshuffle, the Centre has appointed Gargi Kaul, a 1984-batch officer of the Indian Audit and Accounts Service (IA&AS), as Secretary, Defence Finance. Kaul was earlier Financial Advisor, Defence Services in the Defence Ministry. In the MEA, Jerath was replaced by 1990-batch IAS officer of Jammu and Kashmir cadre Raj Kumar Goyal, who was appointed as Additional Secretary and Financial Advisor.
Israeli PM Netanyahu set for record 5th term: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was poised to secure a record fifth term in office despite running neck and neck with his rival Benny Gantz in the general election. Ninety seven per cent of the votes had been counted showing Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party tied with ex-military chief Gantz’s centrist Blue and White alliance with 35 seats each.
Algeria’s parliament appoints Abdelkader Bensalah interim president: Algeria‘s parliament appointed the upper house chairman Abdelkader Bensalah as interim president for the next 90 days following the resignation of Abdelaziz Bouteflika. Bensalah will run the country until new elections are held, according to the North African country’s constitution.
Jean Michel Lapin announced as Haiti’s new Prime Minister: Haiti’s President Jovenel Moise confirmed Jean-Michel Lapin as the country’s new prime minister, just weeks after the Chamber of Deputies censured his predecessor’s six-month-old government. Lapin is the third head of government under president Moise, who has led the Caribbean island nation since February 2017.
Karnam Sekar to take over as MD, CEO of Indian Overseas Bank : The government said Karnam Sekar, MD and CEO of the erstwhile Dena Bank, will take over as MD and CEO of Indian Overseas Bank from July 1. His term will end in June next year. He will work as officer on special duty and whole-time director with IOB till the end of June this year. Also, R A Sankara Narayanan, former MD and CEO of Vijaya Bank, will move to Canara Bank in the same position. His term will end in January 2020.
AWARDS
Digital Sukoon founder, Sudhanshu Kumar receives Best Digital Agency award: Digital Sukoon founder, Sudhanshu Kumar was honoured with the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Nobel Award by International Human Rights Council at Hotel Sea Princess Juhu Mumbai. Among the awardee, Digital Sukoon was the Best Digital Agency of the Year 2019 to receive the award.
April 12:
National News
Russia awards PM Narendra Modi with highest state honour: Russia awarded its highest state honour ‘Order of St Andrew the Apostle’ to PM Narendra Modi for exceptional services in promoting special and privileged strategic partnership between the Russian Federation and the Republic of India and friendly relations between the Russian and Indian peoples. The Order of St Andrew the Apostle is awarded to prominent statesmen and public figures and representatives of science, culture, the arts and various industries for their exceptional services in promoting the prosperity, greatness and glory of Russia. The order can also be awarded to foreign heads of state for outstanding services to Russia.
India to be Guest of Honour country at ADIBF 2019: UAE has announced that India will be the Guest of Honour country at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, ADIBF 2019, to be held from 24th to 30th of this month. The fair aims to highlight the UAE’s rich heritage, showcasing its authenticity and modernity, as well as its cultural and literary output. The Indian Pavilion will host Indian writers, authors and literary scholars who will serve as ambassadors for the literature and art of their country.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Google launches new cloud platform, Anthos: Google launched Anthos, a new open platform from Google Cloud, that lets users run applications from anywhere. Anthos is a complete software-based solution. Anthos allows users to run applications, unmodified, on existing on-premise hardware or on the public cloud, and is based on the Cloud Services Platform that Google announced last year.

BANKING & FINANCE
RBL Bank ties up with CreditVidya for improving customer experience: RBL Bank has partnered with credit profiler CreditVidya to improve the lender’s customer experience. Through this partnership, the private sector lender will be able to gain significant insights into its customer base. By acquiring richer customer insights, RBL will be able to segment its customers better, offer them relevant credit products and build custom scorecards.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
TCS, Google partner to build industry-specific cloud solutions: Tata Consultancy Services has partnered with Google Cloud to build industry-specific cloud solutions. TCS’ solutions on Google Cloud Platform (GCP) will help enterprises build secure, cloud-native analytics platforms that enable high levels of personalization, and are cost effective, easy to maintain, and future ready.
HDFC Bank ranked No. 1 in India by Forbes: In the first edition of Forbes magazine survey, Forbes partnered with market research firm Statista to measure the best banks in 23 countries. After the exercise, HDFC Bank emerged as India’s No. 1 bank. Customers were asked to rate banks on overall recommendation and satisfaction, as well as 5 key attributes or ‘sub-dimensions’ of trust, terms and conditions, customer service, digital service and financial advice.
AWARDS
Namami Gange gets global recognition at world summit: The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) was awarded the distinction of “Public Water Agency of the Year” by Global Water Intelligence at the Global Water Summit in London on April 9. The Global Water Awards are presented at the Global Water Summit, the major business conference for the water industry worldwide. The awards recognise excellence across the international water industry and reward those initiatives in the water, waste water, and desalination sectors, which bring remarkable improvements in the lives of people, according toNMCG, which is under the Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
India’s education technology startup, Dost Education, claims $25000 global tech prize: India’s education technology startup ‘Dost Education’ has bagged a $25,000 tech prize along with two other winners from Tanzania and Egypt. The Next Billion Edtech Prize 2019, run by UK-based Varkey Foundation, recognises the most innovative technology destined to have a radical impact on education in low income and emerging world countries. Dost was awarded for its ability to empower parents to take charge of their child’s early education by creating short, friendly audio content that is sent to them via their mobile phones.
April 13:
National News
As per Air Quality in India 2014-2019’ report , Kanpur ranked 1st as the most polluted city: The quality of air in Varanasi, Prime Minister Modi’s 2014 Lok Sabha constituency, is positioned 3rd on the WHO’s (World Health Organisation) list of 15 most polluted cities in the world, by the ‘Political Leaders Position and Action on Air Quality in India 2014-2019’ report, released by Climate Trends. Kanpur (in Uttar Pradesh) is the most polluted city in the world and is positioned 1 on the list. 14 of the 15 most polluted cities in the world mentioned by World Health Organisation (WHO) are in India. Out of them, 4 are in Uttar Pradesh. Faridabad in Haryana is in 2nd position after Kanpur. Delhi is ranked 6th on the list. Other than these, the list of the most polluted cities according to WHO include Gaya and Patna in Bihar, Lucknow, Cities of Agra, Muzaffarpur, Srinagar, Gurugram, Jaipur, Patiala and Jodhpur.
NGT forms Central Monitoring Committee to prepare national plan for polluted rivers: The NGT has formed a Central Monitoring Committee to prepare and enforce a national plan to make over 350 river stretches across the country pollution free as it has caused serious threat to safety of water and environment. The NGT directed the Central Monitoring Committee to give its report by July 31. A bench headed by National Green Tribunal (NGT) Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said the committee would comprise a representative of NITI Aayog; secretaries of Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Urban Development and Ministry of Environment; the director general of National Mission for Clean Ganga and the Central Pollution Control Board chairman.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Hong Kong surpasses Japan to be world’s 3rd biggest Stock Market: Hong Kong’s equity market has overtaken Japan to be the world’s third largest in value, behind only the U.S. and mainland China. Hong Kong’s market cap was $5.78 trillion, compared with $5.76 trillion for Japan. The Asian city’s Hang Seng Index climbed 17% in 2019 through, when it closed at its highest since June 15. Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. has been the main driver with a 22% gain. Japan’s Topix Index advanced 8.3% in that period.
New species of ancient human discovered in the Philippines: Homo: A new species of ancient human, thought to have been under 4ft tall and adapted to climbing trees, has been discovered in the Philippines, providing a twist in the story of human evolution. The specimen, named Homo luzonensis, was excavated from Callao cave on Luzon island in the northern Philippines and has been dated to 50,000-67,000 years ago when our own ancestors and the Neanderthals were spreading across Europe and into Asia.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
DoT Approves Merger of Tata Tele Unit & Airtel With Riders: Bharti Airtel has confirmed that it has received in-principal approval from the telecom department on the merger of Tata Teleservices (TTSL) with Airtel. Airtel and TTSL had announced the deal in September 2017. As per the agreement -Airtel will take in the Tata Group-owned telco’s consumer mobile operations in 19 telecom circles – 17 under TTSL and two under TTML. It will add about 18 million of Tata Tele’s mobile subscribers to its over 340 million users. 
Banks close FY19 with 13.24% credit growth, deposits up 10.03%: Banks closed fiscal 2019 with robust disbursals that rose in double-digits for the second year in row, after the sub-5 percent in FY17, which was the lowest in five decades. According to the Reserve Bank data released recently, bank credit rose 13.24 percent to Rs 97.67 lakh crore for the fortnight to March 29, while deposits grew by 10.03 percent to Rs 125.72 lakh crore during the same period. This is the second consecutive double-digits credit growth after the same had declined to 4.54 percent in FY17 at Rs 78.41 lakh crore, which was the lowest since 1963.
SPORTS
Paralympian Deepa Malik receives NZ PM’s Sir Edmund Hillary Fellowship: Rio Paralympics silver medallist Deepa Malik has been named as the recipient of the New Zealand Prime Minister’s Sir Edmund Hillary Fellowship for 2019. The first Indian woman to earn a medal at the Paralympic Games, Deepa has won 58 national and 23 international medals. A recipient of the Padma Shri and Arjuna Award, she has entered the Limca Book of World Records four times. The Fellowship Program has been running since 2008, which aims to strengthen the relationship between India and New Zealand by showcasing the different aspects of the warm friendship between the two countries. NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant was the recipient of this prestigious fellowship in 2017.
AWARDS
Two West Bengal Government Schemes Win UN Awards: Two schemes of the West Bengal government for skill development and distribution of bi-cycles to students have won the prestigious World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) awards of the United Nations. The schemes are“Utkarsh Bangla” and “Sabooj Sathi”. The “Utkarsh Bangla” project aims at creating a pool of skilled candidates who are industry ready, while under the “Sabooj Sathi” scheme, bi-cycles are distributed to students between class IX and XII studying in government run and government aided schools and madrashas of the state.
Telugu Poet K Siva Reddy Selected For Prestigious Saraswati Samman 2018: Telugu poet K Siva Reddy has been selected for the prestigious Saraswati Samman, 2018 for his collection of poetry titled Pakkaki Ottigilite. The award carries a cash prize of 15 lakh rupees, a citation and a plaque. The award, instituted by the KK Birla Foundation in 1991, is given annually for an outstanding literary work written in any Indian language and published during the last 10 years.
GIC India chief awarded Freedom of the City of London:  The Chairman and Managing Director of the General Insurance Corporation (GIC) of India, the country’s reinsurance major, has been awarded the Freedom of the City of London in recognition of her work to promote insurance ties between India and the UK. Alice G. Vaidyan, in London to attend the first India-UK Insurance Summit, was nominated for the traditional honour by the Lord Mayor of London, Peter Estlin, and City of London Corporation Policy Chair Catherine McGuinness.
IMPORTANT DAYS
International Day of Human Space Flight: The International Day of Human Space Flight celebrates the start of the space era for humankind, reaffirming the important contribution of space science and technology in today’s world. The day also aims to promote aspirations to explore and maintain outer space for peaceful purposes. In 2011 the UN declared April 12 as the “International Day of Human Space Flight” to remember the first human space flight and to promote the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes and to the benefit of humankind.
National Safe Motherhood Day: National Safe Motherhood Day is observed on April 11 every year. National Safe Motherhood Day is an initiative of the White Ribbon Alliance India (WRAI), to enforce that women must have the availability and adequate access to care during Pregnancy childbirth and postnatal services. At the request of WRAI, an alliance of 1800 organizations, in 2003, the Government of India declared April 11th, the anniversary of Kasturba Gandhi’s birth, as National Safe Motherhood Day. India is the first country in the world to have officially declared a National Safe Motherhood Day. The theme of 2019 NSMD is “Midwives for Mothers”.
April 14:
National News
First-of-its-kind ‘Voter Park’ inaugurated in Gurugram: India’s first-of-its-kind ‘Voter Park’ was inaugurated in Gurugram, aimed at increasing voter awareness and educating people about the electoral process. Haryana Chief Electoral Officer Rajeev Ranjan inaugurated the park in Vikas Sadan building complex. At the park, voters will get information about the polling process and the history of elections in the country.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
RBI injected Rs 2.98 lakh cror liquidity in 2018-19: The Reserve Bank of India injected a total liquidity of Rs 2.98 lakh crore in the market in 2018-19. From a daily net average surplus of Rs 27,928 crore during February 1-6, 2019, systemic liquidity moved into deficit during February 7-March 31, reflecting the build-up of government cash balances, the First Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement, 2019-20 stated. Currency in circulation expanded sharply in February-March. The liquidity needs of the system were met through injection of durable liquidity amounting to Rs 37,500 crore in February and Rs 25,000 crore in March through open market purchase operations (OMOs).
Google Pay partners with MMTC-PAMP to introduce buying and selling of Gold: Aiming to make Google Pay more useful for Indian users, Google announced its partnership with MMTC-PAMP Indiafor buying and selling gold through the application. MMTC-PAMP India is an internationally recognised metal and mining service provider. Google Pay users would be able to buy 99.99 percent, 24 karat gold after this partnership with India’s only LBMA accredited gold refinery. 
PayU acquires Wibmo for USD 70 million: PayU, an online payment service provider and Naspers’ fintech arm, announced the acquisition of Wibmo, a Silicon Valley startup that works on digital payment security and payment enablement on smartphones. The deal was valued at around $70 million. Founded in 1999 by Setlur and Veena Mistry, Wibmo provides digital payment security technology in India and other emerging markets.
SPORTS
Rohit wins Roland-Garros eSeries India-leg: Roland-Garros, BNP Paribas and BIGBEN announced Rohit Thakur as the winner of second edition of India leg of theRoland-Garros eSeries, an e-sport competition played on the Tennis World Tour video game. Last year too, Thakur won the tournament and represented India in the first edition of Roland Garros e-Series finals held in Paris. The tournament is organised by the FFT, with the sponsoring of BNP Paribas.
APPOINTMENTS
Professor Najma Akhtar named as the first woman vice-chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia University (JMI): President of India, in his capacity as the Visitor of the Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), appointed Professor Najma Akhtar as the vice-chancellor of the varsity, making her the first woman to hold the charge. She has been appointed for a period of five years. A widely acclaimed educationist, Professor Akhtar is also the first lady vice chancellor of any central university in Delhi.
AWARDS
Image of a crying toddler at US border won the World Press Photo award 2019: The haunting image of a little girl crying helplessly as she and her mother are taken into custody by US border officials won the prestigious World Press Photo Award. Veteran Getty photographer John Moore‘s picture taken after Honduran mother Sandra Sanchez and her daughter Yanela illegally crossed the US-Mexico border last year showed “a different kind of violence that is psychological”.
Dr A K Singh Receives Lifetime Achievement Award 2019 For Contributions In Life Sciences, Aerospace and Aeronautics: Dr A K Singh, director at Life Sciences, DRDO has been honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award 2019 during 4th APJ Abdul Kalam Innovation Conclave at Chandigarh University, Mohali. The conclave was organised by the university to note World Creativity and Innovation Day. He has made notable contributions in Internal Decorporation of Fission Produced Radionuclides and Infection Imaging. To detect the infectious lesion, he discovered a “Diagnobact” Kit. And also introduced Pharmacosyntigraphy, i.e. application of nuclear medicine imaging in drug research.
OBITUARIES
Tamil Actor-Politician Ritheesh passes away: Actor and former Ramanathapuram MP JK Ritheesh passed away due to heart failure. He was 46. JK Ritheesh was last seen playing a role in RJ Balaji’s political satire LKG. He became an MP from Ramanathapuram after he was given a DMK ticket in the 2009 Lok Sabha Elections. His first film was Kaanal Neer directed by Chinni Jayanth. Ritheesh was campaigning for BJP’s Ramanathapuram Lok Sabha candidate Nainar Nagendran when he suffered from a cardiac arrest.
Comedian Ian Cognito passes away : British comedian, Paul Barbieri, who is popularly known by his stage name Ian Cognito, passed away on stage while performing a stand-up set in Bicester, England. The comedian who was in his early 60’s, fell ill during a performance at the Atic Bar in a small English town north of Oxford.
Renowned Hindi poet Pradeep Choubey passes away: Renowned Hindi poet Pradeep Choubey paased away in his home in Gwalior. Choubey, known for his humorous poetry. He quit his job at Dena Bank to pursue his passion of poetry and travelled across the nation enthralling audiences with his punches, several of them targeted at the orthodox elements of society.
IMPORTANT DAYS
World Allergy Week 2019: The World Allergy Organization is proud to announce that World Allergy Week 2019 will be on the topic of “The Global Problem of Food Allergy” and will take place globally the week of 7-13 April 2019. Each year, the World Allergy Organization (WAO) addresses a different topic that has a need for greater awareness. To accomplish this, WAO provides physicians and the general public with a webinar, infographic, and additional information to educate and spread awareness on the topic.
April 15:
National News
Cabinet apprised about MoU between India and Republic of Korea: The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, was apprised about an MoU signed in February, 2019 between India and Republic of Korea. Department of Posts, Ministry of Communications, Government of India and The Ministry of Science and ICT (Korea Post), Government of the Republic of Korea have mutually agreed to jointly issue Postage Stamps on the theme “Queen Hur Hwang-ok of Korea”. The joint stamps will be released on a mutually agreed date by the end of 2019.
CCEA approves proposal to extend duration of new urea policy from April 1: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, has approved a proposal to extend the duration of New Urea Policy-2015, from April 1 till further orders. The extension will not apply to the provisions which were amended by a notification dated March 28, 2018. This approval will help in continuing usual operations and regular supply of urea to the farmers.
Cabinet approves five GSLV flights during 2021-24: The Union Cabinet approved the ongoing GSLV continuation programme phase 4 consisting of five GSLV flights during 2021-24. This will enable the launch of 2-tonne class of satellites for geo-imaging, navigation, data relay communication and space sciences. The fund requirement is Rs 2,729 crore and includes the cost of five GSLV vehicles, essential facility augmentation, programme management and launch campaign along with additional funds required for meeting the scope of ongoing GSLV continuation programme.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
World’s largest aircraft takes first flight: The world’s largest airplane, developed by aerospace venture Stratolaunch, flew into the air for its first flight test. The gigantic, six-engined twin-fuselage megajet took off from Mojave Air and Space Port in California for the flight expected to last for a couple of hours. Stratolaunch was founded by the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 2011 to develop the large carrier airplane as a flying launch pad for orbital-class rockets.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
Autobiography of social worker Sankurathri Chandrasekhar released: ‘Ashakiranam,’ an autobiography of noted social worker Sankurathri Chandrasekhar, was released at a function held in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh. Religious scholar Chaganti Koteswara Rao released the book while writer and literary critic Vadrevu Veeralakshmi Devi reviewed the work. Penned by Dr. Chandrasekhar in English with title ‘A Ray of Hope’ the autobiography was translated into Telugu by Godavarthi Satyamurthy.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Airtel, FLO launch app for women’s safety: Bharti Airtel in collaboration with FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) launched a mobile app, My Circle, to help women in case they face any problem or a panic situation. The application is carrier agnostic which would work on phones with any telecom service network, both Airtel and non-Airtel. My Circle app enables women to send SOS alerts to any five of their family or friends in 13 languages including English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Marathi, Punjabi, Bangla, Urdu, Assamese, Oriya, and Gujarat.
LIC gets 12 years from RBI for reducing stake in IDBI Bank: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has given 12 years to Life Insurance Corp to reduce its stake in IDBI Bank, accepting the life insurer’s argument that it is a long-term investor in the struggling bank which had nearly 30 per cent of its advances as bad loans in the December quarter. RBI has stipulated that after 12 years LIC has to reduce stake in IDBI Bank by 10 per cent to 40 per cent. 
SPORTS
Hamilton wins record-extending 6th Chinese GP: Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton secured a record-extending sixth Chinese Grand Prix (GP) victory, snatching the world championship lead from his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas. Five-time world champion Hamilton, of the United Kingdom, clinched his 75th career victory and second of the season in the 1,000th Formula One race after overtaking pole-sitter Bottas of Finland.
Kohli surpasses Raina, becomes highest-scoring Indian batsman in T20 format: Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli has surpassed Chennai Super Kings batsman Suresh Raina to become the highest-scoring Indian batsman in the T20 format. The 30-year-old surpassed Raina’s record in the ninth over of the RCB innings. Kohli now has 8175 runs from 245 T20 innings at an average of 41.22 with four centuries and 59 half-centuries. Kohli now is placed at the sixth position in the list of highest run-scorers in the T20 format. Raina has 8145 runs from 293 innings in the format. 
Goa clinch Super Cup 2019 title: FC Goa emerged as champions of the 2019 Super Cup as they pipped Chennaiyin FC 2-1 in a tense affair at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar. Despite Goa being billed as the favourites to take home the crown, it was Chennaiyin, who started the game as the better of the two sides.
Meena Kumari Maisnam clinches gold in Cologne World Cup boxing: Meena Kumari Maisnam continued her fine run to win gold medal in the 54 kg at the Boxing World Cup in Cologne.Sakshi (57kg) and Pwilao Basumatary (64kg) lost their final bouts and had to settle for the silver while Pinki Rani (51kg) and Parveen (60kg) won bronze as India finished with five medals.
APPOINTMENTS
Mohammed Ishtaye sworn in as new Palestinian PM: New Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtaye and his cabinet members were sworn in before President Mahmoud Abbas at his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah. The 18th Palestinian government since the establishment of the Palestinian Authrity in 1995 was sworn in according to a presidential decree issued by Abbas. 
BK Nayak appointed FIH Health and Safety Committee Chair: Bibhu Kalyan Nayak became the first Indian to be appointed Chair of International Hockey Federation (FIH) Health and Safety Committee by the world governing body. He will serve a two-year term lasting till the first executive board meeting after Congress 2020. A native of Bhubaneswar, Nayak has extensively trained in Sports Traumatology and Sports and Exercise Physiology from National Institute of Sports Medicine at Havana, Cuba & National Sports Centre at Madrid, Spain.
AWARDS
Mint’s Teena Thacker wins Citi Journalistic Excellence Award: Mint’s Teena Thacker has been selected by Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism as the winner of the 2019 Citi Journalistic Excellence Awards. Thacker won this award for her long story in Mint on Johnson and Johnson (J&J’s) faulty hip implants in India. The Citi Journalistic Excellence Award (CJEA) began in 1982 as a way to recognize journalists for excellence in financial and business reporting.
OBITUARIES
Kerala’s lauded IAS and Former chief secretary D Babu Paul passes away: Eminent scholar, writer and former additional chief secretary D Babu Paul has passed away. He was 78. During his illustrious career Babu Paul held several key posts including member Ombudsman for the Local Self-Government institutions and vice-chancellor of the Kerala University. At present, he was serving as the independent member of the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board.  
Persona actress Bibi Andersson, who starred in 13 Bergman films, passes away: Swedish actress Bibi Andersson, who starred in 13 of veteran director Ingmar Bergman’s films, has passed away. She was 83. Andersson made a name herself after her type-defying role in 1966’s “Persona” for which she received the award for best actress at the 4th Guldbagge Awards, the Swedish equivalent of the Academy Awards.
‘Fauji’ director Colonel Raj Kapoor passes away: The director who introduced Shah Rukh Khan with the television show Fauji, Colonel Raj Kumar Kapoor passed away. He was 87. He retired from the army after he became a disciple of Osho and moved to Mumbai to work in films. He produced many serials and acted in full-length and ad films. Just a few years ago, he published a novel “When Shiva Smiles”.
Drupad Borgohain, last of Assam’s communist stalwarts, passes away:Former Rajya Sabha member Drupad Borgohain, the last of Assam’s communist stalwarts who helped expand the Left’s footprint in the State and set an example in spending MP fund, passed away. He was 78. Born in eastern Assam’s Sivasagar district, Mr. Borgohain headed the State Council of Communist Party of India (CPI). He became a party whole-timer in 1982 after resigning from his teaching job.
April 16:
National News:
India join hands with Japan and UAE to set up two projects in Africa: India is joining hands with Japan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to implement 2 projects in Africa as it seeks to extend its footprint on the continent where strategic rival China has made deep inroads. While India will build a cancer hospital in Kenya in collaboration with Japan, it will partner with the UAE to set up an information and communications technology (ICT) centre in Ethiopia.
4th Resilient Cities Asia-Pacific Congress 2019 started in New Delhi: The 4th Resilient Cities Asia-Pacific Congress 2019 organised by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) and co-hosted by South Delhi Municipal Corporation started in New Delhi. It will conclude on 17th April 2019. It offers a lot of innovative solutions that build resilience to climate change at the sub-national level. Local governments in the Asia Pacific region is the main target of the event. The RCAP 2019 is a platform for discussing the opportunities and mechanisms of executing the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
Govt approves MoUs between India, Bolivia in geology, traditional systems of medicine: The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its ex-post facto approval to the Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) between India and Bolivia on cooperation in the field of geology and mineral resources and traditional systems of medicine and homeopathy. The MoUs were signed in Bolivia in March 2019. The MoU in the field of geology and mineral resources will provide an institutional mechanism between India and Bolivia for cooperation.
Essel World launches India’s first foreign interactive bird park in Mumbai: India’s first foreign interactive and exotic world park was inaugurated by EsselWorld in Mumbai. Bird lovers are up for a treat with this interactive bird park in Gorai area of Mumbai. The rain forest themed park is spread across 1.4 acres and is home to over 500 exotic birds from more than 60 species. It also houses a special birds’ kitchen and healthcare centre. Some of the key attractions in the park are African Grey Parrot, Blue Gold Macaw, Cockatiel and Rainbow Lorikeet among others.
Sub-sonic cruise missile ‘Nirbhay’ successfully test-fired: NIRBHAY, the long-range, sub-sonic, cruise missile was successfully tested with a sharper ‘terrain hugging capability’. The indigenously developed missile was test-fired from the ITR, Chandipur, off the Odisha coast. In the controlled flight, the missile was manoeuvred at low altitudes of as less as 5 mt to a range of 2.5 km, according to the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO). The NIRBHAY missile has a range of 700 km to 1,000 km. The guidance, control and navigation systems of the missile are configured around the indigenously designed Ring Laser Gyroscope and MEMS based. 
Rongali Bihu Festival celebrated in Assam: Assam’s most awaited festival the Rongali Bihu, also known as ‘Bohaag Bihu’ which marks the beginning of the new Assamese calendar year started. Assam celebrates major agricultural events as the festival of Bihu. This festival is observed at almost the same time as Baisakhi in Punjab, Poila Baisakh in Bengal, Puthandu in Tamil Nadu and Vishu in Kerala.
Home Expo India 2019 Begins in Greater Noida: The 8th edition of Home Expo India 2019 began at India Expo Centre and Mart in Greater Noida. It covers sectors with maximum thrust and growth potential in home decor, furnishing, furniture, flooring and textiles. About 500 companies in permanent marts will be exhibiting their collection under these categories. The three-day exhibition has been organized by the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts. 
INTERNATIONAL NEWS:
China develops world’s first armed amphibious drone boat: China has successfully tested the world’s first armed amphibious drone boat which the Chinese military analysts claimed could be used in land assault operations and is capable of forming a combat triad with aerial drones and other drone ships. Built by Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group under China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC), the drone ship, named Marine Lizard, successfully passed delivery checks and left factory in Wuhan, capital of Central China’s Hubei Province.
UAE to host world’s foremost Artificial Intelligence Summit: UAE is set to host the world’s foremost Artificial Intelligence, AI Summit to empower global dialogue on the future of government, business and society. The inaugural ‘AI Everything’, AIE will take place at the Dubai World Trade Centre, between 30 April and 1 May. The two-day event will bring together world leaders to define the underlying pillars of governance, business and society – augmenting the world’s happiness.
BANKING & FINANCE
IDRBT sets up 5G Lab for banking, financial sector: The Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT), an arm of Reserve Bank of India, has launched a 5G Use Cases Lab for banking and financial sector. The 5G technology, along with blockchain, will be progressively adopted by banks. The use of 5G will change a range of technologies and applications including point of sale machines in the banking sector which were now using 2G.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY:
Bajaj Finserv launches industry first proposition to pay electricity bill on EMIs: Bajaj Finserv through its lending arm Bajaj Finance Ltd. has launched a unique proposition through its campaign#BijliOnEMI wherein customers buying air-conditioners on EMI can avail an Insta Credit loan in their Bajaj Finserv Wallet which they can use to pay their electricity bills on EMI. Customers buying air conditioners of Rs 20,000 and above will be eligible for an Insta Credit loan of Rs 5000 and for those purchasing air conditioners above Rs 40,000 will receive Rs 7000 as an Insta Credit loan to their Wallet.
SPORTS:
Mumbai shuttler Harsheel Dani wins Dutch Badminton International title 2019: India’s Harsheel Dani, a former junior national champion, defeated Mads Christophersen of Denmark, world no 149, to clinch the 20th Victor Dutch International Badminton title in Wateringen, The Netherlands with a 15-21, 21-12, 21-13 victory in a 47-minute clash. It was the second win for Dani opposite Christophersen. The 22-year-old won the Ghana international crown in 2018 second Karvy All India junior-ranking badminton tournament in 2012.
Tiger Woods Wins 2019 Masters To Claim 15th Major in Golf: Tiger Woods produced a scintillating finish to win a fifth Masters title and end an 11-year wait to claim a 15th major.There were raucous celebrations around the 18th green as Woods finished with a two-under-par 70 to win on 13 under, one clear of fellow Americans Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele and Brooks Koepka. The triumph came 10 years, nine months and 29 days after his last major title at the 2008 US Open. Woods is three behind his Nicklaus’ overall major tally of 18.
ICC partners with UNICEF to organise #OneDay4Children at World Cup: International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket for Good in partnership with UNICEF announced #OneDay4Children, a tournament-wide campaign focussed on bringing the world of cricket together as one team to help build a better world for every child, at the World Cup. Former England batsman and #OneDay4Children ambassador Nasser Hussain along with all-rounder Chris Woakeslaunched the campaign.
AWARDS:
Jailed Reuters journalists win Pulitzer for Rohingya report: Jailed Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo won a Pulitzer Prize for international reporting for uncovering Rohingya killings in Myanmar’s Rakhine state. The two reporters were imprisoned by authorities in Myanmar, on charges of breaking the country’s Official Secrets Act, while they were conducting investigations into the killings. They have been handed a total sentence of seven years in jail – a move that has been slammed by human rights and press freedom groups all around the world.
NY Times, Wall Street Journal win Pulitzers for probe on Trump: The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal were awarded Pulitzer Prizes for their separate investigations of President Donald Trump and his family. The Times won the prestigious journalism award for explanatory reporting for its probe of the Trump family’s finances that “debunked his claims of self-made wealth and revealed a business empire riddled with tax dodges.  The South Florida Sun Sentinel won the Pulitzer for public service for its coverage of failings by school and law enforcement officials before and after the February 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
OBITUARIES:
Space scientist and Padma-Shri awardee Dr SK Shivakumar passes away: Renowned space scientist and former Indian Space Research Organisation Satellite Center (ISAC) director Dr SK Shivakumar passed away after suffering from an illness. Dr Shivakumar was part of the team that developed the telemetry system for Chandrayaan-I – India’s first lunar exploration mission. He has served as director of ISAC and ISTRAC, two of Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) centres.
April 17:
National News:
India becomes Net Steel Importer in 2018-19: India was a net importer of steel during the 2018-19 fiscal year, the first time in three years, as the country lost market share among its traditional steel buyers and imports jumped on demand for higher-quality steel domestically. The country’s finished steel exports fell by 34% in the fiscal year that ended in March to 6.36 million tonnes. During the same period, finished steel imports rose 4.7% to 7.84 million tonnes.
MHA gives nod to rename ‘Durjanpur’ in MP’s Katni as ‘Shivdham’: The Centre has approved a proposal to change the name of a village in Madhya Pradesh from ‘Durjanpur’ to ‘Shivdham’. The central government’s nod was given to the proposal of the Madhya Pradesh government sent last year before the Assembly elections held in November. The move came after the Home Ministry got no objection from the Geographical Survey of India (GSI), the Department of Post, the Ministry of Railways and the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
Coast Guard patrol ship Veera commissioned: Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat commissioned the Indian Coast Guard Ship Veera at a ceremony held at Naval Jetty at the dockyard in the city. Veera, third in the series of offshore patrol vessels of the Coast Guard, was built by L&T at its shipbuilding facility at Kattupalli in Chennai. The induction of the OPV will give a fillip to the maritime protection of India’s vast coastline of Eastern Seaboard. Veera is the third OPV constructed by L&T. A ship of this class has been designed and constructed in India for the first time as part of ‘Make in India’ concept of the Central government.
Google, Apple block TikTok download in India: Google and Apple have blocked the download of TikTok from Play Store and App Store respectively in India, following a request from the government to ban access to the Chinese short video-sharing app that has been downloaded over 230 million times in the country. The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court refused to lift the ban on TikTok and set April 24 the next hearing date. Expressing concern over the “pornographic and inappropriate” contents of the TikTok, the High Court had, on April 3, directed the Centre to ban the app.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
IMF and World Bank launches Learning Coin for its In-House Purposes: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank have together launched a private blockchain with a pseudo-token. The new token, called “Learning Coin” and only accessible within the IMF and World Bank, has a purpose to teach relevant individuals within the organizations about blockchain. Though the coin has no real value hence the description pseudo-token staff members who pass educational milestones will receive the tokens which can then be redeemed for certain rewards. The purpose is to get employees to understand the applications of blockchain technology in the real world.
BANKING & FINANCE
Canara Bank becomes the first public sector bank in India to meet RBI’s EMV mandate: ACI Worldwide, a global provider of realtime electronic payment and banking solutions, announced that Canara Bankhas successfully rolled out major new functionality to support EMV card acquiring across its ATM network and Aadhaar Authentication, leveraging ACI’s UP Retail Payments solution to achieve market firsts. The EMV shift, as in other major global markets, is aimed at reducing lost and stolen card fraud and making counterfeit card fraud more difficult.
RBI issues Rs 50 notes bearing Governor Das’ signature: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued Rs 50 denomination banknotes bearing the signature of Governor Shaktikanta Das. The design of these notes is similar in all respects to Rs 50 banknotes in Mahatma Gandhi (new) series.  All banknotes in the denomination of Rs 50 issued by the Reserve Bank in the past will continue to be legal tender. 
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
India’s travel spend to grow to $136 bn by 2021: The travel spend in India is expected to grow at 13 per cent to a total of $136 billion by 2021, said a new report by Bain & Company and Google India. According to the “How Does India Travel” report, the Indian traveller spent around $94 billion in 2018 on around 2 billion domestic and international trips, thus, helping India’s travel and tourism industry achieve unprecedented scale. The report indicates a 12 per cent growth in transportation ($50 billion) and 13 per cent growth in lodging ($21 billion) and consumption, which includes spends on shopping, recreation and food, to grow at 13 per cent ($65 billion) over the next three years.
SPORTS
Mithali Raj is goodwill ambassador for SCCWC 2019: Indian women’s cricket team captain Mithali Raj has been named the goodwill ambassador of Team India at the Street Child Cricket World Cup (SCCWC). She, alongside Saurav Ganguly and Rajasthan Royals, joins in supporting the team as they gear up for the final match at Lords, just ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup in May this year. The Street Child Cricket World Cup 2019 SCCWC is the first cricket world cup for street-connected children.
APPOINTMENTS
redBus announces M.S. Dhoni as brand ambassador: redBus, the world’s largest bus ticketing platform, has announced M.S. Dhoni as its brand ambassador. Dhoni will helm all major campaigns for the brand, across media platforms and will soon appear in his first promotional concept for the brand. While redBus commands a strong foothold in the Indian online bus ticketing segment, it is looking at strengthening its relationship with its patrons, while also reaching out to a large group of potential customers.
India Electronics and Semiconductor Association appoints Intel’s Jitendra Chaddah as its Chairman: Industry body India Electronics and Semiconductor Association said it has appointed Jitendra Chaddah as its chairman. Chaddah, Intel India senior director for operations and strategy, has over two decades of industry experience. IESA also appointed Satya Gupta, co-founder and CEO SenzOpt Technologies India as the new Vice Chairman and Veerappan V, co-founder and director, Tessolve Semiconductor as the new Treasurer.
Rajesh Kumar Yaduvanshi appointed as Punjab National Bank Executive Director: Punjab National Bank (PNB) said it has appointed Rajesh Kumar Yaduvanshi as the Executive Director of the bank. He has also worked with Dena Bank in capacity of the Executive Director. Yadivanshi, having 34 years of banking career, had joined PNB as a management trainee in 1985. With his joining, PNB now has three Executive Directors, the others being L V Prabhakar and A K Azad.
McAfee appoints Sanjay Manohar as India MD: Cyber security company McAfee announced the appointment of Sanjay Manohar as its Managing Director for Indiaoperations. He will build and lead teams to drive product revenues and increase adoption of Cloud-based products. Manohar brings over 25 years of industry experience spanning leadership roles across the APAC region.
PwC appoints Padmaja Alaganandan as its new chief people officer: PwC has named Padmaja Alaganandan as its new chief people officer. Alaganandan, who was leader-people and organisation at PwC earlier, takes over from Jagjit Singh. Alaganandan is also in the PwC’s India leadership team since January 2019. Alaganandan said her priority as chief people officer will be to build talent in line with PwC’s strategy.
AWARDS
Fincare Small Finance Bank Awarded the Celent Model Bank 2019 Award: Fincare Small Finance Bank (SFB) has been awarded the prestigious Celent Model Bank 2019 Award in the category of Financial Inclusion, for ‘Redesigning Lending to Reach Small Businesses’. The Award was announced at the Innovation & Insight Day organized by Celent in New York. Fincare Small Finance Bank commenced banking operations on the 21st of July, 2017, after receiving the final license from the RBI in May 2017 under Section 22 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
April 18
National News:
Indian Navy-Vietnam Peoples’ Navy Bilateral Exercise (IN – VPN BILAT EX) concludes: The Indian Navy undertook the second edition of the bilateral maritime exercise between the Indian Navy and Vietnam Peoples’ Navy, (IN – VPN BILAT EX) at/ off Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam. Conduct of the bilateral exercise on an annual basis would give a further fillip to the existing strong bilateral relation between the two countries. The Indian Navy-Vietnam Peoples’ Navy Bilateral Exercise is a significant step in further strengthening mutual confidence and inter-operability as well as sharing best practices between the Indian and the Vietnam Peoples’ Navies.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Global IT spending to touch $3.79 tn in 2019: Gartner: Global IT spending is projected to total $3.79 trillion in 2019, an increase of 1.1 per cent from 2018, the latest forecast by Gartner Inc. said recently. The data centre systems segment will experience the largest decline in 2019 with a decrease of 2.8 per cent primarily due to expected lower average selling prices (ASPs) in the server market driven by adjustments in the pattern of expected component costs. In 2019, the market is forecast to reach $427 billion, up 7.1 per cent from $399 billion in 2018.
Keshav Raghavan, PIO-led team’s CubeSat to be launched by NASA: A team led by an Indian American student has been chosen by NASA to have their CubeSat a mini research satellite to detect cosmic rays flown into space on future missions of the US space agency. The researchers from the Yale Undergraduate Aerospace Association (YUAA), led by 21-year-old Keshav Raghavan, are among the 16 teams across the country whose CubeSats will be flown into space on missions planned to launch in 2020, 2021 and 2022.
NASA Chooses SpaceX to Launch Asteroid-Walloping Mission: SpaceX will fly its Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) planetary-defense mission. The total launch cost for NASA will be about $69 million. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research.
Saudi Arabia to host G20 summit in 2020: Saudi Arabia announced it will host the G20 summit in November next year in the capital Riyadh. The first G20 meeting in the Arab world will be held in November 2020, according to the final communique of the G20 summit last year in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which confirmed that the summit will be held in Japan in 2019, and in Saudi Arabia in 2020. G20 world leaders met for the first time in 2008 with focus on rescuing the global economy from the worst financial crisis in more than 70 years.
Nepal’s first ever satellite launched into space: Nepal’s first satellite has been launched into space, which will soon start rotating around the Earths orbit to collect information about the country’s topography and Earths magnetic field. The NepaliSat-1 was launched from the Virginia-based station of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in the US, according to authorities at the Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST).
BANKING & FINANCE
Bandhan Bank gets CCI approval to acquire Gruh Finance: Kolkata-based Bandhan Bank said it has received approval of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for the proposed acquisition of Gruh Finance. Gruh Finance, the affordable housing finance arm of HDFC Ltd, was taken over in January by Bandhan Bank in a share-swap deal. As part of the deal, Bandhan Bank has to transfer 14.9 per cent stake to HDFC for merging Gruh with itself.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Mukesh Ambani among TIME’s 100 most influential people: Reliance Industries (RIL) Chairman Mukesh Ambani has featured in the TIME magazine’s list of 100 most influential people. Arundhati Katju and Menaka Guruswamy, who led the legal battle for LGBTQ rights in India, also featured in the list. The “Time 100 Most Influential People 2019” named the world’s most influential pioneers, leaders, titans, artists and icons of the year. The list includes US President Donald Trump, Pope Francis, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Indian-American comedian Hasan Minhaj.
Cholamandalam MS General Insurance gets ISO 31000:2018 certification: Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Company Limited has been certified with ISO 31000. ISO 31000:2018 is an international risk management standard. The standard provides guidelines, principles, framework, and a process for managing risk. It can be used by any organization regardless of its size, activity or sector. The Company has put in place a comprehensive risk management system to promote an innovative culture with the proper understanding of risks, to add sustainability to all the activities of the organization and to ensure adequate profitable growth which itself minimises enterprise risks. The Certificate is valid for a period of 3 years from April 07, 2019, to April 06, 2022.
Bank of Maharashtra and M1Xchange join hands for MSME bill discounting: Bank of Maharashtra (BoM) has partnered with M1Xchange Trade Receivables Discounting System (TReDS) platform for MSME bill discounting. TReDS is a digital platform to support micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to get their bills financed at a competitive rate through an auction where multiple registered financiers can participate. The main purpose of TReDS platform is to facilitate smooth flow of liquidity in the system and make finance available at a competitive rate.
ETMONEY becomes India’s first comprehensive financial services app to integrate with Unified Payment Interface(UPI): India’s largest app for financial services, ETMONEY announced that it has integrated unified payment interface (UPI) as a payment method on its platform as it looks to double its monthly user base by the end of the year. The integration of UPI will simplify the mutual fund payment experience for millions of ETMONEY users as the company continues its journey to simplify the financial lives of new age Indians.
Titan 4th fastest growing global luxury firm: Report: Watches and jewellery maker Titan Company is the fourth fastest growing luxury company in the world with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.7 per cent during the financial years 2015-2017, a Deloitte report said recently. Titan is a joint venture between the Tata Group and state-run Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO). The company ranks 27th among the top 100 global luxury companies. The list prepared by Deloitte includes four other companies in the top 100 with Kalyan Jewellers in the 35th position, follwed by PC Jeweller (40), Joyalukkas India Pvt Ltd (47) and Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri (87).
RBL Bank’s net profit up 39 pc to Rs 247 crore in Q4 FY19: RBL Bank Ltd said that strong growth in net interest income during the quarter ending March 2019 boosted its net profit to Rs 247.2 crore, up 39 per cent from Rs 178.1 crore in the year-on period. The net interest income, the difference between interest earned and interest expended, jumped 48 per cent to Rs 738.7 crore compared to Rs 500.5 crore in the fourth quarter of 2017-18.
APPOINTMENTS
In a first, US appoints Indian to geospatial advisory committee: India’s growing might in earth observation, remote sensing, mapping, and location technologies has got a shot in the arm, with the US department of interior appointing an Indian to its prestigious National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC). Delhi-based Sanjay Kumar, CEO of Geospatial Media and Communications and Secretary General of World Geospatial Industry Council, is the first Indian to be inducted to NGAC. The US Department of Interior also inducted 11 other individuals under the stewardship of Keith Masback, who currently serves on the board of directors of NGAC and is the former CEO of United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation.
EC appoints Special Observer for West Bengal: The Election Commission of India (ECI) has appointed Bihar’s former Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Ajay V. Nayak as a special observer for West Bengal. He will oversee the last five phases of elections and report to the Commission on a daily basis. The Commission has earlier appointed Vivek Dube as the special police observer for the state. He has been looking after the deployment of central and state forces.
IMPORTANT DAYS
World Haemophilia Day: Every April 17 World Haemophilia Day is recognised worldwide to increase awareness of haemophilia and other inherited bleeding disorders. This is a critical effort since with increased awareness comes better diagnosis and access to care for the millions who remain without treatment. World Haemophilia Day was started in 1989 by the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH). The theme of this year is“Reaching out – connect to your community”.
April 19
National News
Election Commission launches ‘Voter Turnout’ app: The Election Commission (EC) launched a new mobile application for near-realtime availability of voter turnout during elections across the country. The beta version of the “Voter Turnout” app, available on Android Playstore, currently shows the state-wise and constituency-wise voter turnout in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. The app would increase transparency of voter turnout information among public while ensuring easy availability of the same for the media.
In a first, Delhi Metro runs on solar power; gets 27 MW power from Rewa project: In a bid to become world’s first 100 per cent green energy metro rail network, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC)started its operations through the support of solar energy on Violet line in between the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium metro station to Central Secretariat station. The DMRC has received 27 megawatts (MW) solar power from Madhya Pradesh’s Rewa Solar Power Project, which will gradually increase it to 99 MW. The rail corporation has a plan to run all its operations with the help of solar energy by 2021.
India ranked 140th in World Press Freedom Index 2019: India has dropped two places on a global press freedom index to be ranked 140th out of 180 countries in the annual Reporters Without Borders analysis released recently, with the lead up to the ongoing Indian general elections flagged as a particularly dangerous time for journalists. The World Press Freedom Index 2019‘, topped by Norway, finds an increased sense of hostility towards journalists across the world, with violent attacks in India leading to at least six Indian journalists being killed in the line of their work last year.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Mali’s prime minister, cabinet resigns: Just months before the presidential elections, Mali’s Prime Minister Abdoulaye Idrissa Maiga and his cabinet resigned recently. Maiga “presented to the president his resignation along with that of the members of his government. President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has reportedly accepted Maiga’s decision to quit. This comes a month after a horrific massacre of Fulani community members carried out by the Dogon ethnic group in which nearly 160 people were killed.
Sri Lanka’s 1st satellite ‘Raavana-1’ launched into space: Sri Lanka’s first satellite ‘Raavana-1’ was launched into space today from NASA’s Flight Facility on Virginia’s east shore. ‘Raavana 1’ weights around 1.05 kg and the lifespan of the satellite is around one and a half years. The launch marks Sri Lanka’s entry into the global space age. The satellite was designed and built at the Kyushu Institute of Technology in Japan by two Sri Lankan research engineers.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
Book on Jallianwala Bagh poem ‘Khooni Vaisakhi’ released in UAE: India’s Ambassador to the UAE Navdeep Singh Suri has commended the launch of a book containing english translation of the Punjabi poem, Khooni Vaisakhi, saying the 100-year old classic ballad about the Jallianwala Bagh massacre is now reaching a global audience. The poem was translated by Suri whose grandfather revolutionary poet and novelist Nanak Singh, a Jallianwala Bagh survivor, wrote it after witnessing first-hand the events of April 13, 1919. The book was also released in New Delhi, marking 100 years since the Jallianwala Bagh massacre that took place in Amritsar.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Bank of Baroda, Srei Equipment Finance tie up for infra equipment loans: Srei Equipment Finance Ltd (SEFL) and India’s third-largest lender Bank of Baroda have inked a co-lending arrangement for infrastructure equipment. The partnership will enable Kolkata-based Srei Infrastructure Finance Ltd’s equipment finance segment and Bank of Baroda to team up and expand their respective customer base. As part of the strategic tie-up, the companies will use iQuippo, a digital marketplace for initiation of loans, loan dues’ collection, and auction and valuation of equipment. Srei, owned by the Kanoria family, unveiled the iQuippo platform in 2016 for consolidating and digitalising the uneven infrastructure equipment industry.
SPORTS
Chandigarh to host Asian Billiards, Snooker C’ships: Chandigarh will host the 18th Asian Billiards, the 20th Under-21 Asian Snooker Championship and the 3rd Ladies Asian Snooker Championship from April 27 to May 3, officials of the Punjab Billiards and Snooker Association (PBSA)said in Chandigarh. The participating countries include India, China, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Qatar, Syria, Korea, Japan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Iran and others.
Bajrang regains top spot in world wrestling rankings: India’s Bajrang Punia has regained the world number one spot in the men’s 65-kilogram freestyle category rankings. The rankings were released by United World Wrestling. Punia, who won Gold in the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games as well as a silver in the World Championships last year, secured 58 points ahead of Akhmed Chakaev of Russia.
APPOINTMENTS
DHA appoints Gursimran Singh as Vice President: Gursimran Singh has been appointed Vice President of the Delhi Hockey Association (DHA). Singh, whose appointment was announced in the presence of DHA General Secretary Mahesh Dayal, is a National-level hockey player. Gursimran Singh represented the CBSE national team in 2011 and participated in the National School Games in 2012. In 2013, Singh played in the Hockey India Junior National Championship as one of the youngest players in the tournament, and in 2017, he represented India in the 44 Pesta Indoor Hockey Tournament in Malaysia.
Deutsche Bank appoints Kaushik Shaparia as CEO to succeed Ravneet Gill: Deutsche Bank appointed Kaushik Shaparia as the chief executive officer for India to succeed Ravneet Gill. Gill left the bank to head private lender YES Bank earlier this year. His appointment will be effective from May 2019. Shaparia served as Asia Pacific Head of Corp­orate Banking Coverage within Institu­tio­nal and Treasury Coverage, as well as Global Head of Subsidiary Coverage and has a 30-year experience at the bank.
Gagandeep Kang becomes first Indian woman to be elected Royal Society Fellow: The Royal Society of London has announced a list of 51 eminent scientists elected to its fellowship in the year 2019. Among these are Gagandeep Kang, who is now with the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, Faridabad. Dr. Kang is the first Indian woman to be elected to the Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS). Princeton professors Manjul Bhargava and Akshay Venkatesh have also been elected to the FRS.
IMPORTANT DAYS
International Day for Monuments and Sites: The International Day for Monuments and Sites also known as World Heritage Day is an international observance held on 18 April each year around the world with different types of activities, including visits to monuments and heritage sites, conferences, round tables and newspaper articles. The theme for this year’s celebrations is ‘Rural Landscapes’, which is related to the theme of the 2019 ICOMOS Scientific Symposium on Rural heritage that will take place in Marrakesh, Morocco in October.
April 20:
National News:
India and France to hold ‘Varuna’ naval exercise off Goa coast: India and France will conduct their largest ever naval exercise ‘Varuna’ in May 2019. The objective of this exercise is to expand the strategic partnership between India and France in the Indian Ocean region (IOR). Varuna Naval Exercise will take place off Goa and Karwar from 1 May 2019. The exercise will witness the participation of aircraft carriers, destroyers, submarines and fighters.
Exim Bank funds projects worth USD 267 mn in Rawanda: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said Exim Bank has provided soft loans of USD 266.60 million to Rawanda for various projects. The funding, done in three separate tranches to Rawanda, is to support agricultural projects, development of special economic zones (SEZs) and for financing road project in the African nation. Exim Bank will provide USD 100 million for financing the development of two SEZs and expansion of the Kigali SEZ in Rwanda; USD 100 million for financing three agriculture project schemes — Warufu Multipurpose Project, Mugesera Irrigation Project and Nyamukana Irrigation Project.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
NASA Astronaut Christina Koch to set Longest Spaceflight Record by a Woman: NASA astronaut Christina Koch is set to spend the longest duration in space by a woman, surpassing the previous record of 288 days in spaceflight by astronaut Peggy Whitson. Koch will also enter the list of the most illustrious women in the field of astronomy, alongside the likes of Sunita Williams and Katie Bouman. With over a month in space already, Koch’s return to Earth is set for some time in February 2020.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Indiabulls gets IRDAI nod for non-life business: Indiabulls Life Insurance Company, a subsidiary of Indiabulls Integrated Services, received preliminary approval from insurance regulator IRDAI to foray into the life insurance business.The company is in the process of putting in place the necessary systems and move ahead with the next step of filing its application for registration (R2) with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) to undertake life insurance business in India.
Airtel Payments, Bharti Axa tie up for 2-wheeler insurance: Airtel Payments Bank announced a two-wheeler insurance policy in partnership with Bharti Axa General Insurance. Customers can also avail towing services at no extra cost on claim intimation in the event the insured vehicle breaks down. The insurance is currently available on “MyAirtel” app and at over 40,000 banking points of Airtel Payments Bank. Customers without an Airtel Payments Bank account may also avail this policy.
AWARDS
 150Indian peacekeepers in S Sudan awarded medal of honour for dedicated service: A total of 150 Indian peacekeepers serving with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) have received medals of honour for their dedicated service and sacrifice. The medals were given to the 150 Indian peacekeepers serving in United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in Malakal during a ceremony filled with parades and performances by a piped band. Indian peacekeepers serving with the mission have undertaken numerous training sessions of community animal health workers, providing value addition training for farmers to help them make the most of their produce.
APPOINTMENTS
V.P. Pathak took over as Member (Materials Management) of Railway Board: Indian Railway Stores Service Officer of 1980 batch VP Pathak has taken over as Member (Materials Management) Railway Board. Prior to his assuming the post, the officer had been working as Director General (RS), Railway Board since June 12, 2018. Mr Pathak graduated in Civil engineering with Honours from Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology, Allahabad in 1979.
OBITUARIES
Jerrie Cobb, NASA’s 1st female astronaut candidate passes away: NASA’s first female astronaut candidate, pilot Jerrie Cobb, has passed away. Cobb died in Florida at age 88. In 1961, Cobb became the first woman to pass astronaut testing. Cobb served for decades as a humanitarian aid pilot in the Amazon jungle. She emerged in 1998 to make another pitch for space, as NASA prepared to launch John Glenn on shuttle Discovery at age 77.
April 21:
National News
INS Kolkata and INS Shakti arrives in China to participate in IFR: The Indian Navy ships Kolkata and Shakti arrived at Qingdao in China to participate in the International Fleet Review (IFR) as a part of the 70th anniversary celebrations of People Liberation’s Army (PLA-Navy). IFR is a parade of naval ships, aircraft and submarines that is organised by nations to promote goodwill, strengthen cooperation and showcase their organisational capabilities.
Navy chief launches new guided missile destroyer ‘INS Imphal’: Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba launched the third ship of Project 15B, a guided missile destroyer Imphalat Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders, Mumbai. The launch marks yet another significant milestone in the annals of the indigenous warship design and construction programme of India. Project 15B ships feature cutting edge advanced technology and are comparable to the best ships of similar class anywhere in the world. These ships have been designed indigenously by the Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design.
Bhopal gas tragedy among world’s major industrial accidents of 20th century: UN: The 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy which killed thousands of people is among the world’s “major industrial accidents” of the 20th century, a UN report has said, warning that 2.78 million workers die from occupational accidents and work-related diseases each year. The report titled ‘The Safety and Health at the Heart of the Future of Work – Building on 100 years of experience’released by the the UN labour agency International Labour Organization (ILO) said the Bhopal disaster was among the world’s “major industrial accidents after 1919”.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Scientists unearth 220 million year old dinosaurs fossils in San Juan province: A site containing the 220-million-year-old fossilised remains of nearly a dozen dinosaurs has been discovered in western Argentina. According to Martinezof the University of San Juan, the fossils are approximately 220 million years old, belonging to “an era of which we know little”. This discovery is doubly important because there are at least seven or eight individuals of dicynodonts, the ancestors of mammals, the size of an ox.
Universe’s first molecule, formed 14 billion years ago, detected in space: Scientists have detected the most ancient type of molecule in our universe in space for the first time ever. Helium hydride ion (HeH+) was the first molecule that formed when, almost 14 billion years ago, falling temperatures in the young universe allowed recombination of the light elements produced in the Big Bang. At that time, ionised hydrogen and neutral helium atoms reacted to form HeH+, said researchers from The Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR) in Germany.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Tata Technologies joins hands with China’s FutureMove Automotive: Tata Technologies said it has inked a pact with China’s FutureMove Automotive to develop connected mobility solutions for automotive manufacturers in China and other markets. The companies signed a memorandum of understanding on the sidelines of the Shanghai Motor Show 2019. FutureMove Automotive, with its digital and mobility services, is a strategic partner to Tata Technologies’ customers in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao and the US.
APPOINTMENTS
Mukesh Kumar elected Judo Union of Asia general secretary: Former Judo Federation of India chief Mukesh Kumar was re-elected as general secretary of the Asian governing body at its ordinary congress at Fujairah in the UAE. Incumbent Judo Federation of India President Partap Singh Bajwa was elected as Vice President of Judo Union of Asia as well as president of South Asia Judo Federation. Mukesh is also the Chairman of the Technical Conduct Committee of the 36th National Games allotted to Goa.
OBITUARIES
Legendary Bengali folk singer Amar Paul passes away: Legendary Bengali folk singer Amar Paul passed away at a state-run hospital following a celebral haemorrhage. He was 96. After shifting base to Kolkata, he joined All India Radio as a grade artist and began lending his voice to films. His rendition of the song ‘Kotoi Ranga dekhi duniai’ in Satyajit Ray’s ‘Hirak Rajar Deshe’ brought him instant fame. His songs in films directed by the likes of Debaki Kumar Bose and Rituparno Ghosh touched the hearts of the music lovers.

IMPORTANT DAYS
World Liver day: World liver day is observed every year on every 19 April, to spread awareness about liver related diseases. The liver is the second largest and the second most complex organ in the body, after the brain. The day is meant to raise awareness about liver and following a lifestyle which supports liver health.
April 22:
National News
India 17th in global startup ecosystem, up from 37: Report: India rose to 17th position in global startup ecosystem in 2019, up from the 37th spot in 2017, as per StartupBlink. The country list was topped by the US, followed by the UK and Canada. Notably, India was ranked above 27th-placed China. In cities ranking, Bengaluru, New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune also made it to the top 100.
India rebuilds Chhyoiphel Kundeling monastery in Nepal: India has rebuilt Chhyoiphel Kundeling Monastery in Nepal. Shyalpa Tenzin Rinpoche inaugurated newly reconstructed Monastery at Lisankhu village in Sindhupalchok district. Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of India Dr. Ajay Kumar was also present on the occasion. The Monastery has been reconstructed with Government of India grant of 18.9 million Nepalese rupees. The Chhyoiphel Kundeling Monastery was established in 1946 with the active initiation and contribution of Lisankhu villagers. 
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Volodymyr Zelenskiy wins Ukraine Presidential Elections: Volodymyr Zelenskiy has won a major victory over incumbent Petro Poroshenko. The comedian plays the role of president in a fictional television sitcom. Comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy won Ukraine’s presidential election by a substantial margin. Zelenskiy’s victory puts the anti-establishment figure at the forefront of the West’s standoff with Russia, after its annexation of Crimea and its support for insurgency in eastern Ukraine.
Asian Tea Alliance Launched In China: Asian Tea Alliance (ATA), a union of five tea-growing and consuming countries was launched in Guizhou, China. Its members are major associations from key tea producing Asian countries viz. Indian Tea Association (ITA), China Tea Marketing Association (CRMA), Indonesian Tea Marketing Association (ITMA), Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) and Japan Tea Association (JTA). Its mandate is to enhance tea trade, cultural exchanges, technology exchanges as well as globally promoting tea. It will also work towards enhancing global consumption of tea, while creating a sustainability agenda for the future of Asian tea.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
India Post partners TCS to modernize its services: India Post has partnered with IT services firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to become a multi-service digital hub, modernize the delivery of mail and packages, enhance customer experience and launch innovative services. TCS has implemented its Point of Sale (PoS) solution across 24,000 post offices with over 80,000 PoS terminals, making this among the largest such implementations in the world.
Reliance Retail Became India’s First Retail Company To Cross The Rs.1 Lakh Crore Annual Revenue: Reliance retail has become the first Indian retail company to clock more than Rs 1 lakh crore in annual revenues. The retail venture of Reliance Industries reported an income of Rs 1,30,556 crore for 2018-19, 89% more than the previous year’s Rs 69,198 crore. It reported Rs 6,201 crore as profit before depreciation, interest and taxes (PBDIT) for the year against Rs 2,529 crore in FY18, an increase of 145%.
SPORTS
Services lift Santosh Trophy; beat Punjab 1-nil in final: In Football, the Services lifted the Santosh Trophy, beating Punjab 1-nil in the final at Ludhiana. In the first half, both the teams were goal-less. In the second half, Services scored the lone goal and held on till the final whistle. In the semi-finals earlier, eight-time champions Punjab had defeated five-time winners Goa 2-1 to enter their 15th final. Services beat Karnataka 4-3 in the semis via a penalty shootout to book a place in the title clash for the 11th time.
APPOINTMENTS
Twitter appoints Manish Maheshwari as India MD: Twitter India appointed Manish Maheshwari, ex-CEO of Network18 Digital, as the Managing Director for its India operations. Maheshwari will be responsible for driving an integrated business strategy to accelerate Twitter’s audience and revenue growth in the country. Prior to Network18, Maheshwari held various positions at Flipkart, txtWeb, Intuit, McKinsey and P&G.
Dubai based ‘RAKEZ’ appointed Cricket Champion Ravi Shastri as a Corporate Ambassador: Former Cricketer Ravi Shastri appointed as Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ) exclusive Corporate Ambassador to the Indian Business Community. As brand Ambassador Ravi Shastri may attract more Indian business leaders to set up or expand their operations in UAE through RAKEZ. This first-of-its-kind approach is one of the many other initiatives that RAKEZ will be launching in the future to attract more investors from all over the world and boost the economic growth of Ras Al Khaimah.
AWARDS
Malayalam film Bhayanakam wins best cinematography at 2019 Beijing International Film Festival: Malayalam film Bhayanakam (Fear) directed by Jayaraj won the best cinematography award at the Beijing International Film Festival. The cinematography was done by Nikihil S Praveen. The film had also won the best cinematography award at the 65th National Film Awards. Both Jayaraj and lead actor, writer and journalist Renji Panicker who attended the festival received the award.
Sunil Kumar Gautam Bestowed With ‘Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant Award’: Sunil Kumar Gautam, Special Commissioner of Police (Operations) was honoured with ‘Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant Award‘ for his book titled ‘Samvidhan Kavya‘. He was awarded by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) under the Ministry of Home Affairs.The book presents the provisions of the Constitution in a simple and poetic form.
Cipla chairman Hamied receives UK Royal Society honour: Prominent scientist and businessman Yusuf Hamied is among a host of Indian-origin experts honoured in the 2019 list of new fellows of the UK’s Royal Society. The 82-year-old chairman of pharmaceutical major Cipla has been made an Honorary Fellow of the prestigious body, comprising of many of the world’s most eminent scientists. The Royal Society is an independent scientific academy of the UK and the Commonwealth, dedicated to promoting excellence in science.
OBITUARIES
Lorraine Warren, A Paranormal Investigator Passes Away: Real-life ghost buster Lorraine Warren who inspired The Amityville Horror and The Conjuring movies passed away at the age of 92. She and husband Ed Warren are famous supernatural investigators. Their most famous cases include the Amityville horror house in 1976, the Annabelle Raggedy Ann doll in 1968, and the haunted Perron family in 1971.
IMPORTANT DAYS
Earth Day: The world celebrates Earth Day and Google has introduced an interactive doodle that celebrates the uniqueness, diversity and wonder of a small fraction of life forms found on earth. World Earth Day, which is celebrated on 22 Aprilevery year, now includes events in more than 193 countries. For the year 2019, the Earth Day theme is ‘Protect our Species’. 
World Creativity And Innovation Day: Every year World Creativity and Innovation Day (WCID) is officially celebrated on April 21. WCID is a part of the United Nations resolution entitled “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” It is celebrated to raise awareness of the role of creativity and innovation in “problem-solving and by extension, in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.”
April 23:
National News
First edition of Naval Commanders’ Conference of 2019 started: The first edition of Naval Commanders’ Conference of 2019 began in New Delhi. The conference, which would continue till April 25, is the apex forum within the Service for interaction between the Naval Commanders. The Conference assumes greater significance in the backdrop of Pulwama associated events that have brought country’s defence under sharper focus and would provide the higher naval leadership a forum to discuss the emerging challenges in the maritime domain and fine tune the strategies for responding to the evolving geo-strategic environment.
High-level revamp: Anti-hijack panel to now include PMO brass: The government has revamped its high-level anti-hijack panel to include top officials the Prime Minister’s Office, especially National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, who will be empowered to coordinate any immediate military response. The Committee of Secretaries on Aircraft Hijack (COSAH) will also have Nripendra Mishra, principal secretary to the prime minister and P K Mishra,additional principal secretary as its members. The panel will continue to be headed by Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha despite presence of senior PMO officials.
Visual aids for disabled CBSE students from 2020: From 2020, the CBSE students with visual impairment will be allowed to use magnifying glasses and portable video magnifiers during the Class X final examination. The board has also asked all its affiliated school to ensure that the premises are made disabled friendly by 2020 and all educational institutions, including hostels, libraries and laboratories, have barrier-free access.
BEML joined hands with Syndicate Bank for financing Earth Moving and Construction Equipment: Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) and Syndicate Bank, one of the oldest and leading public sector bank, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for financing Earth Moving & Construction Equipment manufactured by BEML. Under the MoU, BEML will nominate Syndicate Bank as a preferred financer for financing its customers. The customers under the tie-up arrangement will be provided loans in the range of Rs 20 lakh to Rs 300 lakh and preferential pricing by Syndicate Bank. Financing Equipment of BEML will be covered under ‘SPECIAL‘ scheme of the Bank.
BANKING & FINANCE
Deposits in Jan Dhan accounts are set to cross Rs 1 lakh crore mark: The total deposits in bank accounts opened under the Jan Dhan scheme, which was launched about five years ago by the Modi-government, are set to cross Rs 1 lakh crore soon. The total balance in the Jan Dhan accounts, which has been steadily rising, was at Rs 97,665.66 crore as on April 3, as per the latest government data. The total number of Jan Dhan accounts have crossed 35.39 crore. The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) was launched on August 28, 2014 with an aim to provide universal access to banking facilities to all households.
The Authorised capital of Allahabad Bank raised to Rs. 8000 crore by the government: State-owned Allahabad Bank said the government has increased its authorised capital by Rs 5,000 crore to Rs 8,000 crore. The central government after consultation with the Reserve Bank of India has increased the authorised capital of the bank from Rs 3,000 to Rs 8,000 through Gazette Notification. The increase in authorised capital will help enable the bank to raise further fund up to a maximum ceiling of Rs 8,000 crore.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
RBI has $43 billion in excess reserves, says BofAML: The Bimal Jalan committee formed to study the RBI’s capital structure is likely to identify excess reserves of up to Rs. 3 lakh crore, Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) said. Capping overall reserves at 20% from 25.5% will release ₹1.96 lakh crore, it added. There’s no restriction which prevents RBI from transferring the money to government, BofAML further noted.
Indian Economy Shrank 31% Due To Global Warming: Global warming has caused the Indian economy to be 31 percent smaller than it would otherwise have been, according to a Stanford study which shows how earth’s temperature changes have increased inequalities. The study showed that growing concentrations of greenhouse gases in earth’s atmosphere since 1960s have enriched cooler countries like Norway and Sweden, while dragging down economic growth in warmer countries such as India and Nigeria.
Assocham Secretary General U K Varma resigns: Uday Kumar Varma, a former bureaucrat who took over as the Secretary General of Assocham in August last year, has resigned from the post. Assocham Deputy Secretary General Saurabh Sanyal is discharging the duties of secretary general at present. Verma retired from the post of Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on June 30, 2013. 
AWARDS
Swacchta Pakhwada Awards 2019 awarded to All India Radio: All India Radio, Publication Division and Children’s Film Society of India were given Swacchta Pakhwada Awards-2019 in New Delhi. Secretary in the Information and Broadcasting Ministry Amit Khare gave away the awards. Director General of All India Radio F. Sheheryar and Director General (News) Ms. Ira Joshi received the Award for All India Radio. Press Council of India, Press Information Bureau and Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Limited (BECIL) were also mentioned during the award ceremony for their efforts during the Swacchta Pakhwada. Swachhata Pakhwada started in April 2016 with the objective of bringing a fortnight of intense focus on the issues and practices of Swachhata by engaging GOI Ministries/Departments in their jurisdictions.
IMPORTANT DAYS
World Book and Copyright Day: World Book and Copyright Day is a celebration to promote the enjoyment of books and reading. Each year, on 23 April, celebrations take place all over the world to recognize the scope of books – a link between the past and the future, a bridge between generations and across cultures. The 24th edition of World Book and Copyright Day will celebrate literature and reading while focusing particularly on the importance of enhancing and protecting Indigenous languages.
April 24:
National News
Indonesia Releases Special Stamp On Theme of Ramayana: Indonesia released a special commemorative stamp on the theme of Ramayana to mark the 70th anniversary of diplomatic ties with India. The stamp, designed by renowned Indonesian sculptor Padmashri Bapak Nyoman Nuart, features a scene from Hindu epic Ramayana in which Jatayu valiantly fought to save Sita. The stamp, symbolising the resolve of two peoples in the face of adversity will be on display at the Philately Museum in Jakarta. 
India Ranks 19th in Cancer Preparedness Index 2019: The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has released the 2019 Index of Cancer Preparedness (ICP) in which India’soverall rank is 19th out of 28 countries, with a score of 64.9. Australia tops the ICP, followed by the Netherlands and Germany. Saudi Arabia, Romania, and Egypt are at the bottom in Index. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), created in 1946, is the research and analysis division of The Economist Group and the world leader in global business intelligence
Garia Festival celebrated in Tripura: Garia festival is an important festival for the Tripuri tribal community of the state. The Garia dance is very popular among the Tripuris and the Reangs. It is held on the seventh day of the month of Vaishakha. This year’s Garia puja was on 21 April. In Garia puja devotees sacrifice chicken for ritual purpose. It is a three day festival to honour the deity Baba Garia is held annually on the first day of Hindu calender month of  ‘Vaisakh’.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Israel To Name Town In Golan Heights After Donald Trump: Israel said it would name a new community on the Golan Heights after U.S. President Donald Trump as an expression of gratitude for his recognition of its claim of sovereignty over the strategic plateau. Israel captured the Golan from Syria in a 1967 war and annexed it, in a move not recognized internationally. The United States broke with other world powers last month when Trump signed a decree recognizing Israeli sovereignty there.
World’s first anti-malaria vaccine launched: The world’s first malaria vaccine has been launched in Malawi after concerted efforts of over 30 years to protect children from the deadly disease that claims over 435,000 lives globally every year. The World Health Organization (WHO) welcomed the Government of Malawi’s landmark pilot programme. The launch of the first and only malaria vaccine, known as RTS,S, makes Malawi the first of three countries in Africa where it will be made available to children up to 2 years of age.
BANKING & FINANCE
SBI General Insurance Launches Cyber Defence Insurance For Businesses: SBI General Insurance said it has launched a product to protect businesses from financial and reputational losses due to cyber attacks. In the initial phase, the focus will be on SMEs and mid-market businesses, but later the product can cater to larger business conglomerates as well. This offers protection against the growing threat of cyber breaches and is designed to protect against major insurable cyber exposures like hacking attacks, identity theft, disclosure of sensitive information and business interruption.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
LSE Names A Professorship After Economist Amartya Sen: With an aim to honour renowned India-born economist Amartya Sen, the London School of Economics and Political Science, has announced a Chair in Inequality Studies in his name. The Nobel laureate served as a professor in the economics department at the institute from 1971-82. The person holding the position would also serve in the capacity as the Director of the International Inequalities Institute at LSE. The institute aims to acknowledge one of the world’s greatest thinkers on social equity by naming the chair after Amartya Sen.
‘Money Loji’ launches App that offers loans to salaried professionals within 5 minutes: Money Loji, a modern money lending platform, has launched its App, which offers quickest and the most secure loans to salaried professionals for an immediate requirement with flexible repayment options starting from 7 days to a maximum of 90 days. They follow a unique three-step process – application, approval, disbursement, which is carried out within 3-4 minutes. The eligibility criterion is a minimum in-hand salary of Rs 20,000 per month and a minimum age of 23 years.
SPORTS
Bajrang Punia Wins Gold In Asian Wrestling Championship: Bajrang Punia opened India’s medal tally at the Asian Wrestling Championships with a gold in the 65kg freestyle category, beating Sayatbek Okassov 12-7 in the final in Xi’an, China. Meanwhile, Praveen Rana settled for silver and Satyavrat Kadian won bronze in 97kg category. Trailing 2-5 at the end of the first period, World No. 1 Bajrang made a brilliant comeback to beat Okassov from Kazakhstan 12-7 in the final, fetching India’s first medal on Day 1 of the competiton.
APPOINTMENTS
Michelin-star chef Vikas Khanna has been named brand ambassador of Indo-American Arts Council (IAAC): Vikas Khanna, Michelin-star chef named as brand ambassador of Indo-American Arts Council (IAAC), a leading cultural organisation which will organise the annual New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF) that would showcase the chef’s film‘The Last Color‘ and Nawazuddin Siddiqui-starrer ‘Photograph’. The New York Indian Film Festival is North America’s longest-running and most prestigious Indian film festival that would be organised from May 7 to 12, 2019. The festival will showcase 30 feature-length films, including 3 documentaries, 30 shorts and 19 regional films.
OBITUARIES
S Muthiah, chronicler of Madras, Passes Away: Renowned city-based chronicler and writer-journalist S Muthiah passed away in Chennai. He was 89. Muthiah was born in 1930 in the erstwhile Madras Presidency, in what is today the Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu. He was best known for his popular column in The Hindu, called Madras Miscellany, which arrived with the newspaper every Monday morning.
IMPORTANT DAYS
National Panchayati Raj Day: The National Panchayati Raj Diwas (Day) is celebrated every year in India on 24th April. This day marks the passing of Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 that came into force with effect from 24 April 1993. The first National Panchayati Raj Day was celebrated in 2010. The enactment of 73rd Amendment Act had led a defining moment in the history of India which helped in decentralization of political power to the grassroots level. In turn it had led to institutionalization of Panchayati Raj (PR) through village, Intermediate and District level Panchayats.
International Mother Earth Day: On 22nd April 2009 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution declaring 22nd April as the “International Mother Earth Day”. The term ‘Mother Earth’ implies the interdependent relationship which exists between all the species of planet earth and to acknowledge earth’s role in sustaining them all. World Earth Day 2019 theme is ‘Protect Our Species’. It will mainly focus on saving species which are on the verge of extinction due to climate change, deforestation, pollution and illegal poaching.
The founder of the Earth Day was Gaylord Nelson.
April 25:
National News
India to be Guest of Honour country at 29th Abu Dhabi International Book Fair: India has been nominated as the “Guest of Honour” country at the 29th edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF). Indian Ambassador to the UAE, Navdeep Singh Suri said that India’s selection as the guest of honour reflects the strong relations between the leadership and the people of the UAE and India. A three-member team from the Publications Division is also participating in the Fair. Books on the life and struggle of Mahatma Gandhi will be on display as part of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations. An annual fair is a major event in the publishing sector in the Middle East and North Africa. It will conclude on the 30th of April.
Hero Group’s clean energy arm to invest $200 million in Rajasthan: Hero Future Energies Global (HFE), the clean energy arm of Hero Group, will invest around $200 million in a solar project in Rajasthan. The project will be supported by International Finance Corporation (IFC), which will invest around $43.3 million (Rs 300 crore). The project will be developed by Clean Solar Power (Jodhpur), a step-down subsidiary of HFE. Total estimated project cost is approximately $200 million.
Govt extends ban on import of milk products from China: The government extended the ban on import of milk and its products, including chocolates, from China till laboratories at ports for testing presence of toxic chemical melamine are upgraded. Food regulator FSSAI had recommended extending the ban until all labs at ports are modernised to test the chemical.  The ban was first imposed in September 2008 and extended subsequently from time to time. The ban was imposed on apprehensions of presence of melamine in some milk consignments from China. Melamine is a toxic chemical used for making plastics and fertilisers. 
BuyUcoin Introduces First Indian Platform for Wholesale Cryptocurrency Trading: BuyUcoin, which is the second oldest Cryptocurrency Exchange in India, announces the launch of a new and unique platform for wholesale cryptocurrency trading which allows its users to trade on a large scale with low price fluctuations. The platform currently works on free trading model i.e. charges zero fee on any trade. This new feature introduced by BuyUcoin will help to improve the liquidity of cryptocurrency in Indian market and lead to quicker transaction, better prices and market stability. The platform is aptly described and known as OTC (Over-the-counter) desk. It is preferred by traders who deal with cryptocurrency in bulk and want to resist much price fluctuations during the trade.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Iran, Pakistan to set up border ‘reaction force’ after militant attacks: Iran and Pakistan have agreed to set up a joint border “reaction force” following a number of deadly attacks by militant groups on their frontier, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced after talks with visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan. The border skirts the volatile southeastern Iranian province of Sistan-Baluchistan which has been the scene of frequent attacks on Iran’s security forces.
BANKING & FINANCE
Kotak Bank launches debit card-based e-mandate on NPCI’s API: Kotak Mahindra Bank (Kotak) announced the launch of an industry-first debit card-based authentication solution onNPCI’s e-Mandate API platform. Kotak has become the first Destination Bank to go live with both Net Banking and Debit Card-based e-mandate authentication. This capability will enable Kotak customers to create electronic mandates (similar to the erstwhile eNACH with Aadhaar + OTP) via both the Debit Card and Net Banking channels.
RBI becomes the first APAC (Asia-Pacific) central bank to begin interest rate easing cycle: The Reserve Bank of India is the first central bank in the Asia-Pacific region to begin an explicit interest rate easing cycle buoyed by benign food inflation and easier global financial condition. The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), headed by RBI Govenor Shaktikanta Das, cut rates in February and April, citing prospects of benign inflation. In the four months of 2019, the RBI has cut policy interest rates twice by 0.25 per cent each to one-year low of 6 per cent.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Microsoft edges toward $1 trillion valuation, boosted by cloud business: Microsoft Corp.’s cloud computing business Fueled quarterly sales and profit that topped analysts’ estimates, boosted by several new deals with large corporate clients. The company’s shares rose as much as 5.1 per cent in New York, briefly pushing its valuation across $1 trillion before pulling back slightly. The move nosed the software maker ahead of Apple Inc. as the world’s most valuable company. The two tech giants, along with Amazon.com Inc., are all within striking distance of the symbolic $1 trillion mark as their stocks have rallied this year.
Mahindra to deploy 50 electric vehicles on Uber’s platform in Hyderabad: Indian automobile company Mahindra & Mahindra announced the deployment of its electric vehicles (EV) on global ride-sharing platform Uber in Hyderabad. Earlier, Mahindra had announced its strategic collaboration with Uber, to explore the deployment of EVs on its platform in several cities across India. The two companies will be deploying 50 EVs, which include both e2O hatchback and e-Verito sedan models, in a tie-up with taxi partners such as eee-Taxi to begin with in Hyderabad.
Indian retail mall space to rise to 95 million sq ft in 7 cities by 2021: India’s retail mall space is set to rise to 95 million square feet (msf) by 2021 from 75 msf now in the top 7 cities of the country with NCR, Hyderabad and Bengaluru leading the supply, according to a report by Reed Exhibitions India titled ‘Malls of India’. The report said that India was poised to become the third largest consumer market, with consumer spending growing to $ 6 trillion by 2030 from $ 1.5 trillion at present.
India’s Pharmaceuticals export increases 11% to USD 19.2 billion: The country’s pharmaceutical exports rose by 11 per cent to USD 19.2 billion in 2018-19, mainly driven by higher demand in regions such as North America and Europe, as per a commerce ministry data. The pharma exports in 2017-18 stood at USD 17.3 billion and USD 16.7 billion in the previous fiscal. The other important destinations include South Africa, Russia, Nigeria, Brazil and Germany, where exports are registering growth.
Sebi reduces minimum subscription requirement for REITs, InvITs: Markets regulator SEBI has reduced the minimum subscription requirement as well as defined trading lots for Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs). REITs have to offer their units in lots worth at least Rs 50,000 in initial and follow on public offers. The minimum value of a single lot should be Rs 1 lakh in the case of InvITs. Further, leverage limit for InvITs has been increased to 70 per cent from current 49 per cent.
Uber Asia Pacific head Amit Jain resigns: Uber Asia Pacific Head Amit Jain has resigned from the company after a four-year stint at the US-based ride-hailing company. Jain, who was elevated to the APAC position in May last year after serving as the India head, will remain with the company till the end of May. Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty will take responsibility for Uber’s Asia Pacific Rides business in addition to his current role leading Rides teams across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Wipro BFSI president Shaji Farooq resigned: Shaji Farooq, president of Wipro’s banking financial services and insurance (BFSI) business unit, has stepped down from the role five years after he was elevated to it. His direct reportee, Angan Guha, will take over as senior VP and global head of the BFSI unit effective July 1. Guha has been with Wipro for over 25 years and was the vertical head for BFS Americas in his previous role. He is based in New York and will report to Wipro CEO Abidali Neemuchwala.
APPOINTMENTS
Rajendra Kumar Nayak Takes Over as the 52nd CGDA: Rajendra Kumar Nayak has taken charge as the 52nd Controller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA). Nayak is 1983 batch Indian Defence Accounts Service (IDAS) officer.  During the career span of more than 35 years, Shri Nayak has held important assignments in the Defence Accounts Department and on deputation in the Government of India. He has vast and varied experience in handling Finance, Personnel, Pay & Budget matters of Ministry of Defence.
Karnam Sekar has been appointed as Indian Overseas Bank’s new MD & CEO: Former Dena Bank MD Karnam Sekar is set to take over as the new Managing Director and CEO of Indian Overseas Bank from July 1, 2019. He will take over from R Subramaniakumar, who was instrumental in taking measures to turn around the bank, which has been reporting loses due to high NPA. Prior to joining as officer on Special Duty and Whole Time Director of IOB in April 2019, Sekar was the MD & CEO of Dena Bank till March 31, 2019.
April 26:
National News
Finance Ministry ratifies 8.65% interest on EPF for 2018-19: The Finance Ministry has approved 8.65 per cent rate of interest on Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) for 2018-19 as decided by retirement fund body EPFO, benefitting more than 6 crore formal sector workers. The interest rate on EPF was hiked to 8.65 per cent for the last fiscal from 8.55 per cent provided in 2017-18. The EPFO had earlier reduced the interest rate in 2016-17 to 8.65 per cent from 8.8 per cent in 2015-16.
IEPF Authority recovers Rs 1514 Cr of Depositors Money: The Investor Education and Protection Fund (IEPF) Authority has successfully forced the Peerless General Finance and Investment Company Limited to transfer deposits worth about Rs 1,514 crore to IEPF, a statutory body under the ministry of Corporate Affairs. “Depositors’ money was pending with the company for the last 15 years. Investor Education and Protection Fund (IEPF) was established by the central government under Section 125 of Companies Act 2013.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
UAE based Etihad Airways becomes first major airline to operate plastic-free flight: The UAE’s flag carrier Etihad Airways has become the first airline in the Gulf region to operate a flight without any single-use plastics on board, in a bid to raise awareness about pollution on Earth Day. According to the Abu Dhabi-based national airline of the UAE, the flight EY484 landed in Brisbane on April 22, Earth Day. The milestone flight is part of Etihad’s pledge to reduce single-use plastic usage by 80 per cent not just in-flight, but across the entire organisation by the end of 2022.
BANKING & FINANCE
State Bank of India Launched India’s First ‘Green Car Loan’: State Bank of India announced the country’s first ‘Green Car Loan’ (Electric Vehicle) to encourage customers to buy electric vehicles. The new scheme will offer loan at 20 basis points lesser than the interest rate on the existing car loan schemes. The EMI per Rs. 1 lakh will be lower at Rs. 1,468 for 96 months against Rs. 1,622 for 84 months, based on the maximum tenor, in line with the existing scheme.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
RBI sells entire stake in NHB, Nabard to govt for Rs. 1,470 crore: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said that it has divested its entire stake in Nabard and National Housing Bank (NHB) for Rs. 20 crore and Rs. 1,450 crore.  The divestment, RBI said, was based on the recommendations of the Narasimham Committee-II. With this, the government of India now holds 100% stake in both the financial institutions. 
Wirecard partners RBL Bank to drive financial inclusion: Wirecard, the global innovation leader in digital financial technology, announced an expanded partnership with RBL Bank to promote financial inclusion in India. This partnership will make digital payment and banking transactions more readily accessible to all Indian citizens, including those living in remote areas. In partnership with RBL, Wirecard will empower its retail agents, who serve as customer service representatives in various areas across the country, to enable the financially under-served to access basic payment and banking services.
SPORTS
Manu Bhaker, Saurabh Chaudhary win India’s 2nd gold at ISSF: Young Indian shooters Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary shot gold in the 10m Air Pistol Mixed Team event at the ISSF World Cup in Beijing. Bhaker and Chaudhary outclassed Jiang Ranxin and Pang Wei of China 16-6 in the final, which was held in the new format wherein top two teams battled for the gold medal. The pair of Bhaker and Chaudhary had won the gold in the 10m Air Pistol Mixed Team event at the ISSF World Cup held in February in New Delhi.
USA secure ODI status for first time: The United States of America sealed One-Day International status for the very first time with a third straight victory at the World Cricket League Division Two event in Namibia. The Americans, whose only previous experience of ODI cricket was at the 2004 Champions Trophy, thrashed Hong Kong by 84 runs to wrap up a top-four place in the six-team competition. The United States will now be able to play 36 ODIs in the next two and a half years. Oman have also secured their ODI status, leaving Namibia, Papua New Guinea, Canada and Hong Kong to fight it out for the remaining two places.
APPOINTMENTS
Gen.(Retd.) Dalbir Singh Suhag Appointed India High Commissioner To Seychelles: The government announced the appointment of former army chief Dalbir Singh Suhag as India’s next high commissioner to Seychelles. Suhag was the chief of army staff when India conducted surgical raids across the Line of Control into Pakistan-administered Kashmir in 2016 after the terrorist attack on an Indian army camp in Uri.
AWARDS
Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize 2019: The Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize 2019 was awarded to author Rana Dasgupta for his 2010 novel “Solo” which is a tale of estrangement and the ultimate failure of material existence. It is the second edition of the Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize. Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize aims to revive poetry and books that can change lives. Indian Poets, novelists and Playwrights writing in officially recognized languages or dialects of the Indian subcontinent, including English.
Bhandarkar, Helen get Deenanath Mangeshkar Award: National Award-winning filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar, popular scriptwriter Salim Khan and yesteryears dancing diva Helen were honoured with the prestigious Master Deenanath Mangeshkar Award at a ceremony in Mumbai. Directorate General of CRPF Vijay Kumar presided over the function and the awards were given away by Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat. This year, the Master Deenanath Mangeshkar Award for music and art has been given to classical dancer Sucheta Bhide-Chapekar.
Pakistan’s Cyril Almeida Named IPI’s World Press Freedom Hero: The International Press Institute (IPI) named Cyril Almeida, an assistant editor and columnist at Pakistani daily ‘Dawn’ who is currently facing sedition charges in the country, as the recipient of its 71st World Press Freedom Hero award. The IPI statement lauded Almeida, a former Rhodes scholar at Oxford University, for his “tenacious coverage of the Pakistani state’s patronage of militant groups”, following which he was charged with sedition.
Benny Antony Conferred With The National IP Award 2019: Benny Antony, Joint Managing Director, the Kochi-based Arjuna Natural Ltd, has been conferred with the National Intellectual Property Award for 2019 in the category of Top Individual for Patents and Commercialization. Along with the National IP Award, the Intellectual Property Office India and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) have jointly conferred the ‘WIPO Medal for Inventors’ also to Antony.
IMPORTANT DAYS
World Intellectual Property Day: World Intellectual Property Day is observed annually on 26 April. The event was established by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 2000 to “raise awareness of how patents, copyright, trademarks and designs impact on daily life” and “to celebrate creativity, and the contribution made by creators and innovators to the development of societies across the globe”. The theme of this year is “Reach for Gold: IP and Sports.”

World Malaria Day: World Malaria Day 2019 was on April 25th, this annual event was a worldwide effort, to raise awareness of Malaria and funds for the treatment and prevention of malaria. The day also marked the continuing great achievements in the fight against Malaria. This year’s theme for World Malaria Day was ‘End Malaria for Good’ and the day is hosted by the World Health Organization.
April 27:
National News
Indian Army signs MoU with NHPC for construction of tunnels on China, Pakistan borders: Indian Army signed an MoU with National Hydroelectric Power Corporation Limited (NHPC) to construct tunnels on borders with China and Pakistan for storage of ammunition and other war-related equipment. Under the pilot project, three tunnels will be built on China border while one will be built along the Line of Control with Pakistan. The project is meant to bolster the Indian Army’s capabilities along the Chinese border where India’s infrastructural development is far outpaced by that of China.
RBI Introduces Rs. 20 Banknote In Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series: The Reserve Bank of India will shortly issue Rs. 20 denomination banknotes in the Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series, bearing the signature of Shri Shaktikanta Das, Governor, Reserve Bank of India. The new denomination has the motif of Ellora Caves on the reverse, depicting the country’s cultural heritage. The base colour of the note is Greenish Yellow. The dimension of the banknote will be 63 mm x 129 mm.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Russia Successfully Tests World’s First Floating Nuclear Power Plant: Russia has successfully tested the world’s first floating nuclear power plant (NPP)Akademik Lomonosov, a subsidiary of Rosatom nuclear corporation stated. Reactors of the floating atomic block were launched in November 2018.
ABU Media Summit On Climate Action and Disaster Preparedness Held In Nepal: The 5th Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) Media Summit on Climate Action and Disaster Preparedness was Kathmandu, Nepal. The theme of this summit is “Media Solutions for Sustainable Future: Saving Lives, Building Resilient Communities”. Its objective was to address issue of fully utilizing media’s potential of accelerating climate action and disaster preparedness and connect stakeholders to media professionals for collaboration and joint practical projects.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Aegon Life and MobiKwik launch a smart digital insurance product: In a bid to enable financial inclusion and ease of buying for the Indian masses, Aegon Life Insurance, pioneer of digital insurance in India and MobiKwik, India’s leading FinTech Company; have joined hands to launch an Rs 20 smart digital insurance product. The strategic partners have announced the launch of an assorted insurance product called the Aegon Life Group Term Plus Plan with both death and accidental disability benefit, available exclusively on MobiKwik App. One can purchase this plan by paying as little as Rs 20 in premium for a sum assured of Rs 2 lakhs which includes term insurance and accidental disability.
EIU set to lower India’s growth outlook for 2019-20: Indian economy will grow below its potential in 2019-20, said a report from the Hong Kong-based The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) while warning it is set to lower its own current estimate of 7.2 per cent for the country’s GDP growth rate in its next forecast round. Both Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) earlier this month cut their 2019-20 growth projection for India to 7.2 per cent from 7.4 per cent earlier, blaming rising risks to global economic growth as well as weakening domestic investment activity.
SPORTS
Shane Watson announces retirement from Big Bash League: Former Australian player Shane Watson has announced his retirement from the Big Bash League (BBL) as he wants to spend more time with his family. The 37-year-old played for Sydney Thunder in the BBL and was a part of the team for four years, captaining the side in the past three BBL seasons.
Pooja, Amit bag gold at Asian Boxing C’ship: Boxers Pooja Rani and Amit Panghal gave India two gold medals at the Asian Boxing Championships in Bangkok. Panghal, who had won the Asian Games gold medal last year, defeated Korea’s Kim Inkyu in a unanimous decision, thereby clinching his second gold of the year. Pooja defeated reigning World Champion Wang Lina in the final to claim top honours in the 81-kg weight category. This was her third medal at this prestigious tournament after a silver in 2012 and a bronze in 2015.
Pankaj Advani Wins Asian Snooker Tour Title: India’s ace cueist Pankaj Advani defeated Ehsan Heydari Nezhad of Iran 6-4 to claim the inaugural Asian Snooker Tour title. The Indian had earlier defeated Aung Phyo of Myanmar in the semifinal. Advani had earlier won the second leg of the Tour in China. He was leading the ranking before the final leg of the Tour in Bengaluru.
OBITUARIES
Veteran Lady Mountaineer Rama Sengupta Paul Passes Away: A pall of gloom descended on the mountaineering fraternity as veteran lady mountaineer of the country Rama Sengupta Paul, who led the first successful all-women expedition to Kedarnath Dome in Garhwal Himalaya, passed away following a cardiac arrest at a city hospital in Kolkata. A tryst with rock climbing training courses in Sushunia Hill, organized by Pathikrit and thereafter Himalayan Association in 1971 and 1972 led Rama into a world of mountaineering. She was also a member of the pre-Everest expedition to Gangotri peak, organized by IMF in 1982.
April 28:
National News
NITI Aayog , UNICEF signed a LOI for children Empowerment: Niti Aayogs Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and Unicef India signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) to provide an open platform to promote participation, skilling and empowerment among young children across different communities. The plan will be implemented through Atal Tinkering Lab initiative to orient the burgeoning innovation ecosystem towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals with a focus on child rights. The LoI was signed by Yasmin Ali Haque, Unicef representative in India, and Ramanathan Ramanan, Mission Director, Atal Innovation Mission.
Suresh Mathur Committee to review MicroInsurance Framework: The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) set up Suresh Mathur Committee to review regulatory framework on micro insurance, and to recommend measures to increase demand for such products. It is a 13-member panel chaired by IRDAI’s Executive Director Suresh Mathur, and comprises of representatives from IRDAI, life, general and health insurance companies in public and private sectors and NGOs. It will suggest about if there is any change in distribution structure, including mobile-based and technology driven solutions and on creating effective awareness programmes.
Complaints with bank ombudsman surge 25% to 1.63 lakh in FY18: RBI: The banking ombudsman received 24.9% more customer complaints in FY18 over the previous year, said the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The 21 offices of the banking ombudsman received 1,63,590 complaints in the year 2017-18 marking an increase of 24.9% over previous year. The complaint disposal rate stood at 96.5% in FY18, as compared to 92% in the previous year. Of the total number of complaints received, nationalised banks and State Bank of India (SBI) taken together accounted for 63%. 
Arunachalam Muruganantham is ranked 45th in Fortune’s 2019 list: Arunachalam Muruganantham, known as the maker of low-cost sanitary napkins in India with his invention of cellulose-based pads, has made it to Fortune magazine’s 2019 list of the world’s greatest leaders. Muruganantham ranks 45th in the list released by the American publication. Bill and Melinda Gates top the list for the work of their charitable organisation Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who earned much acclaim for her response to Christchurch mosque shootings in February, ranked second while the US special counsel Robert Mueller, who recently submitted his findings of the Donald Trump campaign’s collusion with Russia, rounded off the top three.
BANKING & FINANCE
HDFC Bank and Max Bupa launch AnyTimeHealth machines to distribute health insurance products: Max Bupa, one of India’s leading standalone health insurance players, and HDFC Bank, one of India’s leading private sector banks, announced the launch of ‘digital first’ propositions for the bank’s 40+ million customers, spread across its 5,000+ branches. Max Bupa is committed to provide the best bespoke and comprehensive health insurance solutions and services to HDFC Bank’s customers through a slew of digital touch points like AnyTimeHealth (ATH) machines, deep integration with HDFC Bank Net banking and digital seller apps like InstaInsure.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
RBI extends ombudsman scheme to non-deposit taking NBFCs: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) extended the “ombudsman scheme” for non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) to non deposit-taking NBFCs with asset size of at least Rs 100 crore. The decision comes after the central bank in its “Statement on Developmental and Regulatory Policies” released earlier this month after the monetary policy meet said that it has decided to extend the ambit of the ombudsman scheme.
SPORTS
Papua New Guinea got ODI status after USA and Oman: Papua New Guinea (PNG) gained their ODI status and a place in the ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 after a comprehensive victory against the already-qualified Oman. PNG national cricket team, nicknamed the Barramundis, needed to beat Oman and hope for the results to go their way in order to achieve the status and the same happened as the team was able to achieve its target with a 145-run victory over Oman. PNG previously had the ODI status, which they gained by finishing fourth in 2014 World Cup Qualifier. But the Barramundis lost both their ODI and T20I status in March 2018 after they lost a playoff match against Nepal during the 2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifier.
Australia’s Claire Polosak became first female umpire to stand in men’s ODI: Australia’s Claire Polosak became the first woman to officiate in a men’s one-day international in the World Cricket League Division 2 final match between Namibia and Oman in Windhoek. The 31-year-old never played cricket but blazed a trail in 2017 when she became the first woman to stand in a men’s top-level match when New South Wales played a Cricket Australia XI in a one-day match in Sydney.
APPOINTMENTS
AIFF appoints Romanian Doru Isac as new technical director: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has appointed Romanian Doru Isac as its new technical director. Isac, who has nearly three decades of experience in various coaching roles in several countries,  last worked as the sporting director of three-times J-league Champions Yokohama Marinos FC. AIFF president Praful Patel said that Isac, who has worked in France, Japan, United States, Romania, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, would help the 101st-ranked side reach the “next level.”
AWARDS
Mizoram Boy Who Tried To Save A Chicken Receives PETA India’s ‘Compassionate Kid’ Award 2019: Accolades continue to pour in for Derek C Lalchhanhima, the six-year-old boy from Mizoram, who recently restored our fledgeling faith in humanity by rushing to the hospital a chicken he had accidentally run over with his cycle. After social media users turned him into an overnight Internet sensation and his school felicitated him for the act, Derek C Lalchhanhima has now been awarded the ‘Compassionate Kid’ award by PETA India. The boy’s heartwarming act came to fore after he was clicked at a hospital beseeching, with a 10-rupee note in hand, a nurse to save the life of a chicken he had accidentally run over.
April 29

National news
IIT Madras researcher develops easy OCR system for Bharati Script: Taking a cue from European languages, several of which have the same (Roman letter–based) script, Srinivasa Chakravathy’s team at IIT Madras has, over the last decade, developed a unified script for 9 Indian languages, named the Bharati script. The team has now gone a step further since developing the script: it has developed a method for reading documents in Bharati script using a multi-lingual optical character recognition (OCR) scheme. The team has also created a finger-spelling method that can be used to generate a sign language for hearing-impaired persons. The scripts that have been integrated include Devnagari, Bengali, Gurmukhi, Gujarati, Oriya, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Tamil. 
RBI proposes stricter rules for current accounts to tackle fund diversion: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is said to have recommended stringent norms on opening and running of current accounts of corporate borrowers in an attempt to check fund diversion. Current accounts can “only be opened” with the main bank in a lending consortium while other lenders having collection accounts will have to transfer funds at the end of the day to the current account with the consortium lead. The banking regulator has, however, proposed that the norm would apply to accounts of corporates which have borrowed and taken loans of Rs 50 crore or more from the banking system.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Rural revitalisation key to eco growth, says 2019 Global Food Policy: Despite strong economic growth in 2018, undernourishment rose for the third year in a row, with 821 million people in the world now facing chronic food deprivation, says 2019 Global Food Policy Report prepared by US-based International Food Policy Research Institute. The number of stunted children globally remains very high at 150 million despite a decline of 9 per cent between 2012 and 2017, and other nutrition indicators point to an even more difficult road to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Sri Lankan President bans On Face-Covering in Public: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena used his emergency powers to issue an order to ban burqa, veil or covering of face in public places in any manner which prevents anyone from being identified. The order which came into immediate effect explicitly defines that any garment or item which obstructs identification of an individual’s face is barred. It is placed to ensure national security, establish peaceful and cohesive society and not aimed at inconvenience to any community people. In a bid to help stabilize security situation, some Muslim organisations came forward and suggested a ban on burqa. Even local Muslim clerics urged their women not to cover their faces in escalating fears of backlash after the attacks.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
‘Politics of Jugaad: The Coalition Handbook’, released: The “Politics of Jugaad: The Coalition Handbook” new book authored by journalist Saba Naqvi examines possibility of coalition government after 2019 Lok Sabha polls. It examines coalition government history in India to project possibility at the end of 2019 Lok Sabha election. It questions whether ‘coalitions’ are inevitable even when they have been proved unstable, or whether they hold promise of greater democratization in our diverse nation. Saba Naqvi is one of India’s renowned journalists, best known author and political analyst. Other books written by her include In Good Faith (2012), Capital Conquest (2015), and Shades of Saffron (2018).
SPORTS
Kvitova beat Kontaveit to win maiden Stuttgart title: World number three Petra Kvitova beat Estonian Anett Kontaveit to win Stuttgart’s Porsche Grand Prix for her second title of the year as she prepares for next month’s French Open. Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion, broke her opponent to go 4-2 up in the first set and served out the set a little later on the quick indoor clay courts in Stuttgart.
Asian Wrestling championship: India finishes with 16 medals: India wrapped up their campaign at the Asian Wrestling Championships on a resounding note with 16 medals after Greco-Roman grapplers added a silver and a bronze on the concluding day in Xi’an. Harpreet Singh settled for a silver in 82kg while Gyanender won a bronze in 60kg on the final day of competitions. India’s overall tally of 16 medals included eight- one gold, three silver and four bronze won by men’s freestyle wrestlers, four bronze by women and three silver and one bronze by Greco-Roman wrestlers.
Bajrang Punia to become the first Indian wrestler to fight at Madison: Bajrang Punia is set to become the first wrestler from India to fight at the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York. The 25-year-old, who won the gold medal in the 65-kg category at the ongoing Asian Wrestling Championships earlier this week, is the first Indian wrestler to be invited by the American governing body. Bajrang Punia will take part in the “Grapple at the Garden — Beat the Streets” fight night, scheduled to be held on May 6. He is currently the World No.1 in the 65-kg weight category.
OBITUARIES
Former Indian Footballer Pungam Kannan Passes Away: Former India footballer Pungam Kannan, who was facing acute financial crisis, died at a city hospital following prolonged illness. He was 80. A forward, Kannan played 14 matches for India. He also won Santosh Trophy for Bengal twice in a row (1971-73) and was the top-scorer. Born in Vandavasi in Tamil Nadu, Kannan also played in Bengaluru and Chennai.
Oscar-Nominated ‘Children of A Lesser God’ Writer Mark Medoff passes away: Mark Medoff, a provocative playwright whose ‘Children of a Lesser God’ won Tony and Olivier awards and whose screen adaptation of his play earned an Oscar nomination, has passed away in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He was 79. Medoff wrote 30 plays and wrote, produced or directed 19 movies. He found his greatest success with ‘Children of a Lesser God’, the tale of a troubled love affair between a speech teacher and a deaf woman who struggle to overcome the communications gap between their two cultures.
IMPORTANT DAYS
International Dance Day: International Dance Day is a global celebration of dance, created by the Dance Committee of the International Theatre Institute (ITI), the main partner for the performing arts of UNESCO. The event takes place every year on 29th April, the anniversary of the birth of Jean-Georges Noverre, the creator of modern ballet. Every year, since its creation in 1982, an outstanding dance personality is selected to write a message for International Dance Day. The theme for this year is “Dance and Spirituality”.
April 30

National news
Mysterious footprints of mythical beast Yeti sighted, claims Indian Army: Indian Army claimed that one of its teams spotted mysterious footprints of mythical creature “Yeti” close to Nepal’s Makalu Base Camp. During an expedition, the Mountaineering Expedition team came across mysterious marks measuring 32X15 inches, which the Army believed are of the mythical beast Yeti. The Army further added it held on to the “photographic evidence” about the Abominable Snowman for about 10 days but then decided that they matched earlier theories.
High alert as Cyclone Fani intensifies: Cyclone ‘Fani’ intensified into a ‘severe cyclonic storm’ and is headed towards the Odisha coast. IMD said it could take a shape of an ‘extremely severe cyclone’, prompting the government to put the National Disaster Response Force and the Indian Coast Guard on high alert. The NDRF and the Indian Coast Guard have been put on high alert and the fishermen have been asked not to venture into the sea.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) Economic Corridor no longer listed under BRI umbrella: India’s decision to skip the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) may have led to the exclusion of the Bangladesh- China- India- Myanmar (BCIM) Economic corridor from the list of projects covered by the China-led Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) umbrella. In an annex tagged with the Joint Communique of the Leaders’ Roundtable of the BRF, which concluded in Beijing recently, the Chinese foreign ministry website has not listed the BCIM as a project covered by the BRI—the giant connectivity initiative speared by China to revive the ancient Silk Road across Eurasia and Africa. Citing “sovereignty” concerns, India, for the second time, has not officially participated in the BRF, as CPEC—a flagship of the BRI—passes through Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).
Japan’s emperor Akihito abdicates: Japanese Emperor Akihito abdicated thanking the people for their support over the last three decades and expressing hope for a peaceful future. The popular Akihito, 85, the first monarch to abdicate in two centuries, had sought to ease the painful memories of World War Two and bring the monarchy closer to the people, including those marginalised in society. The popular Akihito was the first monarch to take the Chrysanthemum Throne under a post-war constitution that defines the emperor as a symbol of the people without political power.
Drug-resistant diseases could kill 10 million annually by 2050: UN: If no action is taken, drug-resistant diseases could cause 10 million deaths each year by 2050 and damage to the economy as catastrophic as the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, a new report by United Nations (UN) has warned. The report released by Interagency Coordination Group on Antimicrobial Resistance (IACG) recently also finds that by 2030, antimicrobial resistance could force up to 24 million people into extreme poverty.
BANKING & FINANCE
PNB takes Tarapur Textiles Park to DRT for $13-million loan default: With investigations into Nirav Modi scam in full swing, Punjab National Bank (PNB) has unearthed yet another default from its London branch. The bank has moved the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) against Tarapur Textiles Park for defaulting an amount worth $13 million. The case had been filed in the DRT by PNBIL in July last year and the matter is pending in court since then.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Spotify tops estimates with 100 million paid subscribers worldwide: Spotify has reached 100 million paid subscribers, a first for any online music service, adding more customers in the latest quarter than analysts expected and boosting confidence the company has lots of room to grow. Spotify Technology SA took on 4 million customers in the quarter, compared with the 3.3 million forecast by analysts. Competition from Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and YouTube has done little to slow Spotify’s growth around the world, and the company has relied on its independence from some of the world’s largest companies to its advantage. It has boosted its customer base through promotional deals with Hulu, Samsung and even Alphabet Inc.’s Google (YouTube’s parent company).
Garden Reach Shipbuilders wins Rs 6,311 crore Indian Navy contract: Kolkata-based defence shipyard Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) signed a Rs 6,311-crore contract with the defence ministry to build eight anti-submarine warfare shallow water craft (ASWSWCs) for the Indian Navy. In parallel, Kerala state shipyard, Cochin Shipyard will build another eight ASWSWCs for the same price. These 16 vessels are being built in two shipyard simultaneously to shorten the delivery period. The first vessel is to be delivered within 42 months from the contract, that is by October 2022. The ASWSWCs are equipped with sophisticated sonar, with an algorithm that differentiates the signals reflected off the enemy submarine from those bouncing off the sea bed.
Google to remove 100 apps from Chinese developer: Suspecting malicious cyber attacks and data breach possibilities, Google is removing apps from a Chinese Android app developer DO Global which holds roughly 100 apps in the Play Store with over 600 million installs and is partly owned by Internet major Baidu. 46 apps from DO Global have already been removed from the Play Store and the company intends to ban DO Global overall with more app removals that would follow.
SPORTS
Bottas wins in Azerbaijan, retakes championship lead: Valtteri Bottas won the Azerbaijan Grand Prix to retake the Formula One world championship lead from team mate Lewis Hamilton after a stunning fourth successive one-two finish for Mercedes. Sebastian Vettel in his Ferrari was a distant third as the Italian pre-season favourites again failed to convert their promise into a result. Mercedes are the first two-car team in Formula One’s 70-year history to open a season with four straight one-twos. Max Verstappen was fourth for Red Bull ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
First female Ligue 1 referee takes charge of match: Stephanie Frappart became the first woman to referee a French Ligue 1 match. The 35-year-old Frappart took charge as Amiens hosted Strasbourg, where she was called into action numerous times, handing out yellow cards to the likes of Strasbourg’s Ibrahima Sissoko and Ludovic Ajorque. Frappart is not the first woman to officiate a top-flight men’s game in Europe’s top leagues. Germany’s Bibiana Steinhaus became the first woman to officiate a Bundesliga match in 2017.
India’s Nitendra Singh Rawat finishes 27th in Virgin Money London Marathon 2019: Indian marathon runner, Nitendra Singh Rawat finished 27th in 2 hours 15 minutes and 59 seconds in the men’s Elite race of prestigious Virgin Money London Marathon 2019 at London, the UK which was won by EliudKipchoge of Kenya for record fourth time. This was the fourth fastest in his career and his second fastest time in this season.
BOOOKS & AUTHORS
Coffee Table book on Architecture & Landscape of Rashtrapati Bhawan presented to UAE Minister: Ambassador Navdeep Suri presented UAE Minister of Tolerance Sheikh Nahayan Mubarak Al Nahayan with the coffee Table book titled Work of Beauty : Architecture and Landscape of Rashtrapati Bhawan. The book has been published by Publications Division , Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. UAE Minister of Tolerance had visited the India Pavilion of the ongoing Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2019. India is the ‘Guest of Honour’ at the Book Fair. The book was commissioned by President’s Secretariat and Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), Ministry of Culture, Government of India.
AWARDS
Bhullar wins outstanding achievement as player award: Arjuna awardee and star Indian golfer Gaganjeet Bhullar won the outstanding achievement as a player award at the fourth edition of the annual India Golf Industry Association (GIA) awards at the Delhi Golf Club in New Delhi. The GIA awards were held along with the 8th India Golf & Turf Expo (IGTE), South Asia’s largest golf trade show.
IMPORTANT DAYS
International Jazz Day: International Jazz Day is an International Day declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 2011 “to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe.” It is celebrated annually on April 30. Nearly 200 countries participate in International Jazz Day every year. The idea came from jazz pianist and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock. Jazz Day is chaired by Hancock and the UNESCO Director-General. 

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THANKS .. ASPIRATIONSZONE


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