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251. Comedian Victoria Wood Has Passed Away
i. Comedian, singer and writer Victoria Wood has died after “a short but brave” battle with cancer aged 62. 

ii. The comedian found fame in the 1980s and was best known for her BBC sketch Acorn Antiques and comedy Dinnerladies. 
iii. She won five Baftas including two for her one-off ITV drama Housewife 49.
iv. She established herself as a comedy star with her hit show Victoria Wood As Seen On TV and went on to create the popular BBC comedies Acorn Antiques and Dinnerladies, featuring her long-time collaborator Julie Walters.
v. The pair became friends in the 1970s and first worked together in 1981 on the comedy sketch show Wood and Walters. Wood appeared on BBC One’s That’s Life! in 1976, which brought her into millions of homes on a frequent basis.

252. 22nd April : Earth Day
i. Each year, 22nd April is celebrated as Earth Day. This is an annual event which is celebrated all over the world to demonstrate support for environment protection.

 ii. It was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network, and celebrated in more than 193 countries each year. 
iii. On this earth day 2016, the landmark Paris Agreement is scheduled to be signed by the United States, India and some 120 other countries. This signing satisfies a key requirement for the entry into force of the historic draft climate protection treaty adopted by consensus of the 195 nations present at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.

253. Government's Twitter Seva To Address Grievances Of Startups

i. The Commerce and Industry Ministry has launched a Twitter Seva service a special Twitter cell by the Narenda Modi government manned by a set of dedicated officers of the Commerce and Industry Ministry was launched.
ii. It will respond to queries from start-ups, exporters and importer, and other stakeholders within 48 and 72 working hours.
iii. At the launch of the service, Nirmala Sitharaman, Commerce and Industry Minister said that queries on matters relating to Department of Commerce and Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) will be answered through this service.
254. President Mukherjee To Attend Khongjom Day In Manipur

i. President Pranab Mukherjee will attend the observation of Khongjom and inaugurate a monument-cum-tourist Centre at Khongjom in Manipur tomorrow.
ii. Khongjom day is observed on the 23rd April every year to pay rich tributes to the brave sons of Manipur who made supreme sacrifice for the cause of their motherland.
iii. Khongjom, which is under Thoubal district of the state and is about 36 kms from Imphal on the Indo-Myanmar road.

255. Department Of Disinvestment Is Now 'Dipam'
i. The Department of Disinvestment has been renamed as Department of Investment and Public Asset Management or 'Dipam'.

ii. The new department has been mandated to "advise the government in the matters of financial restructuring of central public sector enterprises.
iii. The Dipam will work under Finance Ministry and it will deal with "all matters relating to management of central government investments in equity including disinvestment of equity in central public sector undertakings".

256. Dr. Harsh Vardhan Celebrates Earth Day By Inaugurating India’s 1st Cellulosic Alcohol Technology Demonstration Plant In Uttarakhand
i. Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, inaugurated India’s 1st Second-Generation (2G) Ethanol plant today at Kashipur in Uttarakhand. 
ii. Such technological breakthroughs can make India stand out as a leader in the world’s struggle to save the earth from challenges of global warming.
iii. It is a novel technology suited to both Indian & Global Needs and is projected to be capable of converting all types of agricultural residues like Bagasse, Rice Straw, Wheat Straw, Bamboo, Cotton Stalk, Corn Stover, Wood chips etc. to ethanol in less than 24 hours, with optimum product yields. If successfully operated and scaled-up, it will establish India as a major global technology provider in the arena of renewables and reduction in carbon-emissions, besides effecting considerable savings in import of crude-oil.

257. Six Indians In TIME’s 100 Most Influential People
i. TIME released the list of 100 most influential people on Thursday which featured six Indians including RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan and actress Priyanka Chopra.
ii. Tennis ace Sania Mirza, environmentalist Sunita Narain along with Flipkart Co-founders Sachin and Binny Bansal were other Indians on the list. The list also featured Indian-origin Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
iii. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was among the probable contenders for the list, was not in the final list determined by Time’s editors. Modi was among Time’s 100 most influential people in the world last year.

258. Goa To Host International Seminar On Wheat Products

i. The eighth International Seminar on Wheat and Wheat Products is scheduled to be held in Panaji, Goa, on July 17-18, 2016.
ii. The theme for this year’s seminar is ‘New Ideas and Innovation for Growth’.
iii. WPPS has been organizing a number of seminars for past many years on relevant themes concerning wheat value chain encompassing farm to plate.

259. Vistara And TCS Enter Into Strategic Partnership
i. Full service airline Vistara has entered into a strategic partnership with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).
ii. They have came into partnership for a broad range of information technology (IT) services, including application maintenance services and airport infrastructure support.
iii. Vistara is a joint venture between Tatas and Singapore Airlines. The carrier and TCS have entered into an agreement for a "long term strategic partnership".

260. TCS In Time's Top 50 Employers For Women In UK
i. A part of the Tata group and India's largest IT services company, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has been recognized as one of the United Kingdom's leading employers for women in a list published by The Times. 

ii. The Times Top 50 Employers for Women recognizes organisations that are spearheading gender equality in the workplace and making a conscious effort to even out the playing field for men and women. 
iii. Presently, the company has employed over 1,00,000 women globally, a 3rd of its total workforce. TCS’ rank in The Times Top 50 is recognition of its continued drive to make gender equality a central part of its business strategy. 

261. India Replaces China As Top FDI Destination In 2015: FDI Intelligence Report

i. According to FDI Intelligence Report India has replaced China as the top Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) destination by attracting $63 billion worth FDI projects in 2015. 
ii. FDI Intelligence is a division of international media company – The Financial Times Limited. 
iii. India was the highest-ranked country by capital investment in the year 2015, with 63 billion dollars-worth of FDI projects announced. It was the biggest change in Greenfield FDI in 2015 was near tripling with an estimated 63 billion dollars. 

262. Mahatma Gandhi’s Granddaughter Tara Gandhi Gets Top French Honour
i. Mahatma Gandhi’s granddaughter Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee was on Wednesday conferred with the Order of Arts and Letters, one of France’s top honours.

ii. According to French Ambassy, this honour comes in recognition of Bhattacharjee’s remarkable work for promoting peace, solidarity, culture, education, and development.
iii. On behalf of the French President Bhattacharjee, 82, was conferred the Officier de lOrdre des Arts et Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters) honour here late last evening by French Ambassador Francois Richier. Some noted Indian recipients of this honour in the past include Bharti Kher, Shahrukh Khan, Pt Hariprasad Chaurasia, Aishwarya Rai and Upamanyu Chatterjee. 

263. Harriet Tubman To Be First African-American On US Currency

i. Anti-slavery crusader Harriet Tubman will become the first African-American on the face of US paper currency.
ii. She also became the first woman in more than a century, when she replaces former President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill.
iii. The US Treasury Department said that Tubman, who was born into slavery in the early 1820s and went on to help hundreds of slaves escape, would take the centre spot on the bill, while Jackson, a slave owner, would move to the back.

264. Renowned Music Legend Prince Has Passed Away
i. The American music superstar Prince Rogers Nelson has passed away. He was 57 year old. 

ii. The pop star was found dead at his home in suburban Minneapolis. He was born on 7 June 1958, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His father was a pianist and songwriter and his mother was a jazz singer.
iii. He won seven Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe and earned 30 nominations. He also won an Oscar for the song score "Purple Rain".

265. Bhupendra Kainthola is new FTII director
i. Bhupendra Kainthola, an Indian Information Service (IIS) officer of 1989 batch, has been appointed as the new Director of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII).
ii. The Directorate of Personnel and Training (DoPT) issued an order to this effect on Saturday. This appointment process, which commenced in February 2015, took over a year to finish.

iii. Since D J Narain, former institute director, completed his term in July 2015, the post was being occupied by a part-timer, Prashant Pathrabe, a director with the Press Information Bureau for last nine months.
iv. A great part of Pathrabe’s tenure went into handling the agitation by students’ to oppose appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as Chairman of institute’s Governing Council.
v. Kainthola, who holds a Masters in International Relations from the University of Mumbai, is presently serving as Director (News Room) with DD News since January 2015 and has been responsible for ‘management of news operations and output’.
vi.Previously, he has worked with PIB, Directorate of Audio Visual Publicity (DAVP), Directorate of Film Festival (as Director, National Film Awards and Indian Panorama) and Lok Sabha Television.

266. India signs climate pact along with over 170 states at UN
i. India today signed the historic Paris climate agreement here along with more than 170 nations, marking a significant step that has brought together developing and developed nations for beginning work on cutting down greenhouse gas emissions to combat global warming.

ii. Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar signed the agreement in the UN General Assembly hall at a high-level ceremony hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The ceremony was attended by heads of government, ministers, corporate leaders and artists.
iii. At 175 nations, the signing ceremony for the climate agreement set the record for the most countries to sign an international agreement on one day, previously set in 1982, when 119 countries signed the Law of the Sea Convention.
iv. The agreement can enter into force 30 days after at least 55 Parties to the UNFCCC, accounting for at least 55 per cent of global emissions, ratify the agreement.

267. Uber partners with FICCI, Gujarat Tourism for soft skill training
i. Cab aggregator, Uber has entered into a partnership with Gujarat Tourism and FICCI in Ahmedabad city to facilitate training for Uber driver-partners.
ii. The training is designed and conducted by Ace Driving & Road Safety Education Pvt Ltd on areas of Safe Driving and Interpersonal Skills of the drivers, in order to improve the overall rider experience in Gujarat.
iii. According to a statement from Uber, the training will be conducted on an ongoing basis and will be optional for all Uber driver-partners. All drivers who attend the training will be certified by FICCI and Gujarat Tourism under their program, it added.
iv. The first such training took place on March 30 2016 with over 40 Uber driver-partners attending the session, which covered some of the topics like Safety and Regulations, Interpersonal Skills With Co-Passengers, Drivers etiquette, Correct seating posture, Proper attitude towards riders and customers, do’s and don’ts while dealing with riders, taking proper care of the vehicle and himself (hygiene), precautions for lady passengers and management of emergency situations among others.

268. PM To Launch Rs. 8,000 crore Scheme For Free LPG Connections To Poor
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 1 will launch Rs. 8,000 crore scheme to provide 5 crore free LPG connections to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families using the money saved from 1.13 crore cooking gas users voluntarily giving up their subsidies.
ii. The scheme is called Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana and Mr. Modi will be launching it on May 1 at Ballia in Uttar Pradesh and Dahod in Gujarat on May 15.
iii. Maharashtra tops the list with 16.44 lakh consumers giving up subsidies, then Uttar Pradesh where nearly 13 lakh users gave up subsidies, followed by Delhi with 7.26 lakh people giving up subsidies.
iv. Prime Minister’s home state Gujarat was way down the list with just 4.2 lakh giving up subsidies. In Odisha around 1.3 lakh people gave up subsidies.
v. The Government had launched the ‘GiveItUp’ campaign which was aimed at motivating LPG users who can afford to pay the market price for LPG to voluntarily surrender their LPG subsidy.

269. World Book and Copyright Day:23rd April
i. World Book Day is an annual event celebrated every year by the people all over the world on 23rd of April. It is the most important event organized annually by the UNESCO in order to promote the reading, publishing and copyright among the public worldwide.
ii. Generally, it is celebrated by the authors, illustrators and to encourage reading among common public. Copyright is a big issue in the world of books and writing, there is always a focus on the issue on the World Book Day. Therefore, in many parts of the world, this day is also known as the World Book and Copyright Day.
iii. The date is decided by UNESCO as it was also the death and birth anniversary of William Shakespeare, a world famous English poet, playwright, and actor.

270. Jitu Rai finishes sixth at Shooting World Cup
i. Ace Indian shooter Jitu Rai finished sixth in the men's 50m pistol event on the fifth day of the International Shooting Sport Federation World Cup being held at the Olympic Shooting Centre in Rio de Janeiro.

ii. Jitu, who is the world number one in the event, qualified for the finals in fourth position, shooting a score of 563.
iii. In the other event, the men's Double Trap, Indian youngster Ankur Mittal led the qualifications till the third round with 30 shots each, only to see his hopes of making the finals fade away after shooting scores of 23 and 24 in the last two rounds.

271. Hong Kong's Irfan Ahmed suspended for two years and six months
i. The ICC has suspended Hong Kong allrounder Irfan Ahmed for two years and six months after he admitted to breaching the ICC's Anti-Corruption Code. Ahmed has accepted the suspension and waived his right to appeal.

ii. The allrounder was charged under Article 2.4.2 of the ICC Anti-Corruption Code which states, "Failing to disclose to the ACU (without undue delay) full details of any approaches or invitations received by the Participant to engage in conduct that would amount to a breach of the Anti-Corruption Code."
iii. The 26-year-old Ahmed has played six ODIs since his debut in 2008, as well as eight T20Is, the last of which was in July 2015. He had been in the top bracket for centrally contracted cricketers in Hong Kong in 2014-15, but was not retained for the 2015-16 season.

272. BCCI To Host First Day-Night Test Against New Zealand This Year
i. BCCI is all set to host its first-ever day and night cricket Test with the pink ball during New Zealand tour to India.
ii. India will host New Zealand in a day-night Test match to be played with a pink ball.
iii. Before that Duleep Trophy will act as a dress rehearsal for the day-night Test match
iv. The main objective of the Duleep Trophy will be to check how the pink kookaburra behaves under the light in sub-continental conditions.

273. President nominates 6 eminent members to Rajya Sabha 
i. President Pranab Mukherjee has nominated of six eminent members to Rajya Sabha as per the provisions of Article 80 of the Constitution. 

These nominated members are 

  • Mary Kom: Legendary boxer and Olympic bronze medallist. She belongs to the Sino-Tibetan speaking Kom tribe of Manipur. She is five-time World Amateur Boxing champion, and the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the six world championships. In 2014, she became the first Indian woman boxer to get a gold medal in the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. 
  • Narendra Jadhav: He is renowned economist and former member of the erstwhile National Advisory Council (2010-14) and Planning Commission (2009-14). He is also the former vice-chancellor of Pune University. 
  • Suresh Gopi: He is Malayalam actor and had acted in over 200 films. He is a winner of the National Film Award and Filmfare Award. 
  • Swapan Dasgupta: He is journalist by profession. He had worked at senior editorial positions in various publications including The Indian Express, India Today and The Times of India. 
  • Subramanian Swamy: He is BJP leader and was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1977, 1980 and 1988, and to the Rajya Sabha in 1974 and 1998. 
  • Navjot Singh Sidhu: He is cricketer-turned-politician and former two time member of Lok Sabha. 

274. India, France launch $1 Trillion Potential Solar Programme under ISA 
i. India and France have launched a programme with $1 trillion Potential Solar Programme under the International Solar Alliance (ISA). 
ii. It is a solar finance programme that aims at helping developing countries to fully harness their solar resources for a clean energy future. It was announced by Minister of State for Power Piyush Goyal and French Environment Minister Segolene Royal at the ministerial side event on ISA at the United Nations. 
iii. The solar finance programme aims at lowering the cost of finance and facilitates the flow of more than 1 trillion dollars investment to members of the ISA. 
iv. Both countries also launched a second programme at the ISA meeting which aims to make available solar technology for farmers. The meeting was attended by representatives of over 25 countries including the US, Bangladesh, Brazil and Nigeria. 

About International Solar Alliance (ISA) 
  • The ISA was launched at the 2015 Paris Climate Change Summit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande. 
  • It seeks to empower solar-rich countries located between the tropic of Cancer and the tropic of Capricorn to make collaborative efforts to harness solar energy to generate the electricity. 
  • Under this alliance, 121 countries that fall within the tropics have been invited. Most of these countries fall within Asia, Africa and South America.
  • Three Objectives: (i) To force down prices by driving demand, (ii) To bring standardization in solar technologies and thirdly and (iii) To foster research and development.

275. India’s first online interactive heritage portal Sahapedia launched 
i. The Union Government has launched India’s first online interactive heritage portal named Sahapedia was in New Delhi. 
ii. The web portal is a collaborative knowledge resource on the arts, culture and heritage of India. 

About Sahapedia 
  • Sahapedia is a not-for-profit society headed by former TCS chairman S. Ramadorai, who currently helms the National Skill Development Agency. 
  • The purpose of this portal is to inform, educate and act on subjects such as knowledge traditions, visual and material arts, performing arts, literature and languages. 
  • It also seeks to educated and spread knowledge about practices and rituals, histories, institutions, people, built spaces and natural environment.
  • It will be accessible across user groups such as scholars, practitioners, students, teachers, travellers and enthusiasts. 
  • It will also play important role in integrating activities and services including research, documentation, digitization and conservation.

276. Union Government notifies new rules to revamp SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 
i. The Union Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry has notified new rules to give effect amended Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. 
ii. The new rules seek to tighten provisions to ensure speedy justice to members of the SC/ST community. 

Key facts 
  • The new rules aims at speeding up the process of dispensation of justice, liberalise and expedite access to relief for victims of atrocities, ensuring special sensitivity in cases of offences against women. 
  • It has been made mandatory for cops to file chargesheet within 60 days after a complaint is lodged. 
  • For the first time, there is provision of relief for offences of rape and gang rape.
  • Requirement of medical examination for getting relief amount for non-invasive kind of offences against women has been delinked. 
  • Relief in cash or in kind or both must be provided within seven days to the victims of atrocity, their family members and dependents. 
  • The new rules also call for regular reviews of the scheme for the rights and entitlements of victims and witnesses in accessing justice.

277. India ratifies Trade Facilitation Agreement of WTO 
i. India has formally ratified the WTO’s (World Trade Organisation) Trade Facilitation Agreement, which aims at easing customs procedures to boost commerce. 
ii. In this regard, India’s WTO ambassador Anjali Prasad handed over the instrument of acceptance to WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo. India is the 76th WTO member to ratify the TFA. 

What is Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA)? 
  • The TFA is the WTO’s first-ever multilateral accord that aims to simplify customs regulations for the cross-border movement of goods. 
  • It was outcome of WTO’s 9th Bali (Indonesia) ministerial package of 2013. The agreement includes provisions for - 
  • Lowering import tariffs and agricultural subsidies: It will make it easier for developing countries to trade with the developed world in global markets. 
  • Abolish hard import quotas: Developed countries would abolish hard import quotas on agricultural products from the developing world and instead would only be allowed to charge tariffs on amount of agricultural imports exceeding specific limits. 
  • Reduction in red tape at international borders: It aims to reduce red-tapism to facilitate trade by reforming customs bureaucracies and formalities.

278. Salman Khan named as Indian contingent’s Goodwill Ambassador for 2016 Rio Olympics 
i. Bollywood actor Salman Khan was named as the goodwill ambassador of the Indian contingent for the upcoming Olympics to be held in August 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
ii. This is the first time when a Bollywood superstar has been chosen as a goodwill ambassador for the Indian contingent at the Olympics. 
iii. He was chosen by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) from a list of two to three candidates which also included Shah Rukh Khan and veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan. 
iv. IOA has chosen Salman Khan as he is considered to be more connected with the youth and sportspersons and also is considered as a youth icon for bodybuilding fans across the country.

279. India’s first online interactive heritage portal Sahapedia launched

i. The Government of India has launched country’s first online interactive heritage portal named Sahapedia in New Delhi. 
ii. The web portal is a collaborative knowledge resource on the arts, culture and heritage of India. Sahapedia is a not-for-profit society headed by former TCS chairman S. Ramadorai, who currently helms the National Skill Development Agency.

iii. The major objective of the portal is to inform, educate and act on subjects such as knowledge traditions, visual and material arts, performing arts, literature and languages. Making full use of modern design and technology, ‘Sahapedia’ will enable the user to experience the subcontinent’s culture from ancient times till date in a comprehensive manner.
280. 25th April :  World Malaria Day

i. 25th April is observed every year as World Malaria Day (WMD) to create awareness among the people about this vector borne disease. 
ii. The theme for 2016 is End Malaria For Good. This year’s theme reflects the vision of a malaria-free world set out in the Global technical strategy for malaria 2016-2030. 
iii. The World Health Assembly adopted it in May 2015, the strategy aims to dramatically lower the global malaria burden over the next 15 years. The strategy sets the target of reducing global malaria incidence and mortality rates by at least 90% by 2030.

281. Centre to provide plastic park to Andhra Pradesh

i. Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers Ananta Kumar announced that Andhra Pradesh would be the plastic hub in a short while from now and that the Centre would provide a plastic park to the State with Rs.1000 crore.
ii. The announcement has been made after laying the foundation stone for the Central Institute of Plastic Engineering and Technology (CIPET) at Surampalli village of Gannavaram mandal, near Vijayawada. 
iii. He also announced that a plastic waste management center would be set up in Vijayawada and agreed to take up the issue of setting up the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) in Visakhapatnam.

282. Nabard lends Rs 1,000 crore to HSWC for wheat procurement

i. National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) has sanctioned a loan of Rs 1,000 crore to Haryana State Warehousing Corporation (HSWC) for purchase of wheat during the ongoing rabi marketing season.
ii. The objective of foodgrain procurement by the government agencies is to ensure that farmers get remunerative price for their produce and do not have to resort to distress sale and build buffer stocks.
iii. The state government has authorised five agencies, namely Food and Supplies Department, HAFED, Haryana Agro Industries Corporation, Food Corporation of India and HSWC to procure wheat at minimum support price during the 2016-17 marketing season.

283. Govt Notifies New Rules To Improve SC/ST Act on Ambedkar Jayanti
i. Union Government has notified new rules to improve the Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes Act also known as Preventions of Atrocities Act. 
ii. The notification has been issued by the government on the birth anniversary of Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, popularly known as Babasaheb.
iii. The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment had notified the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Rules 2016 on 14 April, following which rules have now been framed. Some of the key upgrades in the bill: 1. The provision of completing an investigation and filing a charge sheet in the court within 60 days of the filing of the complaint by a member of SC/ST community. 2. A provision in the revamped bill is delinking the requirement of the medical examination for getting relief amount for non-invasive offenses against the women. 3. The new  provisions have increased the existing quantum of relief amount from between Rs. 75,000 and Rs. 7, 50,000 to between Rs. 85,000 and Rs. 8, 25,000, depending on the nature of the offense.

284. Tata Trusts signs pact with Odisha for Malaria elimination

i. Tata Trusts has signed a pact with the Odisha government to achieve elimination of Malaria from the state by 2030. 
ii. As per the MoU, Tata Trusts will be taking mass screenings twice a year in 557 villages in five selected blocks including Bissamcuttack and Muniguda blocks of Rayagada district, Lanjigarh, Thuamulrampur blocks of Kalahandi district and Kotgarh block of Kandhamal district in southern Odisha.
iii. The Centre has committed to eliminate malaria from the country by 2030. If the partnership between Odisha government and Trusts can demonstrate reduction in mortality in Odisha, it will bring down overall prevalence of malaria and incidence in the country. The vision of the partnership is to reduce malaria deaths by 50 per cent in five years and incidence by 40 per cent.

285. Cadbury inaugurates largest Asia-Pacific facility in India

i. Cadbury India, part of Mondelez International, today inaugurated its $190 million factory in Sri City SEZ, on the border of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
ii. The plant, which was inaugurated by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, is the company’s largest plant in Asia Pacific.
iii. The plant will start with making Dairy Milk chocolates will have an initial capacity of about 60,000 tonnes a year, which will be increased to 250,000 tonnes by 2020. The facility is spread over 134 acres of leased land; the plant will be developed in four phases and is scheduled for final completion by 2020. The new facility is a multi-category food campus and will create around 1,600 jobs. 

286. India banned milk, mobile phones import from China

i. India has banned import of milk and milk products, certain mobile phones and a few other items from China after finding them sub-standard or not following security codes.
ii. Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in Lok Sabha that India banned import of milk and milk products from China as their quality was unacceptable.
iii. Sitharaman said some mobile phones, which do not carry International Mobile Station Equipment Identity number or other security features, and some steel products have also been banned from importing from China. "Complete ban of import from any country is not possible now due to WTO rules even if we have problems diplomatically, territorially or militarily," she said

287. International Solar Alliance Cell and UNDP declared Cooperation for Promoting Solar Energy

i. The Interim Administrative Cell of International Solar Alliance (ISA Cell) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on 22 April 2016 declared their intention to promote solar energy globally.
ii. The declaration was made on the occasion of the side event on International Solar Alliance at the UN Headquarters in New York.
iii. The main aim of this cooperation is the Development of synergies with ongoing UNDP programmes and projects on solar energy in and across ISA member countries and also the creation of complementary linkages with ongoing global and regional efforts in the field of solar energy.

288. Uber partners with Election Commission in Tamilnadu

i. Taxi operator Uber has partnered with Election Commission in Tamil Nadu to spread awareness on voting among the electorate for the May 16 assembly polls. 
ii. Uber held discussions with officials on the importance of voting and encouraging people to cast their vote and would collaborate with EC's Systematic Voters' Education and Electoral Participation programme, Uber India said in a statement. 
iii. Drivers of Uber cabs would be educating public on the importance of voting and encourage riders to vote on May 16.

289. China, Pakistan ink agreement to launch satellite to monitor CPEC projects

i. China and Pakistan have signed an agreement for the launch of a special satellite to monitor the development of the multi-billion dollars China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects. 
ii. Pakistan and China are working closely and wholeheartedly to implement the CPEC projects in the speediest manner. In this regard, both countries have decided for development and launch of the Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite (PRSS-1) System and launch a satellite in June 2018. 
iii. The first phase of multibillion dollars CPEC framework will be completed by 2018. The production of 10,000MW under this important initiative will also help overcome the energy crisis by 2018.

290. Former Finance Minister Clement Mouamba appointed as Prime Minister of Congo

i. Mouamba Clement, the former Congolese Finance Minister, was on 24 April 2016 appointed as the Prime Minister of Congo. 
ii. He was appointed to the post by Congo's President Denis Sassou Nguesso.
iii. Clement will be responsible for forming a government in consultation with the president in accordance with the 25 October 2015 constitution. His major task after being appointed as Prime Minister would be to help in creating jobs for the youth, a majority of whom are struggling with under unemployment. This task will be linked with diversifying the country’s economy to achieve the President Denis Sassou Nguesso’s ambition of making Congo an emerging country by 2025.

291. Manoj Bajpayee To Receive Dadasaheb Phalke Award For 'Aligarh'

i. Renowned actor Manoj Bajpayee will be going to receive the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the movie Aligarh. 
ii. The actor will receive the award in the best actor category of Critics Choice. The award will be presented on 1st of May, 2016.
iii. The movie 'Aligarh' is a biographical drama directed by Hansal Mehta and the actor Manoj Bajpayee has played a role of Professor 'Ramchandra Siras' in it. 

292. Rafael Nadal wins Barcelona Open to equal clay-court record

i. In Tennis, Rafael Nadal has won the Barcelona Open to equal Guillermo Vilas' decades old record of 49 clay-court titles. 
ii. In the Final last night, world number five and top seed Spaniard defeated two-time defending champion Kei Nishikori of Japan, in straight sets, 6-4, 7-5. 
iii. This was Nadal's 9th Barcelona Open title, and he has now won his first 10 matches of the European clay-court season.

293. India to host 2018 Commonwealth Judo Championships

i. India will host the 2018 Commonwealth Judo Championships in Jaipur.
ii. This was announced by the Judo Federation of India in a press release in New Delhi today.
iii. The Commonwealth Judo Congress had allotted the Championships to India at its meeting held at Port Elizabeth in South Africa on Saturday.

294. Govt hikes minimum wage for contract workers to Rs 10,000
i. The Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya has stated that the minimum wage for contract workers has been increased to Rs. 10,000 per month.
ii. The Minister of State for Labour and Employment informed Lok Sabha that the wage hike has been done based on a Supreme Court verdict.
iii. It is the endeavour of the central government to make reforms in labour laws and to proceed from minimum wage to universal wage. The decision has been taken to make changes to rule 25 of the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Central Rules. Now every contract worker will be entitled to get Rs. 10,000 per month.

295. World Intellectual Property Day 2016 observed globally

i. The World Intellectual Property Day 2016 was on 26 April 2016 observed across the world with the theme Digital Creativity - Culture Re imagined. 
ii. On this day, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) works together with various government agencies, non-government organizations, community groups and individuals to hold different events and activities to promote World Intellectual Property Day.
iii. The day is celebrated to spread awareness about the role that intellectual property rights (patents, trademarks, industrial designs, copyright) play in encouraging innovation and creativity.

296. Over two lakh new Central government jobs by 2017

i. The announcement has been made that over two lakh posts are estimated to be created by the Central government in its various departments.
ii. The Central government has projected in the budget estimates for 2016-17 an increase of about 2.18 lakh in the existing workforce of 33.05 lakh, as in 2015, by 2017.
iii. The Home Ministry will add 5,635 new jobs to take its strength to 22,006 in 2017. Similarly, there will be 47,264 new posts in police departments to take its total to 10,75, 341 in 2017 from 10,28,077 (its strength in 2015), it said. There will be increase of 10,894 in staff strength of the Defence Ministry to take the manpower count to 51,084 in 2017, according to the budget estimates presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

297. Heart of Asia conference begins today in New Delhi

i. The heart of Asia conference has begun today in New Delhi. The conference aims to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan and speeding up its reconstruction with a focus on enhancing investment and connectivity to the country.
ii. The main aim of HoA process have been to devise a sustained, incremental approach to implementation of the confidence building measures (CBM) in Afghanistan and Energy, infrastructure and investment deals to shore up economic growth of Afghanistan may also figure during the conference. 
iii. In this conference 14 countries are participating and apart from those there are some countries who are supporting the conference which include France, Germany, Canada etc.

298. Govt to provide Rs 1 lakh per month to Rio-bound athletes

i. Union Sports Ministry has decided to provide one lakh rupees per month as out of pocket allowance to the sports persons under the Target Olympic Podium (TOP) scheme in their preparation for the Olympics and Paralympics Games at Rio de Janeiro. 
ii. 77 Indian athletes in eight disciplines have qualified for the Olympics till date and many more are likely to qualify in the next two months. 
iii. Target Olympic Podium scheme is a sports ministry initiative under which Olympic medal prospects are funded by the government for top class training as part of their preparations for the Games.

299. Union Government constitutes Ashok Dalwai committee for doubling farmers’ income by 2022

i. The Union Government has recently constituted 8-member inter-ministerial committee to prepare a blueprint for doubling farmers’ income by 2022. 
ii. The committee will be headed by Ashok Dalwai, Additional secretary at the Union Agriculture Ministry and is expected to submit the report in two months. 
iii. Its members will include officials from Agriculture and Food Ministries, experts from the Delhi-based National Council of Applied Economic Research and National Institute of Agricultural Economics and Policy Research. Terms of reference of the Committee Prepare plan to shift farm policies to income based from current production-oriented. Identify potential areas of agriculture where more investment should happen. 

300. Indo-Mongolia Joint Military Exercise, Nomadic Elephant – 2016, commenced

i. The 11th Indo-Mongolia joint training Exercise, titled ‘Nomadic Elephant - 2016’ commenced on 25 April 2016 in Mongolia. 
ii. The exercise aims at promoting military associations between India and Mongolia will culminate on 8 May 2016.
iii. The aim of this exercise is to develop synergy and inter operability between the two armies to fight in Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorism environment under the United Nation mandate.

301. INS Karmuk Corvette participated in Indo-Thai Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT)

i. Indian Missile Corvette, INS Karmuk along with a Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft participated in the 22nd Indo-Thai Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) on 25 April 2016 in the Andaman Sea.
ii. India’s indigenously built Missile Corvette is based at the Andaman and Nicobar Command.
iii. The 22nd edition of CORPAT would bolster the already strong bilateral relationship between the two nations and contribute significantly to enhancing maritime security in the region. It would include participation of one warship and one Maritime Patrol Aircraft of India and Thailand with the closing ceremony being held at Port Blair, Headquarters Andaman and Nicobar Command (HQANC) from 25 April -27 April 2016.

302. India lays foundation for final phase of Housing Project in Central and Uva Provinces of Sri Lanka

i. India lays foundation stone for 4000 houses under the third and final phase of Housing Project in Central and Uva Provinces of Sri Lanka.
ii. High Commissioner of India, Y.K.Sinha, and Minister of Infrastructure and Community Development, Palani Digambaram jointly laid the foundation stone for the third phase of the Indian Housing Project at Dunsinane Estate in Nuwara Eliya District.

303. Videocon d2h Ties-up With Vodafone m-pesa

i. Videocon d2h has announced that its sub-base of over 15 million can now recharge their d2h service using Vodafone m-pesa. 
ii. This tie-up with Vodafone allows its customers a simple, convenient and on-demand recharge facility using the proven m-pesa platform. 
iii. In addition, the 1,20,000+ Vodafone m-pesa CashIn points will also accept recharge for Videocon d2h, thus providing additional convenience to customers. 

304. Hero to invest Rs 3k cr in new Andhra unit

i. Hero MotoCorp is setting up a factory in Andhra Pradesh. It plans to invest Rs 3,000 crore, for annual capacity of 1.8 million units. Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu will be unveiling the foundation stone next month.
ii. Hero has three manufacturing facilities, at Gurgaon and Dharuhera in Haryana and Haridwar in Uttarakhand. The two-wheeler major is also setting up two more facilities in Rajasthan and in Gujarat.
iii. For the new facility, the state government has allocated around 600 acres at Tada in Chittoor district, close to Chennai. 

305. Top gay rights activist Xulhaz Mannan murdered in Bangladesh

i. Bangladesh police say a top gay rights activist and editor at the country's only LGBT magazine is one of two people who have been hacked to death in Dhaka yesterday. 
ii. The US ambassador to Bangladesh condemned the killing of Xulhaz Mannan, who also worked at the US embassy. Another person was also injured when the attackers entered a Dhaka flat. 
iii. Since February last year suspected militants have killed several secular or atheist writers and members of religious minority groups. The two men were murdered two days after a university teacher was hacked to death by suspected Islamist militants on Saturday. So-called Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility - but the Bangladeshi government insists there is no IS presence in the country

306. JKLF founder Amanullah Khan dead at 82

i. Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) founder Amanullah Khan passed away at a Rawalpindi hospital. He was 82.
ii. Khan, the father-in-law of Kashmir’s regional party People’s Conference president Sajad Gani Lone was suffering from a chronic lung disease.
iii. The deceased leader, who was born in the Astore area of Gilgit on August 24, 1934, was also the co-founder of the Kashmir Independent Committee in 1963. He was elected secretary general of the JK Plebiscite Front (PF) in 1965 and co-founded the JK National Liberation Front (NLF) with Maqbool Bhat.

307. Mohun Bagan's Jeje Lalpekhlua named FPAI Player of the Year

i. Professional football club Mohun Bagan and India striker Jeje Lalpekhlua on 25 April 2016 won the Football Players’ Association of India (FPAI). The award function held in Mumbai.
ii. Lalpekhlua received the highest number of votes from fellow professional footballers to finish on top in the shortlist which included India captain Sunil Chhetri, Bikash Jairu, David Lalrinmuana and Dhanachandra Singh.
iii. Nigerian striker Ranti Martins, who played for East Bengal in the I-League, was named the Foreign Player of the Year. The Manipur-born Udanta Singh of I-League champion Bengaluru FC bagged the Young Player of the Year award. Bengaluru FC’s coach Ashley Westwood won the Coach of the Year award. Debjit Majumder was named the Fans’ Player of the Year.

308. Rower Dattu Bhokanal qualifies for Rio Olympics

i. Indian rower Dattu Bhokanal has qualified for the Rio Olympics after winning a silver in the finals of men's single sculls at the 2016 FISA Asian and Oceania Olympic Qualification Regatta at Chung-ju in South Korea. 
ii. The 25-year-old armyman clocked 7 mins 7.49 seconds in the 2km course to finish second and qualify for the Rio Olympics.
iii. He has also represented India in the last Asian Games in Korea and at the 16th Asian championships in China where he won a silver medal.

309. President embarks on two-nation tour to Papua New Guinea and New Zealand

i. President Pranab Mukherjee leaves New Delhi for a two Nation tour to Papua New Guinea and New Zealand this evening. 
ii. This is the first ever state visit of an Indian President to these two countries. Symbolizing the growing strategic and economic engagements with the Pacific Island countries, the President’s first stopover will be Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea. 
iii. He would be holding talks with the Governor General Michael Ogio and Prime Minister Peter O’Neil among others. The President will also interact with the business community and the Indian diaspora. Papua New Guinea is looking towards increasing cooperation in health sector, IT, agriculture and infrastructure and cooperation between India and New Zealand has been on the rise over the years in various fields.

310. Union Railway Ministry to set up Rs 1 lakh crore Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh

i. The Union Railway Ministry has decided to create a 1 lakh crore rupees safety fund named as Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh (RRSK) to strengthen safety measures on the rail network to prevent accidents.
ii. It was announced by Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in the Lok Sabha while replying to a debate on Demands for Grants for Railways for 2016-17. 
iii. The Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh will be a non-lapsable fund which will be utilized for safety measures. This fund will help Indian Railways to accomplish its zero-accident mission by strengthening the safety measures on the rail network in a comprehensive way.

311. Government approved the policy for sharing competitive exam scores with private sector 

i. The Government has approved the policy for public disclosure of scores and ranking of the candidates who appear for recruitment examinations conducted by various public recruitment agencies for the benefit of employers in the public and private sector seeking qualified candidates through a portal. 
ii. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has given some observations in this regard that have been communicated to the concerned authorities. 
iii. Earlier, PM Mr. Narendra Modi has stated that scores obtained by candidates in recruitment examinations conducted by government and PSUs will be shared with private sector to help them hire candidates with matching talent. This will create a positive externality,” Modi said at the Bloomberg India Economic Forum.

312. All new mobiles to have panic button from 2017

i. The Department of Telecommunications has notified that from next year, all mobile phone sold in India will come with a dedicated 'panic button' and will also have the Global Positioning System facility in it. These facility can be used to send out a signal in case of distress.
ii. It aims to improve the safety of women and ensuring a quick response from security agencies or to send out distress signal to a family member or the police authorities so that they can be rescued. 
iii. This initiative has been taken by the Ministry of Women and Child Development to issue of installation of a physical panic button on mobile phones in June 2014. 

313. Government to sell its 11.36% stake in NHPC

i. The Government of India has started the disinvestment process of the current fiscal as the GOI has planned to sell its 11.36% equity shares in the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) at rs.21.75. 
ii. This disinvestment is likely to raise about rs. 2,700 crore. The issue price of share is at a discount of 5.6% to NHPC's closing price of Rs 23.05 on BSE.
iii. Presently, the Government holds 85.96 % in NHPC and selling over 125 crore shares (11.36%) which would help it comply with the minimum public shareholding norms. In this disinvestment a minimum of 20% shares have been reserved for retail investors and around 25% shares have been reserved for the mutual fund and insurance companies. 

314. Operation Sulaimani to eradicate Poverty in Kozhikode District

i. In an initiative to eradicate poverty from the district, the Kozhikode district administration is all set to implement a project named ‘Operation Sulaimani’ to ensure food for the needy in its jurisdiction. 
ii. Operation Sulaimani is being implemented in association with the state Hotel and Restaurants Association. Following the implementation of the project, the needy will get food free of cost. 
iii. As per the initial plan, through the  Operation Sulaimani, around 1,000 people will get food per day. The price of the food will be covered through sponsorship. 

315. Union Tourism Ministry launched NOAPS Web Portal of National Monuments Authority

i. The Portal was developed through the technology and expertise of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), who are in the process of mapping of 3686 ASI protected monuments and sites.
ii. The web portal integrates NMA’s portal with the online portal of local bodies of Delhi and Mumbai viz. NDMC, Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) and MCDs to facilitate single window clearance for construction on a common application form. 
iii. The applicant need to fill up a single form which will be sent to the concerned agencies by the local body, from whom No Objection Certificate (NOC) is required. However, large projects involving construction of building beyond 2000 square metres have been kept out of the purview of Single Window Clearance System, keeping in view their possible impact on the Monument or the site.

316. Isuzu opens manufacturing plant in Andhra Pradesh

i. Isuzu Motors India today opened its manufacturing plant in AP and rolled out its India-made D-Max pick-up. The facility was inaugurated by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu. 
ii. The initial production capacity of the plant is 50,000 units per annum and can be scaled up to 1,20,000 units. Isuzu had earlier committed an investment of Rs 3,000 crore for the Indian project. 
iii. With its existing operations in the US, Japan and Thailand, this plant in India is expected to provide a manufacturing leg-up to Isuzu globally. 

317. Patanjali to invest Rs 1,150 crore in 2017

i. Patanjali Ayurved, the FMCG venture promoted by yoga guru Ramdev, will invest over Rs 1,150 crore in the current fiscal to set up six processing units and one R&D center as it chases a turnover of Rs 10,000 crore this year.
ii. These units will come up in Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
iii. Patanjali Ayurved, which reported a turnover of Rs 5,000 crore in the last fiscal, is also looking at entering the highly competitive dairy segment this year. The company is also working towards increasing its exports and enhance online presence.

318. BPCL gets green nod for rs. 694 cr LPG project in West Bengal

i. The state owned fuel retailer BPCL has got the environment clearance nod for its 694 crore rupees LPG project in Haldia Dock Complex in West Bengal. 
ii. Based on the recommendations of the expert Appraisal Committee (Industry), the environment ministry has given environmental clearance and Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance to the BPCL's project in West Bengal.
iii. This is the project of developing LPG import terminal as well as storage, bottling and bulk distribution facilities. The proposed project aims to boost supply and help achieve the government’s target of making LPG available to each household by 2018. 

319. China launches sounding rocket

i. Today, China has launched a sounding rocket designed to conduct research, take measurements and scientific experiments in the country's Hainan Province. 
ii. Kunpeng-1B was launched from Danzhou City in the early hours today by the National Space Science Center (NSSC). 
iii. The rocket fulfilled its mission of taking measurements in the upper atmosphere that will help with research of rocket sounding, high-speed flight and space tourism.

320. IIT scholar K Ashok Kumar wins international award on plant nutrition

i. Mr. K Ashok Kumar, a research scholar from IIT Kharagpur (KGP) has won the prestigious International Plant Nutrition Scholar Award. 
ii. The award is awarded by the US-based International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) and carries a cash prize of USD 2,000 and a recognition certificate. 
iii. Mr. Kumar is the research scholar at the department of agricultural and food engineering, in IIT Kharagpur. Presently he is pursuing his PhD on 'Comparative Assessment of Direct and Residual Effects of Organic and Inorganic Nutrient Management on Rice-Chickpea Production System in Lateritic Soil.

321. Sangey re-elected PM of Tibetan govt-in-exile

i. The Tibetan government-in-exile today re-elected Lobsang Sangey as the Prime Minister for a second consecutive term. 
ii. 48-year-old Sangey defeated his only rival - Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament Pempa Tsering by 9,012 votes.
iii. According to the Chief Election Commissioner of the Tibetan government-in-exile Sonam Chhopel, the names of all the 45 elected members of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile have also been declared. 

322. Nandu Natekar became first non-cricketer to become a member of CCI's Legend Club

i. Badminton ace Nandu Natekar in April 2016 became the first non-Cricketer to be inducted into the Legends Club founded by the late Cricket Club of India (CCI) president Raj Singh Dungarpur.
ii. Natekar was inducted into the club along with 1983 World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev, who became the sixth cricketer to be inducted in the club.
iii. The two, Nandu and Kapil were inducted into the Club’s legend group after consultation with the Cricket Club of India (CCI) president, Kekoo Nicholson.

323. Riyad Mahrez Became First African Footballer To Win PFA Player Of The Year

i. Riyad Mahrez has become the first African footballer to win the Professional Footballers Association’s (PFA) Player of the Year award for the 2015–16 season.
ii. With the award, Mahrez also became the second non-European, after Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez, to grab the award. 
iii. Riyad Mahrez is a professional footballer who plays for English club Leicester City and the Algerian national team as a winger. He made his international debut for Algeria in 2014 and represented them at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

324. New Zealand's $5 bill named best banknote of the year

i. New Zealand’s five-dollar note has been named the banknote of the year for 2015 by the International Bank Note Society. 
ii. The note incorporates some of the world’s most advanced security features and beautifully showcasing  New Zealand’s history, culture, and heritage. The $5 note has won form the 40 eligible designs from a record 20 countries.
iii. The $5 note has featured mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary and on the other side, a rare yellow-eyed penguin and local flora.
325. MoU signed between Railways and ISRO

i. The Railways has signed up an  Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to develop an application for Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System. The MoU has been signed on March 17th, 2016 and came into force now.
ii. This MoU will fulfill the requirements of Indian Railways in terms of issues and needs related to science and technology which include, the development of an advance warning system at Unmanned Railway Crossings for road users, the mapping of Indian Railway assets through Geo- spatial technology and to develop paperless unreserved ticketing solution based on geo-fencing of station area.
iii. Under this agreement the ISRO will also develop a real time train information system by using communication satellite services to meet the Indian Railway satellite based communication requirements. 

326. New naval detachment launched at Lakshadweep Androth Island

i. The Indian Navy has inaugurated a naval detachment at Androth Island of the Lakshadweep archipelago. 
ii. It will help Indian Navy to have better surveillance and reach in the Arabian Sea. The naval detachment was inaugurated by Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, who is the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Naval Command.
iii. The facility will function as an observance and reporting organization. It will provide communication network connectivity with the mainland and also enable monitoring of Sea Lanes of Communication (SLOC). It will also help in radar surveillance.

327. Cabinet nod to solar power plant of 200 MW at Jetsar, Rajasthan

i. The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, gave its approval for utilisation of 400 hectares of un-cultivable farm land at the Central State Farm (CSF), Jetsar in Sri Ganganagar District, Rajasthan for setting up of a solar power plant of capacity exceeding 200 MW.
ii. The land is presently in possession of National Seeds Corporation (NSC), a Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under the administrative control of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. The Solar Power Plant will be set up by a CPSE, which would be selected through negotiation.
iii. NSC will provide 400 hectares of un-cultivable land, out of the 5394 hectares under its possession to the identified CPSE, which will bear the costs relating to the installation of the Solar Power Plant. The selected CPSE will have to do tariff based competitive bidding for the project. 

328. Cabinet approves MoU between India and Papua New Guinea on cooperation in the field of health area and medical science

i. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Papua New Guinea on cooperation in the field of Healthcare and Medical Science. 
ii. The bilateral MoU will encourage cooperation between the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare of India and the Ministry of Health and HIV/AIDS of the Papua New Guinea through joint initiatives in the health sector. 
iii. It will strengthen bilateral ties between India and Papua New Guinea.

329. MoU between Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India and the Insurance Authority, UAE

i. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) and the Insurance Authority of United Arab Emirates. The MoU was signed in February 2016.
ii. The MoU provides for enhanced cooperation between the two authorities in the field of insurance supervision by providing a framework for co-operation such as channels of communication. 
iii. It will also result in increasing mutual understanding through the exchange of regulatory and relevant supervisory information including confidential information to enforce or ensure compliance with their respective laws and regulations.

330. BSE inks pact with Korea Exchange to list Sensex-based derivatives

i. BSE Ltd on Thursday said it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Korea Exchange (KRX) of South Korea, for listing S&P BSE Sensex-based derivatives contracts on the latter.
ii. The agreement is expected to further the development of derivatives markets in India and South Korea. It will encourage the sharing of information, and foster new opportunities for the exchanges and their respective issuers.
iii. The MoU also includes information sharing by both parties to promote each other’s understanding of a product’s listing process and the market’s functioning. BSE and KRX have also agreed to conduct joint research in the area of derivatives markets and to support the development of new products, experience sharing and cooperation on IT system.

331. Experian India has launched the fraud detection mechanism

i. The Global data services company, Experian, headquarter in Dublin, Ireland, has launched its 'Hunter Fraud Score' in India, which is a new scoring mechanism. 
ii. The mechanism will help to measure the probability of fraud in a credit application across banking and insurance industries. It will help the country to increase their efficiency in fraud detection.
iii. Hunter prevents application fraud by matching credit application data against multiple data sources including the shared fraud data. It comprises several rules that work towards identifying inconsistencies in credit applications. 

332. DBS Bank launches 'mobile-only bank' in India

i. The Singapore's largest bank, DBS has unveiled the 'mobile only bank’ in India. The ‘digibank’ uses technologies, such as bio metrics and artificial intelligence, to enable paperless, signature less and branch less bank.
ii. This is the India's 1st mobile only bank which targeting 5 million retail customers. The bank will leverage bio metrics-enabled ID and Aadhaar card to ensure that that there is no paperwork. 
iii. It will provide customer service via a 24*7 artificial intelligence-driven virtual assistant, which understands natural language and has learning ability, so that it is able to respond in real-time.

333. Japan unveiled Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympics emblems

i. The new emblem of Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympic Games was unveiled, featuring an indigo-coloured check in the design.
ii. The logo features a circular Japanese traditional checkered pattern. Below the design are the words “Tokyo 2020” and under them the five interlocking Olympic rings, reports Xinhua.
iii. The logo was chosen from a shortlist of four announced on April 8 after more than 14,599 entries were publicly accepted. Tokyo 2020 organisers had to scrap a logo by Japanese designer Kenjiro Sano over its close resemblance of a theatre in the Belgian city of Liege created by designer Olivier Debie.

334. ICC suspends the Cricket Association of Nepal

i. The Cricket Association of Nepal has been suspended by the International Cricket Council due to a ‘vacuum of cricket leadership’ in the country and also in view of government interference in the board. The ICC took the decision after the 2nd meeting of the year at ICC headquarter in Dubai.
ii. According to ICC, the membership of CAN will remain suspended until it becomes free of government interference and is properly structured to begin exploiting the tremendous cricket talent and opportunities that exist in Nepal. 
iii. However, the ICC decided that Nepal cricket teams would continue to feature in ICC events.

335. Panel suggests fine or jail for celebs in misleading ads

i. Parliamentary Standing Committee has been formed to tackle misleading advertising as well as to fix liability on endorsers/celebrities.
ii. The committee to be headed by MP J C Divakar Reddy advocated that the Department of Consumer Affairs should be empowered to make laws to regulate growing sectors of e-commerce, direct selling and multi-level marketing where consumer complaints are on the rise.
iii. The panel suggests that for first time offence the violator may be penalized with either a fine of Rs 10 lakh or imprisonment up to two years or both. For second time offence a fine of Rs 50 lakh and imprisonment of five years.

336. Kerala cartoonist V T Thomas passed away

i. Kerala cartoonist V T Thomas, popularly known as Toms has passed away, following a brief illness at in Kottayam, Kerela. He was 86. 
ii. Toms created the legendary cartoon characters Boban and Molly (Bobanum Moliyum). He was born in 1929 in Kuttanad in Alappuzha district and initially served the British Army. 
iii. Apart from Bobanum Moliyum, the characters which weaved magic in Toms' creative world were the of the kids lawyer Pothen, the flirty Appy Hippy, the nincompoop panchayat president Ittunnan (chettan) and so on.

337. Deepika Kumari equals world record in recurve event at Archery World Cup

i. India's Deepika Kumari has equalled the world record in Women's Recurve event at the qualifying stage of Archery World Cup being held in Shanghai. 
ii. Padma Shri recipient Deepika recorded a score of 686 out of 720 to finish 1st in qualifiers and equal the world record set by South Korea's Ki Boe Bae at the World University Games in Gwangju last year. 
iii. She has already qualified for the Rio Olympics with her performance at the Copenhagen World Championships last year. In the previous editions of the World Cup, Deepika had won silver medals 2011, 2012 and 2013 in the individual events.

338. Sudarsan Pattnaik bags gold medal at Sculpture Championship in Moscow

i. Renowned artist Sudarsan Pattnaik has won the gold medal at ninth Moscow Sand Sculpture Championship in Russia. 
ii. Mr. Pattnaik won the competition for his 15 feet high art work Mahatma Gandhi's sculpture for non-violence and peace .
iii. The 20 top sculptors from different countries competed at the championship. Padma Shri Mr. Pattnaik has participated in more than 50 international sand sculpture championships across the world and won many awards for the country.

339. BSF to put tallest 'Tiranga' at Wagah border by January 2017

i. The Border Security Force (BSF) is planning to install the tallest national flag near the Attari-Wagah Joint Check Post, famously known as the Wagah border.
ii. The flag at 350 feet is part of BSF's expansion plans for the visitors' gallery at the site of the iconic Retreat ceremony.
iii. Currently, Jharkhand holds the record of hoisting tallest flag. On January 23 this year, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar hoisted the largest tricolour - a massive 99X66 feet - on the country's tallest flag post at 293 feet in Ranchi to mark Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's birth anniversary.

340. First time direct tax details published by CBDT

i. First time in the history, a total of 84 page data has been released and put in the public domain, as the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has published direct tax related data including income disclosed in tax returns by various categories of tax player from 2000 to 2015. 
ii. The data also include the information of PAN card allocation in the country across various categories and gender. 
iii. According to the department, the objective behind the publishing of these statistics was to encourage wider use and analysis of Income Tax data. 

341. Govt plans to keep 1% of highways project cost for road safety

i. The Union Minister Nitin Gadkari stated that the government plans to make it mandatory to set aside 1 % of total cost of any highway project for road safety. As India witnesses as high as 5 lakh road accidents per annum in which 1.5 lakh people die and another 3 lakh are crippled. 
ii. The government is committed to reducing the number of road accidents and fatalities by 50 per cent in next two to three years. 
iii. Presently, road accidents cause an annual loss equivalent to 3 per cent of the GDP. 

342. India, Papua New Guinea sign four agreements

i. India and Papua New Guinea has signed four MoUs in myriad sectors at capital Port Moresby.
ii. The MoUs were signed in the presence of the President Pranab Mukherjee and the Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’ Neil. Reports stated that the MoUs relate to Agriculture, Health, Information Technology and Infrastructure. 
iii. Under the first MoU, India will provide a Line of Credit of 100 million dollars for specific projects in Transport and infrastructure sectors. The 2nd MoU on Health covers areas such as Public Health, Health Research, Human Resources and Training, Medical Services, Disease Control and Prevention, Drug and Health Care Technologies and Environmental Health. Yet another MoU envisages establishment of a Centre of Excellence in Information Technology in Papua New Guinea. The Fourth MoU delineates all round cooperation in agricultural research and training.

343. Government approves BPCL's Rs. 3000 cr investment in Bharat Oman Refineries Ltd

i. The Union Cabinet chaired by PM Narendra Modi has given its approval to state owned Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) to invest Rs. 3,000 in Bharat Oman Refineries Limited (BORL).
ii.  As BORL is planning for capacity expansion in BORL's refinery in Bina, Madhya Pradesh.
iii. The investment will enhance the availability of petroleum products in the Northern and Central parts of the country, industrial development of Madhya Pradesh and substantial increase in employment and tax earnings in the state.

344. NITI Aayog launched urban management programme for capacity building of states and urban local bodies

i. NITI Aayog chaired by Vice Chairman Dr Arvind Panagariya has launched the Urban Management Programme in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. Around 150 participants were present in the event.
ii. The Programme is designed by NITI Aayog, Temasek Foundation and Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE) under the platform of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between NITI Aayog and the Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE).
iii. It was to tap the expertise of Singapore in urban sector to build capacities in State Governments and ULBs to design efficient solutions to urban problems. As a part of NITI Aayog’s mandate to promote cooperative federalism, NITI is reaching out to the States to resolve their issues pending with different Ministries. It is emphasized on improving governance particularly of the census towns whose number has significantly increased between census 2001 and 2011.

345. ISRO’s seventh navigational satellite IRNSS 1G launched

i. Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has launched India’s seventh navigation satellite of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS 1G) into a Sub-Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (Sub-GTO) on-board PSLV-C33.
ii. The satellite was launched from the First Launch Pad (FLP) of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, which is situated 90 kms from Chennai.
iii. With this launch, India successfully joined the elite group of countries that have their own navigation system technology to cater to the mammoth navigational needs. As in the previous six launches of IRNSS satellites, PSLV-C33 used ‘XL’ version of PSLV equipped with six strap-ons, each carrying 12 tons of propellant.

346. Indian Naval Ships Veer and Nipat Decommissioned

i. Two Indian Naval Ships 'Veer' and 'Nipat' were decommissioned at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai. 
ii. INS Veer and Nipat are the first two of this class to be decommissioned. Now eight ships of this category will remain.
iii. The decommissioning ceremony was held in the presence of Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Naval Command.

347. Rahuri in Ahmednagar Becomes First to have Digi-Locker 

i. Rahuri Municipal Council of Ahmednagar district in Maharashtra has became the first Municipal Council to attain the status of integrated with digital locker for the issuance of all essential Documents. 
ii. Sh. Ravi Shankar Prasad formally launched this service as part of Digital India Programme. 
iii. With this facility, the citizen of the area can now apply for the certificates like Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates online without going to Municipal Council and these documents will be available in the Digilocker signed to the citizens. This will also ensure them the peace of mind provided by the easy security of their documents forever. 

348. EC launches mobile app e-voter for Kerala assembly polls

i. The Election Commission of India (ECI) has launched an innovative mobile application titled e-voter with comprehensive details about the forthcoming 2016 Assembly polls in Kerala. 
ii. The app is envisaged for voters’ facilitation for search in electoral roll, information regarding candidates, location of polling station, affidavit filed by them, filing of complaint and so on. 
iii. The e-voter app was developed by the state IT Mission. It aims at ensuring great transparency and conduct of free and fair elections. The app has ‘know your candidate’ option that would provide constituency wise details of candidates. It has ‘constituency list’ option that would give segment wise details of voters (total number of voters, number of male voters and female voters) and total polling stations. 

349. Gujarat Announces 10% Quota For Economically Backward

i. Gujarat has declared 10% reservation in higher education institutions and government jobs for the economically backward members of all non-reserved castes, with annual income below rs. 6 lakh. 
ii. This will be on top of the 49% reservation currently available for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other Backward Castes. 
iii. The ordinance will be brought out on May 1, the state's foundation day.

350. Swat activist Tabassum Adnan wins 2016 Nelson Mandela Award

i. A women's rights activist from Swat valley of Pakistan, Tabassum Adnan, has won the Nelson Mandela Graça Machel Innovation Award 2016 in Bogota, Colombia. 
ii. She won the award for the individual activist category on the concluding day of the International Civil Society Week held from April 25-28.
iii. A victim of child marriage, Tabassum Adnan was married at the age of 13. The marriage which was marked by frequent domestic abuse, ended after 20 years when she gathered the courage to divorce her abusive husband.

351. Mongolia confers highest civilian honour to two Indians

i. Mongolia has conferred its highest civilian award "North Star" to two noted Indian scholars-Lokesh Chandra and Mansura Haider for their contribution to Mongolian studies. 
ii. It was presented by the Mongolian Foreign Minister Lundeg Purevsuren. 
iii. This year is being the 60th Anniversary of Indo-Mongolian diplomatic relations on which Mr. Lokesh Chandra, president of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Mansura Haider, former academic adviser at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), have been presented with the award for their contribution to the development of friendly relations between India and Mongolia and promotion of Mongolian studies.

352. Jayasurya recalled as Sri Lanka's cricket chief selector

i. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has announced appointment of Sanath Jayasuriya as chief selector of the Sri Lankan Cricket team.
ii. He has already served as the chief selector from January 2013 to March 2015.
iii. Now Jayasuriya-led committee will succeed the Aravinda de Silva led committee. The new four member selection panel will take office on 1 May 2016 and will serve for two years which include, former wicketkeeper-batsman Romesh Kaluwitharana, former fast bowler Eric Upashantha and former off spinner Ranjith Madurasinghe.

353. Garima wins gold at Commonwealth Judo Championship

i. Garima Chaudhary has won another gold medal at the 2016 Commonwealth Judo Championship finals at Port Elizabeth in South Africa. 
ii. She has clinched the gold in 63kg junior category.
iii. In the year 2012, the 26-year-old Meerut based judoka was the only representative from India to contest for Judo Olympic medals at the London Olympic Games in 2012. The judoka has also participated in the previous edition of the competition held at Glasgow in 2014 but made an exit in quarter final.

354. Nagaland’s capital Kohima declared ‘smoke-free city’
i. Nagaland capital Kohima has been declared as a ‘smoke-free city’.
ii. The official declaration was made by the Deputy Commissioner of Kohima, Rovilatuo Mor during the campaign for Smoke-Free Kohima City organised by District Tobacco Control Cell under the Department of Health and Family Welfare.
iii. Nagaland State ranks the second highest in the country with 57% of Tobacco Users.
iv. The campaign in which students of 22 schools took part was organised by District Tobacco Control Cell under the Department of Health and Family Welfare.

355. SIDBI signs MoU with Saarc Development Fund
i. Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) and Saarc Development Fund (SDF) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for mutual cooperation and collaboration.

ii. According to the Finance Ministry, MoU envisages SDF and SIDBI to work together in co-funding of projects in Indian MSMEs on risk sharing basis in identified sectors, development of suitable financial products for SME financing for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises(MSMEs) of other Saarc states.
iii. MoU also calls for technology transfer and making available software to MFIs regarding loan tracking systems in other Saarc states and capacity development of SDF/SIDBI and SME funding institutions in SAARC countries.

356. Centre approves Rs.9,005 Cr. investment for affordable housing in three states
i. The government of India has approved an investment of Rs.9,005 crore for construction of 73,205 more houses for Economically Weaker Sections(EWS) in urban under Prime Minister’s Awas Yojana(PMAY) in the States of Maharashtra, Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir.
ii. An inter-ministerial Central Screening & Monitoring Committee chaired by Dr.Nandita Chatterjee, Secretary (HUPA) approved the first batch of housing proposals during the current financial year.
iii. These were also the first affordable housing proposals of these three States sanctioned under PMAY (Urban).

357. S K Bhagat appointed DG- Railway Protection Force
i. Senior IPS officer of Uttarakhand cadre Surender Kumar Bhagat has been appointed as the Director General (DG) of Railways Protection Force (RPF).
ii. He is presently working as Special Director General in Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) at Western Sector, Jammu & Kashmir.
iii. He will serve the Railway Protection Force till the date of his retirement check that is on 30 June 2017.

358. India, Papua New Guinea sign four agreements

i. India and Papua New Guinea(PNG) have signed four Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) in various sectors to boost bilateral cooperation.
ii. The MoUs were signed in the presence of the visiting President Pranab Mukherjee and the Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’ Neil in Port Moresby, capital of Papua New Guinea

359. BlackBerry Launches BBM Money Transfer Service in India
i. Smartphone maker BlackBerry, in partnership with digital payments platform Digitsecure, has launched its money transfer service, called BBM Money, in India.
ii. BlackBerry users can download the BBM Money app and transfer funds to one another through BlackBerry Messenger.
iii. The transfers are instant and secure, restricted to BlackBerry Messenger only.
iv. Facebook is the only other service in India that allows transfer of money through a messenger application.

360. NK Singh selected for Japan’s highest civilian award

i. Former bureaucrat and parliamentarian N. K. Singh will receive one of Japan’s highest civilian honours for promoting economic, educational and cultural ties between India and Japan.
ii. He is among 91 foreign recipients to be honored during the 2016 Spring Imperial Decoration of Japan by Emperor Akihito during the investiture ceremony in May 2016.
iii. N. K. Singh was also Principal Secretary to Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee. He was also connected with International organisations like World Bank, IMF and UNDP.

361. Odisha CM launches 100 piped water supply projects
i. The chief minister of Odisha Naveen Patnaik dedicated to the people 100 piped water supply projects for rural areas and promise to make piped water provision in all gram panchayats by 2017.
ii. The project was inaugurated on the occasion of 'Utkal Gaurab Madhusudan Das’ anniversary.
iii. In rural areas all gram panchayats have been asked to spend 30 per cent of the panchayat funds towards piped water supply.

362. Rio Olympics: Abhinav Bindra joins Salman Khan as India's Goodwill Ambassador
i. Beijing Olympics gold medalist and ace shooter Abhinav Bindra today accepted the offer of the Indian Olympic Association to become India's Goodwill Ambassador for the Rio Olympics.
ii. The IOA had stirred up a controversy last Sunday when they named Salman Khan as a Goodwill Ambassador.
iii. Many sports personalities had slammed the move and questioned the timing of the appointment. Salman's movie 'Sultan', based on wrestling is due for release soon.


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