GA- 14 & 15 Apr 2018
India’s forex reserves at record high of $424.864 bn
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has released a report stating that India’s forex (foreign exchange) reserves have touched record high of $424.864 billion in Apr 2018.
- The forex reserve had crossed $400-billion mark for the first time in Sept 2017, but has since been fluctuating.
- The surge was due to massive spike in foreign currency assets (FCAs), a key component of the reserves.
- The forex are reserve assets held by a central bank in foreign currencies.
- It acts as buffer to be used in challenging times and used to back liabilities on their own issued currency as well as to influence monetary policy.
- The components of India’s FOREX Reserves include Foreign currency assets (FCAs), Gold Reserves, Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) and RBI’s Reserve position with International Monetary Fund (IMF).
- FCAs constitute largest component of Indian Forex Reserves and are expressed in US dollar terms.
New Delhi to host the India Mobile Congress 2018
- The second edition of India Mobile Congress (IMC-2018), organised by Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), will be held in New Delhi on Oct 25-27, 2018.
- The theme of second edition of IMC is “NEW DIGITAL HORIZONS Connect, Create, innovate.”
- IMC was launched in 2017 to provide platform for policy makers, industry and regulators to engage in meaningful deliberations to drive the future direction of telecom sector.
- The first IMC held in Sept 2017 was attended by around 2,000 delegates, 32,000 visitors, 152 speakers, 100 exhibitors and 100 start-ups.
Home Expo India 2018 to be held in Greater Noida
- The 7th edition of Home Expo India 2018 is going to be inaugurated by Smriti Zubin Irani, the Union Minister of Textiles and Information and Broadcasting, at India Expo Centre and Mart in Greater Noida on Apr 16, 2018.
- It will be organized by the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH), is on three segmented categories shows comprising Housewares, Textiles and Furniture.
M C Mary Kom is the India’s flag-bearer at the closing ceremony of CWG 2018
- Veteran Boxer M C Mary Kom, who claimed a Gold on debut at the Commonwealth Games (CWG), is the India’s flag-bearer at the closing ceremony of 21st Gold Coast CWG on Apr 15, 2018.
- The Indian contingent got 66 medals, just two medals more than the total of 64 they won in the last Games held in 2014 at Glasgow.
- The Gold medal tally of 26 this time is significantly higher than the figure of 15 won in the last edition.
PNB launches products to mark foundation day
- State-run Punjab National Bank (PNB) on Apr 13 has launched new products such as pre-approved credit card and UPI solution to mark its 124th foundation day.
- The bank announced its UPI partnership with the expense management app WALNUT that comes embedded with features such as bill reminders, bill-split and instant paperless loans.
- At the occasion, the bank organised blood donation camps across 200 blood donation centres in 76 circle offices covering over 6,500 branches across all states and union territories.
- The camp was inaugurated at the lender’s head office by Sunil Mehta, MD and CEO, of the bank.
Govt extends Phase-1 of FAME-India scheme by 6 months
- The Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises extended Phase-1 of FAME India Scheme to provide financial support to electric and hybrid vehicles by another six months till Sept 30, 2018 or till launch of phase-II.
- FAME India Scheme stands for Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles.
- Earlier phase-I of FAME India Scheme was initially for two years viz. FY2015-16 and FY2016-17.
- But it was further extended for period of six months (till Mar 31, 2018) or till launching of Phase-II.
- The Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles (FAME) India was launched in 2015 under National Electric Mobility Mission (NEMM) to promote eco-friendly vehicles in the country.
United Nations launches UN Road Safety Trust Fund
- United Nations launched UN Road Safety Trust Fund to improve road safety worldwide to save lives and prevent the loss of opportunity associated with road accidents.
- The fund has potential to galvanise global efforts to address road safety situation, building on progress made and experience gained over Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020.
- UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) is secretariat for the trust fund.
- It aims to accelerate progress in improving global road safety by bridging gaps in mobilization of resources for effective action at all levels.
- The fund will serve as catalyst for much-needed progress towards road safety targets of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
NPCIL, NSDC partner to spur Centre’s Skill India mission
- The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) has signed a MoU with the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) to provide skill training to 500 youth and women at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu.
- It aims to contribute towards economic and sustainable development of communities.
- NPCIL committed Rs. 1.74 crore under its CSR contributions towards this project, which is estimated to be complete in 15 months.
- The skill development project will be executed by NSDC through its approved training partners near Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP), the single largest nuclear power station in India, situated in the Tirunelveli district of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
- Under this tripartite agreement between NSDC, NSDF and NPCIL; NSDC will conduct a baseline survey in 19 villages in Tirunelveli district to examine nature and extent of talent gap and will accordingly identify job roles for the training.
CJI first among equals, power to allocate work: SC
- The Supreme Court reiterated that Chief Justice of India (CJI) is first among equals and has exclusive prerogative to allocate cases and constitute benches.
- The ruling given by SC bench led by the CJI Dipak Misra dismissing PIL that sought directions to regulate CJI’s power to form benches and allocate cases.
- The CJI in his capacity as judge is primus inter pares, first among equals.
- Article 146 reaffirms position CJI as head of institution.
ITDC bags first private contract
- India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) bagged Rs 550-crore contract for developing a Mega Tourism Destination project at Bhairav Lanka in East Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh.
- ITDC has signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Suraas Impex Pvt.
- The ITDC, headquartered in New Delhi, is an hospitality, retail and Education company owned by Govt of India, under Ministry of Tourism.
IGI among world’s top 20 busiest airports
- Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport has climbed six positions to enter the club of the top 20 busiest airports across the world.
- The list has been announced by the Airport Council International’s preliminary report on airport traffic for 2017.
- IGI, the country’s busiest airport for passenger traffic, grew by 14.1% year over year, pushing it up from the 22nd to the 16th busiest airport in the world.
- The report added that IGI Airport was also the fastest-growing airport among those in the top 20 club, with traffic increasing at the rate of 14.1%.
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport in the United States with 104 million passengers secured the top spot, followed by Beijing at the second position and Dubai at the third.
- The ACI predicted that India will represent the third-largest aviation market in terms of passenger throughput after the US and China by 2020.
- Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai also ranked among the fastest growing airports in the world, with a year on year growth of 26.9%, 19.6%, 12.9% and 10.5% respectively in 2017.
Boeing, HAL, Mahindra tie up
- Boeing India subsidiary of US aerospace manufacturer Boeing, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and Mahindra Defence Systems entered into agreement to manufacture fighter aircraft F/A-18 Super Hornet in India.
- Three companies exchanged Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) for Make in India fighter at on-going ‘DefExpo’ in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
- The partnership comes in backdrop of stiff competition between global aerospace companies looking to secure $15 billion (Rs. 97,950 crore) deal to sell 110 fighter jets to India.
65th National Film Awards
- The 65th National Film Awards for year 2017 announced by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Apr 13, 2018.
- Assamese film Village Rockstars won the award in the Best Feature Film category.
- ‘Baahubali 2: The Conclusion’ directed by S. S. Rajamouli was selected as the Best Popular film providing wholesome entertainment.
- Dada Saheb Phalke Award: Vinod Khanna
- Best Feature Film: Village Rockstars (Assamese)
- Best Director: Jayaraj for Bhayanakam (Malayalam)
- Best Actress: Sridevi for ‘Mom’
- Best Actor: Riddhi Sen for ‘Nagar Kirtan’
- Best Child Artist: Anita Das for ‘Village Rockstar’
- Best Children’s Film: ‘Mhorkya’
- The National Film Awards are most prominent film award ceremonies in India.
- Winners in different categories of these awards are selected by national panel of Juries appointed by Union Government.
- The National Film Awards will be presented by President Ram Nath Kovind.
‘Village Rockstar’ bags best film award
- Assamese Film ‘Village Rockstar’ bagged the best film award, while ‘Newton’ has been selected as the Best Hindi Film.
- The National award for Best Actress is given to Sri Devi posthumously for her role in the film ‘Mom’ and the Best Actor (Male) award goes to Riddhi Sen for his role in Bengali film ‘Nagarkirtan’.
- ‘Water Baby’ directed by Pia Shah, won the Best Debut Film of a Director in the Non Feature Film category.
- The award ceremony for the 65th National Film Awards will be held on May 3, 2018.
- The National Film Awards will be presented by President Ram Nath Kovind.
“Matmagi Manipur-The first Manipuri Feature Film” bags best book
- The Best Book on Cinema award was given to ‘Matmagi Manipur-The first Manipuri Feature Film’ authored by Bobby Wahengbam in the 65th National Film Awards for 2017.
- The book provides a vivid account of the socio-political scenario in which Manipur regional cinema was born.
Sinjar wins Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director
- The Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director was given to the Jasari language movie ‘Sinjar’ directed by Pampally at the 65th National Film Awards for 2017.
- The Best Film Critic award was given to Giridhar Jha for his writings covering vast horizon of Hindi cinema with authenticity and originality.
- The best Children’s film given to the Marathi Movie Mhorkya, directed by Amar Bharat Deokar.
- A.R Rahman awarded the Best Music Direction award for the movie ‘Kaatru Veliyidai’.
Vinod Khanna posthumously honoured with Dadasaheb Phalke Award 2017
- Late veteran actor and politician Vinod Khanna was posthumously honoured with prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award 2017.
- He is the 49th recipient of the award, considered as the highest honour in Indian cinema given by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
- The award is conferred by Union Government for outstanding contribution to growth and development of Indian Cinema.
- It was established in 1969 to commemorate the birth centenary year of father of Indian cinema, Dadasaheb Phalke.
Vishnu Kokje elected as new international president of VHP
- The former Himachal Pradesh governor and Madhya Pradesh High Court judge, Vishnu Sadashiv Kokje has been elected as the new international president of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) in Gurugram for which voting was held for the first time in over five decades.
- He got 131 votes and defeated incumbent G Raghava Reddy who could muster 60 votes.
Mary Kom becomes first Indian woman boxer to win a Commonwealth Gold
- The five-time world champion and Olympic Bronze-medallist M C Mary Kom won a gold medal by defeating Northern Ireland’s Kristina O’Hara 5-0 in the 48-kg final in Boxing events at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018.
- With this, Mary Kom has become the first Indian woman boxer to win a Commonwealth Gold.
Manika Batra becomes first-ever Indian woman TT player to win singles gold
- Manika Batra has created history by becoming the first Indian woman table tennis player to win a singles gold at the Commonwealth Games.
- She defeated Yu Mengyu of Singapore 4-0 in the final at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018.
- Apart from her, Sharath Kamal and G Sathiyan settled for Silver in men’s doubles.
Neeraj Chopra becomes the first Indian javelin thrower to claim gold
- Neeraj Chopra becomes the first Indian javelin thrower to claim a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, pulling off a season’s best effort of 86.47 metres in the final, at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018 in Athletics.
Ram Kumar passes away
- Ram Kumar, the noted Indian painter, passed away at aged 94.
- He was known for his abstract landscapes.