The National Stock Exchange (NSE) plans to enter trading in agricultural commodities with eight new contracts that are not currently traded on any other exchanges.
The proposed new contracts for which the exchange has sought permission from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) include almonds, castor oil, soya .... Read More
The Ministry of Commerce has laid out a detailed procedure for claiming benefits under the Transport and Marketing Assistance (TMA) scheme, which aims at boosting agricultural exports.
Presently, it will be available for exports from March 1 this year to March 2020.
Details of Procedure
Reimbursement Benefit: Under the TMA plan, the government .... Read More
On April 3rd, 2019, European Union (EU), Russia, and Costa Rica have expressed their interest to join consultations sought by Guatemala under the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) dispute settlement mechanism against India’s sugar subsidies.
Thailand, Brazil and Australia too have sought consultations from India under the dispute settlement mechanism, alleging that .... Read More
India will soon circulate at the World Trade Organisation a draft paper on granting special and differential treatment for members of developing and least-developed countries (LDCs).
WTO members are in discussions to finalise an agreement to stop subsidies that have led to unsustainable fishing practices across the globe.
India agrees on the .... Read More
India has asked the European Union (EU) to reduce the sampling frequency and clearance time of marine exportsat the Customs in order to make its market friendlier for Indian exporters of fisheries.
Problems to Indian Fish Export
Quality Measures: Fearing that there were inadequate measures in some Indian aquaculture farms the EU .... Read More
On 3rd April, 2019, the central government permitted the import of feed grade maize at a concessional import duty of 15 percent to meet the shortage of the poultry feed in the country but the import for trading purpose is not allowed
Poultry sector is facing an unprecedented shortage of feed .... Read More
On 29th March, 2019, the RBI allowed non-residents to participate in the rupee interest rate derivatives market.
This decision would deepen the rupee interest rate swap (IRS) market.
Foreign portfolio investors, collectively, can transact in interest rate futures up to a limit of net long position of Rs 5,000 crore.
A non-resident has .... Read More
Ministry of Corporate Affairs has notified a new accounting standard ‘Ind AS 116’, with effect from April 1, 2019 which will bring in more transparency in the recognition and disclosures about leases in companies’ balance sheets.
More Visibility and Quality Improvement:The new standard will bring substantial visibility of companies lease .... Read More
On 2nd April, 2019, the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday quashed the Reserve Bank of India’s circular regarding bankruptcy proceedings against defaulters before National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).
The circular, issued on February 12, 2018, directed banks to refer defaulters to bankruptcy courts if they were unable to find a resolution .... Read More
On 26th April, 2019, the Supreme Courtgave the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) a last opportunity to withdraw a November 2016 Disclosure Policy to the extent to which it conceals information under the Right to Information Act, including the list of willful defaulters and annual inspection reports.
The court had held .... Read More
Crucial changes made to taxation laws i.e. Income Tax and GST come into effect from April 1, 2019.
Key Changes to Income tax
Tax rebate is available for those with a taxable income between Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs5 lakh.Currently, they pay a tax of up to Rs13,000 (including the 4 per .... Read More
On 3rd April, 2019, the RBI, in consultation with the Government of India, has decided that the limits for Ways and Means Advances (WMA) for the first half of the financial year 2019-20 (April to September 2019) will be Rs 75000 crore.
The RBI may trigger fresh floatation of market loans .... Read More
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) entered into 18 Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) which includes 3 Bilateral APAs (BAPAs).
With the signing of these APAs, the total number of APAs entered into by the CBDT in the year 2018-19 stands at 52, which includes 11 BAPAs.
18 APAS cover international .... Read More
Recently, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the proposal of the Department of Fertilizers to extend the duration of New Urea Policy-2015 for existing gas based urea unit from Apr 1, 2019 until further orders.
The move will facilitate continuation of operations and regular supply of urea to farmers.
At present .... Read More
On 3rd April, 2019, Asian Development Bank (ADB) has published its Asian Development Outlook 2019.
Findings of the Report
Growth in developing Asia is projected to soften to 5.7% in 2019 and 5.6% in 2020.
Excluding Asia’s high-income newly industrialized economies, growth is expected to slip from 6.4% in 2018 to 6.2% in .... Read More
According to International Renewables Energy Agency (IRENA), a third of global power generation capacity is now being fueled by renewable energy sources.
Asia accounted for 61% of new capacity in 2018 and continued to dominate the global solar capacity expansion.China, India, Japan and Republic of Korea accounted for most of this.
Indian .... Read More
The World Health Statistics 2019 Report released on April 4, 2019,shows that while there have been improvements in 24 of the 43 health-related Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicators, progress has stalled or worsened for 5/ 43 indicators.
The report is published annually since 2005 by the World Health Organization (WHO) and .... Read More
On 5th April, 2019, NITI Aayog, together with Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), released a report on opportunities for the automobile sector and government under the ‘Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles II’ (FAME II) scheme.The report titled ‘India’s Electric Mobility Transformation: Progress to Date and Future Opportunities’, quantifies the .... Read More
United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) report flags concern regarding India’s rising non-performing assets (NPA), which can potentially derail the country’s efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs).
About the Report
India needs to spend nearly Rs140 per day per person to remove poverty, while rest Asia-Pacific .... Read More
Recently, World Trade Organization decided to end fisheries subsidies provide to India and other countries, which according to WTO, has led to unsustainable fishing across the globe.
Fisheries sector in India
Fisheries sector provides employment to millions of people and is a major contributor towards food security of the country. This sector .... Read More
On 2nd April, 2019, the European Union (EU) dragged India into WTO’s dispute settlement mechanism over imposition of import duties on certain‘Information and Communications Technology’ (ICT) products, including mobile phones, alleging breach of global trade norms.
Reasons for the Dispute
Import Duties on Various Products: The EU is challenging the introduction of .... Read More
On 2nd April, 2019,Department of Revenue under Ministry of Finance imposed anti-dumping duty on imports of Ethylene Vinyl Acetate sheet used in solar cell making from China, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Thailand for a period of five years.
The anti-dumping duty has been imposed after considering the recommendations of the commerce .... Read More
On 26th April, 2019, United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) placed India again in Special 301 Report’s Priority Watch List.
Reasons behind India’s Inclusion
India has been included in the list for the ‘long-standing IP challenges facing US businesses in India’and includesthe challenges that make it difficult for innovators to receive and maintain .... Read More
On 29th March, Coffee Board, under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, launched blockchain based coffee e-marketplace.
With this, the Coffee Board of India has taken the third spot in launching a blockchain coffee trading app, after France and Ethiopia.
To Bring More Transparency: Blockchain will reduce the number of layers between .... Read More
The Eight Core Industries comprise 40.27 per cent of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).
The combined Index of Eight Core Industries stood at 125.8 in February, 2019, which was 2.1per centhigheras compared to the index of February, 2018.
Coal production (weight: 10.33 per cent) .... Read More
The NuGen Mobility Summit 2019 will be held during November 27 – 29, 2019 at Manesar, National Capital Region.
The Summit will be organised by the International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT).
Exchange of Ideas and Technology:To share new ideas, global experiences, innovations and future technology trends for faster adoption, and development .... Read More
The National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) and global transport infrastructure operator ‘Roadis’ would jointly set up a platform to invest up to $2 billion of equity in road projects in India.
The platform would target toll-operate-transfer (TOT) models and acquisitions of existing road concessions.
Fund Types Managed by NIIF
NIIF currently manages .... Read More
On 26th April, 2019, the Finance Ministry introduced changes in the e-way bill system to crack down on GST evaders.
Distance Calculation Based on PIN Codes: The new system would come with auto-calculation of the distance between the source and destination, based on the PIN codes. The user would be .... Read More
Bank of Baroda (BoB) became the second largest state-owned lender after merging Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank into itself as part of the first three-way amalgamation.Post-amalgamation, the bank will have a 22 per cent market share in Gujarat and 8-10 per cent market share in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Uttar .... Read More
On 1st April, 2019, ‘KandhamalHaldi’ or turmeric named after central Odisha district of Kandhamal, where it is grown organically by tribals has received the Geographical Indications tag.Kandhamal in Odisha’s southern hinterland is famous for its turmeric which stands out for its healing properties and arresting aroma.The GI tag for Kandhamalhaldi .... Read More
On 23rd April, 2019, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) have decided to study the applications of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology by launching their own permissioned blockchain and a token called Learning Coin.The goals of this project are to help the staff of these organizations gain .... Read More
The Union Cabinet has approved the creation of additional posts in the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) for speedy disposal of cases.Additional posts of three judicial members and three technical members will be createdin the NCLATThis will ensure to meet the mandate provided to NCLAT by the Finance Act, .... Read More
On 26th April, 2019, the Reserve Bank of India extended the coverage of Ombudsman scheme to non-deposit taking non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) having asset size of Rs 100 crore or higher.It will help provide a cost-free and expeditious complaint redressal mechanism relating to deficiency in the services by NBFCs covered .... Read More
The rare variety rice Bamboo Rice, which was last harvested in Chandaka-Dampara Wildlife Sanctuary in 1979, grows twice or thrice in a century.
The gates of Chandaka-Dampara Wildlife Sanctuary in Cuttack district have been opened for forest dwellers to come and collect the rice as otherwise it will be attacked by .... Read More
On 11th April, 2019 India and Sweden launched a joint Industrial Research and Development Program to tackle challenges in the Clean Technology and Smart City Sector among others.The program will be funded by the Indian Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Sweden-based company Vinova. On the Indian side, .... Read More
On 11th April, 2019, an app named Jagruk, developed by the National Informatics Centre, was launched.The app will be used to access real time consumer feedback on quality and availability of power from across the country.Through the app the consumers will be able to report power outages and its location, .... Read More
On 26th April, 2019, India and Bhutan, have finally signed tariff protocol for the output of 720 Megawatt Mangdechhu hydropower project.
As per the finalized protocol detail provided by Bhutan Government’s Ministry of Economic Affairs, the starting tariff for a term of 35 years is Ngultrum 4.21 (Eqv. INR 4.21) per .... Read More
India retained its position as the world’s top recipient of remittances at $79 billion in 2018 as per the World Bank.
Remittances grew by more than 14% in India, where a flooding disaster in Kerala likely boosted the financial help that migrants sent to families.
India was followed by China (USD 67 .... Read More
Finance Commission on ‘Fiscal Relations across levels of Government’
The 15th Finance Commission on April 4th held a high level roundtable on ‘Fiscal Relations across levels of government’ moderated by NK Singh.
The roundtable was organized in partnership with the World Bank, OECD and ADB.
The technical session of this meeting was divided .... Read More
On 29th March, 2019, Oxfam India released Mind ‘The Gap: The State of Employment in India’, a report analysing the country’s employment situation in the country specifically from the gender lens.
The report finds that the women’s labour force participation in India is one of the lowest in the world. Women .... Read More
A team of scientists from IIT Madras has developed a method for reading documents in Bharati script using a multi-lingual optical character recognition (OCR) scheme.
Taking a cue from European languages, team at IIT Madras has, over the last decade, developed a unified script for nine Indian languages, named the .... Read More
Garia Puja, the biggest festival of the tribals in Tripura, is celebrated as a harvest festival by the ethnic tribes and celebrations begin from last day of March-April.
It is one of the major festivals of Tripuris and some other Kokborok speaking communities. Celebrated in the month of April it symbolizes .... Read More
Recently,Tiwa tribesmen had taken part in a dance during the Khelchawa festival in Karbi Anglong district of Assam.
It is a male-dominated festival. In a given year, young boys aged between 10-14 years enroll themselves for the festival. For the next five years, they become the main leads in religious or .... Read More
On 15th April, 2019, Vishu was celebrated across Kerala by the Hindus.The day is observed on the first day of the month called Medam.The day is earmarked for visits to temples dedicated to Lord Krishna, who is worshipped on this day. Devotees throng some famous Indian temples like the Sabrimala .... Read More
The sanctuary is located at Domkhar village in Leh, next to the banks of Indus River. It has 500-odd petroglyphs (images created by removing part of a rock surfaces by incising).There are numerous rocks carved figures, thought to date back between 2000 and 4000 years.It consists of drawings of animals .... Read More
Tamil New Year is also known as Varusha pirappu and is observed on first day of Tamil month Chithirai.The auspicious occasion of Puthandu is also popularly known as Varusha Pirappu or the birth of New Year and falls on 13th or 14th April according to the Gregorian calendar.It is believed .... Read More
The word batik actually means ‘wax writing’. It is a way of decorating cloth by covering a part of it with a coat of wax and then dyeing the cloth. The waxed areas keep their original color and when the wax is removed the contrast between the dyed and undyed .... Read More
Filigree jewelry is a unique piece that incorporates handcrafted twisted threads of precious metal into its design.Filigree jewelry was discovered and unearthed in the ancient Mesopotamia area and this was about 5000 years ago. Filigree was also popular during Roman times, extending throughout the empire.In India, people of the Cuttack .... Read More
On 30th April, 2019, archaeologists excavated a rare life-size stucco Buddhist sculpture in Phanigiri, Suryapet district in Telangana.
The excavated figurine represents one of the Bodhisattvas belonging to the Jathaka Chakra.
The sculpture is also one of the largest Buddhist stucco sculptures unearthed in India till date.
The excavations have also brought .... Read More
Also known as Tholu Bommalu or Tholu Bommalata, this form of shadow-puppet theatre is popular in several regions of Andhra Pradesh. Tholu bommalata literally means the dance (atta) of the leather (tholu) puppets (bommalu).
The core of the performance is represented by epic stories based on the Ramayana and to a .... Read More
In India, Patachitra is a traditional painting of Orissa. This old tradition still survives in the places like Puri, Raghurajpur, Paralakhemundi, Chikiti and Sonepur.The first forms of Patachitra art originated in the village of ‘Puri, where this artwork is still quite popular. The artists who practiced this craft were known .... Read More
It is a 21-day long seasonal folk dance festival that is celebrated in South Odisha.It is celebrated during the Indian Calendar month of Chaitra and ends on Vishuva Sankranti, the Odiya New Year.Those performing Danda Nacha or the dance for penance, are called ‘Danduas’ who go through painful procedures for .... Read More
The 800-year-old Warangal-based Ramappa Temple, the only temple in the country named after its sculptor Rampapa, has been nominated for the UNESCO World Heritage site selection process for 2019.
It is India’s only entry this year.
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, it is situated in Palampet Village, around 67 km from the .... Read More
This is the most prevalent and characteristic art tradition of the Rathwa community, who live in the region bordering Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh states in India.
These paintings denote the advent of an auspicious occasion such as weddings, childbirth, festivals in the family or the society as a whole
The paintings are .... Read More
Bandhej, also known as Bandhani, is a tie and dye method practiced mainly in states of Rajasthan, Gujarat and parts of Uttar Pradesh.The technique involves dyeing a fabric which is tied tightly with a thread at several points, thus producing a variety of patterns like Leheriya, Mothra, Ekdali and Shikari .... Read More
Thrissur Pooram is the most colourful of all the temple festivals of Kerala. It is celebrated in Thrissur at Vadakkunnathan temple in the month of Medam (April and May).
Known as the festival of festivals, Thrissur Pooram has a tradition of more than 200 years. This spectacular event was started by .... Read More
On 5th April, 2019, around 4,700 Konyak Naga women came together in an attempt to set a Guinness World Record for the Largest Traditional Konyak Dance.
The attempt to make the record was made during the Konyak Aoleang-cum-Mini Hornbill Festival in Mon town on April 5th.
Konyak Tribe: Last Headhunters of India
Konyak, .... Read More
On 15th April, 2019, the Union Cabinet approved creation of an additional post of Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General (Coordination, Communication and Information System) in the office of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India.
The country’s top auditor, CAG has five posts of deputy CAGs.
The position in pay level 17 .... Read More
On 15th April, 2019, the Delhi High Court sought the response from the Cabinet Committee on Security on a plea seeking directions to remove the dual control of Assam Rifles.
Issue of Dual Control
The administrative control of Assam Rifles lies with the Home Ministry, while the operational control is with the .... Read More
Why in News?
After the start of 1st phase of general election on 11th April, a number of top political leaders including UP’s CM Yogi Adityanath, Mayawati, etc, were banned by the Election Commission of India for violating model code of conduct.
What is Model of Code of Conduct (MCC)?
The MCC .... Read More
Why in News?
On 19th March, the Delhi High Court issued notice to the Election Commission of India (ECI) in a PIL, filed by three law students from Uttar Pradesh pertaining to the denial of voting rights to prisoners – both under-trials and convicts.
Primarily, allegations have been made by the petitioners .... Read More
On 8th April, 2019, the Supreme Court ordered the Election Commission to increase the Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips from one Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) per Assembly constituency to five.
The court’s direction came on a plea by leaders of 21 opposition parties who wanted it to be hiked to .... Read More
On 10th April, 2019, the Registration of Marriage Bill, 2019 (NRI Bill), was introduced in the Rajya Sabha to ensure legal recourse for the victims.
Spurt in cases of marriage fraud is the main reason behind government’s push for NRI bill.
Key Proposals of the Bill
The bill proposes to offer greater protection .... Read More
On April 11, when the Himalayan State of Sikkim went to the polls, elections were held in a unique Assembly constituency that does not exist on the State’s map and has no geographical boundaries.
It is only one-of-its-kind constituency in the country reserved for the monastic community (Sangha).
Buddhist monks registered with .... Read More
On 11thApril, 2019, the Supreme Court directed all political parties to provide details of donations received in electoral bonds and the identity of the donors to the Election Commission in a sealed cover by May 30, in an attempt to bring transparency around anonymous poll funding.
The political parties were .... Read More
On 10th April, 2019, President launched ‘Veer Parivar App’, a mobile application for families of CRPF personnel killed in the line of duty. The application will act as an interface between the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) authorities and the next of kin of the slain personnel. It will render .... Read More
On 24th April, 2019, West Bengal government’s ‘Utkarsh Bangla’ scheme was awarded the prestigious World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) award of the United Nations.
WB government’s ‘Utkarsh Bangla’ scheme, aims to create a pool of skilled candidates industry ready.
WSIS Prizes is an international contest to create an effective .... Read More
On 2nd April, 2019, the Udupi district (Kerala) police has launched an all-women police patrol ‘Rani Abbakka’ force for handling cases related to harassment of women and school children.The Rani Abbakka police patrol vehicle will patrol areas like bus stands, railway station, shopping malls and school – college areas. The .... Read More
According to a report compiled by public health experts from Harvard University and Tata Trusts, Pathanamthitta (Kerala) is India’s best constituency.It has India’s cleanest air, and HDI that matches with any first-world country, especially in child healthcare.Only 12.5% of Pathanamthitta’s children (under the age of five) are underweight, compared with .... Read More
On 13th April, 2019, the Supreme Court held that the right to travel abroad is an important basic human right for it nourishes independent and self-determining creative character of the individual, not only by extending his freedoms of action, but also by extending the scope of his experience.
The court .... Read More
Battle of Kangla Tongbi
The Platinum anniversary of the Battle of Kangla Tongbi was commemorated on April 7th by Army Ordnance Corps at Kangla Tongbi War Memorial in Imphal, Manipur.
This was done to honor the Ordnance Personnel of 221 Advance Ordnance Depot who sacrificed their life during World War-II on April .... Read More
On 13th April, 2019, the Jallianwala Bagh Tragedy completed its 100 years.
Officially known as the Anarchical and Revolutionary Crimes Act, 1919, it was passed in March 1919 by the Imperial Legislative Council.
This act authorised the British government to arrest anybody suspected of terrorist activities and detain such people for .... Read More
On 27th April, 2019, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) established ‘Malaria Elimination Research Alliance-India (MERA-India)’ which is a conglomeration of partners working on malaria control.
The purpose of MERA India is to identify, articulate, prioritise and respond to the research needs of the country to eliminate malaria from India by .... Read More
On 30th April, 2019, UN Ad hoc Interagency Coordinating Group on Antimicrobial Resistance, released a groundbreaking report demanding immediate, coordinated and ambitious action to avert a potentially disastrous drug-resistance crisis.
This report reflects a renewed commitment to collaborative action at the global level by the World Food and Agriculture Organization of .... Read More
On 11th April, 2019, Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) directed drug manufacturers, to mention in leaflets inserted into drug packets or on promotional literature, information about the adverse reactions of seven medicines and to ensure that this information be made available to the general public.
CDSCO took this step on .... Read More
On 22nd April, 2019, the Ministry of AYUSH and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), signed an MoU, for cooperation in research and education in areas of traditional systems of medicine and its integration with modern science.
Scope of MoU
As per the pact inked between the two organisations, stress will .... Read More
A Multi-drug resistant yeast Candida auris (C. auris), which the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently warned can cause invasive infection and death, has been around in India since 2011.
Almost 90 per cent of its fungal isolates were found to be resistant to fluconazole, the standard antifungal .... Read More
India has initiated research on impact of Zika virus on infected pregnant women in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, where cases of virus outbreaks were reported last year.
Study to Decode Zika Syndrome
Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has initiated a study in Rajasthan and Bhopal to understand the outcomes of pregnancies .... Read More
On 3rd April, 2019, the first comprehensive global assessment of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in healthcare facilities by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (JMP) was released.
The report highlights that each year 17 million women in least developed countries .... Read More
On 22ndApril, 2019 US President decided to end sanctions waiver granted to India and seven other countries which import Iranian oil. The waivers would end on 2nd May 2019.
US wants to cripple the Iranian economy by squeezing its sources of revenue in order to force the country into halting its .... Read More
India has set up an Indo-Pacific division in the foreign office i.e. Ministry of External Affairs. The new division would give a coherent architecture to the Indo-Pacific policy, which was highlighted by Indian PM at the Shangri-La Dialogue 2018.
This signifies the rising importance of the Indo-Pacific region for India and .... Read More
Highlights of Croatia visit
This is the first-ever visit of a head of state from India to Croatia.
Croatia would assume European Union’s (EU) Presidency in the first half of 2020. Therefore, India seeks greater cooperation with Croatia, within the architecture of the EU, for finalizing a balanced India-EU Broad-based Trade .... Read More
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the 82-year old leader, resigned from his post on 2ndApril 2019 with immediate effect bringing an end to his 20 year rule.
Anti-Bouteflika protests broke out in late February 2019 when the long time president announced a plan to seek a fifth term in elections scheduled for .... Read More
The Bhutan government has decided to send a bill for the ratification of the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) initiative to its upper senate.
The BBIN Motor Vehicle Agreement (MVA) was signed by the four countries in 2015 but Bhutan moved out of the MVA in 2017 temporarily. Bhutan feared that the implementation of .... Read More
A bipartisan group of American lawmakers has reintroduced an important legislation, the bill ‘H R 2123’ in the House of Representatives which seeks to advance the US-India strategic relationship.If enacted, the legislation would ensure that the US treats India as a NATO ally and the defence sales to India would .... Read More
India and the African Union signed an agreement to strengthen cooperation in health sector in a structured and organized manner by establishing an India-Africa health sciences collaborative platform.
The platform takes forward the strategic vision of India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) III held in 2015 and the First India-Africa Health Sciences Meet .... Read More
30th annual summit of the Arab League was held recently in April 2019 in Tunis,Tunisia.
The leaders rejected US President’s proclamation which granted legitimacy to Israeli occupation of Golan Heights.
They termed the transfer of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem ‘dangerous and unacceptable’. They condemned the move as .... Read More
India’s rank in the index dropped down to 140thfrom 138thin 2018 which is two points below the previous year.
The index has been topped by Norway followed by Finland. Turkmenistan has been placed at the last in the rankings. Ranks of China, Pakistan, Bangladesh are 177, 142 and 150 respectively.
The Report .... Read More
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was honoured with United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) highest civilian honour, the ‘Zayed Medal’ by the President of the UAE Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.The medal, awarded to kings, presidents and heads of states, was conferred upon the PM for boosting bilateral strategic relations between the .... Read More
On April 30th 2019, the current Japanese Emperor Akihito will abdicate the crown, ending the Heisei era which started in 1989 after Akihito’s coronation and the new era ‘Reiwa’ would commence.The year 2019 will be split between Heisei, until the end of April, after which it will become Reiwa, the .... Read More
Indian government signed an agreement with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development Consultancy Service (NABCONS), a subsidiary of NABARD, for setting up India-Africa Institute of Agriculture and Rural Development (IAIARD) in Malawi, a country in southeastern Africa.IAIARD will be a Pan-Africa Institute wherein trainees not only from Malawi but .... Read More
The third edition of AUSINDEX, i.e. ‘Australia-India Exercise’ which is a bilateral maritime exercise between two countries took place at Visakhapatnam in April 2019.The aim of this biennial exercise is to strengthen and enhance mutual cooperation and interoperability between the Indian Navy and Royal Australian Navy, providing opportunities for interaction .... Read More
Indian Navy’s INS Kadmatt and Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas took part in 15th edition of LIMA exercise held at Langkawi, Malaysia.The navies of Malaysia and India interact closely on issues related to maritime training and exchange best practices during exercises like LIMA. LIMA is Asia Pacific’s premier maritime and .... Read More
The four-day long India- Singapore joint military exercise ‘Bold Kurukshetra’ concluded on 11th April at ‘Babina Military Station’ in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh.This was the 12th edition of the Indo-Singapore joint military exercise.The training focused on developing interoperability and conduct of joint tactical operations in mechanized warfare along with sharing of .... Read More
India has rejected China’s invitation to attend the BRI meeting due on April 25th . This is the second time India has turned down official invite from China to attend its BRI forum. The first meeting was held in 2017.BRI is claimed by China to be a development project aimed .... Read More
70th Anniversary Celebrations of PLA (Navy)
Indian Navy Ships Kolkata and Shakti entered Qingdao, China to participate in the International Fleet Review (IFR) as part of 70th Anniversary Celebrations of Peoples Liberation Army (Navy) on April 21st.
The participation of Indian Navy in PLA (N) IFR, for 3rd consecutive time (2009, 2014 .... Read More
The UN Security Council has adopted the Resolution 2462 that calls upon countries to prevent and counter the financing of terrorism, especially in its new forms.
The Resolution is significant considering the spate of terrorist attacks around the world like the Pulwama attack, the New Zealand and Sri Lankan attacks etc. .... Read More
A series of coordinated bombings were carried out on 21 April 2019 on ‘Easter Sunday’ at different locations in Sri Lanka which killed more than 250 people.
The attacks were the deadliest in the island nation since the end of its civil war 10 years ago and targeted three churches and .... Read More
President Omar al-Bashir, who ruled Sudan for 30 years, was on 11thApril overthrown in a coup by the armed forces which announced a two-year period of military rule which would be followed by elections.
Defence Minister informed that Bashir, was under arrest in a “safe place” and a military council was .... Read More
Julian Assange, the founder of ‘Wikileaks’ was arrested on 11thApril in London by the British police from the Ecuadorian Embassy on behalf of US authorities under an extradition warrant.
He had undertaken shelter/asylum at the Ecuadorian Embassy since 2012 as:
US had issued arrest warrant against him for releasing classified US military .... Read More
Recently, the world saw its first ever black hole image. The world’s first image of a black hole revealed on April 10 was created using data from eight radio telescopes around the world.
Now, the black hole also has a name. A language professor has given a Hawaiian name “Powehi”to the .... Read More
Scientists on April 15thprovided the most comprehensive look to date of one of the solar system’s most exotic features: prime lakeside property in the northern polar region of Saturn’s moon Titan.
Using data obtained by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft before that mission ended in 2017 with a deliberate plunge into Saturn, .... Read More
Indian Navy recently launched its latest warship, INS Imphal, a guided missile destroyer, at the Mazagon Docks in Mumbai.
It is the third ship under Project 15B.
INS Imphal is named after the Battles of Imphal and Kohima that were fought 75 years ago during the World War -II. .... Read More
Scientists at the Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology (CCMB) have discovered a new enzyme which helps in breaking cell walls of bacteria.
The researchers have discovered a new enzyme “Murein EndopeptidiaseK” which would cut the bacteria cell wall.
Significance of the Research
It is crucial to know how cells grow in .... Read More
In an indigenous genetic mapping effort, nearly 1,000 rural youth from the length and breadth of India will have their genomes sequenced by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
The project aims at educating a generation of students on the “usefulness” of genomics.
About the Programme
The project is an adjunct .... Read More
Scientists from the University of East Anglia have discovered a unique oil eating bacteria in the deepest part of the Earth’s oceans,the Mariana Trench.
Until now, scientists knew more about Mars than the deepest part of the ocean. But an expedition to collect samples of the microbial population at the .... Read More
Why in news?
The World Health Organisation welcomed a pilot project in Malawi of administering a malaria vaccine to children below the age of 2 years. A total 3,60,000 children across three African countries — Malawi, Ghana and Kenya — will be covered every year with the vaccine.
What is the RTS, .... Read More
On April 16th , fifty-one eminent scientists were elected as Fellows of the Royal Society along with 10 new Foreign Members and one Honorary Fellow for their exceptional contributions to science.
Among the 2019 intakes is Dr Gagandeep Kang, who is purportedly the first woman scientist from India to have received .... Read More
Scientists, including one of Indian origin, have developed a way to make lithium-ion battery that can charge within minutes but still operate at a high capacity. This advancement may improve performance of smartphones and electric vehicles.
How the Battery Works?
A lithium-ion battery charges and discharges as lithium ions move between two .... Read More
NASA‘s robotic probe InSight has detected and measured what scientists believe to be a “marsquake”.This marks the first time a likely seismological tremor has been recorded on another planet.
The breakthrough came nearly five months after InSight, the first spacecraft designed specifically to study the deep interior of a distant .... Read More
In a major medical breakthrough, researchers have ‘printed’ the world’s first 3D vascularised engineered heart using a patient’s own cells and biological materials.
Until now, scientists in regenerative medicine, a field positioned at the crossroads of biology and technology, have been successful in printing only simple tissues without blood vessels.
This .... Read More
Scientists have found a new state of physical matter, which allows atoms to exist as both solid and liquid at the same time.
Atoms in physical material have been typically thought to be in one of three states: solid, liquid, or gaseous state. However, researchers have discovered some elements that .... Read More
The world’s largest aircraft completed its first flight test on 13th April, achieving a maximum speed of 189 miles per hour (302.4 km per hour). The plane developed by aerospace venture Stratolaunch (set up by the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 2011) flew for 2.5 hours over the Mojave .... Read More
In a hidden cave in the heart of the Philippine jungle, archaeologists have discovered a new human relative. According to a study published on April 10 in the journal Nature, at the northern tip of the Philippines lies the tiny island of Luzon, and some 50,000 years ago, an ancient .... Read More
NASA has awarded three teams from India as part of the US space agency’s annual Human Exploration Rover Challenge which invites high school and college students to build and test roving vehicles for future missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond.
The team from KIET Group of Institutions in Ghaziabad, .... Read More
A Japanese probe on April 5th, launched an explosive device at an asteroid, aiming to blast a crater in the surface and scoop up material that could shed light on how the solar system evolved. The explosive mission is the riskiest yet attempted by the Japanese space agency’s Hayabusa2 probe .... Read More
The first privately funded mission to the Moon has crashed on the lunar surface after the apparent failure of its main engine. The Israeli spacecraft - called Beresheet - attempted a soft touchdown, but suffered technical problems on its descent to the lunar surface.
A successful soft landing of the .... Read More
South Korea launched the world’s first fully-fledged 5G mobile network on April 5th.
The superfast communications heralded by fifth-generation wireless technology will ultimately underpin everything from toasters to telephones; from electric cars to power grids.
Hyper-wired South Korea has long had a reputation for technical prowess, and Seoul has made .... Read More
PSLV-C45India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C45) on April 1st successfully launched EMISAT and 28 international customer satellites from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR in Sriharikota. EMISAT is a satellite built around ISRO’s Mini Satellite-2 bus weighing about 436 kg. The satellite is intended for electromagnetic spectrum measurement. The 28 .... Read More
Following a series of tests conducted in space over the past five months, the ESA-JAXA BepiColombo mission has successfully completed its near-Earth commissioning phase.It is now ready for the operations that will take place during the cruise and, eventually, for its scientific investigations at Mercury.
BepiColombo started its seven-year long journey .... Read More
Scientists have detected the most ancient type of molecule in our universe in space for the first time ever.
Operating the GREAT far-infrared spectrometer onboard the flying observatory SOFIA, an international team reported unambiguous detection of the molecule HeH+, towards the planetary nebula NGC 7027.
Helium hydride ion (HeH+) was the first .... Read More
National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (Nasa) latest planet-hunting probe has discovered its first Earth-sized exoplanet. The probe’s newly discovered Earth-sized exoplanet is orbiting a star 53 light-years away.
The Transiting Exoplanets Survey Satellite (TESS) also discovered a warm sub-Neptune-sized world in the same system.
One such tool, the Planet Finder Spectrograph .... Read More
The hump-backed mahseer, found in the waters of the Cauvery, has been added to the Red List as 'Critically Endangered'.
The hump-backed mahseer—a large freshwater fish also called the tiger of the water is now “Critically Endangered”.
The fish is one of the 229 species added to the Red List last .... Read More
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has declared that weak El Nino conditions are prevalent in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. In a March 29 press release, the IMD said “these conditions are likely to persist in early part of the summer season and likely to weaken thereafter.”
Causes of El Nino
The tropical .... Read More
The Face of Disasters 2019 report was recently published by Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society (SEEDS) as part of its 25th anniversary. It analyses past trends, looking at disasters from a broader perspective to capture their varied facets.
Key areas Outlined by the Report that will be critical to consider
(i) .... Read More
The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) unveiled the State of the Global Climate in 2018 Report. This publication marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the WMO Statement on the State of the Global Climate, which was first issued in 1994. The 2019 edition treating data for 2018, marks sustained international efforts dedicated .... Read More
Indian bullfrogs introduced in the Andaman islands are invasive, and eat native wildlife including fish and lizards. The Indian bullfrog Hoplobatrachus tigerinus (native to the Indian subcontinent) has rapidly invaded the Andaman islands after it was introduced there in the early 2000s.
Experiments reveal that the frogs take to this .... Read More
Mount Agung on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali erupted again early on 21st April, spewing volcanic ash into the sky to a height of 2km.
Indonesia sits along the Ring of Fire region, an area where most of the world’s volcanic eruptions occur. The Ring of Fire has seen a .... Read More
Odisha had registered a sudden jump in forest fires across the State resulting in massive damage to flora and fauna. As many as 5,332 fire spots had been noticed since November 1, 2018, the beginning of forest fire season, in the State.The month of April started with 11 fires as .... Read More
The Eurasian Lynx, found currently only in Ladakh and some parts of Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir, may have found its way into the Kashmir Valley.
The Eurasian Lynx or Ee in Ladakhi is one of the medium-sized wild cats which roam the high and cold snow-covered mountains of Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir.
The .... Read More
Two new species of birds have been spotted in North Kerala’s Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary during a recent bird survey in the district.The new species spotted were Woolly-necked Stork and White-bellied Drongo, both dry-land species.New species of Arachnid found in Mumbai’s Aarey ColonyA new species of jumping spider has been discovered .... Read More
There are 150 Great Indian Bustards (GIB) in Rajasthan’s Desert National Park (DNP).The claim doesn’t completely align with a previous report of 150 birds of the species for the whole of India, put forward by the Wildlie Institute of India.
It is also found in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra .... Read More
The idyllic Kalam Island off the Odisha coast has become lively with lakhs of baby Olive Ridley turtles crawling towards the Bay of Bengal after emerging from eggshells. As per the Odisha Forest and Environment Department baby turtles had emerged from approximately 1.25 lakh nests.
The olive ridley sea turtle .... Read More
The recent death of the last known surviving female Yangtze giant soft shell turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) means that the species is now walking into the sunset.
With the passing of the female, only three known individuals of this species remain in the world. One is the 100-year-old male in Suzhou. .... Read More
European lawmakers voted overwhelmingly for an EU-wide ban on single-use plastic products such as the straws, cutlery and cotton buds that are clogging the world’s oceans.
Aside from the ban on a dozen kinds of disposable products for which alternatives exist, the EU will encourage member states to reduce the .... Read More
National workshop on climate related Loss and Damage in India
A one-day National Consultation on Loss and Damage was organized by Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEFCC) on April 16th in New Delhi.
Two technical sessions were conducted in this workshop: ‘Strengthening response to address loss and damage’ and ‘Approaches .... Read More
To check river pollution, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has constituted a central monitoring committee to undertake a national initiative to make rivers pollution free.
Need of the Committee
In Himachal Pradesh, Sukhna, Markanda, Sirsa, Ashwani, stretches of Beas, Giri and Pabbar are found to be polluted and identified as ‘critically polluted’, .... Read More
Every year, more people die from air pollution-related illnesses in the world than road traffic injuries or malaria. In India, over 1.2 million people lost their lives due to air pollution in 2017, according to a global report on air pollution released on 3rd April.
The State of the Global .... Read More
A National Seminar on “Greenery and Landscaping” was organized by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD).
The seminar focused on Green Urban Areas which play an important role in the social and natural sustainability and improve quality of life.
Recommendations in the Seminar
In order to maintain sustainable environment, pollution free clean air, .... Read More
The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) was awarded the distinction of “Public Water Agency of the Year” by Global Water Intelligence at the Global Water Summit in London on April 9th.
Global Water Awards
The Global Water Awards are presented at the Global Water Summit, the major business conference for the .... Read More
The first-ever global coalition on clean and efficient cooling was launched at the First Global Conference on Synergies between the 2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement, which concluded on April 3rd, 2019, in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Need of Global Coalition for Clean Cooling
Throughout the world, 2018 was the fourth hottest year, preceded by .... Read More
The 4th Resilient Cities Asia-Pacific (RCAP) 2019 Congress was organised by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and hosted by South Delhi Municipal Corporation from April 15 to 17, 2019 in New Delhi.
About the Event
It offered cities and regions from Asia-Pacific a variety of innovative solutions that build resilience to .... Read More
Cities around the world marked Earth Hour on 30th March by turning off lights in a call for global action on climate change.
Earth Hour is an annual tradition in which people switch off their lights to spread awareness about sustainability and climate change.
Started by the World Wildlife Fund, it .... Read More
The Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority, has put forth its recommendations in a report after the Supreme Court, on March 6, 2019 directed for a joint meeting of the EPCA, municipal bodies, secretaries of the transport department and Delhi Police, etc. to prepare a parking plan for the capital.
Key .... Read More
CSC: Heartiest congratulations to you from Civil Services Chronicle for your success. How are you feeling about it?
Junaid Ahmad : Getting AIR 3 in civil service is no less than a surreal feeling. I am really overwhelmed, but along with that a greater sense of responsibility has also come in.
CSC: .... Read More
Civil Services Chronicle: Heartiest congratulations to you from Civil Services Chronicle for your success. How are you feeling post this achievement? What was your inspiration for becoming an IAS officer?Whom would you give credit for your Success?What was the role of family and others (teachers, friends) in your preparation and .... Read More
Professor Sree Sreenath, an Indian-American scientist and social activist has been inducted into the prestigious Cleveland International Hall of Fame on April 16th in a function in Ohio.
He was selected for his contribution in applications in systems biology, global issues and sustainable development.
Actor, Comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy on April .... Read More
Shri Rajendra Kumar Nayak took over as the 52nd ControllerGeneral of Defence Accounts on April 22nd.
Indian Overseas Bank on April 24th appointed Karnam Sekar as its new MD and CEO. He will take over from July 1st , 2019.
Twitter on April 22nd appointed Manish Maheshwari as the .... Read More
Renowned city-based chroniclerand writer-journalist S Muthiah passed away on April 20th in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
His most famous work was titled “Madras Discovered” which was published in 1981.
Legendary Bengali folk singer, Sangeet Natak Akademi Awardee Amar Paul passed away on April 20th in Kolkata, West Bengal.
S K Shivakumar
Renowed Space .... Read More
Deenanath Mangeshkar Award
The prestigious Master Deenanath Mangeshkar (MDM) Award was awarded to several individuals on April 24th at a ceremony in Mumbai.
MDM Award for Music & Art: Sucheta Bhide-Chapekar.
MDM Lifetime Award: Salim Khan.
MDM Award for contribution to Indian Cinema: Madhur Bhandarkar.
MDM Special Award: Helen.
Tagore Literary Prize 2019
The 2nd edition of .... Read More
Virtual Reality Centre in Delhi
Admiral Sunil Lanba on April 12th inaugurated the maiden ‘state-of-the-art’ Virtual Reality Centre (VRC) at the Directorate of Naval Design (Surface Ship Group) in New Delhi.
This would provide boost to indigenous warship design capabilities in Indian Navy, providing further impetus to ‘Make in India’ initiative.
Foreign Interactive .... Read More
Asian Wrestling Championships 2019
The Asian Wrestling Championships 2019 was held from April 23rd-28th at Xidian University Gymnasium in Xian, China.
The Indian Team including men and women bagged 16 medals (1 gold, 6 silver, 9 bronze). Bajrang Punia clinched gold medal in 65kg category.
Asian Athletics Championships
The 23rd Asian Athletics Championships was .... Read More
A Paradigm Moment for IndiaBackground
As on April 2019, 75 countries have signed, whereas 52 countries have ratified the International Solar Alliance Framework Agreement.
International Solar Alliance (ISA) is a common platform for cooperation among sun-rich countries lying fully or partially between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn who are seeking to .... Read More
Recently on 5th April 2019, South Korea launched the world’s first nationwide 5G mobile networks, giving access to super-fast wireless technology to its users. However, the buzzword around 5G technology is doing the rounds since long and has pitted major superpowers against one another to gain an edge over their .... Read More
Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman
PM-KISAN Scheme under Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare aims to provide financial benefit to all small and marginal landholder farmer families across the country.
Landholder Farmer families with total cultivable holding up to 2 hectares shall be provided a benefit of Rs.6000 per annum per family payable in three equal installments, every four months. Multiple land parcels (even if each is less than 2 hectares) held by a single family will be pooled together to determine eligibility.
Landholdings, bigger than 10 hectares, will be eligible for benefits under the scheme, if owned by multiple families (e.g. If .... Read More
Uttarakhand High Court DeclaresAnimal Kingdom ‘Living Person’The Uttarakhand High Court has declared the entire animal kingdom, including birds and aquatic animals, as a legal entity having rights of a “living person”.The court has invoked Article 21 of the Constitution which safeguards the rights of humans and protects life. The court has clarified that the word "life" includes animal world.A custodian could represent the animal kingdom. It declared all citizens of Uttarakhand“persons in loco parentis” (in the place of a parent) giving them the responsibility to protect animals and ensure their welfare.The high court, in 2017 had accorded the status of .... Read More
India’s National War Memorial Launched The Prime Minister inaugurated India’s national war memorial at the India Gate complex in Delhi.It is built to honor soldiers who laid down their lives defending the nation post-independence and sacrifices made by Indian soldiers sent on peace-keeping missions of the United Nations, Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Relief (HADR) and counter-insurgency operations. The Memorial contains short descriptions about Indian soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the country. The Memorial building consists of four concentric circles i.e. Amar Chakra, Veerta Chakra, Tyag Chakra and Rakshak Chakra which are designed as a .... Read More
Himalayan Springs A NITI Aayog constituted group of experts has urged the government to set up a dedicated mission to salvage and revive spring water systems in the country’s Himalayan StatesMeghalaya with 3,810 villages with springs has the highest number of these water sources in the Eastern Himalayan States.Sikkim has the greatest density with 94% of its villages having a spring.In the Western Himalayas, Jammu & Kashmir had both the highest number of villages with springs at 3,313 and the greatest density of .... Read More
‘Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (Sfdr)’ Propulsion-Based Missile SystemDRDO successfully flight tested the second indigenously developed ‘Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR)’ propulsion-based missile system, the first test of which was carried out in 2018.SFDR is an Indo-Russian R&D project which has been established to develop a long-range air-to-air missile and a surface-to-air missile system in near future.Conventional missiles use booster or sustainer configuration with solid or liquid propellants which give energy supply to missiles but SFDR technology, which is based on ramjet propulsion system, depends only on the forward motion of missile at supersonic speed to compress intake air which generates .... Read More