1. Earth Day being celebrated today
i. Today is Earth Day and the day is being observed for the past over 40 years to generate awareness about need to protect earth's environment.
ii. Various programmes are being held all over the world including India to mark the occasion. This year's theme is "the face of climate change".
iii. The name and concept of Earth Day was pioneered by John McConnell in 1969 at a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco. He proposed March 21, 1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere.
iv. A month later a separate Earth Day was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970.
v. Earth Day is the largest secular event in the world and more people join in every year.
2. Hamid becomes Bangladesh's new president
i. Abdul Hamid was Monday elected unopposed the president of Bangladesh which has been reeling under a violent political stand-off between the ruling and the main opposition parties.
ii. Abdul Hamid, speaker of the National Assembly, is elected president of Bangladesh as per section 7 of the Presidential Election Law 1991," said Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Rakib Uddin Ahmed in a formal announcement Monday.
iii. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's ruling coalition Sunday named Abdul Hamid as its candidate for the post of the country's 20th president,
iv. The post fell vacant following the death of President Zillur Rahman March 20 at Mount Elizabeth hospital in Singapore, where he was undergoing medical treatment.
About Abdul Hamid
i. A lawyer by profession, Hamid became the acting president on March 14 after late president Zillur Rahman fell sick and was flown to Singapore for treatment.
ii. Hamid is the second National Assembly speaker to become president -- an elevation from the state's No. 3 position to No. 1.
iii. Hamid, a war hero, was elected member of Bangladesh parliament six times, in 1973, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2008, respectively.
iv. The veteran politician was also elected as a member of parliament in the 1970 national elections when Bangladesh, as erstwhile East Pakistan, was part of Pakistan
3. 8th World Chambers of Congress begins, today in Doha
i. The 8th World Chambers of Congress, the year’s biggest international gathering of chamber and business leaders begins at Qatar in Doha later today.
ii. The five-day event being held for the first time in the West Asia, is being attended by trade and commerce chambers from over 100 countries and key policy makers
iii. The business leaders and policy makers will engage in a dialogue to share their perspectives on new global trade challenges and discuss the recommendations for moving multilateral trade negotiations out of an 12-year deadlock “Doha Round”.
iv. Under the theme, “Opportunities for all”, the Doha Congress will have plenary sessions on topics such as unemployment, women in business, youth entrepreneurship, SMEs, global economy as well as the daily functioning of the chambers.
v. The event is being organized by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), in partnership with the Qatar Chamber of Commerce.
4. NTPC and Power Development Bangladesh signed Three Pacts
i. National Thermal Power Corporation of India and Power Development Bangladesh signed three agreements on 20 April 2013 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
ii. The agreements were a part of setting up of the biggest ever joint venture project of 1320 Megawatt Coal based power plant. This project is to be developed at an expense of 1.6 billion US dollars.
iii. This project is proposed to be developed over an area of 1834 acres of land near Mongla Seaport in Rampal Upazila.
iv. It is the largest ever foreign investment in the power Sector in Bangladesh as well as the first power plant that is being developed by NTPC outside India. The power plant will be developed with a super critical technology.
The pacts three pacts include:
i. Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)
ii. Implementation Agreement (IA)
iii. Supplementary Joint Venture Agreement (SJVA)
ii. Implementation Agreement (IA)
iii. Supplementary Joint Venture Agreement (SJVA)
5. Sunil Bharti Mittal appointed Vice Chairman of International Chamber of Commerce
i. Sunil Bharti Mittal , the Chairman and Group CEO of Bharti Enterprises in the month of April 2013 appointed as the Vice-Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC),which is one of the world's oldest global business organisations.
ii. With the appointment as the Vice Chairman of ICC, Mittal became the third business person from India in the history of ICC to be appointed on the ICC Executive Board.
iii. Earlier it was Bharat Ram (1969-1971), and Hari Shankar Singhania (1993-1994) who were appointed to ICC.
iv. Bharat Ram is also counted as the first Indian to be appointed as the Chairman of the ICC Executive Board.
v. The role of ICC is to help in driving global economic growth by reducing barriers to trade and economic opportunity.
vi. The ICC World Council elected the new ICC leaders at a meeting held in Doha, Qatar.
vii. ICC which was founded in 1919, represents private-sector views to national governments and inter-governmental bodies around the world.
6. Giorgio Napolitano Re-elected as the President of Italy
i. Italy's Parliament on 20 April 2013 re-elected Giorgio Napolitano to an unparalleled second term as president. Giorgio Napolitano will be the first Italian president to be re-elected to serve a second term.
ii. The party leaders convinced the 87-year-old Giorgio Napolitano to serve again in hopes of easing the hostility that has let down the formation of a new government.
iii. Napolitano received 738 votes, out of 1007 votes which are far more than the 504 needed for victory easily surpassing the simple majority needed in the sixth round of an election.
iv. As per the Article 84 of the Italian Constitution, any citizen who is fifty or older on Day of Election and enjoys civil and political rights can be elected President.
7. Millionaire Horacio Cartes wins Paraguay presidency
i. Colorado Party millionaire and political neophyte Horacio Cartes won Paraguay's presidential race, officials have said, paving the way for his nation to rejoin the Mercosur trade bloc.
ii. Cartes, a conservative tobacco baron, took 46 per cent of the vote against 37 per cent for his nearest rival, Efrain Alegre of the ruling Liberal Party, Paraguay's top election
iii. With the national flag wrapped around his neck, the 56 year-old president-elect said in his victory speech that he would lead Paraguay in "a new direction." Cartes -- whose businesses include banks, a sports team, soybeans and currency exchanges -- also promised that he would work "for all Paraguayans."
iv. Paraguay, population 6.5 million and with 40 per cent of the population living in poverty, is plagued by drug trafficking, smuggling and pirating of copyrighted materials like music and movies.
8. Mathematician Shakuntala Devi Died due to Heart Failure
i. Shakuntala Devi, the Indian Mathematician also known as mental calculator and human computer died on 21 April 2013.She was of 80 years.
ii. She was in the hospital from 3 April 2013 over a period of two weeks, due to respiratory problems and later she developed kidney and heart complications. She died due to heart failure and renal problem.
About Shakuntala Devi
i. Her name was recorded in Guinness Book of World Records for her ability of making calculations at lightning-speed.
ii. One of her major distinction was that when given a date in the last century, she could have mentally ascertained the day for it.
iii. In the year 1977, she calculated the 23rd root of digit number 201 in just 50 seconds
iv. In 1980, she successfully multiplied the two 13-digit numbers (7,686,369,774,870 x 2,465,099,745,779) given to her by the computer department of Imperial College London. She was successful in making this calculation within 28 seconds
v. Some of her books were Puzzles to Puzzle You, Mathablit, Astrology for You, Fun with Numbers and Awaken the Genius in Your Child.
9. Sebastian Vettel won the Bahrain Grand Prix 2013
i. Sebastian Vettel, the three times World Formulae One champion from Germany won the Bahrain Grand Prix 2013 on 21 April 2013 by defeating Lotus drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean.
ii. he Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel started the race from second position but successfully grabbed the first position in the 17th Lap to beat the two Kimi Raikkonen by 9 seconds and Grosjean by 20 seconds.
iii. He crossed Paul di Resta of Force India for third with five laps.
iv. Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes took fifth position and Fernando Alonso of Ferrari, who suffered a rear wing failure, was successful in grabbing the eighth position in the listings.
10. Djokovic won the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters Tournament by defeating Nadal
i. Novak Djokovic on 21 April 2013 defeated Rafekl Nadal in the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters tournament at Monte-Carlo, Monaco.
ii. With this win in the Monte-Carlo Tournament, Djokovic ended Nadal’s eight-year reign in the tournament as well as 46 match winning streak in the Monte-Carlo Clay Court Masters tournament.
iii. Djokovic defeated Nadal with 6-2, 7-6 (1) in the game that lasted for 1 hour and 52 minutes and for Djokovic.
iv. This is the first Monte-Carlo title and 14th ATP world Masters 1000 titles with overall 37 trophies for Djokovic.
v. With this win, he has won every ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title except the Western and Southern Open Cincinnati.
11. Assam Topped the Medal Tally of 20th National Archery Championship
i. Assam on 21 April 2013 topped in the medal tally of the 20th National Archery Championship that was held at Raipur in Chhattisgarh.
ii. Assam topped in the chart of states, by claiming four gold medals.
iii. Assam won the team event in women’s category, while Services Sports Control Board won the Men’s team event. The event was organised from 17 April to 21 April 2013 and was conducted at Agrasen Dham.
NOTE: The National Championship was organised by the Chhattisgarh Pradesh Archery Association and was the Olympic Qualifying Event. In this mega event, more than 500 archers, coach, technical team and officials of Archery bodies from across 28 States and seven Union Territories participated in the event.
12. Prayag Chauhan wins Asian Junior Boxing event
i. Indian teenager Prayag Chauhan beat local boy Azat Ilyubayev in the lightweight category (60kg) final at the ASBC Asian Confederation Junior Boxing Championships in Kazakhstan.
ii. The victory was doubly sweet for the Indian camp as it helped the team bag the third position in the overall team rankings.
iii. The Indian boxers finished the Asian meet with one gold medal and three bronze medals.
iv. Reigning sub-junior national champion Aditya Maan (66kg) had to be content with a bronze medal performance from the Asian Championships.
13. Thomas Cup, Uber Cup finals to be held in India
i. The final rounds of the prestigious Thomas and Uber Cup Badminton Championship will be held in India for the first time, although the dates are yet to be finalised.
ii. Badminton Association of India (BAI) president Akhilesh Das Gupta said that it was a matter of pride for our country to be hosting the finals of the two prestigious badminton tournaments in the world.
NOTE: The Thomas Cup (world men's team championship started in 1948-49) and the Uber Cup (world women's team championships started in 1956-57) are the oldest major international events conducted by the Badminton World Federation (BWF).
14. Alfredo Guevara, the Cuban Filmmaker and Arts Leader Died at 87
i. Renowned filmmaker of Cuba, cultural and intellectual leader Alfredo Guevara died on 19 April 2013 due to heart failure. He was 87 years of age.
ii. He became the leading cultural official as well as the defender of arts for over 5 decades, after the 1959 Cuban Revolution.
About Alfredo Guevara
i. Alfredo Guevara was the founder of Cuban Art and Cinematography Institute, which was founded in 1959.
ii. He was also the founder of Festival of New Latin American Cinema. This is among the oldest ones in this region.
iii. In 1983, he was named as the Ambassador of UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.