1. World Malaria Day being observed today
i. World Malaria Day is being observed today. Malaria cure and prevention is focused upon, annually on 25th April
ii. The global campaign theme for 2013 and the coming years is Invest in the future. Defeat malaria. as given by the World Health Organization.
iii. This day was instituted by the WHO Member States during the 2007 World Health Assembly.
iv. According to WHO, 219 million cases are estimated to occur globally each year while 660000 deaths of children under the age of five years occurs every year.
v. The day also serves as an opportunity for new donors to join the global malaria partnership, research and academic institutions to showcase their scientific work.
2. India and UAE signed an MoU on Air Services
i. The Union Government of India and the Government of UAE on 24 April 2013 signed an MoU on Air Services as a follow up of the two day bilateral negotiation at Abu Dhabi.
ii. A bilateral agreement was signed by both sides to increase the number of weekly airline seats by four times that is available at present, between India and Abu Dhabi
iii. With this agreement the number of seats between India and Abu Dhabi has been increased to 50000 passengers per week from existing capacity of 13300 + 2% flexibility (total 13,600) Seats per week with eleven points of call available to UAE.
iv. The arrangements in the agreement will extend over a period of three years.
Important Points about the agreement
i. UAE made a demand from India to allocate additional 40000 seats every week grant for Goa, Amritsar, Pune and Lucknow as additional points of calls and removal of maximum cap that is prescribed from each point of call in terms of seats/frequency per week.
ii. India made a request to UAE to grant the change of gauge facility at Abu Dhabi for Indian Carriers with an assurance of fifth freedom rights from the UAE.
iii. The agreement on availability of seats came up with the exhaustion of the entire capacity of 13300 and following the demands of the Indian carriers like Jet Airways, Air India, Spice Jet and Indigo for increase in the number of seats.
3. Researchers Developed New Keyboard Called KALQ
i. Researchers at St Andrews, the Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Germany and Montana Tech in the US created a keyboard layout, said to be great for the touchscreen devices like smartphones and tablets.
ii. The new keyboard, researchers claimed, can make thumb-typing faster and easier
iii. New design of the keyboard is called KALQ, in order of its keys on one line.
iv. This keyboard would be accessible to the users free of cost for the Android-based devices.
v. In the new keyboard, all vowels were placed in area which was assigned to right thumb, while the left thumb had more keys.
vi.With error-correction algorithm, the users who were trained could reach 37 words in a minute.
v. KALQ provided better performance to users. The new keyword work of the researchers will now be presented at CHI 2013 conference (the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems) in Paris on 1 May 2013.
4. Ajay Devgn, Runa Laila named SAARC ambassadors for HIV/AIDS
i. Bollywood actor Ajay Devgn, Bangladeshi singer Runa Laila and Oscar-winning Pakistani filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy have been named as SAARC Goodwill Ambassadors for HIV/AIDS.
ii. A meeting of the selection committee was held recently at the SAARC Secretariat and of the 10 nominations received from the member states, the three celebrities were nominated.
iii. The selections were based on criteria of regional stature and eminence; appeal to the target audience; relevance in delivery of message; likely commitment of the candidate and innovative ways that could be utilised in promoting advocacy and awareness in combating HIV/AIDS.
iv. "SAARC Goodwill Ambassador programmes have been very effective for generating advocacy and awareness relating to HIV/AIDS in the region. Shabana Azmi during her tenure did tremendous jobs on advocacy and awareness in Nepal and Bhutan.
v. The SAARC goodwill ambassador for HIV/ AIDS programme commenced in January 2009 with actress Shabana Azmi as its first mascot.
5. Largest Biogas Plant of the World Inaugurated in Finland
i. The largest biogas plant of the world was inaugurated in Finland
ii. The plant is built near the already-present coal-fired power plant in Vaasa in Central Finland.
iii. The 140 MW biomass gasification factory would help the country in cutting down the use of coal by up to 40 percent.
iv. It will also help in facilitating electricity as well as heating for the Vaasa to approximately 61000 residents.
v. The operator of the plant is Vaskiluodon Voima. Vaskiluodon Voima declared that this plant will help in creating various jobs in this region.
6. UP CM Akhilesh to address Harvard on Mahakumbh success story
i. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav will leave for Harvard, first official foreign visit, on 23rd April to share his views about successful planning of Allahabad' Mahakumbh', the biggest religious fair of the world.
ii. The oldest American private Ivy League research the university in United States, has invited Mr Yadav along with other senior UP officials who had conducted the successful Mahakumbh where over 200 million pilgrims had taken a dip in Sangam during the 55-days-long fair.
iii. Mahakumbh takes place at the banks of Sangam, the confluence of holy river Ganga, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati in Allahabad, every twelve year.
iv. Yadav will leave for US along with his team of officers who were involved in the planning of the fair which, in fact, had started two years in advance.
v. This year it was held from 15th January to 10th March and had evoked great response from the spritual, religious and academic fraternity from across the world with crores of devotees including foreign tourists having visited the fair.
7. Kashyap becomes world No.6
i. London Olympics quarterfinalist Parupalli Kashyap on Thursday moved up a place to career-best sixth in the Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings.
ii. Kashyap scaled his career-best singles ranking a day after losing his first round match at the India Open Super Series to former world number 1 Taufiq Hidayat of Indonesia.
iii. P.V. Sindhu also reached her career-best ranking of number 15 in the women’s singles while Saina Nehwal retained the number two spot.
8. Mumbai Indians beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 5 wickets
i. Mumbai Indians beat Kolkata Knight Riders by five wickets in Pepsi Indian Premier League match which was held in Kolkata on Wednesday.
ii. Batting first, KKR scored 159 for six but MI surpassed the total with a ball to spare as Dwayne Smith hit 62.
iii. For defending champions KKR, this was their fifth defeat and their campaign is slowly turning from bad to worse as they stay on four points from seven games compared to MI's eight points.