2. India Sends 1st Ever Direct Box Vessel To Bangladesh
i. The 1st direct container vessel between India and Bangladesh have been send from Krishnapatnam port. The container vessel was carrying cotton set.
ii. This step is a part of coastal shipping agreement between the two countries to facilitate easy trade, many existing norms were relaxed by both countries as part of the pact.
iii. The vessel MV Harbour-1, owned by Neepa Paribahan of Bangladesh was formally flagged off as part of a coastal shipping agreement signed by India and Bangladesh during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh in June, 2015.
iv. According to officials the port was aiming to become the gateway port to Bangladesh in addition to being a transshipment port because the trade potential with Bangladesh is huge.
v. Earlier the shipments from Indian ports being transported to Bangladesh were routed either via Colombo or Singapore. With the launch of the direct service, time taken for such shipments would come down from 2-5 days.
3. Government to launch Gram Uday to Bharat Uday Abhiyan from 14th to 24th April, 2016
i. Starting with Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar’s 125th Birth Anniversary on 14th April 2016 and culminating in Panchayati Raj Day on 24th April 2016, in the period between 14th April to 24th April 2016, the Central Government, in collaboration with States and Panchayats, will organize a ‘Gram Uday Se Bharat Uday Abhiyan’ (Village Self Governance Campaign).
ii. The campaign aims to generate nation-wide efforts to increase social harmony across villages, strengthen Panchayati Raj, promote rural development, and foster farmers’ progress.
iii. Hon’ble Prime Minister will inaugurate the Gram Uday se Bharat Uday Campaign of 14th April 2016 at MHOW in Madhya Pradesh.
iv. On 24th April 2016 i.e. National Panchayati Raj Day, Hon’ble Prime Minister will address all the Gram Sabhas of the country from Jamshedpur, which will be beamed to all the villages in the country, where villagers will gather together to listen to the Prime Minister’s address.
v. In the preceding days, between 14th April to 16th April, 2016 a ‘Social Harmony Programme’ will be conducted in all Gram Panchayats, supported collaboratively by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj and the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
4. Govt plans to infuse Rs. 5,050 crore in PSU banks
i. Government is planning to infuse additional capital of about Rs. 5,050 crore in some public sector banks this week, according to reports.
ii. Parliament has approved Rs 5,050 crore for meeting additional expenditure on recapitalisation of public sector banks, as per a report.
iii. The likely contenders for the fresh round of infusion include Central Bank of India, Indian Bank, UCO Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Vijaya Bank and United Bank of India, report added.
iv. It will be part of the Rs 25,000 crore capital infusion plan earmarked for the current fiscal.
5. India to host 2017 FIFA Under-17 World Cup
i. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval for holding of Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Under-17 World Cup to be held in India in 2017.
ii. It is likely to be held in the month of September -October 2017.
iii. The venues of the game will be, 1-JLN Stadium, New Delhi; 2-D.Y. Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai; 3-JLN Stadium, Kochi; 4-Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata; 5 JLN Stadium, Fatorda Goa and I.G. Stadium Guwahati.
iv. Expenditure towards overlays and equipment including display boards, etc. may be incurred. The total cost, however, will be within Rs.95 crore as approved earlier.
v. In the eventuality of any additional requirement of funds, Department of Sports will take up the matter with the Department of Expenditure.
6. BHEL commissions 40 MW hydropower plant in West Bengal
i. Public Sector Power equipment manufacturer Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has commissioned the second 40 MW hydropower generating unit at the Teesta low dam hydroelectric project (HEP) stage IV in West Bengal.
ii. The hydropower generating unit was successfully installed at the Teesta low dam HEP, a run-of-the-river greenfield project, located in Darjeeling district of the West Bengal.
iii. Teesta low dam HEP is being set up by National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC).
iv. BHEL’s Bhopal, Jhansi, Rudrapur, Mumbai and Bengaluru facilities had supplied equipment for the project and execution of work was undertaken on site is being.
v. The estimated annual energy (power) generation from the project is around 720 million units. It is expected to reduce green-house gas (GHGs) emissions and will help in achieving a low carbon development path for the state as well as the nation. So far, BHEL has commissioned nearly 400 hydro generating sets of various ratings with a cumulative capacity of around 20,000 MW in the country.
7. Himachal Pradesh government released Sixth Economic Census report
i. 6th Economic Census of Himachal Pradesh was released by Pradeep Chauhan, the Economic Advisor of Himachal Government.
ii. The survey was started in 2012 and completed in two phases with 8303 enumerators, 3844 supervisors and 175 charge officers covering 24,932 enumeration blocks.
iii. Himachal Pardesh was first state in the country to complete the census and release the report and the parameters and methods adopted by the state are being followed by other states Economic Status 2016.
iv. This is the first census in which nearly 100 % establishments, both in urban and remotest rural areas had been covered.
v. The census was conducted in all the 12 districts of the state. More than 12 thousand trained employees completed this economic census operation.
8. US museum returns 10th century Rama statue to Cambodia
i. United States returned an ancient decapitated statue of Hindu god Rama stolen from Cambodia during the South East Asian country’s civil war in the 70s.
ii. The sandstone Torso of Rama statue, which stands 157 centimetres tall and is missing its head, arms and feet, was formally handed over at a ceremony in Phnom Penh attended by government officials, the US ambassador and the director of the Denver Museum of Art.
iii. In May last year, a 10th century stone statue of Hanuman was returned to Cambodia by the Cleveland Museum of Art.
iv. In January, a 7th century stone sculpture of Harihara, a deity that combines aspects of Vishnu and Shiva, was returned by France and reattached to its body for display at a museum in Phnom Penh, more than 130 years after it was spirited away.
9. USAID, ADB sign ‘Develop Solar Parks’ MoU
i. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed an MoU to facilitate USD 848 million (Rs. 5,681 crore) in funding to develop solar parks across India.
ii. The agreement was signed by Jonathan Addleton, Mission Director, USAID/India and M. Teresa Kho, Country Director, India Resident Mission, Asian Development Bank.
iii. Through the agreement, USAID will align the technical resources of two of its programs to support ADB’s investments in the development of solar parks and renewable energy transmission infrastructure in states at the forefront of India’s efforts to promote clean energy.
iv. The collaboration will initially focus on the state of Rajasthan.
v. The cooperation will design and develop public-private partnership models as well as study options for managing grid reliability.
In particular, USAID technical activities will help place investments of USD 348 million (Rs. 2,331 crore) by ADB for transmission infrastructure for renewable energy deployment in western Rajasthan. USAID will also work with ADB across India with an additional USD 500 million (Rs. 3,350 crore) of investment in the design and development of solar parks.
10. Myanmar gets its first public listing
i. After a delay of more than 20 years, Myanmar’s stock exchange opened for its first day of business, with the trading of a single company.
ii. The move comes as the country’s development accelerates with a democratic government being formed after an election victory in November, part of a political and economic transformation that’s bringing an end to more than five decades of isolation.
iii. The listing debut was attended by First Myanmar’s Pun and officials including Maung Maung Thein, the country’s deputy finance minister and chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, who called it “a historic day in the development of the capital markets.”
iv. First Myanmar, Myanmar Citizens Bank and Myanmar Thilawa SEZ are among the initial batch of six companies approved for listing.
v. Myanmar’s equity-market journey began in the early 1990s, when executives from Daiwa Institute of Research Holdings, a unit of Japan’s second-largest brokerage, met with the nation’s military rulers in Yangon. Their initial target was to start a bourse by 2000.
As Myanmar emerges from economic isolation, it will need $80 billion of power, transport, and technology projects through 2030 to modernise its economy, according to the Asian Development Bank.
11. World Bank approved $100 million loan to Jordan
i. Jordan will get a cheap $100 million loan from World Bank to help create 100,000 jobs for Syrian refugees and its own citizen.
ii. The World Bank’s Board extended the highly unusual financing offer because of the extraordinarily difficult situation facing both the refugees and their Jordanian hosts.
iii. The long-term loan, almost interest free, is part of an attempt by the international community to improve conditions for refugees in overburdened regional host countries, including Jordan and Lebanon.
iv. More than 4.8 million Syrians have fled their country since the start of the Syria conflict in 2011. Jordan hosts about 640,000 registered Syrian refugees and Lebanon more than 1 million.
v. Cheap loans by the World Bank and other donors are among the new tools meant to help finance education and job creation for refugees in the region. Such support is also meant to slow the migration of refugees to Europe.
12. Pallavi Fauzdar Becomes 1st Solo Woman To Ride Across Mana Pass
i. Agra Biker Pallavi Fauzdar, became the first solo woman to ride across the Mana Pass in Uttarakhand and made a record in the Limca Book.
ii. Mana rises to a staggering altitude of 5,638 m (18,497 ft) above sea level, on the border between India and Tibet, and is reckoned as one of the most difficult biking trails.
iii. Pallavi is married to Parikshit Mishra, an Army officer, who has been extremely supportive of her passion for biking. She is the mother of the two kids. She rides an Avenger and had been passionate about biking for several years.
iv. Packed with a GPS device to ensure she is not lost, Pallavi set off for her Himalayan journey of seven days.
v. Pallavi is also the first female rider to reach Deo Tal Lake, located at 17,950 ft, one of the world’s highest. When not biking, this adventure lover is also an accomplished fashion designer, a social worker and a Rekki practitioner.
13. Rakesh Mohan joins Nestle India Board
i. Nestle India Ltd has informed BSE that the Board of Directors of the Company, on the recommendation of the Nomination and Remuneration Committee, on March 28, 2016, appointed Dr. Rakesh Mohan as an Independent Non-Executive Director of the Company with effect from May 01, 2016 upto June 30, 2020.
ii. Approval of the Members of the Company for the said appointment shall be sought at the ensuing Annual General Meeting.
iii. Dr. Rakesh Mohan was on Board of the Company as an Independent Non-Executive Director from April, 2010 to October, 2012 and had relinquished office of Director of the Company consequent to his appointment as Executive Director at the International Monetary Fund, Washington, D.C., United States, representing India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Bhutan.
14. Renowned Author Jim Harrison Has Passed Away
i. Jim Harrison, the great writers in contemporary American fiction has passed away at his home in Patagonia, Arizona. He was the prolific author and poet. He was 78 year old.
ii. He was a versatile writer who authored almost 40 books, including novels, collections of poems and eloquent essays about his passion for food.
iii. He was considered a master of the novella, a short novel or long short story, although he didn’t find mainstream success until later in his career.
iv. Mr. Harrison was born in 1937 in Grayling, Michigan. He was blinded in his left eye by an accident when he was 7 year old. A restless adventurer as a young man, he once hitchhiked from Michigan to California to gaze at the Pacific Ocean.
v.Although Harrison never wrote big best-sellers, his work was deeply admired in literary circles. Among his most beloved novels and novellas are “Dalva,” “Julip,” “The Woman Lit by Fireflies” and “True North.”
15. Sergey Karjakin Won 2016 World Chess Candidates Tournament
i. Sergey Karjakin the Russian grandmaster has won the FIDE World Chess Candidates Tournament held in Moscow.
ii. The 26 year old has qualified to challenge Norwegian Sergey Karjakin, Magnus Carlsen for the world chess championship after he pulled off a brilliant rook sacrifice to beat his closest rival, American Fabiano Caruana, in the last round of the Candidates tournament.
iii. Sergey Alexandrovich Karjakin is a Ukrainian-born Russian chess grandmaster. He is a former chess prodigy and holds the record for the world’s youngest Grandmaster ever, having qualified for this title at the age of 12 years and 7 months.
iv. He won the 2012 World Rapid Chess Championship and the Chess World Cup 2015. He also won the Norway Chess Tournament twice and the Corus Chess Tournament in 2009.
v. He has competed in six Chess Olympiads, three times for Ukraine and three times for Russia, winning three gold medals, two silver medals and a bronze. He was a member of the gold medal-winning Russian team at the World Team Chess Championship in Antalya in 2013.