Current Affairs April 02, 2019

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of April 02, 2019 in Short Notes form for preparation of IBPS, Banking, CLAT, SSC, Railway, UPSC, IAS/PCS, UPPSC, BPSC, MPPSC, RPSC, TNPSC, MPSC, KPSC and all other competitive examinations of India.

1. Swiss-based NRI scientist Dr Rajendra Joshi, who belongs to Rajasthan, has been conferred with the 2019 Pravasi Bhartiya Samman Award (PBSA) by the President of India Ram Nath Kovind. Dr Joshi is honoured for his outstanding achievement in the field of Science and in recognition of his valuable contribution in promoting the honour and prestige of India and in fostering the interests of Overseas Indians. He is mainly credited with developing path-breaking medicine Tecfidera (BG12) for multiple sclerosis. The theme of 2019 Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention was 'Role of Indian Diaspora in building New India.'

2. Zuzana Caputova, a liberal environmental activist and a political newcomer, has been elected as the first female President of Slovakia. She framed the election as a struggle between good and evil. With 58% of the vote, Caputova edged out European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic, a diplomat backed by the county's governing Smer-Social Democracy party. She is set to take office on June 15, after the tenure of incumbent Slovak President Andrej Kiska finishes.

3. In tennis, Roger Federer lifted his fourth ATP Miami Open title with an emphatic 6-1, 6-4 win over defending champion John Isner on 31st March 2019 at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, States. It is Swiss player's 28th Masters title and the 101st overall for a player who has won 20 Grand Slam singles titles.

4. On April 1, ISRO has successfully launched India’s latest EMISAT defence satellite from the Sriharikota spaceport. In today’s mission, the rocket PSLV-C45 flew in a new configuration called “QL”. In this configuration, the rocket is fitted with four longer versions of strap-on motors that provide the vehicle the required additional thrust. Earlier, the rocket used to be in “XL” version with six strap-on motors or two or with no strap-on motors known as core alone configuration. The PSLV-C45 successfully injected EMISAT in a 748-km sun-synchronous polar orbit and 28 international customer satellites in a 504-km orbit. Of these, 24 are from the US, two from Lithuania, and one each from Spain and Switzerland. EMISAT is a satellite built around ISRO’s Mini Satellite-2 (IMS-2) bus weighing about 436 kg. The satellite is intended for electromagnetic spectrum measurement.

5. South Korea has won the 2019 Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey tournament. In the final, they defeated five time champion India in a penalty shootout 4-2 at Ipoh in Malaysia on April 1. Till the stipulated time both the teams had a score of 1 goal each. Even India was leading with one goal till half time. Simaranjit Singh hit a goal for India. Jang Jong Hyun scored the goal for South Korea. Hosts Malaysia defeated Canada 4-2 and secured the 3rd place. Asian games Gold medalist Japan stood at 5th place, defeating Poland 6-1.

6. The Garden Reach Ship Builders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE) has become the first Indian shipyard to build and deliver 100 warships to the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard and Mauritius Coast Guard. The 100th Warship “IN LCU L-56” was formally handed over to the Indian Navy. The GRSE is one of India's leading shipyards, located in Kolkata, West Bengal. It builds and repairs commercial and naval vessels. Presently, GRSE has also started building export ships in a mission to expand its business.

7. The 13th edition of Earth Hour 2019 was observed on March 30 with theme “#Connect2Earth” to encourage people across the world to turn off non-essential electric lights for one hour from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. It calls for greater awareness and more sparing use of resources, especially fossil fuels that produce carbon gases and lead to global warming. On this day, the World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature-India made an appeal to citizens to join the Earth Hour 2019 to inspire millions across the country to shift to more sustainable practices and minimize negative impacts on the planet.

8. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has recently listed Hump-backed Mahseer as Critically Endangered in the Red List of Threatened Species. The scientific name of hump-backed mahseer is ‘Tor remadevii’, which is named after noted ichthyologist K. Remadevi of the Zoological Survey of India. The giant game fish (also called the tiger of the water) is one of the most iconic and highly-prized freshwater fish found in the Cauvery river basin (including Kerala’s Pambar, Kabini and Bhavani rivers). The fish can grow up to a length of 1.5m and weigh up to 55 kg and qualifies as megafauna. Beside this, five other species have also made it to threatened categories: two wild orchids, the Arabian scad (a marine fish) and two wild coffee species found only in a few localities in the Western Ghats. As per latest IUCN update, the great hornbill (found in India and southeast Asia) was earlier categorised as “Near Threatened”. It is now “Vulnerable” due to high hunting pressure coupled with habitat loss and deforestation, while the wreathed hornbill has moved from “Least Concern” to “Vulnerable”.

9. Using platinum nanocatalyst, a two-member team at the IIT Madras has successfully converted petroleum waste-product toluene into benzoic acid. Benzoic acid is used as a food preservative (E210) and medicine for fungal/bacterial infection. Toluene is converted into benzoic acid through selective and controlled oxidation in the presence of a catalyst — binaphthyl-stabilised platinum nanoparticles (Pt-BNP). Generally, organic reactions are carried out using organic solvents, which makes it expensive and also generates toxic waste. So, the team led by G. Sekar used water as solvent to make it environment-friendly. Also, a green oxidant (70% aqueous tert-butyl hydroperoxide or TBHP) is used for converting toluene into benzoic acid. When toluene is oxidised, it gives four products. But, the team used catalyst that they developed and then only benzoic acid is produced. No alcohol, aldehyde or ester is produced. The yield of benzoic acid varied from 68-96% depending on whether the toluene used is electron-deficient or electron-rich.

10. The Hongkou district of Shanghai has recently claimed to have the world’s first district with 5G coverage and a broadband gigabit network. It conducted trial runs of the 5G network, backed by telecom services provider China Mobile. Shanghai also aims to build over 10,000 5G base stations by the end of this year and the number of 5G base stations could cross 30,000 in 2021. 5G is the next generation of cellular technology with download speed 10 to 100 times faster than the 4G LTE networks.

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