Current Affairs April 06, 2019

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of April 06, 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. UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has conferred the prestigious Zayed Medal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for giving a “big boost’ to bilateral strategic ties between the two countries. The award comes in appreciation of PM Modi’s role in consolidating the long-standing friendship and joint strategic cooperation between the two countries. The Zayed Medal is the highest decoration awarded to kings, presidents and heads of states.

2. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cut its repo rate under Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF) by 25 basis points to 6.0% in its first bi-monthly policy statement of the current financial year FY20, with immediate effect. The move will cheer markets and investors and is the second consecutive rate cut by the RBI. It has also maintained the policy stance neutral and lowered the retail inflation and GDP forecasts. This is the second consecutive rate cut from RBI under new Governor Shaktikanta Das, after a rate cut in February 2019. Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF stands adjusted to 5.75%, and the Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate to 6.25%. These decisions are in consonance with the objective of achieving the medium-term target for consumer price index (CPI) inflation of 4% within a band of plus or minus 2% while supporting growth.

3. Asian Development Bank (ADB) has recently released its flagship publication Asian Development Outlook 2019. In its report, ADB has lowered India’s growth by 40 basis points to 7.2% in fiscal year 2019-20. Still, it will be fastest growing economy in the world. The report mentioned that recent policy measures by the Government of India (GoI) to improve the investment climate and boost private consumption and investment will help India to lift economic growth in the next two fiscal years. The growth rate in FY 2020-21 is likely to be 7.3%. India's growth slowed from 7.2% in fiscal 2017 to 7% in 2018, with weaker agricultural output and consumption growth curtailed by higher global oil prices and lower government expenditure. The report added that sub-region wise, southeast Asia will sustain growth at close to 5% this year and the next one.

4. Chicago has created history by electing an African-American woman as its mayor for the first time. Lori Lightfoot is a former federal prosecutor and practicing lawyer who has never before held elected office. She won the city's mayoral race by a huge margin. She will also be Chicago's first openly gay mayor. Lightfoot’s primary proposals include increasing access to affordable housing, creating an office of public safety to reduce crime and reform policing, and pushing through a real estate transfer tax to help combat homelessness. She also backs abolishing US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Lightfoot will take over office from Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who previously served as chief of staff under former President Barack Obama.

5. Brunei has recently introduced harsh new Islamic laws that make adultery and homsexuality punishable by stoning to death. The new measures also cover a range of other crimes, including punishment for theft by amputation. The move makes Brunei the first place in Southeast Asia to have a sharia penal code at the national level. The new law mostly applies to Muslims, though some aspects will also apply to non-Muslims. It stipulates the death penalty for a number of offences, including rape, adultery, sodomy, robbery and insulting or defaming the Prophet Muhammad. It also introduces public flogging as punishment for abortion and criminalises exposing Muslim children to the beliefs and practices of any religion other than Islam.

6. The Indian Army has constructed the 260 feet long cable-suspension bridge 'Maitri Bridge' over Indus river at Choglamsar village in Leh in a record time of 40 days. It is the longest suspension bridge over the river and is built by combat engineers of the 'Sahas aur Yogyata' regiment of the Indian Army's 'Fire and Fury Corps'. The name of the bridge, "Maitri", is meant to symbolise the amity and solidarity between soldiers and locals. The bridge is expected to improve connectivity in remote regions of Leh and Ladakh. It will connect the remote areas of Choglamsar, Stok and Chuchot, which are said to be the largest villages in the region.

7. The International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action is observed every year on April 4 to raise awareness about landmines, explosive remnants of war, and progress toward their eradication. The 2019 Theme is "United Nations Promotes SDGs – Safe Ground – Safe Home".

8. The State of the Global Air 2019 report has recently released by the Boston-based Health Effects Institute (HEI). The report revealed that 1.2 million Indians lost their lives due to exposure to unsafe air in 2017. Now, in India, air pollution is the third-highest cause of death among all health risks, ranking just above smoking. This is a combined effect of outdoor fine particles PM2.5, ozone and household (indoor) air pollution. In 2017, exposure to PM 2.5 pollution was found to be the third leading risk factor globally for Type 2 diabetes-related deaths and disability after high blood sugar and excessive body weight. Due to this combined exposure South Asians including Indians are dying early — their life expectancy has reduced by over 2.6 years. In India, early deaths are linked to respiratory diseases, heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, and diabetes that are influenced by air pollution.

9. In India, the NuGen Mobility Summit 2019 will be organized by the International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT) at Manesar, NCR, from 27th to 29th November 2019. The purpose of the Summit is to share new ideas, learnings, global experiences, innovations and future technology trends for faster adoption, assimilation and development of advanced automotive technologies for a smarter and greener future. This event will help in building a platform for bringing together all stakeholders in the automotive industry to understand global advancements in technologies. More than 2500 participants and over 250 exhibitors are expected to take part in the Summit.

10. Phayeng Village of Manipur has been tagged as the India's first carbon-positive settlement. As part of the carbon-positive village project, Phayeng will receive a grant of Rs10 crore in phases to facilitate afforestation in the catchment of river Maklang that flows along the village. The fund will also be utilised for creation of water bodies, introduction of climate change-resilient varieties of crops, installing solar lights, for setting up a community piggery and poultry farm, an eco-resort, replacing firewood in kitchen with cooking stoves and an indigenous knowledge centre in the village. A village is given the Carbon-Positive Tag if it sequesters more carbon than it emits, slowing the accumulation of greenhouse gases and mitigating the effects of climate change. Phayeng is a scheduled caste village of the Chakpa community in Imphal West district and its conservation efforts are mainly linked to the belief that the forest is a sacred grove. It is surrounded by three densely forested hillocks with fruit trees at centre and a stream flowing through it.

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