Current Affairs : April 1, 2010

Events / Happenings / Observances:
Reserve Bank of India: Platinum Jubilee Celebration Finale
Established on April 1, 1935, the Reserve Bank of India, country’s central bank, celebrated 2009-2010 as its Platinum Jubilee year. The year-long celebrations included several events with a series of learning events to showcase the Reserve Bank as a knowledge institution, a set of internal events involving current and former RBI staff to reinforce a sense of belonging and inclusiveness among members of the RBI family and the outreach programme. The focus of the outreach programme was financial inclusion and financial literacy. The top management of the Reserve Bank travelled to remote villages across the country to listen to ordinary people, see and understand how grass root institutions operate and to learn of the challenges and opportunities for financial inclusion.
Read about Reserve Bank of India

National Updates:
Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009
Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 comes into force on April 1, 2010. Here is GKtoday’s past article on Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. Every 6-to-14-year-old will be provided eight years of elementary education in an age appropriate classroom in the vicinity of his or her neighborhood.

Decennial Census Operation begins:
President Pratibha Patil becomes the first citizen to be enumerated and with this, largest census exercise ever attempted in the history of mankind begins. Registrar General and Census Commissioner C Chandramouli and Deputy Director General, National Population Register, S K Chakraborty were present when president launches the exercise.
Read Here 15th census of India

India’s first AC double-decker train
The Rail Coach Factory (RCF), Kapurthala rolls out the India’s first air conditioned double-decker coach for oscillation trials on the Delhi-Muradabad section. Introduction of AC double-decker coaches was announced by Railway Minister in Budget 2010-11. These high-speed stainless steel AC coaches would be introduced to cater to the heavy rush of commuters in high density corridors offering AC travel at a low cost.

image: rail coach factory
Punjab: Pearls World Cup Kabaddi Punjab-2010
Stopper Mangat Singh Mangi Bagga is leading the 14-member Indian team in the first Pearls World Cup Kabaddi Punjab-2010 being organised by the Punjab Government at different venues of the state from April 3-12. Raider Hardawinder Singh Dulla Surkhpuria will be his deputy.

Rajasthan: India’s First Homeopathic University
Rajasthan Assembly passes the Homeopathy University Jaipur Bill 2010,paving the way for India’s First Homeopathic University at Jaipur. Bill was brought and passed to replace the ordinance promulgated by the state government for the purpose in October 2009. The University will be run by Dr MP Khunteta Homeopathy Medical College and Research Society.

Fact Box: German physician Samuel Hahnemann was the first to propose Homeopathy in 1796 as an alternative medicine. Hahnemann conceived of the “law of similars”, otherwise known as “let like be cured by like”. He used Cincona for cure of malaria .

Himachal Pradesh: What are Sirmouri, Kulluvi, Kangri and Mahajavi?
Sirmouri, Kulluvi, Kangri and Mahajavi are some dialects out of more than 10 dialects of Pahari Language. Pahari language is spoken in Himalayan region and not in only Himachal Pradesh. However , the mountains isn these regions have the tendency of isolating communities from change. These dialects have their own characteristics. All of these dialects are commonly referred to as the ‘Pahari’ languages, and most people from the Himalayan range as known as Pahari.

On April 1, 2010 a resolution is passed by the Himachal Pradesh assembly to recommend the inclusion of Pahari language in the Indian Constitution.

FactBox: Languages in the Indian Constitution:
The Constitution of India has given 22 “languages of the 8th Schedule” the status of official language. Hindi is official language of the Union along with English. Hindi is NOT national language of India, neither is English. The 22 languages are: Assamese/Axomiya,Bengali,Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri,Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri (also Meitei or Meithei), Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, , Sanskrit, Santali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu. Tamil is the first classical language of India which got this status in 2004. Sanskrit, Kannada & Telugu are other classical languages.

Antarnaad in Guinness Book of World Records:
The record for the largest simultaneous sing-along was organised by The Art of Living Foundation (India) and involved 104,637 participants singing ‘Vande Mataram’, India’s national song, at Antarnaad in Pune, India on 12 January 2010. (citation issued by the Guinness World Records Ltd).

There are two more entries in the Guinness Book in the name of Art of Living Foundation India. In the year 2006, as many as 1200 Mohiniattam dancers performing together on one stage in Kerala and a sitar concert titled “Brahm Naad” in New Delhi in November 2008, which brought together 1094 sitar exponents on one stage.

Business & Economy:
London 2012 Olympics : tier-two sponsor – ArcelorMittal
ArcelorMittal becomes tier-two sponsor of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and will support the infrastructure for the Games. The ArcelorMittal Orbit will be the iconic and permanent symbol of the 2012 Olympic and will embody both the artistic and functional versatility of steel as a construction material. ArcelorMittal will fund 16 million pounds of the 19.1 million pound project, with the outstanding 3.1 million pounds provided by the London Development Agency.

Fact Box : London 2012 Olympics:
London 2012 Olympics or XXX Olympiad will be held at London from 27 July to 12 August 2012. London is organising the mega event for third time. Previously London organised summer olympics in 1908 and 1948. London will become the first city to officially host the modern Olympic Games three times.

State Bank of India: 15,000 business correspondents
In order to expand its presence in the unbanked areas, the The State Bank of India intends to hire around 15,000 (business correspondents) in 2010-11. Business correspondents and business facilitator model would help in taking banking facilities to every part of the country, as its not possible for banks to open branches in every village. Key Role of the business correspondents will be to accept deposits and remit money.

As per the Reserve Bank’s guideline, banks are allowed to engage retired employees, ex-servicemen and retired government employees and other entities, as prescribed by the central bank, as business correspondents.

World Updates:
Ireland’s Richest person: Pallonji Mistry
Construction Tycoon Pallonji Shapoorji Mistry is Ireland’s richest person with a worth of 3.9 billion pounds ($5.93 billion). He became an Irish citizen in 2003 through his Irish born wife and his business is in real estate, cars, heavy industry, tea and partly owns the Taj Mahal Hotel.

World’s most visited place: Louvre Museum, Paris
Louvre Museum, Paris which is home to 600,000 art pieces including Leonardo Da Vici’s Mona Lisa tops list of most visited places in the world. In 2009, 8.5 million people visited the museum in 2009. The Louvre, which dates back to 1527, became a museum in 1793.

First-ever Afghanistan Cannabis Survey:
The first-ever Afghanistan Cannabis Survey was conducted by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime has been released. The survey say that an estimated 10,000 to 24,000 hectares of cannabis are grown in Afghanistan every year.

Afghanistan is not only the world’s largest producer of hashish but also world’s largest producer of illicit opiates.

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