Current Affairs April 11, 2019

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of April 11, 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. The Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-Madras) has been ranked as the top institute in the overall category in the latest edition of National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF) 2019 and is followed by Indian Institute of Science (IISc), IIT Delhi, IIT-Bombay, IIT-Kharagpur, IIT Kanpur, JNU, IIT-Roorkee, IIT-Guwahati and BHU. The NIRF is a Ministry of HRD initiative and released annually. On the other hand, Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bangalore secured the top spot in the management college ranking followed by IIM Ahmedabad and IIM Calcutta. The National Law School of Indian in Bengaluru grabbed the top spot under the law category while Indian Institute of Technology was ranked first in the Architecture category. All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, followed by Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh and Christian Medical College, Vellore were ranked as the top three medical colleges.

2. The United States has recently designated Iran’s elite military force, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) in accordance with section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 (INA). The move, which takes effect on April 15, is part of an effort to put maximum pressure on Iran to end its support for terrorist plots and militant activity that destabilizes the Middle East. Meanwhile, Iran has also designated U.S. military bases and their military forces as terrorist bases and terrorist forces in the region. The IRGC is in charge of Iran's ballistic missile and nuclear programs. It was formed after the 1979 Islamic revolution with a mission to defend the clerical regime.

3. On 7th April 2019, Garbine Muguruza of Spain has successfully defended her Monterrey Open title when Victoria Azarenka retired injured from her first WTA singles final in three years. Muguruza was leading the match between the two former world number ones 6-1 3-1 when Azarenka decided she was unable to continue because of an injury to her right leg. The Monterrey Open is a professional women's tennis tournament played on outdoor hard courts. The event is affiliated with the Women's Tennis Association (WTA), and is part of the International tournaments on the WTA Tour.

4. A bench headed by National Green Tribunal (NGT) Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel has constituted a committee to look into the alleged erosion of Yamuna floodplain due to movement of heavy vehicles in Haryana's Sonipat district. The directions came when the green panel was hearing a plea which said that the policy of permitting heavy vehicles in the embankments of the river is “destructing the ecology”. The committee will comprise Principal Secretary of the Haryana Irrigation and Water Resources Department, Member Secretary of the Haryana State Pollution Control Board and Director of the Mines and Geology Department. The tribunal said the committee would submit a joint report within one month by e-mail so that matter can be taken up before the monsoon.

5. London has become the world’s first city to implement a special Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) that would charge an entry fee for older vehicles if they do not meet the emission standards. The move aims to reduce toxic air pollution and protect public health. , The ULEZ will be operational for 24 hours and 7 days a week. It will help address London's toxic air health crisis that currently leads to thousands of premature deaths annually, and increases the risk of asthma, cancer and dementia. As part of the efforts to combat air pollution, London's famous red bus fleet is also being upgraded. By October 2020, all of 9,200 vehicles will meet or exceed ULEZ standards, as per the statement from Khan's mayoral office.

6. The joint military exercise titled “Bold Kurukshetra-2019” was held between the Indian Army and Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) at Babina Cantonment in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh from April 8 to 11. The purpose of the exercise was to develop military technology, enhance the maritime security and bolster the nations' fight against terrorism.

7. The World Economic Forum (WEF) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) 2019 was held at the Dead Sea in Jordan on April 6 to 7. The 17th WEF meeting in the region called for united efforts to address the most pressing challenges of the area. It was themed on three major visions: generating job opportunities, empowering Arab women and promoting the most intriguing startups that have joined the region’s industry over the past years. Over 1,000 government, business and civil society leaders from more than 50 countries participated in the summit.

8. The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with HDFC Bank to spread awareness about the benefits of listing on BSE Startups platform. The MoU will also extend value-added support for eligible startups, along with BSE for the listing. The move will offer banking and lending solutions to eligible startups already listed or due-to-list on BSE startup platform. Moreover, the ability to access capital via BSE's startup platform in turn will enable startups to access growth capital and enhance tradability of an otherwise illiquid/ high-risk investment asset class. The exchange had launched the startup platform in December 2018, with an aim to encourage entrepreneurs to get listed and raise equity capital for their growth and expansion. HDFC Bank has 43 million customers, 5,000 branches and 13,160 ATMs across 2,727 Indian towns and cities.

9. As per Article 324 of the constitution, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has recently issued an order prohibiting display in electronic media including cinematograph of any biopic or publicity material in the nature of biography/hagiography sub-serving the purposes of any political entity or any individual entity connected to it. Hence, ECI banned screening of “PM Narendra Modi”, a biopic on the Prime Minister, till the national elections are over. Earlier, on 10th March 2019, ECI announced General Elections to 17th Lok Sabha 2019 and from the date of announcement of the elections, the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) came into operation. The Lok Sabha elections will begin on April 11 and will be held over seven phases followed by counting of votes on May 23.

10. IIT-Madras has recently collaborated with American conglomerate General Electric (GE) to set up India’s first ‘Cold Spray’ SMART (Surface Modification and Additive Research Technologies) Laboratory, which will develop advanced services technology for aircraft engine components. This is the first of its kind High-Pressure Cold Spray (HPCS) facility that is being installed in any academic institute in India. The laboratory consists of a state-of-the-art HPCS equipment has been imported from the famous company Plasma Giken of Japan. The project is funded under ‘Uchchatar Avishkar Yojana’ (UAY) of the Government of India, which is intended to boost collaboration between academia and private sector. The Union Ministry of Human Resources Development (HRD) was the key investor along with the Department of Science and Technology (DST), IIT Madras and GE. The Cold Spray is an emerging technology for advanced manufacturing and services and will be utilised to co-develop processes for aero-engine applications. This smart technology has application temperatures that are much lower than other thermal-spray and welding processes, which means the distortion and stresses associated with those repair techniques are avoided; leading to longer asset life.

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