Current Affairs April 12, 2019

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of April 12, 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. India’s education technology startup ‘Dost Education’ has bagged a $25,000 Next Billion Edtech Prize 2019 for its ability to empower parents to take charge of their child’s early education by creating short, friendly audio content that is sent to them via their mobile phones. Besides India’s Dost, two other winners also receive $25,000 each included Ubongo from Tanzania and PraxiLabs from Egypt. The prize, which is run by UK-based Varkey Foundation, recognises the most innovative technology destined to have a radical impact on education in low income and emerging world countries.

2. In a major boost for the Indian Army, the Government of India (GoI) has recently cleared the procurement of 464 T-90 tanks from Russia in a deal worth over Rs 13,500 crore. Under the new deal, the T-90 tanks would be provided to the Armoured Corps of the force which will use them for deployment along the border with Pakistan. The contract will also include a Make-in-India element for integration at the Heavy Vehicles Factory in Avadi near Chennai. The T-90 would be equipped with thermal imaging night sights to allow the tank commander to strike enemy locations during night battles. The new inductions will also strengthen the Army's fire-power along the land border stretch with Pakistan -- from Jammu in the north till the western flank in Gujarat. The new deal would increase the number of T-90s in the Army to close to 2,000 along with the remaining T-72 and T-55s.

3. India’s flagship programme, the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) (or Namami Gange) was awarded the distinction of “Public Water Agency of the Year” by Global Water Intelligence at the Global Water Summit (GWS) in London on April 9. The GWS was the major business conference for the water industry worldwide. The coveted awards recognize excellence across the entire international water industry and reward those initiatives in the water, wastewater, and desalination sectors which bring remarkable improvements in the lives of people. The Namami Gange programme an integrated conservation mission with a budget of Rs 20,000 crore to accomplish the objectives of effective abatement of pollution, conservation and rejuvenation of the Ganga. The project covers 8 states and seeks to fully connect all 1,632 Gram Panchayats along the Ganga to a sanitation system by 2022. Its mission aims at providing comprehensive and sustainable solutions for major pollution hot spots along the stretch of 97 towns and 4,465 villages on the Ganga stem.

4. On April 11, the Supreme Court (SC) imposed a fine of Rs 20 lakh on the West Bengal government for imposing a 'virtual' ban on the public screening of the satirical film Bhobishyoter Bhoot in the state. A bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud said the fine amount shall be given to producers and cinema hall owners as compensation for violation of their right to freedom of speech and expression. The court was hearing a plea by the film producer which alleged the movie was taken down from a majority of theatres at the behest of the state authorities. The film, directed by Anik Dutta, was released on February 15. Its story revolves around a group of ghosts, including a politician, who assemble at a refugee camp and try to be relevant in contemporary times. The film was allegedly withdrawn from single-screen theatres and multiplexes a day after its release.

5. Telugu poet K Siva Reddy has been selected for the prestigious Saraswati Samman, 2018 for his collection of poetry titled Pakkaki Ottigilite (Turning Aside While Lying Down). It is the highest recognition in the field of Indian literature and carries a cash purse of Rs 15 lakh, apart from a citation and a plaque. Pakkaki Ottigilite, published in 2016, is an anthology of 104 poems in blank verse. It captures the responses of the poet over the years to social change, the evolution of his own self and his dynamic relationship with the world.The award, instituted by the KK Birla Foundation in 1991, is given annually for an outstanding literary work written in any Indian language and published during the last 10 years.

6. Indian captain Virat Kohli has been named as the Leading Cricketer of the year for an unprecedented third year in a row by the 2019 edition of Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack. Kohli was picked as one of the Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Year, along with Tammy Beaumont, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran and Rory Burns. The Indian skipper is only the third cricketer ever to have won the award more than three times after Don Bradman (10 times) and Jack Hobbs (8 times). India’s Smriti Mandhana has been named as the women’s Leading Cricketer in the World for 2018 while Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan was named the Leading Twenty20 Cricketer for the second consecutive year. Wisden has been listing out Cricketers of the Year since 1889 and it is considered as one of the more prestigious awards in the sport.

7. The Nepal government has recently sent a 4-member team of experts to re-measure the height of Mount Everest. Chief Survey Officer Khim Lal Gautam and Survey Officer Rabin Karki will ascend Mount Everest. After reaching the summit, they will use a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) that will send readings about its height to their two colleagues who will remain at base camp. The Survey Department in Kathmandu will be conducted four sets of surveys: Precise levelling, Trigonometric levelling, Gravity survey and GNSS survey. It is for the first time, Nepal has sent its own team to conduct a survey of the world's highest mountain. The aim of the government is to measure the exact height of Mount Everest amid debates that there might have been a change in its height due to various reasons including the devastating earthquake of 2015. Survey of India had measured the height as 8848 meter in 1954 and it has been adopted as authentic height by the Government of Nepal till date.

8. The scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the US have developed a novel sensor that can be used in smartphone-sized devices to detect dangerous chemicals based on a unique fingerprint of absorbed and emitted light. Devices called spectrometers are light-splitting instruments that have long been both bulky and expensive, preventing their use outside the lab. However, researchers have now developed a spectrometer so small and simple that it could integrate with the camera of a typical cellphone without sacrificing accuracy. The device also has an advanced capability called hyperspectral imaging, which collects information about each individual pixel in an image to identify materials or detect specific objects amidst a complicated background. Hyperspectral sensing could be used to detect seams of valuable minerals within rock faces or to identify specific plants in a highly vegetated area.

9. Justice Vikram Nath, seniormost judge of the Allahabad High Court, has been appointed Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court. He succeeded acting CJ Justice Chagari Praveen Kumar. A collegium of Supreme Court comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi and judges S A Bobde and N V Ramana recommended the name of Justice Nath as the chief justice of the AP High Court. The new high court for Andhra Pradesh was created on 1st January 2019, following the bifurcation of a combined high court for AP and Telangana, which had been operating from Hyderabad since June 2, 2014, when the two Telugu states got separated.

10. The National Safe Motherhood Day (NSMD) is observed every year on 11th of April to raise awareness about the proper healthcare of women and maternity facilities to pregnant and lactating women. This day also raise awareness for the prevention of child marriages that may be an indirect cause of maternal deaths. The 2019 theme is "Midwives for Mothers". India is the first country in the world to have officially declared a National Safe Motherhood Day.

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