Current Affairs April 30, 2019

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of April 30, 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 Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has recently announced that it will shortly issue Rs 20 denomination banknotes in the Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series. The new denomination has motif of Ellora Caves on the reverse that depicts the country's cultural heritage. It also contains a portrait of Mahatma Gandhi at the centre, with micro letters 'RBI', 'Bharat', 'India' and '20', along with a guarantee clause, Governor's signature with Promise Clause and RBI emblem towards the right of Gandhi's portrait. On the right side of the portrait are — an Ashoka Pillar emblem and electrotype (20) watermarks. The base colour of the note is Greenish Yellow. It will bear the signature of RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das. The dimension of the new Rs 20 note will be 63 mm x 129 mm. All the banknotes in the denomination of Rs 20 issued by the RBI in the earlier series will continue to be legal tender.

2. Indian Army signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) to construct four underground tunnels for storage of ammunition along the China and Pakistan border. This is a pilot project and the tunnels are expected to be completed within two years. The cost of the pilot project is around Rs 15 crore. At Under the pilot project, three tunnels will be built on China border while one will be built along the Line of Control with Pakistan. The project is meant to bolster the Indian Army's capabilities along the Chinese border where India's infrastructural development is far outpaced by that of China. Besides strengthening the defensive capabilities, the tunnels will protect the ammunition and other stored equipment from the air-strikes and detection by the enemy satellite. present, ammunition dumps are mostly over-ground and could be targeted by the enemies and their spies.

3. The Central Works Public Department (CPWD) has constituted an expert committee to formulate a design policy for building construction and infrastructure development. The committee, under the chairmanship of CPWD's Additional Director General M K Sharma, is aimed at reviving building construction and infrastructure development at all levels in the CPWD which comes under the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry. The committee has been asked to submit its report to Director General Prabhakar Singh within 30 days. The CPWD is the largest construction agency of the central government. It constructs most of the government's buildings across the country, erects fences on the country's international borders, among others. The agency also carries out projects in foreign countries under friendship programmes with India.

4. Rama Sengupta Paul (66), the Veteran lady mountaineer, has passed away in Kolkata, West Bengal. She led the first successful all-women expedition to Kedarnath Dome in Garhwal Himalaya which was organized by city-based Himalayan Association to commemorate the International Year of Women in 1975.

5. Puranik Yogendra (or Yogi) from Pune has become the first ethnic Indian to contest and win an election in Japan. He has been elected to Edogawa Ward assembly of Tokyo. Hence, this is the first-ever victory of a naturalized Japanese of Indian origin in elections in Japan. Yogi went to Japan to pursue higher studies in 1997 and worked with various IT companies there. He lived there for 20 years and has been the resident of Edogawa for 15 years. Puranik believes that his ties with his adopted home were strengthened after Japan went through earthquake and tsunami in 2011 and he came to know more about the country when would visit the affected area on weekends to help the people affected due to two calamities. Soon after, he obtained Japanese citizenship and came to enter politics; he was fielded by the Constitutional Democratic Party (CDP) of Japan in the recent polls.

6. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has recently constituted a 13-member Committee to review the regulatory framework on microinsurance and recommend measures to increase the demand for such products. . The committee, under the chairmanship of IRDAI Executive Director Suresh Mathur, has been tasked with suggesting product designs with customer-friendly underwriting, including easy premium payment methods and simple claims settlement procedures. The committee has representatives from life, general and health insurance companies in the public and private sectors.

7. The Modern Slavery Innovation Fund (MSIF) supports international projects to trial innovative ways of stopping modern slavery, It is in news recently because Britain has pledged £4 million to support global anti-slavery projects. Six organizations - Anti-Slavery International and the United Nations University, Stronger Together, The Freedom Fund , Retrak and Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) - will share the aid money from MSIF. The funding will also be used to run workshops on modern slavery in South Africa, improve support for survivors in India, and develop an online data hub to boost anti-slavery policies. The MSIF was announced in 2016 and previously gave £6 million to schemes such as awareness-raising campaigns in Nigeria, the Philippines and Vietnam. The Freedom Fund will work in India and Nepal to enhance victim care of frontline workers.

8. The International Labour Organization (ILO) has recently announced that Qatar will officially abolish its controversial exit visa system for all foreign workers by the end of 2019. It must be noted that Qatar has introduced a series of labour reforms since its selection as the 2022 World Cup host, with the event setting in motion a huge construction programme employing foreign workers. In September 2018, Qatar approved legislation to scrap the "kafala", or sponsorship, system which required that foreign workers obtain permission from their employers to leave the country. In February 2019, Qatar said it was committed to labour reform following an Amnesty International report that the 2022 World Cup host was failing to stop widespread labour abuse. As part of its pledge to reform the labour section, Qatar has also introduced a monthly minimum wage of 750 riyals ($206) and agreed to work closely with the ILO, which now has an office in the capital.

9. The Indian Council of Medical Research has launched the 'Malaria Elimination Research Alliance (MERA) India' to eliminate malaria from India by 2030. The initiative is a conglomeration of partners working on malaria control. The principal activity of the alliance is to prioritise, plan, conduct, scale up and translate relevant research in a coordinated and combinatorial way in order to have a tangible impact of this research on the population at risk for malaria. The MERA India does not intend to duplicate international efforts rather complement this on a national scale while contributing to the broader global agenda. The alliance will facilitate trans-institutional coordination and collaboration around a shared research agenda which responds not only to programmatic challenges and addresses gaps in available tools but also pro actively contributes to targeted research. It aims to harness and reinforce research in coordinated and combinatorial ways in order to achieve tangible impact on malaria elimination.

10. In shooting, Abhishek Verma secured India's fifth Olympic quota place by winning the 10m air pistol gold medal at the ISSF World Cup at Beijing, China on April 27, 2019. He clinched the top spot with a total score of 242.7. This is India's fifth 2020 Tokyo Olympic quota after Anjum Moudgil and Apurvi Chandela (10m air rifle women), Saurabh Choudhary (10m Air Pistol men) and Divyansh Singh Panwar had secured berths.

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