1. Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe wins no-confidence motion in Parliament
- Sri Lankan Prime Minister ‘Ranil Wickremesinghe’ (leader of the United National Party) comfortably won the no-confidence motion against him in voting held in Parliament.
- In the Parliament (225-member), 122 members voted against the motion, while 76 voted in favor.
- The motion was brought by the Opposition group accusing the Prime Minister’s party of involvement in the bond scam.
- The prime minister is the second in the order of precedence after the president and head of the cabinet of ministers.
- The prime minister would be a member of the constitutional council, national security council and the senior most member cabinet of ministers.
2. Sierra Leone declares opposition leader as new president
- Sierra Leone’s opposition candidate and former military junta leader Julius Maada Bio takes his oath as the country’s new President in the capital Freetown.
- Bio won Saturday’s runoff vote with 51.8% of valid votes cast.
- Sierra Leone is a country in West Africa, on the Atlantic Ocean, known for the white-sand beaches lining the Freetown Peninsula.
3. Construction of the first-ever nuclear plant launches by Turkey through VC
- The Recep Tayyip Erdogan (President of Turkey) along with Vladimir Putin (Russian President) has launched the construction of Turkey’s first-ever nuclear power plant in Mersin region through video conferencing.
- The total estimated cost of the power plant would be around 20 billion dollars.
- The power station will contribute around 10% to the electricity needs of Turkey.
4. Sushma Swaraj begins her three day visit to attend NAM meet
- The union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj reached Azerbaijan to participate the three-day Mid-Term Ministerial Meeting of the 18th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).
- She will hold bilateral consultations with the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, Elmar Mammadyarov and Ilham Aliyev (President of Azerbaijan).
- As a founding member of NAM, India remains committed to the purposes and principles of the Movement.
- The two sides will discuss bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest.
- Ms. Swaraj will attend the Mid-Term Ministerial Meeting of NAM in Baku tomorrow and the day after.
- The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is a group of states that are not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc.
5. EC decides to set up 450 Sakhi Pink polling booths in Karnataka
- The Election Commission has decided to set up 450 Sakhi Pink booths during the Karnataka Assembly elections to empower and encourage women voters.
- The booths will be managed completely by female staff including presiding officer, polling officer, micro observers and security personnel.
- Pink booths will be opened in areas where the female population is more than male voters.
6. Salman Khan convicted in 1998 blackbuck poaching case
- Jodhpur court has convicted Actor Salman Khan in the 1998 black buck poaching case, but acquitted co-actors Saif Ali Khan, Neelam, Tabu and Sonali Bendre.
- Salman has been held guilty of killing two blackbucks in Kankani village near Jodhpur in October 1998 during the shooting of a movie.
- Salman was facing charges under Section 9/51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act.
7. Important Cabinet Approvals : 04th April 2018
- The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given the following set of approvals.
The Cabinet has approved-
1. Cooperation Arrangement between India and Afghanistan for cooperation in the field of food safety and related areas,
2. MoU between India and Iran on the establishment of an expert group on trade remedy measures,
3. Cabinet apprised of MoU between India and Canada to foster cross-border partnerships focused on research excellence and industry-academic collaboration,
4. Closure of loss-making Burn Standard Company Limited – a Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE)- Decision taken in view of the continuous poor physical and financial performance of the company for more than 10 years combined with low probability of its revival in the future,
5. Cabinet apprised of MoU between India and United Arab Emirates on Technical Cooperation in Rail Sector,
6. Demerger and transfer of surplus land from Tata Communications Limited (TCL) to Hemisphere Properties India Ltd. (HPIL),
7. Rightsizing the Competition Commission of India- from 1 Chairperson and 6 Members (totalling seven) to 1 Chairperson and 3 Members (totalling four) by not filling the existing vacancies of two Members and one more additional vacancy.
8. The Protection of Human Rights (Amendments) Bill, 2018. Salient Features of the Bill are:
- It proposes to include “National Commission for Protection of Child Rights” as deemed Member of the Commission;
- It proposes to add a woman Member in the composition of the Commission;
- It proposes to enlarge the scope of eligibility and scope of selection of Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission as well as the State Human Rights Commission; and
- It proposes to incorporate a mechanism to look after the cases of human rights violation in the Union Territories.
8. First India-Bangladesh Container Train Flagged Off for Trial Run
- The trial run of the first container train between India and Bangladesh was flagged off from Kolkata city.
- The train left for Bangladesh with 60 containers loaded with almost 1,200 tonnes of de-oiled cake, used as a raw material for animal feed.
- Bangladesh PM- Sheikh Hasina, Capital- Dhaka, Currency- Bangladeshi Taka.
9. Union Human Resources Minister releases INDIA RANKINGS 2018 for Higher Educational Institutions
- The Union Human Resources Minister ‘Prakash Javadekar’ has released INDIA RANKINGS 2018 for Higher Educational Institutions and presented awards to the institutions under the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF).
- The idea behind these rankings is to promote quality in education, a total of 2809 institutions participated in 9 categories.
Category wise top 5 institutions in 2018
|S. No.||Overall best institution||Management||Engineering||Medical||Top university category||Top colleges|
|1.||IISc, Bangalore||IIM. Ahmadabad||IIT, Madras||AIIMS, New Delhi||IISc, Bangalore||Miranda House, Delhi|
|2.||IIT, Madras||IIM, Banglore||IIT, Bombay||PGIMER, Chandigarh||JNU, Delhi||St Stephen’s Delhi|
|3.||IIT, Bombay||IIM, Calcutta||IIT, Delhi||Christian Med College, Vellore||BHU, Varanasi||Bishop Heber, Tiruchirappalli|
|4.||IIT, Delhi||IIM, Lucknow||IIT, Kharagpur||Kasturba Med College, Manipal||Anna University, Chennai||Hindu College, Delhi|
|5.||IIT, Kharagpur||IIT, Bombay||IIT, Kanpur||King Gorge’s Medical Uni. Lucknow||Univ of Hyderabad||Presidency College, Chennai|
10. Suresh Prabhu launches digital initiatives for ease of exports at New Delhi
- The Union Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu has launched digital initiatives by EIC for ease of exports at New Delhi.
- This is a major step towards digital India in export trade ushering inefficient assessment, quality monitoring, and traceability.
- The union Minister launched three integrated digital portals, namely ‘Safe Food Export Traceability Portal’, ‘One Laboratory One Assessment Portal’ and ‘Monitoring Export Alerts Portal’.
- The portals will have brought together all regulators, accreditation bodies and other stakeholders at one place.
- Export Inspection Council (EIC) is the official export certification body of Government of India and has launched this flagship project of Digital India Initiative to keep pace with changing dynamics of the world.
11. HRD Ministry set up a panel to examine the process of CBSE’s exam conduct
- The union govt has set up a high-powered committee headed by former HRD Secretary VS Oberoi to examine the process by which the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) conducts examinations.
- Mr Vinay Sheel Oberoi, Retd. Secretary (Higher Education), MHRD will be the Chairperson of the 7 member High Power Committee.
- The panel will suggest measures to make the process secure and foolproof through use of technology.
- The committee will submit a report by the 31st of next month.
- The move comes following the alleged leak of the Class 10 Mathematics and Class 12 Economics papers.
12. National Maritime Day being observed : 5th April
- 5th April is being observed as National Maritime Day of India every year.
- This day, the country renews its abiding faith in the importance of maritime zone as well as sea route for an all-round development of the nation.
- In 2018, the theme of the occasion is ‘Indian Shipping – An Ocean of opportunity’.
- The National Maritime Day was first celebrated on 5th April 1964.
- On this day in 1919, navigation history was created when the first ship of The Scindia Steam Navigation Company Ltd.”SS Loyalty” journeyed to the United Kingdom.
- India has about 7516 km (Mainland: 5422.6 km and Island Territories: 2094 km) of coastline serviced by a total of 182 ports.
Banking & Finance
13. Qatar-based Doha Bank sets up the first branch in Chennai
- Qatar-based Doha Bank’s CEO R Seetharaman has inaugurated the first branch of Doha bank in Chennai.
- Now, the total number of branches in the country to three (earlier Mumbai, Kochi).
- The Chennai branch will assist the bank’s growing customer base in India offering a host of services including corporate, retail, treasury, trade, finance and foreign exchange services.
- Doha Bank is one of the largest commercial banks in the State of Qatar.
- It has been consistently registering a strong growth during the last decade with participative leadership philosophy.
14. MoU signed Between Indian Army and HDFC Bank
- A Memorandum of Undertaking (MoU) has been signed between the Indian Army and HDFC Bank on the Defence Salary Package. MoU is tailor-made to suit the requirements of serving soldiers, pensioners and families.
- Under the current MoU apart from other benefits, the Army personnel will get free personal accident death cover and free permanent disability cover of Rs 30 lakhs.
- Free educational cover of up to Rs 1 Lakh per year for four years for education of the dependent child in case of accidental death of defense personnel and 100% processing fees waived for Car Loans and Personal Loans.
- At present, Indian Army has MoUs on defense salary package with 11 public and private sector banks.
- The first MoU between HDFC Bank and the Indian Army was signed in 2011 and was renewed in Mar 2015.
- HDFC Bank- India’s largest private bank by market capitalization
- HDFC Bank Chairman- Aditya Puri.
- Reserve Bank of India labelled HDFC Bank as ‘domestic systematically important bank’ – in other words, ‘too big to fail’.
- General Bipin Rawat is the present Chief of Indian Army.
15. Jio Payments Bank starts operations from Tuesday after issuing license by RBI
- Jio Payments Bank Ltd. has started operations.
- The Reserve Bank of India has issued the license to Jio Payments Bank Ltd. (sixth payments bank) to carry its business in India.
- Payments bank is a differentiated bank providing a limited range of products, such as acceptance of demand deposits and remittances of funds.
- Jio Payments Bank Ltd. is a 70-30 joint venture between Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd. and India’s largest lender State Bank of India.
- The Reserve Bank has issued a licence to the bank under Section 22 (1) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 to carry on the business of payments bank in India.
- Telecom major Bharti Airtel was the first to begin payment bank services in November 2016.
Payments banks in India :
- Airtel Payments Bank
- Fino Payments Bank
- Aditya Birla Idea Payments Bank
- India Post Payments Bank
- Paytm Payments Bank
16. Himanta Biswa Sarma Elected BAI President for four years
- Assam Health and Education Minister ‘Himanta Biswa Sarma’ has been unanimously elected the Badminton Association of India (BAI) President for four years in the annual general body meeting in Goa.
- Sarma had taken over as the interim BAI President last year after the demise of Akhilesh Das Gupta.
- Badminton Association of India (BAI) is the governing body of badminton in India formed in 1934.
- It has been holding national-level tournaments in India since 1936.
- It is headquartered in Lucknow, India.
17. Sanjeev Nautiyal appointed as new MD & CEO of SBI life Insurance
- SBI Life Insurance has appointed Sanjeev Nautiyal (Probationary officer-1985) as its new Managing Director (MD) and Chief executive officer (CEO).
- Nautiyal replaces Arijit Basu, who takes over a key role in the State Bank of India Group.
- Mr. Nautiyal graduate in arts & master’s in business administration.
- Nautiyal is a Certified Associate of the Indian Institute of Bankers (C.A.I.I.B).
- SBI Life Insurance is a joint venture life insurance company between State Bank of India (70.1%), and BNP Paribas Cardif (26%). It headquarters in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
- BNP Paribas is a French multinational bank and financial services company with global headquarters in Paris.
- Other investors are Value Line Pte. Ltd. and MacRitchie Investments Pte. Ltd., holding 1.95% of the total capital each.
18. Malayalam actor Kollam Ajith passes away
- Malayalam actor Kollam Ajith (56-year) passed away at a private hospital.
- Ajith acted in over 500 movies.
- He was known for his villain roles in Malayalam movies.
19. Mirabai wins India’s first gold of 21st Commonwealth Games
- India’s weightlifter Mirabai Chanu (23-year) has won the gold medal at the 21st Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.
- Chanu (Hailing from Manipur) won the coveted yellow metal in the 48 kg category with a total lift of 196 kg.
- The silver in the event went to Marie Ranaivosova (Mauritius), while the bronze was taken by Dinusha Gomes (Sri Lanka).
- She becomes the first Indian to win a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games 2018.
- In 2018, she was awarded the Padma Shri.
20. Gururaja wins the silver medal in 56kg men’s weightlifting
- In the 56 kilograms category, India’s Weightlifter P Gururaja (25-year) lifted a total weight of 249 kg to finish Silver Medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
- The gold medal went to Izahar Ahmad (Malaysia) who lifted a total weight of 261kg.
- The bronze medal went to Sri Lanka’s Chaturanga Lakmal.
- Gururaja (Hailing from Karnataka) is employed with the Indian Air Force.
About the Commonwealth Games 2018 :
- The 21st edition of the Commonwealth Games has begun in Gold Coast, Australia with a colorful opening ceremony at Carrara Stadium Queensland, Australia (4 to 15th April 2018).
- More than 4,500 athletes from 71 nations and territories will compete for 275 gold medals at the Commonwealth Games.
- India has represented at the opening ceremony by a contingent of over 200 athletes, led by flag-bearer Olympic Silver Medallist, P V Sindhu.
- It is the fifth time Australia has hosted the Commonwealth Games.
- The 2018 Commonwealth Games is an international multi-sport event for members of the Commonwealth.
- Motto: The official motto for the 2018 Commonwealth Games is “Share the Dream“.
- Emblem: The emblem of the 2018 Commonwealth Games is a silhouette of the skyline and landscape of the Gold Coast, the host city of the games.
- Mascot: Borobi was named as the mascot of the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Borobi is a blue koala, with indigenous markings on its body. The term “borobi” is an Aboriginal term for koala.
- Medals: Approximately1,500 medals have been created to be distributed to the medallists and each measure approximately 63 millimeters in diameter. The medals weigh between 138 and 163 grams.
- Australia Capital- Canberra, Currency- Australian Dollar, Prime Minister- Malcolm Turnbull.