1. Qatar introduces national service for women for the first time
- Qatar is introducing national service for women for the first time while extending the time for conscripted men in the military under a law issued by the country’s Emir.
- Women aged over 18 -year will be able to volunteer for national service which comes into immediate effect.
- Now, men will serve a year instead of three months in the military service.
- Every Qatari male between 18 and 35 is required to perform a compulsory military service while the national service for females is voluntary.
- The new law also allows for a National Service Academy to be established and says men must apply for conscription within 60 days of turning 18.
2. India and Azerbaijan Inks 2 Agreements
- India and Azerbaijan have inked two documents for the visa waiver for diplomatic, official and service passports holders and cooperation between diplomatic training institutes.
- The agreements were signed during the ongoing visit of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to that country. Ms Swaraj is there to be part of 18th NAM Ministerial Conference in Baku.
- President of Azerbaijan- Ilham Aliyev, Capital- Baku, Currency- Azerbaijani manat.
3. Indian & Korean coast guards conducted joint exercise at Chennai coast
- Indo-Korean joint anti-piracy, search and rescue exercise ‘SAHYOG- HYEOBLYEOG 2018‘ has been conducted at the Chennai coast.
- Ships of the Indian Coast Guard and the Korean vessel undertook tactical maneuvers and drills to counter piracy and carry out maritime law enforcement tasks off Chennai coast.
- The Korean Coast Guard ship ‘BADARO‘ took part in the exercise.
- The mission of the joint exercise is to develop working level co-operation and enhance interoperability in the fields of maritime search and rescue, anti-piracy operations.
4. The union govt., Maharashtra govt. & World Bank sign USD 420 million project
- The union Govt. & Maharashtra Govt. and the World Bank have signed a USD 420 million project to help small and marginals farmers in the Marathwada and Vidarbha region of the state.
- The project will help in increasing climate resilient practices in agriculture and ensuring that farming continues to remain a financially viable activity for them.
- The project will take up a series of activities at the farm and watershed level.
5. ‘Ganga Hariteema Yojana’ being launched in 27 districts of Uttar Pradesh
- The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister ‘Yogi Adityanath’ has launched ‘Ganga Hariteema Yogna’ in a function organized on the bank of Sangam at Allahabad.
- The Ganga Hariteema Yojana (Ganga Greenery scheme) is being launched in 27 districts of the state located on the bank of river Ganga.
- The objectives of the schemes include enhancing green cover in the catchment areas of the river Ganga and to control the land erosion.
- Plantation will be carried out in one-kilometer areas from the banks of river under the scheme.
- The scheme will be carried out by 16th September (Ozone Day) this year.
6. Khadi Store locator mobile app launched
- The Minister of State for MSME, Giriraj Singh has launched a mobile phone application (for locating 4,000 Khadi stores) at the 9th National Board of Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) met in New Delhi.
- The rest of stores (around 8,000 Khadi stores) will available on the app by the end of this month.
- The Khadi and Village Industries products are manufactured by about 7 lakh privately owned household units which are funded through schemes like the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP).
7. Nepal’s PM KP Sharma Oli arrives in New Delhi on a three-day visit
- Nepal’s Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli arrived in New Delhi on a three-day visit to India.
- Mr. Oli will hold delegation-level talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- The Nepalese premier will discuss various issues like agriculture, energy, connectivity, trade, investment and reconstruction during the visit.
- Mr. Oli will visit the GB Pant University of Agriculture and Technology in Pantnagar, Uttarakhand.
- Oli will also be conferred with an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science at the university.
- Nepal Capital- Kathmandu, Currency- Nepalese rupee, President- Bidhya Devi Bhandari, Prime Minister- Khadga Prasad Oli.
8. All Tobacco products, cigarette packs to show helpline number from Sept
- All tobacco products and cigarette packs will have a national toll-free number (1XXX-XX-2356) printed on them to assist users to quit an addiction (from September 2018).
- The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has notified new sets of specified health warnings for all tobacco product packs by making an amendment in the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labeling) Rules, 2008.
- The toll-free number will help in creating awareness among tobacco users and give them access to counseling services to effect behavior change.
- Tobacco is a product prepared from the leaves of the tobacco plant by curing them.
- The plant is part of the genus Nicotiana and of the Solanaceae (nightshade) family.
- Tobacco use is a risk factor for many diseases, especially those affecting the heart, liver, and lungs, as well as many cancers.
9. Railways and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal Launches UTTAM APP
- The Union Minister for Railways and Coal Shri Piyush Goyal has launched ‘UTTAM App’ (Unlocking Transparency by Third Party Assessment of Mined Coal) for Coal Quality Monitoring.
- UTTAM app has been developed by the Ministry of Coal and Coal India Limited (CIL), aims to provide an App for all citizens and coal consumers to monitor the process of Third Party Sampling of coal across CIL subsidiaries.
- UTTAM App ensures accountability, transparency, effectiveness, and efficiency in coal ecosystem.
- UTTAM is an example of leveraging technology to facilitate a bidirectional channel between Coal India Limited and a common citizen.
10. World Health Day being observed : 7th April
- The ‘World Health Day’ is a global health awareness day celebrated every year on 7th April to mark the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO).
- The day provides with a unique opportunity to mobilize action around a specific health topic of concern to people all over the world.
- The tagline for this year’s World Health Day is “Universal Health Coverage: everyone, everywhere”.
- The World Health Organization(WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health.
- It was established on 7th April 1948, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
- The WHO is responsible for the World Health Report, the worldwide World Health Survey, and World Health Day.
11. United Nations’ (UN) International Day of Sport for Development and Peace : 6th April
- The United Nations’ (UN) International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) is observed across the world on 6th April every year to recognize the power of sport in promoting peace and erasing cultural barriers worldwide.
- The day has been celebrated each year since 2014.
- The date commemorates the inauguration of the first Olympic games of the modern era, in Athens (Greece) in 1896.
Banking & Finance
12. Country’s foreign exchange reserves hit a life-time high of USD 424.361 bn
- According to the Reserve Bank of India, the country’s foreign exchange reserves hit a life-time high of 424.361 billion US dollar after rising by 1.828 billion Dollar in the week to March 30.
- Earlier, the reserves had touched a record high of 421.914 billion dollars on February 9.
- Gold reserves remained unchanged at 21.614 billion US dollar.
- Foreign exchange reserves are reserve assets held by a central bank in foreign currencies, used to back liabilities on their own issued currency as well as to influence monetary policy.
13. RBI to set up Data Sciences Lab to improve its forecasting
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to set up ‘Data Sciences Lab’ to improve its forecasting, surveillance and early warning detection abilities.
- The lab will comprise experts and budding analysts, who are trained in Computer Science, Data Analytics, Statistics, Economics, Econometrics, and Finance.
- RBI not only benefits from data collected through regulatory returns and surveys but also from large volumes of structured and unstructured real-time information.
- The unit is likely to become operational by December this year.
- Data science is an interdisciplinary field of computer science and statistics that uses scientific methods, processes, algorithms, and systems to extract knowledge or insights from data in various forms (structured or unstructured).
14. RBI asks banks to stop services to those dealing in virtual currencies
- The Reserve Bank of India directed all regulated entities including banks not to provide services to businesses dealing in virtual currencies like bitcoins.
- According to RBI, Virtual currencies (VCs) variously referred to as cryptocurrencies and crypto assets, raise concerns of consumer protection, market integrity and money laundering.
- The RBI has directed all payment system operators to store all data within India.
- RBI has been decided that all payment system operators will ensure that data related to payment systems operated by them are stored only inside the country within a period of 6 months.
15. Fo NRIs ICICI bank launches ‘Social Pay’ service for remittances
- ICICI Bank has announced the launch of a service ‘Social Pay’ that enables Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) to send money to a beneficiary in India using social media platforms like WhatsApp and e-mail.
- The service ‘Social Pay’ is available on Money2India (M2I), the bank’s app for remittances.
- To transfer money, users need to generate a secure link from the M2I app and share it with the beneficiary on their social media profile or email for adding his/her bank details.
- This new facility will enable NRIs to send money conveniently to their friends and family.
16. Indian Premier League-11 to kick off in Mumbai
- The Indian Premier League (11th) has begun with Defending Champions Mumbai Indians led by Rohit Sharma and Chennai Super Kings led by Mahindra Singh Dhoni in the season’s opening clash at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
- This time (2018- IPL11) matches will be played over the course of 50 days at 10 different venues, with a total of 60 matches to be played between April 7 and May 27.
- This year we will see the return of the Chennai Super Kings and the Rajasthan Royals after serving two years of suspension for the involvement of their respective owners in the 2013 IPL betting case.
- This would be the first season with DRS, technology-based system used in cricket to assist the match officials with their decision-making.
- The Indian Premier League (IPL) is a professional Twenty20 cricket league in India contested every year by franchise teams representing Indian cities.
- The league was founded by the Board of Control for Cricket in India(BCCI) in 2007.
17. Commonwealth Games 2018 : Sathish Kumar Sivalingam wins the gold medal in 77 kg weightlifting
- Sathish Kumar Sivalingam lifted 317 kg in total (144 kg – Snatch and 173 kg Clean and Jerk) to clinch the gold medal for India in Men’s 77 kg weightlifting.
- England’s Jack Oliver secured silver with a combined effort of 312 kg.
- Australia’s Francois Etoundi (305 kg) secure Bronze medal.
18. Leander Paes becomes most successful doubles player in Davis Cup
- Indian Pair Leander Paes (44-year) and Rohan Bopanna downed a fighting Chinese pair of Mo Xin Gong and Ze Zhang 5-7 7-6(5) 7-6(3) in the do-or-die doubles rubber of the Asia/Oceania Group I tie in Tianjin.
- Now, Leander Paes has become the most successful doubles player in the history of Davis Cup with the 43rd win.
- Paes was tied on 42 wins with Italian great Nicola Pietrangeli for long but finally surpassed him.
- Paes (at age of 16-year) had made his Davis Cup debut in 1990 alongside Zeeshan Ali.
19. Manipur govt announces a cash reward of Rs 15 lakhs each for Mirabai & Sanjita
- Manipur government has announced a cash reward of 15 lakhs rupees each for Saikhom Mirabai Chanu and Khumukcham Sanjita Chanu.
- Mirabai Chanu (48 Kilogram category) & Sanjita Chanu (53 Kilogram) have brought laurels to the Nation and the State by winning Gold Medals in Weightlifting event at the 21st Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast in Australia.
20. Mithali Raj Becomes Most Capped Player in Women’s ODIs cricket
- Indian women’s cricket team captain Mithali Raj has become the most capped player in women’s ODI cricket after turning out for the 192nd time against England.
- Raj, who is also the highest run-getter in WODIs, overtook former England captain Charlotte Edwards, who had appeared in 191 WODIs.
- Indian fast bowler Jhulan Goswami is the third-most capped WODI player.
21. Commonwealth Games 2018 : Weightlifter Sanjita Chanu wins India’s second Gold Medal
- Weightlifter Khumukcham Sanjita Chanu (53kg event) has delivered India its second gold medal of the Commonwealth Games 2018 with a total lift of 192kg.
- The defending champion, Loa Dika Toua (Papua New Guinea) claimed silver medal with a total lift of 182Kg.
- The bronze medal went to Rachel Leblanc-Bazinet (Canada), who finished with a combined effort of 181kg.
22. Commonwealth Games 2018 : Deepak Lather wins weightlifting bronze medal in Men’s 69 kg
- India’s Deepak Lather (18-year) lifted a total weight of 295 kg (136 kg in Snatch and 159 kg in Clean and Jerk) to earn a bronze medal at Commonwealth Games 2018.
- The Gareth Evans (31-year) posted a total of 299kg to win the Gold medal at the Gold Coast Games.
- Sri Lanka’s Indica Dissanayake remain at the second position for a silver.
- Earlier, Mirabai Chanu (48kg) won gold medals in the women’s competition and P Gururaja claimed a silver in the men’s 56kg category.
23. India wins South East Asian women handball Championship
- India defeated Bangladesh by 27-10 to win the fifth South East Asian Women Handball Championship at K.D. Singh Babu Stadium in Lucknow.
- Nepal finished as runner-up in the five-country tournament.
- Bangladesh settled for the third spot and a bronze medal.