National Current Affairs
April 4th Week 2015 Current Affairs
Category : National Current Affairs
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1) Ministry of Ayush organizing Samarpan Dhyanyog Shibir for Parliamentarians.

  • AYUSH Minister is organizing Samarpan Dhyanyog Shibir for parliamentarians and their families from 6 pm to 8.30 pm everyday at Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga, New Delhi.
  • The Yoga Shibir was announced by Shri Shripad Naik, Hon’ble Minister of State(I/C), Ministry of AYUSH.
  • The Minister emphasised that the Shibir has been organized especially for the Parliamentarians in the first phase as they have a very stressful life and have important responsibilities to cater to the society.
2) 3rd Gorkha Regiment celebrates bicentenary at Sevoke.
  • Bicentenary of the first battalion of Gorkha Rifles (1/1 GR) was celebrated by Hundreds of serving and veteran officers with vigour and zest at Pathankot.
  • From both India and Nepal Veterans, serving officers, junior commissioned officers and other ranks attended the event which was held at the Military Station, Sevoke Road, near Siliguri in West Bengal, where the `First-Third` as they are also referred to, celebrated their bicentenary.
3) Rajya Sabha clears bill to protect rights of transgenders.
  • Over three decades for the first time private member’s Bill was passed in Rajya Sabha.
  • In the presence of 19 Union Ministers the Bill was passed by voice vote.
  • The last private members Bill was passed in 1970.
  • DMK member Tiruchi Shiva’s Bill has 58 clauses in 10 chapters dealing with different aspects ranging from social inclusion, rights and entitlements, financial and legal aid, education, skill development to prevention of abuse, violence and exploitation.

4) TRAI gets over 10 lakh petitions on Net Neutrality.

  • Proponents of Net Neutrality have submitted more than 10 lakh petitions to `keep internet free through `savetheinternet` e-mail campaign, which was started around two weeks ago by a coalition of net neutrality supporters online.
  • NASSCOM also called violation of net neutrality as violation of freedom of speech and expression, also submitted two separate response to the TRAI.
  • Net neutrality creates an open and level playing field that facilitates innovation, adoption and inclusion. The other key priority is the proliferation of an affordable telecom infrastructure.
  • Rahul Khullar is the chairman of TRAI.
5) India`s Healthcare Tourism portal Inaugurated by PM.
  • India’s Healthcare Tourism Portal inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the ‘SAAARC Trade Mart’ in the Global Exhibition on Services (GES).
  • It was inaugurated on the occasion of three-day Global Exhibition on Services (GES) that commenced in Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.
  • Union Government’s Department of Commerce and the Services Export Promotion Council (SEPC) developed the portal and this is a comprehensive one-point information site and it covers travel-related information & hospital and in India.
6) Nepal Earthquake: India launched `Operation Maitri`
  • The operation was launched shortly after the 7.9-magnitude quake hit Nepal.
  • The quick response again highlighted India’s emergence as a country capable of a rapid response to natural disasters and emergencies in the region, an offshoot of its drive to ramp up the strategic lift capabilities of its air force and navy.
  • India also pressed nearly 1000 trained personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) into service after Nepal on 25 April 2015 was struck by the worst earthquake in 80 years in which more than 2500 people were killed.
7) `India Inclusive Innovation Fund` by the Ministry of MSME
  • The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), on the advice of the erstwhile National Innovation Council, proposed to set up a Rs. 5,000 crore dedicated fund namely ‘India Inclusive Innovation Fund’ for promoting grass-root innovations with social returns.
  • The total corpus of this fund is proposed to be an initial size of Rs. 500 crore and maximum size of Rs. 5,000 crore with initial Government contribution of Rs. 100.00 Crore. Since National Innovation Council has ceased to exist, a revision in the three level of Management structure has been proposed.
About India Inclusive Innovation Fund:
  1. The Fund would operate as a for-profit entity with a social investment focus. The exact extent to which the India Inclusive Innovation Fund is likely to benefit the MSME Sector has not been estimated.
  2. It is proposed to back enterprises developing innovative solutions primarily for citizens who lie in the lower half of India’s economic pyramid, with a limited physical and institutional access to basic services.

8) Union Government cancelled licenses of nearly 9000 NGOs.

  • The government has cancelled licenses of nearly 9,000 NGOs for the alleged violation of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).
  • Union minister of state (home) Kiren Rijiju defended the decision saying action has been taken after getting specific inputs.
  • The home ministry issued notices to 10,343 NGOs for not filing annual returns for the year 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12.
  • The notices were served on October 16, 2014 saying that the NGOs should file their annual returns within a month specifying amount of foreign funds received, sources of such funds, for which purpose it was received and in manner in which such foreign contribution was utilized, according to a home ministry notification.


9) Parliament passed Payments and Settlement Bill, 2014

  • Parliament passed a bill that seeks to address the problem of insolvency in the payment and settlement system by increasing transparency and stability and bring India`s banking payment system in sync with international practices.
  • Moving the amended bill, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley explained it was needed to address the issue of insolvency so that there is protection for payments. The amendment to the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007, was proposed to update the regulations in line with globally accepted standards.
  • The amendment seeks to protect funds collected from the customers by the payment system providers and to extend the Act to cover trade repository and legal entity identifier issuer. A Legal Entity Identifier is a unique ID associated with a single corporate entity.


10) Union Government approved continuation of 1000 rupees Monthly Pension Scheme under EPS

  • The move would benefit over 20 lakh pensioners under social security scheme run by Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO). It will cost additionally 850 crore rupees to the exchequer of the government.
  • The scheme was launched with effect from 1 September 2014. It hiked the pension amount to a flat 1000 rupees per month for those who were getting lower amount earlier and it was initially effective till 31 March 2015.
  • As a result, the EPFO had to suspend the scheme from 1 April 2015 in the absence of any direction from the government to continue with this benefit beyond 31 March 2015.


11) Logo of the International Day of Yoga launched

  • The logo of International Day of Yoga was launched on 29 April 2015 in New Delhi by Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Union Minister of State (MoS) for AYUSH Shripad Yesso Naik.
  • The logo was selected by a committee of yoga experts constituted by Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) and was approved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

International Day of Yoga:

  1. The idea to observe 21 June as the International Day of Yoga was proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September 2014 during his speech at United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
  2. In December 2014, UNGA unanimously adopted an India-led resolution to observe 21 June as the International Day of Yoga. The resolution was passed within a record time of 75 days. It was also first resolution in which 177 countries had become co-sponsors and was a world record.
  3. Tourist Visa scheme extended to 31 more countries
  4. Union Government announced to extend e-


12) Tourist Visa scheme to 31 more countries. This extension will be effective from 1 May 2015.

  • The 31 countries to which the scheme was extended includes Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Canada, Cayman Island, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominic an Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, France, Georgia, Grenada, Haiti, HolySee (Vatican), Honduras, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Paraguay, St. Kitts & Nevis and Seychelles.
  • The e-Tourist Visa scheme (earlier called Tourist Visa on Arrival scheme) was launched by Union Government on 27 November 2014 for 45 countries from nine designated Indian airports namely Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Thiruvananthapuram.


13) Union Cabinet approved Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved amendments to the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 by pursuing the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013.
  • The proposed amendments are mainly aimed at laying down more stringent measures to tackle corruption.
  • The proposed amendments will fill the gaps in the domestic anti-corruption law and will help in meeting the country`s obligations under the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) more effectively.
  • It provides more stringent punishment for the offences of bribery, both for the bribe giver and the bribe taker.
  • It enhances penal provisions from minimum 6 months to 3 years and from maximum 5 years to 7 years (the seven year imprisonment brings corruption on equal footing with the heinous crime).


14) First meeting of Chief Ministers Sub-Group on Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan at NITI Aayog

  • The first meeting of the Sub-Group of Chief Ministers on Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan was held at NITI Aayog, New Delhi. The Sub-Group was constituted as per decision taken at the first meeting of the Governing Council of the NITI Aayog chaired by the Prime Minister on 8th February, 2015. The Sub-Group consists of Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Bihar, Delhi, Haryana, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Sikkim, West Bengal, and Uttarakhand as Members.
  • The Sub-Group discussed the issue of the best technologies and best practices available in the country and abroad for Swachch Bharat Abhiyaan. A Working Group has been set up under the CEO, NITI Aayog with one member from each of the Sub-Group Member-States.
  • The meeting decided to seek inputs from other states which are not the members of the Sub Group regarding best practices and technologies followed by them. The members discussed the issues of solid and liquid waste management and changing behavioral pattern.
  • It was also pointed out that Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan programs should be run in campaign mode which must be sustainable.


15) Rajya Sabha passed Regional Rural Banks (Amendment) Bill, 2014

  • The Regional Rural Banks (Amendment) Bill, 2014 that seeks to amend the Regional Rural Banks (RRB) Act, 1976 was introduced by the Union Minister of Finance, Arun Jaitley.
  • It seeks to amend the RRB Act, 1976 which mainly provides for the incorporation, regulation and winding up of Regional Rural Banks (RRBs).
  • It removes the five year limit cap that was put on the sponsor banks to assist the upcoming RRBs under the RRB Act, 1976. As per the Act, sponsor banks were liable to train personnel and provide managerial and financial assistance for the first five years.
  • It raises the amount of authorized capital to 2000 crore rupees and it is not to be reduced below one crore rupees. In the 1976 Act the authorised capital of each RRB was five crore rupees which was not permitted to be reduced below 25 lakh rupees.
  • It allows Union government to specify that the capital issued by a RRB should be at least one crore rupees. Under the Act, a RRB was to issue capital between 25 lakh rupees and one crore rupees.