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National Current Affairs April 3rd Week 2019

 1. People in Kerala celebrating Vishu

In Kerala, people are celebrating Vishu, the Malayalam New Year. Our correspondent has the details. The day begins with people taking Kani darshanam or Vishu kani soon after waking up. The elders or women in the family prepare the Vishu Kani a day before by using edible stuff like rice grains, cucumber, pumpkin, coconut, mangoes, betel leaves,  flowers, coins and fruits and a metal vessel called "urali" in front of a mirror that reflects the image of their deity.
A special yellow flower named Konna is a must in the Kani. They also exchange gifts with their loved ones and wear new clothes. On this day, devotees visit temples and offer their prayer to Lord Krishna, who is worshipped on this day.
People also visit Sabarimala Ayyappan Temple, Guruvayur Sree Krishna temple or the Kulathupuzha Sree BaalaShastha Temple to have a `Vishukkani Kazhcha`viewing in the early hours of the day. And like all other festivals, Vishu is incomplete without an elaborate meal. There will a delicious meal -the Sadya which consists of different varieties of preparations.
2. People in Assam celebrate Rongali Bihu festival 
In Assam, people are celebrating the Rongali Bihu with joy and enthusiasm. It is the first day of the Assamese Calendar and is celebrated as Manuh Bihu (People’s Bihu).
Hussori troops are visiting houses especially in the rural areas and presenting Bihu songs and dances. The Governor Professor Jagdish Mukhi and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal have greeted the people on the occasion of Rongali Bihu and Assamese New Year.
Bohag Bihu or Rongali Bihu  also called Xaat Bihu  (seven Bihus) is a festival celebrated in the state of Assam and northeastern India, and marks the beginning of the Assamese New Year. It usually falls on 2 April week, historically signifying the time of harvest. This year it falls on 15th of April 2019 . It unites the population of Assam regardless of their religions or backgrounds and promotes the celebration of diversity. In India, it is celebrated seven days after Vishuva Sankranti of the month of Vaisakh or locally `Bohag` (Bhaskar Calendar). The three primary types of Bihu are Bohag Bihu or Rongali Bihu, Kati Bihu or Kongali Bihu, and Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu. Each festival historically recognizes a different agricultural cycle of the paddy crops. During Rangali Bihu there are 7 pinnacle phases: `Chot`, `Raati`, `Goru`, `Manuh`, `Kutum`, `Mela` and `Chera`.
3. India to be Guest of Honour Country at Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) 2019
India will be the Guest of Honour country at the 2019 Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) to be held during April. The fair aims to highlight the UAE’s rich heritage, and showcase its authenticity, cultural and literary output. 
This will be the 29th edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.
Book lovers in the UAE will be in for a big treat next week when the 29th annual edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) opens its doors in the capital, with this year’s fair set to feature more than 500,000 book titles.
The book fair will run from April 24 to 30, with at least 1,000 exhibitors from 50 different countries taking part.
Like previous editions, the fair will be split into several different interactive areas such as culture, education, illustrators and artists. Three new additional interactive areas have also been added for this year’s edition with the E-Zone, Comic Corner and the Entertainment Zone.
India has been selected as the official guest of honour for this year’s book fair, with at least 40 Indian publishing companies set to take part.
India’s selection as guest of honour was another sign of the long-standing cultural ties between the UAE and her county.
4. National Co-ordination Centre of the Pharmacovigilance Programme of India (PvPI)
The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has asked commonly-used antibiotics manufacturers to ensure its details be made available to the general public. This decision was taken considering directives from the National Co-ordination Centre of the Pharmacovigilance Programme of India (PvPI).          
The PvPI was started by the Government of India on 14th July 2010 with the AIIMS New Delhi as the National Coordination Centre for monitoring Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) in the country for safe-guarding Public Health.
The Programme is coordinated by the Indian Pharmacopeia commission, Ghaziabad as a National Coordinating Centre (NCC).
The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation(CDSCO) under Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India is the National Regulatory Authority (NRA) of India. Under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, CDSCO is responsible for approval of New Drugs, Conduct of Clinical Trials, laying down the standards for Drugs, control over the quality of imported Drugs in the country and coordination of the activities of State Drug Control Organizations by providing expert advice with a view of bring about the uniformity in the enforcement of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.
CDSCO along with state regulators, is jointly responsible for grant of licenses of certain specialized categories of critical Drugs such as blood and blood products, I. V. Fluids, Vaccine and Sera.
5. Tata Trusts, Microsoft join hands to support handloom weaving community
Tata Trusts and Microsoft India inked a pact to jointly rejuvenate handloom clusters in the eastern and north-eastern parts of the country.
Both the entities have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in this regard.
Tata Trusts and Microsoft will leverage each other`s strengths to provide business and communication skills, design education and digital literacy to handloom weavers so that they may build a sustainable future.
Microsoft’s Project ReWeave will help preserve traditional weaving forms by upskilling workers, designing and marketing merchandise, and creating sustainable livelihood options. 
The project has implemented a new e-commerce platform by setting up digital empowerment centres and design curriculum in Telangana’s weaving clusters of Rajouli, Chottuppal, Pochampally, Naryanpet and Gadwal, and will shortly extend it to Warangal and Siddipet.
Microsoft will also enable digital training through Project Sangam, a Microsoft Azure-based Learning Management System, which provides necessary training and tools to weaving communities to help them realise their full potential.
Tata Trusts’ initiative, Antaran, aims at rejuvenating ailing handloom clusters through an end-to-end programme, which would nurture artisans as designers and entrepreneurs. The Trusts have initiated intensive work in Odisha, Assam and Nagaland. The programme will benefit 3,000 artisans directly involved in pre-loom, on-loom and post loom processes, impacting the livelihood of weavers in six weaving clusters in these three States.
Employing over seven million families in India, the craft sector is the country’s largest source of employment after agriculture. In addition to having a high potential of employment, the sector has great economic importance in terms of foreign exchange earnings.
6. Non-Core assets needed to be sold by CPSEs in a notice period of 12 months
The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) stated guidelines for monetisation of non-core assets of Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) and immovable enemy properties.
An Inter Ministerial Group (IMG) headed by the secretary of DIPAM will identify the non-core assets of the CPSEs. It could identify the assets on the basis of recommendations of the Niti Aayog. The final decision would be taken by the panel chaired by the Finance minister.
After the final approval of the assets, the monetisation should be strictly completed within 12 months.
iii. In case the time limitation of 12 months is not followed, the finance ministry may put forth budgetary allocations to the CPSEs.
CPSEs however can seek relaxation from the time-limit of 12 months  for the sale of non-core assets.
For immovable enemy properties, the non-core assets would be identified for disposal only after consultation with the stakeholders which is inclusive of the state governments.
The Custodian of Enemy Property for India (CEPI) or the Ministry of Home Affairs will select the disposable properties and would also certify if the property is free of any encroachment.
The amount of credit gained from the sale of non-core assets would form a part of the disinvestment proceeds. In the current financial year, the central government has set a target of Rs 90,000 crore to be raised through CPSE disinvestment.
7. India rebuilds Chhyoiphel Kundeling monastery in Nepal
India has rebuilt Chhyoiphel Kundeling Monastery in Nepal. 
Shyalpa Tenzin Rinpoche inaugurated newly reconstructed Monastery at Lisankhu village in Sindhupalchok district.
Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of India Dr. Ajay Kumar was also present on the occasion. 
The Monastery has been reconstructed with Government of India grant of 18.9 million Nepalese rupees. 
The project also included building additional infrastructure such as residences, kitchen, sanitation facilities and compound wall.
The Chhyoiphel Kundeling Monastery was established in 1946 with the active initiation and contribution of Lisankhu villagers. 
It has been carrying out various socio-cultural activities like teaching Buddhism, Thangka painting, wood carving and sculpting etc. 
Apart from being an important heritage building, the monastery is also an integral part of the social and cultural life of people in the area.
8. Supreme Court bans mining activities along Kaziranga park
The Supreme Court has banned all mining activities along the Kaziranga National Park and catchment area of rivers originating in Karbi Anglong Hills in Assam.
A bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta issued a notice to the Assam government and sought its reply within three weeks.
The mining activity in this area were resulting in environment degradation and habitat destruction in an important elephant and tiger habitat.
Kaziranga National Park  is a national park in the Golaghat and Nagaon districts of the state of Assam, India. The sanctuary, which hosts two-thirds of the world`s great one-horned rhinoceroses, is a World Heritage Site.
According to the census held in March 2018 which was jointly conducted by the Forest Department of the Government of Assam and some recognized wildlife NGOs, the rhino population in Kaziranga National Park is 2,413.
It comprises 1,641 adult rhinos (642 males, 793 females, 206 unsexed); 387 sub-adults (116 males, 149 females, 122 unsexed); and 385 calves. In 2015, the rhino population stood at 2401. Kaziranga is home to the highest density of tigers among protected areas in the world, and was declared a Tiger Reserve in 2006 (now the highest tiger density is in Orang National Park, Assam) . The park is home to large breeding populations of elephants, wild water buffalo, and swamp deer.[4] Kaziranga is recognized as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International for conservation of avifaunal species. When compared with other protected areas in India, Kaziranga has achieved notable success in wildlife conservation. Located on the edge of the Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hotspot, the park combines high species diversity and visibility.
9. Saudi Arabia increases India`s Haj Quota to 2 lakh
Saudi Arabia has issued a formal order increasing the Haj quota of India to two lakhs from one lakh seventy five-thousand.
Official sources said, the decision will ensure that all the Haj applicants from big states like Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar can embark pilgrimage this year as their waiting lists have been cleared due to the increase in quota. 
In February this year, the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that Indian Haj quota would be increased by 25 thousand to two lakhs. This is the third hike in three consecutive years. 
A record number of two lakh Indian Muslims will perform Haj this year without subsidy. 
As many as 2,340 Indian Muslim women will go for the pilgrimage without male companion or Mehram.



National Current Affairs April 3rd Week 2019

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