Rajaji National Park in Uttarakhand declared as India's 48th Tiger Reserve
i. The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) on 21 April 2015 accorded final approval to Rajaji National Park, Uttarakhand as India's 48th Tiger Reserve. With this notification, Uttarakhand got its second tiger reserve after the Corbett Tiger Reserve.
ii. The Rajaji National Park that came into existence in 1983 is spread across three districts of Uttarakhand namely Haridwar, Dehradun and Pauri Garhwal in an area over 820 square km.
Work on Saraswati Revival Project launched in Haryana
i. Haryana assembly Speaker Kanwar Pal on 21 April 2015 inaugurated the excavation work on the Rs 50-crore Saraswati Revival Project at Rolaheri village in Yamunanagar district of Haryana.
ii. The integrated project would cover several aspects like flood protection, promotion of eco-tourism and pilgrimage tourism, water conservation, improving ecological balance among various other things.
President released Postage Stamp commemorating 200 years of Old Seminary in Kottayam
i. The President of India Pranab Mukherjee on 21 April 2015 released a Postage Stamp commemorating the 200 years of the Orthodox Theological Seminary or Old Seminary, Kottayam in Kerala.
ii. The Orthodox Theological Seminary known as Old Seminary or Cottayam Syrian College is run by the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, the St. Thomas Christians.
Railways launched mobile app utsonmobile for paperless unreserved tickets
i. The Railway Ministry on 22 April 2015 launched a mobile application named utsonmobile, for paperless unreserved tickets. This mobile application aims to eliminate the need for printing of unreserved tickets.
ii. The application was launched as a pilot project in New Delhi by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and will cover 15 stations between Egmore and Tambram suburban sections in Chennai of the Southern Railway.
Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting received ISO 9001:2008 certification
i. The Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) on 22 April 2015 received the ISO 9001:2008 certification from the British Standards Institute (BSI). The ISO certification was granted in respect of various licences issued by ministry for the broadcasts, print media and films.
ii. The ISO 9001:2008 certification is a standard for the Quality Management System. ISO 9001:2008 standards basically focus what the organization do to fulfill
Indian Railways launched E-Samiksha to monitor rail projects online
i. Indian Railways on 21 April 2015 launched online monitoring mechanism E-Samiksha to monitor rail projects.
ii. It aims at monitoring implementation of various ongoing projects of Indian Railways on real-time basis including Rail Budget proposals.
Indian Navy’s new missile destroyer ship named Visakhapatnam launched
i. The First ship of Project-15B, a Guided Missile Destroyer Visakhapatnam was launched on 20 April 2015 at Mazagaon Dock Limited (MDL), Mumbai. It is the largest missile destroyer commissioned in India till now.
ii. It is also equipped with the Israeli Multi-Function Surveillance Threat Alert Radar (MF-STAR). MF-STAR will provide it with targeting information to 32 Barak 8 long-range surface-to-air missiles on board the warship.
Union Government rolled out online LTV applications system for Pakistani nationals
i. Union Government on 22 April 2015 rolled out an online system for submission of the Long Term Visa (LTV) applications by the eligible Pakistani nationals and for its processing by various agencies.
ii. The Union Home Ministry took the decision to address the difficulty of the minority communities in Pakistan who come to India with the intention to settle permanently. The applications can be submitted online through hyperlink indianfrro.gov.in/frro
Indo-French Naval exercise VARUNA commenced at Goa
i. The fourteenth edition of Indo-French Naval Exercise named VARUNA-15 commenced on 23 April 2015 off the coast of Goa. The 10-day long joint naval exercise will end on 2 May 2015.
ii. It is aimed at further deriving mutual benefit from the experiences of the two navies and strengthening the bilateral ties between India and France.
Eminent Historian Christopher Alan Bayly died
i. Eminent historian Professor Christopher Alan Bayly died on 20 April 2015 in Chicago due to heart attack. His death was announced by the Centre for South Asian Studies at the University of Cambridge. He was 70.
ii. He was a historian who specialised in British Imperial, Indian and global history and his works covered the 18th and 19th century India and British imperial history. For his contribution to historical scholarship, he was knighted in 2007.
Former Bengal U-19 Cricket captain Ankit Keshri died
i. Ankit Keshri, an East Bengal Club cricketer died on 20 April 2015 due to an injury sustained during a Cricket Association of Bengal's senior one-day knock-out match. He was 20.
ii. Keshri was hurt on 17 April 2015 during Bengal Division 1's match between East Bengal Club and Bhawanipore Club at Salt Lake ground. In the 44th over, he bumped into bowler Sourabh Mondal while taking a high catch and fell and lost consciousness.
International Mother Earth Day observed
Theme - "It’s Our Turn to Lead"
i. This is the 45th anniversary of the Earth’s Day, the year when the world leaders will pass a binding climate change treaty in Paris in December 2015. The treaty will be adopted to make sure the future of Earth, our planet and the survival of life on it.
ii. The theme highlights the need for change and seeks to inform the communities and leadership that action needs to be taken on climate by promoting a goal of environmental awareness
National Panchayati Raj Day observed on 24 April 2015
i. National Panchayati Raj Day was observed across India on 24 April 2015. The day is observed to mark the passing of the Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 that came into force with effect from 24 April 1993
ii. On the day, the best performing Gram Panchayats and Gram Sabhas were honoured with Panchayat Sashaktikaran Award 2015 and Rashtriya Gaurav Gram Sabha Award 2015.
UN observed World Book and Copyright Day across the world
i. For the year 2015, UNESCO designated Incheon, South Korea as the World Book Capital 2015 in recognition of its programme to promote reading among people and underprivileged sections of the population.
ii. The day is an opportunity to recognise the power of books to change our lives for the better and to support books and those who produce them. World Book Day was celebrated for the first time on 23 April 1995.
Union Finance Ministry retained interest rate for GPF at 8.7 percent for 2015-16
i. The 8.7 per cent interest will apply on Provident Funds of central government employees, railways and defence forces. The rate of interest will be effective from 1 April 2015.
ii. The interest rate for GPF is in line with the interest rate fixed for Public Provident Fund (PPF) at 8.7 per cent for 2015-16. The Government had raised the interest rates for other small saving schemes.
• The interest rate for senior citizens savings scheme was hiked from 9.2 per cent to 9.3 per cent
• The interest rate for Sukanya Samriddhi Account, the special deposit scheme for girl child has been hiked from 9.1 per cent to 9.2 per cent.
• The interest earning for Kisan Vikas Patra has been retained at 8.7 per cent.
MakeMyTrip acquired travel startup Mygola
i. MakeMyTrip Group has acquired 100 per cent of Mygola. The amount of the acquisition was not disclosed. The acquisition is done through the company’s earlier announced innovation fund, which is formed to invest in start up or early-stage companies in the travel technology space.
ii. Mygola was founded in 2009 by Anshuman Bapna and Prateek Sharma. The company has raised capital from Helion Ventures, Blumberg Capital and 500Startups, among other angel investors.
Japan's Nikkei 225 closed above 20000 for the first time in 15 years
i. Japan’s main stock market index Nikkei 225 on 21 April 2015 closed above the 20000 level for the first time in 15 years. The index surged by just over 15% in 2015, building on an incredible 140% boom since June 2012.
ii. The prime minister's ambitious plan for Japan's economy -- dubbed Abenomics -- also helped end deflation, boost corporate earnings and send stock prices through the roof.
IT Department awarded the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration
i. The Income Tax (IT) Department on 21 April 2015 was awarded the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration for easy tax compliance through quality service.
ii. The award was conferred to the Income Tax Department for successful implementation of end to end solution of core services including integrated e-governance initiatives viz:
• Tax Information Network (TIN)
• E-filing portal
• Centralized Processing Cell (CPC-TDS) for processing of TDS statements
• Centralized Processing Centre (CPC) for processing of Income Tax Returns
Shah Rukh Khan honoured with Dadasaheb Phalke Film Foundation Award 2015
i. Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan was on 21 April 2015 honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Film Foundation Award 2015 for his performance in the movie Happy New Year. The award ceremony was held in Mumbai.
ii. Actor Rajkummar Rao won the prestigious award for his performance in the critically acclaimed film Citylights, which was released in 2014.
Pakistan conferred highest civilian award Nishan-e-Pakistan on Chinese president Xi Jinping
i. The award was conferred for his outstanding contribution in promotion of relationship between the two countries.
ii. The award was presented by the President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain at the President House during the award giving ceremony.
iii.Earlier, in 2013 the award was presented to Li Keqiang, Premier of the People's Republic of China.
NRL & BPC signed MoU to export petroleum products to Bangladesh
i. Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) and Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) on 22 April 2015 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to export petroleum products to Bangladesh.
ii. The MoU was signed by Mustafa Qudrat-I-Elahi, General Manager (Planning and Development) of BPC and Bruno Ekka, NRL’s General Manager (Marketing and Business Development) in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
World Bank established Pollution Management and Environmental Health program
i. World Bank on 18 April 2015 established Pollution Management and Environmental Health (PHEM) program. The program was officially launched on Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day in Washington, D.C.
ii. The 45 million US Dollar PMEH program will initially run from 2015 to 2020. In particular, the program will focus on air quality management in five major urban areas in India, China, Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa.
Union Cabinet approved agreement between India and Jordan on maritime transport
i. The Union Cabinet on 22 April 2015 gave its approval for signing of a shipping agreement between India and Jordan. The agreement aims at strengthening cooperation and providing sustained mutual assistance on merchant shipping and other related maritime matters.
ii. The nod was given in a Cabinet meet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi after recognizing the significant mutual benefit which can be derived from cooperation in area of shipping between the two countries.
World Happiness Report 2015 released
i. The World Happiness Report 2015 was released on 23 April 2015. The report was published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) an initiative under the United Nations.
ii. The report was topped by Switzerland followed by Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Canada. The World Happiness Report examined 158 countries and is aimed at influencing government policy.
iii. India ranked 117th out of total 158 countries.
IOC President Thomas Bach named ambassador of HeForShe by UN Women
i. The campaign was launched by the UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson in September 2014. HeForShe is a solidarity campaign for gender equality established by United Nations (UN) Women.
ii. HeForShe encourages men and boys to join in on the fight for women's rights and gender equality all over the glove. Their goal is to enlist one billion men and boys to become advocates for women's rights worldwide.
Indian-American Vivek Murthy took oath as 19th US Surgeon General
i. Indian- American Vivek Murthy on 23 April 2015 took oath as the 19th US Surgeon General. The oath was administered by Vice President Joe Biden at a ceremony in the US. He took the oath on the Gita.
ii. Vivek Muthy became the youngest-ever in-charge of the country's public health. As the US Surgeon General, Murthy carries the rank of Vice Admiral.
KPMG elected Lynne Doughtie as first women CEO and Chairman
i. Accounting giant KPMG on 22 April 2015 elected company veteran Lynne Doughtie as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chairman. She is the first women to be elected to this position.
ii. She will succeed John Veihmeyer, who has served as Chairman and CEO since 2010 and simultaneously as Global Chairman of KPMG International since February of 2014.
Pathai Ananthasubramanian Murali resigned as CFO & ED of United Spirits Limited
i. Pathai Ananthasubramanian Murali on 23 April 2015 resigned as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Executive Director (ED) of Bengaluru-based United Spirits Limited. Murali also resigned from the boards of all subsidiaries.
ii. Murali is a Chartered Accountant by profession. He has been in the industry for over 32 years and with the UB Group companies for 22 years.